The Fuss Over ID

posted at 11:04 am on November 27, 2010 by Jazz Shaw

Bill King trots out another old favorite, conservative chestnut this week by once again suggesting that perhaps people who show up at the polls to vote should bring along some sort of identification. And, anticipating the normal progressive push-back, offers a suggestion to Democrats. Get over it.

[W]e are regularly required to produce identification for matters far more trivial than exercising our right to vote, such as cashing a check or using a credit card. So some reasonable requirement to produce proof of your identification at the poll hardly seems overly burdensome in the context of today’s society…

I would respectfully suggest to my Democratic friends that it is time to punt on this issue and get it behind us.

Bill’s assumption that Democrats would object – and precisely why they might – seems to have been summoned immediately into existence. Greg’s Opinion:

No thanks, Bill. You can respectfully ask me to give up as many rights as I’m warranted, but my answer won’t change…

The fact of the matter is that there’s a principle involved here. It’s called the right to vote. Increasing the number of impediments in front of that is not something I am willing to consider punting over. Regardless of polls, regardless of the fact that there are 99 GOP State Reps that their constituents can’t name. Regardless of anything. My position is clear: let eligible voters vote. It seems that’s not enough of a principle for Bill King.

On the one hand, both Bill and Greg start out agreeing on one point which muddles this entire discussion. Leaving all hyperbole and hyperventilating aside, there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race. Mobilizing that many people to act in concert without being apprehended seems unlikely in the extreme.

But that’s only if you’re talking about the efforts of one person or group spread out across a massive playing field. What about at the micro level? Plenty of state and county legislative elections frequently go into recounts and are decided by a margin of 100 votes or less. (They’re still counting two races in my county as this is being written.) Shenanigans in the election process at that level can have a profound effect, and if they happen often enough across the state and nation, even if not coming from one central command center, the outcome may become suspect.

But the idea of ID cards always sets off multiple firestorms. On the one hand, as Bill King notes, it’s a rather flagrantly partisan and shallow argument.

Of course, the debate over voter ID is completely disingenuous on both sides. Republicans speculate that their likely voters will have an easier time producing an ID than Democratic voters and thereby gain some infinitesimal electoral advantage. This, of course, is precisely the same reason Democrats oppose it. Neither side really gives two hoots and a holler about whether there is really any voter fraud going on or not, just whether the system (current or proposed) favors their side.

Oddly enough, some of the same Republicans and conservatives who like the idea of ID for voting are frequently the first to stand up and oppose the idea of a national ID card which could significantly assist in immigration and law enforcement efforts.

But let’s say we could get something like this organized. What would you need to make sure it was not only effective, but legal? Well, first of all, if you’re going to use such an ID for voting, it’s going to have to be free. (If it’s not and the government charges you a fee for it, that’s effectively a tax. This then opens up a line of argument that it’s a Poll Tax and it becomes constitutionally problematic.) And this means that it’s going to have to be paid for with tax revenue.

Could such an ID be pushed further? (On a strictly optional basis, of course.) Could travelers offer to go through a lengthy screening process such as one undertakes if they want a job with the government, and get themselves pre-approved for security concerns, helping out with those nasty TSA lines at the airport? Honestly, I don’t see the problem with it.

Then again, in total disregard for my more libertarian roots, I’m one of those strange ducks who doesn’t have a big problem with a national database of ID for everyone living in our borders, up to and including photographs, fingerprints, retinal scans and DNA. A healthy amount of suspicion of the government is one thing, but if you’re going to have a government and a law enforcement structure, it would be nice to have them actually be able to catch the real bad guys a bit more efficiently.

So what do you think? Yea or nay on ID requirements for voting? National ID cards if they’re not mandatory? Or shall we scrap them all, including drivers licenses, and put everyone on the honor system?


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I find your analysis pointless. ID requirements at the polls should be an issue each state decides for itself.

NotCoach on November 27, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Absentee ballet. No ID required?

Electrongod on November 27, 2010 at 11:11 AM

A valid photo ID, just as when cashing a check, should be mandatory.

Or is the fate of our nation less important than cashing a check?

If so, we will be a bankrupted land.

profitsbeard on November 27, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I am all for a NATIONAL ID card, just like my military CAC card… Complete with microchip…

Issue it FREE from any approved US Goverment office and require it at all polling places… and school admissions office… and welfare office… and hospital admissions office…

The time for the free lunch is over… we’re out of Schlitz…

Khun Joe on November 27, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Ya, each state should decide for itself based on its own issues. Obviously there has to be some level of identification.

JohnJ on November 27, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Absentee ballet. No ID required?

Electrongod on November 27, 2010 at 11:11 AM

That is actually a much larger issue then verifying one’s ability to vote at the polls. Any voting outside of the booth is far more susceptible to fraud.

NotCoach on November 27, 2010 at 11:14 AM

As a responsible ADULT, I always carry ID on me wherever I go. Seems to me the only ones bitching about having to produce proof of ID are those too childish to be truly responsible.

viviliberoomuori on November 27, 2010 at 11:15 AM

The fact of the matter is that there’s a principle involved here. It’s called the right to vote. Increasing the number of impediments in front of that is not something I am willing to consider punting over. Regardless of polls, regardless of the fact that there are 99 GOP State Reps that their constituents can’t name. Regardless of anything. My position is clear: let eligible voters vote. It seems that’s not enough of a principle for Bill King.

Hello? Care to define ELIGIBLE??? Wouldn’t a simple ID be the “clear” qualifier?

Rovin on November 27, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Well if we had a national identification card it would make it easier for Sarah Palin, when she becomes President, to track down Jennifer Grey and put her in a FEMA camp.

Caper29 on November 27, 2010 at 11:16 AM

A voter ID can be as simple as a utility bill with your name and address on it. When I vote, I tell them my name and address, they check the list and check my name off but there is no verification that I’m actually that guy.

I agree with you that voter fraud (by actual voters) is probably insignificant. I think the actual fraud involves poll workers “finding” bags of ballots left in car trunks and “finding” entire ballot machines that were not counted.

Voter fraud has less to do with the voters than it does with the people who count the votes.

Mord on November 27, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I’m one of those strange ducks who doesn’t have a big problem with a national database of ID for everyone living in our borders, up to and including photographs, fingerprints, retinal scans and DNA.

.
Good idea, but you know which group fights this the hardest (along with funding for DNA ID to solve cold cases)?
.
Trial Lawyers

LincolntheHun on November 27, 2010 at 11:16 AM

I have a voter registration card issued at no charge to me. That would be a start.

Laura in Maryland on November 27, 2010 at 11:18 AM

I’m all for it. I believe that voter fraud is far worse than the author. It’s the ACORN style abuse that’s killing democracy. I say put up or shut up, let’s use state biometric ID registered in a federal data base.

Mojave Mark on November 27, 2010 at 11:21 AM

There’s another principle at work here too — that a valid vote is diminished, diluted, or even negated by invalid votes. Since our ballots are secret, the invalid votes must be prevented from ever occurring. This is the problem Greg ignores. It’s got a technological solution.

Payment for an ID would be a problem — it’s the equivalent of a poll tax — a thing already found to be unConstitutional. So the ID must be provided “for free” by the Government (i.e., indirectly paid for by taxes).

unclesmrgol on November 27, 2010 at 11:22 AM

I am 100% in favor of requiring ID to vote, and I also have no problem with a national ID card.

KSgop on November 27, 2010 at 11:25 AM

I have no problem with a National ID with complete biometrics. Of course, do you expect this current administration to do anything to keep us safe? Instead of deporting illegals and keeping the bad guys out, the ICE and DHS are instead focusing on seizing domain names of copyright infringers.

If they can do this, what is to stop them from taking HotAir or any website they don’t agree with?

I don’t know if this country will last 2 more years of this idiot.

Wolftech on November 27, 2010 at 11:25 AM

I find your analysis pointless. ID requirements at the polls should be an issue each state decides for itself.

NotCoach on November 27, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Wrong oh “pointless one”. If the results of elections effects the nation as a whole, why should “the states” have ANY influence over this reasonable decision to simply show proof of citizenship?

Rovin on November 27, 2010 at 11:26 AM

So I’m supposed to get my panties in a bunch over showing ID at the polls, but be completely okay with some government lackey scanning or groping me when I want to board a plane?

DrMagnolias on November 27, 2010 at 11:29 AM

What’s the big deal? Drivers license or state issued ID. Not a big impediment. Holding a contrary view supports the idea of allowing voter fraud. One citizen, one vote. Not hard to understand.

Dandapani on November 27, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Notice how the libs are cool with airport pat downs but rile up about id cards at the polling place or anywhere for that matter?

Herb on November 27, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Well, based on the standard of not impeding an eligible voter, why even have voter registration? Whoever shows up at whatever polling place gets to vote. Sorry, Greg, there has to be some system in place to prevent fraud. ID at the polls is the most reasonable and convenient way to do it, and it impedes no LEGITIMATE voter from voting.

Also, regarding the much squawked about national ID card, we already have one. It’s called a Social Security card/number. You can’t do much of anything without one.

JannyMae on November 27, 2010 at 11:33 AM

“Leaving all hyperbole and hyperventilating aside, there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race.”

Minnesota is one where this is not true and probably in many other cases now with close votes, so I disagree with your opinion on this.

JeffinSac on November 27, 2010 at 11:33 AM

And I also disagree that the states should have their own standards for national elections.

JannyMae on November 27, 2010 at 11:34 AM

In theory, the national ID is a fine idea. Thing is, the gov’t is incapable of conducting such an IT feat. Simpler ideas have been tried, to great failure. The reason? You can’t politicize technology and still expect it to work.

stonemeister on November 27, 2010 at 11:35 AM

The argument is partisan? The concept of ‘one citizen, one vote’ is partisan, now? Who knew? I haven’t seen so many stupid arguments in one place in quite some time!

JannyMae on November 27, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Here’s a link to a post by the league of women voters, (who are against voter ID). It provides fairly believable stats, yet also has some disputable assumptions.

Opposing ID and Documentary Proof of Citizenship

Rovin on November 27, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Wrong oh “pointless one”. If the results of elections effects the nation as a whole, why should “the states” have ANY influence over this reasonable decision to simply show proof of citizenship?

Rovin on November 27, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Because the states are granted the authority under the Constitution to deal with this issue? Voter ID at the polls is a states rights issue. Or at least it should be. But Jazz jumps right over this and straight into our federal big brother protecting us all. No thank you.

NotCoach on November 27, 2010 at 11:38 AM

…there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race. Mobilizing that many people to act in concert without being apprehended seems unlikely in the extreme.

That’s a pretty bold statement. In Minn, a study found that “at least 341 convicted felons voted” and that they may have put Franken in office. I know that was waaaaay back in 2008, but I think that qualifies as “in living memory,” no? In close elections, it doesn’t take that many people.

If just one eligible person being denied their right to vote is considered a crime against democracy, doesn’t 341 ineligible voters casting illegal ballots warrant the same treatment? And if banks can require ID to cash checks, then we ought to be able to require ID to vote.

rcpjr on November 27, 2010 at 11:39 AM

“Leaving all hyperbole and hyperventilating aside, there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race.”
Minnesota is one where this is not true and probably in many other cases now with close votes, so I disagree with your opinion on this.

JeffinSac on November 27, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Agreeing with my fellow Sac friend, Arizona, SoCal, and other southern states may also have serious problems that have not been officially explored. Certainly Nevada should/could be a test case.

Rovin on November 27, 2010 at 11:44 AM

The whole point to NOT having a national ID card is to prevent a centralized identification tracking database which can be used to collect and collate information against you. That’s why Social Security Numbers were NEVER MEANT to be used as identification and only to track your retirement benefits… so called…

In my state there was AND IS such a thing as a voter registration card with my signature kept in the big book of voter registrations at the city registrar. When I go to vote, I sign that book which has a copy of my signature next to it to verify my signature.

The point of voter ID is to a> stop duplicate voting and b> verify that only citizens are voting.

You don’t need a massive nationwide tracking database system for that just as you DON’T need billions of dollars of computer equipment to take a vote when paper and pen still work fine.
Go to the city registrar, have them verify your ID and scan your fingerprint… then have the polling places scan your fingerprint on the way in… does it match? In ya go, does it not or have you already voted? Too bad.

Skywise on November 27, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Use existing forms of government issued identification. Restrict access to citizens only. Require voting to be done at the polling place. Clean elections.

Mason on November 27, 2010 at 11:49 AM

In theory, the national ID is a fine idea. Thing is, the gov’t is incapable of conducting such an IT feat. Simpler ideas have been tried, to great failure. The reason? You can’t politicize technology and still expect it to work.

stonemeister on November 27, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Wrong. It is coming. It has been for 38 years that I know of. I’m currently working on it. It will likely be called Eagle ID and is scheduled for some kind of announcement next month.

stvnscott on November 27, 2010 at 11:50 AM

But Jazz jumps right over this and straight into our federal big brother protecting us all. No thank you.

NotCoach on November 27, 2010 at 11:38 AM

In most cases NC, I would totally agree with you on the “fed big brother” issue. In this case, I’m not clear on your description of “protecting”. Explain to me why not having a clear proof of citizenship to participate in shaping our country is not a good thing. If it’s only the process to achieve this goal that your against, what’s the remedy?

Rovin on November 27, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Jaz, I’ve worked on elections for decades and you have no clue. ANY election that came down to 1% of the vote or less may be fraudulently won. My own estimation for the fraudulent votes in a place like Dallas County is in the 1-2% range- nearly all of it in support of Democrats. Voter ID will make a minor dent in this, only because a lot of it is done in absentee voting. i could write pages on the various tactic (non-existent addresses, nursing home votes, lists of the dead, illegal aliens paid to pose as other voters).

michaelo on November 27, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Shaw,

You miss a couple of points in your analysis.

First, any business will tell you that preventing an error is generally cheaper than correcting the error later. It is cheaper for the taxpayer to insist that you show up with your DL/ID card in hand than having to have the ballots go through a review later.

Which brings up the second point. The motor-voter bill set in motion the idea that having one ID was sufficient for voter registration. The foundation is already there. So why is it not sufficient that having your DL for registration not go hand in hand with showing it to go into the voting booth?

Dr. Dog on November 27, 2010 at 11:58 AM

“Leaving all hyperbole and hyperventilating aside, there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race.”

Leaving aside my hyperbole and hyperventilating, this is both ignorant. Dornan in 1996 and Rossi in 2004 just to name two that come to mind.

Dusty on November 27, 2010 at 12:01 PM

I support the idea of a national ID card, with photo, fingerprint, retinal scan, and perhaps other bio data. Make it impossible to forge, and let it show whether you are a citizen born in the US, a naturalized citizen, a permanent resident, or a temporary resident.

Allow it to be linked to other databases if the holder wishes, like one for frequent travelers showing you have gone through enough background checks to bypass most TSA harassment when you travel

donsingleton on November 27, 2010 at 12:02 PM

I say canc the absentee and mail in voting.
The Military can set up polling stations at the chow hall.

Everyone should have to apply for a voters registration card just like we do a passport.

In fact we should require folks to use the passport to vote.

The voter roll database could be used to prohibit anyone to vote twice via unique I.D..

All voting precincts should standardize to a machine countable type ballot that is easily re-countable by hand. (NO HACKABLE ELECTRONIC CRAP)

And I say we should use the purple die!

esnap on November 27, 2010 at 12:02 PM

My mother worked for the NY state board of elections

at the bottom of the voter registration form is a box to check if you are a citizen or not

that’s it

and they were forbidden to verify

end game

Sonosam on November 27, 2010 at 12:04 PM

there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory,

I can name at least two cases where this is not true. One of them being the AZ CD7 race. Most of this was due to absentee ballots — that’s why the libs were such great fans of unrestricted absentee and early voting. There were also instances of others voting for people despite the requirement in AZ to show ID.

National ID card? No thanks. States can take care of this on their own thank-you.

AZfederalist on November 27, 2010 at 12:05 PM

The Federal Government most likely already has a copy of every Driver’s License and other state issued license out there.

albill on November 27, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Leaving all hyperbole and hyperventilating aside, there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race.

You’re forgetting maybe Al Frankin? Harry Reid? the recent state elections in Washington and Alaska? the 1960 Presidential election in the Chicago area? etc., etc., etc.,…..

James Moriarty on November 27, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Maybe it’s better to decide what itch we’re trying to scratch.

The law is that US citizens only may vote in our elections. Each citizen gets one vote.

Tell me a cheaper and more effective way to enforce that law. Right now ID at the polls is the lowest impact way to do it.

JohnTant on November 27, 2010 at 12:10 PM

“Leaving all hyperbole and hyperventilating aside, there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race.”

That’s so wrong it’s laughable. The Governor of the state of Washington stole her last election. In US history too many other elections have been stolen to recount here. It’s simply a part of our history, and one party will not acknowledge the problem because they do far more of it than any other party. Democratics also will not allow changes to the system that will ease the difficult problem of gathering beyond-reasonable-doubt evidence of rampant election fraud.

JFK likely stole the presidential election of 1960. There’s Al Franken, Al Gore 2000, Loretta Sanchez, etc.

“New York City was infamous for ballot stuffing throughout the 1800s. In 1844, for example, 135% of the eligible voters turned out to vote.”

slickwillie2001 on November 27, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Personally I think some sort of official ID verifying citizenship and residence should be required to register and then an ID required when you vote. I am not inclined to yeild to the states the right to set differing thresholds for national office.

katiejane on November 27, 2010 at 12:21 PM

There is a right to vote, but there is no right to vote TWICE, nor to vote in an election in which you’re NOT ELIGIBLE to vote. Voter ID preserves the rights of others who vote legally and legitimately.

Log on November 27, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Greg is probably one of them guys that thinks American’s rights to move about freely should be exposed to a lil grop’n and radiation.

Ps..Jazz…

there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity

come on down to Louisiana and I’ll bet ya change ya tune.

roflmao

donabernathy on November 27, 2010 at 12:25 PM

We have to show proof of ID in Michigan to vote. What’s the problem?

flytier on November 27, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Rovin on November 27, 2010 at 11:53 AM

I don’t have a problem with ID at the polls. I have a problem with a federal solution to voter fraud. First, a federal solution is likely to make states less vigilant as they hand over authority to the federal government. And second, the law will be selectively applied depending on which party is in power. So instead of one screwed up state we all get screwed.

NotCoach on November 27, 2010 at 12:27 PM

MAybe the border patrol should start asking for ID?

tarpon on November 27, 2010 at 12:27 PM

I believe displaced blacks were allowed to vote in state louisiana elections though they lived outside of the state

fraud city

Sonosam on November 27, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Too many people levy charges of vote fraud without real proof, as many examples above attest. Unfortunately, in most cases they have no real evidence, so their belief is unshakable. Seems like any election in which their candidate loses brings an automatic accusation of fraud.

That said, I’d go FURTHER than a national ID with DNA & fingerprints. Implant a chip into everyone’s hand that they must have in order to vote, or buy or sell anything. We’ll call it a “mark” or a “number.”

“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark”

AngusMc on November 27, 2010 at 12:30 PM

I’m not so crazy about the “National ID” card, nor the database behind it. The larger it is, the more ripe for abuse by bored and/or nefarious systems people. At least at a state level, any sort of problems like that can be quickly isolated and corrected.

But I am One Thousand Percent in favor of photo ID requirements for voting. In my opinion, the idea that Republicans might gain some infintestimal advantage is ludicrous. The only advantage would be the stopping of ineligible voters from cancelling out any one elses, and I don’t care which side it actually benefits.

Cheap, free, tied to a driver’s license, whatever. I’m all in favor of every eligible voter being able to vote with as little obstruction as possible. But follow the damn rules like the rest of us.

JamesLee on November 27, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Leaving all hyperbole and hyperventilating aside, there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race.

Al Franken? Christine Gregoire?

In fact, voter fraud is likely endemic in the big cities. I remember looking at the raw data out of Chicago from the 2000 election and being amazed at how many precincts had not a single vote for Bush 43…

18-1 on November 27, 2010 at 12:33 PM

So what do you think? Yea or nay on ID requirements for voting?

Yes

Dollayo on November 27, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Allow me to nuke the liberal case against requiring ID to vote: Norway.

Here in Norway, they have recently enacted rules to require ID to vote. This is completely uncontroversial here in Norway, since it is an entirely reasonable policy.

The problem in the US is that there is no nationally available free form of ID, as far as I know. Here in Norway, every bank that has been approved by the government can give you an ID, in the form of your debit or credit card.

In other words, when I voted in the parliamentary elections here in Norway last year, I used my debit card as an ID to prove that I was a legitimate voter.

I think that if the Republicans are serious about this issue, they should use examples like Norway to combat the completely disingenuous liberal defiance of what is an entirely reasonable, logical policy.

Just start churning out commercials, where you take Democrats’ insistence that a voter ID requirement is something out of Nazi Germany, and juxtapose that with little old quasi-socialist Norway.

I think that would take the wind completely out of their sails, and they wouldn’t really know what to do with themselves.

Seixon on November 27, 2010 at 12:35 PM

“New York City was infamous for ballot stuffing throughout the 1800s. In 1844, for example, 135% of the eligible voters turned out to vote.”

Heck Edgar Allen Poe possibly died due to a vote fraud method popular in the mid 1800s. They’d drug the poor person and then pull them in to vote…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooping

18-1 on November 27, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Jazz please go back and “study up” on the issues a little more. Your posts lack depth. You are doing yourself no favors here.

unseen on November 27, 2010 at 12:37 PM

If I have to produce ID to buy OTC cold medicine, you can produce ID to determine who is going to legally pick my pocket.

gbear on November 27, 2010 at 12:38 PM

The fact of the matter is that there’s a principle involved here. It’s called the right to vote.

And you only have that right if you’re not a dead person or otherwise ineligible. Presenting a valid photo I.D. would prevent the abuse of that right to vote.

So, what’s the problem?

RedNewEnglander on November 27, 2010 at 12:38 PM

I guess I don’t know what the issue is. When I go to my polling location they always ask me to present a photo ID. My driver’s license works just fine. My voter ID card which was issued when I registered to vote however is not okay. Go figure. So where exactly do people just get to waltz in and vote without ID? Certainly not in my district.

Goldenavatar on November 27, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Just figured I’d step in to clarify a couple points people seem to be having trouble with.

“Leaving all hyperbole and hyperventilating aside, there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race.”

Minnesota is one where this is not true and probably in many other cases now with close votes, so I disagree with your opinion on this.

Between 2002 and 2006, despite an attempt by the Bush Justice department to crack down on it, there were only 120 federal prosecutions and 86 convictions out of over 400 million votes cast. Voter fraud is exceedingly rare, to the point of virtual non-existence.

Sorry, Greg, there has to be some system in place to prevent fraud. ID at the polls is the most reasonable and convenient way to do it, and it impedes no LEGITIMATE voter from voting.

JannyMae on November 27, 2010 at 11:33 AM

That’s false. Up to 20 million American citizens of voting age don’t have govt.issued identification.

crr6 on November 27, 2010 at 12:42 PM

So Democrats don’t want to check ID to exercise the right to vote. They have no problem checking my ID and running a background check when I exercise my right to buy a firearm.

I’m ready to make a deal. All or nothing.

Highwayman on November 27, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Considering the stakes for our country’s future, perhaps a Voter ID is long overdue. But the main point is stopping voter fraud, first and foremost.

Here in Oklahoma, we voters decided on what worked best for us in our last election cycle, and ALREADY the amendment to our state Constitution is being challenged because the ability to cheat and steal elections is under assault.

Go figure.

itzWicks on November 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM

crr6 on November 27, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Successful convictions is not an accurate measure. And despite the fact that enough votes were cast by felons to give the election to Norm Coleman in Minnesota if they didn’t vote, Franken is still their Senator. Stopping the fraud before it occurs is far more important then trying to make a difficult charge stick after the fact. But that being said, I disagree with Jazz because he has far too much faith in our federal overlords to get it right.

NotCoach on November 27, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Hmmmm…don’t we all have a card that uniquely identifies every individual?

Why, yes we do. And I don’t remember paying a fee for it, either. Since everyone is supposed to have one (and if you don’t have one, odds are you’re not eligible to vote), so just re-issue SSA cards with photo’s included.

Then, provide every polling place with a POS (Point of Sale) reader that queries the government “database” and authorizes the ballot.

Oh. The horror.

BobMbx on November 27, 2010 at 1:04 PM

This is a states issue. We elect local and state representatives; even those at the national level represent no larger grouping than the states individually, including the electoral college.

VerbumSap on November 27, 2010 at 1:10 PM

State issued photo ID to vote. Military ID, DL or State ID card. ID card available for free to those who don’t have a Military ID or a DL.

No mail in voting like in Washington State. Way to much opportunity for those inclined to cheat to cheat.

Absentee balloting OK, but must be requested in person and you have to show ID to get it. No requesting absentee ballots by mail.

Definite NO to a national ID database. Don’t trust the politicians/bureaucrats not to abuse it. Remember what happened to Joe the Plumber. And that was just from state DB’s. How much more sh*t about him would they have been able to dig up with a national database?

crr6 – linking to a New Yorker article which prints the 20 million figure without providing any reference to who calculated it or how they calculated it, does not constiture proof of anything.

Cecil on November 27, 2010 at 1:20 PM

First, I guess we’ve reached our weekly limit of Palin threads, and so there’s nothing else to talk about

Second

Republicans speculate that their likely voters will have an easier time producing an ID than Democratic voters and thereby gain some infinitesimal electoral advantage.

Liberals are so totally mindless…I think they are unable to tell anything that resembles the truth. The issue is voter Fraud. Ok?

Three:

Why does there seem to be a conflation between showin g an ID to vote and national ID…?

Four:

Voter Fraud is a major issue. Let’s not get distracted. I think the Left is so good at manufacturing votes thru motor voter and old fashioned ballot stuffing that voter ID is probably a minor point.

r keller on November 27, 2010 at 1:33 PM

there are two issues here. let me tackle them one at a time.
Requiring proof to vote. Yes and mail in and absentee ballots should be handed out only after verifying eligibility through an official data base, although I think that states such as mine that rely on mail in voting should be required to go back to the polling place model. I don’t think I have had to vote in a polling place since the early 90′s. It should require an effort on a person to actually cast a vote (We are electing our representitives not voting for the next American Idol).
Now on a national ID card. I have been for it for a long time. There are so many things that having a national biometric id card and mnational database would help. Not only with voter fraud issues but illegal immigration, identity theft, criminal issues and body identifycation in case of a national disaster. The information the chip could store dna, fingerprints etc. Is it a little bit of a trade off with privacy not really since depending on your current interaction with the government at least some of this info is already on file somewhere. There could also be levels of id to aasist with traveling or crossing the Canadian and Mexican borders (like the enhanced drivers license/ID my state offers). Personally I think the positives would outway any possible negetives.

JKotthoff on November 27, 2010 at 1:35 PM

I was asked for ID here in Colorado… I would have been pissed if they DIDN’T ask for it.

reshas1 on November 27, 2010 at 1:37 PM

On the one hand, both Bill and Greg start out agreeing on one point which muddles this entire discussion. Leaving all hyperbole and hyperventilating aside, there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race. ***

This is a pretty extraordinary concession–one I wouldn’t be so quick to make. As our Democrat friends are so eager to tell us, the 2000 Presidential election was decided by 500 votes in Florida. In this cycle alone, I can think of two Senate races (AK and WA) that were decided by razor-thin margins. Going back to 2004, 2006, and 2008 doubtlessly will yield dozens more such contests.

You mean to tell me that between the unions and the ACORN like groups out there, that they can’t scare up 20,000 illegal votes in a state with 5,000,000 ballots cast? These are the same folks that submitted hundreds of thousands of fraudulent voter registrations for God’s sake.

I agree that the “margin of fraud” is pretty narrow; but there are many races decided within its margins, which is why voter fraud goes on, and which is why Democrats are so aggressive at fighting anti-fraud measures.

Outlander on November 27, 2010 at 1:38 PM

12 Counties of 254 in Texas had more registered voters than living adults of voting age. That would only happen with fraud.

michaelo on November 27, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Absentee balloting OK, but must be requested in person and you have to show ID to get it. No requesting absentee ballots by mail.

Only problem there, as I see it: deployed military. Or, for that matter, those whose job takes them out of the resident area for an extended time. But there SHOULD be some sort of provision to prove who you are by mail, I agree.

JamesLee on November 27, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Neither side really gives two hoots and a holler about whether there is really any voter fraud going on or not, just whether the system (current or proposed) favors their side.

That stupid comment, alone, should disqualify this moron from any further consideration.

therealfranklin on November 27, 2010 at 1:55 PM

So why is it a problem for ID to vote. Mexico requires a person to show up at the local office, give the info with some sort of ID and one gives a thumb print. Then when the ID is available for pickup, that same person has to go to the office and be visually verified against the ID and then it is given to them. Note they have to show up in person and with Mexico having a great % of poor than the US and not owning cars with gas prices approximately the same as the Eastern US, why should we complain.

In my opinion, if our people cannot do the same, they don’t need to vote. We make is so easy to corrupt the system now with provincial voting, early voting and absentee voting that one wonders why there is not more corruption. And we have had historically wide scale corruption, be it local in scope. remember that the Nixon/Kennedy election has been considered won by fraud in some more reputable quarters.

So please don’t give me this idea that we really don’t have much corruption.

amr on November 27, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Jazz Shaw actually wants a national DNA citizen database??????? Yeah. You lost me right there idiot.

KMC1 on November 27, 2010 at 1:59 PM

I say canc the absentee and mail in voting.
The Military can set up polling stations at the chow hall.

esnap on November 27, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Impossible to do – you’re talking hundreds/thousands of stations for the various districts/states.

I could support getting rid of absentee / mail in except for military, however – open early voting for those who know they won’t be in their home district at the time of the election.

mnealtx on November 27, 2010 at 2:05 PM

If you want Democrats to get behind showing ID at the polls, it will be necessary for Republicans to concentrate on stealing elections via voter fraud – you know, like Democrats do right now.

Once they lost a couple of elections, they’ll be screaming for mandatory ID display before voting.

GarandFan on November 27, 2010 at 2:07 PM

crr6 on November 27, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Your first link also mentioned this. Wonder why you left this particular quote out?

Most of those charged have been Democrats, voting records show.

I won’t even address your second “link”. Too busy laughing at it and its “author”.

Del Dolemonte on November 27, 2010 at 2:11 PM

I won’t even address your second “link”.

Del Dolemonte on November 27, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Why did you put link in scare quotes? Are you implying it wasn’t a link? LOL.

crr6 on November 27, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Cost of a driver’s license is not a significant hurdle. In Georgia we got around that objection from the democratics by offering a free ID from the same issuer of DL’s, with the same criteria for issue.

Of course the democratics are coming up with other grounds to go to court.

slickwillie2001 on November 27, 2010 at 2:17 PM

THE REASON WE NEED VOTER ID:

To prevent Democrat cheating, plain and simple.
Which party has a history of voter fraud: Dem
Which party has a history of deceased on voter rolls: Dem
Which party has a history of convicts on voter rolls: Dem
Which party has engaged in voter intimidation at polls: Dem
Which party has encouraged illegal aliens to vote: Dem

Mark7788 on November 27, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Voting early in Illinois (in my county, anyway) required showing a valid state ID. Voting on election day did not. (I was a poll watcher and only the very few voters whose signature did not come close to matching the one on file were asked to show an ID).

Color me confused.

Fallon on November 27, 2010 at 2:31 PM

A valid photo ID, just as when cashing a check, should be mandatory.

Or is the fate of our nation less important than cashing a check?

If so, we will be a bankrupted land.

profitsbeard on November 27, 2010 at 11:13 AM

My thoughts exactly.

No national ID- the federal government shouldn’t do such things.

However, a driver’s liscense, ID card (in Texas, we have those for people who can’t drive) or a passport works just fine for voting.

Theophile on November 27, 2010 at 2:32 PM

…there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race…

WHAT????? Oh, wait, you’re satirizing yourself, right? LOLOLOLOL!!! Good one, Jazz.

This has to be one of the dumbest things I’ve read in the past 3 years. You can’t possibly be serious to suggest that voter fraud, per se, is not a sound reason for voter ID unless somebody actually proves that an election result was changed by it. That’s absurd; the seriousness of the crime itself notwithstanding, how the hell would it be possible to prove that an outcome had been changed?

But that’s just the tip of Imbecility Iceberg. Just within my living memory (I’m 56) we’ve had the Presidency stolen by JFK from Richard Nixon, with the states of Texas and Illinois being handed to the Democrats by margins of fewer than 5,000 votes with the help of corrupt city machines and their legions of dead voters (shades of the rescue of Minas Tirith, no?) And then we’ve seen the Democrats go berserk with accusations of election-stealing in 2000 and 2004. This after legitimate complaints about multiple votes cast by individuals in 2000, votes in states where the individual does not reside in 2004 and 2008, city Mayoral elections overturned because of fraud in Miami among other places, and repeated complaints about Democrats dragging busloads of illegals to polling places and then entering the voting both to “help them with the language.”

Voter fraud is one of the constants of American politics, and to pretend that it’s not serious enough to address until somebody has proved something that’s impossible to prove … well, I don’t think “denial” is strong enough to describe the unreality of this COMPLETELY IMBECILIC notion of yours.

philwynk on November 27, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I live in Alabama… I have to show an ID proving I am the person on the voter role I say I am.

No one seems to be disenfranchised in this backward state :)

Lord Nazh on November 27, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Why would Democrats oppose voter-id?
To continue cheating.
They talk about disenfranchisment, but the reality is:
They want to be able to jam the polls to win elections with:
- convicts
- illegals
- deceased

Mark7788 on November 27, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Leaving all hyperbole and hyperventilating aside, there has probably not been any significant amount of voter fraud in sufficient quantity to alter the outcome of a state or congressional level election in living memory, to say nothing of a presidential race.

What’s the weather like in your universe? Others have already mentioned several examples where voter fraud did change the outcome of an election (Franken’s is especially galling), and here in New Mexico there have been many other clear examples of voter fraud (because our democratic governor and democratic state senate passed a law forbidding asking for valid identification to vote). The only reason not to require a valid ID is to encourage voter fraud.

rmgraha on November 27, 2010 at 2:41 PM

convicts, illegals, deceased: oh my!
convicts, illegals, deceased: oh my!
convicts, illegals, deceased: oh my!
convicts, illegals, deceased: oh my!

Mark7788 on November 27, 2010 at 2:42 PM

What’s the weather like in your universe? Others have already mentioned several examples where voter fraud did change the outcome of an election (Franken’s is especially galling)
rmgraha on November 27, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Wow! Especially galling!

Excuse me for asking, but is it a new article of faith amongst you types that Franken “stole” the election through “voter fraud” or something?

crr6 on November 27, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Then again, in total disregard for my more libertarian roots, I’m one of those strange ducks who doesn’t have a big problem with a national database of ID for everyone living in our borders, up to and including photographs, fingerprints, retinal scans and DNA.

But you’re sympathetic to the Dem argument that a voter ID unduly burdens the voter?

I will never read another article by you again. Ever. You are not capable of rational thought.

philwynk on November 27, 2010 at 2:45 PM

I register to vote with my State.

I must show I am a citizen and a resident who has met the minimum residency requirement. I get a nice slip of paper telling me where my polling station is.

On election day I show up with a photo ID (I have used a driver’s license, Sheriff’s ID card and even my government ID before I was disabled) and my slip of paper from the State, and my name gets crossed off as I get a ballot. I got the Sheriff’s card for free back when I wasn’t driving and needed proof of age as I didn’t have a license.

The cost question is bogus. The availability question is bogus. Anyone who can’t figure out where to get a legal photo ID from their State must be clueless. I figured that out at age 18. If you can’t spend the hour or two to get a valid ID then it is YOU with a problem, not the State.

ajacksonian on November 27, 2010 at 2:47 PM

crr6 wrote at 12:42 PM:

Between 2002 and 2006, despite an attempt by the Bush Justice department to crack down on it, there were only 120 federal prosecutions and 86 convictions out of over 400 million votes cast. Voter fraud is exceedingly rare, to the point of virtual non-existence.

What you have proved, crr6, is that voter fraud enforcement is rare. This is a consequence of the fact that it is very difficult to discover who committed the fraud, or to produce evidence sufficient to establish guilt in a court of law. However, as any policeman can tell you, it is much easier to know that a crime has been committed than to prove who committed it.

Proving that voter fraud is rare cannot be proved by showing a lack of enforcement. Sorry, better try again, this time after engaging your brain.

philwynk on November 27, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Proof of eligibility (Passport, Birth Certificate, picture ID, NOT SS Card) at the time of registering to vote. Merely “certifying” on your registration is not adequate. Motor-voter was quite flawed on that point. I mean, 9 of the 9-11 hijackers were registered to vote.

It’ll get rid of the ACORN-style registration-packing, for sure.

JeffWeimer on November 27, 2010 at 2:58 PM

The cost question is bogus. The availability question is bogus. Anyone who can’t figure out where to get a legal photo ID from their State must be clueless. I figured that out at age 18. If you can’t spend the hour or two to get a valid ID then it is YOU with a problem, not the State.

ajacksonian on November 27, 2010 at 2:47 PM

“The literacy question is bogus. Anyone who can’t read is clueless. If you can’t spend time to learn how to read then it is YOU with a problem, not the State.”

What you have proved, crr6, is that voter fraud enforcement is rare.

philwynk on November 27, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Well, no. As I said, the Bush DOJ made it an enforcement priority and tried to crack down on it. Yet there was still virtually no fraud, and most of the cases they did discover were honest mistakes. There is no “there” there.

crr6 on November 27, 2010 at 2:58 PM

You need an ID to get “food stamps” so apparently the “poor” have no problem getting an ID

J_Crater on November 27, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Here’s a suggestion guys. Let’s put buck nekkid scanners at the polling places, and create a spin off agency. The Voting Security Agency, that will confirm the identity of each and every person, with buck nekkid scanning and intrusive pat downs, to insure that each voter is safe. Of course, you won’t be able to vote without a biometric identification card, with included smart RFID chip to prove it’s not a fake ID.

After all, that’s what the Feds want to travel on Trains, Planes, and Bus’s. They have these requirements in place at court house’s where the poor downtrodden may be summoned for some sort of legal action.

if it’s good enough for the court houses, federal buildings, and every other location, then it’s plenty good enough for a polling place don’t you think.

Snake307 on November 27, 2010 at 3:25 PM

I always come back to Stuart Smalley winning in MN because there were some districts with more votes than registered voters. So, there is definitely an issue here. A national ID is probably not required, but ID should be required to vote.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have attempting to vote as someone else be a felony either.

jeffn21 on November 27, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Enough with the hyperventilating over national IDs. It’s about time we had them, and, no matter how much you scream about it, it won’t infringe on your rights.

Count to 10 on November 27, 2010 at 3:46 PM

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