What’s the real effect of voter ID on turnout?

posted at 10:01 am on October 20, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

One of the most common complaints we hear from opponents of voter ID laws is that such rules would suppress voter turnout and make it more difficult for people to get to the polls. But for states who have already enacted such legislation, has the predicted effect proven true? Are there really less people making it out to cast their ballots on Tuesday? The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the question this weekend and finds that it’s not exactly an easy calculation to make.

Voters in more than two dozen states next month will be asked to provide some form of identification before casting a ballot. How many Americans who would otherwise vote will be turned away or won’t turn up at all remains a hotly contested number.

Some researchers have tried to count the number of voters affected, by surveying people about whether they have the required ID. This has produced a wide range of results, though, and some researchers question whether people whose IDs aren’t valid are aware of it, and whether they would rectify the situation if their state passed a tough ID law.

Just as with any other sort of predictive analysis based on a combination of public polling and sifting through data which is frequently ambiguous at best, several studies cited in the article were unable to make a definitive case in either direction. It remains an impossible task for us to ever predict what “would have happened” if some other hypothetical set of conditions existed. And for the data we do have, the requirement for some form of voter ID – or the lack thereof – is only one of many factors which determine how many people will show up to vote. The appeal of the candidates, the state of the economy… even the weather can all be big factors. The only two states with voter photo ID laws before the last presidential election – Georgia and Indiana – actually saw a sharp uptick in voter turnout, but that was compounded by what they describe as “an historic election” and an unusually high level of minority voter participation.

This left one analyst throwing up her hands.

Lorraine C. Minnite, a Rutgers University political scientist and a senior fellow at Demos, a liberal think tank, looked for a turnout effect in a 2009 paper she co-authored with Columbia University political scientist Robert S. Erikson. They didn’t turn up definitive evidence, concluding, “our data and tools are not up to the task of making a compelling statistical argument for an effect.”

Whether the inability to find an effect means there is no effect is contentious. To Prof. Minnite, it means the tools aren’t sharp enough, not that ID laws don’t curb voting.

Another item which can’t be quantified into hard numbers but which is acknowledged by these studies is the question of how likely the people most affected were to vote anyway. The majority of those without any form of photo ID were people who were apparently not all that big into participating in the public forum in the first place. This doesn’t mean that we should actively seek to stop them from voting – quite the opposite – but it does make it all the harder to figure out what the final effect of these laws are on turnout.

I still maintain that any such law should be enacted in a way that doesn’t put a direct fee in the way of someone being able to register or vote. That flies in the face of the constitution. But we also can’t allow ourselves to fall into the trap of eliminating any proposal which requires even the slightest additional effort to vote. Participating in virtually every aspect of our society requires some measure of effort. And if your state requires you to have a free photo ID – assuming you don’t have one of the most common ones already – then that’s an effort you’ll need to make. It takes an effort to get up off your couch and go to the polls anyway.


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No effect what so ever, except one man one vote.

meci on October 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Whether the inability to find an effect means there is no effect is contentious. To Prof. Minnite, it means the tools aren’t sharp enough, not that ID laws don’t curb voting.

Reminds me of the whole “just because there is no global warming, that doesn’t mean there is no global warming” thing.

steebo77 on October 20, 2012 at 10:07 AM

What’s the real effect of voter ID on turnout?

“Racist Closet-KKK Jim Crow Republicans are trying to suppress the black vote!” — libtardordie

farsighted on October 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM

I’m white; I live in East Atlanta. When I go to vote, the polling place is staffed by about a half dozen charming older African-American women. They ask for my ID–with a smile–and I show it to them. As I walk from the registration table to the booth, it never fails to occur to me that this is the true greatness of the Voting Rights Act–not just that here in the Deep South African-Americans vote, but they even have the opportunity to do what those nice ladies do and manage the polling place on election day.

And then it occurs to me that I don’t really hear a lot of my working class African-American neighbors complaining that they have to show a photo ID to vote, because they know we ALL do, regardless of our race. You know who I do hear gripe about voter ID laws? The pundits on MSNBC, who make seven figure salaries. I always wonder if they live such sheltered Greenwich Village lives that they think the South is still what it was 50 years ago and Bull Conner lurks with a firehose around every corner.

radjah shelduck on October 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM

We need to go back to paper ballots, have the voter sign their name and check a box saying they understand that if they are voting fraudulently it is a felony. Then put the purple ink on the thumb like they do in other countries so nobody can vote twice.

rockmom on October 20, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Good post radjah.

rockmom on October 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM

I’ve been interested in the left wing response to attempts to curb vote fraud.

They claim, for example, that there has never been proof of any significant amount of fraud, which is a lie of course. We’ve seen at least two recent elections – Al Franken, and a recent WA gov election.

Then they claim that this measure – ID won’t stop the kinds of vote fraud that have been caught in the past. Yes, this invalidates their previous claim…liberal logic at work.

And it is true that we need many more safeguards, not just this one. But this is such an obvious win – which is why you need to show ID for any number of the things you might want to do – buy alcohol, get on a plane, etc.

Oh, and I wonder, does this mean it is unconstitutional to require gun owners to undergo a background check and pay for a permit?

18-1 on October 20, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I know this: Every time an illegal vote is cast, a legal vote is nullified and a legal voter is “disenfranchised”. If voting is so important to somebody they can get the ID they need to exercise their rights because catering to their whims disenfranchises far more voters than just them.

cartooner on October 20, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Hey, it makes it much harder for Mickey Mouse to vote — in multiple jurisdictions.

rbj on October 20, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Let’s see. Our friends on the left claim we’re racists or something for requiring an ID, yet some elections (like Al Franken’s) have credible questions related to voter fraud. Why is it that liberals always seem to jump to protect people who may be breaking the law?

Ann Coulter once said liberals would like to release all the terrorists in Guantanamo, then lock up all the Republicans.

perroviejo on October 20, 2012 at 10:17 AM

“our data and tools are not up to the task of making a compelling statistical argument for an effect.”

Once again the goose stepping left blames it on something, or someone else! Whenever the communist left says that something will “hurt minorities, & the poor” you can bet that this is nothing but lies & propaganda!

Confederate on October 20, 2012 at 10:22 AM

I hear such laws are racist against dead people and dogs that have found their way onto the voter registry.

Of course both demographics are solidly Democratic.

Gingotts on October 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Whether the inability to find an effect means there is no effect is contentious. To Prof. Minnite, it means the tools aren’t sharp enough, not that ID laws don’t curb voting.

This statement shows the real intent of the “paper”. It wasn’t an objective look at the effect of voter ID on turn out. It was an attempt to prove these laws cause diminished turn out. When they couldn’t do that with the data they blamed the tools. There is an old saying, a poor worker blames their tools. Perfect case in point.

roosterman on October 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Radjah is spot on. I grew up in the Midwest and now happily live in the Atlanta metro area. The Northern elites continue to believe Neil Young’s Southern Man stereotype. Largely because their mindedness is so narrow as to be closed.

NeoDawg on October 20, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Good post radjah.

rockmom on October 20, 2012 at 10:13 AM

…yes!…and then followed up by 18-1′s post.

KOOLAID2 on October 20, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Our voter rolls are chock full of fake names & dead people. It’s easy to get those names on voter lists but next to impossible to get them removed. Once on the list anybody can vote those names it’s just harder to do so if an ID is required. On election day the ‘rats get a hold of those lists then send busloads of people to the polls (always at closing time) to vote using the names of those who haven’t yet voted. We see it every year.

fatigue on October 20, 2012 at 10:38 AM

There is nothing to caculate. There is no other explanation for liberals being against voter ID, other than to make it easier to cheat. Which is the same reason they are for early voting, motor voter, same day registration, etc. I will never understand why half the country support these dishonest people leading the democrat party.

Alabama Infidel on October 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM

The majority of those without any form of photo ID were people who were apparently not all that big into participating in the public forum in the first place. This doesn’t mean that we should actively seek to stop them from voting – quite the opposite

I suppose I’ve read statements with which I disagree more, I just can’t recall any right now.

I can find no compelling reason to attempt to provide incentives for people to vote. If they are politically and culturally so ignorant and so foolish not inform themselves on issues and make the very small effort it takes to actually vote, they’ve got no business voting.

And, while we’re at it, raise the voting age to 25 unless you’re active duty military or a veteran. And just so I’m not misunderstood, four to six years of college does not qualify one to vote.

mbecker908 on October 20, 2012 at 10:44 AM

What’s the real effect of voter ID on turnout?

Dead people hardest hit.

stefanite on October 20, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I’m all for voter ID cards…but when, in some states, illegals can get drivers license’s anyway, so the point is relatively moot.

JetBoy on October 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

When I used to vote in San Francisco, each polling station had a printed up list of people registered to vote at that precinct posted prominently at the door, where you would walk past it in line to vote. They crossed off the names of anyone who had already voted.

All you had to do to commit fraud was walk up to the door, pick a name off the list, speak it when you got to the desk, and then fill in “your” ballot.

It would have been trivial to vote at dozens of precincts over the course of an afternoon.

ClintACK on October 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Next, the Left will demand the banning of death certificates.

hillsoftx on October 20, 2012 at 10:51 AM

We need to go back to paper ballots, have the voter sign their name and check a box

Out here in a Red State, we must be really behind the times. That’s exactly what I still have to do.

RADIOONE on October 20, 2012 at 10:52 AM

And, while we’re at it, raise the voting age to 25 unless you’re active duty military or a veteran. And just so I’m not misunderstood, four to six years of college does not qualify one to vote.

mbecker908 on October 20, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Don’t you think we infantilize our twenty-year-olds enough already?

When you turn 18, you’re an adult — you can be charged with a felony, held to any contract you freely sign, you can be drafted, and you can vote.

Raising the drinking age to 21 is ridiculous enough.

ClintACK on October 20, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, once again the rumors are flying fast and furious on twitter that Fidel Castro has stroked out and died. By the grace of God may it finally be true…

SWalker on October 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM

We need to go back to paper ballots, have the voter sign their name and check a box saying they understand that if they are voting fraudulently it is a felony. Then put the purple ink on the thumb like they do in other countries so nobody can vote twice.

rockmom on October 20, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Hmmm, you trust your money to a Banks ATM machine, but wouldn’t dare trust that same machine with your vote. Think about that one for awhile.

SWalker on October 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM

It takes an effort to get up off your couch and go to the polls anyway.

Now you don’t even need to get up off of your couch, provided you believe that your spouse will actually put the absentee ballot into the mailbox for you.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444914904577623521882459012.html

unclesmrgol on October 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Are there any reasonably reliable numbers on the percent of adults who do not have ID’s? The whole argument, as with many arguments from the left, that it puts an unfair burden on the poor makes no sense. First, as Jazz points out, citizenship requires some effort. Second, I would think most of the poor are on some sort of govt. support which requires them at some point to get to some government office. If they can get to the welfare office, they should be able to get to whatever office gives out non-drivers license ID’s just the one time it takes to go apply and get your photo taken. And most places I know of have the govt. offices in the same general area downtown. Maybe it’s just more of the “learned helplessness” the welfare state encourages. Bottom line, if voting is that important to you, you should make the extra effort.
My polling place, you have to go around to the back of the building to get to the handicapped ramp to get in. People manage to do that in a wheelchair and even in the rain. I’ve seen women with several children take them with them to vote. There are all sorts of situations where it would probably be a lot easier to just sit home but it is important and they get out no matter what their personal hardships are.

hopeful on October 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Well, voter ID will help “suppress” illegal votes, but that’s a feature–not a bug.

The next thing we need to do is pass laws requiring state election officials to search voter registration databases 6 months before each election and scrub anyone who isn’t a US citizen, moved out of state, or who was convicted of a felony or otherwise lost voting privileges. Democrats fight those measures, too.

Outlander on October 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Up here in Maine, we’ve ben trying to get a Voter ID law passed, but to no avail as yet. However, I do see it getting passed in the next few years.

The main argument up here against it is that “the poor” won’t be able to vote because they can’t afford the ID. It’s an absolute BS argument.

I’ve been involved with our local soup kitchen and food bank for years. I’m around “the poor” quite a bit. Everyone of them seems to have a driver’s license. They HAVE to have ID to buy beer and smokes.

In Maine, you can also get a Ste ID card. It is similar to a driver’s license and costs you $5. If you absolutely cannot afford that $5, then the state will give it to you.

So, there’s no excuse for NOT having a photo-ID to vote.

TKindred on October 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I’ve made a person’s position on voter ID laws a gating criteria to engaging them in a political discussion. If they’re opposed, they’re incapable of rational discussion and I won’t engage them.

flipflop on October 20, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Hmmm, you trust your money to a Banks ATM machine, but wouldn’t dare trust that same machine with your vote. Think about that one for awhile.

SWalker on October 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM

No, I don’t trust my money to a bank’s ATM machine, and, once upon a time, I was an OS/2 programmer who worked on them.

I much prefer transacting business involving money in an environment where an armed guard is present.

Back to voting machines:

http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2005/12/69893

We’ve already seen the effects of entrusting our votes to machines — the Democrats have a history of loading such machines up with votes and bringing them in at the proper time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3o0JZt3VLIg

I doubt that the following quality control steps are followed everywhere in the country:

http://elections.dentoncounty.com/go.asp?Dept=82&Link=860

unclesmrgol on October 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM

In NH the effect is that the dead are now disenfranchised, along with people from neighboring states.

The topic of voter ID has made people aware of voting fraud and caused them to realize their vote is worth protecting.

dogsoldier on October 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM

The only two states with voter photo ID laws before the last presidential election

Huh? I’ve always had to show ID to vote in CT. Maybe part of the reason why I find it absolutely ridiculous to say forcing people to show a drivers license, state ID card, or even passport for vote is disenfranchising people.

EVERYONE has some form of ID. You need it to drive, open a bank account, buy liquor, buy cigarettes, fly a plane, cash a check, SIGN UP FOR WELFARE…

If you don’t have the $67 to get a drivers license and/or you are homeless, most states give you a free ID and allow you to use a govt building (post office) as your address. But if you don’t have $67 or a home, not sure you should be voting about how my tax dollars are spent anyways.

Timin203 on October 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM

fly a plane

Well, that too, but I meant fly on a plane :)

Timin203 on October 20, 2012 at 11:20 AM

I don’t know whether having ID would get more or less people to vote and I can definitely tell you I don’t care! Voter fraud is what has to be suppressed, at all cost! The fact that you have fewer people voting is fine by me. I don’t care about a moron who chooses not to get whatever is required to vote, for whatever reason. This is a stupid and childish argument and I’m sick of dealing with all this Childish BS. GROW UP! Act like adults and deal with the situation at hand and stop with the childish whining! I don’t care and you’re not going to make me care by calling me a racist. You are confirming your nature, like all good libs do, by projecting your beliefs onto others.
Update on:How to take on the Obama Enemy media & Win: http://paratisiusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-open-letter-to-those-who-should-know.html?spref=tw

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 20, 2012 at 11:21 AM

What’s the real effect of voter ID on turnout?

Legal voting.

davidk on October 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Largely because their mindedness is so narrow as to be closed.

NeoDawg on October 20, 2012 at 10:30 AM

No not closed. Their mindedness is so open their brains fell out years ago.

chemman on October 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

No, I don’t trust my money to a bank’s ATM machine, and, once upon a time, I was an OS/2 programmer who worked on them.

unclesmrgol on October 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Sorry unclesmrgol, if you put your money in a bank AT ALL, you are trusting your money to a bank ATM machine, the same servers that run the ATM machine are keeping track of your money in that bank. The physical ATM is little more than a remote terminal with minimal processing abilities that connects to a distributed network.

SWalker on October 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Timin203 on October 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Exactly. The cry is that the poor can’t get ID. The problem is they all have ID because they get some type of State or Federal aid which require you to have an ID and certified birth certificate to sign up.

chemman on October 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Timin203 on October 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Exactly. The cry is that the poor can’t get ID. The problem is they all have ID because they get some type of State or Federal aid which require you to have an ID and certified birth certificate to sign up.

chemman on October 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM

And ya damned well know they can’t buy their Malt Liqueur or Kools with ID, since THAT IS ILLEGAL.

SWalker on October 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Exactly. The cry is that the poor can’t get ID. The problem is they all have ID because they get some type of State or Federal aid which require you to have an ID and certified birth certificate to sign up.

chemman on October 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM

I worked with a lot of the 47% for lack of better terms. Every guy I knew had an ID, and I never heard of it being an issue. They check IDs at bars, at strip clubs, at the casino, everywhere… To say that poor people have enough money for a color TV, but don’t have ID is ridiculous. And yeah, the very poor are probably the most likely of any group to have ID because you need it to take advantage of the myriad of free government services. You think any schmo can walk in off the street with no ID and get an obamaphone or food stamps?

Timin203 on October 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM

And ya damned well know they can’t buy their Malt Liqueur or Kools with ID, since THAT IS ILLEGAL.

SWalker on October 20, 2012 at 11:30 AM

You do need ID to buy booze & cigarettes, and that is pretty enforced in a lot of places (state police do raids where they bring in 20 year olds with gray hair and a beard to trick small stores into selling them beer, then having to pay huge fines and shut their doors for a day, but i digress)… but the bigger problem to me is that a bunch of my friends / coworkers knew the right bodegas to go to where they could use their EBT cards to buy beer / cigarettes. The guy would give them their cigs & booze, then ring it up as eggs and bread or whatnot, and add a fee. Works out for everyone except the tax payer.

Timin203 on October 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Voter ID Laws will definitely suppress the turn-out of voters – dead voters, voters who vote twice, and pets who vote.

goflyers on October 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM

IN FACT, I’ve seen places check ID to use an EBT card at checkout. So yeah, poor people have IDs.

Timin203 on October 20, 2012 at 11:34 AM

What I like about public debate is that we have a fixed number of letters that can be put together in a set number of ways to make limitless words to present an infinite number of argument. Then eventually some one puts together a few of these words in such a way that they truly ring. “radjah shelduck on October 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM” did exactly that. Radjah Shelduck who ever you really are. Wright more,Well done.

jpcpt03 on October 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM

So every citizen should have healthcare but not have to prove they are a citizen. OK….

ghostwalker1 on October 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I early voted this morning. Great line. No problem with anyone showing their state-issued ID. NONE.AT.ALL.

TN passed the law last year and provides IDs at no cost to a voter if they don’t already have one. No problem.

As a matter of fact, I used my CCP as my state issued photo ID. :D

ladyingray on October 20, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I always wonder if they live such sheltered Greenwich Village lives that they think the South is still what it was 50 years ago and Bull Conner lurks with a firehose around every corner.

radjah shelduck on October 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Yes. Yes, they do.

ladyingray on October 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM

So every citizen should have healthcare but not have to prove they are a citizen. OK….

ghostwalker1 on October 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM

That’s pretty much the Leftist’s position.

TKindred on October 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM

OK, let’s see if you call can see it from the other side’s perspective: Since large-scale voter fraud requires large amounts of organization and resources, and would therefore probably be committed by well-organized, well-educated people of means, how about a Voter ID law that requires anyone who has a college education or makes over %50,000 a year to show two pieces of ID, submit a fingerprint two day beforehand so it can be checked, swear an oath and have their picture taken or submit to a simple finger prick blood test to vote? Seems reasonable, right? No!? It’s an unreasonable barrier to voting? Exactly the point.

pm123 on October 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM

What’s the real effect of voter ID on turnout?

Well, the progs are making a big stink about it especially in Ohio and Pennsylvania for this election. We can dismiss their stupid claims but turnout among minorities will probably be a bit higher than we expect because of it.

For every action there is a reaction whether justified or not. It will settle out in the end but the effect on turnout is yet unknown.

MaggiePoo on October 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I hear such laws are racist against dead people and dogs that have found their way onto the voter registry.

Of course both demographics are solidly Democratic.

Gingotts on October 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Hey, I object to you calling dogs Democrats.

disa on October 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I always wonder if they live such sheltered Greenwich Village lives that they think the South is still what it was 50 years ago and Bull Conner lurks with a firehose around every corner.

radjah shelduck on October 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Yes. Yes, they do.

ladyingray on October 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Yes, but try to get them to name the party of Bull Conner, George Wallace, Lester Maddox, etc.

Alabama Infidel on October 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Language warning: http://themetapicture.com/canada-got-it-right/

davidk on October 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Next, the Left will demand the banning of death certificates.

hillsoftx on October 20, 2012 at 10:51 AM

After that, they’ll demand the banning of birth certificates.

Oh wait….

cane_loader on October 20, 2012 at 12:49 PM

No effect what so ever, except one man one vote.

meci on October 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Let me just update that for you to one citizen, one vote. That’s actually what’s at the core of this issue after all.

CitizenEgg on October 20, 2012 at 12:54 PM

It might only effect those that do not do any of the following: drive a car, drink alcoholic beverages, purchase a firearm, cash a check, be employed, go traveling by commercial airliner, want a passport, or have a criminal record. You can get by in life without an ID so long as none of that is within your life experience.

Do any of those and you have a valid ID.

The burden on getting one to vote? Nil.

ajacksonian on October 20, 2012 at 1:15 PM

These libtw@ts have never registered a child for kindergarten:

Parents valid driver’s license/state issued ID
Child’s BIRTH Certificate
Most recent utility/cable/phone bill
Medical form signed by pediatrican with proof of vaccinations
Referal form from Preschool
Dental form signed by DENTIST!
Duplicate sets of background information completed by hand
Duplicate emergency contact cards completed by hand

This is in the same state where a little elementary school girl told Michelle Obama that her momma “wasn’t exactly legal”.

I came dang close to not getting my youngest in because my cable bill was still in my maiden name.

Laura in Maryland on October 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

In Miami there was a case where a man, a non-U.S citizen from Canada, who was livin in FL at the time -illgally voted in the ’08 elecions.

In Tenn. they had a guy, another non-U.S citizen, who somehow managed to get a SS# and illegally vote in ’04 electins. If that wasn’t bad enough, he shows back up in 2010 wih a letter from DHS..seems he’d decided he wanted to become a legal citizen. In the letter.. DHS had instructed the Administor for the Dept. of Elections there to – purge the guy from the county’s voter registaton rolls..if he didn’t get purged he couldn’t become a citizen.

These are just known cases.

ohellno on October 20, 2012 at 3:13 PM

*excuse the spelling errors in my previous post*

ohellno on October 20, 2012 at 3:15 PM

The most offensive thing about the opposition to voter fraud and insisting on voter ID is that they don’t just want people to think it doesn’t happen, they want people to believe it’s no big deal if it does. Otherwise there would be anger at the O’Keefe videos, instead of crickets and scorn from the left.

CitizenEgg on October 20, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Our fearless leaders have no compunction when it comes to giving away hundreds of millions, or billions for that matter, to unpredictable green energy companies with no hope for a monetary return. So let’s create the Free Voter ID Act of 201_.

It should be simple. The whole bill should take no more than a few pages of legalese. And, it should contain only things pertaining to voters’ IDs; that is, no hidden paragraphs on taxing gold or silver sales, congress can’t use any moneys generated by the bill as their own personal piggy banks, etc. In fact take a couple of pages of the bill to spell out everything that people (namely congress) can’t do to the bill. There doesn’t need to be a cabinet level position or tsar created to administer it. It should be an equal responsibility of both parties plus an independent. These administrators should be representatives or senators. Therefore, only three people are responsible – simple.

How to get voters their IDs? When there is an election statewide or general election the Free Voter ID Act of 201_ will have in place the following: a photo booth, a computer connected to the internet (secure), a photo ID machine, and people to monitor the voter ID process (same people as those already officiating at the polling place).

How it works (only an example):
1. Each voter will show their Authorized Voter ID Card. It will be checked against the data bank. When validated that person can vote them and they’re finished.
2. If the voter has no Authorized Voter ID Card. Their identity is validated. A picture is taken. They vote. Then they sign their card, the card will be given to them and they’re finished.
3. If the voter has lost his/her Authorized Voter ID Card. Their identity is validated. A picture is taken. They vote. Then they sign their card, the card will be given to them and they’re finished.
4. If any of the equipment is not working.
a. Voters with IDs can vote. Validation will take place later.
b. The voters without IDs can still vote but may have to go to another place, at their convenience and with a travel reimbursement, to complete the registration and validation.
5. No cost to the voter.
6. Assigned people at the polling location are reimbursed if work is done under Free Voter ID Act of 201_.
7. No foreign companies have access to voting equipment, forms, or data bases.
8. Non US citizens cannot have access to voting equipment, forms, or data bases.
a. US companies with foreign nationals may have access to voting equipment, forms, or data bases as long as only US citizens in that company have access.
9. A company or companies selected to administer the Free Voter ID Act of 201_ must sign a four-year contract. All three Free Voter ID Act of 201_ administrators must agree and sign the contract.
10. A company or companies selected to administer the Free Voter ID Act of 201_ cannot donate to any single political party or candidate. If they donate each party must receive the same amount.

How to pay for this? Well… Again, our fearless leaders have no compunction when it comes to giving away hundreds of millions, or billions for that matter, to unpredictable green energy companies with no hope for a monetary return. Rob the money from the Congressional Retirement Account and reduce their healthcare to that of us regular folks. Just kidding. Have each party donate some of that money we give to them in contributions. Make it matching funds. And have a minimum amount they are required to give. That’s means someone will have to start watching what they spend. Or maybe it will have to be taken from their retirement and healthcare. No big thing if congress has to pay for its own mismanagement like we do. Simple.

HHW on October 20, 2012 at 4:34 PM

We need to go back to paper ballots, have the voter sign their name and check a box saying they understand that if they are voting fraudulently it is a felony. Then put the purple ink on the thumb like they do in other countries so nobody can vote twice.

rockmom on October 20, 2012 at 10:12 AM

.
Dittos.

listens2glenn on October 20, 2012 at 6:01 PM

They didn’t turn up definitive evidence, concluding, “our data and tools are not up to the task of making a compelling statistical argument for an effect which we want.”

Whether the inability to find an effect means there is no effect is contentious. To Prof. Minnite, it means the tools aren’t sharp enough fine, notbut we cannot prove to the point of not being ridiculed that ID laws don’t curb voting.

FIFY.

The “tools”, meaning statistical analysis tools (software) are sharp enough for any paper they author which fits their worldview. What this really means is that the data is at fault – it did not align with their bias.

IrishEyes on October 20, 2012 at 7:32 PM

It takes an effort to get up off your couch and go to the polls anyway.

Now you don’t even need to get up off of your couch, provided you believe that your spouse will actually put the absentee ballot into the mailbox for you.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444914904577623521882459012.html

unclesmrgol on October 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Here in Oregon it’s not even an absentee ballot, that’s just the way we vote period. You only have to get up off the couch if you miss the last day to mail the ballot, in which case you head down to your local library to drop it off.

Sockpuppet Politic on October 20, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Real simple topic here. For every vote which cannot be determined to have been “suppressed”, there are ten fraudulent votes which cannot be determined to have been prevented. Ten to one ratio, no question about it. Absolutely as factual as the argument for suppression. If they can have false facts, so can we.

Of course, the problem with the Democrats, as always, is that all vote reductions due to such a law, both the “suppressed” voter who just doesn’t happen to have the proper ID, and the prevented fraudulent votes, are Democrat votes. They have absolutely everything to loes by not fighting such a law tooth and nail, and so they do.

Freelancer on October 21, 2012 at 1:23 AM