Supreme Court to Review Voter ID

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a Seventh Circuit decision upholding Indiana's voter ID law. In a piece published yesterday, Adam Liptak questioned whether Judge Posner's opinion for the Seventh Circuit represented a privileged view that is out of touch with the reality of low income life:

“It is exceedingly difficult to maneuver in today’s America without a photo ID,” Judge Posner wrote for a divided panel of the federal appeals court in Chicago in January, upholding an Indiana voter identification law enacted in 2005. “Try flying, or even entering a tall building such as the courthouse in which we sit.”

But somewhere between 13 million and 22 million Americans of voting age, most of them poor, get by without driver’s licenses, passports and other kinds of government documents bearing their pictures, perhaps because they do not have the money to drive, much less to fly.

Liptak also exposed the latest justification for passing laws that burden the right to vote in the name of preventing the virtually nonexistent problem of fraudulent voting. more ...

“Voters who fear their legitimate votes will be outweighed by fraudulent ones will feel disenfranchised,” the decision said.

Did you catch that? The reason to risk actual disenfranchisement is to combat the possibility that some voters may “feel” disenfranchised because they think their votes may count less thanks to unproven fraud. The recent Georgia decision cited that bit of legal logic.

Judge Evans, in his dissent, said it might be nice to have some facts before putting the right to vote at risk.

“Is it wise,” Judge Evans asked, “to use a sledgehammer to hit either a real or imaginary fly on a glass coffee table?”

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    What is (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 02:01:35 AM EST
    voter fraud exactly? Are there repeated incidents where people have organized to go out and vote more than once in large numbers to affect an election? The vast majority of voter fraud is in the removal of votes. Why do we need to have photo ID's of voters. You live here, you vote. The problem is not false voting, but the inapproprate (illegal) trashing of votes.

    Voter "cageing" (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Edger on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 05:22:24 AM EST
    But what's 'caging' and why is it such a dreadful secret that lawyer Sampson put his license to practice and his freedom on the line to cover Tim Griffin's involvement in it? Because it's a felony. And a big one.

    Our BBC team broke the story at the top of the nightly news everywhere on the planet - except the USA - only because America's news networks simply refused to cover this evidence of the electoral coup d'etat that chose our President in 2004.

    Here's how caging worked, and along with Griffin's thoughtful emails themselves you'll understand it all in no time.

    The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked "Do not forward" to voters' homes. Letters returned ("caged") were used as evidence to block these voters' right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and - you got to love this - American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.

    Why weren't these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation - and the soldiers were overseas. Go to Baghdad, lose your vote. Mission Accomplished.

    How do I know? I have the caging lists...

    Greg Palast

    But who's going to pick my corn? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by glanton on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 04:07:11 PM EST
    Goodness gracious I love nothing better in politics than how hot and bothered these people get over any and everything immigration.  Ultimately though they must do like Stephen Colbert and realize they are their own most formidable opponent.  And then, o brothers and sisters, shall come the dreaded, dramatic Lacanian Mirror Moment: "But who's going to pick my corn?"  (and are my childrens' and granchildren's toys safe?)  

    And o the rain of greenbacks that fall upon the just and unjust alike, a rain more concentrated, more undeterrable than a woman scorned or even a fat kid in the presence of cake: a rain that dictates now and in the future, never shall one like Tancredo be anointed, however so many Confederates hallow his name.  

    Verily in the Republican Party shall it forever and always remain the good ole boys of business winning out over the good old boys of the white.  But take heart, o rabble rousers.  Take heart.  

    For always it shall be the Good.  Old.  Boys.  

    Stay alert, and stay with Fox.

    "theoretical problem" (none / 0) (#1)
    by diogenes on Tue Sep 25, 2007 at 09:57:09 PM EST
    You'd never know how many voters are fraudulent, dead, etc until you have a voter ID card.
    It would be so simple to give out FREE photo ID cards if it were an issue of not being able to afford them.
    Every teenager/twentysomething, however poor, seems to have a photo ID to buy cigarettes or liquor; I never hear objections to rules requiring such ID's because they discriminate against the poor.
    Not wanting free photo ID cards is so disingenuous.

    I'd question whether Liptak (none / 0) (#4)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 06:52:28 AM EST
     and others who describe voter fraud as a "virtually nonexistent" are really that out of touch or are bald-faced liars willing to say anything to promote an agenda.

      If you want to vote go to a state office and get an ID. you don't need a car or even to know how to drive.  If someone is so disengaged with the community that he won't even do that easy and simple step what are the odds he will vote without being compensated for his trouble?

    Do you have Actual evidence of voter fraud (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 07:39:54 AM EST
    Or do you just surmise there must be? Assuming that there is some voter fraud, do you have any actual evidene that it is NOT so minimal as to be "virtually nonexistent"?

    Can you show any election that was actually decided due to voter fraud in the last 30 years?

    There is a lot of talk about voter fraud, where is the evidence?

    The evidence I have seen, such as under providing voting in minority districts (Ohio), removing common names from voter rolls due to the fact, that someone with a common name is a felon somewhere, without bothering to check for identifiers (Florida), isn't voter fraud, though it may be election tampering. Certainly a party that depends on such tactics doesn't have much faith in its message. But I digress.

    Back to the bottom line: where is the actual evidence of massive voter fraud?


    Well, we do have this: (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:01:24 AM EST
    If an election can turn on a sentence, this could be the one: "You don't need papers for voting."

    On Thursday night, Francine Busby, the Democratic candidate for the 50th Congressional District, was speaking before a largely Latino crowd in Escondido when she uttered those words. She said yesterday she simply misspoke.

    But someone taped it and a recording began circulating yesterday. After she made that statement at the meeting, Busby immediately said: "You don't need to be a registered voter to help (the campaign)."

    Sand Diego Union-Tribune


    That is not voter fraud (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:21:55 AM EST
    That is not even tacitly ecouraging voter fraud. It may have been tacticly foolish of Busbee, but it is not evidence of voter fraud or even of an election being decided due to voting fraud.

    It is, however, evidence that the GOP doesn't need evidence of a real scandal to manufacture one.

    Here is a number for you: 40%. You won't see it in that context in 2008.


    I didn't say it was voter fraud. (1.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:51:22 AM EST
    What it is.... is a statement by a Hispanic candidate in an area with a large number of illegal aliens saying:

    "You don't need papers for voting."

    She later said she misspoke.

    I'll the audience figure it out.


    Where to start? (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 09:34:33 AM EST
    What it is.... is a statement by a Hispanic candidate in an area with a large number of illegal aliens saying:

    Busby is Italian, not Hispanic.

    The issue under discussion was voter fraud and lack of evidence of voter fraud. Try to stay on topic. The "audience" is able to read and follow the thread's topic, even if you can't.

    You and your allies need to keep beating this horse though. It will payoff in NM and Colorado and the I-4 corridor in Florida- just not like you hope.


    Okay (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 03:33:02 PM EST
    So a Demo candidate of Italian background was speaking to  Hispanic group and said:

    "You don't need papers for voting."

    There. Does that make you feel better??


    still off topic (none / 0) (#32)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 06:22:14 PM EST
    Now you have (1.00 / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 10:08:49 AM EST
    ran into your hidey-hole...

    The topic is a national voter ID and what it will and won't do...

    One of them us to prevent illegal aliens from easily voting....


    As was pointed out above (none / 0) (#8)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 08:33:43 AM EST
      The lack of statistics does not show a lack of a problem. Especially when the people arguing for the lack of a problem insist upon procedures designed to conceal the problems. Our voting systems are rife with systemic problems that lead to abuse. Anyone who is not aware of the rampant voter fraud which has been practiced for generations in many  large cities and in many rural counties isn't paying much attention.

    Unfortunately, politicians and their supporters don't really want to fix the problems. They want only to add more problems that help them or burden the other side or ignore existing problems on the same basis.

      Let's get real. If the problem is otherwise eligible voters lacking identification, the proper solution is getting them identification not allowing people to vote without verifying who they are and that they are eligible to vote. It sounds more than a bit hypocritical to demand verifiable paper trails for the votes that are cast and to argue against verified paper trails to determine who is eligible to vote. Accurate counting of votes cast is good but so is accurate counting of who cast votes.

      It would seem impossible to argue against that on any principled basis.

       A few years ago Jimmy Carter and James Baker headed a committee that made several recommendations. Among the most important were to establish automatic universal registration of eligible voters, ensure people could obtain free identification and to require people to provide proof of identification to vote. It was DOA. Republicans won't get on board for universal registration and will make all sorts of spurious complaints because it would increase the eligible voting base of people likely to vote for Democrats and Democrats oppose requiring identification and verification of eligibility and make equally spurious complaints because they fear that will reduce their pool of voters.

      Neither side seems to care much about honest elections without unfair barriers. Each just seeks partisan advantage.

      Many other  nations have both universal registration and require proof of identity and have cleaner elections with higher turnouts.


    So you have no evidence. (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 09:38:34 AM EST
    Why don't you just say so?

    NO evidence? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 01:32:47 PM EST
    He's David Brooks, in disguise, or wannabe?
    ...takes whatever opinions he happens to hold on a topic, and then -- without citing a single piece of evidence -- repeatedly asserts that "most Americans" hold this view, and then bases his entire "argument" on this premise.

    Here is my point (none / 0) (#12)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 10:33:39 AM EST
     irrefutably illustrated. Just off the top of my head  I can recall documented instances of voter fraud in the last few years in Miami, Milwaukee, Washington state, Philadelphia, West Virginia and Ohio.

     Pretending to be unaware of it just makes you sound like a dishonest or ignorant. I don't believe you are actually that ignorant, so I assume it is merely partisan driven dishonesty that makes you write such nonsense.

      If you prefer dishonest elections to reasonable steps to improve election integrity that is your choice. You and the partisan hacks on the other side can continue efforts push us down deeper.


    Election Fraud is by far more serious... (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Dadler on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 10:44:30 AM EST
    ...The issues with electronic voting, losing votes, flipping votes, voter suppression are far more serious than the idea that there are millions of random and ineligible voters out there swinging elections.  May be some, but they pale compared to the real problem: the manipulation of technology and the manipulation of fear to keep people away.

    Go to BlackBoxVoting for all the information, evidence, more legitimate information than you could ever dream existed.


    That one problem (none / 0) (#14)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 10:50:35 AM EST
     is a larger one than another in no way supports the argument that the smaller one is not important and should not be addressed.

      That's my point-- none of the problems really get addressed properly because depending on who thinks his ox is being gored someone tries to obstruct everything. At a certain point people have to satand up for what is right rather than arguing about why bigger wrongs on the other side justify their wrongs. Everyone can play that game and it leads to things just getting worse.


    Your point is fair (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by tnthorpe on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 11:15:43 AM EST
    in the abstract, but unfounded allegations of voter fraud have been a staple of Bush Administration permanent electioneering. Such charges are at the heart of the US Attorney scandal that is still unfolding.
    If bogus voter fraud charges are part of the machinery of voter suppression, then I'm going to be deeply suspicious of such allegations.
    I'm much more concerned about the use of state power to suppress votes and about electronic machines that don't record separate paper copies of votes that would hand countable.
    I've seen election irregularities everywhere I've lived, from Willie Brown's San Francisco to Boston and South Bend, so I agree that elections could be much better conducted across the board. But the voter suppression I saw in Ohio in 2000, and esp 2004 is much more dangerous than alleged voter fraud that the Bush Administration is imagining.

    Dadler (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 03:36:09 PM EST
    Well, a voter ID card would solve one problem and we could move on to the next one.

    That you don't want to do that is no surprise.


    Trapped. (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 03:44:04 PM EST
    The classic way of solving a problem is to break the problem down into smaller discrete parts and solve the one by one.

    A national voter ID would remove any problem with illegals or otherwise unqualified voters voting.

    Why do you resist solving a problem if you are concerned with election fraud?

    My belief. You aren't. Most of those who would be  prevented from voting will be Demos, and you don't want that.



    What evidence do you have (none / 0) (#25)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 04:00:28 PM EST
     that most people restricted from voting would vote Democratic? People here are very particular about having evidence of such things.  As there obviously is no real evidence of that but merely informed speculation that argument is rejected here I am sure.

      Similarly, were I to make the claim that if it was believed that more likely Republican voters would be restricted if ID requirements were established then Democrats would be for them and Pepublicans against them the mere fact that is obviously true to anyone with any common sense and a tenuous grasp of reality would not be enough to persuade here-- or would it?


    Deconstructionist (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 04:15:49 PM EST
    And what evidence do you have that they would not?

    I base my comment on the Hispanic vote being largely Democratic in the past elections.

    The majority of illegal aliens are Hispanic.


    With less rhetoric:

    Cutting into the Democrats' traditional advantage among Hispanic voters was a key to both of President Bush's election victories. In 2004, when the president was at the top of the ticket, 44% of Hispanics surveyed after they cast their ballots said they voted Republican.

    This year, the figure dropped to 29%.

    The decline is significant because Hispanics are fast becoming a crucial voting bloc. Census figures show Hispanics make up at least 10% of the population in 11 of the 28 U.S. House districts that switched from Republican to Democratic hands on Tuesday.

    Note to self: (none / 0) (#29)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 04:17:40 PM EST
      Irony can confuse people.

    Yes...... it can ;-) (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 10:09:52 AM EST
    No links but (none / 0) (#16)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 12:18:11 PM EST
    I will accept your evidence, because I am aware of at least one case in Miami, though I don't recall the precise details. How much weight should be given evidence off the top of your head with no verifiable numbers or statistics is another issue.

    Careful with your accusations of dishonesty.  It isn't nonsense or dishonest to demand evidence. YOU made the assertion, the burden of proof is upon you, not me.  Do you live in an evidence free zone?  I can at least cite the election authorities cited in the New York Times article that there is no evidence of massive voter fraud. If you have evidence to impeach the those experts, be my guest.


    Guess the party of Gregorie.... (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 03:45:22 PM EST
    In Seattle's King County alone the vote counting so far has featured such anomalies as 10,000 ballots being mysteriously discovered nearly two weeks after Election Day, election officials "enhancing" hundreds of unreadable optical-scan ballots, and a judge allowing political partisans to selectively track down voters who cast questionable provisional ballots to see if they could turn them into valid votes. Ms. Gregoire gained several hundred votes through such maneuvers,

    Surprise, surprise. A Demo!


    Want some more (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 04:05:48 PM EST
    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - About 46,000 people, most of them Democrats, are illegally registered to vote in New York City and in Florida, the liberal New York Daily News reported today.

    The pro-Kerry paper said that efforts to prevent such fraud "rely mostly on the honor system." That's a serious flaw when people who have no honor are involved.

    Sixty-eight percent of those registered to vote in both states are Democrats. Sixteen percent did not list a party, and only 12 percent are Republicans....

    A possible solution: a national voter registration system with federally assigned ID numbers. Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University in Washington, told the paper..

    So we had 46240 Demos illegally registered....

    The paper determined that 400 to 1,000 New Yorkers had voted twice in at least one election, "a federal offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine."

    That seems a hugely under estimate, but let's split the difference and say that 700 Algore votes  were illegal...




    did they actually vote?.... Hmmm! (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 06:17:13 PM EST
    Any EVIDENCE anyone actually voted twice?

    I didn't think so.


    And you sell used cars.....? (1.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 10:16:08 AM EST
    On more lighter news, Molly Bloom, well known commentator on the blog TalkLeft has commented that out of some 46,000 illegally registered Democratic viters in Flordia, none of them cast illegal ballots for Algore...

    She also noted that the sun will not come up in the morning...

    Back to you David..

    It is dishonest (none / 0) (#17)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 12:33:43 PM EST
     to assert that voter fraud is "virtually nonexistent." That's what the original post claimed and what I labeled either dishonest or out of touch.

       If you now want to spin that absurdly dishonest assertion into there is "no evidence of massive voter fraud," you are engaging in  clumsy and very unconvincing reframing.


    There is plenty of evidence (none / 0) (#19)
    by Pancho on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 02:27:48 PM EST
    that the Democrats are the party of people that are such enormously pathetic losers that they can't manage to find a way to get a state ID. Isn't there at least some minimum effort required to participate in a functioning society?

    I nominate this for (none / 0) (#22)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 03:36:54 PM EST
    best post of the day.

    You'll have a hard time (none / 0) (#30)
    by Pancho on Wed Sep 26, 2007 at 05:17:27 PM EST
    getting a second, but thanks.