Saying No to Voter ID Laws

USA Today has an editorial explaining how Voter ID laws suppress turnout.

The photo ID laws in seven states are problematic enough, but now several states are also looking at ways to require voters to prove U.S. citizenship. Arizona does that already, and Missouri's legislature is debating a constitutional amendment that would pave the way for requiring voters to present a driver's license or a substitute when they vote. Obtaining such an ID in Missouri requires proof of citizenship, so voters would, in effect, have to prove their citizenship to cast ballots.

To be sure, only citizens should vote. But as with photo IDs, there's little evidence that voting by illegal immigrants is a problem. Most stay as far away from government officials as they can lest they be caught and deported, and fraudulent voting is a felony. Proof-of-citizenship requirements are likely to trap legal citizens who don't have their birth certificates and would have significant trouble getting them.

Hillary Clinton issued this statement Monday opposing Voter ID laws such as the one upheld by the Supreme Court in Indiana and those contemplated by Missouri and 19 other states.[More...]

By trying to require not just photo identification but proof of citizenship - proof that thousands of American citizens can't produce through no fault of their own - cynical Republican lawmakers are trying to build new walls between hundreds of thousands of eligible senior, minority, and low-income Americans and their civil right to choose their own leaders.

"Republicans claim that these requirements are needed to prevent fraud, but the reality is that they do little more than disenfranchise eligible voters. I believe that we should start from the premise that voting is a right, not a privilege, and we should make sure that the ballot box is open to every eligible citizen in our country. That is why I have been a strong and vocal opponent of these voter ID measures."

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    Off Topic, but interesting/ (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Radix on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:06:12 PM EST
    Apparently Nebraska help a primary yesterday, to assess popular vote numbers. Obama went fro a 68-32 caucus win, to a 49-47 primary win.

    Sorry BTD and Jeralyn, thought it was worth a mention.


    Florida has a new law (none / 0) (#1)
    by Step Beyond on Wed May 14, 2008 at 11:31:31 AM EST
    that requires your info on your voter registration match your official data. So if your name changes due to marriage or is spelled incorrectly you may not get to register or be delayed registering. I know my name is misspelled on my SSN so under the new rule I would have had a hard time registering to vote.

    Which reminds me, I need to figure out how to get a copy of my birth certificate since I can't find my copy.

    If you were born in Florida go to the nearest (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Florida Resident on Wed May 14, 2008 at 11:59:10 AM EST
    health department.  If not contact the Vital statistics department of the state you were born in.

    Alas (none / 0) (#6)
    by Step Beyond on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:09:00 PM EST
    I was born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Any idea where to start for that?

    DoD? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kredwyn on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:17:55 PM EST
    If you were a military kid, I'd start there...

    I was a military kid. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Step Beyond on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:57:18 PM EST
    Ok I'll try them. Originally I tried to go through the state (Florida) but no one there was sure. They told me to try an embassy but that made no sense.

    Didn't you hear? We don't need FL (none / 0) (#9)
    by LHinSeattle on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:20:25 PM EST
    voters anymore, per CW and the DNC.

    Nice.... (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:20:41 PM EST
    disenfranchised by bueracratic data-entry key punch error.

    What are the proponents of this voter ID crap afraid of?  Every undocumented person I know doesn't vote and doesn't want to...in fact they are scared to go near any kind of government building or office for fear of being caged and/or deported.

    Is preventing the uber-longshot of widespread voting fraud worth potentially disenfranchising at worst, or hassling at the least, free voting Americans?  I say no...this is a solution in search of a problem, or more likely, a nefarious attempt to supress legit votes.


    And the SCOTUS (none / 0) (#2)
    by DaytonDem on Wed May 14, 2008 at 11:32:11 AM EST
    just gave to go ahead for all sorts of these impediments without any proof of actual fraud. In fact the majority scoffed at the need for proof. So much for equal access.

    When I had to get a copy of my birth (none / 0) (#3)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 14, 2008 at 11:32:47 AM EST
    certificate a few years ago, it cost me roughly $60 and as far as I can tell there was nothing "secure" about the process either.  The fact that anyone buys into this scam is troubling to say the least.

    People may not remember, but a voting card used to be a valid form of proof of citizenship.  The GOP changed that rule sometime in the late '90s.

    If you analyze what the voter registration process requires, it is actually pretty reliable.  Better than a birth certificate imo.

    More ID theft (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by kredwyn on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:21:41 PM EST
    waiting to happen.

    (ps. dropped you an email)


    Public records...so anyone (none / 0) (#8)
    by LHinSeattle on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:18:13 PM EST
    could order a copy of a birth certificate after providing birth place, date of birth, and mother's name.

    Yes and it isn't like there is anything (none / 0) (#12)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:30:34 PM EST
    about the document that acutally proves that it represents the person presenting it except gender and ethnicity.  Even the age part leaves lots of room for a scam artist to use someone else's birth certificate.

    So (none / 0) (#13)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:48:18 PM EST

    But as with photo IDs, there's little evidence that voting by illegal immigrants is a problem.

    That could be because there is almost no way to determine if a vote were cast by an illegal.  When all it takes to vote is a utility bill with your name on it, it is only faith that can state that there is no problem.

    Of course there is (none / 0) (#16)
    by Steve M on Wed May 14, 2008 at 02:53:59 PM EST
    after the election, you take the list of people who voted, and you go check them out.  This is done all the time.

    Indiana (none / 0) (#14)
    by eleanora on Wed May 14, 2008 at 12:50:29 PM EST
    I heard there were some serious problems in IN because of the SC decision upholding voter ID laws right before their primary. Does anyone know if the ACLU or anyone else is planning to challenge this again because now they have actual voters with some standing to complain? I'd definitely contribute to that effort.

    Voter IDs Big Government Intrusion (none / 0) (#17)
    by ToughOnCrime on Wed May 14, 2008 at 03:48:46 PM EST
    It plus the hysteria over illegal immigration will push us towards a national identification and tracking system. Fascism brought to you by big government and big business and supported by both parties. Looks like the Book of Revelation in the Bible is true after all ...

    A man after my own heart.... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Wed May 14, 2008 at 05:50:05 PM EST
    Well said.

    But this is one brick in the road to tyranny the Democrats won't support.  Not because of any principled stand on liberty, but because they think this Voter ID crap might cost them more votes than the R's.


    Gotta say, (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed May 14, 2008 at 06:13:50 PM EST
    as easy as it is for non-citizens to vote here in CA, I don't think it happens very often so I don't support "fixing" something that ain't broke.

    On a related topic - photo ID's - anyone see that email going around recently showing the fake Mississippi Driver's License?

    Dude named "Jose Pacheco" got stopped and the LE figured out it was a fake License because the License photo was of him AND his girlfriend. Doh!

    There's a photo of the fake license in the email. Pretty funny, actually.

    Re (none / 0) (#20)
    by day260209 on Thu Feb 26, 2009 at 10:54:41 AM EST