Skip to comments.The Misinformed Case for Voter ID
Posted on 05/15/2014 8:17:30 AM PDT by Kaslin
The logic behind laws requiring voters to provide a government-issued photo identification card is simple and seductive: If you need to show an ID to board a plane, open a bank account, get public aid or do any number of other things, it only makes sense to do the same before casting a ballot.
That was what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, said in 2011 as he signed a law imposing this new mandate. "There really is no barrier for people," he asserted. "Particularly in a society where people need photo identification for just about everything else, including checking out a book from the library ... it's a reasonable requirement."
Many of the advocates can't imagine anyone functioning in 21st-century America without valid proof of identity. So they are skeptical that requiring it could possibly be an obstacle to voting. They also tend to believe that anyone who lacks something so basic deserves no accommodation.
These attitudes reflect a failure to understand the lives of many Americans. In the suit challenging the Wisconsin law, which recently was overturned by a federal court, a parade of people attested that they lacked the required ID and, in many cases, couldn't easily get it.
One of them was Ruthelle Frank, a former member of the village board of Brokaw. She has never had a driver's license or state ID, and her 1927 birth certificate has a misspelling. To get it fixed, she would have to undertake a legal process that could cost $200.
Another was Mariannis Ginorio, a young Milwaukee woman. She had no driver's license, and Wisconsin doesn't accept birth certificates from her native Puerto Rico issued before 2010. Sam Bulmer, a homeless Air Force veteran, could offer only a federal Veterans Identification Card -- which is not on the list of IDs recognized by the state.
Statewide, the court concluded, 300,000 eligible voters don't have the documents needed for voting. In the normal course of life, people like this don't need them.
Fifteen percent of white adults in Wisconsin, and half of blacks and Hispanics, don't drive. Passport holders are a minority of the population. A lot of people don't need a photo ID to board a plane because they don't fly.
In fact, the Transportation Security Administration doesn't bar anyone who shows up without an ID. In that case, the TSA says, "You'll be able to fly as long as you provide us with some information that will help us determine you are who you say you are."
Seniors can verify their eligibility for Social Security without a photo ID. Food stamps? Federal regulations say "any documents which reasonably establish the applicant's identity must be accepted, and no requirement for a specific document, such as a birth certificate, may be imposed." Libraries will generally accept a utility bill or something similar to issue a card.
Opening a bank account? Larry Dupuis, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation, says he never had to show an ID to open his account, which he did some two decades ago. "It's really a post-9/11 thing," he says, for banks to require one. But many poor people don't have bank accounts.
Those activities, in any event, are not constitutionally guaranteed, which voting is. The government can impose regulations that affect constitutional rights. But it must have a good reason, and the rules can't be an undue burden. States can mandate a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, which the Supreme Court says is a modest restriction justified by "the state's interest in protecting the life of the unborn."
Under federal law, you may buy a gun from a private seller without an ID. Licensed dealers must see photo identification, despite the Second Amendment. That's not hard to justify because if a person forbidden to own firearms acquires one -- say a convicted felon -- the outcome may be fatal.
If a person forbidden to vote manages to cast a ballot by pretending to be someone else, by contrast, the election result will almost never be affected. Besides, the sort of fraud that an ID would prevent is exceedingly rare. The court in Wisconsin found the requirement would block vastly more legal voters than fraudulent ones.
States have long had procedures that discourage fraud by impersonation without blocking legitimate voters from the polls. The stricter new requirements may sound reasonable, but they're not reasonable for everyone -- or reasonable for democracy.
To make it short democrats hate honest elections.
—hogwash—Chapman just destroyed whatever credibility he had with me for his sometimes sensible firearms comments-—
Horse hockey. Specious argument. Protection of the ballot is ESSSENTIAL to our Republic or we fall into the realm of Banana Republic. Oh, and we ain't no democracy, either. This author is a buffoon.
Stevie must be firmly in the Rand Paul camp.
To me there is an easy solution to such cases as mentioned.
Deal with people on a case by case basis, if they have trouble getting a driver’s license or other official ID.
And give them a special voter’s ID, to be used to identify themselves for voting only.
We should still verify that they live in the jurisdiction in which they are wanting to register to vote. But if the problem is not having an ID, let’s get them an ID, rather than saying that since some people have trouble getting an ID, then we can’t require an ID of anybody. Let’s issue an ID for use for voting purposes only, if people really don’t have any other ID.
MSNBC has pushed the story of an old black woman somewhere down south, who didn’t have an ID. She is in her 90s, doesn’t have her marriage certificate, and since her married name doesn’t match her birth certificate, she couldn’t get an ID.
The MSNBC narrative was that this old black woman, who was one of the few blacks in her town who were able to register to vote back in the days of Jim Crow laws, was now being disenfranchised by today’s voter ID laws. They said she navigated the Jim Crow laws and was able to vote then, but is not being allowed to vote now.
Former Gov. "Diamond Jim" Doyle - Rat, instituted a photo I. D. requirement in Wisconsin to buy cold meds.
We are tired of Chicago machine politics, we are tired of dead people voting, we are tired of DEMOCRATS voting in multiple jurisdictions, we are tired of illegal aliens voting, we are tired of felons voting, we are tired of Al Franken recounting until he wins,we are tired of fraud. Let us have fair elections.
Just don’t go riding your bike the wrong way in Milwaukee, I guess.
This is the second straight obfuscating and gobblydegook filled column on voter fraud for this Chicago Tribune columnist. Here’s how he started a piece on Obama and the NSA.
“Every so often, we get proof that Barack Obama, when confronted with a grievous abuse of government power by his administration, will do the right thing.”
No wonder I don’t read Townhall. This is Kathleen Parker stuff.
Unless your intent is to steal elections......................
“since her married name doesnt match her birth certificate, she couldnt get an ID.”
I’m thinking her gubmint checks are somehow still making the trip to her mailbox though.
What credibility does Townhall still have as a conservative site?
Edge cases are not persuasive.
Here is the crux of the fallacy: How much would it cost, really, to set up a contract for the one-time task of contacting these 300,000 people and correcting their documentation problems?
You really don’t need to refute all the specious and hysterical claims by Democrats on Voter ID. The crux of the matter is they want to CHEAT, and our reason is to stop them from doing it. There’s nothing more simple than that, and we should tell them that every time they bleat about it.
Time to go back to our roots...
It used to be that only landowners could vote because they were the ones paying taxes to fund the government. That was a founding principle of America.
Instead of an identification card to vote you should have to show your 1040 form proving that you are funding the government you are voting for. Multigenerational welfare recipients, Obama phone users, and multimillions paying zero taxes (ex: Arianna Huffington who paid zero the year she ran for CA governor) would not be allowed to vote.
According to this link:
Obtaining a State ID card for the purposes of voting is FREE!
So what is the problem again?
I hate nothing worse than people on bicycles riding their bikes against the traffic, but walk with the traffic instead against the traffic when their is no pedestrian way
Right. The idea that everybody has an equal say is nuts.
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