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1 wrenchwench  Fri, Nov 18, 2011 5:51:55pm

Thanks for paging this.

2 wilburs  Fri, Nov 18, 2011 5:57:48pm

This is why I will never, ever vote for any republican for national office.

It is a disgrace that the Republican party has become the party of voter suppression.

3 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Nov 18, 2011 7:38:43pm

re: #2 wilburs

This is why I will never, ever vote for any republican for national office.

It is a disgrace that the Republican party has become the party of voter suppression.

I fail to see how requiring someone to show ID before voting amounts to "suppression".

4 calochortus  Fri, Nov 18, 2011 8:59:46pm

re: #3 Dark_Falcon

Surely you realize that it makes it harder for people who move frequently (have to keep updating you ID), don't have cars (less incentive to go get an ID, and it's harder to get to the DMV to get your official ID card), and for the less sophisticated (a bit intimidating.) Impossible? No. But it's just another thing to make it a little easier to skip going to the polls.
I don't quite see how showing ID would work with absentee voting.

Also, it would appear to be totally unnecessary, so why do it?

5 terraincognita  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 12:17:52am

It is very simple. The republicans want to decrease the amount of voters that tend to vote democratic. In Wisconsin, it is out of state students, the poor, and the elderly. So of the 20 odd voter fraud incidents in the 2008 election, a good portion of them were felons that cannot vote while on parole or probation. For this the Wisconsin taxpayer will pay $6 million in 2011 and 2012 to fund the voter ID act that will provide free ID's to people that request them. It is a scam to discourage as many voters as possible. Exclusion rather than inclusion...nothing at all to do with identifying voters or preventing voter fraud.

6 wilburs  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 12:30:54am

re: #3 Dark_Falcon

I fail to see how requiring someone to show ID before voting amounts to "suppression".

There is an estimated 11 million voters who do not have the type of IDs that these laws require. There is no earthly reason why someone who has been voting for 50 years should have to jump through a bunch of bureaucratic hoops to continue to do so.

If you understand how the registration process works, there is no reason at all to require that anyone present some sort of ID in order to vote.

But the suppression efforts are much more extensive then just these ID laws.
The attempts to disqualify students and the exclusion of people who have a criminal history from voting is also a part of the process, as is the effort to curtail early voting and the unequal distribution of voting facilities.

The worst part is that this is packaged as a "solution" to something that is not a problem except in the minds of those who have been mislead by by an extensive misinformation campaign.

7 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 3:02:03am

re: #3 Dark_Falcon

I fail to see how requiring someone to show ID before voting amounts to "suppression".

Because it has the effect of disenfranchising a portion of the population from voting.

So, their vote is suppressed.

8 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 3:05:51am

re: #7 Obdicut

Because it has the effect of disenfranchising a portion of the population from voting.

So, their vote is suppressed.

I don't know the details of the voting process, and I already asked this here once of one member and didn't receive a reply: how, exactly, should one ensure that the voter is who (s)he says (s)he is if not by some sort of an ID?

9 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 3:16:41am

re: #8 Sergey Romanov

I don't know the details of the voting process, and I already asked this here once of one member and didn't receive a reply: how, exactly, should one ensure that the voter is who (s)he says (s)he is if not by ID?

People are only allowed to vote at a few locations, those that are near their place of residence. They have to give their name, which is checked against the voter registration rolls. Then they cast their vote.

Weirdly enough, this on its own, works, mainly because ballot-level voter fraud on any large scale is just insanely difficult to do and easy to catch, and individuals on their own are not worth suborning.

Look at it this way: To have any real effect on the vote, you'd have to do something like acquiring the list of voters who are registered and then figuring out who will not actually make it to the polls. Then you have to hire people (of the correct gender) and transport them to that polling location so that they can walk in and vote in that person's name. If you're wrong, and some of those people actually show up to vote, then there's a record of double-voting and people will start looking into what the hell happened. The same faces appearing at multiple polls (a lot of these places have purposeful or incidental CCV coverage) would get noticed and investigated.

Say you cover that possibility by paying off the people who would otherwise vote; you have to pay each and every one of them off, and the likelihood of one of them talking to the police is high. This did happen, back in the gangster-controlled areas in the 1920s, but that presupposes corruption of the political process already. Otherwise, you're just begging to get caught.

And say your scheme is successful. You've committed two hundred felonies in order to get one hundred votes. And you still have no way of verifying how these people you're sending in are actually voting in the voting booth.

Voter ID laws would only prevent crime in areas where the local government was already corrupt enough to overlook this sort of crime, and so it wouldn't prevent it.

Yay.

10 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 3:26:05am

re: #9 Obdicut

I think it doesn't matter if it's difficult or not. It still leaves place for fraud - even if on a small scale - where somebody who knows you can vote for you just to spite (etc.). Smallness of the scale does not matter. The system should not be based on trust in principle, it tramples the one person-one vote rule. The solution is not to get rid of ID checking, the solution is to have IDs easily available and for free for anybody eligible.

I will agree with one thing though. If the system has been going on like that for many decades, it's not fair to simply "break" it and suddenly start to require IDs where none were necessary previously. The point is to reform the system step by step. First make IDs freely and easily available. Then inform the population. Then start requiring IDs.

11 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 3:36:47am

re: #10 Sergey Romanov

I think it doesn't matter if it's difficult or not. It still leaves place for fraud - even if on a small scale - where somebody who knows you can vote for you just to spite (etc.). Smallness of the scale does not matter. The system should not be based on trust in principle, it tramples the one person-one vote rule. The solution is not to get rid of ID checking, the solution is to have IDs easily available and for free for anybody eligible.

If you make it extremely easy to get ID, you make it extremely easy to commit that same small scale fraud to get that ID. And that is far worse for the citizen than voting in their name out of spite (which, again, doesn't happen on any significant scale.) would be. If you make that ID difficult to obtain, then it's an effective poll tax.

I will agree with one thing though. If the system has been going on like that for many decades, it's not fair to simply "break" it and suddenly start to require IDs where none were necessary previously. The point is to reform the system step by step. First make IDs freely and easily available. Then inform the population. Then start requiring IDs.

Sure. But then are you going to roll back the ability to use absentee ballots, too? They're something millions of Americans who are too busy, travelling during voting season, homebound, or otherwise unable to get to the polls, use.

12 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 3:42:31am

re: #11 Obdicut

If you make it extremely easy to get ID, you make it extremely easy to commit that same small scale fraud to get that ID.

I don't see why. I see no evidence for this. A person should get off their ass, gather the necessary documents and present them to the officials. It's extremely easy and it minimizes fraud.

And that is far worse for the citizen than voting in their name out of spite (which, again, doesn't happen on any significant scale.)

It shouldn't happen on any preventable scale.

would be. If you make that ID difficult to obtain, then it's an effective poll tax.

It should be free in terms of money. Otherwise, yes, it will require a minor effort of gathering documents and going to some office.

Sure. But then are you going to roll back the ability to use absentee ballots, too? They're something millions of Americans who are too busy, travelling during voting season, homebound, or otherwise unable to get to the polls, too?

Oh, I'm sure something can be done in this case too.

13 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 4:02:49am

re: #12 Sergey Romanov

God damn I hate it when I close a window by accident.

I don't see why. I see no evidence for this. A person should get off their ass, gather the necessary documents and present them to the officials. It's extremely easy and it minimizes fraud.

It's not good argument to say that you see no evidence for someone else's view, and then present your own argument with no evidence. You say that it's extremely easy, but in many cases, it is not. The problem is the daisy-chain of documentation. If you've had, for example, an apartment fire, a flood, a landlord who threw out your possessions, if you just moved and lost your papers, it can take a long time in order to re-establish yourself. I once had to dig out a high school yearbook from my parents house and meet with a state representative in order to get my ID verified.

On what grounds are you saying that it's extremely easy?

And why are you overlooking that the easier it is, the easier it's going to be to defraud?

It shouldn't happen on any preventable scale.

Nor should the disenfranchisement of legal voters. No matter how easy you make acquiring an ID, if it has any security on it whatsoever, it's going to take time. So you're going to have some people who have lost their IDs in the period before the polls and are not able to replace them in time-- or don't realize they have lost them. So those people, who are legitimate citizens with the right to vote, are going to be unable to. In order to protect the putative voter from someone spite-voting-- which would be a felony crime and I know of no recorded case of in history-- you are going to inevitably disenfranchise others. Since both courses have the possibility of disenfranchisement, shouldn't you pick the one that disenfranchises fewer people?

It should be free in terms of money. Otherwise, yes, it will require a minor effort of gathering documents and going to some office.

If it's free in terms of money, what's to prevent people from flooding agencies with requests for the documents? A birth certificate, for example, is provided by the city or county in which you were born. They have a limited ability to verify that the request is really coming from you-- if you know someone's social security number, and you know an address they have lived at, you can make the request from that address and will most likely be able to get the document. If the security on it is higher, then, again, a portion of the population will be left out in the cold. And that doesn't address the question of people flooding the agencies with requests.

Oh, I'm sure something can be done in this case too.

That's nice. And what is that something?

To me, this is a classic information problem, and, since it exists in the real world, there is no ideal solution where a negative outcome is impossible. Security and accessibility ore opposed; the more accessible the IDs are, the more insecure they are.

The current system, which has voting as the easiest thing to do and getting the ID the hardest, is a good system because the right to vote is not the only right of the citizen. Stealing someone's ID is also a violation of their rights in a large number of ways, and making it easier to do that is going to be far more harmful than the (purely hypothetical) cases of spite-voting. There is very little incentive for anyone to commit in-person voter fraud; there is a lot of incentive for people to steal people's identities. We know that the latter occurs on a large scale. Especially in the current age, it seems ludicrous to make getting IDs easier when we know that this occurs.

14 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 4:51:25am

re: #13 Obdicut

On what grounds are you saying that it's extremely easy?

I don't see why it wouldn't be, except in exceptional circumstances. However, see below for a general question about this.

And why are you overlooking that the easier it is, the easier it's going to be to defraud?

I'm not overlooking it. I just don't see how it is true. Then again, maybe our definitions of easy vary. No, you can't just say "I am such and such" and receive an ID (just as you shouldn't be able to vote on such a basis). But I don't see how in general gathering documents identifying yourself is difficult.

Nor should the disenfranchisement of legal voters.

Yes, the key word is "legal". The point is how to prove you're legal. It should be proven somehow, no?

No matter how easy you make acquiring an ID,[...]

So those people, who are legitimate citizens with the right to vote, are going to be unable to.

If they can prove that they're legal voters in any other way, they shouldn't be prevented from doing so. However if they cannot prove that they're legal voters, why should they be allowed to vote? On what basis? You're eligible if you can prove it, not if someone cannot disprove it.

In order to protect the putative voter from someone spite-voting-- which would be a felony crime and I know of no recorded case of in history-- you are going to inevitably disenfranchise others. Since both courses have the possibility of disenfranchisement, shouldn't you pick the one that disenfranchises fewer people?

As I see it, disenfranchisement is when you don't let proven eligible voters vote. A person may "know" he should be eligible to vote. The question is how does the state know this?

If it's free in terms of money, what's to prevent people from flooding agencies with requests for the documents? [...] And that doesn't address the question of people flooding the agencies with requests.

This only identifies the problem with how the US does things, identity-wise. Other countries have internal passports, Ausweise and whatnot. So the question of proving eligibility for an ID or voting is a more general question: how does an average American prove that he is who he claims he is in any other situation requiring such proof? Suppose a person who has no ID is arrested. How does the police know who he is? Etc.

That's nice. And what is that something?

I don't see it as an issue at all. All countries which require ID to vote have absentee ballots. Somehow they manage. No problem.

To me, this is a classic information problem, and, since it exists in the real world, there is no ideal solution where a negative outcome is impossible. Security and accessibility ore opposed; the more accessible the IDs are, the more insecure they are.

As an example, I have an internal passport which is not insecure at all and always works as an identification. It wasn't a hassle to get it first when I was 16. I guess I don't see a problem here because I come from a different background, but I just wonder how it works out in the US, hence my question above.

15 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 5:03:45am

re: #14 Sergey Romanov

I don't see why it wouldn't be, except in exceptional circumstances. However, see below for a general question about this.

General skepticism isn't an argument.

Yes, the key word is "legal". The point is how to prove you're legal. It should be proven somehow, no?

I'm coming from the position that the goal is every person who is has the standing to vote should be able to vote. Is that the goal for you?

If they can prove that they're legal voters in any other way, they shouldn't be prevented from doing so. However if they cannot prove that they're legal voters, why should they be allowed to vote? On what basis? You're eligible if you can prove it, not if someone cannot disprove it.

No, this is wrong. You're eligible to vote if you're a citizen. This has been repeatedly held up in US law. It's never, ever illegal to vote without proving your identity, at most it just means you are marking a provisional ballot that may be discarded. It is in no way, even under the harshest and stupidest voter ID laws, illegal to vote without an ID.

So the question of proving eligibility for an ID or voting is a more general question: how does an average American prove that he is who he claims he is in any other situation requiring such proof? Suppose a person who has no ID is arrested. How does the police know who he is? Etc.

You're not legally required to carry papers. If someone with no ID is arrested, the cops may not know who they are. You do have to prove your identity to get out of jail (if you're actually charged with a crime), but not in it.

But again, you're begging the question when you say 'situations requiring such proof'. What we're arguing is whether there should be a requirement to prove your identity when voting. You seem to be taking it as a given that you should, but that is the actual matter we're arguing.

I don't see it as an issue at all. All countries which require ID to vote have absentee ballots. Somehow they manage. No problem.

Your argument is continually boiling down to "It's okay", without actually explaining how.

As an example, I have an internal passport which is not insecure at all and always works as an identification. It wasn't a hassle to get it first when I was 16. I guess I don't see a problem here because I come from a different background, but I just wonder how it works out in the US, hence my question above.

Would it be a hassle to get if there had been some sort of fire, moving disaster, or other event that destroyed the documentation chain?

The problem is you seem to be making a case based on the marginal, and, to my mind, purely hypothetical situation of spite-voting, but ignoring that, even if IDs were easy and free to obtain, there's still going to be people who are legitimate voters who happen to not have an ID. Unless you can get an ID on that very day, some people may have lost them and not be able to replace them in time.

So, for some reason, to you the marginal situation of spite-voting is important, but the marginal situation of having lost your ID isn't. I don't understand why.

16 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 5:55:02am

re: #15 Obdicut

General skepticism isn't an argument.

Assertion (about difficulty) is not an argument either.

I'm coming from the position that the goal is every person who is has the standing to vote should be able to vote. Is that the goal for you?

My position is that every person who can prove that they have a standing should be able to vote.

No, this is wrong. You're eligible to vote if you're a citizen. This has bene repeatedly held up in US law.

Incorrect. Citizens who are felons can't vote in some states. Citizens who are underage can't vote.

It's never, ever illegal to vote without proving your identity

What is is not the issue under discussion.

, at most it just means you are marking a provisional ballot that may be discarded. It is in no way, even under the harshest and stupidest voter ID laws, illegal to vote without an ID.

That's a technicality, since if your provisional ballot is discarded you effectively didn't vote.

You're not legally required to carry papers. If someone with no ID is arrested, the cops may not know who they are. You do have to prove your identity to get out of jail (if you're actually charged with a crime), but not in it.

You did not answer my question though. How does one prove one's identity in the US without any sort of ID? If there is a general mechanism, why it can't be used to get IDs?

Your argument is continually boiling down to "It's okay", without actually explaining how.

I don't see why I should explain it though. Yes, it's OK because it already works elsewhere. That's quite enough. I don't see why I should get bogged down in details of a special case.

Would it be a hassle to get if there had been some sort of fire, moving disaster, or other event that destroyed the documentation chain?

Sure, but so what? In such an exceptional case voting would be difficult indeed (unless on temporary documents, not sure if it works). And that's IMHO how it should be.

The problem is you seem to be making a case based on the marginal, and, to my mind, purely hypothetical situation of spite-voting,

Not really. You are indeed lucky, as a country, if the voter fraud is indeed rare (though a small amount of uncovered cases doesn't mean that's all the cases there are), since the holes in "voting security" are just begging to be exploited. Given the amount of incredibly close elections you've been having recently every vote counts indeed, and 10-100 votes can change the whole election. If that's what it takes, then it would be very realistic for a less scrupulous group of people to go around several polling places and fraudulently vote in someone else's name (whether it has or has not been recorded in history hardly matters; the point is that it may happen).

but ignoring that, even if IDs were easy and free to obtain, there's still going to be people who are legitimate voters who happen to not have an ID.

How did I ignore this? I addressed this situation.

17 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 6:02:29am

re: #16 Sergey Romanov

Assertion (about difficulty) is not an argument either.

Well, it's a good thing I've gone beyond assertion, then.

Incorrect. Citizens who are felons can't vote in some states. Citizens who are underage can't vote.

Ah jesus. Sure, you know what I mean: a legal voter is not determined to be legal by their ability to prove it. It is a quality of the voter, not the circumstances of the voter. It is a right held by them which cannot be taken away without cause.

You did not answer my question though. How does one prove one's identity in the US without any sort of ID? If there is a general mechanism, why it can't be used to get IDs?

It entirely depends on what you're proving it for. I can prove my ID to pay my water bill in a different way than I can to get a passport. As it should be.

I don't see why I should explain it though. Yes, it's OK because it already works elsewhere. That's quite enough. I don't see why I should get bogged down in details of a special case.

Why should I believe that it works okay elsewhere?

Sure, but so what? In such an exceptional case voting would be difficult indeed (unless on temporary documents, not sure if it works). And that's IMHO how it should be.

Why do you think it's an exceptional case, and why should it be that way? Why is it okay for a voter to have their right to vote denied because of this?

If that's what it takes, then it would be very realistic for a less scrupulous group of people to go around several polling places and fraudulently vote in someone else's name (whether it has or has not been recorded in history hardly matters; the point is that it may happen).

Are you just ignoring the reasons that I laid out why this would be difficult to do and get away with, for some reason?

How did I ignore this? I addressed this situation.

You basically said it's okay if those people can't vote. Why do you think that's true? If what you say is important is the individual right to vote, why are you okay with it being trampled for those people?

18 andres  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 6:04:02am

re: #16 Sergey Romanov

Not really. You are indeed lucky, as a country, if the voter fraud is indeed rare (though a small amount of uncovered cases doesn't mean that's all the cases there are), since the holes in "voting security" are just begging to be exploited.

I just want to point this data to you: 64,000 votes were investigated. 19 votes were actually illegal. Not 19 thousand, not even 19 hundred. 19 total out of 64,000. That's 0.0296875%. Engineers work with higher margin errors, and you don't see everything falling out left and right.

19 andres  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 6:08:37am

As for my experience: in Puerto Rico, it's a requirement to vote with a Voter ID (not any ID). However, during election year, there are gov. drives to get people their ID (as in, they take the picture, information, everything, and give you the ID at the moment). It's quite common for them to tell you to get the ID even if you don't want to vote.

I'm not sure if they're going to continue to do so, considering that the current governor is a Republican sympathizer.

20 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 6:35:50am

re: #17 Obdicut

Ah jesus. Sure, you know what I mean: there is no legal obligation to be an eligible voter beyond not being a felon and being of age.

Funny you'd say that, since surely you know that when I write "You're eligible if you can prove it, not if someone cannot disprove it", I'm not writing about criteria, but about verification of eligibility. So if you're taking the sentences too literally, so can I.

It entirely depends on what you're proving it for. I can prove my ID to pay my water bill in a different way than I can to get a passport. As it should be.

That doesn't really answer the question. And whether or not getting an ID is difficult directly depends on this.

Why should I believe that it works okay elsewhere?

If you have any information about any problems, let me know. Until then, I'm not chasing the red herring of absentee ballots since you haven't shown they're somehow incompatible with what I wrote. A person should certainly provide an ID when getting the ballot in my scenario.

Why do you think it's an exceptional case,

Because most people don't lose all of their documents.

and why should it be that way? Why is it okay for a voter to have their right to vote denied because of this?

A proven voter shouldn't have a right denied. Back to square one: what proves him to be a voter?

Are you just ignoring the reasons that I laid out why this would be difficult to do and get away with, for some reason?

Sure, because all you specified is one particular scenario. E.g. people in your scenario are necessarily paid (and aren't doing it out of conviction). This adds several levels of difficulty to your scenario (they get paid, somebody might talk to the police, nobody knows how they vote anyway). I.e. you designed your scenario is a particularly bad way. One possible scenario might be operatives registering people to vote and thus knowing their data; then coming to the polling places early, making sure that there is no CCTV, and not overusing the fraud in any of the polling stations so as not to arouse too much suspicion, etc. I'm sure there are more scenarios, depending on circumstances.

You basically said it's okay if those people can't vote. Why do you think that's true? If what you say is important is the individual right to vote, why are you okay with it being trampled for those people?

What I'm saying is that once a person shows that he is who he is, he can vote. A person who didn't show this forfeits this right, I don't see it as a matter of it being trampled.

21 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 6:36:41am

re: #18 andres

Um, I've seen it, thank you very much.

22 andres  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 6:46:52am

re: #21 Sergey Romanov

Um, I've seen it, thank you very much.

With such insignificant numbers, arguing for better ways to prevent voter fraud is senseless. The biggest threat to the USA Democracy isn't voter fraud, but voter apathy. Again, in PR, a general election that only 78% of the registered voters participate is described by the local media as a disaster (typical is above the 80%). I've seen races in the US where the media is psyched because almost 50% of the registered voters participate.

23 BishopX  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 6:47:53am

re: #16 Sergey Romanov

Not really. You are indeed lucky, as a country, if the voter fraud is indeed rare (though a small amount of uncovered cases doesn't mean that's all the cases there are), since the holes in "voting security" are just begging to be exploited. Given the amount of incredibly close elections you've been having recently every vote counts indeed, and 10-100 votes can change the whole election. If that's what it takes, then it would be very realistic for a less scrupulous group of people to go around several polling places and fraudulently vote in someone else's name (whether it has or has not been recorded in history hardly matters; the point is that it may happen).

I think you're lacking a little bit of historical context here. The last major case of fake voting took place 90 years ago. Since then the most prevalent forms of voting fraud have been disenfranchisement and ballot stuffing. Part of the reason America has such low standards of proof for voter identification is that disfranchisement (legal and extra-legal) has been such a big issue. The reason voting IDs need to be freely available in the US is because there is a constitutional amendment banning poll taxes (i.e. requiring that you pay to vote). This amendment is in place specifically to stop politically motivated disenfranchisement. It is one of two constitutional clauses relating directly to voting (the other establishing a minimum age) which should tell you just how important this issue has historically been.

The part of this is as Odbicut has pointed out, fake voting is hard. There are much easier ways to illegally influence elections, and we don't have terribly good controls in place to stop some of them. One good example of this is electronic vote tampering. Many states use electronic voting machines (as opposed to paper ballots) which are basically retrofitted ATMs. Some of these are incredibly insecure and have the potential for a single actor to influence thousands of votes.

The third peice of this that you seem to be missing is voter registration. You do actually need to prove that you are you in order to register to vote. Which makes fake voting much more complex.

24 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 6:49:19am

re: #20 Sergey Romanov

Because most people don't lose all of their documents.

But some do. It's not an exception. It happens with great regularity.

A proven voter shouldn't have a right denied. Back to square one: what proves him to be a voter?

No, dude. This is begging the question. Nobody should have their right to vote denied. The desire to have people prove their identity is in support of that right-- so that that right isn't compromised by others.

What I'm saying is that once a person shows that he is who he is, he can vote. A person who didn't show this forfeits this right, I don't see it as a matter of it being trampled.

And why isn't showing who they are by stating that they are that person and matching a name on the voter rolls enough?

One possible scenario might be operatives registering people to vote and thus knowing their data; then coming to the polling places early, making sure that there is no CCTV, and not overusing the fraud in any of the polling stations so as not to arouse too much suspicion, etc. I'm sure there are more scenarios, depending on circumstances.

This is still a large conspiracy of people. And you still need an equal number of people to fraudulent votes. At most, you're going to be able to drive over to a couple of polling stations-- which negates the 'coming early' part. And even if you do come early, maybe the real voter does too-- and he is told "That guy right there just voted as you".

We have had investigation after investigation that has shown this simply doesn't happen. Is there some reason you think those investigations were faulty?

If you have any information about any problems, let me know.

And if you have any information about voter fraud in the US being a problem, let me know.

25 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 6:51:45am

re: #23 BishopX

The third peice of this that you seem to be missing is voter registration. You do actually need to prove that you are you in order to register to vote. Which makes fake voting much more complex.

I haven't really missed this, but I thought it improper to bring up in a conversation of the process of voting itself. But now that you brought it up: what mechanisms are there to check the voting reg forms? Do the counties or whoever check them against some databases?

26 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 7:00:41am

re: #24 Obdicut

re: #22 andres

re: #23 BishopX

OK, on the balance I'll probably have to revise my position. Have to think about it. Thanks for the chat.

27 Decatur Deb  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 7:02:49am

re: #25 Sergey Romanov

I haven't really missed this, but I thought it improper to bring up in a conversation of the process of voting itself. But now that you brought it up: what mechanisms are there to check the voting reg forms? Do the counties or whoever check them against some databases?

Processes vary a bit in different jurisdictions. Basically, poll workers check a voter against a simple paper registry of names and addresses created from the once-per-precinct voter registration. There are poll watchers from any major party to monitor it.

Something missing from this page is the history of black voter suppression, sometimes almost complete, through the local imposition of poll taxes and phony "literacy tests". Both are now prohibited. The various ID laws are so cumbersome and expensive that they might be a recreation of the poll tax.

28 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 7:04:33am

re: #26 Sergey Romanov

I think the best way to go about it is to think about what the final goal is. To me, it's that everyone who has the right to vote should be able to vote. If measures to protect that right against corruption by others have the net effect of disenfranchising more people than they protect, then, to me, those measures are worse than the problem they're addressing.

So there's two questions: how big a problem is there (or could there reasonably be expected to be) and how big a problem do you create trying to solve that problem?

The first is answerable, thanks to a lot of diligent inquiry; there is very little evidence of any voter fraud, and almost no evidence of organized voter fraud. Organizing such a fraud at the individual voter level would be very risky, since you have to actually go to the place to vote, for a very small benefit.

The second is trickier, but can be demonstrated. The main problem here is that creating a barrier to vote is the actual goal of most of the people who are creating the voter ID laws. They don't actually want to protect the rights of people to vote, but to suppress it.

29 BishopX  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 7:05:21am

re: #25 Sergey Romanov

In Massachusetts at-least, you get confirmation by mail that you registered to vote. Voter registration also requires an ID number (typically Social Security number or drivers license number), which would allow the state to crosscheck voter registration against tax rolls.

In addition, if you registered by mail you do need to provide some form of ID the first time you vote...although you can provide bank statements and utility bills in your name proving that you live where you say you do in lieu of a photo ID.

30 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 7:21:56am

And last: If you do want to do voter fraud, the most obvious way to do it is to corrupt individuals who are responsible for collecting and counting votes. This means you have to corrupt just a few people, and gain thousands of votes by doing so.

31 Sionainn  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 7:23:15am

re: #8 Sergey Romanov

I don't know the details of the voting process, and I already asked this here once of one member and didn't receive a reply: how, exactly, should one ensure that the voter is who (s)he says (s)he is if not by some sort of an ID?

When one votes in my state, there is a book that has all registered voters and their signatures for the various precincts. When I go in to vote, I give them my name. I then sign the book and my signature needs to look like the one I used when I registered to vote.

32 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 7:25:48am

re: #31 Sionainn

Well, that is already much better than simply giving a name. Hard to find people forging different sigs on the fly.

33 Decatur Deb  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 7:27:33am

re: #30 Obdicut

And last: If you do want to do voter fraud, the most obvious way to do it is to corrupt individuals who are responsible for collecting and counting votes. This means you have to corrupt just a few people, and gain thousands of votes by doing so.

Too old-fashioned. Go for hackable electronic voting machines with no paper audit.

34 Sionainn  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 7:29:39am

re: #32 Sergey Romanov

Well, that is already much better than simply giving a name. Hard to find people forging different sigs on the fly.

Exactly. That's why I think that system works just fine.

35 wrenchwench  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 8:24:22am

re: #31 Sionainn

When one votes in my state, there is a book that has all registered voters and their signatures for the various precincts. When I go in to vote, I give them my name. I then sign the book and my signature needs to look like the one I used when I registered to vote.

Thanks for posting what I was going to post. I'm in New Mexico, and the signature is also required here.

36 Obdicut  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 8:38:31am

re: #35 wrenchwench

Which shows, really, that there's a lot of other common sense ways of preventing fraud that have nothing to do with ID. For example, you could simply state that all votes were being recorded, and if there was a discrepancy-- two people voting under the same name-- the tapes would be reviewed. That would probably be sufficient to stop anyone who was fraudulently going to vote from doing so.

I'd still dislike such a move since I think it'd be a waste of money, since we have absolutely no reason at all to believe that such fraud is occurring, but at least it doesn't disenfranchise anyone.

37 Decatur Deb  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 8:40:56am

re: #36 Obdicut

Which shows, really, that there's a lot of other common sense ways of preventing fraud that have nothing to do with ID. For example, you could simply state that all votes were being recorded, and if there was a discrepancy-- two people voting under the same name-- the tapes would be reviewed. That would probably be sufficient to stop anyone who was fraudulently going to vote from doing so.

I'd still dislike such a move since I think it'd be a waste of money, since we have absolutely no reason at all to believe that such fraud is occurring, but at least it doesn't disenfranchise anyone.

Purple fingers. Make it cool to vote, like Catholics with ashes on Ash Wednesday.

38 calochortus  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 9:27:54am

I confess to not having read quite all the posts, but in addition to a signature in the book at the polling place, there is a very real possibility that one of the poll workers will recognize you-or recognize that an impostor isn't you. Poll workers often come from the neighborhood they are working in.

39 RadicalModerate  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 1:15:41pm

re: #3 Dark_Falcon

I fail to see how requiring someone to show ID before voting amounts to "suppression".

Let me explain how it's disenfranchisement. This is how they're doing it in Texas:

Unlike all other states that added a provision for individuals without a state-issued ID to get one free of charge, Texas charges 16 dollars for issuing a photo ID that lasts only four years.
Secondly, during the budget crisis from last year, one of areas affected was Department of Public Safety offices, where drivers licenses and IDs are issued. A number of these locations were either closed, or had severely reduced operating hours. But the only offices that seemed to be affected were those in minority neighborhoods. Those in affluent white-majority neighborhoods were unaffected.

So, we have (a) a de facto poll tax in the guise of the charge for the ID required to vote, and (b) a requirement to travel undue distances to obtain that ID.
Now, do you want to explain how that *ISN'T* disenfrancisement?

40 wilburs  Sat, Nov 19, 2011 2:28:57pm

re: #8 Sergey Romanov

The 2000 Help America Vote Act requires that all new voters establish their identity before the registration process is complete and they can vote.

The way many localities do this (and this is part of the problem, there are no unified procedures surrounding much of the voting process, something that is an anachronism) is very simple.
The registration form you fill out asks you to provide either part of your social security number, or your drivers license or state ID. This is then matched against the state databases of licenses, IDs and tax withholding.
If it is a perfect match in terms of name, address and date of birth, then you have completed the process and are eligible to vote. If it doesn't match, or you fail to provide the information, you are not registered, and must show an ID before you vote.

This is why registration forms with Donald Duck, 123 Fake Street are not voter fraud.

This story from New Mexico is hardly unique, in the last year I have seen the exact same story from Maine, Arizona, Minnesota and Missouri. Some wingnut claims he has evidence of a vast voter conspiracy, and when the evidence is examined the claims are proven to be totally specious.

As you may know, the Bush administration hired quite a few of these voter fraud nuts. They conducted a 5 year investigation and came up with exactly nothing.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WIDESPREAD VOTER FRAUD.

These attempts to make it more and more difficult for citizens to exercise their rights are nothing more then an attempt to supress voting and to do so for a political end.

41 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Sun, Nov 20, 2011 10:47:54am

Country becomes more and more liberal. Conservatives react by making it less democratic. Shocker!


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