The GOP War on Democracy: How Conservatives Shamelessly Disenfranchise People Who Vote Democrat

by on December 29, 2011 · 54 comments

in American Empire, Civil Rights, Election, Popular

Across the country, state legislatures and governors are pushing laws that seek to restrict access to the voting booth.

By Amy Goodman / AlterNet / December 28, 2011

All eyes are on Iowa this week, as the hodgepodge field of Republican contenders gallivants across that farm state seeking a win, or at least “momentum,” in the campaign for the party’s presidential nomination. But behind the scenes, a battle is being waged by Republicans—not against each other, but against American voters. Across the country, state legislatures and governors are pushing laws that seek to restrict access to the voting booth, laws that will disproportionately harm people of color, low-income people, and young and elderly voters.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund have just released a comprehensive report on the crisis, “Defending Democracy: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America.”

In it, they write:

“The heart of the modern block the vote campaign is a wave of restrictive government-issued photo identification requirements. In a coordinated effort, legislators in thirty-four states introduced bills imposing such requirements. Many of these bills were modeled on legislation drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—a conservative advocacy group whose founder explained: ‘Our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.’”

 It is interesting that the right wing, long an opponent of any type of national identification card, is very keen to impose photo-identification requirements at the state level. Why? Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP, calls the voter ID laws “a solution without a problem. … It’s not going to make the vote more secure. What it is going to do is put the first financial barrier between people and their ballot box since we got rid of the poll tax.”

You don’t have to look far for people impacted by this new wave of voter-purging laws. Darwin Spinks, an 86-year-old World War II veteran from Murfreesboro, Tenn., went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a photo ID for voting purposes, since drivers over 60 there are issued driver’s licenses without photos. After waiting in two lines, he was told he had to pay $8. Requiring a voter to pay a fee to vote has been unconstitutional since the poll tax was outlawed in 1964. Over in Nashville, 93-year-old Thelma Mitchell had a state-issued ID—the one she used as a cleaner at the state Capitol building for more than 30 years. The ID had granted her access to the governor’s office for decades, but now, she was told, it wasn’t good enough to get her into the voting booth. She and her family are considering a lawsuit, an unfortunate turn of events for a woman who is older than the right of women to vote in this country.

It is not just the elderly being given the disenfranchisement runaround. The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law points to:

“bills making voter registration drives extremely difficult and risky for volunteer groups, bills requiring voters to provide specific photo ID or citizenship documents … bills cutting back on early and absentee voting, bills making it hard for students and active-duty members of the military to register to vote locally, and more.”

 U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently spoke on this alarming trend. He said: “Our efforts honor the generations of Americans who have taken extraordinary risks, and willingly confronted hatred, bias and ignorance—as well as billy clubs and fire hoses, bullets and bombs—to ensure that their children, and all American citizens, would have the chance to participate in the work of their government. The right to vote is not only the cornerstone of our system of government—it is the lifeblood of our democracy.”

Just this week, the Justice Department blocked South Carolina’s new law requiring voters to show photo IDs at the polls, saying data submitted by South Carolina showed that minority voters were about 20 percent more likely to lack acceptable photo ID required at polling places.

By some estimates, the overall population that may be disenfranchised by this wave of legislation is upward of 5 million voters, most of whom would be expected to vote with the Democratic Party. The efforts to quash voter participation are not genuine, grass-roots movements. Rather, they rely on funding from people like the Koch brothers, David and Charles. That is why thousands of people, led by the NAACP, marched on the New York headquarters of Koch Industries two weeks ago en route to a rally for voting rights at the United Nations.

Despite the media attention showered on the Iowa caucuses, the real election outcomes in 2012 will likely hinge more on the contest between billionaire political funders like the Kochs and the thousands of people in the streets, demanding one person, one vote.

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of the nationally syndicated radio news program, Democracy Now!.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Felipe December 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Our country has lost its minds. I show an ID when I drive, travel by plane, buy anything with my credit card, etc, etc. etc. Oh the horror of showing an ID for voting! For God’s sake, it invites voter fraud.
So let’s give everyone who doesn’t have a driver’s license or an state issue ID card (I don’t know of a single person personally who doesn’t)…and give them an ID card for free.


Frank Gormlie December 29, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Felipe – a couple of things. First, you confuse apples and oranges. Voting is not the same as driving, traveling by plane, or buying something with your credit card. Our elective franchise is a right, not a privilege. So any encumbrances on rights are a political burden and unnecessary. There are enough roadblocks to people voting, so why throw up another one?

Second, there is no widespread voter fraud. So, again, the “solution” is worse than the problem. The remedy is worse than the sickness.

IN numerous states, many do not have ID’s, like minorities, elderly – poor people in general. So then the burden is being placed on those who traditionally vote Democratic. Hmmm … who benefits from that?


libconlib December 29, 2011 at 11:55 pm

You need an ID to apply for welfare or cash a check. How many poor people are realistically going to be disenfranchised by this?


Felipe December 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm

And…the case law is clear that requiring an ID doesn’t violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court said so in 2008, in a 6-3 case. Look up Crawford v. Marion County Election Board.

In a 6-3 decision, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the photo ID requirement, finding it closely related to Indiana’s legitimate state interest in preventing voter fraud, modernizing elections, and safeguarding voter confidence.

Justice John Paul Stevens, in the leading opinion, stated that the burdens placed on voters are limited to a small percentage of the population, and were offset by the state’s interest in reducing fraud.


Andy Cohen January 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm

But what about college students whose permanent address could be hundreds of miles away from their school address, or even out of state? Under the laws being pushed in states like South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Ohio, those students would effectively be denied their right to vote since they would not be allowed to register where they go to school. They would only be allowed to register where their ID says is their home district, which would make voting an impossibility. How do you explain that, especially given that most college students would be inclined to vote Democrat?


libcomlib January 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm

…I’m a college student, and I registered Republican. I’m not some kind of right-wing extremist, either.


cahlo December 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm

what’s so hard about showing/proving who you are to vote? you need ID to drink, drive, get a passport, have a bank account, etc……..if you really want to vote, then you’d go to the DMV and get an ID. this is all about the party of ‘enablers’, the left, that want all the less fortunate people to continue voting for them, to continue sucking off of the public teat, and sucking the life (and money) out of everyone else!
ps: i really hate the word: disenfranchisement…..


jennifer moser December 31, 2011 at 8:31 am

I have already explained why I had trouble voting the last 3x at the same location. My name hasn’t been on the list for the area. In fact, most people voting at the table with me also had voter cards and IDs or they wouldn’t give you the provisional ballot without both of those items. I think I just don’t see your point if u register and have a current ID with the address listed correctly. Yet there I was at a table packed with people and long lines. I never had this problem living in Illinois. I was also in a high immigrant community there but it was easier then here, just show photo ID and voter ID if u weren’t on the list and they had no problem, I never had issues. I have never researched ACORN but I will now. I don’t believe for a minute that some illegal or voter fraud on the avg. American is a problem. We have no cases to even name? The GOP does have an agenda to decrease votes or they wouldn’t be under investigation in Ohio. Honestly all their candidates are poor public speakers and they aren’t uniters. I can understand why they are worried. I would be too if I actually thought they had a plan or clue. Just like the avg. American I watch the news and I hear lies about immigration worry (no jobs and immigration the lowest ever), welfare lies (rolls decreased from Clinton they are going back up but still lower then the 90s), govt employees (vast majority don’t make crap), blame the banks when people can’t afford their mortgage, home repair and insurance cause they are laid off due to buget cuts and now rampant voter fraud. You got to be kidding me. Who haven’t GOP alleged is a criminal and possibly non American? I wonder why someone raised conservative like me won’t vote for them can you?


Adam December 29, 2011 at 3:14 pm

As a Canadian, I really can’t understand the voter-ID controversy in your country. In order to vote in Canadian Federal, Provincial, or Local elections and referenda, one has to be A. a citizen, and B. show two pieces of ID (including photo ID). There are no exceptions. And if you told even the most left-wing (e.g., NDP, Green Party) candidate that voter ID was ‘racist,’ or ‘disenfranchising,’ he’d laugh in your face. Anything other than photo ID is an invitation to fraud–something which even buying clubs and the like recognise. Your Attourney General and President are, obviously, fighting voter ID because it thwarts Daleyesque ‘zombie voting’ and ballot fraud.


jennifer moser December 31, 2011 at 8:43 am

Most people in America can’t but we are a nation of laws where everyone is arguing and paranoid. Intelligent people understand, but right now many people are afraid of the immigrants in general, both legal and illegal because they don’t look legal. But its not discrimination because the law is the law so just harass those who don’t look American. You see why the avg. American is stressed out from watching the news? Yet neither side will do anything until 2012 to address the issue. Its a load of crap and I will vote because I am legal and can and then watch 4 more yrs till the next whiny election.


doug porter December 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm

all the sponsors of these bills (which are written by consesrv. think tanks, btw) claim they’re fighting voter fraud. the problem is, voter fraud is very rare. Fraud by Big Banks is very common. But these same people advocate less oversight for those crooks.


cahlo December 30, 2011 at 6:40 am

someone has to sponsor the bill, so what’s your point? i wouldn’t care if left wing think tanks (who thinks in a tank?) sponsored the bill, it’s a good idea. btw, the article is not about banks…….


jennifer moser December 30, 2011 at 7:17 am

I worked at a bank and can tell u that we are regulated. The banks have paid back with interest. Unfortunately we have a growing number of people laid off due to budget cuts. I know because I used to work with mortgages. The banks cannot afford to allow people to not insure there homes or just forgive a loan and let them keep a house. Its more complicated then it seems, and yes innocent people have been foreclosed on. However, the banks are doing what they can in a rotten economy with limited options for distressed homeowners. What do you think a responsible institution should do? Just give out free homes?


doug porter December 30, 2011 at 10:58 am

apparently you missed the first point i made: voter fraud, which these laws are supposed to prevent is very RARE. why would all these legislators in so many different states, most of whom say there are too many laws, suddenly feel the urge to solve a problem that barely exists? that’s my point.
there’s a reason why things happen. perhaps ms. moser’s experience as described below offers a clue.


cahlo December 31, 2011 at 7:39 am

1. the article is still not about banks 2. voter fraud must be prevalent (although i can not state any facts) or people (right or left) would not be bringing it up. ever hear of ACORN? 3. i’m sure there’s a good reason ms. moser had difficulty voting 4. i say again, whether there’s fraud or not, there’s absolutely no reason for someone to not have any ID to vote, or just exist 5. happy new year!


doug porter December 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

1. nobody said the article was about banks. i made a simple comparison about how laws are enforced in different areas. period. end of story. the article is not about banks. do you understand? do i need to SHOUT?
2. according to this study ( by the Belkin Institute voter fraud is extremely rare.
3. the last congressional investigation into voter fraud concluded that “there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud”
4. the “Acorn fraud” that the right brings up involves people who were hired to register voters that submitted fraudulent applications in order to boost their pay. (They were getting a per voter commission) These false applications were largely caught by prior to any attempt at actual voting by State officials.
I’m sorry if these facts inconvenience you.


Bob January 3, 2012 at 6:08 am


1. First of all the study was done by the Brennan Center for Justice. I don’t think there is such a thing as the Belkin Institute.
2. Although the Brennan Center claims to be “non-partisan”, you should realize that any institution named after Justice Brennan, a liberal hero, should be questioned as to their true claim to that title.
3. The Brennan Center is headed up by Michael Waldman who was Director of Speechwriting for President Clinton from 1995 to 1999. He even wrote a book about it called POTUS Speaks. Before that, he worked for Ralph Nader.
4. The study you linked to has been questioned by many respected scholars and experts.
5. So I’m sorry that the facts are not as clear as you’d like them to be.


Bob January 3, 2012 at 6:35 am


ALSO (re the study you linked):

The Brennan Center study suffers from sloppy—or perhaps purposefully misrepresented—data collection and biased questions. Based entirely on one survey of only 987 “voting age American citizens,” the report contains no information on how the survey determined whether a respondent was actually an American citizen. The survey could have included illegal and legal aliens, two categories of individuals that are not allowed to vote.

All other studies, even those done by nonpartisan groups and even liberals, have found no problems with voter ID laws. A study by University of Delaware’s Jason Mycoff and David C. Wilson and University of Nebraska’s Michael W. Wagner found that voter ID laws had no impact on turnout. A study conducted by the University of Missouri’s Jeffrey Milyo even discovered that after voter ID, turnout increased in Democrat-majority districts. An American University survey found that 99% have photo ID in states with voter ID laws. That study was done by Dr. Robert Pastor, who was a senior advisor to Democrat president Jimmy Carter.

So, again, the facts may be more inconvenient for your position. (assuming you can get a reference correct)


Andy Cohen January 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm

“Voter fraud must be prevalent?” The Republicans say it, so it must be true?

The fact of the matter is that voter fraud is EXTREMELY rare. Like single digits across the country. Repubs can’t point to a single example of problematic voter fraud. Not. One. So like Ben Jealous said, “it’s a solution in search of a problem.”

ACORN was accused of VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD. Big difference. And still the bogus registrations were in almost all cases cleaned up and discarded well before any actual election took place. In fact, in almost every case, ACORN policed itself and cleaned up their own bogus registrations before they even turned them into the registrar’s office. That’s a fact, but ACORN was a convenient Republican bogeyman without having actually committed any act of wrongdoing.


libcomlib January 4, 2012 at 11:13 pm

/Reported/ voter fraud is extremely rare. I’m not exactly sure how you verify something like voter fraud, though.


Jennifer Moser December 29, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I live in California in a high Hispanic neighborhood, however I am white. I have registered to vote using the same address 3 times. Each time I go I am told that I’m not on the list and I’ve re-registered 3 times directly at the DMV. Keep in mind I’ve been at the same residence for 3 years. What everyone and I noticed in the room as we voted were that most people weren’t on the list, there were 3 tables packed with people filling out registeration cards. I was then told that there weren’t enough pens so I ran home (across the street) picked up a pen and came back. Upon handing my new filled out card, it to the woman I showed her my Voter Registration Card, upon which she notified me that I would need my photo ID. Realizing I had ran back to the house and left it on the table I once again walked out the door, across the street, and came back with my ID. This time my kids wanted to go so I came back with a screaming bunch of kids and I was really irritated. I showed her my ID. She looked at it, commented it looked valid, and advised me that my vote would be accepted after it was verified I was legal to vote! While there another lady commented to me that this was the 5th time she had re-registered and it was getting annoying, she was black. Her husband was also filling out another card as he wasn’t on the list either. I am moving in a few weeks and I’m worried I will have the same problem again at the next election. I never did before but since living in a Hispanic community I have these problems all the time when voting.


jennifer moser December 30, 2011 at 7:10 am

I want to clarify that I had a state issued voter registration card plus a new provisional ballot. I was given a number to verify my vote but that turned out to be useless.


Frank Gormlie December 30, 2011 at 10:42 am

Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing your story. It’s a story like yours that makes this whole disenfranchisement so much more real for the rest of us.


elaine marie December 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Jennifer, I never really thought about the disenfranchisement element to all of this before. Thanks.


jennifer moser December 30, 2011 at 6:31 pm

it was in a school library closer too night. I had the hardest time when a nice lady tried to entertain my kids with books. The middle one was 3 and he cried when he couldn’t take them all with him. I voted quickly while he hung on my ankle and kept telling myself I will never take them again. I always vote now. I didn’t think about complaining till I saw this article. I think they should establish a complaint line in order to learn how to securely increase access to voting. Clearly if you have 3 updated voter registration cards plus valid state issued photo ID you should be able to vote with a regular immediently countable ballot. Come to think of it I had to ask for my number to get it. Most everyone walked a way without getting a number.


Phil January 1, 2012 at 10:18 am

I dont see a problem with Id at all. The only people who would have a problem with it are Illegals and folks with arrest warrants. If it a problem at a person voting place the its the voter registrators office that messing up. Start complaining to them now if you have had problem in the past.


Jennifer Moser January 3, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Awesome! I will be voting at the same polling place next election if the same thing happens I will file a complaint. Thank you for the advice.


doug porter January 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm Headline: Newt Gingrich Committed Voter Fraud, According to GOP and Fox News ACORN Standards


The Bearded OBcean January 3, 2012 at 10:53 am

I know these threads enjoy lofting the racism canard at the right with such frequency that it induces whiplash, but why would a minority have more difficulty obtaining ID than a non-minority? Isn’t that assumption, itself, egregiously racist? And if an $8 fee is the hurdle, why not add a rider to any particular bill banning the fee for state-issued ID.
And it is shown once again that it is nearly impossible to write an article without bringing up the boogie man that is the Koch brothers.


Frank Gormlie January 3, 2012 at 11:15 am

Ol’ bearded one – Any restrictions on Americans voting is bad news. There have been no substantiated claims of voter fraud, so the whole reason to hoist these restrictions to law is false, a red herring. So why do it? Why are the GOP’ers so involved in restricting people to vote – particularly minority, aged, young and poor voters? Why? There can only be one reason. BTW your attempt to reverse the charge of “racism” really falls flat. You belie history, my friend.


The Bearded OBcean January 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Eh, potatoes, potawtoes. I guess it depends on whose history you want to discuss and whose history is generally whitewashed. You must have skipped the class on progressives and eugenics. As for racism, why not? How does a minority have less access to forms of ID? I don’t understand. My wife is a minority, and she has ID.

Like someone else said, with municipalities increasingly passing ordinances allowing illegal aliens to vote, isn’t it natural to want to restrict access to only citizens? They could hand out ID cards for free to every citizen, and there would still be a call of disenfranchisement, methinks.


Frank Gormlie January 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Well, ya get an “A” for persistence, at least, ol’bearded one. ID is not the issue; the issue is restricting people to vote; there have not been allegations that undocumented people have been trying to illegally vote in massive numbers; there just have not been these claims. So, if it’s not broken, why fix it? Again, any limitations on Americans voting is bad. Period.


Bob January 3, 2012 at 11:25 am


No one is talking about ANY restrictions on Americans voting. We are talking about restricting voting by non-Americans and Americans that are not allowed to vote.

There have indeed been substantiated claims of voter fraud, even in the Brennan report cited above. The question is how much. No one really knows because no one has done a statistically significant investigation. It is all anecdotal.

There IS, however, statistically significant studies (several) that show that voter ID laws DO NOT suppress voting and in fact in many places (including Democratic precincts) the voting rate increases.

You call it a red herring. I call it common sense and ensuring that democracy is truly democratic (small ‘d’).


Frank Gormlie January 3, 2012 at 11:58 am

Bob, yes, there is discussion on restrictions to Americans voting – that’s what these “voter id” bills are all about. You said it yourself “Americans that are not allowed to vote” – and just whom would that be. The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that about 11% of Americans who can vote do not have identification. That’s a lot of voters. And who are they? The elderly, the young, the poor, minorities. And for whom do they traditionally vote for? Democrats. That’s why Repubinuts want to limit and restrict voters. And again, no substantied claims of voter fraud. The GOP has been raising this issue as a cover for their plainly undemocratic designs. For instance, many of these bills require an in-state ID when voting – this is a problem for students going to colleges in states other than where they’re from – just for starters.


Jennifer Moser January 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm

So can we assume that in-state ID requirement would also bar someone who may have relocated to another state a few days before the elections. That would really stink to know that because you move your photo ID is just fine for everything else but you can’t vote simply because your photo ID is out of state. That sounds like a way to bar potential voters both GOP and Democrat.


Bob January 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Many Americans cannot vote. Felons, for one. Minors for another. These people, as well as non-Americans should not be voting.

The Brennan Center is a very biased source. They did not do a statistically significant study. Never have. They have a very left-leaning agenda.

Clearly I’m not going to convince you but I’m not going to stand by and have you and others on this thread get away with wide sweeping generalities not backed up with facts.

Would the GOP benefit by voter ID laws? Perhaps. But many truly statistically significant studies show that voter ID laws do not disenfranchise people.


Frank Gormlie January 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm

And clearly, you did not gain one iota of truth from the article. Sorry, about that Bob, but go ahead and continue your head-in-the-sand approach, or maybe it’s just that you cannot fathom criticism of the anti-democratic nature of these Republican attacks on American voters.


Bob January 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm

The only truth I gained from the article is what I already knew. The Left wants to convince people that there is a big problem with people getting ID’s. The Right wants to convince people that there is a big problem with voter fraud.

You and Doug are quick to point out studies by a left-wing organization to back your position. A study (and group) that has been discredited.

I cited a number of studies by both partisan and bi-partisan groups that support my position.

You may think my head is in the sand. You may think that the Republicans are “attacking” American voters. But the (statistically significant) facts are on my side. And voter ID laws will continue to proliferate. Most Americans want to make sure that only Americans vote, and only when it is legal for them to do so. The only way to do that is to required ID.


Anna Daniels January 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm

You are of course cherry picking Bob. Two of the three sources you cited are actually listed in the Brennan (LEFT WING) report, which includes 29 other sources. How convenient.

So let’s simplify the discussion- we “get born” in the USA, we get a portable citizen ID that is good until we die. When we turn 18 , no matter where we are in this country, we can vote. Got a problem with that?????


Bob January 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Both sides can “cherry pick”. The bottom line is that it is impossible to know how many people vote illegally WHEN THERE IS NO VALIDATION OF CITIZENSHIP.

Sorry but I don’t understand your simplification comment. I have no problem with anyone voting who has the correct status (citizenship, not a felon, etc.). I do not believe that requiring some kind of ID to validate that status is a bad thing. Procedures to handle any difficulties people have in obtaining such validation can be put in place.

Contrary to what some might believe about my motives here, I truly believe that requiring ID is a good thing for America and democracy, not because I want to disenfranchise anyone for partisan politics.


Anna Daniels January 3, 2012 at 7:25 pm

If you can not show me statistics on the number of people who are voting illegally, you don’t have a leg to stand on in this argument.


Bob January 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm

If you cannot show me statistics on the number of people who are disenfranchised because they didn’t have an ID, you don’t have a leg to stand on in this argument.

You see, the discussion can go both ways. You can say there is no problem with fraud and I can say there is no problem with requiring ID. I can show you studies. You can show me studies.

But get used to it. Voter ID requirements will grow, not diminish. A majority of Americans want them.


Anna Daniels January 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Nope. You are wrong Bob. If you cannot show what is broken, you cannot possibly justify the demand that 11% of the population which currently has no state id must now show one now to vote. Our right to vote is in the constitution. The applicable rules are pretty damn minimal. You need to be born here, or to US citizens abroad and be 18 years of age. That is it.


Anna Daniels January 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm

PS Felons can vote in California: “Automatically restored upon completion of sentence and/or parole; felon must register to vote.” This seems to be some kind of sticking point for you, Bob.

Felons cannot vote while in prison or on parole.


Bob January 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm

You are exactly right about the Constitution. I will quote you: “You need to be born here”. I’ll stop there. So we let ANYONE who says they were born here vote? I highly doubt the Founders would agree with that statement.

Providing ID to the remaining electorate who want them is not a daunting task. It happens in many states now. And in all of Canada. It can be done, and fairly.


Anna Daniels January 3, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Bob- show me the statistics of voter fraud.

Bob January 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm

You just ignored what I said.

The issue should not really be about statistics. It should be about following the mandates in the Constitution as you have correctlly stated. So how do we know who is “born here”?

I believe that there is enough fraud to have changed the results of recent Presidential elections (in both directions). You may believe that with voter ID laws people get disenfranchised because they “can’t” get an ID. We might both be right, who knows.

But the question remains: How do we ensure that all votes are cast by people that should be voting (once)? There are many ways to do it. None of them are foolproof. But a lot is at stake in this polarized political climate and neither side is immune from “dirtty tricks”. I believe the vast majority of Americans want to know that something is done to ensure compliance with the Constitution.

Frank Gormlie January 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Bob, I am now convinced you have not read (or have not internalized its points) the very article where you have posted a series of comments, all with the same message. And you have not mitigated your message in the face of the accurate criticism of your points by others. You say: “Providing ID … happens in many states now.” That is the point, isn’t it. That is the entire point of the article, that more and more states are requiring (you use the kind word “providing”) IDs in order to vote. You have not refuted the main criticism of your message, that there is no voter fraud going on, and that about 11% of the electorate do not have IDs.

think? January 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I see the point. However, it takes 5 min. To create one fake ID card. I think this would still be just a sham unless each card is swipeable. Maybe require some scan of each document presented to verify authenticity. Oh you bet we are in for another law and another fee to pay for it. The govt likes to find ways to give the appearance of regulating and then impose one more fee.


Anna Daniels January 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Bob- the bottom line is that you cannot show any statistics about how the system is broken. In 2011/2012 this is suddenly a burning (republican) issue? You know the adage “never try to teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of your time and annoys the hell out of the pig?” Bye bye.


cahlo January 8, 2012 at 8:09 am

i just want people to be able to vote, who are legally allowed to vote…….that really shouldn’t be a problem…….i can’t argue about the reality of fraud, and if there isn’t any, then no one should have a problem with proving who they are……..i doubt if the constitution says anyone with their feet on this ground can vote……illegals and felons – get no vote…the rest of them, just prove who you are, that should not be so difficult (how do they get thru life?)…….the fact that this thread has gone for a while shows that both sides probably have good points….


Anna Daniels January 8, 2012 at 5:25 pm

If you cannot argue, in your own words, about the reality of fraud, then you are using the “legal” vote as a calculated dog whistle while condoning a layer of state mandated bureaucracy which seems rather inconsistent with small c conservatism. If the system is not broken- and neither you nor any other commentators have provided substantiation otherwise, requiring potentially 11 million people in this country to go through not only the time, but also to expend the money for birth certificates and other documentation amounts to a poll tax. You may be ok with a poll tax but it puts you in the company of the resoundingly defeated on both legal and social counts.

The voter ID laws, which are being floated in over 20 states, also include eliminating same day voter registration, shortening the voting period, making it impossible for organizations like the Boy Scouts and the League of Women Voters to hold voter registration drives, and affect the ability of military personnel to vote in some states. Democracy appears to be a very scary thing, and a number of states obviously want less of it.
So are you ready to launch a voter ID movement in California?


Frank Gormlie January 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm

The main fraud in recent Presidential elections have been with the voting machines. Your broad, sweeping statements could be agreed to by anyone “the vast majority of Americans want to know …” blah blah blah. The Constitution is under attack, my friend, and it’s not by fraudulent voters, but by forces who don’t want people to vote. Again, there is no proof – either out there or offered by you – that voter fraud is a reality.


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