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Tilting at Windmills

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September 21, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

PICTURE IDs....Stephen Bainbridge is unhappy over Democratic opposition to voter ID requirements:

You can't do anything in this country anymore without a photo ID. You can't drive. You can't fly. You can't cash a check, except maybe at the sleaziest places. You can't get a job. But you can vote, as long as the Democrats get their way. I guess voter fraud is a core part of the Democratic plan for victory.

But guess what? Outside of Westwood lots of people don't do these things! And they overwhelmingly tend to be poor, non-white, elderly, and disabled. It's funny that a Republican-backed bill in the closing days of an election would just happen to target these groups, isn't it?

Now, as near as I can tell, the evidence is pretty overwhelming that requiring photo ID to vote would stop a very, very tiny amount of actual fraud, but would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of poor, non-white, elderly, and disabled citizens. So: no actual serious problem solved, but lots of Democratic-leaning voters kept at home. Hard to believe that Democrats oppose this, isn't it?

But we're all about compromise and solution seeking here at Political Animal, so here's an idea. I'm something of a privacy obsessive to the point that I refuse to even use loyalty cards at supermarkets but oddly enough, I'm really not opposed to the idea of a national ID card. The arguments against them seem to be mostly emotional, and plenty of other flourishing democracies use them without incident.

So here's my proposal: implement a national ID and give one to everybody, free of charge. You get it when you turn 18 (or whatever), and you get a free update every five years (or whatever). Roving mobile vans would trek through rural areas periodically to make sure everyone has easy access to whichever federal agency is tasked with providing the cards. Instead of simply requiring people to have picture IDs, the federal government would do everything it could to make sure everyone actually has a picture ID, with as little hassle as possible.

Now, this would cost money. And it would create a (smallish) bureaucracy. And Michigan Militia types wouldn't like the idea. But if Republicans are serious about this whole thing, it's the fair and decent way to go about it. Any takers?

UPDATE: Bob Kuttner makes the case for a national ID care here. Among other things, it would allow more people to vote, not fewer.

Kevin Drum 2:33 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (173)

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Comments

And guess what...it would make universal health care really much more manageable from a bureaucratic standpoint.

Posted by: lisainvan on September 21, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

The real purpose of this is to disenfranchise certain groups, so i am not in favor of it.

Posted by: Ace Franze on September 21, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1, are you really as big of a prick as you appear to be?

Posted by: Paul on September 21, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1, go read a book. You're spending way too much time on this blog.

Posted by: Ace Franze on September 21, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1 something stinks and its you...

Ace Franze has the correct interpretation of this neocon law. Republicans blow when they do shit like this. It stinks and so do they oh and so does the president.

Posted by: dee on September 21, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

To consider the flip-side: Why are the Dems in congress framing this as a 'disenfranchise' issue instead of a 'no to national ID card' issue; or at least including that as one of the arguments? I think you could a lot of traction with the threat of "Senator ------ wants to implement a national ID card" TV spots come November.

Posted by: Dug on September 21, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Now, as near as I can tell, the evidence is pretty overwhelming that requiring photo ID to vote would stop a very, very tiny amount of actual fraud, but would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of poor, non-white, elderly, and disabled citizens."

Kevin,

Without a valid photo ID how do you know how many of those "hundreds of thousands of poor, non-white, elderly, and disabled citizens" are actual citizens who are entitled to vote in the first place?

And just so we're clear about this, you are in favor of allowing "a very, very tiny amount of actual fraud" into the electoral process, rather than stopping it. The late great Mayor Daley is smiling down on you and still voting Democratic here in Chicago. lol

Posted by: Chicounsel on September 21, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1, are you really as big of a prick as you appear to be?

Posted by: Paul on September 21, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

I don't get the arguments by proponants of this legislation, that a picture ID is required to fly, buy alcohol, cash checks, etc. THE RIGHT TO VOTE IS A RIGHT GUARANTEED TO EVERY U.S. CITIZEN OVER THE AGE OF 18. As far as I can tell, the Constitution does not guarantee the right to drive a car, fly on an airplane, or cash a check. At least not as directly as it guarantees the right to vote.

Posted by: Jennifer E on September 21, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

The primary problem I have with this voter ID legislation is the fact that it purports to be intended to prevent voter fraud, yet it completely ignores the voter paper trail issue. Unfortunately, that leads me to conclude that those supporting this voter ID bill are simply pushing legislation that they feel would be beneficial to Republican candidates on two fronts. One, it may suppress Democratic voter turnout and it is also being spun as a means to "strengthen border security and crack down on illegal immigration"...a position the GOP feels will benefit them in November.

Here's my problem. There is little doubt that the GOP has not been motivated to provide effective border security or the means to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants. The failure to enact and enforce measures and methods to combat illegal immigration has been a concession to the business community, which has been the beneficiary of hard working, low wage employees. The system in place for employers to verify employee eligibility to work in the U.S. is a virtual joke and it is so by choice...which makes the current voter ID legislation all the more disingenuous and wholly political.

Sadly, it appears that the GOP doesn't see any advantage to including these paper trail provisions. It is situations of this nature that lead to voter cynicism in their elected officials as well as the entire political process. Ironically, while we are in the process of exporting democracy to other regions of the world, we have U.S. politicians that prefer to manipulate our democracy for partisan advantage. This and other inconsistencies in the application of democracy simply undermine the potential for other nations to believe that the United States is actually an agent for democratic principles.

Read more here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Posted by: Daniel DiRito on September 21, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

> Thomas1, go read a book. You're
> spending way too much time on this
> blog.

The Radical Counter-Blogging Project often road-tests new attack memes this way before deploying them in public. This "how much does X receive from Y and how much is Z paid" meme will be used to attack netroots sites and personalities during the October 15th - November 4th timeframe.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on September 21, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
You could still get a loyalty card from the supermarkets who offer them--just don't fill out their form and turn it in. I have an Albertson's card so I can get their "member" pricing but I never turned in the form. They may have my shopping history but they can't tie it to me.

Posted by: JustSayin on September 21, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

don't most places require you to register to vote ?

why not require pre-registration, and hand out the ID cards when you register ?

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly enough, the Consitution does not guarantee a right to vote.

Posted by: Carol on September 21, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Chicounsel, I hope you argue more astutely for your clients than you do here.

Kevin's proposing a comprehensive photo ID program in his post here, in case you hadn't read it. Do you object to his idea? Why or why not?

Besides, you don't need to be a citizen to get a photo ID - resident aliens can get driver's licenses, for example. Your citizenship is (and should be) verified when you register to vote, not by some volunteer election judge at the polling place.

And opposing one method of stopping voter fraud is not the same as approving voter fraud. For instance, the easiest way to stop voter fraud would be to suspend elections entirely - that doesn't mean the solution is necessarily worth the benefit.

Posted by: Jason Toon on September 21, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Give everyone a national id card? Sounds way too expensive.

I say we just tattoo a machine readable checksum of Chromosome 1 on their wrists.

Posted by: jerry on September 21, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Bainbridge needs to learn the difference between a priviledge and a right.

Posted by: bezewl on September 21, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin -

A suggested addition to your proposal:

Automatic voter registration should coincide with the issuing of the ID.

Posted by: keptsimple on September 21, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Damn straight it should be free. You shouldn't have to pay a dime to vote.

Posted by: abe on September 21, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Just so we're clear, College students are another overwhelmingly democratic group who are (at least in Ohio) being forced to jump through hoops to vote in their (new) state of residence. Most college students don't have a "valid photo ID" that "proves residence" which is one nasty requirement they've made. College IDs don't cut it, and students from other states don't have drivers licenses and the like.

Posted by: Sam L. on September 21, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

If Democrats come out against needing an ID to vote, it will be political suicide.

Make picture IDs availble for free and everyone should be happy.

Posted by: Frank J. on September 21, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

> I have an Albertson's card so I can get
> their "member" pricing but I never turned
> in the form. They may have my shopping
> history but they can't tie it to me.

Assuming your chain allows that, you must remember to always pay with cash. Slip up and use a credit card or check just once and they will tie the card down to the record.

Better would be to trade cards with random people every few months...

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on September 21, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

why should we need a national ID to vote in state elections?

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

One way to attack this obviously partisan push by the Republicans is to use the equal protection argument of Bush v. Gore against them. If voter fraud at the polls is a problem, it must be an even bigger one for absentee ballots, which present an even easier opportunity for someone to impersonate a real voter. But, I don't hear anyone proposing the elimination of absentee voting or requiring people to trek to town hall to show a photo id in advance. [For obvious reasons: lots of Republicans vote absentee.] But, it seems to me it violates Bush v. Gore's equal protection analysis to apply different voting criteria to these two groups of voters, no?

Posted by: mert7878 on September 21, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Totally in favor of a national ID being given to Untied States citizens here. As for the cost, I don't see where Republicans should have a problem with it. After all they are the party of big government. Ask Dick Cheney, deficits don't matter. Reagan proved that.

Posted by: Nathan64 on September 21, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, many poor folks and college kids will move many times in a five year period. What then?

Posted by: Keith G on September 21, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Come on guys, think creatively.

If the State of New Jersey, for example, required photo ID to vote, why, let's just have local DMVs implement it.

Newark could issue lots and lots of IDs. They could make it (ahem) very easy to get one. IDs won't stop voter fraud. Machine politicians will always find a way to get "I.P. Frehley" and "Santos L. Harper" their ID cards.

Who's going to check the IDs? The 75 year old poll workers? Surely they will have the latest training to spot fakes. Retirees surely will not accept $50 bribes to look the other way, especially if they think the ID law sucks in the first place.

Republicans fight fraud by insisting on expensive IDs that are easily to fake, and not a penny on a decent lock or program key to the electronic voting machine.

Posted by: Alderaan on September 21, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone have any actual statistics on how many people there are who NEVER: 1) buy beer, 2) drive, 3) get a library card, 4) rent a video, 5) deal with a bank in any fashion, 6) fly, 7) drive, 8) get a job, 9) apply for Medicaid or Medicare (yes, you might not have to show a driver's license, but -- unlike voting -- you most certainly do have to have several documents that correspond to your identity, including birth certificate, proof of residence, proof of income or lack thereof, or more).

I simply don't believe that there are many people, if any, who can't come up with *anything* to identify themselves, except for the one-in-a-billion feral person who has lived in the wild all of his life. And if people can find a birth certificate or Social Security card, they could get a legit photo ID sometime before the next election in 2 years. It's really not that hard.

Posted by: Anono on September 21, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Funny how the experts at voting fraud, the GOP, are always projecting their sins onto the Democrats. Racism? Oh, it's the Dems who are racist! Corruption? Oh, the Dems are the corrupt party! Next it'll be: Torture? Oh, the Dems love and support torture!

Posted by: Red on September 21, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1, do you just sit and hit the Refresh key all day? There's a whole world out there. Go find it.

Posted by: Speed on September 21, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

If we have this National ID card, it will have a number, and then it should also be illegal to require a person's Social Security number for any transaction whatsoever, outside of them actually paying into or getting money out of, Social Security.

And yeah, what about absentee voters? Who, by some coincidence, are mostly conservative GOP voters, or in the military (same thing). Why do they get a free pass? I wonder...

Posted by: craigie on September 21, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Keith: I don't get a new driver license every time I move, so I'm not sure I'd need to get a new national ID card, either.

But if I did, so what? This is a fairly minor hassle we're talking about, after all. When you move, you have to tell lots of people that you've changed your address.

And of course, the replacement ID card would be free. That's part of my whole point.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on September 21, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK
The concept should be, one person, one vote. You go to vote, you put your hand on a fingerprint reader, you get to vote ONCE. This system would have to be linked to a centralized system that would make a record of your fingerprint and prevent you from voting a second time in another precinct.

sounds like a reasonable option to me. Does anyone care to explain why this is not acceptable but a "voter ID" card is?

Posted by: Edo on September 21, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

There's a lot to be said for a national ID system. Properly designed, a single ID system could allow a lot of entities, including the States and many private entities, like HMOs and Credit Card companies, to piggyback on a National ID, with significant efficiency gains.

The national ID card (if, indeed, you want to think of there being an actual, physical card) should not display any identifying information. Mere possession cannot be the basis of identification. And, there must be barriers against "forcing" identification casually. Hand the ID to a police officer, and the police officer should be able to easily obtain the information needed to confirm ID and possession of, say, a right to drive.

As a privacy nut myself, I would have only one strongly held requirement. Any system must give the right to the individual to create and maintain any number of aliases. This is the only way we can prevent private entities from coordinating their vast stores of data, and controlling every aspect of our lives. Aliases are a way of preventing that. Only the duly authorized State agencies with a need to know should be able to penetrate the veil of aliases.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder on September 21, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

This system would have to be linked to a centralized system that would make a record of your fingerprint and your vote....

Posted by: jerry on September 21, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky,

If I switch my Safeway card with someone else, then they could get the free sandwich (buy 6 get the 7th free) the Safeway Deli owes me. NEVER!

Posted by: Ryan on September 21, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Poor people do not fly.

Many poor people do not drive.

Poor people are poor because they are unable to find decent jobs that pay a decent wage.

Poor people were not able to vote until the constitution was changed. Strict constitutional constructionists hated that almost as much as they hate poor people.

I used two pieces of bank advertising with my name and address on them last week to vote in the primary election. Poor people do not even receive these adverts. They are too poor or live in red lined areas to receive that kind of attention from financial institutions.

Posted by: Hostile on September 21, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Thomas:

Don't see how just having an idea is an, "attempt to influence national, state, or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum."

Just sayin'

Posted by: Jose Padilla on September 21, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

When this legislation was debated in the Indiana Gneral Assembly last year, Republican legislators were unable to identify one example of voter fraud at the polls. Not one example. The cheating by both Indiana parties in absentee voting has been well documented over the years. Yet the legislature passed a photo id bill that only applies to at the polls voting. BTW, this particular law has been upheld by the Federal District Court for Southern Indiana on the theory that it is not that much of an impediment. It is currently on appeal at the Seventh Circuit.

Posted by: Louis on September 21, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

If the Federal Government pays for the entire program and makes certain that everyone no matter how poor or infirm is actually registered and there is not the slightest taint of a poll tax, I'll support it.

Posted by: freelunch on September 21, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Just tie the voter registration process into the issuing of photo IDs, while, at the same time, tying the actual voting of those already registered to the issuing of the IDs. If the IDs are free, then there should be no objections.

Kevin Drum,

I doubt you would find much objection to national ID cards from Republicans, especially IDs that must show citizenship status. I wonder how many of your readers would really support your proposal, however.

Democrats are making a political error in opposing, flat out, photo ID for voting. Such proposals will eventually come to pass since they simply make common sense.

And before I get accused of dishonesty by the illiterate, Republicans and election offices nationwide will have to give up electronic voting, and give up the filing of absentee and other mail in ballots without presentation of ID. If ID is required for voting in person, it will have to be presented to obtain absentee ballots, and I don't see a more secure record of voting than simple paper ballots sequentially numbered.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on September 21, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK
This system would have to be linked to a centralized system that would make a record of your fingerprint and your vote....

why is that? Presumably the voting system would remain seperate from the voter verification process--just as it is now.

Posted by: Edo on September 21, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin...off topic, but in many states you must get a new driver's license within six months of assuming residency....at least that's the way it is here in Washington.

On to the general topic....I'm sorry, but even though I am a Democrat through and through, requiring ID to vote is perfectly fine with me. The key is that it should only be required as proof of identity, not as proof of residency. Establishing proof of residency should be up to the registrar of voters.

As to the issue of how everyone can get an ID here are my thoughts. First, many post offices are now set up to take passport photos and issue passports. Therefore it should not be too difficult to set up a program through the post office to distribute ID's to those who need them, since every community has a post office (thus taking care of rural voters). With the modern technology of digital photography, issuing an ID can be done fairly quickly, i.e. in 15-20 minutes.

The other option would be to require people to submit a photograph when they resister to vote and have the registrar of voters process the ID's.

Politically, the way to do this is for Democrats to insist that any voter ID legislation be attched to legislation requiring paper trails for electronic voting. That should not only go a long way towards reducing voter fraud, but would be a compromise that has something for everyone politically.

Posted by: mfw13 on September 21, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Showing ID at the voting booth = election integrity.

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on September 21, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Bainbridge is bit disingenuous, Dems are not opposed to photo id's. It's just the charging for photo ids.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 21, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

THE RIGHT TO VOTE IS A RIGHT GUARANTEED TO EVERY U.S. CITIZEN OVER THE AGE OF 18.

Actually, there is no inherent right to vote in the Constitution. There are, however, some amendments that specify certain specific reasons you can't be kept from voting.

Posted by: jackson on September 21, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Presumably..."

Whatever is not forbidden is required.

Posted by: jerry on September 21, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Outside of Westwood lots of people don't do these things!

Drive? Get a job? Cash a check?

Everybody has a right to vote, but nobody has a right to show up at my voting station, claim to be me, and vote in my stead. Or go around from place to place claiming to be diverse persons and voting over and over.

Like almost everything that works, an id card for voting will do a little good, it just won't do a lot of good. It will reduce some voter fraud.

Next step, unversal paper ballots! electronic voting has a greater potential for untraceable voter fraud.

Posted by: republicrat on September 21, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Jason,

Just to keep people from voting in another precinct--that's all.

That's the whole point of the voter verification process via fingerprint. Presumably the system would verify that a) the voter is registered and b) hasn't already voted. At least that's how I interpreted the original proposal; I suppose you could twist the proposal and read into all sorts of loopholes, but given that we are not talking about actual legislation and just an idea, why bother?

Posted by: Edo on September 21, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Jerry,

Whatever is not forbidden is required.

sure in actual legislation. When discussing ideas however, its tedious and not especially enlightening. Can you step back just a little and assess the forest without nitpicking on a single tree?

Its an idea. Can you please identify a concern with the overall concept without setting up strawmen arguments over minor details?

Posted by: Edo on September 21, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1, you are a troll, but you are a misinformed troll. 501-3c's are allowed to advocate legislation, and to lobby, though there are restrictions. They cannot endorse specific candidates.

See http://www.artsalliance.org/al_faq.shtml
for an explanation of the rules.

Posted by: Joe Buck on September 21, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Like almost everything that works, an id card for voting will do a little good, it just won't do a lot of good. It will reduce some voter fraud

May reduce some voter fraud, at tremendous expense. I thought the GOP was the big supporter of ROI analyses.

Posted by: Edo on September 21, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Damn. Since when does anyone give honest answers when applying for those supermarket loyalty cards?

I tell them I'm an elderly widow with a less than HS education, and many many kids. I can be reached at 202-456-1414. (that's the main number for the White House) Despite my having no income, I spend big bucks on booze, expensive cuts of meat and good coffee.

The supermarkets can make of my spending habits what they will.

Posted by: Auto on September 21, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

I've got a proposal for you, Kevin Drum.

If you and other "liberals" stopped supporting illegal immigration, proposals like this wouldn't get so much traction.

Just think about that: if the Democratic Party opposed illegal activity rather than tried to profit from it, we wouldn't need a national ID or a border fence.

Apparently Kevin Drum and the Democratic Party have different priorities.

-- Intro to Illegal Immigration

Posted by: TLB on September 21, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to see what the numbers on the poor not having IDs.

In fact, I'd more likely guess that the rich don't. And maybe the homeless. There isn't a state or county agency that will let you access services without an ID as far as I know. At least nothing that comes with a financial benefit. Anytime that I've had to have public healthcare or other social services, a photo ID was required. I suppose if I lived completely at the margins -- and only accessed free clinics run by non-profits and not by the government -- I wouldn't have an ID.

And don't all states let you register to vote when you get your ID? I've always done it. (But I'm someone that updates my ID when I move, which costs me $5 a pop in DC. In California, we just had a free "address change" card.)

Posted by: DC1974 on September 21, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Kev, that's the obvious Centrist solution to an artificial "problem" that benefits partisans on both sides.

This nation's government no longer governs. Policies are nothing more than political bludgeons to be used to gain access to power, which is then sold-off to the highest-bidding lobbyist.

A pox on both their houses? Screw that. Ebola on both their houses.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 21, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

The Feds could issue cards, but it would probably be illegal to tie voting to those cards. The Constitution allots the power to determine the necessary qualifications of electors (voters) to the states, subject to the requirements of equal protection.

The individual states would, of course, be free to tie an electoral requirement to possession of these federal cards. But really, what's the point?

Posted by: dj moonbat on September 21, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

"But guess what? Outside of Westwood lots of people don't do these things! And they overwhelmingly tend to be poor, non-white, elderly, and disabled."

bullshit. those people aren't voting either.

look, I'm all for a compromise...(more voting machines, longer poll hours?)...but to pretend that that voter IDs is a method of disenfranchisement? what are you afraid of? worried that it would turn out that more than just Milwaukee is a hotbed of voter fraud?

Posted by: Nathan on September 21, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

"In fact, I'd more likely guess that the rich don't. And maybe the homeless. There isn't a state or county agency that will let you access services without an ID as far as I know. At least nothing that comes with a financial benefit. Anytime that I've had to have public healthcare or other social services, a photo ID was required."

yup. that's the amusing thing.

Posted by: Nathan on September 21, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, TLB, the biggest, most important supporters of illegal immigration are Republicans who like to exploit the workers who have no rights. Blame the right people.

Posted by: freelunch on September 21, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "But if Republicans are serious about this whole thing, it's the fair and decent way to go about it."

That single sentence encapsulates everything that is wrong with the point of view that informs Kevin's commentary:

1. The Republicans are not "serious" about anything except greed and corruption, and gaining the power that they need to engage in their corruption and feed their greed.

2. The Republicans are not interested in "the fair and decent way" to go about anything. They are only interested in greed and corruption, and gaining the power that they need to engage in their corruption and feed their greed.

To pretend otherwise only enables the Republican Fascist Party's crime spree.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 21, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Its an idea. Can you please identify a concern with the overall concept without setting up strawmen arguments over minor details?

Election Machines are a pretty good idea too as long as you don't worry over minor details. And since Diebold has a long track record of producing very fine ATM machines, it seems like a pretty good idea to let Diebold build these machines.

And just because Article II guarantees us a secret ballot is no reason to fear any one's attempt to link votes with voter verification at the polls. I say we let Diebold create the machines and Halliburton install them. If there is any privacy leaking, we can always sue them later.

Or, we can design a system that doesn't rely on good intentions but physically forbids the possibility, perhaps by placing voter requirements verification at the time of registration, and leaving to the vote only the possibility of asking: is the person in front of me registered?

When there is evidence that the other fears of people voting too many times is a real fear, we can talk about ways to make sure people cannot vote too many times.

Sorry to be tedious, the concern is that unless there is a fundamental real physical principle built into the system that forbids the behavior, than you will see the behavior occur.

Before Kevin says "Yes! National ID Cards Good!" I would like to see Kevin specifically describe what the problem is he is trying to solve, what and what constraints the solution should have.

And then as a proxy, he should pass it by Bruce Schneir, Lauren Weinstein, and other computer privacy geeks.

I would think that if the question is reduced down to being, "at the time of admission into the polling place, is this person registered to vote", I think that a national ID card is vast overkill as a solution. And I think that of fingerprinting as well. I think a derived constraint might be: we need to know this person is registered to vote, but we do not need to record this person's identity. Or we need to know this person is registered, we do not need to know this person.

You are jumping to a solution and you still do not know what the problem is.

Posted by: jerry on September 21, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Since I live in a state that lost it's frickin' mind over this issue. It has been addressed in length here. Someone tell Braindead - er I mean Bainbridge - that the greatest incidence of election fraud in this country involved the scrubbing of the rolls, or wrongfully removing eligible (mostly Decocratic) voters from the rolls.

It is pretty simple, really. They are in power, they like it and they want to stay in power. Duh. But they have done such an abysmal job of actually governing, that the only hope they have of staying in power is to keep people from voting.


Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1:
Are you a lawyer? I'm not, but if you are, I might -- *might* -- defer to your opinion if you could frame it with some actual sites of case law. But I notice that I don't hear any outrage from you about all the Conservative non-profit think-tanks that propose policy agendas. Be that as it may, lobbying for a specific piece of legislation is different from advocating for a generic program or policy. At least that's how it's been explaned to me by the lawyers for non-profits that I've worked for.

BTW: You really are a prick.

cheers,
--Beo

Posted by: beowulf888 on September 21, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

To be correct, that article ii cite is for the georgia constitution (darn you google!) I have not a clue as to why we are allowed secret ballots under the us constitution.

Any legislation must as part of law mandate physical interlocks that prevent the bad behavior from arising. That is what I meant by whatever is not forbidden is required. The law must state that it is illegal to construct a system without the physical impossibility of the bad behavior.

Posted by: jerry on September 21, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry that should have been "cites of case law", not "sites of case law".

Posted by: beowulf888 on September 21, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

The state of Missouri, which saw it's Voter Disinfranchisement bill overturned last Thursday by Cole County Judge Richard Callahan, refused to issue the mandatory ID to 15-term congressman Ike Skelton, ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. He had his congressional ID, but he didn't have his birth certificate when he went to get the card, and left empty handed.

The Publicans apparently think that any vote cast by a Democrat is therefore fraudulent by definition.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

I doubt voter ID is inherently disenfranchising. Really people who don't have ID probably aren't voting much anyway.

However in the hands of some, especially republican, election officials every hoop they can make people jump through is an opportunity to disenfranchise another fraction of the population through carefully planned errors.

Making ID necessary to vote would force the government to make it easier for some people to get ID, which would help them in other ways.

Really though if you care about election fraud:
Eliminate vote by mail.
Eliminate all electronic voting machines.
Eliminate all disenfranchisment laws (eg felons).
Make it illegal for the supervisor of elections (eg secretary of state in most states) to be active in any political party beyond as a member and candidate (no serving on the state party board or whatever) and in any campaign but thier own.
Make provisional ballots available to every person who shows up at a polling station in the right state so they can vote as much as possible if they end up in the wrong place (so if they are way off at least statewide votes) if thier right to vote somewhere can be verified later (including retroactive registration and ID verification), maybe actually do so only as part of a recount so we don't spend money on it when it isn't important.
Keep polling stations open at least two days including one weekend day.

The bias should be heavily on the side of letting people vote. If we sometimes have to do a bit of work after they vote to decide if the vote is valid, fine. Most races aren't close enough for it to matter anyway.

Posted by: jefff on September 21, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

Find out about the fascist-religious cult Amway and its ties to the GOP: (free book download)

http://www.merchantsofdeception.com/DOWNLOADBOOK2.html

Posted by: Amway Zombie on September 21, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Anono is unfamiliar with Native Americans living on the rez:
I simply don't believe that there are many people, if any, who can't come up with *anything* to identify themselves, except for the one-in-a-billion feral person who has lived in the wild all of his life. And if people can find a birth certificate or Social Security card, they could get a legit photo ID sometime before the next election in 2 years. It's really not that hard.

They're not "feral", and they certainly are not "one in a billion." In New Mexico, there's been widespread disenfranchisement of the Native American population, even without the voter id requirement. They may not have a birth certificate. They may not need a Social Security card. Elders may not be able to drive. They can't buy beer. Without electricity in the hogan, what's the point of renting a video? As for getting some kind of photo ID, not everyone can pop into their own personal auto, or catch the subway down to the nearest DMV. Particularly if they're also poor, or disabled, or live hundreds of miles from said "nearest DMV."

However, that's not to say they don't discuss politics with their family and neighbors, and feel a responsibility to participate in the electoral process. Any fair system would find a way to allow them to register to vote.

Posted by: Zandru on September 21, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Missouri failed to issue identification to 136,000 people, mostly inner-city residents in St. Louis and Jackson counties, who do not drive and only write checks that go in the mail.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Jerry:
The US Constitution doesn't address secret ballots. It is my understanding that secret ballots came about in the late 1800s because various political machines were exerting undue pressure on the public to vote their way. A secret ballot is now considered to be one of the criteria that define a free election. Of course, I'm perfectly willing to submit to public ballot. Everyone knows what I think of our Dear Leader. I'm just not convinced that the Diebold voting machine I used in the last election is really counting my opinion correctly.

--Beo

Posted by: beowulf888 on September 21, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps let groups put their stamp on the IDs, too, Kevin.

So that they'd be involved in the issuing of the IDs, like, say, personalized plates, and the government wouldn't be allowed to keep track of who is in a group or not - only the group can.

So when the ID-guy comes through with his blanks and special printer, the group can come up and say 'give him, him, and her this stamp'.

Yeah, it's like the little star, but the militia guys seem to like pretending they're more than they are.

Posted by: Crissa on September 21, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

A day in my life. . . .

04:00 - Wake up.
04:01 - Remove bedsheets, place in laundry basket.
04:05 - Remove new, freshly laundered and sterilized bedsheets from plastic wrapper, and install on bed.
04:08 - Morning prayers, facing Crawford.

OBF, that is one of the funniest things ever posted on this blog. Sheer genius.

Posted by: Windhorse on September 21, 2006 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Stephen Bainbridge is unhappy over Democratic opposition to voter ID requirements:

You can't do anything in this country anymore without a photo ID. You can't drive. You can't fly. You can't cash a check, except maybe at the sleaziest places. You can't get a job...

Well, first of all, why the hell do you care what Bainbridge thinks, Kevin?

But anyway, it doesn't sound like Bainbridge is unhappy about those things he cites, just the Democratic opposition to voter ID requirements part.

And yet, the things Bainbridge cites are generally not relationships Americans have with their government, but rather relationships Americans have with businesses. (The exception is driving, of course, but states required licenses before they put photos on them.) If a business wants to require a photo ID to cash a check, that's one thing. For the government to require "proper papers" every time you turn around is simply one more mark of an authoritarian state.

And, of course, the "problem" Bainbridge fumes about basically doesn't exist. If someone attempted to vote under someone else's identity -- they only situation that requiring a picture ID could prevent -- it'd be freakin' obvious when the real person showed up to vote. Yet somehow data showing there's a problem perenially fails to materialize.

So Bainbridge is barking about a problem that he can't even demonstrate exists, and advocates what amounts to a national ID requirement into the bargain. Again, why the hell do we care what he thinks?

Posted by: Gregory on September 21, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

And of course, to a 30-year congressman. He was disenfranchised too.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

jerry, under Article II, Section 1, the votes for President are to be transmitted sealed to the President of the Senate for counting. So that would be a requirement of sealed ballots, but only for presidential elections.

Posted by: dj moonbat on September 21, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

I'll go for the free card only if I can use my superhero identity. And, does it come with a nifty hologram?

Posted by: CT on September 21, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

(fake)Thomas1 at 4:10: Tears are rolling down my face.

Urgh. Stop. It hurts to laugh right now. Urgh.

(And Kevin's interest in what Sully and Bainbridge think are a continuing mystery to me!)

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Beo - Vote Absentee.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Will my new ID show my political party? I could flash it at all those mean people who say I'm not a Democrat!

Posted by: Joe Lieberman on September 21, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I gotta say OBF, a little bit of quad-shot skinny mocha came out my nose.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

"For the government to require "proper papers" every time you turn around is simply one more mark of an authoritarian state."

so how often do you vote Gregory?

Jefff, like I said, I'm open to a reasonable compromise...along the lines of some of your suggestions...in exchange for a picture ID requirement.

Posted by: Nathan on September 21, 2006 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Anono and DC1974:

I can think of two people in my immediate family who didn't have a photo ID - my grandmother and my wife's grandmother. Sure, they have birth certificates and SS cards, but those aren't photo IDs. One of them *now* has a photo ID that she got so that she could fly to a wedding two years ago, but frankly there is a population that doesn't have photo ID for a variety of reasons. Like it or not, the photo ID *is* the driver's license, and there are a lot of people for various reasons who can't or won't drive. (I had a blind roommate, and I recall at least three city-raised people I knew in college who we taught to drive at the age of 20 - after they started voting.)

Think of whichever elderly relative in your family who isn't driving anymore for good reason. Should they have to schlep their non-driving butts to the DMV, pay $40 for renewing their non-driver ID every 5 years for the sole purpose of voting every 2 years? Will they remember to do that in time for them to have it in hand? Voter fraud's been a concern for 230 years in this country and they've lived ~90 years with no one requiring a photo ID until *now* to stop the non-existent massive wave of octogenerians from gallivanting across town to every precinct?!? Bullshit.

Posted by: ribber on September 21, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

so how often do you vote Gregory?

Every election. But what of it, Nathan? What does that have to do with my contention that "For the government to require "proper papers" every time you turn around is simply one more mark of an authoritarian state"?

Good Ford, I pity your clients.

Posted by: Gregory on September 21, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Think of whichever elderly relative in your family who isn't driving anymore for good reason. Should they have to schlep their non-driving butts to the DMV, pay $40 for renewing their non-driver ID every 5 years for the sole purpose of voting every 2 years?"

They have non-drivers licence ID's in washington, I assume all states have them. Here they cost more like $15, a lot less than a drivers licence, and I think you can fill out a form or two to avoid having to pay that (perhaps because we do have a voter ID law of some kind making photo ID a civil right, not sure if photo id is required, but they asked me for id tuesday). ID cards should not have to be renewed as often as drivers licences for adults. Every ten years would be sufficient, like passports.

But yea, the main motivation is republican fear of poor people rather than any real fraud going on. The real fraud we have is in the opposite direction, states refusing to register people or provide adequate opportunities for them to vote (eg long lines in poor neighborhoods), and even limiting it to the miniscule vote-identity fraud the main problem would be mail in ballots.

Posted by: jefff on September 21, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

If I were the cynical type, I'd point out that many of the people posting the "I just don't see what the problem is!" bullshit in this thread had the problems explained to them ad nauseam in the last thread on this subject--um, last week. Y'all should do something about that short-term memory loss.

Until the GOP:

a) gets serious about inauditable electronic voting and the well-documented problems of absentee vote fraud and inappropriate roll-scrubbing,
b) agrees to measures that make it logistically simple, not just free, for everyone to get a photo ID, and
c) ponies up some freaking evidence that voter impersonation is taking place at America's polls,

there is zero reason to believe they're serious about anything other than getting rid of some likely Democratic voters.

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Asked and answered.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Globe: Asked and answered.

What was? 'Cause I'm looking for some answers in my life right now. Anything that would help me?

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you beo and dj....

Posted by: jerry on September 21, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

My mother was born in this country in 1916 - and cannot prove it because her town hall burned to the ground in the 40's. I recently tried to get her a birth certificate and with my two sisters and I spending months on it, with one sister driving over 100 miles each time to file an affidavit, we still could not get her a birth certificate. The requirements are so restrictive and by the time you're 90 years old, the folks who were alive at the time of your birth who are competent to swear to that and healthy enough to travel to the court house are few and finite.

Hundreds of dollars in fees and mileage and hours upon hours and all my mother has is a stack of affidavits and no certificate. And this in a country where the clerk knows she's a citizen and would love to be able to make it happen.

How many other Americans will fall into this unforeseen dead end to getting an official ID? I don't know, but when they cannot demonstrate fraud and they can demonstrate harm, there is no excuse for pursuing such a law.

As to the bully Thomas1, he knows nothing about c3 law or he would know that a degree of lobbying is permissable (up to 20% for organizations that elect) and he would also know that the media has more leeway than organizations founded for other purposes. I don't know what it serves to post threats based on false assumptions about nonprofit law other than to reveal an ignorant bully's character. I pity his family.

Posted by: RuthAlice Anderson on September 21, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I have an Arizona DL that is good until I am 65, so I kept the rockin' photo. As a military dependant, I can have a license from where ever the hell I want, and the Major had a Missouri license that said "Military Valid Without Photo" on a blue field where the picture would have been until it expired a couple of years after he retired. (Voter ID doesn't gore my ox, because I have a military ID.)

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

I think it would be a real bummer if I lost my right to vote because I lost my ID right before an election.

Posted by: voting space cadet on September 21, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, if the Republicans are worried about the integrity of the vote, can we get a little action on the Diebold hacking problem please? Maybe now that even Princeton University has proven the vulnerability?

First things first, I want to know my entire precinct/city/state isn't having its results altered before I worry about someone impersonating me at the polls. Let's worry about the wholesale fraud before the retail, OK?

Posted by: biggerbox on September 21, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hey there Shortstop - over on the Plan B thread. Science vs philosophy, and I'm science.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

word of warning: don't go to Thomas1 for legal advice.

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

No one seems to notice it is extremely weird that the winners of the latest elections are claiming widespread voter fraud.

The GOP expects me to believe that the Democrats are engaging in widespread cheating....and losing. Republicans in George, for instance, seem to have no real problems at the polls. Once could even say they are racking up crushing wins. Yet, they are in a blind panic to get an ID law passed. Why?

I notice in Mexico, it is the losing candidate claiming fraud. In fact, everywhere else in the world, and even in U.S. History (1960, for example), it is the winner who is alleged to be engaging in cheating. Because it makes no sense at all for someone to cheat and still lose.

I can think of lots of people without driver's licences or IDs where it would be a hardship to get one. Nursing home residents, for one*. You know, the ones who are taken in vans to vote since they do not drive or go anywhere under their own power.

Democrats should just call this the "Stop Grandma from Voting Act of 2006".

* People who do not fly, drive, purchase alcohol at a store, cash checks at a bank or store, enter secure facilities, or hold jobs. Republicans think it's OK to charge them money and force them to go to the DMV all day so they can vote, which they may have been doing without incident for 60+ years.

Posted by: Alderaan on September 21, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

hey Trolly, got a link to DKos' Form 990, or any other information about the legal status of DailyKOS itself ?

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK
But we're all about compromise ... here at Political Animal

We've noticed. That's a big part of the problem here.

So here's my proposal: implement a national ID and give one to everybody, free of charge. You get it when you turn 18 (or whatever), and you get a free update every five years (or whatever). Roving mobile vans would trek through rural areas periodically to make sure everyone has easy access to whichever federal agency is tasked with providing the cards. Instead of simply requiring people to have picture IDs, the federal government would do everything it could to make sure everyone actually has a picture ID, with as little hassle as possible.

Critical question: Do you presume a person is or is not entitled to an ID? If the former, on what conditions do you deny it? If the latter, what do they have to do prove they are entitled to it?

Seems to me a better idea is "dump the whole stupid idea", there is no evidence that there is substantial fraud that it would prevent that would justify the enormous costs even if you could iron out all those wrinkles in a way which wouldn't make it substantial barrier to the franchise for a significant number of people.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1 - you said it, I didn't.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Roving mobile vans would trek through rural areas periodically to make sure everyone has easy access to whichever federal agency is tasked with providing the cards. Instead of simply requiring people to have picture IDs, the federal government would do everything it could to make sure everyone actually has a picture ID, with as little hassle as possible.

Simpler to give the job to the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you want the voter ID card, you get it free. You only have to pay if you want the driver's license.

However, to get your plan enacted, the Democrats would first have to agree to the idea of the ID card, then they could dicker over the mechanism. Be prepared for the driver of the van to be accused of "suppressing the vote" by scowling at people he or she doesn't like.

Posted by: republicrat on September 21, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Alderaan - I posted a couple of links that address the shizophrenic nature of these laws.

And whoever said that the Publicans would have a lot more credibility on the vote-fraud issue if they addressed the Diebold chicanery: Spot On!

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

I've never understood why the social security card is not a photo ID. That seems to be as universal a document as any of us have - even children are supposed to have them.

So, make the SS card include a photo upon reaching 18 and that will cover nearly everyone. You can always have alternative means for the relatively few people who somehow never manage to get a SS/ID card.

The argument that because we can never come up with a completely perfect universal card, then we should never require one is silly. Make exceptions for the vanishingly small percentage that somehow can't manage to get even a free ID, if you like. "Grandfather" as many old people as you like. But identifying oneself when voting is a reasonable requirement for any state or nation.

Posted by: Trashhauler on September 21, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1,

Did you know that it is against the law for NON-PROFIT 501(c)(3) corporations to advocate for legislation?

No, as its impossible to "know" a thing that is false. What is illegal is for them to have "any substantial part of their activity" be "carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation", which is readily apparent if you read (surprisingly enough) 26 USC § 501(c)(3).

Indeed there are rather more detailed rules at 501(h) describing how many 501(c)(3)'s are insulated from the "substantial part of their activity" rule of 501(c)(3) so long as they stay with sent spending limits on lobbying, which would be kind of pointless if they were categorically prohibited from engaging in that activity.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Well, none of us can be sure of anything in a forum like this... But writing style is a pretty good indicator.

I have the courtesy, when I impersonate someone, to leave my own email address. If you can take the word of a pro-choice hethen like me.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Trolly, just so we're clear: you don't have any links to even prove that DKos even is a 501(c) ?

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

There is no expiration date on a Social Security card.

Under the Missouri law that was just slapped down, if I did not have a military ID, my state of residence would not accept my Arizona DL at a poling place, because it is good for 22 more years. The length of time it is valid is unacceptable to Missouri, and the fact that it is out-of-state, even though I am a University student here.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

By the way - Arizona went to the "Until 65" license because of the huge rural counties with sparse population. The corridor betwenn Phoeniz and Tucson is populated - but the desert is a different story.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

"...they [people without picture IDs] overwhelmingly tend to be poor, non-white, elderly, and disabled.."


As DeSoto says in "Mystery of Capital", these folks are disenfranchised precisely because they do not have picture IDs, not the other way around.

Kevin gets it right in supporting picture IDs, not just to vote but also for everything else. Dems who say, "It's OK to go without an official identity" are simply telling these folks, don't worry, Dems will gladly fuck you all up royally.


Posted by: Matt on September 21, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1,

In your second post in this thread, you wrote:
Did you know that it is against the law for NON-PROFIT 501(c)(3) corporations to advocate for legislation?
Posted by: Thomas1 on September 21, 2006 at 2:39 PM

a mere two hours later, you deny you said this:
. Back on the topic of 501(c)(3) corporations, I never said Kevin could not do it -

And in the same thread, no less. It's really amazing to flatly contradict yourself with a direct lie when readers don't even have to click to another page to see your contradiction.

Enough said. It's not worth the time to talk to liars.

Posted by: RuthAlice Anderson on September 21, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

"Thomas1" is Charlie, who is a psychopathic liar.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 21, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

RuthAlice Anderson wrote to Thomas1: "It's really amazing to flatly contradict yourself with a direct lie when readers don't even have to click to another page to see your contradiction."

That's because "Thomas1" is really Charlie, who has been posting comments here for years under various handles, always being instantly recognized by frequent readers of these pages as Charlie, and always denying that he's Charlie, even though everyone knows he is lying, and he knows that everyone knows he is lying.

He likes to make it really, really, really obvious to everyone that he is a liar and that nothing he says can be taken seriously.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 21, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

"..picture ID is required to fly, buy alcohol, cash checks.."

Alternatively, anyone can vote if they bring a beer to the polls.

"Making ID necessary to vote would force the government to make it easier for some people to get ID, which would help them in other ways."

Gold star to jefff.
Since we barely get a 50% turnout, do we really think these folks are in a hurry to vote?

Posted by: Matt on September 21, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

So I misplaced my driver's license the other day. If I had done this in early November, would this mean I wouldn't get to vote under the proposed law? What a crock.

Posted by: Matt on September 21, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie, posting as "Thomas1", wrote: "A question, by definition, cannot be a direct lie."

Is everyone aware that Charlie, who is posting on this thread as "Thomas1", is a serial killer of young children?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on September 21, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK
I've never understood why the social security card is not a photo ID. That seems to be as universal a document as any of us have - even children are supposed to have them.

I have a social security number, but I haven't had a social security card for years.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 21, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Alternatively, anyone can vote if they bring a beer to the polls.

You've never been to my town, have you?

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Trolly, your 2:45 is not a question.

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

ah excellent plan...now ve all vill haff uniform papers to show ze authorities.

Zeig Heil.

Posted by: marblex on September 21, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Markos Kounalakis. wow. i really did read that wrong. hah. that explains some things.

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop,

I am unaware of any situation in which electronic voting was used to commit substantial election fraud in the United States, but that would not be a valid argument for not getting rid of it since it is possible to use them to commit fraud. The same applies to presentation of photo ID in order to vote.

The federal and state governments already enforce requirements for registration (and I imagine that presentation of some form of ID is required in all cases), and I don't see those requirements as significant barriers to potential voters, and if they are, then many of the commenters here should be advocating the elimination of even these requirements, essentially opening the voting to anyone who shows up at any polling station on election day.

In other words, the arguments made last week, ad nauseum, were simply as unconvincing today. If you oppose photo ID until a compromise is reached on other election fraud issues that you are concerned about, then that is a perfectly valid position; but the arguments you and others are making against photo-ID-for-voting it are very weak.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on September 21, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, late to the party - if that's what you can call this with Thomas1 present.

Anyhoo,
So: no actual serious problem solved, but lots of Democratic-leaning voters kept at home.

Um, Democratic-leaning voters was the problem.

Posted by: ckelly on September 21, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, how much does Washington Monthly obtain from Democrats, and how much does Washington Monthly pay you?

Thomas1, how much fluffing did the White House obtain from Gannon/Guckert, and how much did they pay him?

Posted by: ckelly on September 21, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

jefff, In WA, it's $20 and every five years. Sure, ten years would be nice and so would free ponies...

Posted by: ribber on September 21, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

...under penalties of perjury that his organization does not "attempt to influence national, state, or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum

Somebody with the IRS needs to investigate the Mega-Baptist church I attended until they disgusted me pre-election 2004.

Posted by: ckelly on September 21, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

If I am legally registered to vote, and I show up to the polls with my voter guide why the fuck should i have to show anyone else, anything else? Either I am legally entitled to vote or I am not.
fuck the vote suppresing fascists who don't believe the poor and minorities should be able to vote.

Posted by: libertarian on September 21, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

But seriously, doesn't everyone already have to show either a voter registration card or a driver's license ID to vote. I've always had to show one or the other and had my name on the rolls of that precinct. If your not on the rolls of your precinct how do you vote?

Posted by: ckelly on September 21, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

Please stop feeding Thomas the Troll Engine. It's just getting silly at this point.

Posted by: scarshapedstar on September 21, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Um, you can get a free or nearly picture ID today in every state. You mentioned Westwood, so I will take California. The $21 it charges for a picture ID is about the highest in the nation, but the fee is waived if you are over 65 and is reduced to $6 for those under 65 with limited means. In most states, its free to everyone.

Now I sortof get that you could call the $6 a poll tax, however small. But National ID cards give me the willies (for symbolic reasons if no other), and the infrastructure to do a national ID would be pointless and duplicative since government ID's exist in every state. So here is a counter-counter proposal: States should require picture ID to vote but before they can do so, they have to have a free option for people in place for at least 6 months before the first election the requirement applies to.

By the way, opponents of having picture ID to vote always say there are hundreds of thousands of people who don't have an ID. First, where the hell is this stat coming from - I have searched for a study but to no avail. Second, like with health insurance, there is a big difference between "don't choose to have" and "can't afford." Just because 300,000 (or whatever) people don't have an ID does not by any means 300,000 people can't get one or can't afford one. They just choose not to have one, for a variety of reasons.

Posted by: coyote on September 21, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

"jefff, In WA, it's $20 and every five years. Sure, ten years would be nice and so would free ponies..."
Eh, gone up a bit since I was last there. I never said it was ten years, I said it could and should be.

The fact that it isn't is part of the reason why I don't think photo id for voting is really a good idea. It isn't inherently vote-supressing, but as it is likely to be implemented it will be. Combine that with the lack of a problem and I don't see much reason to do it. Now stopping secretaries of state from being campaign managers for candidates, removing all the other bs reasons to disenfranchise corrupt election officials can use to suppress voting, opening polls longer including at least one weekend day, making provisional ballots available and putting the onus on those trying to stop a person from voting... well those would be real improvements. If we get those in addition to a good ID system, net gain. Doing an ID system alone? Net loss.

Posted by: jefff on September 21, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

"...since I was last there."
There being at the DMV reading thier pamphlets and signs. :)

Posted by: jefff on September 21, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Matt,

So I misplaced my driver's license the other day. If I had done this in early November, would this mean I wouldn't get to vote under the proposed law? What a crock.

Exactly right. Which is one reason why I find the finger print-based verification so intriguing. Kinda hard to "forget" your finger.

Posted by: Edo on September 21, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

You, on the other hand, support the killing of MILLIONS of innocent unborn children.

That seems more humane than what you, a serial killer of young children, do.

Posted by: asdf on September 21, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Now, as near as I can tell, the evidence is pretty overwhelming that requiring photo ID to vote would stop a very, very tiny amount of actual fraud, but would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of poor, non-white, elderly, and disabled citizens."

What evidence are you talking about? I can't even imagine how you could design a legal study to test the idea that say thousands of people in Wisconsin registered for same-day voting and defrauded the vote.

And what do you mean by "disenfranchise"? Will these people be prevented from getting the ID? Are they voting now?

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw on September 21, 2006 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Apology accepted, cleek.

none offered, Trolly.

unless you'd care to apologize for accusing me of ... well, you know... without having any basis to make such an accusation ?

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

...Thomas the Troll Engine.

Now that is funny.

Posted by: Edo on September 21, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

I will sign on to Kevin's plan for free, accessible national ID cards.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 21, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

That's sort of the way they do it in Chile, Kevin. Everybody has an ID card. Babies have them.

By the way: it's a good thing nobody has any incentive or means to make "fake IDs"! Because that would sure screw with this whole idea.

Posted by: neil on September 21, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "PICTURE IDs"

Picture monsters from the Id.

Posted by: Dr. Morbeus on September 21, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

That was a great fake Charlie @ 7:29

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

And from Channel 9 news earlier today, local police have arrested several people involved in forging fake drivers' licenses.


Posted by: FS on September 21, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

What city is that Channel 9 located in?

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps you missed "A Day in My Life":

I caught it and thought it was quite funny. But I especially like very short bits of humor; moreover, several other people commented on it.

FWIW, my favorite line:
09:35 - post wistful love story about Joe Lieberman to eroticstories.com.

Posted by: Edo on September 21, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

I've never accused you of anything without having a basis to make such an accusation

prove it, liar

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

you don't have to "prove a negative", liar. you merely have to prove that you have a basis your assertion that i wanted Bush assassinated. so, prove it, liar.

unless you can't, because you're a... well, you know what you are.

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm. Had cleek ever made a post advocating Bush's assassination, finding it would be proving a positive. But since it doesn't exist, yeah, you can't prove a negative, Charlie. Now hush hush and go get your jammies on. republicrat will be right in to read you a story.

Posted by: shortstop on September 21, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

There's a persistent impression that you "need" a photo ID to buy beer. That's only if you look like a kid.

Posted by: Zandru on September 21, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1: you're a liar, plain and simple. paste that on your fucking liar forehead.

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats don't have a patent on "vote often." Clevland Ohio delivered more votes for Bush in several instances than they had registered voters. "The computer made a mistake" was the excuse. I know it's contegious but isn't Florida a bit far for that?

I don't believe picture IDs will stop voter fraud. It may well allow more of it. The best locks in the world will not stop the crooks.

Most places require the voter's name to be on a list and crossed off at vote time. If people are registering to vote in more than one polling place picture ID is not a stopper. It's false security. They're already registering more than once. What's to stop them from getting more than one ID?

It will increase the cost. Picture IDs won't be free will they?

Posted by: BGone on September 21, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

Missouri Republicans offered to pass legislation making birth certificates free. they assume that everyone who wants to cast a vote here was born here.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 21, 2006 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1,

I make it a point to direct my considerable attention and derision to the libs and the anarchists that post here, but do take note of one thing sir--

If one of these libs challenges you, don't back away, man. Stand up and answer their bleating and their kvetching with the facts at hand. It positively drives them into a cheek-slapping tizzy and makes for delightful reading.

I've noticed the sentiment seems to be running well against you, sir. Remember these words from a fellow traveller:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

No lib can handle the notion of a gender-specific encouragement such as this. Stand by for a considerable amount of bitching about the use of "Man" instead of "Person."

Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 21, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Now, as near as I can tell, the evidence is pretty overwhelming that requiring photo ID to vote would stop a very, very tiny amount of actual fraud, but would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of poor, non-white, elderly, and disabled citizens."

Ohhhh, the poor widdie disabled...Count me as totally insensitive to your hogwash on this issue. I think your statement that you can't find evidence of vote fraud is as pure as East St. Louis snow.

Posted by: minion of rove on September 21, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

I think your statement that you can't find evidence of vote fraud is as pure as East St. Louis snow.

so, provide your own evidence. show us how right you are.

Posted by: cleek on September 21, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

"...so, provide your own evidence. show us how right you are..."


This is from John Fund's book, Stealing Elections:

Some of the sloppiness that makes fraud and foul-ups in election counts possible seems to be built into the system by design. The "Motor Voter Law," the first piece of legislation signed into law by President Clinton upon entering office, imposed fraud-friendly rules on the states by requiring driver's license bureaus to register anyone applying for licenses, to offer mail-in registration with no identification needed, and to forbid government workers to challenge new registrants, while making it difficult to purge "deadwood" voters (those who have died or moved away). In 2001, the voter rolls in many American cities included more names than the U.S. Census listed as the total number of residents over age eighteen. Philadelphia's voter rolls, for instance, have jumped 24 percent since 1995 at the same time that the city's population has declined by 13 percent. CBS's 60 Minutes created a stir in 1999 when it found people in California using mail-in forms to register fictitious people, or pets, and then obtaining absentee ballots in their names. By this means, for example, the illegal alien who assassinated the Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was registered to vote in San Pedro, California twice.
Ironically, Mexico and many other countries have election systems that are far more secure than ours. To obtain voter credentials, the citizen must present a photo, write a signature and give a thumbprint. The voter card includes a picture with a hologram covering it, a magnetic strip and a serial number to guard against tampering. To cast a ballot, voters must present the card and be certified by a thumbprint scanner. This system was instrumental in allowing the 2000 election of Vicente Fox, the first opposition party candidate to be elected president in seventy years.

But in the United States, at a time of heightened security and mundane rules that require citizens to show ID to travel and even rent a video, only seventeen states require some form of documentation in order to vote. "Why should the important process of voting be the one exception to this rule?" asks Karen Saranita, a former fraud investigator for a Democratic state senator in California. Americans agree. A Rasmussen poll finds that 82 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of Democrats, believe that "people should be required to show a driver's license or some other form of photo ID before they are allowed to vote."

Posted by: minion of rove on September 21, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

I'll see your trashy John Fund novel and raise you a study done at Cal Tech that found that over six million voters were disenfranchised for various reasons in the 2000 election, cited here.

By the way, staunch pro-lifer Fund was the guy who impregnated his girlfriend's DAUGHTER (sicko!)and then encouraged her to get an abortion.

That guy will lie about anything.

Yrrcchhh! I feel icky just talking about him.

Posted by: trex on September 21, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

John Fund is a friend of mine, and I will not see him disparaged here.

You say disenfranchised, I say a great number of half-educated libs had their votes tossed into the rubbish bin for picking Mickey Mouse over Donald Duck.

And you wonder why I grit my teeth when you people think aloud.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 21, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

John Fund is a friend of mine, and I will not see him disparaged here.

LOL -- wrong thread, but funny.

Posted by: trex on September 21, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas, I would prefer the federal government to distrubute the ID cards. I think the quality and security is apt to be higher.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 21, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Is that really true about Fund? I always thought he was gay.

As for the six million nitwits being disenfranchised, what difference does it really make when my team has Diebold anyway?

Posted by: minion of rove on September 21, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Is that really true about Fund? I always thought he was gay.

Who knows, he might be.

Hell, he always thought he was pro-life. And six feet tall. And blonde.

Posted by: trex on September 21, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

In re: freelunch's tu quoque, I refer it to the case of NBC v. Shake 'N' Bake: "And I helped!"

Yes, obviously, contributors to the GOP profit from illegal immigration. But, that isn't an excuse for the Democratic Party fully and completely supporting illegal immigration. And, if the Democratic Party opposed same, that would make it very difficult for the GOP to support same.

Posted by: TLB on September 22, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

We called him Fudgepacker Fund, in the old days. One could always count on FF to find the seediest part of town where all the hustlers were. You'd get in Father's Caddy and drive down past the dockyards and the sailors and there you'd find Fund, knees all skinned up and a stunned but purposeful look on his face. Oh, it was a mad time, to be sure. And then I turned 18 and went away to school out East. I can still hear Fund swishing about in corduroy, looking for a pansy to pin to the ground. Fund liked to take a derelict to the woodshed now and again, mostly for the free bottle of wine he would get out of the deal.

Fund would sometimes do the splits over the empty wine bottle. You know, the sort of thing they only show on Mexican TV these days.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on September 22, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

I believe it was Heinlein's Lazarus Long who said (paraphrase):

When a planet's population grows large enough to require IDs, it's time to move on.

Sigh.

Posted by: laughingsong on September 22, 2006 at 5:43 AM | PERMALINK

The real problem here is that Thomas1 can't make a principled argument that WHAT Kevin Drum does is lobbying. I've seen a lot of conclusory statements out of Thomas1 that activity X constitutes lobbying, or activity Y constitutes an effort to influence public opinion, but I've seen no explanations of why that is.

Thomas1 is making legal conclusions here without the requisite legal analysis. So, I'd say ignore him. He's a troll, he's blessed with limited intelligence, and he's got a lot of free time. He WILL eat up your day with more posts filled with assertions, devoid of analysis, and lacking any substance to make them worth reading.

Cheers!
Everett

Posted by: Everett on September 22, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

To make my point more clearly, consider this quote from Kevin's post:

"I'm really not opposed to the idea of a national ID card. The arguments against them seem to be mostly emotional, and plenty of other flourishing democracies use them without incident....So here's my proposal: implement a national ID and give one to everybody, free of charge."

It seems pretty clear that Kevin is tossing out a compromise position. Rather than arguing for or against any particular legislative position, he's attempting to meet the demands of the two parties. With that in mind, consider Treasury's regs concerning "lobbying", which can be found at 26 C.F.R. 56.4911-2(b)(2):

(2) Grass roots lobbying communication

(i) Definition. A grass roots lobbying communication is any attempt to influence any legislation through an attempt to affect the opinions of the general public or any segment thereof.

(ii) Required elements. A communication will be treated as a grass roots lobbying communication under this 56.49112(b)(2)(ii) if, but only if, the communication:

(A) Refers to specific legislation (see paragraph (d)(1) of this section for a definition of the term specific legislation);

(B) Reflects a view on such legislation; and

(C) Encourages the recipient of the communication to take action with respect to such legislation (see paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section for the definition of encouraging the recipient to take action.

How, exactly, would Thomas1 square his claim that Kevin is engaging in lobbying with the IRS's definition of lobbying? My bet is, he can't.

Posted by: Everett on September 22, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

It's pretty obvious what this is doing: it's analogous to the Katrina model of evacuation. You were ORDERED to leave the town, so the only ones left were either police and firefighters and the lot, or "illegals," right? Nope. The ones who stayed had no cars, or they were immobile. There was no way for them to leave, so these were the people snatched off rooftops and holed up at the Superdome. And these are the people that any I.D. card system would ensure won't vote in elections, either. Those not excluded by felon laws, or having names that sound like felons, would be excluded by not having an I.D.

A very supportive program for those who can't afford ID themselves is not what the G.O.P. has in mind.

I always think of B-1 Bob Dornan's last election. He was done in by "massive" electoral fraud and the illegal alien vote, he said. He lost by a hundred or so. After a year's searching, they never found more than a couple dozen votes that were, at best, questionable.

Posted by: Jim H on September 22, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the ID cards are not the problem, as long as they are easy to get and fairly distributed. The problem is the database. Electronics databases are too easily accessed, too easily cross referenced with other databases, too easily corrupted, too difficult to maintain and correct.

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"...getting a library card. You've got to be way off the grid in order to avoid having at least one photo ID these days." - Prof. Stephen Bainbridge

I'm in my 40s. I just recently got a photo ID (non-driver's license). I don't have a car (live in a city), but I do have a bank account, house, library card, etc. I've never needed a photo ID, and only recently got one because I was near the DMV and it was easy.

People like me use public transportation, utility bills and pay stubs and Social Security cards (no photo) for ID, but we do vote, which is our right.

I also read recently that one technically does not need a photo ID to board an airplane. http://permanenttourist.com/4paths/fly-without-id.html

Posted by: Legal Voter on September 24, 2006 at 4:13 AM | PERMALINK

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