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Thread: Voter ID laws

  1. #1

    Default Voter ID laws

    Can someone please explain to me why so many people are opposed to this? I truly cannot see a downside, after all voting is the base of our democracy, if someone votes more than once or is not a citizen, then they are silencing all of the people who follow the rules.

  2. #2

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    There is no evidence whatsoever that in-person voter fraud is actually a problem. There have been less than 10 known cases of it in the entire US over the past decade, a period when about a billion votes have been cast in national elections.

    Meanwhile, voter ID laws tend to disproportionately put a burden on certain minorities which tend to lean Democrat, and in fact, are expected to have noticeable impacts on their turnout measured in multiple percentage points of the entire electorate. Elderly citizens who do not drive and do not have the wealth to travel often do not have an unexpired photo ID. Out-of-state college students have had their right to vote in the state that they attend college upheld by SCOTUS, and a number of them do not drive or may have out-of-state licenses that are not approved under some of these laws, which also tend to conveniently disallow college IDs. The poor who do not drive often have little reason to have a government-issued photo ID.

    Thus, these laws are projected to suppress voting significantly in a way that advantages one party, but doesn't solve a meaningful problem, much less one of a scale that might justify burdening as many voters as they burden.

  3. #3

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    I have some problems with it simply because of the principal behind voting should not be encumbered by anything. In the past in my state I had to be registered and if the poll workers knew the voter it was not generally an issue. In any case I expect my vote to be secret, this is my right, and this is technically no longer true.

    I deal with matters of security on a daily basis so I get the need that exists. The ideal situation is that we have no fraud and that our elections happen with full integrity. The reality is that we have plenty of room for fraud so the voter ID requirements would seem to be a reasonable tool in helping to maintain integrity.

    The concern is that the requirements in some places are ridiculous and seem to impose restrictions that might violate voter rights. A the same time some of the requirements, specifically behind obtains the ID's, seems to be less effective than they should be.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BabyTommy View Post
    Can someone please explain to me why so many people are opposed to this? I truly cannot see a downside, after all voting is the base of our democracy, if someone votes more than once or is not a citizen, then they are silencing all of the people who follow the rules.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fruitkitty View Post
    There is no evidence whatsoever that in-person voter fraud is actually a problem. There have been less than 10 known cases of it in the entire US over the past decade, a period when about a billion votes have been cast in national elections.

    Meanwhile, voter ID laws tend to disproportionately put a burden on certain minorities which tend to lean Democrat, and in fact, are expected to have noticeable impacts on their turnout measured in multiple percentage points of the entire electorate. Elderly citizens who do not drive and do not have the wealth to travel often do not have an unexpired photo ID. Out-of-state college students have had their right to vote in the state that they attend college upheld by SCOTUS, and a number of them do not drive or may have out-of-state licenses that are not approved under some of these laws, which also tend to conveniently disallow college IDs. The poor who do not drive often have little reason to have a government-issued photo ID.

    Thus, these laws are projected to suppress voting significantly in a way that advantages one party, but doesn't solve a meaningful problem, much less one of a scale that might justify burdening as many voters as they burden.
    In at least some states the issue of unreasonable burden has been seat with by allowing a much broader array of ID that is likely to be available even to the poor. Perhaps this is the case in all states, but I have not checked.

    I disagree on your assessment of in person voter fraud. There may be few documented cases but that says nothing of cases where the fraud was dealt with in the canvas, or dealt with in a non punitive manner. The reality is that with the amount of fraud we see in other areas there is no reason for us to believe there is no other fraud. Basically what I am saying is that even though there is a lack of evidence it doesn't mean it is not happening.

    I do believe the countermeasures that were in place prior to the law change were probably adequate in my state, and likely most others. There are, however, holes that existed then and still exist. In many states deceased voters are not removed from the voter records immediately on death, instead there is an inquiry periodically (here I believe it is quarterly).

    It is hard to say whether there is any actual voter fraud but I would be surprised if it was not at least a small factor.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    What is the context of this video?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garzilla View Post
    In at least some states the issue of unreasonable burden has been seat with by allowing a much broader array of ID that is likely to be available even to the poor. Perhaps this is the case in all states, but I have not checked.
    States that have had voter-ID laws withstand legal actions by the Department of Justice have done so by basically sending out voter-ID cards to everyone who registers.

    Generally, those states that have not have been losing such cases, or in the jurisdictions subject to it, have had those laws blocked under the Voting Rights Act.



    I disagree on your assessment of in person voter fraud. There may be few documented cases but that says nothing of cases where the fraud was dealt with in the canvas, or dealt with in a non punitive manner. The reality is that with the amount of fraud we see in other areas there is no reason for us to believe there is no other fraud. Basically what I am saying is that even though there is a lack of evidence it doesn't mean it is not happening.

    I do believe the countermeasures that were in place prior to the law change were probably adequate in my state, and likely most others. There are, however, holes that existed then and still exist. In many states deceased voters are not removed from the voter records immediately on death, instead there is an inquiry periodically (here I believe it is quarterly).

    It is hard to say whether there is any actual voter fraud but I would be surprised if it was not at least a small factor.
    To the degree that we have measured it, the problem is infinitesimal relative to the number of votes cast. Really, this makes intuitive sense why - the economic value of a single vote is so small as to not make it not worth anybody's time to wait around at the polling place twice. We vote for ourselves for other reasons, be it a sense of civic duty or as an expression of strong feelings about government - but these reasons don't tend to be strong enough to justify doing something highly illegal and waiting in line again all for a mere one additional vote, hence, the number of people who actually do it is a rounding error.

    I grew up in a state with same-day voter registration and no voter ID laws. This has yielded no quantifiable problems with in-person voter fraud, even though it would in theory be incredibly easy to do.



    There are types of voter fraud which do exist and which are notable. These are generally some form of ballot box stuffing, and what they have in common is that they're relatively quick to do and actually move enough votes to conceivably have an impact. Yet, there is no comparable push to clamp down on these forms of voter fraud, despite all the rhetoric about voter fraud being an important issue. This suggests that those pushing said rhetoric are not actually doing it for the reasons for which they claim to be.

  7. #7

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    I'd say this is one of those obvious cases where you'd need to demonstrate that there is a problem in order to justify a solution to said problem.

    It's pretty obvious what the actual purpose of these laws are.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fruitkitty View Post
    States that have had voter-ID laws withstand legal actions by the Department of Justice have done so by basically sending out voter-ID cards to everyone who registers.

    Generally, those states that have not have been losing such cases, or in the jurisdictions subject to it, have had those laws blocked under the Voting Rights Act.



    To the degree that we have measured it, the problem is infinitesimal relative to the number of votes cast. Really, this makes intuitive sense why - the economic value of a single vote is so small as to not make it not worth anybody's time to wait around at the polling place twice. We vote for ourselves for other reasons, be it a sense of civic duty or as an expression of strong feelings about government - but these reasons don't tend to be strong enough to justify doing something highly illegal and waiting in line again all for a mere one additional vote, hence, the number of people who actually do it is a rounding error.

    I grew up in a state with same-day voter registration and no voter ID laws. This has yielded no quantifiable problems with in-person voter fraud, even though it would in theory be incredibly easy to do.



    There are types of voter fraud which do exist and which are notable. These are generally some form of ballot box stuffing, and what they have in common is that they're relatively quick to do and actually move enough votes to conceivably have an impact. Yet, there is no comparable push to clamp down on these forms of voter fraud, despite all the rhetoric about voter fraud being an important issue. This suggests that those pushing said rhetoric are not actually doing it for the reasons for which they claim to be.
    In this state we have had a voter registration card for years yet for some reason it is not go enough. Then and now when we vote we are checked off the list, actually we sign the list, which indicates the person who was registered has voted. For me this should have been adequate but apparently not.

    Look, I see both sides here. I agree that the amount of fraud might amount to a rounding error but then that rounding error might be substantial. In presidential elections rounding errors might not have a substantial impact as long as the vote differential between candidates is far greater than the fraud rate. However, when a given state is so closely split that it is essentially even, then we have case where fraud can have an impact.

    Most of the known voter fraud cases center around local elections where the politics are much closer to the people and where the impact is more easily controlled.

    In most states, perhaps all but I am giving this matter the benefit of the doubt, it is no longer possible to stuff a ballot box. Even when it is possible these anomalies often will show up in the canvas and are eliminated prior to the certification of the vote. In all of the jurisdictions I have worked or observed an election the county clerks routinely scrutinize votes that have been cast.

    What we don't know is how pervasive any organized voter fraud may be in some places. The stakes are so high that it would okay make sense. I am not saying that we have an issue here but I am saying that there is a strong likelihood that a problem exists.

    Now lets look at the voter identification laws. Some people are calling this a blatant attempt to affect elections in the favor of a particular party. While this is a possibility I believe it is little more than a well known conspiracy theory. Sure it has some merit but then I have yet to see actual evidence of where it actually affects the outcome of elections. If there is an impact it is likely little more than a rounding error, as you have referred to voter fraud.

    So there you go. I really do feel it is sad that we have become so divisive in this nation, not only between parties on the floor of the people's house but between voters with varying needs, wants and values.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by LunaCat View Post
    I'd say this is one of those obvious cases where you'd need to demonstrate that there is a problem in order to justify a solution to said problem.

    It's pretty obvious what the actual purpose of these laws are.
    I do completely agree that we are far too quick to enact laws in this nation, not just on a national basis but also state and local, without establishing an actual and legitimate need first. I was just talking to a good friend a couple of days ago, he is a state legislator, and he mentioned that it is crazy how many bills are presented to legislators that seem to not pass this most basic test.

    The purpose of the laws we are talking about is not necessarily all that obvious. I say this because there are many who believe it is an attempt to protect the integrity of the vote and then there are many who believe it is an attempt to suppress votes.

    In looking at where the rhetoric is coming from it is obviously that certain political groups are the ones spreading the message of vote suppression, interestingly without any evidence that this is actually happening.

    For me the obvious intent is to protect the integrity of the vote.

  9. #9

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Garzilla View Post


    What is the context of this video?
    A republican state law maker makes a remark like that and your wondering what the context is?


    If so, I got this fantastic pet rock for sale.

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Garzilla View Post
    In this state we have had a voter registration card for years yet for some reason it is not go enough. Then and now when we vote we are checked off the list, actually we sign the list, which indicates the person who was registered has voted. For me this should have been adequate but apparently not.

    Look, I see both sides here. I agree that the amount of fraud might amount to a rounding error but then that rounding error might be substantial. In presidential elections rounding errors might not have a substantial impact as long as the vote differential between candidates is far greater than the fraud rate. However, when a given state is so closely split that it is essentially even, then we have case where fraud can have an impact.
    The point of calling it a rounding error is that it's not substantial. Again, less than 10 cases in the entire US over the past decade. This is not a meaninful problem.




    Now lets look at the voter identification laws. Some people are calling this a blatant attempt to affect elections in the favor of a particular party. While this is a possibility I believe it is little more than a well known conspiracy theory. Sure it has some merit but then I have yet to see actual evidence of where it actually affects the outcome of elections. If there is an impact it is likely little more than a rounding error, as you have referred to voter fraud.
    Nate Silver attempted to quantify it earlier this year here: Measuring the Effects of Voter Identification Laws - NYTimes.com

    There is a reason that these laws magically only get taken up and passed in states with Republican control.

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