An Anti-American Threat to Democracy

It is well known that blacks and low income people vote disproportionately for the Democrats.   Blacks are likely to support President Obama’s re-election by a 90% to 10% ratio.   Facing a choice, the Republicans in many states have decided that rather than trying to win the vote, they’ll suppress it.   In the modern equivalent of poll taxes they are passing laws forcing people to show voter ID to vote, limiting early voting, or putting other barriers in the way of exercising ones right to vote.

The most egregious example is in Pennsylvania where at least one Republican has made no secret of what the motive of the law is.   House Majority leader Mike Turzai spoke enthusiastically if perhaps too honestly to supporters: “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” he said, drawing applause.  That’s the goal.   Suppress enough Democratic votes so that the Republicans can gain the White House.   If they can’t do it fairly, then twist the laws — cheat, in other words.

Doonesbury hails the return “James Crow” – new Jim Crow laws to suppress the vote

Estimates are that up to 43% of Philadelphia voters would not be able to vote according to this law.   The Governor’s office says that “99%” of the citizens have appropriate ID, but that seems a number pulled out of thin air.  Surveys and studies suggest that this law would disenfranchise the poor and minorities.    Middle class (and clueless) whites  (I myself am a middle class white, to be sure) often say “well, it’s easy to get a photo ID, you have to do that for just about anything.”   First, that’s not true — James Holmes was able to amass a legal arsenal of weapons without needing to show a photo ID.   Moreover the effort and time it takes is more costly and less likely to be endured by the poor and minorities.

Think of it – vast numbers of voters turned away at the polls for lack of ID.   What would that do to the country?   Would a Mitt Romney so elected ever be able to unify the country or even be seen as legitimate?    It’s not like fraud’s a problem.   Almost every study and estimate of voter fraud in the US show that it’s at record lows and almost non-existent.    Political parties know that the cost of being caught acting fraudulently would pay a heavy price, it’s not worth it.

Up until this point such a tactic to try to steal an election has been something both parties have avoided.   Since the voting rights act of the 60s the push has been to expand the voting base, recognizing that voters are more connected to the community and thus more likely to be productive members of society.   If you vote, you’re less likely to be on welfare or unemployed.    Voting is to be part of the civil society, you’re more likely to succeed if you vote.

Republican former Florida Governor Charlie Crist has called the suppression efforts of current Florida Governor Rick Scott “shameless,” noting that cutting early voting (especially Sunday when black churches often mobilized the vote) a clear effort to assure fewer people vote.   The attack on minority voters and effort to win an election through suppression is the biggest threat to American democracy today.    It is un-American and dangerous.    It must be resisted, and if it shapes the election result, that result should not be respected.   If suppression causes one person to be elected President instead of another, there should be an active and strong resistance, and politicians should do everything they can to thwart that person’s agenda.   In this case only Mitt Romney stands to win on the basis of suppression.

Today is my Doonesbury day!

That last statement is one of the sort I have never made.   I’m a firm believer in cooperation and compromise between the two parties, and have argued with Democrats who have criticized President Obama’s pragmatic centrism.    I believe that democracy is built on different sides “listening” to each other, and forging compromises neither side is completely comfortable with.   That inability of one side to simply push its agenda into law is what makes democracy strong — we compromise, and we can undo anything we do.    Up until now, I’ve criticized calls to see the other side as illegitimate — I was quick to recognize the legitimacy of George W. Bush’s 2000 election.

However, voter suppression crosses a line.   It’s a fundamental threat to American democracy, and it’s inherently dishonest.   The politicians pushing it KNOW that fraud is not a problem, and know that their goal is, as our “honest” Pennsylvania House Majority leader noted, simply an effort to stop minorities and the poor from voting.   They fear they can’t win the election fair and square so they want to cheat.   I honestly can’t believe the gall and disingenuous corruption behind these efforts.   They have to be stopped.

Voter suppression measures have been passed in South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, Pennsylvania, West Virgina, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Rhode Island.   Legislation is pending in Ohio, Virginia and Minnesota.  Only Maine has reversed such actions — overwhelmingly through a public referendum.   All of these efforts have been driven by Republicans claiming, without evidence, that fraud is a problem.  But nobody really believes that’s the driving force — they’re trying to suppress votes likely to go to the other side.  The most dangerous cases involve swing states like Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Pennsylvania.

This is one issue that cannot be brushed aside.  There can be no compromise.   Voter suppression is anti-American, dangerous to democracy, and must be resisted.   If it shapes an election outcome, that election should not be recognized as legitimate.

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  1. #1 by lbwoodgate on July 26, 2012 - 14:12

    Voter suppression does after all follow the theme of the extreme Right when they call for “taking our America back”, they are talking about the time when only white male property owners were legally allowed to vote. Underlying that too is that you also have to be christian.

  2. #2 by Norbrook on July 26, 2012 - 22:28

    One could see more stringent requirements if in-person voter fraud, or fraudulent registration was a major problem. There not only is no evidence of that, every study of the issue has shown that genuine cases are rare, haven’t swung an election, and are caught quickly.

    Most of the excuses for it – and they are just that, excuses – demonstrate that the people arguing it’s “not a big deal” have never had to try to obtain “proper ID” anytime recently. I went through that process with my aunt at the beginning of the year, and it was an eye-opener as to just how many hurdles there are.

    The Republican definition of “voter fraud” seems to be “won’t vote Republican.”

  3. #3 by classicliberal2 on July 27, 2012 - 01:08

    This is a coordinated, nationwide vote suppression campaign that’s been going on ever since 2008, with virtually no press coverage outside outlets like the Rachel Maddow show. Your “liberal media” at work.

  4. #4 by Alan Scott on July 27, 2012 - 02:35

    Splain why it is not racist to claim that Blacks are more likely to be unable to obtain a photo I.D. than Whites . You ‘are’ claiming that Blacks have more problems with photo I.D. than whites , right ? Why would that be ?

    Splain how ” Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” is proof of voter suppression . I say that Mr. Turzai meant that now illegal votes will not prevent Romney from winning . Prove otherwise .

    As far as no voter fraud ever swinging an election being proven, well that’s true until it is not true . It used to be true in Eastern Kentucky until it wasn’t true . Check out Clay County, Ky. You can buy a vote for $ 50. Though it can cost $ 800.

    I wonder what voter fraud costs per vote in higher cost of living states .

    • #5 by Scott Erb on July 27, 2012 - 02:53

      Alan, how on earth can stating a fact be racist? It’s pretty much been proven that minorities, especially blacks, are less likely to have ID and do not know the process needed to get one. Some require getting a birth certificate copy, which costs money and is like a poll tax. That’s a fact, racism is if you have an opinion that others are inferior because of race. A fact like this cannot in any world be considered ‘racist.’

      Clearly the politician was admitting that they put this policy in place to try to take away votes from Obama. Also this law does nothing to prevent people from buying votes, so that’s irrelevant. Alan, you’re a smart guy. You know this is being done to try to suppress would be Democratic voters and win the election for Romney. Defend it if you want, but don’t pretend not to know what’s happening!

      • #6 by Norbrook on July 27, 2012 - 09:48

        I have had this argument before with Alan. It’s not even just minorities that are impacted, it’s also the elderly and poor rural voters. For example, I live 30 miles from the nearest DMV office. So for me to get a “proper ID” means arranging transportation, in addition to the costs of putting together the necessary paperwork. That’s not “a big deal” for me, because I have a car, I’m middle class, and already have all the paperwork (and current ID). But if I didn’t have that, I’d have serious problems.

    • #7 by lbwoodgate on July 27, 2012 - 03:02

      “Check out Clay County, Ky. You can buy a vote for $ 50. Though it can cost $ 800. I wonder what voter fraud costs per vote in higher cost of living states .”

      Interesting. What’s your source on this? A link to the site you get this claim from would be most preferable.

    • #8 by lbwoodgate on September 28, 2012 - 10:29

      Hey Alan, Look! There does seem to be some voter fraud going on after all. But apparently not in the circles you have been claiming.

      Florida GOP Fired Romney Consultant’s Voter Registration Firm After Fraudulent Forms Reported in Palm Beach

      Sorry. Just couldn’t resist

  5. #9 by Alan Scott on July 27, 2012 - 23:50

    lbwoodgate ,

    I am sorry this is a foxnews link, I know you distrust them, but it covers the information I posted . I do not use this to bash Democrats, because the article clearly points out that Republicans were just as guilty as Democrats . I am only using this to dispute the notion that voter fraud almost never happens and therefore no measures to combat it are needed .

    . http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/25/drug-money-funds-voter-fraud-in-kentucky/

    Norbrook ,

    I live in Pa. Most of the people voicing concern over the I,D, issue live in urban areas . They do not live 30 miles from a Penndot center . Why can’t they get there by election day, if they really want to ? Better yet why can’t ‘your’ get out the vote volunteers get them there ?

    Scott,

    ” Alan, you’re a smart guy. You know this is being done to try to suppress would be Democratic voters and win the election for Romney. ”

    No you’re a smart guy . Do not pretend that there is no voter fraud. Do not pretend that Eric Holders refusal to prosecute the new Black Panther voter intimidation in Philadelphia does not matter. Honestly, , , tell me that Holder would not have done differently if night stick wielding klan members had stood in front of a polling place in a Black neighborhood ?

    • #10 by Scott Erb on July 28, 2012 - 00:15

      Every study shows that there is virtually no voter fraud in the US, Even in PA they’ve admitted there are no cases of fraud they know of — they had to admit it in court. In Maine the GOP tried to claim fraud for a restrictive law (that failed) but could only point to two possible cases in forty years. The GOP simply wants to suppress votes from people it thinks won’t vote Republican. That is contrary to what America is about and amounts to a cheap “anything to win and get power” approach to politics – more like a third world country. Clearly Democrats will use this to motivate people – they don’t want you to vote, so go vote. But my hope is that this will be found contrary to the Voting Rights act and state constitutions, and new state legislatures will later overturn this, and it will be remembered as a shameful attempt to hinder voting.

      • #11 by mikelovell on July 28, 2012 - 00:24

        “…they had to admit it in court.”

        Not that I’m taking sides one way or the other here, but Scott, this isn’t exactly a statement that supports much of anything. Many a man or woman has sworn to the veracity of something in court and lied their flaming pants right off of themselves despite being under oath… LOL

      • #12 by classicliberal2 on July 29, 2012 - 19:56

        They don’t make a point of swearing to the veracity of something that hurts–indeed, demolishes–their own case.

    • #13 by Norbrook on July 28, 2012 - 12:01

      Alan, you keep ducking the issue. OK, so it’s not “30 miles” to a Penndot center in a city. Now, take time off of work – from a job you probably don’t get vacation time – take the city mass transit to the Penndot center. It’s still a considerable time, and yes, I have lived in major cities. Now, stand in line for a long time, fill out numerous forms, and then be told you need additional proof. So you have to go back and get that, and often have to spend more money (and time) to get those “proofs.” Oh, and your job doesn’t pay all that well, so besides the lost pay, you have to scrape up the money to not only pay for the ID, you have to spend more for the required “proofs”.

      Why? Because someone thought that this was the best way to combat what has been shown to be a non-existent problem. I also fail to see how passing a voter ID in Pennsylvania law would combat potential voter fraud in Kentucky, or how it would stop “purchasing votes.” Everything about these laws fails the “duck test.” That is, it quacks like voter suppression, it quacks like a desperate attempt to keep power, and it quacks like a racially-biased motivation.

    • #14 by lbwoodgate on July 28, 2012 - 20:56

      Oh good God Alan. Both you and FOX are guilty of misconstruing voter FRAUD for buying votes from legitimate voters. Just because FOX puts the word “fraud” in their news story doesn’t make it so. A clear reading of the entire story shows that there were no dead people voting or anyone else who was not already a certified authorized voter, with picture ID and all. These were simply poor hillbillies strapped for cash in these tough economic times approached by drug mobsters to vote for their preferred candidate for a given dollar amount. The requirement to have a picture ID did not stop these people from selling their vote to the highest bidder.

      Fraud “occurs when individuals cast ballots despite knowing that they are ineligible to vote, in an attempt to defraud the election system.1 SOURCE

      Examples of voter fraud are when there are votes cast either by people who have not met the states requirement for voting, cast votes in the name of someone else illegally or election officials deliberately misleading voters or altering an individual’s vote after it has been cast.

      What you have here is corruption. But the votes cast were not by people who were ineligible to vote, like illegal aliens. These were all citizens of the U.S.. The issue Scott was addressing is where people who have voted in previous elections will now not be able to if they don’t have a picture ID for reasons that will likely have nothing to with anything related to fraud. The elderly lady who relies on others for transportation and lost her birth certificate since the last election will now not be able to vote.

  6. #15 by plainlyspoken on July 29, 2012 - 00:06

    Here’s what bugs me about these law. They want you to be required to show ID when you go to the polls to vote………hmmm, my question is then what about all the absentee voters? I vote that way in every election yet I wouldn’t have to show ID just to cast my vote.

    It is pure ignorance to say that voter ID laws will solve anything.

    It is suppression – nothing less than a national party trying to rig the system in their favor. No wonder I dislike

    • #16 by plainlyspoken on July 29, 2012 - 00:08

      hmm cut off part of what I wrote. To finish:

      No wonder I dislike political parties and remain an independent voter.

  7. #17 by Alan Scott on July 29, 2012 - 17:40

    Scott,

    ” Every study shows that there is virtually no voter fraud in the US, ” One question . did any of the studies that you are citing , uncover the rampant vote buying in Kentucky ? No . Then it did not happen, did it ?

    plainspoken brings up a good point . All of these alleged suppressed voters can easily get around the ID laws by voting absentee. Wait, I’m sorry . The poor, the elderly, the 99% can’t come up with the $ 1.10 or whatever it is, for postage .

    • #18 by Scott Erb on July 29, 2012 - 17:59

      I’m talking about people voting who should not be voting. Voter ID laws do nothing about vote buying.

    • #19 by classicliberal2 on July 29, 2012 - 20:03

      “did any of the studies that you are citing , uncover the rampant vote buying in Kentucky ? No . Then it did not happen, did it?”

      No, as a matter of fact, it didn’t. Vote-buying is not vote fraud. Vote-buying is a crime, in some places, for politicians, but there’s nothing illegal or even improper in selling your legitimate vote. You haven’t identified a single case of vote fraud yet, and your pimping for this systematic voter suppression effort on behalf of the GOP is disgraceful.

      • #20 by Norbrook on July 30, 2012 - 00:15

        I also note that Alan has not explained how voter ID would prevent vote buying. I’m particularly interested in his explanation of why vote buying in Kentucky constitutes such a huge problem in Pennsylvania.

  8. #21 by plainlyspoken on July 30, 2012 - 02:23

    Make no mistake Alan I think voter id laws forcing one to ID themselves at the polls is BS. It is suppression of voters, noting less. My point was if you have these laws how do you force absentee voters to show their ID, especially military personnel serving outside the state or country? 14th Amendment anyone? Oh, and it costs nothing to send in my absentee ballot, the postage is prepaid.

  9. #22 by Rhonda Wesselman on July 30, 2012 - 05:52

    There are many instances for which we have to show a picture “ID” to obtain services or privledges. To drive, we have to have a license. To get a library card, we have to show a picture ID as proof where we live. The list goes on. It only makes sense for everyone to have a picture ID to vote. Why would anyone want to take the chance of there being fraud at something so important as an election? State ID’s are free in Indiana. I think the claim that votes are being suppressed is crap. Even the speech Holder gave about voter suppresion, required a picture ID to get in! Now, how ironic is that? There is a joke about voting in Lake County, IN (democrat)…”vote early and vote often.” There dead people still voting up there. Hmm, fraud?http://www.nwitimes.com/news/article_62e832e3-c82d-5d9d-bab0-fae9c5e7addf.html
    http://articles.cnn.com/2008-10-09/politics/acorn.fraud.claims_1_acorn-officials-voter-fraud-voter-registration?_s=PM:POLITICS
    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/260788
    http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/county-rejects-large-number-of-invalid-voter-registrations/article_6ecf9efd-c716-5872-a2ed-b3dbb95f965b.html

    Here’s one about absentee voting:
    http://tribstar.com/local/x453794990/STATE-OF-THE-STATEHOUSE-Indiana-needs-statewide-voter-rolls-fix-because-of-dollars-involved

    It is evident that there is question of it’s existance and voter ID is a way to fix it. I am sick of hearing about suppression in voting. Why don’t we all agree to disagree?

  10. #23 by Scott Erb on July 30, 2012 - 13:28

    Middle class Americans almost all have picture IDs and use that for the services they receive. They aren’t harmed by this, Rhonda. It’s the urban and rural poor, minorities and others who don’t live that same kind of lifestyle. They don’t go to see cabinet officials give speeches. Your response is typical of the kind of aristocratic attitude that essentially wants to dismiss poor and minorities because they don’t have access to the kind of lifestyle we have. This is un-American voter suppression done for purely partisan means, and it has to be combatted in courts and politically. It’s done by a group of people who don’t accept the way the country is changing and are even trying to change the rules and block people from voting to try to stop progress. They will lose in any event — history has a way of not going backwards — but if they disenfranchise too many voters they could harm American democracy. As I see it the voter suppression efforts are quite literally an anti-American war on core democratic values and must be called for what they are, used to motivate voters who often do not vote, and countered forcefully.

    • #24 by Norbrook on July 31, 2012 - 17:26

      Not only that, but Rhonda is looking at her own area and assuming that’s the case everywhere when it comes to ID. I’m in my 50’s, and I have never had to show a picture ID to get a library card in any of the places I’ve lived. That includes Washington DC, Maryland, Colorado, and a number of places here in NY. I haven’t been “proofed” for any purchases in almost 30 years. I didn’t have to show one to open a bank account, or for that matter, do most of the things I do on a daily basis. If I didn’t drive, I probably wouldn’t have a photo ID right now.

      That’s why I find most of the “reasons” (yes, I mean the quotes) being used to be specious. Just because someone who already has all the necessary appurtenances of a middle-class lifestyle thinks that they’re absolutely necessary doesn’t mean that they actually are – and there are a very large number of people who do quite well without them.

  11. #25 by Scott Erb on July 30, 2012 - 13:32

    As for your “cites” – one involves voter registration by lazy folk who tried to make money by registering more voters. None of them tried to vote. They’re all about idiosyncratic cases of registration fraud that was caught — with absolutely no evidence of actual fraud at the voting booth. In short, Rhonda, you have incredibly weak evidence about a few marginal registration cases that you’re using to rationalize the suppression of perhaps millions of votes, solely on partisan grounds. That, Rhonda, is fundamentally un-American.

    • #26 by classicliberal2 on July 31, 2012 - 23:28

      “That, Rhonda, is fundamentally un-American.”

      More to the point, it’s really fucking stupid. If this cretinous imbecile is “sick of hearing about suppression in voting,” maybe she should do something about the Republican party engaging in systematic voter suppression, instead of coming here to bitch about those who complain.

  12. #27 by Alan Scott on July 31, 2012 - 23:24

    Norbrook ,

    Kentucky vote buying is a refutation of your side’s claim that there is no voter fraud in the US, therefore Pennsylvania’s photo ID is definitely combating a real problem . As to your question of how photo ID laws will prevent vote buying. guess what, they can’t . Steel bank vaults do not prevent bank robberies yet banks continue to use them . All that can be done is to reduce the crime .

    Making voters show a photo ID will deter some voter fraud because it will make the semi honest think twice . It will not stop a determined criminal . But I find your opposition to these Government regulations to be funny .You are always the Big Government cheerleader, yet you complain about these simple and harmless rules . How very neo – libertarian of you .

    • #28 by classicliberal2 on July 31, 2012 - 23:31

      “Kentucky vote buying is a refutation of your side’s claim that there is no voter fraud in the US, therefore Pennsylvania’s photo ID is definitely combating a real problem.”

      Great–another dimwit who doesn’t understand what vote fraud is, even after it’s explained to him, and thinks it’s all right to take away the votes of millions of people.

    • #29 by Norbrook on August 2, 2012 - 14:50

      None of us have claimed that there is no voter fraud. It’s dishonest of you to make that argument. What we’ve said is that it’s a very rare, minimal problem. That is, ineligible are voting in mass numbers, or sufficient numbers to turn an election.

      Voter ID does nothing for vote buying, except possibly to up the price for the votes. After all, if I’m going to buy votes, I’m going to make sure the people whose votes I’m buying are eligible voters with the proper ID. You also haven’t demonstrated how vote buying in Kentucky constitutes a huge problem in Pennsylvania.

      More seriously, you used to be better than this. These days all I have to do is check to see what Fox & Friends or NRO is putting out to know what you’re going to say.

      • #30 by classicliberal2 on August 2, 2012 - 20:37

        “These days all I have to do is check to see what Fox & Friends or NRO is putting out to know what you’re going to say.”

        Actually, that last word should be “think.”

  13. #31 by Scott Erb on August 1, 2012 - 01:00

    Alan, your attempt to defend voter suppression is so laughingly pathetic that you do your own side harm by showing how indefensible it is. The claim is that people vote who are illegal, or represent fake voters. Voting buying, which is illegal though probably not very widespread, is a completely different crime. Voter ID laws have no effect on vote buying. The only reason you’d try to use that is if there was NO PROOF about the real issue! The fact you have to switch to a different topic shows that your argument is so weak you have no argument!

    Trying to put two different things under one label (vote fraud) is illogical. It would be like trying to defend laws banning parents from smoking in their homes if children are present by saying “it’s a child protection laws, and some parent do abuse their children.”

  14. #32 by Alan Scott on August 2, 2012 - 17:30

    Scott ,

    I am happy to give you a laugh . I suppose that photo ID for airlines is travel suppression ? And the next time I use my ID for a firearm I can throw a tantrum about 2nd Amendment suppression . Either outlaw all photo IDs or admit this issue is a red herring .

    classicliberal2,

    So vote buying is not voter fraud ? And a Lewinski is not sex . I do love my conversations with Liberals . You guys turn the English language into playdo.

    Norbrook ,

    If you were to be honest, you would admit this is all about firing up the anger of folks who only show up to vote when they are mad . Proving vote fraud is difficult, especially in areas controlled by one party, who shall remain nameless. There are legendary stories of the dead coming to life and voting every 4 years in Chicago . Just because nobody can prove it does not mean it did not happen . I mean they only got Al Capone on tax evasion . They never proved anything else . So he was totally innocent of the ST Valentines Day massacre .

    • #33 by Scott Erb on August 2, 2012 - 17:45

      Again, the issue isn’t voter fraud, the issue is whether or not people are voting who legally should not be able to vote. Fraud is a much broader issue. The reason I think these laws will be seen as illegal is that without being able to prove that fraud is a problem, the law can’t be seen as worth potentially preventing many legal people from voting. Or logic “nobody can prove it’s not happening” is really weak.

      Of course, Democrats have used that logic too. Your logic suggests that Harry Reid is absolutely right to assert that he believes Romney paid no federal income taxes for ten years. Who can disprove it? Oh wait – in this case Romney could, if he’d release his tax information. But until then, hey, Reid’s case is as strong as yours. Heck, I bet Romney’s been funneling money via the Cayman Islands to the Russian mafia. Can you disprove that? 🙂

    • #34 by classicliberal2 on August 2, 2012 - 20:46

      “So vote buying is not voter fraud? And a Lewinski is not sex . I do love my conversations with Liberals . You guys turn the English language into playdo.”

      What you parroted is not voter fraud, nor will your mouthing make it so, no matter how much of it you do. There isn’t even an allegation that anyone who sold their vote was voting illegally, had done anything illegal, or had done anything the GOP’s voter suppression efforts would make illegal. That you are incapable of understanding the English language doesn’t mean your insults do anything but make you look like a complete dumbass talking smack to your betters.

    • #35 by Norbrook on August 3, 2012 - 13:49

      Alan, I leave it to the NRA to scream about any requirements regarding “restrictions” for gun puruchase.

      No, it’s not about “firing up the anger.” It’s about efforts on the part of one Party to keep a large number of otherwise eligible voters from voting, by coming up with “needs.” At no point have you – or the proponents of these laws – shown that there is a serious problem with ineligible voters showing up to vote. Every study that has been done shows that is not the case. The number of red herrings you keep coming up with just prove that you can’t make your argument. Voter ID laws won’t stop “vote buying,” there already are laws on the books regarding your going back to the past, and coming up with other bogus arguments just keeps circling around the reality that it’s all about keeping power.

  15. #36 by Alan Scott on August 4, 2012 - 03:27

    Norbrook ,

    Of course it is about firing up your base . The three of you can pretend it is not and I can’t make you admit reality . But it is not about reality is it ? This is more important than reality, or life and death . It is about winning the election and preserving the Obama legacy .

    I note that you keep bringing up ” studies ” . Studies are like Grand Juries . Remember when New York State Judge Sol Wachtler said that a Prosecutor could get a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich ? Your guys can order up studies to say pretty much whatever they please .

    Or like when President Obama cited ” independent ” economist Kimberly Clausen to bash Romney’s tax plan .

    It will be a real honor to crawl over broken glass and vote the opposite of how you vote .

    Scott,

    ” Heck, I bet Romney’s been funneling money via the Cayman Islands to the Russian mafia. Can you disprove that? ”

    Aha. So you’re the mystery guy who called up Senator Reid and squealed on poor Mitt. I had no idea you used to work at Bain . 🙂

    Classisliberal2 ,

    ” That you are incapable of understanding the English language doesn’t mean your insults do anything but make you look like a complete dumbass talking smack to your betters. ”

    You got one big ego my friend . We should see which of us has any idea what we are talking about, say next November 7 ? Get out your excuse list and your crying towel .

    • #37 by Norbrook on August 5, 2012 - 23:55

      Alan, in none of the cases you’ve cited, have you shown that having a voter ID would have prevented them happening.

      Now, you have a law in Pennsylvania which could prevent up to one million of your fellow Pennsylvanians from voting in this upcoming election. One would think given that, that there would be such massive and obvious voter fraud in your state that only such a draconian measure might solve it. Except that you (and no lawmaker) has been able to to point to that, or to explain how voter ID would prevent it if it was. Instead, you’ve tap-danced around pointing to isolated cases in other states, most of which aren’t related to ineligible voters voting or which would have been prevented by a voter ID law. I might also note that they were caught, and have often drawn some significant penalties for the perpetrators.

      So you’re busily defending a law based on a very weak set of justifications, and haven’t demonstrated the need for it in the first place. Which leads me to the conclusion that it’s simply a desperate attempt to keep segments of your population from voting, to ensure that “the right people” get elected.

  16. #38 by Alan Scott on August 4, 2012 - 21:13

    Sorry to add this late but, I found another example of voter fraud . You guys keep saying there is almost no voter fraud in America . Well google voter fraud in Bell California . I keep finding cases of this non problem

    • #39 by plainlyspoken on August 4, 2012 - 21:32

      Yep looks like some voting fraud here in ABSENTEE ballots. Hmmm, nothing to do with actually showing up at a POLLING place where you insist voters must ID themselves.

      And the election had 400 votes cast. Gee, dangerous problem there.

      According to the WSJ, “In 2005, fewer than 400 voters cast ballots in a special election that cleared the way for City Council members to dramatically boost their own salaries. In that election, more than half the votes cast were absentee ballots, the method of voting most susceptible to fraud.” (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703309704575413393066886472.html)

      Oh, and it appears the fraud wasn’t committed by the voter, but third parties. So, tell me again how voter ID laws would fix this?

  17. #40 by Scott Erb on August 4, 2012 - 22:43

    Actually, Alan, it makes it look like you have an extremely weak case when, in an effort to try to defend voter ID laws you find a tiny, tiny smattering of different kinds of voter fraud that have nothing to do with the voter ID laws. It shows: a) there isn’t a lot of fraud because you can only find such small diffuse examples despite all the efforts people are making to defend these laws, then there isn’t much out there; and b) there is NOTHING to show voter ID laws are needed!

    You would probably be better off dropping this because the more you defend it the more it’s clear there is no defending these laws. If I were a judge I wouldn’t rule voter ID laws unconstitional per se, but: a) delay their implementation until states can make proper efforts to assure all have ID’s; and b) require states to undertake proactive efforts to find and offer IDs to regsitered voters who do not have them.

  18. #41 by SShiell on August 12, 2012 - 04:38

    Hey Erb – Thought i would stop by and leave a quick note:

    “The electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters.”

    That was the conclusion of the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, headed by former president Jimmy Carter and former secretary of State James Baker. The commission recommended stronger photo-identification requirements at the polls. Its logic was straightforward and convincing: Americans must show photo identification for all kinds of day-to-day activities, such as cashing checks or entering government buildings. The many photo ID requirements we encounter in our daily lives are legitimate, effective security measures. Securing the ballot box is just as important.

    The US Supreme Court agrees. In 2008, the court recognized the threat posed by voter fraud and ruled that Indiana’s photo ID requirement was a legitimate, non-discriminatory means of protecting the integrity of elections. The Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s law despite no concrete evidence of fraud in Indiana’s elections.

    But what about examples of Voter fraud?
    April 3, 2012: Prosecutors in South Bend, Ind., filed charges Monday against four St. Joseph County Democratic officials and deputies as part of a multiple-felony case involving the alleged forging of Democratic presidential primary petitions in the 2008 election, which put then-candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Indiana ballot.

    January 9, 2012: 8 Arrested for Absentee Voter Fraud in Madison County, Florida.

    December 2011: 7 Democrats Arrested in New York for actual Voter Fraud via Absentee Ballots.

    November 2011: 12 Democrats have been charged in Georgia for Absentee Ballot Voter Fraud.

    November 2011: NAACP Executive Sentence to 10 Years in Prison for Voting for Obama 10 Times in 2008 – not an absentee case.

    November 2011: 4 Wake County, North Carolina Democrats have admitted to Voting for Obama TWICE Each in 2008 – not an absentee case.

    October 2011: Daytona Beach City Democrat Commissioner and his Campaign Manager arrested for Absentee Ballot Voter Fraud.

    March 2011: Illegal alien from the Philippines Arrested and Charged on 17 counts of Voter fraud in Lake County, Illinois – not an absentee case.

    And in Minnesota: 177 people have been convicted — not just accused, but convicted — of voting fraudulently in the 2008 Senate race. Another 66 are awaiting trial. And none of these are absentee cases.

    And all of these examples took all of 10 minutes using Google.

    Keep up the good work, Erb.

    SShiell

    • #42 by Norbrook on August 13, 2012 - 20:01

      Hmm.. a new study of “in person voter fraud” found it to be virtually non-existent.

      News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, sent public information requests to all 50 states (though not all of them responded) and found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter fraud since 2000. Out of the 146 million registered voters in the U.S., that number represents one case of voter impersonation fraud for every 15 million potential voters. Of the 10 cases of voter fraud, five of them involved family members illegally voting on behalf of relatives.

      Which means that voter ID is a solution is search of a problem. Then again, the favored method of voter fraud is absentee ballots – which favor Republican voters.

      • #43 by SShiell on August 15, 2012 - 14:21

        Carnegie-Knight should have hired me to assist their “investigative report” – In 10 minutes utilizing Google, i found 6 convictions and not one of them had anything to do with voting for a relative.

        As for your “solution in search of a problem” statement, that did not deter the Supreme Court (in a 6-3 decision) or the bi-partisan Commission on Federal Election Reform to disagree. But then you have no response to that, do you?

        See Ya!

      • #44 by Norbrook on August 15, 2012 - 17:52

        Yes, actually I do. You might, while you’re googling around, look at some of the more recent cases fraudulent registration of voters, forged petitions and fraudulent votes being cast. They’re all Republicans. So, using your analytical methods, the obvious next thing is to stop all Republicans from voting, or force them to prove that they’re really who they say that are, make them vote only in person, and provide only a specific photo ID to do so. They can obtain that by providing a long form birth certificate, along with a set of other documentation like military discharge (with dental x-rays), property tax bills, bank statements, and notarized statements from 15 non-relatives stating that you are who you state you are. Once you have that, you can get your ID for the low price of $50 at the center 200 miles from your home. After all, you want to make sure that voter fraud is fought, right? You do have all those pieces of paper?

        After all, if you’re identifying as a Republican, it’s obvious that you’re probably fraudulently voting, so it’s just a matter of protecting the integrity of elections to make sure that you’re who you say you are.

        Yes, it is, despite your flailing, a virtually non-existent problem. All your googling will show something: In-person voter fraud is virtually non-existent. Even in the various “citations” that Alan was flinging around, it was noteworthy that they were a) rare; b) not effecting the outcome of an election.

      • #45 by SShiell on August 15, 2012 - 21:14

        First I did not identify myself as anything at all. I don’t care who does the dirty deed – Democrats, Republicans or Independents. A fraudulent vote is just that and it nullifies any vote cast legitimately.

        Second, As far as an election that has not been affected by voter fraud – the 2008 Minnesota Senatorial race (Al Franken won) has had 177 convictions to date and 66 cases pending of over 1,000 identified fraudulent votes cast. That election was decided by approximatley 325 votes. Did those votes affect the outcome of the election? We can argue whether this fits your standard of “affecting the outcome of an election.”

        Third, neither the Supreme Court ruling nor the Commission on Federal Election Reform recommendations were made because of “serious” voter fraud in this country. In fact, the Supreme Court ruling was made with no evidence of voter fraud being placed in evidence. The Court still ruled in a 6-3 vote to uphold the law.

        You and I can go round and round about whether a Voter ID law is suppressing the vote or not. But you still have not responded to me regarding the Commission recommendations or the Court ruling. And of the two the Court ruling sets the precedence, a similarly written and applied law is the law of the land.

    • #46 by lbwoodgate on August 15, 2012 - 15:18

      WOW! Your stats look impressive on the surface but a cursory review of them still proves that voter fraud is almost undetectable in this country. Of the 217 “voter fraud” cases you have found ‘“in just 10 minutes on google” only 183 people were actually charged with or admitted to voter fraud. Seventeen have been arrested for voter fraud but yet to be charged or convicted and the 17 that have been charged with voter fraud have yet to be convicted.

      How are these small numbers that occurred over a span of 13 months supposed to validate your fears about massive voter fraud issues to justify photo IDs? This is but a fraction of the people who intended to vote before realizing that they failed to update their voter information.

      And in your support for Alan further down this thread:

      ”The left jeered when the Iraqi election officials came up with their “finger in ink” process during their historic elections. Those ink-dipped fingers now stand as powerful visual testimony to the desire for democracy and the power of one person’s vote.
      One fraudulent vote destroys the fabric of our democratic process. Whose single vote does it nullify? Yours? Mine? Erbs? It doesn’t matter – that single actions nullifies a preson’s clear intent to have his/her, dare I call it sacred, input into our political system.”

      What a load! Did you just make up that part about the left jeering “when the Iraqi election officials came up with their “finger in ink” process during their historic elections”? What right-wing troglodyte did you get this from?

      And though no one likes the idea of their vote be negated by voter fraud I doubt you could find me, in 10 days on Google, one election where the outcome was adversely affected from the result of voter fraud.

      • #47 by SShiell on August 15, 2012 - 20:53

        Massive voter fraud issues?

        Massive????

        Take a moment – it shouldn’t take more than a moment – and look at the results of the bi-partisan Commission on Federal Election Reform and their recommendations. While you are at it you can review the 2008 Supreme Court ruling upholding the Indiana State Vote ID law.

        And to respond to your question “What right-wing troglodyte did you get this from?” I will respond to you when you decide to treat me with some respect. Until then . . . .

      • #48 by lbwoodgate on August 15, 2012 - 21:28

        To SShiell

        Take a moment – it shouldn’t take more than a moment – and look at the results of the bi-partisan Commission on Federal Election Reform and their recommendations. While you are at it you can review the 2008 Supreme Court ruling upholding the Indiana State Vote ID law.

        Okay, I did and what I see is a commission that states it’s main concern isn’t voter fraud that photo IDs will fix but is more concerned about issues such as flawed voter registration lists, obsolete voting machines, poorly designed ballots, as well as inadequate procedures for interpreting disputed votes. Photo IDs wasn’t the mainstay of the commission’s report – http://www1.american.edu/ia/cfer/report/full_report.pdf – and as the co-authors of it point out, “while all of the Commission members endorse the judgments and general policy thrust of the report in its entirety, they do not necessarily support every word and recommendation.”
        They did recommend “a photo ID system for voters designed to increase registration with a more affirmative and aggressive role for states in finding new voters and providing free IDs for those without driver’s licenses” but this doesn’t go to the thrust of your argument that there are serious voter fraud issues that photo IDs will eliminate. In other words this and the SOTUS ruling in Indiana is a red-herring to give your argument the appearance of credibility Sorry, I’m not buying into it.

        ”I will respond to you when you decide to treat me with some respect.”

        Try showing some respect yourself before you arrogantly go demanding it of others. The material you have presented here to support the argument of rampant voter fraud is an insult to people who have half a brain.

      • #49 by SShiell on August 15, 2012 - 22:02

        “The material you have presented here to support the argument of rampant voter fraud is an insult to people who have half a brain.”

        I will not venture to guess how much of a brain you have but I will leave with this final comment for you to digest – not once did I claim any “rampant vorter fraud” or anything of the sort.

        See Ya!

  19. #50 by Scott Erb on August 13, 2012 - 20:15

    http://votingrights.news21.com/article/election-fraud/

    At least for me the link you posted didn’t work, so maybe it’ll work here. It is interesting how the cases of voter fraud so often deal with absentee, which as you mention voter ID doesn’t address, or that they find a tiny number of cases and want to say “see it exists so therefore the money and laws are necessary.” It’s clearly an attempt to cheat by changing the rules to try to win the election.

  20. #52 by Alan Scott on August 14, 2012 - 14:03

    Scott,

    ” Actually, Alan, it makes it look like you have an extremely weak case when, in an effort to try to defend voter ID laws you find a tiny, tiny smattering of different kinds of voter fraud that have nothing to do with the voter ID laws. It shows: a) there isn’t a lot of fraud because you can only find such small diffuse examples despite all the efforts people are making to defend these laws, then there isn’t much out there; and b) there is NOTHING to show voter ID laws are needed! ”

    You keep making the absurd case that the only voter fraud which occurs at all is what has been successfully prosecuted . You might actually believe it . I believe that Democrats do win close elections with voter fraud . I believe the vast majority of voter fraud goes undetected . It’s sort of like drug smuggling . Authorities readily admit they only intercept a small fraction of drugs crossing the border . By your logic the drugs that make it in to our country do not exist .

    • #53 by Scott Erb on August 14, 2012 - 16:04

      Then as Jon Stewart says, “it’s leash laws for unicorns!” After all, we can’t prove unicorns aren’t doing something bad somewhere when unleashed. The burden of proof is on the vote suppressors. Anyway, you’re smart enough to know Alan that they’re not concerned about fraud. It’s trying to limit the vote.

      • #54 by SShiell on August 15, 2012 - 14:30

        Then i suppose Jimmie Carter’s participation in the Commission on Federal Election Reform deserves the same “unicorn” slam? Or the US Supreme Courts ruling (on a 6-3 vote) on the validity of the Indiana Voter ID law?

        I guess neither was as smart as you – they must not be “concerned about voter fraud.”

        Just sayin’

  21. #55 by Alan Scott on August 14, 2012 - 16:47

    Scott,

    I sincerely believe it is about voter fraud . Guess I really am not as smart as you and your friends . In less than 3 months we will find out if just how stupid I am in the rest of my beliefs .

    • #56 by SShiell on August 15, 2012 - 14:56

      Stand your ground, Alan. You do not have to apologize to anyone for having a reasoned opinion. Discussion is good – ridicule is not.

      Identy theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country and the rigorous application of Photo ID is one of the best counters, where applicable. Photo ID is required to enter any Federal Building, buy liquor, buy any type of firearm, and many other day-to-day functions of our daily life – even being allowed to enter any forum featuring Obama’s current campaign for the Presidency.

      If there is one sacred tenant in our political system, it is the vote. The Democratic Party stood up in righteous indignation over that single issue in the 2000 election.

      How things have changed since then. The left jeered when the Iraqi election officials came up with their “finger in ink” process during their historic elections. Those ink-dipped fingers now stand as powerful visual testimony to the desire for democracy and the power of one person’s vote.

      One fraudulent vote destroys the fabric of our democratic process. Whose single vote does it nullify? Yours? Mine? Erbs? It doesn’t matter – that single actions nullifies a preson’s clear intent to have his/her, dare I call it sacred, input into our political system.

  22. #57 by Alan Scott on August 16, 2012 - 02:40

    SShiell ,

    One of the central points of contention seems to be the amount of actual voter fraud. My opposers say that the only fraud is the relatively small number of fraud cases that have been proven . Since I can’t prove otherwise, they do not exist .

    I do not see why this same principle fails to apply to their big complaint about the actual number of legal voters disenfranchised by the photo ID laws . I see the estimate numbers for Philly Pa. in the thousands and numbers in the hundreds of thousands statewide . Why do they not have to prove that every single estimated disenfranchised voter is actually a legal voter who cannot obtain a photo ID ?

    If they can’t prove those large numbers maybe they do not exist .

    • #58 by lbwoodgate on August 16, 2012 - 03:01

      To SShiell

      “I will not venture to guess how much of a brain you have … “

      Even if all I had was half of a brain I would still be able to see your obfuscation of the issue of voter fraud

      …”not once did I claim any “rampant vorter fraud” or anything of the sort.

      Clearly you haven’t really claimed anything of substance yet somehow seem to become unsettled when someone challenges your surmising on voter fraud

      • #59 by SShiell on August 16, 2012 - 03:23

        Well then you can obfuscate this – the Courts in Pennsylvania agree with me on this date. I see where the ACLU suit against the Pennsylvania Voter ID law was rejected. The rational used was the same as the Supreme Court used in upholding the 2008 Indiana Voter ID law.

        I bet it bothers you all to h*ll that the Supreme Court seems to agree with my position – even when there was no evidence of voter fraud associated with the Indiana Voter ID Law.

        Go figure.

        Have a nice day!

      • #60 by lbwoodgate on August 16, 2012 - 03:44

        “I bet it bothers you all to h*ll that the Supreme Court seems to agree with my position – even when there was no evidence of voter fraud associated with the Indiana Voter ID Law.

        Go figure.”

        Silly boy. You seem to think I care about what the courts thinks concerning the laws constitutionality. My emphasis has always been aimed at the bogus claim that voter ID is rampant enough to warrant such a law. I sustain the fact that it isn’t. That must bother you that you can’t prove that it really is.

        And don’t feel so smug that these justices “agree with [you]”. The justice that made the ruling in the Pennsylvania lawsuit had this to say:

        “Petitioner’s counsel did an excellent job of ‘putting a face’ to those burdened by the voter ID requirement,” Pennsylvania Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson said in a 70-page ruling.

        “At the end of the day, however, I do not have the luxury of deciding this issue based on my sympathy for the witnesses or my esteem for counsel,” Simpson wrote.

        Before the trial, Pennsylvania conceded that it was not aware of any instances of voter impersonation fraud in the state.

        While Simpson acknowledged that political interests may have motivated the legislators who voted for the law, that did not make the law unconstitutional, he said.

        Simpson left open the possibility that specific individuals could try again to block the law by showing that they were prevented from voting.” SOURCE

        That doesn’t sound like someone who is sympathetic towards those who believe voter fraud is a serious problem in the state.

      • #61 by SShiell on August 16, 2012 - 05:23

        “That doesn’t sound like someone who is sympathetic towards those who believe voter fraud is a serious problem in the state.”

        But he did not strike down the law.

        Go figure!

    • #62 by SShiell on August 16, 2012 - 03:13

      The only thing they can try to empiracally show is some evidence in reducing the numbers of votes cast by comparing elections scenarios before and after Voter ID laws were emplaced. Does that mean that voters were “suppressed”? To you and me, maybe not – to your/our detractors, it has to be.

      The logic I use is very similar to the logic applied by opMurder is an awful crime – even if it only happens once. ponent of the death penalty. You only have to be wrong once to send an innocent to death. Voter fraud may not have affected a single election in our lifetime – until it does for the first time.

      Who is deluding whom?

      I repeat – stand your ground. It is just as firm as their ground is to them.

    • #63 by lbwoodgate on August 16, 2012 - 03:24

      “I do not see why this same principle fails to apply to their big complaint about the actual number of legal voters disenfranchised by the photo ID laws”

      Unlike the extensive available research done to dismiss the notion of rampant voter fraud that has allegedly occurred over the last few decades, like that done by the Brennan Center for Justice, there has been no real history as of yet to accurately measure how such laws will negatively affect some voters.

      But it’s pretty clear who those people are who will most likely be unable to acquire a photo ID, especially in time for this election – mainly blacks and elderly people who haven’t needed a photo ID for most of their lives or whose physical ability makes it difficult for them to go to the locations that will fulfill this requirement. The fact that Republicans are pushing this canard strongly suggests that this targeted population are more likely to vote for their opponents, thus explaining why only they deem the issue a threat.

      • #64 by SShiell on August 16, 2012 - 05:25

        Yawn.

  23. #66 by SShiell on August 19, 2012 - 20:13

    Yawn!

  24. #67 by lbwoodgate on August 21, 2012 - 17:08

    Who Can Vote?

    In Texas there are 104 total cases of REPORTED voter fraud and 3 cases of voter impersonation since 2000.

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