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View Diary: North Carolina's Republican lawmakers eager to use Supreme Court's VRA ruling to curtail voting (97 comments)

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  •  Here's an example off the top of my head (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, Eric Nelson

    There are more and better reasons and examples, but here's what comes to mind for me.

    The more difficult it is for people to vote, the smaller the number of folks that will vote.  If you require voters to scale a mountain along a steep treacherous 5 mile trail carrying an 80 pound backpack, the number of voters will drop significantly.

    If their are two precincts, both with the same number of registered voters, and one precinct has 10 voting machines and no lines and the other has one voting machine and an eight hour wait in line, then it is more difficult for people to vote in the precinct with the eight hour lines, and less people will vote.  If the precinct with 10 machines is in a Republican neighborhood and the precinct with 1 machines is in a Democratic neighborhood, Republicans will have an advantage since voting for Democrats is more difficult.

    According to the diary, African Americans "made up 22 percent of North Carolina's registered voters last year but 34 percent of voters without a driver's license or state-issued ID".  The more difficult voting is made, the more hurdles erected, the more time involved, the more frustration, then the less number of people who vote.  If one group is more likely to be impacted by the hurdles erected, then that group will suffer a reduction in the number of people of their group that votes.  And as the quote from the diary indicates, African Americans are more significantly impacted by this hurdle; thus the result, and it is an intended result, is likely to be a reduction in voter turnout among African Americans.

    The same is true for the efforts to cut back or end same-day registration, early voting, Sunday voting, and student on campus voting; they deliberately target certain groups that are more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans.  And the same is true for precincts that have inadequate numbers of voting booths, voting machines, and poll workers.

    This isn't about insuring the integrity of the voting process; voter fraud is not a significant problem in North Carolina or any other state.  It is about cutting down the number of people that are likely to vote for Democrats; and requiring people to get ID's is an effective way to accomplish that goal.

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    by davehouck on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:24:55 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  well, your example of voting booths have nothing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward

      to do with IDs, or am I missing a connection.

      I am not for the voting ID laws. I understand that fraud is not a problem. But when I argue this with people, and they ask me if having to have proof of who you are is really something that shouldnt be needed to vote. Its hard for me to continue the argument because having an id, the same thing that is required to drive, buy booze, buy cigs, go into any bar, go into an R rated movie (although I dont think that is upheld much) and many other things in life... its hard for me to argue that its a big deal.

      The threat to our way of life comes from corporations, and the solution is to shrink corporations while freeing government from corporate control.

      by gbaked on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 11:46:55 AM PDT

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      •  Here's a distinction ... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smiley7, davehouck, NCJan, msdrown
        drive, buy booze, buy cigs, go into any bar, go into an R rated movie ...
        Those are all privileges. Voting is a right.

        ‎"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine

        by jobobo on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 12:06:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Some people don't drive... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        davehouck, jobobo

        and can't afford to buy booze, cigs, or go to movies. But they still should have the right to vote.

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        by JamieG from Md on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 12:19:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes; you missed the connection that I attempted .. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        msdrown

        ... to make; my apologies, I'll try again.  Like long lines at certain precincts, requiring ID's from people that do not already have them, will increase the difficulty of voting and reduce turnout.  Both of these methods, requiring ID's and long lines at certain precincts, are designed to reduce the turnout among certain groups; they both add hurdles to the process.  That's what voting booths have to do with ID's; they are both methods to reduce voter turnout among certain groups of people.

        Among the examples you gave:

        We require a drivers license to drive an automobile because it is an inherently dangerous activity, and we in the community would like for new drivers to exhibit some amount of knowledge and skill before being allowed to drive on our streets; thus the requirement for a license.  In our society, we have an inherent right to vote; but to drive an automobile you must demonstrate an ability to do so safely.

        The requirement for an ID to purchase beer or cigarettes or to enter a bar is in response to a need felt by the members of a community that children should be protected from these types of activities; and since the employees at these places do not otherwise know the ages of our children, an ID must suffice.  When you register to vote, you give identifying information such as your name and address that are recorded and can later be verified; and when you vote, the name and address you give are checked to match a list of registered voters, and then checked off on that list.  Every registered voter has the right to vote.

        The level of difficulty in getting an ID to vote varies among states.  It can be difficult for some folks to get a certified copy of a birth certificate, especially if you weren't born in a hospital or do not know which hospital you were born in.  A certified copy may also incur some costs such as shipping and perhaps a notary fee.  Other complicating factors might be if you were given up for adoption, or were in a foster care program, of if you were/are estranged or otherwise separated from your family.  If you don't drive, then you will have to make some kind of arrangements to get transportation to and from the drivers license bureau.  In many locations, like where I live, the wait time at the drivers license bureau is many hours; that's many hours that both you and perhaps the person providing transportation for you must be able to spend, which for a lot of people may be something of an uncomfortable request of a boss for time off from work, or the expense of having someone look after your children while you are gone.  For the elderly, injured, or ill, that kind of wait can be uncomfortable for other reasons as well.  Last year, the new ID rules in Pennsylvania were so egregious that for some folks it took several days and trips to go through all the steps that were required to get their IDs.  And I recall that there were incidences where at some drivers licenses bureaus in Pennsylvania folks were charged a fee for the ID, which is of course a poll tax.  A poll tax is a violation of your right to vote.  For people who are already struggling to make ends meet each month, a $20 or $30 fee for an ID is just one more additional hurdle, one more way in which Republicans can reduce turnout among folks who tend to vote for Democrats.

        If it were easy, if there was no inconvenience, no expenditure of scarce funds, no tracking down of documents, no arranging and paying for transportation, no requests for time off from work, no childcare issues, no health related issues, etc, then yes, there would be no problem.  But that's not the point.  The point is to make it more difficult for people to vote; else the Republicans would not be making so much effort to enact these requirements.  They already know that it's not easy, that it is inconvenient, and that it will indeed reduce turnout.  That's why they are doing this; it is an important part of their overall strategy to reduce turnout among Democratic leaning voters; and they know it works.

        There are more detailed and more well thought out essays on this subject written by those with far more knowledge of the issue than I have; but in response to your question, this is my off the top of my head take on things.  The Republicans have done their research; they know that requiring IDs from people who do not already have them will significantly increase the difficulty of voting and consequently lower turnout among groups of people that tend to vote for Democrats.  It has the same effect as reducing the number of polling machines in an urban precinct.

        I hope that somewhat addresses your question.

        ______________
        Love one another

        by davehouck on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 12:54:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the connection is the burden (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        davehouck, Eric Nelson

        To rewind to something you asked above: yes, in principle, a solution could be to make it easy for everyone to obtain an ID, so the requirement wouldn't be burdensome.

        The Brennan Center found that in Texas, there were over 800,000 voting-age citizens without vehicle access, about 60,000 of whom lived more than 10 miles from an office that could issue ID. (Pennsylvania was much worse.)

        Of course that isn't just like an eight-hour wait on election day. In some ways it is worse. And we haven't even talked about the documentation requirements for getting the ID once one reaches an office. Could these states make it much easier? No doubt.

        Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

        by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 01:10:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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