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St. Louis County Assistant Supervisor of Elections Troy Jeans (R) helps a lone voter deposit her ballot at the The Heights in St. Louis, Missouri on February 7, 2012, on the day of the Missouri Presidential Primary. REUTERS/Sarah Conard (UNITED STATES - T
Voter ID laws poll strongly, and why not—we need ID to handle many routine day-to-day transactions. It's logical people would assume the same would be required for something as important as voting.

Of course, there's no real evidence of voter fraud beyond James O'Keefe's shenanigans. But Republicans win this argument hands down in the court of public opinion. It's not even close. Indeed, rather than be skeptical of Republicans pushing these restrictive laws, it is the Democrats arguing against them that end up looking suspicious. Asking for ID is just not seen as a big deal for the vast majority of people.

The problem with most voter ID laws is that there's a small but significant chunk of the population that is shut out of the voting process by ID requirements. Thus, the focus should be less on preventing ID laws that garner much popular support, and more on crafting solutions that ensure that everyone gets to vote.

The best, easiest, and cheapest solution is what California (mostly), Oregon and Washington already do—vote by mail. Ballots are mailed out to the homes of registered voters several weeks before election day, voters fill them out, and either mail them back in or drop them off at select drop boxes if you don't trust the USPS. Oregon has had this system since 2000 with zero problems.

While Ohio's Republican leadership has done much to try and restrict early voting, it is also aggressively promoting its vote-by-mail option. Thirty percent of Ohio voters voted by mail in 2008, and all Ohio voters will receive an absentee ballot application in the mail this year. As voters in the state become more used to voting by mail, it should mitigate all the other problems the state has historically suffered. Sure, black churches may like marching as a congregation to a polling place the Sunday before the election, but there's nothing stopping them from having parishioners show up with their absentee ballots that same Sunday and keeping voting a community event.

But if you're not going to do vote-by-mail, Virginia shows how a voter ID law can be inoffensive.

  • If you show up without proper ID, you can vote provisionally, and you then have three days to come up with proper ID. And you don't have to show up in person to prove your identification. You can email, snail mail or fax the proof.
  • You don't need a photo ID. Acceptable forms of ID are: driver's license, school ID, employee badge, utility bills, paychecks with an address, bank statements or a special voter ID card. Pretty much anything with your face and name, or name and address.
  • A voter ID card will get mailed to every registered voter in the state. If you register, you get your card in the mail.

I just can't think of a case where a legitimate voter would be denied the ability to vote with these requirements, and the three-day grace period ensures that even those who forget their ID still get to vote.

This is nothing like Pennsylvania's ridiculously restrictive voter ID law, or Florida's attempts to purge its voter rolls of legitimate people.

The requirement for an ID may be unnecessary, but asking for ID seems commonsensical to most people. Fighting requirements for ID breed unnecessary suspicion. So let's focus on allowing people no-excuse vote-by-mail, or on voter ID laws like Virginia, which present little barriers to anyone trying to vote.

Originally posted to kos on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think Voter ID laws are FINE IF *IF* (12+ / 0-)

    they go into affect in a year or two since it's passage.... and not 3 months.

    People need time to get the ID.

    •  It takes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton, NormAl1792

      less than a week to mail an ID.

      Heck, I'd be more likely to lose an ID I got two years ago, than the one I'm getting a month before the election.

      •  you are missing the point (8+ / 0-)

        the biggest issues are

        1) time needed for education and outreach so all voters now what is required.  Takes alot of time.

        2) the time required to go get a photo ID and the operating hours of places you have to go to get it

        •  Voter IDs are (6+ / 0-)

          being mailed in Virginia. No need to go anywhere.

          That's the whole point of this post. There's a right way to do it, and Virginia is doing it right.

          •  So are you saying that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NormAl1792, worldlotus, indres

            Mailing voter IDs to voters, as in Virginia, is among other things a way of having voter ID that foils the current Republican tactics of making changes either right at the last minute before the election or in a way that is manifestly not backed up by any real voter education effort? (On which see my links below.)

            I suppose so, although I'm sure that they'll find a way to complicate it in practice.

          •  got it. If the voter needs to take no (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dewley notid, indres

            action and does not need to go get a photo, yes that is a great idea. thanks
            I was thinking your comment was in general about all the photo IDs being required in other states.  In those states the voter has to figure all the rules out and take actions to get the ID

            •  I don't get why the voters shouldnt take action (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doinaheckuvanutjob

              You have to register to vote. If you arent motivated to vote, then your input isnt that useful, other than just being an easily manipulated pawn.

              •  Voter takes action by showing up to vote (5+ / 0-)

                and by deciding whom to vote for in the first place. This already seems beyond half of American adults, so why add anything else to the list?

                Anyway, mail-in ballots are the way to go: you can peruse the pamphlet as you fill in your ballot, no lines, and it foils voter intimidation efforts.

              •  Missing the point, and Kos: 'Republicans win this (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rigveda, PinHole

                argument in the court of public opinion?"  

                The most likely disenfranchised voter is going to be your spacey voter.  You know them, this is someone who has ID that's good enough, just doesn't show up to the polls with it. Maybe they are educated enough to make an issue when they are called on it at their polling place but likely they are not.  Maybe they have enough time to go back home and come down to the polling place a second time.  Maybe, just maybe they have enough time to do that and  they can take that much more time off of work.

                Remember that in my state, the Commonwealth of PA, one has been able to vote for some 225+ year without a fucking ID from the fucking Pennsylvania Department of fucking Transportation (PENNDOT for short).

                Perhaps there weren't progressives back in the day so maybe our progressive institutional memory does not extend to the really chancy shit that happened in those few-odd intervening years.

                Let me recap:

                there were ome issues with Native Americans west of Fort Pitt in the 1770's and 1780s (not enough to require a PENNDOT or their voter ID  but at least they didn't get smallpox blanket thank you gifts);

                Don't recall that there was a white anglo saxon straight male land owner ID issued so only the right people voted back in the dimmest days of our democracy when many thought that slave ownership was a pretty damned good idea for the economy;

                Then there was that small matter of war that provoked Francis Scott Key to pen four outstanding verses to our very militant national anthem (three of which were not exactly politically correct but again not enough to provoke the formation of a PENNDOT or their issuance of photo ID loyalty oaths);

                How about all those waves of Irish, Italian, German and every other flavor of immigration to these shores? Were they kept away from the polling places of PA because the jackasses that were regulating the Connestoga wagon trade produced calligraphy on scrolls of parchment in freaking English (my mothers tongue, was was it yours?) ;

                Couple o' wars with Spain and Mexico, which didn't explicitly deny ID to low riding banditos with crossed bandoleirs riding pigmy ponies so low as to evade the notice of even Teddy Fucking Rosevelt, (genuflect, may his DC avatar someday win the race between innings or at least travel to Milwaukee to trip up the chorizo with the dirty sanchez) did they? ;

                have we forgotten all of those uppity women who had the terminity to ask for the right to vote- before they got it were they cast away from the polls because their IDs had the wrong freaking gender on it (well OK maybe PENNDOT could have more proactively addressed women drivers, shit I may be losing the cocksucking argument and the trumpeting pachedermal types may be gaining some in public opinion, gotta give you that there  but wait, there's more progressive historical shit out there);

                Then what do we have? Oh yea, a war or two where fucking tube steak (Frankenfurter's diabolical provocation of dearest Janet) and  greasy (hamburger) meat patties that were still a figment of Ray Croc's imagination get re-named because we require PENNDOT fucking IDs to round up Italians, Germans, Japanese and any other folk who may monger fear in the most paranoid skirt-folds in Harrisburgh?  Wasn't that fucking special.  

                How about the de facto discrimination against native Amricans and individuals of African ancestry that didn't require a fucking PENNDOT fucking ID to serve in the our country's armed services during wartime and came home to an America where the deep south style attitudes and practices prevalent west of the city of brotherly love and east of pittsburgh that weren't  publicized enough to get our beloved commonwealth the same sort of voting rights restrictions placed upon regions with similar attitudes at latitudes below Mason and Dixon's line?

                An even after 9/11, (chorus of angelic voices behind the flag of war) when domestic terorism was quickly identified by the PA state police, homeland security and every sentient entity in our Republic as the biggest real potential to security, there still was no hue and cry by the Goob or the State Legislature to require that low forehead armed aryan-types or headscarf, turban and burqua wearers  produce a freaking PENNDOT fucking ID was there?

                So tell me kos, really, what comeback does anyone have to the question "Why, what reason is there now that justify's  anyone having go to fucking PENNDOT to get a voter ID, after 236 years of not requiring a state approved ID to vote, for individuals already on their county's voter registration lists?

                I'm waiting.

                (crickets)

                Still waiting.

                (crickets)

                I'm not accusing anyone of promoting T-shirts with kos' picture (in Charlie Sheen style) on them and underneath the phrase
                'Republicans: Winning Voter ID arguments!'

                Dude, in this Helter-Skelter year of election, those shirts are just a silk screen away.  

                Seriously, it depends on what argument one makes.  Maybe we've forgotten the best one: "ID's , we've never needed no stinking IDs!"

                I've seen the face of real voter fraud in PA, two types that freaking voter freaking ID laws would not have stopped.  

                Fraud that democratic lawyers were incompetent (Ok the deck was way stacked against them but they'd have done a better job if they didn't sit beneath the tables when they addressed the admitedly GOOP stacked courts) to even get acknowledged as fraud.

                I saw the perpetrator of the fraud elected while others lost by less than a hand full of votes.  So yeah, real fucking voter fraud really fucking pisses me off.

                And if my mom, my wife, my neighbor, my daughter or even I myself forget to bring a State approved ID with them on election day the issue isn't a matter of anyone being too lazy to oppose tyranny that 236 years of patriotism hasn't been enough to convince the idiot Corbett and his cocksucking cronies on the right and his 'individual of either gender oral pleasuring' appologists on the left,
                 well maybe then I'm a knuckle-dragging libertarian and not a progressive after all.  

                I will be out in LA on election day and, to preserve law and order in my own polling place, I will have mailed in my absentee ballot. I will be looking forward to seeing our guys win, and yes, I'll be sweating out the PA vote until I'm sure that our base was so fired up by the ludicrous attempt to use voter IDs to suppress our vote that the've come out in numbers that put 2008 to shame.  

                Tomorrow to the phones and door to door to stir the pot, but tonight another well hopped fermented beverage.  

                Buy you one?  I won't even ask for your ID.

                "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

                by jakewaters on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 02:59:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Jake, jake, no (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  doinaheckuvanutjob

                  At a minimum, forty-five percent of the population will vote for Mitt Romney and the Republicans this election. That means forty-five percent of the population is essentially stupid. You can't win an argument with stupid. You have to deal with stupid as effectively as possible.

                  Yes, you can go around saying "We don't need no stinking ID's" but most people will not understand your problem. The effective way to deal with simple people with a simple problem is to offer a simple solution.

                  Voting by mail is a simple, effective solution.

                  Obama 2012/Romney 1040

                  by ebrann on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 05:06:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I know this is off topic, but (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jakewaters

                    calling 45% of the electorate stupid for not voting the way you would... yeah that's the way to get votes.

                    •  You're right (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      jakewaters

                      Insofar as calling anyone stupid is counterproductive,it would not be effective to call anyone stupid. I do think it is foolish to vote against one's own best interests, and except for millionaires and billionaires, voting for Romney will be voting for economic policies which will harm the voters themselves.

                      I was trying to point out that jake's response to kos would not be effective, even though I believe his argument against voter suppression efforts is undoubtedly right.

                      Obama 2012/Romney 1040

                      by ebrann on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 10:39:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It was mostly tongue in cheek but by mail voting (0+ / 0-)

                        is not the answer.  

                        In 2000 you may not remember but there was a website that was soliciting absentee ballots for a price and running an online market (bid, asked, etc) for absentee ballots in virtually every state including a significant number from Florida.

                        The FEC got after them as well as interpol and the website got shut down- never heard of what happened to the thousands of blank absentee ballots.

                        I really don't want to go into the details of how this type of fraud would be absolutely untraceable because  it would be counter productive to spell it out so that others could duplicate the effort at some future time.

                        With respect to the intelligence of the electorate, I think Mr Will Rodgers has captured this most eloquently.  

                        Again, my apologies for the rant, truth be told I might have started nipping at the finely hopped brew prior to hitting the post button and some judicious editing may have won the point with better humor.

                        I understand the virtues of saving ones energy to fight battles we can win and picking our battles wisely: listen to kos on this, he's right.  But just asking that one question, 'Why after 236 years of electoral liberty in PA do we need to have an ID to vote now?' doesn't require a lot of effort.

                        ...and I'm still waiting for an answer to it.

                        'Nuh-uh, cause you need an ID for everything else,' is not an answer.  

                        Still hearing crickets an still waiting for that answer.

                        "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

                        by jakewaters on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 06:13:06 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Not quite correct (0+ / 0-)

                        It's not actually 45% of the population who would vote for Romney, it's 45% of the VOTERS, who comprise less than 60% of the population (turnout was 57% in 2008, a 4-decade high, then dropped back to 38% in 2010).  If the entire U.S. population were to vote, Romney would lose by a HUGE MARGIN.  

                         This is why all voter ID laws suck wind.  Voter fraud is virtually non-existent.  Not enough people vote as it is.  What justification could there be for anything that makes it MORE DIFFICULT to vote?

                         Voter ID laws disenfranchise low-income people who can't afford an ID...Hard-working people who have to take the bus instead of driving, who can't afford even a nominal $10.00 fee for an ID, and who can't afford to take a day off work to stand in line at the DMV just to have their picture taken.  

                         Voter ID laws disenfranchise elderly and handicapped people who don't drive.

                        Voter ID laws disenfranchise people who lack a stable home address, such as students and soldiers.  

                         By requiring IDs at the polls, the process of voting is slowed-down, the lines become longer, and voter turnout is suppressed just by making it too much of a hassle to stand in line and wait.

                         Virginia's less stringent Voter ID law may be a lesser evil, but a lesser evil is still an evil.  I think in this case Kos is making the same mistake the Democrats all too typically make, which is to concede ground to the other side for fear of being misinterpreted, to allow the other side to define the debate in their own terms.  

                         Instead of citing a polling question on requiring ID which people are more than likely to answer affirmatively simply because it sounds right intuitively without giving it much thought, why not try polling a different question, like:

                    "Do you think that all Americans should have the opportunity to vote?"

                     or
                    "Would you prefer that it be easier to vote?"  

                         It is quite likely that those questions would receive an affirmative response at a much higher percentage than the poll Kos cites, and that is how the issue should be framed.

              •  ... (2+ / 0-)

                Well you are forgetting the cost for ID in the first place which could be considered a defacto poll tax.

                I'm with Kos on this one... It's a losing battle, so manipulate the mechanisms.  If you can essentially prove residency the same way you would at the DMV, that seems reasonable.  But license or state ID only is unacceptable.

          •  Take it from a Virginian... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Smoh

            this is perhaps the only thing Virginia is doing right!

            •  I voted for over thirty years in NYC (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              revsue, WI Deadhead, PinHole

              During that time, when I went to vote, even if the voting inspectors knew me, I brought something, usually something that showed what my residence address was, a utility bill or some such. There was a long list of things available that would be accepted including when in doubt a hail to Sammy at the next table who lived on the same block who'd say Hello, X, yeah. and go back to work. Something with a signature on it was better, since it could be compared to the signature on record,  and a signature and photo was best. If there was an issue, they would be told to go home and get X or Y or Z item, or fish in their wallet or purse for somethign else that might do. And they would without a problem. People knew it, and would remind one another to take something. People in general understood what might be asked and what they needed. None of this new rules in effect in sixty days stuff.

              And the BOE sent out a written notice of each election addressed to each voter  some weeks in advance, and telling him or her WHERE their voting place was.

              But there is a teeny tiny point that is worth noting about the Board of Elections sending out notices and seeing what happens. More than once I got a notice addressed to Y at my address when Y was nobody who lived there and nobody I ever heard of, and nobody I could find on my block whose house number might have been gummed up by BOE. As for those, I would call BOE and tell them that Y had gotten an election card from them at my address, and Y did not live there and I had no idea who he was.

              •  We have lived in upstate NY (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                doinaheckuvanutjob

                for over 45 yrs and have voted in every election, except a couple of school budget ones.  We have NEVER been asked for ID.  We sign a register, which has multiple copies of our previous signatures, the inspector casts a quick eye to it, and directs us to the machine or lately gives us the ballot.  

                District lines have changed twice during this time, and although we have gotten it right, some go to their previous locations.  They are then directed to the correct polling place.

                All this voter ID stuff is just CRAP, and will disenfranchise the elderly and the poor especially.  What about people in nursing homes, group homes, colleges?

          •  But that's weird (2+ / 0-)

            How does an ID which lacks a photo do anything to prevent the (alleged) fraud which allegedly justifies these laws?  Why have the law at all, then?

            •  Allegedly is the operative word there (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adam B, mkor7, mikejay611, maryru, PinHole

              News21 a  website put together by journalism students working through a foundations, put together a databse of all vote fraud cases in the country since 2000.

              The number of convictions for in person voter fraud?  10.

              Not 10 million, not 10,000, just 10.  Since 2000.  During which time hundreds of millions of votes have been cast.  

              Voter ID laws are are solution in search of a problem.  

              The problem occurs at a frequency of one in tens of millions, yet the solution disenfranchises at least 10% of the population. 10% of the population concentrated in marginalized communities. Why the hell should anyone be given any credence to the blantant discrimination these laws entail?

              http://www.economicpopulist.org

              by ManfromMiddletown on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 02:12:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here's my proposal (6+ / 0-)

                I only want ID laws for voting if we can also require presentation of photo ID before making a campaign contribution of $200 or more, because I'm worried about non-citizen participation and fraud there as well.

                •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  maryru

                  and if the issue really is voter fraud, and cost is no concern, why not implement automatic, mandatory registration.  If photos are so important to stopping supposed voter fraud, why not place an affirmative duty on the state to send a voter id card with photo at no cost to all voters.  If you register by mail, that just means that the county clerk will have to keep sending out someone to your house to take your picture until they get you.

                  http://www.economicpopulist.org

                  by ManfromMiddletown on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 02:22:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why not have digital camera at polling places? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tjampel, Mike08, ManfromMiddletown

                    Require the stupid photo ID requirement, but issue voter ID cards to those who dont have a government issued photo ID.

                    Don't have a government issued photo ID?  

                    Turn up to your polling place with 2 pcs of mail with your name and address (usually one has to be a utility bill) and you get to vote and they take your photo for a voter ID card which is then sent to you free of charge.

                    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

                    by Puffin on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:00:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  "You need an ID to get on a plane." (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PinHole, Mike08

                That's the pitch I see.

                To which I reply: "No citizen has a constitutionally mandated right to get on a plane. We do have such a right to vote."

                Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

                by Sirenus on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 08:33:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And there you'd be wrong (0+ / 0-)

                  Right to travel by air is settled case law. See Shapiro v Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969).

                  Also, you don't need an ID to get on a plane. Just be prepared for Scrotie McScrotFeelUpms to play with your crotch for longer than normal enhanced screening.


                  “Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only for wallowing in.” — Katherine Mansfield

                  by Simolean on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 12:08:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Not all laws are the same, I think that was is the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doinaheckuvanutjob

              ...point. It is the legislature's prerogative. "Time, place, and manner", blah blah blah.

              I agree with kos, if they are mailing you an id and/or ballot, there shouldn't be much protest. Laws that narrowly restrict the types of acceptable id, restrict access to id, and/or attaching a prohibitive fee are where we should focus.

              I think we should counter by promoting vote-by-mail. Even in Texas folks over a certain age or ability are mailed ballots with their registration cards.

              "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

              by sebastianguy99 on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 02:16:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Other people get hold of your paychecks and gas (0+ / 0-)

              bills much?

              Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

              by LongTom on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:22:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

            The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

            by a2nite on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 02:15:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for writing this, Kos. I was waiting for (0+ / 0-)

            someone to say what you've said. We're losing the P,R. war on voter ID. Demanding that it's done fairly, and getting rid of those done unfairly is the key to winning popular support.

        •  Yes. Education and outreach. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NormAl1792, worldlotus, indres

          The states who implemented these laws won't do it.  Or, if they do, they'll pick and choose who delivers the message.  That's why it's up to folks like us to pick up the torch and run with it.


          Time travel opportunity. Must bring your own weapons. Your safety is not guaranteed, I've only done this once before. Call 866.555.1212.

          by IndieGuy on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:29:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  When Ohio started voter ID in 2006 (3+ / 0-)

          (not photo ID but a confusing range of things that were OK and others than weren't), everyone assumed there would be legions of folks at the polls without ID who wouldn't bother to come back.

          I was an observer for the Strickland gubernatorial campaign at a large mostly African-American poling place with six precincts on the edge of Cleveland. I saw virtually no one come in not aware they needed ID. I heard a TON of grumbling, people muttering under their breath about Jim Crow and Cleveland becoming like Mississippi in the 50s. But they had the necessary ID. Education doesn't take as long as you think.

          Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

          by anastasia p on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:31:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The ones that don't make it home. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mkor7, mikejay611

            There's story from the Second World War about a team of experts assigned to figure out the ways to strengthen bombers running missions over Germany.  Early on, the team observed the planes that made it home and noted where they took flak.  These parts of the plane were given extra armoring, however the rate at which planes were lost remained the same.  Subsequently, the team realized that the best way to figure out the planes weaknesses was to look at the places that hadn't been shot on the planes that made it home, and strengthen those. The rate of plane loss dropped substantially.  

            The lesson: sometimes it's what you don't see that you need to be paying attention to.

            As this relates to voter ID, the question that I would have is to what extent are the people being disenfranchised by voter ID laws those that don't show up at the polls and make a fuss?  Studies have shown that upwards of 11% of voters lack government issued photo ID, with this being concentrated in lower income communities  and those of color.  Presumably, this number is lower when all IDs are allowed.  Nonetheless, is the fact that you saw little problem at the polls proof that none exists, or simply that those affected simply didn't show up at the polls to argue the issue?  

            http://www.economicpopulist.org

            by ManfromMiddletown on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 02:00:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm more worried about a repeat of 2004 in Ohio (0+ / 0-)

            where there weren't enough voting machines in Democratic districts. Is that still a potential problem this time around?

        •  "All voters" will NEVER know what is required. (0+ / 0-)

          Some will forget from one election to the next. The major point is the provisional balloting. That way there's no risk of disenfranchisement. If the election's close enough for the provisionals to matter, then each person's eligibility can be determined. People who forgot, lost, don't have, or didn't know they needed ID do NOT deserve disenfranchisement. As long as there's no disenfranchisement, have all the ID laws you want!

          Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

          by LongTom on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:18:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  mail delivery is not always reliable. (10+ / 0-)

        I find, for instance, that I have to have things I really need delivered to my work address because the mail delivery to my very large and impersonal apartment building is extremely difficult.  Official mail that has to be signed for is never delivered, necessitating trips to the central post office during working hours to retrieve it, something that is exceptionally difficult for someone like me who doesn't have a car.

        The ID question may not be unreasonable to people whose daily lives fit the normative, affluent middle class life style, but many dimensions of it can quickly become so for anyone who is even one degree removed from that normative lifestyle.  And the more degrees removed from it that you are (single home residence, available transportation, access to public transportation, flexible working hours, income sufficient to counter any one of these circumstances, etc.) the more burdensome the requirements.

        I think that is the issue, not how easy it seems to most people, but how many specific things have to really be in place in order to make that "easy" truly be "easy", for everyone, not just the folks whose lives fit into the normative boxes of "everyday life".  

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:34:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That it a gilas girl... we have very different (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sue B

          lives-very different. Money,housing, adequate transportation, and various life situations.

           

        •  Thank you so much (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PinHole

          for your comment.  These laws are pure voter suppression, nothing more, and for alleged Dems like Kos to promote capitulation makes me sad and angry.

          I work with young people who would be 100% excluded from voting by these laws.  They have no mailing address, no birth certificates, no utility bills - they don't have a freaking home! They were all born and raised right here in America, and there is absolutely no way they will show up to vote if there's a chance anyone will question their right to be there.

          I do understand the "pragmatic" approach espoused by Kos, but there are some things that require a fight, and this is one.  Otherwise, we'll be in the same place as we are with women's reproductive rights - another area we've been urged to be "reasonable", over and over until there's nothing left to give away.

      •  Scheduling (6+ / 0-)

        It can take more than a week to arrange for time off from your minimum-wage job to travel 60 miles to the relevant government office which has deliberately inconvenient hours.

      •  Not in Minnesota. They mail them to you and it can (0+ / 0-)

        take up to 6 weeks. We have a bizarre state ID process.

        President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

        by askew on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 05:22:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is no one "Voter ID law" (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leu2500, indres, IndieGuy, worldlotus, Sue B

      Some people who have voted their whole lives might never be able to satisfy the document requirements. For others the full cost of getting the proper ID would be onerous no matter how long was given.

      •  Look at the Virginia law (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, xanthippe2, dewley notid

        and tell me who would be excluded from it?

        •  It is reasonable (0+ / 0-)

          But Virginia is in the minority. The post I was responding to seems to be saying that all voter ID laws are good, regardless of restrictions, if a year is allowed to get that ID.

        •  homeless people? (4+ / 0-)

          What if their address is "under the 3rd street bridge"?

          I have no idea how many voters are in that predicament, except that it's surely above zero.

          Will the post office deliver to such an address?

        •  Law does not address the Polling Question (0+ / 0-)

          Kos,

               See my reply to ebrann  above for a more detailed discussion on why I find any voter ID law offensive...

                However, I also want to point out that you cite a WAPO Poll that specifically asks if PHOTO ID should be required.  Since the Virginia law does NOT require photo ID, it shouldn't even satisfy the 74% of respondents who answered the poll question.  

               I would say that the reason the Virginia law is relatively acceptable is because it's a Voter ID law that isn't really a Voter ID law, in the sense that it does not truly REQUIRE ID, photo or otherwise (a utility bill is not an ID)  So if you say we should only support Voter ID laws that aren't really Voter ID laws, that doesn't seem to be much different from OPPOSING Voter ID laws, but it does seem somewhat lacking in integrity.

               The problem I see with this is, if you accept the idea of Voter ID laws in principle, then you allow the framework for more oppressive laws to be built.  If a Voter ID requirement is "good", then an even more stringent Voter ID requirement is "better," right?  And with just a stroke of a pen, legislators can change the rules for the next election.  We already require ID, so WHY NOT require a PHOTO ID?  74% of poll respondents favor it, right?

               I live in an apartment that includes all utilities with the rent.  I have no land line phone or cable TV, so I have no utility bills to speak of.  I do all my banking online and only receive e-statements.  Now maybe a printed e-statement is acceptable under the Virginia law, but WHY should I have to show my private financial documents to a stranger in order to vote, whether it's a bank statement or a paycheck?  And doesn't  this discourage lower-income voters who might be embarrassed about showing such documents?   I DO have a driver's license, but there are many elderly and disabled people living in my building who DO NOT.  There's really no reason that I should have to rummage through my desk to try to find a Voter ID card I only use once every 2-4 years, or that I should have to spend time trying to figure out WHICH alternative documents MIGHT be acceptable.

               If my signature is acceptable verification for a mail-in ballot, shouldn't it be equally acceptable at the polling place?  If it's not, then shouldn't the next legislative step be a requirement that I photocopy my driver's license and include it with my mail-in ballot?

                I can easily fake an ID by using the driver's license of someone who looks sort of like me or by stealing somebody's mail.  Once I've left the polling place, I take the identification documents with me, so there is no evidence of my fraud.  On the other hand, my signature leaves a permanent record that can easily be used to PROVE I voted fraudulently, even though almost nobody actually does so.

               And what about the effect that requiring ID has on the time it takes to vote?  Ever stood in line at the grocery store fuming in irritation because the old lady in front of you is spending 5 minutes going through her purse trying to find her credit card, and she didn't even start looking until she got to the front of the line?  There will be lots of those old ladies at the polling places.  The lines will become longer, and many people will walk away because they just don't have time for the hassle.  And doesn't it also give poll workers who WANT to suppress the vote an opportunity to do so?  "No, I'm sorry, that picture just doesn't look like YOU.  It's hard to tell because all you black people look pretty much alike to me, but..."  Want to slow down the process and make sure that fewer people get to vote?  Easy.  Just spend 5 minutes examining everyone's ID and comparing faces and signatures.  Can't be too careful.  

              As I said in reply to ebrann, Virginia's law may be a lesser evil, but a lesser evil is still an evil.  And if you concede the ground that any Voter ID law is "reasonable" then it just makes it that much easier for other states to pass Voter ID laws under the guise of being "reaonable" that achieve the true intended result of virtually ALL Voter ID laws: to prevent people from voting.

          •  Correction: (0+ / 0-)

            ...if you concede the ground that any Voter ID law is "reasonable" then it just makes it that much easier for other states to pass Voter ID laws under the guise of being "reasonable" that achieve the true intended result of virtually ALL Voter ID laws: to prevent people from voting.

    •  You may feel differently about that it if you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, ColoTim

      move to another state with different ways of doing things.

      By now we've all heard how there just isn't enough fraud at the polling place to matter. No paper trails and other election shenanigans produce large numbers of fraud.

      •  like i said (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus, Sue B

        as long as the public is given enough time to comply I'm fine with it.

        It's the surprise.... you can't vote cause you don't have ID that I don't like.

        There needs to be time to educate people.

        •  The Virginia law mitigates that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dewley notid

          they let you vote, and then you have three days to produce one of several acceptable types of ID proof.

          •  In PA, it's six days. (0+ / 0-)

            And you either have to email/fax/present an ID, or an affirmation that you appeared and that you are indigent and unable to obtain ID without paying a fee.

          •  Kos, it's not that easy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PinHole, Mike08

            Having multiple forms of ID seems normal to you, but it's not for the people I see every day.  Obtaining an ID through "normal" channels involves these things: time, money, access to computers to learn the rules & regs of the town/county/state you were born in re: documents; mail, postage, fax machines,  transportation to state offices, and the ability to wade through bureaucracy without pissing off anyone.  Having been a reader here for several years, I wouldn't put any money down on your ability to negotiate this process.

            The most compelling point, however, is one you don't address:  it's very hard to convince people at the bottom of our system to go to vote.  They don't think it will matter, and more importantly, don't think anyone wants them to be there.  As soon as you put up even a few obstacles, they just won't put themselves in a situaiton where their identity/citizenship is likely to be deemed worthless.  I've worked the polls and seen it happen.  The Republicans know this and  it's at the base of these efforts.  Please don't buy iinto their meme.
            I get your point re: public opinion, but I don't agree that we should give up.  Why can't we construct an equally strong message defending the right to vote?

    •  I agree. There's nothing wrong with requiring ID (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WI Deadhead, Americantrueandblue

      per se.  It's when the implementation period is so short and the types of acceptable IDs are so few that it creates a problem.  For instance why is a gun license a more acceptable ID than a student ID.  Why are drivers licenses universally acceptable, but other forms of ID aren't.  Here in PA there are only six forms of ID acceptable.  If you don't have one of those you can't vote and some are extremely hard or time consuming to obtain.  There are specific groups for whom it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get one of these acceptable IDs in time.  The law clearly had political motivations and should be enjoined or overturned at least until 2016.  That would give everyone ample time to comply.  

  •   agree on this primarly b/c polling backs gop (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leu2500, IndieGuy, Samer, worldlotus

    Regardless of the lack of need for ID.  Make it easy, make anyone with a legitimate ID able to vote.  None of this, students can't use their school id but gun owners can use their gun license as id like they did on TX.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:20:54 PM PDT

    •  I see no issue with voter ID laws (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NormAl1792, worldlotus

      so long as obstacles to getting an acceptable ID are taken down at the same time.

      As we've seen over recent years, the way Americans view voting has dramatically changed. 25 years ago, voting meant going to stand in line at a polling place, punching a paper ballot, and leaving. Early voting, no-cause absentee voting, and by-mail voting have changed that. The key is to make sure that we tap into this and use it to our electoral advantage.

      Eventually we will get a point where voting can be securely completed at home online, which will really revolutionize voting.

      •  a lot of concern about online voting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indres

        here in the UK.  It was tried in local elections about ten years back.

        Some are excluded because they are not on line - many will not have computers; and/or are wary of computers (my 87 y/old mother for one)

        some doubts about hacking and an inability to check the result - allegedly

        Me I love my postal vote!

        But then we don't have this voter fraud obsession

      •  Vote by mail or in person (0+ / 0-)

        but we need to go back to hand-counted paper ballots. The voting machines are notoriously vulnerable, unreliable and often inaccurate. The scanners, like Diebold's Accuvote, are also vulnerable and unreliable.

        Never mind the sloppy security around machines in many areas. Just look to Alaska for examples of that. We need our elections out of the hands of private companies and back in the hands of the people.

        So what if we don't get our results instantly? I'll gladly sacrifice near instant gratification for more accurate results and standing in line at a polling place is a small price to pay for democracy.

        As far as voter ID's go, it seems to be a solution in search of a problem. They aren't necessary.

        "An injury to one is an injury to all"

        by jhb90277 on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:20:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree. (4+ / 0-)

    It's a losing policy battle to say that there's something inherently wrong with voter ID. (The law is another matter.) Having a concrete example of a fair voter ID law brings out the discriminatory nature of  voter ID laws that have the aim and effect of disenfranchising voters.  Great post.  It's valuable information for those of us talking up this issue in a measured, realistic way.

  •  I live in Virginia. (9+ / 0-)

    Odd though it seems, this is one fight the local GOP did not see fit to wage this year.  Hard to figure exactly why, as for the first time in years they own the entire state government.  And this crowd is Conservative!

    To add to the relative ease with which we can vote on election day, Virginia makes it easy to vote absentee as well.  You do need to fill out and sign a form, but you can mail or fax it to the registrar, and they'll accept the form up until a week before the election.  (They need time to mail you a ballot, and to receive the ballot when you mail it back.)  For that, they only require that you be registered.  No ID check needed.


    Time travel opportunity. Must bring your own weapons. Your safety is not guaranteed, I've only done this once before. Call 866.555.1212.

    by IndieGuy on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:26:50 PM PDT

  •  Along these lines (5+ / 0-)

    If the conversation shifts toward how best to enable voters to vote (toward even enshrining a "right to vote," actually not already in the Federal constitution), then the spotlight will fall on the foot-dragging and obstructionism Republicans are bringing to the simple governmental duty of organizing elections. On which see e.g.

    http://prospect.org/...

    http://prospect.org/...

    •  A word about Ohio mail-in voting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      being "aggressively promoted."

      In fact, Republicans tried to step on it last year, trying to forbid counties from sending out mail-in ballots applications because mainly large urban Democratic counties were doing it. The same secretary of state Jon Husted who recently ruled against extended in-person early voting hours hours in those same counties because he was afraid the poor things wouldn't have the funds ruled against sending out the applications saying that some of the more rural counties would not be able to afford it!

      Hypocrisy, they name is Jon Husted.

      In any case, the REASON Ohio is now sending out applications to ALL registered voters is because it was put forth as a demand by Cuyahoga County's DEMOCRATIC county executive Ed FitzGerald (remember the name; he's going to be governor and probably a very good one) in return for not mailing them last year, which he said he would have the county do if Husted forbade the board of elections from doing it. He ceded last year to Husted in return for everyone getting the applications this year.

      I imagine Husted thought he was getting a deal because last year's ballot contained the repeal of union-crushing SB 5. He got punked. Instead of EVERY voter getting an application, the unions sent them out — only to union-friendly voters. It didn't make any difference anyway because SB 5 was repealed by a 60-40 margin.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:40:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe because they are saner? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NormAl1792

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:27:34 PM PDT

    •  Virginia? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NormAl1792, Sue B, dewley notid

      Not even close. Their Republicans are NUTS.

      But at least on this issue, they didn't pull a Florida or Pennsylvania.

      •  Voting Rights Act was a big factor. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus, Sue B, kos, indres

        Virginia is subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, so every step of this particular dance was taken under the presumption of DOJ review.   In addition, this was coming to a head while Gov. McDonnell was still under consideration for Romney's VP slot, so he was reportedly loath to have any controversy associated with his name at the time.   So,  while the original draft was pretty bad, the law as it was eventually amended is  - as you suggest - less draconian than other GOP/ALEC driven efforts.  

        However, I would not totally discount the suppressive effect of the provisional ballot measures, since they require voters to take a 2nd action to get their votes counted.   It's hard enough to get people to come to polls even once, and presumably the populations who have trouble with getting ID are also less well supplied with faxes and computers (or even postage money) than the average.  

        That said, I don't disagree with the broader political point that railing against Voter ID laws may not be an effective tactic.   It's just that. as a Virginia activist somewhat familiar with backstory, I would hesitate to use this particular piece of legislative sausage as a model.   Rather, if progressives are looking to preempt the Rethugs on this issue, perhaps we should develop a comprehensive voting reform model that addresses all the voting-related issues -  including mail, absentee, early, ID that doesn't exclude, same-day registration, paper trail ballots, etc. -  and try to sell that as a positive vision.  

  •  In Maryland, everybody gets a voter ID card (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NormAl1792, indres

    when you register. It has your name, address, party affiliation (if any) and polling location. Only only have to show ID (which could any photo ID, ie drivers license, school ID, work ID or any official document with your name and address on it, ie bank statement, utility bill, pay stub, same-sex marriage certificate) and you only have the show ID the first time you vote.

    •  I never showed ID (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indres

      When I vote they ask me my name and address and they check me off the list. MD has no voter ID law. I know what your talking about, they mail you a card with where you vote but you're not required to show it.

      •  They are permitted to request ID if you are a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dewley notid, indres

        first time voter.

        •  Strict rules! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maryru, PinHole

          I work as a Maryland Voting judge (mostly working checkin) and my wife is chief Voting Judge.

          There is no case where it is the choice for the voting judge. If the pollbook says that ID is needed for a specific reason, you ask for ID. Other than that, we are even supposed to ignore ID even if they pull out their drivers license and shove it in your face. We still have to ask them to state Name, address and Month and Day of Birth.

      •  From the State Board of Elections (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indres

        http://www.elections.state.md.us/...

        # Some first time voters in Maryland will be asked to show ID before voting. If you are asked to show ID, please show an election judge one of the following forms of ID:

            * A copy of a current and valid photo ID (i.e., Maryland driver's license, MVA-issued ID card, student, employee, or military ID card, U.S. passport, or any other State or federal government-issued ID card); or
            * A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and address. Current means that the document is dated within 3 months of the election.

      •  Never showed ID to vote in Oregon even (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Square Knot

        When we went to the polls pre-VBM.  Brought something with your address when you registered and never had to do a thing except sign the poll book when you cast your ballot.  VBM was sold here with the argument that it's cheaper (not having to have all those polling stations open all day and staffed).  I worked for the county elections dept for both poll elections and VBM.  Our elections have always been very clean and I don't think an ID law would pass here even if we had poll elections back.  VBM works and works well.  

    •  Also get voter IDS in IA (0+ / 0-)

      --but you are not required to show them.

  •  We should have a national standard for voting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKDAWUSS, The Hamlet, indres

    And a federal ID card.  The various states have demonstrated that they are not the right level of government to be handling this.

  •  It is certainly the methodology (4+ / 0-)

    and not the idea itself that is the problem.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:38:38 PM PDT

  •  What does it say about an electorate, though, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NormAl1792

    where tricks have to be used as a "work around" because of their stupidity? I mean, you can't tell me that that isn't at least part of the reason why there even is a Prepiblic Party in the modern world.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:43:07 PM PDT

  •  "A voter ID card"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B, indres
    A voter ID card will get mailed to every registered voter in the state. If you register, you get your card in the mail.
    If this is not a picture ID, how does it differ from the "Voter Information Card" I receive from the County Clerk?  That has my name and address, a place for me to sign it, along with my polling place and the various districts I am in.

    Not knocking VA's program by any means, but if that is all the ID they require, it is clearly not very restrictive at all.

    GOP Agenda: Repeal 20th Century.

    by NormAl1792 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 12:45:57 PM PDT

  •  The republicans were damn smart (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus

    to use the Federal Real ID to their advantage in Tennessee and pass a strict voter ID law where new applicants have had to jump through hoops to get a driver's license for years. Seems they start out assuming we are all terrorist until proven otherwise at the DMV.

    I hope someday all this will change and neighbors can once again go to the polls to vote in an uncharged atmosphere. No one made to feel like a criminal-no one trying to dissuade or prevent our voting.

    Lots of people refused to sign a voter ID repeal petition here. Media fails us again.

  •  I believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HudsonValleyMark

    when I was a voter in New York, when I went to vote, I had to sign a roll, and my signature was compared against the previous signatures I had signed.

    It's about time I changed my signature.

    by Khun David on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 01:06:26 PM PDT

  •  Texas is very similar. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus

    From the Texas Secretary of State website:

    A voter who has not been issued a driver’s license or social security number may register to vote, but such voter must submit proof of identification when presenting himself/herself for voting or with his/her mail-in ballots, if voting by mail.  These voters’ names are flagged on the official voter registration list with the annotation of “ID.”  The “ID” notation instructs the poll worker to request a proper form of identification from these voters when they present themselves for voting.  Acceptable identification includes:

        a driver's license or personal identification card issued to the person by the Department of Public Safety or a similar document issued to the person by an agency of another state, regardless of whether the license or card has expired;
        a form of identification containing the person's photograph that establishes the person's identity;
        a birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes the person's identity;
        United States citizenship papers issued to the person;
        a United States passport issued to the person;
        official mail addressed to the person by name from a governmental entity;
        a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter; or
        any other form of identification prescribed by the Secretary of State.

    So, any valid photo ID, on down to utility bills or even a paycheck, as long as it shows name and address.

    Now, I do recall, the very first time I registered to vote, I had to go down to the courthouse and show where I lived on a map, because my address was a "rural route" number, rather than a named road.  As far as I know, though, that's a thing of the past.

    Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

    by theatre goon on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 01:24:02 PM PDT

    •  In GA to register to vote you must have a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryru

      Driver's license or state id.  I helped a disabled person register to vote.  This is our story.

      A copy of her SS card.  16 miles total round trip to SS office, card free – takes 7 days to 2 weeks to get your card in the mail.  There was no bus line available. Total time was 1 hour plus including travel time.  Her SS card took 10 days to come in the mail.

      Certified copy of birth certificate.  12+ miles total round trip to Vital Statistics,  Birth Certificate $20.00.  Given copy immediately.  There was no bus line available.  Total time was 1 hour plus including travel time.  

      Georgia ID Card – not driver’s license – 14+ miles total round trip to Georgia Driver’s License Bureau.  ID Card $20.00.  Free ID cards/driver's license only if you are a veteran who served during a war.  A temporary card is given immediately.  The card will come in the mail in 2 – 3 weeks.   There was no bus line available.  Total time was 2 hours plus including travel time.  

      To obtain a GA ID you must have SS card, Certified copy of birth certificate, and 2 bills addressed to you at your residence i.e.,  tax bill, utilities, bank statement, welfare, etc.   and if you have been married or divorced those papers are necessary to document your name change from birth.

      You can register to vote at the same time as you get your Georgia ID card or Georgia Driver’s License.

      There was no way this handicapped lady (CP and walked with a cane) could have done all of this on her own.  She lives on limited money and food stamps.  She could never have walked these distances.  They were highway distances.  She had to go get all of the papers because her apartment had been broken into and they were missing.  The right to vote cost her a minimum of $40.00 for required paper proof of who she is.

      •  Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

        I have many stories like this, too.  Not just disabled folks, but poor people of all ages.  When you work with folks at the bottom of the economic laddder, it just takes your breath away when others state "it's easy" or "it's free" or "we all have an ID, of course!".  

        How to get our the real stories of what a struggle it is for folks to meet these requirements, just to exercise their most fundamental constitutional right?

        What if it was this hard to buy a gun?

      •  Here's why I'm skeptical... (0+ / 0-)

        ...of all these stories abougt how difficult it is to get ID.

        1. Why is this disabled woman being forced to jump through all these hoops to get ID, when non-disabled people don't seem to encounter much hassle?

        2. If the issue is lack of transportation, how does this person handle routine errands, chores, etc.?

        •  This person lives less than a half mile from a (0+ / 0-)

          Kroger store, bank, post office and drug store in the same small strip mall.  She walks and buys only a small amount.  if she is lucky, someone picks her up and gives her a ride home.  Sometimes she takes her own little shopping card.  Inside the store there are mobile grocery carts.  it is hard.  it is a daily struggle.  Sometimes she falls.

          Poor people struggle.  how do you get to these agencies when they are not on a bus line?  Let's hope you never become disabled or poor....without transportation and have to ask someone to help you.

  •  living in oregon (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B, kos, indres

    I bang my head against my desk every election season, wondering why more states don't go 100% vote-by-mail.

    I have my ballot for a couple weeks which gives me time to research the far-down-the-ballot races and understand the various ballot initiatives.

    I remember voting in Texas and not knowing what the hell all the amendment questions were about. All you got was the title on the ballot.

    It solves so many problems with voting and about the only downside is that some people miss the culture of standing in line and voting with their neighbors.

    •  I MISS OREGON'S VOTE-BY-MAIL!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Square Knot

      Sorry for all the caps, but there really is no better way to actually consider all the questions being settled by the ballot; all those municiple judge decisions, obscure ballot measures in the township or county, all are explained in the voter pamphlet mailed to every address before the ballots arrive. I loved the fact that advocacy groups behind the various ballot measures or candidates were able to submit written arguments which were included in the pamphlet in the same section as the actual candidate or ballot measure.

      Having recently moved back to my origins in Minnesota due to reasons beyond my control, I was gobsmacked to receive a mailing from my Oregon county registrar's office at the new address, asking if my residence had really changed to Minnesota, and could I return the included postage-paid postcard to recind my registration in Clackamas County? Oregon is the only place that ever contacted me to cancel my voter registration once I had moved from my former address. Oregon does elections well!

      Today's GOP is living proof that evolution does not uniformly occur across species.

      by Glass Navel on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:40:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You sure your ballot gets there? I (0+ / 0-)

      seem to recall stories about missing mailbags out there a while back.

      Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

      by LongTom on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:42:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you are concerned you make a call (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jahiegel

        to your county clerks office and they confirm if your vote is received. If not, they can issue you a new ballot and void your old one. Vote by mail is wonderful in all respects. There is NO down side.

    •  I kind of missed that too, but you can go (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PZinOR

      Down to the clerk's office and drop your envelope in the box and it's almost the same as standing with your neighbors.

  •  As a Virginia resident, I'm OK with this ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... I mean, how hard could it be to show a piece of mail with your name and address on it when you go to the polls? I still think Oregon has a better system (and my friend there says there's no substitute for being able to vote in your underwear and mail in your ballot), but at least VA citizens aren't being forced to produce photo ID.

    I must be missing something about the Pennsylvania voter ID law, though. IIRC, it did not require people to produce a driver's license either. Senior citizen center and student IDs are considered valid. Then again, I could be misinformed.

    Of course, there's really no good reason for voter ID laws at all, but kos is right that most folks seems to believe it's an acceptable requirement to cast a ballot. I sort of feel like we're ACADA up against Lance Armstrong here. No matter how right we may be in principle, a lot of people are going to regard our position with suspicion in practice.

    •  PA ID (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indres

      They say things like student IDs are valid, but they're not. To be valid for voting in PA, the ID has to have an expiration date. Most student IDs don't expire. Say you're a public employee, better yet a state employee. You should be able to use that ID, right? Wrong. Doesn't have an expiration date.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 03:51:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  mine does... every college I have ever attended (0+ / 0-)

        or worked at had an expiration date of the end of the year or semester depending on the school.

        •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

          I've had the same ID for the three years I've been at my school.

          It would be very cumbersome to change them yearly since it's also my dining-dollars card.

          "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

          by ChurchofBruce on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 05:02:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, we renew every year here as do the students (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChurchofBruce

            Some schools will do a 2 year expiration date or add stamps...but I have never once had one that didn't have a date on them, of some kind....even if just Fall of XXXX or ends May of XXXX.

             If they didn't then people could use them to enter labs, the gyms, library etc, even as students, past the time they were allowed to be there or use them.  

            •  Ah (0+ / 0-)

              Might be because a lot of that stuff at my school--especially the gym and the library--is just as open to alumni as it is to students.

              I also have to swipe the ID for entry to many things; I'm sure there's a way to turn that off.

              "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

              by ChurchofBruce on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 03:17:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  That's true Joan, but I hear that most schools are (0+ / 0-)

        adding an expiration with some sort of sticker.  I don't really see the logic behind the expiration date idea though.  I know my PA non-driver ID has an expiration, but I always though it was a fee generating scam by the State.  You used to have to pay a $5 or $10 "renewal" fee every 5 years.  I don't know if that's still the case with this new law.  A person's appearance can change over time with change in hair color, weight, eyewear, etc. but basic facial features are usually fairly constant.

  •  I live in WA and LOVE vote by mail... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indres

    I've been doing it since the 90s.  It is so convenient.  Once I get my ballot, I look at my voters' guide and select progressive sites like The Stranger, Fuse, SEAMEC and Votingforjudges.com to assist me.  I then either mail it or drop it in a box.  If I drop in a box, it's because it's on my way and not because I don't trust the mail.  

    You can log in and see your ballot was received and all the elections you've voted in. If you do things online like banking, etc, you'll likely take to mail voting in a heartbeat.  WA is a blue state and, if we didn't like it, it would've changed by now.

    Go for it!

    "The 'Gay Agenda' has indeed been revealed, and it bears a remarkable resemblance to the U.S. Constitution." ~Donna Minnis

    by Decided Voter on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 02:46:50 PM PDT

    •  Here's my problem with vote by mail, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LongTom, mkor7

      I don't trust the process. When I lived in Florida, I couldn't make it to the polling place one time and chose to vote by mail (absentee ballot). I filled out the ballot, signed it and personally took it to the post office. About a month after the election results had been certified, I got a letter from the Supervisor of Elections office informing me my ballot was rejected because my signature didn't match that on file. My signature never changed, it was the same signature on my Voter's Registration Card and FDL. I had no recourse because the election had already been certified. I protested in person, but was told, too late, it's a done deal.

      I have also read and heard about absentee ballots disappearing and being found months following elections and there's always the possibility that if they're postmarked for a heavily Democratic (or for that matter Republican) area, some worker just might chuck them in the trash.

      I'd like to have some way of voting that would provide some form of verification that the vote once cast was in fact counted. I worry more about the integrity of those counting the votes than I do someone fraudulently casting a vote. The ATM can give a receipt, why cannot our "modern" voting machines?

  •  RI even better? (0+ / 0-)

    In RI, they're phasing in photo ID over three years, and the state is taking a mobile van around to senior centers and other sites to provide free IDs for people to use only for voting. Student IDs, employer IDs, and other types of IDs are also accepted.

    None of the requirements apply to mail-in ballots, which have been expanded for anyone who thinks they might not be able to vote in person -- you do need two witnesses or a notary, but there are accusations of paid shills willing to notarize anyone for anything without ID. I don't frankly understand how mail-in can be acceptable, when you have no idea who actually filled it out or under what circumstances -- was someone from one of the campaigns in the room pressuring you, and/or giving you money or gifts in return for your vote?

    And yes, mail service is unreliable in many neighborhoods. That's one reason Social Security and IRS have gone to direct deposit.

    •  mail in (0+ / 0-)

      signatures on the ballot are compared to your signature on file from your registration. If the signatures don't match - the ballot isn't counted (and the voter is notified). That's how they do it in Oregon.

      In regard to your concern about voting under duress or influence - I don't see how that's an issue. Campaigns would have to have a pretty extensive network of operatives influencing swing voters in order to make enough of a difference to swing an election. No way something like that would go unreported/noticed.

      As kos noted - we've done this for 12 years in Oregon. Nothing like that has happened that I've been aware of.

  •  How the Right’s Building a ‘Poll Watcher’ (0+ / 0-)

    Network for November

    Bill Ouren, True the Vote’s national elections coordinator, is presenting before a group of about 50 recruits in Boca Raton, Fla. He stands beneath a banner bearing his organization’s name, alongside that of the Koch brothers’ SuperPAC Americans For Prosperity, and the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity’s “Citizen Watchdog,” a rightwing group that teaches people how to become “investigative” journalists. He’s telling the story of how True the Vote grew from a small posse in Harris County, Texas, in 2009, to a deployed army of over 1,000 poll watchers across most of the state the following year. Ouren brags that the 2010 recruits reported “over 800 individual incidences of voter … irregularities.”

    Irregularities is not a common term in the True the Vote vocab. Usually, it’s just called fraud. Seeing that the wording change has brought confusion to some of his audience’s faces, Ouren offers an explanation. “I use the word ‘irregularities’ because we don’t know if people did it intentionally or if they just didn’t know better.” That kind of logic isn’t normal for the group either, so he immediately adds, “So for those people who say voter and election fraud doesn’t exist, I’ve got 806 answers to that. It absolutely does in one election.”

    http://colorlines.com/...
  •  Not surprisingly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indres

    I disagree on a couple of levels, though do certainly agree on vote-by-mail.

    The primary problem with giving in on voter ID is that it won't really solve the problem of Republican voter suppression. They will erect as many barriers as they possibly can to getting that ID, and as many restrictions as they can to the actual casting of ballots.

    It will not mean an end to voter suppression. So why go there?

    If we had a robust, fair, well-funded national system of elections that would oversee the provision of ID, make sure that there weren't undue burdens in obtaining it, making sure that information and access were readily available to everyone, then the idea of an ID for everyone is fine. We have none of those things, and we don't have a Congress that will allow for them.

    We have to fight the battle that's in front of us, and that's voter ID laws designed to exclude huge chunks of voters, including the chunk that thought they'd already had this battle and won it.

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 03:46:27 PM PDT

    •  We need an agency similar to Elections Canada (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indres

      To oversee access to voting and create a permanent national database of those eligible to vote, automatically registering them unless they opt out.  I believe it would require a Constitutional amendment to create such a federal agency.

      We need to come up with a long-term strategy that avoid us being continually on the defensive with regards to voting rights.  I would argue that advocating for a national citizen registry that can be used to easily check identify for voting (and perhaps other) purposes is one way to go on the offensive.

    •  Of COURSE it's an ongoing battle. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Americantrueandblue

      "It will not mean an end to voter suppression. So why go there?"

      First, what do you mean by "giving in on voter ID?" It is ridiculous to argue that nobody should ever have to present ID to vote. What's important is to protect the franchise of those who, for whatever reason, can't produce their ID at the polls. Provisional ballots do this nicely.

      Of COURSE Republicans will continue to figure out other ways to suppress the vote. Just because provisional ballots won't sap their motivation, we should forget about it? We're supposed to figure out ways to counter them. Kos proposed some.  

      Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

      by LongTom on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:54:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem w/ vote by mail (0+ / 0-)

    ... is that it is physically impossible to guarantee a secret ballot and prevent ward heelers or other political operatives from overseeing the ballot marking.

    That may or may not be a problem now in states that vote by mail, but it has certainly been a problem in non-ancient US history.

    The Virginia approach looks good.  

    In states that do require photo ID, a reasonable demand is that every public building (and shopping center)  in the state offer free photo ID evenings and weekends for at least a month  up to and including Election Day.  

    This requirement is easy to meet with 21st C technology.

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 05:46:24 PM PDT

    •  There have been no mail-in problems (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PZinOR

      and I'm not sure how this could have been a problem in "non-ancient history," when absentee (mail-in) voting was so restricted.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:34:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't like mail in voting because it seems so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TLS66

      likely to be used in a malicious way.  The other side is known for trickery and do we really want them to "find" thousands of ballots all of a sudden in the mail.  No thank you.

    •  The USPS Delivers - You Vote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PZinOR

      The only person who might even know you have completed your ballot in Oregon would be whomever you share a domicile with - unless of course you are in the habit of inviting the local ward heeler or your local political operative to your kitchen table (or desk, or clipboard, or your computer desk). Your ballot is as private as you want it to be. If I had kids, I would think it would present a fantastic teaching opportunity to show responsible citizenship habits to young enquiring minds.

      Not too sure how a ballot completed in the privacy of your own living quarters would ever be seen by influence peddlars or political operatives. Vote the ballot, put it in the secrecy envelope, seal it, sign it, put it in the mailing envelope, post it (or drop it in a locked drop-box), and the next person to see your ballot is an elections official at the county office.

      Vote-by-Mail - everyone should have that option!

      Today's GOP is living proof that evolution does not uniformly occur across species.

      by Glass Navel on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:53:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand the concern about mail-in ballots (0+ / 0-)

        You may not vote in front of a political operative, but suppose you have a Chick-Fil-A-like ideological employer who demands to see your mail-in ballot?

        So mail-in balloting isn't foolproof.

        Having said that, I think that mail-in ballots are easily defensible on the grounds that the benefits -- making it far more convenient to vote, vastly reducing the risk that out-of-town travel or inclement weather on election day will preclude you from voting -- far outweigh the costs.

        Determined folks can game any system to some extent.  Very little is 100% foolproof.

        •  In Oregon - Your Supposition Would Be Illegal (0+ / 0-)

          HWSMNBN - You are really stretching to make your point, and it is entirely outside of reality in ANY state where I have voted, but especially in Oregon. There are printed admonitions on the Voter's Guide AND the actual ballot materials dealing with the privacy of your individual ballot, reminding the voter that NO ONE has any right to even see your completed ballot.

          You are carrying a straw-man into a bonfire, and it just does not apply to the process in Oregon. No matter how right-wing the employer, not one of them could escape the universal condemnation and outrage of the voting public in that entire state.

          Try some other approach - your current arguement simply does not hold water, and I suspect you are aware of that fact.

          Today's GOP is living proof that evolution does not uniformly occur across species.

          by Glass Navel on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 07:16:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The provisional ballot (0+ / 0-)

    means that, barring a recount, your vote isn't counted until after the winner is determined. However, the liberal standard for ID--especially providing all voters with a voter ID that counts as an ID for voting (unlike in Florida)--makes it fair.

    Better yet, though, we should propose a national ID, to be provided to all citizens...that way we can be pro-ID and piss off Republicans at the same time.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 12:18:52 PM PDT

  •  And the Overton Window shifts just a tad more to (7+ / 0-)

    the right.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:07:40 PM PDT

    •  Rec x 100 (0+ / 0-)

      "Kindly go render the fat in your head in a large kettle of boiling water. Thank you." - Bumblebums -7.38, -6.46

      by balancedscales on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:22:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is this really a left-right issue? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Americantrueandblue

      Republicans made it one by specifically crafting these laws in order to steal elections (which they freely admit). But the policy of requiring an ID in and of itself is not really a partisan issue.

      •  Yes, it is (0+ / 0-)

        Please - it burdens those who don't live lives recognized by the "mainstream"  - driver's licences, utility bills, college ID's, etc.   You'd probably be surprised by how many people fall into that category.  And they are pretty much all people that Republicans don't want voting.

        It's a fundamental issue and the left really needs to get much stronger in defending it.

        •  Mainstreem (0+ / 0-)
          Please - it burdens those who don't live lives recognized by the "mainstream"  - driver's licences, utility bills, college ID's, etc.   You'd probably be surprised by how many people fall into that category.
          I'd like to see some real data on "how many people fall into that category.

          I'm sure the number is non-zero.  

          But there is also a point at which you have to stop designing public policy around folks that live a hermit-like existence.  Setting aside the issue of voter ID, we do require people to register to vote.  

          If we had to design every voting system around 90-year old grandmas who lives 100 miles from town, don't drive, don't have public transportation, and have no relatives to help her, we wouldn't even have any voter registration laws.  (Frankly, I don't understand how these non-zero, but increasingly hypothetical, people even get to the grocery store.)

          •  Public policy? (0+ / 0-)

            I thought we were talking about a fundamental Constitutional right, that of citizens to vote.  Try implementing these kinds of requirements on people buying guns and see how far you get....

            Please believe me, there are lots of people in the US who do not own cars and who are not 90 years old.  They are generally described as poor.  And you're correct, it is very difficult for them to get to the grocery store. Which is one more reason why they should vote & elect Democrats who support public transportation.

            According to the Brennan Center, "Studies show that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have government-issued photo ID. That percentage is even higher for seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters, and students. Many citizens find it hard to get government photo IDs, because the underlying documentation like birth certificates (the ID one needs to get ID) is often difficult or expensive to come by."

            I can vouch for the difficulty and expense of getting an ID.  I recently spent 2 weeks helping a young woman to get a state ID (which "only' cost $5).  To do so, we had to call & email 2 other states to get birth & school records, send and receive faxes, make 2 trips to our local DMV ($2.50 roundtrip bus fare each time), and ultimately pay a total of $45 to acquire the necessary documents to get the ID.  There's no way she could have done this on her own, and it took me many hours to help her.  I could repeat this story hundreds of times over the past 20 years of my career in social work.

            Please do not buy in to the meme that "everyone" has these documents.  They don't.  They are still citizens and are supposed to have the right to vote.  

            Please check out the  Brennan Centerfor better solutions than the one presented in this diary.  Thanks.

      •  It's a good governance issue (0+ / 0-)

        As Democrats, we should be in favor of well-designed, minimally-intrusive voter ID laws (a la the Virginia system Kos posted about), just as we are concerned about making it more convenient to vote, counting all the ballots, and so on.

  •  Having lived in VA for 25 years, I can say that (0+ / 0-)

    it's very easy to vote here. From when I was in college, absentee ballot voting was a breeze, to showing up at the polls. I live in a small area, my registrar is my neighbor, so I don't need ID. Having said all that, voters in large urban  areas like Richmond, Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia benefit the most from this.

    Hey Rethugs, if you're gonna throw nuts at me, kindly throw a bag of whole, raw cashews. And, gently toss the bag, toss the bag, not throw;)

    by tha puddin on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:10:27 PM PDT

  •  I love voting by mail.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anastasia p, PZinOR

    I live in Oregon and love the vote by mail process.  We have a reasonably good voter pamphlet that comes in the mail and with the pamphlet and ballot there is time to read the pros and cons, ask questions and research the consequences of the ballot measures and less known candidates.  It isn't always possible to understand the issues with that short blasts of the ads and flyers that are tucked everywhere.  Voting by mail allows investigation and a chance to understand what the actual consequences might be.  

    I mentioned voting by mail on another blog recently and got the standard issue paranoid response of everyone sitting down in a group and being told what to vote.  I think that is an exaggeration and even if someone tells what they think you should vote you are the one filling in the circle and signing the ballot.  

    I would seem that getting an absentee ballot application and then having to fill it out and mail it back in would increase the number of people not voting because it adds in more steps.  Just receiving the ballot in the mail is what keeps me voting regularly, don't know how consistent I would be if I had to fill something out and send it back in.

    •  I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

      I wish we would go to all mail-in in Ohio. For the time being, it's out of the question because the Republicans are in charge and desperately need ways to prevent people from voting. IF we can pass Voters First Ohio for fair redistricting (a long shot because Republican billionaires are spending a boatload of money lying about it) and IF Democrats can take control of the state in 2014, we could make it happen.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:44:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank god for sanity from the top, so to speak. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Americantrueandblue

    We've always looked foolish opposing the idea that you need ID to vote.  That goes back to the Indiana bill that opened this up a couple of years ago.

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:21:28 PM PDT

    •  No, I don't think we look "foolish" (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, jhb90277, mkor7, ammasdarling, maryru

      We look like once again we let the Republicans create and control the narrative. Even where ID does not result in people being turned away, it results in a staggering increase of time at precinct tables. It's probably 50-60% of the time elapsed. It's a logjam and a waste of time. And no one has cited a single instance of voter fraud that could have been prevented with ID. We needed to get aggressive and push back much sooner.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:46:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maryland is even less egregious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamar

    You can vote provisionally without ID and they have two weeks to follow up and prove residency.

    You do not need to show any ID at the polls.  You just need to be on the registered voters list and know your name and address.

    You do need to have a government ID when you register, however, or else you have to go through this process of having residency evidence to show.  If you wait until October 16 (last day to register), it will be difficult to vote on November 6, if you don't have a state issued ID.

    The Muslim said "I wished I had met Christ before I met the Christians" - Rev. Marvin Winins

    by captainlaser on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:24:12 PM PDT

    •  I went to renew my driver's license, and they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      captainlaser

      asked me if I wanted to register to vote. On the one hand, I'm happy about that -- I believe in motor-voter registration. But on the other hand, I got worried since I haven't ever missed an election and yet, according to the computerized system of the DMV, I wasn't a registered voter!
      I told the DMV person that but told her to go ahead and do it since it showed me as unregistered.
      Got something in the mail verifying the DMV action, but also showing me as registered in Maryland since 1976 (which is true).
      So there's some glitch between the DMV and the voter registration system.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:29:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Check this site... it will tell you if you are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tamar

        registered:

        Can I Vote?

        The Muslim said "I wished I had met Christ before I met the Christians" - Rev. Marvin Winins

        by captainlaser on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 02:57:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  this is a great site! I'm bookmarking it to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          captainlaser

          give to others.
          And yes, it showed I've been registered since 1976. I don't know why the DMV system showed me as not being registered.

          We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

          by Tamar on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:14:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You have to vote in one of the last two election (0+ / 0-)

            cycles.   If you missed voting, you can be flagged as not registered.

            Also, they just might have screwed up at the DMV.

            The Muslim said "I wished I had met Christ before I met the Christians" - Rev. Marvin Winins

            by captainlaser on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:29:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've never missed an election -- or at least not (0+ / 0-)

              since I moved to Maryland in 1976. (I've only missed one election, a primary I believe, in my life -- when I lived in Connecticut for a couple of years).
              I think the problem was definitely with the DMV since both the letter I got from the Board of Elections and the website say I've been registered to vote since 1976.

              We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

              by Tamar on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 06:04:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  voting by mail to little effect (0+ / 0-)

    Here in southernest California, I always vote by mail.

    After the elections, I check the on-line voting results for this county, and my vote is never listed.

    Perhaps they are trying to save on electronic ink, but they do not list all the people who received votes.
    Either that or my mailed vote always disappears somewhere.

  •  Honest question: how does the va method (0+ / 0-)

    prevent someone ineligible to vote from voting. Is it the social security number that proves eligibility?

    I've always had a driver license which I think required me to show a birth certificate. And from what I remember, registering to vote didn't present much problem for me.

    So what does a brand new voter have to do to get registered and then vote?

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:33:12 PM PDT

  •  OT-being able to rec comments on fp diaries (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaveW, PZinOR

    I know there is a time limit for rec'ing comments.  But often we miss being able to read diaries for a variety of reasons.

    If a diary makes it to the front page and it is past the time period for rec'ing comments, I would like to see the ability to rec the comments re-instated while it resides on the fp.

    I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

    by DamselleFly on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:35:57 PM PDT

  •  The VA way is better than vote-by-mail, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7

    if there's no stopping voter ID entirely. In fact it might help make people more aware of voting as something important, and could end the endless crap about fake voters. Maybe that will make room to do something about the real fraud risk, the voting machines and the counting. Fake voters are so 1970  -- why do retail when wholesale is so easy?

    As to vote-by-mail, I remain a luddite. I don't understand why advocates are so willing to throw the privacy of the voting booth in the garbage without a second thought about its fundamental role in assuring real voting rights. Take a look at history and you'll see the obvious problems with throwing away privacy: intimidation, bribery, threats, or just not wanting to hurt somebody's feelings. None of these are problems when you vote in private because the extortionist, vote-buyer, bully, employer, union boss, whatever, has no way to check whether you voted the way you said you would. Vote at home, and if you're intimidated to vote a certain way, you're also intimidated enough to show the creep your ballot.

    It seems like the height of irony for liberals/lefties to be the ones pushing a system that can be used to take away the vote of precisely the most powerless people we claim to protect.

    Remember what happened when we turned the country over to that dumbass rich kid? So now we're thinking about doing it again? Really?

    by DaveW on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:36:41 PM PDT

  •  The idea that this all takes place at the polls (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaveW, mkor7, maryru

    renders most of the arguments ridiculous. It's not like previous generations never thought about any of this, they did and the solved the problem generations ago. The time to prove who you are and that you have a legitimate right to vote is when you REGISTER. I have lived in 4 states where I have registered in every election since I turned 21 (which was before the 18 y/o vote). In every state, I registered to vote by signing an affidavit and presenting appropriate identification and proof of residence. In every state, my signature was recorded in a book that went out to my precinct. When I showed up at my polling place to vote I told them my name, they found me in the precinct book, I signed in and they COMPARED MY SIGNATURE TO THE REGISTRATION AFFIDAVIT.

    Now there is no copy of my signature at the polling place. Now they demand a photo ID. I bet'cha $10,000 it's easier to find somebody who resembles a picture than it is to find someone who can duplicate a signature, particularly a signature they have never seen. So basically we're taken a longstanding solution and turned it into a problem so the crying right can have its way.

    •  Generations ago... (0+ / 0-)
      It's not like previous generations never thought about any of this, they did and the solved the problem generations ago. The time to prove who you are and that you have a legitimate right to vote is when you REGISTER
      Generations ago, identity theft was a much less common occurrence.  
      •  identy theft is a financial crime (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sagebrush Bob

        it is really irrelevant to my comment, which was a description of a long standing means of identification at the polling place.

        If it is your contention that one's signature is an inadequate validation of one's identity for the purposes of voting, then I suppose you take issue the signature per se. That certainly undermines the validity of contracts, marriages licenses, oaths, and just about everything else modern civilization relies upon. If that is your point, it is an odd position to assume but you are welcome to it.  

  •  Voter ID laws aren't inherently bad (0+ / 0-)

    The fact that they're a clear attempt by Republicans to steal elections by suppressing demographics less favorable to them is the vile part. And it's completely transparent, they even admit it.

  •  This. (0+ / 0-)
    A voter ID card will get mailed to every registered voter in the state. If you register, you get your card in the mail.
    If ID is required to vote, the state should be required to send you proper ID in the mail when you register. That satisfies the paranoid fantasy of the Republicans, without satisfying the insidious ulterior motive of the Republicans (disenfranchising poor people).

    That also solves the problem this current batch of voter ID laws will likely face in the courts. Requiring new fancy schmancy IDs without proactively providing them to voters free of charge is tantamount to a poll tax, which is unconstitutional.

  •  will VA add transvaginal probing to the ID process (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, mindara, maryru

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:44:59 PM PDT

  •  This may have nothing to do with it, but (0+ / 0-)

    we seem to have a lot of lawyers here who are very kind and generous by volunteering on election day. They have a strong presence at the polls. And it is very easy to vote here. I've used by DL or my voter registration card.

  •  Here's how I would do Voter ID (0+ / 0-)

    Make voter registration cards so that they double as a form of photo ID. The DMV and elections officials would be allowed to share a database of pictures so that, if you already have a drivers' license or other form of state-issued photo ID, you wouldn't have to go to the election officials' (in most states, this is a county clerk or county board of elections) office to get your picture taken.

    Also, in regards to same-day registration (in the states that allow same-day registration), after you've done same-day registration, a Voter ID card would either be mailed to you several days after the election or you'd be called to have your picture taken if there isn't a picture of you in the database.

    Joe Lieberman, Mike Madigan, Andrew Cuomo, and Tim Cullen...why are they Democrats?

    by DownstateDemocrat on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:48:25 PM PDT

  •  Not all states make you use a provisional ballot (0+ / 0-)

    In Connecticut, except for some first time voters, each voter must present one of the following forms of identification to the checkers:

    • Their social security card, or
    • any pre-printed form of identification which shows their name and address, or
    • any pre-printed form of identification which shows their name and signature, or
    • any pre-printed form of identification which shows their name and photograph, or
    • sign a statement under penalty of false statement  that the voter whose name appears on the official check list is the elector signing the form.

    We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

    by NoMoJoe on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:56:45 PM PDT

  •  This is a great approach for coming to ... (1+ / 0-)

    ... a commonsense and agreeable solution.  Thank you for this Markos.

  •  There are too many identity cards already (0+ / 0-)

    The proliferation of ID cards can be reined in by creating a simple government national ID card that would uniquely identify the holder. And thanks to magnet strips and radio chips it could hold information on a vast number of activities such and Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, ACA health insurance, eligibility for gun purchases, etc, as well as voter registration.  Fear that national ID cards can be abused by a tyrannical government are overblown since governments bent on tyranny have always been able to tyrannize.  A civil rights benefit to issuing unique ID cards would be the elimination of arresting the wrong person.

  •  Voter ID (0+ / 0-)

    The way for Democrats to push back is to argue that voter ID should be converted into a citizen ID given at early age which eliminates the need for voter registration.

  •  Kos Wrong; Provisional Ballots Often Not Counted! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryru

    Provisional ballots were part of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.  However, many poll workers are not trained about them and so do not offer them or know how to deal with them.  Also, different states deal with the question of which to count differently.  Here is a quote from a report from Project Vote about counting provisional ballots:

    For example, in the 2004 general election, 96% of provisional ballots were counted in Alaska, while only 6% were counted in Delaware. Similar disparities occurred in the 2006 general election: while Maine counted 100% of its provisional ballots, Kentucky counted less than 7%. Fifteen states rejected over 50% of their provisional ballots, and 20% of provisional ballots were rejected nationwide.
    Project Vote thinks there is a better way to maximize the number of people voting.
    Provisional Ballots Should Be Used on a Limited Basis

    Due to the problems with ensuring that provisional ballots are counted, it is always better to minimize the use of provisional ballots and allow eligible voters to cast regular ballots. The easiest way to enable the largest number of potential voters to cast regular ballots is to allow Election Day Registration.

    Project Vote's report on provisional ballots is here.

    States allowing election day registration are Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Washington DC.  California just enacted it several weeks ago.  Maine was the first to pass election day registration in 1973.  Election Day Registration generally increases turnout by 10-12%.

    In June 2011, the Maine legislature passed a law that ended Election Day voter registration, which had been in place since 1973. It also banned absentee voting during the two business days before an election. The first measure was the target of a citizen referendum ("people's veto) which was held in November 2011.  Maine voters reinstated Election Day registration with 59% in favor.  Based on the overwhelming vote in favor of Election Day Registration in Maine, I think it reasonable to say that it works and it is popular.

    •  Did it matter? If the total number of provisional (0+ / 0-)

      ballots will not affect the outcome of any contest on the ballot, why count them? Because elections are organized and regulated at the statee and local levels there will always be variant practices and anomalies. I agree that provisional ballots should be counted--and it seems to me its just as easy to count them as not count them--but if there are 10,000 provional ballots cast in a congressional district and the election is won by 15,000 votes, seems like there's no compelling need to count 'em.

      Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

      by LongTom on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 04:04:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Election Day registration requires ID, doesn't it? (0+ / 0-)

      So you're still losing everybody who can't produce ID on election day. I mean, I'm all for it, but ti doesn't address the ID requirement issue. How's the turnout pattern in those election day reg. states?

      Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

      by LongTom on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 04:10:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maine is always at the top (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not sure if we were #1 or #2 in 2008, but we are usually in the top 3 states for turnout in every presidential election.  

        What we should be saying, over and over, is:  there is no in-person voter fraud and there is no need for additional hurdles to voting.  the end.

        •  did turnout in maine improve since same-day? (0+ / 0-)

          i agree about the id thing, to some extent, but
          i don't think it's useful to oppose them without an attempt to address the potential for fraud. id checks take time and slow the lines down. maybe an initial position would be to have random spot id checks, every 10th voter or so. if the prson has no id, they cast a provisional ballot.

          Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

          by LongTom on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 11:50:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "voter fraud" (0+ / 0-)

            As far as i'm aware, there has been NO documentation of in-person voter fraud beyond a very few sparse cases -this means people showing up to vote and giving a false name.  This is the only type of alleged "voter fraud" that an ID would prohibit.
            If you insist that we need to somehow throw a bone to the Republican lies about fraud, I'd propose that we talk about implementing better technology that would prohibit people from being registered in more than 1 district, and that could track voting across cities & states to avoid duplicates.  Our outmoded and unconnected systems currently aren't up to this task, and it's much more likely that  folks could vote twice than the "voter ID" scenario.  The solution is investment in public infrastructure, not putting burdens on individuals.  
            Sorry, buying into this meme is just one more slide down that slippery slope of validating Republican lies.

  •  Get your I'd (0+ / 0-)

    The courts are too slow to change these new voting rules.  Find out what is required and fulfill the requirement...we need your vote.  Thank you

    Oracle2021: The purpose of life is a life of purpose."

    by Oracle2021 on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 02:50:46 PM PDT

  •  Dems should favor voter ID as long as provisional (0+ / 0-)

    ballots are allowed for those who don't have their ID with them. If Repubs oppose THAT, they are admitting that vote suppression is their goal. The issue should not be that nobody without ID can't vote, but how to count the votes of  people who don't have ID. Three days doesn't seem very long. What if I lose my wallet a few days before the election? How am I going to get ID in three days?

    Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em. --Casey Stengel

    by LongTom on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:12:16 PM PDT

  •  Look, voting is a RIGHT (4+ / 0-)

    not a privilege like driving or cashing a check at the local liquor store. Those are privileges. If the government, any part of the government, wants to impose a voter ID they, the government, need to take full responsibility for getting the IDs to the people. Including financial responsibility. No one anywhere in the U.S. should be made to pay (ANYTHING!) to vote unless it is agreed to be paid for by the general population. In other words, taxes. If we want to change our elections to require picture ID then the government may need to establish DMV-like brick & mortar buildings that allow voters to obtain them, paid for by all taxpayers, and they should be good for life. If the voter becomes ineligible for any reason, it is the government's responsibility to revoke that ID. Likewise if an newly ineligible voter moves to a state where his/her voting rights are not made ineligible by aforementioned reason, (ie, felonious crimes do not negate the right to vote in all states), then voting rights should reinstated automatically by the government. Grandfather this process in if need be.

    Can't get to a Voter Registration building, call and they will come to you, on their dime.

    Sound crazy and impossible? Then quit bitching about voter ID.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    There is nothing more exciting than the truth. - Richard P. Feynman

    by pastol on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:16:46 PM PDT

  •  Woman need easier time with id's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmgth

    Its still way to hard for divorcee's to get id. Why should they have to contact multiple states to get every piece of the puzzle. When a woman changes there name it should be in perminate record in the state they live

  •  Watch the "poll-watchers" (0+ / 0-)

    I think many of these new laws are designed to give Republican "poll watchers" more justifications for challenging (intimidating) voters at the polls and forcing them to use provisional ballots - which many reports have stated often don't get counted.

  •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

    yes, it can be made less burdensome, but yes, it is also the camel's nose in the tent.

    E Pluribus Unum does NOT mean "every man for himself"

    by Daddy Love on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 04:11:43 PM PDT

  •  We've always had VOTER ID. Signatures, voters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryru, Jahiegel

    cards, affidavits. These things have always been used. It's just that Republicans want to change the rules in the last two minutes of the game and say only certain types of ID are now legitimate. It's pretty hard to fake a signature. How is that not a form of ID?

    I always tell advocates of Voter ID laws, please explain this to me: How is a fraudulent voter going to know how to forge my signature? How many illegal immigrants register to vote (and succeed in getting voter cards)? Why are we wasting time on a non-existent problem?

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 05:03:46 PM PDT

  •  I wonder how many elderly Republicans will be (0+ / 0-)

    disenfranchised by voter ID laws. Considering that he Republicans' key demographic is the Male, Pale, and Stale vote, they might be taking a big risk by losing some of their own voters.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 05:05:30 PM PDT

  •  No (0+ / 0-)

    VA's version of voter ID may be somewhat less toxic than some other states', but it is still toxic.  It will still deny many voters the franchise, and a disproportionate number fo those denied the franchise will be people who would have voted for our side.

    You rely on people who don't present with an ID being allowed to vote a provisional ballot.  Well, voting a provisional ballot in VA is essentially the same as not voting.  The voter is not allowed to vote on the machine and get the vote mixed in with the vote that gets counted and reported election night as the unofficial return.  Instead they vote on a provisional ballot that is sealed in an envelope with their name and story on the outside.  The envelope is only opened and the vote counted if the county canvassing board, which will be majority R because our gov is R, accepts the voter's story.  They never do.  They never did even back when they were majority D.  Now we have Hans von Spakovsky heading the canvassing board here in Fairfax County.  They won't approve a single provo unless it's clear the voter will vote for the Rs.

    Sure, they're supposed to mail everyone a voter ID card.  They're supposed to every cycle.  They mostly didn't, even when Ds were in charge.  I haven't gotten mine this year, and don't expect to get one.  They're not going to postpone the election if the cards aren't mailed, and none of them will be in the least legal trouble if they aren't mailed, so why exactly should the Rs in charge of our voting bother to mail out cards that will let D voters vote?  We're firing teachers because we're broke, think they're going to use up a bunch of state money printing and mailing cards to make sure their law fails to do its job of keeping Ds from voting?

    Look, if you really believe that this issue is just too hard to explain to the average voter, that's fine.  I don't agree, I think on the contrary that it's actually quite easy to make the point that a lot of people don't have ID for lots of reasons, and then the point that there is no reason other than voter suppression to require ID.  Impersonation fraud would be quite easy to detect as it occurs and almost impossible to miss after the fact, as who voted in an election is a matter of public record, and O'Keefe et al could easily have found proof of dead people voting if that actually ever happened except when O'Keefe tries it.

    But, if you don't follow me, if you insist that we just can't win this argument, please don't pretend that, because we're hopelessly screwed and can't do anything about, the best response is to pretend that we're not screwed, but to  plead and beg for the wreckers to make their vote grab a bit less vicious, to make it VA-style theft, not AZ-style theft.  Yes, let's help them move that Overton Window furtter to the right on this issue as well.

    If you really don't think the voters can get the case against voter ID, don't help the other side move the Overton Window, don't agree with them, because that only means that next year even states like Va with just voter suppression light laws right now, will get upgraded to voter suppression with a vengeance.  The right strategy even if you believe the voters aren't paying enough attention is to instead move the controversy over to ground where our side has the case more easily defended to that audience that isn't paying much attention.  We should ask why AZ and VA are making laws about voting in federal elections, why fifty states are making such laws, wise or the contrary, rather than having the wisdom of this or that method of voting in federal elections debated and decided solely at the federal level. The other side wants to talk about the myth of impersonation fraud, great, we counter with talk about the reality of different voting laws in fifty states violating equal protection, violating one man one vote.  Do we live in one country, the USA, or fifty different countries?  Why do the fifty states get to decide how the USA chooses it president and legislators?  Why do these Rs hate America?  They seem to love AZ and love VA, but they hate America?  Why is that?

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 10:41:34 PM PDT

  •  This issue can be a winner for us. (0+ / 0-)

    Instead of fighting battles in every state there needs to be a concerted effort by all the Democratic leaders in DC to push for a new voting rights bill.  The Republicans and their BS lies about voter fraud can be cut at the knees by one simple thing... Pass a Federal law requiring ID to REGISTER to vote, and make the states issue Voter ID's, and make the states issue them at no charge, as well as providing assistance by the states to assist those without an ID to obtain one.  

    "We ain't a sharp species. We kill each other over arguments about what happens when you die, then fail to see the frigging irony in that."

    by Nebraskablue on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 12:30:12 AM PDT

  •  Here's a diary about Oregon's Vote By Mail system (0+ / 0-)

    that I wrote back in 2008.  You can even register to vote online at the Oregon Secretary of State's website for voting.

    Voting made easy, the Oregon way

    Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
    I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

    by watercarrier4diogenes on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 12:27:28 PM PDT

  •   (0+ / 0-)

    "... Florida's attempts to purge its voter rolls of legitimate people"
    Todd "Il Rape" Akin, Dear Leader, would call that 'Legitimate Fraud'.

    In CA, the secretary of state (sos.ca.gov) state USPS mails a card for each election, with ballot location and voter's name. I guess it serves as a per-election ID. Perhaps at little extra cost, they could add a B&W photo from whatever the state has on file (DMV, usually)

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