Fight Against Voter ID Card Registration and Laws Exposed

Fight Against Voter ID Card registration Requirement and laws Exposed - states with voter id laws - is it a conspiracy to deny voter rights, or fight voter fraud - you decide

Voter Photo ID cards are big issue
Voter Photo ID cards are big issue | Source

States Reject Voter ID Card Requirement

Reporting for the Daily Constitutional: GA Anderson

The controversial new voter registration and photo ID card laws that require voters to present photo ID cards in order to cast their ballots seem - at first glance, to be fairly common-sense requirements to avoid voter fraud. What could be wrong with asking a voter to prove they are who they say they are, and that they are properly registered and qualified to vote in a particular election?

Anti-voter ID and registration proponents say plenty! And they also say that states with voter ID laws*, on the books and in the legislative pipeline, are trying to restrict people's right to vote.

Considering that they are making decisions in a process that will have an important impact on the governance and laws of the land, whether local or national, and the lives of their fellow citizens, shouldn't they at least be able to prove they are who their voter registration card says they are?

No, say opponents of the new voter ID laws, who cite voter suppression and disenfranchisement of; young, elderly, and minority voters, and also Constitutional issues, as their reasons for their opposition to these new laws.

*a national map showing state-by-state voter ID requirements is included below.

Why would photo ID requirement be bad?

Although the specific objections vary, the bottom line for most opponents is that any voter ID law with a photo ID requirement would either cause an undue burden, if getting one involves any cost, or could be an undue hardship for people that do not already have an acceptable photo ID card.

The undue burden objection usually refers to costs. Many states offer programs for free state ID cards, but other states charge fees that can range from $25 to $70. For the groups cited as being most disenfranchised by these costs; the elderly on fixed incomes, those on social services rolls, and many minority groups, that additional cost could be a factor causing them to not be able to vote.

Others have argued that requiring an ID card which has an attached cost - could be construed as a back-door poll tax, which is forbidden in the Constitution. Also, many state Constitutions contain clauses that require "free elections", so requiring a photo ID card that has a cost could possibly be a violation of those clauses.

This was the case recently in Massachusetts (2011), where Attorney General Martha Coakley rejected a proposed ballot initiative to require a government-issued photo ID as unconstitutional, because of a "free election" clause in the state's constitution.

The argument that the requirement would be an additional hardship, cites the examples of wheelchair and home-bound voters, (among others), that can not easily get to where the ID cards are issued. Which in most states is their Motor Vehicle/Transportation Departments.

There are other less supported arguments, like the folks that don't want any type of government record of their ID, and variations of the above objections, but as an illustration - that's generally the case against requiring photo ID's to vote.

The states are mixed about voter photo ID's

Nationally, the requirements of state's voter ID laws are a mixed bag of yes, no, and maybe. Thirty-one states require all voters to show ID before voting at the polls. In 15 of these, the ID must include a photo of the voter; in the remaining 16, non-photo forms of ID are acceptable.

But...

These numbers are not really as they appear. Of the 15 that require photos, only two are serious about it; Georgia and Indiana - no ID, no vote. 6 more require a photo ID, but allow you to vote a provisional ballot if you can't immediately provide one. (the voter then has a few days to return to an elections office with proper ID to confirm their identity and their ballots)

The remaining 7 of the original 15 offer alternative identification methods if a photo ID can't be produced at the polling place. Some can be as simple as New Mexico, which has a rather unorthodox alternative - you just tell them who you are, where you live, and your birth date. Bingo! ID accepted and you get to vote.* Others need a little more work - like getting a voter with an accepted photo ID to vouch for you. "Yes, that's Bob Smith, he lives two doors down from me." Bingo!" ID accepted and you get to vote.**

16 other states have voter ID laws that require an ID, but they don't have to have a photo. Examples of acceptable voting ID's include things like; Social Security card, birth certificate, or even a bank statement or utility bill - if they also include your address.

Of the 29 remaining states? Just properly register to vote, then tell them who you are when you show up to vote, (unable to resist), although you might get a second look when you are the 27th Jose' Smith in a voting population of 312.

*a "unique" identifier is also required. ie. tattoo or scar - and others. **a completed "vouch-for" form may be required. Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

States that require voter ID

Source

...as of 7/26/2012

(1) In Alabama, South Carolina and Texas, current non-photo voter ID laws stay in effect for the time being. The new photo voter ID requirements will take effect after receiving preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. South Carolina and Texas were denied pre-clearance in December 2011 and March 2012, respectively. Alabama's new photo ID law has a 2014 effective date, and the state has not yet applied for pre-clearance.

(2) Wisconsin's voter ID law was declared unconstitutional on March 12, 2012. Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess issued a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the law, which the state has said it will appeal.

(3) There are some who prefer to call Oklahoma a photo voter ID state, because most voters will show a photo ID before voting. However, Oklahoma law also permits a voter registration card issued by the appropriate county elections board to serve as proof of identity in lieu of photo ID.

(4) Rhode Island's voter ID law takes effect in two stages. The first stage, requiring a non-photo ID, took effect on January 1, 2012. On January 1, 2014, a photo ID requirement will replace the non-photo ID law.

(5) Alabama's new photo ID requirement takes effect with the 2014 statewide primary election. The new law also requires preclearance. The delayed implementation date was intended to ensure that the timing of preclearance did not occur between the primary and general elections of 2012, thus creating voter confusion.

(6) Mississippi's new voter ID law was passed via the citizen initiative process. It takes effect 30 days after the certification of results, a date that will likely fall in late December 2011 or early January 2012. However, the language in constitutional amendment passed by MS voters on Nov. 8 is very general, and implementing legislation will be required before the amendment can take effect. The MS provision will also require pre-clearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act before it can take effect.

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures


Voter ID proponents offer solutions

Showing the strength of their convictions, proponents of voters ID laws requiring valid photo ID's have offered what appear to be common-sense solutions to the two most common objections.

Legislators supporting photo ID's have offered legislative efforts to waive ID card fees for people that qualify for, or are already enrolled in, Social Services support or safety-net programs, and also to establish waivers for cases where procurement could be an actual hardship. Such as Texas, which has strengthened its voter ID requirements - now mandating a government-issued photo ID, but the law also includes a “laundry list” of exemptions for people who may have a hard time obtaining the required identification, such as living more than 50 miles away from the nearest Division of Motor Vehicles.

Other NGO's, (non-government organization), like state and community-level Republican Party groups, (and other non-party affiliated groups), have offered solutions programs that range from grants that will cover the costs of state ID fees, to door-to-door assistance for people that can not easily get to the ID-issuing locations.

Sounds reasonable - after all, a voter's registration card doesn't prove identity - so where's the beef?

The "beef" is the Democrat Party

As a headline, that was pretty broad, but also accurate. The largest, and most powerful anti-voter ID law groups are the Democrat Party, and the ACLU - at national, state, and local levels. The "why" of their opposition is easily identifiable - votes. The largest blocs of voters potentially effected by stronger voter ID laws are also traditionally Democrat candidate voters.

Students traditionally vote Democrat preferences. In the 2008 presidential elections, students voted 3 - 1 Democrat (Obama), vs. Republican (McCain). source: Students.com survey. The loss of this group in the Democrat vote column could result in radical election results changes.

In Wisconsin, which has a large college student population, the state ACLU branch has become involved - stating that the voter laws require that the listed voter registration address be the same as voter ID address, which for college-resident students, could be a problem.

A report from New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice showed that in Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, all of which will enact stricter photo ID laws before the 2012 election, 3.2 million potential voters do not have the state-issued ID that will be required for them to vote.

*new and amending legislative efforts to accommodate this particular issue - at state and local levels, to ensure this does not become a disenfranchising obstacle, are works-in-progess.

Minorities have demonstrated essentially the same voting preferences as students, and support for opposition to voter ID requirements for them is essentially coming from the same groups as for the students. In the case of minorities, the argument is the potential difficulties they may have with acceptable documentation of residence, and also, getting to the ID-issuing locations.

Can't prove where they live, or get to the ID-issuing location, but they can get to the polls?

That is a large potential loss for Democrat Party candidates. Votes they traditionally counted on solely due to party affiliation, rather than candidate preference.

What's the REAL Democrat objection?

In almost every instance of legislative efforts to tighten voter ID laws, including the ones with state constitutional conflicts - waivers, special accommodations, and procedural changes, have been offered to ensure no voter has their right to vote compromised. So where's the beef?

From this author's prospective, a photo ID requirement is solely intended to combat voter fraud. How many ACORN-originated voter registrations with names like Mickey Mouse do you need to see before you might consider the need to ensure that a real person, with a real right to vote in a particular election... is only common-sense?

How many documented instances of bus-loads of voters hitting local precinct polling places, with no verification of actual residence or identity other than the say-so of the folks disembarking the bus, required, do you need to see before considering that... just maybe there's something rotten in Denmark?

Denmark, ME - Denmark, SC - Denmark, TN - Denmark - IA - Denmark, WI, that is.

Since stating the obvious usually elicits groans and grimaces, just asking the question seems a more objective choice.

What are the Democrats really afraid of?

A lucky find...

Planning to include a video showing potential voter fraud, ie. busloads being trucked in, hundreds of Asians or Mexicans, or Blacks, or whatever - voting in precincts not generally composed of their ethnicity - I instead stumbled across this video - which I think illustrates the illegitimacy of the anti-voter ID card objections much better than any expose'-type images.

This is the REAL power of the ID

GA Anderson aka Gus really is a real person
GA Anderson aka Gus really is a real person | Source

About the Author

Writing for the Daily Constitutional, and commentary from the Curmudgeon's desk - GA Anderson

"Seeing it does not make it real, and reading it does not make it true. Use a little common-sense and trust your instincts." - GAA

*Composite image component source citations: Creative Commons images from:commons.wikimedia.org, flickr.com/creativecommons, search.creativecommons.org, http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2009/06/find-creative-commons-images-in-google.html. *photo and image source credits: divider and separation images - http://gaanderson.hubpages.com

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Fight Against Voter ID Card Requirement Exposed Comments 26 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

GA - You have hit on a subject that rubs my butt raw. We need forms of ID for many things, such as opening a bank account, getting a library card, obtaining a drivers license, and even using a credit card in stores where they don't know us. But we shouldn't need to show ID to vote? Anyone opposing this ID requirement has some obvious motives in citing his opposition.

This ID requirement would totally eliminate the voting rights of dead people and illegal residents. Now how can this be considered fair. Many of these dead people voted in every election their entire adult life. Now just because they are dead some want to take this right away from them. Doesn't sound fair to me.


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA Author

@Old Poolman - Thanks for the helping hand.

I'm sure you can imagine how strongly I wanted to write about the multitude of proven voter fraud instances like the ones you mentioned, they would be avoided with voter ID cards.

and how, using the same type examples you supplied, to show how silly it is to think needing an ID to vote is is asking too much

But I wanted to provide a perspective that would prompt just such comments as yours, without including stuff that could be rightfully attacked as judgmentally biased.

It was a struggle, and I think I kept my most blatant pre-judgements out, a couple did sneak past the political correctness monitor. ie. Jose' Smith, but overall I think I left the door open for opposing thoughts.

and you're right, why shouldn't our heirs be able to will us the proxy of their vote - after all, it is a thing of value.

GA


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

It would be interesting to see what the total number of voters was reduced to if dead people and illegals could no longer vote. We could possibly reduce the number of hours the polls are required to stay open with millions less people voting.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

GA, thanks for inviting me over to take a look.

This has always been seen by me as a solution in search of a problem. Statistics do not support rampid voter fraud to the point where all this needs to be dredged up.

But on the other hand, my experience has been that my showing a drivers license combined with my name and address on registration rosters, has usually been sufficient. But if this is something that the other side insists needs to be done, these ID MUST be provided at no cost and official correspondence regarding these requirements be made to the community at large in sufficient time so that the voting public has adequate time to prepare to meet requirments. There are many that simply are not interested regardless of preparation, we cannot favorably move them. But, I don't want anyone who would otherwise participate to be disenfranchised unfairly. I could live with the idea of an ID under such circumstances.

I worry more about voter suppression take a look at this if you have a moment.

http://hubpages.com/politics/Restricting-Student-V...


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

I think this is a no brainer. YOU MUST HAVE A PROPER PHOTO ID. This is our election process and one of the most serious and important freedoms we have as Amerians.

Why is it taken so lightly? Why would it hurt ANYONE to pay $5 bucks for a RIGHT to vote? I can assure you these very people who bitch have NO problem buying a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of booze.

If it means the only compromise for the State to pay for these, then so be it. I say it is a MUST.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 5 years ago from Rural Arizona

Cred2 - I feel very strongly that requiring someone to show ID to exercise their right to vote is well within acceptable boundaries. A huge percentage of the voting population carries a drivers license with their picture on it almost everyday of their life. I agree that for those who don't drive, a free picture ID should be made available.

Voter fraud is far more common than you might believe. Nothing will ever completely stop voter fraud, but this ID requirement would certainly slow it down.

I have to show ID for many things less important than voting, so I think it is a good idea.


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA Author

@CMerritt - thanks for stopping by, seems we have similar views. Pull up a chair anytime, comments are always welcome.

but, don't let yourself get waylaid with regards to "these people", and "cigarettes and booze" - although opponents of voter ID's use groups typically defined as the poor and less fortunate, and unfortunately these groups too often have stereotyped images of - "these people", and "cigarettes and booze", attached to them, that isn't truly the case.

Addressing the issue to all voting groups, without stereotypes will serve us all better.

Glad to have your input, drop by again, soon

GA


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

It was probably not a very good attempt in making my point, as I too, do not like to "stero-type" anybody.

The point I should be making is that, in my opinion, a small price to pay to assure our political process is upheld in the most honest fashion and that we can produce to assure everyones voice is heard.


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA Author

@Cmerritt - yep, you're preaching to the choir.

GA


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Hey, CMerritt, haven't seen you around in a while:

It does hurt to pay to vote, voting is not a privilege, but a right of every American citizen as I mentioned in a previous post. I think that GA, rightly warned of any payment being considered a form of poll tax, prohibited by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

OP: Its ok, I can live with the requirement for picture identification under the stipulation that I had stated in my earlier comment.


Joe R. 4 years ago

If a woman born in 1910 now 102 years old has been voting since 1928, every election every year, rain or shine then stopped driving at the age of 70, has no license, her polling place in in the lobby of her apartment complex, NOW SHE CAN'T VOTE BECAUSE OF NO ID???. That is idiotic, she voted through the depression WWII and more than we can ever conceive and her rights as a US Citizen have been taken away. Pure disenfranchisement at it's basic level. (Real Story)


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 4 years ago from USA Author

@Joe R. thanks for reading "Fight Against Voter ID Card Requirement Exposed," and leaving such a succinct comment.

But... If that was a true story - then someone has misinformed you, or her. Every state that has passed voter ID laws has also included provisions for getting the ID's to voters like the one in your story - at no cost if poverty criteria were met.

Plus... Most, (I believe all, but am not positive) polling places have back-up ID methods if a photo ID can not be presented. These range from being "vouched for" by two other registered voters, to provisional voting with multiple-day period to follow-up with an ID.

Your example is a strawman argument - either you were duped/misinformed, or you are trying to do so here.

Requiring an ID to participate in an election process does not disenfranchise anyone that wants to vote. It could only possibly hurt the herds that are rounded up by vote-getter drives on election day - and they probably did not care to vote in the first place, or they would have taken advantage of the FREE opportunities to get an ID card.

Thanks for the example

GA


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

In response to the story from Joe R, in most every state the DMV will convert a drivers licence to a picture ID for no charge when a person quits driving.

If this lady contacted someone from her local political party of choice headquarters, they would gladly assist her in getting the required ID.

While your story is sad, it just doesn't shake out that this lady is being denied her right to vote. If you know who she is perhaps you could help her?


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 4 years ago from USA Author

Greetings Old Poolman - good to see you back again.

Unfortunately the old Curmudgeon in me smells a rat in Joe's story. It hits all the possible hug-tugging anti-voter ID talking points, yet ignores all the easy and sensible solutions that have already been pointed out.

Plus, if the lady felt that strongly about voting for 52 years, it seems unlikely she would not take whatever steps needed to continue voting after she stopped driving.

Of course I could be wrong about Joe's story, but I don't think so.

GA


John 4 years ago

Democrats have accused the Republicans of "stealing" the election and voter fraud. The Republicans have accused the Democrats of the same. An ID would help solve that problem. So why are some Democrats up in arms? Could it be that Democrats know they benefit more from voter fraud than Republicans?


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 4 years ago from USA Author

@John, thanks for the visit, and taking the time to comment.

Your perspective is shared by a lot of people

GA


bob 4 years ago

the Diebold voting machines are a way to fog over the voice of the people. The government doesn't like who Americans are leaning towards, they can just claim (without any real proof) there was a problem with the voting machines and call for a recount and thus leads to another year of committing voter fraud and then it becomes crystal clear that the government has no intention of representing the people. And then we have to deal with another four year of sinking even deeper into economic depression while our government continues to pretend it doesn't exist.


minuspc profile image

minuspc 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I assert that everyone doing legal business in the United States of America has at one time or the other been required to produce picture ID. That having to produce such ID infringes on the rights of Americans, of any stature, is a load of BS and and that any person or oogranization who finds it to be his, her or their duty to object has a nefarious reason for doing so.

I say lets have voters prove themselves to be literate so that such folks as those who object to voter ID will never be elected to hold positions of policy making.


bvandy 4 years ago

ID should be no brainer but it also must be handed out to everyone for free. we have free elections in the USA


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 4 years ago from USA Author

@bvandy - thanks for the visit and comment

they are available for free - or subsidized

GA


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

It seems this ID Card issue now is boiled down to just two remaining issues.

Issue #1. The cards must be provided for free. OK, I would be willing to use taxpayer money to provide the needed cards if that would eliminate this excuse.

Issue#2, This law would be OK, but should not be implemented until after the 2012 election? Now I start to smell a rat.

Like others, I'm thinking the number of legal voters who don't have official forms of ID would be fairly small, but I'm told there are huge numbers of legal voters who don't have ID cards. I would have no idea where to even look for accurate numbers regarding this issue.


GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 4 years ago from USA Author

Good to hear from you again, OP

Well, #1 Pennsylvania (the current "in-the-news" voter ID law issue - HAS made arrangements for all state photo ID card fees to be waived if they are told it is for voter ID

#2 - Sure you smell a rat - this law (Pa.) was passed back in March - 8 months lead-time to get ID's in order - but court challenges have reduced the time to 60 days or so now.

But, folks still could have been working on getting them with or without the court challenges

And here's the real kicker.... the lead plaintiff in the challenging lawsuit - Vivian Applewrite(?) NOW HAS HER PHOTO ID!

Ain't politics grand....

GA


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

Well good for Vivian, it is about time she got a photo ID. Heck, she is now officially a grown up citizen of this country.

How could any one not question why they fight so hard to delay this voter ID requirement until after the election? Any way you look it at it, it keeps coming back to one side counting on votes from people who are not eligible to vote, or are not satisfied with just voting once in each election.


ElleBee 4 years ago

This is a great article! I've been wondering about this issue - on first hand it seems like the issue is "common sense" as you said, but there's a lot more behind it than that. Here in MA I'm pretty sure you need to show ID to register to vote, which combats some of the fraudulent registrations but nothing to stop you from going to the polls and claiming to be someone else. Last time I voted I was just asked to give my address then they asked "which one?" I was since we have 3 people registered from our adress and that was that.


LauraGT profile image

LauraGT 4 years ago from MA

While I appreciate you laying out how obstacles to obtaining voter IDs would be addressed, I don't really see a strong argument for them. Voter fraud is practically non-existent (despite rhetoric to the contrary). Given that less than half of Americans currently vote, I think we should be doing everything possible to get more people to the polls, not fewer.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 2 years ago from upstate, NY

I agree with you, its totally reasonable to demand that a voter identify themselves particularly since the Democrats have used Acorn and other schemes to illegitimately get more votes.

Of course the Constitution or the rule of law is in this case an obstacle to Democrats so their having their predictable "hissy fits" but then again if the shoe were on the other foot and the republican's were gaining votes, they would be screaming about following the Constitution.

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