READER COMMENTS ON
"Supreme Court to Decide if Restrictive Photo ID Laws are Unconstitutional"
(8 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 9/26/2007 @ 11:38 am PT...
Since there are, as far as I am aware no free government issued picture IDs in the US, requiring picture ID seems like a de facto poll tax, and should thus be unconstitutional under the 16th amendment.
That said, I'm very much of the opinion that a strong voter identification and eligibility system is a necessary part of any credible election system. Because of intimidation concerns, and because positive identification is a hard problem, there will always be compromises, and the identification standards should be regularly tested and reviewed.
The fundamental problem here, and really, there is a similar issue with the electronic voting machines, is that there isn't any structure in place that provides strong reviews on the integrity of the process. That is to say, we have a whole lot of review and change, but, really, a dearth of evidence one way or the other regarding the rate of voter fraud.
Notably, the most severe exploits of voter fraud would probably require inside access (getting to the register and the ballot box close to or after the end of voting), and, would thus be unaffected by picture ID requirements.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 9/26/2007 @ 11:48 am PT...
Whoops - wrong amendment --- should be 24 (no poll tax in federal elections).
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
M. L. Cook
said on 9/26/2007 @ 12:42 pm PT...
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
... NateTG said on 9/26/2007 @ 11:38 am PT...
"Since there are, as far as I am aware no free government issued picture IDs in the US," requiring picture ID seems like a de facto poll tax, and should thus be unconstitutional under the 16th amendment."
You are incorrect. This is an Indiana Case, and in Indiana, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will issue you an picture ID card free of charge.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 9/26/2007 @ 1:16 pm PT...
"You are incorrect. This is an Indiana Case, and in Indiana, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will issue you an picture ID card free of charge."
There's still the cost of getting to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to get your picture taken, and the cost associated with demonstrating your identity to the Bureau of Motor vehicles:
Notably, of the 'primary documents' the ones that are not government photo ID's are some variety of birth certificate - and the cost of those apparently depends on the location of birth, something the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles cannot control the price of. More specifically, the replacement fee to search for an Indiana birth certificate is apparently $10 (nonrefundable).
(In practical terms, establishing identity is, as I mentioned before, a hard problem with few good solutions. This is one of the reasons that 'identity theft' is such a popular crime.)
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 9/26/2007 @ 6:28 pm PT...
God forbid we actually verify if the person casting the ballot is actually the person the ballot belongs to. Also kind of a bummer to make sure that only the people who vote are legally able to do so (you know, Felons, illegals, etc).
Amazing that the same people who whine about Diebold and Electronic Voting Machines (despite the fact that Diebold has decades of experience with ATMs) stealing elections are also the first to complain about requiring IDs to ensure that elections aren't stolen by old fashion Ballot Box stuffing. Where is the consistancy?
Besides, the argument based on an old lady or poor person with no ID is a canard. If they have no ID, how do they cash their SSI checks? How did they sign up for a mortgage or rental lease without an ID? Telephone and electric service? Writing a check at the store? Just about ANY transaction you can think of requires some type of ID.
And, the Legislation already covers the rare case where someone has no ID; the Govt coming in and issuing IDs for free...on the spot.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 9/26/2007 @ 7:00 pm PT...
The question is not "some kind of ID". In fact, ID is already required when registering as per HAVA.
The question is PHOTO ID, and not just any photo ID. Must be government issued photo ID. Many states, for example, MO where the Supreme Court tossed out Photo ID laws as unconstitutional, allows for some 9 or so different types of ID already.
The new draconian, disenfranchising Photo ID laws, won't even allow for a military ID.
As to "where's the consistency"? Well, the proponents of such laws in states such as IN and GA have been unable to show a single case of fraud that their law would have kept from happening. The laws DO NOT apply to ABSENTEE ballot fraud, which is more Republican than Democratic in most places, and by far the easiest way to defraud the system.
On the other hand, a single person with inappropriate access to a voting machine for about 60 seconds can flip an entire county (and thus state, and thus national) election.
PHOTO ID is a solution in search of a problem. Election fraud via machine is a problem in search of a solution.
Get it yet?
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
M. L. Cook
said on 9/27/2007 @ 11:56 am PT...
Brad, when it comes to the Indiana law, you have made a few errors and have repeated some arguments that have already been defeat in the Federal Courts.
I am only going to address the Indiana Law. The reason is that the Indiana Law is the one before the SCOTUS. If they find for the defendants, this will probably be the template for the rest of the states.
First, "Republican-controlled Legislature in 2005, the photo ID must be current, so that an elderly person who is no longer driving would not be able to use an expired license as identification."
False. Indiana Code, specifically IC 3-5-2-40.5 (3)(B) allows for a person to vote with an expired ID.
"(B) expired after the date of the most recent general election."
Not only does Indiana give a grace period for an expired ID, they also will allow a voter a provisional ballot to cast their vote and then 10 days to bring in a required ID (IC 3-11.7-5-2.5).
Second, "The new draconian, disenfranchising Photo ID laws, won't even allow for a military ID."
Again, this is false. IC3-5-2-40.5 (4)
"The document was issued by the United States or the state of Indiana."
That not only includes military ID, but also includes passports and photo IDs from state supported schools.
Here is one of the arguments defeated in the courts. "The laws DO NOT apply to ABSENTEE ballot fraud, which is more Republican than Democratic in most places, and by far the easiest way to defraud the system."
Just exactly how would you require a photo ID for this group of voters?
Further, in Indiana, Absentee ballot fraud is usually by the Democrats. In fact, if take a look at the convictions for election fraud, especially in Lake and Madison Counties, for the last several years, it is almost exclusively Democrats.
If you want to fight absentee ballot fraud, then by all means pass the laws to make the process fraud proof.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 9/27/2007 @ 2:32 pm PT...
Brad, I do alot of voter registration drives in Cali. An ID is NOT required to register to vote. An ID is NOT required when you show up at the polls.
Recall in 1996 Dornan lost his seat by some 984 votes. An investigation showed that 748 votes were cast by Illegal Aliens. Regardless that it was not enough to overturn the results (assuming they all voted for Sanchez), the mere FACT that Illegal Aliens Registered, received Ballots, and cast votes with impunity in a National Election should be proof enough that a positive identification should be mandatory AT SOME POINT.
Your complaint is the ID requirements are to "draconian" (however you failed to address my point that it is almost impossible to carry out any type of transaction without an ID in todays world...even some cash transactions require proof of age...an ID). Your solution is to not require any form of ID. Why don't you instead fight for a requirement for a Fedral requirement for an ID, but allow each State to determine what type they accept? Then those of us who want to ensure only people legally entitled to vote do, and those who worry about disenfranchisement due to restrictive laws can both win.
Do get that?