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Fr. Cory Sticha's profile photoAmbrose Little's profile photoPaul Deming's profile photoCindy Sharp's profile photo
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These are the same people who, apparently, never get on an airplane, enter a Federal building or courthouse, or buy things with a check.
 
I will not be voting in the Arizona primary this month because of their strict ID guidelines. I do hope they can get me verified to their satisfaction prior to the November election.  
I have voted in every election since 1988.  If there's one thing I detest, it is false conservatism.
 
+Bob Adams Yes, there are such people.  Generally people who don't have a car out of purely economic reasons, can't afford to fly.  We live in a country that is free.  We don't require documents to move around.  It is sad to me that so much of life does now require we have our official papers to participate. 

Yet these people do have the right to vote.  I do agree that fraud is a concern.  However, all of our freedoms come with complicating factors.  I don't unilaterally oppose all laws regarding voter ID.  My concern comes at it more from the transportation side of it.  The very people that Don't have the ID in the form of the Drivers Licence are often the most disadvantaged in terms of transportation to obtain other ID.  

Also, on a freedom of the citizenry standpoint, I'm not signed on to the concept that I as a citizen must be carrying a valid drivers license and photo ID to merely function in our society.  And I have actually refused to provide my ID to a police officer on principle.  So I know that we are not that far from becoming exactly what I was taught to fear in the USSR - a country that requires you to have your documents at all times, or face possible detention.
 
Using a library or hospital, or applying for a job are other instances where you'll need a valid ID. I wonder what the ID-less do in these situations?
 
Is it so hard to believe that there are US citizens who don't participate in society with the same degree of ease that middle class folks do?  Careful guys, your privilege is showing.
 
The question I have, then, for those who oppose these voter ID laws: how do we balance the two issues of 1) ensuring everyone can vote who wishes to exercise that right; and 2) ensuring that voter fraud does not occur? To put in frankly, it's disingenuous to assume that those who want voter ID laws do so to keep certain classes of people from voting. Rightly or wrongly, voter ID laws come from the perception that there is voter fraud and requiring an ID is the best way to ensure the integrity of the vote. Is that perception accurate? I don't know. Some groups say it is, some deny that it's a widespread problem.

So, if states with voter ID pushed to ensure that every registered voter that wished to vote was given transportation, documentation, and every possible barrier to getting an ID was removed at no cost to the voter, would that satisfy concerns? How about a voter ID law like Montana, where utility bills showing physical address (electricity, gas, etc.) is considered sufficient to validate identification?

I ask these questions sincerely, because they are questions that I've not really seen answers to, other than "Voter ID laws bad!"
 
+Cory Sticha Good question, and perhaps modern voter ID initiatives are purely motivated. Historically, voter ID requirements have been used to disenfranchise minorities.
 
+Richard Masoner I understand the historic concern, and would be one of the first to oppose these laws if there was a reason for concern beyond what seems to be partisan politics. However, pointing to "this happened in the past, therefore it must be the reason for what's happening now" doesn't address the questions I raised. So, assuming "pure motivation", would my points and questions clear up opposition?
 
I can't believe that these laws aren't designed to keep specific populations from voting. 
If voter fraud is truly the motivation then why is it only now that we are seeing an increase in legislation that requires it?  
I see it as reactionary and unAmerican. 
 
+Cindy Sharp A lot of laws have been passed out of reactionary motives. Look at a good number of the health and safety laws which were passed when something became a "big problem that must be solved now!!!!!!" Why is it so hard to believe that this rash of voter ID laws isn't the same situation?

And again I ask, what would be a better alternative to ensure the integrity of our elections? Would the laws be fine if there was a major push on the part of the states to ensure that every voter had a valid ID with no cost to the voter? Would Montana's style of ID requirement, which includes utility bills or some other formal documentation that establishes residency and identity, be enough to overcome the problem? Look at http://sos.mt.gov/elections/Vote/index.asp under "The Polling Place" to see Montana's ID requirements.

To put it simply, I don't assume motives on either side. If there really is a problem with voter fraud, let's fix it. If there is a problem with these laws, let's find a solution so the problem no longer exists while still ensuring integrity of the election.
 
Perhaps the question is whether or not there is a real rash of voter fraud or a wave of electioneering that surpasses what we have lived with up until now (and have maintained a stable gvmt without any issues related to transfer of power).
I think this is a craven power move that was designed and supported by Rove and Co.  
This is a real infringement on our rights.  
 
Seems to me that everyone who shows up at a polling station should be allowed to vote even if you show up at the wrong polling station.  However, you should be able to prove you are who you say you are.  Failure to do that should result in your ballot being automatically placed in a provisional stack subject to challenge no different than today's polling precinct challenge process.  Everybody gets to vote.  Nobody is turned away.  Challenges are resolved individually.
 
+Cindy Sharp Perhaps you're right that we need to figure out if voter fraud is as big an issue as some make it out to be (again, I don't know if it is or not), but you're still not answering my questions. You're still answering "Voter ID laws bad!" without anything more than presupposition that Republicans are trying to disinfranchise people.
 
I don't have an answer other than I think voter ID laws are dangerous.  It depresses turnout.  It clearly prevents citizens who are already disenfranchised from fuller participation within the process. There has never been cause to believe that widespread fraud is occurring in American elections.  In fact, the focus has usually been on increasing registration and turnout and encouraging participation in civic life. 

You have asked repeatedly "how do we preserve the integrity of the system?"  I think we do it as we always have.  If the board of elections in a given state or locality challenges a specific voter then that voter is investigated as an exception.  The problem with voter ID laws is that they presume the voter is invalid and place us all under suspicion. We are guilty of lying about who we are and what our status as persons is before we have even been suspected of the crime of voter fraud. I do not want to encourage this post-Patriot Act  environment of "your papers, please."  Like +Paul Deming I think that smacks of totalitarianism.  

My suspicions about the motive behind these laws is also greatly influenced by the fact that they are almost exclusively introduced by GOP politicians.  Why the disproportionate interest on fraudulent elections suddenly, GOP? And, lest you accuse me of hating on the Republicans, I have been registered in that party a time or two and I have a long-time friend who managed the campaign of a recent GOP presidential candidate.  My cynicism is born of close association with politics.  A case of the old joke, "never watch how the sausage is made."
 
+Cindy Sharp Thank you. I understand your concern, and I appreciate your willingness to address my questions. I ask those questions out of my own desire to understand all aspects of the argument.

I am neither totally for or against these laws. I see merit in the arguments made for them, and I see merit in the arguments against them. I agree with +Paul Deming that the circumstances where ID is required should be greatly limited, but I don't see requiring some form of ID (even just a voter's registration card) a slippery slope into totalitarianism.

I can also understand the concern regarding disenfranchising voters, as +Richard Masoner brings up, as I am familiar with how poll taxes and strict voter ID laws have been used in the past to prevent minorities and women from voting. At the same time, I see the constant drum beat in every major election of how this party or that party has rigged the system to fall their way.

So, again, please understand that I ask these questions as someone who truly is concerned about this issue, and is trying to figure out the best approach that balances the rights of all voters with the need to ensure the elections are as fair as possible. As I see it right now, I'm still of the mindset that Montana's law is striking a good balance: http://sos.mt.gov/elections/Vote/index.asp#vote (see under The Polling Place).
 
Jumping back into this conversation.  

+Cory Sticha I don't think all voter ID laws are disingenuous or deliberately looking exclude certain classes of voters.  In general I want polling places and election officials to be sure people are who they say they are, especially when they are registering.  However, at the same time, the requirement of one particular form of photo ID as the only acceptable means of proving who you are is objectionable to me in general.  How do I prove who I am anyway?

I remember a few cases from Montana of older  people like in their 80's or 90's who couldn't get passports to go to Canada because they don't have birth certificats.  That is a separate issue from voting but related  on the front of documenting and proving who you are to the satisfaction of the Bureaucracy.  Of course REAL community where people know each other is one answer.  Trusting people is also part of it.  FInally, accepting that there is probably going to be some level of fraud, but keeping it within reasonable bounds is probably necessary.   

I do think one political party is dangerous is wanting to make voter registration and voting with no due process at all is dangerous.  At the same time I don't think that what sounds to average middle class Americans as reasonable requirements are appropriate for a free country and reasonable for all types of people.
 
I don't see why we can't help people get photo ID. We give the poorest food and money; we can help them get an ID. Voting is important. It determines the course of our government.

I remember the first time I voted being quite surprised all I had to do is say a name and sign. We require more validation to borrow a book. It's a little out of whack.

Wild extrapolations to say this makes us totalitarian are hardly reasonable. 
 
And no, I have no idea why this didn't show up in my feed until now. I just noticed the last comment was the 8th.  Weird..
 
+Ambrose Little I've noticed that G+ will dredge up older threads on occasion in the All Circles feed. Must be similar to FB's Top Stories sort.
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