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Today’s number: 0.00002 percent

Friday, Aug 8, 2014

* Justin Levitt, a professor at the Loyola University Law School writing in the Washington Post

(R)equirements to show ID at the polls are designed for pretty much one thing: people showing up at the polls pretending to be somebody else in order to each cast one incremental fake ballot. This is a slow, clunky way to steal an election. Which is why it rarely happens.

I’ve been tracking allegations of fraud for years now, including the fraud ID laws are designed to stop. In 2008, when the Supreme Court weighed in on voter ID, I looked at every single allegation put before the Court. And since then, I’ve been following reports wherever they crop up.

To be clear, I’m not just talking about prosecutions. I track any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix.

So far, I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country. If you want to check my work, you can read a comprehensive list of the incidents below.

To put this in perspective, the 31 incidents below come in the context of general, primary, special, and municipal elections from 2000 through 2014. In general and primary elections alone, more than 1 billion ballots were cast in that period.

Go read the whole thing.

* Kevin Drum did the calculation used in our headline

So far, he’s found 31 cases representing around 200 individuals. If every one of them turns out be a genuine case of fraud, that’s a fraud rate of: 0.00002%.

And, of course, many of those are only allegations not yet proved.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


90 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    The motivations for voter ID are to keep certain people from voting. It’s a national concerted effort spearheaded by ALEC and the Heritage Foundation. All it takes is a google search to confirm that.


  2. - walker - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    And probably none of them remotely impacted any elections, even if true.

    So what’s the reason for new voter ID laws again?

    Come on, you can say it, everyone already knows.

    Republican Leaders in two states, Florida and Pennsylvania, have already admitted their purpose.


  3. - Jimbo - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    So you’re saying there’s a chance? We better disenfranchise the poor and minorities to prevent this endemic fraud. Even one case is too much for a democracy to tolerate. I propose that we are all outfitted with biometric RFID tags at the cost of $1000 per person, paid for by the citizen, to ensure the integrity of the voting system. An added benefit is that we don’t have to worry about poor people influencing the politicians we’ve worked so hard to buy.


  4. - the Patriot - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    Only tracking credible allegations is pretty useless. The people who do it are in large cities and get away with it so there is no allegation. (does it affect outcomes is unlikely)

    Only tracking credible allegations is like saying drunk driving is not a problem, if you look at the total number of allegations compared to the total number of drivers.

    Uhh, there are a lot of folks doing it, that don’t get caught.

    I guess I never saw the argument that it is burdensome to show ID. You have to buy cigarettes, Beer, or get into an R rated movie.

    Are there really that many legal, law abiding citizens out there without a valid form of ID? I don’t ask out of snark, but I don’t know anyone who does not have an ID unless it was taken for a traffic ticket.

    I have always been confused by the issue. I walk into to vote and the lady hands me my stuff because everyone in the place knows who you are in rural communities. This is a City issue so is there evidence large numbers of law abiding citizens in Cities do not have access to valid Id.

    Honestly, I would not care except I was approached on Michigan Ave a few years ago by ACORN trying to register me to vote. I explained I don’t live in Chicago and they said, “that is ok, you still need to do this.”

    Lets not pretend elections are on the up and up these days, they are not.


  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    ===Only tracking credible allegations is like saying drunk driving is not a problem, if you look at the total number of allegations compared to the total number of drivers. ===

    LOLOL.

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/Impaired

    ===In 2012, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes - one every 51 minutes.===

    And that doesn’t even include arrests. Just deaths. Lots of real world consequences.

    Find another argument.


  6. - Diogenes in DuPage - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    I’ve been reading the writings and research of this Loyola L.A. Law professor for awhile, including his testimony before the U.S. Senate. Pretty impressive stuff.


  7. - Skeptic - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    Patriot: This point has been made multiple times, but I’ll make it again: You DO have to show ID at the polls..you have to sign your name. And your signature has to match what’s on the ballot. That’s true in rural communities too, it’s just the “recognition factor” is a shortcut that judges (including me) use.


  8. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    Voter ID laws are only meant to suppress Democratic voter turnout, that is, people who tend to vote more for Democrats, such as minorities and the poor.

    The rationales for the laws crumble under scrutiny, such as that the laws are needed to prevent fraud, and the inexplicably silly argument that people need photo ID’s for booze and cigs, therefore voters should also require them.

    Demographics are changing, and rather than embrace the change, too many Republicans are trying to suppress it.


  9. - Andrew Szakmary - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    It is rather clear that the main intent of voter ID laws is to make it more difficult for poor people to vote. However, I do have one concern that voter ID laws may alleviate, at least in part: 7% of the U.S. population consists of non-citizens (http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/distribution-by-citizenship-status/). That’s roughly 21 million people. I thought that according to the U.S. Constitution these folks are not allowed to vote in U.S. elections. Do we have effective ways of preventing noncitizens from voting in the absence of voter ID laws?


  10. - Amalia - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    there are very few instances of problems.

    but if there is a voter ID law in place, spend money to get folks the ID and to get them to the polls. beat them at their own game.

    you can be right, but you may not win. I’d rather win.


  11. - Jimbo - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    Patriot, if this was actually as widespread as you say, there would be numerous large operations that have been found out. We all understand DUI is a widespread problem and people drive hundreds of times without getting caught, yet we don’t only find 31 incidents over 15 years. 4,000 DUIs are given out every day, although 300,000 drive drunk (according to MADD). 115 million people voted in 2012, so according to your example we’d see 1.6 million people caught for vote fraud.

    Also, if it is as common as you say, then why is it that all, ALL of the people who have tried to demonstrate that it is possible have been caught. The only way to fraudulently vote is if you absolutely know the other person won’t vote, and you can duplicate their signature. AND you have to be willing to do serious prison time for ONE vote. It simply isn’t worth doing on a small scale, and that is the only way you could, possibly get away with it. Any large operation would be found out. If fraud on that level existed in many elections, you would be able to point to at least one, one example of it being uncovered. You can’t, therefore it likely doesn’t exist. What troubles me more is that people like you have bought this reasoning. You actually believe that elections are stolen, because it is hard for you to believe that people, most people don’t share your views. Believe it or not, city folk have more progressive values, rely more on public services and see public investment in things that make their lives markedly better such as transportation. They see poverty on a daily basis and may be wealthier. They are more willing to pay taxes to help the poor and fund public projects. They are exposed to culture and many different points of view that lead them to be more accepting of people who are different. They vote democrat because they believe that party is more in line with their views, not because someone fraudulently stole their vote.


  12. - Commonsense in Illinois - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    “So far, he’s found 31 cases representing around 200 individuals. If every one of them turns out be a genuine case of fraud, that’s a fraud rate of: 0.00002%.”

    So the voter ID laws are working…(yeah, snark)


  13. - Bisquick - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Bernie reported Rauner supports Voter ID and is launching a voter integrity process yesterday

    http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140806/OPINION/140809646/2012/OPINION


  14. - TooManyJens - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    ===This point has been made multiple times, but I’ll make it again: You DO have to show ID at the polls..you have to sign your name.===

    Thank you. This doesn’t come up nearly often enough. For in-person voter fraud to be a problem of any significant magnitude, we have to posit that not only are there people going around impersonating voters one at a time, but that they’re also able to forge the signatures of everybody they want to impersonate so well that nobody ever notices.


  15. - Dan S - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    What’s wrong with proving who you are? If you are a law abiding registered voted it’s a non issue.


  16. - NIref - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    I’m currently working on a study of the impact of VID laws. My initial results are showing that VID laws impact GOP and Democratic voters equally, the controlling factor is socio-economic status.


  17. - OldSmoky2 - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    Good job by Levitt. It’s absolutely clear that Republicans are trying to limit turnout by minorities with these laws. And some of the arguments being used here are just plain silly. I haven’t had to show an ID to buy beer or tobacco or see an R-rated movie in years, for example. I do show my voter registration card to vote, though, which is good enough, as it should be. And undocumented people don’t vote because registering to vote would expose them to being discovered (jury duty, etc.). They’re undocumented, not dumb. They try to stay out of the system as much as possible.


  18. - Federalist - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    There are many types of voter fraud- ACORN proved that. So just showing up and signing your name is not proof of no voter fraud.

    And to be sure there are many other types of voter fraud that do not comprise individuals misrepresenting themselves. Only real scrutiny of the overall voting process can prevent this and even then nothing is foolproof.

    But again, voter ID as I have mentioned, I believe, would help the electoral process.


  19. - Skeptic - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    “Do we have effective ways of preventing noncitizens from voting in the absence of voter ID laws?” Yes, you have to register to vote. That’s where non-citizens will be weeded out.

    “What’s wrong with proving who you are? If you are a law abiding registered voted it’s a non issue.” See my post at 11:30.


  20. - Concerned - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    Why is it that the same groups who rail against having a national ID card are first in line to insist on voter ID cards (albeit only certain IDs, like gin owner IDs, but no student IDs!)?


  21. - Anon - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    Federalist: “There are many types of voter fraud- ACORN proved that.”

    Still beating that dead horse?

    ■Neither ACORN nor its employees have been found guilty of, or even charged with, casting fraudulent votes. What a McCain-Palin Web ad calls “voter fraud” is actually voter registration fraud. Several ACORN canvassers have been found guilty of faking registration forms and others are being investigated. But the evidence that has surfaced so far shows they faked forms to get paid for work they didn’t do, not to stuff ballot boxes.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2008/10/acorn-accusations/


  22. - Concerned - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    Make that “gun owner IDs” not “gin owner IDs.” I must have been thinking about the ways ALEC gins up false threats to justify their voter ID laws!


  23. - Fed up - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    As with any research look at who is doing it, funding it. Also he set the criteria for what he considers allegations of voter fraud. He does not include non residents voting a recognized problem since motor voter law. It is easy to get research supporting your position when you know what you want the results to be and tailor the variables to fit your needs.


  24. - Fed up - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    Also why do liberals feel that minorities are incapable of obtaining ID. It’s not the cost all the laws allow for free iD. What do you believe is the issue.


  25. - Shark Sandwich - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    I acknowledge that voter id will have the effect intended by its backers, to disenfranchise some minority voters, but I can’t really argue with the appeal. How hard is it to have current id? It just doesn’t seem like that big of an ask to me, and I think a lot of people see it that way on the surface.

    Furthermore, you need it for so many other things, it also helps you across the board to have valid, current id.

    And another thing….!
    I do get id’d all the time for booze, pet peeve..
    I have an adult, legal to drink (non-step!) child, but I am still carded 4 out of 5 times I buy the sauce. (C’mon, do minors really drop $35 on Woodford Reserve???) Anyone who thinks I could possibly be 20 needs their eyes checked..


  26. - Toure's Latte - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    Everyone on both sides sees bogeymen lurking in the bushes. In Illinois, between the kinds of photo ID’s issued for a variety of purposes, everyone of voting age already has one. Outside of Cook, what county even has a reputation for fraud? And in Cook, isn’t it the machines that are the focus, and not the voters?


  27. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    ===How hard is it to have current id?===

    You have to show ID when you register. Your signature is your ID when you vote.

    Are you not reading any of the comments, or are you just willfully ignorant?


  28. - Skeptic - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Fed up: TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.) The card itself may be free, but getting to it (bus ride, taxi, gas, whatever) and the time it takes to get it (time off work, etc) may not be. It also costs us taxpayers. So I ask you, what *benefit* is there for one “free” ID (your idea) over another (the proven system we already have in place) that justifies the cost?


  29. - OldSmoky2 - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    Folks, it’s hard enough as it is for campaign organizations to get even half of the real voters to show up at the polls. They’re not going to divert resources from those efforts to try to get fake voters to show up (and expose themselves to criminal prosecution in the process). And if you have actual proof that this is a problem, let’s hear it. Show me an election that’s been decided by fake voters. All I’ve seen so far is a bunch of rhetoric.


  30. - Norseman - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Businesses analyze processes by whether an action or step adds value. I used to be in the camp that thought IDs were a simple tool to ensure safe elections. However after reviewing the data supplied in Capitol Fax stories have convinced me that this is a non-value added action and should be avoided.


  31. - Skeptic - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    “Anyone who thinks I could possibly be 20 needs their eyes checked.. ” It’s not you, it’s the law. Vendors are REQUIRED BY LAW to check id. You could just as easily be a cop on sting operation, so if they don’t card you they could get busted. Best check EVERYBODY than get a hefty fine.


  32. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Considering the abysmal turnout in non-presidential elections in Illinois, do we really need more hoops to jump through?


  33. - The Whole Truth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    Lets look at the bigger picture. Voter participation is typically in the single digits to 35%. Defacto voter suppression is the norm now and has been for some time, likely largely due to apathy and a lack of individual accountability in the process. If something as simple as showing ID that virtually everyone already has might help to return some personal accountability and foster a better appreciation of both the right and duty to vote, why would we not try it? If not VID, what other low cost, easy to implement method is workable?


  34. - Federalist - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    @Concerned,

    I can only speak for myself in saying that I fully support a national ID card and have advocated it for years and years.

    So I am not certain whether your broad generalization is accurate or not.

    “Why is it that the same groups who rail against having a national ID card are first in line to insist on voter ID cards (albeit only certain IDs, like gin owner IDs, but no student IDs!)?”


  35. - VanillaMan - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:46 pm:

    Good lord - how misleading!
    He isn’t looking at voter fraud. He is specifically narrowing down his definition to being when there is a prosecution of a voter claiming to be someone else!

    That completely eliminates every case and prosecution of someone not registered to vote - voting illegally.

    Those cases are the majority of the ones the ID laws are focused on! Not this.

    Then he looked at the cases since 2008?

    What a craptastic report. He ought to work for the Tribune.


  36. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===That completely eliminates every case and prosecution of someone not registered to vote - voting illegally.===

    If you’re not registered to vote your name isn’t on the list at the polling place and therefore you can’t vote.


  37. - Anon III - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Signature: My registration is decades old. My signature has changed as I age.

    I went to early voting at the Clerk’s office where I am not known. My signature did not match that of my younger self. The clerk/judge asked me if I had some proof of my identity; I showed him my driver’s license.


  38. - TooManyJens - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    @The Whole Truth, your argument seems to be that if we just add an extra hurdle to voting, more people will vote. That’s … counterintuitive, to say the least.

    Another thing that the people who say “almost everyone has some form of ID” don’t seem to realize is that more and more, voter ID laws aren’t allowing just “some form of ID.” Only a few kinds of ID are allowed. Showing up at the polls with, say, a student photo ID and a lease showing that you live where you’re registered wouldn’t be good enough, even though it would be an excellent way of validating someone’s eligibility.


  39. - RNUG - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:59 pm:

    - Federalist - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    I don’t want a national ID beyond what has already been forced on us: SSN and (defacto national) DL. I don’t trust my government. Yeah, I worked for the State for 35+ years, part of the reason I don’t trust government.

    Not trying to stir up debate, but I know what has happened in the past with national ids, both from my father (WW II ETO vet) and an elderly friend who still has a number tatooed on her arm.


  40. - Charlie Leonard - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    In a Paul Simon Institute poll in 2012, almost 9 percent of the registered-voter sample of 1200 said they did not have a current, state-issued ID.


  41. - Guzzlepot - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    VanillaMan,

    Are there documented cases of people not being registers to vote and voting illegally?


  42. - Skeptic - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    Anon III: That’s a fault of the election judges, and not the system. If your signature does not match (to the point where a majority of the election judges agree that it does not match) you should have been given a provisional ballot. You would then go to where you registered to prove your identity.


  43. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    If not VID, what other low cost, easy to implement method is workable?

    Oooh I know! How about a system where you have to provide a signature upon registering to vote, then when you go to the polling place, they match your signature to what was provided when you registered?

    That way, when some non-citizen named, Oh let’s just say, Ernesto Sanchez, shows up and says “Hi, I’m Rich Miller and I am here to vote” the polling judge can say “Hey, your signature doesn’t look at all like this one here on file, you can’t vote”.

    Would that work? It’s low cost and easy to implement. Also, if we did it that way, we could save taxpayer money on things like materials and public employees to fill out paperwork and make the ID’s. We all know the last thing the world needs is more public employees.


  44. - Joe M - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    There are members of the conservative right who still believe that Obama won Ohio in 2012 because of voter fraud. There were all kinds of claims of voter fraud in Ohio being circulated by emails.

    Snopes.com did a good job of debunking each of those myths.


  45. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Fed Up
    I’m not retirement age, but more than a few people of color my age don’t have birth certificates thanks to being born in the land of Jim Crow. And more than a few people of all colors my age don’t have birth certificates as they weren’t born in a hospital. And people my age got a Social Security card (at the post office) when we got our first job, not at birth. Things were different in the pre 9/11 pre computerized era.


  46. - TooManyJens - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    @Joe M: the problem is that because they debunk right-wing myths, Snopes is now considered a “liberal site” and therefore not to be trusted by the same people the myths are peddled to.


  47. - The Whole Truth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    I don’t advocate any national form of ID or even anything different or additional to the many forms most all already have. I only suggest we re-introduce better personal accountability to the process. The recognition of the right and duty to vote has to be made by the individual, and personal accountability in the process seems to me the best way to accomplish that.
    Lester, the present methodology is resulting in the defacto voter suppression we have now, unless you don’t consider only 1 to 3 in ten participating as a form of voter suppression. Continuing to do the same thing isn’t likely to produce different results.
    I’ll ask again: if not VID, what specific measure would you suggest to get more people to the polls?


  48. - Shark Sandwich - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    “You have to show ID when you register. Your signature is your ID when you vote. Are you not reading any of the comments, or are you just willfully ignorant?”

    When you say ‘your signature is your id’, I think back to each time I vote and sign for my ballot and internally think for a moment “Is that all?”, before ignoring the impulse & moving on to the next open booth. I’ve shown id once - the first time, and it’s been 20+ years. I haven’t moved a lot, and don’t recall having to present any id when I did.

    My point is, many people aren’t very concerned with the actual process. “Disenfranchises minorities?” There are people who are going to respond to that somewhere on the range of ’so what, don’t care, i still think its a good idea (rightly or wrongly, despite the comments roll of your astute readership) to ‘Good.’.

    I am just trying to express why this is an easy sell for the people pushing it. It’s a very stealthy dog whistle; people get to feel like they are standing up for valid elections; Loyola studies/ research and nefarious motives of the proponents notwithstanding.


  49. - OldSmoky2 - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    If all this voter fraud is such a big problem, and these voter ID laws are being enacted in largely Republican states to address that problem, could someone please tell me why the Republican prosecutors and attorney generals in those states, or any state for that matter, haven’t been doing their jobs and investigating and prosecuting the people who have committed these crimes?


  50. - RNUG - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    - Anyone Remember - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Valid point but it varies by state.

    Illinois didn’t require state filed birth records until 1916, although there are county records dating as far back as 1877. BUT if you enlisted in the Armed Forces during WW II, a lot of people had to first obtain a Delayed Birth Record via affidavit … so a good part of the “undocumented” became documented between 1942 and 1945.


  51. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    Seriously, though, it does hurt when your preferred candidate loses an election - especially one that you have a significant amount of time/money/emotion invested in. I don’t believe these moves demanding voter ID are racial in nature. I believe they are more of an unbelieving, sour grapes, I cannot believe we lost to that guy kind of motivation. “After all that, we lost?” Believe me, I’ve been there. This in turn leads more people to say the election must have been stolen.

    When the issue is a Democrat-Republican race, it unfortunately leads to conservatives saying the illegals must have been voting “It must be voter fraud!” Or, conversely, liberals to say the judges counting are biased or the machine counting the votes must be rigged. “The company that make Diebold machines are owned by a friend of George W. Bush”- I have heard that one as well.


  52. - Diogenes in DuPage - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    VMan, Levitt’s research and data go back to 2000. Check out his legal publications and his Senate testimony. He’s a bit deeper than most people commenting here.


  53. - RNUG - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    Should have added, the same WW II citizenship issue applied to working for defense contractors, and that was most of industry during that period.


  54. - Anon III - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    - Skeptic -@ 1:10 pm:
    “ … you should have been given a provisional ballot. You would then go to where you registered to prove your identity.”

    Sounds like you are trying to discourage seniors from voting.


  55. - justthefacts - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    Fed up - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 12:19 pm:

    “Also why do liberals feel that minorities are incapable of obtaining ID. It’s not the cost all the laws allow for free iD. What do you believe is the issue.”

    Here is your answer:

    Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is working on finalizing a plan to close as many as 10 offices where people can obtain driver’s licenses in order to expand hours elsewhere and come into compliance with new requirements that voters show photo IDs at the polls.

    One Democratic lawmaker said Friday it appeared the decisions were based on politics, with the department targeting offices for closure in Democratic areas and expanding hours for those in Republican districts.

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9OKSP800.htm


  56. - Shark Sandwich - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:54 pm:

    @skeptic-
    Sure, it’s the law, but ‘card everybody’ is the business doing above and beyond the law CBA/CYA, because it’s better for them go avoid the fines. I try my best to make the transaction as frictionless as possible, i have my id in a flip out thing in my wallet, and i try to pick cashiers who are over 21 so we don’t have to wait for the adult employee to come over and scan it.

    I can agree with the public policy and retailer reaction behind alcohol restrictions while still chafing a bit at the inconvenience they cause. I would chafe at voter id, too, but only once or twice a year. :)

    We are told and told how important our vote is, but all you do is sign for it. That wouldn’t fly with alcohol, would it?


  57. - The Whole Truth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    Shark-
    It doesn’t fly with alcohol, nor should it. The message the present process sends is that voting requires less effort and accountability than buying a six pack, and voting can thus be perceived as less important. The concept is similar to spoiling your kids…when something becomes too easy, it’s taken for granted and ceases to be appreciated.


  58. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Fed UP

    As an immigrant to Illinois, I can attest that in the average state the Department of Motor Vehicles is much more difficult to deal with and less accessible than the Illinois Secretary of State’s Drivers Services Department.


  59. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===The message the present process sends===

    Oh, please.

    The message the process sends is that voting is a constitutionally protected right. And others can’t take that right away from you just because they are paranoid about what might possibly happen that is so incredibly rare that it’s almost non-existent.

    My right to vote shouldn’t be impinged upon by your unreasonable demands.


  60. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    I mean, really, look at what you’re actually saying here.

    I lose my wallet on election day and you’d take away my constitutional, God-given right to vote? Are you nuts?


  61. - RNUG - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    - Anyone Remember - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    The state can mess up a lot of stuff … but, for the most part, SOS is an example of customer service. And it’s not just motor services; their library division and genealogical section is quite user friendly also … antiquated in some cases, but available.


  62. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    And, besides, this is such an anti-conservative idea.

    Imagine the uproar if the government tried to ban a drug that had been prescribed a billion times and just 30 instances of illness could maybe be traced to it.

    Conservatives would rightly scoff at such a move.

    Yet you wanna deny our country’s most fundamental and important constitutional rights over pretty much nothing.


  63. - fed up - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    Skeptic, You are wrong about the provisional ballot, “State law requires early voters to display valid photo identification to an election official before receiving a ballot to vote early. Valid forms of ID include: a current driver’s license, state-issued ID card, university/college ID or another government-issued ID with a photograph”

    Also you are wrong about having to show ID to buy alcohol, it’s not the law it is most stores policy


  64. - The Whole Truth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    I agree no one’s right to vote should be impinged by unreasonable demands. I just don’t see showing you are who you say you are as unreasonable. It is done at the time of voter registration, and doing it at the poll seems reasonable to me, if for nothing else to assure the voter is still voting in the correct precinct. If others feel that to be unreasonable, I can respect that, but have to ask again what can be done to engage the 70%-90% who are not voting. What we’ve been doing just isn’t working.


  65. - A guy... - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Question is: How do you find a convenient place for the bus to pick up these folks to bring them to a poll when they’re so widely dispersed?


  66. - Rich Miller - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    ===if for nothing else to assure the voter is still voting in the correct precinct===

    Have you ever voted? Your name and signature are on a list. If you’re not at the right precinct, your name and signature won’t be on the list.


  67. - OldSmoky2 - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    Whole Truth: “I agree no one’s right to vote should be impinged by unreasonable demands. I just don’t see showing you are who you say you are as unreasonable. It is done at the time of voter registration, and doing it at the poll seems reasonable to me…”

    Except that is not what these laws are requiring. They are requiring a state-issued ID. In Illinois, you can register to vote by showing that, showing a Social Security card, a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows your name and address, a copy of a residential lease or postmarked mail delivered to your name and address. That’s way different than what these laws are requiring.
    And I’m still waiting, by the way, for a supporter of these laws to tell me why prosecutors in the states that have enacted them haven’t prosecuted the voter fraud crimes these laws are supposedly addressing.


  68. - TooManyJens - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    I think the best thing we could do to engage more people in the process would be for our policy to better reflect the interests of more than the wealthiest 1%. Average people feel like they don’t have any political power, and with money playing such an overwhelming role in politics, they’re barely wrong.


  69. - The Whole Truth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    I vote regularly. If one moves from the precinct they originally registered in to another and continues to vote at the original precinct polling station, the change may not be reflected on the list. Not everyone realizes they may need to update address records, or it may not be done timely or correctly . That type of error can make a significant difference in local elections and ballot issues.


  70. - Skeptic - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    to display valid photo identification to an election official before receiving a ballot to vote early. He was talking about voting at his local polling place.

    Anon III: No, quite the opposite. What I mean to say is that (a) It could be your signature really isn’t as different as you might think, and (b) even if it were, there’s still a way you can exercise your right.


  71. - Skeptic - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    “If one moves from the precinct they originally registered ” There’s an app for that. Really people, they’ve thought of these things. It’s all in black and white. The election judges have a flow chart. “If … then …” It’s cut and dried. And it all leans toward being able to cast at least a provisional ballot.


  72. - Skeptic - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    Don’t believe me? Read what the election judges read: https://www.sangamoncountyclerk.com/Elections/Judges/documents/Manual2012.pdf


  73. - fed up - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    Skeptic. Again you are wrong read his post.

    “I went to early voting at the Clerk’s office where I am not known. My signature did not match that of my younger self. The clerk/judge asked me if I had some proof of my identity; I showed him my driver’s license.

    First Line “I went to Early Voting”. Everyone has to show ID at Early Voting it’s the law. Well if the election judges are following the law that is.


  74. - a drop in - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    I just waiting for when voting is by a computer terminal and all this arguments for voter id go away.


  75. - The Whole Truth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    If the voter does not reveal they have moved, the election judge may have no reason to consult the “app”. I know people who have moved out of a precinct and continued to vote in the original. Right, wrong, or indifferent, it happens. Give the election judge a little help with VID. A little more personal accountability and interest in the process would help counter such things and hopefully help to foster belief in the fact the election process is valid and makes a difference to the individual. At present, the vast majority do not exhibit that belief, at least not by voting.


  76. - TooManyJens - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    This study published in the Harvard Law Review in 2008 found no correlation between people’s perceptions of voter fraud and their likelihood of voting.

    http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/cces/publications/vote-fraud-eye-beholder-role-public-opinion-challenge-voter-identification-require

    You’ll have to look elsewhere for the reason so many people aren’t engaged in the political process.


  77. - The Whole Truth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    Oldsmokey 2:29PM
    –See my 1:33PM post


  78. - Skeptic - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    Fed up: Mea culpa. The bottom line is that ID requirements for early voting are different than on election day.


  79. - OldSmoky2 - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    Whole Truth, I did read your 1:33 post and if you are advocating for these voter ID laws then you are advocating something “additional or different” than the current requirements for registering to vote and then voting. And, no, I do not believe the people who don’t usually vote take that step because they think other people who are voting are committing fraud. Most of them don’t vote because they don’t believe in the candidates, don’t believe that voting will lead to positive changes in their lives, or don’t believe their one vote makes a difference. These laws do not address that. These laws are simply intended to make it harder for some people to vote, and the legislators who are supporting them believe doing that will improve their party’s chances of winning elections.


  80. - The Whole Truth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    Jens-
    If you read my posts, I’m not saying voter fraud is the reason people are not engaged in the voting process. The point is that voter suppression is occurring due to voter apathy, and that apathy is due to many causes. I see VID as a way to restore voter confidence in the system by re-establishing that the right and duty to vote is worth more than the scant attention being paid it by the vast majority today. I don’t doubt another, better way exists, but repeated queries for one in my posts today and on previous threads have elicited not a single suggestion. Do you have one?


  81. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    Well, all’s I can add is that “Today’s number” pretty much ends THAT argument…!


  82. - The Whole Truth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:28 pm:

    Oldsmokey-
    Read again. I indicated I did not advocate for any different ID than is currently in use.
    Yes, showing it at the time of voting is something “additional and different”, but that is the point. Something new is needed to restore the belief in the value of voting, and that is something that has to be accomplished individual by individual. Again, proving you are who you say you are is a pretty basic necessity in many if not most societies, including ours. Doing it as part of exercising one of your most important rights and responsibilities as part of that society seems a reasonable and pragmatic action to me. Continuing as we have will not increase voter participation. Do you have a specific suggestion to increase voter participation?


  83. - Watch the clown - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Why should my right to vote be infringed because you wear a tinfoil hat?

    Let’s flip the script on this one.

    Vid laws are un-American. Vid laws are unconstitutional. Vid laws are unfoundingfather-ish. Vid laws make Rutherford B. Hayes cry.

    Case closed. Let’s discuss actual issues.


  84. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    It’s incredible that you need an ID to register, you get registered, and an ID is required again.

    I have said “Run them all” when it comes to Primaries, and half-jokingly, “half” jokingly… Dip thumbs in blue or red ink for Primaries, in Orange ink for General Elections, and if your name is in the rolls, the voter is only going to get one vote, period.

    Look at the percentage above.

    It’s a pathetic argument that denying voters increases democracy, and I can’t recall any US Election where unmitigated bad cataloged voter fraud carried the day.

    Stop being victims, register your pluses and be done with this Dopiness.


  85. - OldSmoky2 - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    It’s simple: Some people only vote when they believe doing so will lead to something positive, either in their lives or in the life of the country. Barack Obama proved that by motivating large numbers of people who don’t always vote to turn out and vote in 2008 and 2012. You want more people to vote? Then run more candidates who lead people to believe it’s worth their while to do so. Making it more difficult to vote doesn’t do anything to achieve that.


  86. - TooManyJens - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    By this logic, poll taxes and literacy tests also underscored the value of voting.


  87. - wordslinger - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    VMan, you went to fill us in on the epidemic of voting by those not registered.

    They’re growing different kind of conservatives these days when it’s necessary to have a law to address a problem that doesn’t exist.

    It’s a loser in the long run, despite what Paul Weyrich told you folks. The idea is to get more people to vote for you.

    Try to take something away from someone, and see how much they value it and fight for it then.


  88. - The Whole Truth - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    I agree a charismatic candidate will increase voter turnout for the election in which he is running. But something more basic to human nature is needed to maintain interest when more mundane candidates and issues populate the ballot.
    Poll taxes and literacy tests are completely different, and mention of either indicates the point is missed: Simple ID speaks to the human need for recognition and validation, and making it a part of the voting process would impart those qualities to it.


  89. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    ==Honestly, I would not care except I was approached on Michigan Ave a few years ago by ACORN trying to register me to vote. I explained I don’t live in Chicago and they said, “that is ok, you still need to do this.”==

    There is a common statewide voter reg form that can be handed in to any county clerk.


  90. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Aug 8, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    RNUG

    We’re still cleaining up the messes from that era, and those people are still alive and voting.

    http://www.galesburg.com/article/20140803/NEWS/140809931/?Start=4


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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