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Question of the day

Wednesday, Sep 5, 2018

* I’m told that every two years for the last ten or so years, at least one Democratic lawyer has called the Kendall County Clerk to object to this notice to voters to “be prepared to present identification to the election judge”…

Whether you agree or disagree, Illinois voters are not required to show identification at the polling place. You show ID when you register and your signature is essentially your ID when you vote. Identification requirements have often been used to suppress the votes of poor people.

* I called Clerk Gillette (a Republican) and asked her why she warned voters about being prepared to present ID. “We always say that just in case the [election] judge has a problem or an issue, can’t find a name,” she said. “It’s not that they’re required to show it. Just have it on you just in case something comes up.”

That’s apparently the same response she has given the Dem lawyers in the past (with the same very pleasant demeanor). I asked the state party’s new executive director for comment…

“Kendall County’s misleading flier on voter identification requirements is troubling and is the first step on the road to voter suppression in Illinois,” said DPI Executive Director Christian Mitchell. “Free and fair access to the polls is a fundamental right across the country and we need public officials who recognize that and encourage voter activity. The Democratic Party of Illinois will work across the aisle to ensure voters have the information they need to exercise their rights and will always stand firmly against voter suppression.”

* I also checked in with the Illinois State Board of Elections. Spokesperson Matt Dietrich chose his words carefully. Election judges “can’t systematically require everyone to show ID,” he said. Voters can use ID to prove who they are if they’re challenged, so the clerk’s recommendation to bring identification was within the law.

“But it’s a little bit questionable about, for the reason you’re calling me, because of the signal it sends,” Dietrich said. “It’s a little surprising that it’s on there.”

* The Question: Did the county clerk make a legitimate suggestion or was it a subtle form of voter suppression? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


survey solutions

Also, a Republican commenter originally sent me the flier. This isn’t oppo.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

49 Comments »
  1. - Montrose - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    Its suppression. The wording says to me that you are going to have to show your ID. I can’t think of a way to succinctly word it that would get at the scenario the county clerk presents. There is no need to add that to the sign.


  2. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    Suppression.

    An “identification” for voting in Illinois is not just a driver’s license or state ID. You can use various bills, mailings, etc. but that’s not at all what this flyer suggests.


  3. - Heat of Summer - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    If it’s not required to be on the announcement then it appears suppressive. The change in polling location is also a known way to suppress and would need more info and data to determine if discrimination appears intended.

    Maybe should remind voters to also bring $10 since Girl Scouts might be selling cookies nearby and the clerk wants to be helpful. /s


  4. - Pundent - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    Suppression. You are not required to provide identification to vote. Requesting identification should be the exception and not the rule. And if all of that is true there is no valid explanation for “Be prepared to present identification to the election judge.”


  5. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 11:52 am:

    If it was an isolated incident, that’d be one thing. However, we’ve seen this from Republicans across the country. They are using voter suppression quite openly and with no apology, embarrassment or shame. Given that context, there is only one conclusion and it’s especially true given the fact that she’s been called on this before and still maintains this despicable practice.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    Full disclosure, I live in Kendall.

    To the question,

    It’s passive suppression.

    A flyer like this is telling, not sugggesting.

    In all caps… BE PREPARED TO…

    This isn’t a friendly suggestion.

    How many sentences are in ALL CAPS?

    It’s disappinting, as a Republican.

    Why?

    It’s suppression. No election should face a shadow of suppression. Let voters decide, not be faced with confusing language, delivered pleasantly.


  7. - M - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    I think it is Suppression, but I don’t think it was not intentional.


  8. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 11:59 am:

    “Be prepared to present identification” isn’t a recommendation, it’s an order. This is suppression.


  9. - Charles Edward Cheese - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:02 pm:

    If the law is that you don’t need an ID. I don’t know how this actually would be suppression. Regardless of what the flyer says, or whether it is in capital letters or not, the law would supersede this. At the end of the day, whenn the voter shows up to the polls, they won’t be required to present an ID.


  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:02 pm:

    I was asked to show identification in the form of my drivers license by an election volunteer in Decatur…several years ago.

    I informed him he could not ask anyone for identification…and then called Steve Bean who seemed unconcerned….I wonder how many voters this (paid) volunteer turned away from voting?


  11. - Mama - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:04 pm:

    Charles Edward Cheese, you are assuming all voters know their state laws.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:06 pm:

    ===At the end of the day, whenn the voter shows up to the polls, they won’t be required to present an ID.===

    What if election judges, as part of procedure actually ask for ID?

    Is it ok to ask at all?


  13. - 37B - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:09 pm:

    [In all Caps] You are not required to provide any form of identification other than your signature in order to vote. You may wish to bring some additional form of identification with you in the event that our records are faulty or an election judge takes issue with [insert valid reason here] concerning your registration.


  14. - Anonimity - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:10 pm:

    While agreeing an ID is not required, who doesn’t have a driver’s license, state ID, passport etc.? And, for people who truly don’t have it or don’t bring it to the polling place on election day, aren’t Dems playing into the stereotypes of their electorate by claiming it is voter suppression (since I assume they wouldn’t care if it could suppress GOP voters)?


  15. - Timmeh - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:16 pm:

    Suppression, for the reasons 47th Ward said. There’s no pleading ignorance as a county clerk. Voter ID has been a political issue for a while.


  16. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    Suppression- look I work with the poor disabled and elderly every day. Benefits like food stamps and medical, etc are tied
    to being able to prove residency in Illinois. All the time I have folks walking away from food and healthcare because it’s next to impossible for them to get an ID. It’s not a simple process and we even have resources to help them. Even then it’s sometimes a huge task. How much easier is it to walk away from voting? Especially if you already feel marginalized and voiceless.
    For Gods sake make it easier to vote.
    We here at DHS ask if they want to register to vote with every application.


  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:20 pm:

    ===If the law is that you don’t need an ID. I don’t know how this actually would be suppression.===

    So be prepared to do something that you aren’t legally obligated to do?


  18. - Liandro - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:28 pm:

    I think having ID is a fairly normal part of being identified. I see little reason not to include ID’s in the logistics of accounting for hundreds of people much.

    That said, even legitimate needs can be used for less than noble purposes. I don’t see suppression around ever corner, but do agree that softening the wording would help solve any concerns.


  19. - Flapdoodle - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:39 pm:

    Suppression. Clerk tries to evade it but actually confirms it: “It’s not that they’re required to show it. Just have it on you just in case something comes up.” You don’t need to have it, but you need to have it — and who determines if “something comes up”?


  20. - Anne McK - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:48 pm:

    Even if there’s no ill intent, the effect can only be suppression. So…shouldn’t be in there.


  21. - tom - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 12:49 pm:

    This is the suggested form from the Illinois State Board of Elections:

    10 ILCS 5/4-16, 5-23, 6-53 Suggested Revised July, 1993
    SBE No. N-13

    NOTICE TO REGISTERED VOTERS IN

    PRECINCT _____________________________

    ________________________________________________
    (Township or City)

    YOUR POLLING PLACE HAS BEEN CHANGED FROM

    _________________________________________________

    TO

    _________________________________________________

    _________________________________________________
    (Signature of Election Authority)

    (SEAL)

    All the other information is added by the Clerk and very misleading.


  22. - Texas Red - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:28 pm:

    Legit. “be prepared” is like a “may” in law, it is not a “shall”


  23. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    ===“be prepared” is like a “may” in law===

    You’re hilarious.

    What percentage of that county’s population has a law degree?


  24. - Lefty Lefty - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:37 pm:

    So many other ways to state “it’s not that they’re required to show it. Just have it on you just in case something comes up.”

    Including what she actually said.


  25. - DuPage - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 1:58 pm:

    If their signature looks different or unreadable (some doctors for example) the judge might ask for an ID. Some people’s signature looks different every time they sign their name.


  26. - ChicagoVinny - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 2:13 pm:

    Suppression. The explanation reeks of bad faith and the GOP should get no benefit of the doubt when it comes to this issue.


  27. - Downstate Rube - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    If you have to show ID to register, then
    you already have it. I don’t see how showing it is suppression. Maybe if someone forgets it they won’t come back?


  28. - CrazyHorse - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    As someone earlier posted, the announcement should not be in all caps and should have been worded better but as someone else posted, if you already registered using your ID then I don’t see why carrying an ID is considered suppression.

    What is the big aversion to having to show your ID? Outside of cases where someone has a ticket and their ID is gone why is this a big deal? Arrest warrant? I’m asking honestly because I’ve never been asked to show ID but wouldn’t care if they did ask.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    ===What is the big aversion to having to show your ID?===

    Because it’s not required legally.

    That’s the aversion. This is a move with no legal standing, putting a ”hindrance” because they want the hindrance.

    How’s that… respectfully.


  30. - republicans_are_nuts - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 2:46 pm:

    Being an elected official in Kendall County, I find this appalling. Clearly this is meant to suppress votes.


  31. - Maximus - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    This isnt intended as suppression. I live in Kendall County. Show up, tell them your district, tell them your name, watch them flip through some big list of people names. If they have trouble finding your name show them your drivers license or state id and then get your ballot. Done. If I show up naked without a wallet or id then yes, that might be an issue. Please be nice to the naked guy at the polling place when you see him.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 3:06 pm:

    ===…show them your drivers license or state id and then get your ballot. Done===

    … or you can let them look closer, without your ID, and have them find it.

    The ID in of itself is, in this flyer, seemingly a “qualifier” to come vote.


  33. - Dome Gnome - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    It’s suppression and not as innocent as it’s being portrayed.


  34. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    Voted Both.

    I accept their explanation and think it’s a reasonable explanation. It’s a just in case. But that’s not how the notice reads. The notice insinuates that you will have to show identification. Re-word the notice or take it off.


  35. - Papa2008 - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    Honeybear, what issues do your clients encounter in their attempt to obtain an ID? What makes it next to impossible for them? I’ve read this quote in many forums from many people, but no one ever explained why. With your experience would you be kind enough to enlighten me?


  36. - Maximus - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:13 pm:

    The system requires you to be a registered voter but then the system doesnt want to use that information when actually voting. This is half implemented. Either get rid of voters needing to be registered or have them register and then ask to see an id when voting. What we have now is a half-solution. Why bother registering people to vote if they can just show up and vote anyways without any need to prove it.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    ===Why bother registering people to vote if they can just show up and vote anyways without any need to prove it.===

    Except for that pesky signature check…

    Other than that…


  38. - Maximus - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:20 pm:

    OW,
    You are correct, I forgot about the signature. So in other words if they find you in their registered voter name list then your signature is proof of who you are. If they do not find you in the registered voter name list… this is where it gets hazy. Turn the person away? Let them vote anyhow? I need to look this up.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    - Maximus -

    All good, bud.

    There is a protocol, challenging, by the election judges.


  40. - Captain Illini - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    Semantics, but unfortunately how its displayed is suppression…ugh. As an election judge - 14 years now…a person without credentials can vote provisionally, but has 48 hours to prove whom they are to the election authority…which includes an ID, period. Many times some persons can only vote a partial ballot due to their status, so having an ID handy is not a bad idea…


  41. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    ==Let them vote anyhow? ==

    They let them vote anyway and then the counties set the ballots aside and then attempt to determine if the voter is a legitimate registered voter before counting them.


  42. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:34 pm:

    Provisional ballots/votes are part of the process


  43. - Pundent - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 4:34 pm:

    There’s a reason that voter ID laws have been shot down by the courts. As Rich stated they often suppress the votes of poor people. So if a law requiring an ID is found to be suppressive what possible explanation can there be for telling people “to be prepared” to show ID when no such law exists?


  44. - thunderspirit - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 5:03 pm:

    I voted both, for much the same reasons Demoralized listed.


  45. - Spidad - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 5:13 pm:

    Every time I vote, and see my signature on that card, I’m amazed that it is so different than my actual signature. Not even close. I have never been asked to provide proof of identity


  46. - BGSD - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 5:30 pm:

    This clerk has gotten away with a lot of things because she is ‘nice’. Per the article, Dem. lawyers have complained about similar instances before. Kendall has a long history of issues, polling places running out of Dem. ballots; Hispanic voters being asked for ID when others weren’t; doors closing early; etc etc etc. Local races are decided by a handful of votes and these tactics make a difference.


  47. - Chicago 20 - Wednesday, Sep 5, 18 @ 5:55 pm:

    Clearly and intentionally voter suppression.


  48. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 8:45 am:

    I’m not a conspiratorial, tin-foil-hat-wearing, black helicopter paranoid. I deal with databases. We deal with people in the wrong place. We need info to help them. It’s not supression of anything.

    Kool-aid drinkers need to lay off that stuff.


  49. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Sep 6, 18 @ 8:51 am:

    If I was a Democrat, I’d be worried too, but that’s because my party has a century of voter suppression and knows how to do it.


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