Sunday, January 29, 2012

Voter ID an indictment of low expectations

In a townhall meeting held Saturday Jan 28, 2012 at Maplewood City Hall the issue of Voter ID was initially raised by Rep. Leon Lille.  Lille and Rep Nora Slawik did the usual labeling of this issue as a “Republican campaign for voter suppression”,
with Ted Lillie saying
“it polls well...I know what the Republicans trying to do” 
and Nora Slawik saying
“it is being called a voter suppression bill because it is a voter suppression tactic”. 
As a propaganda technique, a false analogy, it may have a lot of appeal, but it does not help with understanding, or reality.

Liberals often cite foreign countries case law as examples of why we should do similar things, which I always find a rather unconvincing argument.  Liberals often want to point to Europe’s democratic-socialist example, but here we find strong emphasis on ID

“According to a 1996 document by Privacy International, around 100 countries had compulsory identity cards[1]. The card must be shown on demand by authorised personnel under specified circumstances.”
So in this case it wouldn’t work very well, thus they fall back to the usual discrimination arguments.

From ABC
“I lose sleep over voter suppression,” said Rep. Steve Israel, D-NY. “I lose sleep over the fact that the Republicans have said and they are embarked on a strategy that could deny millions of voters their right to go to the polls and actually vote for a candidate.”

No Republican has ever said this, it is simply a falsehood, promoted as “faulty cause and effect” argument.  So if we can get past the argument to mischaracterize the discussion, we can look at some of the other arguments made.

From the video the participants stated:
From Rep Nora Slawik:
“Students out of state how do they vote...
Seniors if they are not driving anymore how are they going to do it, ...
Whose going to pay for it, there is a $20 million fiscal note on  voter id...
Battered women, how are they going to vote they don’t have an address, how are they going to do that.  So that’s, we, I think this is one where we’re going to disagree on.  And I think there’s two sides to every issue and we’re not all going to agree on everything, but this is likely to go to a constitutional amendment, and go to the people.”

A man who worked in the hospitality industry says he is concerned because people have id’s where they no longer match the photo on the card.  He also works with a homeless youth shelter and claimed that an
“election judge did not like her photo [on a passport], coincidentally he was a Caucasian she was African American, she was turned down and not allowed to vote because he did not like the photo on there...Talk to the college kids, its very easy for them to get photo ids that are false to be able to get into the bars.”

Another person (Woman no 1),
“the voter id fraud is really exaggerated, I agree with Representative Lillie there is a transportation issue not just with seniors but poor  people have a transportation issue.  I grew up poor and if we had to drive 15 miles to get an id to vote then we don’t vote.”

An elderly woman stated:
“I heard on radio that there are people who have never driven, never had an id, and to get it now they have to get their birth certificates, a marriage certificate, and a lot of them can’t  do that.  And my problem as an election judge, is not so much voter id identification, but I am not allowed to ask them if they are a citizen, and I’ve had voters come in that cannot understand  a word of English and I cannot ask them if they are a citizen. And I don’t believe, if your not a citizen you shouldn’t be able to vote either.  And drivers license, non-citizens can get.  And when they wanted to put a symbol on the license saying they were not a citizen there was such an uproar, oh, we can’t do that.  Well I think they should do it.”

Leon Lille tried to summarize with:
“In Minnesota we have some of the best run elections in this entire country, not that we can’t do a better job constantly by some of these suggestions, and continue to improve … but we have an amazing electoral system in this country, plus participation.  So its, um, you know, can it get better, yes, but I don’t really feel this  is the answer.”

A final followup (from Woman no 1) was
“the cost of the voter id,  all those things that she said you have to get, marriage license, you know those things cost too.  That’s like a poll tax, and the poor have no discretionary, no extra money, ok, they can’t afford it."

Addressing the issues of discrimination the analysis from one writer is

Wow! Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations. Democrats across America have risen en masse to fight Voter ID laws. Their talking points all read in a depressingly similar fashion. The quote-zombies vary in location, gender and complexion, but if you just read their words, they all look the same to me. The Democratic Party’s argument against Voter ID is based upon voter contempt.

and from Dennis Prager
Democrats and others on the Left virtually unanimously condemned all Republican attempts in state legislatures to pass legislation requiring voters to show a photo ID. The Democrats labeled it a means of “disenfranchising” blacks. Many Democrats compared it to Jim Crow laws. “Jim Crow move over, the Wisconsin Republicans have taken your place,” charged Wisconsin Democratic state senator Bob Jauch, referring to his state’s new voter-ID law.
It is hard to imagine a more demeaning statement about black America than labeling demands that all voters show a photo ID anti-black.

So as an attempt to address or de-construct these arguments we will look at what current ID programs are and how they touch on these points for the poor and the elderly.  Are the requirements for ID really that burdensome, or are they really already every day requirements for life in our society?  Can you cash a check without id?  Can you go to the hospital (with the exception that emergency rooms cannot require an id or insurance to give service) or a doctors office? Can you file for welfare? Can you buy Sudafed without photo id?  Can you apply for a job?  The answer to all these is NO.

If you are currently employed, the new requirements, with broad bipartisan support, are eVerify.  This was a process I was required to go through last year as a condition of employment, even though I had 35+ years with the company.  The major problem was finding which was the magic number on the birth certificate to match federal records.
E-Verify enjoys broad bipartisan support, with reauthorization passing in the House of Representatives on July 31, 2008, by a vote of 407-2. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed a comprehensive immigration reform bill last year that reauthorized E-Verify, while in the Senate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) made E-Verify a cornerstone provision in their comprehensive immigration reform bill. Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) also endorses E-Verify. 2 The entire federal government is using E-Verify. Eleven states require use of E-Verify in certain circumstances, including Arizona and Mississippi, which mandate use of E-Verify for all enterprises in the state. Only one state, Illinois, limits its use.

President Obama, by executive order required ID for contractors
Federal contractors and subcontractors are required to use E-Verify as of September 8, 2009. Executive Order 12989 mandates the electronic verification of all employees working on any federal contract. The amended Executive Order reinforces the policy that the federal government supports a legal workforce.

The poor already have the exact same requirement to apply for welfare.  Thus providing no new issue for voting. As seen as at WelfareInfo . org
How to Apply for a Welfare Program
To apply for a welfare program one must contact the local Human Service Department located in the government pages of the phone book. It may be listed as Human Services, Family Services or Adult and Family Services. An appointment is made with a case worker. The case worker will give a list of required documents needed at the appointment. Common documents asked for are proof of income, ID, and utility bills or other proof of residency.

For the elderly, the same requirements for ID documents exist to enroll in Medicaid (and Medicare)
Affordable Care Act of 2010 Expands Medicaid Eligibility in 2014
In order to be eligible for Medicaid, individuals need to satisfy federal and state requirements regarding residency, immigration status, and documentation of U.S. citizenship.
Requirements to get a Minnesota State issued ID
  • One secondary form of identification from this list of Identification Requirements (PDF 54kb)
  • Your social security number
  • If you are under 18 - a parent or guardian with proper identification

Secondary forms are one of:
  • Another primary document (like those mentioned in audience comments above)
  • Photo driver’s license, state identification card, or permit, issued by a U.S. state other than Minnesota, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or a Canadian province or territory, that is current or expired for five years or less.
  • U.S. social security card (nonmetal) or Canadian social insurance card.
  • Certified birth certificate from a government jurisdiction other than the U.S., the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Certified government-issued marriage certificate.
  • Certified U.S. or Canadian court order with full name and date of
  • birth.
  • Certified secondary or post-secondary school transcript containing legal full name and date of birth.
  • and several others

None of these look to be unreasonable items to expect.  Every citizen (first requirement for voting) who has worked for any length of time already has a Social Security card issued to them.  That is one item on the secondary list.

An article at Newsbusters  (based on a Politico article) shows even the Unions require ID to vote in their elections,
Union Election Requires Photo ID; Politico Fails to Note Irony
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has given 99% of its campaign money to Democrats (according to, citing Democrats, including Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder, who will be in Austin, Texas tomorrow supporting the rejection of voter-ID laws and, according to the Texas GOP, "NAACP plans to involve the United Nations on (sic) US elections," abhor the idea of making voters bring some form of photo identification to the polls.

For a look at the States with Voter ID requirements look here. It shows a broad range of state options for ID.  There are many states requiring ID.  With little evidence of voter suppression, but a lot of sound and fury from the Left.

They are running a series of tests in Kansas looking at Voter ID impact on turnout
Kobach and Lehman said they do not expect to see a drop in voter turnout because of the additional check-in requirement.
“For years, people when they come to the polls have asked why they don’t have to show ID,” Lehman said. “So I think that people who intend to vote will not be deterred by that at all.”

Citizens without a valid, government-issued photo ID may request a free non-driver’s identification card by filling out a form available at the Sedgwick County Commission office or at The forms will be available online after the first of the year, Lehman said.

As for the unfounded statement that there is “exaggerated fraud”, you have to look at what has been uncovered as a tip of the iceberg.  As in a Powerline article
Of course, liberals don’t explicitly come out in favor of voter fraud; rather, they argue that lax enforcement of election laws is no problem because voter fraud hardly exists.
The problem with this easy assurance is that we have no clear way to know how prevalent voter fraud is. By definition, those who perpetrate it seek to go undetected, and it is a circular argument to say that there is no need for better law enforcement because our current lax enforcement hasn’t caught many violators.

So what are known indications of voter fraud:
Minnesota Leads the Nation in Voter Fraud Convictions

Minnesota Majority  The Case for Investigation and Reform

CBS article
The secretly recorded video shows activists requesting ballots for recently deceased voters. In most cases, they receive the ballot with no questions asked.

HuffPo tries to dismiss this with citing a Patch article that really concluded
"Andino is not operating off of the same list (950+ voters) that was given to SLED for investigation," Communications Director Mark Plowden said in an email to Patch. "Until SLED has completed its work, no one will know anything. It is incredibly premature to take a list of six random voters from a single county and proclaim the case is closed."

Dead people voting in New Hampshire primary 2012 and covered on HotAir

OUTRAGE: Obama Officials Push Agents to ‘Rush’ Immigrant Visas – Even If FRAUD Suspected
So you have to ask yourself: why would the Obama Administration purposely loosen standards on granting immigration visas that are a proven national security threat?
Is this outright treason? Or just another illegal alien voter registration drive for “Obama 2012″?
To seek for election integrity is not “voter suppression”.  To say it is, is demagoguery of the worst ilk.  The spectre was raised and investigated for years in the Florida election results when the Democrats claimed fraud in the Bush-Gore election, with no real basis in fact.  After many recounts by many organizations, the results were always the same.  Election integrity is vital to assure that each persons vote receives the same consideration, and that we have faith that our leaders are duly elected. 

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