Wednesday, July 11, 2012

voter ID or voter fraud?




I foolishly let myself get drawn into a FB 'conversation' over the continual efforts of the Texas Republicans to institute a new voter ID card to combat 'voter fraud' in our state. The Justice Department has ruled against it as posing undue hardship on the poor and minorities, infringing on their constitutional right to vote but that doesn't stop our state attorney general from filing a lawsuit against the government over it, his 24th, incidentally, against the government since he took office in 2004.

The reason the republicans give for the new ID card is to prevent voter fraud. The problem with that is that the percentage of proven voter fraud in our state is so small as to be negligible, except perhaps in some local elections where only a small percentage of the population votes in the first place and the races are sometimes decided by a few votes, as pointed out by a proponent of the law.

The effect of the new voter ID card will be, in fact, to disenfranchise many thousands of legal, law abiding voters.

This was my comment :

I've always had to show an ID to vote, we already do have to show an ID to vote. that's not the problem. the problem is they want to change it to a state issued picture ID. that means a lot of people won't be able to vote that have been able to vote in the past. for some people getting a state issued photo ID is not easy or even possible. the new restriction will make it extremely difficult for the poor and disenfranchised and students and elderly to vote. and there is no reason for this new restriction since there has never been any problem with voter fraud. hell half the people in this country don't vote anyway. the only reason I can think of for the republicans to push this new restriction is because they don't feel like they can win in a fair setting so they are trying to make it harder for people who traditionally don't vote republican to vote at all. and that is not what America is about. voting is a constitutional right. all those people who would be turned away at the polls because they don't have the new 'proper' ID, all those people who used to be able to vote, will still be held by the results of any election, an election they were turned away from participating in.

and if you think getting this new free state issued voter ID from the DPS is easy, try being poor with no driver's license so you have to take the bus, you have several children at home that you will have to take with you or find a bay sitter except you can't afford one, you will have to take a day (or two if there is a big crowd at the DPS) off work which you can't afford even if your boss will give you the day off, and you have to have proper identification like a birth certificate that you don't have a copy of.

this new voter ID that the republicans have tried to impose and was struck down by the Justice Department is unnecessary. it will impose undue hardship and obstruction on legal voters. Prove first that there is a problem, that there has been voter fraud and by that I mean voter fraud that wasn't purposely perpetrated by a republican to prove that there is voter fraud.

To which he dug up a few statistics stretching all the way back to 1948 to justify the need. The number of fraudulent votes this new law might possibly prevent is miniscule compared to the number of legal votes it will prevent. And besides, it's not the poor, the minorities, the students, or the old people who commit voter fraud. It's the cronies and the funders that have a personal stake in the outcome who commit voter fraud and those people will find a way, new ID card or not.

So I asked him...

burning down the house to get rid of a few roaches is an appropriate response in your opinion?

Perhaps he didn't like my analogy which I thought was quite apt. Taking an extreme approach to a minor problem that ultimately doesn't really address the problem but causes all kinds of damage anyway,

because this was his reply...

The courts will decide this one. We are living in two separate universes. thanks for the debate. Adios.

Well, fella, the Justice Department has already decided it but our state continues to waste everyone's time and money to pursue it and I thank the powers that be that we do live in different universes because yours must be a pretty dismal place unless you are one of the chosen.




17 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i agree with you, ellen. requiring a voter i.d. card is not going to help one bit to discourage voter apathy...

Ms. Moon said...

The Republicans are doing this all over. Florida, certainly.
Just another one of their valiant efforts to steal elections.

Rebecca Clayton said...

I think the people who live in his universe believe they are among the chosen. For a while I had a job in D.C. where I came in contact with some movers and shakers of industry (biotech & big pharma), and I learned how far from "chosen" the vast majority of us are.

Your correspondent might be at the head of the line for the Rapture, but to the Republican leaders, he's like all the rest of us--just bugs on the Rolls Royce windshield.

Reya Mellicker said...

Kick their butts, Ellen.

Linda Sue said...

Oh man...this stuff just makes me tear my hair out...the incredible stupidity and greed...the quest for power. Politically Texas is one if not thee worst! WHY? Too many rich folks? Something in the water, which you seem to be the fish out of...It does rain here and it is very dark and cold BUT the politics are correct. I don't think I could live in less...even for sunshine.I grew up in Wyoming, my Dad was probably the only sane person in the entire state- he voted for Stevenson...

Linda Sue said...

What I meant to say was GOOD JOB Ms. Ellen- I kiss the hem of your garment!

John Kurman said...

No, this is clearly a cynical attempt to restrict voter turnout in favor of the party. Question is, what if it turns out that those they bar from voting would, due to the sorry state of ignorance among registered voters that political scientists continually upon (short version: Americans are stupid), would have voted for their party's candidate? Whup ou tthe double-edged irony sword. In any case, it's Texas, so...

There are some solutions. One would think that we could all make it into the latter half of the 20th century and computerize registration. There should be an app for that. Facebook, at least, should be leading the charge on electronic registration.

John Kurman said...

the chances of voter fraud in America are less than being struck by lightning, so, on a positive note, it more likely that your state attorney general gets zapped on his way to court.

Fireblossom said...

Once again, the party that is always harping about "values" shows that it has no regard for anything except gaining and keeping power.

Joanne said...

I am the only left leaning elected official in a room full of four elected township officials. I said I didn't like the Affordable Health Care Act refered to as Obamacare. I got three blank stares. Nothing changed. I like to think they are so stupid they don't know the difference.

Kerry said...

Thank god Texas has people like you.

Cheryl Cato said...

Ellen, it makes my blood boil. This morning I read where a 93 year old woman, Viviette Applewhite, is lead plaintiff in a state court lawsuit challenging the Voter ID law in Pennsylvania. It's not just Texas where this is happening. She lost her birth certificate & Social Security card years ago when her purse was stolen. After the lawsuit was filed she did get a birth certificate... but to get a photo ID she needs a SS card. To get one she would need to go to the SS Office in her wheelchair in order to get a new card.

Witold Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, says, "What we're finding is this law disproportionately affects the elderly who no longer drive & have mobility problems."

It's just disgusting!!!

KPT said...

It is a poll tax, and plain and simple. Thank you, Ellen!

jane.healy said...

Voter apathy is a huge 'problem' over here ... I have used inverted commas there because we do not need to show any ID when we vote - just say our name and address and they check we are on the Electoral Role and that's it. I could be anyone going in and saying the name and address of someone on the Role and there is no way of checking. It gets even sillier if you are a student ... you can be on the Role at college and again in your home town. There is no way of checking - people do take advantage of this, in some areas people sell their votes.
As you clearly state you already have ID cards there is no requirement for another one. The person you were having a debate with is a fuckwit.

Mr. Charleston said...

Returning the visit Ellen. There is no doubt that voter fraud is an issue. The question is, what to do about it? In Florida you must show your voter registration card which is then checked off against your name on a list at the polls. Seems to me that a credit card-sized photo ID that can be scanned would work and there is a way to do that without disenfranchising legitimate citizens... and that's a must... you have to be a citizen to vote.
You're never going to stop criminals from trying to steal an election. It's pretty well known that Daly stole it for Kennedy in Chicago just as Jeb did for George in Florida. The biggest fear now is how to protect the database.

glnroz said...

Ellen, i do so enjoy your posting and i almost did not comment here. If you think voter fraud is not a clear and present danger(all you others too),, then please look at what has and is happening. Perhaps everone's bank has a "no verification" policy ,,,so I will go to the bank and withdraw from whomever i decide.. call me a "right wing Nut", but I have fought for the poor and disadvataged more than most...oh,, I bet you lock you doors at night...I do.. AND I enjoy the friendship of some of your commentors...so I am going out on the "far right" limb here. Any opposing views to me are welcome.. We are all (or should be) in the war to save our Country.,.

Rubye Jack said...

Sorry, but the only state dumber than Texas is Oklahoma. That's not saying much for Texas.