Who Stole the Election?

When Charles Webster was a member of the Maine House during the 1980s and 1990s, he and his Republican colleagues routinely proposed bills that would create restrictive voting laws -- or, as Webster sees it, legislation to tamp down on the rampant threat of voter fraud. "Every year we tried to solve this problem," he says, "and it was always a partisan vote," with Democrats supporting laws intended to increase turnout. As a result, Webster says, "We have one of the most loosey-goosey, lax election laws in the country."

Others would call Maine's voting laws a striking success. Most states struggle to get citizens to the polls; national turnout for a presidential election hasn't topped 60 percent since 1968, and turnout for midterm elections hovers in the 30s. That puts the United States far below the participation level in other Western democracies. Yet for the past four decades, Maine has stood apart. With an array of regulations that encourage voting -- the state has allowed voters to register on Election Day since 1973 -- Maine consistently places among the top five states for turnout. Seventy-two percent of the eligible population voted in 2008 when Barack Obama carried the state.

Republicans like Webster, who now chairs the state GOP, argue that too many people are voting in the state -- at least, too many illegal immigrants, out-of-state college students, and people who live in hotels. "What I don't want is somebody coming in stealing elections who doesn't live in the town," Webster says.

The political winds shifted Webster's way after the 2010 elections -- not just in Maine but across the country. Maine was one of 11 states where Republican majorities won control over both legislatures. This was the first time in four decades that Democrats had been out of power in the state, and the new Republican majority acted fast. After trying and failing to pass a voter -- identification law, they succeeded in repealing same-day voter registration. Republican Governor Paul LePage signed the bill in June.

The push against voting rights in Maine is just one example of the most direct assault on ballot access since the Jim Crow era. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the influential corporate-funded group that writes model bills for Republican state legislators, has pushed Republicans across the country to impose new restrictions on voting and to overturn progressive laws like Maine's. "I don't want everybody to vote," ALEC co-founder Paul Weyrich said three decades ago. "As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

Since the Voting Rights Act of 1965, states have passed a steady stream of reforms to make it easier for people to vote. Now Republicans are pushing to make voting more difficult. "This is a hard-fought privilege," one Florida state senator said earlier this year. "This is something people die for. You want to make it convenient?"

The most headline-grabbing effort has been the creation of laws requiring voters to have photo identification at the polls. Five states -- Texas, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Kansas -- have enacted strict photo-ID laws since the beginning of the year. Democrats argue that these laws have clear political motivations. Studies indicate that the groups most likely to vote Democratic -- the young, elderly, poor, mobile, and minorities -- are the ones whose members tend to lack a photo ID. The rules are often configured specifically to favor the Republican base at the expense of excluding likely Democrats. In Texas, for example, showing a military ID or a concealed-gun license will get you a ballot, but a college ID won't. As many as one in four African Americans lack the identification these states now require, leading Georgia Congressman John Lewis to call the laws "poll taxes by another name." (Under the Voting Rights Act, voter-ID laws in Texas and South Carolina must be approved by the Department of Justice because of those states' history of minority-voter suppression. At press time, the department had not yet ruled.)

But as stifling as voter-ID laws might be, a plethora of manipulations to voter-access laws pose an even larger threat. Numerous states recently have cut back on early voting, which had made it much easier for the working poor -- people who often can't get off work on Election Day -- to cast a ballot. In 2008, around 40 million Americans took advantage of early voting. That number will almost surely be lower in 2012, thanks to Republican efforts in states like Ohio. Thirty percent of Ohio's ballots in the last presidential election were cast by early or absentee voters. In March, though, the Republican -- controlled legislature reduced the state's 35-day window of early voting to 24 days of mail-in voting and just 11 days of in-person early voting. Florida also shortened its early-voting window and made things even trickier for voting-rights advocates by rewriting state laws to impose steep fines on voter-registration organizations if registration forms contain even minor mistakes. The League of Women Voters, the group at the forefront of registering voters across the country, shuttered its Florida voter-registration operation as a result.

Florida is also one of a handful of states that have rolled back voting rights for former felons. In Iowa, Governor Tom Vilsack, a Democrat, had signed an executive order in 2005 granting voting rights to felons as soon as they left prison. On his first day in office this year, Republican Governor Terry Branstad rescinded that order, removing 100,000 voters from the rolls with a stroke of his pen.

Republicans have pushed these new restrictions under the pretense of reducing voter fraud. "Protecting the integrity of our elections is central to ensuring our government has the full faith and confidence of the citizens it represents," Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said after he signed a photo-ID law. "Requiring photo identification to vote will go a long way to eliminate the threat of voter fraud. If you need an ID to buy cold medicine, it's reasonable to require it to vote." But there is scant evidence of voter fraud in any state. The Brennan Center for Justice concluded in a 2007 study that fraud was so "exceedingly rare" that a voter is more likely to be struck by lightning than to cast a fraudulent ballot. "It's a red herring," says Eric Marshall of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. "It's a reason for them to pass restrictive legislation and limit access to the ballot box."

That's certainly been the case in Maine. When House Speaker Robert Nutting first put the repeal of same-day registration on the table this year, he argued that the measure was intended to ease the burden on county clerks overwhelmed by the number of first-time voters showing up on Election Day. When county clerks testified against that section of the bill, saying same-day registrants did not overwhelm them, the Republicans were left to rail against the threat of fraudulent voting. The only problem: No such threat exists in Maine. Only two successful prosecutions of voter fraud have occurred in the 38 years since same-day registration became the law.

Webster, the state party chair, makes no bones about the political reasons for new voting restrictions. He calls the groups that support same-day registration the "welfare coalition": "It's the give-me groups. It's the groups that want government spending." Webster has been equally explicit in his effort to prevent college students from voting in Maine -- though the U.S. Supreme Court's 1979 ruling in Symm v. U.S. clearly established that college students could register in their school's district. Webster combed through voting rolls earlier this year and published a list of 206 out-of-state students he believed may have committed voter fraud; the secretary of state, a Republican, opened an investigation. Yet after two months of digging into the allegations, the secretary's office found that none of the college students voted improperly.

At first blush, same-day registration might seem like a small-bore issue that wouldn't affect all that many potential voters. But 60,000 Mainers -- of 750,000 total voters -- took advantage of the regulation during the 2008 election, and 20,000 did so during the 2010 midterms. "Same-day registration is one of the most important measures that states can introduce to improve voter turnout," says Ann Luther of the Maine chapter of the League of Women Voters. Indeed, the nine states with same-day registration have, on average, 7 percent higher turnout than the states without those rules. That's particularly useful for younger voters. "When we dig into why, the answer is fairly straightforward," says Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote. "They're new to the process, and they're highly mobile."

Just as African Americans are disproportionately affected by voter-ID laws, overturning same-day registration laws has a dampening effect on a particular class of people. For people who own their own home, the ability to register on Election Day is a minor concern; once you've registered, you should be set for decades. It's the mobile groups of society -- the young, the elderly, and the poor -- who need as many opportunities as possible to get themselves onto voting rolls. Renters are more likely to move in the time between elections. For the working poor, adding an extra step that requires advanced planning will only further reduce turnout -- especially among those most likely to vote Democratic. "The people who tend to be harmed by further restrictions on getting to the polls are the people who are on the margins anyway," says Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School. "Most voters see these new re-strictions as minor hassles that they can easily overcome. But that leaves a substantial minority -- upwards of millions of people -- for whom what seems like minor hassles turns out to be a pretty big deal."

Mainers are fighting back against the repeal of same-day registration. Protect Maine Votes, an organization made up of 18 voting-rights groups, gathered more than 70,000 signatures in less than four weeks to get a referendum on this November's ballot to overturn the new law. While Protect Maine Votes is urging voters to continue the state's history of open elections, Republicans are relying on the fear of stolen elections. "In the end, the issue will be: Do people believe our system is free of fraud, or do they believe it's got fraud?" Webster says. "If they believe it's free of fraud, then they'll keep the law."

While the referendum's organizers say they're confident that Maine voters will support same-day registration, they worry about what happens to voter participation in future elections if the referendum fails. "I don't know how far it will drop the first year," says David Farmer, communications director for Protect Maine Votes, "but I absolutely believe that the [type of] people who registered in the last two elections will go and try to vote and not be allowed."

The pushback against restrictive voting laws is picking up some steam outside of Maine. In early September, Democrats on a Senate Judiciary subcommittee held a "Barriers to the Ballot" hearing. National groups like Rock the Vote have also begun to raise awareness about the impact of these new regulations. "It appears some of these politicians are more interested in deciding who the electorate is than in letting the electorate decide who represents them," Smith says. "And that, to me, is something worth standing up against."


we need more dead people voting...demoncraps cornered the market on that one now same day reg-and vote is the next fraud to be perpetrated on the American voting system no way to check no way to confirm just vote and then vote again and again.....the only way demoncraps win elections is by fraud or are the people so dumb as to walk into slavery by voting for these commies who in the end will enslave everyone and the thousand years of darkness  Ronald Reagan spoke of will begin...welcome to 1984 the reality  

please rent or buy Doctor Zhivago and you will get a taste of what real tyranny is like...once you lose freedom.....ITS GONE!!!!!

Puh-leeze - if you're too damn lazy to get a state ID, you shouldn't vote. Enough already with the catering to every deadbeat loser.

There is nothing you can do outside cash only that does not require an ID. You can't bank, drive or collect benefits of any kind without an ID. How could this requirement possibly be a burden? The only reason someone would oppose this is because they know there is fraud and don't want it stopped.

No one should be allowed to vote who hasn't demonstrated competence in reading and understanding English  or who has paid no recent taxes within the area affected by the election.  In other words, people too dumb or too ignorant to able to read, or too useless to have a job, shouldn't be allowed to vote--all they're going to do is vote to tax other people to pay for more government freebies for themselves.

So you claim a bogus election is better then a valid election.  Doesn't a rigged election violate the votes of those that actually play by the rules? 
For example the election in Minn. (IIRC) where the judges kept sending out for more votes until they got enough to declare Franken the winner?
Doesn't that invalidate the votes of those voting against Franken?

The point is that without integrity, there is no point in an election.
That leads to replacing ballots with bullets, which is not a good thing.

I think voter turnout is way too high in this country.  Many of the folks who vote now don't have a clue about the issues or candidates, so they just trust the media to tell them how to vote.  That's how we got Obama.

What a joke.  Anyone who is so disorganized and clueless that they cannot take the very simple steps required for timely voter registration shouldn't vote. In most states you fill out the card, you send in the card, the state verifies your  information and, badda-bing, you can vote.  The  verification process takes time, so there are deadlines.  

For the life of me, I can't figure out how SIMPLE procedures can be construed as being inherently racist.  Do these people file tax returns, renew their drivers licenses, and pay their bills?  Registering to vote is a snap compared to these things.

Do we really want elections decided by people who can't manage to follow a simple procedure?

This gets straightened out overall, Mr. Caldwell. I understand these things bothered you, but it also bothered me to have my legitimate registration "lost" three consecutive times, causing me to miss three consecutive elections, in Los Angeles County. By the third time, I could tell even the registrar employee on the phone "knew" that I "knew" and suddenly, I got registered. I shouldn't have to tell you what party I am, after a lifetime of problem free normal registered voting in another Southern California county without the same "enthusiasms," shall we say. Stop making this only a Republican issue. Democrats disenfranchise when they have the ability as well, and they are real redistricting offenders. I formerly worked for an institute that studied political redistricting. It was not necessarily the "will of the people" that California's last election was so different from the rest of the country.

I forgot. This past election, I foolishly did not return my absentee ballot, choosing to physically take it to the polls on voting day to "make sure" I could vote. I received a pink sheet of paper that said my ballot cast on that day would only be counted "if needed" in case of a runoff election. LA County - there were thousands of similar reports last election - NOT in Republican "favor."

Just one illegal vote can sway an election.

From the heavy-voting graveyard precincts of Chicago to the Texas town that voted in alphabetical order for LBJ to ACORN registering the Dallas Cowboys team in Nevada in 2008, vote fraud is an American tradition and far more commonplave than this author pretends.

A photo ID is no burden to obtain whatsoever.  DMV gives IDs even to non-drivers.

Same-day registration of course inflates turnout -- including with some ineligible voters.  No one should be that lazy.

If there ever was a Kodak Moment coming up it would be during Election Day 2012.  The Tea Parties should make sure they have lots of vidcams and cars to follow and video all those "marginalized" union lackeys and illegal aliens being bused by, SEIU, and Acorn (or whatever it is now) from precinct to precinct to make sure their votes are counted at least 10-15 times.

The vids on Breitbart would be priceless!

I believe fewer people voting, not increasing turnout among stupid, uneducated people.  I don't want my vote cancelled out by stupid idiots who don't understand the issues.

Accurate but so what. Obvious what the motive and the affect
here is, again so what. It's does one agree or not, that's what. I agree with
the restrictions. Too many idiots vote; the fewer, the better.

Personally I think people should at any time from any place be
able to vote on anything that can be voted on instantly anywhere on earth,
regardless of where they live; provided that they get to pay the taxes and obey
the laws of whatever place they just voted in, until the affect of the vote
expires. Our economic ties are FAR more important already than neighbor-ness,
kinship, "citizenship" etc. Our digital ties soon will be our
economic ties. For a lot of us, they are already.

On the other hand, the purpose of voting is to peaceably
obtain the consent of the governed. Period. The stability and relative
non-violence of republican or democratic forms of government are their ONLY evident
virtues. Stupid decisions happen regardless of who decides; the more involved
and the less they each have at stake, the dumber the decision. And if the decisions
are TOO stupid – as those of almost every governmental body on Earth now are,
due to a combination of lack of consent from the governed and of allowing THE
WRONG ONES amongst the governed to vote, the society suffers more harm than the
government is worth, all consent is withdrawn (of course, as it should be) and
the State collapses, which is no fun to go through. But that’s where the whole
world is headed.

There are a few places left …Russia, China, some in Africa,
all the Islamic ones…where MORE voting is needed. For the most part, LESS voting
is needed.

Voting should be limited to CITIZENS. Citizens should be (1)
volunteers; (2) have done something to prove their worth such as (a) Signed up
to offer life and/or limb for their community and completed such service honorably;
(b) Acquired wealthy or income in the top 10% of their society; (3) Proved that
they are educated and intelligent, to the level of a top 80% of college grads
today or of high school grads 100 years ago;  (4) Be sponsored by a citizen, who is willing
to donate the wealth or income needed to pass the test, either to the would-be
citizen or on their behalf to the community; 
(5) Perhaps a few other things such as owning their own home or business
indicating success in and contribution to the community; (6) DEFINITELY NOT
Peace Corp types of things whether foreign or domestic.

I am a card-carrying Republican, but I oppose these kinds of laws. If we can't win the hearts and minds of voters fair and square, we shouldn't try to win by these back door methods. At the end of the day, this will come back to bite us on the derriere. The media is against us anyway, but give them this kind of gift a year before a big election with a black man seeking a second term, that is the golden goose of political scandals and we will be made to look like the enemy of minorities wishing to exercise their, in many cases, hard-won right to cast a ballot.

 If only we had viable third and fourth parties. Then neither side would try this kind of stuff. They would understand that they needed all the available votes to be cast. I hold out hope that the GOP is going to become the big tent party, but stuff like this is an indication it isn't going to happen anytime soon. A common sense center-right alternative to the current Republican Party would be nice, but there would have to be a common sense center-left party alternative to the current Democrat Party. Otherwise, the conservative third party would assure Democrat hegemony. That would be a bad thing.

 Bill Clinton seemed to understand that you have to bring the nation together and not dwell on our differences. I am not a Third Way proponent, but the tired and useless left-wing grievance philosophy of government and the corporate lapdog mindest of many in my own party is leading us down a dark alley. The middle has to meet somewhere or we are going to end up a real mess entirely of our own stubborn making.

You are correct, but eventually these things come to light and then the s**t fits the fan. Demographics will overwhelm this type of thing. Minority populations are simply growing too quickly and become ever more empowered. They will make their presence and economic felt. The GOP should abandon these kinds of policies and disavow them for their own long-term prospects. Stuff like this lingers. If minority voters today believe that Republicans are trying to prevent their voting, they are unlikely to cast a Republican ballot for a long time and maybe never. I worked with a lady whose grandmother was from the Jim Crow South. She never cast a Democratic ballot her whole life because the officials wishing to prevent African-American voter participation belonged to that party. Even when her own political thinking widely diverged from the Republicans she voted for, she saw the Democrat running as the greater of the two evils.

Johnleehooker hit the nail on the head - we all need photo IDs every day for the basic things in our lives, and no one ever complains.  It's funny how liberals say that we must count every vote, holding up ballots, and looking for the smallest mark that could be construed to suggest that someone sort of intended to vote for their candidate.  But on the question of whether the person who marked that ballot met the legal qualifications to vote in the first place .................. well, who cares about that, right?  What a complete joke!

What I didn't see addressed here is the growing number of precincts that have 100% turnout... and that turnout is disproportionately for a given party.   In our state there were stories of canvassing in apartment buildings for ballots for $40

Some of the people that sold and signed them stated quite frankly that they had been signed up to vote by the same person that came to the door with the $40 to allow them to mark their mail-in ballot and have them sign it then mail it for them.

Hard to not wonder what exactly that kind of community organizing might have to do with an election.   The idea that citizens are victims that need to have no rules or standards for their participation is truly perverse and disgusting.

This is more of the 'Cook Countying' of America.    We aren't in Chicago... and we don't ever intend to allow our piece of it to become that way.

Ever wondered why progressive causes need that kind of 'help' to get the votes required?   Ever wonder why they have to be bought with kickback-laden community grants?

Ever wonder if you are maybe not doing the right thing when you do same day registration that can't be checked against any sort of residency?

Ever wonder if you are crooked when you push for college students to get ballots from home and sign up to vote at school, knowing there will never be a way to check for double voting?

Ever wonder why people despise your cause?   Think about it if you still have the capability.

How did you get from addressing voting percentages to fear mongering about a future "theocracy?"  "Progressive" thought has become pretty lame in our times. Johnleehooker is right. Photo ID requirements are not burdensome.

Typical left-wing hogwash. Reward the irresponsible (not the unfortunate). It's this kind of non-sense that generates more conservatives everyday

Dems want every one in their base to vote early... and often.  They don't give a flying duck about voter fraud except that they're willing if not eager to have illegals', disenfranchised felons', out of state students', double voting snowbirds', dead people's and cartoon characters' votes count regardless if they're legitimate or not.

Rather than bitching about the commonsense requirement for a voter to prove he/she is who they say they are, the Dems should push for minimal cost if not free voter IDs.  The Dems are right to want that it is easy to vote, but they are wrong to want it to be easy to commit voter fraud.

I know it makes for good sound bytes to liken Voter ID laws to Jim Crow, but it is such a fallacy to suggest this is the case.  Providing a valid ID is a very small price to pay to ensure that the people deciding the future of our government are, in fact, eligible to vote.  I keep hearing complaints that students cannot use a college id as if that is so discriminatory.  Excuse me, but HOW MANY FOREIGN  STUDENTS do we have in our universities?  A Great number!!!  Their ids do not designate that they are not a US citizen.  But of course, that is exactly what the Democrats want - as many bodies as possible to pull the D lever - in fact, in Texas and Illinois, many dead people vote routinely!  That is exactly why we need photo voter id.  As far as suppressing voting - BS.  In Georgia, voting turnout INCREASED after institution of new voter id rules.  It seems that people no longer felt that their vote did not count or was counteracted by bogus votes.  How refreshing.

I see nothing evil in requiring people to prove they are citizens and who they claim they are.  If some people can't be bothered to take the effort to get the official identification, I see no reason to give them a voice in something as important as voting.

The objective should NEVER be to get as close to 100% turnout as possible.

The bias present in the article is palpable. This piece is a laughably transparent argument that slight restrictions in voting (requiring the same ID as is required for most other legal acts in this country) are intended to slight minorities who may tend to vote for the other party. That's an insult to the same minorities who routinely acquire photo ID's to accomplish many other things in life. Also, the writer glosses over voter fraud, calling it "exceedingly rare" but certainly there have been rampant and front-page issues with this that the writer is blissfully ignoring to support his own fallible argument. 

Poor writing and documentation. Hardly the work of a serious journalist.

Politician pick their voters? Not a new idea and one historically more associated with the Democrats than the Republicans.

The problem here is that there are illegal votes. No one knows how many, but consider this one. An analysis of the voters rolls in Florida and New York determined that there were 12,000 individuals who were registered in both Florida and New York. Does anyone think very many of these were Republicans? There were enough of them that other things being equal, there might not have been a Florida recount fiasco had those who actually live in New York voted only in New York. Then there are the students who vote both at home and at school. Does anyone think most of these are Republicans?

Yes, I am in favor of voter participation, and so are you. But, let's stick to legal voters. Citizens, that is to say.

its 2011 - who doesn't have a photo ID ?

I've been watching elections since 1956, and I've seen a handful of elections 'stolen' (check out how LBJ was elected Senator). Everytime, a Republican was on the losing end. Who could blame them for wanting to ensure honest elections?

I've been watching elections since 1956, and have seen a handful 'stolen' (check out how Lyndon Johnson won his Senatorial election). In every case, Republicans were on the losing end. Who could blame them for wanting to ensure honest elections?

I have worked the polls for the last six years.

I have seen voter fraud that would be prevented by a photo id.

One incident out of many:  a young man who voted on the first day of Early Voting using his father's voter registration card.  He was "junior."

Dad showed up to vote on the last day of Early Voting and claimed he had not yet voted.  But there, in the computer, was a notation that this voter had voted.

Too late, we realized that his son--who wasn't even registered to vote--had cast a fraudulent ballot.

If you say, "Oh, that's anecdotal.  Just one vote," consider this:

My brother passed away.  In cleaning his house, I found his voter card.

All you need is a voter card to vote in Texas.

I could have given the card to my husband.  He could have voted for my brother.   An elections clerk cannot question the validity of the voter if the voter presents a valid voter's card.

If we had a photo id law, there would be no way that my husband could vote for my dead brother.

My daughter who is out of state in college just received her voter registration card.

What would keep me from using it to vote?

Nothing, except my integrity.

I've given you three examples of ways I could cast an illegal ballot.

Elections have been lost or won by ONE vote.

Couldn't disagree more.  

Why would you want a bunch of people with no interest in politics to have the last say in policy making?  Even if  they were recruited by someone offering them cigarettes to go vote on election day?

This is why leftists want drive-thru registration with instant voting and no photo ID.  So they can send out ACORN volunteers to round up millions of oblivious "voters" - and bribe them for their votes on election day.

We do NOT need millions of apolitical people being herded into voting booths by desperate politicos willing to cheat the system for their causes.

well looks like my post yesterday was to truthful for you to post here....way to go........

I am shocked, shocked that legislators, even the GOP, would demand that voters actually prove who they are in order to vote and exercise their right as a citizen. What an onerous responsibility on election day, to have to actually show up, first of all, and then, the temerity to ask for a valid drivers license or any other government approved identification --- 2013 can't come soon enough for me when we will have our Obamacare cards to prove who we are, and thus presumably such an election test will not prove too terrible, or if it does, at least our healthcare with be "free". Am I the only one, or does the democrat wailing about identification indicate at least a possibility that their electoral success depends upon undocumented illegals, convicts and other ne'erdowells such as faculty members and journalists? I pity the fools.

This whole article is a red herring. Why shouldn't we have same day registration? Because it is blatantly obvious that left wing groups will go into the inner cities, round up everyone they can find on the street, offer them money or goods (cartons of cigarettes, it has happened) and tell them to vote Democrat. The same people who want this kind of thing going on also don't want to have to show photo ID in order to register! Sure, there is no way a system like that would ever be abused!

The whole notion that it is a huge obstacle to register to vote is absurd. I just googled "How to register to vote in Arizona" and got sent to a website where you can register to vote online. The entire process would take someone less than 5 minutes. It also provides an extensive list of places you can go register to vote in person, and provides the forms where you can do it by mail.

This entire scheme is the left playing the race and poverty cards to allow them to commit voter fraud. The youth don't have IDs? College students don't have ideas? Malarkey. I am not far removed from my youth or college and I did not know ONE PERSON when I was in college that did not have photo identification. The reason student IDs are not a valid piece of identification is because EVERY STUDENT attending the university gets one. We had foreign students at my university with student IDs.

The fact that people can't see through this obvious ploy by the Democrats is discouraging.

I might add that the same people who don't want to require photo IDs for voting are the same ones who want to average citizens to cut through a forest of red tape and get approved and licensed by the government in order purchase and own a firearm.

" The rules are often configured specifically to favor the Republican base at the expense of excluding likely Democrats. In Texas, for example, showing a military ID or a concealed-gun license will get you a ballot, but a college ID won’t."

I'm sick of this talking point. Voter ID laws require a person to show government-issued ID. A military ID is issued by the Federal government. A concealed-gun license is issued by the state government. A college ID is issued by a college, and is among the easiest of all IDs to counterfeit.

I've read this same sort of article in the conservative media, expressing dismay at the other side's tactics on voting and citing convincing examples of self-serving legislation by the "bad guys."

There's a good case on both sides of the issue.  Voting ought to be more convenient, within reason, and we ought to make sure people are who they say they are, within reason.  
If you read the liberal media, you hear that their politicians only want to increase access, and each election cycle you'll hear infuriating stories of voter surpression.  If you read the conservative media, you'll hear that their politicians only want to ensure integrity of voting, and each election cycle you'll hear infuriating stories of fraud.  I expect the protestations of purity of each party are false and the claims of bad behavior on the part of both parties are true.

Both parties play games, on the ground and in the legislature to help their side.  Who's more bad?  Eh, your answer will depend on your side I expect.  I think the Republicans are happy to cheat to make it harder for Democrats to vote and the Democrats are happy to cheat to get votes.

Maybe we should let the Greens and Libertarians make the rules.  Of course, maintaining the two party system is the one thing the Rs and Ds always agree on.

What a one-sided slanted attack piece. You have to parse every statistic presented. No mention of stolen elections in Texas and Illinois, no mention of rampant fraud by the Tamany Society in New York in the 1800's. Just carefully worded sentences like "successful prosecutions" (now the decision to prosecute wouldn't be impacted by the winner of the vote would it?)

no mention of thugs at polling places, no mention of groups who drag drunks, and homeless and pay them to vote...

There are real problems on both sides of this issue. Make a driver's license required. If you don't want one, make a non- driver alternative free, but requiring the same identifying documents.

the tactics used on the left and the right are age-old, but it doesn't mean that citizenship should not be verified.

What a crockpot full of excrement. What on earth is wrong with having people validate who they are in advance and then prove who they are when they vote. It's only wrong if you want to do exactly what you're accusing repubs of trying to do.

What about RI where the Democrats passed voter ID law this year? Why was that not mentioned?

Yes because it's logical to assume that the "poor" that can't make the time to get an ID are going to spend that time voting.  Of course if you have groups trolling on election day with vans, picking people up, providing incentives to vote and signing them up on election day - Well that's democracy.

“What I don’t want is somebody coming in stealing elections who doesn’t live in the town,” says state GOP Chair.  The types of Dems prominent in today's Democrat Party want little, if any, controls on those wanting to exercise their sacred right to vote.  Imagine not realizing there's an election today and then being taken to the polls to register and vote--how would you know what to do unless told?

It's time that the left face the facts, conservatives are just smarter people. We know how get a photo ID card, we know how to register to vote, we know how to vote absentee, we know what day the election is, we know how to drive or take a bus to go vote, we know that our employers must give us time off to vote. Conservatives are just more intelligent, adaptable problem solvers. The left likes to hold itself out as the party of deep thought, intellectualism and of course...nuance. If they can't manage to do the things that conservatives do easily, who was it that told them they were so smart. I believe they made the same mistake so many bad politicians make. They started believing their own press.

Seriously? Why do people keep comparing government issued IDs, like gun licenses or military IDs, to college IDs? I couldn't use my college ID for anything other than a student discount, because it's too easy to fake. Of COURSE you can't use it for voting.

Argue against the ID requirement if you like, but don't try to make Republicans look bad with false comparisons.

All this talk of race. . . .  I didn't know that fraudulent ballots had a color.

Ahem, looks like voter fraud is alive and well after all:

This website and/or author is a joke. Not sure who is moderating the comments but the fact that no new ones have been approved in almost 24 hours shows that either the response was overwhelmingly negative, or that this website is not interested in critical analysis from the public.

Either way it is pretty pathetic. I know this comment won't be posted either, but somebody will read it. You know who you are, coward.

For years, I have felt that it is not right that everyone vote.   I live by this myself.  When I do not know or understand the issues well enough or know the real differences between candidates... I do not vote.

I try to be informed, but if I fail, I do not vote.

And I do not believe it is a good thing for people to vote who know nothing except a few soundbites and some trivial propaganda.

However, it is illegal and immoral to prevent such people from voting.  So it must be tolerated.  BUT what does not have to be tolerated is voting by people who are not even legally qualified to vote.

So I agree with these laws.  Voting should not be "run an iron gauntlet" difficult, but it should also not be "fall off a log" easy either.

The Republicans have been doing this for a long time.  What is surprising is that it has taken the mainstream media and major progressive blogs like The American Prospect to see what is happening.  It is all documented in my recent book, "THE POLITICS OF DISENFRANCHISEMENT:  Why is it so hard to vote in America?"

Richard K. Scher, Professor
Department of Political Science
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL  32611

democracies do not exist, may never have existed. there is - around me - areoligarchies conflict with one hand and the other the mass society.


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