Voting Wrongs

When Barack Obama entered the White House, liberals hoped that the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice might return to its proper mission. The agency had been gutted during the Bush years, litigating individual cases of bias without tackling the systematic levers of discrimination that affect a far larger share of the population. Obama beefed up the agency's staff and DOJ started hiring actual civil rights attorneys (unlike the strict ideological conservatives without civil rights experience who entered during the Bush administration). More recently, Attorney General Eric Holder has advocated for an aggressive stance on protecting civil rights during Congressional hearings and visited Austin, Texas, earlier this month to lay out his vision for an expansive take on voter protection.

There had been some early evidence of this new direction beyond the tough talk—primarily challenges to city police departments and an objection to Texas' redistricting plans. But it wasn't until Friday that the department truly laid bare its new direction. DOJ rejected South Carolina's voter identification law, a clear signal that the agency won't allow the Republican effort to block Democrats from voting to go completely unchallenged.

South Carolina, like the other states who’ve passed laws requiring photo ID at the polls, claimed that its measure was needed to protect against voter fraud. DOJ sees no evidence to support that justification. "The state's submission did not include any evidence or instance of either in-person voter impersonation or any type of fraud that is not already addressed by the state's existing voter identification requirement and that arguably could be deterred by requiring voters to present only photo identification at the polls," wrote Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez. The department also found that non-white voters were 20 percent more likely to be excluded by the new law. A total of 81,938 registered minority voters lack the requisite ID.

"South Carolina’s voter ID law was little more than a 21st Century poll tax," the NAACP said in a press release following last Friday's announcement. "While the ID may have been free, the underlying documents were not. For many rural and poor South Carolinians, such as those born to midwives that could not ensure they received birth certificates, getting the necessary documents to vote was extremely complex and cost- prohibitive."

Republicans have used their new state legislative majorities from the 2010 midterms to pass a slew of restrictive legislation. Many states have reduced timeframes for early and absentee voting. Before 2010, just two states had strict photo ID laws; six new states added themselves to that rank this year. Some of the most reliable liberal voters—racial minorities, the working poor, and young people—are the ones who tend to lack the required IDs. In Texas, military IDs and handgun licenses were included in the list of accepted IDs, but college IDs were excluded.

The new DOJ assessment of South Carolina's restriction is the clearest indication that the department is handling civil rights disputes more seriously than the Bush administration. When Georgia passed its version of voter ID in 2005, members of DOJ's career civil service staff examined the law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The law requires states with a history of voter discrimination to get federal approval for new voting laws. Bush’s DOJ produced a 70-page report, with three of the four experts arguing that Georgia’s law should be blocked for its excessive impediments for minorities. The day after the report was released, Bush’s political appointees ignored the assessment of the experts and cleared Georgia's law. "They weren't really interested in investigating Georgia's submission," Toby Moore, one of the lawyers reviewing the case, told TPM in 2007. "They were mainly interested in assembling evidence to support pre-clearance. Any attempt to bring up counter-evidence to suggest a discriminatory impact was ignored or critiqued."

Even though the rejection of South Carolina’s law represents a welcome new tone from DOJ, there is little the Obama administration can do to overturn the whole slate of new voter-suppression measures. Section 5 only covers nine states and a smattering of counties and townships, allowing states like Wisconsin, Tennessee and Kansas to implement the same kinds of restrictions without federal approval.

The dispute over South Carolina's rule unfortunately won't end with DOJ's ruling. The state is already planning to appeal the decision to a federal court, which has the power to overturn the finding. "The president and his bullish administration are fighting us every step of the way," Governor Nikki Haley said in a statement. "It is outrageous, and we plan to look at every possible option to get this terrible, clearly political decision overturned so we can protect the integrity of our electoral process and our 10th Amendment rights."

The most likely scenario is one in which this case will get fast-tracked to the U.S. Supreme Court, possibly paired with DOJ's soon-to-come assessment of Texas' similar law. University of California law professor Rick Hansen predicated such a situation on his blog last week. "I anticipate that in this litigation, South Carolina (and Texas) will argue, among other arguments, that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional—an issue which has been percolating in the lower courts," Hansen wrote.

A number of counties along with the states of Arizona and Florida have filed separate cases this year that seek to remove themselves from the confines of Section 5. "Subjecting Florida counties and other jurisdictions covered exclusively under the language minority provisions of the VRA to preclearance is not a rational, congruent, or proportional means of enforcing the Fourteenth and/or Fifteenth Amendments and violates the Tenth Amendment and Article IV of the U.S. Constitution,” Florida argued in a complaint filed by the state's Secretary of State.

Reading the tealeaves before a Supreme Court case is a dicey game, but the current court has landed on the side of strict voting restrictions before. In 2008, the court heard a challenge to Indiana's photo ID law (this was a general challenge, since Indiana is not one of the nine states covered by Section 5). The court upheld the measure by a 6-3 vote with Justice John Paul Stevens joining the conservative majority. Even with Stevens' retirement, there are still five justices on the record as proponents of restricting ballot access. In a separate opinion, justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito declared that "the law should be upheld because its overall burden is minimal and justified."

Comments

If these people were really interested in proper ID to prevent voter fraud they would have developed a system that gives each and every voter a photo ID when they registered to vote. Since none of them do it is obvious that this is a ploy to disenfranchise legitimate voters under the guise of stopping nonexistant voter fraud.

Since you refuse to educate yourself, allow me to do it for you. The cost of the required ID in South Carolina is no charge. And if you are unable to get to the place to pick up your ID, the state provides free transportation to and from the ID issuance center. Exactly who cannot afford free? And it's just a red herring anyway considering the poor collect welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, HEAP and HUD, all of which require a photo ID. So obviously, the only reason you could possibly oppose these laws is that it makes it much harder to cheat. Studies have proven that the effect of voter ID laws is the registration and voting among minorities are increasing greatly. In fact, the NAACP, The League of Women Voters, ACLU and Holder promised to produce hundreds who were disenfranchised. So how many did they show up with? One. And it turned out she was denied because she lived in Florida and was registered to vote there.

And don't worry, I never charge for revealing the truth.

TRUTH....LIBERAL KRYPTONITE!!!!

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/voter-photo-identification-protecting-the-security-of-elections

Ok, let's photograph each person who successively registers to vote, and issue them ID. I think that would be a perfect solution to the problem.

But if we did that we would not be disenfranchising voters, which is the true intent of the laws. The new voter I.D. laws are brillent in their evilness, they sound benign to your average middle class voter but they effectively disenfranchise thousands upon thousands of legitimate voters, which is what they are intended to fo in the first place.

The repubs are in a tough spot. The DOJ is using laws against them that were put on the books to combat the disenfranchisemnt of voters in the 50's and 60's when democrats like George Wallace and Bull Connor were running things. How nice for those who want to make sure there is no accountability for who votes, and how nice for those who would use a fraudulent vote to cancel out a legitimate one. The repubs will just have to make it a large enough win that the scale of fraud needed to overcome those legitimate repub votes will be too obvious to pull off. It will certainly be interesting to watch. Dems will need to be careful too though. Some of the people they represent are probably getting tired of being told by their own party that they are just not bright enough to know how to do what every 16 year old I've ever known knows how to do; get a drivers license or ID. Also, the law is that employers MUST give you time off to vote. Dems should be helping their voters to the polls anyway. You can bet that when Holder is gone there will be voter ID everywhere but it will be free and that will end the argument for good. A case can be made that the disenfranchisement of a single vote is not worth the price of making sure only legitimate votes are cast. An equally compelling argument is that eliminating the taint of fraud from even one election is worth it. I can say that I want an honest election with only legitimate voters participating and let the chips fall where they may.

Creating different standards (lower) for one segment of the population over another is quite simply engaging in bigotry of low expectations. The "findings" of the Obama DOJ are subjective:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/30/voter-id-terrifies-democrats/

The motive for the laws is as the critics say, and not a motive flattering the proponents. The challenge is the same sort of thing, from the other side. That the whole subject is under any federal law is IMHO wrong, and the fact that the matter is litigated at all is unfortunate. Some reasonable measure of attachment to a community is to me an acceptable requirement for voting; if more than that were demanded it would be wrong and imho just grounds for armed rebellion.

The root issue, that far too many Americans ARE predictable in their voting regardless of what the candidates do or propose to do, is even sadder. It lets the two-headed DemPublican oligarchy boss us all around while laughing on their way to the bank with our money. The vote access issue is just another scam to distract us and as usual both sides are in on it up to their pointy ears and horns.

Like all liberal arguments, this author depends on smoke and mirrors and outright lies. According to him voter ID laws lead to supression of the vote of poor minorities. Oh really? Do the poor receive Medicaid? You need a photo ID. Do the poor get food stamps? You need a photo ID. HEAP? Photo ID. HUD? Photo ID. Go to the city hall? Photo ID. Fly on a plane? Photo ID.
Since the vast majority of states (and the federal government) will not issue an official identification to an illegal alien, requiring state or federally issued photo IDs can also prevent noncitizens, particularly illegal aliens, from voting in elections. Given the increase in reports of noncitizens voting, such measures are needed.[11] For example:

The Colorado secretary of state recently testified before Congress that a check of the voter registration rolls indicated over 11,000 individuals who were non-citizens at the time they registered to vote, at least 5,000 of whom likely voted.[12]
New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran, reported that a preliminary check of voter registration rolls had already found 37 noncitizens that had voted in New Mexico elections.[13]

And what are the actual results in states that have voter ID laws already in place? Record numbers of black and Hispanic voters are being added in those states and numerous studies bear this out.
A study by the University of Missouri on turnout in Indiana showed that turnout actually increased by about 2 percentage points overall in Indiana in 2006 in the first election after the voter ID law went into effect.[17] There was no evidence that counties with higher percentages of minority, poor, elderly, or less-educated populations suffered any reduction in voter turnout. In fact, “the only consistent and statistically significant impact of photo ID in Indiana is to increase voter turnout in counties with a greater percentage of Democrats relative to other counties.”[18]
In September 2007, The Heritage Foundation released a study analyzing the 2004 election turnout data for all states. This study found that voter ID laws do not reduce the turnout of voters, including African–Americans and Hispanics. Such voters were just as likely to vote in states with ID as in states where just their names were asked at the polling place.[19]
A study by the University of Delaware and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln examined data from the 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 elections. At both the aggregate and individual levels, the study found that voter ID laws do not affect turnout, including across racial/ethnic/socioeconomic lines. The study concludes that “concerns about voter identification laws affecting turnout are much ado about nothing.”[20]
A survey by American University of registered voters in Maryland, Indiana, and Mississippi to see whether registered voters had photo IDs concluded that “showing a photo ID as a requirement of voting does not appear to be a serious problem in any of the states” because “[a]lmost all registered voters have an acceptable form of photo ID.”[21] Less than 0.5 percent of respondents had neither a photo ID nor citizenship documentation. A 2008 election survey of 12,000 registered voters in all 50 states found that fewer than nine people were unable to vote because of voter ID requirements.[22]
In 2010, a Rasmussen poll of likely voters in the United States showed overwhelming support (82 percent) for requiring photo ID in order to vote in elections. This support runs across ethnic and racial lines; Rasmussen reports that “[t]his is a sentiment that spans demographics, as majorities in every demographic agree.”[23]
A similar study by John Lott in 2006 also found no effect on voter turnout and, in fact, found an indication that reducing voter fraud (through means such as voter ID) may have a positive impact on voter turnout.[24]
That is certainly true in a classic case of voter fraud committed in Greene County, Alabama.[25] In that county, which is 80 percent African–American, voter turnout increased after several successful voter fraud prosecutions instilled new confidence in local voters regarding the integrity of the election process.

Actual election results in Georgia and Indiana also confirm that suppositions about voter ID hurting minority turnout are incorrect. Turnout in both states increased more dramatically in 2008 in both the presidential preference primary and the general election in the first presidential elections held after their photo ID laws went into effect than they did in some states without photo ID.

There was record turnout in Georgia in the 2008 presidential primary election—over 2 million voters, more than twice as much as in 2004 when the voter photo ID law was not in effect (the law was first applied to local elections in 2007). The number of African–Americans voting in the 2008 primary also doubled from 2004. In fact, there were 100,000 more votes in the Democratic primary than in the Republican primary,[26] and the number of individuals who had to vote with a provisional ballot because they had not obtained the free photo ID available from the state was less that 0.01 percent.

In the 2008 general election when President Barack Obama was elected, Georgia, with one of the strictest voter ID laws in the nation, had the largest turnout in its history—more than 4 million voters. Democratic turnout was up an astonishing 6.1 percentage points from the 2004 election when there was no photo ID requirement, the fifth largest increase of any state.[27]

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/voter-photo-identification-protecting-the-security-of-elections

Over the last 4 years there have been convictions or confessions voter fraud numbering 26. Of that 26, 25 are democrats cheating. No wonder people like this author don't want valid laws. It's the only way they can win is to cheat.

More specifically, in South Carolina, not only is the ID free but they will pick you up at your house and drive you to get the ID free of charge. So how does that suppress the vote? Simple, it prevents liberals from stuffing the ballot box. The other funny thing is the votes liberals steal with fraud are most often poor blacks and Hispanics.

Almost every democratic nation in the world besides the U.S. requires its citizens to have a National ID card, and requires that their citizens present their IDs when they vote to insure the integrity of their voting system. When the U.N. and the U.S. go into a 3rd world country to advise and assist them on setting up a legitimate voting system we tell them to set up a registration and voting system that requires legitimate state issued IDs to protect against massive fraud. In the U.S. you can't buy a beer, a cigarette, go into a bar or disco, board a plane, cash a check, use your foodstamp and welfare debit cards, or drive without a state issued ID. Claiming that 20% of legitimate voters don't have IDs is absurd, and IDs are easy enough to get. Most states will even waive the nominal fee and issue them for free if you can't pay the $5 or $10 fee. About 80% of Americans including a large majority of Democrats approve of requiring a state issued ID to vote, and the Supreme Court has already found in favor of states that do require a state issued ID. So with Obama lagging in the polls suddenly the most corrupt racially motivated Justice Department in the history of the U.S. starts trying to prevent states from preventing voter fraud by requiring IDs? Why? Simple folks! Obama and Holder, and the corrupt left, don't think Obama can win in 2012 without massive voter fraud. They want to get 5 million or more of the 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants in our country, especially in swing states, to vote fraudulently in a desperate attempt to win the election for Obama and other democrats! Obama and the democrats are simply planning the largest best funded effort to get illegal voters into the polls in our nations' history. What they are planning in 2012 will make ACORNS feeble efforts in 2008 look tiny and silly. Solyndra, Fast & Furious! The Chicago Way is running our Government and they intend to win the Chicago Way if every illegal immigrant and recently dead voter in the U.S. have to show up at the polls to do it. If they succeed the days of legitimate democratic elections, and legitimately elected Governments in the U.S. will be over! We have to require ID and prevent voter fraud, our democracy and legitimacy of future Governments depends upon it!!!!!!

The dems don't want people showing IDs to vote because that would put a stop to their people running from one voting place to another and voting multiple times during the course of the day. Everyone faintly acquainted with this issue knows that this is true. And I can say personally that I've been witness to this kind of voter fraud.

Consider two facts:
1. Rank of New York in voter turnout in 2010 elections: 50th out of 50 states (nonprofitvote.org)
2. Rank of New York among the most racially segregated states: 1st out of 50 states. (2010 US Cesus: American Community Survey)
It is quite simple: citizens ARE less likely to vote in highly racially segregated states, such as New York.

reportedly hispanics, blacks(because blacks are more likely to be poor), and the poor more likely vote democrat, because some republicans are pro-kill the poor and immigrants, pro-close the boarder, and anti-welfare. some democrats are more tolerant of immigrants and give some welfare.

some republicans think if they close the boarders, kill and arrest poor and immigrants, and supress poor and immigrant voters by putting in voter id and discriminatory qualifications, then there wont be poor or immigrants to vote democrat.

put in a new consitutional amendement that says: everyone in the country must be allowed to vote, includeing prisoners and babys. no voteing restrictions allowed.

no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the united states. article XIV

voter id law, and similar voter suppression tactics, abridge the privileges of citizens of the united states by disallowing many of them, especially the poor, to vote, because many of them are unable to or cant afford to get a voter id. plus it abridges the privilege of citizens of the united states to not have to pay and jump thru hoops in order to vote.

voter id law is unconstitutional.

tell voter supressors to stop the much bigger problem: politican fraud, instead of supressing voters.

You need to be logged in to comment.
(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)

Connect
, after login or registration your account will be connected.