I disagree with Hightower.

What you will find here is: a centrist's view of current events;
a collection of thoughts, arguments, and observations
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Thursday, May 10, 2012


VISITOR MUST REPORT TO THE OFFICE – In the office I was told that, to gain admittance, I had to show a government issued picture ID.  As I handed my license to the attendant she fed it into a scanner and the attached label printer spit out an adhesive label that I was instructed I had to wear on the front of my shirt at all times while on the premises.

That is what I had to do this morning to be allowed access to the cafetorium to watch my granddaughter in a talent show.

Now I am not equating security at the middle school with security at the polling place, but I am asserting that this morning I did not feel that proof of ID was

1.       Discriminatory
2.       Racist
3.       Anti-Hispanic or
4.       Unduly Burdensome


  1. I am not sure entirely where I come down on the flurry of voter ID laws that are popping up. Do you think that you might have felt it was discriminatory if you looked around and realized that most of the people being adversely affected by the ID requirement all shared a minority characteristic?

    In theory I don't suppose I find much fault with having to provide a photo ID to vote. But the absence of proof of widespread fraud coupled with the fact that these types of laws disproportionately affect people who have a history of being discriminated against gives me pause.

  2. There were more (by a large margin) Hispanic parents in the cafetorium than there were Caucasians. All wearing name tags, and presumably they all had to show ID, same as me.

    I hear your concerns, but if minorities can provide an ID to see a child or grandchild at a talent show why is it a hardship at the voting booth?

    You state that it is fact that these types of laws disproportionately affect certain groups. I would be interested in viewing any “facts” you can reference on this topic. Mostly I just hear the claim without supporting references.

  3. Here is an article that I remember reading some months ago. I've only just skimmed it now, but it seems reputable.


    For each article one might read supporting the idea that minorities are affected unjustly I have little doubt that one could find another supporting the opposite claim (as is the case in most issues).

    Does not the burden fall more heavily upon those supporting voter ID laws to prove rampant abuse of our voting system?

    1. So you would only require ID in case there was "rampant" abuse?
      Welcome back Dan.

  4. Dan, actually a very interesting article. I clipped two quotes that clearly show why each of the major parties has taken the stance they have. The quotes are”

    Page 21 - “Our results clearly suggest that voting laws which require specific or multiple forms of identification will disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities, immigrant populations, and those with lower incomes.”

    Page 22 - “We find compelling evidence that those less likely to have access to multiple forms of identification are disproportionately Democrat.”

    No real surprise really. However, I also clipped the following quote which I would conclude lends itself to the argument in favor for voter ID.

    Page 20 – “The electoral results (2006 Congressional) show that forty elections were won within a 7% margin of victory.” In my point of view voter fraud would not have to have been wide spread to have influenced these thin margin elections and I don’t think anyone is claiming there is no voter fraud.

    The consequences of even small volumes of voter fraud can get even more pointed in local elections where mayors, commissioners, and council members are often elected by a margin of only a few votes and I have seen local elections decided by as few as 2 votes.

    One last comment on the issue of disenfranchising voters. The conclusions drawn in this article were based on forms of voter identification that people have under the existing system. If all voters knew that a picture ID would be required at the polls perhaps more voters would arrange for the appropriate ID.

    Thanks for the article, but for me the bottom line is that if you hand your voter registration to an election official you are claiming to be that person and it is reasonable to have that validated. If you make the choice not to make the effort to acquire the necessary ID forms you have disenfranchised yourself.

    What people want to do they do. Everything else is just talk. If we required a government issued picture ID to purchase a 6 pack I bet everyone would get one. Oh wait…….

  5. Wayne,
    I would be less hesitant to support such laws if it were clear that a large percentage of votes were cast fraudulently. I take Tom's point, however, that the consequences of voter fraud is more acute in a local election setting.

    Like I said at the outset, I don't know where I come down on this. The partisan angle (all of the Rs being for and all of the Ds being against) make it hard to listen to any of the politicians talk about it since they do little more than talk past each other.

    P.S. I never left! I read YA most every day. I rarely chime in because I rarely have anything to add - I simply enjoy reading the cool, calm and collected thoughts of older and wiser political observers.

    1. Dan, here is an article about the current attempt by Florida to validate that voters on their voter registration list are legal U.S. citizens. You should read the entire article before making any conclusions.

      What I get from the article is that the DOJ has ordered Florida to stop verification because the verification process is flawed and it appears to me that this is so. However, the Fed is also refusing to provide Florida access to a citizen database that, if used, would make Florida’s verification process valid. Something of a catch 22 for Florida.

      Florida’s current (and admittedly less that perfect) process has apparently not found widespread voter fraud so, wouldn’t it be a good idea for the Fed to furnish the necessary database and let Florida prove that voter fraud is not a significant issue?


  6. I will to say more on a general version of this topic in a day or two.

    PS Your PS won mine and I'm sure other hearts.