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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Voter ID 4

I have talked about this and the motivation of those who hold strong positions on it.  I have indicated a general position about such matters, but I don’t think I have indicated how that position determines how I would view a particular voter ID law.

General Position:

A.   If a person claims to have a right or an entitlement to something, they should have to demonstrate that they are eligible for that thing.   This would include welfare benefits, SS, and medicare as well as voting rights.

B.   Since voting is essential to a democracy it gets special treatment.  There is a fundamental obligation by the government to ensure there is no impediment (other than eligibility and the time it takes) to the exercise of the right to vote.  In particular (24th  amendment) there can be no financial impediment – tax, charge, or cost.  In particular, if you require a picture ID, then you must provide a way for the voter to get one cost free.

I believe that these are pretty much self evident if you keep in mind that I expect the reader to know that we are taking proof to be reasonable documentation.

So here comes a voter ID law which will revise the current law.
It will require a birth certificate at the time of registration and a picture ID at the time of voting.
Here are the questions I would ask and the answers that I would need to get my support.  Someone would point out the absence of voter fraud as evidenced by the absence of convictions for voter fraud and someone else would note that that did not prove the lack of voter fraud.  In particular who are we relying on to report voter fraud?

1.  Why do we need this revision?
            This one is pretty easy.  Times change, improvements in technology, etc.

2.   Registration:  What do you do with a current or previous voter who does not have the birth certificate and can’t get one?
            If you grandfather these people in and keep them on the rolls, then I am OK.  If you want to throw them off of the voting roles then you are trying for too much. 
The burden of proof should be on the state to prove that someone should be taken off of the rolls.  The burden of proof is on the individual to get on the rolls in the first place.

3.   Voting:       Why do you require a picture ID?
            A picture ID is more secure, technological advances have made them easier to get and they have become the norm – almost everybody has got one.
                        What about those that don’t have one?
            They can go to the Driver’s License Bureau and we’ll make them one free. "part of the bill"
                        Who pays to get them there?
            The voter does.
                        That is not good enough.
            What do I have to do?
                        Pay all costs or go to their home.
The thing is that unless it is a reasonable bill it will have the media and the Democratic party all over it: using it as "proof" that the Rs are racists.  

The public debate is not connected to reason, it is based on paranoia and propaganda and goes like this:
D     Those Rs are just trying to deny the right to vote of the old, poor, and minorities who are expected to vote Democratic. They are racists.
R.     The Ds are just trying to fix it so that when  those 10-15 million illegal aliens become legal residents then the Ds can get them to vote illegally. 

So on this one if I have to choose between those, then I think that I would go with the Rs because ff the D’s are right in their paranoia then the R’s will have their leadership doing their dirty work (making bad voter ID laws) in full public view. I think that that is impossble.  On the other hand if the Rs are right then the Ds actions (voter fraud) would be carried out by the rank and file and not see the light of day.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed on everything.

    Actually I think the solution is extremely simple.
    1. Publicize that a government issued ID will be required at the polling venue.
    2. Set up a national hot line that anyone who wishes to be put on the voter rolls, but needs assistance, can call and request help in registering.
    3. Ask local volunteers to assist those who call.

    To avoid a partisan “get out the vote” all volunteers would be required to sign a pledge to be politically neutral in their assistance. To complete the process the individuals being assisted would be required to return a statement directly to the government verifying that the assistance they received was in fact politically neutral. I suspect that in any presidential election year there would be no shortage of volunteers willing to help people register.