Voter ID is part of the solution

                

By Jack E. Lohman

Voter ID is important to a clean electoral system.

For the same reason we want effective ethics oversight and public funding of campaigns, we should also want Voter ID. We want to clean up the system to make it fair to both sides.

    “Voter ID opponents, and those who believe the current system is A-OK, have semi-successfully painted this as a Republican vs. Democrat issue. Too bad – we know plenty of Democrats in Wisconsin support such measures as ID at the polls, too. … The goal is not to restrict voting – rather, it is to ensure that every legal vote is counted. What are its opponents afraid of?”  Chris Lato

Chris is absolutely right. This is (or should be) a non-partisan issue. 

Opponents claim that Voter ID is used to block minorities from the polls, when in fact a good Voter ID system would guarantee access by all legal voters, regardless of race. No legitimate voter would be turned away, and all it would require is registering once every eight years or so. Republicans and Democrats alike.

Expand registration to the banks. Make it easy and make it fair.

In my 35 years of voting in Wisconsin I have not had to show my ID once. You can walk up to the polls, give them a name (anybody’s name), and get a ballot. Go to a different polling place and do it again with a different name.

Like they say, vote early and vote often, and if you use the same alias it keeps them on the voting list long after they die.

This lack of care is terribly misguided.
Concerned citizens want it changed.

BUT, when Chris asks “What are its opponents afraid of?”  I must say:

    The same thing Republicans are afraid of with a campaign system that is funded by the taxpayers instead of the special interests that pad their pockets.

Both sides want an unfair advantage!
Neither side wants fair elections!
They are both wrong!

Recent history gives liberals a clear advantage over conservatives, and it is puzzling that they’d risk their image by demanding a tainted registration system. I’d spend my time recruiting people to get their Voter ID cards and trying to get rid of touch-screen voting systems.

The Dems have an opportunity to clean up the political system and win the public trust for decades to come. Will they, or will the see-saw continue?

.

19 Responses to Voter ID is part of the solution

  1. John says:

    I ended up blogging a longer response, so check out a point by point take down of this right wing drivel.

    http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2008/08/voter-id-advocates-scare-up-another-one.html

    Also check the response to Loto’s blog on this topic.

    http://wispundits.com/2008/08/08/voter-registration-flap-exposes-potential-for-fraud/

  2. Thanks for the response, John, and I do respect your right to disagree. And I recommend that all readers check his full response at his first link above.

    But I have read nothing there (or anywhere else) that gives me reason to oppose Voter ID. It happens that I agree with the right-wingers on this one, so forgive me if I stand firm on my independent beliefs.

    I want an honest political system, and that extends also to those who vote for the politicians.

  3. John says:

    We’re on the same page with election fraud. Bradblog works for me.

  4. John says:

    One note: Voter ID plays on the idea of disaster capitalism, where you cast doubt on an issue, destroy it’s credibility enough for people to panic and then sell them your solution (usually private).

    WMC has done that by denouncing the state publically as bad for business. When it’s bad enough, sell the public on exempting business from paying taxes. We’re seeing that happen to the UW, with defunding and Republican criticism.

    Gas prices mean selling the public on more giveaways to big oil so they can drill 15 to 20 years later. NCLB chips slowly away at the public confidence in public schools, fails most of them and then offers up unaccountable private school vouchers or government scholarships.

    The idea that government is bad free’s them up from managing well, so if it fails, they can say government is bad and should be made smaller. They win again.

    A self fulfilly prophesy.

    As long as the Republicans beat the drum that anyone can vote multiple times, can we assume this increases the possibility that others will seek ways to do it? The power of suggestion?

    Instead of solving the real issues of our generation, you are falling for and spending time talking about the imagined problems created as a diversion by the Republican Party. And they know it.

  5. Chris Lato says:

    Jack,

    Thanks for the nod to my blog. Wisconsin has one of the most open, least restrictive voting systems in the nation. In a tight election, just a few illegally cast ballots can decide a race.

    I honestly cannot fathom the opposition for tightening up the system to ensure no legal voter is disenfranchised by a fraudulently-cast ballot. Those who protest changes in the system the loudest have the partisan blinders on.

    This ISN’T a partisan issue. At least it shouldn’t be. A disenfranchised ballot is a disenfranchised ballot, whether it is cast by a Republican or Democrat.

  6. Sean Cranley says:

    This Statement: “You can walk up to the polls, give them a name (anybody’s name), and get a ballot. Go to a different polling place and do it again with a different name.” is pattently false.

    You have to register to vote there if you’re not already and that means providing evidence that you’re a resident by providing your ID, or a utility bill. It is of course possible to fabricate this with some effort, but the fact of the matter is that you would need a couple of hundred people willing to conspire to to do this,work very hard in advance get fabricate the documentation inadvance and then devote the entire day election day to running around and risking getting caught and keep everyone quiet dso the secret doesn’t get out all in order to have even the most remote chance of getting to enough votes to overcome the margin of victory, if and only if that turns out to be very very slim, which can only be guesed at in advance.

    The above facts, along with the fact that the GOPsters cannot identify one single instance where it appears likely (let alone documented) that this has happened, is why this whole topic belongs squarely in both the political manipulation/wild conspiracy realm.

    It’s not a problem for a lot of us, but let’s suppose you’re a single mother or perhaps an elderly person who does not drive. Let’s see what steps you might have to take in order to prove who you are and get state ID card so that you can vote:

    1) Get a copy of you’re birth certificate. The Courthouse is only open while you’re at work? Bummer, maybe your boss will give you time off without pay to do that. Oh you need a ride to the courthouse? Bum a ride or take public transportation and if necessary drag you’re kids with or find a baby sitter. Not born locally? Ooh major bummer, write to the agency responsible for keeping those records where you were born, provide them with all of the information they need and wait for the staff to hopefully turn around your request. Don’t give up, voting is important.
    2) Find time to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles. It’s only open while you’re at work? Bummer, maybe your boss will give you time off without pay to do that. The lines are really long and your due back at work or you have to pick up your kids? Bummer, maybe you’re boss or your daycare will understand, or you could bring your kids with you, it’ll be educational for them. Don’t give up, voting is important.
    3) Take public transportation (if available) or find someone to give you (and your kids unless you have ababysitter) a ride to the DMV and wait while you wait. Dont give up, voting is important.
    4) Everything (hopefully) works out eventually at the DMV and you’re approved, pay the fee. What money’s tight? Bummer. Well provisions have been made to waive the cost for hardship cases, can you document that you qualify as a hardship case? NO? Bummer. Go and fill out this form and attach the requisite documentation and come back. You can’t schedule a time when you can come back? Bummer. Don’t give up, voting is important.
    5) What, you have to move out of your apartment? Bummer. go back to step 2 and start again. Don’t give up, voting is important.
    6) What life is frantic enough already and so you’ve given up or will get around to this later? We figured there was a damn good chance of that. Bummer (for you).

    Best regards,

    Amalgamated GOPsters, Inc.

  7. John, beyond the rhetoric you have not given one legitimate reason as to why Voter ID is bad. How would it block legitimate voters from voting? Why would the perpetrators be signing up dead people if not to facilitate fraudulent voting?

    Had it not been for Carolyn Castore, one honest ACORN political director who turned in her own canvassers, this violation would have gone unnoticed. Fraudulent votes would have been cast and could have swayed the election. Perhaps in the best interest of the public, and perhaps not.

    And thanks Chris. I sure need someone on my side right now. I don’t understand the opposition either, but I’m listening.

    Sean, of course it may require more hoops than I’ve painted. But the single mother and others you’ve described can find some way of demonstrating legitimacy. I have a birth certificate, and for all people know it’s not even mine, and even my driver’s license may be fraudulent. And no, it doesn’t require a couple hundred people in a conspiracy. It requires only a stolen purse.

    No, the GOPsters have not identified one infraction, to my knowledge, but the ACORN folks and the Milwaukee Journal did. Infractions are not going to be found at the polling booth, in this case it happened beforehand and perhaps in other cases afterward.

    You’ve painted a “sky is falling” parade of excuses, Sean, but not one is a reason. And even if you and I spent months devising an acceptable system, it wouldn’t be perfect or impenetrable. But it’d be a hell of a lot more secure than the honor system we have today.

  8. And I sure didn’t help my image on this one. For years my liberal friends have called me a right-wing wacko and my conservative friends have called me a left-wing wacko. People can’t figure out if I’m a Republican that favors campaign reform or a Democrat that favors Voter ID.

    I just can’t win. But hang in there, I think I’m curable. 🙂

  9. Goofticket says:

    Voter ID fails at the one point it’s applied.
    A little old woman, looking at the photo and saying” It doesn’t look like you. You can’t vote”.
    What recourse does the voter have, even though his name is on the voter list, and has been for years……Oh but that’s the exception…he would be allowed to vote.

    I rest my case on Voter ID. Completely useless.
    Protected voter lists, pre-vetted by the state with the SVRS system, no subjective pollworker scrutiny, and that provisional ballot, if there are questions.
    Voting works in Wisconsin, better than any other state.
    http://elections.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=14492&locid=47

    Or you can always move to a state; that requires you to register with a party, BEFORE you get to register to vote, wait six months, and then you only get a ballot with that party’s candidates.

  10. Certainly the problem described can be offset by inexpensive fingerprint readers tied wirelessly to Madison, and should be a part of any new system. But oh, now we have to deal with the ACLU because, don’cha know, that may lead to uncovering criminals on the lam.

    Are purpled fingers next? Now there’s a new idea!

  11. John says:

    I’m not sure you read in detail the following stories. The point is, if a problem doesn’t exist, why create one and propose a solution that logically makes sense but is unnecessary? That’s where they get you. It makes sense to have a state issued ID, no one is arguing that point, it’s just a waste of time to make them since the system is flawlessly working.

    I hate to say it, but it would almost appear you don’t want to believe you got suckered by Lato and his crew of partisan crackpots. Just like their argument “why should they get my tax dollars…” to freeload off society and cover for their obvious greed, they are now using the same ploy with voters by saying “they’re taking my vote away with a fraudulent one…blah blah blah.” It’s the art of crooked salesmanship. And sadly, it’s worked on you.

    Party affiliation is not important if you continue to come up with well thought out solutions. It’s the fictional ones that take our eyes of the real problems. Chris Lato gives his intentions away when he says just a couple of votes could make the difference. That assumes the fraudulent voter would know the race would be that tight to take that kind of chance in the first place. As one of the other commentaters said, it would have to be organized to safely swing an election, in case “its not close.”

    Jack, ask Lato to show an instance of voter fraud where an individual was guilty of voting under the name of a dead person, or Huckleberry Hound for that matter. Again, casting the actual vote is voter fraud, not voter registration.

    Here’s the recent story again about how clean these dirty elections really are.

    http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2008/07/election-audit-finds-near-error-free.html

    And here’s a story about “election fraud,” the real problem Republicans seem to deny exists, since they’re the ones tipping the scales illegally.

    http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2008/07/republicans-focus-on-non-existent-voter.html

  12. But the problem does exist, John, and the ACORN folks uncovered it and the MJS reported on it. How can you deny it? And why is the Left protesting so much?

    You are okay with a state issued ID, but you don’t want to call it a Voter ID? For those people that don’t have a driver’s license this could serve as an alternative form of ID. And had we had Voter ID in Florida, President Gore would have run this country a lot better than has Bush.

    And no, Lato and his crew didn’t warp my views, I’ve had this view for years and didn’t even hear of Lato until a week ago. I generally make my own decisions, right and wrong, and most of them disagree with conservatives. If you knew me at all you’d know I’m not a right-wing crackpot.

    What puzzles me is that the DEMs stand to win this election BIG, except for this current infraction and distraction that could cost them votes.

    You call it “crooked salesmanship” that has suckered me in, as though I don’t have a mind of my own. I think there’s been crooked salesmanship on both sides of the isle, and so whichever solution I back I am going to be wrong in some eyes.

    But this seems to be a battle between you and Chris Lato, and that’s not where my head is. I believe what I believe, and I’m sorry that it disagrees with my many liberal friends. Right is right, at least in my mind, and I am not going to jump under a little pressure.

    I nonetheless respect your fervor to protect your beliefs, and I’m glad to have them on my side (at least when they are).

  13. And actually, I’m happy to see the R’s behind this. Voter ID is going to benefit the Democrats a lot more than Republicans. And I’m sort of puzzled that the R’s don’t get it (but of course neither do the D’s).

  14. John says:

    Sorry to give you the impression that I suggested you might be easily influenced by Lato and friends. I’ve never felt that way about your other writings, and that’s why I’m surprised at your position here. I’ve already had my battles with Chris Lato when I hosted a political talk show “Upfront” with Vicki McKenna on WIBA. Lato is what I call a “fringer.”

    Since you have held these beliefs for so long, and even see a Democratic advantage, voting should be made easier not more restrictive. I also don’t like the idea of an “official” ID. ID wouldn’t have prevented legal Florida residents of being purged as felons, or the problem of absentee votes, or voter caging.

    I’m a little angry that as a state liscenced real estate salesperson, I now have to prove I’m a citizen when I renew. Since the state has every bit of personal information on me already, there’s something so “1984” about all this, especially coming from small government Republican advocates. Anyway, this is the last post on this topic, since the whole reason for creating this issue is to take us away from real problems. In your spare time, check out this stuff.

    Here’s a Bradblog.com post that links to the official report and PDF on the voter fraud scam and reality that it is non-existent. You can skip the rest of the story.

    http://www.bradblog.com/?p=4276

    There is also a right hand side bar list of contributors. Check out Thor Hearne’s “American Center for Voting Rights’ GOP voter Fraud Scam” research. Even though I read a few posts, if you just scan the headline and 2 line descriptions, you can get a feel for the lengths Republicans will go to make a phony point. This “non-partisan” voter rights group eventually disbanded once the media caught on a few years later, and a few operatives ended up working for the Bush administration. Go figure.

    Respectfully yours and big fan,

    Democurmudgeon.

  15. John, this sure adds weight to another complaint of mine, and that is we have this major divide between our people. No extreme is good. Not extreme right wing nor extreme left wing. Not extreme liberalism nor extreme conservatism. I hate our two-party system. It’s a conspiracy. I’d rather have a zero party system and vote for the merits of the candidate. We shouldn’t have Republicans against Democrats, we should have 100% independents.

  16. John says:

    I have never bought into “relativism.” The idea that both extremes are bad does not compute for me. I agree, I wish we didn’t have parties. When I was younger I never understood why really good legislation failed. Later I found out why. Politics. Remember, we get all our laws from political law makers. Ideology is always at play.

    Your argument might make sense if this weren’t true: Republicans want to make government smaller, taking we the people out of the equation and give more to the “owners” in our ownership society, where Democrats want to work as a collective and provide safety nets for entrepreneurs (health care) and regulation to control greedy capitalism. Where I will agree, both sides sometimes want to legislate some really rediculous issues.

    Plus, the conservative message has cast the opposition party as terrorists and traitors, leading to liberals being shot in churches and Democratic headquarters. I’ve just blogged about the “assassination agenda” if you’d like to check it out.

    http://democurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2008/08/republican-assassination-agenda-appeals.html

    As much as I hate the two party system, it’s never a good idea to suggest killing your ideological opponent. You might say they are the extreme, but it also influences and energizes the “follow the leader” mentality of conservatism. John Dean and other conservatives have written about the authoritarian tendencies of their party.

    I’m not trying to convince you of anything, I’m just suggesting a more cynical approach to the “both sides” do it cliche’.

  17. Let us not forget about the massive fraud that can occur with rigged electronic voting machines. See these very telling interviews:








    See the complete list HERE

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