Voter IDs: Another Republican Scam

By now most people are aware of the various laws passed by, almost exclusively, Republican controlled state legislatures that ostensibly are supposed to prevent voter fraud at the polls (33 states so far. 180 restrictive voting bills have been introduced in 41 states just since the beginning of 2011.)  They attempt to accomplish this by requiring photo IDs that are mandated to be produced before someone votes.  On its face, it seems logically innocuous. We all have photo IDs (driver’s licenses, etc) that show who we are, don’t we?  What’s the big deal? We need to produce an ID when we cash a check, or obtain credit, or get on an airplane, the argument goes, so why not when we show up to vote? Besides there are all those unscrupulous people out there committing voter fraud, impersonating someone else in order to vote more than once, right?

Well…no.

First, not everyone has a photo ID, and not everyone can obtain one readily. In many cases, in order to get a photo ID, you have to have a previous form of ID that proves who you are. And that ID needs to comport with who you are today, so that it corresponds with the previous voter registration (something you probably didn‘t need an ID for). Many people, especially in the older and minority populations, were born in rural settings with midwives, or never obtained valid birth certificates. Church registrations of birth are not always good identifiers. Women marry, and remarry, and in the process change their names, many times in different states. There are limited places where these IDs can be obtained, and they require a fee. So obtaining current, documentary evidence of one’s identity to create a new, valid photo ID, is often daunting, if not nearly impossible for many people.

Second, the incidence of actual voter fraud, where one voter impersonates another, is virtually nil, across the country. In Pennsylvania, where I live, our Republican legislature earlier this year enacted a law that required photo IDs, mandating full implementation for this election in November.  It was recently challenged in Commonwealth Court, and the judge ruled that the law should be upheld, that it did not violate anyone’s rights. There’s a good chance that it will not be struck down after the inevitable appeal to the PA Supreme Court, because there are presently only six sitting judges, half Republican, half Democrat, and a tie vote would require the lower court decision to be upheld. But at the trial, the state conceded that it had no evidence, none whatsoever, of any impersonation voter fraud that resulted in prosecution, and did not even attempt to justify the law on that basis. Yet the Judge still upheld it.

In any event, the type of voter fraud that tangibly affects elections occurs, not at the voting level, but at the counting level. Remember hanging chads?

Unlike obtaining credit, flying on airplanes and cashing checks, voting is a fundamental right in a democracy, not a privilege. Without participatory voting, you have no real democracy. They didn’t name the Voting Rights Act the Voting Privileges Act for a reason. It’s implicit in the very idea of one man, one vote, that every man and woman has access to the voting booth without any significant obstruction. No less than five amendments to the Constitution (the 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th) all reaffirm the vote as a right. Read them.

So one would think that our legislatures would be passing laws that make it easier to vote, not harder. Like Internet voting. Or voting when you shop at the super market.  Or via cell phone. Something, anything that gets as many people to vote as possible. Or perhaps it would be appropriate to first determine that there is a real need for restrictive ID laws, before making them mandatory? These laws are the epitome of the old adage  “putting the cart before the horse”. They are solutions to problems that don’t exist.

It’s almost axiomatic that they are politically motivated laws that are specifically designed to help Republicans gain and maintain political power. In Pennsylvania, one legislator admitted that the purpose of the PA law was to win PA, a potential swing state, for Romney this November. And with this recent ruling, they may succeed. It’s estimated, in Pennsylvania alone, that approximately 750,000 potential voters could be turned away at the polls this November, the bulk of them potential Obama voters – minorities, aged, and the poor. That’s more than the margin of victory for Obama in 2008.

Call me naive, but I used to think the political process involved people of different, yet equally valid, political persuasions elucidating a plan or platform for their constituency, and to run on that plan, with the humble idea that a majority of voters would decide which plan should be given effect, by voting in the proponent of that plan. Apparently, Republicans don’t believe it works that way any more. They now think that the best way to gain office is by subterfuge – elucidate a phantom problem, then pass a law to fix that non-existent problem, a law that is secretly, but clearly, designed to have the consequential effect of  disenfranchising a portion of the electorate deemed to potentially vote against Republicans.

The Republicans , by doing this, announce to the world that they don’t believe they have a plan that a majority of voters will vote for, so they need to resort to dirty tricks to get their votes. And you have to ask yourselves – if they don’t believe in themselves, why should we? The cynicism of the Republicans is palpably insulting.

Even if one assumes that there is a real need for voter ID laws (something that no one will concede, not even the proponents of the law) it doesn’t make sense that the state should, in the course of 11 months enact and finally implement the law. That is not responsible policy or law making involving a fundamental right such as voting.  The Constitutional right to vote is so important in our system of government, that if implemented, it should be done in a responsible way. Phase it in over time, have a significant grace period spread over a multi -year election cycle, and ascertain that there is a significant (i.e. 99%) amount of actual compliance before you finalize it. Don’t pass the law in January to be effective in November in order to specifically affect the outcome of the election in favor of the majority political party.

There are a lot of rights enunciated in the Constitution. The right to bear arms, the right to assemble, the right to speak freely, the right to vote. It’s ironic that the right to speak, for example, is well nigh absolute, and that restrictions on it are practically non-existent and/or are struck down repeatedly by the courts. Gay hating fundamentalists have the right to picket military funerals, for instance. We have a right to say whatever we want about the politicians we like or hate, who we want to vote for, and who we shouldn’t vote for.

It’s ironic that our ability to speak about who we want to vote for is less restricted than our ability to actually vote for that person.

39 thoughts on “Voter IDs: Another Republican Scam

    • It would be nice to have an educated electorate. It would make for better legislators, for example, in the long run. It’s why the religious side of the right wing authoritarian scale tends to be in favor of only Biblical teaching, so that the electorate is NOT educated enough, or educated only in the biblical way of thinking.

      But I’m not so sure it should be mandated or prerequisite to voting. I think more emphasis on education in general would be the way to accomplish that end.

  1. If you have to pay for an ID to vote, why is that not considered a poll tax? Or is it in fact a poll tax?

    Well, at least the Romney strategy is clear. Lie, cheat, steal, deceive, lie, lie, lie till his teeth hurt and democracy is dead.

    • Personally, I think it IS a poll tax, and most commentators that are against it tend to see it that way. It’s truly a more modern, sophisticated extension of the old Jim Crow laws.

      Did you see the Doonesbury take on it a fee weeks back? Check out the full week, especially Wednesday.

  2. Yeah, rights should not be restricted . . .

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/honoring-americas-veterans-act-obama_n_1748454.html

    And yet, they are, all the time (let’s talk about that Second Amendment you mention . . . nah).

    But, to the current post . . .
    When I am not reading partisan opinions, or listening to pundits from one side or the other, I notice something; I notice that while it is true there is not much evidence for voter fraud in Pennsylvania, there is also no evidence of the new law is going to restrict anyone’s right to vote. There are projections by someone who has a definite opinion on the matter, but it could be argued those claiming those numbers are not unbiased observers.

    The non-partisan opinions I read call it a toss-up . . . the laws won’t affect much. A waste of time by the Republicans, and a waste of inflammatory rhetoric by the Democrats.

    In places where laws were in place for the last election (for instance, Indiana), the participation of minorities in the election actually went up. Of course, that can easily be attributed to Obama running . . . but what if it’s the other way around? What if the act of getting an ID actually reminds people they do have a responsibility to exercise their right to vote?

    Here is an interesting article from the WSJ:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123327839569631609.html

    Take note of “The plaintiffs in every unsuccessful lawsuit filed against such state requirements could not produce a single individual who didn’t either already have an ID or couldn’t easily get one.” – this is from the Georgia lawsuit against their Voter ID laws.

    Now, some will say this is written by someone with a partisan opinion . . . well, so are the articles in opposition to the Voter ID laws.

    You mention poor people in there, but I wonder why you have “the elderly” and “minorities” listed as separate. All the arguments I read address the poverty line as the demarcation for those who will have trouble getting photo id’s . . . but by a wide margin the majority of poor people are white. The rates of poverty are higher for minorities, but just on sheer numbers, there are many more poor whites than minorities. (http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0712.pdf)

    To my simple mind, when I hear someone specifically singling out minorities as those who will be hurt by this law, I start to think about ulterior motives than just fighting for fairness at the ballot box. In your defense, you do list poor people . . . but I would suggest that already encompasses both the elderly and minorities.

    • I’m thinking that once such a law is in place it is subject to manipulation. Raise the fee. Limit the number of places you can go to get an ID. Pass an eye test. Pee in a cup. Bring your grandmother’s birth certificate. And so on. The blatant intent, spoken out loud in Pennsylvania, is to restrict the vote, with the restriction aimed at Democratic populations. Camel’s nose, tent. Icy slope. Scumbag Republicans. Not a pretty picture.

      • My feeling exactly; I think every gun law is nothing more than another attempt to get the camel noses in tents, planned points of entry to try and eventually outlaw all guns (as stated by many gun control organizations), and ultimately deprive me, a honest and law-abiding citizen, from owning and carrying a gun.

        Just be aware they call me crazy for speculating along those lines.

        But seriously . . . did you do any research on existing voter identification laws? Or do you have an insight that supersedes actual data?

        As for Scumbag Republicans . . . they compliment the Conniving Democrats. Personally I would love to see both parties forcibly disbanded, but I don’t think there is a big chance of that . . . too much money in keeping the status quo, and especially keeping up appearances one or the other are looking out for the interest of the “common man” and selling that particular work of fiction to said common man..

        • If only the Democrats could be conniving. Or maybe they can connive but lack balls to act. Either way, they’re a mess. Republicans, in contrast, don’t lack balls. They may lack brains (and hearts) at times, but not balls. Republican leadership is far more politically savvy and have been for years. Some may call that conniving.

          The 2 party system is just part of the problem. You have the state of education, McCain-Feingold + Citizens United ruling, lack of actual news coverage and commentary (outside, of all places, the Daily Show), and no one seemingly worth a damn holding or running for any political office. Of course who with any intelligence would want to be running for office in light of the above? It seems only fools and ideologues (redundant?) run, often because they claim their god told them to.

            • Local history in response to national? Is that all ya got?

              For the record, I think both parties suck but having them at equal ability means they may cancel each other out.

              • All politics is local . . . but then you would know that.

                As for the second statement, the best way to cancel them out is to not have the executive and legislative branches under the control of the same party. I look forward to your support in turning the Senate over to the Republicans, seeing as it’s likely Obama will remain in office.

    • Frankly I don’t understand that law restricting free speech. If the S.Ct ruled that picketing funerals is speech, and should be allowed, then passing a law restricting it doesn’t make it any more constitutional.

      Obama is pandering with that statute, and I don’t find it convincing.

      But to say “The Dems do it too” doesn’t address the issue I raised in the OP. It’s deflection, at best.

      Now, let’s say you’re right, that ID laws may, in the end, have little effect on the actual vote. How do we know that, before an election? PA’s law is one of the, if not the most, restrictive voter suppression laws in the country. Maybe the “get your ID campaign” will work, and many will get IDs they don’t now have, in the next two months. But maybe many won’t, and they’ll be turned away at the polls.

      My wife is a judge of elections here in PA. Let me give you a scenario that she gave me.

      Man comes in, his name is Robert Allen Smith, but he’s always been known as R. Allen Smith, Al to his friends, relatives and the world. Al has an ID that says he’s Allen Smith. Always had, never a problem, but he’s registered as Robert Allen Smith. That’s a discrepancy, easily resolved, under normal circumstances. In this case the judge of elections has the discretion to work it out. But say the Judge is a Republican, and Al is a registered Democrat, and the Judge really thinks Obama is Satan. What do you think he’ll do? And will it be different if Al is a registered Republican?

      Now multiply that decision process across the 4th most populated state in the US. (or maybe 5th. I can’t remember).

      My point is, we have no way to know until after the fact. And if there is no reason to put the judge of elections in that position in the first place, why do it? Why not do what I said above, if you really think voter ID is the cat’s pajamas? Here. I’ll quote it.

      Phase it in over time, have a significant grace period spread over a multi -year election cycle, and ascertain that there is a significant (i.e. 99%) amount of actual compliance before you finalize it. Don’t pass the law in January to be effective in November in order to specifically affect the outcome of the election in favor of the majority political party.

      Why must it be done in a contentious election year by Republican majorities in every state that passes these laws. That alone is suspicious, and the fact that it is not needed, and that we have 235 years of experience with voting where it’s never been a problem, leads me to conclude it’s what I said it is: A Republican Scam. Add Mike Tarzai’s comment to it, and it’s a no-brainer.

      • See, here is the thing . . . I know you are a lawyer, so I find this hard to understand. You present a scenario, then ask the following question:

        “But say the Judge is a Republican, and Al is a registered Democrat, and the Judge really thinks Obama is Satan. What do you think he’ll do? And will it be different if Al is a registered Republican?”

        I believe in the court of law that would be classified as “speculation”, and an objection would be raised (maybe not; I saw it on TV, but I hear not everything you see on TV is 100%correct – crazy, right? But apparently that is the case).

        Still, what bothers me more is your presupposition that the Republican is essentially an amoral and dishonest person. Why can’t I presume your wife would abuse her power for the benefit of candidates she agrees with? Should I presume that of all the election judges? That they habitually skew their decisions based on personal beliefs, or Is that a common trait of just Republican election judges?

        Pardon my jumping to conclusions, but I would submit that perhaps you also have a tendency to carry a skewed perspective when it comes to judging your fellow men (maybe women, too).

        As for the free speech example I gave, it was meant to point out what I saw as hypocrisy in your opening statement. Of course one wrong does not justify another. And yet, per your own previous posts, and supported by the people who comment on your posts, you see no problem, and even encourage, the restriction of rights mentioned by the 2nd amendment.

        The Obama example was not meant to justify the Voter ID law, but to point out government does in fact, justified or not, with noble intentions or not, ignore some of them rights you speak about (the Patriot act is another example).

        I mentioned as an example of people, while pointing to the ideal, in fact pick and choose what to object to. The ideal, of course, would be to bitch, protest against, raise one’s voice in opposition to not just pet causes, but all instances where government abuses the limits of its power.

        • He’s invoking what’s called conflict of interest, not a presupposition that all Republicans are dishonest. Bottom line is you can’t have a system in place assuming people will always do what’s best. That’s not being cynical, but rather pragmatic. It’s the kind of thinking that prompted our system of checks and balances, and why it’s foolish to not have regulations on businesses or oversight for funding faith-based charities (well all charities, really).

          I would hope SI would find fault in this measure even if it meant a Republican was going before a Democrat judge.

          • He’s invoking a scenario of conflict of interest and then leading the reader by asking “what do you think he’ll do?”

            But he’s not talking about judges in general, but specifically republican judges. The leading question (and I may be naive here) suggests (being a lawyer he’ll not outright accuse) nefarious things are in the offing.

            You, the sympathetic reader, concur, and beyond that, see nothing wrong with either the supposition, leading question, or implied answer. One of SI earlier posts dealt exactly with this issue . . . how we are all disposed to agree with things which conform with our own views, and disagree with those which oppose our views.

            I believe to avoid doing that, one has to specifically think about the motives behind what is being said, assess one’s own motives, and then determine if one’s own judgment is being clouded by personal bias.

            • Bias colors reading, too.

              I’d react the same if it were a story about a Republican going before a Democrat judge. Too much potential for unfairness in such a system.

        • Emile, you’re missing my point. Make the judge a Democrat, who thinks Romney is Satan, and you still have the problem. They’re trying to correct a problem that doesn’t exist, and in the process, allowing local biased individuals the power to allow or not allow people to vote in the guise of preventing fraud. The irony is that the fraud is then in the process, set up by the Republicans, and not in the individuals trying to game the system.

          One other point. This whole ID structure costs money. It requires an overreaching government to dictate from above that we must all have “Big Brother” passes to exercise our constitutional right to vote. This whole thing comes from the party of small government, the one that hates Big Government, except when they like Big Government.

          • Big government Republicans? Why that’s like having “committed Christian” Democrats funneling taxpayer funds to religious organizations and maintaining indefinite detainment camps complete with torture. What the hell’s going on?

            Btw, would you have ever expected the first candidate to quote Ayn Rand to be a Republican?

          • Never said I was in favor of the law; I just don’t think it’s a big deal.

            My comments were directed at an obvious slant toward demonizing Republicans.

            You are correct; there is potential for abuses on both sides . . . but it was not presented as such.

            • I didn’t try to present the Democratic abuses of power, because the post was about voter ID laws, all of which are Republican works of art, and because in my home state this is a very hot topic at the moment. If you have even a smattering of knowledge of politics in PA, you’d know that there is a long history of Democratic politics here rife with corruption, with many Democrats being convicted of various felonies involving abuse of their positions. Last year there were numerous politicians convicted in the courthouse I’m in almost every day (Dauphin County is the county where the state capital is, so state crimes end up in Dauphin county). Look up William DeWeese on Google. Or Michael Veon. I have a good friend who defended one of Veon’s co–defendants, and got him off.

              But that’s not what the post was about. It was about using their majority in the state legislature to pass laws, under the guise of good public policy, that simply benefits their political party, and no one else. With no public policy benefit whatsoever. You mentioned that maybe this will spur voters to vote, if they have to make the effort to get an ID. That may be true, but that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that as a reason for the law. You don’t hear the Republicans advancing it, so excuse me if it seems like post hoc arm chair rationalizing to me.

              Since when do we have to light fires under voters to get them to vote? It’s a free choice. Vote, or live with the consequences of not voting. that’s our system of government.

              So the demonizing is properly slanted to the Republicans here. I see no Democrats doing this, with my right to vote. It’s a bald faced attempt at voter suppression, and really, we’re way past that conclusion. It’s virtually inarguable.

              • “Inarguable” . . . Interesting. I read a lot of opinions, both legal and historical. I read studies as to the effect of voter ID laws. It is not clear to me Pennsylvania is markedly different from other states which have enacted laws.

                The opinion of the judge was fairly well reasoned, and did not smack of partisan politics (although, being a Republican-appointed judge, it was automatically assumed it was partisan). I suppose we’ll see what happens on appeal.

                By the way, I did not say it “will” spur more voters. I said it might (Indiana being the example I referenced). It was a tongue-in-cheek comment as likely Obama was the draw (sadly).

                As for id laws, while they have a high approval rating among Republicans, they also have a high approval rating with independents, and even half the Democratic base supports the laws. As I said, one can blame just the republicans, but it misses the broader question of both their efficacy and the reason they are so popular with the population at large.

    • I think many of the Republican leaders are atheists shamelessly exploiting the religious. How’s that? :)

      I’m registered as an independent, no party affiliation, btw.

      • I’m looking forward to still-unseen criticism levied against democrats; you know, you being an independent and all . . . or are they not doing anything worthy of critical scrutiny?

        • I came here to respond to the original post. Do you remember what that was? Just curious. Anyway, my initial comment had nothing to do with parties. My second comment consisted of my personal opinions concerning strengths and weaknesses of both parties. Since then I’ve stated this voter registration would be just as wrong if enacted by Democrats, so I don’t get your defensive and accusatory comment towards me. Should I ask what you’re registered as, as long as we’re going to play the ‘I’m objectively above it all’ game? SI’s presentation of this subject may lack emotional detachment, but you haven’t exhibited anything better.

          • Yep; I may be old, but my memory is quite good . . . I can remember not only the topic of the post, but elections, and associated controversies, stretching back quite a number of years.

            No defensive or accusatory . . . merely stating a fact. This is not the first post you and I have commented on . . . In this case I responded specifically to the flippant comment about Republican atheists. Someday I hope to hear you make similar comments about Democrats, you know, extolling your disdain for both parties.

            Something along the lines of “I think Democrats are elitist, if not more so, at least as much as Republicans, and they could give a rat’s ass about the poor other than as tools to help them get elected.”

            As for registration, I’m independent, but I don’t agree with that system either. I don’t like the idea I cannot vote on certain elections unless I declare one way or another. Essentially that particular law also takes away my rights. The right to weed out certain candidates before they get to a stage where my vote will not matter since neither choice offered is likely to be the one I would have voted for.

            One of the interesting thing about these discussions is that they are so one-sided. No one ever admits to “their side” doing anything wrong. For the record, I’m no fan of republicans . . . I just don’t happen to think they are any more villainous than democrats, and the only reason I even comment on these posts is that to me they seem less about raising issues, and more about growing the divisiveness that characterizes the political arena in the US. As long as there is an “us versus them” mentality, there is no hope at all for a better future.

            When anyone refers to the other side in accusatory and desultory manner, there is zero hope for dialog. To that end, many people are more than happy to march to the inflammatory beat drummed by this or that pundit.

            • Now if I were a Republican, my response to the accusatory comments, assuming they had merit, would be shame and inspiration to engage my fellows and reform from within. My long term hope is the non-wingnutty Republicans take their party back or break lose and form their own. Wouldn’t be bad if the Dems split up, too.

              Anyway, the discussion of how best to speak and act in order to affect change is a hot one in atheist circles. Frankly, I don’t see one way as the only way. People are different and respond differently to things so different approaches seems to make more sense than dogmatically insisting on just one.

    • Atheism and politics do correlate on some levels, but you can’t generalize and say that all atheists are Democrats. I know there are Republican atheists out there. There’s one prominent one, whose name I’m blanking on. Darbyshire? Something like that. Hitchens claimed that Karl Rove is also an an atheist. Not sure if that’s something Rove would admit to.

  3. And Dwight. Read my previous post, and the book it refers to, and you’ll have a better understanding as to why atheists tends to gravitate to the liberal side of politics.

  4. Rights shouldn’t be up to a popularity contest.

    A lot of things seem to make sense, until you start getting facts about the bigger picture. Death penalty sounds great until you hear about things like acquittals coming years later as a result of dna testing. Teachers getting paid based on performance sounds great until you hear of reduced standards and other shenanigans to raise student grades. Tax breaks for businesses so they’ll create more jobs sounds great until you realize no business creates jobs unless they need them and if they did, why hire an American when a foreigner will work for less? Socialism sounds evil until you get your motorized scooter thanks to medicare. Body scanners at the airport sounds great until you find out pictures of your granny are one some perv site. The President’s Office of Faith Based Initiatives sounds great until the first Muslim president (not Obama) uses it to fund a mosque. Big government sounds evil until you can use it to man the border against Mexicans or create a voter id system. I could go on. Point is, to most people the id of a voter id law sounds fine, until…

      • Unfortunately woven into our culture is this quick-fix, simple, easy solution thinking for problems small and large. Real solutions are rarely simple, quick and black or white. It seems few political problem solvers seem willing to invest the time, and certainly most voters aren’t up to doing adequate research. Major “news” outlets aren’t doing much if any of that legwork anymore for voters, so you get knee-jerk, uninformed reactions. The problem gets compounded by such things as lowered educational standards and political agents more than willing to exploit it all to sell a quick-fix solution for immediate gain and/or to disguise ulterior motives.

        In case it wasn’t clear in my last comment, I wasn’t stating my personal opinions of the death penalty or border patrol necessarily. I was trying to characterize how everyone on all sides generally champion something without really studying the issue fully enough, and let’s not forget personal biases which is another reason why rights can’t simply be decided by majority whims.

        • I lot of “beliefs” held by people who favor these ID requirements are clearly uninformed, or are a result of selective bias or sheer desire that their beliefs are true, (much like religion).

          I have a friend who is active in local Republican politics. She believes these IDs are necessary because because “people in Philly regularly vote two or more times.” I think this belief is quite prevalent, given the comments I see online to my local newspaper, where’ I’ve had quite a few debates.

  5. I’ve been voting since 1987 when I was 18 and I have never been asked to show any identification. What we do where I live in Nassau County in New York is that the poll workers have binders with names of registered voters and a copy of the voters signatures from their voter registration forms next to their names. You tell them who you are and what block you live on, they find your name in the binder, you sign next to your name and they can see if your signature resembles the copy of your voter registration form signature, and then you go into the booth and cast your vote.

    I suppose it is possible that on rare occasions you can have somebody somewhere casting a vote using someone else’s name, but apart from elections for candidates for really small jurisdictions (village clerk, water district etc.) where the differences in the vote tallies for each candidate can be in the low double digits. However, in order for it to make a difference in state legislative districts or for federal office, you would literally need hundreds or even thousands of people committing such fraud in order for it to make a difference, and that clearly is not happening.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with picture ID being implemented, but there has to be enough time between when it is signed into law and when it takes effect, like maybe 2 or more years later. That would allow for enough time for each jurisdiction to contact registered voters and arrange for voter id pictures to be taken of them if they do not already possess a valid form of id.

    • Tommy

      I have the exact same procedure in my polling district. In fact, my signature from when I first registered has changed significantly from the one I have now (thirty years of signing, literally, tens of thousands of documents and checks, causes one to “chicken scratch” their signature.) They’ve questioned whether that’s my signature, but never refused to let me vote.

      I don’t have a problem with picture IDs, per se, either. I have a problem with the the way Republicans in PA, and most of the other states, have used ID legislation to try to game the voting process in their favor.

  6. It’s worth noting that many of these voter ID laws are selective about the ID that can be used. In Texas for example, you can use your Concealed Carry ID, but they won’t accept a college ID. Now tell me that there isn’t a certain amount of surreptitious motivation behind that. College students have every right to vote where they live (attend college). Not necessarily where they came from. But the Republicans behind these laws want to prevent this and they have basically said as much.

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