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Voter ID Laws: Necessary or More Likely to Disenfranchise Voters?

As the November election approaches, the arguments for and against strict voter identity laws heat up.

As the election season heats up, so does the debate on voter identity. One side of the issue argues that stringent voter identity laws are necessary so as not to dilute the vote of legitimate voters. The other side argues that the strict controls have the effect of disenfranchising legitimate voters. 

A recent story in the Huffington Post cites examples from both sides of the argument, ultimately claiming that it appears more legitimate votes are disenfranchised than fraudulent ones prevented.

More than two dozen states have some form of ID requirements, and 11 of those passed new rules over the past two years. Republicans have been the driving force behind this, claiming that in previous years convicted felons and the deceased have voted.

Democrats and voting rights groups claim the ID laws suppress votes, particularly among the elderly, poor and minorities. These groups tend to lean Democratic.

In each of these cases, the numbers are not particularly high when you look at the big picture. But when you take into account that the 2000 presidential race was decided by a 537-vote margin in Florida, it’s not hard to see why this is such a hot-button issue right now.

What do you think? Are voter ID laws necessary to avoid diluting a genuine vote, or are the laws more likely to disenfranchise a legitimate voter?

Ben July 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Voters should have to take a test to quallify to Vote, along with proper ID, You have to take a test to get a Driver License, Contractors license, Medical License, Dental License, Pass the Bar Exam, and on & on
Shawn July 11, 2012 at 12:38 PM
AMEN@ Ben!
Tammy Osier July 11, 2012 at 02:38 PM
How about the immigration test? True immigrants to our country have to know welll more than the average American on the street currently knows about our government and laws. Recently there was a man on the street interview and one of the recipients asked, "What's a founding father?" Too many i-pods and telephones in public schools and not enough support for discipline in the classroom so that kids can focus on learning these things? lol
Bonnie July 11, 2012 at 02:54 PM
I couldn't agree more with Jerry and Sharon!!!
Bonnie July 11, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Amen, Ben!
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 11, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Somebody watches Water's World ..
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 11, 2012 at 03:22 PM
But you HAVE to be sure the right "Media" types attended...
Tammy Osier July 11, 2012 at 04:05 PM
What is Water's World?
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 11, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I apologize, it appears I misplaced a ”t” in my earlier spelling should be “Watters” (Don’t you just hate when that happens?) A segment on the The O'Reilly Factor where Mr. Watters takes "walk-abouts" asking our College age folks questions about the political landscape, capturing answers that belong on Jay Leno's Tonight Show - due often to the sheer brilliance of the replies on display. Ah the upcoming leaders of our economy http://video.foxnews.com/v/1727706630001/watters-world-july-4th-edition http://video.foxnews.com/v/1523354558001/watters-world-spring-break-edition/
Rich July 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM
It's a shame the Democrats are resorting to this tactic to make sure the illegal Mexicans get to vote for their party. This essentially is their goal. It makes commom sense to verify that the voters are valid....as mentioned above, proof of ID is an everyday event....using a credit card, obtaining a drivers license, boarding a flight, etc. Let's get real Democrats and do what is right for American....not what is right for your Party!
Tammy Osier July 12, 2012 at 02:27 PM
R - I don't have cable so don't get to see a lot of this stuff. It was probably a part of a newscast somewhere and I saw it. Thing is, I have personal experience with (young) and older people who don't know how our country got started, simple political parties or even who is the Vice President. Part of what I do for a living includes interviews and talking to people, so I wasn't surprised at all to see that segment. :)
Brian Crawford July 12, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Here ya go Ben, here's a start. If you can't answer at least 8 out of 10 of these questions about health care reform correctly then you shouldn't be voting in the upcoming election. http://healthreform.kff.org/quizzes/health-reform-quiz.aspx
Brian Crawford July 12, 2012 at 05:16 PM
If there's one thing Republicans hate worse than the American worker it's democracy. The fact is we've never been required to show ID in order to vote. Voter impersonation is a non existent problem. This is a blatant attempt by Republicans to steal another election. I hope the DOJ won't let them get away with it.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 12, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Please don't restrict this to those from just ONE country, its really a FAR larger pool of offenders... 6/21/12 Multistate scam abusing New Mexico's law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. The indictment unsealed late Tuesday said the New Mexico residents would help people in South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia get the licenses. And this occurred AFTER the period where TENN itself issued its own licenses to the undocumented and THEN reversed the practice due to overwhelming increases of related expenses to the state. "It was part of the conspiracy that individuals who were in the country illegally ... and not residents of New Mexico, would obtain driver's licenses from New Mexico using false documents and through false representations," the indictment said. About 92,000 foreign national licenses have been issued in New Mexico since 2003. Out of those, only 16,000 license holders filed a state income-tax return this year, officials say. The indictment comes after authorities earlier this month busted up a driver's license fraud ring in the Eastern New Mexico communities of Clovis and Portales. In the latest case, the homes and businesses of a Rio Rancho man and four Albuquerque residents were raided Tuesday by federal and state authorities in connection with a South Carolina-based scheme. http://www.santafenewmexican.com/localnews/Feds--5-state-immigrant-license-fraud-tied-to-N-M-
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 12, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Exactly how MANY elections have you REALLY voted in Brian? I've been showing photo ID for a quite few years now and can't understand why it should be a LESS secure process than buying groceries with a check? Besides we’ve been doing the motor / voter thing as a state for quite a while now too. The DOJ has already ratified the GA law anyway, or is the case misfiled with all the Fast and Furious material the President placed under executive privilege? (Smiles)
Tammy Osier July 12, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Republicans don't care much for cheaters either. Brian that's a pretty blanket statement that it's NEVER been a problem. I'll give you some exaggerations, but non-existent? That works for democrats talking to uninformed people, but won’t work here where people actually do their homework. Back in the day, it may not have been a problem (well, actually some arrests were made is 1962 Chicago), but it seems since 'hanging chads" we've had to go to extra precautions because democrats get desperate when losing. It wasn't Republicans that were desperate. Think back. Here are a few news articles to refresh your memory (from Chicago Tribune no less). Let’s not forget ACORN, dead people voting or the famous senate race where there were more votes than people in the area of voters. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-12/news/ct-oped-0612-byrne-md-20120612_1_voter-fraud-voter-registration-registration-rolls http://www.8newsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=2421595 http://spectator.org/blog/2011/08/10/acorn-fined-maximum-in-nevada http://www.servicemembers-lawcenter.org/LAW_REVIEW_109.html I deliberately threw out anything that resembled Fox News btw…
Tammy Osier July 12, 2012 at 06:49 PM
To piggyback on R- I've been showing my ID since 1982. Just sayin'.
Tammy Osier July 12, 2012 at 06:52 PM
http://voices.yahoo.com/al-franken-may-been-elected-senate-voter-6386348.html Ooooooh yeeeeahh....the Al Franken fun lolol
Tammy Osier July 12, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I suppose I'll just expect chirping crickets at this point, so I'll move on. I was hoping to have a factual discussion, but you can't when liberals are given truth, they can't rebut it without redirecting to things that have nothing to do with the subject. Oh well. this conversation is over. :(
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew July 12, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Hardly ... but I like the sound of crickets and other critters myself (Smiles) Sometimes, for the life of me, I believe Brian posts a string of text for use in Google searches to build a case for "Repubs bad - Dems good"
Tammy Osier July 12, 2012 at 07:35 PM
That's why you won't hear back from him. that was a stretch even for Brian. Non -existent? Hardly.
Brian Crawford July 12, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Chicago Trib - Interesting article and yes local politics in Chicago have a notorious reputation. Nothing new there. There were no documented cases of voter fraud in the entire piece, just a lot of highly speculative conjecture about the accuracy of voter rolls 8 News Now - Wow! Great article and another example of how Republicans are attempting to steal the election, this time by trashing Democratic voter registrations. Gotta save this one for the archives but it has nothing to do with anything voter ID would solve. The American Spectator - A hit piece by Matthew Vadum, author of "Subversion Inc: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers." Sorry, I didn't bother reading past that credit. Service Members Law Center - Interesting piece from 2004 about the vagaries of the 2000 Florida ballot problems and issues surrounding how military absentee votes were counted. Nothing about voter fraud although many of us suspect there was some definite election fraud on the part of brother Jeb..
Tammy Osier July 12, 2012 at 08:50 PM
There are several columns that will say that it doesn't exist, but that doesn't make it so. I noted the sources on most of those as i was doing my research.
Brian Crawford July 12, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Chirp. There's a big difference in election fraud and voter fraud. I'll be out of pocket this evening so check back later.
Dwayne July 12, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I agree w/Ben on one thing... one of the most dangerous things that this country faces are one of those people who don't care to show interest in 'politics' enough to stay on top of what's going on and who's doing what, but yet does their 'duty' by voting is the scariest thing I've ever feared when it comes to elections. No wonder we keep getting the wrong people in at the wrong times. People don't even know enough about a topic to form an opinion, but will turn around and vote? *gasp* So yes, I think THAT's more important than this ID thing. But, once again, since the Government can't seem to be held accountable enough to do what it takes to protect our borders from an immigrational invasion, so it keeps falling on the people to make their adjustments instead. So far, every person I know that ever worked for the ballot counting, have refused to ever vote again but none of them will ever say why. Did they sign some sort of non-disclosure agreement or something? lol They just said they didn't like what they saw and caused them to lose faith in doing it altogether. Same story, different places and times. I am not opposed to proving who you are to vote. People should only vote once, and it should be the right individual doing it. However, my argument probably goes to another article, because I do not like how there's no proof of existence w/o your gov't docs. It's just too spooky for me. We've existed for centuries w/o such things.
RL July 12, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Brian - you are delusional. Why do you STILL call or form of government a democracy. We are not. The Holder DOJ is much more crooked than any Republican attempt to restrict who votes. How hard is it to provide photo ID? I love watching liberals squirm.
Tammy Osier July 31, 2012 at 10:34 AM
How about fingerprints? If they are electronically scanned, then the machine will throw out anyone that is trying to vote more than once. Iraqis had purple fingers after they voted. Another thought. ;)
Racer X July 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I'm nearly 50 years old, have lived on both coasts and up North, visited many places and now live in the best place ever, Oconee County. I have never met anyone without an ID of some kind except for people who have a nefarious reason for not having one. Everybody should have an ID for their own sake. Is voter fraud real or not? I don't know, I just don't know. However, all Americans should be guaranteed security while they exercise their responsibility to vote. I believe requiring people to have an ID goes a long way toward providing that security.
Racer X July 31, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Duane, I have really loved both of your posts. I too miss the days of small community and doing things on a handshake. Knowing who each other are without have to whip out some form of government documentation. Your posts harken to an bygone era of personal responsibility, sense of community and preservation of your reputation through your actions rather than words on printed paper. Sadly, it seems, those days are gone. At least we in Oconee County are fortunate enough to be pretty tightly knit and we can still see many remnants of those old days right here. In the meantime, government has grown to such huge proportion, we must now play with the new hand we have been dealt and hope for the best.
Racer X July 31, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Brian- You said "If there's one thing Republicans hate worse than the American worker it's democracy." I say, that's just wrong, on so many levels I wouldn't know where to start, so I won't. I will, however, pray that no one reads that drivel and believes it. You also said, "Voter impersonation is a non existent problem. This is a blatant attempt by Republicans to steal another election." Are you saying Obama needs the folks with no way of identifying themselves to win the election? If so, that sounds kind of, er, bad.

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