Sep
28

Voter ID is a Fraud

By

Rep. Tim Moffitt (R-116) and many other Republicans have declared their full-throated support for an expensive measure that would disenfranchise thousands of voters. The measure is know as Voter ID. It’s roundly criticized by people who understand that broad participation is a cornerstone of effective democracy. Voter ID advocates claim there is voter fraud happening all over the place. They don’t mention that the people least likely to have photo identification are also among the most likely to vote for Democrats – young people, African-Americans, the elderly, and the poor. Again and again Voter ID advocates disingenuously cry fraud, but, like Mike Turzai in Pennsylvania, their real intent is to restrict the vote in order to keep their party in power.

Today’s Asheville Citizen-Times reports on the false claims of Moffitt and other area Republicans:

In North Carolina, the nonpartisan state Board of Elections last year sent letters to 637 suspected noncitizens after checking driver’s license data.

Of those, 223 responded showing proof they were citizens, and 79 acknowledged they weren’t citizens and were removed from the rolls along with another 331 who didn’t respond to repeated letters, said Veronica Degraffenreid, an elections liaison for the board.

She said the board did not find evidence of widespread fraud, noting there were only 12 instances in which a noncitizen had voted. North Carolina has 6.4 million voters.
[...]
Walton Robinson, spokesman for the state Democratic Party, said voter fraud is about as common as being struck by lightning. He also said implementing an ID law would be expensive — ranging from $11 million to $43 million.

“At the end of the day, voter ID is nothing more than a Trojan horse for state-sanctioned voter suppression, and Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for attempting to disenfranchise over 1 million North Carolina voters,” he said.


Comments

  1. Davyne Dial says:

    Maybe important, maybe not. Tim Moffitt has repeatedly stated he grew up in Asheville, but this pic from his FB page is saying Mills River when he was 15.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/10990563@N05/8033205955/in/photostream

    Thumb up 6

  2. Davyne Dial says:

    Maybe so. Just found it “interesting.” Is that OK?

    Thumb up 7

  3. Tom Sullivan says:

    From Pro Publica:

    According to the Brennan Center, about 11 percent of U.S. citizens, or roughly 21 million citizens, don’t have government-issued photo ID. This figure doesn’t represent all voters likely to vote, just those eligible to vote.

    [...]

    State figures also can be hard to nail down. In Pennsylvania, nearly 760,000 registered voters, or 9.2 percent of the state’s 8.2 million voter base, don’t own state-issued ID cards, according to an analysis of state records by the Philadelphia Inquirer. State officials, on the other hand, place this number at between 80,000 and 90,000.

    [...]

    As for the potential effect on the election, one analysis by Nate Silver at the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog estimates they could decrease voter turnout anywhere between 0.8 and 2.4 percent. It doesn’t sound like a very wide margin, but it all depends on the electoral landscape.

    Thumb up 8

  4. Tom Sullivan says:

    The GOP regularly raises the alarm about the danger of “voter fraud.” They raise the specter of voter impersonation fraud, the only kind that photo ID laws might stop, yet with only 10 occurrences recorded in the U.S. in the last ten years. Voter fraud is an clear and present danger to our democracy, to hear them tell it, to the integrity of your vote, etc.

    Yet for all the Republican alarmist talk about the potential for fraud, I hold in my hand a thick, glossy, expensive mailer sent across North Carolina by the North Carolina Republican Party that invites recipients — tens of thousands or more, one assumes — to vote by absentee ballot. Absentee voting is the kind of voting most prone to fraud. Per NBC News:

    Election fraud is rare, but it usually involves absentee or mail ballots, said Paul Gronke, a Reed College political scientist, who directs the Early Voting Information Center in Oregon. He cites what he calls a classic example of election fraud, a local official stealing votes by filling out absentee ballots. That was the case in Lincoln County, W.Va., where the sheriff and clerk pleaded guilty to distributing absentee ballots to unqualified voters and helping mark them during a 2010 Democratic primary.

    Curtis Gans, director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, said vote-buying and bribery could occur more easily with mail voting and absentee voting. At a polling place, someone who bribed voters would have no way to verify that the bribe worked. A person who bribes mail voters could watch as they mark ballots or even mark ballots for them.

    Gans also points to the potential to influence voters in gatherings that some call ballot-signing parties. A caregiver could mark a dependent’s ballot.

    “All the other types of fraud are essentially hard to do and easy to defend against,” Gans said. “This isn’t.”

    Looking again at this flyer, one wonders, now why would Republicans, out of one side of their mouths, spread alarmist talk about the threat of voter fraud and the need for photo ID, while out of the other side of their mouths encouraging the kind of voting most prone to fraud?

    Thumb up 7

  5. Oh, wow. An overachieving Boy Scout. It’s starting to all make sense now.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  6. TJ says:

    “I’d like to see a study done into how many people actually do not have a photo ID.”

    Okay. Sue…while there are a variety of reasons for no ID’s, I will list just a few..including a personal experience.

    1) When I working on Skid Row in LA, MOST of my clients had no ID. Taking them to apply for ID, so they could apply for benefits, or open a bank account for them to have direct deposit to cut down on assaults over checks, was a nightmare.

    2) Elderly folks who can no longer drive, and they don’t get a replacement ID card…I don’t know the percentages, but, it is not a nominal number…if they have no family or friends (usually, also elderly) to drive them, they cannot apply for one.

    Homeless folks who do not have a safe place to keep their personal papers (I had one client whom we had to write for a replacement birth certificate 2 times, because he had no place to keep it and it would get lost.

    Folks who have been in recovery or in prison and are released with no driving privilages, and, never got a state ID.

    Now, granted, all of these folks are eligible for ID’s, but, they are too busy thinking about survival, that it is not something top of their list. It is also a large number of our society, those whom are “disenfranchised” and others could care less who they want to vote for.

    My experience:

    I received mail from Social Security when I was 19, but, had moved from that address when it arrived. It was returned to SS. Rather than finding a new address, they listed is as a return because I was “deceased.” I had not even known about for 10 years. When I tried to open a bank account, buy a car, and rent a house in CA, I was continually told I should check out whatever the problem was. In their eyes, they had to consider possible fraud, because my social security number showed I was dead. It took a year, and an additional 2 months, and my local congressman’s office to get the whole mess straightened out and I could get another ID. I didn’t need o drive in LA or IL, or DC, so, I had no driver’s license.

    Fast forward three years ago. My car tags expired. It took a bit of time to scrape together the money to work on my car to pass the emissions test. I couldn’t use my expired drivers license to get a new one, as a form of ID. I had to get my social security card. At the social security office, they would not apply for the replacement card that had been stolen from myself and my two children in a car break-in. I had to have a picture ID. :::whew. breathe:::

    During one election, I had not changed my status of a new residency, and had just gotten out of the hospital, and, could not get it processed in time to vote that time.

    After borrowing money to have enough gas to drive back and forth all day, and going to court to renew my status and get the DL, and social security card.

    Now, that is ME, and, I am able to stand up for myself and raise hell when someone at social security asked me “how ELSE can I help you?” after they had not helped with one thing.

    So many people are intimidated or don’t have the energy to protest or persist.

    You may not consider those significant, but, having worked in human services since 1979, I see MANY folks like that.

    Their voice is just as important as ours, if not more important, since the benefits cut are to those who are less able to stand up for themselves, or have a way to be informed. We can talk about mass media to hell and back, but, when even we have seen things pop up with little notice by voters, and we complain about the unfairness of it…they are MANY more who don’t have all our gadgets to follow twitter or “like” a ‘friend’ on Facebook.

    All the other folks I don’t know about, but, this is something that is enough to convince me that getting ID is not as easy as we have been brainwashed to believe. Otherwise, the Republicans would not be making as much an issue of it.

    Time to prepare for absentee voting. I wonder if they can see my driver’s license over the mail.

    Actually, I am doing early voting.

    Oh, and, no one has ever been able to tell me how I could be “deceased,” yet, continued to have to pay taxes those years. What is certain?
    Not only death and taxes, but, being taxed AFTER one’s death.

    Thumb up 9

  7. Gordon Smith says:

    Suetwo – Here’s your study:

    An analysis by the State Board of Elections obtained Friday by WRAL News shows that at least 700,000 registered voters in the state don’t have a driver’s license or photo ID issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Records for another 300,000 people need further checking to determine if they have a license, elections officials said.

    Thumb up 12

  8. TJ says:

    Oh, and anyone who thinks the information is outdated and not balanced, feel free to come the the Asheville Homeless Network, and meet a room full of folks who don’t have the travel means, finances, or, fortitude beyond daily survival, to get ID. They do get linked to services, but, there are many waiting lists, etc.

    So much for “outdated conventional wisdom.”

    AHN meetings are usually Thursdays at 2 pm at Firestorm. They may be meeting at Jubilee while Firestorm renovates. But, you can not claim it’s outdated, unless you see for yourself and just decide everyone there is happy with their life as it is now.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  9. Tom Sullivan says:

    From the Brad Blog:

    Since that appearance, FL officials are now confirming “suspicious and possibly fraudulent voter registration forms” in “at least ten counties” in the state, which shatters the “one bad apple”, “just one individual in Palm Beach” talking point which the AP had been helping both the RNC and Sproul’s shell company, Strategic Allied Consulting, pass on to the public late last night.

    There will be more on this, as the story continues to be developing and fast moving. I’m working on pulling together several threads all at once over here, as there is evidence that this scandal is larger than just the five key battleground states (FL, NC, VA, NV, CO) acknowledged by the RNC, so far, where Sproul’s firm was working. So your patience is appreciated as I work to make sense of what’s really going on here.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  10. TJ says:

    This from my inbox today:

    “Our Special Guest, 87 Year Old Woman Who Fended Off Two Perps with a 9 mm in Her Home
    at our Fundraiser Machine Gun Social
    Saturday, 9/29 11 am – 3pm
    Come to Celebrate Jean! ”

    I’m so excited, I can’t wait!!

    I find it extremely odd that so many TP friends of mine are Christians, they accuse liberals of being violent, yet, on EVERY–I repeat– EVERY friggin’ email I get from them relating to political happenings, EVERY one of them has a section for the gun social. UNBELIEVABLE!

    Now, THAT’S an America we can all believe in :::::aarrrghhh!!:::::

    ::::SIGH::::

    And, I’ve also been wondering how all those good “Christians” want to elect in a man who belongs to a cult of a false religion (at least, by their standards of beliefs). They want a false prophet leading our country??

    Wow!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  11. Davyne Dial says:

    TJ, my answer is “insanity runs amok.” That’s my story & I’m sticking to it.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  12. Pete Kaliner says:

    So, to be clear:

    1. Voter fraud simply doesn’t exist at any meaningful level.

    2. A GOP-hired firm committed fraud in Florida, with potential cases in other states – including NC.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  13. TJ says:

    To be clear:

    “She said the board did not find evidence of widespread fraud, noting there were only 12 instances in which a noncitizen had voted. North Carolina has 6.4 million voters”

    Other instances apparently were by the R’s. Maybe they do know something….if they are perpetrating fraud.

    However, back to being clear:

    1. Data does not seem to bear out extensive voter fraud.

    2. If the R’s are committing the fraud, let THEIR party be demanded to get ID’s, since the others don’t seem to have that same problem.

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled unclear lives.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  14. TJ says:

    “An old newspaper clipping saying he lives in Mills River is not one of them.”

    Perhaps. However, the tendency to lie and be secretive seems to involve little things, as well. If he is willing to lie about where he grew up, to look good (or whatever, and, whatever that means to him), that propensity to lie does not leave me with a sense of trusting him.

    And, THAT Davyne, I find more than “interesting.” It is concerning.

    Lying is a character defect, and, pathological in some cases. Pathology can range anywhere from someone who lies to look good in the eyes of others, to the point they believe themselves… to the sociopath who has no qualms lying, since they cannot empathize with others, and will lie to get whatever they want, as they take from others.

    Oh, that’s right. Moffitt IS doing that.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  15. Dixiegirlz says:

    TJ, correct, lying when there is no need is more than interesting.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  16. Tom Sullivan says:

    Republicans claim requiring voters to present an ID before voting is a reasonable, merely commonsense protection of election integrity. Yet the GOP flier I have here is a fine rejoinder to that argument. Because requiring Voter ID for all while enabling absentee voting for select others are complementary halves of the same strategy.

    Republicans are spending time and money promoting legislation to to erect roadblocks in front of people who are not their voters. Simultaneously, they are spending money to make it easy for their voters (many of whom may not have IDs themselves) to do an end run around roadblocks erected to stop others. You don’t need to show an ID to vote absentee.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  17. TJ says:

    So, I just signed up online with no picture ID. I can vote absentee; So, who the hell is worried about fraud?

    Oh, I get it. We have enough money to afford the gadgets and access to media, so, we MUST be honest, right?

    After all, it’s on the ‘net.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. Roger E. Hartley says:

    Great posts TJ… On Gordon’s point about an estimated 700,000 with state issued ID. It is about raising the costs to register…and then vote. Ever make a trip to the DMV for anything?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  19. TJ says:

    “Ever make a trip to the DMV for anything?”

    Only when I HAVE to. However, a slight issue there.

    It is not supposed to cost something (anything) for the individual citizen to vote. The politicians raise funds, and, we can donate, but the actual vote should be free.

    For some folks, the $10 fee to get a DL/ID is a big deal. To others, it’s no more impactful that throwing away a wrapper from a treat.

    The point, however, is that they shouldn’t have to pay. I know some homeless who stay at the Salvation Army, and they can use that address for the license. They used to waive that fee, but, I don’t know how it works now. However, going from the SA to the DMV is not an easy trek. So, more money for bus. Little things to most of us. But, that does not deal with the physical or mental stress on some folks…and God forbid, you don’t have all your ducks in a row. Not only do you wait at least an hour in line, but, then, you have to go back and try again.

    Some may argue they should not vote, if it is that difficult for them. I say they should go to the front of the line at the polls, because all these heavy-handed measures are going to knock them off their feet before the rest of us feel the impact, in most cases.

    At any rate, driving is a privilege. Getting ID is an expense. Voting is a right.

    Not being able to afford an ID, or, unable to make the trip (for whatever reason), is just too costly. THAT is a price NONE of us should have to pay.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  20. Andrew Dahm says:

    Setting aside the morals of voter suppression and such, why should such a tactically boneheaded party be trusted with running our country? New reporting indicates the GOP’s firing the registration firm, giving them zero registration ground troops in NC and other swing states like a month before the election. Genius.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-possible-voter-fraud-shocker-on-behalf-of-the-gop-20121001,0,271245.story

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  21. shadmarsh says:

    Well, this is the party that nominated Romney …

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5