Voter ID Laws

Before getting into the actual post itself…I just wanted to comment on the current brouhaha over the election. 

Yes…it appears that Mr. Biden will be the winner.

No…he hasn’t won yet. That hasn’t stopped him from saying he’s the winner or the media from saying he’s the winner.

Yes…the President is filing various legal challenges…as is his right.

Yes…the GSA has not yet released transition funds to Mr. Biden for his use but the head of the GSA has stated when he is the official winner based on state certified totals she will do so. In 2000…when FL was in dispute…transition funds were not released until early December…so claiming that not releasing them on the 11th of November will cripple the incoming administration seems to be overkill.

What we’re really seeing here…by all sides…is what we used to call “dick moves”. They’re all being difficult just because they can be.

I even saw a claim that because the President hasn’t conceded Mr. Biden can’t get Secret Service protection…although he’s had it ever since he became the presumptive nominee.

Mr. Biden has not yet started receiving classified intelligence briefings…because he’s not the winner yet according to the White House. This will supposedly keep Mr. Biden’s administration from hitting the ground running.

Mr. Biden has labeled the lack of a concession speech as “embarrassing”…I wonder if he feels the same way about Stacey Abrams or Mr. Gore in 2000 as noted in the next paragraph.

I see many outraged WAMM articles about the President not conceding yet…but let me remind you that Stacey Abrams has still not conceded the governor’s race in Georgia from two years ago…and Mr. Gore did not concede in 2000 until after the SCOTUS ruled on his suit over the Florida recount. Will the President ever concede? Who knows…it’s not really required and doesn’t make any difference in the long run. Most losing politicians do concede…but then the President isn’t…and has never been…a politician.

This will all play out folks…whoever lost was going to file lots of legal challenges…if you don’t believe that Mr. Biden would be doing the same thing then I’ve got some swamp land and a bridge to sell you. Despite the claims of…blue wave…this was actually a pretty close election…and assuming that things play out as they seem they will…a Democratic White House and a Republican Senate will be forced to compromise with each other in order to get things done…and in my opinion compromise is a good thing. The whack job progressives like AOC and the whack job far right wingers do not represent anything close to a majority of the people in the country despite all their foot stamping and breath holding until they get their way.

The EC will meet and vote in December and I’m sure that the states will have certified their winners by then…and if legal challenges are still ongoing each state has it’s own way of determining who their electors will vote for…and the Constitution provides for what happens if the EC is unable for whatever reason to choose a President.

So…take a deep breath…remember we’re all Americans…and it will work out however it is going to work out. 

OK…earlier this week THK (their human kid) retweeted the following.

Thread. This is why people asking for voter ID laws are always viewed as suspect. And rightfully so. twitter.com/michaelharriot…

Essentially he retweeted a liberal who has proved…at least according to him (some guy named Michael Harriot)…that the sole reason for voter ID laws is to keep black and brown people from voting.

Neil responded to THK that this was utter bullshit…THK’s response was 

Not everybody drives. Not everybody needs a state ID. Just because it’s easy for you and me to get the proper ID doesn’t mean it’s easy for others.

Rather than have a long debate over twitter since the character limit makes intelligent discourse almost impossible…Neil told THK he would post here and give THK the opportunity to be our very first guest post blogger if THK is interested.

So…before ‘splaining how Harriot has misrepresented facts…let’s talk about why we have laws in the first place.

The purpose of a voter ID law is not to make sure that the person voting is a US citizen…that gets handled by the folks who actually registered him/her to vote…poll workers are mostly volunteers who have neither the training or legal responsibility to verify that a voter is actually a citizen. What presenting your ID at the polls does is a couple of things. First…it makes sure that when you say you’re Joe Schmow of such and such an address…they verify that you actually are Joe Schmow and the you’re on the registered voter list. If not…and if your state allows same day registration…the poll worker allows you to submit a provisional ballot and then they mark you in the voter database as having voted.

That’s it.

The Constitution provides that each and every citizen is allowed to vote and is allowed to vote once and only once…voter ID at the polls helps make sure that you don’t obtain and submit an absentee/mail-in ballot and then go to the polls and vote again. Without ID…you can say you’re anybody, John Smith for instance of such and such different address…and then you can vote twice.

One of the main straw man arguments that liberals make against voter ID is the there are very few instances of voter fraud. In actuality…there are very few instances of proven voter fraud that resulted in indictment/conviction…but the number of convictions says nothing about the actual level of fraud. I’m quite sure that there is fraud in just about every election…and that if the fraudster is any good at it they don’t get caught…but the fact is that nobody knows how much actually happens.

My personal guess is that it’s a lot more than the essentially zero that the Democrats claim and a lot less than the hundreds of thousands that the other side claims…but it’s not negligible. I also think that…for a national election…any fraud doesn’t really change the outcome since most of those races are decided by many thousands of votes. Yes…I know that FL in 2000 was decided by 527 votes…but that’s really an outlier…the closest state in the 2020 election is GA I think which has a margin of 15,000 or so.

So…if proven fraud is low…why do we need a law to make sure fraud doesn’t happen?

Again…the answer is simple. We need these laws for the same reason we need every other law…to prevent some bad outcome from happening by programming the system around it.

Seat belt laws, speed limits, age requirements to buy alcohol or cigarettes…every one of those laws are designed to prevent undesirable consequences. Democrats don’t seem to have any issue with those laws…so why are they against voter ID? Seems to me that if voter ID laws are designed to ensure that only citizens vote and each one only votes once…if you’re against that law perhaps it’s because you want non citizens to vote or voters to vote more than once.

Ya see…the system makes plenty of mistakes. For instance…when Neil was a card carrying uniformed member of Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club…he and Connie retained FL citizenship and voter registration because FL doesn’t have any state income tax. So along comes 1991 when Neil retired from there and got a civilian job up in VA. At that point…they became VA citizens and registered to vote and pay taxes in VA. Nonetheless…for at least 20 years they still got ballots from Palm Beach County here in FL including the much maligned hanging chad ballots from the 2020 election. So…they coulda voted both in VA and FL for years…never did since that’s dishonest but with no check between the states and no voter ID the possibility was there.

According to Democrats…having to have an ID to vote presents an onerous burden…but only on black and brown people. Pink and yellow people don’t seem to have this problem according to Democrats…but those evil Republicans who don’t want black or brown people to vote engineer these laws specifically to vote.

So…let’s consider what else you need an ID for…because one of the arguments against voter ID is that not everybody has one. This isn’t a complete list…I only considered relatively common things.

  • Driving a car
  • Renting a car…although if you don’t have a drivers license then renting a car is probably not an issue
  • Buying cigarettes
  • Buying your medical marijuana
  • Filling out the insurance paperwork for your visit to the health clinic or hospital
  • Buying your Colt 45 Malt Liquor, Ripple, Boones Farm or whatever else you choose to drink
  • Opening a bank account
  • Withdrawing money from your bank account
  • Applying for a credit card
  • Using said credit card…in some places with high crime rates using a card means the merchant will require you to provide ID
  • Applying for a passport
  • Registering vote
  • Getting a job…your employer has to fill out the I-9 form to verify you’re a legal resident or citizen and not an illegal alien
  • Cashing your paycheck from said job…most businesses pay you with a check except for those that mostly employ illegal aliens…and they’re not allowed to vote anyway.
  • Buying the firearm your 2nd amendment right allows you to have
  • Buying ammo for said firearm
  • Getting into a movie rated X or R or whatever the relevant ratings are these days…haven’t been to a movie in so long that I don’t know what they are anymore
  • Proving you’re eligible for the Senior Discount
  • Picking up your prescription from CVS or Rite Aid that your doctor phoned in for you
  • Getting your flu vaccine or CoViD vaccine
  • Getting into the bar for a drink
  • Proving you can legally order that beer with your meal at Waffle House
  • Getting onto a train other than local transit
  • Getting onto an airplane
  • Crossing the border into Mexico or Canuckistan…yes, this only applies to a limited number of the population who might live reasonably close to the border but the number still has to be millions at a minimum…Buffalo NY which is right on the border has over 250,000 by itself.
  • Buying a bus ticket on Greyhound…which if you don’t have a drivers license and need to go 2 states over is a likely choice for transportation there and back.
  • Getting into the casino
  • Buying your lottery ticket…although buying one it might not be required but redeeming a winning one certainly requires an ID as they need to send you a 1099 to document your winnings for your tax return. I don’t buy lottery tickets so have no first hand experience on that one.
  • Filing for unemployment
  • Filing for Social Security benefits…or for that matter welfare or just about any of the other entitlements
  • Visiting your friends in a gated community with entrance security
  • A cop who happens to stop you for any valid reason…refusal to identify yourself to the police is a crime in just about every jurisdiction

Now I haven’t heard a whole bunch of Democrat whining that having to present and ID for the list of things above presents some unreasonable burden for black and brown people…and a great number of black and brown people fall into the categories above…so if they’ve got an ID for whatever it is…they’ve got an ID to vote.

Another argument the Democrats make is that voter ID is too hard. Well…we have it here in FL and I have to tell you it took Neil all of 20 seconds to get his identification verified and proceed on to vote last week. Connie took a couple of minutes because she had trouble making her signature match the one on file…it took 3 tries before the poll worker decided it was close enough and allowed her to proceed. Nonetheless…we were in and out of our precinct in less than 10 minutes…and the line in front of us consisted of exactly…zero…people…nobody. When we voted up in VA before hitting the road and voting absentee through Idaho for most of our RV life…even though there was no official voter ID law in effect the poll worker asked you for an ID to look you up on the voter rolls…and of all the times we voted there neither of us ever remembers any voter saying they didn’t have one. On several occasions our neighbor was the poll worker and she looked us up without asking for ID…but she knew who we were already…the ID request was simply to make finding and verifying your name and address easier for the poll worker.

Down here in FL…you need to present a current and valid photo ID with signature on it…and the following documents are acceptable.

Florida driver’s license
Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
United States passport
Debit or credit card
Military identification
Student identification
Retirement center identification
Neighborhood association identification
Public assistance identification
Veteran health identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
License to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued pursuant to s. 790.06
Employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality.
If your photo ID does not include your signature, you will be asked to provide another ID

In addition…you have to be a registered voter…and your citizenship in the US is verified by the folks that handled your registration.

That seems like a pretty comprehensive list to me.

In TX…one of the states where the Democrats managed to get the voter ID law blocked this year…the following are acceptable.

TX Drivers license

TX Election ID Certificate

TX Personal ID card

TX Handgun license

US Citizenship certificate with photo

US Military ID card with photo

US Passport

Certified US domestic birth certificate or court admissible birth document

Current utility bill

Bank statement

Government check

Paycheck

Government document with name and address…this includes your Voter Registration Certificate.

Even in NC…another state where they managed to get the law blocked…

NC Driver’s License, Learner’s Permit, or Provisional License
Special Identification card (NC DMV ID Card)
US Passport
US Military Identification card

US Veterans Identification card issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs
Tribal enrollment card issued by a federally-recognized tribeTribal enrollment card issued by a NC-recognized tribe, signed by an elected tribal official,
and compliant with G.S. § 163-166.13

Out-of-state driver’s license or non-operator’s identification card (BUT only if the voter
registers to vote in the county within 90 days of the election)

In fact…in just about all of the states that have a voter ID law…the state will provide one at the DMV for a pretty minimal fee…you show up with your birth certificate and they give you an ID that looks pretty much like a drivers license.

So…if we all agree that voting is the most important duty a citizen has…what’s the hard spot with making sure that only citizens vote and they only vote once each. We don’t need to prove that voter fraud exists in order to try and prevent it…any more than we need to prove that minors shouldn’t be able to buy alcohol before trying to prevent it.

Ok…that’s all the arguments for voter ID…so let’s look at a few of the arguments against it…for that we’ll go back to the tweet thread diatribe by the aforementioned Mr. Harriot.

To start…just who is this guy. Well…he is…accordion to wikipedia and his twitter bio…Senior Writer at The Root which is a black oriented online magazine. 

As an aside…why is it not racist for there to be a black oriented online magazine while if there was a white oriented online magazine it would be pilloried by the WAMM and the owners/authors subject to cancelation. According to the interwebs…racism is 

Treating people differently based on their race

Discriminating against people based on their race

So why…if it’s OK to have a “black magazine” would a white one be racist and the black one just fine. I’ve no idea…but I digress from Mr. Harriot’s screed so back to it.

Bold faced stuff is from the screed…the non bold faced stuff after each quote is my analysis

Would you agree to a law that required you to get a blood test every time you used the bathroom? How about a law that required you to slice one millimeter off your penis every time you used ketchup? I bet you’re thinking “But those laws have no point.” EXACTLY

Those laws would be meaningless…but making sure that each and every authorized citizen votes only once does have a point as discussed above…another strawman argument.

Every single large-scale peer reviewed study ever conducted says voter fraud does not exist on a meaningful scale. Dating back to 1982, there have been less than 500 prosecutions. If we multiplied that by the literal billions of votes cast…

As noted above…strawman argument. We don’t need to have proven fraud in order to try and prevent it…any more than we need to prove the need for any other law…laws are to prevent bad outcomes from happening and set consequences if you do those bad things.

Which begs the question, why do voter ID laws exist? To keep Black people from voting

Again…Mr. Harriot presenting “facts” with no evidence. This is pretty much the same as what the WAMM is claiming the President is doing about the current election…look at any news web site and you’ll find dozens or articles claiming he’s doing this.

A federal court said this was the intent of Texas’s voter ID law 

Yes…a single federal judge who is a registered Democrat who just happens to be one of those brown people and appointed by a Democrat President said this…but that doesn’t make it true. 

An entirely different federal court said this about NC’s voter ID law:

Again…a single Democrat judge who happens to be one of those black people and who was appointed by a Democratic President…but again that doesn’t make it true.

Ok…enough of that. As you can see…Mr. Harriot twists the facts to suit his bias…which is that all voter ID laws are inherently racist. I could have gone on with more examples but other than the…probably…correct claims of limited proven fraud there are very few actual facts in his screed.

He did go on about how Alabama’s voter ID law requires an ID issued by the DMV and how immediately after the law was passed the state closed all the DMV offices in black/brown neighborhoods…again, no facts or link to validate that as an actual fact…I briefly looked but only found claims that stated that with no verifiable facts. In fact…Alabama allows 15 different photo IDs to be used to identify the voter as being who he/she says they are. Even if some DMV offices were closed…the news stories I found stated that they were closed as a budgetary move by the state and no verifiable information that this wasn’t correct was presented. However…I agree that it is possible that this was some sort of insidious attempt to keep black and brown people from voting…I find it unlikely that it is true but it is within the realm of possibility.

Oh yeah…forgot to mention his other qualifications from his twitter bio…according to it he is a “board-certified Wypipologist and master race-baiter”. For those of you who…like me…have no idea what a Wypipologist is…it is a black person who studies white people and knows exactly how they think and why they think…so that they can ‘splain it to everybody else.

Yep…right there he admits to being racist so pretty much everything he says is intended to reinforce his views. He’s entitled to his views…but that doesn’t make them correct.

I did take a look at his “news” site or black oriented online magazine or whatever you call it. The Root was founded by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Donald E. Graham in 2008 and since both of those gentlemen have reputable credentials as credible journalists I assume the site started off just fine. However…in 2015 it was sold to Gizmodo Media Group…which seems fine until you notice that Gizmodo is the new name of the Gawker Group which published all sorts of newspapers and magazines that you typically would pick up at the check out stand in the grocery store…no truth or credibility at all and in fact Gawker was sued out of existence as a result of the Hulk Hogan sex tape lawsuit. No matter…they just changed the name to protect the guilty, bought a reputable named magazine, and continued their assault on the good name of actual journalists.

You can take at look at the site of The Root if you want…but you’ll be offended most likely. I did review a bunch of their articles to see if they had anything worthwhile to read…and Mr. Harriot’s twitter bio as a race-baiter is right on target with the drivel the publish.

Now that I’ve talked about why voter ID laws are a good thing…perhaps we ought to consider how to best implement them. Since two individual federal judges have found them discriminatory, instead of throwing out the baby with the bath water how about we improve them to make them work.

We would need a constitutional amendment to really fix the problem because it leaves the selection of electors to the states…it says “legislature” but an opinion from the late RGB interpreted legislature to mean “state government as a whole”. I disagree with that interpretation of the word legislature but until SCOTUS overturns the opinion it remains precedent so I’ll go with it for now.

The problem with leaving federal election law up to the states is that every state does it differently…and one could make an argument that this violates the equal treatment clause in the Constitution. So in my opinion the amendment should specify the minimum set of rules for federal elections. Voter ID should be mandatory except for mail-in ballots and those should require a signature match to ensure that the voter who’s name is on the outer envelope is actually the voter he/she claims to be. A standardized set of documents to be used to register to vote should be established so as to determine citizenship. A second set of standardized documents…longer than that needed to verify citizenship…should be established to determine correct identity at the polls so we know who voted. Thirdly…absentee/mail in ballots should not be counted ahead of time as there’s no way to ensure that a person doesn’t both mail one in and then go to the polls otherwise. Precinct voting lists should be used to eliminate double votes before the mail-in ones are counted. Yes…this would delay the results a bit but in the interest of fair elections it doesn’t seem unreasonable.

It may be true that some people don’t drive but given the relatively extensive list of things you need an ID for presented above…it is unlikely that there are very many people that don’t fall into any of those categories.

Finally…news organizations should be prohibited from calling the results of a race ahead of official announcements by the individual states. I realize this is slightly limiting the “freedom of the press”…but in reality it isn’t any different than the calls by the anti gun crowd to limit the “shall not be infringed”…but it seems that Democrats are only interested in limiting constitutional rights they don’t like. This last one is important because I keep seeing in the news that “Joe Biden is the President-elect”…when in fact he has not achieved that yet. He appears to be the eventual winner and I’m not joining in the President’s claims of fraud…but in the US the news media doesn’t declare the winner. The winner is determined…eventually…by the Electoral College…but the release of certified results by states that result in 270 electoral votes being pledged to him will make him the President-elect. Our opinion is that he will be the winner…but until any recounts are conducted and any legal cases settled declaring him the winner by the media doesn’t make it so.

OK THK…over to you. That’s the argument for voter ID laws and if you send me a rebuttal post I’ll be happy to put it up. However…you need to stick to actual facts and not sensationalism or opinion or strawman arguments. 

Cyas.

About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
This entry was posted in Reality Based Blogging, Ya Can't Fix Stupid. Bookmark the permalink.

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