The Big Lie Behind Voter ID Laws

Such statutes, pushed by Republican lawmakers, must be recognized as the discriminatory measures they are.
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It is very simple: Republicans do not believe in democracy, rule by consent of the governed. It is up to the VOTER to make the GOP pay a generation-long penalty for their undisguised, flagrant and fundamentally immoral attempts to subvert the basic principle of American government: one person, one vote. That is the only way to get our government back.

6 2018-06-28 20:20:42 - Brian P

You must be a new NY Times subscriber.

This paper investigated the 2000 elections in detail and couldn't find a scenario where Gore would have won.

0 2017-09-28 01:09:20 - Concerned Reader
0 2017-09-22 18:32:22 - Nokidding

I really don't understand (well, I really do, but...) if the Republican Party is so concerned about voter fraud, why doesn't the Republican Party fund a federal law to require every citizen in the U.S. to receive a voter I.D. card over a certain period of time (ex: like with 12 months, not like within 30 days of an election?)

6 2017-07-22 17:31:32 - Ron

A fraud rate of 0.000001% (compared to 2.5 % deterred from voting) is insignificant, far less than the chance of someone being hit by a meteorite. Don't you have more important things to worry about?

0 2017-07-22 08:58:37 - Paul Adams

Since one must register before showing up to vote, and since (at least here in New York), one arrives at one's designated polling station where poll workers locate one's name on the list of registered voters, could someone please walk me through the logistics of how an unregistered (and possible "illegal" immigrant) could cast a vote? Shouldn't we instead turn our attention to requiring ID to REGISTER to vote.....oh wait, that's already done. Sounds like in-person voter impersonation is a non-issue, a red herring .

3 2017-07-13 14:07:52 - bucketomeat

No group in this nation grounds its heels into the throats of everyone else better than conservatives.

It's only a matter of time before the conservative elite realizes its own base suffers from these laws; as such, as history has shown, the laws will be amended accordingly, but only for the base.

12 2017-07-06 08:58:08 - Valerie Jones

Because it only sounds simple if you are clinging to the urban myth of voter fraud. Back in the day--say 1960's Chicago--maybe some dead people did vote, but since that time there is little or no evidence of it. More of a danger would be hacking into electronic vote counting systems. Maybe a partisan hacker really could steal an election. It seems that now many well meaning conservatives also believe that voters who would have difficulty registering are uniformed, easily influenced voters, likely to "drink Democrat Kool Aid."

2 2017-06-19 04:25:15 - DRC

When I worked with the PA Voter ID Coalition 2012 we helped thousands understand the new law - not knowing - at the time whether the law would be upheld (it eventually was not). The state had no idea how many people had no ID - it could be 500,000 it could be a million. How much time and effort and funding is needed to make this happen was an import question the state never was able to answer. But what was most interesting during the months we advocated for understanding of the new law, was that minorities were not against general idea of a government issued ID - but reality is how much difficulty many people had in getting it. You usually need a birth certificate and other forms of ID to get a government ID. Older minorities who live in cities and don't need to drive have difficulty with this. Many were older or were born to a midwife were particularly vulnerable. We had one case of a 92 year old mother took her 67 year old handicapped son to our office to ask how he could get the ID. The comment by Eric is typical of Americans who can't seem to put themselves in the shoes of other human beings. We need a new dose empathy like that of Emma Lazarus who encouraged us with the open arms of Lady Liberty to, "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

3 2017-05-13 22:17:46 - Bob Previdi
Voting doesn't kill people. Guns do.
1 2017-05-10 20:10:37 - PJS

It may be a lie that fraud is widespread, but it should not be impossible to get a legitimate ID into the hands of anyone
who wants to vote. Why not issue ID's the first time a voter
ever registers, keep a record, and make it incumbent on the voter to keep track of his ID? I have a hard time believing that folks that have a clue about what they are voting for can't keep track of an ID. The number is probably about equal to those who vote illegally. It is already frightening how many clueless people are voting, and the evidence is the crew we currently have in the House right now.

14 2017-05-09 20:32:02 - eric key

Skeptic. are you sure your moniker shouldn't be "cynic". First, if she didn't drive, she wouldn't have had a need for a driver's license. Furthermore, she presumably wouldn't have been able to buy beer until her late college years anyway, at which time she probably had a license. (The legal drinking age has been 21 in Texas for almost 30 years.) Cashing a check? Presuming that she was employed before entering college, she could have simply signed her check over to her parents in exchange for cash. In other words, maybe she didn't need to cashing in the way you describe. And, as for entering a federal building. Just how long have those requirements been in place? Mostly since 2001 or so. She didn't say how old she was, so it is quite conceivable that, no, she didn't need one. After all, I was over fifty when those requirements were put in place and, with the exception of the Post Office, I haven't needed to enter a "Federal Building" even once in the last forty years or so.

1 2017-04-29 22:06:17 - William Shelton

Millions of Americans, my father and his three brothers included, fought, many died in North Africa, Europe and the Pacific theatre, in part, so that we never became a nation that had to produce papers on demand.
It is not our job to prove we are not committing a crime. The burden of proof that we are is on the state.

13 2017-04-22 20:52:19 - craig geary

Politicians are bored and create laws to cause problems so that they can come up with the solution to keep their jobs. This goes for every politician.

0 2017-04-09 00:32:33 - Francisco

You fall into the Republican trap by suggesting there should be a new requirement. By the evidence, NO state has identification requirements that are too lax.

17 2017-04-08 22:12:53 - Thomas Zaslavsky

Please look at the national numbers and see the percentage of those who ACTUALLY voted, asking for ID's won't prevent people who truly want to vote. They will make every effort to do so one would hope.

0 2017-04-06 17:15:40 - Laura Hunt

I have no problem with voter IDs if the states that require them offer free IDs and research to help find the documents that are needed to obtain these IDs.

We have a very low turnout of voters. That is not what democracy is all about. Madison, in Federalist Paper #10 wrote of "The tyranny of the majority" but in this case, where voting is so suppressed, "the tyranny of the minority" is a better description of the situation. By suppressing the vote, older white males and all those fooled by corporate advertisements have the advantage; especially in off year elections. Disproportionate power is wielded by conservative voters and those who are fooled into voting against their own interests (see ACA, Social Security, SNAP...).

7 2017-04-04 18:49:14 - Patrick Sorensen

Actually, there is no constitutional right for any adult citizen to vote. There should be - constitutional amendment, anyone? The Constitution forbids denial or abridgment of the right to vote based on race, sex, age if one is 18 or over, or failure to pay a poll tax, or previous condition of servitude. But it's like employment law - you can't discriminate for this or that reason but you can for other reasons, like not having a government-issued photo ID (now that we have a Supreme Court that ruled that a voter ID law in Indiana isn't a poll tax.)

0 2017-04-04 02:27:06 - miriam

Such statues, pushed by Republican lawmakers, ...

Like Michelangelo's David? Unlike M's David, I'd like to see them topple when pushed.

It's so obvious that these laws are suddenly popping up in places like WI, and OH precisely when those states stop being balanced and purple, and start looking more and more blue, or in NC which stops being red and heads into purple territory, especially in presidential elections. They are not popping up because of sudden surge in voter fraud, of which there is zero evidence. Imagine the shock of Republicans in Indiana when they discovered their state was not automatically in their column any more. One would have thought all the tricks up the sleeves of those who greedily insist on the maintenance of political power in the hands of certain groups to which they belong were used up already from the 1880's to the 1960's. If only all this creative thinking were used to achieve positive goals instead of in the service of political connivance.

14 2017-04-01 05:45:33 - Gnirol

I took the time to read the linked article, which despite giving examples of in-person voter fraud does not cite even one instance of said fraud changing the outcome of an election.

Should the New York Times ignore the promulgation of laws that have the effect of suppressing voter turnout, as you seem to be saying? How would the nation be served if that were the case?

I suggest you read the ruling by Richard Posner, the most cited judge in the country, regarding voter ID laws, their intent and effect:

0 2017-03-26 16:13:24 - AmyR

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