OK, Voter ID Opponents, Here’s An Integrity Test: Is This A Smoking Gun Or An Amazing Coincidence?

Wow! Just a handful of fraudulent voters in the whole country for years, and one of them just happens to be captured for terrorism! What are the odds?

Wow! Just a handful of fraudulent voters in the whole country for years, and one of them just happens to be captured for terrorism! What are the odds?

Those opposing voter ID requirements as a thinly-veiled Republican effort to suppress black voting maintain that there is no need for identification at the polls because voter fraud doesn’t exist. Last week, discussing the controversy,  I flagged a New York Times editorial  titled, The Success of the Voter Fraud Myth.

It argued in part,

As study after study has shown, there is virtually no voter fraud anywhere in the country. The most comprehensive investigation to date found that out of one billion votes cast in all American elections between 2000 and 2014, there were 31 possible cases of impersonation fraud. Other violations — like absentee ballot fraud, multiple voting and registration fraud — are also exceedingly rare. So why do so many people continue to believe this falsehood?

Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, wrote in U.S. News & World Report in 2012  that voter fraud didn’t exist:

“Voter fraud would be a real problem if it actually happened. It’s a serious crime, and one that can undermine our democracy. Fortunately, it’s a crime we have largely figured out how to prevent.”

Huh.

Well then, what does this mean?

From King5 TV (NBC):

The Cascade Mall shooting suspect, Arcan Cetin, may face an additional investigation related to his voting record and citizenship status.

Federal sources confirm to KING 5 that Cetin was not a U.S. citizen, meaning legally he cannot vote. However, state records show Cetin registered to vote in 2014 and participated in three election cycles, including the May presidential primary.

Cetin, who immigrated to the United States from Turkey as a child, is considered a permanent resident or green card holder. While a permanent resident can apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period of time, sources tell KING his status had not changed from green card holder to U.S. citizen.

While voters must attest to citizenship upon registering online or registering to vote at the Department of Licensing Office, Washington state doesn’t require proof of citizenship. Therefore elections officials say the state’s elections system operates, more or less, under an honor system.

“We don’t have a provision in state law that allows us either county elections officials or the Secretary of State’s office to verify someone’s citizenship,” explained Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “So, we’re in this place where we want to make sure we’re maintaining people’s confidence in the elections and the integrity of the process, but also that we’re giving this individual, like we would any voter, his due process. We’re moving forward, and that investigation is really coming out of the investigation from the shootings.”

The penalty for voting as a non U.S. citizen could result in five years of prison time or a $10,000, according to Secretary of State’s Office.

The options are:

1. It’s an incredible coincidence! A 31 out a billion chance, and this single non-citizen who attacked the mall is responsible for three fraudulent votes, all by himself!

2. The studies showing no voting fraud have been rigged for partisan ends.

3. The researchers who interpret the data to mean there is no voting fraud are incompetent and/or stupid.

4. They are lying.

Which is it?

98 thoughts on “OK, Voter ID Opponents, Here’s An Integrity Test: Is This A Smoking Gun Or An Amazing Coincidence?

  1. A mix of 3 and 4. The studies are structurally unsound, in part because you need to validate ID’s to even collect the data. The fact that the data can’t be gathered is not because of partisanship (so I don’t think 2 is the issue) but failing to acknowledge that fact could be either 3 or 4.

  2. Alabama has a voter ID law.  Then they closed MVA offices in numerous rural counties that happen to have large poor, minority populations (“cost-cutting”)    The number of people Alabama ACTUALLY disenfranchised far outweighs however many purely CONJECTURED fraudulent registrations there MIGHT be.  

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    • Phil, Fair enough point but how many in those rural outlying areas were not registered but wanted to. You do not say. Maybe that number is zero or maybe that number is 100. Your suggestion that the closing of offices disenfranchised many is pure conjecture. If you know how many were disenfranchised you know who they are and could have taken steps in advance to help them register to vote. Conversely, if you don’t know who is fraudulently casting a ballot you do not know how many and you cannot prosecute. So, the lack of prosecutions is not prima facie evidence that voter fraud is not occurring. Do you think either side practicing fraud would want to investigate claims of fraud?

      If either party has money for voter registration drives and get out the vote efforts, it seems to me that they have money to help people that have limited capabilities to register first. Why should they focus their efforts on people that would not have difficulty taking the responsibility to register on their own first?

  3. How would voter ID have helped in this situation? The state erred in allowing him to register in the first place. If a voter ID law had been in place, the state would have given him a voter ID with his picture on it and he still would have voted.

    I am not against voter ID laws, but I do think the State should have the burden of providing them free of charge. But let’s not pretend that would make voter fraud any more or less of a problem.

    • In this situation? It wouldn’t have. But that’s missing the forest for the trees… I don’t think Jack is saying voter IDs would curtail all voter fraud, I think he’s saying that voter fraud exists, which is something the Democrats have been denying for years.

      Which is kind of hard to deny, no?

    • “but I do think the State should have the burden of providing them free of charge.”

      Real question… Has anyone ever suggested that Voter ID not be a state expense? I’m almost certain it would violate the constitution to keep your vote behind a service fee.

    • Technically, this is not voter fraud. He was registered to vote.

      Are you asking if the State screws up across the board? My response is “sure.” I once convinced a DC DMV to give me a DC parking pass even though my car was registered in my dad’s name and had out-of-state plates. He shouldn’t have done that, but it doesn’t mean that I was fraudulently parking in DC — I had the sticker that permitted me to park there.

      Another time, a VA DMV would not give me a driver’s license even though I had all the necessary paperwork, along with the DMV’s list of approved paperwork. They sent me home for yet another piece of identification. My guess is that the State screws up pro and con when it comes to voter registration issues.

  4. How would voter ID laws have prevented this? If guilty of a crime, this would be registration fraud, not voter fraud. Presumably, if had gone to the polls, he would have had an ID that confirmed that he was indeed him, and allowed to vote. No fraud committed at that level, and once again, voter id laws would have been useless.

    Most people who are opposed to voter id laws are opposed for many reasons. Those reasons include:

    1. The stated, overt intent of many of the proponents of voter id laws is explicitly to disenfranchise minority voters. Like Republican precint chairDon Yelton, who said that “if it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.” and then adds, “The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt.” http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/10/don-yelton-racist-daily-show-interview.html

    2. “Voter ID laws” include a large umbrella, which include not just requiring id at the polls, but eliminating early voting, closing poll stations, tightening absentee ballot requirements, doing away with Sunday voting, etc. By what is no doubt a strange coincidence, these initiatives, also put under “voter id”, also have the effect of cutting down the number of minority and poor people who are able to vote. North Carolina Republicans specifically looked up the voting practices that black people used the most, and then eliminated all of them, under “voter id laws.”

    3. The list of accepted id under the voter id laws somehow just happens to favor conservative whites, and disfavor minorities, the poor, and young. Why, like in Texas, allow gun owner permits to serve as acceptable id, but not student identification cards?

    4. Voter id is a solution in search of a problem. There are very few cases of in-person voter fraud recorded, because it is a dumb crime to commit, with very little pay-off. People would have to stand in line, hope that the person they are impersonating hasn’t already voted, hope that the local poll worker doesn’t recognize them, hope that the person actually is registered, vote, and then go to another poll station and do it again, if they can find the time. All to sway elections that are typically won by the thousands, not one or two votes? Far better and easier to commit absentee ballot fraud (yet no plans to curtail those, because military and old people tend to vote absentee, and those are Republican voters.), or simply rig the voting machines.

    • What? Requiring proof of citizenship wouldn’t have prevented this? Anyway, you’re ducking the point. Voter fraud is not a “myth,’ nor is as rare as opponents of ID laws (that is, advocates of illegal immigrants getting to vote) falsely insist.

      • You don’t seem to understand the difference between registration fraud and in-person voter fraud. That seems to be the crux of the problem. Voter id does nothing to prevent registration fraud.

        Most states are on the honor system for citizenship status. It is rather difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to prove citizenship. Most states don’t want to take up that burden and expense to eliminate the few cases of people that are going out of their way to vote when they shouldn’t.

        But in any case, what Cetin committed was not voter fraud.

        • Deery, he committed a federal crime. 18 USC 611 makes it a crime for aliens to vote for any federal officeholder. Cetin was an alien. He voted for a federal officeholder:

          However, state records show Cetin registered to vote in 2014 and participated in three election cycles, including the May presidential primary.

          It is also true he committed a crime by falsely representing himself as a citizen in order to register (18 USC 1015(f) and 911). 52 USC 20511, the closest federal statute to what you describe as “registration fraud” also applies.

          So both you and Jack are right. See here for details.

          • I don’t dispute that he committed a crime. But no crime that voter ID would have fixed. This is something that realistically can only be fixed at the registration level, and it would be an expensive fix. I’m not sure if people are going to be willing to pay more in taxes to give people free birth certificates/passports/create an instant citizenship database that would be needed to prove citizenship.

            • Well, that’s not strictly true. A voter ID law that requires proof of citizenship would’ve had a high chance of preventing it.

            • I think resident Lefties are estopped from using “no more taxes” as an argument. Given Left wing policies probably account for a majority of government spending and taxation in this country.

              Let alone, I find it laughable that anyone on the pro-big government side of the house is really bothered by what would amount to a fraction of a fraction of a drop in the bucket of what Uncle Sam spends each year.

    • “How would voter ID laws have prevented this?”

      Wouldn’t have. But that’s not the point. The point is that it happened, despite Democrats saying that it doesn’t. You even repeat it later:

      “4. Voter id is a solution in search of a problem. There are very few cases of in-person voter fraud recorded,”

      What if it’s not recorded because they’re getting away with it?

      • If I were an illegal immigrant, the last thing I would do is present myself to a State authority for inspection. I would be in fear of my very existence in this country. It just wouldn’t be worth it.

        This guy was here legally which is why he had no fear of going to the DMV. My guess is that: 1) he didn’t know that he wasn’t eligible to vote; and 2) the state employee was an idiot.

        • You can’t apply your own morality to other people. I wouldn’t stow away into another country period… .That doesn’t mean that other people don’t. I think that there’s a certain subsection of illegal immigrants willing to perpetrate voter fraud because they know that their most likely path to guilt-free citizenship is with the democrats. I don’t blame them for thinking that, they’re probably right… But the practise does damage to your democracy, and so you as a citizen should be against it.

          • “I wouldn’t stow away into another country period…”

            You live in Canada. You have no idea what you would do if you were living in poverty in Mexico, and you can’t say with any reasonable degree of confidence what you would do.

            • Spartan said “If I were an illegal immigrant, the last thing I would do is present myself to a State authority for inspection.”

              I said “You can’t apply your own morality to other people.”

              You said “You have no idea what you would do if you were living in poverty in Mexico, and you can’t say with any reasonable degree of confidence what you would do.”

              Which was exactly my point, now go tell that to her.

        • I would stow away in another country if my children were starving or if we couldn’t escape violence — and I would do so without hesitation. But there is a zero percent chance that I would risk my safe haven by trying to vote in that country’s elections.

      • The point is that this was not voter id fraud. This is registration fraud, a different animal altogether. Voter id laws could not have done anything to prevent registration fraud.

        • No. That’s nonsense. The point is that a citizen must prove identity and citizenship when appearing at the polls. Every fake identity has also registered. It’s a checkpoint. Of course requiring Id would prevent it. Like the green card that explains he’s not a citizen. Requiring ID works if the individual is pretending to be someone else, and if he’s pretending to be eligible when he’s not.

          • “Every fake identity has also registered. It’s a checkpoint. Of course requiring Id would prevent it. Like the green card that explains he’s not a citizen.”

            You have said yourself that voters should be issued an ID free of charge. If someone like this guy can register to vote, what would stop him from getting such an ID?

            As other have already pointed out, like most cases of so-called “voter fraud,” this is voter registration fraud, which is far more common than in-person fraud. Liberals have not denied the existence of this problem. We just think it should be addressed at the registration level, not at the polls.

          • Jack, only a few states require(d) citizenship to be demonstrated, and I don’t think any of them have survived judicial review.

            I think that’s a tragedy, but it happens to be a fact. There is no extant voter ID requirement that I am aware of that still requires proof of citizenship.

    • You state “overt intent of many of the proponents of voter id laws is explicitly to disenfranchise minority voters”, and then quote one ignorant dumbass. How do you know that “many” proponents feel similarly. I don’t know that you do, and in that assumption that you’re making, your bias is showing.

      I support voter ID laws not so much for the law itself (though, I do support that), but, more so because of the racist assumption that black people aren’t quite as capable at acquiring an ID as white people are.

      Is it more difficult for people of lower socioeconomic classes (the real demographic being affected here, not “minorities”, but to far too many people, they’re one in the same) to have access to IDs, due to limited transportation options? Yes. Address THAT issue, instead of throwing up your hands and saying “this incredibly easy standard that I was able to accomplish at age 16, is secretly racist b/c black people can’t accomplish what I was able to.”

      “Why, like in Texas, allow gun owner permits to serve as acceptable id, but not student identification cards?”

      I don’t know…spitballing here, but likely because anyone can enroll in college, so Student ID cards don’t verify citizenship or resident status.

      “People would have to stand in line” …we do that every single day
      “hope that the person they are impersonating hasn’t already voted”…if they’re deceased, that’s not much of an issue
      “hope that the local poll worker doesn’t recognize them”…literally thousands of people are passing through all day long. This is not a real issue.
      “hope that the person actually is registered”…if you’re stealing an identity, presumably, you registered in that person’s name
      “vote”…not an issue
      “then go to another poll station and do it again, if they can find the time.”…Im sure you saw the study that 1 in 5 men reported not working at all in 2014. There are plenty of people who have the time.

      • “and then quote one ignorant dumbass.”

        deery knows that. Deery knows because he included the title said ignoramus in a vain attempt to beef up the guy’s importance to the nation. Deery knows that “pricinct chairman” is about as representative of the entire GOP as “local flag waver #2” is. Deery was counting on no one to dissect that and assume “oh wow, a title, guy must speak for a vast swath of the GOP”.

        Deery knows. Deery doesn’t care.

        • But no doubt deery will now spew the litany of misconstrued quotes or contextually removed blurbs to attempt to smear a broad spectrum of republicans now. Possibly via the laughable list of spin I found weeks ago on the topic.

      • You state “overt intent of many of the proponents of voter id laws is explicitly to disenfranchise minority voters”, and then quote one ignorant dumbass. How do you know that “many” proponents feel similarly. I don’t know that you do, and in that assumption that you’re making, your bias is showing.

        The court in overturning the North Carolina voter id laws found an explicit discriminatory intent in crafting the law. This is clear when they researched which IDs and voter laws black people tended to use the most, and then barred the use of those IDs and voter uses, like Sunday and early voting.

        I don’t know…spitballing here, but likely because anyone can enroll in college, so Student ID cards don’t verify citizenship or resident status.

        You don’t have to be a citizen to own a gun, so Cetin would have been able to still vote with a gun permit license. So that isn’t it.

        Is it more difficult for people of lower socioeconomic classes (the real demographic being affected here, not “minorities”, but to far too many people, they’re one in the same) to have access to IDs, due to limited transportation options? Yes. Address THAT issue, instead of throwing up your hands and saying “this incredibly easy standard that I was able to accomplish at age 16, is secretly racist b/c black people can’t accomplish what I was able to.”

        As I’ve noted in my original post, it is far more than people not being able to obtain transportation, though that is a problem too. At a certain point, getting an ID becomes a Catch-22, if you don’t already have one, it is very hard to get one, and you need an ID to get an ID. The ID the state offers might be free, but the documents needed to get that “free” ID usually are not. Birth certificates, if they exist, cost a great deal of money for someone on a minimum wage salary to obtain.

        It does not help allay suspicion that voter id laws are designed to suppress the minority vote when the laws go hand-in-hand with closing the very centers in minority counties that people would need to go to obtain those IDs. This is what happened in Alabama, for instance.

        • “You don’t have to be a citizen to own a gun, so Cetin would have been able to still vote with a gun permit license. So that isn’t it.”

          Point taken; however, anyone can come across a gun outside, and poof, they now own a gun. But you do need a state issued ID to legally buy a gun, and the standard to obtain one is higher than to obtain a school ID. Plus, your original point re: licenses s school IDs was not about Cetin, but rather, the burden obtaining state issued IDs places on minorities, as if state issued IDs were the equal of school issued IDs.

          “At a certain point, getting an ID becomes a Catch-22, if you don’t already have one, it is very hard to get one, and you need an ID to get an ID. The ID the state offers might be free, but the documents needed to get that “free” ID usually are not”

          I assume this was written not to support the disenfranchisement of minorities point, but to continue down the socioeconomic/transportation limitations point; however, I’m curious….why is there no outcry about the other rights/priveledges that are limited to those only those in possession of a state issued ID, like airline/train travel, alcohol/cigarette purchase, and prescription drugs?

          “This is what happened in Alabama, for instance.”

          As reported on governing.com: “The affected offices issued or renewed less than 9,000 driver’s licenses and identification cards in 2014; the counties had just over 551,000 active or inactive voters that year. The number represented less than one-half of one percent of the voting population.”

          Worst. Voting. Suppression. Plan. Ever.

          • I assume this was written not to support the disenfranchisement of minorities point, but to continue down the socioeconomic/transportation limitations point; however, I’m curious….why is there no outcry about the other rights/privileges that are limited to those only those in possession of a state issued ID, like airline/train travel, alcohol/cigarette purchase, and prescription drugs?

            Many of those aren’t you cited aren’t limited to state IDs. I’ve never had to show an ID at all to pick up my prescriptions, for instance. In Virginia there is no set requirement that you must show id to purchase alcohol. You don’t need an ID at all if you are under 18 and flying, and the list of acceptable IDs to fly are:
            •Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
            •U.S. passport
            •U.S. passport card
            •DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
            •U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
            •Permanent resident card
            •Border crossing card
            •DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
            •Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
            •Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
            •HSPD-12 PIV card
            •Foreign government-issued passport
            •Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
            •Transportation worker identification credential
            •Immigration and Naturalization Service Employment Authorization Card (I-766)

            Many of which would not be acceptable to use for voting under voter id laws, of course. Plus traveling by airplane is not a fundamental right. The airlines could, if they wanted, require all passengers to wear red and sing “This Old Man” if they wanted. Probably bad for the bottom line though.

            Facing a budget crisis, Alabama has shuttered 31 driver’s license offices, many of them in counties with a high proportion of black residents. Coming after the state recently put into effect a tougher voter ID law, the closures will cut off access — particularly for minorities — to one of the few types of IDs accepted.

            According to a tally by AL.com columnist John Archibald, eight of the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters saw their driver’s license offices closed.

            “Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one,” Archibald wrote. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/alabama-drivers-licenses-voter-id

          • why is there no outcry about the other rights/priveledges that are limited to those only those in possession of a state issued ID, like airline/train travel, alcohol/cigarette purchase, and prescription drugs?

            I spend a lot of time complaining about requiring ID to fly when the topic comes up and have never been asked for ID to fill a prescription though the hardest stuff a doctor has ever given me was a bottle of hydrocodone after a minor surgery.

              • What do you want me to say Jack? I’m against requiring ID for stuff. I was born during the cold war and the people walking around saying ‘papers please’ were always the bad guys and that was before computer readable ID where they can scan or swipe or whatever they do and make a permanent record of who/time/location/destination on demand in half a second. In a free country it’s no one’s business where I happen to go, be it two miles down the road to Walmart or 2000 miles away to see my aunt in Portland, or when I choose to do it, or what my doctor gives me for pain or anxiety or birth control or even more personal stuff.

                • I have to hand over an ID now whenever I check into a hotel — in the United States. Last week, I was asked for an ID at my local grocery store because the tab was over $100 and I was paying with a credit card. Ridiculous.

                  • Spartan said, “I have to hand over an ID now whenever I check into a hotel — in the United States. Last week, I was asked for an ID at my local grocery store because the tab was over $100 and I was paying with a credit card. Ridiculous.”

                    Spartan,
                    Do you not understand that it’s those with criminal intent that is forcing this issue upon the masses. If people acted ethically and followed the laws we have in place there would be no reason for such things.

                    There is a serious, and quite reasonable, lack of trust at work here.

                    • I understand why we these businesses are doing it Zoltar, but it’s this kind of stuff that is creeping us toward a total police state.

            • My son has a monthly Schedule II ADHD med that requires an ID (by federal law, they tell me) to pick up. Just sayin’ that such a law exists depending on the drug involved.

  5. It’s actually #5.

    They have not been actively checking the citizenship or actual identity of people walking into polling places, they just believe that no one would lie to illegally cast a vote because of the possible penalties.

    Of course using that kind of “logic” there would be no need for our current criminal court system, jails, or prisons because no one is going to break a law because there are possible penalties.

    Even if they find out that a voter is fraudulent after the fact; their fraudulent vote cannot be removed from the count because there is no proof as to which was their vote because it’s illegal to track such things. The system is and has been flawed, it’s primed for abuse because no one will know it’s being abused.

    The fraudulent voting statistics are terribly terribly flawed because they have NOT been actively checking for citizenship and personal identification proving that you are who you say you are and that your are eligible and legal to vote. The interesting thing is that anti voter ID activists have been using the terribly flawed statistics as definitive/quantifiable “proof” to support their illogical arguments. When you get into discussions with some of them they will tell you that even if voter ID is put in place and the numbers of fraudulent voters doesn’t increase they say it will be because fraudulent voters never existed in the first place while they completely ignore the fact that actively checking to prevent fraud will chase away some if not most of the fraudulent voters just because they know they will be checked. Their entire argument is based on illogical assumptions that voter fraud does not exist even though there are documented cases and the system is set up and primed to allow fraud because they are not actively checking for fraud they just “blindly” believe.

    There is an associated problem; there are places issuing drivers license to known illegal immigrants and those drivers license do not put an IN-YOUR-FACE notice on that license identifying that the holder is not a citizen, the result is that that person can then walk into a polling place and vote using that drivers license as an official government issued ID granting them the right to vote.

    Also, there are actually places in the United States that allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections and this gets confusing when municipal elections overlap state and/or federal elections and the same ballots cover everything.

    No one is actively checking is primed for fraud.

      • He keeps saying it because it keeps pointing out the hypocrisy of people who simultaneously hold the following two positions:

        “Having to do ANYTHING to exercise a right (voting) is too burdensome.”
        “Having to do current rigamarole to exercise a right (gun ownership) is not nearly burdensome enough.”

        Of course it’s not a real argument, and I doubt that M.E. sincerely believes background checks should be done away with. But at the same time, which is it? Explain why added burdens to one right is okay while putting any sort of burden at all on another is not okay–because they are both rights.

        I won’t try to speak to his motivation, but I know *I’m* sick and tired of being accused of being a racist and wanting to disenfranchise people when what I really want is a little basic integrity and security for the system.

        –Dwayne

        P.S. It’s not too far off from the reductio ad absurdum arguments posed on this site for the reverse: If it’s okay to disallow gun ownership for persons on the No-Fly List, then why not take away their right to vote (…and/or other things) as well?

        • Except that voting is at the heart of the functioning of a democracy, and is both a right and an essential process. The issues are not even slightly comparable.

          The people who advocate burdensome gun regulations don’t acknowledge that gun ownership IS a right.

  6. Seriously though, I’m curious what the exact wording of the latest talking points is that has been downloaded into our loyal left-defenders here.

    I haven’t heard the argument thet “it isn’t voter ID fraud, it’s a problem with registration” argument yet, and now it’s being pulled out quick draw style by several commenters.

    Must subscribe to the same Listserve.

    • I’ve seen that argument made for as long as voter ID laws have been in the news, tex. That’s because proponents of voter ID keep pointing to voter registration fraud rather than in-person fraud.

      • That’s because proponents of voter ID keep pointing to voter registration fraud rather than in-person fraud.

        That’s a distinction without a difference. Both registration and illegal voting are crimes.

        • That’s a distinction without a difference. Both registration and illegal voting are crimes.

          Yes, but proponents only focus on one of those, and it isn’t the more prevalent one. And while focusing on the much more of the two crimes, they just so happen to disenfranchise disproportionately minority, poor, and young voters. In Texas they estimated that 10% of voters would not be able to have the types of IDs required under their new voter id laws. All to combat two cases of in-person voter fraud that Texas was able to come up with through the decades. Is it worth it to disenfranchise millions of voters to combat two cases? I would say not. But if your agenda is precisely to disenfranchise those voters, and in-person voter fraud is the fig leaf you wield in order to do it, then of course it is worth it.

          • Lets presume everything you say is accurate; if liberals care about the sanctity of one person, one vote, and are aware of both of these issues (voter and registration fraud), and are aware that conservatives are stupidly/racistly focussing on the smaller fish, while the big fish gets ignored, why aren’t more liberals speaking up about, and denouncing, registration fraud….as opposed to the never-ever-convincing “there’s nothing to see here, there’s no issue, and if you see one, you’re a racist” strategy?

            • I don’t think most liberals contend there is no such thing as registration fraud. Indeed, most articles I read on the subject point out that the few instances of fraud people are able to find tend to be registration fraud, or absentee ballot fraud. I for one, denounce all fraud…if that satisfies you…though I suspect it won’t.

              I think liberals focus on the myth of in-person fraud precisely because that is where most conservatives focus their efforts, in a blatant attempt to disenfranchise legal voters.

              The solution to registration fraud is quite expensive and onerous, either for the voter (unconstitutional) or the state (unthinkable for conservatives). Free birth certificates for people to request, free passports, or a huge, interlocked database that has people’s citizenship status readily available in all 50 states, that would not be vulnerable to hacking and/or misuse. Good luck! There is a reason why almost all states use affidavits swearing to citizenship than any other method.

        • Glenn Logan:

          That’s a distinction without a difference. Both registration and illegal voting are crimes.

          ‘This voter fraud case proves we need voter ID.’

          ‘What voter fraud case? That’s a story about a grisly murder.’

          ‘Irrelevant. Both murder and illegal voting are crimes.’

      • And yet I can’t recall a single time the distinction has been made in our countless EthicsAlarms debates and here we are a handful all seemingly simultaneously piping in with the argument.

        Funny that.

        • There was an post sometime back about an illegal alien who worked for the government who registered to vote where made the same point about registration fraud versus in person voter fraud. Also another post about a woman who filled in an absentee ballot for a dead/incompetent parent, where I made the point about absentee ballot fraud versus in person voter fraud. That’s off the top of my head. The arguments aren’t new. Around here, nothing is.

        • tex, you have a habit of assuming something sinister is going on any time you hear a progressive argument that you’re unfamiliar with. Why is that?

  7. As a Washington state resident I’ll note a few things (as they apply to this specific case):
    – There is no in-person vote here, it’s all by mail – with byzantine rules about when it needs to be mailed, how long to wait for it, etc.
    – As a non-citizen the government has sent me voter registration packets, and they have more than enough information to know I’m not one
    – The “State ID” is your driver’s license, and they ask for every single fucking document they can think of to give you one; of course they know if you’re a citizen, permanent resident or on a temporary visa.
    – And you can still manage to get the ID without those, I don’t know how but my bet is on incompetence or corruption at the DMV
    – If you don’t want a license you can get an ID card for about fifteen bucks, and I’d be willing to pay taxes to give them for free if the requester signs an affidavit of financial hardship

    So we have a State ID, that could be given for free without too much hassle and that technically requires proving legal status (and the specifics of it) before being issued. If it is not being used is due to lack of political will (but this is a deep blue state, so I’m not surprised). The government does not care or actively encourages fraud (call it voter or registration). I’m pretty sure this guy got the same mailing I get every election and decided to fill it out… If the ones in charge don’t care, why should he.

    I would love for Americans to know the magnitude of the problem (as in numbers of voters doing so illegally) so they can be honest about allowing it because it supports their politics or doing something about it because they care about the integrity of the system.

    • So we have a State ID, that could be given for free without too much hassle and that technically requires proving legal status (and the specifics of it) before being issued.

      As far as I can tell, Washington State provides many opportunities to acquire an ID without the state having to verify citizenship or legal status. For example, it allows divorce decrees, mortgage documents, property tax bills, verification letters etc. in order to get state id. So no, you aren’t required to prove legal status or citizenship, even in Washington state. http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/idproof.html

      • Did you actually read the link? All those are B-list documents (except the verification letter, and if you’re using one of those you’re not eligible to vote), you need at least one A-list document or a standalone, and with them it’s trivial to verify legal status.

        I agree that the state gives many opportunities to get an ID without verifying legal status, it’s just not what they advertise.

        • Did you actually read the link? All those are B-list documents (except the verification letter, and if you’re using one of those you’re not eligible to vote), you need at least one A-list document or a standalone, and with them it’s trivial to verify legal status.

          Those were just some examples. You can also use id from other states that probably don’t investigate citizenship status, and even foreign driver licenses, which may or may not indicate citizenship.

          As a side note, you can certainly be eligible to vote with a verification letter. Many foster kids stay in the system until they are 21, and even most are not kicked out as soon as they turn 18. You can also be on work release without committing a felony. I don’t see how using a verification letter shows that one is ineligible to vote.

          • Now we’re getting stuck on the details. At this point the state can note that for this minority of cases the registrant is unable to vote without further proof and either request it or issue an ID with a big NOT ELIGIBLE FOR VOTING note – like my SS card with the NOT ELIGIBLE FOR WORK notice. The hard work is there, if the final step is not taken when it’s easy I wonder why.

            • Then it just gets back to the original problem. How do you prove citizenship? And how do you require of people so that it is not unduly burdensome and/or expensive for either them or the state? Remember the original poll tax was ruled unconstitutional when it was less than $10 in today’s dollars.

              • May I ask then, how do you verify that these individuals are eligible to live in the US? if they don’t have a document proving US citizenship do you just let them be?

                Man, had I known that instead of waiting 10 years for my GC I would have just burned all my IDs.

                • I would venture to say that most people don’t have proof of US citizenship readily available. SSN shows eligibility to live and/or work in the US, but not necessarily citizenship. Only a small minority of people have passports. Many people have copies of their birth certificates, but often not the originals, and getting certified copies can be relatively expensive. Nor of course, would birth certificates or an SSN card pass muster as a photo id. Anyone can get anyone’s birth certificate online.

                  It would actually be rather complex, and probably take several different kinds of documents, most of which would merely reflect back to another document, to prove citizenship in the US. We don’t issue citizenship cards automatically here.

                  • All true and useful, but it still does not answer my question. What to do when you find someone who can’t prove citizenship or legal residence?

                    Also, if you have an SSN there’s a pretty thorough paper trail of your identity. I just had to get one for one of my kids (born in the US) because the hospital messed up and again I had to provide hospital birth records, birth certificate, pediatrician medical records and immunization records for a 6 year old. If that information is not used it’s more a question of will than ability.

                    • All true and useful, but it still does not answer my question. What to do when you find someone who can’t prove citizenship or legal residence?

                      In the US we tend to just leave them alone, unless they’ve committed some crime. Most people without state ID tend to limp along with other kinds of id, like check cashing id, student id, and the like. Lack of valid is actually a very big problem with the poor and homeless populations. But we don’t deport people simply because they can’t prove citizenship. That would be silly and expensive.

                      Also, if you have an SSN there’s a pretty thorough paper trail of your identity. I just had to get one for one of my kids (born in the US) because the hospital messed up and again I had to provide hospital birth records, birth certificate, pediatrician medical records and immunization records for a 6 year old. If that information is not used it’s more a question of will than ability.

                      Most people’s parents acquire their SSN for them before they’ve even left the hospital. The hospital does most of the paperwork. That is entirely dependent on being born in a hospital, which tends to be out of a person’s control. After that, you are dependent on how diligent your parents are or are not. As you yourself noted, past a certain age, it is rather difficult and time consuming to get a SSN.

                      Also, it is pretty easy to simply steal someone’s SSN to use as your own, or request a birth certificate to use. Probably easier than actually getting a valid one. Which is a primary reason why SSN numbers have been phasing out for a while now as a form of personal ID.

                  • I just checked my passport. It doesn’t show my citizenship, only my nationality. There’s a not so subtle difference. Citizenship attaches to the states and DC and Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Island, and the Northern Mariana Islands, but for some reason not American Samoa even though they also get US passports… We really should fix that.

  8. It’s 4! Ms. Weiser has figuratively been caught with her pants down at the Orwellian named Brennan Center for Justice. Yet another reason for not moving to Seattle as their Secretary of State is a clueless bureaucrat and enabler of voter fraud.

  9. I can relate the anecdote of when I purchased my house. The title insurance documents listed selling owners as “Mexican Nationals and legal permanent residents” for both husband and wife.

    The next election rolls around and absentee ballots for husband, wife, wife’s mom and eldest son arrive in the mail. I travel past the county clerk’s office on the way to work so I took them back in person. I informed them of what I knew, but I seriously doubt anything came of it. I don’t have proof they ever voted, but they were registered.

  10. This morning’s Virginian Pilot newspaper reported that, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, a recent voter registration drive registered 19 people who were dead.

    • Because they haven’t actually voted? It’s the same as some stupid college joker putting down “Ivanna Humpalot” on the registration form. It’s not voter fraud until Ms. Humpalot shows up at the polls and attempts to vote.

      • Well, according to Spartan, its also not voter fraud if the vote is cast, since the error would be on the polling station for allowing it.

        The point is, if so many people are attempting this AND getting caught before committing the act, it stands to reason that many people are attempting this, AND NOT getting caught. This is one of those crimes where, if the criminal is good at what they do, no one will recognize that a crime has been committed.

        Also, conspiracy to commit voter fraud is a crime in several states.

        • “This is one of those crimes where, if the criminal is good at what they do, no one will recognize that a crime has been committed.”

          You don’t suppose also, that this is one of those crimes, where if the criminal is backed by an organization that benefits from the crime, they may more easily get away with it because of that support?

  11. 1. Supporting voter ID laws are intended to suppress particular demographics from voting because those demographics tend to vote against the supporters of voter ID.
    2. Opposing voter ID laws are intended to make it easier for people to vote because those people are considered to be sure votes for the opponents of voter ID laws, including those people who cast fraudulent votes.

    Is one of these motives really more insidious than the other?

    • No. But the fact that elections require both integrity and the public’s trust makes the choice an easy one. There are solutions to the difficulty of getting ID. There is no solution to preventing election fraud that does not involve stringent ID procedures.

  12. But, then there is this little news gem from 2014 about a Connecticut stated representative having been arrested on 19 counts of voter fraud:

    http://www.nhregister.com/government-and-politics/20140926/bridgeport-state-rep-christina-ayala-arrested-on-19-voting-fraud-charges

    I think she should be rewarded for her commitment to public service. She so strongly believes in the democratic process, she became a bit overzealous in her application of her right to vote.

    jvb

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