Saturday, March 17, 2012

Voter ID

Personally, I have no argument about requiring that people who vote in American elections should damn-well have to prove -- at registration, at least -- that they really are American citizens, they really are who they say they are, and they really live where they say they live. In fact, I think that voter ID is the only ID that the govt. has any right to require of the citizenry. Therefore, I have no basic argument with various states passing laws that require proof of citizenship and photo-ID, with address, of anyone registering to vote.

No, I'm not at all surprised that everyone from ACORN to Al "The Mouth" Sharpton promptly howled that all these laws are "racist"; after all, 'tis a sorry fact that the majority of Welfare recipients and illegal immigrants vote Democrat -- and everyone assumes that the majority of Welfare recipients are either Latino or Black. In fact -- and I learned this when I worked for Welfare in Michigan and Illinois -- the majority of Welfare recipients (like the majority of Americans in general) are White, but that doesn't match the stereotype.

I also learned, in Chicago, that Democrat local party-machines are past masters of vote-fraud. The only Republican technique that can in any way match the Democrats' methods is the use of Diebold vote-tabulating machines, whose inventor promised that his machines could deliver the vote for any Republican candidate he chose. There was enough outcry about the 2000 and 2008 elections that various state prosecutors went after Diebold with hamnmer and tongs, obliging the company to change its name three times, and various county election boards are divesting themselves of Diebold tabulating machines as fast as they can afford to.

So now it's the Democrats' turn to have their best vote-fraud techniques counter-attacked (hell, I haven't set foot in Chicago in 20 years, but I'm probably still voting there -- Democrat), and oh, but they're howling. I've seen celebrity-led protest marches parading around state and county buildings, complaining that poor folks, old folks, and of course Blacks, are being "robbed of their votes" because they often don't have photo-ID.

I felt like yelling at them: "Then what are you doing here, you fools? Why aren't you trudging door-to-door in poor/old/Black folks' neighborhoods, showing them how to get photo-ID? How do you think Civil Rights activists got Blacks registered in the '60s?"

Really, there are several legal ways to get photo-ID, let alone proof of citizenship: birth certificate, baptismal certificate, tribal ID card, authenticated entry in a family bible, sworn statements of midwives, relatives, neighbors and fellow church-members, and of course a military ID card -- military service being the classic quick path to citizenship -- among others. All it takes is a little legwork, patience, and a few dollars worth of stamps. That's how the Civil Rights movement did it, 50 years ago. Surely Democrats haven't forgotten that particular historical triumph. Have they just grown unconscionably lazy since then?

Nah, they're just whining because these anti-vote-fraud laws will rob them of perhaps as many as 12 million illegal votes in the next election.

Well, pity-pity-pity. My heart bleeds. Not.

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(


Mark Horning said...

It's simple. We just need to pass a law that says that Voter ID requirements are the same requirements set by the DOJ to purchase a firearm from an FFL. *heh*

Doragoon said...

How about before they bus people to the polls, they bus them to get a photo ID? Then they will be able to do so many other good things like fly on airplanes, and open bank accounts. That would help them much more than voting.

Leslie Fish said...

Brilliant suggestions, both!

...Hmmm, some of the requirements for getting photo-ID take more than an hour or so; the activists would have to get those poor folks their ID well before election day.

Also, tell me again: what are the requirements for purchasing a firearm from an FFL?

--Leslie <;)))><

Aya Katz said...

Mark, I'd be happy if there were no requirments for purchasing a firearm, and no photo ID for voting. After all, photography had not been invented at the time of the founding fathers. Do you think there was an oil portrait requirement back then? I think not.

On the other hand, property ownership in a state as a prerequisite for voting in that state, and property ownership in a county or precinct, in order to vote in that county or precinct seems fair. All you have to do is show the deed.

Antongarou said...

Aya, you do understand this precludes voting by anyone who is too poor to own their own house(rather then rent)? A lot of people, especially the poorer section of urban society *do not* own the house they live in. Do you propose to bar them from voting? Not to mention this potentially allows absentee landlords to vote in several counties.

Carolyn said...

"...after all, 'tis a sorry fact that the majority of Welfare recipients and illegal immigrants vote Democrat"

What does Welfare have to do with it? Are you not allowed to vote if you're getting Welfare?

Aya Katz said...

Antongarou, don't you see that the principle at play is no taxation without representation, and conversely, no representation without being subject to taxation?

People who own real estate are not necessarily rich, but they are vulnerable to taxation on the local level. They can own something as small as a burial plot and that would be good enough. But if they own nothing, then they have nothing at stake. Especially when it comes to property taxes.

The principle that ought to apply is that if you don't own property in a city, you should not get to vote in that city's election. If you don't own property in a county, you should not get to vote in that county's election. If you don't own property in a state, you should not get to vote in that state's election. If you don't own property in the country, you should not vote in the national elections.

That way, back when there were only property taxes levied, nobody would get to impose taxes without incurring the same taxes he imposes. That tends to create fairness. Nowadays, it's the people who don't pay taxes who vote for representatives who will raise them. The people who do pay taxes are underrepresented because of this.

It should be okay for non-residents to vote on the taxes imposed on their property, don't you think?

Besides, why have a residency requirement? What if you own land but travel from state to state? Why require people to declare where they reside? As long as you own property, you can live in your car, and you don't even need to build a house.

Of course, income taxes are more complicated than that, but the same principle should apply: if you're not in an income bracket, you don't get to vote for representatives who will tax that income bracket.If we had that rule in place, do you think the graduated income tax could ever have been enacted?

Technomad said...

Every state has non-drivers'-license ID cards, often much easier to get than a DL (no driving test). And like it or not, people these days need some sort of ID. I don't see requiring its use to vote is hurting anybody; non-citizens shouldn't be voting anyway.

Antongarou said...

Aya, I have two points to make, one ethical and one practical.

let us begin with the ethical point- I believe it was one of your famous presidents who succinctly defined democracy as government "By the people, through the people, for the people". the only question is how you define "People" for that purpose: do you wish to define them as "only those who pay taxes"?That goes against everything that is evident from the US legal tradition, from its declaration of independence onwards("We hold these truths to be self-evident..."). it goes against every conception of humane society that takes care of those in need, whether because of some misfortune or because of their own lack of skill: As human beings we have moral duties to one another, and one of them is making sure people get essential medical treatment, for example.Yes, there are lowlifes who will take advantage of the system, but there will also be people who are genuinely in need who'll benefit- and the second category outnumbers the first considerably.

and let us continue to the practical point:everybody uses some services of the state- even if we're merely talking about the public roads you drive on and sidewalk you walk on, and this is without a mention of using the state as a regulator. Say you're renting a place in Midsville, Somestate and the neighborhood you live in is mostly other renters who don't get to vote either, and some really poor voters. The landlords don't care much about the area because they live 3 states over, the mayor and City Hall don't care, since you aren't voters, so you don't have sidewalks, building codes are barely a suggestion, and that's just the beginning. How much good do you think society at large will get out of such a neighborhood?I suspect not much. And such barrios will grow immensely if what you propose ever comes to pass.

Aya Katz said...


I'm against non-driver's licenses and have written about it before:

Antongarou, at the time when the United States was founded: 1) identification cards were not required of citizens and 2) Only landowners could vote.

This has nothing to do with the definition of a person. Granted, at the time, black slaves and women were less than people in the law's eyes. But I think we have remedied that and now allow all regardless of race or sex the same rights.

A prerequisite for voting has to be more than personhood, more than majority and more than citizenship. It should be having a stake in the outcome of the election and being at risk for some of the cost.

Should people who will never pay taxes in a school district have more of a vote than the people who do pay those taxes -- even if they don't live there? I think not. Can't you see that budget problems of every sort stem from allowing people to spend money that is not theirs?

As for your practical point: nobody has to use any state provided service. Anything the state can provide, the people can provide for themselves through voluntary agreement.

Doragoon said...

"As human beings we have moral duties to one another, and one of them is making sure people get essential medical treatment"

Those are religious obligations.

The state has no right to order you to provide your labour for someone else's private benefit. Providing for the general welfare does not mean providing private benefits to individuals. If you argue that a private benefit will enhance the common welfare, then there is no limit to the authority of the state.

If a person requires government to tell them who should get their charity, how can government trust them to know who would best represent them in government?

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Carolyn. I used to work for Welfare (in two states), and saw for myself that Democrat ward-heelers make a special point of recruiting votes from among Welfare clients. They advertize that Democrats are the poor folks' friends, and Republicans will take away the Welfare services that a lot of desperate poor folks depend on. Since the claim about the Repubs. is all too often true, the poor -- quite rationally -- vote Democrat.

In fact, the poor do pay taxes: maybe not income tax or property tax, but definitely sales tax, tax on utilities, fuel taxes, "hidden" taxes on food, and so on. They also have a vested interest in the condition and services of the neighborhoods they live in. And they certainly serve as a ready pool of cheap labor, useful to the rich and the govt. alike. They certainly deserve to vote on the govt. which rules them!

Aya Katz said...

Leslie, if we eliminate property taxes, income taxes, and all taxes that apply to only some people and not others, and replace them with a flat sales tax, then everyone should be able to vote in elections for setting the sales tax. And I bet if the sales tax applied equally to everyone, everyone would have an interest in keeping it low.

That is, unless some politician promised to take taxes from all and then give the money back to some select group. It would have to apply equally to all or to none. No playing favorites.

The principle is that whatever we vote on should apply to everyone equally. The moment that principle is violated, we have taxation without representation.

It does not make sense to say that two people, A and B, have an equal right to vote, when all they ever vote on is how much A will pay B. If only A is paying, only A should vote.

windmills said...

1) For those ok with requiring I.D.'s, re-read Heinlein.
2) If you've never heard of Heinlein, its not your fault, but please don't talk to me.
3) I am inspired! I have long been an avid collector of "Free Market" I.D.'s, but it simply never OCCURED to me to vote more than once! Look forward to "Kalifornia, People's Republic of"... becoming known as "That one weird neon-green state...". Blue and Red are so boring!
4)making requirements to vote similar to those for buying a gun coudn't be easier! Show up with your gun, and you can vote. I assume they checked your I.D. when you bought it. I certainly won't try to check your I.D. while you're holding it... let's politicians know where they stand... "Congressman, there are 40,000 guns voting against you..."
5) why try to stop people from voting more often? We already don't count those who don't vote at all, why not count double those who care enough to vote twice? Vote as often as you like! Mandatory $1 contribution to the Space Program for each vote.