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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 04:17 PM
Original message
Voter ID Laws are Racist
http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2011/5/14/134945/835

Voter ID Laws are Racist

by BooMan
Sat May 14th, 2011 at 05:00:28 PM EST


I think we're going to have start calling these Voter ID laws something more memorable. I prefer "Jim Crow-Lite Laws" because, despite a small degree of hyperbole, the aim of these laws is to address the fact that blacks and Latinos don't vote for Republicans by making it so a substantial portion of blacks and Latinos cannot vote at all. These Jim Crow-Lite laws will begin passing in every state in the country where the Republicans have the power to ram them through. They hope it will buy them a little extra time as a viable political party.

I've talked to a lot of people about Voter ID laws over the years and I can tell you that suburban Americans just don't understand how someone can go through life without a state-issued picture ID. They think it's totally reasonable to make it a requirement that someone present a state-issued picture ID at the polls if they want to vote. But, here's the reality:

According to the South Carolina State Elections Commission, "roughly 180,000 of South Carolina's registered voters have neither a state-issued driver's license nor photo ID." Although the bill waives the five dollar fee for a state ID for residents older than 17, it immediately disenfranchises eight percent of registered voters in the state, not including those newly- registered individuals.


Let me make this as clear as I can. There is no epidemic of voter fraud in this country. People who are not eligible to vote do not vote. If we have an epidemic, it's the opposite; people who are eligible to vote are staying home. Voter ID laws are ostensibly about making sure people are who they say they are, but there's a reason that only Republicans are interested in enacting these laws. What they want is to limit the number of minorities who vote. Period. And they don't care that they are disenfranchising a bunch of elderly people, too, who no longer drive and have no other need for a photo ID.

It's a racist, voter suppression drive. That's all it is. It isn't what they say it is. As someone who spent a year of my life working to register voters in our inner cities, I can tell you that a lot of young urban people do not have a driver's license because they don't have a car. And they don't have a state-issued photo ID because they don't need one. If you make having a photo ID a condition for voting, you are definitely going to limit these kids' representation in the electorate. And that's the point.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. Only the republicans want to stop people from voting
And look at who they are trying to stop from voting.

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Ohio Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. One nit with this
"There is no epidemic of voter fraud in this country"

I believe this is incorrect. True, I do not think the fraud is from people voting that are not supposed to but rather what happens to our votes after they are cast.
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jenmito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I think that is "election fraud," not "voter fraud."
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Ohio Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yes, you are correct
I've been drinking already :D
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-16-11 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #4
30. To coin a word...It is "Pugfraud"...rymes with and similar in meaning to schadenfreude.
Edited on Mon May-16-11 12:13 AM by ooglymoogly
schadenfreude : enjoyment obtained from inflicted troubles on others; in this case fraud played on Democrats.
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jenmito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R. I really hope (and believe) that Obama is well aware of this and will take people to GET the
IDs necessary to vote. There will hopefully be a well-funded, well-organized effort to do this.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. Amen. And it will help people with other things
One good thing about the birther nonsense: everyone ought to be curious about proving their own citizenship! And get educated that this idea of "the original" is wrong. It costs a small fee to get a certified copy of one's own birth certificate.

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walerosco Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
6. it is not racist
it is class ist. Theres nothing about being black or hispanic that makes it harder to obtain a state ID. I am a black laving in predominantly white Omaha, NE and I can tell you that there is nothing hard about obtaining an ID. What is needed is education for the poor and disenfranchised and teach them how to work the system
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tabbycat31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I can't speak for a state-issued non-driver ID
but for a drivers license in New Jersey, you need to have 6 points of ID in order to get one. When I switched mine from out of state (NY), my old license would only count as one point.

I had to get my birth certificate (original) from my parents in order to change over my drivers license. Many people don't know where their birth certificates aree.
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walerosco Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Now that is extreme
In Nebraska all I needed was my passport and 2 mails with my current address to obtain one. Anyway the reason why I replied to the post is that I felt the op was trying to make it into a race thing when its not. Poor white people also have this problem as poor blacks so why label only minorities with this problem?

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Thumper79 Donating Member (84 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. It may be be a race things, but
it's a republican vs Democrat problem. Republicans know that union workers, poor, elderly and black often vote for Democrats than Republicans. Finding a way to make sure fewer Democrats vote only works in favor of the republicans. Out of the millions who vote in elections there have been 16 cases of voters attempting to vote illegally. That hardly indicates a need for everyone to have an approved government ID. In some states they are refusing to take student IDs, but then students are more often Democrats than republicans.
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walerosco Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. I understand that democrats are more likely to be poor
and that is why republicans push for state ID but please for the sake of minorities, just called it a low income thing and I will be fine with it. Btw most college students have ID or know how to obtain an ID, how else do you think they get into 18 and over clubs? I can tell you one thing, its not with student IDs
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tabbycat31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. When I first got my permit NY was the same way
the difference is that I had a valid passport then but I no longer to (I haven't in years and will renew only if I have a plan to actually use it).

I just wish they would take an out of state license and add more points value to it.

It's not only poor but it's people who don't travel internationally (which includes most poorer people).
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. It is easy to get a certified copy
From the state in which you were born. A bit of a pain in the neck, but can be done.

Though you have to do it in person or show your state - issued ID now! Because of ID theft, my state won't release them as public records and that is probably true in many states.

but there is no such thing as "not knowing where they are." With some exceptions for mostly older people (who can use secondary evidence) anyone who knows their date and place of birth can go to that state/county for a certified copy.

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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
28. booooool cheeeeeet.
Edited on Sun May-15-11 11:38 PM by ooglymoogly
It is all these things. You are just chipping at the easily perceptible surface. It is not only about how difficult it is; it is about who has the time and who will in fact, go that extra mile, or for many who will have the support structure to accomplish that extra mile, no matter how short that mile is, or how short it is cracked up to be. Many poor and disenfranchised will see this as a bridge too far; for that is indeed what it will be for way too many. Just call it Jim Crow for democrats if you are more comfortable with that. The vast majority of the poor and disenfranchised are other than white. the vast majority of the disenfranchised, if they can find the time and means to vote will vote Democrat.

What and who do you think this "Jim crow" cadging law is designed to decimate; white republicans?
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. Nonsense. It's part of making elections fair and less fraudulent.
n/t
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palmtree guy Donating Member (119 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I agree
asking people to step up get current and get in the game is NOT racist, you have to have id to for all kinds of other things so big fat hairy deal!!
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Diamonique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Yes it is as big fat hair deal, because there's no real reason for it.
There is no voter fraud issue in this country, so why change the rules all of a sudden with this new law? It only disenfranchises those who are more likely to vote Democratic... and most of those are brown-skinned people.

It's a racist law.. period.

I calls 'em as I sees 'em.
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palmtree guy Donating Member (119 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. you have to have ID
to get along in the world, you call it as YOU see it, but EVERYTHING requires id in one form or another from rental agreements,to school registration,even applying for welfare....so I don't really see how you can call it racist...If I want to enroll my kids in school, I am asked to show ID, if I open a bank account, I am asked for ID, if I want to drive a car, I have to show ID, if I want to rent an apt, I am asked for ID, if the cops pull me over I am asked for ID, cigarettes or beer??? ID, write a check??? ID, cash a check? ID!!! are ALL of those things designed to disenfranchise people as well?

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Diamonique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. You're really serious, aren't you?
Bank accounts, driving a car, renting an apartment? Write a check? Oh puhleeze! Don't you know there are millions of American citizens that don't do any of those things? Should they not be allowed to vote simply because they choose not to do any of that other stuff?
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palmtree guy Donating Member (119 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-16-11 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #18
34. ok
Edited on Mon May-16-11 04:02 PM by palmtree guy
so how do these millions of people get by with no id? and what part of asking them to get id is racist? EVERY American should have ID!!
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quaker bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-17-11 05:57 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. Which is why we have an I-dignity project
Lots of people don't have ID and under the real ID driver license laws, it has become difficult to get. It takes two forms of verification plus proof of address. Starting from scratch, it is difficult to prove who you are. To get a copy of your birth certificate requires some form of proof that you are who you say you are. We have been able to use mug shots and arrest records, certified from the jail along with an affadavit from a pro-bono lawyer, to occasionally get the birth cert. This requires +/- 50 bucks, usually more than a homeless person has and takes several weeks. They need to establish residence at a shelter to have an address and receive mail at the address to have proof of residence....

Over the course of a couple of months, working diligently, one can often pull together enough documentation to get a photo id. It is not easy.

How do they get along without it? They panhandle, work under the table, and sleep in the parks. In short, they don't get along all that well, but they do survive.
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walerosco Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. I know
I think it would be much better to teach these people how to obtain an ID. Just imagine the world of opportunity that would open up for them if they just know how to obtain a fricken state ID
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wiggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. Joking? It is a myth that voter fraud is a significant or even minor issue. Voter ID is
not racist...but it is undemocratic.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. Sure, if you live in the Republican fantasy world where Tammany Hall still exists
And people voting multiple times is a major source of election fraud like in that scene from the movie Gangs of New York. However, that's unbelievably far from reality.
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Honeycombe8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
21. I don't think it's racist. But I think it affects poor people (minorities have higher % poor people
than whites, so in that respect it could be called racist, I guess). But I think mainly it is against poor people...the ones least likely to have a car and a reason to have a driver's license. And the ones most likely in large cities to use public transit. (Middle class do, too, but if you're poor, that's the way to get around, is my understanding.)
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. It's racist anyway you look at it. In Michigan the problem
for those 18-35 minorities will likely be due to unpaid "driver's responsibility fees" that the poor (college students and minorities)are unable to pay and thus will not be issued state IDs as a result. Even with a payment plan you're talking about a city that still has a 15% unemployment rate.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Where there are state-issued ID cards
at no cost to the poor (I wouldn't make them automatically for free for everyone), then the argument that this is anti-poor, and thus racist, goes away.

Yes, you have to do some work to get the ID, but you have a long lead time to figure out the documentation you need. I believe in things that reduce even the possible appearance of voter fraud, as long as those things are not unduly onerous. This doesn't meet my threshold of that.
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golfguru Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
24. Clean elections trump everything else
I am for paper trails of electronic voting, secure storage
of paper ballots, only US citizens allowed to vote, and open
elections which can be scrutinized by any authority in world. If voter ID's are necessary to verify US citizanship,
so be it.

That would separate us from banana republics.
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Ter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
25. To imply that minorities don't have ID is racist
I would never assume any minority would not have his or her ID, as the OP is clearly saying.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. Yeah, lets just pretend. nt
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formernaderite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-15-11 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
27. I don't think most of the red staters are well off
The richest states happen to be blue states, and the south which is primarily red... has a lot of white poor people. ID's can be made very cheaply, so to me this is a red herring... If anything it would help poor people who don't have any sort of ID to integrate into society. I'd like to see this phased in, as a social program.

I'm curious, how do people get state assistance without identification? Are we talking about the homeless?
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-16-11 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
31. Racists!
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lynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-16-11 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
32. Isn't it just as racist to claim that blacks and latino's don't have the ability -
- be it the funds, the political interest or the intelligence - to get a state-issued picture ID?
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walerosco Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-16-11 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. thats my point
Blacks and latinos are more than capable to obtaining their drivers license. In fact they should be encouraged to get one. Here in Omaha, we have a huge Sudanese and Thailand immigrant community and even with the little English they speak all strive to obtain a license. It not only affords you an easy vote pass but it open the door for professional opportunity.
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Avant Guardian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-17-11 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
36. The voting rights act of 65 outlawed them
If I remember correctly. This is old Jim Crow shit.
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Empowerer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-17-11 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
37. They aren't racist - but they are racially-discriminatory
In that they have a disparate impact on racial minorities.
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ItNerd4life Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-18-11 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
38. So now we are for the dead voting like they do/did in Chicago?
These laws help protect against voter fraud. Your arguments sound like you support voter fraud.
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Avant Guardian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-18-11 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. These laws were quashed decades ago because they were racist
They were called 'Jim Crow' laws. You want to bring this shit back? Shame on you. They are designed to stop blacks, students and the poor from voting.
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Ter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-11 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. I never met one person over 18 without ID
Regardless of color or class.
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Empowerer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-11 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Are you sure about that?
Have you asked everyone over 18 you've ever met whether they have a state-issued photo id?

I know quite a few people who don't have state issued photo identification. It's not easy - or cheap - for everyone to get such id.

The voter id requirement is a modern-day poll tax, nothing less. It's a burden that's placed on voters that may seem like it's no big deal for some people but can be onerous to others - and can sometimes make the difference between whether they are able to vote or not.

And the argument that one needs an id to cash a check or get on an airplane, etc. is specious, since cashing a check or getting on an airplane are not rights protected by the Constitution, nor are they activities that are limited to very specific days, times and places. If an elderly woman with no id cannot cash a check at the bank because she doesn't have a state-issued photo id, she still has ways of getting her check cashed. She can still get on a plane without a state-issued photo id (I know because I've done it myself). But if she is turned away from a voting place because she doesn't have a state-issued photo identification, her right to vote in that election is forever denied.

Voter id laws have one purpose and one purpose only - to suppress the votes of people who are considered more likely to vote Democratic.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-19-11 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. I had a girlfriend with an 18-year-old daughter who had no ID
She didn't want to drive a car or vote, so she hadn't bothered to get her license.

We're all probably better off for that girl not voting.
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