U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Voter ID Regulations | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Voter ID Regulations

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Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann wants to designate the Rankin-Hinds River Flood and Drainage Control District as a state agency.

A U.S. Supreme Court known for its anti-regulatory bent today voted 6-3 to uphold Indiana's voter-identification regulations, making Republicans happy and clearing the way for voter-ID laws in other states, including Mississippi. Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, praised the ruling in a statement:

"This is a common sense decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Mississippians don't need the nation's highest court to tell them Voter ID protects the integrity and reliability of the electoral process, deters voter fraud, and protects public confidence which encourages citizen participation.  They also do not need the Supreme Court to tell them absentee ballot fraud is stealing their vote."
 
"The Voter ID bill passed by the Mississippi Senate this year meets all of the requirements approved by the Supreme Court—including allowing the few individuals who may not have identification to cast an affidavit ballot and get identification free from the State."

Previous Comments

ID
118968
Comment

The question on one level is whether or not it's an undue hardship, and the Supreme Court really punted on that one. From the dissent: The upshot is this. Tens of thousands of voting-age residents lack the necessary photo identification. A large proportion of them are likely to be in bad shape economically. The Voter ID Law places hurdles in the way of either getting an ID or of voting provisionally, and they translate into nontrivial economic costs. There is accordingly no reason to doubt that a significant number of state residents will be discouraged or disabled from voting. Quite frankly, it's very difficult to be proud of a democracy that doesn't go out of its way to make sure its citizens can vote. It's already ridiculous that we don't have weekend voting and provisions for people with transportation issues...but to add to that the hoop that you *must* go down to the DMV before you can vote...bad decision, guys.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-04-28T16:20:14-06:00
ID
118969
Comment

It's no real surprise from a Court that showed its partisan, activist bent in the 2000 election morass. The right-wing activist-judge court-packing is paying off and will continue to. The question always has been, or should have been from partisans who supposedly hate regulation and federal interference: Is there compelling evidence that voter ID is needed? In Mississippi, there most certainly is not, and Republicans start sweating when you ask them that question directly, and try to change the subject. The GOP knows full well that this is a naked ploy to limit the voting pool. I've always that that it would be disgusting to be a member of a political party that believes that its future success hinges on limiting the people who can vote. There is nothing more elitist than that. The sad thing is that even once the Republican rogues of late are fully routed from Washington, which is in progress, we're still going to have to put up with this Supreme Court for a long time to come. Many of us tried to tell people that it's about the Supreme Court, stupid! We can write a thank-you letter to Ralph Nader and everyone who believed that a yuck that George Bush belonged in the White House.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-28T16:35:11-06:00
ID
118970
Comment

Quite frankly, it's very difficult to be proud of a democracy that doesn't go out of its way to make sure its citizens can vote. I think we're on a slippery slope heading towards something other than democracy. Fascism, communism, oligarchy, totalitarianism. It doesn't look like democracy to me.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-04-28T16:38:51-06:00
ID
118973
Comment

Seriously, If anyone is surprised by this ruling, please just escort yourself over to the land of "the law is outside the political process". Conservative judges are in the vast majority of the supreme court. To be perfectly honest, having seen a snippet or two of Boston Legal, that is what most lawyers would like to say.... To paraphrase "Vote. Case law is not important, constitutions are not important nor is interpretation. It is political issues so just VOTE politically so it is obvious you are a political body. It is what you do just BE HONEST" Denny Crane paraphrased ]I wish I had the chance and the resources to live after my legal career ended to stand up and say to a certain Supreme Court "You have made up your mind, since you are 'their chosen ones' to say ', legal precedent, logic and everything else be damned, I am finding for (my biggest donors) because of (m biggest donors) belief (that they are always right)." Seen the current MS supreme court reverse itself on rules in order to find for the "correct party" of course they only reverse themselves in this case only, to keep the rule that aides their donors...Big Business.

Author
AGamm627
Date
2008-04-28T22:10:34-06:00
ID
118981
Comment

*blink* When did John Paul Stevens become a conservative? Oh yeah, when he disagreed with the Liberals. You know, I would have put money on this loss coming because the Indiana Democrats couldn't produce anyone who'd been denied the chance to vote?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2008-04-29T10:41:59-06:00
ID
118982
Comment

We don't need it (voter ID)!. It's a trick to help the dark side.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-04-29T11:06:47-06:00
ID
118990
Comment

Actually, it's not a question of being "denied the chance to vote." It's a question of correctly weighing the burdens being placed on the voter in order to exercise their constitutional RIGHT to vote. Not privilege. Right. Frankly, it's clear that this Court can barely see the vote as an individual right as opposed to some sort of state-governed privilege. That seems evident from the still-bizarre 2000 Bush v. Gore decision. No doubt these cats have some trouble with the 14th. Also, I agree with Ironghost who seems, accidentally, to be arguing that requiring voter ID is *not* a "conservative" notion. You certainly don't have to be a conservative to require voter ID...indeed, a true conservative wouldn't. It's a partisan *Republican* notion, but not a conservative one. (One would think that after 7 years of Bush's 'borrow and spend' and extraordinary increases in citizen surveillance even the most diehard GOPers could make the distinction.) I would posit that the traditionally conservative approach would be less government-required identification, not more. For instance...now that the road blocks are off for voter ID to become the law of the land, are we to assume Republicans will now swing their support to rally for national gun registration as the next logical step? And, if not, why not? Voting, it seems, can be limited by a photo ID requirement and remain constitutional (and, more importantly, "conservative"). Why is it not also "conservative" to require national gun registration? I love that this piece is posted on NewsMax, in the same database as this story. Ah, what exquisite ironies these Republicans weave. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-04-29T11:45:49-06:00
ID
118991
Comment

Of course, a real conservative would be against voter ID—at least until a real need for the regulation is demonstrated, which it hasn't been. No one calling themselves a libertarian could argue for it with a straight face. This is partisan politics. The Republicans who support it can put aside the disturbing hypocrisy because they believe it will limit the voting pool against them. And somehow that makes it all OK. The good news is that the need for the regulation is lessening every year, although we're not completely there yet. The biggest reason is because the voting pool is getting younger. And it happens to be getting less Republican. Long-sighted Republicans would stop having these blatantly illogical battles to limit the voting pool and do more to show new, smart young voters that they are not an increasingly irrelevant party that devotes so much time to wedge issues and biased pursuits like voter ID. And, face it, voter-ID tricks are not going to solve the current Republican woes. It's like rearranging the deck chairs. Of course, one could make a similar argument toward the Democrats (such as most of them in Mississippi) who are too busy playing faux-Republican games to be real with voters.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-29T12:05:30-06:00
ID
118992
Comment

Oh, and if I can add, what a disappointment Hosemann is. Some people, including one of his campaign guys, made a pitch to me that he is more progressive than he played during the campaign. So far, he is just coming across as a Republican shill. With due respect. Sad.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-29T12:06:21-06:00
ID
118993
Comment

I totally support the requirement of a photo ID of some sort when voting to prove you are who you say you are. The right to vote is not threatened at all, and it shouldn't be mixed in with arguments about poll taxes, literacy tests, etc. Further, if the ID's are made free, what's the problem? I don't mind having my tax dollars invested in a system that issues free voter photo ID cards, and setting up programs to get poor and elderly people access via mobile registration. I still don't understand who these people are that physically can't get any photo ID. You have to have an ID to get food stamps and prescriptions, so that tells me right there that poor people and the elderly can get IDs if they really need one. My Mom works but doesn't make a lot of money and doesn't drive (can't drive to be honest) but she still has a photo ID for identification.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-04-29T12:10:03-06:00
ID
118994
Comment

*Blink.* Who here said Stevens had become a "conserative," Iron? You're making stuff up again in that binary way you have of putting assumed statements in people's mouths before they make them. Stevens made an independent decision, and I applaud him for it even as I disagree with it. I hate naked partisanship, whether from you or a Supreme Court justice. Iron, I think the reason you struggle so here in these conversations sometimes is that you regularly kneejerk to the assumption that when someone questions a member of one party that they must be a member of the "other" party. That is illogical, and certainly doesn't apply on this Web site. Most people here tend to think independently of partisanship, and it's refreshing and makes for much more interesting conversation and intellectual stimulation than watching a ball bounce back and forth between naked partisans who defend/attack one party no matter what they do. I find that practice utterly useless.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-29T12:10:50-06:00
ID
118995
Comment

Well, to filter it a bit better, I was arguing that Stevens is one of the more liberal members agreeing with some Conservative members that there isn't any proof anyones rights will be denied by voter ID. I'm personally of the opinion that there really isn't a compelling need for voter ID. I mean, I've heard the stories about the Dems trucking cases of Absentee Ballots to Nursing Homes prefilled, but until someone can come up with proof that either side is stealing elections via voter fraud and not simply turning them off via a needlessly contentious primary season... there's no need for voter ID. Maybe there might be in the future if we don't pay attention to what our Political Overlords are pulling in our names. Now, however, it's not needed.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2008-04-29T12:25:45-06:00
ID
118996
Comment

Further, if the ID's are made free, what's the problem? I don't mind having my tax dollars invested in a system that issues free voter photo ID cards, and setting up programs to get poor and elderly people access via mobile registration. Well, that's generous of you, but that's not what's being proposed. [Edit: sorry, this came off as more smart-assed than I meant. What I meant to say is that the Supreme Court isn't setting that system up, so what needed to be considered in the decision were *exactly* those challenges...mobility, age, etc.] I still don't understand who these people are that physically can't get any photo ID. You have to have an ID to get food stamps and prescriptions, so that tells me right there that poor people and the elderly can get IDs if they really need one. My Mom works but doesn't make a lot of money and doesn't drive (can't drive to be honest) but she still has a photo ID for identification. The point that Justice Ginsberg makes is that the place where you get the ID is, by definition, further away than the place where you vote. For some people, that extra stretch might be the difference, whether you're poor, homeless, without a young driving son who can take you to the DMV, etc. Likewise, elderly people required to get birth certificates are challenged in their ability to get a photo ID. Also, a photo ID is *not* required to get food stamps (see here )-- that's a myth, often perpetuated by folks arguing for voter ID. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-04-29T12:27:22-06:00
ID
119000
Comment

Likewise, elderly people required to get birth certificates are challenged in their ability to get a photo ID. "Challenged" does not equal impossible. We "grandfather" in a lot of exceptions for other rules, we could certainly allow an exemption for people over a certain age from showing photo ID. Also, a photo ID is *not* required to get food stamps ... that's a myth, often perpetuated by folks arguing for voter ID. ;-) Pretty sure I never wrote a PHOTO ID was required for food stamps, itodd. My point was that increasingly people have to show *something* to prove who they are to get what they want in our society, and arguing that showing an ID to vote is too much of a burden is growing less beliveable. Look, just because one group might have an agenda that they aren't being completely honest about doesn't mean the idea is bad, just that care needs to be exercised to ensure that the gaps are filled before it's made a law. And right now I see gaps in policy that can be filled with a little more bi-partisan thought, not gaping canyons that can't be crossed.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-04-29T12:55:54-06:00
ID
119001
Comment

Generally, from what I could see from personally walking neighborhoods and talking to people about voting, any additional requirements or burden will keep some already skeptical people from voting. Some poor people have very little trust for a system they believe has screwed them their whole lives, and they do not want to do anything else to prove to a disaffected, growingly corrupt and obviously preferential system that they exist and should matter. Besides many would ask where is the proof of voter fraud deciding elections.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-04-29T12:57:48-06:00
ID
119002
Comment

Jeff why are you so sure there is no comparison to poll taxes, literacy tests and so on? You don't believe the forces who proposed and codified those hindrances to voting for some people still exist?

Author
Walt
Date
2008-04-29T13:03:50-06:00
ID
119006
Comment

Is the voter id being proposed in Miss. just a photo id? Here's a list of what is acceptable as voter id Alabama- Government-issued photo ID Employee ID card with photo Alabama college/university ID with photo Utility bill Bank statement Government check Paycheck ID card issued by any state or the U.S. government U.S. passport Alabama hunting license Alabama fishing license Alabama gun permit FAA-issued pilot's license U.S. military ID Birth certificate (certified copy) Social security card Naturalization document Court record of adoption Court record of name change Medicaid or Medicare card Electronic benefits transfer card Government documents showing name and address of voter If Miss. did theirs the same it would cover everybody it seems like.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-29T14:22:57-06:00
ID
119008
Comment

"Further, if the ID's are made free, what's the problem? I don't mind having my tax dollars invested in a system that issues free voter photo ID cards, and setting up programs to get poor and elderly people access via mobile registration. Well, that's generous of you, but that's not what's being proposed." Didn't the quote from Hosemann say this- "The Voter ID bill passed by the Mississippi Senate this year meets all of the requirements approved by the Supreme Court—including allowing the few individuals who may not have identification to cast an affidavit ballot and get identification free from the State. Isn't that proposing free id for people who do not have one?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-29T14:53:07-06:00
ID
119009
Comment

Walt, I'm not saying that there aren't some in the pro-voter ID camp who hope the law has the effect of suppressing voter turnout. What I am saying is that in 2008 to argue that showing ID at the polls is somehow more of a burden than it is to rent videos, buy prescription drugs, or open a checking account is becoming problematic. We live in a more complex day and time when verifying who you are is becoming more and more commonplace just to live, and continuing that line of argument isn't going to be very persuasive much longer. What I am arguing is that voter ID isn't something to be fought, but it should be reviewed in a bipartisan way to ensure that ALL eligible voters have a reasonable chance to meet the requirements. As BubbaT suggested, it may not be as difficult to provide proof of ID as some are suggesting. I listened intently this morning to the Gallo radio show to the outspoken, intelligent and very lovely President Beverly Hogan of Tougaloo College eloquently explain why so many blacks have opposed voter ID proposals by the GOP because of past Jim Crow voting restrictions. As I listened to her, I found myself wondering why in 2008 we are essentially as a race of people throwing up our hands to say that we can't as a community work to ensure that all of our people who are interested in voting get an ID if this policy becomes law. I'm always hearing folks pushing young and old to get more involved and educated about candidates, arranging to getting folks registered even at sporting events and concerts, and taking our folk to the polls on Election Day. Can't those same efforts be marshaled to help some of these same people get the proper ID as well?

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-04-29T14:56:00-06:00
ID
119012
Comment

Good point, Jeff.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-04-29T15:04:53-06:00
ID
119013
Comment

Powerful last paragraph, Jeff. I sure don't disagree with you. I do think we can hold two thoughts as once here, as I was alluding to earlier—sympathy (and maybe a touch of righteous contempt) for a party that is trying to limit turnout this way, and the determination to ensure that it does no such thing. It's kind of like the rebel flag for me. Either we could spend a lot of our energy right now fighting agaom to get it out of the state flag, or we can spend a lot of energy making the symbol a transparent, obvious and useless effort by cavemen to hold onto a white-supremacist past (so that it will be much easier to take down sometime soon) by working on healing wounds and educating our citizenry about just why it is such a disgusting official symbol. For now, I choose the latter. I think it'll get us to the former quicker, frankly. Likewise, on the voter ID issue, we should put the energy both into calling out the Repubs for such pathetic trickery, while at the same time working to ensure that everyone who can votes and is prepared to vote. That's called fighting back. ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-29T15:05:13-06:00
ID
119016
Comment

"Actually, it's not a question of being "denied the chance to vote." It's a question of correctly weighing the burdens being placed on the voter in order to exercise their constitutional RIGHT to vote. Not privilege. Right." Awesome! So... I guess I won't need a permit to carry my gun, eh? And, if you would, show me specifically in the Constitution of the USA, the provision that "grants" the right to vote. I will help you. 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, and 26th Amendments deal with voting. I will wait for your reply.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2008-04-29T15:33:38-06:00
ID
119017
Comment

Reply to what, LC? You haven't really posed a question to reply to—just some odd rhetoric. Should we assume that you are standing proud for your libertarianism to oppose both permits for guns and voter identification? That would be logically consistent—even though there are intelligent arguments to make about why permits for guns make more sense than voter IDs. But that's another tangential Second Amendment discussion that can be saved for another day. What is pertinent here is the complete illogic of arguing against gun permits and for voter ID (such as those NewsMax links indicate). There is no way to justify that stance with a straight face. But if you can make an intelligent argument for those stances coming from one person (that isn't about partisanship and fewer people voting), please do.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-29T15:40:27-06:00
ID
119020
Comment

This is simply a tactic. A tactic to deter those who are poor people and minority groups from having a voice. I know this may not be common place for many of you, but for the most part poor people in this state and country do not have to use or show ID on a regular basis, thus, prooves to be excessive. Seems to me in a country that years ago was preaching VOTE OR DIE, is now saying that you can vote, if you do this, if you do that...if you voting this way, if you vote that way. THIS IS A TACTIC to keep those people who finally gotten the notion to VOTE thanks to Bush and his embarassing attempt at running this country, OUT of the polls. Who do you think those people are? Poor, minority folks, who would run to the polls to vote for whom???? Clinton or Obama. Now who would want to keep us from having one of these two in office....republicans. Since their candidate is simply not causing enough of a stir to spike the votes, this is their attempt at a running shot for him. And I believe there is more of these likeminded foolishness to come. AND who goes into the polls to fraudulently vote???? Who does that? NO ONE!!!! Maybe the family members of those who are running for office. But no one goes to vote for their sick grandma. If grandma can't make it, she doesn't vote. Craziness! But I say we go get everyone a damn ID...so it can blow up right in there faces.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-29T16:32:24-06:00
ID
119022
Comment

No Ladd, "It's a question of correctly weighing the burdens being placed on the voter in order to exercise their constitutional RIGHT to vote. Not privilege. Right." Show me where, in the Constitution, you are guaranteed the RIGHT to vote. And what I said, I'll wait.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2008-04-29T17:34:49-06:00
ID
119023
Comment

"even though there are intelligent arguments to make about why permits for guns make more sense than voter IDs" No. There are no intelligent arguments to make.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2008-04-29T18:07:21-06:00
ID
119024
Comment

No. There are no intelligent arguments to make. Thus said Law Clerk. That and a nickel ... You can't make a more privileged, end-of-subject than that. Except it's not the end of the subject because Law Clerk, you are only one man with an opinion. That used to count for a lot more before the rest of got involved—you know, with guarantees like "one (wo)man/one vote." Law Clerk, you're off the deep end. Take your guns and go live somewhere where we don't all work together to guarantee the right to vote. Shoo. I personally am sick of your half-baked rhetoric that thinks that everything you don't want is "socialism"—and that telegraphs that your opinion somehow means more than anyone else's just because you make it, regardless of whether it is logical or whether you can support it with facts. You're just not all that. Sorry.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-29T18:23:36-06:00
ID
119025
Comment

But I say we go get everyone a damn ID...so it can blow up right in there faces. Exactly, girlfriend. Beat 'em at their own game, which the NAACP in this state is doing. Remember Adam's story about clueless Hosemann trying to intimidate their voter registration efforts? At least he was smart enough to know a lot is at stake. AFter the primaries, he probably stays awake at night worrying about all that privilege floating away on a wave of voter turnout. It's delightful to observe the increasing irrelevance of these attitudes, though, I must say.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-29T18:26:04-06:00
ID
119027
Comment

What? I'm not all that? Um... ok. You qualified arguments with "intelligent." I am telling you there is no such argument. You are free to respond, however, you bash me personally. I don't mind, Ladd. I've been called worse than "not all that." Thanks, I guess. You simply can't answer my question on the "right to vote," so you try to dodge and parry. No biggie. You are "personally sick" of my "half baked" rhetoric? Again, Ladd, please, show me the provision in the Constitution. How is that half-baked? If you follow ANY of my posts, you will see that I NEVER attack anyone, as you are such want to do. Good day.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2008-04-29T18:30:25-06:00
ID
119029
Comment

Law Clerk, I'm not dodging a damn thing. This thread is about voter ID and the arguments for and against it. You want to argue about whether you think everyone has the "right" to vote in your strict-constructionist-when-it-benefits-you way. We live on different planets. And I don't play mini-golf on yours. On the one I live on, there are plenty of "intelligent" arguments about why there are needs for gun permits. You are welcome to make the intelligent arguments about voter ID on this thread, or gun permits on one you go start, but it is not up to you to come on here and declare from on high that there are "no intelligent arguments" against it—which is a personal insult if you can't figure that out. (And you should put some thought into the difference between saying "there are intelligent arguments" and "there are no intelligent arguments"—one is a tad more insulting than the other. You responded with a personal insult because you don't agree with me, not because I'm wrong, which is just one gun guy's opinion.) The main problem is that you are trolling this off-topic right now, presumably because you cannot answer the question I raised to you, the one that you're avoiding: How can someone philosophically and logically be against gun permits and for voter ID? Oh right, because the Second Amendment told you to do it. Uh huh.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-29T18:48:09-06:00
ID
119030
Comment

Well miss Ladd, I never said I was for or against voter id, there are obviously intelligent arguments for and against it. I was making a corollary argument, which understandably is hard for some people to understand... sorry. Now, to get back to your Constitutional claim of the right to vote... I believe that is back on topic, eh? If you want to claim we have the "right to vote," then surely, without a doubt, voter ID is unConstitutional. However, and I know this is going to come as a shock, we do not have the "right to vote" as many today are so apt to believe. Do I believe we have this right to vote? Abso-freakin-lutely. Anyways... this has gone on long enough and I have billable work to do. Peace.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2008-04-29T18:53:43-06:00
ID
119031
Comment

It's Ms. Ladd. ;-) Yep, I always have a hard time with corollary arguments. I'm from Philadelphia, after all.* Law Clerk, allow me to put this gently: I'm not a strict constructionist. That's about all I need to say to your, er, corollary. And I love your remarkable conclusion: We do not have the right to vote, but you abso-freakin-lutely believe that we do have this right to vote that we don't have. Don't bill me for that brief, dude. You are officially residing in the middle of a rubber-band ball now. This has gone on too long. Lata. I have a billable beer to drink. _______ * Who gets my reference to one of my favorite films? I've waited for years for the perfect moment to use it, and this was definitely it. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-29T19:01:22-06:00
ID
119032
Comment

Oh, and I agree that there are intelligent arguments for and against voter ID, as there are for gun regulations. Obviously. However, it's hard to make one for voter ID and against gun permits, which is my point that you have thus far avoided. There is a serious logical void, not to mention hypocrisy, in such an argument.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-29T19:06:10-06:00
ID
119035
Comment

Now, to get back to your Constitutional claim of the right to vote... I believe that is back on topic, eh? If you want to claim we have the "right to vote," then surely, without a doubt, voter ID is unConstitutional. Uh, counselor? I said that, not Donna. Let's try to keep our opposing parties straight, eh? ;-) However, and I know this is going to come as a shock, we do not have the "right to vote" as many today are so apt to believe. Do I believe we have this right to vote? Abso-freakin-lutely. Anyways... We do have a right to vote, but it's a natural right, not an explicitly constitutional one (although the four or five constitutional amendments that include the phrase "right to vote" certainly suggest it's an implicit right). Perhaps that's what you're saying. Being an "originalist" on the Right to Vote is, quite frankly, a pretty damn inappropriate thing to be. There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then! Honestly, I think Scalia's brand of originalism is a dodge...it seems to come up only when a handy conduit for a Republican-leaning political agenda of self-aggrandizement. (Can you tell I'm a huge fan?) But, I'm fairly certain I'd be for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote -- and I'd like to include restoration of the vote to felons after they've fully served their sentences. I also think it'd be a good thing to amend the Constitution and clear up some of that confusing language in Amendment #2. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-04-30T09:04:06-06:00
ID
119036
Comment

People lie, unfortunately. I fail to see why requiring a voter, who has in his/her hands a very powerful tool (the ballot), to show some sort of ID is so controversial. An ID is required to buy beer or cigarettes, write a check, drive a car, get in an R rated movie (for some), get on an airplane, etc etc ad infinitum. Now, someone will probably bring up an old lady who doesn't drive/drink/smoke/fly/write checks/etc. The voter ID law would provide safeguards for her right to vote by getting a FREE ID, among other methods of proving identification. I just don't see this as that big a deal. Please compare preventing voter fraud vs. the extremely limited burden of proving you are who you say you are.

Author
QB
Date
2008-04-30T09:20:59-06:00
ID
119037
Comment

But, I'm fairly certain I'd be for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote -- and I'd like to include restoration of the vote to felons after they've fully served their sentences. I support that proposal.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-04-30T09:35:08-06:00
ID
119038
Comment

People lie, unfortunately. I fail to see why requiring a voter, who has in his/her hands a very powerful tool (the ballot), to show some sort of ID is so controversial. An ID is required to buy beer or cigarettes, write a check, drive a car, get in an R rated movie (for some), get on an airplane, etc etc ad infinitum. It's a big deal because voting is a more fundamental right than buying a beer or cigarettes. It's also a big deal because people are still alive in this country who were denied the right to vote by much more nefarious means than ID. At the very least they should be grandfathered in. It's even a big deal even if it's not a big deal to you, Harry, because it's a big deal to other people. You are not the final authority on "big deals." ;-) People conduct business all the time without the "limited burden of proving you are who you say you are." You can sign a contract without ID. Despite arguments to the contrary, you can write checks all you want without ID -- Entergy, Citibank and Atmos, I imagine, are more than happy to accept them when they come. Voter ID means someone has to scrutinize and accept that ID at the polls...who is that going to be? You're introducing more potential human error (or potential intimidation) at the polls with voter ID. That's another "burden" in this system. Will you be criticized for having your driver's license out of date? For not switching the address even if you've switched your registration? Will you be ashamed because you don't have a driver's license, or because you're showing some other government services ID? And what if the guy looking at the ID makes a mistake and decides its a fake? What if he's not actually qualified to make that determination? You say "people lie, unfotunately." Why might this not be the poll-worker instead of the voter? If there's going to be stricter voter ID at all, it should be at the point of *registration* and not the moment of voting. You should be able to vote based on your signature. And there should absolutely be more ways to register without requiring a trip to the DMV or the State Troopers office, much less to two different government offices. (I'm curious if there's even a bus route in Jackson that takes you to the State Troopers office up on the frontage road?)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-04-30T09:37:02-06:00
ID
119039
Comment

Thanks for the response, iTodd. I agree with the poster above, there has to be some middle ground on this issue that balances the interest of preventing voter fraud with the interest of preventing barriers to voting.

Author
QB
Date
2008-04-30T12:31:28-06:00
ID
119040
Comment

Harry: I don't disagree, but the solution has to be (a.) commensurate with the problem and (b.) it should be compatible with the dignity and sanctity of the voting process. To be honest, I don't know why this can't happen at the registration level; if voter ID proponents *really* wanted to make sure every eligible vote counted, they'd also be interesting in holiday voting (or at least Saturday voting), mobile registration offices or even same-day registration. Like I say, I'd explore the idea the better ID needs to be made at registration time. But voter ID at the polls is fraught with landmines. Just came across this interesting story from 10 years ago during Fordice's governorship...helps a little to put into perspective the distrust people have of voter "fraud" initiatives that could lead to fewer votes by folks who are poor or have other challenges to get to the polls: Mississippi Legislature Accepts Bill to Ease Voter Registration

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2008-04-30T13:20:21-06:00

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