Voter Fraud Problem? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Voter Fraud Problem?

This map represents the different types of Voter Identification laws in the country. Green:States that require photo ID, Yellow:States that request photo ID, Blue: States that require non-photo ID, Gray: State with no photo ID.

This map represents the different types of Voter Identification laws in the country. Green:States that require photo ID, Yellow:States that request photo ID, Blue: States that require non-photo ID, Gray: State with no photo ID. Photo by Wiki Commons

Backers of voter identification in Mississippi and other states say the laws will eliminate voter fraud--but it may be a solution looking for a problem.

Between 2000 and 2010, the country saw only 13 plausible cases of voter fraud, but since 2001 almost 1,000 voter ID laws have passed in 46 states across the country, including Mississippi, reports The Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan group in New York City that focuses on fundamental issues of justice including voter rights. In fact, Indiana, a state that recently introduced a voter ID requirement, went before the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the bill, representatives from the state could not give one instance of voter fraud in their state's history.

The Wall Street Journal reported that though Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach cited 221 cases of voter fraud in his state between 1997 and 2010, only seven brought convictions, but none related to voter fraud. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said that Wisconsin was "absolutely riddled with voter fraud," Mother Jones reports. However, in 2004 the state only found seven total votes that were fraudulent.

The Associated Press reports that cases of citizens' votes being thrown out due to voter ID laws are far more numerous than the voter-fraud claim that got the laws enacted. In Georgia and Indiana, states where harshest laws were passed, 1,200 were tossed out during the 2008 presidential election.

And in Mississippi, very few cases of voter fraud are on the books. Most ballot fraud here occurs with absentee voting, which voter ID will not address.

Voter ID opponents say the laws are designed to make it harder for people, especially minorities, to vote. In 2011, 12 states introduced policies that would require birth certificates to vote, while only 48 percent of women in this country have a birth certificate with their legal name on it, the Brennan Center reports. Infoplease.com reports in 2010, women made up 46.2 percent of voters in congressional elections. Last year Florida and Texas passed laws that will make it harder for citizens to organize voter registration drives. Twelve percent of minority voters use drives to register--twice the number of white voters.

Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones, a Democrat from Canton and chairman of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, warned on the floor of the state Senate that attempts to restrict minority voting rights always end up on the wrong side of history.

"We beat you every time. We're gonna beat you this time," Jones told his colleagues.

But Gov. Phil Bryant said that the law will not disproportionately affect voters of color when he signed the new voter ID law in May and pointed out that the state has more African American elected officials than any state--from votes that occurred prior to voter identification laws. He also did not mention that Mississippi has not elected a statewide black official since Reconstruction.

Mike Bennett, a Republican state senator in Florida, is a supporter of tougher voting laws but says it is not about reducing the number of legitimate votes cast. "I want people in Florida to want to vote as bad as that person in Africa who walks 200 miles across the desert," Sen. Bennett told TampaBayonline.com.

Also see: "Putting a Price Tag on Voter ID"

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Comments

goldeneagle97 8 years, 1 month ago

As I mentioned in another thread, this isn't about protecting the integrity of voting. It's about voter suppression in the name of partisan politics. California congresswoman Barbara Lee opined yesterday on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry that it's ironic how this country wants to spread democracy around the world, but don't want its own people to practice their democracy here.

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scrappy1 8 years, 1 month ago

Show me someone that doesn't have an ID card and I'll show you someone that doesn't want the world to know their real name. This voter ID is about blocking people that shouldn't vote and to block community organizers like ACORN.

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goldeneagle97 8 years, 1 month ago

So, do you think elderly people who never had a driver's license or ID card don't want you to know their real names?

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scrappy1 8 years, 1 month ago

Do you really think there is an elderly person in the USA that isn't receiving social security and medicare or they can get those benefits without any form of ID.

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donnaladd 8 years, 1 month ago

If there is ONE, Scrappy, who is kept from voting by government regulation, it is unconstitutional. You do understand that the U.S. Constitution is about rights of an individual, not the majority, right? It doesn't matter if most, or the vast majority of people, won't be inconvenienced. It only takes one, and this law can't pass that test. Legitimate voters are already being stopped by voter ID. That means it's unconstitutional on its face.

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donnaladd 8 years, 1 month ago

ACORN? What are you talking about, scrappy? Not making a lot of sense here.

Why in the world would anyone want to stop community organizing? This isn't communist Russia; this is America. We can organize all we want.

And you're wrong about why people don't have IDs. There are many reasons. You need to take off the you-blinders: Just because something doesn't apply to you doesn't make it true for everyone.

Again, though, what part of EXPENSIVE UNNEEDED GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT WITH NO EVIDENCE OF NEED don't you understand???

Do you seriously call yourself conservative if this doesn't concern you? I swear, this issue shines the brightest light on anti-regulatory hypocrisy of any issue I've ever seen.

Over decades, this state has spent unbelievable time, money and resources fighting to keep qualified voters from voting; isn't it time we move on and leave that kind of crap in the past?

It is what it is, and we all know—especially the folks pushing voter ID the hardest (and fooling so many into thinking there is actually a voter fraud problem in the U.S.) Y'all need to learn to question who and why people are taking advantage of your fears like that. It's an insult to you and to us all.

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scrappy1 8 years, 1 month ago

Donna you're right, this isn't Russia, and organizations with ACORN's track record shouldn't be allowed to operate here ACORN's criminal activity is a matter of record and I don't need to show it all here to make my point. As for fed requirements, be a citizen, be 18 , be a resident of the state they are voting in. Now which of these should a person not need an ID to prove they meet the Requirements? Should a young person have an ID to buy cigarettes? Should a 65 year old be able to get social security without ID? Prove you are who you say you are and cast the One ballot to which you are entitled

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goldeneagle97 8 years, 1 month ago

Buying cigarettes and drawing Social Security aren't constitutional rights like voting is. But chew on this: how can an elderly person get an ID if they don't have a birth certificate? Lots of elderly people (especially African Americans) were born at home and thus, didn't have a birth certificate to document their birth. What are they to do?

By the way, tell me what criminal activity was ACORN involved in. Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media will not tell you the full story.

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scrappy1 8 years, 1 month ago

BTW, I was born at home in the Mississippi delta bout 60 miles NW of Jackson in 1949 and, guess what, I have a birth certificate!

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goldeneagle97 8 years, 1 month ago

Woopty doo, glad you do, but that still doesn't address the fact that many elderly people were born at a time when their parents couldn't afford to have a baby in a hospital. They were born at home and most likely, that baby wouldn't have a birth certificate. Again, how do you address getting them IDs if they have no birth certificate to prove their existence?

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tstauffer 8 years, 1 month ago

ID is required for a valid voter registration -- just as they are for a background check for purchasing a gun. What you're requiring is the presentation of government-issued ID in order to vote, which is a constitutional right. In other words, people must be properly licensed to vote.

For the sake of consistency, I assume you are also in favor of licensing of all guns owned by an individual? Not just a background check in licensed dealers, but guns bought over the Internet, at trade shows, between friends, etc.?

And that license will need to be on you at all times in case the weapon is discharged? So that you can show identification at any moment that you are found to be exercising your constitutional rights?

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donnaladd 8 years, 1 month ago

Scrappy, to my knowledge, some ACORN workers (not the organization itself) were accused of tampering with some voter-registration—a problem that voter ID laws don't address (as Todd explains separately).

And as much as I understand that ACORN has become a major whipping boy for Rush and the people who blindly parrot anything he says, saying that some bad ACORN workers tarnishes the whole organization is like saying a handful of Republican white supremacists means all of y'all are racists. The logic doesn't hold.

I am fully convinced you can do better than these posts so far. A hint is to look for primary information and factcheck what you post. So far, your record of posting facts is very shabby.

Try to challenge us with real information. Otherwise, you're wasting your time.

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Belvedere 8 years, 1 month ago

A Pennsylvania Republican legislator gushed the real reason his party passed his state's voter ID: To elect Mitt Romney. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinion...">link text The Washington Post calls it a "crime against voters".

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scrappy1 8 years, 1 month ago

With the Department of Labor and states paying out $14,000,000,000 in unemployment to illegals and convicts, do you really think only legals are voting. As for convictions for voter fraud denigrated in this article, hide and watch how many are convicted for scamming the unemployment system. Require voter ID's!

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tstauffer 8 years, 1 month ago

Scrappy... (a.) this is not relevant. (b.) This is not true.

I assume you're referencing the http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/09/news/...'>$14 billion in overpaid unemployment benefits</a>. </p> <blockquote> <p>But of the overpaid funds, most end up in the hands of three types of people: Those who aren't actively searching for a job, those who were fired or quit voluntarily, and those who continue to file claims even though they've returned to work. Any of those circumstances would make a person ineligible for benefits.</p> </blockquote> <p>So the $14 billion paid out to illegals and convicts? Wrong. Misrepresentation.</p> <blockquote> <p>In much rarer situations, people deliberately defraud the system, using fake documents or identities. Common scams involve prison inmates, illegal immigrants or even the deceased.</p> </blockquote> <p>Notice the phrase ">$14 billion in overpaid unemployment benefits.

But of the overpaid funds, most end up in the hands of three types of people: Those who aren't actively searching for a job, those who were fired or quit voluntarily, and those who continue to file claims even though they've returned to work. Any of those circumstances would make a person ineligible for benefits.

So the $14 billion paid out to illegals and convicts? Wrong. Misrepresentation.

In much rarer situations, people deliberately defraud the system, using fake documents or identities. Common scams involve prison inmates, illegal immigrants or even the deceased.

Notice the phrase "in much rarer situations." That means you can't attribute $14 billion to "illegals and convicts." Lawdy be.

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Kooltrane 8 years, 1 month ago

Scrappy. How many actual fradulent votes were cast as a result of ACORN? Most were guilty of scamming ACORN with fradulent registrations. Your FOX link is typical by reporting it as "election fraud" rather than registration fraud. Do you really think many people would risk jail or fines by impersonating someone else while voting? It doesn't make sense.

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donnaladd 8 years, 1 month ago

What, sadly, makes more sense are corporate funders and industrialists like the Koch Brothers trying to convince people ready to believe anything that voter ID is actually designed to stop voter fraud, when what they're really hoping is that it manages to intimidate voters away from the polls who might vote against them.

Now, I think that's a dumb strategy, and hope that it won't work. But that doesn't mean that the motive behind it shouldn't be exposed and challenged until the cows come home. And it's really remarkable that so-called small government conservatives would get behind such a nakedly political ploy to regulate basic constitutional rights with absolutely no evidence that it will change anything, or that there is a problem that it might actually fix. Not to mention, what it's going to cost the states to defend it and/or implement it.

Face it, scrappy, y'all are being used. Big time. You should be furious about people assuming that you can't think for yourself or figure out how to check facts. It's a serious insult to your intellect.

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donnaladd 8 years, 1 month ago

To wit, the http://www.prwatch.org/node/11617">Pennsylvania House Majority Leader said out loud this week that the purpose of voter ID is to help Romney, and presumably other Republicans, get elected:

This week, the House Majority Leader in the Pennsylvania Congress, Rep. Mike Turzai (R), made headlines when he explained the reasoning behind the state's new law requiring certain forms of ID at the polls. Voter ID, he explained bluntly, "is going to allow Gov. (Mitt) Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania."

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bubbat 8 years, 1 month ago

Todd- So you're saying once you register to vote, there is no need to show any id or have any check on voting,since you showed your id to register,it's a done deal? So I guess you would be ok changing the laws to when you buy your first firearm you show your id and they run a background check after that it would never be required again? Done deal. Interesting idea.

FYI they do background checks on guns bought over the internet, they have to be shipped to a FFL and they run them before you can take possession and they run them at gun shows too.

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tstauffer 8 years, 1 month ago

Todd- So you're saying once you register to vote, there is no need to show any id or have any check on voting,since you showed your id to register,it's a done deal?

Yes. You also sign your name every time you vote at your precinct, and voter registration, which is done with the county government, is tied to your address. So once you've proved those things I don't think you should have to prove them over and over again.

So I guess you would be ok changing the laws to when you buy your first firearm you show your id and they run a background check after that it would never be required again? Done deal. Interesting idea.

No, because that's not the same process. In theory, I could support a system where you go to a County Clerk's office whenever you move, become a registered gun purchaser, and then, once a year or so, you go to a special precinct office to buy your gun using only your signature on a certain numbered line associated with the gun you purchased. That way we know who you are and we know what guns you've taken responsibility for. If that gun is later used in the commission of a crime, we know who to follow up with.

My broader point -- which I know you're going to purposefully try to miss over and over, as you have in the past -- is simply this... I'm disappointed that some of the people who want increased regulation over how a person can vote are the same people who want decreased regulation over how a person can buy a gun, while claiming both are constitutional rights.

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