Daily Show: Cockblock the Vote

Comments

2
death to all-mail voting
3
Mexico, Canada, India, and all do photo ID validation for voting. (See for example http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?sec…, http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story…, http://specials.rediff.com/getahead/2009…). There probbly are some, but I don't know of any established democracy that doesn't.

Some countries do allow alternative validation procedures, but (a) so do most of the proposed state voter ID laws in the US and (b) such procedures are rarely used: showing photo ID to vote is the norm the world over.
4
@3 missed the point entirely didn't you. 1. It is a solution in search of a problem. The voter ID thing. 2. The other half is in Ohio the Republicans are messing around with when and how people vote, varying it from district to district, REGARDLESS as to whether or not the individual has an ID.
5
@#3
But do these countries that require ID for in-person voting have discriminatory practices for issuing IDs, like we've got? Such that poor people, elderly people, urban people, and especially people in more than one of those categories are more likely not to have photo ID, and if they want it must spend both time and money they may not have in order to procure it?

The most important thing is that you're ignoring the partisan element here. Up to 10% of the electorate has no photo ID in some states, a population that tends heavily Democratic. The people passing in-person voter ID laws are all Republicans, and they are doing nothing to make photo IDs available to these people. All to address a problem that just doesn't exist.

I say "just doesn't exist" because the number of in-person voter fraud incidents is less than one a year. By comparison, every year more than fifty people are struck by lightning, and more than a dozen are attacked by sharks. This just isn't a problem - as you could figure out for yourself, as in-person voter fraud would be an obviously ridiculous method of organizing an attempt to sway an election, requiring either a conspiracy including tens of thousands of conspirators or individual conspirators voting many dozens of times, at some significant risk each time.

But that isn't to say we don't have a significant number of election-fraud problems in the US. Off the top of my head, in the last decade or so we've had problems including: improper removal of people from the voting rolls; improperly reduced ballot supplies, voting machines, personnel, hours, or even polling locations in Democratic-leaning districts; police roadblocks and other official state intimidation of minority voters on the way to the polls; jamming the lines of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts; flyering minority neighborhoods to misinform them about the date of the election or about criminal penalties for voting with outstanding parking tickets; and many more. All of these examples were intended to benefit the Republicans, all involved the mobilization of significant financial or state power resources (rather than an isolated nutter or two, as in the much-hyped "New Black Panther Party" nonsense in Philadelphia) - and none of them have a damn thing to do with the absurd pretenses that in-person voter fraud is a problem.
6
Sure wish the Dems would have done something about this on the Federal level when they controlled both houses of congress and the White House. This isn't exactly news as to what the GOP is doing, it's been going on for years as Greg Palast has been reporting.
7
Compulsory attendance in Australia. No ID required - just tell them your name and address. In-person voter fraud is not even a topic on the radar, probably for the reasons @5 suggests.

I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone thought handing the electoral apparatus to partisan interests was a good idea.
8
@3 Disagree in Canada, in urban centres at least, which is where American voter ID laws target. I was a poll captain and scrutineer (basically, as a representative of one of the parties[*], I oversaw a polling place--several polls in one room) for the 2008 Canadian federal elections in Vancouver-East, which includes the Downtown Eastside and other incredibly poverty-stricken areas.

I didn't keep a count, but the vast majority of the voters in areas like the DTES used those alternative methods to vote, and were allowed to do so with no problems from us (plus volunteer lawyers from the BCCLA were on hand to defend their rights were Elections Canada staff to mess up there).

A lot of people don't have 'proper ID'; in general, they tend to be from the part of society whose voice is most frequently silenced and who need to be heard the loudest.

[*] It's off topic and I don't want to go into it too much here, but Canada's polling places are operated by neutral/unelected Elections Canada civil servants, and each party is allowed to send scrutineers who can challenge and appeal (even as votes are counted, since that's still done on site, since screw electronic voting and your creepy black-box vote counters), with the idea that neutral staff + all parties involved = as close to fairness as we can get. Seems to work.
9
And yes, in Canada, in case you're wondering what alternative methods are: there's quite a list, and one of them is 'a registered voter from the same poll vouches for your identity'. So this is nothing like the ~real ID~ stuff going on to mask partisan vote-blocking in some of the central and Eastern states down there.
10
People who are too fucking retarded to walk into a state office and pick up an ID probably shouldn't be voting.
11
@9 not a right winger or anything but what excuse is there for someone (at least in Canada, I'm Canadian, BTW) not having photo ID? Health care is free to everyone and health care now comes with a photo ID card.
12
regarding @10, yes--can someone explain why it is hard to get a photo ID in the US? Is it that hard of a task? I get that Republicans are partisans and want to do everything they can to influence the election but a subtext to this is that, if Democrats are more likely not to have photo ID, then Democrat voters are not particularly bright in that they can't get some ID. Just asking as a Canadian--is it that difficult?

Here is what is required in Canada: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?sec…
13
@10/12: It costs money to get an ID. $20 may not be a lot to you, but it is to a whole hell of a lot of people.
14
@10 People who are too fucking stupid to understand why some people have a difficult time obtaining ID probably shouldn't be voting.
15
The point isn't that it's technically difficult to get an ID, it's simply that not everyone has one, and the vast majority of those who don't are poor, elderly, or minorities. Some of the main reasons it's difficult for some people to get an ID: lack of transportation to a place that issues IDs, and lack of supporting documentation required to get the ID issued. There are others, but it's not the point.

If the GOP accompanied their campaign by a nationwide effort to make sure every citizen had a photo ID, by driving a van around to every community to issue them on the spot and assisting when there was an issue or problem? Fine. They're not.
16
Anthony- CORRECTION NEEDED ON THE QUOTE.

"The mechanisms of the vote are in the hands of partisan elected officials. Perhaps it's time that we as a society took our cues from other highly EVOLVED democracies, and involved non-partisan election oversight, like they do in Mexico, Canada, India, and of course, Rwanda."
17
@11 Canadian health care now comes with photo ID? What! My box of health care didn't come with one...I dug to the bottom and couldn't find it!
18
@12,
In addition to the cost 5280 mentioned, places that issue state photo IDs are typically open M-F, 9am to 5pm (or even fewer hours). Not convenient trying to get time off work to go get an ID so you can vote.

Also, they don't give you your ID on the spot, it takes a long time (we're talking government here). If repubs have such boners for needing ID to vote, they should have requested this ages ago, not a couple months before the election... in other words, they're doing it purposely late becuase they WANT to suppress voting.

Finally, voting is a fucking Constitutional right, not a privilege. I don't need an ID to vote. Gun rights advocates would (or should) argue that gun ownership is a fucking right too... a photo ID is not necessary to claim my Constitutional rights.

The repubs are doing this because they know for a fact they cannot win fairly because they're unpopular and people don't want them. So they HAVE to cheat. The ONLY way republicans can possibly win is by cheating. The VAST majority of citizens in this country hate them too much to even consider voting their sorry asses in.
19
Yes, Urgutha. Not to mention that, at least in Denver, the DMV isn't even remotely near downtown (you know, where the poor and people of color live), so you're gonna blow at least half an hour on the bus each way. Just so you can stand in line at DMV for a few hours. Oops, there goes a day's pay. Well, who needs that?
20
@10,12-14

The $20, and that is a reoccurring fee, is enough to stop some people from getting an ID they don't need for any other purpose, but the real impediments are often time, transportation and documentation.

Everyone knows what a pain in the ass it is to go down to the DoL to renew their license; getting a state ID is no easier. The fact that the same people pushing the ID requirements are also limiting hours and accessibility. If you're barely making enough to feed your family, taking time off of work is not trivial.

Not having a driver's license, which is usually reasonable ID for voting purposes, implies not having a car. Have you checked to see which DoL offices are convenient to public transportation? It's worse in other states. In fact, there are counties, let me repeat, entire _counties_, in other state's without a office that can issue IDs. Oddly enough, these tend to be poor counties full of disadvantaged citizens; these are the voters that proponents of voter ID are trying to disenfranchise.

Lastly, one doesn't simply walk in and get an ID, one needs to bring in supporting documentation. It is difficult and expensive to obtain new copies of such documentation, and there is a significant portion of otherwise eligible voters who were never issued a birth certificate, as they were born without hospital care. Again, these people tend to be from the ranks of disadvantaged that voter ID proponents tend to be out to disenfranchise.

In short (tl;dr), asking these people to just go get acceptable ID is sort of like telling the homeless to just "Get a job!"; if it were that easy, those trying to disenfranchise voters would be suggesting something else.
21
Wouldn't it be just delicious if this screwed the largely elderly Republican voters in an ironic twist?
22
The Republicans in Ohio have pissed off the wrong folks. Even people who were not excited to vote for the President again.
23
Just to wade into this as well: in Canada - and I'm writing this from Saskatoon, which is currently dealing with some proposals for redrawn boundaries for MP, as we're the only province in Canada that doesn't have solely urban, or solely rural voting districts, and public input on this is being collected over the next while - you can bring a utility bill, or a pay stub, or a number of other items, and these are all explained at the Elections Canada web site. You can easily get Saskatchewan gov't issued IDs here, for 25 bucks, and they're good as well, but you need a provincial Health Card to do that (which has no photo).
The issue is not just one of cost: what about students who are attending university away from home, or workers who move around for work? Or, in my case last federal election, when dealing with an obnoxious old man who was 'working' for Elections Canada and tried to tell me I needed a drivers' license, until I produced a print out of the Elections Canada website requirements? Luckily, his supervisor - a non partisan, non aligned, experienced elections worker - shut him down.
That was a rarity: but unless there is evidence of voter fraud - that which is NOT like our current "robocalls" scandal, or other documented instances - than this is just a ploy to disenfranchise voters.