Wednesday, February 21, 2007

ID laws=voter suppression

(Photo Credit Frantz Rantz © 2005)
In a surprise to no one but the New York Times the Old Grey Lady discovered that all these new voter ID laws supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats actually lowers turnout. [H/T VoteLaw]
States that imposed identification requirements on voters reduced turnout at the polls in the 2004 presidential election by about 3 percent, and by two to three times as much for minorities, new research suggests.
Tim Vercellotti, a professor at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University who helped conduct the study, said that in the states where voters were required to sign their names or present identifying documents like utility bills, blacks were 5.7 percent less likely to vote than in states where voters simply had to say their names.

Dr. Vercellotti said Hispanics appeared to be 10 percent less likely to vote under those requirements, while the combined rate for people of all races was 2.7 percent.

And who'd have guessed it that Blacks and Hispanics vote for Democrats more often than Republicans?

Why do Republicans hate democracy so much? The amount of fraud surrounding elections , if there is any, is much less than the 2.7 percent for all people, and among Blacks and Hispanics I am sure it is less than 5.7 and 10 percent.

Why does it have to be such a pain to vote? I say, make everyone (men and women) register for the Selective Service (the never-will-be-draft) when they turn 18, which at the same time will register them as a voter. If such registration is good enough for the military for an emergency draft for a war, then it should be good enough for people to vote for their congressmen or president. Such a law would also get rid of the inherent sexism of the current fake draft. Women are just as capable of serving in the military as men. Some women cannot do some jobs, but neither can some men.

Another way of ensuring the integrity of elections (which Republicans claim to care about) while making it easier for people to vote would be a vote by mail system like Oregon has. Oregon also has the highest turnout of any state. Vote by mail would also have the advantage of a paper trail for recounts if necessary. They could all be optical scanner sheets. Everyone in America knows how to fill in bubble sheets. Vote by mail would prevent voter intimidation by race or socioeconomic status. And it would also prevent Democratic operatives from bribing homeless people to vote for cigarettes. Administratively, it will be slower than the current electronic counting system but should be about as fast as the old stock cards and the same speed as absentee voters.

This also would save the state the money and time and hassle of finding and training poll workers. Most poll workers are senior citizens now, and lack of knowledge or training by a couple dozen of them caused the bulk of problems we saw in 2006 and 2004. Moreover, as these folks become too frail for poll working, it will be difficult to replace them given the terribly low wage they are paid and that even government employees have to take a vacation day to do it.

1 comment:

Gent said...

Vote-by mail is still fed into privately controlled voting machines... and in Oregon they don't audit the ballots against the machines.

A Mail Vote is not a secret ballot either.

More info here: