General Question

SaganRitual's avatar

If you think voter ID laws and registration purges are not effective as political weapons, what are your thoughts on their apparently expert use by the GOP?

Asked by SaganRitual (2072points) October 17th, 2018

Those who support voter ID laws tend to refer to the need to eliminate voter fraud. They would also say it’s just good practice to purge registration rolls occasionally, so they don’t fill up with records of people who have died or moved away. Let’s take it as given that both things are good practice. Let’s even assume that the Dems cynically resist the practices, because the result is fewer Dem votes.

Why, then, has the GOP waited until just before (or even after) the deadlines for registering, or when it’s too late for people to obtain all the necessary identification? It seems suspicious to me, but I’d like to hear what right-leaning people have to say on the matter.

They’re doing this all across the nation, with the support of the Supreme Court. I’ve been reading about it in lots of left-leaning media. Below an excerpt from an email I just got from (I couldn’t find it on their site, so I’m just pasting it here).

What do people on the right say about these things? Can you see an innocent reason for all of this to be done at the last minute?


Voters are being purged in massive numbers in states with hotly contested elections. In others, new voter restrictions are coming in.

A recent Brennan Center report founds that Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina have been purging voters at an “alarming rate”

Georgia’s Secretary of State put 53,000 brand new voter registration forms “on hold” based on a controversial exact-matching program that removes voters from the roll based on minor discrepancies on voter registration forms, such as apostrophes being in the wrong places. 70% of these “on hold” voters are African American

Indiana lawmakers purged 469,000 voters in 2017 on the grounds that these voters had “moved” despite these voters never having filed a change of address form with the USPS (ok, not a last-minute one, but still, fishy)

In Missouri state lawmakers are deliberately misleading voters into believing they must present a photo ID to vote when state law allows Missouri residents to present non-photo ID to vote

North Dakota’s new and highly questionable voter ID law, effectively disenfranchises 10s of thousands of Native Americans who live on reservations where PO Boxes—and not residential addresses, are the norm

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20 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Missouri here, right leaning. Most of us own cars and drive so we have Drivers licenses with pictures, not sure why it would be a big deal. A picture ID (non drivers) is $11 so it’s not cost-prohibitive.

I support voter id laws, as it’s an important right (voting) to me and should be treated as such. If $11 keeps you from voting in midterms, you have plenty of time to save up for 2020.

PS Innocent reason? This is cut-throat politics, there are no innocent reasons, only winners and losers.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Why all the urgency despite the proven fact that voter fraud in the country is statistically negligible? These strategies are predictable in a country where the population grows ever less defined as white and that white population confronts an irresistibly declining standard of living.

Yellowdog's avatar

If you receive ANY government benefits, cash a check, consume alcohol, or receive medical services, you have an I.D. and/or driver’s license.

There are people on Fluther who have challenged me to the hilt in saying they are valid if they are receiving services.

You don’t even need an I.D. to vote. Show a piece of mail, a utility bill, medical or government records. These can be obtained from mailboxes and dumpsters. Two forms of I.D.—one to “prove” your residency and identity and you’re good to go. In today;s politically charged, polarized climate, no one will risk chastisement or being on the Six O’clock news when a civil rights case is made out of it in the off chance they are really who they say they are.

Demosthenes's avatar

It’s hard not to be cynical about both sides. Do the Democrats really care so much about disenfranchised voters, or is that they want more Democratic votes? Are the Republicans so passionate about fighting voter fraud, or is it that they want fewer Democratic votes? Either way, it seems that voter ID laws target would-be Democratic voters, so it’s hard not to see the opportunism present in this issue on both sides.

notnotnotnot's avatar

^ re: “both sides”...

Republican policies are not popular. Limiting the number of voters – and doing so in strategic ways to make sure the right voters are allowed – is how they intend to win elections and maintain power. Whatever you think of Republicans, this is the kind of shit we pretend to care about when it happens in other countries, and is used as pretense to sell wars and invasions.

Whether the Democrats’ intentions are pure and just love democracy or not, their attempts are for more democracy and more voter participation.

If you are really confused about intentions here, at the very least you need to look at the actual actions. The Republican method of disenfranchising voters should have you calling out the Republicans and calling for international help in monitoring and running our elections.

This is not complicated. What the Republicans are doing is undermining democracy. “Both sides”-ism is absurd in this scenario. If and where Democrats participate in the same type of shit, they should also be fought.

We’re not just talking about voter ID laws, which are clearly horseshit. This is straight up stealing elections by dumping people from voter registration. It’s every possible trick in the book – again, because they need to keep voting participation low.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Demosthenes Interesting read:

The Institute concluded in its report that thousands of votes in the 2016 election were illegal duplicate votes from people who registered and voted in more than one state.

The Government Accountability Institute also used the state of Rhode Island as a test case. Over 30 percent of all registered voters in Rhode Island have no Social Security or driver’s license number on file.

The Institute found 45,880 votes cast by individuals whose dates of birth were more than 115 years before the election.

The Institute also found more than 15,000 voters registered at prohibited addresses “such as post office boxes, UPS stores, federal post offices, and public buildings.” In some cases, more than 100 voters “were registered to the same UPS store locations.”

gorillapaws's avatar

@KNOWITALL Do you have a valid source to confirm those claims?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Gorilla Do you have a ?valid? source to disprove them?

stanleybmanly's avatar

@KNOWITALL Anytime you bump into numbers like these, so drastically out of step with reputable sources, it’s a good idea to check out the outfit responsible. And sure enough, the Government Accountability Institute turns out to be a truly shady “think tank” founded by Steve Bannon and Peter Schweizer in 2012. It’s obvious that the outfit was spun up to give the scam outfit’s “reports” credibility through being confused with pronouncements from the highly regarded and relentlessly objective Government Accountability Office. Did you read the so called study and how they arrived at those “estimates” of fraudulent votes?

stanleybmanly's avatar

By the way, the GAO is one of the many REPUTABLE organizations which consistently and unanimously find that voter fraud in the United States is rare.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanley Nope, not my job to vet sources acceptable to a specific persons political views. Hopefully @Gorilla can disprove with a link you find acceptable. Facts seem pretty fluid right now, but I have yet to see a source Reps and Dems agree is 100% factual and acceptable.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Make believe is make believe !

No sources to show any significant number of voter fraud !

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Tropical Oh, guess I wont take your word on that but thanks. PS Hillary says the same thing you do.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

2016 there were 4.8 Million voters in North Carolina.

The Board of Elections investigation is helpful toward that end. It found 508 ineligible votes cast. About 87 percent of those (441) were felons who voted. State law prohibits felons from voting until their sentence is fully served, including probation and parole. It is believed that many of the felons who voted did not realize they could not vote while on probation.

The probe found 41 non-citizens, from 28 countries, voted. All were here legally, but were not eligible to vote. The audit also found 24 cases of double-voting and two cases of voter impersonation (one by mail and one in person).
Less than 600 out of 4,800,000 were ineligible !

I use sources not make believe.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Tropical_Willie So from your post, voter fraud is a real issue, it exists, it happens. What I think we are both saying though, is that voter fraud exists, but is not as widespread as some may believe. Shall we agree to that and call it a day or you want to keep going?

An intensive effort on the part of the federal government to uncover and prosecute voter fraud in Wisconsin resulted in only 14 indictments and five convictions or guilty pleas for illegal voting in an election in which over 3 million ballots were cast.

Despite the elevated law enforcement priority, the federal government indicted only 40 voters for election crimes related to illegal voting between 2002 and 2005, obtaining 26 convictions or guilty pleas, for a nationwide average of eight to nine illegal voters a year.

In sum, theory and evidence suggest that in-person impersonation
fraud rarely occurs.37 But that does not defeat the case for voter ID
requirements, as proponents still have two defenses. First, they claim—
correctly—that the failure to observe fraud does not mean that no fraud
takes place.38 Successful fraud would never come to light, and so it is not
certain that in-person impersonation fraud is so rare. Second, this kind
of fraud, even if rare, violates law and could turn an election in just the
right circumstance. Better to have less fraud than more.39

Voter ID laws can depress lawful votes in theory, but do they depress
such votes in practice? Some studies suggest the answer is no, finding
little or no effect on voter turnout.53 That may make sense: People burdened
by ID requirements may tend to be people who could not or
would not vote anyway.54 Other studies suggest voter ID laws do depress
votes.55 Still other studies find that voter ID laws increase voter turnout.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@KNOWITALL 600 divided by 4,800,000 is 0.0125 % of voters !!

What is your problem ??

Oh they might vote for someone you don’t like and QED they’re bad guys. Don’t let bad guys vote.

Voter disfranchisement is real and yes they’re people of color and the older population.
There have been several cases in NC where the “person” needed at the election office to approve, wasn’t available when elderly colored ladies showed up to register

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I don’t have a problem.

I vote in every election and help register voters, don’t ask who they vote for, don’t care what color they are.

If you have a question ask it and be done, I’m busy.

seawulf575's avatar

I find pretty much all the games played with voting to be a horrid thing. I fully support voter ID laws. I think it is not unreasonable to have people prove they are who they say they are to exercise their right to vote. It keeps it fair and makes it much easier to go back and verify is someone voted more than once.
I fully support purging voter registrations on a periodic basis. That being said, it should be done every 3 months and not just before elections. There should be more effort put into it than just ejecting people from these lists until they prove they should be on them.
I disagree with redrawing voting district boundaries. I believe that we ought to take every county as it sits right now (burroughs in NYC) and make them individual voting districts.
And just one clarification: Right wing does not equal Republican.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You aren’t thinking this through. You You don’t actually believe that there’s no such thing as the right wing of the Republican party.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly I agree that Republicans, for the most part are right wingers (i.e. Conservatives). I do not agree that all right wingers (conservatives) are Republicans. Which is what I stated…Right wing does not equal Republican.

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