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 Post subject: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:36 pm 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19683542

I would really love to believe that this story was entirely fabricated, I would also love to believe that voter fraud did not exist and such measures would not be needed... but here we are with a situation where some people in a civilised democratic country are actually finding it difficult to cast a vote for many different reasons outlined in the article above.

How was it done before these changes in America.? And was voter fraud something that really existed (or still exists) on a scale large enough to be a problem to require such measures.?

FYI, how its done in the UK is pretty simple (but still not all inclusive, you cant for example be homeless), the government send a letter to every house (once or so a year depending on local and national voting patterns), you send a filled out form back with details about each person eligible to vote. When a local or national vote is coming up they send you voting cards with your details on and where you can cast your vote (most urban areas its a 5-minute walk, rural may be different), the person with the card turns up - no ID needed, the card is the ID, you get given one or more ballot papers, go to a booth use a pencil, drop the ballot papers in a box and you are done.

I have not heard of any voting fraud in the UK since I have been eligible to vote - I wont say that it does not happen, but the scale must be quite small given the nature of how the system works, and all without any form of ID beyond the pre-arranged voting card. Also if you are elderly, disabled or are on holiday or business and cant vote in person you can use a postal voting system in advance of the actual voting date as well as an online option.

A cynic would suggest (as was highlighted for political reasons no doubt in the article) that this new ID system and its introduction not long before people go to the polls was designed to discriminate against the poorer people who will most likely vote favour a candidate, meaning that the candidate in question will be disadvantaged. And I ask for what purpose.? Is voting frad such a serious issue in America, I know that the crappy counting machines and silly hole punches caused a lot of problems when Bush jnr was around (Florida I think)- in the UK they are all counted by hand, and if the result is close (and contested) its re-counted - I am sure its expensive, but I am also sure that democracy and our trust in our votes being counted are worth the cost.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:28 am 
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I don't see so much of a problem requiring some identification. If you don't have ID how do you do any of the other things that require ID? Voter cards are one way but you still can get abuse of the system, something that has sadly been linked with some ethnic minorities in the UK.

In the UK a major cause of concern for voter fraud was the introduction of postal ballots. Initially (2005) they were available only in industrial northern cities which seems counterintuitive to me as it is rural areas where access to voting is more of an issue. Maybe it had more to do with the incubent Labour government of the time and those areas being strong Labour areas. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:55 am 
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Lots of people in the states, particularly the elderly, the poor and students don't have ID that is sufficient for these laws. Some states (Tennessee for instance) specifically exclude student ID's even from state universities. This is pretty much a blantent attempt by the Republicans to suppress the Democratic vote. Voter fraud has never been demonstrated to be an actual problem in this country. This "cure" will cause more inequity than the "disease."


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:08 am 
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There is voter fraud and probably election fraud, too. But voter ID's stop only one type of problem -- one that is virtually nonexistent here in the USA. This is an effort by some to restrict the voting of some people -- a poll tax by another name.

We need to have transparent and verifiable records of all votes. All voting machines need to be verifiable and all mail in ballots need to be checked against in-person voting records. Some places have mailed ballots to everyone, and this seems to be asking for trouble, since then people could also vote in person. In the past, you had to request a mail in ballot, and then that would remove you from the in person voter list.

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:31 am 
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Quote:
I don't see so much of a problem requiring some identification. If you don't have ID how do you do any of the other things that require ID?


What things.? Apart from buying alcohol if you are lucky enough to be that young or look that young I dont know of anything where you need any ID beyond household bills.

Quote:
Voter cards are one way but you still can get abuse of the system, something that has sadly been linked with some ethnic minorities in the UK.


I dont doubt that is true, but it failed to capture my notice in the news so I can only assume that it was a small problem that did not have large ramifications.

Quote:
Lots of people in the states, particularly the elderly, the poor and students don't have ID that is sufficient for these laws. Some states (Tennessee for instance) specifically exclude student ID's even from state universities. This is pretty much a blantent attempt by the Republicans to suppress the Democratic vote.


Thanks for the American perspective, your opinion seems to match what the news article suggests.

Quote:
Voter fraud has never been demonstrated to be an actual problem in this country. This "cure" will cause more inequity than the "disease."


That's goo to know, and also suggests that this measure is really not needed and will only cause inequality - some can vote and some cant, and not because they dont want to but because of the financial and time pressures created by this law.

Quote:
There is voter fraud and probably election fraud, too. But voter ID's stop only one type of problem -- one that is virtually nonexistent here in the USA.


I would be amazed if there wasn't some amount of voter fraud in every country on the planet, but in most 1st world countries its such a small issue it is basically insignificant unless the vote is very close (most are not).

Quote:
This is an effort by some to restrict the voting of some people


Another person who finds this undemocratic.

Quote:
We need to have transparent and verifiable records of all votes. All voting machines need to be verifiable and all mail in ballots need to be checked against in-person voting records.


Agreed. I know that this is done in the UK.

Quote:
Some places have mailed ballots to everyone, and this seems to be asking for trouble, since then people could also vote in person. In the past, you had to request a mail in ballot, and then that would remove you from the in person voter list.


In the UK, you are asked if you want to have your vote via the post or the internet, if you do, you cannot vote by any other method - all of this is done well in advance (a couple of months) of the actual voting date specifically to get round these issues.

You can turn up to vote in person without your voting card (just remembered) so long as you can give your name and address (and perhaps other information, I dont know I have always used the card). Your name is then struck off of the record by the person who hands you your ballot, if someone else then turns up with the same information I would assume that the police get involved - they are stationed at every polling station during the whole time that the polling stations are open.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:31 am 
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voter fraud is a myth perpetuated by the side thats hurting for votes right now. photo ids stops more legal voters from voting than it prevents miscast votes.

real voter fraud is when those registering voters toss out one of political parties registration paperwork.

if they were really worried about actual fraud theyd fix the mail in voting system first. and if they were concerned with welfare theyd go after the corporate leeches first too... I say fix problems that actually exist first, instead of manufacturing a problem and spreading unfounded fear about it...

if you insist on ID at the polling place, then it should show what native american tribe you are from, and then, and only then can you be allowed to vote.

Q: do you think the electoral college shows ID?

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:05 am 
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Voter fraud is a problem in the US to varying degrees. For one thing, The US government estimates that there are about 12 million illegal aliens in the US who are not qualified to vote (since this is a US government estimate, the real number is probably much higher). There are also many convicted felons, etc who are not legally allowed to vote (these rules vary slightly by state). In some instances, votes have been cast for dead persons,etc. Many people believe that JFK was elected in 1960 due to voter fraud in Chicago, then controlled by mayor Bill Daley, Sr. The 2000 US presidential election was decided by 537 votes in Florida, well within the margin of error that is caused by fraudulent voting each year in Florida alone.

A valid government issued photo id is required for many aspects of daily life, such as getting medical care, boarding an airplane, etc. The fact that some are too lazy to get a non-drivers license id (states will issue ids in cases where the person doesn't have or want a drivers license), or too lazy to have a valid drivers license (many people drive illegally with an expired or non-existent drivers license), should not be used as an excuse as to why they shouldn't be required to have a valid id in order to ensure fair elections.

Someone claimed that student id's are not accepted, but it is hard to imagine any college student who does not have a drivers license or state issued id.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:42 am 
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I don't want to get into a heated debate about this, but it isn't laziness. Many people don't have drivers licenses because they don't drive. Many elderly people haven't renewed their drivers license because they don't drive. Your examples of needing an ID for medical care is simply false. I have gotten medical care with through a the ER at a hospital, as well as through free clinics, and primary care physicians. The only time I ever was asked for ID was in college at student health. Many people don't fly. What if we made Food Stamp cards the relevant ID, would you be "lazy" for not having one? No, it is not a part of your life to need it, so you don't get it. It doesn't help that the DMV is practically synonymous with headache and inconvenience. I know that I avoid going until I have to.

Yes there are immigrants (documented or otherwise) who can't vote. Those undocumented immigrants I know don't generally want to bring themselves to the government's attention and so they aren't typically going to try to vote.

Yes felons can't vote, sometimes, in some states. In fact many felons are eligible to have their vote restored, but don't know that. Again, I could be mistaken, but I don't think the felon community is organizing a massive get-out-the-vote campaign.

Show me documented voter fraud on the order of 1000's of false votes in a state or go home. This is not a problem. Don't say that there could be voter fraud, show me that there is. If there were no social cost to these laws, I wouldn't have a problem, but the fact is that these laws have the primary effect of denying people their right to vote. Furthermore these denials disproportionally hit people of color and the poor. Both groups tend to vote for Democrats. This in itself should cause one to pause to consider if these laws are motivated by partisan politics.

They even say so: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuOT1bRYdK8


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:53 am 
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Good points Nicias.

Don't forget all the legal aliens who are also not allowed to vote (and not allowed to make any political contributions of any kind).
interesting read on this topic : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_rig ... _franchise

I also think that voting is complicated/prone to errors/miscounts in the US because of the machines, and because you are often asked to vote on a number of things at one time.

Just a comparison, in France, ID (even expired) is required to vote, but the rules to get ID are different : you have to be a citizen to get it. Also, you vote for only one thing at a time : a single candidate or a referendum, and voting is done the old fashioned way (a piece of paper in an envelop, so there is no way to interpret the results).

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:55 am 
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Nicias wrote:
Furthermore these denials disproportionally hit people of color and the poor. Both groups tend to vote for Democrats. This in itself should cause one to pause to consider if these laws are motivated by partisan politics.

Yes, this subject is motivated by partisan politics. If it were not true that "both groups tend to vote for Democrats" you would never in a million years see Democrats objecting to the simple, logical, and rational requirement that a photo id be required to ensure fair elections.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:59 am 
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Ok, so are you just accusing me of being partisan, and leaving it at that?

Or are you disagreeing that this would cause more people to be denied their vote than it would prevent from voting fraudulently?

Because that is the most rational criterion. According to that criterion, voter ID laws are a bad idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:11 am 
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m0002a wrote:
Nicias wrote:
Furthermore these denials disproportionally hit people of color and the poor. Both groups tend to vote for Democrats. This in itself should cause one to pause to consider if these laws are motivated by partisan politics.

Yes, this subject is motivated by partisan politics. If it were not true that "both groups tend to vote for Democrats" you would never in a million years see Democrats objecting {snip} that a photo id be required to ensure fair elections.

Never thought I'd say that : I agree with m0002a (minus snipped part)...

as for the snipped part :
m0002a wrote:
to the simple, logical, and rational requirement

simple : not sure... you need a bunch of paperwork and you need to be free during the DMVs business hours (9am to 4 pm if you're lucky) to get a drivers license, which is not that easy when can't really get out of work...
logical, and rational requirement : subjective... it's not in the Constitution :) where are the Constitution tea drinking nuts when you need them ?

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:42 am 
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frenchie wrote:
simple : not sure... you need a bunch of paperwork and you need to be free during the DMVs business hours (9am to 4 pm if you're lucky) to get a drivers license, which is not that easy when can't really get out of work...
logical, and rational requirement : subjective... it's not in the Constitution :) where are the Constitution tea drinking nuts when you need them ?

Somehow, I don't think the vast majority of people who don't have any id, would have a problem getting out of work, because as noted, they often are elderly or otherwise not employed (except those who are just too lazy to get an id). Yes, life is a hassle, and we all have stand in line to get the things we need, but the government has decided that for the betterment of society that drivers licenses or state id's are needed once every 5-10 years (depends on the state, but mine is good for 10 years).

The administration of voting is regulated by the states per the US Constitution (except for certain mandated things like age, gender, etc). As noted above, states have different laws regarding whether convicted felons can vote, and whether convicted felons can have their voting rights restored. All of the voter id laws being discussed are state laws. So you are mistaken--the Constitution tea drinking nuts are already on top of this one.

I claimed above that many are too lazy to get a valid drivers license or id. I had the experience a couple of years ago of sitting in traffic court for about 5 hours (I plead the 5th on why I was there). I was amazed that about 80% of the people in traffic court who had to face a judge were there because they did not have a valid drivers license (and they were pulled over for a routine traffic violation while driving). So when surveys ask people whether they have a valid drivers license or state id (for those who don't drive), the assumption is that a large number of people don't really need one, but in fact they are just breaking the law and are too lazy or too cheap to get one.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:29 pm 
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Oh, yeah, an old person who doesn't drive would have no trouble getting to the DMV, and waiting in line for hours, and then getting a ride back. Also, a person who is working three part time jobs to make ends meet could totally take an afternoon off and be sure that they would not lose their job.

Again, demonstrate that this is a problem, AND that your solution is better than the disease, or go home. You have done neither.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:53 pm 
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A judge just postponed Pennsylvania's voter ID requirement saying there wasn't enough time from when the law was enacted to enable people to get IDs in time for the November election. Ironically, Pennsylvania officials admitted in testimony that they had never seen a case of in-person voter fraud.

They way we (the US) enable or disable voting rights state by state dependant on whatever legislature/governor is currently in charge is a joke/one more tool (amongst many*) to push election results toward one side or the other.

*eg: redrawing districts

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/ ... LA20121002

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:52 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
The administration of voting is regulated by the states per the US Constitution

This seems like a weak point. If the main mechanism (general election) of a national democracy is able to be influenced by local laws then this undermines the point of a national democracy. Someone in one area may have the ability to vote while in another area they wouldn't so therefore not all voters are considered equally.

What about Social Security Numbers? Could these be used for identification?

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:41 pm 
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Quote:
The 2000 US presidential election was decided by 537 votes in Florida, well within the margin of error that is caused by fraudulent voting each year in Florida alone.


I remember watching the endless news cycle... most of the complaints were about the crappy punching and counting machines rather than "fraud".

Quote:
A valid government issued photo id is required for many aspects of daily life, such as getting medical care, boarding an airplane, etc. The fact that some are too lazy to get a non-drivers license id (states will issue ids in cases where the person doesn't have or want a drivers license), or too lazy to have a valid drivers license (many people drive illegally with an expired or non-existent drivers license), should not be used as an excuse as to why they shouldn't be required to have a valid id in order to ensure fair elections.


Who would have thought that in "the land of the free" ID is a requirement for so many things.

I currently dont have any valid photo ID, my passport has expired, I have not seen my photo driving license for 5+ years and I dont care, I dont need these things unless I need to go abroad at which point I will get a passport. It seems that "the land of the free" is much less free than the rest of the world believes.

Quote:
I don't want to get into a heated debate about this, but it isn't laziness. Many people don't have drivers licenses because they don't drive. Many elderly people haven't renewed their drivers license because they don't drive. Your examples of needing an ID for medical care is simply false. I have gotten medical care with through a the ER at a hospital, as well as through free clinics, and primary care physicians. The only time I ever was asked for ID was in college at student health. Many people don't fly. What if we made Food Stamp cards the relevant ID, would you be "lazy" for not having one? No, it is not a part of your life to need it, so you don't get it. It doesn't help that the DMV is practically synonymous with headache and inconvenience. I know that I avoid going until I have to.

Yes there are immigrants (documented or otherwise) who can't vote. Those undocumented immigrants I know don't generally want to bring themselves to the government's attention and so they aren't typically going to try to vote.

Yes felons can't vote, sometimes, in some states. In fact many felons are eligible to have their vote restored, but don't know that. Again, I could be mistaken, but I don't think the felon community is organizing a massive get-out-the-vote campaign.

Show me documented voter fraud on the order of 1000's of false votes in a state or go home. This is not a problem. Don't say that there could be voter fraud, show me that there is. If there were no social cost to these laws, I wouldn't have a problem, but the fact is that these laws have the primary effect of denying people their right to vote. Furthermore these denials disproportionally hit people of color and the poor. Both groups tend to vote for Democrats. This in itself should cause one to pause to consider if these laws are motivated by partisan politics.


Thumbs up to the whole post.

Quote:
Yes, this subject is motivated by partisan politics. If it were not true that "both groups tend to vote for Democrats" you would never in a million years see Democrats objecting to the simple, logical, and rational requirement that a photo id be required to ensure fair elections.


This entire post is about "partizan politics" and about the freedom to cast a vote.

If the people of the UK were told that we had to turn up with valid photo ID to vote, there would be an almighty shitstorm and politicians would be fighting for press attention to say that this should not be so - on all sides - and from all parties within the UK political spectrum. The fact that this is divisive in American politics shows just how polarised the "2" parties are, and why American politics really needs at least one other political party in contention.

Quote:
Somehow, I don't think the vast majority of people who don't have any id, would have a problem getting out of work, because as noted, they often are elderly or otherwise not employed (except those who are just too lazy to get an id). Yes, life is a hassle, and we all have stand in line to get the things we need, but the government has decided that for the betterment of society that drivers licenses or state id's are needed once every 5-10 years (depends on the state, but mine is good for 10 years).


You are missing a HUGE point, it costs money in one way or the other, you either have to get a bus, a cab, take a day off of work, etc to be able to BUY a bit of ID so that you can vote.

What kind of horrible country would CHARGE ITS CITIZENS TO VOTE.? That is quite the opposite of Freedom - that is an outrage.

Quote:
A judge just postponed Pennsylvania's voter ID requirement saying there wasn't enough time from when the law was enacted to enable people to get IDs in time for the November election. Ironically, Pennsylvania officials admitted in testimony that they had never seen a case of in-person voter fraud.

They way we (the US) enable or disable voting rights state by state dependant on whatever legislature/governor is currently in charge is a joke/one more tool (amongst many*) to push election results toward one side or the other.

*eg: redrawing districts


That's scummy politicians for you, they are pretty much the same the world over.

Quote:
This seems like a weak point. If the main mechanism (general election) of a national democracy is able to be influenced by local laws then this undermines the point of a national democracy. Someone in one area may have the ability to vote while in another area they wouldn't so therefore not all voters are considered equally.


The way that you have put that says that you dont live in a democracy, one of the most fundamental points of a democracy is that everyone gets to vote (excluding young people, criminals and the insane which is sensible), this is not the case in some States you have different "rights" to vote than in others - crazy.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:00 pm 
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andyb wrote:
..one of the most fundamental points of a democracy is that everyone gets to vote (excluding young people, criminals and the insane which is sensible), this is not the case in some States you have different "rights" to vote than in others - crazy.

Welcome to American politics. We live for the Crazy. If the 2000 FL vote hadn't been flawed, chances are we wouldn't have had the occupation of Iraq, wouldn't have had the Bush Jr era tax cuts and just those two things would have balanced our federal budget. Trillions of dollars wasted for political favor.

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Quote:
Welcome to American politics. We live for the Crazy. If the 2000 FL vote hadn't been flawed, chances are we wouldn't have had the occupation of Iraq, wouldn't have had the Bush Jr era tax cuts and just those two things would have balanced our federal budget. Trillions of dollars wasted for political favor.


Every time I see something totally screwed up in UK politics I just look across the Atlantic, and then think to myself that I complain too much - sad but true.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:34 pm 
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Voter fraud is essentially impossible to pull off. It simply doesn't happen. The way voting works here in the U.S. (I don't know about elsewhere) is that you go to the voting location, which serves a single precinct (small subdivison) of a town or city's area and you recite the name of your street of residence and your name, and an official at the location (who's usually your neighbor) crosses your name off a list. To commit fraud you'd have to go to a location distant from where you live. If you wanted to vote in place of your lazy pal Jerry in the next county, you could give your name as Jerry's name, but the polling place official has a good chance of knowing Jerry and you'd get caught, which is punishable by jail time.

Even if occasionally someone pulls off voting in place of his father (or something), to have voter fraud have any effect on an election you'd need the cooperation of hundreds of people, and there's no way something like that could be initiated without knowledge of it almost immediately leaking out to the authorities.

No, voter fraud does not happen. These bills are an attempt to disenfranchise.

Vote fraud, on the other hand, fraud perpetrated by election officials, does of course happen. Ballot box stuffing, voting machine rigging, voter rolls purged of eligible voters, intimidation by thugs. The last three techniques have famously happened in the U.S. in 2000 and beyond.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:44 pm 
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edh wrote:
What about Social Security Numbers? Could these be used for identification?

Not everyone knows their social security number or knows where their social security card is.

Many residents who aren't US citizens have social security numbers, for tax purposes. I guess voting centers could have lists of SSNs for legal voters, but that can still be problematic. For a long time the Social Security Administration thought I wasn't a citizen, because my parents didn't fill out some notification when I was naturalized. I only corrected their database, because of the requirement that male US citizens need to register for the selective service before receiving Federal financial aid (for college).


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:21 pm 
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andyb wrote:
The way that you have put that says that you dont live in a democracy, one of the most fundamental points of a democracy is that everyone gets to vote (excluding young people, criminals and the insane which is sensible), this is not the case in some States you have different "rights" to vote than in others - crazy.
Andy

Agreed. Debattable for criminals. Should being in prison remove yet another one of your right as a citizen ? You don't loose your duties (you still pay taxes for example), and you already loose your right to freedom... I haven't thought about this much until now... interesting topic...

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Quote:
Agreed. Debattable for criminals. Should being in prison remove yet another one of your right as a citizen ? You don't loose your duties (you still pay taxes for example), and you already loose your right to freedom... I haven't thought about this much until now... interesting topic...


This is a perfect example of how different the same question is answered by whole countries.

:: This turned into a bit of a rant, because it really pisses me off, as you will see ::

In the UK there is a huge amount of pressure being put on the current government by all sides (literally every political party in the UK) because the arseholes in the EU have decided that the UK is not allowed to keep its own laws about people in prison not being allowed to vote. The absolute (75+%) of the population agrees that if you are behind bars you loose the right to freedom, and the right to vote. The fact that it has been part of the UK legal system for a couple of hundred years + only puts more pressure on the government to tell the EU to sod off and stop interfering - and if the EU court uphold this stupid dictatoral interference even more people will vote for the UK to leave the EU when we eventually get the chance sometime in the next 2 1/2 years.

:: Rant section over, feel free not to comment on this section as this has little to do with the topic in hand ::

The way I look at it is as follows. If you murder someone, they have lost their right to continue living, that includes the right to vote - why would a convicted murderer be allowed the "privilege" of voting.? If a shoplifter has just been put behind bars in for a few weeks when the elections are being held, that's their problem, if they are so intent on casting their vote they shouldn't be a criminal before an election, (generally) people committing criminal acts do so voluntary - if they do it at the wrong time so what - other criminals miss their relatives birthdays (and their own) because they were caught at the wrong time - so what - they wouldn't be behind bars if they didn't commit the crime - they loose rights, that's what justice is about.

I am not sure how it works in America, but in the UK once you are freed you automatically get the right to vote regardless of the crime, and that's the point. Freedom is freedom, free people cannot vote, once you are free again you are free to vote again - that is the way it should be - prisoners should not be allowed to vote.

I dont understand the bit about "duties" and "paying taxes" whilst you are behind bars.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:39 pm 
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On the politics subject, I forgot about the time and missed the first 60 of the 90 minute "show". The last 30-minutes were interesting, Romney is obviously a good speaker, but most of his words I failed to agree with - and most importantly he totally failed to explain "how" in detail he was going to fund anything that he said he was going to do. Obama looked tired (not a surprise - being the top politician in any country will change the colour of your hair), didn't give a great performance, but the words were sound in my view - far more detailed than Romney's.

I will get around to watching the first hour on youtube at some point.

Here we go, its only 3:49 AM here so I can do another hour, this looks legit.

Part 1 - no views

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MDeMI-MeS0

Part 2 - 110 views, uploaded 1-minute earlier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgzAxTApx7M

Part 3 - at some point......


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:42 pm 
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I opted to have beers with friends instead of watching the debate :D

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:17 pm 
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edh wrote:
This seems like a weak point. If the main mechanism (general election) of a national democracy is able to be influenced by local laws then this undermines the point of a national democracy. Someone in one area may have the ability to vote while in another area they wouldn't so therefore not all voters are considered equally.

What about Social Security Numbers? Could these be used for identification?

The United States of America is a Republic (currently of 50 states). There is actually no requirement in the US Constitution that people even be allowed to directly vote for president or even vote directly for electors to the Electoral College that elect the president. The Constitution only stipulates that the State Legislatures in each state determine the electors to the Electoral College who then vote for president. In all states right now, the State Legislatures have chosen elections by the people who elect the electors, who in turn vote for president. But it hasn't always been that way. Most states are winner take all (electors) but some states apportion the electors based on the percentage of votes each candidate receives (although not in an exact linear fashion).

However, the states are not allowed to violate the basic principles of the constitution such as "equal protection under the law" and other court rulings that can be used to over-ride states that violate these precepts. But there is some latitude so long as the basic constitutional rights are not violated.

Yes, there are differences in the 50 state governments, and sometimes that may be inefficient, but that is the American system of government, and how it has worked from the very beginning or our country. Think of it as 50 different experiments, and the states often gravitate to the laws used by other states that are working the best. I know this very hard for some in other countries to fathom, but you don't need to worry about it, since you may run your country in the manner in which you see fit. Grant us the same rights in our country.

Social Security cards do not have photo ids on them, and most people have lost their original issued card anyway.


Last edited by m0002a on Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:24 pm 
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frenchie wrote:
Agreed. Debattable for criminals. Should being in prison remove yet another one of your right as a citizen ? You don't loose your duties (you still pay taxes for example), and you already loose your right to freedom... I haven't thought about this much until now... interesting topic...

Convicted felons do not loose their constitutional rights. They may loose their right to vote, but that has never been granted to everyone and is not a constitutional right guaranteed by the US Constitution.


Last edited by m0002a on Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:34 pm 
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In the city I live in (and most nearby cities) one must present a drivers license or state id to buy a beer or any alcoholic beverage, regardless of how old you are or how old you look. Since prohibition of alcohol was specifically repealed by a US Constitutional amendment, clearly the right to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages is a constitutional right if over the age of 21 (or whatever age stipulated by the state). But that does not mean that just because consuming or purchasing alcohol is a constitutional right, that one can do it without a government issued photo id (if a state or city requires you present such an id).


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:58 am 
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andyb wrote:
Quote:
A valid government issued photo id is required for many aspects of daily life, such as getting medical care, boarding an airplane, etc. The fact that some are too lazy to get a non-drivers license id (states will issue ids in cases where the person doesn't have or want a drivers license), or too lazy to have a valid drivers license (many people drive illegally with an expired or non-existent drivers license), should not be used as an excuse as to why they shouldn't be required to have a valid id in order to ensure fair elections.


Who would have thought that in "the land of the free" ID is a requirement for so many things.

I currently dont have any valid photo ID, my passport has expired, I have not seen my photo driving license for 5+ years and I dont care, I dont need these things unless I need to go abroad at which point I will get a passport. It seems that "the land of the free" is much less free than the rest of the world believes.


I guess you didn't really look around the world then :wink: . In most countries you are required to have ID or passport for most tasks.

Want to take out money from the bank in person ? ID or passport needed.
Want to do any official business with the state (driver licence, gun licence, social security etc) ? ID needed.
Want to buy something 18+ (alcohol in shops, adult magazines in new stands) ? They have the right to ask you for ID and deny the sale if you can't confirm that you are over 18.
Want to vote ? ID card please and if you want to vote elsewhere than your main address, you need to get a voter card which allows you to vote anywhere.

Pretty much the only countries not having ID cards are the common law countries (US, UK, Australia, NZ etc).

Let me ask you this - how are you prohibited from voting elsewhere, in other voting district ? In my country you can vote only in your district with your ID card, or in any district with a voter card you asked for in advance (up to few days before voting), which is taken from you when you voted. This way, you can only vote once. Sure, you are probably a good guy and vote only once. But can you assure that everyone else is as honest as you ?


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:09 am 
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Voter ID doesn't even stop in-person voter fraud. And in-person voter fraud is onesies and twosies type of fraud -- why bother?

Systematic voter suppression on the other hand affects the outcome of an election. Voter list purges done at the last minute without any safeguards -- as is being done right now in places like Florida -- prevent far more legitimate voters than they prevent illegitimate. People who have served their sentences for their convictions should then be allowed to participate in society again -- how else can they be reintegrated into society? They have to be given a stake; otherwise they would be encouraged to commit more crimes.

And how can we prevent wholesale election fraud through hacked systems if we cannot verify touchscreen voter machines and the actual results? How can we make redistricting as neutral as possible? Should we have open primaries where ALL candidates from all parties and independents all run against each other? The two who get the most votes then run against each other; no matter what party they are from. Should we have the actual vote count be used to elect the president?

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