The Shellow Group
Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

Why Republicans Love Photo ID

It may not make a huge difference in the vote. Just enough to win.

By - Apr 19th, 2016 01:06 pm
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Glenn Grothman

Glenn Grothman

Much was made of Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman’s prediction that a GOP presidential candidate may finally prevail in Wisconsin in November because “Now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is gonna make a little bit of a difference,” as he told WTMJ-4’s Charles Benson.

But Democrat Barack Obama won the state by 213,000 votes in 2012 and by far more in 2008. Does Grothman really think photo ID will prevent that many Democrats from voting? I doubt it, which is why he said it would make “a little bit of a difference.” The model for Republicans is not the Obama elections, where a black candidate drove the African American vote to historic highs (and helped bring out university students), but races more like 2004, where GOP incumbent George W. Bush lost by 5,000 votes in Wisconsin, and 2000, where he lost by 12,000 votes.

Indeed, it was only after those elections that Republicans in this state began beating the drums for photo ID. For decades before that, GOP leaders of Gov. Tommy Thompson’s generation tended to favor policies to make sure everyone votes, a stance that a veteran Republican like Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner still takes, much to his credit.

But the new era of Republicans led by Gov. Scott Walker, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and others, see a way to finally turn Wisconsin red, after 28 straight years of Democrats winning the presidential vote. And that’s by preventing or discouraging enough Democrats from voting.

As Todd Allbaugh, who served as chief of staff for former state Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center), wrote in the Madison weekly Isthmus: “I was in the closed Senate Republican Caucus when the final round of multiple voter ID bills was being discussed. A handful of the GOP Senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters.”

Republicans have claimed the photo ID law was to prevent voter fraud, but when challenged in federal court to prove this was a problem, they couldn’t. Republican Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen did a huge brief on the subject but as Federal District Judge Lynn Adelman concluded, “The defendants could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past. If it is occurring… the defendants should have been able to produce evidence that it is.”

Vos and company argued their law was based on Indiana’s, but that state’s law allows those lacking photo ID to cast provisional ballots that count so long as the exception is affirmed by affidavit within ten days. But the Wisconsin law allows no other way to prove identity but a photo ID and those casting a provisional vote must return with such ID no less than three days after casting the ballot.

Wisconsin, moreover, built its law within a system where photo ID is much harder to get. An amicus brief filed by One Wisconsin Now in the federal district court case noted how much less accessible Wisconsin’s system is for those who lack a driver’s license and must to go to the Division of Motor Vehicles for a state photo ID. “Nearly all” of Indiana’s 140 Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices “are open five days a week, Wisconsin has only 33 full-time sites; Indiana has 124 that are open on the weekends, Wisconsin has one,” the brief noted.

That burden falls far harder on minority voters, as the UW-Milwaukee Employment & Training found. Their analysis of all motor vehicle files in the state found that “59% of Hispanic females, 55% of African American males, 49% of African American females, and 46% of Hispanic males, compared to 17% of white males and 17% of white females, were without a valid driver’s license.”

Since Wisconsin’s spring election many stories of disenfranchised voters have been reported: There’s Eddie Lee Holloway, Jr., a 58-year-old African-American man, who moved to Wisconsin in 2008 “and voted without problems, until Wisconsin passed its voter-ID law,” The Nation reported. “He brought his expired Illinois photo ID, birth certificate, and Social Security card to get a photo ID for voting, but the DMV in Milwaukee rejected his application because the name on his birth certificate read ‘Eddie Junior Holloway,’ the result of a clerical error when it was issued.”

And Leroy Switlick of Milwaukee, who is legally blind and went to the Division of Motor Vehicles to obtain an ID card to vote: “he brought his birth certificate with him, along with a utility bill, property tax statement and Medicare card. He has voted in Wisconsin since he was 21. He’s now 67,” Huffington Post reported. But “the gentleman behind the counter said ‘This stuff is no good, you’ve got to have a picture ID card, how do I know who you say you are?’”

The same story tells of Kari Venteris of Madison, who had to vote with a provisional ballot. And there’s Johnny Randle, a 74-year-old African-American Milwaukeean, who hasn’t been able to vote and the older woman in Spooner WI who couldn’t vote.

And those are super-committed voters. The real beauty of photo ID is it sows confusion among less-dedicated voters. A survey of Texas registered voters who hadn’t voted in the last election found 5.8 percent of them said they lacked the proper ID, among the seven different IDs that were legally acceptable, but in fact half of them actually had the right credentials.

The Wisconsin voter ID law included a provision that would have created an education campaign to make sure such confusion doesn’t occur, but the legislature has refused to provide funding. Myranda Tanck, spokeswoman for State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, said this was because of a lack of time before the April election. So will they provide the funding in time for the November election six months from now? Not a peep from Republicans about that.

But last week a unanimous decision by three Republican-appointed judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the same court which previously upheld Wisconsin’s photo ID law, opened the way for exceptions. An appeal by the ACLU and others “contend that high hurdles for some persons eligible to vote entitle those particular persons to relief,” the decision noted, such as missing records and records with name mismatches. The court agreed, noting “The right to vote is personal and is not defeated by the fact that 99% of other people can secure the necessary credentials…Indeed, one may understand plaintiffs as seeking for Wisconsin the sort of safety net that Indiana has had from the outset.”

Longtime GOP operative Christian Schneider, the only regular political columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, glossed over this case in writing a column declaring that the “voter ID debate is now over.” The debate is over, he claimed, because there was a big turnout in the spring election which proves Photo ID didn’t prevent anyone from voting.

Never mind that it’s the fall presidential election, and its always much bigger turnout, that Republicans like Grothman targeted. Never mind the reports of people being prevented from voting (which the newspaper didn’t cover). Never mind that Republicans, led by Attorney General Brad Schimel, fought the ruling made by the Court of Appeals which Schneider calls “common sense.” And never mind that Wisconsin’s photo ID law refused to give the safety net for wrongly excluded voters. Schneider simply ignores all this, while declaring “The voter ID suppresses turnout’ canard… now sleeps with the fishes,” even as the court made a ruling to prevent just this from happening. Schneider isn’t just a bad columnist, he’s a second-rate propagandist.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals ruling may open the door to other appeals by subsets of voters wrongly barred from voting. If Wisconsin had actually passed a law like Indiana’s, no such appeals would be necessary. But Wisconsin legislators are hoping to erase that vote margin Republicans lost by in 2000 and 2004, and they need 5,000 to 12,000 suppressed and discouraged votes to get there.

Categories: Murphy's Law, Politics

55 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: Why Republicans Love Photo ID”

  1. Vincent Hanna says:

    “The defendants could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past. If it is occurring… the defendants should have been able to produce evidence that it is.”

    “A handful of the GOP Senators were giddy about the ramifications and literally singled out the prospects of suppressing minority and college voters.”

    Plus Grothman’s comment. Can we please stop pretending this is about preventing voter fraud? No one can argue with a straight face that that is what this law is about.

  2. Bruce says:

    Vincent Hanna: If you’re not allowed to look for something, you probably won’t find it. Why should personal identification requirements for voting be less rigorous than getting on an airplane? There are laws enumerating the requirements for voting and your point is that you don’t like the law, so the answer is to prevent enforcing the law.

    From the Wisconsin DMV:

    “To register and vote in Wisconsin, you must:
    Be at least 18 years old.
    You can register early as long as you will be 18 years old by or on Election Day.
    Be a United State citizen.
    Have lived in the area for 28 days before the election with no intent of moving.”

  3. Vincent Hanna says:

    Are you suggesting there’s a big voter fraud problem out there that we just don’t know about? That seems like a bit of a stretch.

    My point is that there is no voter fraud problem and the law is much more like to suppress votes than prevent a problem that does not exist. That is deplorable,

  4. fighingbobfan says:

    “Why should voting regulations be less rigorous than getting on a plane?”

    Oh I dunno. Ask the survivors of the 3,000 people who died on 9/11. That is what you call proof that something like this needed to be done.

    As for voting fraud, we have no proof that wide-spread voting fraud ever occurred. Produce that and you have a case. Until then, you have an illegitimate law.

    So far all we have is evidence that the GOP has found a way to cheat when it comes to winning elections.

    Let’s just hope that voter gumption overcomes this blatant and reeking fraud.

  5. Vincent Hanna says:

    I find it really disturbing that people so casually dismiss or just ignore evidence that Republican politicians did this to intentionally suppress votes. That is seriously messed up.

  6. fightingbob fan says:

    Just out of curiosity Bruce (the commenter), what does “If you’re not allowed to look for something, you probably won’t find it.”?

  7. folkbum says:

    I swear I didn’t coordinate with Bruce, but I did make the point today that by the standards of Republicans like Christian Schneider, the turnout this month must also be evidence that voter fraud never existed in the first place. Shouldn’t turnout have plummeted with this full-bore ID regime in place to stop all the fraud?

  8. Cindy says:

    It never fails to amaze me just how little well-off white folks know about how the poor live. “Well, you need an ID to get on a plane.” News item: poor people don’t fly. They don’t own cars. They take the bus. They don’t need an ID to take the bus. “You need an ID to get a checking account.” News item: poor people don’t have checking accounts. They live on a pretty much cash based system. “You need an ID to rent a movie.” News item: poor people don’t rent DVDs. They buy them in the parking lot of Walgreens at Teutonia and Capital from a guy named Nacho. 7 movies for $21. No ID needed.

    Tear yourselves away from your computers in your lofty downtown offices and learn how your poorer fellow citizens survive here. You wouldn’t be so cavalier if you really knew how the other side lives.

  9. fightingbob fan says:

    Cindy, to take your point even further the fact that poor does none of these things should preclude them from voting.

    This opinion is not being expressed in downtown offices, but around fire pits and in man caves in the OWW counties.

  10. AG says:

    Cindy, you make very good points and I do believe you’re right that many people who support voter ID might not understand that. Along the same lines, not having proper identification is one of the biggest barriers to someone being able to get out of poverty. I challenge you to rethink your position that requiring an ID to vote is a problem and instead realize that not having an ID is the problem. We should focus on getting everyone an ID and then everyone wins.

  11. Matt says:

    Why is this always argued on Republican terms? Because white people do not like to point out racism by other white people, and white people don’t listen when minority people say something is racist. However, lets judge the facts on the terms most favorable to Republicans.

    1. The law was passed to prevent possible voter fraud (see, most favorable to Republicans)
    2. Through litigation and research it is discovered that the law does little to address any actual fraud and there may not be any voter fraud at all. Accepting this, what we have is a dumb law. It is Wisconsin. We have dummies making laws so some of them are going to be dumb. Still no big deal.

    3. Through litigation and research it is discovered that the law works hardships on many folks, particularly minorities.

    This is now well known. No one demands republicans acknowledge this. It is however well known.

    4. In light of the disparate impact on minorities, which is by now well known to Republicans, the Republicans choose to do nothing.

    Now when someone passes a law that accomplishes very little and imposes hardships on people in disproportionate measure to its accomplishments, conservatives will often scream about big government and big brother and all the other bigs. And rightly so. And in a properly governed state, those laws will be changed.

    However, when it imposes hardship on minorities, and Republicans know it does so, nothing happens. They are willing to impose hardships on minorities, IN THE EXERCISE OF THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS as citizens, in order to gain at the polls.

    But no one will say they are racist. We just pretend they don’t know the facts. They know the facts. Everyone knows the facts. That’s why its racist. Man up and say it Murphy.

  12. Vincent Hanna says:

    AG how do you know that not having proper identification is what’s keeping people in poverty? What if someone is 75? Is that still true? Many of those this law impacts are older, so it doesn’t seem as if your claim is true. You want to get everyone an ID? Fine. Make that your cause. In the meantime, the law needs to go. It is shameful and just plain wrong that it is far more likely to suppress votes than prevent an imaginary problem. You are mistaken if you honestly believe that it’s more important to prevent an imaginary problem than make sure no votes are suppressed.

  13. Vincent Hanna says:

    Not to mention, if the law is needed because it will help get people out of poverty, if there is any truth to that, why didn’t Republicans make that case? Why didn’t they pair the law with an ID educational campaign and anti-poverty program? Because that’s nonsense. It’s never been about that. A personal belief that getting people out of poverty is vital and that an ID is a way to do that should not and must not also mean that votes will be suppressed. You find other ways to address the poverty issue. Tell lawmakers to fund a “Get Everyone an ID” initiative. But what you don’t do is pass a law to address a nonexistent problem that suppresses votes. I hope you eventually see the light on this AG.

  14. Casey says:

    Was there any tracking in the state during this past election on how many people were turned away at the polls and what were the demographics?

    Both sides feel pretty adamant about this so you would think if the REALLY cared that much they would collect real info. Most of the “info” that I’ve seen seems to be anecdotal.

  15. Michael Leon says:

    You are correct in your assessment of the suppression objectives of photo voter ID (in concert with numerous other GOP-enacted measures), though omitting the fact this makes liars our of entire political party would be instructive as well.

    RE Sensenbrenner, he’s writes a column and you ignore his years-long championing of GOP-enacted photo voter ID laws?

    His NYT column is propaganda, and you accept it at face value, ignoring contrary facts

    Vis:

    Said Sensenbrenner in 2014 in a townhall meeting in Rubicon, Wisconsin in his gerrymandered district: “The good part about the Voting Rights Act modernization is that I got a provision in there that basically gets Eric Holder out of going after photo ID laws,” the 18-term Badger State congressman claims on the undercover video, (National Review), (James O’Keefe). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOqUV89A0C0 and http://www.nationalreview.com/article/372585/sensenbrenner-camera-denies-text-own-voter-law-j-christian-adams

    How about Sensenbrenner in August 2013: “I regret that the Department of Justice announced its intent to file a lawsuit against Texas’ Voter ID law citing Section 2 to the Voting Rights Act. The Texas legislature passed Voter ID, and Governor Perry signed this legislation into law in 2011. Voter ID laws are an essential element in protecting the integrity of our electoral process and do not have a discriminatory intent or effect.” http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=346539

    How about July 2012: “Republican voter obstruction efforts such as Wisconsin’s, are “common-sense efforts to ensure the identity and citizenship of voters.” http://malcontends.blogspot.com/2013/01/wisconsins-jim-sensenbrenner-maintains.html and http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=305049

    Sensenbrenner is a liar. Why are you fronting for him?

  16. AG says:

    Matt, it’s interesting you say this conversation is taking place from the republican perspective. I believe that to be the complete opposite. That’s why the conversations dismiss evidence of voter fraud out of hand, try to block any real investigations of it, fail to bring up the illegal immigrant vote, and more. Tell me why illegals voting hasn’t come up once during the many voter ID debates on Urban Milwaukee? There are studies that demostrate that at least 2-6% of illegal immigrants vote (and since the study methodology used self reporting of the subjects, the actual number is likely much higher!).

    Vincent, the law wasn’t made to address getting people ID, although as a pleasant side effect it does have provisions that make it easier for many people to get one. I don’t make up the fact that not having an ID is a barrier to getting out of poverty. This is a well documented issue and has been reported on several times on Urban Milwaukee and the neighborhood news service several times.

    Finally, you keep saying it’s a non existent but your reasoning for that is the few convictions. You pretend like voter fraud isn’t nearly impossible to prove, even when you have a reasonable suspicious it’s happening, or that congress has literally blocked investigations of widespread fraud (ACORN anyone?). If we use the same criteria then we can say police almost never use more force then necessary because after all, so few have been convicted.

    The irony of your crocodile tears is that we voted into office a city alderman who literally physically tried to suppress votes by slashing the tires on the vans that would take them to the polls. How some people can cry about voter suppression and then vote for someone who was convicted of suppressing votes is beyond me.

    I, on the other hand, for years have supported laws and programs that help low income people get proper identification and have told my representatives at the local and state level of that fact.

    I’d love to have a hypothetical conversation to anyone who claims voter fraud doesn’t exist. I’d like them to step back and for discussion sake, think about a world where voter fraud did happen. How would you uncover it and prove it in court within our current system?

  17. fightingbobfan says:

    Who wouldn’t want to support a party that failed miserably on its promise to create jobs, that has failed to grow the middle class, that it is making it difficult for people to remove them from office despite this miserable job, that has used division as a governing tactic and has ripped local control out of the hands communities throughout the state? Why in the world would they want to suppress the vote?

  18. Vincent Hanna says:

    I didn’t vote for that individual so I have no idea why that has anything to do with my arguments here. It’s great that you support programs that are designed to help get people out of poverty. I applaud that and hope you continue to do that. But why would you support a measure that could suppress the votes of the people you say you are trying to help? You can support measures that help get people out of poverty without supporting this law which again is far more likely to suppress votes than stop a problem that has been proven time and again to not exist. How you can claim to want to help people get out of poverty and also support this bill is beyond me.

    Isn’t this how you prove voter fraud AG? http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/shorewood-man-charged-with-13-counts-of-voter-fraud-b99297733z1-264322221.html

  19. Vincent Hanna says:

    And Republicans are on the record declaring their true intentions with this bill. How can people ignore that?

  20. Tom D says:

    AG, if Republicans believe that lacking an ID keeps people in poverty, why don’t they make it easier to get one? Why have this obsession about providing a birth certificate (and not just any birth certificate, but a certified document—thereby disqualifying “hospital” birth certificates which had been used for decades)? A birth certificate doesn’t prove that you are John Smith; it only proves that somebody is (or was—perhaps John Smith died years ago).

    Why not accept other documents like a Social Security card, bank credit/debit card, out-of-state driver’s license, or SSA-1099?

    And why “grandfather” existing drivers but not “grandfather” existing voters? Older Wisconsin drivers have never been required to provide a birth certificate (either “certified” or “hospital”) and are just assumed to be citizens, while older non-driving voters (and out-of-state drivers) are by default assumed to be aliens (and must “prove” citizenship to continue voting).

  21. Bruce says:

    I love all of the comments. Perhaps the problem lies in the way the law works.

    In Wisconsin’s sister state of Michigan, the law also requires an identification, but has a loophole:

    “By law, every Michigan voter must present picture identification at the polls, or sign an affidavit attesting that he or she is not in possession of picture identification.”
    http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8716-178123–,00.html

    It’s pretty simple: no ID, sign a slip of paper that says you do not have an ID but attest that you are who you state you are and that you are eligible to vote. Under this system, a candidate can challenge the outcome of the balloting and get a detailed recount, including verification of all non-ID ballots cast.

    It’s not perfect, but it discourages fraudulent voting.

  22. Kent Hadley says:

    The problem is not voter ID it is the poorly trained, unqualified, staff working at the polls. This is compounded by a shortage of workers and creates chaos and inhumane working conditions for those who do work the polls. I worked 16 hours at the primary election with one ten minute break. Two people at our understaffed poll were incapable of doing even the simplest of tasks much less giving us a break while we attended the endless lines of people wanting to vote. There were those who walked out after being given wrong information or did not get into the long lines and simply went home. This is voter suppression at its worse.

  23. Vincent Hanna says:

    Good points Tom. And AG if you are truly outraged by the person who suppressed votes and was elected anyway, then you are also outraged by Republican lawmakers specifically stating that the intent of this bill was to suppress votes. You can’t have it both ways.

  24. Alene says:

    Why was is that as soon as Walker signed this law that they drastically cut back on the hours DMV offices would be open and actually closed some offices. Quite a coincidence wasn’t it? Yes, I know they used the excuse of saving the state money.

    “the gentleman behind the counter said ‘This stuff is no good, you’ve got to have a picture ID card, how do I know who you say you are?’” So, in order to get a photo ID you need a photo ID. Exactly how is that supposed to happen? They need to educate their own people on the law for the public to get photo IDs when they don’t have one. They must all be consistent.

    They never intended to educate the public on the new rules for getting an ID and still won’t do it. They do not care about democracy and what Glenn Grothman said is the absolute truth. Even they cannot follow their own law.

    There was a clerical error when my birth certificate was issued too. I wrote the state about the error and they sent me an amended birth certificate. I was in my early 20’s at the time. I did not have to go to court to get it legally changed to the correct spelling.

  25. David Clark says:

    I would think the Democrats would want voter ID to insure that Republicans aren’t cheating. When the people at the voting precinct don’t know their neighbors it is just common sense to make sure voters are legitimate. There has to be some reasonable way for voters to identify themselves. The political arguments are a red herring and manipulative from both sides.

  26. David Nelson says:

    I agree with Hanna, “AG if you are truly outraged by the person who suppressed votes and was elected anyway, then you are also outraged by Republican lawmakers specifically stating that the intent of this bill was to suppress votes. You can’t have it both ways.”

    It is remarkable that we can have all this back and forth in the comments section, but proof of malfeasance gets no traction. Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin have admitted that Voter ID requirements help their numbers. That is the motivation. Not addressing that at all is a major, major weakness in the GOP argument.

  27. Alene says:

    # 26 David Clark — We did identify ourselves when we registered to vote. That is what voter registration is. All we should have to provide is our registration card and nothing more.

  28. Matt says:

    “Matt, it’s interesting you say this conversation is taking place from the republican perspective. I believe that to be the complete opposite”

    Do not be a child. You know full well who pushed these laws and who passed these laws. The reason that conversations dismiss evidence of voter fraud out of hand (if litigation and evidentiary standards are out of hand) is that there is no such evidence. Your insistence on ignorance may be compelling to yourself, but it is tiresome. Your citation to “studies” is hilarious, in that the big bad republican Justice Department was not able to cite any of that in an actual federal court case. Nor oddly, are you.

    The willingness to rely on erroneous “facts” when the evidence is right before you is ignorant or silly in general, but your failure to acknowledge the ramifications of relying on absurdities to inhibit people in exercising their right to vote is more than that. It is racist, and just because you are too wound up in the matter to see it for what it is does not in any way excuse you. Ignorance is not an excuse for racism. It is a cause of racism. It is apparent you know this. It is why you won’t address it.

  29. Dave K says:

    I have a constitutional right to vote, I don’t have a constitutional right to get on a privately owned plane. Identification rules should not be compared apples to oranges.

  30. Casey says:

    Dave, by that logic people have a constitutional right to bare arms and shouldn’t need ID or registration in order to exercise that right.

  31. Bruce says:

    Dave K., you do have a constitutional right to vote… if you meet the voting qualifications. Your ID is the shortcut method to demonstrate that you meet those qualifications. That’s one reason why drivers licenses may be inadequate unless they meet the Federal Enchanced Drivers License standards for purposes of accessing a federal facility. Don’t you find it ironic that the standards for entering a federal facility are higher that voting for the President of the United States?

  32. Vincent Hanna says:

    I find it ironic that we are seeing all these voter ID laws in Republican states at the same time Republicans wrestle with an increasingly diverse United States.

  33. Bruce says:

    Vincent Hanna, why should it be ironic? How is it any more ironic than having special women’s support programs for college when women outnumber men 55+/-45- nationally in colleges? In the case of voting, the laws are to protect the Constitutional definition of who is eligible to vote; in the case of university programs, it is to further the feminist cause.

  34. fightingbobfan says:

    It is obvious Bruce the commentator that you don’t understand the situation with women or voting.

  35. Vincent Hanna says:

    Yeah what fightingbobfan said. That makes no sense Bruce and has nothing at all to do with the point I am making. I can clarify if you need me to.

  36. Vincent Hanna says:

    I love the injection of anti-feminism into a voter ID bill discussion. Bruce thinks the worst day in American history is the day women could vote.

  37. Bruce says:

    Vincent Hanna: Cute conjugation of preferences for the women majority at universities and the requirement to confirm eligibility to vote. Cute, but not too bright.

    Preferences and unwillingness to follow the principles upon which our country are founded are symptoms of of a society that values special interests over individual rights and responsibilities. The founding principle that applies to both is that we are equal under the law. You can’t be equal under the law when a majority is given preferences; you can’t be equal under the law when those not eligible to vote are not screened from the voting process.

    You may argue that the instances of voting fraud appear to be few, but that doesn’t mean that measures should not be taken to prevent such fraud. You wouldn’t take the position that because the instances of a transgender person being uncomfortable in a rest room are few that no effort should be made to provide a solution.

  38. Vincent Hanna says:

    Of course measures should be taken to prevent voter fraud. That is already happening as voter fraud is nonexistent. That is why this bill has nothing whatsoever to do with solving a problem that doesn’t exist. Republicans have made the intent perfectly clear. And again voter ID fever did not start until 4-5 years ago when Republicans woke up to the reality that America isn’t so white anymore.

  39. AG says:

    Bruce, you might as well stop. They’re convinced there’s no voter fraud despite evidence of it because few have been convicted of it. They don’t acknowledge the circular reasoning that 1. lax oversight/controls allows voter fraud to happen and makes it hard to detect/convict 2. That must mean no voter fraud happens since we haven’t detected/convicted very many people for it. 3. Since it doesn’t appear to happen because it’s not detected/people convicted, we must not need to fix the lax oversight/controls.

  40. Vincent Hanna says:

    Right AG. Keep telling yourself that there is a voter fraud problem despite the total lack of evidence of it and that this law has nothing whatsoever to do with suppressing the vote of people who tend to not vote Republican WHEN REPUBLICANS HAVE SAID THAT WAS THE EXACT INTENT. But yes nothing to see here voter suppression is not a big deal at all and not nearly as important as trying to prevent a nonexistent problem.

  41. Vincent Hanna says:

    You are something else man. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. Yes I am the one with the problem, not the person who refuses to acknowledge the intent of the law when Republican lawmakers have made that clear. Not the person who insists voter ID is a problem when that’s been studied and studies and studied some more with no evidence to support the claim.

  42. Vincent Hanna says:

    http://urbanmilwaukee.com/pressrelease/wis-nonprofits-want-us-dept-of-justice-to-challenge-voter-id-law/

    But yes nothing to see here. Carry on with your willful ignorance.

  43. Tim says:

    Who you gonna believe Vincent Hanna, AG or you’re lying eyes? Right wing play #3: “Lie. Lie like your livelihood & personal worth in this world depend on it, because they do.”

  44. Fightingbobfan says:

    The Bush DOJ spent $7 million of your tax money and found no fraud

  45. Bruce says:

    Vincent Hanna: “Of course measures should be taken to prevent voter fraud. That is already happening as voter fraud is nonexistent.”

    What are those measures?

    I hear the same arguments against accommodations for transgender students because they are virtually non-existent in schools. How about worrying about mass murderers? Their numbers are so infinitesimally small in the total population that for all intents they are “nonexistent”.

    Rarity is not an excuse for avoiding any action. So, I’ll point you back, once again, to the Michigan system that requires and ID, but allows a person without an ID to state that they are an eligible voter for the election at hand and sign an affidavit to that effect at the polling location. That’s not onerous; that’s not unreasonable. It provides the person the right to vote; it places the responsibility for any future action against that person squarely on that person’s shoulders if he/she/it lies. Yet, you will argue that rarity is an excuse for inaction.

  46. AG says:

    fightingbobfan, you’re getting your talking point wrong. You need to word it like this for it to be fairly true: “The DOJ found little evidence of widespread, organized fraud aimed at affecting congressional or statewide elections.”

  47. David Nelson says:

    Bruce and AG. Two salient points have been made by your opposition. You don’t reasonably address either.

    1) Voter fraud by people who seek to vote is nearly non-existent. That means that kind of fraud is incredibly, vastly, overwhelmingly unlikely to affect electoral outcomes. The example of mass murderers by Bruce makes no sense, not just because it is another subject, but also because mass murder always effects a tragic outcome. This is basic logic which does not require a special college degree or belonging to a specific political party. Contending that “Rarity is not an excuse for avoiding any action” is a broad statement without support. Step up your reasoning.

    2) GOP Pols in Wisconsin have admitted that Voter ID is a useful and successful tool in disenfranchising opposition voters. Of course they phrase it differently, crowing about the good results which happen for the GOP when Voter ID laws are passed. Because there is almost no fraud to start with, this means that the people not allowed to vote are not criminals thwarted in their evil plans. In other words, the only bad thing here is that citizens are prevented from voting as is their legal right. If the same thing were being done to swing outcomes in favor of the Dems, it would still be wrong. Except… That ain’t happening is it?

    This forum is largely a echo chamber for those of us with opinions, and it’s fine that we disagree, but for the love of Pete. Can’t you make some greater attempt to get your facts in order, and to address good points from the opposition as they arise? You are still able to criticize others when they make no sense, but you’d be operating ethically, something which is necessary when making statements about ethics.

  48. Bruce says:

    @David Nelson

    I’ll say again; rarity is not an excuse for inaction. As to voter fraud, here is a recent lawsuit (about 3 weeks ago) which describes the mechanism by which this can happen. https://publicinterestlegal.org/files/1-Complaint-ACRU-v.-Philadelphia.pdf Yes, it’s not Wisconsin, but so what? All that is being required is verification… in Wisconsin and Philadelphia.

    You say that this is a GOP conspiracy. Who said what when to whom? It’s not a conspiracy if it is a reasonable action. Knowing your response, I’ll say that the transgender restroom/locker room issue is a far left conspiracy to undermine our schools because the problem is virtually non-existent. Again, you can’t claim rarity as a reason for inaction.

    Your point is that I have not addressed the issue of rarity, but I have several times. You simply don’t like the points I’ve made. That’s fine. I’m not too concerned about voters in my town being ineligible. We show our IDs or sign our statements of eligibility. We are responsible. If you believe that everyone who shows up everywhere is an eligible, responsible voter, then I’m glad for you that you are so sanguine. I’d rather have a process in place that ensures a reasonably difficulty in getting ineligible votes into the final tally. That process includes:

    1) a registration process of verification that you are who you say you are, live where you say you live, and are eligible to vote
    2) a process that audits the list of registered voters to cull those who have moved or died
    3) a process that verifies the identity of the person who is doing the actual voting

    That is no more onerous than requiring all students to be educated about gender identity issues, providing gender identity counseling, and providing unrestricted access to any facility regardless of gender.

    In the issue of voting irregularities, elections are a process which outcome affects everyone. In the issue of gender confusion, accommodations are a process which outcome also affect everyone. In both cases, they scope of the problem may be small, but arguing against one and for the other is illogical, is it not?

  49. AG says:

    The thing is David Nelson, I’ve addressed both of those points in previous discussions and either don’t get responses to my points or they disregard any evidence of voter fraud and ineligible voters as non-existant, thus my sources were wrong. Even though I gave evidence… such as the Milwaukee Police report (they found thousands more votes than were cast, and while a good number were from clerical errors they still had thousands that couldn’t be tracked because of the terrible lax system we have in place and they jsut dismissed those), studies on illegal aliens voting were dismissed outright, and the very DOJ report fightingbobfan mentioned also showed thousands of ineligible voters voting that wasn’t counted in “organized” voter fraud, but was individual instances of invalid votes.

    Regarding the second point, I never refutted that GOP members said they saw it as an advantage for them. When they believe (and that DOJ report shows) that most ineligible votes cast were for democrats, if you remove ineligible/invalid votes then the GOP would reap more benefits.

    For the story of some GOP legislators “giddy” about certain voters facing challenges to vote… I find that very disappointing but ultimately I can’t speak to that since I believe most GOP representatives only want to keep ineligible voters from voting.

    I only came back to the discussion to tell Bruce to save his time… unfortunately it got me wrapped up in it again.

  50. Ralph says:

    I have read here that Demonstrates say voter ID is a hardship on the poor and this would be of benefits to the GOP. So are the Democrats saying all the poor are Democrats? I think not. I am in my 70’s and everyone I know in that age group have a driver’s license for proper ID. So now we have for the most part shot down the resistance to voter ID. NOW think about this. Law requires us to show an ID to purchase alcohol,drive a car,make loan, registration of a power boat etc etc. WHY THE OPPOSITION TO VOTER ID. Think about it illegals should not be voting nor should anyone who does NOT have a voter ID.

  51. David Nelson says:

    Ralph: Some folks that are citizens find getting to offices and paying for fees very hard to do, especially when offices have limited hours. Some folks don’t have cars. That doesn’t mean they are illegal immigrants or non-citizens. You are mixing up different ideas. We live in a Democracy which should not make voting hard for legal citizens.

  52. fightingbobfan says:

    Not just a hardship on the poor.

    I moved my mother up here from Florida and she regards voting as a duty.

    She has to use a walker so it necessitated my picking her up at assisted living and driving her to the DMV. You just don’t run in and out, so this was around four hours of my time from doorstep to doorstep. I gave them her Florida driver’s license, which in years past you wouldn’t need that to vote.

    So the mail comes back and says this isn’t good enough, so I had to bring her back, this time with a marriage license, which supposedly works.

    Well it didn’t, and now I have to come back again.

    This is infuriating to the max, wasting my time for what is essentially nonsense. Let’s not go through the niceties of fraud studies, the point is the GOP know they cannot win on the issues so they have to cheat like this.

    To say they are “protecting the integrity of the vote” is a joke, since the right wing has no integrity.

    For those of you who are backing this scam, how about all of you chipping together and reimbursing me for my $600 in billable time.

    Free voter ID. My ass.

    Would love to run into Walker some day so he can settle up with me.

  53. Jason says:

    All women(small men) should wear the hijab on election day and just dare the pole workers to make you unravel yourself .

  54. A Bus Driver says:

    Jason I love your suggestion. I am sick to death of the Rethuglican game playing. Voter ID ,what bullshit that is.

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