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I look at it as a means to not allow undocumented workers coming in from Mexico and other non citizens who do not qualify to vote. Since it would be flat out discrimination to ONLY require "Mexican looking" people to produce identification the only solution is to require a photo on your voter registration card. How is that specifically racist towards one's skin color? I have a friend who is British...I am not sure if he is actually a US citizen but if he isn't then he does not have the right to vote either.

I'm not sure you're understanding why people are objecting to voter ID laws.  I've seen no evidence to suggest that these sorts of laws might encourage officials to ask only some types of people to show ID.  And I've seen no one allege that this is what's wrong with them. 

Here's where I'm coming from. This is a solution in search of a problem.  In a nation with about 146 million voters, when people have attempted to analyze the alleged cases of voter fraud, there's only been something like 10 cases of in person voter fraud that have been documented.  And your hypothetical non-eligible voter, if they were able to register to vote and cast a ballot, then mistakes in the system were already made that a voter ID law would not remedy (since you don't need to be a US citizen to get a driver's license).  The same is true for predictable problems in the system like voter registration fraud.

While also relatively rare, when voter fraud happens it's almost certain to happen when people vote by mail.  In the aforementioned analysis, they identified about 185 cases of absentee or mail-in ballot fraud.  And there are ongoing criminal investigations of this sort of thing right now.  Voter ID laws aren't going to stop this from happening.  This isn't about protecting the integrity of our voting system.

See, here's the problem with all of this, in Pennsylvania, not surprisingly given the information I've tried to highlight, those defending the state's voter ID law in court have admitted that they cannot produce a single example of in person voter fraud in the state. Not one.  Zero.  There are, however, over 750,000 registered voters in that state that posess no photo ID.  Again, this is a solution in search of a problem if we accept the rationale for these laws at face value.  Why should people have to spend a chunk of their day in the DMV to prevent something that even proponents of the law concede that they can't prove even happens?  And why would the state bother to ask this of them in the first place?

That's the clip you asked for.  Now, why would he think that? 

My guess would be that it's because a lot of people that tend to vote Democratic are people that don't tend to have photo ID.  Polls consistently show that blacks, for example, plan to vote for Barack Obama and Democrats more broadly in...large numbers to say the least.  Blacks are also more likely not to have a photo ID than the general population.  25 percent of blacks have no photo ID, compared to 11 percent of registered voters and 8 percent of white voters.  In other words, these kinds of laws would have what's a disparate racial impact, which is why they've been rejected by the Justice Department in states that have to have their voting laws approved due to the Voting Rights Act and why state courts like Pennsylvania's challenged their law.

But as you noted, these laws would also impact young people, poor people, and the elderly.  And, of course, a lot of these people vote for Republicans.  Still, I think it's important to point out here that this seems to really only be on the agenda of Republican administrations.  (Correct me if I'm wrong, I can't think of another example.)  And I somehow doubt that they would do this if they thought that it would hurt electorally.  But that might have something to do with the fact that Republicans are more likely to vote by mail than Democrats.  Call me a cynic.

So to get back to your confusion about my reaction to these laws, or why I would mention them in a conversation about the perceived racism of the Grand Old Party.

but I don't understand how requiring positive identification to prove citizenship in order to vote is inherently racist. I can't grasp that.

It's no more racist to ask me to show a photo ID to vote than it is to ask me to verify my address.  There's nothing about the notion that we should have voter ID cards that is racist.  And I don't think I'd have the same issue with a well-designed program that was given enough time to take effect for voters to understand it and comply (though I'd still wonder what the point was.)  However, laws of the sort that are being enacted by Republican-controlled states all over the country are designed in such a way that they will put up road blocks that will make voting harder for people who don't have IDs and make it impossible for some people, who are unable to get ID in the first place.

I don't think that this necessarily reflects a sense of racial animosity.  I think at the end of the day, most of what political parties do is about winning.  Still, it's hard not to take offense when it's your neighborhoods that are singled out as somehow rampant with voter fraud, that new laws need to be put on the books, that groups like True the Vote must swoop into our polling places to slow already long lines in order to ensure that we don't do something that they have no evidence of us actually doing.  And it's hard not to take offense especially in light of the history of this country, where ostensibly color blind policies like poll taxes, literacy tests and grandfather clauses were used to prevent us from voting.

But maybe I'm reading too  much into it.  Maybe the GOP really is super concerned about maintaining the integrity of the vote and not in any way, shape or form attempting to suppress the turnout of parts of the electorate.  They just want a good, clean fight you guys.  Only Allah knows.
Changed Change Reason Date
Garja Much better than my version! good post October 08, 2012, 05:15:25 PM
screwtape excellent post October 08, 2012, 07:33:11 AM
Bereft_of_Faith Not sure if I +1 you before, but this merits it again October 08, 2012, 02:00:29 AM