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Framing the Photo I.D. Question

Are smoking, drinking, playing the lottery -- all of which require photo I.D. to transact -- more critical than keeping the vote count honest and verifiable?

New York State Assembly member Dr. Steve Katz (District 99) has been taken to task by opponents of his proposal that voters must produce a picture I. D. to prove who they are before casting a ballot.

Objections are that it would stigmatize the elderly, poor and minorities who may not have or cannot afford a photo I.D. Apparently, they didn’t get the memo that a photo I.D. can be acquired at the Department of Motor Vehicles for under 10 bucks, it's valid for 5 years.

If we are to believe these critics, Dr. Katz wants to deprive the elderly, poor and minorities of the right to vote. However, voter fraud makes a mockery of that right.

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Ross Revira April 02, 2012 at 01:10 PM
deilhg , you sound sincere but you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. On one hand there are the people "off the grid" who look at a plane which is akin to a rocket ship (your words not mine) and don't own a car for transportation to get a photo ID (from one of your previous comments) but these same people with their lack of transportation and sophistication are going out to vote. Now does that make sense?
dleighg April 02, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Ross, I didn't say that they think a plane is a rocketship. It was rather that they are so far from having the couple hundred bucks to pay for a ticket that the idea of *getting on a plane* is completely out of the realm of possibility. And yes, I think those people are "sophisticated" enough to vote. I don't equate having money with being sensible, as you seem to think. And the point about the car is that if they are taking buses to get around they may well not have a driver's license.
Bob Ogden April 02, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Jo, Let me get this straight. The Democrats are corrupting the system because their fighting not to disenfranchise voters? Is that really what you think? How sad.
jo April 02, 2012 at 03:01 PM
what I believe is that you need an ID for almost all we do ..register for or. apply for.. so asking a person for an ID to vote..a vital, important right as a CITIZEN is a no brainer.. l dems are the ones trying to block this from happening... allowing non citizens benefits the dems mostly..lets not be naive.. and yes.. allowing a non citizen to vote is a corruption of the system.. IS IT NOT.. this is not about disenfranchise voters.. thats the spin.. its about keeping the system from being corrupted.. I stand by what I posted...
Bob Ogden April 02, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I met a woman last week who had no photo ID. She's 81 years old and has lived in the community for the past sixty years. She has raised three children and 8 grand children and always paid her bills on time, sometimes by holding multiple jobs. Under your measure this person is not responsible enough to vote. You're kidding, right?
jo April 02, 2012 at 04:05 PM
to answer Bob about his 81 years old... I am sure this woman had someone who could help her secure a photo ID.. that is a minor issue..the real issue is Voter Fraud.. and that issue should be paramount to all hard working...tax paying citizens..Being afforded the right to vote carries responsibilities with it.. why are the dems so quick to dismiss a persons personal responsibility ?? again..it is in their favor NOT to have ID's to vote.. simple.. and insulting
Greg Tart April 02, 2012 at 06:51 PM
The democrats have no problems disenfranchising upstate communities by excluding the prison population from their total population in determining voting districts; yet college students are transient and by the same logic should vote in their home districts.
Bob Ogden April 02, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Greg, You and I both know that, wasn't about voting. It was about getting state and federal aid based upon resident population that was grossly inflated by counting prisoners as residents. (Nice scam for as long as those towns got away with it) The other major difference is that college students are productive members of the community and prisoners are there paying a debt to society. I'll go out on a limb here and say prisoners and college students are not the same.
Greg Tart April 02, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Well, the mayor of Brewster brags about how much federal money he gets by aggressively counting undocumented people in the census; New York City sued the census bureau for under counting their presumed population, and for the same reasons as Brewster . At least prisoners are american citizens.
dleighg April 03, 2012 at 09:55 AM
But you're really getting off topic here. Prisoners don't vote, so it's silly to talk about disenfranchising anybody. Students do vote, and they can currently choose to vote "at home," wherever they decide that is. You know, it's a free country and all.
George Datino April 03, 2012 at 10:36 AM
I am reading the comments back and forth and for what it is worth, it seems that everyone has put the proverbial "Cart Before the Horse". In trying to decide the answer to the question, everyone is talking about what the results would be. If everyone simply removed from the equation how to implement it and what the results would be, simply answer the question, Should ID Be Required to Vote?. If the answer is No, then end of discussion. If the answer is Yes, then worry about how it would be implemented. I am sure there can be ways to implement without making it a burden on the voters.
Scott Walters April 03, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Hey Poobah...ask Al Franken about voter fraud...
Scott Walters April 03, 2012 at 11:55 AM
The are many different forms of governmentally issued ID that are not drivers licenses, I had one issued as a backup in case my license was lost or misplaced. If you need ID as a 17 year old to take the SAT's, then certainly you are going to have to have one when you are 18 to do a whole host of other things. Just get the ID and stop the bellyaching. If you feel that your rights are being violated simply becuse you are asked to prove who you are, you have plenty of other problems you need to deal with.
Duncan April 22, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Jo-- requiring this woman, like my grandmother who has no photo ID, to go get an ID is requiring of her hours and money to get something she would only need every 2-4 years. it is an unnecessary burden since voter fraud basically is non-existent. It is not a problem so why make thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people spend time and money to do something unnecessary? The answer is that the majority of those without IDs vote Democrat because they are urban minorities without cars or the elderly. This whole thing is a veiled attempt at disenfranchising people. I have an idea in trade. If you own or fly the flag of rebellion (yeah, the confederate flag) you may not vote either. I will make that trade.
SRT April 22, 2012 at 10:21 AM
I feel we should go back to the good old days in America, when you needed to be white, male and a property owner to vote. Maybe a further step would be to again use a poll tax to further cull out the undesirables. This country started going down hill when they let started letting people without enough money in the game play. Why should poor people get to play if they can pay, that just doesn;t seem Ameriacan.
Jasper Black April 22, 2012 at 01:53 PM
There is only one problem, voter impersonation, which requiring Voter ID's addresses. This problem never occurs for good reason. It is already a felony. The risk for being caught is up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine according to Federal law. The reward for doing it is gaining a single vote. It is not worth anyone doing! There are too many things which can go wrong to achieve such a minimal gain. The person being impersonated could have already voted that day - Busted! The election official could know the person being impersonated (and whether he or she is dead) - Busted! Some random person in the polling place could know the person being impersonated - Busted! There's just no rational advantage to trying to do this to gain one lousy vote. That we, as a society, require identification for other activities is irrelevant. In many cases, like gaining entry to an airplane or building, cashing a check or applying for a loan, the reward of free money or access to a place where their presence could be otherwise disallowed is so great that people will be willing to take great risks. The societal risk for requiring Voter ID is huge. Many, many people will either be severely inconvenienced in having to get the ID or disenfranchised by their failure to get one. It will keep tens of thousands of people nationwide from voting, all to prevent an activity which never happens and never will happen because the potential reward is so low for the huge risk and penalty involved.
Bjorn Olsson April 22, 2012 at 02:30 PM
One odd thing about this debate is that I haven't heard any conservatives trying to divine what the Founding Father's position on the subject would be. Does the constitution make any mention of government issued ID? We even have GOP legislators who argue that every law passed must cite exactly what part of the constitution supports it, but this case seems to be an exception? What would Jefferson do?
Bjorn Olsson April 22, 2012 at 02:34 PM
This is probably true. But you would not go so far as to imagine the possibility that the GOP is pushing this for the exact same reason?
Ross Revira April 22, 2012 at 02:35 PM
"Many, many people will either be severely inconvenienced in having to get the ID or disenfranchised by their failure to get one". Your conclusion describes the same people who already don't vote Jasper. As for your analogy that the risk vs. reward is too great to commit voter fraud assumes the mindset of a law abiding citizen. Using your logic then how do you explain the murder rate? Life without parole or lethal injection should abolish murder, right? The torturous explanations of why proving one's identity to vote is hilarious.
Abby Normal April 22, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Mr Revira, I think you're missing the point on voter fraud. It is not the people that vote who commit the fraud, it is the people that count the votes. Photo ID will have zero effect on any fraud and as Mr. Black pointed out, even in a local election you'd have to vote thousands of times to have any impact at all and someone would probably notice. In the end, I agree - Voter ID is a waste of time, effort and money.
Ross Revira April 22, 2012 at 03:59 PM
The only point to be made is verifying ones identity before voting. Every illegal vote nullifies every legal vote in the same proportionate number.
Bjorn Olsson April 22, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Ross, how widespread is this fraudulent voting at the moment?
Ross Revira April 22, 2012 at 06:11 PM
That is not the point. Over the last twenty or more years crime has gone down.Murders have declined in NYC to a third of the rate 30 yrs. ago. Last time I checked, has the penalty declined because less people are committing the crime? I do not want my vote not to count. Are you not part of the same group of people who fought for all those hanging chads in Florida when George Bush won Florida in 2000? Were they not complaining their vote was not counted? Every illegal vote nullifies every legal vote, even if it is one (which it isn't).
Jasper Black April 22, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Ross: I would agree strongly with you if we had any voter impersonation. But we don't. There hasn't been a case of voter impersonation to influence an election result in many years. The few cases of this kind of voter fraud there are usually relate to people showing up at the wrong polling place or trying to vote when ineligible. There were no allegations of voter impersonation in Florida. Voter ID laws wouldn't have unhung a single chad. Florida was a matter of how legally-cast, but ambiguous, votes were to be counted, not one of who was casting those votes. No legal votes were nullified in Florida on this basis. The real impact of voter ID laws is not the preservation of the sanctity of the ballot box. There has been no threat to that at all. The real impact is the disenfranchisement of voters who cannot get the appropriate ID, people who are currently voting but would cease to be able do so. These are largely urban dwellers, young people, non-drivers and the elderly, a group who, collectively, are much more likely to vote Democratic than Republican. Poll taxes and literacy tests were always defended as ways to make sure that only qualified people voted, preserving the integrity of the ballot. These, of course, were sham explanations. With all due respect to those who sincerely think that the integrity of the ballot is the issue here, the real impetus behind the recent rash of voter ID laws is the attempt by Republican legislatures to diminish Democratic votes.
Teleman April 22, 2012 at 08:06 PM
After all of the comments here I still see no reason why it would not be prudent to verify that a person casting a vote in our system is an actual citizen of this country- it's that simple. To say that someone is somehow being disenfranchised just because they have to show an ID is just plain stupid-
dleighg April 22, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Just curious; what form of "citizenship proof" do you suggest? A driver's license isn't proof of citizenship as far as I know (I'm pretty sure green card holders can legally drive). Passport? That's asking a lot; plenty of people never in their lives have need of that. Isn't the registration process enough? I really doubt people are voting on "someone else's line" in the book. All those voting laws we are talking aboutr are NOT verifying citizenship; they are verifying IDENTITY. That's different.
Walden Macnair April 22, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Right now there is no proof of citizenship with a photo available other than a passport. Now most of these laws are calling for photo ID. The most common Photo ID is a drivers license or if you're unlicensed a state issued photo id which you can get at the dmv. Now the real problem is when you look at a record of near zero voter fraud and the fact that there is an enormous amount of drivers license fraud, it looks like we'll be in worse shape by accepting a drivers license than where we are today. So after all is said and done, you'll need an entire new identification system at the cost of millions of dollars to address an issue that doesn't exist. In the end we'd probably be better off just using tincture of violet to stain a voters index finger so they can't vote twice and it would cost practically nothing.
Ross Revira April 22, 2012 at 11:58 PM
History has shown that the 1960 election of John Kennedy's over Richard Nixon was helped by voter fraud committed in Chicago. That was one of the closest election in modern times. After the 2000 election debacle in Florida all the voting machines in the country had to be replaced. The federal government had appropriated 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS to help the states pay for the new machines. The federal government figured that would cover only 40% of the cost.
Teleman April 23, 2012 at 12:09 AM
My mistake, proof that you are who you say you are- we wouldn't want to deny non citizens or terrorists the ability to vote would we ? My bad
dleighg April 23, 2012 at 09:50 AM
You're not following the argument, Jenga. Are these fraudulent voters in the book or not? If they are in the book, then asking for photo id does nothing, as we've already demonstrated that asking for ID doesn't prove citizenship, it proves they are who they say they are-- and then they vote. If they're not in the book, then how are they voting, other than by signing on *someone else's line*. Do you really think that's what people are doing? Walking up to the desk and saying that they are Miss Penelope Martin, even if they aren't?

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