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Old 10-27-2010, 04:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Need ID to register to vote?

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PHOENIX -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down a key part of Arizona's law requiring voters to prove they are citizens before registering to vote and to show identification before casting ballots.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law requiring voters to prove their citizenship while registering is inconsistent with the National Voter Registration Act. That federal law allows voters to fill out a mail-in voter registration card and swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but doesn't require them to show proof as Arizona's law does.

The ruling left in place a requirement that voters provide proof of identity when casting ballots.

Lawyers for several civil rights groups that sued argued thousands of Arizonans have had their federal registration forms rejected because they failed to provide other documents required by the state. That violates the federal law, they argued.

The state law in question, Proposition 200, was passed by voters in 2004. It required proof of citizenship during voter registration and of identity at the polls, and also while receiving certain state benefits.

It has been upheld by state and federal courts until Tuesday's decision.

In a statement, one of the attorneys who argued the case said his group was "elated" by the decision.

"This will enable the many poor people in Arizona who lack driver's licenses and birth certificates to register to vote," said Jon Greenbaum, legal director for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard's office issued a statement saying it intends to ask a full panel of 9th Circuit judges to reconsider the case.

The ruling applies only to voter registration and the deadline for voting in the Nov. 2 general election has passed, so it will have no practical effect on voting, the statement said.

Appeals Court Judge Sandra S. Ikuta's opinion was joined by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who heard the case as a temporary appeals court judge. Ikuta said the federal voter registration law laid out specific requirements for the mail-in registration form that the state can't make more onerous.

"There is no room for Arizona to impose ... an additional identification requirement as a prerequisite to federal voter registration for registrants using that form," Ikuta wrote.

The panel's ruling overturned a previous 9th Circuit panel ruling that found Proposition 200 did not violate the National Voter Registration Act.

The 9th Circuit's chief judge, Alex Kozinski, wrote a sharp dissent, saying the ruling ignored precedent and was flat wrong on its legal analysis.

"Few panels are able to upset quite so many apple carts all at once," Kozinski concluded. "Count me out."

Gov. Jan Brewer and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett issued a joint statement calling the decision an "outrage and a slap in the face to all Arizonans who care about the integrity of their elections."

"Arizona voters have made their will crystal clear -- non-citizens do not have the right to vote," they wrote. "We will continue to pursue any and all legal remedies to prevent fraudulent voter registration in the State of Arizona, as well as the right of our state citizens to craft appropriate protections."

The panel agreed with a district court judge who ruled in 2008 that the law does not constitutes a poll tax or disproportionally impact minority voting. It also rejected two constitutional arguments brought by the groups that sued.
Comparing this case with the case that Cynthetiq posted hereI find it interesting. For a quick synopsis on that thread, a man registered to vote since he thought he could he was a legal permanent resident but not a citizen. He had been voting since 1992, and now faces deportation for voting.

In our current method to register to vote, we just take a sworn word of someone who just signs a paper to vote. There is seemingly no safeguard in place to double check the validity of that vote. And when Arizona tried to institutionalize a safeguard method to make sure that someone does not ignorantly violate like the law like the case above, it is not allowed (in the current federal law). Instead we have no safeguard, if caught we will deport the person, for violating the law.

Do you think we should change the federal law and require ID or some method of checking the validity of the voter. Personally I do, I will give you a quick example of how I can vote 4 times in my neighborhood. I have in 10 years moved in to 4 different buildings in a 1 block radius. I have registered each time but since I have an unique hebrew name, they keep thinking I wrote it wrong. Needless to say I am in the registry in all 4 buildings with slight misspellings. I have even been approached by one of the people who monitor the voting, and say I have your name here why don't you vote. After informing her I moved across the street and voted already, she re-assured me I can vote there also since my name was in the books still. All this was while she was sitting next to a police officer reading a newspaper. I have a 15 year old kid who is named after his grandfather. He is in his building and the woman there offered him to vote since yep, his grandfather who has been dead 17 years is down, and this kid had the same name.

This is 2 simple cases of easy fraud which can exist. We do need to clean up our election process, sadly I do not feel the government has the desire to, since any step taken will be met with uproar how we are making it harder somehow for someone somewhere to vote.
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Last edited by Xazy; 10-27-2010 at 05:01 AM..
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe we don't want to believe that there is more voter fraud than what is going on. The dead voter rolls and the people with multiple voting ability...

We don't think our politicians are corrupt, why don't we think the voting process is corrupt?

I will be surprised if it gets cleaned up in our lifetime.
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think part of the problem with requiring ID is the fee paid to obtain the ID. It establishes what is essentially a 'poll tax', which is strictly forbidden. I seem to recall there was a court case which stated that explicitly, but don't care enough to try to find it right now.

The biggest problem with cracking down on voter fraud is doing it without disenfranchising certain sets of voters. It's not easy to come up with additional rules or requirements for voting that won't exclude someone.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The State of Oregon requires ID to be able to vote, but they do provide alternatives for those without a state-issued ID.

Quote:
New laws require that people must provide identifying information to register to vote. If you have a current, valid Oregon DMV Driver's License/ID, you must provide that number. A suspended Driver's License is still valid, a revoked Driver's License is NOT valid. If you do not have a current, valid Oregon DMV Driver's License/ID, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If you do not have a current, valid Oregon DMV Driver's License/ID or a Social Security number, you must affirm this on the voter registration card, and if you are registering by mail, you must provide a copy of one of the following:
valid photo identification
a paycheck stub
a utility bill
a bank statement
a government document
proof of eligibility under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act
Part of this is because we vote by mail here. I really don't disagree with the way Oregon has written their law--there are ways to vote without government-issued ID should a person really need to.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xazy View Post
Article
Do you think we should change the federal law and require ID or some method of checking the validity of the voter.
Absolutely. Voters should be required to provide id that is proof that that person is a US citizen residing in the district where they are voting.

Registration practices like motor voter registration or accepting things like utility bills as proof of eligibility should be eliminated.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There are actually two issues everytime the issue of voter fraud is brought up. The first, and as implied by the topic, is actual voter fraud. I think it's a serious problem that deserves solutions, and I wouldn't be against some sort of free 'voter ID card' to eliminate objections about a poll tax.

The other issue which drives the first is voter intimidation. "Voter fraud" is always raised by conservatives in close races as a way to implicitly intimidate voters by placing plain-clothes officers or official looking 'security' near voting areas in low-income areas to deter people from voting who might be otherwise afraid of the police. It's just as nefarious, just as fraudulent, and just as unacceptable in a free democracy.

Just yesterday, anchor baby Michelle Malkin was advocating guards placed outside polling places to watch for illegals attempting to vote.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yep saw someone this morning from another building who asked if I wanted to vote there as well. Vote often, is literally being offered to me.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I voted today and the guy next to me was asked for ID but my wife and I weren't. The woman we went up to at the polling place actually assumed who I was given my proximity to my wife...really a foolish assumption since I wasn't right behind her. Bottom line is, I think there should be some validation that you are registered to vote in the ward/precinct/area that you are in, otherwise fraud could happen..at least in theory. Not sure what the rule or law is where I live, but seems weird that one person is ID'd and another is not.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm as liberal as anyone; but proving you're a citizen when registering to vote is just plain logical.

Not that it matters - voter fraud is rampant at the highest levels. Arizona had a medical marijuana law on the ballot, and every poll in the state showed the same 75% favoring the bill; yet it's officially still "too close to call." Every time they give new numbers, it's still failing by the same 4,000 votes, from 10% of precincts counted early Tuesday all the way up to counting provisional and mail-in ballots on Saturday. I smell bullshit.

EDITED UPDATE: As of Saturday, Nov 13 at noon (yes - a week later and they're still counting), the bill is now passing by 4,400 votes with only 10,000 votes left to count. It appears that the voice of the people may survive the vote tampering efforts of the reactionary tyrant Jan Brewer.
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Last edited by yournamehere; 11-13-2010 at 10:39 AM..
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't remember the voting registration process, but I wonder if I registered in Michigan, could I also vote in Arizona or Ohio with just a utility bill? What if I actually had two houses in multiple states, if I was registered at one, but then live 9 months of the year at the second and got a new state ID/driver's license, would they tell the first state that I moved like I would expect and hope they would?
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Old 11-06-2010, 04:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm personally in favor of mandatory photo id for anyone 18 or older. To have it required for voting is just common sense.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Shagg, are you at all familiar with "Show me your papers!" and why it's such a blight, especially in a country like ours who values personal freedom and privacy? I can understand being in favor of identification, but only if you're blissfully unaware of history.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yeah, I expected that comment.

I still stand by my statement though. If the law is on the books, it will at the minimum encourage people to get identification. To me, the end goal of requiring photo id is to reduce fraud, be it insurance, credit card, voter, or whatever else is out there. Make the penalties a nuisance and make it a secondary offense.

Maybe I am in the minority, but it doesn't bother me to get carded for alcohol, using my credit cards, or a visit to the dr's office.
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Getting an ID is not too high a bar in our modern society. Maybe it was at some time, but I find it hard to believe that anyone who can not get a government ID is going to be able to either go to the polls or obtain an absentee ballot. Of course there is a history of voter intimidation and restriction using a poll tax. I don't see how needing an ID amounts to a real burden.

Hell, I would like to see some proof you have read a paper or the electronic equivalent at least once since the last election.
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