Asking Voters for ID Is Not a Race Issue

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Asking Voters for ID Is Not a Race Issue

Post by TexasBlue on Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:33 pm

Asking Voters for ID Is Not a Race Issue

Mary Kate Cary
US News & World Report
June 24, 2011


So I was sick last week and went to the emergency room, where I had to show ID before I was seen by a doctor; he thought it might be appendicitis and sent me for a CT scan. Again, I had to show ID before being scanned. (By the way, I’m fine, just a bad stomach bug.) As I think about it, over the last month I’ve had to show ID to rent a car, fly on a plane, and get a hotel room. I’ve been asked for ID at the grocery store in order to buy a six-pack of beer, at office buildings in Washington so I could get past the lobby security guard, and at the bank to get a cash withdrawal. We all know what a hassle it is to have your wallet stolen—it’s not that the canceling of the credit cards is so bad, it’s the losing of the ID that makes it a crisis. These days, you have to show your ID for just about everything.

That’s what makes E.J. Dionne’s column this week so mystifying. Dionne wrote about the push in many states to require ID before one can vote. He points out that in Texas, for example, “The law allows concealed handgun licenses as identification, but not student IDs.” Maybe that has something to do with the fact that so many student IDs are altered and used as fake IDs to buy beer; back when I was in college, most bars wouldn’t accept a student ID, only a government-issued drivers’ license, as proof of age. Handgun licenses are government-issued as well, which would explain why a state government would approve their use, but not that of student IDs. But Dionne tries to make it into a partisan issue by arguing that Sen. John McCain won a wider margin of gun-owning voters nationally than Barack Obama did, and that really, Republicans in state legislatures are behind all of this “rigging.”

He also takes issue with states who are limiting the number of days available for early voting—not a surprise in times of state and local budget cuts, with fewer poll workers to man the voting locations—as well as the ability of registered voters to change their addresses at the polls. Again, that makes sense to me. If I were to move out of my neighborhood and then return there to vote, they wouldn’t let me just change my address and vote there, they’d send me to the correct precinct to vote. I don’t think that’s partisan, that’s organized.

Dionne then goes on to the heart of his argument—that this is about race. He quotes state lawmakers who compare requiring ID to establishing poll taxes and speculates that this is the return of Jim Crow laws. Dionne doesn’t use the word “racist,” but it’s pretty clear he finds these new proposals to be just that. “This is the civil rights issue of our moment,” he declares, because the effect will be to reduce turnout among African-Americans and Latinos. He doesn’t think this is about reducing voter fraud at all.

I don’t get why Dionne thinks some people would have a hard time producing ID because of the color of their skin. I can understand other reasons—homeless people might have a difficult time proving their place of residence, or illiterate people might not be able to fill in the paperwork—but to imply that getting and using an ID is somehow too difficult or onerous for some racial groups seems very condescending to me. What does skin color or ethnic background have to do with it? When we ask people to produce ID to get healthcare, as I had to, or to prove their identity to get an Amtrak ticket, no one says this is a return to segregation.

I’d be willing to bet that most Americans these days have some form of ID. (Let’s not even talk about how many passwords we have to keep track of, in addition to usernames and IDs.) Thirty years ago, I can understand folks not having IDs, but not now. These days, you need ID to navigate daily life in America. The only question is why it’s not wrong to ask someone to prove who they say they are in order to buy beer or enter an office building, but it is in order to cast a vote for president. The stakes are much higher.
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Re: Asking Voters for ID Is Not a Race Issue

Post by dblboggie on Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:22 pm

It is astonishing just how obvious the agenda is here. That anyone in a position of responsibility could object to requiring an ID to vote only speaks to a complete willingness to accept voter fraud.

And who are the most vocal opponents against requiring ID's??? Whistle
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Re: Asking Voters for ID Is Not a Race Issue

Post by TexasBlue on Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:37 pm

My uncle here in town (a lifelong Dem) was an election judge for years. He supports voter ID. My landlord (the town mayor and a Dem and an Obama supporter) supports voter ID.

It's the most left wing amongst us that don't support it.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: Asking Voters for ID Is Not a Race Issue

Post by dblboggie on Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:40 pm

TexasBlue wrote:My uncle here in town (a lifelong Dem) was an election judge for years. He supports voter ID. My landlord (the town mayor and a Dem and an Obama supporter) supports voter ID.

It's the most left wing amongst us that don't support it.

And I wonder why that is? Whistle
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Re: Asking Voters for ID Is Not a Race Issue

Post by Arx Ferrum on Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:50 am

There is what could almost be called an overt, though slow-motion effort to desensitize the nation to certain behaviors and concepts that have been previously avoided... one being of someone in authority regularly demanding of us, 'Papers, please!'

We've never really had to deal with that here in the US. Right off the top, there were no check points at the state lines, no barbed-wire security checks along our roads and highways, no demand for papers (or what we call I-D) at transport depots/hubs and nothing but a signature required next to our names on the voters list at our local polling center.

History shows us that the demand for identification is definitely not an invention for, or required for racism at the polling place. Here in the south, race-based poll taxes and voter intimidation were long facts of life well before anyone was ever asked to identify themselves for more than age at the local liquor store.

The natural tendency of the great many of us is to bend around discomfort to meet the nation's needs for security. We understand that there is the potential for danger should we miss the next incoming threat and we want to trust those we have elected to cover these very issues. So... we swallow our pride and bear the changes to lifestyle.

But it is my opinion that there are certain lines that, if crossed, should act as a red flag so that we look closely at a given situation or event. We should do this NOT because of politics or any distrust of any one person or parties but because we understand the human condition that has never respected any rules or national constitution. We know from experience that certain human tendencies transcend (or perhaps, evade) those ideals of nationalism and honesty that we, as Americans, have always held so closely.

In a nutshell, it all comes down to what Ronald Reagan once said in regard to treaty obligations with the former Soviet Union; trust but verify.

Unless we expect that those who would cause us harm as a nation might seek to somehow infiltrate and dilute our voice in the polling booth, the need for ID to cast a vote... while not really any big problem by itself, does merit a closer look to verify that the intent behind the effort is worthy and the intended outcome ultimately in the favor of We the People.

...
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Re: Asking Voters for ID Is Not a Race Issue

Post by TexasBlue on Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:18 pm

You make good points.

I would be against this ID stuff 100% under normal circumstances. Absolutely. But we have the wreath of 9/11 hanging in our distant past and we also have a very huge problem in this country with illegal immigration. Even here in Minnesota, we had felons that voted in the last election and that's not just an opinion or hearsay. This is fact.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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