Sep 30 2012

Voter ID: An analysis

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I have some friends  and  relatives who are opposed to voter ID. I don’t understand. We need ID for everything in this day and age of identity theft.  It seems like a no brainer to me.

Then my cousin ‘Tim’ posted a link to this YouTube video on Facebook, commenting “Too funny but too scary….”  I challenged his assertion and he responded with “Voter suppression is shameful. Can’t win on the merits of the candidate? Not fair to disenfranchise voters even if we don’t agree with them.”

His sister, my cousin ‘Beth’ wrote “Tim, I agree that voter suppression is shameful. Not an issue, however. Photo ID is no hardship. Value the vote. I’d much rather have folks bring their photo IDs to the polls than batons and billy clubs as was done in the ‘city of brotherly love’ in 2008. (Nana should have soaped out Sarah’s mouth…)”

Tim:” Let’s say that we grew up inner-city without a family car. Mom was an active and savvy political person for much of her life. Imagine the daunting task of taking her at age 75 to get a photo ID because she never needed one before. Imagine if mom was alone and didn’t have someone to help her deal with say a State DMV office or the county clerk to get a copy of her birth certificate. I personally would fight for the right of those voters to retain their suffrage rights. And I call out those who would take away such right as cynical perverters of our democracy. Mom was a Republican all of her life but I’m pretty sure she would condemn the Republican party of 2012.”

So I chose to again jump into the fray. I consulted with a friend who understands the reasons for voter ID, and has firsthand experience with voter fraud:

People now need I.D. to receive benefits (Medicare, Social Security) to see a doctor using any type of insurance or benefit whatsoever, to buy liquor, to ride public transit, to cash a check, to write a check, to receive prescription medicines, to purchase cold medications, to get a library card, to use a credit card, to (in some states) receive a sales tax exemption if over age 80.

And those are just the things that “inner city” dweller would need. The list is endless.

It’s hardly the fault of the Republican Party that fraud of all types is so prevalent that I.D. is now required to move freely through a typical day.

In 2004, Dino Rossi lost the governor’s race by 134 votes. I personally knocked on the doors of 20 people who supposedly cast “provisional” ballots in King County. I spoke either with the voter themselves, or with a family member. A provisional ballot could only be obtained from the polling location, so someone got it there, and voted on it.

The problem was that none of those voters had cast those ballots. Most weren’t even in the country at the time, so couldn’t have been at the polls asking for one.

All of those ballots were counted. You can assume they were a double vote, because the person casting them would have also voted under their own name on their own ballots.

Asking for an I.D. would have prevented them getting a provisional ballot.

I wasn’t the only one running down those ballots. It took me three days to track down my 20 people. Others were tracking down other ballots.

When I was done with my 20 provisional ballot voters, I then had to call the dead voters, sitting at the Rossi office with a stack of death certificates and the dead persons voting record.

A simple I.D. could have prevented those ballots being handed out also.

All the dead voters’ ballots were counted also.

There were also cases where “homeless” people voted at the King County Courthouse. Then some of them voted at their houses. There were cross ballots in their names. Asking them to show their I.D. would have prevented those cases.

Yes, even the homeless have I.D. (they need it to receive benefits) and can vote….twice in a few cases.

That year, more people voted in King County than they had registered voters. Several 1000 more. Most of those ballots could have and should have been prevented from being handed out. A simple I.D. would have been sufficient to have prevented the more egregious cases of voter fraud.

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