Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Thursday, September 29, 2016

We’re having the wrong conversation about recent attempts to restrict voters’ rights in America.

This is not about which political party will be victorious in November.

This is about who we are as a country.

Granted, it’s impossible to ignore who is behind this force for no good whatsoever. Republicans in one state after another are passing laws and issuing dictates to whittle away at the number of citizens who will have the right to vote in this year’s presidential election. They want to impose all sorts of costs and inconveniences on Americans who have never, ever been suspected of voter fraud. Overwhelmingly, these voters tend to be poorer and people of color. Democrats, you might say.

Republicans champion various versions of a 2012 poll tax, even though no reputable study has shown evidence of widespread voter fraud. Curiously, only four states — Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi and Wisconsin — have imposed greater restrictions on absentee voting, which is the one method most vulnerable to fraud.

Why?

Consider the demographics: Absentee voters across the country tend to be older and whiter — just like the Republican Party.

In Ohio, the Republican secretary of state this week broke a partisan tie on the elections board in Cuyahoga County to ban early in-person absentee voting during the last two weekends in October. Cuyahoga is the most Democratic county in the state. As The Plain Dealer reported, an emeritus professor from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland estimated that in 2008, 93,000 Ohioans voted in person on the Saturday, Sunday or Monday before Election Day. Barack Obama won that state by about 262,000 votes.

Seeing a pattern?

The Obama campaign has sued Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, also a Republican, in federal court, arguing that these restrictions on balloting violate the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause.

  • bud2011

    To preserve the integrity of the voting count, it is reasonable to ask for a picture ID when registering. In order to visit AG Holder you would have to show a picture ID, To get a six-pack of beer or tobacco you are required to show an ID. Stop any possibility of voter fraud, demand a voter ID be shown.

    • poppy66

      Sorry but, what 50 or 60 year old do you know, that has to produce a photo ID to purchase a six pack or a pack of cigarettes. Stop trying to justify their real intention, to suppress Democratic voters. There is no proof whatsoever of voter fraud. Over the last ten years, in critical studies by reputable organizations, there has been 0.0005% of voter fraud and they were caught and prosecuted. The congressman from Pennsylvania addressing his republican crowd, admitted that their new voter restrictions, would ensure a win for Romney. BTW, you do need a photo ID to visit Holder, but it certaintly is’nt your constitutional right as voting is.

    • JSquercia

      BULLSHIT .!! It is NOT about voter Fraud and you KNOW it .The incidence of voter Fraud is miniscule . I am sure that 83 year old texan has no PROBLEM getting Beer and Butts.
      The only people I know who committed voter fraud would be Ann Coulter who used a friends address when voting in Florida and Willard Mitt Romney who voted for Scott Brown by claiming he was living in his son’s basement. I am sure Mitt had a valid Massachusetts license and probably Licenses from California and New Hampshire and with such could have voted 3 times without being caught by these new laws. The charge against Romney was brought by a non-mainstream Republican but the state REFUSED to investigate it. Yes indeed the RICH are different than you and I

    • I agree with preserving the integrity of the vote BUT only if the state will make sure everyone has accommodations to get the prescribed I.D.. You cannot believe the mess of barriers that are thrown in people’s way. Starting with the hours of the state offices on down to transportation to get there. Not to mention people who MUST work 7 days a week to pay for the increased cost of everything theses days. I work the elections, have for 25 years. This last election was the first time I ever had to turn a voter away. I knew the guy. Not only has he voted there for 12 years, he is a neighbor of mine! I was told at training there were NO Excuses. I have to show I.D., my mother has to show I.D. etc. He forgot his and wasn’t able to get back to vote that day. We lost a VOTE! America lost a VOTE!

    • TEAsupporter

      I, quite often, purchase cigarettes for my husband. I would probably jump over the counter and kiss the cashier if he asked me for a photo ID to prove my age. I’m 61 years old. We don’t drink alcoholic beverages so I don’t know about showing a photo ID for those purchases. Come on, get real no obviously “older” adult gets carded. As for writing checks – my husband had a photoless driver license and that was accepted as ID. My credit cards are not signed. Instead, they say please ask for photo ID. About 1 out of 30 cashiers ask to see ID. Bottom line – it just isn’t required as you say it is. Oh – both my husband and I are strong Dems. He HAS had his driver license replaced with a photo bearing one. No one will stop us from voting.

  • poppy66

    @Bud2011…. Sorry but, What 50 or sixty year old do you know, that has to produce a photo ID to purchase a six pack or a pack of cigarettes. Stop trying to justify their real intention, to suppress democratic voters. There is no proof whatsoever of voter fraud. Over the last ten years in critical studies by reputable organizations. There has been 0.0005% of voter fraud and they were caught and prosecuted. And you do need a photo ID to to visit Holder, but it’s not your constitutional right. BTW, The congressman from Pennsylvania already admitted it during a republican conference, that their new voter ID restrictions, would ensure a win for Mitt Romney. They know they cant win by playing fair. Reflect back to 2008 campaign.

    • bud2011

      The 2008 election showed voter fraud by ACORN, a bastion of democrats and union shops.

      • The 2008 election did not show such a thing. ACORN, like all other institutions, does not vote. The scandal associated with it involved some ACORN employees canvassing for the Democratic Paty claiming they had registered people to vote when, in fact, some of the people they claim to have registered were dead or were never born. They took the DNC for a ride. Voter fraud involves fraudulent activities at the polls, such as what happened in Florida in 2000.

    • Poppy66, would you believe here in Indiana we did have to show a drivers license or id to prove we were over 21, even me and I’m 70 to purchase alchohol. That was one of the great bills Gov. Daniels put through. It just now no longer applies.
      We also have voter I.D. since he’s been gov. This is the guy that the news media wanted to be president. Good old red Indiana!

  • Do I have a problem with needing to show a voter ID to vote? No. My problem is the approved IDs are only available on limited days at limited times from limited locations that are not accessible to people who don’t have a driver’s license (which IS an approved ID)

    • phantomoftheopera

      and may require documents that are hard to get and/or expensive. while there are fewer and fewer people born in times and places where birth certificates are not available, they are out there. and until computers, name changes weren’t always recorded effectively. i hear george romney was born in mexico. i wonder how he can prove he’s a citizen?

  • If you can’t produce proof that you are who you say you are, how do you cash checks, open bank accounts, drive a car. Ohio accepts a power bill in your name.
    Non documented voters open the way to voter fraud as we had in Ohio in the last Presidential election.
    I’m a life long Democrat and a citizen of the United States.

    • How many prosecution of Voter Fraud have there been in Ohio? Cashing a check, opening bank accounts, driving a car, boarding a plane are NOT Constitutional Rights. Voting is a Constitutional Right and why are these Voter ID laws not bi-partisan? Why do these laws seem to be mostly effect groups that have a history of voting Democratic? If it was reverse and Democrats were doing this and it target Republican Voters do you believe they would go quietly into the night?

    • phantomoftheopera

      it may be surprising to you, but many people do none of the above. will ohio accept a power bill to vote.

      where’s the proof on voter fraud? last i heard, there is very little.

  • What 22 year old doesn’t have to produce an ID to but a 6 pack, or drive, open a bank account?

    • davidfishman2001

      Not everybody buys a 6 pack, drives or even has a checking account. Voting is a right for citizens and the law requires equal access.

      • how do you prove your citizenship?

      • durnovo

        so how do you prove who you say you are?

  • The governors of these state are Running Scared and will do any and evry low underhanded thing the can to keep the citizens of this country from voting . If they were so worried about voter fraud then why didn’t the do this 4 years ago right after the election or any time in between instead of waiting for a presidential election year . Why because they know they are going to loose if they don’t do every underhanded thing they can to keep these leagal citizen of the US from voting .

  • chisolm

    To see large scale voter fraud you only need to watch ACORN and other such groups. Requiring an ID to vote is reasonable and would serve to make every vote legitimate. Minorities and low income people should be sickened by the insinuation of do-good left leaning wingnuts that since they are minority and low income they are incapable of meeting even the most basic requirements of a civilized society.

    • WhutHeSaid

      Who do you think you’re fooling? Everybody knows that you’re lying, so why do it? Have some guts and admit that you just want to cheat the system because you are ______ (fill in the blanks as appropriate, e.g., ‘bigoted’, ‘a tax cheat’, ‘anti-democratic’, ‘anti-American’).

      For the love of God, don’t you Tea-bigots ever get tired of telling whoppers when it’s clear that everyone knows you’re lying?

    • JSquercia

      Acorn again . It was NEVER proven that engaged in voter fraud and in fact THEY flagged some of the more obvious fraudulent Registration signatures on their petitions . The state of Florida produced such onerous restrictions of Voter Registration Drives that the League of Women Voters was forced to stop THEIR Voter Registration Drives

  • Keep it up people you are playing right into the hands of the White supremacist race . Soon you will be required to be DNA coded at birth in order to prove who you are . This is what those who think the are the master race are striving for. History will repeat itself .

  • It’s Time NOW For Everybody To Get Ready To Vote Cause The American Taliban Praying That You Don’t Be Ready!!!

  • TheOldNorthChurch

    When I first started voting in California it was always necessary to show a DL or ID. Needing and ID does not stop anyone from voting. What it does do is stops any notion of impropriety, which is very American.

    • WhutHeSaid

      Stop lying and just go ahead and admit you want to cheat the system. This transparent lying just makes you look stupid as well as crooked. If you must be a cheat, at least take some pride in it.

      • TheOldNorthChurch

        Your comment seems to lack any sense – could you re-write it?

        • WhutHeSaid

          No, but you can try re-reading it.

        • ObozoMustGo

          TONC… nothing these leftist nutjobs write makes any sense. By definition, if they made sense, they’d be conservatives!

          Have a nice weekend!

    • johninPCFL

      So that’s why it’s critically important to imlement all these changes RIGHT-FREAKING-NOW?

      A recent study by the Brennan center details the impacts: 1.5 million voters who now must pay for birth certificates, etc. and walk, bus, or bum rides at least twice to state offices more than 10 miles from their current homes to re-register to vote. Re-register? Yes, because they’ve been voting for decades using other documentation that is no longer acceptable RIGHT-FREAKING-NOW.

  • Ed

    And Americans WILL!

  • Ed

    One of the hallmarks of every dictatorship in moderb times has been the national registry of it’s citizens. That is the reason that the Social Security Act specifically states that a Social Security card is NOT to be used as an ID card. At the time the act was passed lawmakers had only to look east across the waters to see how that worked.

  • ObozoMustGo

    Pennsylvania Police Do Care

    I get irritated when people come down on our police officers, saying that the police don’t care about or respect others. Well, here is a story that clearly shows not all cops are in that category.

    This story involves the police department in the small hill country town of Wilkes-Barre, PA, who reported finding a man’s body last Saturday in the early evening in the Susquehanna River near the state highway-81 bridge.

    The dead man’s name would not be released until his family had been notified.

    The victim apparently drowned due to excessive beer consumption while visiting “someone” in Wilkes-Barre. He was wearing black fishnet stockings, 10 inch spiked heels, a red garter belt, a pink G-string, purple lipstick, dazzle dust on his eyelids, 2½ inch false eyelashes and an Obama T-shirt.

    The police removed the Obama T-shirt to spare his family any unnecessary embarrassment.

    Pennsylvania police do care

    Have a nice day!

  • durnovo

    so how do you prove who you say you are?

  • bud2011

    If there is no voter fraud then there should not be any objection to providing an ID at the polls. Everyone has access to a form of ID, even if they don’t drive. To complain is to acknowledge that voter fraud is an option of the complainer.

    • WhutHeSaid

      Quite the contrary. To claim that we need to “solve” a nonexistent voter fraud problem is to announce to the world that you are dishonest and wish to prevent minorities and poor people from voting in order to give bigots a better chance to win elections.

      Although I’ll admit that there are some Republicans that honestly believe their views are good for the country, the majority of the GOP is becoming more and more synonymous with bigoted, lying tax cheats. Add to this formula the Tea Party — which everybody KNOWS is chock-full of lying, tax-evading, racist rednecks who greedily snort up the tax dollars of others while spreading their vile and despicable brand of social-deadbeat hate — and soon Americans will become so disgusted with all of the lying, cheating and hate-mongering that Republicans will start getting voted out of office in droves.

      By all means keep up the bald-faced lying and hateful attacks on women and minorities. America is getting fed up right quick.

  • I don’t have problem with voter ID cards, in fact, I think that is a good idea and an effective way to eliminate voter fraud. The problem goes well beyond illigal immigrants voting (most remain in the shadoes, as fr away from authorities as possible, many are illiterate and those who can read do so in Spanish only). An old neighbors and friend bought a vacation house close to mine, and spent half the year in the Northeast. He vote here and he voted in his home state again. The real problem is that trying to implement this change 4 months before a presidential election is not realistic and the effects of such last minute change is that tens of thousands of Americans may not be able to vote.

  • bigspender7

    If you voted for these republicans in 2010 then you have a lot to answer for. Please don’t make the same stupid mistake this year. On your honor.

    • bud2011

      Obama 2012 – the end of an error.

  • onedonewong

    Starting in 2004 the Dem’s used tax payer $$$ to fund ACORN to cook the books on registering new illegal voters. Hundreds of daffy Ducks and Mickey Mouses were registered to vote because Congress paid a bounty for every new voter registered.
    In 2008 we had a US Senator paced in office via illegal voters from Minnesota. Al Franstein is the poster child for what happens when elections are stolen. Hispanics account for 17% of the US population but less than 9% are eligable to vote. But that hasn’t stop dem’s from trying to get them to register to vote by absentee ballot s they won’t be asked for Id

  • bud2011

    It is amazing that persons who lack data, attack the messenger, rather than the message. South Dakota for example has 17 counties with more registered voters than there are citizens of voting age living there. Mississipe has 17 such counties, Alabama has seven and Indiana, kentucky and Texas have 12 each. Since voting is a privilege, and every vote should count, every voter should prove that they are eligible to vote. Showing a picture ID is saying that I want to count. Lets stop those who are ineligible from voting.

  • johninPCFL

    To vote in most of these places you had to produce a opwer bill in your name. Now you have to go get a state ID (kind of 1984 if you ask me). To do that you have to bring a birth certificate. If you don’t have one, you have to go to the hospital you were born in and pay for it. If that’s out of state, you have to go there.

    Once you have your birth certificate you have to report to the state office on their schedule (take a day off work, what can it hurt?) Then you come back a different day to pick up your ID.

    So now, instead of using the ID you’ve been using for the past few dacades, you have to make an out-of-state trip and pay a hospital (if it still exists) and take a few days off work. And if you’re a student or poor, you’ve just lost your job.

    How many will be impacted? According to the Brennan center, about 1.5 million citizens have no BC, do not drive, and live more than 10 miles from the nearest state ID center. And yeah, they mostly vote Democrat.

    But no voter suppression is involved, right?

  • johninPCFL

    Hey idiot, how many Daffy’s or Mickeys voted? Or, to put it another way, how many state officials were indicted for voter fraud, since allowing Daffy or Mickey to vote is a crime.

    None? Yeah that’s what I thought. Since 1.5 million Democrat voters will be tossed off the roles, the real reason for this crap is to elect Romney. At least stop lying about it.

  • Gammaanya

    First of all Illegal imigrants can not vote. Only US citizens and people with dual citizenship.I am legal immigrant and could not vote until I became naturalized US Citizen (1979 – in Phx, AZ). I got my green card when my Panam (now gone) plane landed in Boston, Mass. in 1972. I was a person without country for 7 yrs (can not vote with green card and I had to give up my citizenship to leave my country ( was persona non grata – for demonstration when in College). That’s just Republican spin. Now when Obama gave this temporary stay for some, THEY CAN’T VOTE, so the theory that he did for the VOTES is a pure nonsense. Each state have laws. I have been in Illinois now 17 yrs (moved from Colorado) and each time I go to voting booth, they have already my name, I have to show my drivers license, they look at me to veryfi that I’ m who I am (wht, not blk or Mexican ). I can’t pass for man or young (63), I am extremely fair skinned so I can’t pass as blk or mex.), then then peel my name off the list, so that means that I voted and my name will never be shown that I can vote again or that I am somebody else. I am even carded while buying wine for dinner with friends. Same was in Arizona (1979 – 1985), same in Colorado (1985-1995). I applied for citizenship in Mass (you have to be in US 5 yrs and married to US Citizen and your background is checked. It took 2 years to get because we did not have faxes and emails then, but I got it and was sworn and oficially welcomed by judge in court in Phz, Az. Now what is going on there is just ridiculous and profiling is just racism. We have 50 states and 7 territories and some of the occupants are comprised US citizens without voting rights., some don’t have Senators (how nice). Therefore none of the illegals VOTE. Common sense -why would they when they can be caught and shipped back???? THINK. It’s in US Constitution.

  • bigspender7

    Gosh I wonder if I could become a member of the TEA PARTY. I have no meaningful education, no scruples, no sense of morality, low self esteem, and I’m functionally illiterate. I like to disrespect anyone who doesn’t believe in creationism or who thinks mankind is contributing to the global warming myth. I believe that all non-white or mixed race people are inferior to me and that only poor people should pay taxes. So am I qualified to join?

    • WhutHeSaid

      If you also snort Medicare Viagra and drive a Medicare Hoveround while sniveling and squealing about how poor children getting assistance with school lunches is an outrage, then you’re as good as in already.

  • Yes, exactly true. They (the Republicans) are the proponents of this Oppressive Law purposely intended to impose all sorts of underlying costs and inconvenience to whittle away and discourage American voters representing the poorest sector of society under the guise of Voter Fraud issue. “Clever move ha!

    • DurdyDawg

      Clever my ass hairs.. It’s just more under handed tactics from a party that needs to be totally rewired and updated. These ‘old’ elephants have forgotten what true patriotism is.. if only they would move their pile of worthless federal green backs over just a bit then maybe being a compassionate American would come back to them.

  • Landsende

    Guess the teapublicans figured they can’t try the same tactic they did in 2000 when they had to do a recount in Florida whose governor just happened to be the brother of GWB and then asked the supreme court to appoint a president even though Al Gore had more votes. That might be to obvious so the latest tactic is to make it as hard as possible for some people (mostly democratic voters) to get proper ID even though they had been able to use the same forms of ID before. They will do anything and pull any dirty trick to win the election, a page right out of Karl Roves dirty tactics book.

  • joyscarbo

    Citizens in every state and community have a responsibility to find out exactly what they need to do to register to vote and do it NOW. If they are faced with barriers, there is still time to work to remove those barriers to ensure that every eligible citizen’s vote is cast and counted.

  • bcarreiro

    suppress the voting, independents running as undercover republicans to secure voting and all who u know in office that gets the leg up with money or pull. squeezing out the american people for capital gain….its the tax paying americans that give your salaries.

  • daffodilly

    Are the people who propose these laws ready to take vans equiped with DMV type equipment out in communities to make qualifying reasonable? Me thinks not. There’s an old saying of throwing folks to the dogs and I think that’s what our “friends” the Republicans have in mind when it comes to people other than themselves.

    • 13observer

      Right, and tell those folks at the sporting goods store I shouldn’t have to give a “background check” just to buy guns and ammo! The Second Amendment says I already have the right. We shouldn’t even have to have I.D. for anything. Too many rules and regulations. You are definately right about too much big government in our lives today. You keep coming up with these good arguments and people will want you to run for President.