Thursday, May 04, 2006

Chris Ward pushes free ID for poor (to defeat poll tax arguement from vote fraud pushers)

Right now, SCOTUS is revisiting Frank Kelley's (most overrated AG in history) AG opinion blocking requiring a photo ID to vote. Chris Ward's bill would stop any poll tax arguement.

Free IDs For Indigents Bill Moves
The House passed 63-43 today a bill allowing the Secretary of State to give free photo identification cards to the poor, apparently as part of a Republican push to bolster the constitutionality of a law that requires voters to show photo ID at the polls.

Democrats opposed the legislation on what appeared to be a variety of grounds. They said they didn't know how the state would pay for. They said there are no rules on who would qualify for the ID. They said those who do qualify for the free ID would still need to come up with identification such as birth certificates in order to prove their identities, which could be problematic for some.

At one point this afternoon on the House floor, House Majority Floor Leader Chris WARD (R-Brighton), the bill's sponsor, gave a pointed reaction to a speech made against the bill by Rep. George CUSHINGBERRY (D-Detroit). Cushingberry claimed the legislation would disenfranchise 350,000 Michigan voters and then he made some reference to the Confederacy.

"The issue of requiring voter IDs is in the court," Ward responded. "If you're worried about disenfranchising people, you should vote for this bill."

Rep. Andrew MEISNER (D-Ferndale) said he was opposing the bill because of the funding issue.

"I have grave concerns about where the funding would come from to carry out this project," Meisner said.

Meisner offered a floor amendment to the bill that would have tie-barred it to several Democratic-sponsored bills. The amendment failed. Ward offered an amendment that said the Secretary of State would be required to do everything within reason to inform the public about the program and its requirements. This amendment passed.

This morning, the House Oversight, Elections and Ethics Committee, chaired by Ward reported out the legislation along with other election reform measures. Republican members voted for the legislation while Meisner and Rep. Matt GILLARD (D-Alpena), the only Democrats on the committee, voted against it.

"Since we can apparently know how many there are, would this include an outreach effort to seek these people out?" Gillard asked in committee after Ward stated that it's estimated that there are more than 350,000 Michigan citizens to whom the legislation would apply.

"If you have any ideas along those lines I'd be happy to entertain a friendly amendment," Ward responded.

Later in the discussion Ward suggested that Michigan should take a look at what Indiana has done in regard to outreach.

"I think it would be good to look at the state of Indiana on that since the same federal court Michigan's law would ultimately have to go before has already ruled that Indiana's law is constitutional."

Meisner then pointed out that Georgia has passed legislation requiring voters to show photo IDs and also included a provision that the state would provide the IDs for those who couldn't afford them, yet the federal courts had struck down the Georgia law.

Ward responded that today's issue wasn't the photo ID requirement.

"The photo ID issue is now in the hands of the State Supreme Court," Ward said. "This is about providing IDs to those who otherwise couldn't get them."

Both Gillard and Meisner then asked how the free ID program would be funded.

"Have you identified a funding source for this?" Gillard asked.

"I believe a placeholder has been put into a supplementary budget," Ward responded.

Then Gillard asked what a person would need to do to get such an ID.

The Secretary of State representatives said they'd have to meet the same standards as everyone else by providing proof that they are who they say they are.

"I certainly wouldn't want to be supporting counterfeit IDs," Ward quipped in support of the standards.

Bureau of Elections Director Chris THOMAS quoted former U.N. Ambassador and civil rights advocate Andrew YOUNG, saying that anything that can be done to help provide IDs for people should be done.

Currently an applicant for a state identification card pays $10 to the Secretary of State for each original and renewal ID card issued. The card expires on that person's birthday four years after it's issued. The Secretary of State is required to waive the fee if the applicant is 65 years, had their driver license pulled because of a mental or physical disability, is blind or presents other good cause to not be charged.

HB 6007 would retain all of these provisions and add a person who presents evidence that he or she is unable to pay the fee required, to the list of reasons for fee waivers.

Two other bills (HB 6022 and HB 6026) that are part of Ward's overall election reform package were also reported out today. HB 6022 would allow election officials to create an inactive voter file. If a voter whose name was in the inactive file remained completely inactive for two presidential election cycles the name would be removed from the system.

Gillard asked Thomas (who supports the bill) if other states had instituted longer periods.

"No," Thomas responded. "In fact some have put in shorter periods and been more aggressive about having inactive names removed."

Gillard and Meisner voted against reporting the bill out.

HB 6026 consists of technical amendments to the revised school code concerning school elections.



Lastly, if I need an ID to buy a firearm, then there's no reason we shouldn't require ID's for voters to maintain election integrity. The only reason the democrats really oppose this is because they support voter fraud as it benefits them. We don't need illegal aliens voting. We don't need people voting twice.

17 comments:

Kevins said...

Generally, a law or a piece of legislation is introduced to address a specific problem. What problem is being addressed by requiring a voter to show an ID card? Where’s this alleged fraud you keep talking about Dan? The only problem I have seen is accuracy of the Qualified Voter File, and any competent secretary of state should be able to handle that. We will take care of that problem in November.

So what problem is being addressed? I’ll tell you what problem is being addressed, it’s the power hungry republicans scheming to hold on to their power, and as we have seen there isn’t much they won’t do to do that. What this will do is disenfranchise poor and lower middle class voters, and they never vote republican. We have an average voter turnout of maybe 25 percent, and you want to thrown more roadblocks in front of getting people to the polls.

Good job Chris. If you ever wanted a poster boy for what power will do to a basically good guy take a look at Chris Ward.

This is similar to the bill mike rogers got passed when he was a state Senator to discourage in East Lansing, then in the 8th Congressional District, that got him elected to Congress by a razor thin margin in 2000. If this passes we can count on even more republicans voter intimidation than we already see now.

As for Frank Kelly being the most overrated Attorney General, not to the state’s consumers.

Anonymous said...

We don't need any new laws, just a Secretary of State who can do the job!

More government is all you guys talk about!

This must be the new "big" government conservative party.

Let's just inforce the laws on the books.

Geesh! What has happened to the Republicans?

Anonymous said...

How can requiring ID to vote be bad?
Have we forgotten the 2000 election because 06/08 are now looming and those dead people and illegals may be useful?
How absolutely ridiculous.

Kevins said...

How can requiring ID to vote be good? I have not forgotten how the republicians stole the 2000 election, but what does that have to do with requiring an ID to vote?

Anonymous said...

I started to answer your question but you are full of talking points without substance. There is no changing your regurgitation of the left mantra.
Big, bad republicans will always be big, bad republicans.

Anonymous said...

As the process stands right now, all you need to know is someone's name, address and birth date to walk in and vote in their name. Why is it so terrible to require people to prove they are who they say they are? There is no cost to those who can't pay. It isn't disenfranchising anyone except fraudulent voters. The poor and wealthy alike each deserve an equal vote in the polling place.

Kevins said...

Stop. That's jsut an excuse because you don't have an answer. You're also wrong about the "big, bad republicans" because they will not always be the "big bad republicans. As they have proven, they just can't be trusted with complete power.

Anonymous said...

Kevins - dude, get your head out of your ass. I am grieving the loss of your common sense. No election in 2000 was stolen. It was won fair and square, something democrats just can't understand. Can you whiney babies please get over that and try to move FORWARD. You might try a little good old fashioned therapy for a little dose of reality. Jeeze, I'm embarrassed for you.

Anonymous said...

We don't need more government! More big brother! More paperwork, another department in our government and all because our Secretary of State can't do her job!
You guys aren't Conservatives!

Anonymous said...

Where is this voter fraud everone keeps complaining about? This isn't 1960 Dailey Chicago. The idea that massive voter fraud is occuring in this country AND law enforcement has been completely unable to uncoverit AND the press has been completely unable to uncover it is laffable. Voter fraud is a conspiracy theory designed push laws to make it harder for people to vote.

And don't say that the freep uncovered voter fraud in Detroit and accross the state because all they uncovered were inaccurate voter rolls. If someone was purposely delivering thousands of votes to a candidate, it would be front page news and peopole would be going to jail.

Anonymous said...

That's correct, there was no voter fraud found in Detroit! This is all smoke and mirrors people. We do not need voter ID! Who will pay for this? More on our taxpayers!

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that it is the SOS job to recoginize every voter in the state. I wonder how she is supposed to be at every precinct on election and say, "yup, that's Joe; There's Betty Lou; Hal, nice to see you;...".

C'mon, the voter ID is to verify that the person voting is the person they claim to be. Nothing more, nothing less.

I am a Democrat and I beleive in the integrity of the vote.

Anonymous said...

We already have to tell the voting officials who we are, so it is not like we are giving them any additional information. All this bill wants to do is to require voters to PROVE they are who they claim to be. Anyone who is honest has nothing to fear from this law.

As for showing I.D., in recent weeks I've had to prove my identity to buy cigarettes, buy beer, cash some checks, and rent videos. It is also necessary to show I.D. to get on a plane or to re-enter the U.S. from Canada. Do you Democrats really belive that integrity in voting is less important than it is in these other activities?

This law does not "disenfranchise" anyone. 99%+ of voters already have an I.D. that would be acceptable to authorities. The small number of people who lack a government I.D. can easily be provided one for free. Any other issues can also be addressed as they arise.

This won't require any more time or money to run elections either. Voters already have to fill out a card with name and address. It won't take but a second for most voters to pull out their driver's license or state ID and show it to the official. If a person has trouble finding their I.D. other voters could be allowed to procede through the line while that individual searches his/her wallet or purse. I have to show my I.D. all the time and it never slows down lines at other places. This argument is just another red herring.

The important thing is that we do as much as is reasonably possible to eliminate voting fraud. Everytime someone votes illegally it steals from all legitimate voters. Voting fraud is so serious that it potentially threatens our democracy. For citizens to have faith in our government they must have faith in the voting process. Remember the 2000 elections? After all the questions and complaints about that election, how can anyone be against election reform?

Anonymous said...

The job of the SOS is to keep a current and accurate voter file.

This way only people who are alive and live in the district can vote.

We don't need Chris Ward's frivilous bill to do the SOS's job and create more paperwork for everyone.

Anyone heard that Republican's once stood for less government?

Anonymous said...

Picture this: I walk in to Howell, where my old neighbor Sue lives. I write her address, and date of birth down and then go about voting for whomever I'd like. Then I walk into my pricinct where I do the same thing in my name. I spoke with many poll watchers from Detroit for the 2004 elections. They had men coming in to vote for women, husbands voting on their wives names and many, many sibling issues - and those were just the ones they caught. I don't want someone who happens to know my address and birth date to vote in my name. I fail to understand the difficulty of expecting picture ID - particularly when they are being provided for. Anyone on government assistance already has to have an ID to get the assistance. For those few who don't already have them, these free ID's will probably be a benefit. Just think of all the things you need your ID for.

Anonymous said...

Picture this: I walk in to Howell, where my old neighbor Sue lives. I write her address, and date of birth down and then go about voting for whomever I'd like. Then I walk into my pricinct where I do the same thing in my name. I spoke with many poll watchers from Detroit for the 2004 elections. They had men coming in to vote for women, husbands voting on their wives names and many, many sibling issues - and those were just the ones they caught. I don't want someone who happens to know my address and birth date to vote in my name. I fail to understand the difficulty of expecting picture ID - particularly when they are being provided for. Anyone on government assistance already has to have an ID to get the assistance. For those few who don't already have them, these free ID's will probably be a benefit. Just think of all the things you need your ID for.

Anonymous said...

Picture this: I walk in to Howell, where my old neighbor Sue lives. I write her address, and date of birth down and then go about voting for whomever I'd like. Then I walk into my pricinct where I do the same thing in my name. I spoke with many poll watchers from Detroit for the 2004 elections. They had men coming in to vote for women, husbands voting on their wives names and many, many sibling issues - and those were just the ones they caught. I don't want someone who happens to know my address and birth date to vote in my name. I fail to understand the difficulty of expecting picture ID - particularly when they are being provided for. Anyone on government assistance already has to have an ID to get the assistance. For those few who don't already have them, these free ID's will probably be a benefit. Just think of all the things you need your ID for.