Thursday, April 27, 2006

State Supremes to determing requiring ID to vote

From the AP/Lansing State Journal

The state Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide whether Michigan can require voters to show photo ID, entering a decade-long political fray over issues such as election fraud and voter intimidation.

The court voted 5-2 to issue an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of a 1997 state law requiring voters to show photo identification to get a ballot. A court spokeswoman said the ruling will be binding, though it could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Former Attorney General Frank Kelley, a Democrat, ruled nine years ago that the law violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees U.S. citizens the right to vote.

There is no reason why ID to vote should not be required. If someone can't afford an id, comp the individual. This can reduce fraud.


Anonymous said...

Every other state I have lived in has required a photo ID to vote, I do not see what the big deal is.

RKG said...

I think that the vast, vast majority of people in today's civil society understand that through the use of technology - computers, cell phones, the internet, credit cards, etc. - a photo id requirement is neither particularily intrusive or unreasonable. Issues associated with the implementation of such a requirement seem easy enough to address. The hiccups of implementation will resolve in time. For example, what would preclude a city/municipality from taking a picture when someone registers to vote and printing that picture directly on a voter registration card? It took Costco about 5 minutes to give me a plastic card with my picture printed right on the back. Why not do the same with voters. I think the law needs to change a bit with the times as technology evolves. For example, we used to hang people. Now we use lethal injections because of drugs available today that weren't available back in the day and our sense of "cruel and unusual" punishment has evolved accordingly. Tragically, there probably was a day and time when a demand for a photo ID would have disenfranchised many and just as tragically have been used by those who would seek to do so intentionally. I admire those who stood up for voting rights but just don't see this debate as on the same level as poll taxes and literacy tests.

Anonymous said...

Chalk one up to honesty in voting. There will be fewer people voting in place of their brother in Detroit for this election process.

Anonymous said...

Of course Democrats are opposed to using I.D.'s for voting. If I.D.'s are required, all those people in Detroit that have died, moved away, gone into prison, etc . . . but regularly show up to vote will have their civil rights violated. We sure don't want to offend this crowd since they are some of the most loyal Democrats around.

Anonymous said...

Yea, too bad we don't have a competent Secretary of State.

RKG said...

I was hoping this issue would generate a few more comments defending the right to vote as one of the most sacred rights retained by the citizens of a free and democratic (small "d") society. I was surprised at how willing everyone must be to allow rights to be regulated by government. At the same time, I could only imagine the outrage that would have been expressed at a proposal to further regulate, for example, gun possession. If my second amendment right (assuming it to mean that I have the right to possess a gun) is sacred and shouldn't be messed with, why is alright to tinker and regulate my right to vote? Or is it just that the rights favored by conservative Republicans are more important than those rights which might allow those least able to participate in government the opportunity to do so? I search for consistency in a political philosophy and find it troubling when I see inconsistency. This, my friends, is why I struggle to sign on to partisanship. After all, what Republican in today's arena would have the courage to oppose something as seeminly simple as voter ID. It just wouldn't play to the party loyalists and, to me, that's as sad a commentary on those who would lead as those who follow.

Anonymous said...


You DO agree that illegal voting is bad, don't you?

To be honest, your thinking on this issue is pretty foggy. Requiring voter ID does not restrict our right to vote, it protects us from being disenfranchised through voter fraud. I thought you Democrats out there want to prevent disenfranshisement?

Keep in mind that we ALREADY have to give our name and address to vote. It's not like we vote anonymously. Showing an I.D. just goes one step further, requiring just a few seconds while already waiting in line.

When people vote illegally it cancels out the vote of a legitimate voter. There is no way to measure the impact of illegal voting but it is quite likely that it has changed the outcome in at least some close races. This cheats EVERY voter.

So how do we STOP illegal voting? Is requiring an I.D. such a bad remedy? Aside from the fact that most places in the U.S. already require a government issued I.D. to vote, we should keep in mind that most citizens are already used to showing I.D. regularly for all sorts of things. You need a good I.D. to cash a check (some places require 2), travel on an airplane, get a job, and buy cigarettes/alcohol (younger people). If you drive a vehicle you are required to show your government issued Driver's licence upon request by any law enforcement official.

As for the "poll tax" argument, that is a red herring to distract people from the facts. The vast majority of citizens ALREADY HAVE an I.D. that could be used. For the few that don't it would not be a problem at all for our state government to issue them an I.D. card FOR FREE.

Regarding guns, I have a concealed pistol permit and I am a strong 2nd amendment supporter. But like many gun owners I do support some gun laws. For example, I support laws which make it illegal for convicted criminals to own or possess a firearm. I don't mind getting a license to legally carry a gun. If someone is going to carry, they should know the law and undergo training. This is the purpose of issuing carry licenses. Within reason I don't even mind having to go through a criminal background check to buy firearms. I believe that firearm laws should be about keeping firearms out of the hands of proven lawbreakers, not about limiting responsible and law abiding citizens. If I have to suffer a little delay when buying guns, so be it.

You see, every issue is not black and white. Within any issue there are many shades of gray. In our real world existance we often have to compromise a bit on our idealistic principles in order to keep things running smoothly.

I wish I lived in a world where we could count on voters to all be honest and only vote once. But this is the real world. Voter fraud happens, perhaps on a larger scale than we know. It is the DUTY of our government to PROTECT voters by doing whatever is reasonably possible to STOP illegal voting. If this means requiring voters to PROVE that they are legitimate, so be it.

Anonymous said...

Republicans are always willing to give up their rights! They work to give up their privacy rights, the the rights to the judicial system and of course now voting rights

Pitiful and pathetic is what the party has become.
The slogan should be let's build more jails and pass the ammo please.

Anonymous said...

Republicans are always willing to do things the right way. What problem could an honest citizen have with using an I.D.? - we all have driver's licenses. Republicans are always willing to do what it takes to protect our country and our rights from those that would seek to cheat or harm. Our system deserves to have it's integrity protected. I don't see the harm in voting with integrity. Let's stop letting dead people vote and illegal citizens vote.

Anonymous said...

More big government, it's clear that's what you are all about, except when it comes to your guns. We have voter registration! Maybe if the Secretary of State did her job, the files would be cleaned up!

I want to pass a law that there is a $10,000 fine and mandatory 3 years in jail for voter intimidation. Now that's a proven problem, want to join me? I am sure some of you good Republicans would be serving time.

Anonymous said...

And of course we want the government to control women's reproductive rights and put them in jail...knowing full well that didn't stop abortions before 1971, it just created another black market industry and hurt women. Shame on you all for your corruption, your unwillingness to truly want to help people. No morals all about greed. Greed Greed and more greed!

Anonymous said...

Conservatives should not be about putting more government in our lives! Sorry this is NOT a Conservative website.

Voter ID's are just another level of government control! The Secretary of States office should be doing their job.

Get it? Conservatives are NOT about more government control over our lives! Get it? You all are NOT consevatives, you are Bush type zealots. Very, very dfferent form a true Conservative.

Anonymous said...

We all do not have driver's license's! You live in a very narrow world.

I guess if it's good for you, it must be good for everyone!

Anonymous said...

A few people here need to realize that in the other states that require a voter ID, there is NO violation of voter rights, it only so that the numerous poll workers can see verify that the person voting is who he claims to be. If you do not have a drivers license the SOS should provide a picture photo ID card free of charge.

I am a Democrat and I believe in the integrity of the vote!

Anonymous said...

Really? What states? Please name them!

Anonymous said...

I voted in Missouri for 20 years and they required a photo ID. Before that I voted in Massachusetts and if memory serves, they required a photo ID as well. I could be wrong about Mass., it was along time ago, but I am also certain that MO. is not alone in the requirement.

Anonymous said...

Not Massachusetts. Just the states like Georgia, Florida, Indiana where these are all being challenged. These ID's are known to supress the votes of people who ae poor.

Any takers for the madatory jail term and fine for those who are found to supress voters? Any real momentum for doing the right thing?