Voter ID and Voter Registration Are Parts of the Same Whole

In the 2012 election in Minnesota, Voter ID was on the ballot and lost. The opponents said that requiring a photo ID would suppress voting “for those groups who didn’t have such ID”  I can’t imagine that anyone who wanted to get a photo ID wouldn’t be able to get one. Especially in that photo ID is required for Voter Registration! So a registered voter has already demonstrated possesion of a photo ID. All the Voter ID rules would require is that the person voting is, in fact, the person that Registered.  This is all it does, and does not suppress anything. All the absence of a Voter ID law does is allow a voter to vote for somone illegally. This is done, in the classic fashion, by voting for someone who has died, moved or just doesn’t show up that day, but is still on the rolls. An Illinois man once said that, “My mother had voted Republican before she died, but has voted Democrat since.”

Let’s take a closer look.

An example of the requirements for registration in Minnesota, as in other states, requires that the applicant show a valid photo ID like a driver’s license, learner’s permit, Minnesota ID card, or Tribal ID with name, address, signature and photo. Additionally, applicants can use a passport, military ID, University, College or High School ID. These documents identify the applicant and documents such as a valid lease that extends past the election, utility bills that show an address, banking documents or rent receipts, show voting precinct. In addition, a person known to the applicant can vouch for the address. Still, even if the vouch-for system is used, the prospective voter has to register by showing the appropriate photo ID.

There are holes in the registration system. The driver’s license requirement only works if citizenship is shown on the card. Also, online registration requires a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a social security number. Non-citizen workers can get social security cards and driver’s licenses under certain circumstances, so this system needs some work.

The registration process results in a voter roll that is present at the proper polling station. A voter simply gives a name, and is given a ballot. There is no validation that the voter is the person he/she says he/she is and that is what Voter ID is all about. The entire argument is over whether the voter’s ID needs to be verified at the polls. That is, a person who presented a valid ID to register is not asked to do that to vote. What seems to be no-brainer is vigorously opposed by Democrats. There must be a reason and this is the dilemma. Democrats say requiring ID will suppress the vote. How, I wonder, as each voter has already shown ID to register? The possiblities are that voter rolls are not checked with regularity. Therefore, if Jim Jones properly voted in 2012, but moved to Madison, Wisconsin, in 2013, he would still be on the Minnesota voter roll in 2014. Anyone with knowledge of this could appear, say to the poll worker, “I’m Jim Jones,” and vote. Of course, Jim Jones himself could appear and vote in Minnesota and, maybe, vote in Madison, as well! The discoveries of people voting in both Florida and New York have been illuminating. The anecdote about the woman who has voted Democrat since she died comes from Illinois, but could be Minnesota as well. If Jill Jones died in 2010, she is probably still on voting rolls. It would be easy to vote for her in 2014. Who’d know? as they say.
One way is to require a photo ID.

Many states have passed laws requiring voter ID at the polls. The result has been an increase in parrticipation. Voter ID rules are the necessary partner to the Registration laws. They are part of the same whole. Opposition to these rules is, however, vigorous and even passed law is subject to court challenges. Absent further information, I have to think nefarious purpose is involved, but I’m sure my Democratic friends will object, but so far they only give the suppression argument with no support. I would like to hear more.

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