Just Who Gains From Voter ID Laws?

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw)- Guest Blogger

It seems that almost everywhere you look, some State is trying to reduce the number of early voting days, purging the voting rolls and making it harder for citizens to cast their votes.  The State of Florida has recently attempted to remove legitimate voters off its voter rolls and the State of Georgia recently attempted to restrict the time when a military absentee ballot can be counted as I wrote about earlier on this blog. Georgia  Now, we have some hard evidence of just who is getting removed or impacted by the various State’s attempts to cure the imagined Voter fraud problem!

“Their data suggests that beyond the wide variation in purge rates across states, there is significant variation within states:

In many states, certain parts of the state electorate, both geographically and demographically, are much more likely to be dropped off of the voter rolls than others. More specifically, some general trends that we see are focused on:
a. Urbanity – cities are getting disproportionately purged
b. Race – minorities are getting disproportionately purged
c. Marital Status – unmarried people are getting disproportionately purged
d. Age – younger (< 40 years old) and older (> 65 years old) voters are purged more frequently than middle-aged voters
e. County effects – there are big differences across county lines, pointing to sharp discontinuities based on arbitrary political boundaries that do not correspond with inherent behavioral differences

Catalist notes that more than 2.7 million living people who voted in 2008 have since been purged from the voter rolls. Among those, African American voters are “1.5 times more likely to be purged than Caucasian voters, nationally.” ‘ Think Progress

It appears from the data above that Minorities are the big “winners” when it comes to the voter purge gambit. The young and the old seem to be the runners-up in the race to see which demographic gets the worst of the attempts to prevent legal voters from being able to vote.  What could be behind this attempt to prevent minorities and the young and those older than 65 from voting?  It couldn’t be politics, could it??!

What are these States afraid of?  It cannot be voter fraud since the actual number of voter fraud incidents is infinitesimal.  “In fact there were only nine instances of possible in-person voter fraud between 2000 and 2007, and it is more likely that an individual will get struck by lightning than they will commit voter fraud. In the lawsuit brought by the ACLU against Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, the state formally acknowledged that no in-person voter fraud has occurred in Pennsylvania and they don’t expect any to occur in November.”  Think Progress

Let see if I understand this.  One side is claiming that voter purges and stricter voter ID laws are needed to prevent or stop a problem that at least in the case of the State of Pennsylvania, was not a problem in the past or likely in the future.

If there is no legitimate voter fraud problem now or in the near past, should these voter purges and voter ID laws be considered Voter Fraud?  If so, why and if not, why not?

Additional sources:  The Brennan Center

180 thoughts on “Just Who Gains From Voter ID Laws?”

  1. Slarti, I hear ya. Essays, math word problems, history dates. I’ll bet there will be teachers saving some of those “religious reasons” for a book.

  2. bettykath,

    If I were still in school I would be working on a memo explaining that my religious beliefs did not allow for the writing of essays. 😛

  3. Damian,

    First of all, no one is making that claim. If you insist, provide a link.

    Secondly, to address your false assertion, there are a lot of people who don’t buy alcoholic beverages. And, you don’t need a picture id if you are obviously of age to buy. Or you can get someone else to buy for you – ask an underage teen how they do it.

  4. “no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs.”

    wow. I think my religious beliefs might be variant depending on which essay questions I was unprepared to answer.

  5. Evidently black people, Latino people and other minorities are able to purchase alcohol without a picture ID, well to hear the Democrats tell it, anyway.


    The religious ‘freedom’ amendment passed in MO. What a hoodoo ridden, ignorant state (I live in).

    From Fox news:

    Another part of the amendment sparking controversy is a section that reads “no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs.”

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/08/07/missouri-votes-tuesday-on-amendment-to-fortify-public-prayer/#ixzz231EyNTse

  7. WoW, Unfortunately for me I can’t play. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    I started reading about all of the info sharing, theft, and unquestioning compliance with any government request for info etc. and I resigned from all of the social media sites I had joined as well as Google. Just because you’re paranoid it doesn’t mean “they” aren’t out to get you. I figure you don’t even have to be into anything shady, if your government goes mad it can target anyone or any ‘tag’ for any reason. Also, I just don’t like the exposure to corporate America, the less info they have about me the better, and that doesn’t even touch on information/identity theft. Facebook said recently that as many as 86 million of its profiles are probably false. I wouldn’t let my hypothetical kids NEAR social media…rant, rant, rant, wow, I don’t even know where that came from… Darn, I can’t play, waaaaaaaaaaa.

    1. “Pete”—an alliterative blank verse tone poem

      poor Peter

      lamenting lexicological larks

      and alienating alliteration

      bemoaning bygone bed

      sleep’s surcease


      Now look what you made me do! 😛

  8. Slarti,

    Probably head over to NASA

    If anybody figures out how I can get in on the game … email me

    I gotta go meet the County Prosecutor (for drinks)


  9. Wow! Just read that nine have died in Dallas County from West Nile. Can’t walk the dogs at dusk any longer.

  10. yes it is and you know how connected my daughter is but … I also stay away from smartphones. My son-in-law and daughter keep threatening to buy me an iphone(?) but I keep resisting.

  11. Blouise,

    I play Words With Friends via my phone and just use Facebook as a way to connect with other people playing. I assume Scrabble works the same way (i.e. if you connect your facebook account to your smartphone app, then it is easy to challenge friends who have done the same, but if not, you only need the email address associated with the phone to challenge someone). Isn’t technology wonderful 😛

  12. raff,

    Whew … we did talk about the League for a while and Gene did attempt to restore order. I guess we’re just those guests who refuse to leave but you have to keep inviting us back ’cause we’re family.

  13. Can’t I get in on it without having to use facebook ? I stay away from facebook.

  14. Swarthmore mom,
    That’s okay, I’ll figure it out and challenge you to a game (or you can challenge me) in the next couple of days.

  15. Swarthmore mom,

    Yeah, I’m downloading Scrabble on my phone right now (as you will note if you check your messages on Facebook 😉 )

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