Voter ID Unmasked


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

I can still remember the first time I voted in a National election.  I was a young, 18-year-old student and I could finally have a say in who was going to run the country.  It was a proud day for me and the countless other 18 year olds who were also voting for the first time.  I can honestly say that I have not missed voting in any election since.  That includes both primary and general elections.  There wasn’t always a lot to vote for in some of those primaries over the years, but I consider voting a duty, so I made sure that I made it to the polls.

It hasn’t always been easy for all citizens to cast their vote.  Even in my lifetime, the Jim Crow laws of the South made it difficult, at best for African-Americans citizens to register and to cast their ballots.  After years of protests and legal battles, I thought the Jim Crow style of voter suppression was a thing of the past.  It turns out I was wrong.  Very wrong.

Over the last several years, attempts have been made, some successfully, to suppress votes and strike legal voters from the registered voter lists, all in an attempt to prevent certain voters from casting their votes.  We all remember the infamous measures taken by the Florida Secretary of State to attempt to turn the result of the Presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush.  At least from that point forward, numerous legislative and executive actions on the State level have been brought, all in an attempt to make it difficult for people to register and to vote.

The most recent attempts at voter suppression revolve around the so-called Voter ID laws that have been put into place in several states allegedly to prevent the unproven concern of voter fraud.  The fact that these voter ID laws have been promoted by one political party, even caught the idea of a prominent Republican appointed Federal Appellate Court judge.

I am talking about Justice Richard Posner, who is an appellate court judge appointed by Ronald Reagan to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  This very same Judge Posner was responsible for the seminal case approving the country’s first Voter ID law.

“It is a dissent, released on Friday, written by Judge Richard Posner, the Reagan-appointed 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge who was the one who approved the first such Photo ID law in the country (Indiana’s) back in 2008, in the landmark Crawford v. Marion County case which went all the way to the Supreme Court, where Posner’s ruling was affirmed.

If there was ever evidence that a jurist could change their mind upon review of additional subsequent evidence, this is it. If there was ever a concise and airtight case made against Photo ID laws and the threat they pose to our most basic right to vote, this is it. If there was ever a treatise revealing such laws for the blatantly partisan shell games that they are, this is it.

His dissent includes a devastating response to virtually every false and/or disingenuous rightwing argument/talking point ever put forth in support of Photo ID voting restrictions, describing them as “a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government.” ‘ Salon

While I do not always agree with Judge Posner’s decisions, this dissent is even more important knowing it was written by a Judge who had recently approved of a similar Voter/Photo ID law.  Not to mention that at least one organization considers Judge Posner the most widely cited legal scholar of out time.  Just how did Judge Posner attack the underpinnings of the Photo/Voter ID laws in the linked dissent?

“But it was written, largely, in response to the Appellate Court ruling last week by rightwing Judge Frank Easterbrook which contained one embarrassing falsehood and error after another, including the canards about Photo ID being required to board airplanes, open bank accounts, buy beer and guns, etc. We took apart just that one paragraph of Easterbrook’s ruling last week here, but Posner takes apart his colleague’s entire, error-riddled mess of a ruling in this response.

Amongst my favorite passages (and there are so many), this one [emphasis added]…

The panel is not troubled by the absence of evidence. It deems the supposed beneficial effect of photo ID requirements on public confidence in the electoral system “‘a legislative fact’-a proposition about the state of the world,” and asserts that “on matters of legislative fact, courts accept the findings of legislatures and judges of the lower courts must accept findings by the Supreme Court.” In so saying, the panel conjures up a fact-free cocoon in which to lodge the federal judiciary. As there is no evidence that voter impersonation fraud is a problem, how can the fact that a legislature says it’s a problem turn it into one? If the Wisconsin legislature says witches are a problem, shall Wisconsin courts be permitted to conduct witch trials? If the Supreme Court once thought that requiring photo identification increases public confidence in elections, and experience and academic study since shows that the Court was mistaken, do we do a favor to the Court-do we increase public confidence in elections-by making the mistake a premise of our decision? Pressed to its logical extreme the panel’s interpretation of and deference to legislative facts would require upholding a photo ID voter law even if it were uncontested that the law eliminated no fraud but did depress turnout significantly.” Salon
To add to Judge Posner’s pointed dissent and dismemberment of the Photo/Voter ID laws, there was even more evidence of out in the open voter suppression by the party in power against supporters of the opposition party without the use of voter ID legislation.   It was announced earlier this past week that a state Secretary of State has “lost” 40,000 registration forms turned in by a group supporting the Democrats.
” In September, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp expressed concern that too many minority voters were registering to vote for the November midterms and so he found it necessary to subpoena the records of at least one group working to register more Black and Latino voters.Now he has gone and “lost” 40,000 voter registration forms handed in by one group.The Root:

According to an Al-Jazeera report, it’s a sentiment that the staffers at Third Sector Development are expressing. The nonprofit organization was on a mission to register as many black and Hispanic people in the state of Georgia as possible so that voter turnout for the upcoming midterm elections in November would be high. And they were successful at it, until they received word that about half of the applications they submitted for processing have gone missing in action.

“Over the last few months, the group submitted some 80,000 voter-registration forms to the Georgia secretary of state’s office—but as of last week, about half those new registrants, more than 40,000 Georgians, were still not listed on preliminary voter rolls. And there is no public record of those 40,000-plus applications, according to state Rep. Stacey Adams, a Democrat,” Al-Jazeera explained.”  Crooks and Liars

The word Whoops comes to mind when I read about 40,000 “lost” registration forms.  But the loss couldn’t be related to politics, could it?  However, Georgia isn’t the only recent example of voter suppression that might make Judge Posner even more upset at voter suppression measures.

Recently we heard about a Koch Brothers sponsored or supported group sending out intentionally false voting information designed to confuse voters in North Carolina.  Well it seems that the Americans For Prosperity have now set their voter suppression sights on my home state of Illinois.

“First it was North Carolina, now it’s Illinois. Same pattern of voter suppression by fraudulent mailing, too.

Joan McCarter at Daily Kos:

The Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity must have decided they need to do some “voter information” in what’s an awfully tight race for governor in Illinois. According to the Daily Kos Elections Outlook, there’s about a 4-point spread between Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner. Enter AFP to try to create a little chaos in the election. And like in North Carolina, where they sent hundreds of thousands of fraudulent mailers, they’re upsetting people by sending mailers to their dead loved ones.

DECATUR – It’s not uncommon for residents such as Maryilynn Baer to receive political mail before the general election.

But when recent letter came to her home that asked for her husband, Edgar, to re-register to vote before the November election, Baer was overwhelmed and upset.

Her husband had been dead since May.

“It was upsetting,” she said. “His name had already been taken off the voter registration list, and I sent the letter to (Macon County Clerk) Steve Bean and told him I had already notified him that Edgar had passed away.”

See, the mailer made it seem like it had one from County Clerk Bean. All over the state, people have been calling their county clerks to find out if they really do have to re-register, because all of the mailings from AFP are meant to look like they’re coming from elections officials. They’re also wondering why their dead relatives are getting these letters, because they’re going to a lot of deceased people. Which means elections officials are having to make a lot of apologies, even though they’re not responsible for the confusion. Says Shelby County Clerk Jessica Fox, “[w]e would never do anything, for lack of a better term, as tacky as to open up these old wounds.” ‘ Crooks and Liars

Whether it is done by legislatures under the guise of alleged, and as Judge Posner suggests, non-existent voter fraud, or by State executive branch officials as in the case of Georgia, or by partisan organizations funded by conservative billionaires, the result is the same.  Legal citizens with the right to vote are being denied that right.

When will the mass media wake up to the canard of voter fraud being foisted upon the American public?  Judge Posner’s stick in the eye approach just might even convince the Roberts Court.  Then again, we just may be in the throes of a high-tech Jim Crow, Part Two campaign that impacts not only minorities, but also WASP voters who just happen to register as a Democrat or with a Democratic leaning organization.  If these photo ID’s are so important, why do some of the states using them, outlaw student ID cards from local universities and colleges, but accept gun license cards that do not have a photo?

If they believe in their principles and ideas, why are these illegal and immoral tactics necessary?  What do you think?

“The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.”





354 thoughts on “Voter ID Unmasked”

  1. Matt, thank you! I’ve spoken with liberals I know and they don’t care about voter fraud helping Democrats. Look at the hysteria around Bush/Gore. Recounts by almost every media organization in the country have all come out that Bush won. Gore couldn’t measure up to Nixon, who didn’t allow fraud challenges in Chicago because it would hurt the country.

  2. “If there’s voter fraud anywhere it should be prosecuted.” You guys always say that to bolster your position as the only one that is truly caring, logical. and fair (but firm). When you are only any of these in your appeals to keep fraud alive. You never actually follow through with your outrage when the Fraud occurs. Even boldly denying it does. These are crimes against the bedrock of society’s social compact, and you, and yes I am going to lump you with the very obvious party you make this appeal for, never truly pursue the Fraud.

    If people knew there would be a good chance of being caught, and that full force of a system in jeopardy of losing its ability to function, just as the legal system throws it full weight at those that suborn the legal process by intimidation, witness tampering, bribery, and influence. How is it any different when the entire process is hijacked by a party that certainly benefits from fraud, and appears to be active in its enablement, unwilling to punish the overtly guilty, and damn well gonna still claim their election was valid even after they have proven to have not been LEGALLY and RIGHTLY elected.

    How many Acorn criminals were pursued for turning in fraudulent registration and absentee ballots by the dozens and hundreds. Cases in which enabled “somebody” other than the real live person that when asked if they voted or if the signature on a registration were theirs emphatically said no.

    Democrats trade in voter fraud. You know it will not matter if a large percentage can be proven fraud. Because you bank on the likelihood that when it counts there will be enough good registrations and votes salted in, and too many fraudulent ones to check in depth after the election. Which is when you claim the all important right of the votes that are legitimate to be counted, surely outweigh the value of delaying the certification of an election just to toss out a few fraudulent one’s anyway. But, what about the right’s of all those you just invalidated by injecting and obfuscating the fraud so it cannot be detected until well after the election you just stole?

    And, then such as , AL Franken, years later is shown to have benefited enough to have tipped him into victory from just one small subsection of the frauds illegally cast votes by legal resident, non-citizens (Washington Post last week). But, nothing will be done, it is too late. And, as an incumbent he will likely win re-election despite his abysmal performance. But hey, NICE STOLEN SEAT!

    “Chicago Alderman Leslie Hairston (D) posted a message to Facebook which asked voters to bring in their voting receipt after casting a ballot. According to Hairston, doing so would enter the voter in a lottery which would award gift cards to area stores, fast-food joints, and chain restaurants as well as an untold number of VISA cash cards worth up to $100.

    If you’re thinking that sounds really, really, illegal, you’re right. It’s a clear violation of election law and a Class IV felony.”

    “• “Marquette University students were seen taking 10 or more ballots at a time.” A survey of 1,000 students by the campus Marquette Tribune found 174 who said they voted more than once. “Students said that identification was rarely checked . . . (and) they picked up extra ballots or were handed multiple ballots and voted on all of them.”

    • “Poll workers told a voter to “vote Democrat.’ ”

    • “A poll worker at the door was reported saying, “If you’re voting for Bush, you might as well leave.’ ”

    • After one student told ABC News he voted four times, Marquette President Robert Wild was “shocked, disappointed and frankly angered.” A news story pointed out that voter fraud can get you 4 1/4-years in prison and a $1,000 fine. The student quickly retracted his story.”

    AND, in Georgia, your fraudulent friends have worked so hard to help the disenfranchised that they are going the extra mile to forge the signatures for them!

    1. Matt Campbell, you might not be aware of this but wordpress is configured to reject comments having more than two hyperlinks. If you would like the views to review more than two links, you can do so by using additional comments. I have dereferenced one of the hyperlinks so it would publish.

  3. rafflaw – “Jim22,
    the alleged example of fraud that you link from Fox News is actually vote fraud which is not dealt with by these voter id laws.”

    Never wrote that it did. I was just pointing out that I don’t trust the dems.

  4. “Governor Christie pushed further into the contentious debate over voting rights than ever before, saying Tuesday that Republicans need to win gubernatorial races this year so that they’re the ones controlling “voting mechanisms” going into the next presidential election ”

    Yep those darn democrats, oh whioops this is another rep talking about his party politically effecting the vote..-

  5. wrxdave,
    The student ID’s are not east to obtain and your comparison to getting a Costco card is fallacious.
    the alleged example of fraud that you link from Fox News is actually vote fraud which is not dealt with by these voter id laws.
    Do you really expect anyone to believe Mr. O’Keefe? He is a proven liar and manipulates his films to take out the truth.

  6. I would remind those debating gerrymandering that those lines are drawn and redrawn by the States, and the only tend to favor the party in power in the given state. If you think they only favor Republicans you are not familiar with California or New York, if you think they only favor Democrats you don’t know Texas.

    If you accept Student ID you might as well accept Costco cards or Six Flags Season passes, they have pictures too. They are all about equally easy to get or produce.

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