I suspect the answer is no, or at least it should be.

The conservative effort to differentially suppress voter turnout is wholly transparent. We all know that their goal is to assure that people who are likely to vote for Democrats have a harder time getting registered to vote and getting to the polls, and thereby that fewer voting Democrats cast votes. Conservatives do this because they are fully aware that the policies they support, promote, and implement are unpopular, and that the policies they oppose are popular.

In other words, they know they have to cheat to win.

Here is a nice enumeration of the false information conservatives put forth to rationalize their elitist position on voting.

Five myths about voter fraud

by Judith Browne Dianis

In “The Breakfast Club,” a geeky high school student played by Anthony Michael Hall says he procured a fake ID not to buy beer, but to vote. But are new photo ID laws in Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin really necessary to stop widespread fraud like that perpetrated by a John Hughes character? Or are photo ID laws just another conservative scheme to oppress young people and minorities and limit Democratic turnout? Let’s put aside what we think we know about the ballot box and find out.

Five Myths

A semi-weekly feature, hosted by The Post’s Outlook section, aiming to dismantle myths, clarify common misconceptions and make you think again about what you thought you already knew.

1. We need state voter ID laws to prevent fraud.

Prosecutable cases of voter fraud are rare. For example, a 2005 statewide study in Ohio found four instances of ineligible persons voting or attempting to vote in 2002 and 2004, out of 9 million votes cast. An investigation of fraud allegations in Wisconsin in 2004 led to the prosecution of 0.0007 percent of voters. From 2002 to 2005, the Justice Department found, only five people were convicted for voting multiple times. In that same period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for improper voting.

According to Barnard political scientist Lorraine Minnite, most instances of improper voting involve registration and eligibility, such as voters filling out registration forms incorrectly or a person with felony convictions attempting to register. Neither of those issues would be prevented by a state photo ID requirement. According to George Washington University law professor Spencer Overton, a former member of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, “a photo ID requirement would prevent over 1,000 legitimate votes (perhaps over 10,000 legitimate votes) for every single improper vote prevented.”

2. Requiring identification at the polls affects all voters equally.

In The Washington Post, Kansas Secretary of StateKris Kobach recently defended what he called the “reasonable” new photo ID requirements. “It’s absurd to suggest that anyone is ‘disenfranchised’ by such protective measures,” he wrote in July.

He’s wrong. State photo ID restrictions disproportionately affect African Americans, Latinos, young voters, people over 65 and people with disabilities. Advancement Project studies show that 11 percent of eligible voters, or about 21 million people, don’t have updated, state-issued photo IDs: 25 percent of African Americans, 15 percent of those earning less than $35,000, 18 percent of citizens age 65 or older and 20 percent of voters age 18 to 29.

The push for photo ID laws and other restrictions is largely championed by the GOP and conservative groups. Record rates of voter registration and turnout among young and minority voters in 2008 affected federal races across the nation, as about two-thirds of new voters registered as Democrats in the 29 states that record party affiliation. The 2010 midterms put more conservatives in office who want to combat this trend. The right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council, for example, drafted and promoted photo ID legislation that was introduced in more than 30 states.

3. The new laws are cheap for states and voters.

The Advancement Project’s report “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” shows that taxpayers will bear the costs of these measures — more than $20 million in North Carolina, for example, to educate voters and provide free IDs to those without them, as the state’s law requires. This hurts states that are facing big budget constraints. For voters, even if an ID is free, getting the documents to obtain it can be expensive and difficult.

Many states require at least four original forms of identification to obtain a photo ID — documents such as a certified birth certificate, marriage or divorce record, adoption record, a Social Security card, or naturalization papers. A birth certificate in Texas costs $22, a U.S. passport costs as much as $145, and naturalization papers can run up to $200. People born out of state who lack transportation, work multiple jobs, have disabilities, or are home-bound or poor can’t access or afford this paperwork.

Now that many states have reduced hours and locations of motor vehicle departments and other agencies because of budget cutbacks, getting an ID can be a battle. In Wisconsin, 25 percent of DMV offices are open one day a month or less, and fewer than half are open at least 20 hours a week. What can prospective voters who have to work or care for their children during these limited hours do but go without?

4. There’s no way to fight photo ID restrictions.

Though the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana photo ID requirement in 2008, that law passed muster in part because the state provided some voters with free identification. New laws in states where employee or student IDs can’t be used to register to vote — such as Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee and South Carolina — are stricter.

Under the Voting Rights Act, states with a long history of voting discrimination, mainly in the South, must obtain the approval of the Justice Departmentor the D.C. District Court to change their voting practices. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s Indiana precedent, the Justice Department could reject new voter ID laws in South Carolina, Alabama and Texas. The department also enforces Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits any state from implementing a discriminatory voting practice. In Wisconsin — where 55 percent of African American men and 49 percent of African American women lack state identification — preliminary data indicate that the photo ID law could be racially discriminatory. If the Justice Department agrees, it could stop the law’s implementation.

5. Perpetrators of voting fraud don’t face serious legal consequences.

Both federal and state laws include stiff fines and imprisonment for voter fraud. Under federal law, perpetrators face up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000 for each act of fraud. In Alabama, voter fraud is punishable by up to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine. In Wisconsin, the punishment is up to 31 / 2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Missouri imposes a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. And in Texas, the maximum prison sentence is 10 years.

Kimberly Prude of Wisconsin spent more than a year in jail after being convicted of voting while on probation, which she attributes to her confusion over her eligibility. Usman Ali, a Pakistani, was deported after improperly filling out a voter registration card while renewing his driver’s license in Florida, where he had lived legally for more than 10 years. How can anyone suggest that the authorities aren’t on top of voter fraud — or that new ID laws aren’t motivated by politics?

Judith Browne Dianis, a lawyer, is co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization focusing on issues of democracy and race.

Original post on the Washington Post

46 Responses to “Is Anyone Fooled?”

  1. Gov. Beverly Perdue will address Carolina’s most prominent civil rights organization at the group’s 68th annual convention in High Point.

  2. mer passarasel says:

    ” And what do you say about this republican conservative also an atheist?”–A Republican conservative atheist? lol! As a liberal, democrat christian, I say loony on both counts!

  3. mulleresse sta says:

    “Voting the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too-mentally-impaired to function, cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights — that’s suppression by any light. If you doubt it exists, I don’t; I’ve heard the peddlers of these ballots brag about it, I’ve been asked to provide the funds for it, and I am confident it has changed at least a few close local election results.” Davis, Black Democrat Congressman who admits voter ID is needed.

  4. sani hase says:

    GOP looks suspicious trying to suppress votes, makes people wonder why they’re desperate.Voter suppression will drive voters TO Pres, Obama.

  5. wegennison says:


    descent Music Listeners, you rock

    On 28th NOVEMBER we will all be visiting Justin Biebers “One Time” video

    which has over 160 million views.

    On that day everyone must flag, leave a negative comment and dislike the video.

    Help us destroy this modern autotune music that has ruled the world. The goal is to make the dislike bar bigger than the like bar.

    Copy and paste this to good vids:ANYTHING GOOD! Thumbs up this plan. THUMBS IT UP!

  6. andash kopalachoo says:

    Just a reminder that our Sign Up To Equality competition closes TONIGHT at midnight. Sign up soon if you want to win!

  7. innenbaugh kehl says:

    Justice Secretary reveals that Britain is poised strike a deal to overhaul the controversial human rights to stop it being used by “every individual who has lost his own case”.

  8. Still nada on twitter or MSM re SWAT raid on Arewine. Hope Dems tweeps get how imp Voter suppression is to 2012.

  9. staab bart says:


  10. What does Dr Snipes not understand by “all FL counties should operate under the same voter laws!!! It does not say all but 5 designated counties..

  11. if you want to continue living in Disneyworld, go right ahead. If you think the u.s. govt. is all ponies and cotton candy, good for you. Keep thinking that way. Ignorance is bliss. Korea is split so that Korea end up becoming a commie ally for the Reds. Who do you think places trade restrictions on Korea?

    Its great to hear a stupid response on a Sunday morning.

  12. Activist Asma Darwish to the Int Human Rights Orgs: Help Zainab AK and the other 25 women who are detained in

  13. gymancesen bold says:

    miamiherald: Cuba’s Ladies in White dissident group paid homage to their late leader while observing International Human Rights Day at her home Saturday, surrounded by a jeering pro-government crowd for a second straight day. –

  14. When I listen to some of these crazy Paultards, I think maybe not *all* voter suppression would be so bad. –

  15. miloch lance says:

    A true civil rights leader who left us to soon from a coward racist guy who shot him from back like a dog!!!

  16. bropparapo fabrahimak says:

    What does Dr Snipes not understand by “all FL counties should operate under the same voter laws!!! It does not say all but 5 designated counties..

  17. homacion gorthole says:

    Beware Asian American people or the Banana Chinese, America migth restate the anti chinese exclusion act again; Rocky Spring or Clove MOVE YOUR MONEY OUT OF AMERICA!!! The American dont like you being here!!!!

  18. This piece makes me cry every time that I listen to it, it just contains so much emotion and passion, bravo, bravo!!

  19. strease barbon says:

    Same Sex Marriage bill passes Washington State Senate, expected to pass the House and be signed into law! Making equality reality.

  20. Maine GOP ldrs committed obvious fraud in not counting caucus votes. This is what ctry will get if GOP wins on voter suppression laws. –

  21. Extraordinary victory 4 the ppl of MD 2day & a critical step forward in the march 4 marriage equality nationwide!

  22. I’m the only black person in my class and we’re talking about MLK, ironic how we discuss equality yet the entire room is against me…

  23. Todays meditation is dedicated to standing up for enforcement of human rights & laws for the equality of women & girls.

  24. is insane. VoterID is not “voter suppression.” What baton-wielding, racist NBPP did in Philly in ’08 is “voter suppression.”

  25. comlada irizzi says:

    Talk – It’s the right thing for Pres. Obama to marriage equality. However the people most VOCIFEROUS that he do so will be+

  26. barronley yarunerala says:

    i’ll pay a visit to sweden on monday for a panel discussion re school choice, equality and quality in stockholm

  27. petroux says:

    It is almost beyond belief this kill list is sanctioned by a Nobel Peace Prize winner who ran on a human rights platform. -Yvonne Ridley

  28. charamaci masserving says:

    Even if opponents of marriage equality agree to a conscience vote, some backers think legislation would still fail.

    read more

  29. by Jeff Davis How can any White person in this country not yet understand that we live in a tyranny that denies our people the most basic of human rights? A Reuters “A Cincinnati landlord found to have violated state anti-discrimination laws after she hung a ‘white only’ sign outside her swimming pool […]

  30. ings ovedt says:

    By Bhaskar Roy When prisoner of conscience for a cumulative 18 years Aung San Suu Kyi received her Nobel Prize for Peace in Oslo’s town hall on June 15, a loud warning went to Myanmar’s autocratic neighbour that democracy and human rights will break the shackles of coercive governments. Ms. Suu Kyi was awarded the […]

    To continue reading this click on the headline.

  31. libcom.org (blog)

    Akram Rikhawi passes 100th day of hunger strike
    libcom.org (blog)
    Physicians for Human Rights-Israel that Rikhawi currently suffers from diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, glaucoma, kidney problems and immune deficiency. The Palestinian prisoner network Addameer Quote: …
    and more »

  32. avelewitz says:

    RIP Thelma McWilliams Glass, a civil rights pioneer who helped organize Montgomery bus boycott. We thank you from the bottom of our

  33. GOP Voter Suppression activities, alone enough to get them voted out of office like the KKK wannabes they really are. Th …

  34. Civil Rights leader Julian Bond to discuss Reflections on the American Dream at 7 pm, Sept. 5 GBPAC. h … –

  35. Black History Fact: 1954 Al Sharpton, Jr., minister, civil rights activist, and radio and tv talk show host, was born.

  36. True journalism is dead in this election. Heard more about a tired PBO in 1st debate than Sensata or voter suppression.

  37. Lilly Recognized as One of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality
    For the seventh consecutive year, Eli Lilly and Company has received a 100 percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI) — one of three honors the company recently has earned for lesbian, gay, bisexual and …
    and more »

  38. Let’s not call Morsi the new Pharaoh. Ancient Egyptians had many more civil/human rights than Egyptians would under an Islamist dictator 😉

  39. GOP Chairs have neither women nor people of color. 1st they do voter suppression N every state where there is GOP gov.

  40. tig cularczek says:

    “This is how I feel. Granted there are abuses on both sides, but Palestine abuses greatly outweigh the abuses of Israel (killing of civilians and such). Much of this conflict continues because Palestine refuses to cooperate with every attempt Israel has made to extend peace talks. Not to mention I am surprised how much of Reddit has taken Palestine side with this. They have a horrible civil rights abuse record and in essence want an extremist religious fundamental state. I believe much of the anti-Israel rhetoric on Reddit is a combination of (successful) racist propaganda, ignorance and “teh j00s is why I’m not a winner”.”

  41. But he scored no points for integrity. If Bloomberg truly believes Carolina voters dealt civil rights a setback, he would’ve condemned voters in 39 other states for previously passing similar laws and constitutional amendments. That list includes traditionally leftist states like Illinois, Hawaii, and Michigan. Even …
    Wesley Spine liked 2012 PD Veep Madness on 8 June 2012 (6 months ago).

  42. RT Michelle Obama accusations of voter suppression. Laura Bush would never behave this way! She’s classy! See JW response.
    h … – http://twitter.com/memberp

  43. ause bergartari says:

    Should criminals on trial be afforded the same human rights, even where he may use the provisions to get off charges? Let me know your view –

  44. yam wolle says:

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional and human rights law, said today’s action by an Iranian convicting and sentencing American Pastor Saeed Abedini for his Christian faith is a travesty…

  45. postane tokazio says:

    2nd term Obama is what the country has been waiting for: immigration, minimum wage, education, gay rights, voter sup …

  46. I believe in equality. If we have five days of school, then we should have five day weekends as well.”

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