Since the 2012 election, a wave of Voter ID laws have been passed in the states. While there has not been any widespread cases of voter fraud identified, let alone prosecuted, these states consider it pre-emptive protection. Or is it Poll Taxes and Literacy Tests all over again? Pre 1965, states used the concept of a “Literacy Test” as a way to ensure that citizens who voted had a basic civic education prior to voting. Except the difficulty of said tests were such that poorer educated blacks routinely failed the tests until the NAACP started classes.
Wisconsin is cool with your Driver’s License… which doesn’t help you if you are a citizen who just happens to be poorer and car-less. That’s ok, there are plenty of other ID options, starting with a real estate tax bill. That is, if you happen to own your property. Since you don’t have a car, that’s not real likely. You can also produce a bank statement. But… a lot of poor don’t utilize banks and deal primarily in cash. But hey, Wisconsin is here to help! Just click right here for other “approved documents“!
Be patient, you have to click another THREE times to land on the right page. And once you do get to the page that explains the Voter ID law, you do not see anywhere on the page the “other approved documents.”
Confusing? Of course… almost as if… by design?
This past week in Wisconsin, university students found that newly passed Voter ID laws made their university ID’s no longer valid to prove who they said they were, unless they also brought with them proof of enrollment. Evidently there is a rash of kids posing as Wisconsin college students so bring more proof kids! The desire to be a college kid in Wisconsin, well it must be all those national championships in… in… in… never mind.
Could it be that in large numbers these students do not tend to vote for the same party that passed the Voter ID law? Convenient.
The Wisconsin Voter ID law allows college students to vote with their ID, provided that they have accompanying proof of enrollment. And it was effective in stunting some of the turnout, but some college kids waited hours to make sure they could vote.
Meanwhile, you can show up to vote with a slightly expired driver’s license and your photo must only “reasonably resemble you”. Apparently college kids are masters at fake ID’s but as long as your driver’s license just sorta looks like you, that’s ok.
The reality is that when the Constitution was written, there were no photo ID’s. There was also a requirement that you be white, male and own property. Those were the true stakeholders in America, so they should be the voters… or so we thought. But by 1972, the Constitution reflected — in principal — a broader America. All you need to be eligible to vote is to be over 18, a legal citizen and registered to vote (with each state determining how long you need to reside in that state).
In most states, upon registering to vote you sign your name. And when you check into the polls to vote on election day, you sign your name. A matching signature was all that was needed to verify your identity. It should remain such today. All other forms of identification should be used if your signature does not appear to the pollworker to be a close enough match. What are the chances that someone can actually run a significant enough scam to learn to match signatures to throw an election? Technically just one vote could alter an election, but forgery is a talent. Most signatures are not easily duplicated.
It is much more likely that the folks on the other side of the table will be the ones commiting voter fraud (from either party), where a box of ballots goes missing or are filed incorrectly.
We complain that Americans don’t vote… and then find ways to make it harder for them to do just that.