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TobiasFunke

Voter Suppression

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This has long been an issue discussed in other threads but I think it deserves its own thread.  Two big stories today highlighting what I consider voter suppression tactics that may influence close elections.

A North Dakota law requiring registrants to have street addresses was allowed to stand by Supreme Court (link). The law disproportionately affects Native American voters in the state, who often use PO Boxes as their mailing address and who carried Democratic senator Heidi Heitkamp to a narrow win in 2012.

The Georgia Secretary of State, who is also the GOP candidate for Governor in a very close race, conducted a massive purge of the voter rolls based on an "exact match" process where the name must be a perfect match to a name on file with the SSA or the DMV (link). The move disproportionately affected African American- the list of voter registrations "on hold" are nearly 70% black according to reports. The Democratic candidate for governor is an African-American woman.

 

Not long ago, increasing voter participation was considered a noble non-partisan goal.  Everyone across the country was pleased when turnout was up, and when it went down it was a national issue that we all wanted to fix.  What has happened? I have my own ideas but I want to see what others think. Does anyone want to defend either of these state policies?

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6 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

Not long ago, increasing voter participation was considered a noble non-partisan goal.  Everyone across the country was pleased when turnout was up, and when it went down it was a national issue that we all wanted to fix.  

When was this?  

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1 minute ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

When was this?  

Not that long ago.  Mid-1800s.

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They are going the same route as the anti choice folks. Death by a thousand cuts. 

How you can make a rational argument that denying 100's of thousands of American citizens the vote to stop a micro percentage of illegal voters they have tried to show and can't. Kobach couldn't find but a handful in KS and he kept 30,000 people off the roles. larger tha the margin of his primary victory and likely larger than the margin of the final race. 

It is literally the most Un-American thing I can think of. I'd have more respect for a good honest criminal.     

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4 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

When was this?  

Perhaps I'm remembering things through rose-colored glasses.  But I feel like there was lots of hand-wringing across the board when participation dipped in 1996 and 2000, and it was broadly viewed as a good thing when it went back up over the next couple elections.

Edited by TobiasFunke

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7 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

This has long been an issue discussed in other threads but I think it deserves its own thread.

That's @timschochet line, not yours.

8 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

Does anyone want to defend either of these state policies?

I agree with Ginsburg's dissent.  I have to.  Because I argued the same thing (from a much, much, much smaller perch when something similar happened right before an election here in New Jersey with Bob Torricelli.  So I have to be consistent.  I'm not usually a huge fan of structural changes to voting laws close to an election.  Just reeks of an attack on democratic systems.  As for the policy itself; I don't know enough about that state's inner workings to make an intelligent argument beyond saying that if there is no carve out or secondary process in place to make sure citizens effected by this law can't fix their records to be able to vote, then that is a massive problem.

On the Georgia thing; if I had to list all the typographical mistakes I've seen in letters I have received from governmental entities I would break this server.  And we are supposed to rely on various state level agencies in Georgia to match information with Social Security and DMV - DM effing V?  Seriously?  You walk into any DMV in the country and half the workers there can't spell DMV without looking.  Yes, that is mean.  But it's true in the totally non-serious comedic way I meant it to be.

 

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13 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

Not long ago, increasing voter participation was considered a noble non-partisan goal.  Everyone across the country was pleased when turnout was up, and when it went down it was a national issue that we all wanted to fix.  What has happened? I have my own ideas but I want to see what others think. Does anyone want to defend either of these state policies?

I won't defend either of these particular policies because they seem to have no purpose other than to discriminate against minorities, but I don't think increasing voter participation is a good thing, and I think it's a good idea to discourage the shiftless and ignorant from voting. 

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If those impacted were anything like me, the perpetrators would have to look over their shoulder everywhere they went from this day forward.

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48 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

Not that long ago.  Mid-1800s.

I'm pretty sure there was a lot of voter suppression going on in the Mid-1800s

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Seemingly good summary of the North Dakota case

yes disproportional impact on Native Americans and homeless.  yikes, no advanced voter registration in North Dakota.  No link as to how or why the 8th Circuit put the District Court order fixing the law "on hold."  PO Box was good enough for the primary but now wont be good enough for the main election.  

Here's the Eighth Circuit opinion granting the stay.  

FML I need to read Crawford, heavily relied upon in this opinion.  And in particular the opinion of one STEVENS, J.  Who just replaced that guy?

Edited by munga30
added the stay

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It changed when one party figured out they had a bigger and bigger piece of a smaller and smaller pie. And since they were ideologically bankrupt they had nothing to offer to gain a bigger piece of the other pie so they had to find ways to make sure that their piece of the pie had more power it's pretty simple actually.

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A "Conservative" talk show host in the Milwaukee area made some comments during his show a couple days ago on Columbus Day. Using his words and extrapolating what argument he tried to make, when the Europeans came here, they were nice to the Indians because Europeans made deals with the Indians to secure the Indians some land. After all, the radio host argued, the Indians did not own all of the land but instead used only parts of the land. So, the deals, that the Indians agreed to make, were in fact, agreed to, and the Indians keep asking for more and more and more.

Extrapolating this kind of reasoning leads me to believe that if current "Conservatives" were able to get their way, they may start to call Native Americans by what they truly, really are in a "Conservative" mind, and that new name / title is "Illegal Native Americans". Thus, they should not be able to vote because they should be happy we allow them to call themselves Americans.

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2 hours ago, TobiasFunke said:

A North Dakota law requiring registrants to have street addresses was allowed to stand by Supreme Court (link).

Fwiw it’s a 6-2 denial of a petition to vacate, and Ginsburg is saying that the sudden changing of the rules just prior to the election promoted electoral confusion, and I agree with that. She wasn’t opining on the merits. However apparently *20% (?!?) of the electorate could be affected which is astounding. Something is really screwy with a law that could affect that many people in an election less than a month before it occurs. I’m all for giving people a way to register short of it being automatic, but the State shouldn’t put up obstacles which make it impossible for citizens to participate based on a technicality.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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1 hour ago, Mario Kart said:

A "Conservative" talk show host in the Milwaukee area made some comments during his show a couple days ago on Columbus Day. Using his words and extrapolating what argument he tried to make, when the Europeans came here, they were nice to the Indians because Europeans made deals with the Indians to secure the Indians some land. After all, the radio host argued, the Indians did not own all of the land but instead used only parts of the land. So, the deals, that the Indians agreed to make, were in fact, agreed to, and the Indians keep asking for more and more and more.

Extrapolating this kind of reasoning leads me to believe that if current "Conservatives" were able to get their way, they may start to call Native Americans by what they truly, really are in a "Conservative" mind, and that new name / title is "Illegal Native Americans". Thus, they should not be able to vote because they should be happy we allow them to call themselves Americans.

Who?

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11 hours ago, Mario Kart said:

A "Conservative" talk show host in the Milwaukee area made some comments during his show a couple days ago on Columbus Day. Using his words and extrapolating what argument he tried to make, when the Europeans came here, they were nice to the Indians because Europeans made deals with the Indians to secure the Indians some land. After all, the radio host argued, the Indians did not own all of the land but instead used only parts of the land. So, the deals, that the Indians agreed to make, were in fact, agreed to, and the Indians keep asking for more and more and more.

Extrapolating this kind of reasoning leads me to believe that if current "Conservatives" were able to get their way, they may start to call Native Americans by what they truly, really are in a "Conservative" mind, and that new name / title is "Illegal Native Americans". Thus, they should not be able to vote because they should be happy we allow them to call themselves Americans.

Now this is a real example of what you falsely accuse me of.   You are taking a statement from one conservative and then going on to assume this is what all conservatives think.  And then you take it even one step further and project a more ridiculous idea than what was actually stated onto all conservatives.   This is a prime example of both trolling and truly  horrendous posting.  

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1 hour ago, jon_mx said:

Now this is a real example of what you falsely accuse me of.   You are taking a statement from one conservative and then going on to assume this is what all conservatives think.  And then you take it even one step further and project a more ridiculous idea than what was actually stated onto all conservatives.   This is a prime example of both trolling and truly  horrendous posting.  

Your argument is not with me but the mouth pieces of the Conservative party. If you do not agree with the stereotypes that the conservative commentators say, it is your job to clean up your own house. Because he is able to explain to people what I tried to convey above, with little to no, disagreement, people that listen to him will parrot/believe what they hear. That is why many people listen to conservative talk radio... they like being told how to think and not question the speaker (maybe not you).

There are many examples I could use as far as "cleaning up your own house" that conservatives have used in my lifetime alone. The game they play is sad, pathetic, hateful, and is turning into a major detriment to our society than it is helping. Maybe you have changed a bit, I don't know, but to sit at your computer and call me a troll... that is funny.

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13 hours ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Fwiw it’s a 6-2 denial of a petition to vacate, and Ginsburg is saying that the sudden changing of the rules just prior to the election promoted electoral confusion, and I agree with that. She wasn’t opining on the merits. However apparently *20% (?!?) of the electorate could be affected which is astounding. Something is really screwy with a law that could affect that many people in an election less than a month before it occurs. I’m all for giving people a way to register short of it being automatic, but the State shouldn’t put up obstacles which make it impossible for citizens to participate based on a technicality.

Yeah I was more troubled by the law itself than by the decision; I just didn't know about the law until the decision. Which is also a problem. This should be a bigger issue.

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15 hours ago, TobiasFunke said:

This has long been an issue discussed in other threads but I think it deserves its own thread.  Two big stories today highlighting what I consider voter suppression tactics that may influence close elections.

A North Dakota law requiring registrants to have street addresses was allowed to stand by Supreme Court (link). The law disproportionately affects Native American voters in the state, who often use PO Boxes as their mailing address and who carried Democratic senator Heidi Heitkamp to a narrow win in 2012.

The Georgia Secretary of State, who is also the GOP candidate for Governor in a very close race, conducted a massive purge of the voter rolls based on an "exact match" process where the name must be a perfect match to a name on file with the SSA or the DMV (link). The move disproportionately affected African American- the list of voter registrations "on hold" are nearly 70% black according to reports. The Democratic candidate for governor is an African-American woman.

 

Not long ago, increasing voter participation was considered a noble non-partisan goal.  Everyone across the country was pleased when turnout was up, and when it went down it was a national issue that we all wanted to fix.  What has happened? I have my own ideas but I want to see what others think. Does anyone want to defend either of these state policies?

So I finally got around to reading the 8th Circuit's opinion.

Summary: North Dakota does not have voter registration requirements.  Any person can show up at the polling place with an ID and vote.  North Dakota changed the voter ID requirements from a "mailing address" to a "residential address".  Thus eliminating a person from using a PO Box as proof of State residency.  If a person does not have an ID with a "residential address" they may supplement their ID with things like a utility bill, bank statements, checks, paychecks or any document issued by a federal, state or local government.  If the voter can't provide proper ID they can still vote, but their vote will be set aside and the voter will have 6 days to present the proper ID.

The court said, "A voter need only show where he or she resides.  North Dakota, having adopted a system that requires no advance voter registration, maintains a legitimate interest in requiring identification and a showing of current residence to prevent voter fraud and to safeguard voter confidence."  They went on to say that using a mailing address could cause voters to vote in the wrong Districts and effect outcomes of local elections.  They finally noted that, "[a]ny North Dakota resident who might have relied on the district court's order allowing a voter to present identification with a mailing addresses (sic) has more than a month to adapt to the statute's requirement to present identification, or a supplemental document, with a current residential street address."  They ended that, "a resident who does not have a 'current residential street address' will never be qualified to vote.  No plaintiff in this case falls in that category.  If any resident of North Dakota lacks a current residential street address and is denied the opportunity to vote on that basis, the courthouse doors remain open."

Don't see a problem with this law because it doesn't adversely affect Native Americans because the Court found that 2,305 Native American's lacked qualifying identification and also lacked supplemental identification.  The opinion stated, "To remedy these concerns about obtaining identification, the court ordered the Secretary to accept various documents issued by a tribal authority to a tribal member.  The Secretary does not seek to stay these portions of the injunction."

So in order for a Native American in North Dakota to vote they can either: 1.) provide ID with a residential address; or 2.) provide ID and a supplement document showing a residential address; or 3.) provide a document from a tribal authority.  Where's the problem here?  You want to vote, go to your tribal authority and have them create a document saying you're a resident of the State of North Dakota.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

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I wonder.  Federal dollars follow census counts.  States therefore have an incentive to count all of their citizens for each census.  Perhaps we can create some linkage to an "enumerated person" and voter registration.  maybe it would help with complete counts and getting folks registered if they could do both at the same time.  Maybe if states declined to register folks that disenfranchised voter ought to be able to remove themselves from the state census roles as well, denying the state federal dollars.

 

I hae not really thought this through, and it would only be one response, not a comprehensive fix, but I am thinking there may be some merit here.

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21 minutes ago, Snotbubbles said:

  Where's the problem here?  You want to vote, go to your tribal authority and have them create a document saying you're a resident of the State of North Dakota.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

Why is this necessary? Why do these people have to go through extra hoops to vote? 

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4 minutes ago, Snotbubbles said:

Don't see a problem with this law because it doesn't adversely affect Native Americans because the Court found that 2,305 Native American's lacked qualifying identification and also lacked supplemental identification.  The opinion stated, "To remedy these concerns about obtaining identification, the court ordered the Secretary to accept various documents issued by a tribal authority to a tribal member.  The Secretary does not seek to stay these portions of the injunction."

So in order for a Native American in North Dakota to vote they can either: 1.) provide ID with a residential address; or 2.) provide ID and a supplement document showing a residential address; or 3.) provide a document from a tribal authority.  Where's the problem here?  You want to vote, go to your tribal authority and have them create a document saying you're a resident of the State of North Dakota.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

The problems are essentially the same as the problems other voter suppression measures. Whether it's easy or not in your opinion is pretty much irrelevant. The problems are (1) is it harder than it needs to be?  and (2) is it harder for certain demographics than others in a way that seems designed to tilt the playing field?

The answer in this case seems to be yes to both.

On the first one- the stated rationale for the change in the law is that "using a mailing address could cause voters to vote in the wrong Districts and effect outcomes of local elections," but this seems silly to me. Nobody is going to have a PO Box address on their ID of some post office 100 miles away. If you're gonna change the law in a way that makes it harder to vote you should address actual problems and give examples, not hypothetical ones. And in any event it's not like this is a solution to the hypothetical problem- I suspect far more people vote in the wrong precinct because they have an outdated address on a driver's license rather than because they've listed a PO Box instead of a street address.

The second one is fairly obvious- it's obviously harder for large numbers of Native Americans who don't use street addresses than it is for everyone else. You might think it's not that big of a burden to bring a supplemental document proving your residential address or from a tribal authority, but it's way more of a burden than some white guy in the suburbs of Fargo whose driver's license has a street address (like 99.9% of the rest of us white guys) will face if he wants to vote. Any time you make voting harder for one demographic than another, you're shifting the electorate.  That's not OK even if it's unintentional, but the GOP lost the benefit of the doubt on this stuff a long time ago.

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9 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Why is this necessary? Why do these people have to go through extra hoops to vote? 

To prevent voter fraud.  Read the opinion.

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Just now, Snotbubbles said:

To prevent voter fraud.  Read the opinion.

What voter fraud? In North Dakota? Lol

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9 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

The problems are essentially the same as the problems other voter suppression measures. Whether it's easy or not in your opinion is pretty much irrelevant. The problems are (1) is it harder than it needs to be?  and (2) is it harder for certain demographics than others in a way that seems designed to tilt the playing field?

The answer in this case seems to be yes to both.

On the first one- the stated rationale for the change in the law is that "using a mailing address could cause voters to vote in the wrong Districts and effect outcomes of local elections," but this seems silly to me. Nobody is going to have a PO Box address on their ID of some post office 100 miles away. If you're gonna change the law in a way that makes it harder to vote you should address actual problems and give examples, not hypothetical ones. And in any event it's not like this is a solution to the hypothetical problem- I suspect far more people vote in the wrong precinct because they have an outdated address on a driver's license rather than because they've listed a PO Box instead of a street address.

The second one is fairly obvious- it's obviously harder for large numbers of Native Americans who don't use street addresses than it is for everyone else. You might think it's not that big of a burden to bring a supplemental document proving your residential address or from a tribal authority, but it's way more of a burden than some white guy in the suburbs of Fargo whose driver's license has a street address (like 99.9% of the rest of us white guys) will face if he wants to vote. Any time you make voting harder for one demographic than another, you're shifting the electorate.  That's not OK even if it's unintentional, but the GOP lost the benefit of the doubt on this stuff a long time ago.

It wouldn't really be hard at all.  There are only 2,305 Native Americans that can't meet "residential address" requirements.  The Native Americans were a small subset of the people who couldn't meet the requirement.  But, the court knew who these people were, I'd assume the tribal council should know as well.  The council could send the required documentation to their "mailing address" with instructions to bring this document to the polling place.  

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

What voter fraud? In North Dakota? Lol

With the new requirements, not anymore.  Lol.

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Here's an example of a voting law that would have the opposite effect, so Republicans can understand what it looks like when your side is being victimized by voter suppression:

Let's say Pennsylvania passes a law stating that polling places are to be designated entirely by population density- one polling location per 500 people or whatever.  Geography cannot be considered. The stated rationale is that we don't want long lines at the polls. But what we actually want to do is make it relatively easier for people in downtown Philly to vote than people in rural Pennsylvania. I could tell you that having to drive 30 minutes each way to vote is easy peasy lemon squeezy- in fact it seems easier to me than remembering to save your utility bill two weeks before election day, or tracking down a tribal leader and getting a document from him, and then remembering to bring it with you to the polls. But in reality, people who have to drive 30 minutes each way to the polls are gonna vote far less often than people who can walk a half-block to the polls. Would Republicans be OK with that?

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1 minute ago, Snotbubbles said:

With the new requirements, not anymore.  Lol.

What do you mean “not anymore”? Was there any before? 

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2 minutes ago, Snotbubbles said:

It wouldn't really be hard at all.  There are only 2,305 Native Americans that can't meet "residential address" requirements.  The Native Americans were a small subset of the people who couldn't meet the requirement.  But, the court knew who these people were, I'd assume the tribal council should know as well.  The council could send the required documentation to their "mailing address" with instructions to bring this document to the polling place.  

You still haven’t explained why these people should go through hoops that you don’t have to go through. 

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38 minutes ago, Snotbubbles said:

So in order for a Native American in North Dakota to vote they can either: 1.) provide ID with a residential address; or 2.) provide ID and a supplement document showing a residential address; or 3.) provide a document from a tribal authority.  Where's the problem here?  You want to vote, go to your tribal authority and have them create a document saying you're a resident of the State of North Dakota.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

Fearmongering.  There was much the same said about Alabama's voter ID law, with the requisite screaming about who it would affect, etc.  Turns out it didn't have any effect at all in the last election.  But it's good for a sound byte on the front end, crickets on the back end.  SOP.

 

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8 minutes ago, Snotbubbles said:

It wouldn't really be hard at all.  There are only 2,305 Native Americans that can't meet "residential address" requirements.  The Native Americans were a small subset of the people who couldn't meet the requirement.  But, the court knew who these people were, I'd assume the tribal council should know as well.  The council could send the required documentation to their "mailing address" with instructions to bring this document to the polling place.  

If this is truly the case then they are already recognized as legal residents of the state. Why make it more difficult for them to vote? Don't say fraud because you know that's a false narrative.

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11 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

Let's say Pennsylvania passes a law stating that polling places are to be designated entirely by population density- one polling location per 500 people or whatever.  Geography cannot be considered. 

Do we really want voting to occur in parking lots, the middle of a forest, in a stream?  Do they make waterproof voting machines?

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A flurry of recent voter registrations in Texas submitted through vote.org are being thrown out because they used digital signatures.  There is no law or regulation specifying the registration signature has to be handwritten, but that hasn’t stopped claims of fraud from the Texas GOP.  

I’m sure it’s just coincidence that the demographic most likely to use digital signatures are first-time voters in their teens and 20s, a demo that leans left.  

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6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

What do you mean “not anymore”? Was there any before? 

I don't know, read the North Dakota legislature minutes on the issue. 

Here's what the court wrote, "We are satisfied that the State would be irreparably harmed without a stay.  if the Secretary must accept forms of identification that list only a mailing address, such as a post office box, then voters could cast a ballot in the precinct and dilute the votes of those who reside in the precinct.  Enough wrong-precinct voters could even affect the outcome of a local election...The inability to require proof of a residential street address in North Dakota also opens the possibility of fraud by voters who have obtained a North Dakota form of identification but reside in another State while maintaining a mailing address in North Dakota to vote."

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Any stupid reason will suffice when it comes to voter suppression by the GOP.......voter suppression is un-american to the core. Especially when camouflaged as a way to combat non-existent fraud.

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10 minutes ago, Sand said:

Fearmongering.  There was much the same said about Alabama's voter ID law, with the requisite screaming about who it would affect, etc.  Turns out it didn't have any effect at all in the last election.  But it's good for a sound byte on the front end, crickets on the back end.  SOP.

 

How do you know this? Are you talking about Jones winning?  Maybe (probably) he would have won by more without the voter id laws.

There's definitely some fearmongering going on here, but I'd say it's being done by the people who invented a fiction about widespread voter fraud as a justification for their push for limit minority participation in elections.

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7 minutes ago, Ruffrodys05 said:

If this is truly the case then they are already recognized as legal residents of the state. Why make it more difficult for them to vote? Don't say fraud because you know that's a false narrative.

But there will be future elections.  So the 2,305 people on the list will change.  The prevention isn't just for one election, it's for all future elections.

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16 minutes ago, Sand said:

Fearmongering.  There was much the same said about Alabama's voter ID law, with the requisite screaming about who it would affect, etc.  Turns out it didn't have any effect at all in the last election.  But it's good for a sound byte on the front end, crickets on the back end.  SOP.

 

The real fearmongering going on continues to be the over-the-top concerns about non-existent voter fraud. The odd ineligible voter slipping through doesn't justify making it tougher to vote for marginalized citizens.

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Just now, TobiasFunke said:

How do you know this? Are you talking about Jones winning?  Maybe (probably) he would have won by more without the voter id laws.

Yes, there was a good size article about it.  I posted it way back when in one of these threads.  Our law showed no delta in turnout in that Senate election.

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3 minutes ago, Snotbubbles said:

I don't know, read the North Dakota legislature minutes on the issue. 

Here's what the court wrote, "We are satisfied that the State would be irreparably harmed without a stay.  if the Secretary must accept forms of identification that list only a mailing address, such as a post office box, then voters could cast a ballot in the precinct and dilute the votes of those who reside in the precinct.  Enough wrong-precinct voters could even affect the outcome of a local election...The inability to require proof of a residential street address in North Dakota also opens the possibility of fraud by voters who have obtained a North Dakota form of identification but reside in another State while maintaining a mailing address in North Dakota to vote."

When politicians say something "could" happen it probably means they weren't able to find any examples of it actually happening.

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18 minutes ago, Sand said:

Fearmongering.  There was much the same said about Alabama's voter ID law, with the requisite screaming about who it would affect, etc.  Turns out it didn't have any effect at all in the last election.  But it's good for a sound byte on the front end, crickets on the back end.  SOP.

 

It wasn’t fearmongering at all. African Americans went through incredible efforts to overcome the new restrictions and help Doug Jones win. But they shouldn’t have had to. Those laws were, and remain, ridiculous. 

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