Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thom Tillis: Fraud 'not the primary reason' for Voter ID

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In case you missed it, N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis appeared on MSNBC this weekend with a bit of a revelation: Voter fraud is "not the primary reason" for N.C.'s impending voter ID legislation. 

Well, that's a bit of new messaging from Republicans. But it's also progress. As critics of voter ID laws have long said, they solve a problem that doesn't exist - fraud at the polls - while ignoring the fraud that's more likely to occur in registration or absentee ballots.

So if it's not really fraud that North Carolina's legislation is tackling, what will the bill try to accomplish? "We call this restoring confidence in government," Tillis told host Craig Melton.

And people might lack confidence because of ... "the potential risk of fraud," Tillis says.

Got it? No? Let's clear this one up for you. N.C. Republicans are introducing a bill designed to make North Carolinians more confident in the voting process. The reason some voters might not be confident in the voting process is because Republicans manufactured the fiction that voter fraud is a problem.

As we've said here before, we could live with voter ID laws, so long as they ensure that not only are those IDs free, but that the paperwork required to get the IDs (such as birth certificates) is also free and easy to obtain. That way, tens of thousands of N.C. voters are not blocked from casting a ballot.

Or, it might be easier and less costly for N.C. Republicans to just say, "After looking into it, turns out that voter fraud at the polls isn't really an issue. Let's focus on important stuff." That might restore some confidence in government - and also N.C. Republicans.

Peter St. Onge


Todd Isaacs said...
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Archiguy said...

If the Republicans really wanted to focus on actual legitimate voter fraud rather than this fiction they've dreamed up to try and limit the Democrat vote, they should take a look at electronic voting machines.

These machines do not give a paper receipt (like every ATM in the country somehow manages) and are officially exempted from having their source code examined for improprieties. Who insisted on that blatant invitation to cheat? Why, Republicans, of course.

During the 2004 presidential election, many of the Ohio exit polls disagreed with the official tally. Turns out Wally Diebold, president of the company that made the voting machines used in that state, had previously told a group of Ohio Republicans that "he would personally guarantee delivery of the state for George W. Bush". (It's true; look it up.) Every close precinct in Ohio somehow fell Bush's way, defying all laws of probability. And it made for 2 suspect victories in a row for Dubya. The whole country suffered.

You gotta' hand it to the GOP. Creating a complete fiction of voter fraud to marginalize potential Democratic votes while likely committing electronic fraud on a grand scale takes some chutzpah.

Matt M said...

Every voter should get a receipt with an ID number showing their votes. Every pricinct should release an Excel spreadsheet showing who voted and a list of detailed voting information by receipt number.

The biggest problem with voter fraud is when workers vote for people who never show up. Or, ineligible people register and vote.

The Senator of Minnesota was electred through voter fraud - and he was the last vote needed for ObamaCare. So, don't say voter fraud is not a problem.

Unknown said...

If the voting process receives this much press and we feel that it is a very important part of the American way why not require some form of identification. Everything we do in our society from getting your kids into school to leasing an apartment, buying a home, opening a bank account, or even getting into a bar or club requires ID.

You can make a valid case for the following: "If someone can prove who they are in this society with some documenetation, they more than likely won't be voting in the first place." But because this is a Republican and Democrat thing this whole issue has become racial and blown out of proportion.

Unknown said...

*Cant prove

Anonymous said...

Well, of course we know what your primary purpose id-to keep peoplke who don't look like you from votinmg.

Anonymous said...

"Everything we do in our society from getting your kids into school to leasing an apartment, buying a home, opening a bank account, or even getting into a bar or club requires ID."

Everything but buying a semi-automatic assault weapon from an individual.

Greg Palmer said...
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Jim said...

There are 600,000 registered voters in the state of NC without a state photo ID. These people have apparently figured out a way to live their lives without an id. Requiring them to get one to exercise a constitutional right is tantamount to a poll tax and will result in many of these people being disenfranchised. Many don't have birth certificates, many live in rural communities miles from the nearest DMV office, many don't have transportation. As Mr. Tillis is now admitting, the purpose of this law is not to prevent voter fraud, as there are exceedingly few instances of in-person fraud that voter id laws would prevent. The sole purpose is to prevent Democratic-leaning constituencies from voting. You be on the lookout for other laws designed to disenfranchise minorities and the poor, such as limiting early voting.

bobcat99 said...

I understand conservatism. I do not understand the extreme right wing, race-tinted politics of the Republican party in NC and other parts of the South. Tillis and other NC Republicans with national ambitions know they are walking around land mines and they are trying to moderate their views just a bit. Will their party let them do it?

Mark Ranier said...

This whole topic is nuts! There's no logic to it! Identification prior to performance of legal matters is always expected in daily life. The C.O. editors and left-wing bloggers here can't fathom that, and why not? Answ: it's because the non-registered types vote Dem. OMG!

Adolf said...

Of course people need to identify themselves in order to vote. They already have to. The issue with "Voter ID" is to require a type of ID that is difficult for poor people to get. This will translate into fewer poor people who will be allowed to vote, and a (however slight) advantage for Republicans.

There are plenty of ways to identify a person without a "government issued photo ID". If everyone admits fraud is not an issue, they why change the way people identify themselves? We should not, unless we want to give Republicans a boost in the polls.

faithplusnothing said...

If you HAVE to have a drivers license to DRIVE to the poll, what is the big deal????