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State rep: Elderly would be disenfranchised with voter-ID requirement

State Rep. Carlos Henriquez (D-Dorchester) discusses on the House floor one of the reasons he won't be voting for any requirements to force voters to get IDs.

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Comments

Really the elderly don't have ID? They need photo ID to claim most of their elder benefits. Heck, they can't even pick up a prescription without one!

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I've never been asked for ID when picking up a prescription.

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Try buying Sudafed, or the like.

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Drugs that are used to make meth are a relatively small percentage of all drugs, I think.

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That's what you don't get. You cannot be charged for exercising a constitutional right.

Funny how the same people who think voter fraud is a problem - despite ample evidence to the contrary - also violently oppose a national ID card and throw tantrums about having any barriers to gun purchase/ownership.

Maybe the poor should all buy guns and vote with those instead?

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well then if the poor can produce an ID to legally purchase a gun then they could use THAT ID to vote - problem solved!

And, I think those that cry foul over having to carry "papers" around are not the same group that is out purchasing guns.

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unless you're part of a well-regulated militia.

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...we have to produce ID for a thousand and one things - and have managed to obtain them too - but to obtain same for this would be some sort of egregious effort.

You are an A-Hole. Resign now.

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Other things that require ID are not fundamental constitutional rights. If we're going to put up barriers to people exercising their rights then there better be very good reasons to do so. There's no reason to enact a voter ID law.

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How come it is fine to require showing ID to enter a party convention to vote for a primary candidate but not fine to require showing an ID to enter and vote in a general election?

Doesn't one have to prove one is a citizen in order to receive constitutional protections in many cases, such as entering an embassy?

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A party convention to field a candidate. It's a private, party matter.

Once a arty fields a vote for a public position, it's a public matter, and a public right to vote.

Nothing is keeping one individual of a public ballot besides a small number of signatures btw. If someone is not voted in a private primary to run under a party, they always can get on the ballot under a different party, platform, ect.

Time to head back to civics sparky.

Oh wait, we don't teach anything like that in school anymore because it's wasting tax dollars...

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Honestly?! You argue that voting is a constitutional right but that right does not include a blank check. When you register to vote you need to prove that you are indeed ELIGIBLE to vote. You know, things like being a US citizen, being registered in the actual state you live in and not one that you may have just moved from. etc. Rights don't mean a lack of responsibility.

Millions of dollars are being spent by proponents of no ID requirements for voting via lawsuits (legal fees), government support for advocacy groups supporting the same and yet the idea of actually mounting a campaign to identify, contact and assist those that may have no legal ID in getting one (for free) is considered an onerous burden to be compared to Jim Crow laws. Absolute rubbish.

Poll after poll has shown strong support for the simple act of showing one's ID when voting. The blunt fact is that example after example can be found where Democrats of old were openly blunt about the validity of using "repeaters" going back a century and a half.

I was just reading Tip O'Neil's biography where he admits multiple times that Democrat cheating was the norm and he himself pushed and past a law to combat this....ONLY after he had found himself at the short end of the stick himself.

O'Neil mentions (laughingly) of how their was the popular trick in wards that included Chinatown to have local asians vote multiple times by changing their hats. Then there was the old classic doggerel, "Vote often and early for James Michael Curley..."

Even those old time pols never had the convenience of having a good chunk of their votes coming from absentee voting. Nowadays you don't even have to prove that you are unable to get to the polls. This is, of course, now being pushed by both parties but in the end has simply lowered the bar for people to exercise their civic duty (note, duty) and in and of itself invites fraud. Motorvoter also lowered the bar and in states that award illegal immigrants the right to obtain licenses has also invited more fraud.

The bottom line is when all things political hinge on honest and fair elections, it is not unreasonable to assume that those that profess the belief a valid vote rejected is an outrage and yet create an environment that lowers the bar to allow unlawful votes to cancel out valid votes, then they indeed do not support the most honest and fair elections

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Poll after poll has shown strong support for the simple act of showing one's ID when voting. The blunt fact is that example after example can be found where Democrats of old were openly blunt about the validity of using "repeaters" going back a century and a half.

Solid majorities once supported the poll tax and grandfather clause, too. Voter ID is no different from old school Jim Crow.

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If ID was the point, the thugs would be pushing making ID's easier for citizens to get, free of charge when wanted, paid for by general taxes.

That's not the case. there's in fact no effort to make voting more secure, easier or practical.

If there was, we'd move to a vote by mail system with a week window to do so. The state mails you a ballot, you fill it out, you send it back signed under perjury. Done deal.

The GOP's sole purposes for pushing these initiatives is not to protect the legitimacy of elections, but to hamper voting of groups they don't like.

FL's in big trouble right now due to illegitimately removing minorities and Dem leaning voters. Statistics don;t lie, but the GOP sure does.

They will cheat and lie on their way to winning, and then blame the other guy.

Despicable!

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People who have trouble getting/keeping IDs statistically vote democrat. These include people who've been institutionalized, trafficked, kicked around in the foster care system, etc. Republicans don't want these folks voting.

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The 24th Amendment, outlawing the poll tax, was passed by a 2/3's vote in Congress and then ratified by 3/4's of the States. Thus a super majority of representatives (as required by the Constitution) voted to eliminate the poll tax). Except in the Southern States which had a poll tax, there is no evidence whatsoever that a solid majority of voters or their representatives supported the poll tax.

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States which require a photo ID as a prerequisite for voting are also predominantly located in the South. So the analogy still holds up in that regard, at least.

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Most of the states in the deep South have been significantly behind other states in terms of reforming the criminal justice system, services for people with disabilities, services for children who don't have parents they can be with, etc. So these states have even more people who were institutionalized within our lifetimes and can't track down a birth certificate.

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Obviously a consensus emerged against the practice, but at one time, solid majorities favored it. Are you really so simple minded that you think an amendment ratified in 1962 indicates opinions on the matter throughout history?

Also, there are 8 states that did not vote to ratify this amendment. What do you think the view in those states was regarding the poll tax?

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Funny - didn't WOMEN have to rely on majority approval in order to vote? That took a constitutional amendment in 1920!

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Here's the thing: Voter fraud is barely even a thing at all. The truth is that even these modest requirements would prevent far more people — the already underprivileged, at that — from voting than they would prevent fraud. Consider that, under the higher value of fraud rates given in the linked paper, if voter ID requirements prevented even 6 people from voting in the entire city of Boston, then they would be worse than the alleged fraud.

Consider, too, that it's not easy to just go out and get an ID if you're in the working poor. You have to gather up the required documents (even for me, this isn't necessarily an easy task) take time out of your day to go to the RMV, which can mean giving up valuable wages, pay the associated fees, etc. etc. It seems simple, but when you're already in a situation with little room for error as it were, everything has catches which just add up. It's odd, but the most-accessible way I've ever seen it explained is on Cracked.com: "5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor".

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The article you linked to pretty much said everything that I was going to.

Pretty sad, that we've gotten so used to showing photo ID on demand for anything and everything that people don't balk at having to show photo ID to exercise a simple civil right.

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So if something is a "fundamental constitutional right" there can be attached to it absolutely no check, no responsibility, no proof required exercise it?

Then why do you have to register to vote? Why do you have to tell the poll-station attendants your name when you vote? Why do they need to check the roll for you? Aren't these all "fundamental abridgements" of one's right to vote? Isn't it already too much of a violation to have to share your identity with a stranger before voting?

For that matter, why should one have to go to a polling station to vote? Or receive a mail-in ballot by mail? I want a French maid to come to my house, without knowing where it is or who I am, and allow me to vote. I don't want to have to register to do it, and I don't want anyone to check off my name when I do the deed -- all huge violations of "something fundamental" in the Constitution.

Look, the fact is that presenting ID is in no way materially different from registering in the first place, or telling the people at the polling station your name. Those are primitive checks to ensure security and integrity of votes, from a time before photo IDs. Photo IDs are a more secure, modern way of doing things.

The only people who are against IDs are Luddites, sophists, and those who want to ensure that people who aren't allowed to vote (illegal aliens, people who have already voted multiple times in multiple districts, made-up names) do in fact vote ... "early, and often."

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^^ I did NOT want to "like" that comment. Accident. Grr.

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I'm not so sure I'd call someone an A-hole over this but it really seems like common sense. One of the most important things we do as citizens - voting, should require an ID. To me there's no argument that says otherwise. It's common sense, none of these voter suppresion arguments make any sense. My 95 yo mother has an ID. Who are these people without any form of ID? You need an ID to rent, buy homes, alcohol, medicine, drive a car, attend a school, open a bank account, the list goes on. So, I'm trying to think of those individuals who have never done anything requiring an ID - maybe someone can help me out here, and I'm not trying to be flip - I really can't understand the other point of view but would like to.

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most of the people this impacts are elderly or young. Perhaps they live in a nursing home, are perfectly ambulatory, but don't drive and don't travel. I remember reading about a group of nuns being denied the opportunity to vote because they didn't have IDs. When you hit a certain age, you don't need a current license or passport.

On the young side, lots of city kids end up without ID. They may have a school ID that covers most of what they need when proving age or identity (many of these laws limit the use of school IDs) and they don't really need ID day-to-day when they are 18.

There are some other groups people who don't do enough outside the home to need ID, but that should be small.

If you are going to require an ID, do it at registration and allow a pretty broad list of documents to prove identity/eligibility (much like an I-9). There are certainly some issues that the Motor Voter Laws brought about, maybe making registration too easy, but there isn't much evidence of voter fraud in this country, especially of the kind that requiring photo ID would fix.

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So, for the small group of people that don't currently have a form of acceptable ID, I say let's get them one.
BTW, the nuns in my family certainly have ID, they do drive, have bank accounts just like the rest of us. I think all this fuss is about a small number of people who can be accommodated. I can't for the life of me figure out why people don't want to make sure that all votes are legit, and expend all this energy to prohibit it.

Even a small number of cases of voter fraud should be enough.

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when you figure out a way to get IDs for people who've been institutionalized and don't know where they were born, what their correct name is, etc., and can't get an ID.

Also the people with disabilities for whom good records were kept, but who have paranoia and won't disclose all the personal information required to get an ID. Please let me know when you find a cure for schizophrenia.

And people who have trouble maintaining housing or hanging onto much in the way of belongings, and who get their stuff jacked in shelters, and who'd rather NOT have an easy ticket to stealing their identity in their wallet so it can just get stolen again. Are you also going to provide housing reform for everyone?

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most nuns do have ID, but a dozen nuns (living in a retirement home with no day-to-day need for ID) were denied the right to vote in 2008:

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/07/nation/na-...

Seems that the efforts required to get the young/old population ID would be rather expensive (getting that last 5% can take 50% of your budget).

I want to stop voter fraud, but want to encourage more properly registered voters to actually vote. Adding what appear to be misguided politically-motivated barriers to discourage some groups from voting isn't the way to get there.

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I didn't have an ID for a while as a youthful person. I didn't drink or drive, and I never needed one to rent a place, attend a school, or open a bank account - just a social security number accounted for all those things. I didn't have a government ID until I wanted to leave the country and so acquired a passport.

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It would be funny if it wasn't so sad and serious.

OF COURSE a voter should have to positively prove their identity. This is OBVIOUSLY to prevent FRAUD.

And every adult [IMO even child] should have some form of official I.D. As for adults, it's inconceivable to me how they function without one. I know this is controversial, but IMO we need a biometric national identity card. It would cut WAY DOWN on fraud, illegal immigration and the fraud that goes along with this, and help solve many crimes while preventing others. In effect we already have one, it's called a social security card, it just doesn't have a pic or any personal data. It should be upgraded.

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and the issues surrounding the first disappear, since it won't be a poll tax.

Problem is that's not the issue at hand, and no one in the GOP is springing for national, free ID's.

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.

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And the police should be allowed to stop you and demand that you produce it, because we could catch a lot of bad people that way.

Papers, please!

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Every time someone trots out the "everyone should have a valid, it's so easy to get and what sort of derelict can't produce a state ID to vote?" canard, I like to repost this tidbit from another forum I frequent. It's by a guy who works in Pennsylvania, doing actual outreach with homeless and low-income folks who sometimes decide that yes, they want to vote. Here's the process. Massachusetts isn't an exact match, but the logistics are set out similarly.

So I work at a clinic in a needle exchange up in North Philadelphia. The exchange is sort of a gateway place to access all kinds of social services, running the gamut from medical care to subsidized heating oil, and the patient population includes a large number of homeless folks-- folks who are directly affected by the new voter ID laws. In Pennsylvania, the process to get a "free" voter ID is absolutely byzantine and often times insurmountable for the majority of the people we serve. So let's try to navigate it together.

Let's say you're one of my homeless patients who's interested in voting. You don't have a photo ID, so I send you to one of the social workers on staff, and she refers you to a PennDOT location (Bus fare: $2). Well, don't spend those $2 just yet there, friend, because you need the following documentation to get your ID:

To obtain a Pennsylvania Photo Identification card, an individual needs to visit a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Driver License Center with a completed Application for an Initial Photo Identification Card; form DL-54A, and the following:

  • Social Security Card

AND
One of the following:

  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Valid U.S. Passport
  • Birth Certificate with a raised seal

PLUS

  • Two proofs of *residency such as lease agreements, current utility bills, mortgage documents, W-2 form, tax records

Let's start with your social security card. Well, four months ago PennDOT broke up your homeless encampment. You were away so they took your tent, your blankets, all your clothing, and, most importantly, your papers. Now how are you going to prove who you are?

Let's start by getting you a new copy of your social security card. Replacements are free, but you need to prove your identity and your citizenship status to get one, which requires (at the very least) a certified copy of a medical record and a birth certificate. The medical record is easy enough-- you had an abscess drained at the ER just last week and can go get a free copy there (Bus fare: $2). The birth certificate is more tricky. Because you don't have a photo ID, you need to have a family member, social worker, or other " eligible requestor" vouch for you, and maybe also lend you the $10 processing fee. Of course, you'll also need two documents with your name and address on them. OOPS YOU'RE HOMELESS. SORRY.

But for the sake of completeness, let's continue with our thought experiment. Maybe the needle exchange allows you to use their mailing address and you, somehow, manage to generate two pieces of official mail with your name on them. You send that stuff in (Stamp: $0.44) and wait a couple weeks. The birth certificate arrives, so you take that, along with a couple pieces of junk mail to the social security office (Bus fare: $2), and they give you a new card. Now you're cooking with gas. It's pretty expensive gas, considering that you've already spent $14.44 to get to this point (damn Obama!). But here you are. You, with your birth certificate, your social security card, and a few pieces of what everyone else calls "junk mail" but is all of a sudden so precious that THREE government agencies need to see it. Time to go down to PennDOT and claim what's rightfully yours (Bus fare: $2).

You arrive at the office, too excited to contain yourself. It's time for you to exercise your franchise. You wait in line for an hour and eventually find yourself standing in front of a PennDOT representative. You try not to think of their colleagues tearing apart your campsite under the bridge as you smile and say, "I'm here to get my voter ID."

"That'll be $13.50," says the clerk. AH AH AH YOU DIDN'T SAY THE MAGIC WORD! See, you were supposed to say the word "free" in order to have your fee waived. Saying anything other than "I need a free ID so that I can vote" could be interpreted as "please charge me $13.50 for something that should have been free." Well, you didn't need that $13.50 anyway, just like you didn't need the $10 for your replacement birth certificate or the $6 you spent on bus fare. You're an unemployed homeless person, so it was totally reasonable for you to pay $29.50 and spend several days to get your free voter ID.

Congratulations. You've made it. Now go exercise your franchise. Or maybe you didn't have $13.50 and didn't make it. Well, here's hoping that there are folks out there who will exercise their franchises with your interests in mind. Without wanting to come off as harsh, your prospects do not look so good.

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And people who aren't sure where they were born because they grew up in care or in shitty family situations also need to add on the time and money to write to every state to request a birth certificate. Oh, wait, it's more than just 50 states, because some do it by each county, and they can't look up which one centrally. So sending away to several hundred places to see if you were born there. Gets expensive. Oh, and imagine trying to do this if you have a brain injury, don't read or write well, are paranoid about the government because government agencies have been so abusive to you when you've been in hospitals and things. Hey, gee, do you think that maybe Republicans don't want people voting who have firsthand knowledge about how things like the mental health system and disability housing and things need to change?

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They just keep voting for the same people anyway. You know, the guy who gave their son or daughter a job with the city or state.

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