Fragile Bird

US Politics: Everyone's Manipulating Everyone

401 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

From this distance I can proffer an opinion on the Texas voter ID law since I don't knowwhat forms of ID are acceptable or not, other than gun license in and student ID out.

Here is the official list:

Quote
  • Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas license to carry a handgun issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • United States passport

In addition, they will accept the following supporting documents if one fills out a "Reasonable Impediment Declaration":

Quote
  • Valid voter registration certificate
  • Certified birth certificate (must be an original)
  • Copy of or original current utility bill
  • Copy of or original bank statement
  • Copy of or original government check
  • Copy of or original paycheck
  • Copy of or original government document with your name and an address (original required if it contains a photograph)

where Reasonable Impediment is defined as:

Quote

Reasonable impediments identified on the Reasonable Impediment Declaration include lack of transportation, disability or illness, lack of birth certificate or other documents needed to obtain acceptable photo ID, work schedule, family responsibilities, lost or stolen photo ID, or photo ID applied for but not received. You may also describe another reasonable impediment you have on the Reasonable Impediment Declaration form.

Given that half of the impediments are completely unverifiable and the supporting documents require absolutely no effort to obtain by anyone who lives where they claim to live, this law appears to be pretty toothless to me. It certainly wouldn't stop a non-citizen from voting if they were determined to do so.

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6 hours ago, Relic said:

"President Trump's Justice Department will no longer argue in court that Texas intended to discriminate against minorities when it passed a strict voter ID law that allows voters to show gun licenses but not student IDs before casting a ballot."

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/321361-trumps-doj-dropping-opposition-to-texas-voter-id-law

Who here thinks the USA will actually have a Presidential election in 2020? 

 

4 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Russia still has presidential elections. So does Hungary. Most authoritarian regimes do. 

They're just not actually fair or free elections.

Kal has my answer. I was fearing it before the election if Trump won, I thought it was very likely by the time he was inaugurated. After just over a month of him as President I'm pretty convinced the US electoral system is done. The structural damage to it by the "block everything, break government" strategy being rewarded was already lethal in the medium to long term, but you've got an amoral narcissist in charge who has decided direct personal power is the real game to win since he couldn't beat his fellow billionaires at the game scored with money.

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The point of voter ID laws is not to make it impossible for some people to get the ID required to vote. Such a law would clearly be unfair, in a way that not even its supporters could pretend was OK: it would never stand up in court and so would be pointless.

No, like most discriminatory laws the intention is to come up with something that discriminates indirectly, so you can claim with a straight face that it isn't biased, but it's still effective. Make black people, college students, and other Dem-voting groups jump through additional hoops that white people, older people, gun owners etc. don't have to jump through. Make it so that technically Democrat supporters can vote if they really want to, by going through a bureaucratic process to obtain a form of ID that they won't actually use for anything else: meanwhile accept forms of ID that Republican voters have in their pocket already. This won't stop any individual from voting but will lower turnout overall, and best of all you can blame the voters themselves for being too lazy to get the required ID! (Never mind that your voters didn't have to bother.)

This all rests on the nonsense idea that indirect discrimination isn't a thing, that unless you have a law that says 'black people can't vote' there's no discrimination going on. Anyone subscribing to that idea needs to take a long hard look at themselves, because they are in denial.

Edited by mormont

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Why would someone living in Texas not have either of the following?

- Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS

I think in most western countries everbody needs a national photo ID card. Why is this not possible or not wanted in the US?

(Of course in a bureaucrat's wet dream country like Germany a national photo ID is not enough; one is on top of this legally required to register at the place of residence after a move, otherwise one can be fined (been there, done that). But the advantage is that this registry office has the official data and will send you a paper that tells you that you can vote a few weeks before the election (this paper also can be used to vote by mail or obtain the next paper you need to vote per mail) and you then bring that paper to the polling place and usually you do not even need a photo ID, they will just check their list and your election notice.)

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6 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Russia still has presidential elections. So does Hungary. Most authoritarian regimes do. 

They're just not actually fair or free elections.

Hungary? It has an unpleasant governing party, but its elections are free and fair. At least it's leadership is the party that wins the most votes. 

PS The Hungarian presidency is a largely ceremonial position not voted for by the electorate at large but by parliament.

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17 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

Why would someone living in Texas not have either of the following?
- Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

They don't drive?

17 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS

Why would they have an identification card? What else is it needed for?

 

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38 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

Why would someone living in Texas not have either of the following?

- Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

No offence, but this is a classic example of someone in a position of privilege that is invisible to them.

Drivers' licenses are expensive. To get one you need to pass a driving test, which involves a significant investment of time and money in lessons - which, unless you can afford to obtain and run a car, is a cost with no benefit. If you are poor, you are less likely to have a driver's licence. If you are young, the same is true.

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Can one really open a bank account or have access to a community library, without verifying identity in the US? 
That seems necessary. 

Obviously there's plenty of upper middle class folks in the country who do enjoy paying their housekeepers below minimum wage, so they don't want their maids to have an id.

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I lived in the US for one year in the mid-90s as an exchange student (UW, Seattle). Because I did not want to take a driver's test but needed/wanted an ID Americans would recognize (i.e. not a German passport which is also too bulky to carry around in your wallet), among other things to be able to enter clubs and drink/buy alcohol (I was 23 then) I got an ID card.

I do not remember the details but it I think it took less than an hour and costed less than $20 (I think they even take the photo right there). And a German passport was certainly not the easiest way to initiate that procedure (and I could not get the clerk to spell my name properly because it contains an umlaut but I got the ID).

I am sorry, but if someone cannot be bothered to spend an hour and a few bucks to get a valid ID (or whatever the other options are) this is laziness and not lack of privilege. Someone like that is not really interested in voting if this is the only hurdle to clear. (Admittedly, I do not know if it is the only hurdle but if it was no problem for me as a foreigner, it cannot be a big deal for a native.)

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7 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Russia still has presidential elections. So does Hungary. Most authoritarian regimes do. 

They're just not actually fair or free elections.

Hungary has an authoritarian regime now? 

Level of discussion here leaves a lot of room for improvement.

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1 hour ago, Hereward said:

Hungary? It has an unpleasant governing party, but its elections are free and fair. At least it's leadership is the party that wins the most votes. 

PS The Hungarian presidency is a largely ceremonial position not voted for by the electorate at large but by parliament.

One can argue about the fairness of an electoral system if 45% of the vote get you more than 66% of the seats in parliament, enough to change the constitution.

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25 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

I lived in the US for one year in the mid-90s as an exchange student (UW, Seattle). Because I did not want to take a driver's test but needed/wanted an ID Americans would recognize (i.e. not a German passport which is also too bulky to carry around in your wallet), among other things to be able to enter clubs and drink/buy alcohol (I was 23 then) I got an ID card.

I do not remember the details but it I think it took less than an hour and costed less than $20 (I think they even take the photo right there). And a German passport was certainly not the easiest way to initiate that procedure (and I could not get the clerk to spell my name properly because it contains an umlaut but I got the ID).

I am sorry, but if someone cannot be bothered to spend an hour and a few bucks to get a valid ID (or whatever the other options are) this is laziness and not lack of privilege. Someone like that is not really interested in voting if this is the only hurdle to clear. (Admittedly, I do not know if it is the only hurdle but if it was no problem for me as a foreigner, it cannot be a big deal for a native.)

It sounds like this process was super easy for you for at least 2 major reasons:  1.  you already had some form of ID that could be used to verify your identity and get a new card, and 2. you had an easy means of transportation to a location where you could obtain one.

Consider what the process might be like for those without easy transportation to a center, who can't afford to take off work for a burdensome process (which it becomes depending on transportation options), and who lack any other form of ID to use to verify their identity to initiate the process.  

ETA:  this WaPo article gives an overview of the challenges

Edited by butterbumps!

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19 minutes ago, theguyfromtheVale said:

One can argue about the fairness of an electoral system if 45% of the vote get you more than 66% of the seats in parliament, enough to change the constitution.

That's an argument about electoral systems, not about the ability of the people to exercise their democratic rights. And hey, at least the most popular party actually gets to govern, unlike certain other countries I could think of.

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o.k, I am happy to admit that the US is really messed up in many ways. I am still not convinced that getting an ID is something that should not be reasonably expected from everybody who wants to vote.

What are people doing who cannot take a bus or walk or bike or ask a friend to drive them to that office to get to work, to get groceries etc.? They would obviously have a lot of problems in their everyday life and I can of course understand that getting a valid ID would not be the prime concern. But isn't it obvious that the remedy for such cases would not be to have lax rules about voter identification but to make it easier to get around in a city? Because lax rules facilitate fraud and regardless of the actual occurrence of fraud it can always be used to cast suspicions on the proces and results. 

Does one get a social security number in the US without any ID? How can one do anything without such a number? I wasn't even allowed to work on my student visa but I remember that I had to go to another office at some stage and get a social security number for some obscure reason.

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9 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

o.k, I am happy to admit that the US is really messed up in many ways. I am still not convinced that getting an ID is something that should not be reasonably expected from everybody who wants to vote.

What are people doing who cannot take a bus or walk or bike or ask a friend to drive them to that office to get to work, to get groceries etc.? They would obviously have a lot of problems in their everyday life and I can of course understand that getting a valid ID would not be the prime concern. But isn't it obvious that the remedy for such cases would not be to have lax rules about voter identification but to make it easier to get around in a city? Because lax rules facilitate fraud and regardless of the actual occurrence of fraud it can always be used to cast suspicions on the proces and results. 

Does one get a social security number in the US without any ID? How can one do anything without such a number? I wasn't even allowed to work on my student visa but I remember that I had to go to another office at some stage and get a social security number for some obscure reason.

Most of America is fairly rural/ suburban.    There aren't always a ton of ID centers or public transportation.  Even if your town or city has bus access, it's not a sure bet that you will be serviced by it at both ends of your trip.  You may not have a friend with a car who can make a trip to a potentially inconveniently located center, especially during business hours if that friend is holding a job.  And there's a good chance that cycling there would be ludicrous.   There might be a place to get food close by, but there might not be an ID location for miles.   Outside of city centers, the country works a lot differently than I think you're envisioning.

The Washington Post piece outlines some of the issues pretty well, and a google search will yield more explanation about this, such as how people get around this for job procurement and the like.

Edited by butterbumps!

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1 hour ago, Jo498 said:

I lived in the US for one year in the mid-90s as an exchange student (UW, Seattle). Because I did not want to take a driver's test but needed/wanted an ID Americans would recognize (i.e. not a German passport which is also too bulky to carry around in your wallet), among other things to be able to enter clubs and drink/buy alcohol (I was 23 then) I got an ID card.

I do not remember the details but it I think it took less than an hour and costed less than $20 (I think they even take the photo right there). And a German passport was certainly not the easiest way to initiate that procedure (and I could not get the clerk to spell my name properly because it contains an umlaut but I got the ID).

I am sorry, but if someone cannot be bothered to spend an hour and a few bucks to get a valid ID (or whatever the other options are) this is laziness and not lack of privilege. Someone like that is not really interested in voting if this is the only hurdle to clear. (Admittedly, I do not know if it is the only hurdle but if it was no problem for me as a foreigner, it cannot be a big deal for a native.)

Sorry, but a 20-year-old anecdote about the process in one state, the details of which you admit you can't remember, isn't a particularly persuasive argument.

As for 'laziness', I refer you to my earlier post:

3 hours ago, mormont said:

This won't stop any individual from voting but will lower turnout overall, and best of all you can blame the voters themselves for being too lazy to get the required ID! (Never mind that your voters didn't have to bother.)

It's not a question of whether the hurdle can be overcome with effort. It's a question of why it's placed there for some people, but not others.

As for 'voter fraud', I'm again going to refer to something I said earlier, in a previous thread: the best way to deter in-person voter fraud is to make it ineffective, and the best way to do that is to increase turnout, not restrict it. If you're not talking about how to increase turnout but are talking about voter ID requirements, as far as I'm concerned your concern is bogus.

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How low has the bar fallen when Bush of all people sounds like the voice of reason...

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So every single person in the US without ID has a really tough life and doesn't have the time or resources to go get an ID card?

 

That's a BS line of thought.  I'll admit things could be easier but every adult living and working in the US should have a form of ID.  Stop with the excuses already.

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