Do Absentee Mail Voters have to show ID in North Carolina?

The short answer is no. Only persons voting in person must show ID.

From the comments to this post showing differences by party of same day registration/voting as compared to absentee via mail voting was the following comment (shown in full):

It could be argued, of course, that the Obama vote totals in both ’08 and ’12 were unjustly enriched from a no-ID policy, if one believes that matching an ID to the vote is an appropriate regulation in a democratic system. The new law, in this view, would correct the “over-vote” for that candidate.

I’d be interested in knowing whether the presentation of an ID in order to obtain or register a mail-in ballot is a requirement under the new law.

Answering the question but skipping the evidence-free innuendo, the only form of voting under the new North Carolina election law that does not require an ID to be shown to someone to legally vote is absentee mail voting. From the text of the H589: Continue reading “Do Absentee Mail Voters have to show ID in North Carolina?”

The potential impact of one voting change in Durham, N.C.

The North Carolina General Assembly is set to enact a sweeping series of changes to the voting laws. The most high profile change has been the requirement to show an ID to vote. Nate Cohn says the requirement to show an ID would have reduced President Obama’s total in North Carolina by 25,000-30,000 votes, had the proposed law been in effect in 2012. Gov Romney won North Carolina by around 92,000 votes in 2012, but President Obama won North Carolina by ~14,000 votes in 2008.

Below, I estimate that in Durham County, North Carolina alone, President Obama would have had a net reduction of at least 2,460 votes if voters had been unable to register and vote on the same day during early voting; the bill that is about to become law ends this option. I cannot find the data for the same analysis below, conducted statewide. Continue reading “The potential impact of one voting change in Durham, N.C.”

If you can’t convince ’em, cheat ’em

Republicans try to steal another election.

Republican officials – this time in Ohio – continue to work hard to make sure that votes aren’t cast or counted, even if they have to defy the law to do so.

Meantime, the Republican Party pays $3 million to a man with a history of voter-registration fraud (collecting registration forms and throwing them away if the new voter wants to register as a Democrat) to do it again, this time in Virginia and Florida. The con artist’s company shares an address with Karl Rove’s super-PAC. (Here’s the American Crossroads IRS registration. And here’s the Florida criminal complaint, showing the same address: not just the same street address, the same suite number.

If you don’t seriously hate these people, you’re simply not paying attention.

Update More legal detail here.

What’s happening all over? I’ll tell you what’s happening all over–*

Mark asked for an update on Iowa, but I’ve moved out of the field operation and into voter protection at national headquarters. We sit at telephones and computers and people call in from Nevada and North Carolina and Ohio–especially Ohio!–and Florida and Wisconsin and ask where they can vote early and whether they’re properly registered and what i.d. they need to vote and why their absentee ballot still hasn’t arrived; and tell us that someone came to their door claiming they needed their naturalization papers to vote or that someone came to their nursing home and distributed and then collected absentee ballots which were not the absentee ballot they’d asked to have mailed to their daughter; and we review pages of FAQs and statutes and Board of Elections regulations and say, “You can vote at the public library on Route 31–do you know where that is? Is that close to your house?” and if it’s not we connect them to the local Obama office for rides. And the people who call know all about the Republicans’ efforts to keep them from voting and are getting out to vote early to make sure they don’t get turned away on Election Day and are concerned and disappointed if their state doesn’t have early voting.

When I mentioned to the Latina grandmother confirming her registration that the California Board of Elections Website made it hard to do so, she instantly asked, “Do you think that’s part of voter suppression?” Is that a question you would know to ask in your second language?

Probably I’m just high from solving problems and occasionally seeing celebrities (the First Lady came in today and made some voter outreach calls); but it seems to me every effort to reduce Democratic turnout has only made Democrats more committed to get to the polls.

Start with a fugue, end with an anthem. “You can bend but never break me, and it only serves to make me more determined to achieve my final goals . . .”**

Quick, somebody cut off my supply of caffeine!
______________
*Guys and Dolls
**I Am Woman.

Voter Suppression and DWB

I got a ticket on Wednesday for changing lanes without signalling. (Yes, Chicago’s coffers are in need of a refill.) Because I’m no longer a motor club member, I no longer have a bond card, the thing you can give the cop instead of your license. So she took my license, and now I’m driving on the ticket.

But here’s the thing: I want to vote early, and to do so in Chicago I’m required to show a government-issued photo i.d.–like, oh, say, my driver’s license, which I won’t have back until I complete traffic safety school and mail them $167. And even if I do that today, there’s very little chance I will receive my license back in the mail before November 6, much less in time to vote early.

Now, as it happens I have a passport, so I’ll be able to get around this difficulty. But when I realized the impact my ticket could have on my ability to vote, it occurred to me that this is another way in which voter i.d. laws help suppress voting by minority-group members, the young and the elderly.

We’re all familiar with the traffic offense of DWB: Driving While Black or Driving While Brown. Nonwhite motorists are more likely to be stopped for moving violations than whites, and more likely to be ticketed when they’re stopped. The ones who, like me, don’t have bond cards–whether because they can’t afford motor club membership or they just never thought of it–will have to surrender their licenses; and then, unless they happen to have passports (also less likely, statistically, than among white people) they won’t be able to vote in states requiring voter i.d. So combine discriminatory policing with photo i.d. laws and you’ve got a perfect tool for keeping black and brown people from the polls.

The elderly, meanwhile, are more likely to be stopped for traffic violations because they’re actually driving badly; but once again, that shouldn’t deprive seniors of the franchise. And the same can be said for young drivers, who may be careless behind the wheel but are entitled to vote if they’re 18 or over.

So the next time someone tells you that voter i.d. laws are fine because “everyone has a driver’s license,” ask if s/he’s ever had to drive on a ticket. Then mention that this commonplace experience would mean the inability to vote, and see what s/he has to say.

Beyond objectivity to truth and falsehood

Tom Edsall dutifully reports that Republicans claim to believe that there is substantial voting by ineligible voters while Democrats believe that voter ID laws deny eligible voters the right to vote. But he doesn’t tell you that the Democrats are telling the truth and the Republicans are lying.

Tom Edsall continues to demonstrate the technique of “objective” reporting:

The most volatile combination of events on Nov. 6 would be a very close election in which Mitt Romney wins the electoral vote with knife-edge victories in states like Florida, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin. If new voter ID laws survive legal challenges in those Republican-controlled battleground states, a marginal Romney victory would powerfully reinforce the belief on the left that some lawfully registered voters were denied the right to exercise their franchise.

Conversely, if local and federal challenges to voter ID laws are successful, and Obama wins a tight re-election race, the belief on the right that felons and illegal immigrants cast crucial ballots will be reinforced.

[snip]

Almost a half century after the enactment of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the question of who votes will not be resolved on the merits. The courts will address the dispute, and their rulings will matter. But the struggle over this fundamental citizenship right is intensely partisan and explicitly political. It can only be resolved at the ballot box.

In other news, friends of the shooting victim mourned a young life brutally cut short, while supporters of the shooter argued that the son-of-a-bitch had it coming. Which viewpoint will prevail with independent voters in the swing states remains to be seen.

There’s a difference between the belief on the right that elections are being stolen by ineligible voters and the belief on the left that eligible voters are being denied the right to vote. The former belief is, to use a technical epistemological term, false, while the latter, and the related claim that those voters are disproportionately non-white and poor, are demonstrably true.

That matters.

Footnote Even within his own canons, Edsall could have – arguably should have – reported that at least one prominent Republican has boasted that the Pennsylvania law was designed to help Mitt Romney carry the state, and that the former chair of the Florida Republican party claims that officials openly discussed suppressing minority voting.

James Joyner says The Thing That Is

“There’s essentially no evidence that significant numbers of people are engaging in the sort of voter fraud that would be preventable by requiring photo identification. Which means that we’re essentially disenfranchising large numbers of people to prevent something we’re pretty sure isn’t happening. Given that the people being disenfranchised are disproportionately from one political party and that the people pushing for these laws are almost entirely from the opposing political party, that’s problematic.”

Now that the Republican government of Pennsylvania has disenfranchised three-quarters of a million citizens for the avowed purpose of enabling Mitt Romney to carry a state he’d otherwise have no chance in, some honest conservatives (yes, there are a few left) are getting queasy. Here’s James Joyner:

There’s essentially no evidence that significant numbers of people are engaging in the sort of voter fraud that would be preventable by requiring photo identification. Which means that we’re essentially disenfranchising large numbers of people to prevent something we’re pretty sure isn’t happening. Given that the people being disenfranchised are disproportionately from one political party and that the people pushing for these laws are almost entirely from the opposing political party, that’s problematic.

Yes, “problematic” is one word for this. There are others, some of them printable.
Continue reading “James Joyner says The Thing That Is”

Good for Michigan governor Rick Snyder

Michigan’s GOP governor does the right thing on voter ID laws.

Republican politicians across the nation are pushing voter ID laws and similar measures ostensibly designed to thwart (the largely fictional problem of) voter fraud. Despite various flimsy justifications offered, most of these new laws are obviously intended to prevent or to hinder voting among traditional Democratic constituencies, particularly low-income people, the less-educated, and nonwhites. Various Republican politicians have said as much, occasionally captured through incautious comments captured on video or the occasional cellphone recording. When laws are enacted on a partisan basis which allow (to take one obvious Texas example) prospective voters to use concealed weapon permits but not state university photo id cards, we’re long past the point of pretending this is a cute inside-baseball story.

It’s natural to view these efforts as continuations of GOP race-pandering from the  “southern strategy” to Willy Horton. This might be unfair. Maybe these voter ID laws just reflect the more bipartisan tradition of election-stealing we’ve seen before, certainly here in Chicago.

Whichever–it’s disgusting to seek political advantage by preventing other people from lawfully voting. Such tactics undermine Americans’ confidence in the legitimacy of our political process. The also unavoidably stain Republicans’ reputation and legacy, as that party continues its post-1964 self-deportation from a position of respect within minority communities.

Some GOP politicians have chosen a more decent path. Florida’s Governor Crist did the decent thing regarding felony enfranchisement.  (His clownish successor, Rick Scott, is another matter.)  Now Michigan governor Rick Snyder has done the decent thing, too. He surprised and disappointed many Michigan Republicans by refusing to sign similar bills. As Eric Kleefeld described in TPM:

One measure would have required voters to reaffirm that they are U.S. citizens, and would have instituted photo-ID requirements for voters receiving an absentee ballot at a local government office. Another would have required training for people, companies and organizations participating in voter registration. The Grand Rapids Press reports that Republicans in the legislature argued that the measures were needed to combat voter fraud, while Democrats charged that the bills would unfairly target poor, minority and elderly people who favor the Democratic Party.

The New York Times’ Steven Yaccino rightly observed: “The vetoes are an election-year rarity for the party, which has pressed for tougher voter identification laws nationwide.”

Good for Governor Snyder. I don’t know that much about him or whether this was a profitable political move. It was a rare honorable move in a pretty dirty campaign season.

“Voter fraud” fraud

Those 950 dead people voting in South Carolina? The first six names checked out included zero incidents of fraud.

The Republican Attorney General of South Carolina has a super-secret list of 950 dead people who supposedly voted there. Six of those names were actually turned over to the elections commission. The score: zero for six. No evidence whatever of any kind of fraud.

I only wish the con artists who have been using “voter fraud” as an excuse for preventing Democrats from voting, and their accomplices and useful idiots in the Red Blogosphere, were capable of shame.

4-5 million lost votes

Due to registration errors and lost absentee ballots. Another 2-4 million were discouraged by long lines or voter ID requirements.

That’s the estimate from what looks to be a respectable academic study based on a survey with a sample size of 33,000.

Main problems: registration errors and absentee-ballot problems. Another 2-4 million were “discouraged” by long lines or ID requirments. This is why it’s so hard to take seriously the right-wing whining about “voter fraud,” a problem that must be at least two orders of magnitude* smaller.

Looks like the new technologies did substantially reduce the undervote: from 2% in 2000 to 1% in 2008.

The report was prepared for the Senate Rules Committee. So it seems likely we’re going to get some action on this.

Update A reader rebukes me for overstating the problem of false-name voting: it must be at least three orders of magnitude smaller than the vote-deprivation problem, given that (1) there are almost no actual cases documented, despite heavy searching (and strong pressure from the Bush White House to find and prosecute “voter fraud”) and (2) it would be a stupid, risky, non-cost-effective way to try to steal an election.