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Voter ID laws are not racist Biden's hysterical rhetoric forgets American democracy has never been so fragile


July 23, 2021   4 mins

Earlier this week, Michelle Beckley, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, issued a rousing call-to-arms on social media: “My name is Michelle Beckley,” she tweeted. “I’m one of the brave Texas Democrats who came to DC to fight for voting rights in my state.”

Supporting voter rights is, of course, a noble cause — but does it really warrant Beckley’s description of herself as “brave”? What could be the cause of such hyperbole? The answer, I suspect, is that Beckley was one of several representatives who chartered a private jet and fled Texas on Monday for Washington DC to break the quorum needed in her state’s House of Representatives and stymie a Republican bill relating to future elections.

These Democrats complain that the bill will restrict voting rights by, among other things, introducing identification requirements and banning drive-through voting. For the time being, the two parties are in a stand-off. It is, however, a scenario which is being played up and down the country; Texas is merely one of a number of states where local Republicans are attempting to introduce voter identification laws.

On paper, this array of new bills might seem like perfectly reasonable demands. But for Democrats , the proposed measures are inherently racist because they will disproportionately affect people of colour. Indeed, President Biden himself went so far as to describe a recent election bill in Georgia as “an atrocity”, likening it to “Jim Crow in the 21st century”. He doubled down on his comparison in a speech earlier this month, in which he claimed: “The 21st century Jim Crow assault is real. It’s unrelenting. We’re going to challenge it vigorously.” He went on to describe the recent attempts to increase voter ID at the polls as “the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War”.

These are extraordinary, not to say histrionic, claims to make. But to watch them playing out, accompanied with charades like Beckley’s flight from Texas, is to observe the deeply damaged state of American democracy. Such fragility is sadly endemic. One recent poll found that roughly a third of American voters believe that Biden is only President due to significant voter fraud. Likewise, a majority of Republican voters have repeatedly said that they believe that the election last November was unfairly won.

There is, of course, a caveat that needs to be added here, which is that while Donald Trump never proved that there had been enough voter fraud to sway the election, there certainly were a number of egregious cases played out publicly and able to be seen by millions of Americans.

But the important thing to keep in mind is that concerns about the integrity of American elections are not new. Indeed, it has become a habit in modern American democracy for the party that loses a particular election to complain about the crookedness of the system. Way back in 2006, the Democrat Senator for California Diane Feinstein told the Senate that “serious questions have arisen about the accuracy and reliability of new electronic voting machines, including concerns that they can be susceptible to fraud and computer hacking”.

And who could forget the grace and ease with which Hilary Clinton accepted her defeat in her fight for the Presidency in 2016? For five years she has continued to argue that the 2016 election was illegitimate. A month after losing, she told her party donors that the race had been stolen: “This is not just an attack on me and my campaign. This is an attack against our country. This is about the integrity of our democracy and the security of our nation.”

Surely, then, if anything is able to unite the American Left and Right, it should be an attempt to uphold the integrity of the vote? Since both Democrats and Republicans have their own concerns about voter insecurity, why would they not be able to agree on measures to combat it?

A cynic might respond that neither party really cares about the corruption of the vote, so long as they win. Why does it matter if the system is open to internal or external manipulation if it brings about victory? But such a question forgets that an election is not just about a winner knowing that they have won, but about the losers knowing they have lost. As recent American elections have shown, when this doesn’t happen, the results can be toxic.

So why can they not agree on some reform of the vote, such as requiring voters having to show some proof of identity to go to the polls? The simple answer is that the current system has worked for the Democrats this time round, and they are happy for the system to stay corrupted so long as it rules in their favour.

As for the voting public, I doubt there are many in America who sincerely believe that being asked to prove your identity when performing a civic duty amounts to “the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War”. After all, Americans are already required to prove their identity for a number of reasons, whether it’s hiring a car, ordering alcohol or buying a firearm.

For despite all the charged rhetoric, all the anachronistic analogies, requiring voter identification remains a simple requirement — one that, as it happens, is practised across Europe during elections. That America cannot unite around it — and even dismiss it as racist — is a tragedy. It is a move that would give millions of Americans more confidence in the legitimacy and accuracy of the democratic process. And looking at the embattled state of democracy in the US, nothing could be more urgent.


Douglas Murray is an author and journalist.

DouglasKMurray

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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago

There is also the slight problem that ID’s are required for just about every facet of modern American life, yet somehow proving you are who you say you are at the voting booth is racist. Hmm… sounds a bit disingenuous to me.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

What is really being said is minorities cannot get it together enough to show an ID. This is hardly a vote of confidence in the ability of minorities, by the Left.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Why that almost sounds racist!

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
2 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

It is racist against minorities because it seems to suggest that “people of colour” are somehow incapable of showing ID because of their skin colour.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rob Britton
murray.willows
murray.willows
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob Britton

What is being missed here is that poor people do not drive, do not get driver’s licenses and do not have passports. There are no other forms of ID in the US

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

Hilarious. You should be writing satire Murray. Everybody in the US drives. Illegal immigrant Mexicans get driver’s licenses. Not only that, there are loads of other kinds of picture ID available, such as student ID, work ID and Military ID. Nice try!

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

How do they establish who they are for the purposes of obtaining social security benefits?

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

Georgia issues free ID’s. Iowa charges 6 dollars, but if you cannot afford it, you get it for free. Or if you cannot handle money, because low expectation racism precluded you from colonial math. Black people never buy alcohol, board a plane, cash in a cheque or apply for anything with a state or federal institution. They just wait quietly in the cupboard under the stairs till Joe can count them as voting for him.

Last edited 2 years ago by Francisco Menezes
Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

Anyone can get a state issued ID for free. If you can’t figure out how to get to the County Clerk to get your ID, you probably won’t be able to find your polling place if you wanted to.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Mikey Mike

Yep. And if you can’t manage that you’re not fit to vote.
What next, eyesight tests to get a driving licence are racist because black people can’t afford glasses? Great, let’s just let blind people drive.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

m.willows, you are super wrong. Are you trolling? Because it’s hard to believe that you don’t know that every state has long had official picture ID that is issued if there is no driver’s license.

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

Social security card?

Hersch Schneider
Hersch Schneider
2 years ago

At this point Biden doesn’t really have any clue what he’s saying or why he’s saying it. His handlers are basically flying a stuttering vegetable around the United States

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

This seems like the stuff of make believe to people in other countries. Of course you need ID in order to vote and to help prevent voter fraud.
I thought the runaway Dems from Texas were going to be arrested on their return? Then I read some on the plane had tested positive for Covid. You can hardly make this up.
As for doddery Joe, he now trots out the line of ‘the worst attack on US democracy since the civil war’ frequently. I’m not even American and I can remember him using it before.

Kasia Chapman
Kasia Chapman
2 years ago

I find it hard to believe that Americans don’t need ID for voting. Is this really true? If so, then how is it assured that a person votes only once? Fingerprints? Oath? And why showing ID would disadvantage people of colour? Surely only illegal immigrants don’t have ID? Please , someone explain to me .

Edward Jones
Edward Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Kasia Chapman

As far as the Democrats are concerned there is no such thing as an ‘illegal’ immigrant. And they want them to have the vote anyway, still wet from the river crossing.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Kasia Chapman

We need an American to explain it to us!

murray.willows
murray.willows
2 years ago
Reply to  Kasia Chapman

How do they do it the UK????

Paul Fraser
Paul Fraser
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

Murray Willows: You turn up and give your name/address—no ID required.

Allie McBeth
Allie McBeth
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

To get on the voter list you have to have filled out a registration card (linked to your local council’s community charge details). You turn up, tell them your name and address. You’re not on the list? You don’t get to vote. Or you can pre-register for a postal vote.

David Harris
David Harris
2 years ago
Reply to  Allie McBeth

Except there’s nothing to stop you impersonating a neighbour as you don’t need any id at the point of voting.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Harris
Cat Fan
Cat Fan
2 years ago
Reply to  Kasia Chapman

I live in the US, I became a citizen about a decade ago and I needed to show a voter ID card the first time I voted. Local laws changed and after that I only needed to state my address and my name in order to vote. No proof needed to be shown. Over the last couple of year we moved house and I updated my driver’s licence and changed my voting location via the DMV. My husband did not. Come the 2020 election I received an unasked for mail in ballot, he did not. Presumably his went to our previous address. I did not use the ballot I received, I chose to vote in person. He then updated his info via the DMV and asked for a mail in ballot, which he received. He changed his mind about mail in and then decided to go to an early voting location and vote in person there (he had to bring the ballot with him, I did not have to take mine when I voted). Again, when I voted in person in the new location, I did not have to show ID or proof of address, just state who I was and vote.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Cat Fan

This sounds very inadequate.

Cat Fan
Cat Fan
2 years ago

Yup!

Judy Simpson
Judy Simpson
2 years ago
Reply to  Kasia Chapman

To be fair, Australians don’t need an ID to cast a vote. You have to be registered, for which you need proof of address, but once that is done it’s just a matter of turning up on voting day, telling them who you are and your address, and they cross you off the register. Apparently, at every election, the recently deceased magically vote, or so rumour has it. Having said this, I’m not sure I see a problem with showing an ID and would love for someone to explain why it is a problem without using the word racism.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Simpson

Easy enough to explain. If you already have an ID in your wallet it makes no difference. If you first need to get one, it is one more obstacle. Same with the various drive-in votings, long opening hours etc. – the more complicated it is to get to vote, the fewer people will vote. Studies from both sides seem to suggest that the people most likely to have no ID handy and to make use of various facilitated ways of voting are Democrats, and more likely than average to be black (African-Amrican, POC, whatever).

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Simpson

The only problem with voter ID requirements that I can see is one which exists only from the point of view of corrupt politicians, to wit, it does what it is intended to do: make vote fraud much harder.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

We haven’t needed ID in the UK until now.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

So you can just vote as many times as you like? Ok then.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

What? No. I say who I am, where I live, my name is checked off and I place my vote. I suppose I could wait a couple of hours come back and pose as another male occupant at the same address and vote again…

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

And you can’t see a weakness in “I say who I am” being the only proof of ID?
I say I am you.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

No because they have a list of voters for each address. The only way your plan works is if there are 2 male voters at your address and you know the other one is not voting

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
2 years ago

There’s way more room for fraud than just this scenario. We can start with the proven fact that there are cases where dozens of people stated they all had the same address; the same small house. Or a completely fictitious address that comes up in an empty lot. There’s no way to conduct a meaningful audit either when you don’t have verified ID that you can trace to every ballot.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
2 years ago

Yes – in the U.K. you can have an extra vote for each person that you “persuade” not to go and vote themselves.
Some social groupings are better at exploiting this than others.
Postal voting is more open to fraudulent behaviour, but the problem still occurs at voting offices.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Barton
murray.willows
murray.willows
2 years ago

That is a ridiculous comment. By any measure the election in the US was rated as the most fair and well regulated ever.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

Well you are responding to a comment about UK voting by referring to US voting. But let’s jump tracks
. Who rated the US elections the fairest and best regulated ever?
Even South Africa has a better system. Voter registration, ID and all. Lots of poor people ‘of colour’.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

You mean previous ones were worse?
How can it be fairest ever when it also had the greatest proportion of absentee votes?
Who ensured that absentee voters were alone and voting in secret (i.e nobody else saw their ballot before it was posted) when they made their mark?
The same people who said it was the most fair and well regulated ever?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

No it was the same people who who declared that the virus did not come from the Wuhan lab and that anyone who says differently must be made a non-person and denied any opportunity to air views. It will definitely be them.

Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

By whom?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

If what happened in the US happened in Russia no one would believe the result

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Perhaps you mean “in Britain”?
Because it’s been required in the UK – in Northern Ireland – since 2002.
And since the Tower Hamlets election fraud of 2014, the government has been trying to introduce voter ID throughout the UK, with good reason. That fraud included aspects directly addressed by voter ID: namely, personation, postal vote fraud, fraudulent registration of voters.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Many countries have no national identity card at all, and at least the UK or Denmark do not require ID for voting either. Voter fraud is simply not seen as a problem – certainly not big enough to introduce an entire ID card system. If it aint broke, why pay to fix it?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

He US system is broke

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Do you mean ‘broke’ or ‘broken’? It may well be, but could you tell me how it is broken, and what the evidence is?

The devil’s advocate view is that there is no serious proboem that voter ID or reduction of voting opportunities will solve, and that Republicans are using a whipped-up panic about non-existing problems as a pretext to make it harder for their opponents to vote. This may well be wrong – but I would like to see the evidence for those problems.

Bronwen Saunders
Bronwen Saunders
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There was a time when flying safely was not seen as a problem either. Then came 9/11 and we saw how dangerously naive we had been. When a weakness in a system is identified, it simply won’t do to say “Nothing terrible has ever happened.” Because sooner or later something terrible will happen and then people will ask “Why were no precautions taken to prevent this?” Individuals can take things on faith as much as they like, but states must be held to a higher standard of evidence.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Not a particularly good example. Airplanes are known to be fragile systems where any small cause can kill several hundred people. Indeed airplane security from just technical problems is deep and multilayered . Voting fraud? Well, the integrity of the recording and checking process is vulnerable – one could argue that you should never, ever, consider electronic voting machines because they are vulnerable to hacking. State governments disregarding the intentions of the voters seems to be a risk, too. Mail-in voting might be vulnerable, on a smaller scale, But successful impersonation would require a very large ground organisation with a high risk of discovery – and you would know in advance whether this was a realistic risk. In the UK or Denmark it is not. For the US I would like to see the evidence.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago

Did they require ID to go on the plane?

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

Douglas is bending himself into a pretzel in an effort to be even handed here, but by so doing he only confirms what we all already know. The Republicans, like any human beings, can be and often are corrupted. The Democrats, on the other hand, are rotten from the ground up and from the marrow out. They are an organized criminal conspiracy and that is all they have ever been since the day Andrew Jackson created them.
For the benefit of anyone who isn’t aware of it, the Democrats have been race grifters from day one. They defended slavery tooth and nail and had it been left to them, it would still exist in America. They caused the American Civil War and are responsible for the thousands who died in it. It was not a war between North and South, it was between Democrats and Republicans. For a hundred years after that war they dominated the southern states. Republicans couldn’t get elected to the town council during that period. They oversaw the use of the law as an instrument for the continued oppression of blacks in the South, and every Jim Crow law ever passed was passed by a Democrat legislature, signed into law by a Democrat governor and enforced by Democrat sheriffs. Every single one of them, no qualifications, no exceptions. No such law was ever passed in a red state.
Now they present themselves as the white saviours because they can’t win without black votes, and we all know what Lyndon Johnson said about black people voting. They’re against voter ID because it makes it harder for them to mine black people’s votes and stuff the ballot. It’s a simple as that.

George Glashan
George Glashan
2 years ago

The whole modern Left can be summed up as : X is racist. the racist part is a given they just need to find what X is today.

Last edited 2 years ago by George Glashan
Alyona Song
Alyona Song
2 years ago

The “bravery” of boarding a private aircraft tells it all, the best illustration of distortion of truth. Couldn’t they hike into the wilderness (eco-friendly escape) or stand up to the opponents in a fact-based, fact-checked rational debate to prove the point (as is their duty)? The devastating truth is that calling voter ID requirement racist is a primitive affront to common sense. Another grief of theirs is closure of 24-hr voting stations. The brave private jet fliers oppose it, obviously, since keeping voting booths open through the night bolsters security, safety and reliability of the process and people servicing it… hm

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
2 years ago

The battle against not having any form of ID is lost with the growing distrust that individuals will act responsibly. Fraud, trolling, age restrictions, money laundering, taxation, pandemic protections, immigraion policies, health entitlements, all point to a need for ID and therefore a need to make it reliable and convenient. Once that is done there can be no objection to requiring it. A single card with a photo, chip for finger prints and iris recognition and QR code can suffice for all purposes. If an effort is made in the implementation, no one needs to be disadvantaged. So it is really a question of making it convenient. There will of course be no anonymity, but everyone who has a smart phone has already given up on that possibility. We will also need complete transparency on its use by Governments and trust in Government will have to be restored by refocussing it on participants performing a public service rather than a celebrity show. It does make me nostalgic for the days when, on losing my passport in Cyprus, sufficient ID to re-enter the UK was a library ticket, without a photo. Nostalgia is about things you can not bring back but as you grow older at least you can enjoy the memories.

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
2 years ago

Don’t really want to join this argument since many of the comments are of the “my dad is bigger than your dad” variety. No real debate. However, the author states early on that there are many egregious cases of voter fraud for millions of Americans to see. However, the link he offers in evidence shows only 1000-odd cases for all elections, not just Presidential, going back at least 20 years. Hard to find one in 2020. Egregious? Quite the opposite I think. What else is just coming out of your hat?

Christopher Gelber
Christopher Gelber
2 years ago

I could say so much here in detail, but cavorting in the weeds has limited emotional appeal. The helicopter summary is that the electoral processes employed at both state and federal level in the US are the most openly corrupt in the Western world. There is not one other truly democratic country, not one, which tolerates the hideous scope for cheating which seriously compromises the legitimacy of many elected US federal and state officials, from the president on down. And there is little if any appetite to fix any of the problems. There is a price to be paid for this sort of behaviour, which plays out over decades rather than just years, so few care anywhere near enough.

Last edited 2 years ago by Christopher Gelber
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago

Some evidence with details and some references would help. If you mean the legally permitted electoral contributions that would count as bribery in many other countries, I will not argue with you. But if you think that US elections are uniquely easy to defraud, an explanation would help. Without evidence, it looks too much like Republicans simply refusing to accept that they could possibly lose in a fair ballot.

And, please, do not use The Heritage Foundation as your source, as Douglas Murray did. 1328 cases, gong back all the way to 1982, at all way down to primaries for selectmen, lots of them regarding single individuals who registered falsely or grabbed one or two absentee votes. There is not enough evidence of real problems there to shoot a dead dog.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
David Harris
David Harris
2 years ago

“requiring voter identification remains a simple requirement — one that… is practised across Europe during elections.”
But, incredibly, not in the UK.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Harris
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  David Harris

Or in Denmark.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
2 years ago

Much said here about voterID but the issue is more about process. I’m concerned about the counting machines and integrity of the databases. All the equipment and software is proprietary thus each state has an opportunity for graft in system selection. Programming the scanners, printing the paper to avoid bleedthrough can be error prone. What is really needed is open source software along with certified scanners built to specification. Operations of programming, running and accumulation into the database must be government employees oversee by partisan observers at every step. Any hint of manipulation leads to distrust and must be avoided. The various audits are proving the process is error-prone.

aaron david
aaron david
2 years ago

The article outlines most of the specific issues, but I want to reiterate the prime factor, namely that the US is deeply divided politically. And as we have seen both parties get bent out of shape over the possibility of a loss due to fraud, the idea of Voter ID is one to help restore trust in the system.
As we are so evenly divided, and our elections consequently coming down to a very few votes deciding them, the need for trust in the system is greater than ever. And as around 80% of the country wants this, it is a no-brainer to help restore or expand that trust. Georgia, the state getting the greatest pushback, is allowing bills with a current address, so the idea that the law takes away minority rights due to a lack of ID is laughable. Indeed, it greatly expands them and mainly limits the ability of unknown third parties to handle votes, which is a sure sign of election fraud whenever the UN gets involved to ensure fair elections.

John Hicks
John Hicks
2 years ago

I note the Democracy Index (Economist) records the USA as a “Flawed Democracy” these past seven years. Voter ID a part of the problem?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
2 years ago
Reply to  John Hicks

Does not look like it. According to the Democracy Index the US gets its highest score (9.17/10) for ‘Electoral proces and pluralism’. The lowest scores (around 6.5/10) are in ‘Functioning of government’ and ‘Political culture’.

Last edited 2 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago

TBH the Republicans, like the UK Tories enjoyed generations of dodgy victories 1780s to 1910 at least, where Dems and Whigs had relatively few. This does not make the 2020 election cheating right, it simply shows that both sides will try it on. The difference from when Illinois Dems were asked to “vote early and vote often” is that the State is now so weak it no longer has the motive or even the means to challenge election fraud.

Last edited 2 years ago by mike otter
David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

Your history seems a bit off. The Republicans could not have been enjoying victories, dodgy or otherwise, before 1854 when the party was founded.

David Yetter
David Yetter
2 years ago

There are no cries that the requirement of showing government issued photo ID to buy alcohol (if one looks like one might be younger than 21), tobacco (if one looks like one might be younger than 18), take a domestic flight, enter a Federal courthouse, or receive a COVID vaccination are “racist” or “disproportionately affect people of colour”. This suggests an alternative explanation to the soft racism of low expectations most posters here have suggested as the reason for the Democrats vociferous and rhetorically over the top objection to voter ID laws, to wit, they actually do engage in large scale vote fraud in forms which would be deterred by a voter ID requirement.

murray.willows
murray.willows
2 years ago

What is most concerning about the Republican driven changes to the laws is they they are actually limiting access to the ability of people to vote. This is in a country which is meant to be and pride’s itself on being the home of democracy (where typically voting levels barely get above 50%).
Surely there should be every encouragement to get citizens to vote, be active citizens, to exercise their democratic rights etc., and not to have additional barriers placed in their way. So access to more places to vote, use postal votes, use drive through etc. should be a good thing.
And the “red herring” of fraud is not reason to place these barriers in place.
Perpetuating the big lie that there was widespread or indeed any fraud is a frankly the intent of conspiracy theorists when by every measure, every investigation, every examination by election officials – including Republican officials – and by every court…..there was no fraud, no stealing of the election and no doubt that the result was correct. Sorry Donald!
Voter ID is also a red herring. You have to be registered to vote. Your signature is on the reg form.
Poor people do not have driver’s licenses and certainly not passports (only 20% of Americans have passports) so requiring a photo ID does discriminate against the poor.
America should be doing everything to increase the exercise of democracy…..not reducing the opportunities to be a citizen

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

Sounds like America should be doing everything to give everyone an identity document to prove that they are a citizen. Clearly they also need to clean up the voting process as every defeated administration now claims voter fraud.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

Literally a regurgitation of every Democrat Party talking point. Nul points for originality. Also, nul points for not keeping to the facts. All of the states where prima facie evidence of voter fraud took place are doing election audits of the 2020 election: Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia. So far, both Arizona and Georgia have come up with evidence of cheating, to the point where the Dems are hysterically trying to get the Justice Dept to stop the audits. Why so hysterical if the election was squeaky clean?

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Lale
Helen Moorhouse
Helen Moorhouse
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Last week the Arizona senate reviewed the progress of their ongoing audit. Of the issues raised here are the ones relating to voter rolls…
a) There are 74,243 mail-in ballots with no clear record of being sent out
b) 11,326 who voted did not show up on the 11/7 voter rolls, but are listed in the 12/4 database
c) 3,981 who voted on Election Day were registered after 10/15, which is a violation of state law
d) Approximately 18k people voted on Election Day but were subsequently removed from the rolls
wwwDOTyoutubeDOTcom/watch?v=7OZmNbBDQ6k&t=10823s

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

You are over the limit for falsehoods in one post!!!
1 – GA is prosecuting 32 individuals for voting fraud relating to thousands of registrations and votes for 2020 election.
2 – Most states with Democrat administrations effectively turned off the signature matching (in violation of their state laws).
3 – and The Big Lie – poor people do not have IDs! Read: https://redstate.com/diary/badkarma6/2011/12/28/the-photo-id-myth-n210767\

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

An election is a process. The process has to be designed to protect fairness via transparency. The process proves the vote – that’s why every step of an election process should be open to scrutiny. Part of the process is protecting the election from manipulation – safeguards, just in case – because voting fraud is known to happen.
So ease of voting has to be matched by processes to ensure no-one votes twice, no vote is stolen, no vote is miscounted, no coercion is applied to a vote, that it is a free and fair choice. What matters is the ability to prove there is no fraud, because the election process is strong enough to demonstrate this – and demonstrates it transparently to all. If you weaken the process, you can’t prove the absence of fraud.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  murray.willows

There is no point in getting people to vote if they are not interested enough to do so, unless you want to fraudulently harvest their votes

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

For the UK. If voter ID requirements aren’t inherently racist many people of any ethnicity could effectively be excluded as they don’t have photo ID with them. They may well just not bother to vote rather than get photo ID on that day of the election. It certainly seems unnecessary in the UK given the tiny number of instances of voter fraud.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Hersch Schneider
Hersch Schneider
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

What’s your point? In the UK we shouldn’t have voter I.D. because people may not bother to vote if they have to get I.D.? These are the sorts of idiots that a decent democracy could do without voting, to be honest

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

Yes sounds like these people wouldn’t know what they are voting for.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

(Apologies for my ‘troll’ remark.)
As the reply was to myself originally. I’ll just repeat: possession of photo ID does not qualify ‘good character’ fit to participate in voting anymore than vice versa.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Possession of photo ID does act as a barrier to cheating, though, and that’s something we should all want. Why there are so many people against photo ID for voting when it is completely uncontroversial in a hundred other situations should make us all suspicious.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

Judging from the activity on here there does seem to be a serious problem with cheating. Not sure I agree. When the need for voter ID is promoted by one political party only then we should be at least a bit suspicious.
You can be sure there will be an issue with photo IDs not being checked properly and someone will report it as an example of the crumbling of our democracy.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

‘When the need for voter ID is promoted by one political party only then we should be at least a bit suspicious.’

And if the need for voter ID is being resisted by a particular party, then we should be even more suspicious.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Yes, an impartial observer should be suspicious about that ‘resistance’. Still doesn’t prove there is a massive problem.
Quote: ‘The UK has very low levels of proven electoral fraud, and voters should feel confident about their vote. But we know from our public opinion research that it is an issue that concerns some voters. Two-thirds of people say they would feel more confident in the security of the voting system if there was a requirement to show ID.’ (Electoral Commission, July ’21 Requirement to show ID at polling stations | Electoral Commission)
‘Some voters’ – I take this to mean a minority of voters actually have concerns.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

How does ‘Two-thirds of people say they would feel more confident in the security of the voting system if there was a requirement to show ID‘ translate into meaning a minority of voters actually have concerns?

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

We haven’t seen the research results, all the figures. Presenting one proportion (‘two-thirds’) from options in a survey give an indication of desires, feelings & opinions. Still doesn’t mean there is a massive problem.

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

But, James, mate … you’re the one who posted that two-thirds stat in the first place.

Perhaps it would be better to leave you argue amongst yourself.

Al M
Al M
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

I cannot collect a parcel from the Post Office depot without ID. I can vote without it though. When registering, I just put my name on the list.

Frankly, if there is a trade off between people who don’t have ID not voting and people voting fraudulently (and I’m not saying I accept that argument) I’m sure a great many will say that it’s quite reasonable to prioritise the prevention of voter fraud.

Last edited 2 years ago by Al M
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  Al M

I can’t even go to my local rubbish tip without ID.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

If voter fraud was rife photo ID would be necessary, yes.
I have never had to show photo ID before I vote. I simply let the official know my name & address to check I’m on the roll.
Most of us have photo ID, but for the small minority who don’t or don’t have it on them but are eligible to vote, the hassle-factor might mean they simply do not bother.
Having photo ID doesn’t automatically qualify someone as a sensible, mature citizen, deserving a vote, any more than not having photo ID means they are reprobate.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

All true – but the point is to avoid the “appropriation” of other peoples votes.
If I can’t/won’t vote, others should not have an ability to use it for their own purposes.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Barton
James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Fair point.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

There is no war at the moment so why do we have the armed services. My house has not been robbed in the last 10 years so why bother locking the doors. We take sensible precaution because although we do not have an immediate problem we anticipate the risk and take prudent counter-measures.
Any one resisting sensible precautions has one eye to exploiting their absence, and we all know the way the wind is blowing on this one.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

Agreed. If you CBA to establish who you are I don’t see why you should get to vote.
It’s a handy proxy for being too feeble-minded to vote. Years ago I read a survey that found something like 30% of Labour voters thought the Sun was a Labour newspaper. Anyone that stupid cannot possibly cast their vote properly.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

I had a colleague who asked me whether he should vote in the GE. I asked him what he knew of the policies of the 2 main parties. He said “nothing”. I told him it was pointless him voting.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

But of course most people would tell him how to vote 🙂

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Successfully prosecuted instances are tiny.
The fact that impersonation fraud has happened, and has been successfully prosecuted, remains.
The proven possibility destroys trust in the system, and democracy runs on trust.
What should we do – wait until it is so widespread that nobody trusts the polls anymore?
The huge increase in postal voting since COVID restrictions presents a further opportunity for fraud, that some will find difficult to resist.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago

What should we do – wait until it is so widespread that nobody trusts the polls anymore?’ No.
There has always been abuse of voting – this is Democracy’s vulnerable ‘underbelly’. It is a shame though that we are moving to a mindset which considers everyone to be a ‘fraud’ until they can prove otherwise. That seems to be upshot of this. .

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

It’s not a question of considering everyone to be a fraud, though. It’s a question of recognising that anybody’s vote may be stolen by a fraud. So to protect your vote from theft, the person casting it has to show that they are you, and not some election fraudster.
On the bright side, think of all the opportunities this will provide for the defeated left to argue that the Conservative victories of the past were all stolen because there was no voter ID at the time!

Last edited 2 years ago by Jon Redman
Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

‘It is a shame though that we are moving to a mindset which considers everyone to be a ‘fraud’ until they can prove otherwise.’

While a pervasive sense of mistrust in society is indeed a sad thing, I think you are overstating your case.

There are scanners at shop doors to detect goods not paid for. To travel on a train you have to expect a ticket check, and present your photograph ID for concessions. That supposes one might be committing an offence of dishonesty. Not to mention that in boarding an aeroplane every single passenger is held up and treated as a possible terrorist. None of this great, but there are solid reasons for it.

I think that maintaining public confidence in the voting system (in other words the functioning of our democracy) is more important than a dodged fare.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Am I the only one ‘overstating my case’? Is our democracy in the UK anywhere near not functioning? I don’t think so. The whole thing is Polling Station ‘Theatre’. Any photo ID, no matter how old, how scratched, in other words potentially unrecognisable will do, apparently. A ‘good enough likeness’ is vague. Of course ‘fraudsters’ will slip through.
Voter Identification – FAQs – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Last edited 2 years ago by James Chater
Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

This edit represents a total deletion of the original reply and insertion of a completely new one.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

The Gov.UK link you provided includes the statement: Expired photographic identification will also be accepted if the photograph is of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm the identity of the holder.

In effect, the opposite of what you have written (‘… potentially unrecognisable will do, apparently’)

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

(This is getting very boring – for both of us I am sure.)
Given showing photo ID at a polling station will not be the same as showing a passport photo before boarding a plane, the whole thing is likely to be rushed & cursory.
We can be guaranteed ‘fraudsters’ will slip through.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

‘We can be guaranteed ‘fraudsters’ will slip through.’

So voter fraud is occurring, then?

That’s really the point that many posters here are making and you have been resisting.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

There will always be the odd case of fraud the object is to make sure it does not become endemic

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

I shouldn’t have re-read your comment.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
2 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

The alternative is to rely on a omniscient and omnipresent God who punishes immediately without mercy in order to set an example for society of anyone who committed fraud. Auto-combustion for instance. Or, hanging from a pole.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
2 years ago

I’m not quite sure how that connects with my earlier post, but it sounds as though it would be fun to watch.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

What gives you confidence that voter fraud is tiny ?
How can you tell (count) an occurrence when a voter has successfully re-voted with someone else’s card ?

David Shepherd
David Shepherd
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Because in the UK at least you can’t re-vote against the same name. If you turn up to vote and find your vote has already been cast you know fraud has taken place and there will be an investigation. This does happen but not very often. Of course, if the real voter doesn’t turn up you get away with it.
However, this is not a method for gaining sufficient targeted votes to make a difference in an election so is tolerated. I presume up to now it has not been considered worth it to administer Voter ID. Meaningful fraud would require large scale voter replication or vote transfer, Voter ID won’t help you here as it requires manipulation of the system not the voter.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  David Shepherd

That is why postal ballots are so loved by the Labour Party

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
2 years ago
Reply to  David Shepherd

The real problem is where the named voter is “discouraged” from turning up, thus facilitating what I believe you have described as “vote transfer”.
It is too easy for some “heads of family” to take control of their households voting activities (whether via postal voting or at a polling station)

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Barton
David Shepherd
David Shepherd
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

No, messing around with individual votes does not buy you effective targeting in a particular constituency. Voter ID is a good idea on principle; but it would not stop the sort of large scale fraud required to change results. By vote transfer I mean manipulation of votes already cast. If your main worry is about the fraudulent changing of elections Voter ID buys you nothing.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Shepherd
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
2 years ago
Reply to  David Shepherd

Thanks for the clarification – I understand your “after voting” point now.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Barton
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Without voter ID, how do we know there is only a “tiny number of instances of voter fraud”?