What it's like to register to vote in states with voter suppression law

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/08/what-its-like-to-register-to.html


First paragraph: Scott Walker, not Watson. In general I’m terrible with names but that’s one evil, evil man… I wish I could forget him.


Civil wars have been fought for the right to vote. And with good cause. In a representative government, anyone without a vote is a non-person. Voter suppression is anti-American. Politicians who see it as a legitimate tactic to win elections are un-American. And those, such as Scott Walker, who hide behind mealy-mouthed excuses are moral cowards.


Scott Walker: the guy looks like the drunk in a silent film and is just as effective a gubernor.
Voter ID laws are to suppress the vote of ‘undesirables’.

Yet my parents intimated that they could vote in Ohio AND Florida since they were residents of both states. uh, no. just no. Now that is the voter fraud that Rs do that Ds don’t do… just sayin…

And now Herr Drumpf is saying that the borders are open and we’re importing ‘illegals’ to vote for them Demoncrats! If Hillary wins they’ll say it was rigged! Stolen! If Drumpf wins let’s hope the nukes land squarely on you: living in the hellscape that would be Drumnpf’s UhmeriKKKah makes me hope I’m completely vaporized (no, not vaping) when the sh!t comes down. Maybe I’ll have enough time to flee to Canada…


Then why not appease both sides and make you show your social security card? Every citizen is issued one at birth, so it’s not like you have to go anywhere to get one. Obviously for citizens born outside the US that might pose more of an issue, but a passport could easily be a secondary form of ID.

Why do states have the right to interfere in a federal election?Why doesn’t the federal government set the rules and issue the voter ID to everyone?


What does this mean? latinat?

I came here to say: [insert white male response “Everyone has ________ ID. It’s the law!” here.] but you beat me to it.


The Social Security card was never meant to be used as an ID in the first place. Don’t overload it with yet another “use”. (No I don’t believe voter ID laws are good in the first place, but using a SS card doubles down on the dumb.)


That’s a recent change. It wasn’t true when the man who was the example above was born.

Also, social security cards have no identifying info on them, are made of paper (much easier to be damaged), and everyone is warned NOT to carry them around because the physical loss of the card is catastrophic in many ways.


Latino or Latina


Besides which, you don’t even need to be a citizen to have either a social security card or a driving licence.


[quote=“bcsizemo, post:5, topic:87051, full:true”]
Then why not appease both sides and make you show your social security card? Every citizen is issued one at birth, so it’s not like you have to go anywhere to get one. Obviously for citizens born outside the US that might pose more of an issue, but a passport could easily be a secondary form of ID.[/quote]
Having a social security number is not mandatory for citizenship, nor does it prove citizenship.

While near ubiquitous today, registering newborns is still voluntary, and really only became popular after the Tax Reform Act of 1986, when SSNs became required to claim tax deductions for dependents.



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Only “voluntary” in the sense that you can opt out, but you can’t use the kid as a tax deduction, get them a passport, or apply for any social programs without it. RatGirl the Younger (now a month old) already has one because we couldn’t apply for a passport or open a 529 account for her without one.


"How much verifiable voter fraud has the US experienced in recent years? 31 "

Out of curiosity, where does this mystical number come from? I see it (and other numbers, which causes me even more doubt they are fact-bases) tossed around blithely without even a vague citation Since there is NO effective control over voting, how can anyone even tell if the amount of fraud is zero or hundreds of thousands.

Places like Chicago have long, sordid, documented histories of voter fraud reaching back well into the 1800’s for example. Has this all magically vanished somehow and both major parties are temples of virtue and honesty? I’m fairly sure I’ve read reports in the past few years of party stalwarts refusing to register people to the opposition party or even falsifying registrations.

You can’t cash a check, drive a car or buy a gun without showing identification so why should the most powerful weapon that exists (sovereign franchise) be handed over just because a warm body shows up and claims they are eligible?

To me, what needs immediate fixing is the ability to get an identification card or provide alternative means by which someone can establish their right to vote. Both are easily correctable but no one seems to be concentrating on this.

Ask Social Security for the numbers on SSN fraud sometime. People willing to use fake/stolen Social Security numbers (which by doing so can mess up someone else’s life for years) quite obviously seem more likely to also be willing to claim the “right” to vote unlawfully. Especially with certain groups telling them they have an inherent right to be here and enjoy all possible benefits of being here.

There are (or were, this seems to be being messed with) well-established and relatively simple means to get a passport without the normal identification paperwork and such could easily be adapted to getting verified for voting.

You can cut off those trying to keep people from voting due to race right at the knees if you simply create a scheme like this. Takes away all possible arguments any rational being might try and use and secures the voting process.

Even if fraud levels are as low as claimed (and I do not believe it absent citations and evidence), a lack of problem now does not mean it will never occur. I’ve never been burglarized but I still lock my doors.


I didn’t get a SSN until I was in high school. Many women who never worked outside the home, or people whose work wasn’t covered by the Social Security Act didn’t get one even as adults. That’s the thing, ID requirements are easy to satisfy for most middle class or indeed working class Americans. But I believe that there are more older, poorer people for whom it is difficult to meet these requirements than there are cases of in person voter fraud.


Voter ID is a good idea. The way it has been implemented has been proven to target minorities. Adding into that obtaining ID is made difficult in the states that demand voter ID. Any cost associated with it is a form of poll tax. In person voter fraud is not common. Gerrymandering (from both parties), unsecured voting machines are much bigger problems.


These “reasoned” defenses of voter-suppression laws simply ignore the elephant in the room. These laws have nothing to do with preventing voter fraud. It’s no coincidence that they were passed by reactionary Republican governors with Republican legislatures, abetted by a packed Supreme Court that swept away voter protections.

The intent of these laws is to prevent as many people as possible from voting for the “wrong” party. At least one Republican politician has accidentally said as much on the record, but the ongoing quest for a “permanent Republican majority” is an open secret.

Yes, fraudulent votes have been cast, especially in the big cities and especially in the early 20th century. But there were also poll taxes, literacy tests, property requirements, and other means of keeping the vote out of the hands of the Wrong People. How many fake voters have cast ballots over the last twenty years? Thousands? Tens of thousands? We’re talking about a calculated effort to permanently deny the “sovereign franchise” to millions of non-fake voters.

Everything else is just smoke screen.


I’m not sure if boingboing has reported on this, but whether or not lawmakers realize it, voter ID laws also impact transgender people because their appearance does not always match what is expected based on their ID, and it’s completely up to whoever is working at the polls to decide what constitutes being the same person as the one on your ID.

I feel weird because I ever talk about here is being trans, but I’m not going to stop.