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Photo ID Sounds Like A Good Idea – Is It?

Requiring voters to present a photo ID at the polls sounds like a good idea – but it is everything we hate about government: a complex and expensive nonsolution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Additionally the push for photo ID will incentivize the adoption of REAL ID, something many states are fighting against.

To implement such a law would cost millions each year, would likely disenfranchise at least half a million voters, a minimum of 8% of all voters. In particular this would impact women, the elderly and minorities – and would not prevent fraud that it is designed to stop.

Disenfranchising half a million people or more:  According to a check of the DMV database to registered voters, at least 500,000 registered active voters do not have a state issued photo ID or drivers license. [1]  There are a few hundred thousand more that we aren’t sure of.  If you mandate photo ID, by law you will have to provide that ID FREE to those who cannot afford it.
Currently the NC DMV pays a vendor $5.00 per photo ID to produce it. Additionally, the DMV makes a $5.00 profit which is used to fund the DMV. Will the DMV have to give up that profit?  Other costs include hiring additional staff for DMV,  providing transportation to the DMV for those needing ID, staffing for election offices, and extra staffing at polling places. So the cost could be at least $5,000,000 to provide those “free” IDs, not including cost for new voters who need them.

Price Tag?  With all costs considered, the price tag could be $18 million or more.  The Institute for Southern Studies advises that: “Our analysis found that, using a conservative estimate, a voter ID bill would cost North Carolina taxpayers at least $18 million and up to $25 million over the next three years.” [2]  Then there is the direct cost to voters.  People without photo ID will need to take time away from work, often when they can’t afford to, obtain transportation or assistance in getting to the DMV, and may have to purchase replacement documents to use to get that state issued ID.

Is it Constitutional?

State challenges:  Is Photo ID vulnerable to legal challenges based on the state constitution?  Former state Supreme Court justice Bob Orr, conservative – has pointed out that: ” The General Assembly does not have the authority to add “qualifications” for voting, absent a constitutional amendment.” [3]

Federal challenges: 

For Electronics Amazon Scanner Patronscan Fake Kiosk Id com Bars The Brennan Center for Justice cites three basic principles that must be satisfied to avoid a constitutional challenge of any photo ID law [4]:

 First, photo IDs sufficient for voting must be available free for all those who do not have them. States cannot limit free IDs to those who swear they are indigent. North Carolina would need to pay the costs of obtaining the supporting documents necessary to obtain photo IDs.

 Second, photo IDs must be readily accessible to all voters, without undue burden. To make ID easily accessible, our state might have to expand the number of ID-issuing offices and extend their operating hours.

 Third, states must undertake substantial voter outreach and public education efforts to ensure that voters are apprised of the law’s requirements and the procedures for obtaining the IDs they will need to vote.

No Verification System for the Photo ID: In my correspondence with the sponsor of the Photo ID bill, Rep David Lewis (R-Harnett we learned that there is no validation process in place in the bill. Per Kara A. McCraw, staff attorney and legislative analyst for the General Assembly’s Research Division:
“The bill does not address the issue of ‘fake’ IDs, specify a verification process by the election official, or require other agencies to share databases for verification of IDs. …the bill does not include a system or funding for verification of the IDs, and as a result the remaining questions (computer system for ID verification, electronic pollbooks , cost of such a system, security, etc.) are not addressed in the bill.”
[5]

To the layperson, this means that: there are no provisions, mechanisms or funding in place to make it possible to validate a photo ID. Someone determined to impersonate another voter would be able to get a superb photo ID kit on Ebay or amazon quite cheaply. [6]For Bars Amazon com Scanner Fake Patronscan Kiosk Electronics Id   Ask a college kid!

Photo ID as a Trojan Horse for REAL ID:  Photo IDs are easy to fake, lack standardization, are hard to verify. That is why back in 2005, a bi partisan commission recommended the implementation of REAL ID [7] 

Voting Reform Is in the Cards
By JIMMY CARTER and JAMES A. BAKER III
Published: September 23, 2005
…Our concern was that the differing requirements from state-to-state could be a source of discrimination, and so we recommended a standard for the entire country, the Real ID card, the standardized driver’s licenses mandated by federal law last May. With that law, a driver’s license can double as a voting card. All but three of our 21 commission members accepted the proposal, in part because the choice was no longer whether to have voter ID’s, but rather what kind of ID’s voters should have.

Opposition to REAL ID or National ID:  Learn about security, privacy, cost and identity theft issues associated with the REAL ID act at the website REAL Nightmare.org [8] The Electronic Privacy Information Center has called for the repeal of this ill-conceived national identification law. [9]

What about those “dead” voters?  Susan Myrick at Civitas Review blogged that “110 Year Olds Vote Strong in NC” Weed Id Pond The Watermeal Guy Guide UqYzFUWn1 Is that true? NO.

From email correspondence with the NC State Board of Elections:
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: RE: Civitas writes that 2,214 “110 year olds” voted in NC
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 14:17:24 -0400
From: Wright, Don
To: Joyce McCloy

Joyce,

When a county does not have a birth date for a voter, they use a default date for that voters birth date and most counties use 1/1/1900. If these voters show up to vote, the pollworkers inquire as to their correct birth date and that information is added. Over the past few years, we have reduced the number of default birth date voters. And after this election the number of default birth date voters will be reduced even further.

There were millions of voters transferred from the county paper VR records to the Statewide VR database around 2000. Some of the county’s older VR data did not have the voter’s birth date and it was not required at the time that voter registered. Since that time, we have be able to reduce the number of such voters down to a little over two thousand.

Sincerely,

Don Wright
General Counsel
NC State Board of Elections

We already have protections in place to protect voting: North Carolina requires registered voters give a name and address to a poll worker to confirm they are on the books. Only first-time voters who didn’t have a valid ID when they registered must show a current photo ID or an identifying document like a utility bill or bank statement. Voter impersonation is felony.

Here is what someone who wants to impersonate a registered voter at the polls would have to go through for one vote:

• Travel to the proper polling place for a particular voter whose name and address is memorized
• Accurately forge the voter’s signature
• Potentially have to provide other information about the voter (utility bill, last four digits of her Social Security number)
• Make sure that voter has not already voted absentee or requested an absentee ballot
• Know that the voter has not moved and re-registered at her new location or hasn’t been removed from the rolls for another reason
• Know that the voter has not already voted that day and does not plan to vote before the polls close
• Wait in line to cast a ballot in that voter’s name
• Risk detection from a poll worker who may know the registered voter
• Face fines and jail time [11]

Absentee vote by mail would be a more efficient and less risky way to commit election fraud.

Joyce McCloy, Director, NC Coalition for Verified Voting

[1] March 14, 2011 by Rob Schofield Who doesn’t have photo ID?
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2011/03/14/who-doesn%E2%80%99t-have-photo-id/

[2] FACING SOUTH – Online Magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies
Institute challenges NC lawmakers on cost of voter ID bill
http://www.southernstudies.org/2011/03/institute-challenges-nc-lawmakers-on-cost-of-voter-id-bill.html

[3] MAR 15, 2011: Justice Orr on the Voter ID requirement of HB351:
http://www.ncicl.org/article/524

[4]The Cost of Voter ID Laws:
What the Courts Say
By Vishal Agraharkar, Wendy Weiser, and Adam Skaggs
Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law
For Id Kiosk Patronscan com Bars Amazon Electronics Scanner Fake
http://brennan.3cdn.net/74978e15d83a92d20f_c3m6bhza7.pdf

[5] Is that ID on the up and up?
April 19, 2011 Doug Clark, Editor Greensboro News and Record
http://www.news-record.com/blog/54431/entry/116116

[6] Group that promotes photo ID also complains that North Carolina has a problem with fake ids.
Fake ID’s Grow in NC
November 30th, 2009 Written by Jeff Mixon
http://www.civitasreview.com/immigration/fake-ids-grow-in-nc/

[7] Voting Reform Is in the Cards
By JIMMY CARTER and JAMES A. BAKER III
Published: September 23, 2005
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/23/opinion/23carter.html?_r=1

[8] “Real Nightmare” website by ACLU about problems with REAL ID
Law Findlaw Orlando Florida Patents amp; Lawyers Firms Best w8IZRqxR

[9]National ID and the REAL ID Act
http://epic.org/privacy/id_cards/

[10]110 Year Olds Vote Strong in NC
Susan Myrick Civitas Review Online
http://www.civitasreview.com/elections-campaigns/110-year-olds-votestrong-in-nc/

[11]§ 163‑275. Certain acts declared felonies.
http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_163/GS_163-275.html

Additional reading:

Mail ballot fraud is a much more efficient and less risky way to commit election fraud
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Who doesn’t have photo ID?
Post on March 14, 2011 by Rob Schofield
The State Board of Elections matched its database of 6.1 million registered voters with records at the Division of Motor Vehicles and found that 1 million voters did not have a NC driver’s license or identification card with matching name and address – a current, valid NC photo ID.
http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2011/03/14/who-doesn%E2%80%99t-have-photo-id/

MAR 15, 2011: Justice Orr on the Voter ID requirement of HB351: An Act to Restore Confidence in Government.
Scanner For Electronics Id Bars Amazon Fake Kiosk com Patronscan
The General Assembly does not have the authority to add “qualifications” for voting, absent a constitutional amendment.
http://www.ncicl.org/article/524
NC State Constitution:

Article I: Sec. 10. Free elections.
All elections shall be free.
Sec. 11. Property qualifications.
As political rights and privileges are not dependent upon or modified by property, no property qualification shall affect the right to vote or hold office.

Article VI, Section 1 of the North Carolina Constitution: “Every person born in the United States and every person who has been naturalized, 18 years of age, and possessing the qualifications set out in this Article, SHALL BE ENTITLED TO VOTE at any election by the people of the State, except as herein otherwise provided.”
Article VI goes on to establish the “herein otherwise provided,” outlining that those who are citizens, those who’ve lived in their precinct for at least 30 days, and those who are not felons may register to vote and are eligible to vote.
http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/legislation/constitution/ncconstitution.html

Electronics Fake Amazon Id Kiosk Bars Scanner For Patronscan com G.S. 163‑166.12(a)(2)

§ 163‑166.12.  Requirements for certain voters who register by mail.
(a)        Voting in Person. – An individual who has registered to vote by mail on or after January 1, 2003, and has not previously voted in an election that includes a ballot item for federal office in North Carolina, shall present to a local election official at a voting place before voting there one of the following:
(1)        A current and valid photo identification.
(2)        A copy of one of the following documents that shows the name and address of the voter: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.
(b)        Voting Mail‑In Absentee. – An individual who has registered to vote by mail on or after January 1, 2003, and has not previously voted in an election that includes a ballot item for federal office in North Carolina, in order to cast a mail‑in absentee vote, shall submit with the mailed‑in absentee ballot one of the following:
(1)        A copy of a current and valid photo identification.
(2)        A copy of one of the following documents that shows the name and address of the voter: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.
(b1)      The county board of elections shall note the type of identification proof submitted by the voter under the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section and may dispose of the tendered copy of identification proof as soon as the type of proof is noted in the voter registration records.

http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_163/GS_163-166.12.html

 

Is that ID on the up and up?
Doug Clark, Editor Greensboro News and Record April 19, 2011
Kara A. McCraw, staff attorney and legislative analyst for the General Assembly’s Research Division:
“The bill does not address the issue of ‘fake’ IDs, specify a verification process by the election official, or require other agencies to share databases for verification of IDs. …the bill does not include a system or funding for verification of the IDs, and as a result the remaining questions (computer system for ID verification, electronic pollbooks , cost of such a system, security, etc.) are not addressed in the bill.”
http://www.news-record.com/blog/54431/entry/116116

Group that promotes photo ID also complains that North Carolina has a problem with fake ids.
Fake ID’s Grow in NC
Monday, November 30th, 2009 | Written by Jeff Mixon |
http://www.civitasreview.com/immigration/fake-ids-grow-in-nc/

Photo ID’s downsides for voting
Joyce McCloy Raleigh News and Observer 3/12/2011
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The ID impulse
Editorial Staff. Raleigh News and Observer 3/16/2011
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FACING SOUTH – Online Magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies
Institute challenges NC lawmakers on cost of voter ID bill
http://www.southernstudies.org/2011/03/institute-challenges-nc-lawmakers-on-cost-of-voter-id-bill.html

Editorial – GA should resist push by Republicans for photo ID requirement to vote
Published: Friday, December 17, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 9:00 p.m.
Enforcement Komo Pose perfect Challenge Near Law Ids ' Fake xgYgwUq8 It says much about the incoming Republican legislative leaders that one of their top priorities is to make it harder for people to vote.

Requiring someone of limited means to purchase a photo ID card just to vote may have the effect of discouraging that person from even bothering to vote. Partisans bent only on their own party’s victory may see nothing wrong with that; people concerned about the greater cause of democracy do.

Voters are required to register. They must state their name and address at the polling place and sign a pledge that they are who they say they are. There are laws on the books to deal with people who intentionally break election laws. Let’s use them and, if necessary, toughen them.
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Even more to the point, however, our laws apply to all people, regardless of what they do or don’t own. And whether or not they possess a photo ID.
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Statement from Democracy North Carolina Executive Director Bob Hall on House Bill 351
Made at the Elections Committee hearing on the bill held on March 15, 2011
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Jim Crow Laws: North Carolina
http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/scripts/jimcrow/insidesouth.cgi?state=North%20Carolina

Grandfather clause
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfather_clause