Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ronald Reagan's Voter ID Would Be Inadequate For Today's Republicans

Dear Fred,

Thanks for your email.

The only way for  the courts to "keep out of this" is to enfranchise everyone - including felons.

However I think this "civil rights" issue -- like earlier civil rights issues -- needs to be judged by The Supreme Court which is the appropriate body to determine the simplest way to accomplish this goal. 

Here in North Carolina, residents can register to vote -- just as one can prove one's voter eligibility on Election Day -- by presenting a photo ID or a utility bill showing that the registree lives in the district. (Here in North Carolina, you can both register to vote - and simultaneously cast your ballot - any day between October 18th and November 3rd.) 

Of course, greatly facilitated registration is not a perfect system. 

It is however immeasurably better than any of the perfectionist alternatives. 

To glimpse the downside of "perfectionism" - a ubiquitous disease among American conservatives -- I encourage you to read my recent post, "Is Perfectionism A Curse? Paul Ryan Tells The Truth."

Personally, I advocate Cumpulsory Voting like they have in Australia and other countries. 

Under Compulsory Voting, failure to cast a ballot -- even a defaced one -- results in a small fine. 

To make obligatory voting as easy as possible, I encourage maximum opportunity to vote prior to election day, plus mail-in ballots, plus a ballot that includes "votable categories" like "None of the above" and "I consider myself unjustly oppressed by being obliged to vote."

As an alternative to compulsory voting, citizens might formally renounce their franchise. 

Of course, persistent American yahoo-ism -- a widespread mindset that routinely mistakes license for freedom -- will oppose obligatory voting just as they oppose many obligations proper to responsible citizens.

Concerning your reference to the acceptability of laws that 'apply equally to everyone,' I believe "poor people" and "mobility-limited old people" constitute two definable populations whose "limiting circumstances" require special consideration in order to avoid de facto discrimination by de jure "laws that apply to everyone." 

                                                   Not one of these seniors has a picture I.D.
                                                             They are all registered voters.



On Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 11:25 AM, Fred Owens <> wrote:

I oppose voter ID laws everywhere, but I do not consider them unfair or racist. If a law required members of certain ethnic, racial, or other groups to show ID, but not others, then it would be discriminatory and wrong. But voter ID laws, as I understand them, require everyone to produce ID. Hence I oppose court rulings which consider these laws to be targeting certain groups.

Voter ID laws are a matter for the legislature.

I'm a Democrat because Democrats favor a universal franchise, while the GOP tends to favor restrictions.

But let's remember that women got the vote, not by court ruling, but by the votes of  already enfranchised voters (men).

Keep the courts out of this.

Fred Owens

Frog Hospital

1 comment:

  1. I call bullshit on this, my Dad was born in the late 20's in the south and he had a picture i.d. up until the last 2 years of his life when voting was the last thing on his mind because he was so sick and my Mother was born in the early 30's in the south and she still has a license to this day, so stop making pitiful excuses on why we don't need voter id laws, it really makes the left look desperate and pitiful.