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  1. #1
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Voter ID Laws

    It's been touched on briefly on other threads, but as a major issue in our political discourse, I think it's very deserving of its own thread.

    My opinion: go ahead and pass voter ID laws, but only if two conditions were fulfilled. If a state were to pass a voter ID law, they must:

    1) make IDs free to all persons entitled to have one. Citizenship status and eligibility to vote can be indicated on the card itself.
    2) have vans available for dispatch with ID card making machines that will show up to any residence, anywhere, and make them on the spot. All residents would do is have to schedule an appointment via phone, letter (no cost to mail), online request, or ticking a box on the census form requesting an appointment. The DMV comes to you.

    Otherwise, it seems to me to be a 21st Century poll tax, especially given the extraordinarily low level of actual illegal voting.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 11 Apr 18, at 01:30.
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  2. #2
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Definitely. If one can find voter registration out in front of a supermarket then it should be just as easy to do a voter ID. Anything less is a blatant attempt to discourage voting which is what voter ID is really about. Cough, cough...

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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Here's another idea: make it a felony to vote if not eligible, and then don't worry about the handful of cases that are missed.

    Oh, that's right.
    That's where we are today . . .

    Nevermind.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Anything less is a blatant attempt to discourage voting which is what voter ID is really about.
    For a simple comparison, over here everyone is on the voter register - unless they moved within the last 3 months. And everyone votes with either only their election notification or their national ID card.

    If there's something in the US voter registration process that seems utterly alien to me it's the party affiliation, i.e. registering as a Democrat, Republican, Independent etc. To me that defies the basic concept of a - modern - democratic election.

    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Here's another idea: make it a felony to vote if not eligible, and then don't worry about the handful of cases that are missed.
    The Greek way - it's a felony there to not vote if eligible. Or at least it was 20 years ago.

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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    For a simple comparison, over here everyone is on the voter register -.
    Over where?
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  6. #6
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Over where?
    kato ist ein Deutscher.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 13 Apr 18, at 00:43.
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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    The Greek way - it's a felony there to not vote if eligible. Or at least it was 20 years ago.
    That has been the case in Australia for almost a century. Voting is compulsory, even in local council elections. Personally I've always liked that. It seems to mitigate against political extremism, though that could just be us. :-)


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  8. #8
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    That has been the case in Australia for almost a century. Voting is compulsory, even in local council elections. Personally I've always liked that. It seems to mitigate against political extremism, though that could just be us. :-)
    To each his own. Personally, I don't feel a person should be compelled by law to vote.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    For a simple comparison, over here everyone is on the voter register - unless they moved within the last 3 months. And everyone votes with either only their election notification or their national ID card.

    If there's something in the US voter registration process that seems utterly alien to me it's the party affiliation, i.e. registering as a Democrat, Republican, Independent etc. To me that defies the basic concept of a - modern - democratic election.
    The reason for party affiliation is primaries. In Germany, Social Democrats should not be able to go vote for who the Christian Democrat nominee for Chancellor is. There's an incredibly obvious conflict of interest present there. You can in a lot of states in the U.S. that don't have party affiliation and even some that do. There's going to be a good-sized percentage of Trump voters voting in the 2020 Democratic primaries if Trump has no respectable Republican primary challenger.

    In Indiana, we have open registration, which is you become a member of a political party by telling the election poll office teller which primary ballot you want to have. You're then according to state law supposed to vote for that party's candidates in the general election, but this is completely unenforceable. So we have party registration in theory but not in reality. It can lead to issues such as this which happened in my county in 2015:

    http://www.journalgazette.net/news/l...redone-6911365

    Woodburn Democratic mayor vote to be redone
    JEFF WIEHE | The Journal Gazette
    Remember those primary election results for the Democratic candidate for Woodburn mayor that came rolling in May 5?

    You can wipe those out.

    The Allen County Election Board voted Friday to redo that primary this summer in the wake of a lawsuit from the man who lost by 12 votes to incumbent Woodburn Mayor Richard Hoeppner.

    Ryan Reichhart claimed that registered Republicans voted illegally in his and Hoeppner’s primary and possibly cost him the nomination. He lost the primary by a final tally of 71 votes to 59, according to Allen County election results.

    Both Democratic and Republican officials supported a new election, mainly to make sure the election is valid and also to fix complications that can be caused by registered Republicans voting in a Democratic primary.

    Per Indiana law, a person’s party affiliation is whatever primary they last voted in.

    Two of those who voted in the Reichhart/Hoeppner primary are Republican office holders in Woodburn. Their votes, if the election had not been thrown out, would make them registered Democrats in the eyes of the state.

    "It makes their party affiliation in office questionable," said Steve Shine, the Allen County Republican Party chairman. "By basically doing a total redo, we take care of all these problems."

    Attorneys for both Reichhart and Hoeppner support the redo, election board officials said.

    How registered Republicans ended up voting in the Democratic primary went something like this:

    Republicans showed up May 5 but found out there was no contested race for the Republican mayoral candidate. They were told they could partake in the Democratic primary, and purportedly many did so.

    According to Reichhart’s lawsuit, which he filed against Hoeppner and the Allen County Election Board in Allen Circuit Court, City Clerk-Treasurer Holly Sarrazine told Reichhart she could not vote because she was a Republican and there were no contested Republican races.

    So she left the polling place.

    But then Hoeppner’s wife went into the polling place and said that she spoke to poll workers who said Republicans can still vote, according to court documents.

    "(Reichhart) observed many voters who he knew and voted Republican in the past proceed to vote. These voters also told (Reichhart) they couldn’t vote for him because he was a Democrat," Reichhart’s attorney Samuel Bolinger wrote in court documents.

    In all, there were 49 declared Democrats in the poll books along with 43 declared Republicans, making it impossible to determine the outcome of the election.

    "It’s an unfortunate thing," said Jack Morris, the deputy chairman of the Allen County Democratic Party. "It puts a cloud over the proceedings."

    Election board officials are looking to hold the new election Aug. 4.

    According to state law, since it was an off-year election in a municipality, Woodburn will be on the hook to pay for the redo.

    Beth Dlug, Allen County director of elections, said the price tag is not expected to exceed $2,000.
    What happened in the end was the original winner of the Democrat primary and incumbent mayor withdrew so the 2nd election did not take place (probably to save the town the cost of funding it). The Republicans nominated a candidate in a post-primary convention, and the 2 contested elections that town had in November was the mayor and the city clerk-treasurer that made the mistake. They were each from different parties and both lost 75-25 as a bit of a punishment for creating the mess.

    You also have the occasional candidate get thrown out by the election board because he/she filed for election for a candidate for one party but voted in the most recent primary for the other one.

    I will support no party registration of voters but only if state-funded primaries cease, and the parties run and fund their own caucuses/primaries for candidate selection. I'm not holding my breath.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    If there's something in the US voter registration process that seems utterly alien to me it's the party affiliation, i.e. registering as a Democrat, Republican, Independent etc. To me that defies the basic concept of a - modern - democratic election.
    It is necessary because of the primary system. Otherwise republicans will try to influence democratic primaries and vice versa. Does Germany have the primary system as well?

  11. #11
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    It is necessary because of the primary system. Otherwise republicans will try to influence democratic primaries and vice versa. Does Germany have the primary system as well?
    Members of German political parties select their candidates through meetings at the local and regional levels. Maybe kato can better elaborate on how it's done, but from what I can gather the process is somewhere on the spectrum between smoke-filled backroom and the primary system seen here in the US. A much smaller, far more exclusive "primary", if one can call it that.

    The CDU/CSU, for example, have a combined membership of 575,000 people, and the SPD 457,000. That's 1.25% of the German population. The US Republican and Democratic parties by contrast have 32.8 million and 44.7 million members, respectively, which is about 24% of the US population.

    Candidates in Germany are therefore selected by a much smaller number of people than candidates in the US are. In Germany, one has to apply to become a member of a party, pay dues, etc. and membership applications can be rejected by the party. In the US, membership in a political party is more or less simply done by declaring an affiliation. Being a member of a German political party is a much more serious affair.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 09 Aug 18, at 23:27.
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