Election Reform

In 2005 Former President Jimmy Carter Co chaired a study on election reform in the United States. http://www1.american.edu/ia/cfer/report/report.html#sect2_5 I've pasted the specific recommendation regarding the use of voter photo IDs. This is a good idea and we should implement this in North Carolina to eliminate the chance for voter fraud.

"Recommendations on Voter Identification
2.5.1 To ensure that persons presenting themselves at the polling place are the ones on the registration list, the Commission recommends that states require voters to use the REAL ID card, which was mandated in a law signed by the President in May 2005. The card includes a person’s full legal name, date of birth, a signature (captured as a digital image), a photograph, and the person’s Social Security number.This card should be modestly adapted for voting purposes to indicate on the front or back whether the individual is a U.S. citizen. States should provide an EAC-template ID with a photo to non-drivers free of charge.

2.5.2 The right to vote is a vital component of U.S. citizenship, and all states should use their best efforts to obtain proof of citizenship before registering voters.

2.5.3 We recommend that until January 1, 2010, states allow voters without a valid photo ID card (Real or EAC-template ID) to vote, using a provisional ballot by signing an affidavit under penalty of perjury.The signature would then be matched with the digital image of the voter’s signature on file in the voter registration database, and if the match is positive, the provisional ballot should be counted. Such a signature match would in effect be the same procedure used to verify the identity of voters who cast absentee ballots. After January 1, 2010, voters who do not have their valid photo ID could vote, but their ballot would only count if they returned to the appropriate election office within 48 hours with a valid photo ID.

2.5.4 To address concerns about the abuse of ID cards, or the fear that it could be an obstacle to voting, states should establish legal protections to prohibit any commercial use of voter data and ombudsman institutions to respond expeditiously to any citizen complaints about the misuse of data or about mistaken purges of registration lists based on interstate matching or statewide updating.

2.5.5 In the event that Congress mandates a national identification card, it should include information related to voting and be connected to voter registration."


Absolutely, Frank...

Let's do it and let's use those RF ID tags like the ones in the new passports. Let's call it the Universal ID. Pretty soon everyone will wanna see your UID instead of your driver's license. That way the gummint can track what videos you rent, what books you read, where you last went to the bathroom, and where you were last Saturday night at 11:30 PM. Great idea, Frank! All this to prevent voter fraud which, factually, is practically non existent. Frank, how close is it to a complete vacuum in your skull?

Stan Bozarth

Tell me Frank....without the use of google or

some other source....just how many confirmed or even suspected instances of voter fraud have been reported in NC in the past 10 years?

Stan Bozarth

There were three Democratic workers..

at the last election. It makes one wonder how many weren't caught. With the large number of illegal aliens living in this state, I think it would be prudent to take these measures. It's a small thing, we use photo IDs for many routine activities such as cashing a check, getting an airline ticket, etc. Surely the act of voting merits the same level of precaution as cashing a check.

You're a real piece of work

How much money do you want to spend to solve this non-existent problem? $10,000 per case of suspected fraud? $100,000?

I've addressed this issue of people in the US illegally before. NO PERSON IN THE US ILLEGALLY WOULD EVER EVEN THINK OF SHOWING UP AT A VOTING PLACE.

They may be here illegally, Frank, but they are not stupid.

Cashing a check or getting on an airplane is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution.

How about the dead voters,,,


This was in SC, how many do you reckon will turn up in NC?

Photo IDs don't cost anything. Everybody has one, it's called a drivers license. For those few individuals who do not have drivers licenses, provisions can be made to have the DMV issue photo IDS with a statement (Not for Driving).

This is about the easiest thing that government could do for us taxpayers and help safeguard the election process. I think our elections deserve to be completely fair and honest.

ooooooowwweeeee! Three! Holy Tillis!

Let's see...it costs about $8 to get a picture ID (non driver's license) at the DMV. That's the cost for an ID in a system already in place. Lets say there are 3 Million eligible voters and it costs $10 apiece to get this NEW ID. You do the math Frank. For What? There will be more people on the gummint payroll, more equipment, more enforcement...all paid out of your pocket and mine, Again, for what? I guess nothing is too expensive if it makes you feel good about the purity of your vote....not to worry that it might be erroneously recorded or counted.... Oh, wait....call the newspapers!

Stan Bozarth

It shouldn't cost...

a dime more to provide photo IDs by the DMV. They use the same staff for the effort. So people will need to wait in a line 5 minutes more.

Problem solved.

How about for election reform

we start with ballot access for 3rd parties and not slashing early voting?

Some facts might help

According to Democracy-NC.org, “Investigations by the State Board of Elections found only 5 votes per million cast in North Carolina from 2004 to 2010 involved fraud that a Voter ID would have stopped. The rate of fraud uncovered by the Department of Justice’s efforts is less than one incident per every two states each year." And the Bush administration stopped their effort to find alleged voter fraud after 5 years of work yielded a total of 120 cases and fewer that led to convictions (no number provided).

In that same fact sheet, the Institute for Southern Studies reported that "Courts have ruled that forcing voters to buy cards amounts to a modern‐day poll tax, leaving states without free ID card provisions vulnerable to lawsuits. To solve the problem, states recognize that they must issue free ID cards, but it's expensive: In 2009, Wisconsin (3.5 million voters) projected a total $2.4 million cost for free IDs while Missouri estimated $3.4 million." NC has more than 6 million registered voters.

You can't just walk in a get your picture taken or the whole measure is even more absurd. This cost doesn't include the cost to the effected voters who may need get a copy of their birth certificate, if they can. I recently needed to get a copy of my birth certificate for a visa (they wouldn't accept my passport as adequate proof). It took me about 3 weeks and, if I remember correctly, about $50...and I was born in a hospital. How about a home birth 70 years ago in a poor or rural community?

Then look at who doesn't have "valid" photo ID (student ID is not allowed in the vetoed bill): students, elderly and poor. We all know this--and other measures that restrict early voting and prohibit same-day registration (which are provisional ballots and require ID to register) is about voter suppression among Democratic constituencies.


My own Mom would not be voting in 2012

if this was law. She's voted in every presidential election since FDR but there's no way she would be able to go get a photo ID now. How many other stories like that are out there?

There are many more things to be concerned about our voting processes without trumping up this boogeyman.

Let's not reinvent the wheel...

For those few people who do not have a drivers license, they can get a photo ID from DMV with an added statement (Not for Driving).

I would suggest to you sir, that one fraudulent vote is too many. Just because they caught a small number does not mean there are many more not being caught. This could be the tip of the iceberg.

I'm shocked that an organization like Democracy NC would oppose this simple measure to protect honest elections. Of course, Democracy NC also makes the claim that they are non partisan. Now that is a good joke.

So many errors, so little time

as usual, Frank Burns pipes up with misinformation and Right Wingnut spin:

...without a birth certificate you can't get any ID and there are hundreds of thousands of people in North Carolina who don't have birth certificates for many reasons -- usually because their birth was entered in their rural church's records and churches don't always keep good records. It sounds good to say it's simple to get an ID, but that usually only comes out of the mouth of middle and upper income white people -- poor people, especially rural minorities, have a completely different perspective that the GOP/Right Wingers just don't acknowledge. the voter id laws are about intimidating people into not bothering to vote.

...no one argues that voter fraud isn't bad, but it's about priorities. Do you focus your legal resources on the miniscule number of ID mistakes or should the legal authorities spend more time investigating the real threats to democracy such as:

  1. 1. the electronic voting machines that are owned and operated by corporations that pour millions into GOP campaign chests and are continually proven to be easily hackable
  2. (Example: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0828-08.htm)

  3. 2. the GOP's penchant for caging minority voters off the rolls by, among other tactics, sending registered letters to the homes of military minorities they know to be deployed overseas so they can justify wiping them off the roll..or wiping off legitimate voters off the roll based solely on the fact that they coincidentally have the same name as a convicted felon.
  4. Example: http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/330/

  5. 3. or what about the well documented GOP tactic of robo-calling minority voters with false information to intimidate and dissuade them from voting, which happens every election:

(just the latest example: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/ex-ehrlich-campaign-manager-schurick-convicted-in-ro...)


So much spin, so little time.

Tell me Syd, do you consider Jimmy Carter an example of right wing spin? I don't think so. I reckon you didn't read my reference as the Election Commission team did address the concerns that you raised.


"Reliance on REAL ID, however, is not enough. Voters who do not drive,22 including older citizens, should have the opportunity to register to vote and receive a voter ID. Where they will need identification for voting, IDs should be easily available and issued free of charge. States would make their own decision whether to use REAL ID for voting purposes or instead to rely on a template form of voter ID. Each state would also decide whether to require voters to present an ID at the polls, but our Commission recommends that states use the REAL ID and/or an EAC template for voting, which would be a REAL ID card without reference to a driver’s license."

"For the next two federal elections, until January 1, 2010, in states that require voters to present ID at the polls, voters who fail to do so should nonetheless be allowed to cast a provisional ballot, and their ballot would count if their signature is verified. After the REAL ID is phased in, i.e., after January 1, 2010, voters without a valid photo ID, meaning a REAL ID or an EAC-template ID, could cast a provisional ballot, but they would have to return personally to the appropriate election office within 48 hours with a valid photo ID for their vote to be counted."

"The introduction of voter ID requirements has raised concerns that they may present a barrier to voting, particularly by traditionally marginalized groups, such as the poor and minorities, some of whom lack a government-issued photo ID. They may also create obstacles for highly mobile groups of citizens. Part of these concerns are addressed by assuring that government-issued photo identification is available without expense to any citizen and, second, by government efforts to ensure that all voters are provided convenient opportunities to obtain a REAL ID or EAC-template ID card. As explained in Section 4.1, the Commission recommends that states play an affirmative role in reaching out with mobile offices to individuals who do not have a driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID to help them register to vote and obtain an ID card."

You clearly didn't read the fact sheet...

... referenced in my post. The "few" people who do not have a driver's license but are registered to vote is not a few.

"The State Board of Elections matched its database of 6.1 million registered voters with records at the Division of Motor Vehicles and learned that 1 million voters did not have a current NC driver’s license or identification card with a matching name and address." They go on to say that some of those are name changes, etc. but a "few" are about 460,500 active voters. There is nothing "simple" about disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters...at significant taxpayer, I might add.

This is not to suggest that real election fraud shouldn't be vigorously addressed. "For people concerned about voter fraud, HB 351/SB 352 does nothing to address the most frequent ways fraud happens. It imposes no new safeguards on absentee voting and even makes it easier to get an absentee ballot, even though the rate of ID impersonation is ten times higher for people voting with absentee ballots than in person." Or, let's take the case in Ohio in 2004 where voter suppression resulted from limiting the number of voting machines in poor African-American precincts because it was too expensive to provide the number of machines needed to keep lines moving. Criminal intent? The Republican official responsible for the decisions was not prosecuted. I guess that's hard to prove, but you decide.

It's absurd to think about spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to implement a method of catching the 5 out of 1,000,000 who may be committing voter fraud. Another data point they provide is that when the Bush adminisitration was trying to make cases against the 120 people they caught in 5 years of trying, "most of the cases involved voter misinformation and misunderstanding of eligibility requirements," i.e., not criminal intent. More importantly, it is extremely rare that an election is decided on those kinds of margins but much less rare (almost always) that they're decided on margins less than 460,500 votes. I suppose you'd be willing to spend $600,000 of your tax dollars, that's apparently what the Republican bill had in it for the program. It's surprising that Republicans can find money for a voter ID program attempting to catch 5 in a million but didn't try to address the absentee voter fraud and can't find some money to keep teachers in the classroom. Would you be willing to spend $2.4 million (projected cost for Wisconsin's 3.5 million voters...that would be $4.2 for 6.1 million voters by linear extrapolation) or $3.4 million (Missouri)? If you include paying for the cost of those "few" who don't have a birth certificate, would you be willing to pay, say, $5 million? And what is the cost of researching whether a home birth without a birth certificate really happened in the US? If you'll pay any cost to prevent voter fraud are you also willing ot pay any cost to make sure legitimate voters aren't disenfranchised? I suspect not.

Lastly, your denigration of DemocracyNC is also absurd. They are a well respected non-partisan organization that has compiled data supplied by others (e.g., NC Board of Elections). They do care about issues like disenfranchising voters and if that makes them liberal, well that makes me proud to be a liberal. But it doesn't make them partisan and it doesn't contradict the facts they present.

Here's a lesson for the times: if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it; if you offer facts that conflict with their preconceived notions, they dismiss them. My hypothesis is that if you repeat the facts often enough, people will eventually believe it...don't know, just a thought. But except for you, Frank, and perhaps a few others this is the wrong audience for repetition of these facts so I'm done for now.

You clearly did not read the Election Commission Report


We need to implement a system for which the voters have the confidence that the voting process is correctly done.

"On the eve of the November 2004 election, a New York Times poll reported that only onethird of the American people said that they had a lot of confidence that their votes would be counted properly, and 29 percent said they were very or somewhat concerned that they would encounter problems at the polls. Aware of this unease, the U.S. Department of Justice deployed 1,090 election observers — more than three times the number sent in 2000.1 After the election, a minority of Americans — only 48 percent — said they were very confident that the votes cast across the country were accurately counted, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Thirty-seven percent had doubts (somewhat confident), and 14 percent were not confident that the votes were accurately counted.2"

Voter fraud is a serious concern.

"The November 2004 elections also showed that irregularities and fraud still occur. In Washington, for example, where Christine Gregoire was elected governor by a 129-vote margin, the elections superintendent of King County testified during a subsequent unsuccessful election challenge that ineligible ex-felons had voted and that votes had been cast in the names of the dead. However, the judge accepted Gregoire’s victory because with the exception of four ex-felons who admitted to voting for Dino Rossi, the authorities could not determine for whom the other illegal votes were cast. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, investigators said they found clear evidence of fraud, including more than 200 cases of felons voting illegally and more than 100 people who voted twice, used fake names or false addresses, or voted in the name of a dead person. Moreover, there were 4,500 more votes cast than voters listed.3 One potential source of election fraud arises from inactive or ineligible voters left on voter registration lists. By one estimate, for example, there were over 181,000 dead people listed on the voter rolls in six swing states in the November 2004 elections, including almost 65,000 dead people listed on the voter rolls in Florida.4"

I'm sure that Democracy NC is a respected organization but it is not non partisan, it is highly Democratic Party based. How can you say an organization is non partisan when every single member of their Board of Directors is a Democratic Party activist?