October 23rd, 2006


Voter Fraud

My friend B. cuts to the chase:
I'm baffled as to why there's even a debate over laws requiring voters to show identification before voting. Can anyone raise a legitimate argument against this? How can it possibly be a bad thing to make people prove who they are before they vote?

Whenever anyone complains about voter ID laws, I assume they're a lying scumbag who's making up some pathetic rationalization but really just believes their side is better at vote fraud than the other side. Is there any other reason?

I also don't get why there's a common notion that disallowing a legitimate vote is so much worse than allowing an illegitimate vote. They amount to the same thing. If you cast your vote and a dead illegal immigrant casts a vote against you, how is that effectively different from if some corrupt poll-worker steals your ballot and drops it in the shredder? In fact, I'd say that allowing illegitimate votes is in many cases *worse* than preventing legitimate voters from voting. If the disenfranchisement is random or not strongly correlated with who someone would vote for, at least it's not likely to change the outcome of the election. But if someone systematically brings fraudulent voters to the polls to vote for a certain guy, that is likely to change the election. (Systematically stealing/destroying/blocking votes for one candidate is equally as bad as systematically casting fake votes.)

I do think using violence or intimidation to keep people from the polls is worse than casting fraudulent votes, but that's because of the violence, not the disenfranchisement. If violence was used to force people to case fake votes, that would be equally as bad.

So tell me, why is asking for ID before voting a bad thing? Why should we treat a politician who opposes this any different from a politician who openly calls for his supporters to rig the election?

Anyone want to argue with this?