Monday, June 20, 2011

Charlie White's Case Proves Voter ID Bill Doesn't Work

The Indiana Voter ID law is one of the most restrictive election laws in the United States. It was one of the Republican reforms that went through the legislature in the brief time mid-last-decade that Republicans held the majority.

The law quite specifically exists to only check whether the voter is who they say they are when the show up at the polls. It does not, however, check residency because the address on the ID does not have to match the address in the poll book. If that would have been in the law, then Charlie White, had he updated his driver's license to his new address, would not have been allowed to vote a regular ballot at the polls.

It's another argument against the politically-motivated bill that was instituted, in my belief, not to prevent voter fraud but to slow down the process at the polls and suppress Democratic voter turnout.

Now, proponents of the law will probably scoff at me, but this law, if it were truly designed to root out voter fraud, doesn't go nearly far enough. A voter voting absentee, for example, need not show any kind of ID to get a ballot or have a ballot be counted. Theoretically, you don't even need to have an ID to vote absentee. You only need to be registered to vote (which you can do with the last four digits of your social security number) and fill out an absentee ballot application. When your ballot comes, you vote it and send it back.

The current process does not root out potential shenanigans with absentee ballots NOR the kinds of problems that are brought up in the Charlie White case. White allegedly broke the law by voting outside the precinct where he lived. He is also accused of a host of other crimes related to this mishap.

If the voter ID law does not root out the kinds of alleged voter fraud in the Charlie White case or possible absentee shenanigans, then what good is it?


Paul K. Ogden said...

Voter ID law is just to identify the person not the address. You have a point about absentee ballots. I think there should be an affidavit backup and I think they should allow other forms of ID.

The former system where you sign in to vote was a joke. My signature in the books is from when I signed my social security card at about 14 years old. My signature today is much, much different. Checking signatures was not a realistic way of catching fraud.

Jon E. Easter said...

I know what the law says, and I know its intention. The fact of the matter is that people who show up at the polling site are far less likely, at least it seems to me, to try to commit voter fraud.

If the idea is to prevent fraud, then the law falls far short of it.