Tag Archives: Voter ID

Because When The People Vote, Republicans Lose

This is what you do when you can’t run on your ideas:

A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.


Wayne Bertsch, who handles local and legislative races for Republicans, said he knew targeting Democrats was the goal.

“In the races I was involved in in 2008, when we started seeing the increase of turnout and the turnout operations that the Democrats were doing in early voting, it certainly sent a chill down our spines. And in 2008, it didn’t have the impact that we were afraid of. It got close, but it wasn’t the impact that they had this election cycle,” Bertsch said, referring to the fact that Democrats picked up seven legislative seats in Florida in 2012 despite the early voting limitations.

Another GOP consultant, who did not want to be named, also confirmed that influential consultants to the Republican Party of Florida were intent on beating back Democratic turnout in early voting after 2008.

Of course, Democrats have known this forever. But it’s just really amazing to me that a political party whose ideas are so obviously unpopular refuses to change its ideas, and instead decides the way to go is to steal elections by suppressing the vote. Yes, do tell me how you’ve all got huge boners for the Constitution. Last I checked, voting was in there too.

Republicans are truly horrible people. They could try being less horrible but I guess you can’t win an election that way. Or wait … that’s not it. You can’t appease the plutocrats that way. Or something. God, I just don’t get it. No one likes your ideas, so why don’t they change them? It’s just so bizarre.

Props to Wisconsin Republican Dale Schultz, who is offended and repulsed by these shenanigans going on across the country as Democrats are:

“I am not willing to defend them anymore,” he explained when show co-host Dominic Salvia asked why Republicans sought to limit the number of voting hours a municipality could offer. “I’m just not, and I’m embarrassed by this.”

Indeed, Schultz is right to be embarrassed. It’s downright embarrassing for a political party to operate this way! Schultz nailed it with his assessment of the modern GOP in Wisconsin, and his words hold true for every red state where voter suppression laws are being passed:

It’s just, I think, sad when a political party — my political party — has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics. And again, I’m a guy who understands and appreciates what we should be doing in order to make sure every vote counts, every vote is legitimate. But that fact is, it ought to be abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter fraud. The only thing that we do have in this state is we have long lines of people who want to vote. And it seems to me that we should be doing everything we can to make it easier, to help these people get their votes counted. And that we should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future, rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.



Filed under voting


Have you heard about former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, Republican (of course!) of Michigan? Seems he’s been doctoring petitions for years, and therefore got on the ballot fraudulently:

A review of the nominating petitions turned in for McCotter’s elections from 2002 through 2012 shows he did not have enough signatures to qualify to run in at least the 2008, 2010 and 2012 elections. The skullduggery wasn’t detected until this year, when a part-time staffer for the Secretary of State found that of the more than 1,800 signatures turned in by the McCotter campaign for 2012, only 244 were valid.


The 2006 petitions were apparently the source for cut-and-paste jobs in 2008 and 2010. Some of the 2006 petitions, however, also were duplicates.

“It seems like at every election cycle, they expanded on what they had done and used some new tricks,” Daggy said. “They just got more and more emboldened.”

Well, of course they did. That’s what happens when there are no repercussions for your illegal behavior.

Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with showing a photo ID to vote, which didn’t stop the dingbats over at “The Corner” from trying to draw a false parallel:

But Democrats have been vociferous opponents of Michigan’s photo-ID law and other measures to clean up the voter rolls. The McCotter scandal should remind all of us that voter fraud is serious business and can be bipartisan. The laws and safeguards against it protect all of us.

Umm… how exactly does showing a photo ID to vote have anything at all to do with forged signatures on a candidate’s petition to get on the ballot? Anyone? Buehler?


There is voter registration fraud — and a lot of Republican operatives have gone to jail for it. Mark Jacoby and Nathan Sproul ring any bells?

There is, to a far lesser degree, vote fraud of the kind perpetrated by poll workers. That’s what happened in the Ophelia Ford case in Memphis. But when the poll workers are the ones doing the fraudulent voting, rules about ID are completely ineffective.

So, in-person voter fraud? Of the kind that showing a photo ID would prevent? Non-existent. Doesn’t happen.

Sorry Republicans, but you lose.

But we’re not dumb. We all know what this is about. It’s about Republicans trying to steal another election.

Ed at Gin & Tacos had a good post up on the issue yesterday. While my e-mail in-box is filling with “fight the Voter ID” pleas from the Democrats, I feel like the wheels of justice are slow, and we need to be working on another front to prepare for election day. Ed makes a good point when he writes:

Having created a voter registration and turnout machine in 2008 unlike anything seen before in American politics, I see no reason why the Obama campaign can’t devote similar resources to acquiring valid ID for voters who currently lack it. It’s legal to drive a voter to the polls; surely it is also legal to drive someone to the courthouse to get an ID. That seems like a relatively obvious way to address this problem, albeit not one that will have a 100% success rate. The perfect is the enemy of the good in politics, and what might be a good way to minimize the effects of newly-legislated voter suppression should not be cast aside because it won’t help everyone.

Here in Tennessee the Republicans have said you can use a gun carry permit as an ID to vote. I say we round up all those strapping young bucks from the projects and get ’em gun carry permits. Let’s see how long it takes them to change their tune when they realize we’re arming the black folk.




Filed under 2012 presidential election, voter fraud

First Draft Tuesdays

I talk about voter fraud over at First Draft today …


Filed under voter fraud, voter turnout

Another Tennessee Voter ID FAIL

News-flash: we haven’t had a requirement that only property owners are eligible to vote since around 1850 or so. Someone might want to clue in employees at Tennessee’s Dept. of Safety, however:

Al Star, a Nashville homeless man, says he got the runaround from the Department of Safety when he attempted a few days before Thanksgiving to apply for a free state identification to vote, eventually having to call an aide to U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper before receiving the ID.

Star, 59, says a clerk at the Department of Safety’s office in the Snodgrass building near the Capitol initially refused to issue him a free ID to replace his lost driver’s license, saying instead that he would have to pay $12 for a replacement. Star says he told the clerk that he no longer needed a driver’s license because he doesn’t own a car and had stated clearly on his application that he only wanted an ID to vote.

“She felt that I was homeless, which I am, and she didn’t want to help me with anything with the government,” he said. “She acted like, ‘Look at this, nobody’s going to help him out anyway, because he’s homeless.’”

Krissa Barclay, a Cooper aide who works in downtown Nashville, says she had to go up to the driver services center to convince the clerk to issue Star the ID. She told The Tennessean about Star’s case afterward.

Oh, good grief. Being homeless is not a crime, and it certainly doesn’t preclude ones right (or ability) to vote. This is just another in a string of failures for Tennessee’s Voter ID act. Yet the other side has yet to point to one real case of fraudulent voting that would have been prevented by this Voter ID law.


Filed under homeless, Tennessee

3rd Tennessee Voter ID FAIL

Hey Tennessee Republicans: you really want to charge World War II veterans a poll tax to vote? Seriously?

World War II veteran Darwin Spinks went to a testing center last month to get a photo ID for voting purposes. Under the law, any resident without a photo ID is supposed to get one free of charge. But when Spinks asked for an ID, he was told he had to pay an $8 fee.

First Tennessee Republicans denied 96-year-old Dorothy Cooper the specific ID she needed to vote, because she didn’t have her marriage certificate. Then 91-year-old Virginia Lasater was physically unable to stand and wait in the crowded Murfreesboro driver testing center. And now this.

Let’s remember: these folks all have ID. They have government-issued ID. What they don’t have is the specific form of ID that Tennessee’s state law has arbitrarily decided one needs to vote. Dorothy Cooper has a police-issued ID for the public housing where she lives. Not good enough! Darwin Spinks and Virginia Laseter even have driver’s licenses — but there’s no picture on them, because they’re senior citizens.

Maybe everyone should just go get a gun carry permit. That seems to be the one form of ID Tennessee Republicans think is suitable for voting. I wonder why?

Even worse, the recent MTSU poll found that most Tennesseans don’t really understand the new voter ID law or what arbitrary forms of ID are acceptable:

Just under three in four Tennesseans say they have heard that state residents who go to vote will be asked to show a photo ID starting in 2012.

— But a little over half of respondents knew that a valid employee ID issued by a major automaker to a worker at one of its Tennessee plants would be unacceptable.

— Only 32 percent knew that “a valid University of Tennessee student identification card would be unacceptable.”

— Only 14 percent knew that an expired drivers license would be acceptable

That Tennesseans are embarrassingly uninformed on something this important is about par for the course. I suspect we’ll hear a lot more horror stories on election day, when people actually show up to vote and are turned away. Some of them might — gasp! — even be Republicans.

I wonder if Bill Ketron and Debra Maggart have thought of that?


Filed under Tennessee, voter turnout


Hat-tip to Pith In The Wind, which alerts us to this Chattanooga Times-Free Press article about 96-year-old Dorothy Cooper, who was denied a photo ID which under Tennessee’s new voter ID law she is required to have in order to vote:

The retired domestic worker was born in a small North Georgia town before women had the right to vote. She began casting ballots in her 20s after moving to Chattanooga for work. She missed voting for John F. Kennedy in 1960 because a move to Nashville prevented her from registering in time.

So when she learned last month at a community meeting that under a new state law she’d need a photo ID to vote next year, she talked with a volunteer about how to get to a state Driver Service Center to get her free ID. But when she got there Monday with an envelope full of documents, a clerk denied her request.

That morning, Cooper slipped a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate into a Manila envelope. Typewritten on the birth certificate was her maiden name, Dorothy Alexander.

“But I didn’t have my marriage certificate,” Cooper said Tuesday afternoon, and that was the reason the clerk said she was denied a free voter ID at the Cherokee Boulevard Driver Service Center.

This woman was able to vote under Jim Crow, but not under the Tennessee Republican legislature. Let that one sink in for a minute.

Oh, and she has a photo ID! Just not one that meets the standards of the State of Tennessee because as I noted earlier, some forms of ID are more equal than others. She has a voter registration card. She has a Social Security card. She has all of her papers except the one thing the Tennessee Republican Party demands she have to exercise her right to vote:

“I’ve been banking at SunTrust for a long time,” she said. “Sometimes they’ll say, well, do you have a Social Security card?”

And she shows it to them. She also has a photo ID issued by the Chattanooga Police Department to all seniors who live in the Boynton Terrace public housing complex, but that won’t qualify for voting.

Shame on Tennessee’s Republican legislature for this blatant abuse of power. Shame on every one of you, crooks and liars to a man and to a woman. You people who can’t get elected unless you erect barriers to the democratic process and deny people their rights? You folks who claim you are “small government” conservatives but use government to erect a wall between senior citizens and the voting booth?

Two words: Fuck you.


Legal question: I know this voter ID law is being challenged (as have others around the country) on a variety of grounds: de facto poll tax, etc. But I just wonder: voting is a right; driving is a privilege. Is there some legal mushiness here, requiring a person to have a form of ID needed to exercise a privilege to exercise a right?

Just wondering if anyone knows. It always annoys me when conservatives say, “You need a license to drive! Well what about that! Huh! HUH?!” But driving is not the same as voting.


There has been lots of pushback from conservatives on this story, most of them along the lines of, “all she needs to do is get her marriage certificate! Problem solved!”

This rather glib and insulting comeback is I’m sure little comfort to a 96-year-old woman who no doubt was married long before most of us were even born, taking into account the vagaries of Tennessee record keeping over the years. Not to mention how offensive it is to millions of us women voters. But regardless, it’s not even factual! It just so happens the marriage certificate is the one document she didn’t have; she showed up to get her ID with

…a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate…

So, what if she had her marriage certificate but no birth certificate?

Furthermore, saying people over age 60 can vote absentee without the required ID but no one else can just makes no sense. I thought this law was necessary to prevent voter fraud, that’s what all the Republicans kept telling us, at least. Do only people under age 60 commit voter fraud? We only need this law for people under a certain age? Is that even legal? Why don’t we just make the law apply only to black people, how about that? Or, let’s exempt all Christians from this law. How would that work? Of course both would be outrageous.

Here’s a thought: why don’t we enact a National ID law, and just make sure everyone has a picture ID. That would solve this problem. Think conservatives would go for that? Not likely. More likely they’d start fearmongering about black helicopters and other nonsense.


Filed under rants, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, voter fraud