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Post Partisan
Posted at 09:23 AM ET, 07/26/2012

PostScript: Meyerson and the effect of voter ID laws

Harold Meyerson wrote today on the possibility that newly enacted state voter ID laws could illegitimately affect the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. The judgment of the more than 5,000 comments was basically a total blowout: Meyerson’s right.

Majorajam writes that, in Pennsylvania — where the state House Republican leader predicted that a new voter ID law would mean Romney would win the state — the law was put in place despite no demonstrated need for it:

PA signed a stipulation agreement with lawyers for the plaintiffs which acknowledges there “have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.”

Benson turns Meyerson’s “illegitimate” argument around:

What’s illegitimate is letting people vote without proof of identification.

This, airberger argues, is the American way, and always has been.

So, Benson, just to be clear until now, there were no Voter ID laws. So, you’re saying that every election in the past 200 years has been illegitimate. Or did I miss something?

slatt321 finds some lefty backup for voter ID laws:

Here’s some more delicious irony for those who care:
“Retired liberal Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens, a former anti-corruption lawyer from Chicago, agrees that lax voter-ID requirements lead to voter fraud. In the 6–3 majority opinion upholding Indiana’s new law, he writes: “That flagrant examples of [voter] fraud . . . have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists . . . demonstrate[s] that not only is the risk of voter fraud real but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.”

Majorajam (again) knocks it down:

Justice Stevens’ ruling relied heavily on the ID’s themselves being free, something that is not the case in several of these states, and said nothing about ID’s with expiration dates (a provision clearly designed to target Democratic leaning students). It was not an endorsement of the law at all, merely an attestation to his belief in its constitutionality.

PostScript admits her bias for people who say “attestation.” Also for people who have done a bunch of research, like bumpinfresh:

Some info for anyone interested:
http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/study_500000_americans_could_face_significant_challenges_to_obtain_photo_id/
“More than 1 million eligible voters in these 10 photo ID states fall below the federal poverty line and reside more than 10 miles from the nearest ID-issuing office. These voters can be particularly affected by the significant costs of the documentation required to obtain a photo ID. Birth certificates can cost between $8 and $25. By comparison, the notorious poll tax — outlawed during the civil rights era — cost $10.64 in current dollars.”

drbilllemoine opines that if the election is illegitimate, all our leaders will be to blame:

If the Justice department, ACLU, Common Cause, League of Women Voters and Democratic Party can’t challenge and rebuff poll tax and discrimination laws like voter suppression in the states, the progressive stakeholders and administration officials charged with Voter Rights and Civil Rights of American will have failed to fulfill their avowed mandates and use their power enough.

PostScript agrees almost completely with Meyerson but wishes to point out her somewhat uneasy feeling about his conclusion. He suggests that if Romney is elected because of the perfidy of voter ID laws specifically designed to disenfranchise Democrats, Dems should respond by not recognizing the legitimacy of a Romney presidency. They should register that feeling, Meyerson argues, by stonewalling; refusing to legislatively confirm any of Romney’s appointments.

In other words, the last four years will also be the next four years. Progress!

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  09:23 AM ET, 07/26/2012

 
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