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February 4, 2005
Requiring Voter ID Disenfranchises Voters: Wisconsin Dems

The debate on fixing Wisconsin's broken electoral system moved to the state legislature yesterday, where hearings opened on a bill that would require a state or military photo ID to verify identification of voters at polling stations. As expected, the Democrats lined up as many people as possible to whine about the extraordinary burden of carrying identification:

Earlier this week, leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature revived a bill similar to one vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle in 2003 that would have required voters to show a valid photo ID to register and vote. It would alter Wisconsin's historically open elections process, which allows residents to vote by providing their names and addresses to poll workers, and register on election day by presenting proof of residence. ...

Most people would show a driver's license to vote, but a state-issued identification card or military ID would also be accepted. The state would offer free IDs to those who don't have them or can't afford them, under the bill.

The proposed legislation would also eliminate the practice of "vouching," which allows eligible voters to cast a ballot if another person can confirm their identity and address.

So Wisconsin will allow two different kinds of state ID or a military ID card, and will even supply such ID for free? Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Unfortunately, the no-brainers showed up to complain about this perfectly reasonable compromise:

Karla Smith of Madison, who uses a wheelchair, told lawmakers that the measure would disenfranchise disabled people, because they would have trouble lining up transportation to get an ID.

So Karla Smith has no problem lining up transportation to go to the polls on Election Day, but somehow can't seem to make it to the DMV on any other day out of the year? Give me a break. How does she cash checks? She can't do any banking without having some kind of ID. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and others don't just allow people to withdraw money from accounts by bringing someone in with them to "vouch" for their identity.

But the Democrats didn't stop at exploiting the handicapped by playing on pity. They also pulled out their favorite victims of our runaway capitalist society:

Rep. Joe Parisi (D-Madison), the former Dane County clerk, said getting rid of the vouching system would make it virtually impossible for homeless people to vote.

First off, the homeless have no residence by definition, and so should have no ability to register -- since one has to establish residence in a precinct to be eligible to vote there. Some areas have adopted the rule that homeless people can use city buildings for addresses to register and vote. If they can do that, then why not just allow them to get a photo ID (it's free, remember) using the same address? Because the Democrats know most of them won't bother to do so, and that will hamper the party's ability to round them up by offering them cigarettes on Election Day to vote Democratic.

All in all, the Democrats have performed shamefully by exploiting the people they hold up as victims in order to protect their network of petty electoral frauds. Wisconsin voters should understand that the Democrats now actively work to dilute the votes of bona fide voters by forcing the system to accept anyone who walks up to the polls on the buddy system. They need to express their disgust in the next elections, and hope that the Magic Buses don't throw yet another electoral contest.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 4, 2005 6:27 AM

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Requiring Voter ID Disenfranchises Voters: Wisconsin Dems:

» Election Reform In Wisconsin from Secure Liberty
The single most important thing we can do is prevent the casting of illegitimate votes. The Wisconsin legislature is trying to reform its broken election system, but guess what happens when the simple method of requiring a photo ID is brought up? (H/T... [Read More]

Tracked on February 4, 2005 9:14 AM

» Make Voting Harder from EagleSpeak
We don't let inexperienced and untrained drivers on the road, why do we trust our most precious right to unidentified, poorly qualified citizens. No more "motor voter" -- make it a big deal to register to vote and make it a big deal when you exercise... [Read More]

Tracked on February 4, 2005 9:31 AM

» Pobre Disenfranchised from Dangerous Dan
Captain Ed is keeping a vigilant watch on the Wisconsin voter fraud issue. One of the proposed remedies in the legislature is to take the unusually extreme measure of making people prove they are who they say they are by presenting a state photo ID at... [Read More]

Tracked on February 4, 2005 3:09 PM

» Wisconsin Introduces Legislation On Voters Required To Show ID from Diggers Realm
Wisconsin is the latest state to introduce legislation requiring voters to show valid ID. This is actually reviving of a current bill by Republicans. I don't see how the hell anyone can be against something that makes our voting system... [Read More]

Tracked on February 7, 2005 10:01 AM

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