Monday, April 10, 2017

Federal Judge Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law


A judge in Texas ruled that the 2011 law that made people show a photo ID when voting was intended to be a discriminatory process against Hispanic and African American voters. During this long case the Democratic groups claimed that when passing the law, Republicans “depart[ed] from procedural norms” to prevent likely Democratic people from voting. The Republicans say that they had no intention for it to be a discriminatory process and that it was meant to prevent voter fraud. We know that the Voting Rights Act required federal approval for state's new voting laws. However, the Supreme Court invalidated that part of the act recently. As a result of this ruling, Texas may have to have to have their laws checked again. Because of it’s effect and how long this has been considered I do not think a photo ID is necessary. Hopefully there are other ways to prevent voter fraud that do not cause such an effect. What decision would you have made concerning this law? Do you think that having a photo ID is necessary when voting?

23 comments:

  1. I can see connections between requiring photo IDs for voting and President Trumps claims about all of the illegal voters who participated in the election. I think the truth is that those claims have no merit and that photo IDs shouldn't be required. However, like probably all of us, I'm not old enough to vote and I don't even know how California authorities make people register to vote. If not a photo ID, then what? I can't really think of many other plausible ways of proving your identity without a drivers license or something that proves your age and address other than your passport, but many people don't even have that.

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  2. Although it actually sounds pretty plausible to provide a photo ID in order to prove your age or identity like you said, I don't think that requiring photo IDs will drastically change or prevent voter fraud. And also I can see how this law may come off as being discriminatory against some voters especially with the history of discriminatory voting in Texas, but I don't think that this was passed to be that way. So because of all the controversy surrounding this law and the fact that it probably won't drastically prevent voting fraud, just don't keep the law or make amends to it.

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  3. From what I've seen, photo IDs seem necessary for a variety of activities, from the SAT to math contests (although students have IDs from school so that might be a bit different). Like Theo mentioned, there doesn't seem any other feasible and effective method to verifying one's identity. The College Board is worried about someone taking the SAT for someone else (and it wouldn't be too difficult to do if it wasn't for the photo ID requirement). Not requiring a photo ID definitely makes it easier for voter fraud to occur because someone can simply claim to be someone else, and if they know the right information (which isn't that difficult to find these days) they can get away with it. The probability that this would effect the outcome is quite low, but you never know, especially if there is a close race.

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  4. Here's the thing with voter fraud: it just doesn't happen. There is no evidence of any significant (more than a few cases) voter fraudulence anywhere in the country. Politicians just use fraud as an excuse to prevent people who are less likely to have ID's like the poor or elderly from voting. They also can artificially control who has an ID by controlling the location and hours of operation of ID issuing bodies. In many states this has taken the form of ID offices in strange locations with weird hours like 9AM - 3PM on the filth Wednesday of every month. This leads to less working people being able to get an ID which creates a strong bias in favor of richer citizens who are more likely to be white and support the Republican party.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing about voter fraud. I have never really heard of it happening except when politicians make accusations or from what I have heard of, they are very small issues, so a law seemed unnecessary to prevent it. I think what you said about discriminating against people who were likely to not have an ID was probably their intention with this law.

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  5. Voter verification photo IDs are a surprisingly polarizing issue; Conservatives argue that they are often necessary to prevent voter fraud and preserve the sanctity of our democracy, whereas Liberals maintain that requiring photo IDs are mechanisms to blatantly disenfranchise the impoverished and minorities. I can empathize with both these beliefs, but being someone with an inclination towards liberal values(shocker),I personally feel requiring photo IDs do more harm than good. I feel that the potential security(or illusion of it) that photo IDs bring to an election is outweighed by the voters that would be excluded by them, especially minorities. This may be extreme, but I feel that these laws(the strictest of which happen to be in the south) are an echo of some of America's ugly past habits, habits eliminated by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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  6. Like Julia, I don't think the Texas law was meant to be discriminatory against certain races. I can definitely see how requiring photo IDs could lower the chances of voter fraud (a smaller example is that someone can't vote twice). Ultimately I agree that a photo ID shouldn't be necessary for voting. If anything, it just wastes more time.

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  7. Requiring a photo ID is an unnecessary requirement, as it can be very difficult to acquire due to venues that distribute them having very inconvenient or minimal times that they are open. As Cameron and Will have stated, voter fraud is not a significant issue, and requiring a photo ID does not help. In my opinion, I do think that requiring a photo ID does racially discriminate.

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  8. I don't really understand how requiring and ID is discriminatory, but neverless, if it is, I don't think that it should be required. There must be other ways for someone to register to vote, and to be able to comfirm their ID's without a picture. Also on top of this, I haven't really heard of any of these cases being too severe (as in voter fraud). In that there is not really a large problem in this country about voter fraud, so what's the point in passing a law to deal with something that is nearly nonexistent?

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  9. I agree with Marley that requiring a photo ID is unnecessary due to the difficulties that arise when one attempts to obtain one. As Will Graham mentioned above, voter fraud does not happen, so Texas only passed this law to limit the number of minorities voting.

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  10. I think that all citizens should be able to vote, even the poor and the minorities. But I also believe voter ID is a good idea. Illegal immigrant voting fraud is a problem in some parts of the US. In order to maintain voter integrity, IDs should be implemented. However, IDs should be easier for all citizens to obtain, so that maximum voter representation is achieved.

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  11. I agree with Max on this issue. Voting should be easy and for all citizens to do as it is a core part of our governing system. I am ignorant as to what other states require in order to register as a voter. To me, a license or passport seems like a ubiquitous way to identify oneself. Before reading this, I never thought that such forms of identification were hard to attain for impoverished groups. Obviously, it is crucial to be registered as a voter to prevent people from voting more than one time. If this can be done in ways that are easier but still prevent voter fraud than I would be all for it.

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  12. I don't think that a photo ID should be required, as everyone should be able to vote. However, I can see why a photo ID would be wanted, even though it cannot be proven that it cases discrimination. I also agree with Max that if a photo ID were to be required, it should be easier to obtain.

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  13. If it was voter fraud that they were worried about, than they shouldn't have tried to not have as many Democrats vote. This reminds me of how southern states had all these hoops that they made blacks go through to vote, such as literacy tests. It's an American right to vote so there shouldn't be a photo ID that's required to vote.

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  14. I do not feel a photo ID is a necessity, however in some cases I do feel a form of identification is necessary. While in the process of voting the people are checked by their address and checked off so we do not get a repeat of a person.Voting should be open to everyone yes but fraud should be prevented or taken accounted for. Maybe with the suggestion of a photo identification next to the address when checking them off to vote would be easier to check identity and registration but I don't think that it would be discrimination if all they needed was a form of proof to show their identity or proof of american citizenship.The process is slow none the less there are a lot of people wanting to vote what is one more second to pull out identification going to cost anybody- people are checked anyways.

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  15. I agree that voting should be easily accessible to all, so maybe requiring photo IDs when registering isn't the best of ideas. In all honesty I don't think voter fraud should be that big of an issue as all citizens of the legal age are supposed to have the ability to vote so I really don't see a reason for photo IDs as that can lead to other controversial issues such as discrimination in this case.

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  16. I do not think that photo identity when voting should be necessary. I think that there are better alternatives to avoiding voter fraud. Voting should be an easy process for everyone, and therefore photo identification should not be required. I also do not think that voter fraud is an issue in our country.

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  17. I believe that the photo ID should not be necessary. From my knowledge, the voting process is already pretty cumbersome, as you would have to submit your papers around 3 weeks in advance in order to vote (at least in California). Instead of making the photo ID a requirement, I believe Texas needs to be more careful in verifying whether a person is a citizen or not before allowing them to vote. However, I also don't think making the photo ID a requirement would hurt in anyway. If a voter were to be denied their voting rights based on their race, then that would be a completely different story, though it has not happened yet (at least from my knowledge).

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  18. I don't think photo IDs for voting is that big a deal. Most people should have some form of photo ID to begin with, so the bias presented is not particularly impactful. As mentioned by many others, it makes sense to have some method of confirming one's identity, so this law does not really look to have any discriminatory intent. On the other hand, the issue of voter fraudulence is not a huge one either, so there is no real reason to impose this requirement on people. I don't think this law is necessary, but even if it is put in place, I don't see much of a problem with it either.

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  19. Having photo IDs being a requirement to vote in booths doesn't seem unfair to me personally. However, I don't believe there is any fraud voting to begin with as the voting booths are very regulated. I, for one, have worked in one, and have witnessed how carefully each judge checks and double checks the names of the voter and to give them only one ballot. If their name isn't on the provided list, then they have to vote provisionally and their ballot would be checked over by the higher-ups. But if having a photo ID is what it takes for people to find peace in this matter, then so be it. It doesn't sound like an unreasonable demand, but it isn't also necessary, so I'm neutral on this matter.

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  20. Personally, I think that having a photo ID is not exactly unfair, especially if it is needed to prevent voter fraud. In context, even taking an SAT test needs a photo ID, so voting, which one could argue has higher importance, should require photo ID. In addition, this idea that it is discriminating against Hispanics/Latinos is a little unclear as to why it discriminates, as there are many ways for a citizen to get a photo ID, such as DMV and driver's license, a passport, etc, and I feel like the only reason not being able to attain some form of ID means your are either "too lazy to do your democratic duty"(Colglazier 2017) or that you might not be a US citizen, of which you don't have the right to vote.

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  21. Honestly, voter fraud too me does not seem like a big enough of a problem.. uhh I mean its not worth the effort if it causes such a decently sized backlash. Voter fraud is a legitimate concern, but not a big enough of an issue for us to slave away our efforts at. I think a photo id should be necessary if you are able acquire one easily. I don't see the harm in it, so I think it would help out. Of course, I feel uninformed so I might be totally wrong.

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  22. I think having a photo ID is necessary. While Kevin argues that it does not seem like a big enough problem, it could potentially grow into a problem and it's important to prevent the possibility of voter fraud.

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