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Outdated Voting Rights Act

Started by SmartyPants, June 27, 2013, 10:15:48 PM

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The Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is unconstitutional because the coverage formula is based on voting data over 40 years old.  This is great news for the South.  If the court ruled the other way, then it would mean that the voting problems 40 years ago can simply never be forgiven, and that we Southerns must be eternally stigmatized because of the actions of our grandparents and great-grandparents.

The South is no longer run by the racist Democrats that supported Jim Crow back in the 1960s.  We have make great strides since the civil rights movement, and we should be recognized for it.  Just look at the data that shows the increased voter participation among blacks.  For example, in 1965 only 6.7% of African Americans voted in Mississippi, while in 2008 Mississippi had greater voter participation than any other state.  In fact, many of these states including Mississippi had greater percentage of black voters than white voters.

The data needs to be updated to include states that have more issues with voting discrimination.  For example,  Illinois is one of the states that the law treats as fit to exercise control over elections, yet it was among six uncovered states that lost more voting discrimination lawsuits than five of the covered states.  While the South doesn't have any of America's top 10 most segregated cities, Obama's home town of Chicago is the most segregated city in the United States.


Quote from: SmartyPants on June 27, 2013, 10:15:48 PMThe South is no longer run by the racist Democrats that supported Jim Crow back in the 1960s.

Nope; now it's run by racists with different political affiliations. Numerous states that the DOJ was blocking from moving ahead with racially discriminatory voting laws under Sections 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act have now pushed ahead with those laws anyway in the aftermath of the decision, knowing full well that these laws will disenfranchise minority voters. For instance:

From the Brennan Center for Justice:

"Studies show that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have government-issued photo ID. That percentage is even higher for seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters, and students. Many citizens find it hard to get government photo IDs, because the underlying documentation like birth certificates (the ID one needs to get ID) is often difficult or expensive to come by."


If voter ID laws are racist, then Mexico, Canada, and the vast majority of America is racist.   Far left liberals claim that Texas is discriminating against Latinos by requiring everyone to prove they have the right to vote when voting, yet Mexico has been doing the same exact thing for the last two decades.  Our friends from the north must also be racist, because Canada also requires ID for their elections.  A poll found that 70% of Americans say they support voter identification measures "to stop illegal voting," so that must mean that vast majority of Americans are racist too.

The southern states aren't the only ones who want Voter ID laws in order to prevent voting fraud, yet we were the only ones who have to ask permission from race-baiting Eric Holder in order to change any election law.  A few of the non-southern states that have voter ID laws are racists states such as Rhode Island, Indiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Obama's birth date of Hawaii (unless you think he was born in Kenya who also has voter ID laws).


This is a relevant and honest [if loaded] question posed to anyone who finds themselves in this thread and qualified to answer it -- SP, it may be you if you are familiar with the case; CS, it may be you because of your profession.

In what way does the implementation of voter ID laws not contradict the precedent set by 383 US 663, Harper v. Virginia Board of Education -- specifically, that "a state violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution whenever it makes the affluence of the voter or payment of any fee an electoral standard. Voter qualifications have no relation to wealth" ?


The voter-ID laws don't contradict the Twenty-fourth Amendment as long as the government doesn't charge for voter-IDs.  If a state government charged a fee for a government ID and required citizens to have a government ID in order to vote, then the state's "fee" would be considered a "poll tax".

Despite the false claims from Obama and Holder, voter-ID laws are considered constitutional. In 2008, the Supreme Court already upheld Indiana's landmark law requiring citizens to show that they are the person they claim to be by showing government ID before casting a ballot in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board.  But, to ensure that those without driver’s licenses or passports are not disenfranchised, Indiana provides free ID’s to everyone who applies for one. The Court upheld this law, with the primary opinion written by liberal Justice John Paul Stevens:

Quote from: Justice John Paul Stevens"The relevant burdens here are those imposed on eligible voters who lack photo identification cards that comply with SEA 483. Because Indiana's cards are free, the inconvenience of going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, gathering required documents, and posing for a photograph does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters' right to vote, or represent a significant increase over the usual burdens of voting. The severity of the somewhat heavier burden that may be placed on a limited number of persons—e.g., elderly persons born out-of-state, who may have difficulty obtaining a birth certificate—is mitigated by the fact that eligible voters without photo identification may cast provisional ballots that will be counted if they execute the required affidavit at the circuit court clerk’s office. Even assuming that the burden may not be justified as to a few voters, that conclusion is by no means sufficient to establish petitioners’ right to the relief they seek."

Yet Eric Holder has blocked all the voter-ID laws in the South. Holder argues that the South's laws are different from Indiana’s because the South is subject to additional federal oversight under the Voting Rights Act.  While Holder claims his actions are focused on protecting voting rights, in reality him and Obama are just trying to use race in order to unjustly demonize Republicans.  Why else would Holder's NAACP speech likened efforts to combat voter fraud to Jim Crow laws used by segregationist Democrats?


You know, secondary identification -- the things you need to present in order to get a valid means of identification for the purposes of voting -- can also cost money. In that case, regardless of whether a state government has made the primary identification free, the whole process ends up costing people money.

Is there really sufficient evidence of voter fraud to justify voter ID laws? I mean, most of the fraud I hear about comes from the actual machines being tampered with, not from illegal voting.


I pretty sure that you get your social security card and birth certificate for free.  With those you should be able to get any type of government ID.

I honestly don't know much about voting fraud outside my home state of Texas.  In the Lone Star State, we have had over 300 accusations and over 50 conventions of voting fraud.  In my opinion, those cases of voter fraud are of a enough reason to make voter fraud more difficult.  The voter-ID laws are not much of a burden on residents.  In fact, most Texans (including me) registered to vote while they were getting their driver's license.  Since public transportation is almost nonexistent in the state of Texas, everyone needs a car and driver's license to travel.  The only significant number of people who don't have government IDs are the elderly.  Luckily for the elderly, their preferred voting method, voting my mail, doesn't require a photo ID.


In Texas, birth certificates cost $22.00 from the Texas vital records office. You are correct in that social security cards [and their replacements, it would seem] are free.

50 confirmed instances of voter fraud in a state with a voter turnout of nearly 8 million says 0.00062548% incidence rate, contrasting with whole percentage-point differences in the ability of individuals with lower socio-economic status [a group which is disproportionately composed of minorities] to vote. Twenty-two dollars could seem frivolous to someone living paycheck-to-paycheck, especially if they don't place that much faith in the system to begin with; I think we should be doing all we can to make voting as easy as possible.

I suppose even if you put to the side the potentially discriminatory aspects of voter ID laws, whether the conjectured impact they will have on voter fraud justifies the extra trouble remains a font of debate.


Texas Department of Public Safety has a list of all the documentation that can be used to get a free Election Identification Certificate.  One of these include voter registration card.  If you can't get a voter registration card, then you aren't voting anyway.

Requiring Photo ID Has Little Effect on Voter Turnout, MU Study Finds:
QuoteJeffrey Milyo, professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Missouri and the Hanna Family Scholar in the Center for Applied Economics at the University of Kansas, notes that overall voter turnout in Indiana actually increased after the implementation of photo ID. His study evaluated the effects of photo identification requirements by comparing county-level turnout in Indiana in the 2002 and 2006 mid-term elections, since the current ID law was not in place in ‘02.

“Previous studies have examined the effects of voter ID laws more generally, but none of these separately analyzes the effects of so called ‘mandatory photo ID’ on turnout in Indiana,” Milyo said. “I examined a variety of models on voter turnout. After controlling for several factors that influence county-wide turnout, there is no consistent or statistically significant evidence that the photo ID law depressed turnout in counties with greater percentages of minority, poor or elderly voters. Contrary to conventional wisdom, turnout in Democratic-leaning counties actually increased in the wake of the new photo ID requirements, all else constant.”


You also have to consider that there is a very real economic cost to getting these IDs apart from the up-front fee; you're talking about spending hours in line at the DMV during a work day. If you're living on the edge and getting paid hourly, you very well might not be able to afford that.


Illegal immigrants, the only people paid less than minimum wage, have found time to get driver's licenses in some states.  Voters in poverty stricken countries like Kenya and Mexico have also found time to get their government-issued IDs.  It is not unreasonable to ask American citizens to go to the DMV every decade in order to get an ID, so that the government can better ensure the integrity of our elections.

Back to the topic of the Outdated Voting Rights Act: Shouldn't the judicial branch be the ones who decide what voting laws are constitutional instead of elected officials, like Obama, who have a political agenda?


Quote from: SmartyPants on July 03, 2013, 08:21:58 AMShouldn't the judicial branch be the ones who decide what voting laws are constitutional instead of elected officials, like Obama, who have a political agenda?

Not necessarily; it's the political branches, after all, that have the power to amend the Constitution. The courts are merely an interpretive body.


Yet the Voting Rights Act gave Eric Holder the power to block electoral laws that don't benefit Obama by "interpreting" them as unconstitutional.

Here is a question for y’all.  Do you see the South as so inherently racist that its residents can never be forgiven for the actions of past generations?


First of all, I live in the South and still acknowledge that it has various local government leaders who would be subject to discriminatory tendencies.

Second, did you mean residents? Because the houses don't need to be forgiven.


The South does have a few local governments with racist leaders, but so does the North, East, and West.  Did you not read through the list of the most segregated cities?

Since every past crime is a permanent stigma for future generations, maybe New England should have been covered under the Voting Rights Act for past discrimination against the Irish.