US House passes Voter ID bill; ignores Oregon concerns

Congress is messing around with the right to vote. From the Oregonian:

The Federal Election Integrity Act, in an effort to combat election fraud by noncitizens, would require voters to provide photo identification and proof of citizenship every time they cast their ballots.

In most states, that provision just requires showing identification at the polling place. But in vote-by-mail systems, the bill requires the ballot to be accompanied by "a copy of a government-issued, current and valid photo identification."

Congressman Peter DeFazio expressed multiple concerns:

"There are a lot of people who barely have any time to sit down with the ballot let alone to run down to Kinko's and get their identification Xeroxed," DeFazio said. ...

"There are going to be plenty of people who are going to be reluctant to take some of their most secure identification, Xerox it, stick in an envelope and send it to the Elections Division," DeFazio said. "What are they going to do with it? Do they keep it on file? Do they shred it?"

GOP Congressman Greg Walden voted for the bill, but says that he's been promised that the bill will get amended in conference committee:

"In my district, 70,000 square miles, if every voter every time has to photocopy their ID and put it with a ballot that they send in, it raises some issues," Walden said on the House floor Wednesday. "I think there are other ways to guarantee that only citizens get ballots to vote." ...

"I would certainly like also to hear from the secretary of state of both states and several county clerks from each state for ways that we can accomplish the goal of the bill, which is to ensure that every citizen has the right to vote, and only those who have the right to vote will be allowed to vote," [Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Mich., one of the bill's sponsors] said. "There may be more than one way to accomplish that."

Walden spokesman Matt Daigle said Walden secured a "really solid concession."

Oregon's not the only state at issue, as many states have large numbers of voters that choose vote-by-mail. In particular, Washington state:

In Washington, voting by mail has been a local option for about 10 years. Only five counties do not use vote by mail, according to the Washington secretary of state, and 60 percent of voters in those counties opt for mailed absentee ballots.


  • David (unverified)

    Well If we would have enforced the Immigration laws in the first place instead of using thos people as pawns in a political struggle maybe we wouldn't be having this discussion?

  • Corey (unverified)

    Its not just anti-Oregon/vote by mail, its also probably unconstitutional for being a subtle poll tax.

  • James (unverified)

    If my understanding is correct, the law only applies to federal elections (US House, US Senate, President)

    Oregon should opt out of federal elections then. We will vote for our own state officials using our system and then send 7 people (5 reps, 2 senators) to Washington also using our system. Congress can decide if they will seat them. It would be an interesting protest.

    We could do the same for the electoral college (article II, section 1) . OUr electors can cast their vote for President in December and the Congress/VP can decide to accept the 7 electoral votes or not.

    This bill is absolutely ludicrous. Are we really that concerned about non citizens voting? I wonder if the percentage of ballots cast even breaks .01%. This is using a wrecking ball to pound in a finishing nail.

    The more I think about this, the more excited I am about the possibility of Oregon's delegation having to fight to be seated, especially because it is a bi-partisan delegation.

  • Harry (unverified)

    James, that is how it used to be. People elected representatives, and then they represented Oregon's interests back East. EC electors can still represent what they feel our interests are (see Faithless Electors, one even bolted and went for John Anderson in '80), regardless who they were pledged to vote for. It is certainly a potential solution, but one with other issues to consider.

  • Karl Smiley (unverified)

    I agree witrh the likelyhood of that .01% figure. It's hard to believe that a bill this frivolous and inane would even be brought to a vote. Do they think there's a huge pool of politically active illegals that are just itching to vote republicans out of office? It might just backfire on them here in Oregon, where rural is usually redder. Or maybe they're just trying to look like they're doing something serious instead of doing something about the corruption and criminals in their midst and in the white house.

  • 17yearoldwithanopinoin (unverified)

    I think that having an ID requirment for poll booth voting isnt the worst idea ever as long as the federal government pays for everyones ID's. Also include a provision that vote by mail doesnt need to use the ID requirment.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)

    James -

    Hard to tell whether you are being a smart-aleck or sincere about this:

    Oregon should opt out of federal elections then. We will vote for our own state officials using our system and then send 7 people (5 reps, 2 senators) to Washington also using our system. Congress can decide if they will seat them. It would be an interesting protest.

    Yeah, it would be real "interesting" to have a Republican majority in Congress refuse to seat the majority of Democrats in the Oregon House delegation.

    Does "cutting your nose to spite your face" resonate with anyone here?

    Karl Smiley -

    Does it seem remotely possible the right wing is playing the nativist card to claw their way to the 50%+1 they need to win elections and hold power in both houses? And is there any doubt that simply putting this out there will deliver them more votes than it costs them? As we've seen, there are more than a few nativists lurking even in blue territory.

    On top of that, this would really appeal to the redder parts of the state if they could be certain the whackadoodle contingent in the bluer parts of the state who gave us VBM, and who like to spend more time self-indulgently playing around with dim-witted structural changes for elections that have no plausible relationship to actually improving the functioning of our representative democracy than doing the hard work of getting organized around well articulated sets of governing values, would take the truly moronic step of putting the choice of seating duly elected Democrats in the hands of Republicans as James "proposes".

  • Andy from Beaverton (unverified)

    Don't forget that a stamp makes for a poll tax. Why is a stamp necessary and not pre-paid?

  • Thomas Ware (unverified)

    Is there anything east of the Rockies that we really need?

  • BOHICA (unverified)

    [i]"May I see your papers please?"[/i]

  • illegal oregonian (unverified)

    Puedo yo ver sus papeles por favor

  • mconley (unverified)

    The stats we've seen in the Sec of State's office on ineligible voters voting are: since 1991, of 10 million votes cast, 10 complaints were filed - two of which ended up in prosecution. You have a higher likelihood of being struck by lightning than of being an ineligible voter voting in Oregon.

    This ID requirement would throw up roadblocks to all sorts of people voting: the elderly, young people, and persons with disabilities, to name a few. We've made gains getting people engaged in voting through vote by mail. It would be a shame to backslide.

    Full disclosure: I'm the Chief of Communications for the Sec of State's office - but I'd feel the same way even if I weren't.

  • (Show?)

    I have to wonder if someone should have waited till Monday to post on this one. The lack of comments scares me. This is one of the biggest fights we need to win in terms of being progressives.

    One thing no one has mentioned is these "concessions" that Walden claims he's gotten us. It's very possible that the concessions is A) Very lame or B) A ruse. In either case, our state has been screwed.

    People need to get angry about this. Walden and the neocons are trying to make it as hard to use VBM as possible. By doing this, there is a good possibility the percentage of voters participating will drop. That will give the Republicans trying to overturn VBM either in the legislature or more possibly through a ballot measure. They could careless what the voters of Oregon think.

    Yes, VBM was approved by a high percentage. However, I think is that this is exactly the opportunity they need to whittle away at that support.

  • (Show?)

    The sentence in the third paragraph should have read:

    "That will give the Republicansa chance to overturn VBM in either the legislature or more possibly through a ballot measure.

  • LT (unverified)

    David, I wonder if we will ever hear Gordon Smith on this subject or if he will just hope the bill dies before it gets to the Senate floor. How many more days of work do they have in this Congress? The people I talked with in his DC and local office sounded startled that anyone would be as angry about this as I was. And the bill supporters are so vague about whether driver license or something else would be the ID used, and what would be the security precautions with copies of those documents floating around.

    And maybe Carol Voisin can make an issue of this and scare or defeat Greg Walden.

  • (Show?)


    I'm glad someone else is angry. I may submit a column about this.

    I don't know much Volsin (I'm actually registered in the 3rd Congressional District), but I really wish her luck. My guess is she has very little chance of defeating Walden and his money machine. Are there any polls to give us at least a vague idea how close (or not) this race is?

    My mom lives down in Medford and I'm going to email her to see if she can start talking to friends and some co-workers. I forwarded her an email about the bill in Congress dealing with the tourture issue and she seemed pretty fired up about it. She's not nearly as political as I am.

    I think Ole' Slick Gordo will wait till the last minute to announce he's voting for this bill. If I had to guess, the Republicans have probably offered him some nice chair position in the committee of his choice to keep him in line.

    Volsin definately needs to make this an issue. The bill is going to undermine VBM.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Bush's rubberstamp Congress is going to pass this bill.

  • KJ (unverified)

    What this bill really does is to change the frame from having a right to vote to having a license to vote. The difference is crucial. Instead of treating the vote as something intrinsic to civic participation, HR 4844 proposes that the right to vote is something that is government regulated and that you need a "permission slip", i.e. "government-issued photo ID" in order to vote.

    Supporters of HR 4844 say inane things like: "I have to show my ID at the airport or to buy liquor or cigarettes" ... "Everyone should have ID anyway" ... "I have a drivers license, doesn't everyone?" .."I had to show my ID to get a hunting license."

    The point is that all the above situations involve voluntary actions that are subject to government regulation.

    I would argue that the right to vote is different because it is not and should not be government regulated since it is at the core of democracy. Why should the government be regulating the vote when it is the voters who are ultimately in charge? It is by the vote that the will of the people is expressed. It is by the vote that there is a legitimate transfer of power from the people to the government.

    Recent court cases in Georgia and Missouri were decided on the premise that requiring certain forms of ID in order to vote placed an undue burden on the right to vote. Therefore the voter ID laws were found to be contrary to the provisions of the state constitutions in Georgia and Missouri. I don't know what the Oregon Constitution says about the right to vote -- if there are similar provisions in our constitution as in these other states, a voter ID bill would be unconstitutional in Oregon. However, there is no such explicit provision in the U.S. Constitution (at least Bush v. Gore said so). So the outcome of litigation concerning the constitutionality of HR 4844 is much more problematic in light of the ruling in Bush v. Gore.

    There is no room for compromise on HR 4844. This pernicious bill must be stopped in the Senate. Even if we win some "concession" on vote by mail this time, this bill is bad public policy and should be opposed for the sake of our fellow citizens in other states.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)

    David English -

    You do a gross disservice to the issue by severely misunderstanding, or worse possibly intentionally misrepresenting, what is going on here to advance your own agenda supporting VBM:

    People need to get angry about this. Walden and the neocons are trying to make it as hard to use VBM as possible.

    The right wing's agenda is to depress turnout by any but their core voter REGARDLESS OF HOW THEY VOTE. At best, it is ignorant to present this as an attack on VBM, at worst it is digustingly disingenuine.

    In addition, the unrefuted case has been made by several in these pages that VBM does significant damage to the progressive cause by making elections insecure, diminishing the important community building civic ritual of elections, and communicating the message that elections are just another consumer activity. As a progressive, I find VBM to be grossly disrespectful of our representative democracy and the important duty voters perform.

    KJ does an excellent job of framing the real nature of what is going on here. Notice that VBM is irrelevant in the careful development of his argument.

  • Zak J. (unverified)

    This is so clearly an attempt to suppress voting; it's almost like Diebold wrote the bill.

    Wouldn't the cost of photocophing an ID to slip into a vote-by-mail envelope amount to a poll tax?

    Aside from that, what possible authority could the Republican-controlled Congress feel legally allows such an abrogation of states' rights? Anyone know the supposed legal basis for this power grab?

  • (Show?)

    Aside from that, what possible authority could the Republican-controlled Congress feel legally allows such an abrogation of states' rights? Anyone know the supposed legal basis for this power grab?

    Congress has the right to regulate federal elections. The partisan makeup of Congress is a red herring.

    I would argue that the right to vote is different because it is not and should not be government regulated since it is at the core of democracy. Why should the government be regulating the vote when it is the voters who are ultimately in charge?

    This is silly rhetoric. Who does regulate the conduct of elections, then? Someone needs to set up the machines, hire the workers, print the ballots, count the votes.

    Look, folks, avoid the claims of "Anti Oregon" bias or overwrought arguments about democracy.

    There are three ways to fight this:

    1) Educate the public and the Congress about how the signature verification process works in Oregon. Believe me--people have NO IDEA.

    2) Hammer home that Oregon's system maintains a paper record.

    3) Note the very low levels of fraud in the VBM system.

    But the reality is that VBM is viewed with deep skepticism in many quarters. It is not vote suppression or anti-Oregon bias that impels people to try to stop VBM. They flat out don't trust the system. Ultimately, Oregon may be forced to change to a different early voting system, such as in-person early voting, as is being adopted by many states.

  • (Show?)

    Andy from Beaverton: Don't forget that a stamp makes for a poll tax. Why is a stamp necessary and not pre-paid?

    It's not a poll tax because you can still drop off the ballot directly.

    As far as the second part of your question, I asked the same thing from some of our State Legislators, and they weren't interested in changing the law. Prepaid postage would cost a lot of money, and it's hard to find money for anything these days.

    I still think it's a good idea though. If we had it, then there really would be absolutely no excuse for not voting.

  • KJ (unverified)


    Deliberatly or not you are missing my point. The right to vote is not something we need a permission slip for in the form of a restrictive photo ID. I am not arguing that elections should not be administered by the government agencies. I am arguing that ballot access is not something that you need a license for. If you are a citizen you should be able to vote without undue barriers being placed in the way. There is a compelling government interest in regulating such things as hunting, fishing, alcohol purchase and driving an automobile on public roads. Voting is different because it is the basis for government itself. The government attains legitimacy due to the transfer of power via the vote. Therefore the government should not be in the position of giving out permission slips for voting. Yes, people must be registered to vote -- but there should not be undue burdens placed on voting -- that is undemocratic and un-American.

  • Zak J. (unverified)

    What evidence is there that this bill is needed? I've yet to see a study showing that non-citizens vote in high numbers or that those who do aren't already getting caught at it.

    When we see a solution in search of a problem, we should be sceptical about the true motive.

  • (Show?)

    Paul, it is you who is being "silly" by taking KJ's statement out of context. The government, indeed, cannot regulate a "right". What government does is administer elections in the recognition of voting rights. (well, theoretically, but that's another tangent...)

    Now, stop with the semantics and erudite arguing, and recognize this bill for what it is AND for what it will do. There are very intended consequences and some unattended consequences... and in the end it matters little which type of "consequence" affects you the most, it just matters that you're affected.

    Go to and read the durn thing. Very clearly, the photo ID requirement would be put in place by 2008, necessitating ALL voters to show ID when voting. An Oregonian will have to photcopy her/his ID and stick the copy into the ballot return envelope. In 2010, you'll need a brand NEW ID, issued in compliance with the standards requiring birth certificate. That ID in your wallet now won't work.

    Now I would submit that the problem presented to Oregonians may be an unattended consequence, though another feather in the cap of the right. But really, it doesn't matter. This is how it would "work" in Oregon as the bill stands now.

    One further point focussing on Oregon: in this age of ID theft, how do you feel about a photocopy of your ID floating around at an office where, depending on your county, there are suddenly dozens to a couple hundred extra temporary workers?

    Now speaking more broadly, the full intent of this bill is clearly voter suppression. When ardent proponents are asked for documentation of "illegal voting," they produce NADA... THE PROBLEM DOES NOT EXIST. This is a red herring drama argument that address NO problem, plays to the base, AND makes voting difficult if not impossible for certain people in a broad variety of communities.

    So, WHY does this work so well for the right? - It makes it look like they are attending to election system problems. - It makes it look like they are doing something about illegal immigration. - It polls well because most people don't thoroughly think through the issue, just numbly nod their heads, and intone, "Yeah, ID sounds logical, OK." - It suppresses the vote of largely democratic communities.

    SO, you still think it's no big deal? Tell that to the 80 year old whose voted since Truman, doesn't drive and never had a birth certificate. Tell that to the homeless young man who ran away from home escaping abuse; he can't get to his birth certificate. Tell that to the Katrina victim.

    This isn't about whether you, sitting at your computer, grumbling at my words, find it inconvienent, this is about placing an undue, unfair burden on any American citizen who wishes to exercise his/her right to vote.

  • (Show?)

    KJ, excuse me for reading "regulate" as "administer." I cannot disagree with anything you wrote in your second posting, which seems to me a much more reasonable statement of the government's role in administering elections.

    What constitutes an "undue barrier" or "unfair burden", however, is something I'm sure you'll agree is open to interpretation.

    Kansas, while you may not like it, there is an easy way to "fix" your problem for Oregonians--end voting by mail. The point I'm trying to make is that everyone here assumed the authors ought to have paid attention to impact on Oregon's voting by mail system. They might have, except that most of them oppose our system anyway.

    I've read the bill and I've read the debates. Perhaps you have sufficient wisdom to see behind the rhetoric and unearth the sinister motives of the proposers. I've read the arguments on both sides of this issue and there is no clear partisan pattern.

    Yes, the IMPACT will be vote suppression, which is why folks in the election reform community are trying to fight this bill (and proposing real solutions, such as a free government issued ID, and making it the government's responsibility to make sure that 80 year old grandmother and that homeless person has their birth certificate).

    But to deny that there is a GENUINE concern with ballot integrity in this country, and automatically impugning the motives of anyone who is trying to assure it is, in my opinion, a fruitless exercise, and ignores what happened in 2000 and 2004.

  • (Show?)

    I just got emailed a good academic paper on this issue. The key findings are here:

    In each model, three of the voter identification requirements exert a statistically significant, negative effect on whether survey respondents said they had voted in 2004. In other words, compared to states that require voters only to state their names, the requirements to sign one’s name, provide a non-photo identification, or photo identification in the maximum requirements or affidavit in the minimum requirements exert a negative influence on turnout. Of the other state-level factors, only the competitiveness of the presidential race had a significant effect on turnout. In terms of demographic influences, African-American voters were more likely than white voters or other voters to say they had cast a ballot, while Asian- Americans were less likely than white or other voters to say they had turned out. Hispanic voters were not statistically different from white or other voters in terms of reported turnout. Consistent with previous research, education, income, and marital status all were positive predictors of voting. Women also were more likely to say they voted than men. Among the age categories, those ages 45 to 64 and 65 and older were more likely than those ages 18 to 24 to say they voted. Respondents who had earned a high school diploma, attended some college, graduated from college or attended graduate school were all more likely to say they voted than those who had not finished high school. Respondents who had moved within six months before the interview were less likely to say they had voted.

    You can find the paper by searching on " Protecting the Franchise, or Restricting it? The Effects of Voter Identification Requirements on Turnout" here:

  • (Show?)

    Sorry Paul, but the "GENUINE concern" with ballot integrity is about whether or not voters are able to cast ballots and whether those ballots will be accurately counted. Further, I challenge you to name a legitimate Election Reform organization which has identified the need for voter ID as a primary goal. Most recognize that ID is required when registering as per HAVA, and have made statements in recognition of that, but have steadfastly stated that federal and state law should go no farther.

    (BTW This garbage about providing free Gov. ID is ludicrous. Wha'd ya think? IS the Gov. is just going to poop ID outta federal hinneys into the mailboxes of the poor, etc.? There is always a cost, and there is always a hassle.)

    And yes, HR4844 and all the state clones that have come before and will come afterward are partisan. There are dozens of litmus tests to apply to be certain of that fact, but here's just one: What party is aided by low voter turnout in poor and elderly communities?

    OK here's another: Do you really think that the congressional republicans are unaware that the vote will be surpressed by this?

    OK, I can't resist... With all the problems that exist in the election process... from unreliable and hackable machinery to outright surpression which includes caging lists and uncounted absentee and provisional ballots, why is this the issue the republicans pick?? Why now? (Note: the original bill had 2006 as the start date!)

    And no, ending vote-by-mail is neither an "easy fix" nor is it one that Oregonians should face. We did, after all, select this system, and in shouldn't be bastardized by federal interference - whether or not it's a specific target or simply colateral damage.

  • Dale Thompson (unverified)

    I see the nice guy is at it again. He votes for stuff he says needs to be changed -- but of course it won't be changed. They've already got his vote, what do they care about changing something they (the Repub leadership designed). Walden likes to be on both sides of a controversy but he usually ends up on the wrong one. But like everyone around here says, he's a "really nice guy!"

  • KJ (unverified)

    Nice trick, Paul, throwing up a link to an academic paper posted on a restricted site. Then you selectively quote from it. But even your selective quotes actually make my point: the more requirements (ID, signatures, affidavits and so on) that are placed on voters, the fewer people vote.

    The key part of your quote from the paper's conclusion is the following: "The requirements to sign one’s name, provide a non-photo identification, or photo identification in the maximum requirements or affidavit in the minimum requirements exert a negative influence on turnout."

    What part of "negative effect on turnout" do you not understand? The more hassle people have to go through the fewer people vote. This is not what democracy is about.

    The people behind HR 4844 are the same folks who wanted to gut the Voting Rights Act last month. Connect the dots. This is about more than VBM. This is about disenfranshisement on a massive scale. Let's not argue the merits of VBM. This planned disenfranchisement has nothing to do with VBM specifically but a lot to do with making sure that only the "right" people (as determined by those in power) will be able to vote.

  • Fighting political scientist (unverified)

    Paul, What kind of political scientist are you? Read 4844! If you were in my class I'd flunk you straight away! The issue is perfectly clear and it does not have much to do with vote by mail despite the Oregonian's confusion. The point is simple and stark, as KJ pointed out: The right to vote is not a privilege; its a right and the government has no business granting licenses to vote. End of story! We are not talking about a drivers' license or a fishing license. Govenment must stay out of people's fundamental right to vote! Its called democracy and is the only thing that matters. If you couldn't grasp this point I would throw you out of any class I taught.

  • askquestionst1st (unverified)

    KJ and Kansas - What is your problem and your goal here?

    I don't agree with paul about some other issues about voting and elections, but in this case I see nothing in his response that in any way endorses this legislation. In fact, from my reading he seems to agree that this legislation is inimical to what he and most of us believe makes for a good election system. He does point out, in a measured way that apparently is embarrassing and infuriating to some, how little folks who believe they are well-informed, and apparently who believe they think deeply about issues, to some degree are neither.

    So what is your point? Is it that originally you two wanted to just be egotistical and want to make this out as that our VBM system is the focus of much more national attention than it really is? Or is your intent to first and foremost offer a rather inartful defense of VBM? As paul points out well:

    The point I'm trying to make is that everyone here assumed the authors ought to have paid attention to impact on Oregon's voting by mail system.

    Here's a newsflash for VBM supporters: You just aren't important enough for the people behind this bill to even have taken the time to decide how they could stick it to you. And we as a state with our 5 votes in the House are so insignificant we almost certainly weren't even on their list of consderations. So if that is your belief, time to grow up.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you both that this is very bad legislation that should be defeated and is about much more than VBM. What I can't tell for sure is if you support VBM, and are trying to set aside the VBM debate to further your primary objective of saving VBM. Or if instead you actually don't care about VBM and really are focused on how bad this legislation is for our democracy, just as VBM is an exceedingly poor way for a representative democracy to endow the responsiblity of voters with the respect and focused attention in the form of a election day, when all people act on that responsibility together, that it deserves.

    Until folks can understand the relationship between those two issues, I'll continue to argue that they really don't understand nearly as much about elections and voting as they like to believe.

  • KJ (unverified)


    Why do you keep bringing this discussion back to VBM? My major arguments against HR 4844 are not based in any way on my position vis-a-vis VBM but my views on ballot access. If I were in Ohio or Minnesota or any other state my analysis would still be the same. You need to step back from your parochial focus on Oregon and look at the national picture. HR 4844 is part of a grand scheme of voter suppression. Last month the same congressvarmints who are pushing HR 4844 tried to gut the Voting Rights Act. The assault on the VRA failed but HR 4844 may succeed if you obsess about the effects on Oregon's VBM and would be willing to accept a "concession" in order exempt Oregon's VBM from this pernicious bill -- and let the rest of the country go to hell in a handbasket.

  • why not (unverified)

    Why don't democrats proudly proclaim they fully support illegal immigration and all the ills with it? Their actions assist, enable, facilitate and outright promote illegal immigration and all of the government services granted them while defending the status quo in Oregon which forbids police and others from asking about or checking legal status.

    Why hide that clear cut democrat staple?

  • askquestions1st (unverified)

    KJ - First, as to your bizarre question: Why do you keep bringing this discussion back to VBM?, the thesis of the thread is US House passes Voter ID bill; ignores Oregon concerns so one feels some obligation to at least address the thesis as part of a more comprehensive argument.

    Next, as far as questioning your position:

    1) I can't tell the basis of your position but recognize you are opposed to the legislation.
    2) I oppose the legislation.
    3) I could care less about it's effect on VBM because I oppose VBM.

    So combining 2) and 3) I most certainly I wouldn't accept passage in exchange for concessions for VBM. Even with your last comment, you are not anywhere near as unambiguous in your position. And it is even more unclear what you would take as a deal over this legislation: Suppose the advocates really would scrap this proposal in exchange for us scrapping VBM? Everyone knows I'd say "Yes". At most we aren't sure you wouldn't say "No".

    Finally, as to your comment: You need to step back from your parochial focus on Oregon and look at the national picture. Are you a slow reader or just using my comments as a foil for making your point? If you read what I wrote (given that we need to at least make a nod towards the thesis of the thread), you'll see I was explicitly critical of those supporters of VBM who believet:

    1) This legislation was somehow specifically targeted at VBM. 2) This is bad primarily because of it's effect on VBM.

    There is nothing less parochial than that. For a lot of us here, it is a big "no duh" that this is yet another component of an intentional voter suppression agenda. We really don't need to waste time repeating that, but instead need to get folks to recognize they had better understand that their own agenda may do more to further passage of this legislation than stop it.

    Of course, there are the un-American nativists out there like "why not" who are just plain hateful, but you'll never reach those types even if you do explain the full picture.

  • LT (unverified)

    Ask, You have made it loud and clear that you don't like Vote by Mail. How many of your neighbors feel the same way?

    Don't tell me that you live in a county which the Vote By Mail ballot measure didn't carry because there is no such county. Over a million people voted on Vote by Mail. Over 700,000 people voted for it. Yes on 60 carried all Oregon counties.

    Now you may think it is the worst idea ever to come along, but in 1998 people all over the state voted for Measure 60. And thanked their lucky stars in 2000 that they could spread the materials out on a table at home and tackle maybe a few measures a day instead of having to wait in line and then stand there in the booth and vote on all those measures. I know there are concerns that it is less secure and abusive spouses could control the voting. But if that person feared to go vote at the County Elections office, that is a problem beyond the range of the type of voting we use. And in the old "sign the poll book" system, was every signature checked against signatures on file before the ballots were counted?

    You don't like it. There are ballot measures I don't like. But complaining doesn't solve anything. And where is your evidence that it is an evil system? Exit polls are not possible under this system and neither are "late hits"---that nasty mailer that arrives in your mailbox right before election day. Maybe you are a supporter of exit polls and late hits? In 1992 the Oregonian stupidly put 4 poll results on the front page the day before a primary. ALL WERE WRONG! A major candidate lost a recount by 330 votes statewide--did those polls have something to do with it? But that's OK because at least the election was a polling place election?

    Some of your posts make sense, but quit the whining about Vote By Mail, OK?

    Or those of us who believe in it will have cause to wonder why we should believe you on other topics.

    Yes, I was a strong advocate of Measure 60 as was the County Clerk who happens to be a neighbor of mine. I think it is better than having to close the poll books before counting absentee ballots--do you want to end absentee ballots except for the infirm and those out of town on election day? Did you know there were organized "sign up to get an absentee ballot" drives by parties before Vote By Mail?

    Yes, I drove people to the polls under the old system. But I had friends whose commute made getting to the polling place difficult. And not everyone could walk to their polling place--in rural areas it can sometimes be quite a drive.

  • LT (unverified)

    Why Not:

    So, you are perfectly comfortable about mailing your driver license in when you vote?

    Or maybe you believe the only way to control illegal immigration is to have all of us who were born in the US carry a card with birth certificate information so we can show it to anyone who questions whether we were born in this country?

    Maybe AG Gonzales and Sen. Martinez should be stopped and questioned by anyone who doesn't believe they are US citizens? If they came to Oregon to campaign for Saxton, should they carry documents with them in case someone like you demands to know who that Hispanic person is and if that person is a citizen? Should their relatives go to public school, the public library, and other government institutions, or should they have to prove their citizenship before they use any government services? Read the history of when Irish Catholics first became immigrants to this country. There were people back then who believed good Americans were all White Anglo Saxon Protestants.

    Why not, do you know for a fact that every employer in your town hires only citizens and legal resident aliens? Are they paid under our wage and hour rules? Or is it possible that the need for immigrant labor is why there are not stronger controls on immigration? Are you a supporter of the Tancredo approach to immigration, or the McCain approach? Are you thrilled that Randy Graf won that Arizona primary?

    Or do those questions distract from your need to make snide remarks like "which forbids police and others from asking about or checking legal status." Are you suggesting that with our police stretched to do traffic enforcement and criminal investigation that they should have the added job of stopping all who look like illegal immigrants and demand they prove their citizenship? What documents do you carry with you which would prove your citizenship?

  • why not (unverified)

    "Or do those questions distract from your need to make snide remarks like "which forbid police and others from asking about or checking legal status."

    "snide remark"? It's the truth. Not a single agency in the state checks legal status and that's OK with you and the Democrats.

    It's asinine, IMO.

    Your response is they are "too busy"? Or we can't afford it?

    The DMV is knowingly handing out fake ID and has been for years. Our drivers licenses have been marginalized as legitimate ID.

    You don't seen to understand the severity of the agency's failure to do their job. We have immigration laws and Oregon is nearly the worst at circumventing them. Why? I don't mind proving citizenship, but we don't need to go all the way to demanding it from everyone.
    You are being foolish. Right now agencies are accommodating illegals even when it is obvious they are illegal. When large groups with all the same address and none speak any English get fake ID and government assistance the system is broken. Simple, responsible steps by government agencies would go along way to curbing the illegal problem. Along with police being allowed to check legal status and direct suspects to immigration authorities none of this is "hateful".

    Wise up and enough of the hate blather.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)

    LT - First, I'm going to point you like I did KJ to the topic of the thread

    US House passes Voter ID bill; ignores Oregon concerns

    But in vote-by-mail systems, the bill requires the ballot to be accompanied by "a copy of a government-issued, current and valid photo identification."

    That is the topic of this thread is the conjunction between this voter suppression legislation and VBM. So whether you like it or not, it is a relevant question whether folks oppose this legislation because it is a voter suppression measure, or because of it's effect on VBM. As in:

    Suppose the advocates really would scrap this proposal in exchange for us scrapping VBM? Everyone knows I'd say "Yes". At most we aren't sure you wouldn't say "No".

    And as far as your argument that a majority supported VBM (Measure 60), a majority of people in a majority of states sent Republicans to the U.S. Senate and the House. That doesn't make them right and it doesn't make the result good. So buy a clue, OK?

  • (Show?)


    "Nice trick"? How am I tricking you? I "selectively quote" a paper that SUPPORTS YOU. Damn. I need to learn to be a bit more deceptive!

    If you are going to question my motives, then I see no need to engage in discussion with you. I was not aware the site was restricted. If you want me to download a copy of the paper for interested readers, I am happy to do so.

    But since you want to argue semantics, I will. The right to vote is guaranteed to all citizens. I see nothing unconstitutional about requiring citizens to prove their identity and their citizenship in order to vote. Others may disagree. (Note that I've already informed you that I think the legislation unwise, and along with other election reform advocates, have tried to contact Congress letting them know why.)

    The logical conclusion of your reasoning is absurd. If no one can regulate the right to vote, then (for instance) we cannot require someone to prove identity or citizenship to register. Right?

    Kansas: The Carter/Baker Commission (though read Spencer Overton's dissent), the AEI/Brookings Election Reform Project (again there is difference of opinion among the principals). Opposed: Tara Wang (New Century Institute), Dan Tokaji (OSU). Rick Hasen hasn't taken a position. Can't find a stated position for verifiedvoting, blackbox.

    (By the way, Oregon Voting Rights coalition, I find your anti-intellectualism tiresome. If you are going to make fun of someone's profession, why don't you post your own? Of course, you still believe that terrible RFK Jr. claptrap, so what should I expect)

  • LT (unverified)

    Why Not,

    Just read this on a news site about law enforcement and immigration:

    The law enforcement community is split on this issue," said Gene Voegtlin, legislative counsel for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The local agencies against enforcing immigration law "are concerned about the chilling effect it will have on immigrants' cooperation with law enforcement," he said.

    Rather than just posting on this website, you need to find a legislative candidate who agrees with your views and campaign for that person. Because if there are a majority (from either party) of legislators next year who agree with the concerns of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, then someone badmouthing people on a blog isn't going to change anything.

  • SA (unverified)

    If you are not US citizen, what the hell are you doing voting? If US citizen does not mean anything to you, then why are you even living int the US? Do you think other countries will let you vote in their elections if you happen to there? So many illegals can have driver's license in Oregon, they come in here without even a passport and a visa. Let alone ID. Do you think you can just walk over to the Mexican border without passport and ID and work permit and live there and work the job no Mexican would do? You always gripe and whine how Republicans stole the election while your own governor let criminals from Mexico live in Oregon, even get free healthcare and free foodstamps so they can work the job none of you will do, their babies become US citizens and go to school free and they don't even have to speak English. How more stupid can you get?

  • LT (unverified)

    SA, apparently you are thrilled at the idea of placing a copy of your drivers license in your ballot when you mail it in. Or maybe we should go back to standing in line in polling place elections and little or no absentee ballot voting? I am very proud that I was born in a hospital in Michigan named after a famous person my grandfather knew. But my grandfather (who was in politics) had more sense than the people who dreamed up this idea.

    And are you saying there are no Russian, European, or Asian illegal immigrants because the only illegals are those who walk across the border speaking Spanish?

    <h2>If we had enforceable employer sanctions for hiring illegals, there would not be a problem.</h2>
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