Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Bad Reason for Voter Photo ID

Jared Patterson, candidate for Texas House District 112 (challenging incumbent Angie Chen Button) posted this on Facebook:
In an attempt to purchase a roll of stamps this afternoon, I was asked to show two forms of photo identification (because I hadn’t endorsed the back of the credit card I was using). How is it rational to determine that purchasing stamps must be more protected than our election process? #VoterID #CommonSense
Source: Facebook.
After the jump, why #VoterID is not #CommonSense.

Voting is a fundamental right. Buying things with credit cards is not. Apples and oranges.

Putting barriers in front of exercising privileges like buying things with credit cards might make sense because of the size of the problem. According to a 2009 study, merchants lose $190 billion a year to credit card fraud.

Putting barriers in front of people exercising their fundamental rights is a whole 'nother matter, especially as there is no evidence that there's a problem. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has found in ten years only two (2!) cases of voter fraud that involved voter impersonation, the kind of voter fraud that photo ID laws are designed to catch. Fundamental rights should not be interfered with for contrived reasons.

In short, Jared Patterson's #CommonSense may be common, but it sure doesn't make sense.

Read this for why I don't think stricter voter ID laws honor Martin Luther King, Jr (a cockamamie idea inspired by more Jared Patterson Facebook posts). Read this for a fuller treatment of why I oppose stricter voter ID laws.

P.S. I posted a reply on Facebook to Jared Patterson's comment. Jared replied to me with a question of his own, which I answered. The next day, both of my comments were deleted without explanation.

1 comment:

DennisTheBald said...

If God had wanted us to have need photo IDs to vote he would have put 'em on the voter registration cards from the git go. You are quite correct that the reason for demanding drivers licenses and such is not to prevent a non-existent problem, but rather to discourage certain segments of us from voting.

Maybe photo IDs should be required to buy bullets tho.