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While we wait
While we wait for the results of the New Hampshire presidential primary, here is a good wonk by Walter Dellinger from Slate on how voter fraud is a bogus threat and why the Supreme Court should overturn photo ID requirements:

A photo-ID requirement, in fact, is essentially of no benefit in preventing voter fraud, and it disenfranchises scores of legitimate voters.

There is no dispute that Indiana's photo-ID requirement addresses one, and only one, species of fraud—so-called "in-person impersonation fraud," which would occur if an ineligible voter were to come to the polls and attempt to cast a ballot by falsely claiming the identity of an eligible voter. In the entire history of Indiana, the total number of reported instances of this kind of fraud is zero. Nor is there reliable evidence that in-person impersonation fraud has occurred anywhere else in the country.

That is not surprising, as this kind of fraud would be an exceedingly irrational way to attempt to affect the outcome of an election. For starters, the impersonator would need to know that the actual registered voter would not herself be showing up to vote. If the real voter had already voted, the impersonator would be exposed at once. And in any event, why would any sane person risk going to prison to influence an election by one vote? It is all the more implausible to imagine an army of impersonators coordinating their efforts on a scale that could affect an election, let alone doing so without being detected. That is why the election fraud that's actually been tried involves ballot-box stuffing or bulk submitting of absentee ballots—schemes that allow a few people to roll up a lot of fraudulent votes. A photo-ID requirement does nothing to prevent those real shenanigans.

And then there's The Other New Hampshire: the last half of this piece by Donald Hall makes me so homesick for New England, I could cry.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

1 comment or Leave a comment
teotakuu From: teotakuu Date: January 8th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
That piece by Donald Hall is certainly evocative. I don't know what his poetry is like but I enjoyed that prose a lot.
1 comment or Leave a comment