Wednesday, January 2, 2008

You're Going To Have To Do Better Than That

Jim Grinstead is all bent out of shape about requiring people who vote to show photo identification. The theory is that this will disenfranchise people who don't have photo identification. Because, you know, it's so difficult to get a photo ID of yourself made.

But Jim assures us that you don't need a photo ID requirement to have secure elections. Why, just look at Wisconsin!

Wisconsin offers on site, election day registration. During the 2004 elections, I worked as poll watcher and observed dozens of people arrive at a precinct, many who had never voted before, walk in, be registered and vote.

Expecting a high turnout for the election, officials had brought in extra staff to handle the registration chores while allowing registered voters to move through the polls smoothly. The process worked and only a handful of ballots were later disqualified.

Wow! "Only a handful!" Well, I don't know about you, but I certainly feel better. I'm sure all of the others were somehow perfectly fine, never mind that these particiular ballots might indicate a larger problem. Of course, we will never know for sure. Notice, for instance, that PN doesn't share with us just what the process was for these new voters. He just talks about how well-staffed it was, as though the key to voter security is mere efficiency at the ballot box.

And then there's his penultimate graf:

It is possible to have fair, open and honest elections without silencing the voices of any segment of the population.

I don't know about you, but this average reader was sort of expecting some, you know, actual examples of ways to go about this (that presumably don't require photo IDs). Jim provides none that I see. Guess we'll have to wait for the next post for that.

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