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Robert Bennett: Photo IDs may be inconvenient, but they help prevent voter fraud

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  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2012 7:01 a.m.

    And once again those calling for making voting more difficult can't actually cite evidence of any remotely significant voter fraud.

    They want the elderly, the poor and students to have a harder time voting because it is those voters who are more likely to vote for Democrats.

    It's pure and simple voter suppression.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 16, 2012 7:19 a.m.

    Photo IDs may be inconvenient, but they help prevent voter fraud

    or

    Preventing voter fraud by means other than photo id's may be inconvient but ...

    Other means should be used so that the inconvience doesn't fall mainly on the poor.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 16, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    Bob cites one case, 12 years ago? There is no voter fraud problem. There may be shenanigans from time to time, but the GOP is actually suppressing the vote and they know it.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    July 16, 2012 7:46 a.m.

    nice one Bob.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 16, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    A solution looking for a problem.

    The suppression of Democratic votes is just a side benefit.

    Laws like this will, without question, reduce far more legitimate votes than fraudulent ones.

    Can anyone dispute that?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 16, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    If absentee ballots, or mail in ballots, do not require ID; why do votes in person? What is inherently different in how I cast my vote that requires ID or not?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 16, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    ID laws have nothing to do with "voter fraud" and everything to do with SUPPRESSING the vote among the marginalized people who have no car! Millions of voters don't have driver licenses because they can't afford them or they are too old or disabled to need one. The Republicans know full well that marginalized people tend to vote Democratic--because the Democrats CARE about them.

  • George Bronx, NY
    July 16, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    nice antidotal story Robert but it does not change the fact following a massive investigations across the country into voter fraud in 2008 there where only 7 cases of voter fraud that where prosecutable in the entire country. When there is fraud it should be aggressively prosecuted but antidotal stories do not translate to wide spread fraud and the voter ID laws have already caused 100's of legitimate votes to not be counted in the primary elections alone.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    July 16, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    Florida received the federal database of illegal aliens so they can remove them from the rolls.

    I get a feeling sometimes that posting robots are fighting this. They get proof and just ignore it, and keep saying the same thing. Utah in 2005 did a study and found 383 foreign nationals with ITIN numbers registered to vote here. Only 14 did vote, but Utah refused to prosecute (Shurtleff?) because they could not determine citizenship. (the ITIN is not for citizens) more dead carp

    Like not prosecuting illegal aliens for perjury when filling out I-9 forms, or felonies for id theft, social security numbers, etc, yet prosecuting Americans for felonies, we know we are not getting the entire story.

    Bob tells the inside story, if they had not caught them in time, thousands could of voted, and we would never of known. They would of never found out, and if they did, they would of kept it quiet to "protect our countries reputation".

  • George Bronx, NY
    July 16, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    @RRB
    what we are getting is more and more conspiracy theories from the far right as reality increasingly elude them.

  • George Bronx, NY
    July 16, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    @RRB

    This “study” you site was conducted by comparing the name and birthdate of voters to the name and birthdate of individuals with a taxpayer ID number investigated by immigration authorities, but this method has been proven to yield errors: the voters in question may not be the noncitizens identified. Moreover, the source stated that 14 of these individuals had actually voted; even if the 14 were in fact noncitizens, there is no allegation in the cited source that any of the individuals voted at the polls or in the name of another meaning voter ID laws would not have prevented them from voting. sources Michael McDonald & Justin Levitt, Seeing Double Voting (2007), Letter from John M. Schaff, Utah Auditor General, to John L. Valentine, Utah State Senate President (Feb. 8, 2005)

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    July 16, 2012 11:59 a.m.

    @RRB
    "if they had not caught them in time, thousands could of voted, and we would never of known"
    Oh my heavens 1000''s of legitimate voters may have gotten to vote that where shut out because of delays at the polling station caused by poll sitters incompetence that slowed down the voting process. we would have known because the reason the polls would have been allowed to stay open would have been because of the court order which is a public document.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2012 11:59 a.m.

    @RRB
    "Utah in 2005 did a study and found 383 foreign nationals with ITIN numbers registered to vote here."

    Based on population that would be about 3,000 Pennsylvanians with 140 actually voting, so why throw off 8% of the states' population from the voter roles? Oh right, to let Romney win, as their house majority leader said.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 16, 2012 12:05 p.m.

    @RRB

    "Florida received the federal database of illegal aliens so they can remove them from the rolls."

    =======

    If that were the case, I would have no problem at all. They were comparing voting records to driver license records, and that is the rub. Citizens being removed from the voting rolls simply because of a potential address mismatch, where is the due process in that?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 16, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    Re: "It's pure and simple voter suppression."

    Sure it is -- suppression of those who shouldn't be voting anyway.

    It's simply ageist, racist, elitist blather to suggest that validly registered and qualified voters who want to vote will somehow be prevented from doing so because they are old, infirm, or naturalized.

    The is only one reason to oppose voter ID -- to enable cheating.

    And Democratts have made it crystal clear -- we intend to do so.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2012 1:35 p.m.

    Great column, Senator. Photo ID laws are absolutely ESSENTIAL in protecting the integrity of the vote. Those who disagree either don't understand the seriousness of voter fraud, or have ulterior motives.

    When society makes voting and registering more and more "convenient," we also make it easier to commit voter fraud, which is a very serious blow against our constitutional republic.

    Also, it's very misleading to cite the small number of cases prosecuted as "proof" that voter fraud is a non-problem. Even when voter fraud is obvious or rampant, it's often hard to prosecute and prove in court. It's also politically UNPOPULAR to prosecute, because of likely (but phony) counter-accusations of "voter suppression" or "racism" or "disenfranchisement."

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 16, 2012 1:56 p.m.

    @Peanut Gallery

    "Photo ID laws are absolutely ESSENTIAL in protecting the integrity of the vote...When society makes voting and registering more and more "convenient," we also make it easier to commit voter fraud, which is a very serious blow against our constitutional republic."

    ===============

    So, do you propose doing away with absentee ballots? They cannot show ID.
    If not, why would someone going to the physical polling place be required to show it?
    If so, are Servicemembers not entitled to vote while they are serving their country outside of her borders?

    You can't have it both ways.

    If voter fraud is really the issue, the precincts would be small enough that the judges could know everyone, and thus catch a potential fraudster. Why don't we do that? Is it money? For the big concern that everyone has over voter fraud, cost shouldn't count.

    Again, you can't have it both ways. Voting is an unalienable right in a democracy. If PhotoID is required, the State must provide me with one, free of charge, otherwise it is a poll tax (my DL cost $25 for 5 years, or roughly $25 to vote for President.)

  • cmbennett1 OGDEN, UT
    July 16, 2012 2:03 p.m.

    If you choose not to have the required ID that is not the government's fault. If the government were preventing people from getting the ID that would be one thing, but it is not. I choose not to have a passport, but I don't blame the government for not allowing me to travel internationally.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    July 16, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    We definitely need to prevent voter fraud, but what will we do to stop the shenanigans by which local GOP's fixed some of their own primaries this year?

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    July 16, 2012 3:30 p.m.

    @peanut gallery

    So you admit there is nothing to support your conspiracy theories but we are all the ones that do not understand or have alternative objectives?

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    July 16, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    liberals oppose it because it places an undo burden on peoples right to vote. IIt is incumbent on those that seek to limit rights to prove there is some valid reason to do so. So far all the far right have been able to produce is wild conspiracy theories backed up by an antidotal story from 12 years ago that this law would not have effected since the man in the story never actually tried to vote in person. then on the other side we have the indiana primary alone in which 100's of valid votes where not counted because of their voter ID law.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    July 16, 2012 3:45 p.m.

    @cmbennett1

    actually it is the governments fault if they impose restrictions on peoples right to vote without providing a clear and compelling state interest in doing so. So far all we have gotten to justify such laws is wild conspiracy theories.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 16, 2012 4:10 p.m.

    Why aren't there equal numbers of conservatives and liberals complaining about photo I.D.s?

    Today, about 47% of the voters say that they will vote for Obama and about 47% say that they will vote for Romney. Are Republicans just more law abiding, or do they know something about voting that Democrats have not yet learned? Do only "live" Republicans vote? Have Republicans not yet learned how to "raise the dead" and get them to vote alphabetically like they did in 1960 in highly contested precincts where Democrats narrowly won, after ballot counting was "mysteriously" prolonged?

    It seems to me that EVERYONE should be concerned that EVERYONE play fair. Of course that won't work for Obama. He wants a guaranteed win. With voter photo I.D., a guaranteed win is something that only Richard Daley and his Chicago buddies could have guaranteed.

  • George Bronx, NY
    July 16, 2012 4:29 p.m.

    @j thomas
    You can ignore all the previous comments that have already addressed your claims or you could actually try to refute those comments by providing some facts to support your wild conspiracy theories of there being a voter fraud that would be solved by having voter ID laws. If you want EVERYONE to be as concerned as you then maybe you should present some cold hard facts to support your claims instead of beating the same old conspiracy theory mantras.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 16, 2012 4:41 p.m.

    George,

    I'm going to leave it to you to prove that crime would not increase if all policemen were fired and criminals had no obstacle to committing crime.

    Your claim that voter fraud did not take place is refuted by the facts. It is history. People can check it. They can see the images of "dead people" voting alphabetically and all using the exact same handwriting. You can deny voter fraud as long as you want, but people who honestly look can see for for themselves.

    People know that photo I.D. is required for using a check at the grocery store, even when they've lived their all their lives. Why would they think that photo I.D. would not be required to keep them honest when voting.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    July 16, 2012 5:04 p.m.

    @j thomas
    So you do realize you just made George's point right? your comment about where the burden of proof falls has already been addressed in tolstoys post right before your first one and making erroneous comments about the police and fire department to try to place george on the defensive do not help your claims.

    one more question to add to your list of questions and comments you are avoiding, if the evidence is as clear and factual as you claim they are why are you or anyone else associated with pushing these laws unable to provide one credible reference that supports the claim of this being a wide spread issue.

  • Bubble SLC, UT
    July 16, 2012 5:30 p.m.

    @j thomas
    If you have facts to support your claims then present them as others have done to refute your claims. You claim they are so readily available then surely you can provide one credible reference to support your claim that voter fraud is a significant problem that justifies placing restrictions on peoples right to access voting.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 16, 2012 8:19 p.m.

    Re: : IIt [sic] is incumbent on those that seek to limit rights to prove there is some valid reason to do so."

    So, you agree we shouldn't require concealed-carry permits [right to keep/bear arms]? Or driver licenses [right to travel]? Or attorney licensing [right to counsel]? Etc. Etc. Etc.

    Funny how a liberal can feign such great interest in one constitutional right -- the one that imposes almost no burden on valid voters, but which would permit his party and candidate to cheat in the upcoming election -- while being absolutely unconcerned about the serious burdens imposed by regulation of all the rest.

    It was observed at least as early as 1775 that, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." That would certainly apply to liberal appeals to oppose voter-ID laws, crying ageist, racist, elitist crocodile tears for people, the vast majority of whom disagree with the transparent liberal scam to affect this election through cheating.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    July 17, 2012 3:50 a.m.

    Supreme court has approved it.

    It's needed. Prove that an election has not been affected by voter fraud. Start in Chicago.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    July 17, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    @RRB
    once again there are proven harms to allowing people to not have certain restrictions on all the activities you list where is your proof of a harm of not limiting access to voting? why do you keep trying to bring erroneous activities into the conversation instead of providing evidence to support your claim that there is a harm? DO you have no proof? is that why?

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    July 17, 2012 2:47 p.m.

    First of all, thiere is no foolproof way to prevent voter fraud. So what ever method slected has to be cost effective in its approach. Instituring a voter ID system may reduce fraud to a degree, but at what cost? If it costs millios of dollare to implement and prevents thousands of legitimate voters from voting, is it worth it? If it costs nation wide 100 million dollars to implement and it only prevents 100 instances of voter fraud, is it worth a million dollars per fraudulent vote?

  • formetoknow PAYSON, UT
    July 19, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    So how many instances of voter fraud have happened here in Utah in the past 30 years? Is Utah really suffering from an influx of fraudulent voters? How is this any different than requiring literacy tests. Come on people you may celebrate the day you get to restrict someone else's freedom, but how will you respond when your own freedom is restricted.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    July 19, 2012 3:11 p.m.

    re Darrel "If PhotoID is required, the State must provide me with one, free of charge, otherwise it is a poll tax (my DL cost $25 for 5 years, or roughly $25 to vote for President.)"

    How much does it cost you to have to be an American citizen in order to vote and would you consider the taxes we pay as citizens to be a "poll tax?"