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Death of photo ID bill victory for democracy



Published: Tue, August 2, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

2With that comment, Rep. Bill Batchelder, R-Medina, speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, deep-sixed one of the most controversial and unnecessary pieces of legislation in this session of the General Assembly. That the voter photo-identification bill was even given serious consideration for a while by the Republican majority in House and Senate speaks to the way the GOP, led by Gov. John Kasich, is pushing through an agenda that is partisan in nature and is standing government on its head. The Democratic minority has been marginalized.

But even a strong majority can overreach, and when it does, the people stand up and say, “Enough.” That’s what happened with the photo-ID bill. It is significant that one of the top Republican officeholders in Ohio, Secretary of State Jon Husted, made it clear that the measure being pushed by members of his party in the Statehouse was not only unnecessary, it was unfair.

Husted had some interesting company in opposing the photo-ID bill. The League of Women Voters of Ohio, the American Association of Retired Persons, American Civil Liberties Union, Project Vote and the Coalition of Homelessness and Housing in Ohio all came out strongly against the plan to require Ohioans to present a government-issued photo ID before they could cast a ballot.

Likewise, we strongly voiced out opposition to what we considered a heavy-handed attempt at voter suppression. Proponents deny that was their intention, arguing they merely wanted to stop voter fraud. But as we noted time and again, there isn’t one study that reveals widespread fraud at the polls.

What disturbed us more than anything else about the legislation — the Senate attempted to soften the blow by letting voters without government-issued IDs to vote a provisional ballot — is that almost 900,000 Ohioans may lack the government ID, Ohio driver’s license, an Ohio state ID, military ID or U.S. passport.

The people most affected would be the poor, minorities and senior citizens.

Although the photo-ID legislation passed the House, cooler heads prevailed in the Senate, where it stalled at the committee level. The measure never made it to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

Not necessary

Speaker Batchelder says he still supports more stringent identification requirements to avoid the kinds of perceptions of election fraud that were created during the last presidential election. But Secretary of State Husted, Ohio’s chief elections officer, contends that a reform bill passed by the Legislature in June and signed into law gives his office everything it needs to ensure fair and honest elections.

A comment Husted made during the voter photo-ID debate is worth repeating, because it delivers a message that the Republican-dominated House and Senate would do well to heed:

“I stand for what I believe in. You go out, and you campaign, and you talk about being fair. If you want to have any credibility, you’ve got to do what you say you would do. I said I’d be fair and even-handed.”

Republican legislators may argue that they never promised to be fair and even-handed, but the people of Ohio certainly don’t want political extremism — from Republicans or Democrats.


Comments

1commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 3 years ago

Why would anybody be upset when they have to show a photo ID to vote? You need photo ID to buy alcohol,buy a fishing license,get on an
airplane,etc,etc, so why NOT for voting??
If you do not have a drivers license you can get a State ID card, WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? Unless you have something to hide.

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2JohnB2(6 comments)posted 3 years ago

There are several ideas worth considering here. First, voting is a right. Buying alcohol, fishing, or flying on a plane are not. Second, many individuals do not have a state-issued ID. Even if it's made available "free," the documentation necessary to get one is unavailable or costly for many individuals (e.g. birth certificate $25).

Ohio already has strict ID law for voting. Revised Code § 3505.18(A)(1) requires "valid photo identification" (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3505.18). What proposed legislation (HB 159) would do is remove acceptable alternatives for proving identity.

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3palbubba(664 comments)posted 3 years ago

"Husted had some interesting company in opposing the photo-ID bill. The League of Women Voters of Ohio, the American Association of Retired Persons, American Civil Liberties Union, Project Vote and the Coalition of Homelessness and Housing in Ohio all came out strongly against the plan to require Ohioans to present a government-issued photo ID before they could cast a ballot.
Likewise, we strongly voiced out opposition to what we considered a heavy-handed attempt at voter suppression. Proponents deny that was their intention, arguing they merely wanted to stop voter fraud. But as we noted time and again, there isn’t one study that reveals widespread fraud at the polls."
Why is it that only left wing liberal groups opposed this legislation? Could it be that they are the ones benefiting from illegal votes? It certainly isn' the conservatives who are the only ones willing to try and curb voter fraud. "there isn’t one study that reveals widespread fraud at the polls." Could it be that the key word is widespread? Does that mean a little is O.K.? Typical Vindy stupidity. Fraud is fraud, just like illegal alien is illegal alien. No way to sugar coat either one.

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4Westsider(222 comments)posted 3 years ago

I'm sorry - I guess I just don't get it. I understand that some people are too poor to get a driver's license - or they have such wonderful access to public transportation they can't get to their (jobs?). However, to obtain a state ID - I would propose that it cost the poor who can prove indigency no more than $5. Face it - that's how much many "poor" people spend on a pack of cigarettes.

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5dymaxion(1 comment)posted 3 years ago

Given that Ohio's Election's are run by political parties, Requiring a photo ID will not stop election fraud.

Ban Political parties from running the election boards

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6commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 3 years ago

johnb2, is it also a "right" for people that are dead to vote? this has happened many times in elections.Again, what's the problem for people to show a photo ID. I also agree wth the other people that welfare people should have a photo ID to prove they are the ones receiving the food stamps. It's time that we the tax payers start making these "generation" welfare collectors be more accountable for their free rides.(I do have to say there are "some" people on welfare that can not help being there BUT not for a lifetime)

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7taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 3 years ago

I think that the idea stated already about putting a photo on the food card would solve this and many problems. It's an excellent way for people to stop selling their card.

I also don't buy what one person stated about the poor, that even if the ID card were free, the expense of required identification would be too much in order to get a photo ID. That is something that they need in order to get welfare and food stamps already. They need birth certificate and SS card. So there goes that theory that it would cost them extra to prove who they are for a photo ID.

But the food card is given out free to every person on welfare. All they have to do is put a pic on there and then problem is solved for voting AND welfar fraud for selling food cards.

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8cambridge(2996 comments)posted 3 years ago

That is the difference between a true Republican a person that truly cares about what is right and wrong and the teabagger/republicans that dance when rupert murdoch pulls the strings.

I feel bad for having to lump the real Republicans with the teabaggers but it is how the tb's vote. We need both the Democratic party and the Republican party for checks and balances but I see no use for the teabaggers.

Until the Republicans formally distance themselves from the teabaggers it's their cross to bare and that's a shame.

We should switch to three party system, Democrats, Republicans and teabaggers. The teabaggers would soon become irrelevant and the government could focus on what is right for America instead of dealing with rupert murdoch's agenda because lets face it, without murdoch the teabaggers wouldn't even exist.

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years ago

"I feel bad for having to lump the real Republicans with the teabaggers but it is how the tb's vote."

I see here a liberal who is into Burger King Politics . He wants it all his way . . ..

http://www.anunews.net/blog/wp-conten...

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10walter_sobchak(1893 comments)posted 3 years ago

As a free white man, I have always had the right to vote in the US. But, that is not the case with women and blacks. Many people struggled hard to have the government recognize the fact that women and blacks also possessed the right to vote and were being discriminated against. Now, we have a bill that merely wants to ensure that only those who are legally eligible to vote may cast a ballot. To allow otherwise is a slap to the people that fought hard to have their votes recognized and debases that very precious vote. But, if only 15% of the eleigible voters bother to show up to vote on a Boardman tax levy, maybe I'm fooling myself.

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11commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 3 years ago

walter,well said.

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12VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 3 years ago

I have at least two valid government issued photo ID cards and would be proud to show them in order to vote. My mother is 88 years old and has a valid government issued photo ID card, but does not have a driver's license or drives a car. You can get one at any license bureau. My daughters have valid ID cards. My neighbors have valid ID cards. My friends have valid ID cards. I can't understand how or why anyone living in America can get by without at least one valid, government issued photo ID card. Showing your ID card SHOULD be a requirement for voting and IS an HONOR to produce. Producing one actually provides absolute proof of name, address and facial match and speeds up the process of voter recognition in order to obtain a ballot.

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13tawni77(6 comments)posted 3 years ago

I don't agree with anyone being able to choose what is right or wrong for me; you aren't G-d, and you cannot judge others. Also think of those not born in Ohio or locally; the costs and a computer are high in order to get these documents. Most people are not on welfare but may be disabled and get some benefits even after paying into the system. We are allowed certain rights and freedoms which many had to fight for in this country.

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