Saturday, April 30, 2011

I.D. To Vote, No I.D. To Kill

Kenneth M. O’Brien

Should registered voters have to show ID’s to vote?

The law in Massachusetts says “NO”!

But, apparently, that is not good enough for some people..

They ask, “Why would you object to showing identification?

Aside from the fact that it is estimated that 20 million American citizens lack a government issued ID, there is an alternative question.

If you want to require a government issued ID to exercise a fundamental right, are you willing to apply it to the exercise of all rights guaranteed under the constitution?

Specifically, I am referring to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

According to the Violence Research Program at the University of California at Davis, addressing the issue of gun shows:
No license is required to ‘‘[make] occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection of firearms’’. A private individual may
legally buy and sell many guns each year while claiming to be an occasional seller and collector. Such unlicensed vendors are reported to make up 25–50% of all gun vendors at gun shows. In all but a few states, they may ignore the identification requirement, cannot initiate background checks, and need not report multiple sales or keep records. The same is true for individual attendees at gun shows who bring guns to sell.”

If you feel that it is appropriate to require that voters show government issued ID’s to exercise a fundamental right guaranteed under the 15th and 19th amendments to the U.S. Constitution, shouldn’t you also support the requirement to show government issued ID’s to purchase firearms?

I’ll await your answer.

For more truth about the voter ID initiative see:
The League of Women Voters
Voter Fraud?
Connecticut Voters Count
Part of a national GOP agenda


  1. Not being a "gun nut" I can only say I have never heard of anyone arguing the point of having to show an ID to purchase a gun. I have heard many other arguments regarding gun control, but never that one, however, I could be wrong.

    I only have two questions regarding the voter ID issue and the so called intimidation. And I will be awaiting your answer.

    Why is showing an ID in order to vote any more intimidating that showing an ID to buy tobacco, alcohol or to cash a check, just to name a view? Please explain the difference.

    And since there seems to be so many allegations of voter fraud by BOTH sides, why wouldn't anyone not wish to eliminate the chance for fraud by ensuring the integrity of the vote?

  2. Voter fraud? Are you alleging voter fraud? I haven’t heard anyone make that allegation. Certainly no one in Representative Alicea’s camp has made such an allegation.
    If you are alleging voter fraud, there are avenues to pursue that other than innuendo. What proof do you have of voter fraud?
    The fact is that voter fraud is an urban myth that Republicans have been perpetuating for years to justify legislation to suppress voting among traditional Democratic constituencies, the elderly, the poor and minorities.
    The facts are that there is little or no evidence to support the charge. The Brennen Center at NYU Law School has provided substantial proof of this canard.
    The League of Women Voters has shown that as many as 21 million American voters lack the ID’s you are seeking.
    Others have cited the additional costs that would be imposed upon state budgets to enforce such a provision. See the links provided above.
    What you have is a solution in search of a problem. The only problem you have is that those whose vote would be suppressed tend to vote Democratic. It is hypocrisy pure and simple.

  3. Ken, I did not say Alicea committed voter fraud. I said there is a history throughout the country of voter fraud, both parties.

    There is one thing people in Southbridge and in this area seem not to understand about this whole thing:

    Southbridge was no "Targeted". The day after the November election there were reports of voting irregularities, in Boston, Worcester, Lawrence and other cities. I, myself in Sturbridge had a "potential" incident of voter fraud, when I went to vote they had me marked off as having voted. An innocent mistake, but I did not know the poll workers, yet they let me vote without showing an ID, which bothered me as anyone could have done the same.

    The point is, at that time several groups decided they would begin to push for this show ID initiative.District 6 and an election just happened to be the first elections since this initiative began to gain steam, therefore the billboard.

    If it is so hard to get these identifications then what do these people do when they register to vote, I believe in Massachusetts they need some kind of identification to register?

  4. There is hypocrisy in this issue, but it is coming from those in the progressive movement. In poll after poll showing ID to vote enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support. But there are those that would substitute their own ideology for the will of the American people. No doubt you believe that this is an attempt to return to Democrat Party style voter suppression of yesteryear. That explains why you have chosen to conflate the issue with gun control. The call for showing ID to vote is an expression of the people demanding more from their elected officials. Why are you so afraid to have fair elections? Do you have such little confidence in the politicians that you support?

  5. In both of these posts I see the same tactics - allegations without factual substantiation.
    I've provided you with reliable sources that provide facts that contradict your (as yet) unfounded assertions.
    You're entitled to your own opinions. You are not entitled to your own facts.

  6. I am still waiting the answer to the question I asked in the first comment I left.

    Why is showing an ID to vote more intimidating than showing an ID for anything else which we don't ever hear anyone complain about?

  7. To answer your question:
    As regards alcohol and tobacco showing an ID has nothing to do with exercising a right – it has to do with establishing age as required by law.
    As regards cashing a check, again it has nothing to do with exercising a fundamental right but rather complying with private requirements for completing a financial transaction. In many cases ID such as a residential utility bill is considered adequate.
    None of the cases you cite is analogous to the topic under discussion.

  8. I’m Just Musing:
    Let me ask you a question.
    Having seen your photo on your profile page, I would guess that it’s been a while since you’ve been asked to provide ID to buy alcohol or cigarettes (no affront intended).
    When was the last time you showed it voluntarily anyway (other than in jest)?

  9. The show your ID movement is a solution in search of a problem.

    For years the Republican Party has perpetuated an urban myth that voter fraud is widespread. As a result they have attempted to institute laws to suppress voter participation.

    The fact is that there is no evidence that voter fraud is a problem. The Brennan Center for Law and Justice at the NYU School of Law ( has done extensive studies of this issue. Their conclusion is, “The truth of the matter is that voter fraud—votes knowingly cast by ineligible individuals—is exceedingly rare; one is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.”

    But keep repeating a lie, as one of the Evening News’ Sound Off writers did on May 4, and eventually there will be those who believe it, just like some will believe that a current President was born in Kenya.

    Nationwide, Republicans have been using this urban myth to enact legislation to suppress registration by those most likely to vote Democratic, the young, the elderly, the disabled and minorities. Pending legislation in Texas, for instance, would accept a gun license but not a student ID. Numerous similar cases can be cited. No less a non-partisan group than the League of Women Voters opposes any such legislation.

    Advocates say, “We all show ID for liquor, cigarettes, etc….”Well, that’s simply not true. Those whose age is in question are asked because the law requires it. If one is obviously old enough, no ID is asked for. Do these advocates of this agenda voluntarily show their ID anyway? I don’t think so.

    Ultimately, the second most distressing component of this effort is its inherent hypocrisy. The same elements who want to reduce regulations on financial markets where speculators drive up the price of oil and who want to restrict regulation on oil companies who foul our environment want to increase regulations on average citizens to exercise their fundamental right to vote.

    The most distressing component, however, is the extent to which those who are swayed by their lies fail to see their true agenda.

  10. Ken, Point well made.

    However I will disagree with your point it is only Republicans who claim voter fraud. What about Bush v Gore? Seems I remember a lot of complaining from the Democrats after that.

  11. And by the way, I can be persuaded by a good argument to change my mind.

  12. As regards Bush v Gore, Democratic complaints were not about voter fraud. They were about:

    a) Voter suppression, the very issue I am currently arguing against; and

    b)The failure to do a complete recount. As regards this it is notable that:
    1) The Supreme Court itself stated that its decision should not constitute a legal precedent;and
    2) A subsequent total recount commissioned by several news organizations showed that Gore had actually won Florida.



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