Schultz Raises Dead Voter Scare Again

(You'd think he would have enough real problems to work on in this job. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

Our Secretary of State still wants to see your ID. Make that a photo ID with an expiration date on it, please, so your Iowa State student ID card will not suffice.  

You need it unless you vote absentee, or get someone to swear you are really you, or swear it yourself if you are in a nursing home and can't vote like other absentee voters. Or unless you have a religious objection or swear you are indigent. In those last two cases we break out the dreaded provisional ballots again.

With that many loopholes his new bill offers way more inconvenience, hassle, confusion, and expense for the state than it offers security for already honest elections.

The Secretary admitted that he knows of no impersonations that could justify this law. He absurdly says the only way to know if they are happening is to video tape voters coming into the polling places. If the Secretary photographed everyone entering the polls, he'd still need a way to identify the photos. Who can claim that these voters were someone else?

He cited the pranksters in New Hampshire this month who recorded themselves lying about who they were in their effort to show they could lie about who they were. They actually were given ballots, but then they ran off without voting. I think they knew it was a crime already.

I wonder how many hours the Secretary spent studying election records to see whether any votes were cast by voters who had died the week before the election. This is the main avenue for voter fraud that might go undetected. It shouldn't be very hard to study this. The list of who voted is in his possession. Deaths are pretty public, too, along with the date of death.

The Secretary also said the ID card is not a real barrier to voters. He said that in Indiana turnout was higher after the law went into effect than it was before the law. But turnout goes up when population goes up. It also goes up when voters are more interested in the candidates. 

Turnout is poor evidence in this debate where only a few voters are going to be affected. Schultz really should hope turnout goes down. That might prove his ID law had deterred fraud. Or it might prove he had disenfranchised people.

Since Schultz can't prove any actual impersonations, he justified his bill by pointing to close elections. He said even a few impersonations could matter in a close race. But he also admitted a “very limited number of people” would not get to vote under his new rules. Those few voters could also matter in a close race. He has created a problem bigger than the one he is claiming to solve.

Voters don't know which races will be that close. Elections aren't stolen by voter impersonators. They are stolen via absentee ballots sometimes. That would certainly be the way to go in Iowa whether this law passes or not. 

In fact his bill may not pose much of a barrier. To be denied your ballot, you would have to show up alone and not see anyone in the room who could sign for you. That may happen in the city, but rural Republicans have nothing to fear. What a coincidence.

What Schultz really needs is evidence this impersonation crime has actually happened. Good luck with that. The recent allegation that 953 South Carolina dead voters had cast ballots began to fall apart as soon as a few of the names were checked by the state election department. The rest of the list remains secret and in the hands of the accusing Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Something is rotten in Columbia, S.C. It smells all the way to Des Moines.

also posted at IowaVoters

Hat tip to Radio Iowa’s audio.

  • turnout

    does not go up when the population increases as a rule.

    There are three components to population change:

    natural change = birth – death

    net migration/domestic = move in – move out

    net migration/foreign = move in – move out

    – infants don’t vote

    – voting is delayed for legal immigration

    – voting not allowed for illegal or undocumented immigration

    Let’s take Iowa as an example, 2000-2009

    births: 361766

    deaths: 255370

    domestic migration: -52205

    international migration: 36329

    = net (small) population increase, as verified by the 2010 census.

    So you would expect a turnout decrease as the births are not transformed into votes over this period; the deaths reduce turnout; domestic migration reduces turnout while international migration helps add population but not votes. You could also note that the births will ultimately lead to part of the brain drain (a component of out-migration).

    Finally, when drawing conclusions, you also have to note historical turnout rates. The more affluent areas enjoying the benefits of net migration tend to have some of the highest voting turnout rates in the state, esp in white/non-working class precincts. This means efficiency in converting a new resident to a vote. To make a turnout prediction, you have to some over regions by expected turnout rate.

    In Indiana, I would be surprised to hear that turnout was up in majority-minority precincts, just due to the enthusiasm gap alone.

  • "sum over regions" (n/t)

  • I look forward

    to the county auditors humiliating Schultz again.

    Even the Republican legislators can’t be bothered to pretend this is a real problem:

    “Fraud voters have never been a problem before,” said Sen. Shawn Hamerlinck, R-Dixon. “This is more of a backup to make sure the votes are valid.”

    Sure, because Iowa’s so flush with cash we have millions of dollars to throw around preventing something that’s never happened before.

You need to signin or signup to post a comment.