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A note about voter ID and vote by mail

See if you can detect the same theme I’m detecting.

From Houston Public Media:

Rice University recently surveyed Harris County voters. And nearly 70 percent of respondents preferred voting by mail if that’s an option.

“We found that a large number of voters – particularly Democrats, women, and persons over 65 – were reluctant to vote in person at a polling location on or before Election Day,” said Rice political scientist Bob Stein.

[…]

But the Rice survey shows Republicans are far less likely to want to vote by mail, let alone to support others doing so for fear of catching COVID-19. One reason: potential voter fraud.

Clay Mills of Humble has been a Republican poll judge for the past 10 years.

“In my opinion, based on all those years of experience, by far the easiest way to commit fraud is vote by mail,” Mills said. “I think we should always be concerned about health and do the best we can, but we also can’t destroy the purity of the vote based on health reasons.”

Such fraud is extremely rare, according to studies conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

Michael Palmquist is also a Republican poll judge and army veteran from Spring. As for concerns about voting in person during the pandemic? “None whatsoever.”

“I mean, if I can go to the grocery store, and I can go to Sam’s, and I can go to Walmart, there’s no reason I can’t stand in line and vote,” Palmquist said.

And Joanne Thomas, an Alabama native and a teacher from West Houston, is battling cancer. But she’s still determined to vote in person, not by mail.

“I will wear my gloves, I will wear my mask, and I will go in and vote,” Thomas said. “I have family members who have died for the right for me to vote.”

Like Mills, Thomas is concerned about potential vote fraud.

“I have heard the term ballot harvesting, and I totally disagree with it because you can’t prove who you are,” Thomas said, “I am a firm believer that you should carry some form of ID to have the privilege to vote in the United States of America. You should be an American citizen and pay taxes. If you don’t, you don’t have the right to have the say on who will govern us.”

See here for more on the poll in question, but that’s not what I want to focus on.

From the DMN:

Still the only voter ID anyone should need

Lewis Sessions, a Dallas lawyer who is not involved in the case, agrees with Paxton. Sessions, who has represented the county Republican Party in voter fraud cases, said he opposes expanded mail voting because the system can be exploited by fraudsters.

If mail voting is opened up to a larger portion of the population, he said, election officials will be unprepared to handle such an increase and unable to verify each ballot.

David Thomas, 72, of Oak Cliff said he was similarly concerned that officials would not be able to use the state’s voter identification law to verify ballots cast by mail.

“Somebody else can vote for you,” he said.

Sessions, 67, said the courts should stay out of the legal battle and let local officials determine the best way to hold elections during the pandemic.

“This can be done, it’s just a question of working through the logistics,” he said.

But not all Republicans are opposed to expanding mail voting. Kathaleen Wall, a GOP candidate in a runoff to replace Sugar Land Rep. Pete Olson, has urged her voters to vote by mail, saying in mailers that they have the “green light” if they are worried about contracting or spreading the virus.

John Pudner, executive director of Take Back Our Republic, a national conservative nonprofit that works on campaign finance reform, said he supports expanding mail voting during the pandemic — with some caveats.

Pudner, a longtime Republican consultant who worked for President George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000, said mail ballot applications should be sent to all voters as long as the process includes a form of verification, like a signature, a witness match or a thumbprint.

His group does not support sending ballots to all registered voters or conducting the elections entirely by mail, as Nevada has announced. Pudner said he also thinks the changes should be temporary and not extend beyond the pandemic.

Did you notice the reference to voter ID in each of the two stories? I’ve previously discussed this, but it seems this is the sort of thing that will need to be repeated over and over again. The reason that the odious voter ID law does not apply to mail ballots is because the Republicans that passed the voter ID law chose to exempt mail ballots from any voter ID requirement. The reason they chose to exempt mail ballots is because mail ballots, at least at the time that the voter ID law was passed, strongly favored Republicans, and Republican legislators did not want to make it harder for their voters to vote. (Also, too, voters over the age of 65 are disproportionately white, as noted by LULAC when they intervened in the first federal lawsuit over expanding vote by mail.)

Now, I am not calling for voter ID to be extended to include mail ballots. The voter ID law is trash and needs to be thrown out. My point is simply that if you are going to trot out the creaky old talking points about “vote fraud”, you should at least be made to reckon with the fact that the Republican legislators who passed the voter ID law in 2011 specifically and deliberately chose to exempt mail ballots from its requirement. It was convenient for them to claim that “vote fraud” was not an issue for mail ballots then, just as it is convenient for them to claim that it is an issue now. You might want to ask yourself why that is.

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12 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Illegal vote harvesting by She Jack, of all people. Might explain why someone so cringe worthy keeps getting reelected.

    https://thetexan.news/alleged-ballot-harvesting-in-harris-county-prompts-investigation-request-by-secretary-of-state/

    You honestly can’t tell me that even the black folks who live in her district don’t cringe when they hear her speak. I won’t believe it.

    Speaking of, how are things going in Ilhan Said el Nursi’s distict these days? She really seems to have turned around the economy of Minneapolis, and brought the blessings of diversity to her district.

  2. brad says:

    Bill,

    The ballot irregularities complaint looks well researched and should be investigated fully.

    You honestly can’t tell me that even the white folks who live in
    Trump’s country don’t cringe when they hear him speak (speak=word soup). I won’t believe it.

    Speaking of, how are things going in Trump’s country these days? He really seems to have turned around the economy of the USA, and brought the blessings of white nationalism to our government.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/07/30/746800630/north-carolina-gop-operative-faces-new-felony-charges-that-allege-ballot-fraud

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    “Speaking of, how are things going in Trump’s country these days?”

    # of businesses looted: 0

    # of businesses burned down: 0

    # of people injured by armed, Trump supporting protestors: 0

    # of police stations burned out: 0

    # of rocks tossed: 0

    # of police and fire department vehicles burned and pelted with rocks: 0

    I could go on, but I think you get the idea. On the bright side, Minneapolis is now Joe Biden’s most well attended, most enthusiastic campaign rally, and he didn’t even have to show up. Take a good, hard look and see the Biden voters, Brad. Look at the hate filled, violent people destroying MPLS. You think I’m racist? Look at what actual racists look like. Those are all yours. Not a MAGA hat on any of them.

    In fact, now I know why y’all are scared to vote in person. Who would want to take a chance of getting mugged or carjacked just trying to vote?

  4. brad says:

    Bill,

    Thanks for settling the fact that Trump’s country, and when I say “country” that is to say the United States of America, doesn’t include Americans who happen to be of color.

    And, wow, sorry I hit that racist nerve with a fact plexor. Always a little weird feeling isn’t it?

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    “Thanks for settling the fact that Trump’s country, and when I say “country” that is to say the United States of America, doesn’t include Americans who happen to be of color.”

    I’m pretty sure Joe Biden already established that point for all of us. He claimed his people. They are his…..almost like he’s a plantation owner or something.

    And why am I feeling weird? I’m speaking truth to power! I’m speaking my truth! The people in line voting with you in the primary are the same ones burning down an entire city. Why should that make ME feel weird? I’m not the one that has to look at my fellow voters, and explain how we are the enlightened ones, in between firebombings and store lootings.

    In fact, I think you ought to go attend the BLM protest at Discovery Green this afternoon, in person. Go by yourself, and see just how well you are received by that group. Think you’ll be able to convince them “I’m one of the good ones” before you get assaulted, or worse?

    OK, seriously, don’t go. I don’t want to see you get hurt….seriously. Don’t go.

  6. brad says:

    Bill,

    I refer you to my previous statement.

    Always enjoy your segues. Mail-in voting to racial overtoned commentary. Where will we arrive next?

  7. Joel says:

    I have to stop coming here because Bills Daniels us allowed to post his hatred, unfettered.

    I expect that will make at least one person here smile. Maybe two.

    Bye.

  8. Manny says:

    Bill is a racist. Bill is a bigot. I believe that he is a paid troll.

    Bill and his kind of people have made America a mockery. Bill and his kind of people have destroyed what was the greatest country in the world. But people like Bill don’t care about the country as long as they can push their hate and white supremacy.

    There is “Mourning in America” because of Trump and his supporters like Bill.

    https://youtu.be/t_yG_-K2MDo

  9. Jules says:

    Joel, I don’t blame you one bit. Best of luck.

  10. Manny says:

    Let me remind everyone that the racist and bigot that goes by Bill Daniels has advocated the shooting of children, women.

    Bill is a hater, he complains because they protest peacefully, by taking a knee. For people like Bill and his god, Trump, it is about hating people that ain’t white and believe in white supremacy like they do.

  11. robert says:

    I have no words for Bill except when his day of reckoning arrives, he’ll have to answer for his blind hatred.

    Bill, did you ever serve in the armed forces?

  12. Jules says:

    I’m going to take a break from this blog too. Don’t have the bandwidth for the hate right now.