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In Defense of Strict Unicorn Leash Laws

by Ari Grayson, PhD

by Ari Grayson, PhD

If it strikes you that I’m being facetious about the dire need for strict unicorn leash laws, then you haven’t been paying attention. You should be afraid of untethered unicorns because they pose a real danger to our Republic; at least that’s what some would have us believe.

In a democracy we are responsible for presenting our perspectives and hope that the best ideas will prevail. However, now it seems that because some politicians cannot sway the argument they change the rules. We’ve seen this in the clarion call for strict voter ID laws. “Aren’t ID laws necessary to prevent fraud?” you may ask. Like leash laws for mythical unicorns, voter ID laws address a fantasy issue. In 2012 a nationwide analysis of more than 2,068 cases of alleged voter fraud from 2000-2012 found that in-person voter fraud totaled 10 cases, or just 1 case of voter fraud for each 15 million registered voters, and less than a single incident of voter fraud per year – in the entire nation!

Given that voter fraud exists merely as a fantasy and a myth, the only discernable reason for strict voter ID laws is to limit the opportunity to vote. Of course restrictions are intended primarily to prevent voting by people that disagree and aren’t buying a candidate’s or a political party’s particular brand of crazy. It is a national disgrace when politicians, our elected officials, seek to silence the voice of the very electorate they are supposed to represent.

Voting restrictions disproportionately affect the elderly (many of whom don’t have birth certificates), minorities (many of whom live in cities where a driver’s license isn’t necessary), and the poor (who simply cannot afford the requisite ID). Part of what makes this so offensive is that the elderly, minorities, and the poor are among the groups that most need their voices heard. Disenfranchising millions of citizens to indulge the myth of voter ID fraud is insane. Our legal system is predicated on innocence until proven guilty. We must defend and respect the voices of all of our citizens, and they too should be innocent until proven guilty. It is incumbent upon us to defend the sacred right to vote for all and we should accept nothing less.

Our vote affects the discussion and the implementation of policy on the economy, minimum wage, education, energy, global climate change, transportation and congestion, pay equality, marriage equality, and access to healthcare. These issues are just the tip of the iceberg and whom we elect to represent us affects our life and the culture in which we live.

Your vote in the upcoming June 3 primary election is important. California now has an open primary system. That means only the top two vote getters for each office, regardless of political party, move on to the general election. You are responsible for determining who will be on the ballot in November.

Given all the noise and the constant demagoguery, it’s understandable why so many of our fellow citizens and perhaps even you yourself feel apathetic and frustrated, deciding not to vote in a “meaningless” mid-term election. If your vote truly didn’t matter, state legislators around the country wouldn’t be working so hard to restrict voting by perpetuating a fantasy threat that frightens voters. Our country still has a one-person, one-vote system. Remember, every vote makes a difference and your vote means everything, now and always.

If you don’t vote, you silence your own voice;

If you don’t vote, those that would disenfranchise voters win and you lose;

If you don’t vote, democracy loses;

If you don’t vote, we all lose – especially the unicorns.

 

Dr. Ari É. Grayson is host of “Perspectives ~ with Dr. Ari Grayson,” a program webcast each Saturday on Laguna’s own KX.OneLaguna.com.

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Comments (17)

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  1. Lolena Smiley says:

    As an experienced poll worker, of many years, your article could not be more inaccurate.
    Several personal first hand experience of voter fraud at my polls were reported to the registrar and the police were called to file police reports for fraud and voter intimidation! Every poll worker I have worked with has shared a voter fraud story!

    Your article could not be further from the truth.
    Matters of importance in life require government issued Identification.
    An Identification card is required to buy a pack of cigarettes, order a drink in a restaurant, rent a place to live, open a bank account, flying on an airline. Government issued Identification card are provided FREE to seniors, along with cell phones!!

    I would challenge you to live one month without using your ID to see if it is possible in USA to conduct normal day to day life? You expect us to believe there is a large population of US citizens living in America without IDENTIFICATION??

    YOU SAY~ “Voting restrictions disproportionately affect the elderly (many of whom don’t have birth certificates), minorities (many of whom live in cities where a driver’s license isn’t necessary), and the poor (who simply cannot afford the requisite ID)”
    IS that the best you can come up with to argue such nonsense??

    I SAY~YOU MUST BE US CITIZEN to VOTE IN USA.
    THIS IS THE LAW~ the only way to prove you are a US CITIZEN is having a certificate of birth. There are criminal penalties for voting when you are not a US citizen and it is a requirement for voting. You must also register to vote!

    California DMV IDENTIFICATION CARDS cost $8.00 by reduced fee to poor & are FREE to seniors!! Reduced–fee ID card is valid for 6 years and 10 years for seniors! COST is no excuse to not to obtain an ID

    You may pay a reduced application fee $8.00 for an original or renewal identification card if you meet income requirements from a public assistance program. If you are eligible, the governmental or non–profit program will give you a completed Verification for Reduced Fee Identification Card form (DL 937) to take to DMV to apply for your reduced fee identification card.The California driver license and ID card have been declared as primary identification documents in this state by the California legislature.

    That deflates the “minority” and “poor” argument for not having government issued ID provided by the author!!

  2. Dr. Ari Grayson says:

    Your comments are anecdotal, not evidence-based and it quickly becomes apparent you have no ability empathize with people that don’t have resources. Poor people don’t order a drink in a restaurant, don’t have money to open a bank account, and aren’t flying on an airline. They are living life on the margins and even providing the requisite birth certificate is not possible. The same holds true for minorities and the elderly. Often, none of these populations have the time or the ability to take multiple buses to get to a place where they can obtain a government ID. California may try to make it easier to obtain an ID, but other States do not.

    Nothing is more important to a free people than the right to vote. It is not the right of elected officials to make voting more difficult, especially when the remedy is so excessive compared to the “problem.”

  3. Howard Hills says:

    Your statement “The only discernable reason for strict voter ID laws is to limit the opportunity to vote” is unconscionable and should be formally retracted with an apology. It is sanitized intellectual intolerance, soft-peddled political hate speech. I have been involved in hundreds of discussions with people who advocate voter ID laws and never once have I heard even the hint of a motivation to disenfranchise any eligible voter.

    Rule of law and government by consent are under siege in America today. Any time an ineligible person casts a ballot it nullifies the vote of an eligible voter, taking away the right of eligible voters to give or withhold consent to the laws and form of government under which we live. At a time when people need ID’s to use public transportation or enter government buildings, the idea that a voter ID is anti-democratic is unsustainable. The politically appointed judges who decide to legislate based on the ideological narrative that ID’s are to suppress votes will not prevail against reason and good order in our election system.

    But let’s be honest. There is an additional subtext to this discussion. At this time the only national immigration law to which the people of the U.S. have given consent through our constitutional process is the Immigration and Nationality Act. Yet, national, state and local leaders who took oaths to uphold the law have suspended enforcement of that law in anticipation of “reform” and “amnesty.”

    This is taking place at a time when there is a national debate over how to address the presence of 20 million people in our country who are ineligible to vote because they entered unlawfully. Both political parties are under pressure to pander for votes of the vast population of people who are ineligible, based on the expectation of amnesty and future eligibility of people who entered our country in violation of its laws. People who violate our borders and obtain fraudulent Social Security cards have proven a willingness to do whatever it takes to get what they want, including through voter fraud.

    In this unprecedented political environment, concern about mass voter fraud is not race based or anti-immigrant. It is the failure of officials to honor their oaths and uphold the law that has created this dynamic. We will not let those who can’t wait for the law to be changed constitutionally to make vigilance about a real and present danger. Only those who think their political ideology and partisan political power is more important than the rule of law would subscribe to the idea that ensuring the integrity of elections is anti-democratic.

  4. Ari Grayson says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments and for sharing your perspective regarding my statements about the problem of in-person voter fraud.

    I find it unfortunate that you perceive demanding ensuring and ensuring every American the right to vote is “sanitized intellectual intolerance, soft-peddled political hate speech.” Unwillingness to accept the actions of those that would deny many millions of legitimate voters the fundamental right of citizens in a free and democratic nation is not intolerant, it is what ALL Americans should be doing. Why aren’t you and your fellow conservatives standing in defense of our most defenseless?

    The Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice, reported in 2012 that “that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have government-issued photo ID. That percentage is even higher for seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters, and students. (Sorry, I neglected to include students in my original piece). Many citizens find it hard to get government photo IDs, because the underlying documentation like birth certificates (the ID one needs to get ID) is often difficult or expensive to come by.” Here’s a link:

    http://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/voter-id

    Your intimation that my comments are “soft-peddled political hate speech” is particularly disturbing, as this diminishes the insidious nature and damage caused by actual hate speech. It is not hate speech to call out those politicians that would knowingly make it more difficult to vote for people that live on the margins already – it is intellectually honesty and a democratic imperative. The need to speak out is a moral imperative too, given that the purported remedy causes harm to millions of our fellow citizens for a problem research into the issue has found to be pure fantasy; a demand for a strict unicorn leash law if you will.

    I don’t blame you for the lack of empathy your perspective belies. Scientific research findings published in a 2012 issue of the American Society of Trial Consultants indicate that most people perform poorly in tests of ability to empathize with those in different circumstances. For example, people that don’t take public transportation have a hard time assessing how cold the temperature is when shown a picture of a person waiting at a bus stop on a snowy winter day. People that do not typically have to wait outdoors for transportation to arrive significantly would underestimate the temperature, whereas those that have to do so on a regular basis would do a more accurate job. I don’t think your perspective makes you a bad person, you’re simply fortunate in your personal circumstances and therefore your brain does not permit you to see otherwise.

    It does not help matters when you say the “additional subtext to this discussion” is immigration law enforcement, as this being a reason for the pushback as this completely specious. Let’s not conflate the right of each and every citizen to exercise the vote with the need for immigration reform or the proper enforcement of existing immigration laws. Undocumented immigrants are generally not seeking to call attention to themselves by voting illegally and the Obama Administration has actually deported more undocumented immigrants that any other administration in our nation’s history. In fact, the Arizona Republic stated in an article published on April 7, 2014 “it took Obama’s administration just over five years to exceed the 2 million deportations that took place under all eight years of President George W. Bush’s administration, which set the previous record after ramping up deportations following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.” Let’s stay focused on the issue and deal in facts.

    I welcome a discussion and sharing our perspectives on immigration with you and other interested persons, any time. No doubt we’ll have the opportunity to do so soon or in the near future. When we do, let’s all try to stay away from the demagoguery and try to sway or at least enlighten this space with evidence and sound facts, not sound bites. We owe that to the community ~ and to the conversation.

  5. […] Speaker’s Corner of May 30 (“In Defense of Strict Unicorn Leash Laws”), looks like a mash up of progressive soundbites you swept up from the cliche corner of the […]

  6. Howard Hills says:

    You missed my point entirely. I did not say that those who share your views have bad motives. What I said is that it is hate speech to assert that those who do not agree with you have bad motives. You are the one who stated that those who call for voter ID’s do so with the intent to deny voting rights to others. You make that accusation of bad faith and moral turpitude on the part of people who do not share your views without any substantiation, then proceed to repeat your thesis that voter ID laws are not required and do harm to already marginalized people. That is intellectual narcissism of the worst kind.

    But you do not stop there. You then go on to suggest that my own comment reflect a lack of concern or compassion for the marginalized and disenfranchised. You know nothing about me and yet you question my values and morals because I dare to disagree with you. That is precisely why I called you out for intolerance and hate speech. Your only coping mechanism was to argue that anyone who does not agree with you doesn’t have humane and enlightened values.

    Who appointed you the arbiter of character and social ethics? When I encounter people with that kind of arrogance I often want to ask, exactly what have you ever done for anyone but yourself ? You question my commitment to democratic self-determination, and you so do based on the idea that it is better to let everyone who wants to vote cast ballots than you determine who actually is eligible. What experience have you had that makes you so sure?

    You dismiss the comments of someone who has actually been a poll worker as “anecdotal” and not supported by statistics. Given a choice between what you think as a social scientist and what someone who has actually manned polling stations, I will take the real world view every time.

    As for me, the person you accuse of having no concern with the disenfranchised, please be advised I was a civil rights lawyer for a poverty law project in the most remote rural areas of Appalachia, and I was a Peace Corps Volunteer lawyer who served as legal advisor to constitutional conventions among the native peoples of the Pacific Islands during their emergence from colonialism under U.N. oversight. I was witness to and an advocate for people exercising the right to vote for the first time in the history of their culture, exercising the right to government by consent for the first time since creation. I have defended the rights of millions of disenfranchised people in the U.S. and around the world to universal suffrage in federal and international law proceedings, and done so successfully.

    So the last thing I need is some uptight academic apparatchik engaging is stylized name calling instead of addressing the merits of the issue at hand. That is why I called your accusations intolerant hate speech. That is what you do, you start with the premise that anyone who disagrees with you deserves to be ridiculed as an idiot who believes in mythological beasts. Your need preemptively to ridicule and attribute bad motives to anyone who would dare to disagree with you shows not only a profound insecurity but a fear driven anticipatory anxiety about being challenged. One can only speculate if it is an impostor complex because in fact you never actually have done anything in the real world where people have to struggle for freedom and the right to vote. You just read about it and write about it and study people like subjects of a social science experiment.

    Whatever your problem, if you ask nice I will come down and debate these issues on your radio show, which would make it more interesting than it has ever been and dignify your agenda more than I should. Or, I will just ignore and tell everyone I know you are an uptight little twit. Either way, the fact that 10% of voters don’t have ID’s is not a reason to accuse those who call for voters ID;s of being racists oppressors of the poor. It is a reasons to get ID’s for all eligible voters.

  7. Dr. Ari Grayson says:

    Howard – Your activities are laudable, and I have said as much to you in private conversation and now in print, but despite all the words you’ve generated (some 1,144 by my count) you still have not provided a single shred of evidence supporting your position and the dire need for voter ID laws that restrict the franchise of so many people. As a former Navy lawyer you know that evidence matters – or at least should matter in a democracy and especially in setting public policy. Conversely, I provided research from The Brennan Center for Justice (BCJ), a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice, in support of my assertions. It is not my personal thesis that “voter ID laws are not required and do harm to already marginalized people,” but rather, this is precisely what the research by non-partisan organizations such as The BCJ have found and what they have stated.

    I do respect differing perspectives, and the points I bring up are not necessarily intended to be directed at you personally, but rather at the individuals who hold on to beliefs despite evidence to the contrary. The only “intolerance” I have is for those that willfully ignore facts and then seek or make policies that harm so many citizens unnecessarily. In the presidential election of 2012, 136 million Americans each cast their vote. Using The BCJ figures reporting that 11% of legally eligible voters do not have acceptable government-issued photo ID, that means that nearly 15 million voters would have been disenfranchised. The outcome of the presidential race and other races may well have been different without these voters’ participation.

    Quite simply, where is the evidence that there is any damage to the integrity of any election in the US — as you assert — that merits that kind of prophylactic measure and real damage to the electorate? In all you have written, you still neglected to answer why, absent any evidence of significant in-person voter fraud, the right to vote should be denied to so many of our fellow citizens, especially when such laws affect a large segment of the population that desperately need a voice. I am certainly open to considering any evidence you can provide to support your assertions. Again, I have no problem with you, or others with whom I find disagreement. I have a problem only with those that will neither accept nor provide research and evidence, deferring instead to “personal observation.”

    Science and research are essential tools for advancing knowledge by seeking to understand phenomena and for testing to see if our observations or what we “believe” is true, is in fact so. The importance of science and its relationship to knowledge can be summed up in these few words:

    “Science, because figuring things out is way better than making shit up.”

    Personally, I rather be proven wrong than to remain ignorant.

    Respectfully,

    Dr. Ari Grayson

    PS ~ If you feel it necessary to attempt to deride me by calling me a “social scientist” and “some uptight academic apparatchik” for trying to generate discussion based on actual research and evidence rather than demagoguery, I’ll leave you to explain why you feel so compelled. You talked about name calling, yet in each paragraph you wrote you did just that, spewing venom, making false accusations, and attacking me personally; this will not further a thoughtful discussion. You espouse good values and lofty ideals in your words yet fail to follow through in your behaviors.

    I too have worked tirelessly for the disenfranchised and for civil rights. I have personally manned polling stations and have engaged in a lifetime of other activities in the United States, in Europe, and in the Middle East. I don’t use my resume to make my points look more credible; I examine the evidence and allow the evidence to provide credibility to my points.

  8. Howard Hills says:

    You are all over the map, pal. You say I do not address the actual substantive issues you raised, but why should I? You did not address the issues I raised about what psychological issues are involved when someone feels the need to preemptively ridicule people who may not agree.

    Then there were the other issues raised.

    First, do you think I did not know I was name calling at the same time I was calling you out for name calling? Do unto others…And don’t say it was not personal, too late.

    Second, it is not my job to defend voter ID laws or get into a war of studies and projections and computer modeling estimates. My job is to challenge your assertion that the purpose of voter ID laws is to disenfranchise eligible voters. All you had to do was tactfully retract that liberal lie and the discussion was over. But instead you wanted to make it a class warfare issue about who cares about poor people.

    If Obama can put everyone in America under NSA surveillance and nationalize the energy, health care, automobile manufacturing and banking industries, you big government wiz kids with PhD’s in the “science” of human character and social relations can damn well figure out how to get ID’s for everyone who wants to vote.

    I notice you do not mention Cloward-Piven presence when Clinton signed the motor voter law. If lack of ID laws were as benign as you insist the Democrats would not oppose it so bad.

    On immigrations crossover issue that you deny, you talk about Obama’s increased deportations, which was just to help him with political center while he ignores the massive breakdown of immigration control that is creating a tragedy for a massive wave of children lured here by the pied pipers of “immigration reform.”

    But listen, what you really do not want me to do is actually take the time to gather the evidence defending voter ID laws, because if I do that I will succeed and then I will feel compelled to continue what I regard as a sterile discussion.

  9. Ari Grayson says:

    Hi Howard:

    Interesting. You say you refuse to address the substantive issue because of perceived insults then end by saying it because I really do not want you to actually take the time to gather the evidence defending voter ID laws, despite the fact I have challenged you repeatedly to do so.

    As I said in my original piece “Given that voter fraud exists merely as a fantasy and a myth, the only discernable reason for strict voter ID laws is to limit the opportunity to vote.” Perhaps the reality is even you are unable to defend the indefensible.

  10. Ari Grayson says:

    Hi Howard:

    Interesting. You say you refuse to address the substantive issue because of perceived insults then end by saying it is because I really do not want you to actually take the time to gather the evidence defending voter ID laws, despite the fact I have challenged you repeatedly to do so.

    As I said in my original piece “Given that voter fraud exists merely as a fantasy and a myth, the only discernable reason for strict voter ID laws is to limit the opportunity to vote.” Perhaps the reality is even you are unable to defend the indefensible.

  11. Howard Hills says:

    Ari, you are like a drunk that gets thrown out of the bar and keeps coming back for more. This does not get any better for you. My point from the beginning has been that you think this nastiness and intellectual aggression is OK with the people in your audience and it is not. The Indy is not moveon.org. You can’t say people who like voter ID’s want to disenfranchise eligible voters without people either calling you out as a few of us took the time to do, or deciding you should be ignored as many people have e-mailed me to suggest. I just thought you were kind of a nice guy until I read your piece and thought I would at least let you know this kind of thing does not work here. Maybe in LA or Fresno. And I stopped spell checking or proofreading after the first reply because this is not on my nickel. If you are happy with the record being created here I am happy for you, and feel sorry for you. But you keep wanting to argue about voter ID studies and all this when that really is not a huge issue for me. That is your issue and you want me to engage you on your terms, and all I am saying is that if I took the time to engage you on voters ID’s I would wipe the floor with the arguments you are making, which are weak. But my message to you was not about debating your theories. It was about you writing a truly weird piece that begins and ends with a reader hostile premise that anyone who disagrees with you is a lunatic who deserves to be ridiculed facetiously the same as if that person believes in unicorns. You other premise is that people who disagree with you and think voter ID’s is a good idea is anti-democratic and wants to disenfranchise eligible voters. That is the deal, and you can’t do that and not offend people you really should be trying to persuade. But it is your life, not mine. It is a free country. You do whatever the heck you want to do. I just think it is lame. When I told you so you started suggesting I am not empathetic and that I can’t relate to people in circumstances different than my own, and all this typical leftist class warfare crap, when I have been places and lived for years in places you never heard of under conditions that would cause you to have a serious panic attack after 5 minutes. So you can say or think whatever the hell you want, but the reality is you blew it bad and then insulted the only couple people who bothered to pay attention and took you seriously enough to even respond. Telling that other person they were wrong because their experience was anecdotal and therefore does not meet your rigorous scholarly criteria! Really, Ari? You think you are going to convince anyone of anything do that? I am as aggressive as I want to be but I do not tell people that their beliefs are not valid because they do not know things the same way I know things. Didn’t you ever read Kant? So I can argue about gun control and voter ID and whatever else you want any time, but I did not initiate this discussion and the topic is not one I normally would feel a need to weigh in on, which was and is the case here. My objection was to your irresistible urge to poke your readers in the eye. It is that simple.

  12. Lolena Smiley says:

    Howard,
    You are brilliant!! WELL SPOKEN~and for Ari Grayson….I shall quote you;
    ” For example, people that don’t take public transportation have a hard time assessing how cold the temperature is when shown a picture of a person waiting at a bus stop on a snowy winter day. People that do not typically have to wait outdoors for transportation to arrive significantly would underestimate the temperature, whereas those that have to do so on a regular basis would do a more accurate job. I don’t think your perspective makes you a bad person, you’re simply fortunate in your personal circumstances and therefore your brain does not permit you to see otherwise.”

    INDEED~and I WORK the POLLS so therefore, I do not share a hard time assessing the TRUTH and agenda of your narrative. The last sentence resonates your ideology & rarified contradiction almost as much as your apparent weakness of proving a point to someone as knowledgeable as Howard!

  13. Pam says:

    You sir, are a credit to your profession. I’ve been reading your comments and the back and forth with Dr. Grayson with great interest. Maybe you should have tried to sway with better evidence instead of taking tongue and check comments from his column as a personal assault. Instead you fell back on the worst lawyering techniques and demonstrated one reason why people hate lawyers:

    “When the law is against you, argue the facts. When the facts are against you, argue the law. When both are against you, call the other lawyer names.”

    Sorry Mr. Hills, but half my family are attorneys and they all laughed when they read your postings. It would’ve been nice for you to talk about why voter ID laws are important and to prove fraud rather than applauding unrelated issues and insulting research, education, and the author. We deserved better from you.

  14. Lolena Smiley says:

    Howard~Your quote stands to be repeated, especially since Grayson continues to ignore your talking points and deflects his argument to same contradictory weak premise.

    “Your only coping mechanism was to argue that anyone who does not agree with you doesn’t have humane and enlightened values.

    Who appointed you the arbiter of character and social ethics?”

    “You dismiss the comments of someone who has actually been a poll worker as ‘anecdotal’ and not supported by statistics. Given a choice between what you think as a social scientist and what someone who has actually manned polling stations, I will take the real world view every time.”

    Howard, the cogency of your points stand appreciated by this ‘marginal’ poll worker!

    Graysons’ case is easily dismissed given his disease of intellectual narcissism~ that his PhD has somehow entitled him to dismiss all point of view which contradict the sound of his own voice!

    You could not be more clear the premise of Grayson’s argument rests on the misguided idea: “it is better to let everyone who wants to vote cast ballots than to determine who actually is eligible.” !!! IT IS THAT SIMPLE!

    Quote by Ari Grayson: “Poor people don’t order a drink in a restaurant, don’t have money to open a bank account, and aren’t flying on an airline. They are living life on the margins and even providing the requisite birth certificate is not possible. The same holds true for minorities and the elderly. Often, none of these populations have the time or the ability to take multiple buses to get to a place where they can obtain a government ID.

    Grayson’s above stated position in and of itself becomes its own self directed contradiction which beg the question~How do these same American citizens he aptly outlined: i.e. those who don’t need ID, are without $ to open a bank account, living such a destitute marginal life as elderly & minority U.S. citizens….those he claims have not the time nor ability to take the bus to acquire an ID….MIRACULOUSLY MAKE THE TIME TO HAVE CONCERN TO CAREFULLY REVIEW the CANDIDATES, TO READ, TO COMPREHEND OR EVEN FIND THEIR WAY TO THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD POLL TO VOTE??
    American citizens are expected to believe there are millions of US citizens who are incapable or unable to manage the simple mundane task of acquiring a government issued ID card, which is given free by DMV to the elderly and for only $8.00 to the poor, should somehow be advanced enough to read & study a ballot??

    A more justified argument for Grayson would be to lobby for the millions of American citizens unable to read a ballot….yes, there are millions of illiterate citizens!! Ever wonder how or do these citizens manage a vote?

    The federal government could easily issue a U.S. VOTER ID to any US citizen who is without a government issued ID at no cost to American Citizens. Leaving the burden of determining citizenship not to the Registrar of Voters!

    VOTER FRAUD EVIDENCE? As an Inspector of Election my personal testimony should serve as should those poll workers I have had the pleasure of working with over the years all share an abundance of firsthand experience by witness testimony to serve as “evidence”.

    One poll worker decided it best to volunteer, sharing her story of how she had went to her local poll to vote and was told she had already voted~ that very day!! She was provided a provisional ballot~remaining unsure which of the ballots would be counted!!
    She became a poll worker to protect her OWN ballot from fraud! An ID requirement would do much to prevent Voter Fraud at the polls!!

    I have “enlightened experience” working the ‘front line’ as both Poll Worker & Inspector of Elections~and yes, Grayson…I have also stood in line, in the cold, waiting for the bus after coming from a ‘marginal’ childhood!!

    I agree every American Citizen should be allowed to vote~it is law. Equally, it is our duty to assure ONLY AMERICAN CITIZENS VOTE!!!

    Mr Grayson should take heed by working the inner city polls in the depths of Los Angeles County and then ask himself if he feels justified being expected to advance votes without some proof of American citizenship considering the millions of illegal immigrants far outnumber his allegations of the thousands who are without a government issued ID!!

    A government issued U.S. VOTER ID could be issued to any American citizenship, upon request~there is a simple solution! The government would bear the burden of determining what ‘proof’ of US citizenship they would require.

  15. Howard Hills says:

    Thanks for joining the fray. No one else is reading this at this point, so I just wanted to thank you for being the first to jump in. I am told there is a very good rebuttal to Grayson in the next edition of Indy, but I have not had a chance to get it yet. You know I often find that many liberals who talk a lot about how much they really care about the poor have never actually done anything with or for the poor other than try to make themselves feel less guilty by talking about it a lot. If you have been poor or lived with the poor you see them as fully human and not as victims only. it is a cliche but I know a lot of poor people who are more well adjusted and have better relationship skills than a lot of the wealthy liberals who don’t want to spend their own money but want to feel better getting the government to spend taxpayers money on programs that liberals think will help poor people, but that actually hurt ore than they help. freedom and a government that can live within its means and help those most in need without creating dependency that makes poverty worse instead of better is a good place to start. anyway, Ari seems like a nice guy, so let’s see what he comes up with next! have a good day.

  16. Howard Hills says:

    The most interesting thing about Grayson’s piece was not what he said about voter ID laws, but that he began by making fun of people who might disagree with him, and then accused them of anti-democratic motives and the intention to bring about suppression of the vote, without any of the facts, law or evidence you claim to value. So if I understand you correctly substantive law and policy are legitimate topics for lawyers, but lawyers cannot as citizens express their views on political culture and the literary content of ideological discourse. I was not writing as a lawyer, but as a free man in the public commons. It appears you missed comments of other writers and the excellent letter to the editor in the edition after Ari Grayson’s essay appeared, going to the issues you insist I should have addressed. As I think I explained in my skirmish with Ari, voter ID laws are not one of the issues to which I devote my professional time or energy. It seems obvious to me that the U.S. should do what most nations do and require better voter ID protocols. I also think that in America the voter ID issue is more about the politics of illegal immigration than Grayson was willing to admit. I addressed these issue in passing but focused on the vituperative tenor of Gray’s piece, his propagandistic techniques, which is how the left intimidates Americans into silence, now that the Obama doctrine of American equivalence rather than exceptionalism is imploding domestically and internationally. You probably think everything is going well, so you join Grayson in ridicule and disdain, the lowest and last resort when you have nothing of substance to offer. I responded to Grayson I kind to illustrate my point, which was lost on him as indicated by his protestations when I called him names for calling names. You apparently have the same degree of discernment. The fact remains that the response to Grayson’s piece among liberals, independents and conservatives was that he had lost his audience, and my decision to get my hands dirty give him a taste of his own medicine drew a better than average level of support. So you can decide to define me as a lawyer even though I was not acting in my capacity as a lawyer and try to commingle cliches about lawyers with cliches about brain dead left/right politics, but the fact remains that the most interesting thing about Grayson’s piece was not what he said about voter ID laws, but that he began by making fun of people who might disagree with him, and then accused them of anti-democratic motives and suppression of the vote with any of the facts, law or evidence you claim to value.

  17. Howard Hills says:

    So, my last post was in response to Pam, which might not be apparent due to sequence of postings. BTW, Pam, or whoever you really are, no one in my family ever refers to me as a lawyer or pays much attention to my professional or political life. It is really pretty pathetic to think about the image of you and “half your family” who you define as lawyers being lawyerly sitting around talking about how I should be more lawyerly in turning the poisonous tone of Grayson’s piece against for reasons that had nothing to due with law or policy and everything to do with attitude is really. It is sad that you have nothing better to do with your family time. I would never use time with my family for the kind of exercise in self-indulgence and professional aggrandizement you describe. And, no, you don’t deserve better from me at all.

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