Jan 24 2018
05:43 pm
By: Mike Knapp  shortURL

The indispensable Ari Berman, one of our country’s premier voting rights journalists, writes in Rolling Stone about how one of our political parties “adapts” when the writing is so clearly on the wall.
How the GOP Rigs Elections

After the election, registered voters who didn't cast a ballot in Milwaukee and Madison, the state's two most Democratic areas, were asked why. One in 10 nonvoters said they were blocked or deterred by the state's ID law, according to a University of Wisconsin study. That meant up to 23,000 people in two counties alone didn't show up at least in part because of the ID requirement – almost the exact same number of voters by which Trump won the state. Up to 45,000 people were prevented from voting statewide. African-Americans, who voted for Clinton over Trump by an 88-to-8 margin, were three times more likely than whites to be kept from the polls. "Thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands, of otherwise eligible people were deterred from voting by the ID law," said University of Wisconsin political scientist Kenneth Mayer. That's why Republicans passed the law in the first place.

(Anonymous)'s picture


Get a damn ID. Only 80% of voters support it.

schull's picture

fun story

I moved here from Charlotte in '98. I was able to go to East Town mall to get a TN drivers license and for a marriage certificate. That was all within a two week period. City Hall at the Mall is no longer a thing and wasn't by 2011 when I got my dui.

As part of the sentence for first time dui I had to give up my drivers license. This means I physically handed it over to the leo on duty in the court room. I was suddenly without a form of government issued, picture id.

With no City Hall at the Mall a bus ride away anymore I attempted to go downtown to get an id, but they weren't able to issue this particular id then, and the only place I could get it was Strawberry Plains Pike at the dmv way the heck out off 40.

Even if I'd had a car I couldn't legally have driven out there to get an id, so I had to rely, eventually, on the kindness of my now ex wife. We were separated by this point but then and now remain friends. Even so, and with her willingness to help me, it was two months before we were able to coordinate our schedules to have the time to do it.

I had bills that I'd paid for years in my name at the time. I had a library card. I'd been gainfully and legally employed in Knoxville for years with an ability to prove such. I had marriage records. I could have had character witnesses, but I didn't have a state issued, picture id for those two months. And by some folks logic I shouldn't have been able to vote because I didn't have an exact and particular form of id.

fwiw, I still don't have a license, but when my id expired in September I was able to renew it downtown. I'm guessing the laws have changed yet again. And, yes, I know Anonymous troll is a troll. I know they commented, as they do, in a reactionary way to a headline without reading the journalism. But I did read the article, and I just wanted to throw this out there.

There really are any number of reasons a person might not be able to produce that certain piece of id sometimes. And I'm mostly basic, approaching middle age, cisgender, white dude. Other than the gay that nobody ever seems to notice I'm the least oppressed member of society. I probably could have walked into my polling place with my library card and proof that I've been 865 since I got my first Razr phone and still been allowed to vote.

bizgrrl's picture

Your story, however

Your story, however anecdotal, is a great one to help people understand it is not as easy as it seems to get valid picture ID for voting. There are thousands in every major metro area with the same problem. Around here, it is/was ridiculous to have to go so far as Strawberry Plains to obtain picture ID.

R. Neal's picture

Good example. Here's a

Good example. Here's a previous discussion of this exact problem...


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