How much ease in voting would you consider to be too much?

No, they are not.

Democrats are objecting to laws that Republicans are calling voter ID laws because the actual purpose of these laws is to suppress legal voting.

The goal should be to choose the system that results in a vote proportion that most closely resembles the proportion of eligible voters that support a given candidate, so in general you should accept restrictions for which the number of illegal votes it is likely to prevent is less than the number of eligible voters with a candidate preference that it causes to stay home.

However, there is an additional caveat that systems that affect that disproportionately affects supporters on one candidate or party more than the other. I would much rather have a system in place that randomly thows out 1 out of every 10 votes, than one that throws out 1/100 votes but throws out Democratic votes at twice the rate of Republican votes (or conversely allows 1% more illegal votes with a substantial majority of the illegal votes being cast in favor of Democrats.)

I also think that the penalty for election fraud should be proportional to the affect that it is likely to have on the election. One individual voting twice, or casting a vote when ineligible, is not all that much of a problem, particularly if it is done accidentally, and the penalty should be similarly light, enough to act as a deterrent for others but not particularly punitive. On the other hand sending out a text message that convinces 100 eligible voters that the Election is on Wednesday, or convincing 100 of their supporters to vote twice, should have a penalty that is much more severe.

I keep seeing this thread title and thinking “Wouldn’t that be like asking ‘At what point would you say things move too quickly at the DMV?’”

Indeed, digs. And states should also be proactive in getting their most marginalized citizens registered.

Theoretically, there could be such a thing, yes. If the clerk at the DMV is stamping and sealing in a flurry and not even bothering to read my documents, getting my birthdate and name wrong, and putting down the wrong address for me, then I’d want him to slow down. Better to spend the additional 10 minutes and get it right than be fast and wrong.

Note the bolded part is that you are required to produce identification to register, which all states require.

Going back to the opening question, if I had to be rigidly specific about it, it’s the inflection point where additional ease of voting enables more illegitimate votes in the same proportion as enabling more legitimate votes.

Or, if you want to reverse the text, we should increase security until the point where we are preventing legitimate votes in equal proportion with preventing illegitimate votes. Once you’re preventing more legit votes than bad votes, you’re not fixing a problem anymore.

And, the new laws are, what, at 100,000 to one? A million to 1?

I doubt it’s anywhere near that high.

I’m going to need some actual proof that there’s more than 0 fraudulent votes prevented by voter ID.

This is an excellent point. @Velocity, I think we already have the answer. Since there is no evidence of any significant voter fraud anywhere in the US, find the state that has the least restrictive voting laws and use that as that the maximum inconvenience allowable. Maybe see if voting could be made easier than that, but it should not be any harder.

Sure, you might still see Republicans committing fraud by voting in the wrong location, voting for their dead parents, or engaged in illegal ballot harvesting, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take to allow more people to vote.

I see a potential problem with this policy. I assume you have heard of the adage “Treason doth never prosper. What’s the reason? Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

The same principle applies to election fraud. If you wait until election fraud is substantial enough to affect the outcome of elections, then you probably have a situation where the people who committed the fraud won the election and are now in office. And those people have zero incentive to punish themselves for the election fraud they just committed. Or to set up any safeguards to prevent them from committing more election fraud in future elections. Their policy will be to declare that the election they stole was won fair and square and suppress any questioning of their claim.

To quote another great philosopher, the policy we need to apply to election fraud is “Nip it. Nip it in the bud.”

I’d say that the same principle applies to disenfranchisement as well.

If you wait until disenfranchisement is enough to affect the outcome of elections, then you have a situation where people who caused the disenfranchisement are in office.

Which is the situation we actually have today.

At least if it’s “too easy” to vote, all parties have equal access to committing fraud, and getting their person elected, it’s just a matter of which party is more motivated. If suffrage is restricted, then it is likely restricted in order to favor the party in power, to keep it in power.

Let me be clear. When I talk about fighting election fraud, I am not talking about enacting strict voter ID laws. Quite the opposite; I feel the laws that are being proposed are election fraud.

Fraudulent voters are not a problem in this country. Politicians claiming they want to set up a system that will stop fraudulent voters are the problem we need to be fighting against.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t prosecute voter fraud cases, there needs to be enough of a penalty such that the cost benefit analysis leans heavily in favor of not committing fraud. But given that the benefit to the individual of voting twice is minuscule a large penalty may not be necessary.

My point was that the penalties should be commensurate with the degree of offense. When you give a 5 year prison sentence, or possibly or possibly 25 years to life to someone who accidentally made an illegal vote, while having a maximum sentence of 12 years for people who sent out 12,000 robocalls telling people that they might be arrested if they go to the polls seems out of whack.

I’m pretty happy with how Canada does things.

Every year our income tax forms have a check box on the first page asking if the tax department is allowed to share your contact information with Elections Canada. I’ve checked that box every year since that became an option, so I’ve never had a problem “registering to vote”; the data they have on file for me is never more than a year old.

We’re actually in the middle of a Federal election right now. My Voter Information Card arrived last week, which gives me a chance to confirm they have the correct information, which of course they do. The card also clearly lists where and when I can vote, including four days of advanced voting where the polls are open 9AM-9PM. The voting location is a local school about a five minute drive from my house. I’ve never had to travel more than about ten minutes to vote, ever.

I am required to prove my identity, but if you look at the list of acceptable ways to do that:

you basically couldn’t exist in modern society without having at least some of these forms of acceptable ID. And even if you’re a recently reformed hermit who just moved back to suburbia after a decade of living off squirrel meat in the forest, you can still prove your identity by having a friend who is assigned to the same polling station attest to your identity.

So it’s ridiculously easy to vote, and yet, we have virtually no voter fraud. Until the Trumpazees made claims of voter fraud fashionable, I had never even heard a Canadian complain about “securing the election”, and even now, the few idiots who are trying to go down that route are widely recognized as idiots.

We really need a national system. I could have easily voted twice in the 2012 election. We had moved from NY to MD in Sep. I dutifully registered in my new state and voted early in late Oct, which my state allows. But I had to go back to NY to our unrented house (we decided not to sell at that point) to take care of some things and wound up being there on Election Day. I could have gone to my old polling place (a school) and shown my NY drivers license which I still had, and voted (for a second time). I did not. With a national system in place, the moment I registered in MD, my NY registration should have been immediately voided, without my intervention. As it turns out, my registration lasted in NY for a few years until my lack of voting knocked me off the rolls.