Having an ID is such a basic part of life, it has just always seemed absurd to me to fight for the right not to have it. It also seems obvious that the vote is not secure if people can just walk up and vote on their say so. The arguments about the small number of prosecutions for vote fraud are not persuasive. We wouldn’t necessarily know if it were widespread, and if it can happen at all, it is a fair issue. Look at how close I came to being a Bernie voter in the Iowa caucus!
And even if I were to just be a total hack and say that it helps Democrats, so I should be for it, part of being a hack is having some kind of cover story that will be semi-plausible for the people in the middle. And I just don’t see one here.
What I do see is a kind of trap for Democrats. We bitterly oppose voter ID, but the broad public supports it for the reasons I outlined. So we look out of step with the public, and frankly like we are just trying to gain any sleazy advantage we can find, with no real principle behind it. We also advertise that an integral part of our base is a group of voters who live a strange, marginalized existence that a suburban swing voter cannot relate to. I don’t think this makes our party very inviting for them to join.
And then, after all that bad publicity for our party, we lose the fight and we get voter ID anyway. Double whammy.
Is it really that hard for us to get people ID? Wouldn’t that help them in other ways? Who are these people who vote, implying that they are not just completely street people or whatever, but don’t cash checks or anything?