Friday, September 07, 2007

Hatin' On Everyone

Many moons ago, I told Wilson, "I start with the assumption that both sides are wrong and look for a third way".

The year long fruforal over Georgia's Voter ID law is a prime example.

Republicans proudly thump their chest and preach to the masses how they are protecting the God given right to fraud free elections. All the while ignoring there has never been a case of voter fraud involving falsed identification at a polling place. Also, conveniently ignoring the one voting method with proven fraud, absentee ballots, is primarily used by their consituency.

Democrats wail through gnashing teeth about how those without photo ID are the poor and disenfranchised. As with the Republicans, they also rarely talk about how this group is part of their constituency. They might gather some sympathy if they could find even one person affected by the law. Out of 6 million eligible voters. Just one.

It may be time for everyone to find higher horses to sit on. Cause the growing manure may just bury the current ones.


Anonymous said...

I admit I don't know who they are specifically, but a friend of mine worked on this case, and there ARE people who were adversely affected by the voter I.D. law. They were the plaintiffs in the case. Without someone potentially injured, there can't be a case.

Sara said...

But the Ga Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the Plaintiffs lacked standing. And since that time the opponents of the law do not appear to have found new Plaintiffs with sufficient standing to have re-filed their case.

griftdrift said...

Lawyer fight!

Judge Griftdrift rules in favor of the girl.

Actually I'm reading Judge Murphy's ruling now to see if I need to issue a correction.

Sara said...

Actually reading decisions before pontificating is way overrated.

I don't actually know the details of Murphy's ruling in the federal case, but in the state court case the standing argument clearly fell apart.


the girl lawyah

griftdrift said...

Read the ruling. I stand by my statement and will not correct. The plaintiffs either had ID or had relatively easy access to obtain the free ID. No standing. Expect that to be a familiar phrase if this case keeps being pursued.

Sara said...

From the AJC report about it, apparently the Plaintiffs were a bunch of organizations and two individuals. Of the organizations, the court found that only the NAACP arguably had standing as a group on behalf of its members, but could not point to individual named members who were impacted sufficiently by the law to have standing on their own. And of the two individuals, they both either had a form of official ID or had a means to obtain one from a local registrar without "unconstitutional burden."

The thing is, I think you could find a plaintiff who could meet the standing requirements, but it would be tough to convince that person to sign up as a plaintiff and be the public face of this lawsuit. I mean if a group was determined enough, they could find someone in the way rural backwoods who's living without a car, without any way to get to a local registrar, and without any form of valid ID. But how many people who fit that bill are really going to want to go through the drama and pain in the ass nature of being a plaintiff in a lawsuit? Anyone who has deliberately stayed that disconnected from society is probably a) going to be wary of big city lawyers and b) may not even vote anyhow.

griftdrift said...

Actually I think the plaintiffs have it even harder. Perhaps even impossible in a catch-22 sort of way. The fact is anyone who can get to a voting booth can also get to a registrars office. They would have to find someone who can't do one without the other.

Which means finding somebody who votes in some cinder block shack on one side of the county but has no means to get to the office on the other side of the county.

Possible, maybe. Likely, no.

Sara said...

Well, unless they vote absentee and request their ballot through the mail somehow.

Anonymous said...

In my former life, I was an attorney who worked on public interest (i.e., no money in it for the plaintiffs) class action suits. Let me just assure the griftdrift-reading public that it can be extremely difficult (sometimes near to impossible) to find an appropriate plaintiff willing to put his or her name to a high-profile lawsuit, even when there are many many people who are affected by the law/policy in dispute. I don't know if that is the situation in this case, but I am unwilling to concede at this time that no one is affected.


griftdrift said...

Point taken, pg.

And I definitely give you credit for coming over and laying a little smack down on me.

I call the Republicans out and they just stay over at their own place spewing talking points!


Loren said...

Which means finding somebody who votes in some cinder block shack on one side of the county but has no means to get to the office on the other side of the county.

And once you're looking at someone that remote, it's uncertain that they would have been able to vote all that easily under the old ID requirement. A housewife, for instance, wouldn't necessarily have a Social Security card, government check, bank statement, or a utility bill in her own name.

What the state GOP should have done was appeal more to the advice of the Commission on Federal Election Reform. Co-chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker, it recommended the requirement of photo ID.

Where Georgia botched the execution was in trying to implement photo ID immediately. The Commission's recommendation was to phase in the requirement, culminating in 2010. Their plan provided four years for people to get photo IDs; Georgia initially provided about three months.

And I think the inconvenience argument gets substantially weaker when voters are provided that much time, and plenty of advance notice, to obtain a photo ID. Even our hypothetical backwoodsman probably goes to town at least once in 4 years.