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TELL US: Should Massachusetts Pass a Voter ID Bill?

Let us know your thoughts on presenting government-issued ID when voting for the general election in 2012.

 recently in helping to establish a non-binding ballot question in some of Bristol County's districts that aims to require the presentation of a government issued identification in order to vote in Massachusetts.

The new initiative, which will be on the district ballots in the first, fourth and sixth Bristol districts, will be voted on come November as a non-binding vote to show support for voter identification. The idea, according to Kozlowski, is designed to help minimize voter fraud.

Kozlowski worked with Peter Sacks at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to work on the language of the bill. The ultimate approval, even after possible support, would be up to the Attorney General. And the ballot question will essentially put out feelers for support of the bill.

Last year, several supporters tried to get a full state proposition on the ballot for this November, but the Attorney General's Office rejected the bid to require government ID for voting in Massachusetts, saying the cost of procuring a legal photo identification disenfranchises many voters.

But what do you think? Should Massachusetts require voters to present ID when at the polls? Will this prevent voter fraud, or hinder the freedom of elections? 

Alex Carabelli August 28, 2012 at 11:02 PM
You absolutely shouldn't have been denied. If there's a systematic problem, or even only a few instances, of men and women in our military being denied the right to vote, then that's a problem that needs to be fixed ASAP. But making additional restrictions for others to vote, especially when it's specifically targeted at demographics, is not the answer. Voting should be easier for everyone. Any additional hurdle is antithetical to what the US is supposed to stand for. These voter ID laws are a solution to problem that doesn't exist. There are more "deaths by vending machine" in the US than instances of voter fraud. (http://current.com/shows/the-war-room/blog/chart-how-likely-is-voter-fraud-not-very)
Jeannette McKay August 29, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Yes one should show an I.D. to vote. Recently I had to show my driver's license at the library to take out a book.
EHM August 29, 2012 at 01:59 AM
You should have been given enough time; I would be interested in seeing what different lengths of time the military is given in different states. I know that was one of the many issues here with the special election for McCotter's seat, that they had to get the absentee ballots ready out to the military in time.
malcolm nichols August 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Hey, not fair, I see some are voting twice here.
Ouie Boscoe August 29, 2012 at 11:14 AM
It is mind boggling how the lying liberals try to tell us that people cannot afford these apparently expensive id cards, when in fact the same lying liberals will gladly give the same people my tax money so they can but drugs, lottery tickets etc.. The honest people who want to vote (key word honest) have no problem of using an ID card.
Will Shain August 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM
No, there is no need for another government issued ID card, and there's no problem to fix that's worth either the cost or the disenfranchisement of others. Voter turnout is pathetic already. Under what logic would anyone create another barrier to discourage some from voting? The fact is, there's nothing wrong with my driver's license or my passport that would argue for another govt. ID. If pressed, I can produce several other forms of ID, and so can you. In this age of bi-polarism in our government and its citizens, the last thing we need is another government intrusion for reasons that are trumped up and are just plain wrong. Some of my friends are so vocal about "no more taxes". Well, this is another tax whether we pay it directly or the government underwrites it. Don't spit on my boots and then tell me it's raining outside!
OllieD August 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Mel - Buying cold meds is NOT a right guaranteed by the constitution, nor is flying or banking. Voting is a constitutional right! Second, as mentioned by many, there is NO PROOF of voter fraud being a problem requiring a solution, rather a way to cut down voting of seniors, minorities and youth. With the poor voting turnout presented in this country, we should be doing everything legal to increase voter turnout, not cutting it.
Chip Coblyn August 29, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Read the angry rehearsed language from those supporting these voter disenfranchisement laws. Sounds just like the well rehearsed rhetoric you hear from all over the country--and with absolutely no justification. Some people talk a good game about getting government off their backs, except for those instances like reproductive rights and voting.
Patrick Ryan August 29, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I don't know where others vote, but where I go, I walk in, where I am resgistered ,give my name and address, a line is drawn through my name, so I cant get another ballot , when I enter my ballot in the machine, another line is drawn through my name, on a maching list , so how am I to vote twice, I don't see voter fraud , being possible, why do I need another Id, Besides were on camara, where ever we go, your cell knows your location ,your gps knows where you are , another ID is a goverment intrusion, an a attempt to restrict the american right to vote, by the party that doent want you to vote, note only republican governors are pushing this. Its so phoney you have to be blind and stupid not too see it..00009 % is less than hanging chads so lets give 2 billion to the printers for more ID's and cut something good from the budget.
Alex Carabelli August 29, 2012 at 01:45 PM
I'm not sure where you think the lying is coming from. Offices where you can get a photo ID are only open for certain hours, generally business hours. They may or may not be in an area readily accessible by public transportation. You make it seem crazy that there could be a single instance of someone not being able to get or afford an ID. Your assuming that everyone is able to take time off in the middle of the day without losing their job, which is just not the case. You're assuming they have a car or other resources to get to the office for an ID. You're assuming they have someone to look after their kids while they make the trip. You're assuming they are mobile enough to get around and wait in line (i.e. seniors). The truth is that studies show 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. I'm not sure why you would think that these people are not honest. And as far as talking about drugs and lottery tickets, I'm going to guess you're talking about food stamps. But there are very strict regulations on what you are able to buy with food stamps, and drugs and lottery tickets are definitely not covered. I would suggest you reexamine where you're getting your information. It seems as though the people you trust to give you the news are not being honest with you.
Jeff Taylor August 29, 2012 at 02:16 PM
A picture I D is the best way to avoid voter fraud. It's a no brainier !!
Ouie Boscoe August 29, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Alex nice try. In case you haven't noticed if You are a legal resident with a legal job You already had to have an photo ID to get that job. Also can you spell EBT that is where the fraud is. That is where my tax money is wasted on fraud. Yes there are honest people who need welfare again key word honest. But it is the dishonest ones that we want to get rid of. Also anyone can walk in and say your name and address and vote since you dont want anyone to prove who they really are.
Alex Carabelli August 29, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I am a legal resident with a legal job, and I didn't have to provide photo ID to get that job. That may be out of the ordinary, I really don't know. But clearly there is not a mandate that photo ID must be presented in order to get a job. I can spell EBT, it's right there in the name. If you have links to statistics on fraud in the program, I'd be happy to look at them and consider them in my thinking. I'm open to new information. But where we've seen measures taken in other states around welfare recipients and drug use, the problem has proven to be far smaller than predicted, and ends up costing the state even more money than they save from preventing the small amounts of abuse in the system. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/us/no-savings-found-in-florida-welfare-drug-tests.html) The reason the type of voter fraud you're concerned about is a fictional problem is because of the risk and rewards associated with the crime. It's a federal offense to impersonate someone else at the polls. It's unreasonable for anyone to risk the prison sentence to get 1 additional vote for their candidate. Over about the last decade, approximately 300 million votes were cast in the US. Over that period federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud – and many of the cases involved immigrants and former felons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility. In-person voter fraud is a nonexistent problem.
Peggie August 29, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Definitely yes. One time when I went to vote, I gave my name, it was crossed off the list. The next man (unknown to me) was asked if he was ---- my husband's name. He could have replied yes, and voted. You can get a picture ID at the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Ouie Boscoe August 29, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Once again nice try Alex you really should not try to pass off the lying liberal rag NYT as proof of anything. No EBT fraud do you live in a cave just google EBT Fraud arrests in MA. But you wont because you don't want to admit that there is fraud for your liberal cause. Also here is the link to the I-9 document that tells an honest employer the requirements of photo ID for employment. http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf
Alex Carabelli August 29, 2012 at 04:49 PM
The idea that you consider the NYT a "lying liberal rag" is concerning enough. But here are a couple other sources: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/20/2758871/floridas-welfare-drug-tests-cost.html http://www.politifact.com/florida/promises/scott-o-meter/promise/600/require-drug-screening-for-welfare-recipients/ There are also sources from CNN, Atlanta Journal Constitution, USA Today, etc. Hopefully one of these is acceptable to you. If not, I'd like to hear what would be. I didn't say there was no EBT fraud, and I did google it, and I saw just what you saw. But I'm not interested in isolated incidents, I'm concerned with the big picture and the extent to which fraud is prevalent. Any instance of fraud needs to be addressed, I'm with you there, as virtually all liberals are. But there isn't evidence that these instances make up a greater trend or that there is far reaching fraud. There's going to be attempts at fraud in any system, and actions should be taken to minimize them. But your concern is the cost of the fraud, and if the cost of the solution is greater than the cost of the fraud, then does it make sense to take that course to solve the problem? And I read the I-9, thanks for that. And it does say some form of identification is required, you're definitely right there. But it also explicitly says it doesn't have to be a drivers license. It can be a voter reg card, a school ID, a military card or draft record, a military dependents card, etc.
Sean August 29, 2012 at 04:49 PM
You have to produce a license if you're pulled over, an id if you're buying alcohol or tobacco and even lottery tickets at some stores, so why not if you're voting?
Sean August 29, 2012 at 04:52 PM
You beat me to it Ouie, I was going to say to Alex that I would never want to hire her or him for legal advice since clearly they never heard of an I9 form
Alex Carabelli August 29, 2012 at 04:55 PM
To be fair, I wouldn't hire me for legal advise either. I'm not a lawyer.
malcolm nichols August 29, 2012 at 07:59 PM
clearly you are not as smart as ACORN.
Alex Carabelli August 29, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I'm not sure how ACORN fits into this conversation. There were a lot of inaccurate accusations made about what ACORN actually did. They were never charged or convicted of anything having to do with in-person voter fraud. The accusations against them had to do with voter registration fraud. But in those cases, ACORN was the victim of the fraud, not the perpetrator, and were unfairly tarnished. They had people out on the streets (sometimes paid, sometimes volunteers) getting people registered to vote. Occasionally they'd end up getting a voter registration card filled out by someone claiming to be Mickey Mouse (or the person collecting the registrations would do something like that just to get paid). ACORN did their best to flag those registration cards to the Boards of Elections when they handed them in. And they had to hand them in because it's illegal to throw out a filled in voter registration card. But to come back to in-person voter fraud, even in the cases where Mickey Mouse was registered to vote, no one ever showed up at the polls claiming to be Mickey Mouse. The in-person voter fraud never happened.
Mike Holmquist August 29, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Perhaps instead of ID people should be required to bring in a copy of their last income tax return. Release the age restriction on voting as well. If you are old enough to work you are allowed to vote. Legal or illegal. No taxes no vote. Including retired people too, why should they have a say for how our tax dollars are spent!
malcolm nichols August 29, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Come on I'll bet you are smarter than that. Remember it is not illegal to be illegal.
Mel Cross August 30, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Mike you just eliminated half the obama staff .............remember do as I say not as I do democrat
MC71 August 30, 2012 at 07:10 AM
Why not. As long the law provides for FREE government-issued ID's, and provides a means for seniors and poor people to get necessary documentation without having to jump through hoops. If people have to pay for a government mandate to exercise their constitutional right to vote, then it is just another tax. A poll tax. A Republican-inspired poll tax. And, gee, Republicans HATE taxes.
Ouie Boscoe August 30, 2012 at 12:21 PM
The fact is you cannot do much these days without a valid picture ID. So if there are in fact millions of Americans without a picture id according to the whining liberals then they should demand that these people be given valid photo ids immediately so they can function in society as the rest of us have to. This is an outrage that these people have to live in this country without a valid photo id. We must have social justice for these victims immediately.
LCT September 01, 2012 at 06:57 AM
Mike, The news keeps telling us approx 51% of the US population does not pay income taxes, many exempted because one has to earn above a specific amount before income taxes kick in. Are you seriously suggesting we wipe out 51% of the population from the right to vote? As it now stands only two things separate legals from illegals: voting and jury duty. The Constitution prohibits anyone who is not a citizen from voting. By the way, what makes you think retired people do not pay income taxes? I'm assuming you are not of retirement age to make such a comment otherwise you're in for a big shock when you retire because retired people DO PAY TAXES. It depends on your total income, not your working status. Your post is meant to be a joke, isn't it?
LCT September 01, 2012 at 07:27 AM
I have no problem at all showing some type of ID when I vote. When I first registered to vote I was not aked for any ID. At my voting place I am asked my address. A poll official looks up the address and says "are you so & so?". I nod or say "yes" & am handed a ballot. The process is repeated in reverse when I leave as they have to account for each ballot handed out. Acceptable forms of ID could be a driver's license, RMV issued ID for non-drivers, shool ID w/pic, passport, military ID, Federal employee ID, job id w/pic, etc. It's pure bunk that someone, somewhere will be "disenfranchised" due to lack of ID. These same folks need ID to: get a driver's license/RMV non-driver State ID, cash a check, open a checking account, apply for any kind of government assistance (including but not limited to Welfare, food stamps, Medicare/Medicaid), board a plane, get a library card, pick up certain prescription drugs, buy selected over-the-counter meds, get treatment at a clinic/hospital even if you can't pay, interact with the police for offenses, proof of age to buy alchol/tobacco/get into X-rated movie, or apply for any Social Security services. Many states wanting to pass voter ID laws have offered to have vans drive to a person's residence to get them a free State ID. And still, there's whining. If there's no fraud, why do the Dems scream so loud about having an ID requirement? Something is wrong with this picture....
LCT September 01, 2012 at 07:28 AM
AMEN!!!!!
LCT September 01, 2012 at 07:59 AM
Ouie, Don't stop with drugs, lottery tickets. Recently in MA it was reported millions spent using EBT cards to: gamble in Vegas, take vacations in Hawaii & Calif, cruises, out-of-town car rentals, plane tickets, spas, hair salons, manicures, tickets for Disneyland, pricey restaurants, etc etc etc. What did our governor do about it? Absolutely nothing. I thought the cards were for vital necessities such as food, heat, etc. Evidently not. Kind of a tough pill to swallow knowing my tax dollars are paying for lush vacations, new hair styles/nails and the like when I cannot afford these luxuries. I hope the 2 or 3 strangers I'm supporting enjoyed their vacations. Maybe we should ask the governor to make these cheats at least post their vacation pictures on Facebook so I can see how my money was spent. Being "poor" ain't what it used to be. Now many have: own house, A/C, nice new car, complete cable TV packages, high-speed internet access, iPADS, iPODS, cell phones, 60" HD TV, Blackberries, DVD players, more than one computer, etc. I (& the bank) own my house but I don't have any of those other "toys" listed. I never get my hair/nails done, live primarily in jeans, T-shirts & sneakers/flip-flops depending on season. I almost never go to a restaurant & rarely get take-out. I don't go clubbing or to the movies. I am doing something wrong. I'm truely glad someone or two someone's are enjoying my [tax] money.

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