Cobb Democrats take aim at voter identification law
by Marcus E. Howard
mhoward@mdjonline.com
January 14, 2012 11:47 PM | 31345 views | 18 18 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — As Republicans decide on a presidential nominee, Democrats in Cobb County are gearing up for November’s general election by focusing on voter turnout.

State Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna) and state Sen. Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna) spoke to party members on Saturday morning at the Cobb Democrats’ monthly breakfast at Piccadilly Cafeteria on Cobb Parkway in Marietta. How to work through the state’s voter identification law, which some Democrats feel unjustly disenfranchises voters, was a topic of concern.

“We’ve got to educate — we’ve got to educate seniors and make sure we’re signing people up to vote, filling out absentee ballots for them, taking them to the polls and making sure they have the paperwork they need,” said Evans.

“That’s why I’m talking about getting our house in order now. Let’s do these voter registration efforts now. Let’s make sure people have their IDs to vote, now. We cannot be scurrying to get this information together in October. We’ve got to be doing it now.”

Indiana and Georgia were among the first states to enact voter ID laws, which have spread nationwide. The Georgia voter ID law has been on the books since 2006. It has repeatedly been upheld in court, most recently by the Georgia Supreme Court in May. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s law.

Since then, six other states — Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin — have also enacted strict voter ID laws that require government-issued photo IDs to vote.

Seven other states — including Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan and South Dakota — request photo IDs but do not require them. And sixteen states now require identification to vote, but not necessarily photo IDs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Republicans say that such tough rules are needed to prevent fraud at the polls. However, Democrats and civil rights groups argue that obtaining identification can be a hardship for the elderly, minorities and the poor, and that such laws are designed to dilute Democratic votes at the polls.

Stoner, who faces a tough re-election bid after his 6th district was redrawn to include conservative-leaning areas, said his party is good at getting people to vote early, but must also do a better job at informing individuals about voting by mail, which happens to not require voter ID.

“The biggest fraud by the way in the state of Georgia is not at the polls; it’s vote by mail,” Stoner said.

“The Republicans do an excellent job at getting people to vote by mail. So they made sure their folks didn’t have to show ID. But we do a better job at getting people to the polls, so guess where they put the omnibus. So let’s take advantage of that. Let’s use it against them.”

Evans, who beat Republican candidate Scott McDearman in 2010 for the seat vacated by former Democratic state Rep. Rob Teilhet, agreed. Although she won 68 percent of the total vote, she said she lost the mail-in votes to her opponent by two to one.

Toward the end of the meeting, Cobb Democratic Chairwoman Melissa Pike discussed the importance of voter registration efforts with members. The redistricting of the districts of Stoner and state Rep. Sheila Jones (D-South Cobb) into Buckhead, means the party will have to spend more money smarter, said Pike in urging members to contribute dues.

“The Democratic Party of Georgia is going to be focusing their efforts on getting out the vote,” she told members.

“That’s going to leave it to the county parties to do registration. Our major push is going to be voter registration at the same time as signing people up for absentee ballots. What this is going to do is change the structure in the way we once spent some of our money.”
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just sayin
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January 17, 2012
A report from the Brennan Center for Justice found that the incidence of voter fraud at rates such as 0.00003 per cent in Missouri and 0.000009 per cent in New York. Numerous surveys show that blacks, hispanics, the elderly and the young are less likely to possess a form of government issued ID. Except for the elderly, the other demographic is more likely to vote Democratic. The elderly more likely to vote Republican. In a display of the falsity of their voter fraud arguement Republicans in Texas exempted the elderly from the voter ID law.

Karl Kobach Kansas Secretary of State who has led the voter ID law in his state claimed between 1997 and 2010 Kansas claimed 221 cases of reported voter fraud and not a single criminal conviction has resulted. Even if claimed cases were accurate the rate of fraud out of 10 million cases would be miniscule.
EduKtr
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January 17, 2012
A troubling development is the push for more absentee and even online voting.

The reason for secret ballots in the first place is to make it impossible for thugs to intimidate or buy off a citizen's vote.

Despite all the talk of how more absentee voting or even voting online would extend opportunities ... the one thing EACH clearly does is empower union bosses, political operators and other potential spoilers to sit alongside voters as they exercise their democratic privilege -- and to corrupt the process!
Cokefloat
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January 17, 2012
Have you ever done online banking or buying? It's completely secure if one is educated... I have to wonder if your screen name is true. I do most of my banking in my home... wonder how many union bosses you think the Democrats would need to send out to sit beside each and every voter in the privacy of their homes?

You know, some things are just a little bit too complicated to be that simple...
namtah
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January 16, 2012
What the heck? There are Democrats in Cobb County? I guess they got tired of screwing up Fulton and Dekalb counties. Oh well. And isn't it a little racist to think that poor "minorities" cannot figure out how to obtain a free state-issued ID?
tired of it
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January 17, 2012
I bet if the government were requiring it for SSI, food stamps,Welfare they would figure out how to get a ID.
foot on scale
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January 16, 2012
Unless you were born yesterday no one really believes that fraud is the issue, this is voter suppression. I guess if you can't win every election at the polls you in effect have to "cheat" by making sure voters that don't share your views have difficulty meeting the requirements, kind of like a finger on the scale. And now we hear complaints about elderly being helped through the process. Add to that that now corporations are people and you kind of get what is going on.
Brandon L
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January 16, 2012
I must have ben born yesterday. The voter ID law affects voters who would vote for either party (or anyone else for that matter). Therefore it is inherently party neutral, unless, of course, you are suggesting that it is only democrats who can't figure out how to get a government ID.

And corporation are "people" for legal purposes so that they can sue or be sued. Also, they are considered "people" to subject them to the language of the law (e.g., "It shall be unlawful for anyone to....") and give them the protection of the law. It has been that way for almost 200 years. This is not news.

just sayin
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January 16, 2012
Georgia and the south has a long and sorid history of voter disenfanchisment such as white primarys, poll taxes, literacy tests and restrictive and arbitrary registration practices. All designed to suppress black votes. The Republican voter fraud requirements are no different. They are carefully targeted to groups that traditionally vote democratic, the elderly, poor, black and students. This is the reason these requirements are being made in Republican controlled states. As far as corporations being people, I will believe a corporation is a person when Texas executes one! Our founders were skeptical of corporate interest. Their charters were granted by the state, however unlike today they werre limited in how long they were permitted to exist(typically 20 to 30 years) only permitted to deal in one commodity and could not own shares in other corporations and their property holdings were limited. In the early days of our nation most states had laws making ANY POLITICAL CONTRIBUTION BY A CORPORATION A CRIMINAL OFFENSE. Keep fighting Stacy and Doug!
Brandon L
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January 17, 2012
@ "just sayin"

You have to love democrats. Democrats oppressed minorities in Georgia and all over the south since this country was founded but now they want to rewrite history to blame it on someone else (I bet Bush did it). Let's get something straight. The white primaries, poll taxes and literacy tests were embarrassingly racist restrictions implemented in southern states (yes, like Georgia) by DEMOCRATS. The KKK was a DEMOCRAT institution. And please remember, the slaves were freed by a REPUBLICAN. But hey, don't let silly facts get in the way of your self-righteous misconceptions.

But let me try to understand your argument anyway. A voter ID law that equally affects voters of any party is "carefully targeted to groups that traditionally vote democratic, the elderly, poor, black, and students." My grandmother has a driver's license and she's a democrat. I'm not rich and I have a driver's license. When I was a student (and voting democrat), I had a driver's license. I even have black friends who all have a driver's license (and largely vote democrat). Evidently the nefarious republican plan to disenfranchise all those groups isn't working. So without any facts other than a history of racism by the democratic party, you conclude that republicans are somehow restricting voting rights by asking for an ID. I know I'm convinced.

Re: Corporations. I gather you find that all corporations are evil. (Remember that evil, evil Whole Foods is a corporation listed on NASDAQ.) I'm not even going to debate that but I do have a question. Was it cold occupying Wall Street? Did you accomplish much?
just sayin
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January 17, 2012
@ Brandon L. Your argument about the Segregationist Democratic Party is correct but totally disingenuous and a favorite Republican talking point. As anyone who grew up in the south knows the south was solidly Democratic unitl the civil rights movement. With the signing of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act President Johnson was told he had lost the south for a hundred years. They were correct. The old southern dixiecrats and bigots such as Strom Thurmon and Jesse Helms were welcomed with open arms by the Republican Party as a part of Nixon's Southern Strategy. The South has moved solidly Republican ever since leverageing racial issues such as busing, affirmitive action, quotas and welfare to their advantage. There was a reason Ronald Reagan began his presidental campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, whose only claim to fame is the murder of three civil rights workers.

Phoney voter fraud laws are a solution for which not problem exists. There have been less than 10 convictions for voter fraud since 1997, which is a tiny fraction of one percent. The laws target the poor and elderly who do not drive, require birth certificates and other documentation that they may not have or must travel significant distance to obtain photo ID. This constitutes a poll tax. In some states they are closing centers that issue ID and limiting early voting particularly the week end prior to the election. This directly affects working blacks. It is simply an effort to suppress their vote in Republican controlled states.

No it wasn't cold, thanks for asking. What OWS accomplished was to focus the media's attention on the disparity between Banks, Wall Street and Corporations, who receive taxpayer bailouts and tax breaks at the expense of ninety nine per cent of the population.
tired of it
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January 17, 2012
There has been alot of voter fraud just look at the 2008 obama election. I forgot the state but a certain man signed names to the obama balot for people, the man now has an attorney hopefully he will be prosecuted. The only people who dont go for people showing ID's are the one's who want to cheat. I guarantee their was alot of voter fraud in 2008 and will probably be more in 2012.
ABN
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January 16, 2012
"make sure we’re signing people up to vote, filling out absentee ballots for them."- Wait...WHAT!? This democratic state lawmaker wants her people to fill out the absentee ballots for the elderly? Hmmmmmm.

And why do the democrats think its a hardship for minorities to have a state driver's licence or ID? Minorities can drive...the state lets them drive...I've seen them drive. Why would they need special consideration?

Brandon L
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January 16, 2012
Fictitious people can't drive. The democrats are concerned about disenfranchising fictitious people who would have voted democrat had they existed. Most people call that fraud. Democrats call that political empowerment.
Mary Cantrell
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January 17, 2012
Well, I filled out my mother's absentee ballot for her because she couldn't write. A neurological disease had destroyed her muscles, but not her mind, and she would have been devastated to not be allowed a vote. Btw, she was a 92yo white woman, and thrilled to be voting for a black man... said it was high time we got over all the prejudice.
Mr. Jonquil
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January 15, 2012
Wonder if Rep. Adams would care to explain why she is filling out absentee ballots for people. Interesting quote to make. And hopefully Stoner gets replaced on both the state house and Smyrna's DDA.
Brandon L
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January 15, 2012
Ms. Evans is correct. Mail in vote fraud is indeed a problem in Georgia. What she, as a typical Democrat, fails to mention is that it is the Democrats who are perpetrating mail in vote fraud. Aside from the obvious Acorn debacles (they have been charged in several jurisdictions with voter fraud), not a month ago 12 people aligned with the Democrat party were indicted on the very charges she levels against Republicans.

Of course "she said" that she lost the mail in vote 2 to 1. Even if we were to take her at her word, Cobb county has a large military presence who are more likely to vote Republican. She alludes to vote fraud in an election she won but her only evidence of any supposed fraud is that mail in voters didn't support her. Very convincing.
SouthernGal
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January 15, 2012
My dad is 82 and has a DL...when he can no longer drive..it will be converted to a state ID.

Of course his children will make sure he has the proper ID to continue to vote.

By the way he is a Democrat!!!

Why are children of the elderly not taking care of their parents needs?
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