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Why gun ownership is useful for this election
25 September 2012, 8:20 AM | Source: Matt Hall, SBS
The real story might be what appear to be coordinated efforts in certain states to suppress voting - specifically to stop voters more likely to vote for President Obama from making any impact at the polls.
Thirty one states have introduced or revised laws that require all voters to show ID at the polls this November, a number that could rise to 33 states by the election. The introduced legislation includes photo identification laws, proof-of-citizenship requirements and flawed efforts in some states to remove noncitizens from the voter rolls.
The claim supporting these new laws is that it roots out voter fraud which is great in theory. Except data suggests voter fraud does not actually exist in any meaningful way and the requirements restrict, rather than protect, legal voters.
In Colorado, the state government estimated that as many as 11,000 non-citizens were registered to vote but deeper analysis revealed that figure to be only 141 and that just 35 people had cast ballots previously.
This map shows which states require exactly what ID to vote. It’s here that it gets more interesting.
Many states now require potential voters to have a drivers’ licence. Fair enough, you might say, except that many people have neither cars nor are licenced to drive them. In some states, your government-issued social security card is ineligible. So are military veteran ID cards. Some states won’t allow students to use their university ID cards.
But guess what can be used? In some states, gun permits are legit. Everyone get gun permits.
Problem solved. To further illustrate this, in Texas, birth certificates have been struck out as acceptable and replaced by permits to carry a concealed handgun. Yes, evidence that you were born is useless. Guns, on the other hand, validate your existence.
Yet research suggests voter fraud is almost non-existent. Of 2068 alleged fraud cases since 2000 only 10 cases were proven. With 146 million registered voters in the US that represents one fraudulent vote for every 15 million.
In Pennsylvania, a state where voter ID laws are being aggressively pursued, government officials stated before a court hearing that they had
or reason to believe such crimes would occur.
Here’s Stephen Colbert – a comedian – with his take on the issue.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Blood in the Water - Mike Turzai's Voter ID Remarks|
And another comedian, Sarah Silverman, with a not-safe-for-work (unless you’re wearing headphones) video she’s using as part of a campaign to challenge requirements.
Democracy, you see, is not always so easy.