And the 60 million have no groceries within 5 miles!

I don't know whether this makes me a chronic complainer or some kind of crank, but if there's one thing I hate more than being lied to online, it's being lied to in the newspapers. Especially when they're blatant. One of the reasons that so many cranks like me take up blogging is because we get sick of a steady stream of lies, shoddy statistics, and made up facts.

This happens routinely on the national level; a perfect example was a recent LA Times headline screaming about 60 million Americans being forced to live on $7.00 a day. This did not pass Annie Jacobsen's smell test, so she checked it out and found it to be wrong. Laughably wrong. (Does that mean they won't do it again?)

Anyway, what irritated me was to see a local example, by way of the following claim:

At sonic speed, it seems, we're already almost midway through January. How are those resolutions coming?

Let me guess: lose weight/eat healthier/stop smoking/feed your spirit/read more/lift up your community. You know, the usual.

Easier said than done.

But if you're Dicie Gilmore, the climb is even steeper.

The 52-year-old Gilmore - "Pastor Dicie" to the neighborhood folk in Logan - is no different than plenty of Philadelphians living on fixed incomes, stuck in neighborhoods where basic services like grocery stores are nowhere to be found within a five-mile radius.

Kind of makes eating healthier tough. (Emphasis added.)

No grocery stores within a five mile radius?

Sorry, but it just irritated the hell out of me to read that. Maybe it was too early in the morning to swallow a blatant lie, but I knew it was wrong, and I just couldn't take it. Yes, I know thousands would, but I don't have to swallow all common sense and accept a false statistic like that. And after all, I do have this blog.

So, while I know this is going to be a bit painful and tedious, it's time for some basic fact checking.

First, Philadelphia is a city with an area of 142 square miles.

A circle with a five mile radius has an area of 78.5 square miles -- more than half the total area of the city of Philadelphia. (I could superimpose a giant circle and place it on a map of Philadelphia, but I think my readers are bright enough that I can spare them that.)

The point, simply, is that there is no place in the city of Philadelphia without a grocery store in a five mile radius.

I guess that means the columnist is using bad statistics for rhetorical effect, to hammer down her point -- which is that there are no grocery stores near the home of her source. The address is not given, but the article narrows it down to the neighborhood of the Logan Elementary School:

Getting to fresh vegetables usually comes through a long, grueling trek on SEPTA.

"I either have to catch the bus, hope I can get a ride or get a hack," Gilmore says. "And that gets expensive."

The sign on her neighborhood corner bodega promises fresh vegetables, along with phone cards. "Ain't no fresh vegetables in there," she scoffs.

What the bodega does offer is its own smoking-reduction program. Kind of.

Can't afford $5 a pack? The deli sells single cigarette "loosies" for a small fraction of a pack. Just for you.

Good thing kicking the smoking habit isn't on Gilmore's list - "I haven't smoked since cigarettes were $2.75 a pack," she says, with a hint of pride.

We got our legs moving a bit on a brisk day, walking through the main thoroughfare, Belfield Avenue, past Logan Elementary, down Lindley, back into her block down Smedley, a mix of striving and struggling blocks.

Gilmore's block was once a tree-lined gem in North Philly, but seems to be clinging these days to uprooted dreams and tiny shreds of hope.

Wanting to be sure, I Googled the address of the school, and here are "Results 1-10 of about 3,578 for supermarket near Philadelphia Community School District: Logan Elementary School"

A Supremo Supermarket - more info » 4424 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA
(215) 457-1171 - 0.7 mi S

B Nicetown Food Center - more info »
4222 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA
(215) 457-8148 - 0.9 mi S

C RL Supermarket - more info »
4222 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA
(215) 457-8148 - 0.9 mi S

D Torres Supermarket - more info »
1901 Brunner St, Philadelphia, PA
(215) 329-3137 - 1.0 mi S

E Cho's Supermarket - more info »
4010 Old York Rd, Philadelphia, PA
(215) 324-3385 - 1.2 mi S

F Progressive Supermarket Inc - more info »
5348 Wayne Ave, Philadelphia, PA
(215) 849-9121 - 1.2 mi W

G Shop Rite Supermarket - more info »
101 E Olney Ave, Philadelphia, PA
(215) 224-7500 - 1.6 mi E

H Cousin's Supermarket - more info »
4037 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA
(215) 223-4000 - 1.5 mi SE

OK, I don't know much about what all of the above stores sell, but I do know that Shop Rite is a large grocery store chain, and I have been to several of them. They are huge stores, and they all sell fresh vegetables. (Googling "groceries" yielded 7,562 hits, but I took into account the Inquirer's claim that grocery stores falsely advertise fresh vegetables, so I relied only on the word "supermarket.")

I realize that wild claims by journalists are made all the time, so I guess this really isn't that big of a deal. Certainly it's not as big a deal as saying that 60 million Americans live on $7.00 a day. And both claims are made for a good cause, right?

Hmmm...

Perhaps this means that only a bad person would engage in fact-checking.

MORE: For the record, I live twice as far from the nearest grocery store as the woman in the article. And there is no public transportation from here to there unless I hired a cab. Without a car, I'd be SOL.

This touches on an important point. There are many people all across America who do in fact live in areas where "basic services like grocery stores are nowhere to be found within a five-mile radius." You know, rural areas?

Whose fault is that?

MORE: Commenter Larry Sheldon asks,

Is there a point to all of this, besides the "main stream media and other charlatans lie" angle?
The point seems to be that it's bad when grocery stores are too far away. (At least in cities.) A legitimate point too -- but it could have been made without resort to a patently false claim.

I am not unsympathetic to the plight of pedestrians having to walk long distances or take public transportation to grocery stores, so I found myself wondering whether any of the supermarkets deliver groceries.

I called the ShopRite on Olney. They deliver for $4.95 on orders under $100.00. For orders over $100.00, they deliver free of charge. For most people, that's at least a week's worth of groceries.

But it doesn't quite fit the narrative of villainous grocers lying about produce and selling individual cigarettes at extortionate prices, and 78 square-mile-areas with no grocery stores.

MORE: This post has generated some very interesting responses, like this one:

Is there any doubt whatsoever, that Roberts is the same kind of partisan hack judge that allowed Hitler to legalize his brand of depravity?
Roberts is worse, I'd say. Even Hitler never forced people to drive to Shop-Rite. And the Nazis never imposed Wal-Mart.

posted by Eric on 01.11.08 at 09:52 AM










Comments

While we're at it, I want to take exception to this passage:

What the bodega does offer is its own smoking-reduction program. Kind of.

Can't afford $5 a pack? The deli sells single cigarette "loosies" for a small fraction of a pack. Just for you.

When I tried to reduce my smoking in preparation for quitting, the availablility of "loosies" helped a lot. There were plenty of times where I just wanted 1 or 2, but legally, I have to buy 20.

When I could buy 1 or 2, I smoked 1 or 2. When I had to buy 20, that was it, I was a smoker again and would have to start all over.

One of the many ways that government, while making it as expensive and uncomfortable as possible to continue smoking, also makes it as expensive and uncomfortable as possible to quit smoking.

tim maguire   ·  January 11, 2008 10:49 AM

We live in a rather wealthy subdivision and the nearest grocery store is nearly five miles away (the Walmart at 4.7 miles).

Before that was built, the nearest store was 7-plus miles, the nearest we could afford to trade at routinely was about 15 I think.

There are people west of here that probably live 50 miles (do your research thing on Cherry County, Nebraska) from a grocery store bigger than a 7-11.

Is there a point to all of this, besides the "main stream media and other charlatans lie" angle?

Larry Sheldon   ·  January 11, 2008 11:56 AM

It's a good thing they have layers of editing and fact-checking, or they might make really obvious and silly mistakes.

I blame Bush for the lack of grocery stores, which were all destroyed by a combination of global warming, corporate greed, and Halliburton.

TallDave   ·  January 11, 2008 12:26 PM

We live in a rather wealthy subdivision and the nearest grocery store is nearly five miles away (the Walmart at 4.7 miles).

Yes, there are some sprawling wealthy exurbs where that might be the case. But obviously those aren't poor neighborhoods -- and I bet some developer is already planning a nearby mini-mall.

TallDave   ·  January 11, 2008 12:29 PM

Who are these people, and how can I get them to cut my lawn? I'll pay them half of what I pay the guy who cuts my yard now, and we'll both be ahead. I smell a higely missed opportunity, here.

Or, it could be complete bullshit. I'm guessing the latter. Maybe we should get WHO to do a recount.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 11, 2008 12:31 PM

Well, TallDave, if these people only make $7 a day, a minimart won't be worth the trouble.

Consistency, man.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 11, 2008 12:32 PM

THE BANALITY OF EVIL
While Eric has his odometer fired up, tell me , how far away from Gary, Indiana is the nearest state office that issues the newly required voter ID cards. Indiana's Republican state legislature came up with a brand new way to supress voter turnout. There hasn't been one single incident of a voter impersonating another voter, yet these charlatans have found a solution to a crime that doesn't exist. And now your boy, John Roberts is leading the charge in the Supreme Court to push through this blatantly unconstitutional law. What an abomination before the Lord! Is there any doubt whatsoever, that Roberts is the same kind of partisan hack judge that allowed Hitler to legalize his brand of depravity?

YogiBarrister   ·  January 11, 2008 12:32 PM

Timely irony, or idiocy? You decide.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 11, 2008 12:38 PM

Wow Yogi, that explains everything. OK, it explains nothing at all about the topic Eric was discussing, but everything else. Hmm, no, it doesn't explain anything else either. What kind of loosies are you smoking?

Ed Minchau   ·  January 11, 2008 1:07 PM

Maybe if Yogi can figure out how to get one, he can talk about all of his favorite topics on his own blog!

And then the country could be saved, possibly.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 11, 2008 1:18 PM

Slarty, I'm surprised this blog even posts my comments. Most of the other rightwing screeds can't handle dissenting views. My comment was totally relevant. The thrust of Eric's blog was that inner city people without cars or driver's licenses have easy access to supermarkets. My point is that those same inner city people do not have easy access to the ballot box. If you can't see why the efforts to supress the vote are evil, then you are ethically retarded.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 11, 2008 2:13 PM

"The thrust of Eric's blog was that inner city people without cars or driver's licenses have easy access to supermarkets"

Horrible reading skills, Yogi. He didn't say "easy", but he did say something to the effect that it wasn't nearly as hard as was claimed.

Still, it makes the ballot box relevant, how?

Playing your game, if you don't see why the efforts to preserve the ability to cheat at the ballot box are evil, you are ethically retarded.

Whatever that means.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 11, 2008 2:38 PM

Horrible reading skills there Slarty. If there are zero cases of voters impersonating other voters, then efforts to require voter IDs, and making the residents of Gary btake a bus out to the suburbs to get them, are an act of evil, for the sole purpose of supressing the inner-city vote. You aren't too terribly bright, or ethical are you?

YogiBarrister   ·  January 11, 2008 3:14 PM
Horrible reading skills there Slarty. If there are zero cases of voters impersonating other voters, then efforts to require voter IDs, and making the residents of Gary btake a bus out to the suburbs to get them, are an act of evil, for the sole purpose of supressing the inner-city vote

There are other reasons for requiring IDs than to prevent voters from impersonating other voters, Yogi, that have nothing whatever to do with suppressing the inner-city vote. It doesn't take a moron to see that, but it takes one to completely miss it.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 11, 2008 3:37 PM

Slarty, the purpose of that law serves only one purpose, to supress the inner-city vote. You are being dishonest to suggest otherwise. It requires voters without driver's licenses to obtain a birth certificate, then get on a bus and travel out to the suburbs. I'm not sure about Indiana motor vehicle laws, but I doubt they require birth certificates to obtain a driver's license. Even if they do, the only fair way to implement this law would be to require ALL citizens to obtain a birth certificate and go get a voter ID. The intent of this law is evil. Proponents of this law are evil. People who vote for legislators who pass laws like this are evil.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 11, 2008 3:52 PM

Wow! Michael Chertoff is on the tube right now proposing a national ID card, and he wants to make sure all states issue driver's licenses under strict guidelines. Why are only people born after 1964 being required to get them? Just to be on the safe side, instead of issuing ID cards which can be forged, we should implant computer chips. That would come in handy when tracking criminals or political opponents.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 11, 2008 4:00 PM

Yogi,

Why are you tolerated here? Simple.

You are an endless source of amusement.

Plus comments bring in readers. The boss of this place is no traffic whore. But I am.

M. Simon   ·  January 11, 2008 4:42 PM

M. Simon, point well taken. Most of the blogs here are like trees falling in the forest. If I'm not here to observe the folly, they don't make a sound.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 11, 2008 5:08 PM

There are other reasons for requiring IDs than to prevent voters from impersonating other voters, Yogi, that have nothing whatever to do with suppressing the inner-city vote. It doesn't take a moron to see that, but it takes one to completely miss it.

Slartibartfast January 11, 2008 03:37 PM
>
Oh really genius! Name one reason other than trying to prevent someone from voting under another person's name, for requiring a "PHOTO" ID. Only a complete moron would make such an illogical assertion. I repeat, in the state of Indiana, there isn't one single incident of a voter using another person's identity to vote.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 11, 2008 10:57 PM

there isn't one single incident of a voter using another person's identity to vote.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119984165483276543.html

Indiana officials make the obvious point that, without a photo ID requirement, in-person fraud is "nearly impossible to detect or investigate." A grand jury report prepared by then-Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman in the 1980s revealed how difficult it is to catch perpetrators. It detailed a massive, 14-year conspiracy in which crews of individuals were recruited to go to polling places and vote in the names of fraudulently registered voters, dead voters, and voters who had moved. "The ease and boldness with which these fraudulent schemes were carried out shows the vulnerability of our entire electoral process to unscrupulous and fraudulent misrepresentation," the report concluded. No indictments were issued thanks to the statute of limitations, and because of grants of immunity in return for testimony.
whackamole   ·  January 11, 2008 11:08 PM

Whacky, there are no cases of voter impersonation in the state of Indiana. The sole purpose of the law is to deter residents from the city of Gary from voting. A social security card should be ample proof at the polls. Indiana has solved a problem that doesn't exist.
BTW, they should require a DNA test, not a photo ID card to ensure that no voter impersonation occurs. There might be space aliens who can take on the appearance of humans. You can't prove that this isn't already happening.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 12, 2008 1:37 AM

The EAC Has Failed To Meet Its Own Mission Statement
by John Gideon, December 11, 2006
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) was created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).
According to the EAC's Mission Statement:

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission an independent bipartisan agency is charged with disbursing payments to states for replacement of voting systems and election administration improvements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration.


Let's review this 'Mission Statement' and see how the EAC is doing.

Independent, Bipartisan Agency

There are many examples of the EACs failure to maintain bipartisanship in its work. I present only two.

First, the debate about the need for voter ID to stop voting fraud in the polling place has been clearly split across party lines, with Republicans advocating and Democrats opposing such laws. In September of 2005 the EAC commissioned bipartisan researchers to examine, among other issues, the extent of voting fraud, such as dead voters, double-voting, non-citizens voting, and ineligible felons voting. On May 17, 2006, the researchers presented their Status Report On The Voter Fraud-Voter Intimidation Research Project to the EAC.

Their interviews with experts and examination of media reports and legal case files for the past five years showed little evidence of voting fraud and substantially more evidence of voter intimidation. The EAC might have furthered its mission as an information clearinghouse by allowing this preliminary report to inform the debate in the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 4844, a bill requiring Voter ID for voters who vote in person at the polling place and not for absentee voters. Specifically, the report stated

There is virtually universal agreement that absentee ballot fraud is the biggest problem, with vote buying and registration fraud coming in after that.
There is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud, or at least much less than is claimed, including voter impersonation, "dead" voters, noncitizen voting and felon voters.

and ...many of those interviewed assert that new identification requirements are the modern version of voter intimidation and suppression.


The EACs partisan bias favoring the Republican position on Voter ID laws is revealed by two facts: 1) the Commissioners withheld these valuable findings during the four months before the House passed H.R. 4844, and 2) in their final report of December 2006, they ultimately suppressed their own research indicating that Voter ID requirements could increase voter intimidation while attempting to solve a virtually non-existent voting fraud problem.

In fact, as reported by VoteTrustUSA, DeGregorio, a Republican member of the EAC, minimized the initial report in his statements to the media. VoteTrustUSA relates:

Commenting on the earlier report, released by USA Today, EAC Chairman Paul DeGregorio noted that the report was only preliminary and cautioned that more investigation is needed to understand the amount of voter fraud in this country. Mr. DeGregorio did not mention the existence of the final report. In an Associated Press article Mr. DeGregorio observed "Many times people put their own partisan spin on voter fraud and voter intimidation.


Mr. DeGregorio is correct. By withholding vital, bipartisan research results that would have contradicted the Republican position on Voter ID laws, the Commissioners did put their own partisan spin on voter fraud and voter intimidation.

Another example: Recently EAC Commissioner, and new Chairwoman, Donetta Davidson, spoke before the "Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections". In her speech [1] she had this to say:

It was the Democrat [unintelligible] that was pushing that bill [HR-550]. And, uh, the Republicans kept saying, "Trust me, it's not goin through". So none of us worried about it that much because we knew that it wasn't going to be moving forward to get the votes it needed. It may in the House but, it was goin to be killed in the Senate ...


In this statement, the Chairwoman of the EAC revealed that not only is she not independent but she is also willing to play partisan politics in her efforts to ensure that legislation contrary to her goal of making elections paperless was "Dead On Arrival" in the Senate.

Disbursing Payments to States For Replacement of Voting Systems and Election Administration Improvements

In FY 2004 and 2005 the EAC distributed over $2.25B to the States so they could implement the Title III requirements of HAVA. As discussed below much of these funds were spent on voting systems that, in fact, do not meet the requirements of HAVA.

While the Help America Vote Act of 2002 did not give the EAC many regulatory rights, the EAC had the mandate to control the funds that were issued to the states. Control of funds should have ensured those funds were spent on HAVA-compliant voting systems. The EAC failed in this responsibility to enforce HAVA compliance and turned all responsibility for compliance over to the states.

Adopting Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines

After an investigation requested by Congress, the Government Accountability Office wrote:

While electronic voting systems hold promise for improving the election process, numerous entities have raised concerns about their security and reliability, citing instances of weak security controls, system design flaws, inadequate system version control, inadequate security testing, incorrect system configuration, poor security management, and vague or incomplete voting system standards.


YogiBarrister   ·  January 12, 2008 1:51 AM
Oh really genius! Name one reason other than trying to prevent someone from voting under another person's name

How about: having voters registered in two states, like that link I posted upthread. Links are handy, sometimes; you really ought to consider using them from time to time. If you're registered in two states, you can vote at the polls in one and by absentee in another. The article I linked to was about a woman who was being used as an example of the injustice of registration ID, who (it turned out) was trying to vote in Indiana with a Florida drivers' license.

In 2000, there were thousands of voters who were registered in both New York and Florida. There's no telling how many of them voted twice.

And your statement that there were are no cases on record of voter impersonation doesn't mean that it's not happening. It just means that no one's been caught doing it.

Again, consider using links. Your initial foray into the issue of voter registration might have gotten a more considered response had you linked to some article discussing that particular situation.

Or, more likely, continue with the brickbats in what is by all appearances an exercise in overcompensation.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 12, 2008 10:24 AM

Slarty, a photo ID in Indiana would have no impact on stopping people from voting in another state. There is only one purpose for the photo ID and that's to prevent someone other than the registered voter from voting using that name.
The aggrieved party in Indiana was not trying to use a Florida driver's license, she was trying to use a photo Id issued by her bank.
As for highjacking this thread, Eric's point was insipid. He has way too much time on his hands. I don't expect anyone here to fix their moral compases, I just find a lot of sloppy intellectual discourse here, and I'm policing the neighborhood. You're welcome!

YogiBarrister   ·  January 12, 2008 12:28 PM
The aggrieved party in Indiana was not trying to use a Florida driver's license, she was trying to use a photo Id issued by her bank.

See, this is one of those many instances where a link might come in handy.

Anonymous   ·  January 12, 2008 5:28 PM

See, this is one of those many instances where a link might come in handy.

Anonymous January 12, 2008 05:28 PM
>
From Bill Mears, CNN Washington Bureau Chief
>
"Among those cited by Democrats is Mary-Jo Criswell, a 71-year-old Indianapolis Democrat, who could not vote last November because she had no driver's license or valid passport.

She previously had used a private bank-issued card with her photo when voting. The former precinct committeewoman had difficulty rebuilding an identity trail, and still does not have a valid photo ID. Criswell said in an affidavit she felt intimidated by the burdensome bureaucracy she claims is needed to vote. "

YogiBarrister   ·  January 12, 2008 8:04 PM

When I ask for a link, I mean a link, Yogi. You do know what a link is, don't you?

And you do realize that Gary and Indianapolis are two distinct places, no?

I do find it a little...well, unbelievable that a former committeewoman could not obtain a valid photo ID. Probably you don't, though.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 12, 2008 8:27 PM

Slarty, where did I say the woman was from Gary? You posted misinformation, I corrected you.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 12, 2008 9:46 PM
You posted misinformation, I corrected you.

I must have missed that. Which misinformation?

Still no link, though. I'm beginning to suspect that you really don't know how to link to support for your claims. Argument by assertion doesn't play well here, unfortunately.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 12, 2008 10:59 PM

Slarty, nothing plays well here except rightwing drivel. I see where Whackamole linked to an article. I don't see your link.
The woman I cited is a material witness in the case. Who is the woman trying to vote with a Florida driver's license?

YogiBarrister   ·  January 13, 2008 12:36 AM

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/09/voter.id/
>
There are you happy now? You are really anal retentive aren't you?

YogiBarrister   ·  January 13, 2008 12:39 AM

The article I linked to was about a woman who was being used as an example of the injustice of registration ID, who (it turned out) was trying to vote in Indiana with a Florida drivers' license.
>
This is the misinformation Slarty posted. She was using a bank issued ID card.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 13, 2008 12:49 AM

No, I just like to see the background material. How else am I to know what you're talking about?

Ennyhoo, if you'd followed MY link, which you still seem to be reluctant to do, you'd note there was an actual case of a woman who'd attempted to vote in Indiana with a Florida drivers' license. Which wouldn't be all that controversial except she was one an example in the lawsuit against voter IDs.

You've claimed, or at least appear to have claimed, that all voter ID laws are to prevent inner city voters from being able to vote. You've yet to substantiate that. You've also claimed that there's never been a case of someone stealing someone else's identity for the purpose of voting, in Indiana. You can't prove that, and in any event that doesn't even come close to encompassing the range of possible voter fraud.

I don't see your link.

January 11, 12:38 pm comment. Reading comprehension: it's what's for breakfast.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 13, 2008 12:54 AM

This is the misinformation Slarty posted. She was using a bank issued ID card.

Different woman, Yogi. See, this is where linking to what you're talking about helps sort things out. My link points to what I'm talking about; your link points to what you're talking about. Since you hadn't actually linked to what you were talking about, I could hardly be expected to read your mind, could I?

So, wrong again. Being wrong seems to be something you've got a knack for. If you can get someone to pay you for being wrong, you're going to do quite well.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 13, 2008 12:57 AM

Your link was not readily visable. My eyesight isn't what it used to be. You used the word timely instead of an address as your link. I'm still not sure how photo IDs would prevent someone from registering in two states. The photo ID only serves to prevent voter impersination, something that is extremely rare or non-existent.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 13, 2008 1:26 AM

Phew! Democracy is saved. The Indiana voter ID law prevented a woman from voting in Indiana, then flying down to Florida and voting again.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 13, 2008 1:31 AM
I'm still not sure how photo IDs would prevent someone from registering in two states.

But it did, Yogi. That's exactly the point.

The photo ID only serves to prevent voter impersination, something that is extremely rare or non-existent.

That's your assertion. Care to back it up? There are other, different kinds of improper voting that might be at least partially remedied by the requirement for a photo ID. I think I've mentioned one or two.

The Indiana voter ID law prevented a woman from voting in Indiana, then flying down to Florida and voting again.

Or voting in person in one state, while voting absentee in another. Or voting in the wrong precinct. There are probably other undesirable events that might be prevented by requiring a photo ID; possibly you ought to consider considering the issue, for more than a millisecond or two.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 13, 2008 10:03 AM

Slarty, it did not prevent her from voting twice. It merely prevented her from voting. If she had an Indiana driver's license she could have voted there and then taken a plane to Florida to vote again. The key word here is photo. The ONLY, SINGLE, SOLITARY reason for the photo IDs is to prevent voter impersonation, a crime which never happens because nobody would be foolish enough to risk jail, for the benefit of voting twice. All of the fraud occurs with absentee ballots and electronic voting machines, where one person can manipulate a lot of votes.
The Indiana law doesn't prevent people from registering in other states. You also must carefully regulate how each state issues driver's license, what sort of proof they require.
Here's what really needs to be done. We need to standardize how federal elections are conducted. We need a tamper-proof voting machine that leaves a paper trail. We need to boost participation not supress it.

YogiBarrister   ·  January 13, 2008 1:01 PM
It merely prevented her from voting.

...in a state that wasn't her principal residence. Success!

Slartibartfast   ·  January 13, 2008 2:19 PM

I mean, I'd bet that she's got a homestead exemption in Florida. Possibly in both states, which would be sort of contrary to the whole notion of homestead.

Slartibartfast   ·  January 13, 2008 2:21 PM

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