let's have a war

Old-Hat Wars On Women, Voting, Given Snazzy Update With New GOP War On Math

voting is a privilege, not a rightThere is much to say about the current state of the GOP, but let no one say that they are not adept at multitasking. Waging a war on women AND on voting is probably not easy, but here they are, imposing all kinds of restrictions on abortion as well as new laws in ten states that require voters to show certain kinds of ID. So if you are an old lady and your certificate of live birth birth certificate has your maiden name and you are too old to drive so you don’t have a driver license, you can give up on voting unless, of course, you can get someone to schlep you out to the ID office on one of the FOUR DAYS it is open this year. (Also, the ID office may be 100 miles away, but apparently that’s OK because rural poor people are “used to driving long distances.”) Oh and also! The wars on women and voting are going so well that it looks like there might be a war on math looming on the horizon, because according to the Heritage Foundation, three equals two and $25 equals $0.

[A] Brennan Center report found nearly half a million eligible voters in the 10 states do not have access to a vehicle and live more than 10 miles from their nearest state ID-issuing office.

In some areas, the offices that issue IDs maintain limited business hours. Rural areas in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas are served by part-time ID offices. And in an extreme example, the researchers found the office in Sauk City, Wis., is open only on the fifth Wednesday of any month. That would limit the office to being open just four days this year.

…Birth certificates can cost between $8 and $25. Marriage licenses, required in some states for married women whose birth certificates include a maiden name, can cost between $8 and $20. “By comparison, the notorious poll tax — outlawed during the civil rights era — cost $10.64 in current dollars,” the report states.

In the Texas case, a judge on the panel suggested the law would force some people to travel more than 100 miles to get the documents required for a photo identification.

John Hughes, the state’s attorney in the case, said Texans in rural areas are used to driving long distances. “People who want to vote already have an ID or can easily get it,” he said.

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said … the “indirect costs” associated with obtaining a voter ID, including transportation, are no different “than having to get a ride to go and register to vote.”

As it turns out, getting a ride to two different places (the place where you register to vote and the place where you vote) is EXACTLY THE SAME as getting a ride to THREE different places (the place where you drive up to 100 miles on one of the four days it’s open this year, the place where you register to vote, and the place where you vote). Also too, not paying any money to get ID to vote is the same as paying $8-$25 to get voter ID documentation you’d otherwise have no need for. Therefore, 2 = 3 and $8-$25 = $0. No wonder math is hard!

[Washington Post]

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

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    1. Callyson

      "…investigated for violating civil service laws in making hiring decisions based on political affiliation."

      Perfect fit for the Heritage Foundation, isn't he?

    2. rickmaci

      You know who else thought that being forced into transportation you didn't want to use was no different "than having to get a ride to go and register to vote.”

    1. Callyson

      Well, we can all go out and vote…oh, um, er…

      Well, we can turn to the courts…uh, well…

      We're screwed…

      1. va_real

        Maybe we go to Indiegogo & fundraise for a bus to schlep these folks around to the places they need to go & for the fees required?

      1. James Michael Curley

        Self Righteous Indignation – works better for a Republican than Ambien. For the rest of us Cymbalta.

    2. HamsterSandwich

      Listen, and understand. They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They don't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

      They are the Terminators!

  1. Billmatic

    This war on voting is actually going to disenfranchise their own backwoods base. That's hilarious.

  2. BaldarTFlagass

    There's some voter fraud going on alright, but it's not the kind of voter fraud that the Republicans say they are fighting with this bullshit.

    1. sezme

      Sorry, my fact-checkers have informed me that I misquoted Ms. McCain. What she actually said was, "In Arizona, the only way to get around the state is by small private plane.”
      Apologies to the McCains and their team of aircraft professionals.

  3. Callyson

    Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said … the “indirect costs” associated with obtaining a voter ID, including transportation, are no different “than having to get a ride to go and register to vote.”

    Um, having to get a ride to go and register to vote would be a HUGE hassle! The last time I had to register to vote I picked up a form at my DMV. Thank you, Motor Voter Law, and no thank you, wingnuts who want to make voting as hard as possible for "you people"…


  4. BaldarTFlagass

    "half a million eligible voters in the 10 states do not have access to a vehicle"

    "Texans in rural areas are used to driving long distances."

    Except, of course, the ones without access to a vehicle.

  5. Callyson

    …according to the Heritage Foundation, three equals two and $25 equals $0…not paying any money to get ID to vote is the same as paying $8-$25 to get voter ID documentation you’d otherwise have no need for. Therefore, 2 = 3 and $8-$25 = $0.

    Well, now I know where Enron's accountants ended up getting jobs…

  6. Goonemeritus

    You know I’ve heard of other historical examples of two front wars and they rarely work out well.

  7. Antispandex

    If you keep thinking about it, it will only cause more confusion. Best to just trust them. I mean, who's looking out for America? That's right! The people who know, for a fact, that iit is just best if you don't worry yourself sick over voting. Trust them! They know what they are doing.

  8. CthuNHu

    Sheesh, getting photo ID is as easy as π (which may be rounded down to 2, but is actually exactly 1.8).

  9. SorosBot

    Oh come on, Heritage Foundation, say what you mean; "the people these costs will prevent from voting are the ones we don't want to vote."

    Fuck one of the evil Republican state legislators here admitted it when they passed their Jim Crow law and said "this might win Pennsylvania for Mitt Romney!"

      1. SorosBot

        I couldn't remember the exact quote; yeah the real one is even worse, and more transparent that they know this is all about fixing the election and subverting democracy, and just don't care. They truly are evil shitbags.

  10. BaldarTFlagass

    "Well, if those people don't have the wherewithal to buy a car, we don't think they are the kind of people we really want voting anyway."

  11. Goonemeritus

    All snark aside if Holder can’t stop this it will fall on a new coalition grassroots activism and churches to re-register these citizens.

    1. chicken_thief

      Unless they pass Rick Scott like penalties for any transgression while assisting with registering voters. Florida rocks!!!

      1. James Michael Curley

        Even in NJ which beat back a restrictive 'Voter ID' law in 2010 permitted the acquiescence to a law which prohibits any person transporting more than 10 voter registration applications (filled out I hope because I usually have a couple dozen blank ones in my brief case). They also made the process whereby one can help with the application for an absentee ballot and the filing/posting of the completed absentee ballot more difficult.


    2. Antispandex

      Well, I too believe stiff penalties would be in line for anyone caught helping someone legally vote. It's only right, when they think about it.

    3. prommie

      Yes, and they could call this activist group "Acorn," because its a seed from which a mighty tree will grow, until some pimply dorkass dweeb fraudulently edits a sting video, and then congress will destroy it in a right-wing spasm of racist hate.

  12. fartknocker

    This post reminds me why I hate Rick "Goat Fucker" Perry. Thanks Wonkette for elevating my blood pressure.

  13. Estproph

    "And in an extreme example, the researchers found the office in Sauk City, Wis., is open only on the fifth Wednesday of any month."

    They're busy on February 30th.

  14. BaldarTFlagass

    I think they should change the photo ID law a little bit, and you actually surrender your ID permanently each time you vote. If your "ID" has a picture of Andrew Jackson on it, you get one vote. If it has a picture of Ulysses Grant, you get three votes. If it has a picture of Benjamin Franklin, you get seven votes. Seems fair to me.

      1. Fare la Volpe

        I'm lucky to get even one of those smaller Washington portraits. I do have a ton of tiny Lincolns though.

  15. FakaktaSouth

    Aight, so see, what we gotta do now is figure out how we can take all of this, and flip it somehow so that these assholes run away from their policy like it's full of healthy food they should eat. As many Heritage Foundation ideals that have been taken up and roundly loved and then mocked as soon as the black guy touches it (looking at you healthcare mandate) If PresO will somehow jump on the voter fraud thing these folks will act like they don't even know what ID is.

    1. BoroPrimorac

      Well, we know how much they love the IRS and the census board. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have any problems with a national ID card.

  16. OldWhiteLies

    OK, so the number of 5th Wednesdays in a leap year … … carry the Spakovsky and … … radius of a wingtard's head is … … oh shit, I forgot to divide up here [taps upstream in equation] by the HF senior fellow factor … …

    Right then. The answer is, [scribble, scribble], oh, well DUH, shoulda seen that coming … LO&PRF*

    *Lib Oldz and Poorz are Fucked.

  17. LesBontemps

    Rural areas in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas are served by part-time ID offices.

    Wait, maybe we should re-think this thing …

    1. va_real

      Yes, in the rural south you're more likely to find the former sharecropping families. Don't want them blahs voting…

  18. chascates

    Just getting rid of ACORN wasn't nearly enough. There will be Engish-only ballots, posters stating you must have all tickets or taxes paid before you can vote, and an all-out attempt to suppress traditional Democratic voters: people of color, students, and the elderly.

    1. DustBowlBlues

      I don't think that paying taxes before you vote is something that the Republithugs like Rmoney would go for.

  19. bonghitforjesus

    On the bright side, no one individual's vote means shit in a presidential election anyway, so really they are only disenfranchising poor/old/rural folks from exercising their right to pretend to pick their new dear leader. Isn't that some comfort?

    1. sezme

      As long as the disenfranchised can be named to the Supreme Court, they still have a chance of picking the President, though, right?

      1. bonghitforjesus

        Of course! They can always apply for Fox's new reality show- America's Next Supreme Court Justice!

    2. DustBowlBlues

      Not in swing states. But here in the Dust Bowl? They could just cold bar anyone registered as a Democrat from voting. No one would give a shit.

  20. SmutBoffin

    As long as the Axiom of Choice is just that, an axiom, Republicans really CAN claim that $25 < $8 < $0 or whatever. Most people would think that the A.o.C. is "obvious", but these are Republicans we're talking about…


  21. zumpie

    No snark – we have NONE of these problems in Oregon. Why? We vote exclusively by mail. We've done so since 1998 for all elections and since 1981 for local elections. It enjoys overwhelming, bi-partisan support (85% of Dems, 76% of Puggies).

    You can't even describe the stamp we need to place on the envelope as a "poll tax" because there are ballot drop boxes all over the place. The rest of the country might like to follow suit.

      1. IncenseDebate

        Technically all it takes is a bunch of confused olds in Palm Beach County, FL, and 5 votes on teh Supreme Court.

      2. zumpie

        Sorry, I'll now rub salt in the wound. It's also cheaper and (obviously) more efficient.

    1. SorosBot

      But that makes it too easy to vote! Here in Pennsylvania, you need extensive proof you can't make it to your local precinct in order to qualify for an absentee ballot. That especially prevents college students from voting in their home districts, while the new voter ID laws prevent many of them, particularly out of state students, from voting where they go to school. They're managing to effectively invalidate the 26th Amendment, along with the 24th.

      1. HistoriCat

        Suppressing votes is a proud tradition in this country – why do you hate America?

  22. JustPixelz

    It's a de facto poll tax. Which is unconstitutional.

    The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

    The states could avoid this by indemnifying citizens for any costs associated with getting a voter ID. But that would cost money that millionaires need to re-decorate the stables for their dressage horses. ("Next on HGTV…")

    It's also unseemly that these laws are all taking effect with the upcoming election. Tinkering with election rules like this should be deferred until after an intervening election lest people think the legislators are acting out of self-interest. Oh wait…

  23. prommie

    They should call it the William J. Brennan center, so people would know immediately that they are talking about the greatest New Jerseyan ever! Now I remember why I went to law school, him!

  24. OneYieldRegular

    I'm shocked and awed that of the 10 states that have passed these pre-election laws, all are in Republican hands, and nearly all of them have an absolutely stellar record of trying to deny the vote to minority groups.

  25. DustBowlBlues

    Barb isn't first commenter. Has my teasing caused her to restrain her itchy finger? I hope not. Come back, Barb. I wouldn't have teased if your funny comments didn't trump whatever I was about to type.

  26. weejee

    They keep this up and the Rethugs may find they ae pushing the oldes and poors to employ the 2nd Amendment to enforce their right to vote.

  27. MissTaken

    How quaint! A marriage certificate if your maiden name is listed on your birth certificate. Very helpful for women who got divorced but kept the husband's name for the sake of having the same name as her children. I bet that will disqualify that stupid whore, right Jim Crow? Yay!

    1. Fare la Volpe

      But Jemima Crow is a job creator — methinks a syrupy Benjamin will grease the wheels of justice.

  28. SorosBot

    Here is some good news on this front:

    A second judge has declared Wisconsin's voter ID law unconstitutional, further guaranteeing that the ID requirement will not be in place for elections this fall.

    Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan wrote Tuesday that the state's requirement that all voters show photo ID at the polls creates a "substantial impairment of the right to vote" guaranteed by the state constitution.

      1. SorosBot

        No idea, sadly. The Justice Department should prevent these going through in the old Jim Crow states that require its approval for changes in voting law; but sadly in northern states like PA getting rid of voter suppression laws requires court intervention. And this is based on the WI Constitution; I don't know if PA has a similar provision to protect the right to vote.

  29. Maman

    Ironically, I just saw a piece on tv about a Florida woman who was declared dead by the state….. TWICE. But no worries. This isn't about voter supression.

  30. James Michael Curley

    Eric, I laid out here last week. Around August 1st you go full tilt boogie TRO in every state which has passed a 'Voter ID" law citing the 24th Amendment. Lower Court justices in the Federal Judicial Monolith will be hard pressed to rule against granting a TRO petitioned on the Constitution's Guarentee of an Enumerated Right. They will be forced to grant a hearing and with a little legalese the briefing schedule for the hearing will take you well into the First Week in October, in other words right when the Dancing Bears open their Home Series in DC. Oct. 1 to Nov. 1 is almost an impossibly short time period to get even a US Supreme Court briefing schedule together.

    End result – Federal Court Orders restraining enforcement of the Voter ID laws on election day.

  31. ttommyunger

    "Hans von Spakovsky", try to say that three times fast in a row with a Koch in your mouth.

  32. HamsterSandwich

    I'm an election officer here in Delaware. At our local polling place we have 8 to 10 officers on election and primary voting days; pretty much 50/50 Democrats and Republicans. When a citizen comes in to vote, they go to the desk that has the registered voter list and they announce their name. We find their name and ask them for ID, almost any kind of ID will do. If they don’t have any ID, we ask them their full address and phone number. If they can recite that accurately, we ask them how they got to the polling place. If they drove, we ask them to get their vehicle registration or insurance card. If somebody brought them, we ask for validation from that person. If they don’t have any form of ID at all, we ask a few questions about their neighborhood. The 8 or 10 of us can make a thoughtful and rational decision about their ID. I’ve been a voting official during five elections and primaries, and we have never denied a person the right to vote. We want people to vote; every eligible, registered voter.

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