Voter registration graphWorth repeating: Long-term studies of in-person voter fraud get numbers like “38 out of several hundred million” or “31 in a billion.”

When you find posts claiming ID laws are important, they’ll be confused about how voting works in general. For instance, they’ll talk about the (higher) rate of fraud among absentee ballots! You know, the ballots from people who didn’t come to the polls, and can’t get their IDs checked in the first place.

Bonus info for readers in, uh, more-modern countries:

The US system dates back to way before “automatic voter registration + everybody gets a card” was an easy technical thing to pull off.

So we have other restrictions in place to compensate. You have to manually register yourself, and that’s when you prove your identity. Every official polling place has a list of registered voters in their area. You can only vote at one designated polling place. They’ll check for your name and address on the list, and if you’re not there, you don’t get past the registration table.

Voter ID laws could make sense if we got rid of the other restrictions — made everyone auto-registered, let any person vote at any polling place!

But it’s rarely the same people pushing for all those changes together.

Instead, the voter ID laws are pushed as a standalone change, by people who want a convenient excuse to suppress…certain voters.

You’re a woman who recently got married and changed your name, but haven’t gotten an updated ID? Names don’t match, you can’t vote. Trans person who recently changed your name and your looks? Screwed on both counts, you can’t vote. Young person without a stable job, your ID shows the address you had 3 apartments ago? Address doesn’t match, you can’t vote. Have a name with non-English accents or characters that weren’t supported by the computer which printed your license? Or maybe you’re a Hispanic person with multiple last names that didn’t all fit on the license? Name doesn’t match, you can’t vote.

You get the picture.

(And, like. Most poll workers are going to be decent honest people who use their common sense. They can always say “don’t worry, I know this is you, here’s your ballot and congratulations about the wedding.” But there are also bad-faith actors, and we can’t afford to give them a legal excuse.)


Cybele: hum te tum dum dummm


Sparrow: !!


Sparrow: . . . getting it renewed, including the bus rides, took the entire day! Have you ever been in a DMV? Ever in your life?

Bennett: Hey! I have learned everything about them from several highly informative sitcoms!

Sparrow: When in-person voter fraud happens almost never — it’s literally a one-in-a-million thing —

Bennett: And if someone shows up at the polls claiming to be Lord Voldemort, you’d just let him vote —

Sparrow: Of course not! Lord Voldemort is not an American citizen!

Bennett: Your friend here is so nice and polite — why don’t you take a page out of her book?

Bianca: Hey now, I may be the Nice One, but I agree with her on all of this. Also, wouldn’t you want Voldemort to vote? I mean, since he’d be a Republican.