I was denied the right to vote for lack of a photo ID!

direct mail

My colleague Lora Prill at ADCO brought me some of the primary-related mail she’s received at home. This is about a third of it, she says.

As you know, I’ve been pretty dismissive over the years of the respective positions of both Democrats and Republicans regarding voter ID. (Basically, I think Republicans came up with it to address a virtually nonexistent problem, and Democrats exaggerate the degree to which it amounts to an insurmountable obstacle.)

So my Democratic friends should really enjoy the irony of this:

Today, I was denied the right to vote for lack of a photo ID!

But I’m not going to picket the State House or anything, on account of it being, you know, my fault

Basically, I showed up without my wallet, something I realized when I walked into the polling place, approached the check-in table, and reached into my jacket for it. I announced my problem, was told, “You’d better go home and get it.”

Which I did. But I did it on the way downtown, and didn’t go to the polling place again, as I no longer had time. (Get this: I searched all over, and finally found it in a pocket of a pair of pants I was wearing on Sunday. Which means I drove around all day yesterday without a wallet. Sheesh.)

But I’ll go back this evening. Which makes me a little nervous. I usually vote first thing, so that I don’t have to worry about something coming up to prevent me from making it by 7 p.m.

Also, I don’t get to walk around all day with one of those “I voted” sticker, which, square that I am, always makes me feel a little bit proud of myself.

So, that’s me. How about you? Did you vote yet? How was it? Were there lines? Were there technical glitches? Share…

20 thoughts on “I was denied the right to vote for lack of a photo ID!

  1. Karen Pearson

    I suspect that if you were headed home, and discovered that you’d left it (maybe in your desk at work?) , you’d find it fairly difficult to go back and get it. To me this requirement is overkill.

    1. Doug Ross

      Neither the amount of voter suppression nor the amount of voter fraud is significant. However since pretty much every other activity where you state your name requires an id of some type, let’s just stick to what is reasonable. The issue with not having an id becomes less and less of an issue every single year. Help those who need ids to get them. If they get any government service, I assume they need an id. That’s a reasonable tradeoff to have the right to vote.

        1. Barry

          Now it can be targeted to people without proper ID- which should be very, very few these days.

  2. Pat

    I voted absentee. It was a very easy thing to do. I hope those out of town made the effort to vote absentee. I very much dislike elections, primaries, and run-offs being held during the summer months.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I dislike having them in JUNE, but that’s not about it being (almost) summer. The problem with that is that it’s almost simultaneous with the end of the legislative session, and that’s bad in several ways.

      First, it inhibits accountability. It means we have six weeks or so of legislative session AFTER the filing deadlines for the primaries. That means that if your representative does something you really don’t like in those last few weeks (the weeks in which most of the crucial legislative decisions are made), no one can step up to run against him.

      Second, it substantially reduces news coverage of the election, because the news people who cover it are, in the last weeks of the campaign, engaged with their busiest time of the year — covering those last weeks of the legislative session.

      Maybe you think you saw enough coverage of these primaries. I, as a voter, don’t think I got enough.

      It would be far, FAR better to do what Tennessee does, and hold the primaries in August. That way there’s time to digest what lawmakers did in session before the deadline, and you’re also in the slowest time of the year for news.

      1. Pat

        I should have said vacation months instead of summer months. August would be fine AFTER school starts back. Your point about having time to digest the legislative session and allow someone else to run makes sense. And I haven’t seen a lot of coverage of this primary, though I have kept up. However, politicians use low voter turnout during the vacation months as a tactic. I would rather see a clean, straight up vote, but Late August would be fine for the primary.

    1. JesseS

      That’s one I never actually thought about. With land requirement who checked to see if you had those 50 acres or already paid your poll tax after 6 months of residence? I honestly feel bad for not knowing this.

  3. Chris Burnette

    At 7:45 AM at Emmanuel Church precinct in Lexington Counry we had 24 Republican voters and two Democratic. Looks like 10% of the electorate showed up at the polls from the reports I am reading.

  4. Karen Pearson

    If as few people voted in my area as in yours that, arguably, makes my vote worth more.

  5. Jeff Mobley

    I voted in the late morning, and I saw zero other people voting in my precinct. However, I did happen to see Chip Jackson, candidate for County Council, who pulled up to Spring Valley High about the time I did. I got to ask him a couple questions before I went in to vote, which was nice.

  6. Scout

    I voted around 3 in the afternoon at the Lutheran Church on 378, Saluda River Precinct. I voted in the Republican Primary and signed as number 128 or so. I noticed that the democratic list was on #9. No lines. Nobody but me voting when I was there, but I passed two more coming in as I went out. One of the poll workers was an old guy who had fallen asleep. My husband went around 6 and signed 166. I’d say it was pretty slow.

  7. Assistant

    Quite a few folks believe that voter fraud is not a problem, and I suppose for most Democrats it’s not because they seem to benefit from it. What’s funny is that when cases of voter fraud are prosecuted, Democrats criticize the process for wasting scarce government resources. As John Fund puts it, “So voter fraud is almost nonexistent. Except when it isn’t, which is when it becomes insignificant. Or its pursuit is ‘hateful.’”

    Some 308,000 Virginia voters are also registered elsewhere, according to an analysis of 22 states’ election records. The finding follows reports of 44,000 people who appear to be registered in both Virginia and Maryland. The latest survey found the 308,000 double registrations by matching names, birth dates and the last four digits of Social Security numbers.

    A 2012 study by the Pew Center on the States called voter-registration policies across the country “significantly outdated and plagued with errors.” “There is no standard procedure to handle voter fraud referrals, so it becomes a low-priority item,” according to Virginia Voters Alliance president Reagan George. His group worked with Election Integrity Maryland to find 164 individuals who voted in both states in 2012. Small numbers, but these are small, poorly funded groups of volunteers who don’t get a lot of support from the state and local agencies in detecting fraud.

    So registrations are problematic, but what about the actual voting?

    Kim Strach, director of North Carolina’s Board of Elections, searched a database that comprises about half the registered voters in the U.S. and found 35,750 voters in her state whose first and last names and full date of birth match with someone in another state who also voted in the 2012 election. A smaller number (765) had exact matches on Social Security numbers, but that total is artificially low because only some states provide that number for any or all of their voters. Remember: In 2008, Barack Obama carried North Carolina by only 14,177 votes out of 2.3 million cast.

    In 2014 police in Pontiac, Mich., found the mummified body of Pia Farrenkopf in the garage of her foreclosed home. She had apparently been dead since 2008, but was listed as having voted in the 2010 election for governor. A miracle, no?

    But that’s just one instance. In his 12/31/2013 National Review article, John Fund wrote about how easily NYC Department of Investigations agents were able to vote using fraudulent credentials.

    Its undercover agents were able to obtain ballots for city elections a total of 61 times — 39 times using the names of dead people, 14 times using the names of incarcerated felons, and eight times using the names of non-residents. On only two occasions, or about 3 percent of the time, were the agents stopped by polling-place officials. In one of the two cases, an investigator was stopped only because the felon he was trying to vote in the name of was the son of the election official he was dealing with.
    Ballot security in checking birth dates or signatures was so sloppy that young undercover agents were able to vote using the name of someone three times their age who had died. As the New York Post reports: “A 24-year female was able to access the ballot at a Manhattan poll site in November under the name of a deceased female who was born in 1923 and died in April 25, 2012 — and would have been 89 on Election Day.” All of the agents who got ballots wrote in the names of fictitious candidates so as not to actually influence election outcomes.

    There’s oodles more. John Fund writes about voter fraud often because there’s a lot out there.

    1. Bart


      Apparently you haven’t been watching enough television about zombies. They are all around us and even though they are the walking dead, it is a safe bet if they went to register to vote or showed up at the polling place, they would be given a ballot and allowed to vote. Maybe Pia Farrenkopf is a zombie and simply wanted to exercise her right to vote.

      Actually we have elected several zombies to the state senate and house and other high ranking offices over the years. I guess we forget not all zombies look alike and we cannot discriminate or embarass a zombie by asking for proof of life, it could lead to legal action, maybe a zombie class action lawsuit.

      After all, based on what I have observed to date, we have zombies running for POTUS except one hides it better than the other one.


      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I think everybody who always votes for one party or the other is a walker, it’s safe to bet. They certainly aren’t employing any higher brain functions…

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        And people who don’t watch enough shows about zombies are just asking for trouble. How will they know how to fight them when the apocalypse comes?

    2. bud

      Mike you used up oodles of words to pretty much say there is little evidence of widespread voter fraud. Fact is North Carolina is actively suppressing 10s of thousands of voters by curtailing voting days, requiring picture ids and an assortment of other tactics aimed at minorities and young voters. It worked well to deny the Democrats a safe senate seat in 2014. Will it succeed in giving NC electoral votes to Trump? Time will tell.

  8. Harry Harris

    I went in under-informed about which offices had choices, looked at the screen and saw only offices that should be hired by merit, not elected, such as law enforcement and clerk of court. Left all 3 choices blank.

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