voter registration

I wonder if this has contributed to the mess that California is in. And I still think the process should be changed as this lax system makes it much easier for voter fraud.


I personally would like to see ID's required, but realize that in California any attempt to change the current law would be met with even greater resistance than in other states that have attempted the change. I believe Pennsylvania just changed its rules to require ID, with cries of disenfranchising the poor all around.


The Libertarian Party will go off the ballot in California if we don't increase our registration from about 92,000 to probably 110,000. Getting another 20,000 registered Libertarians is going to be expensive. Putting new barriers to voter registration would be very harmful to the legal existence of the California Libertarian Party.

Beau Cain, the California LP employee, is in Sacramento right now working against a bill to make it illegal to pay registration drive workers on a per-registration card basis. We are fighting for our survival. The legislature passed the same bill last year but Gov. Brown vetoed it. All the Republicans in the legislature are on our side in this matter, unanimously, but Republicans don't have enough votes to block an ordinary bill.

Richard Winger


PO Box 470296, San Francisco Ca 94147

Agreed. That is why I said "personally" I would like to see ID's. Yes, we do need to increase the number of registered Libertarians, and any barrier to registration would indeed harm that process.

I am wondering how others on this list feel. Maybe with more ideas (as I said, personally, I cannot thing of many in favor of no ID), we could have an article on the LPSF website, Facebook, etc. regarding our need to increase our numbers to stay on the ballot as an alternative to the status quo.


Clearly, he Republicans are imposing the new identification requirements in PA in an effort to steal the Nov election. They are making similar attempts in several other "battle-ground" states where they happen to control the state government at this time. Nobody is impersonating enough voters to swing an election, but millions of eligible voters lack the photo IDs the new laws require.

In California, although you can register without a DMV ID or Social Security number, you will then have to show ID the first time you vote.

Now, surprisingly, some Democrats appear to be supporting laws which block our Libertarian registration drive. Also, I have wondered why the Democrats do not make a bigger issue of the Republican schemes. Perhaps the two are connected; both these parties have become more concerned with who votes, rather that what value they can offer their constituents.

Harland Harrison

I think Harland is right as far as the Republicans focusing on voter ID now as a way to try to suppress turnout. There is little evidence that many people are fraudulently casting multiple votes, but to the extent this is a problem, there are ways to address that problem that do not pose such a threat to civil liberties. One approach that has been used in many countries is for people to have their fingertips dipped in ink when they vote. Allowing people to vote this way in person without any ID, while requiring people wishing to vote absentee to provide evidence that they are who they say they are, would be a much better approach, since absentee voting offers much greater opportunities for voter fraud than in-person voting -- not least of which is the issue of what happens to the votes *after* they are mailed in, during the extended period of time in which they are in the hands of government officials before being counted.

  All of this also begs the question of why people who are allegedly concerned with the integrity of the vote do not pay more attention to combatting the spread of electronic voting, since it has been amply proven that many electronic voting machines are subject to error and hacking, and there is insufficient accountability when votes are tabulated by means that are not transparent or readily understandable to the public.

  And of course Richard is right that we face a practical threat to the Libertarian Party in California and other states right now of making sure that we have enough voters registered with the LP to keep our party on the ballot in the face of discriminatory ballot access laws, a struggle that will only be made more difficult to the extent that governments create more hurdles that people must jump through in order to be allowed to register to vote or exercise their vote (the latter obviously tending to reduce the incentives to register).

  However I believe there are deeper and more fundamental libertarian concerns with government requiring people who have not committed any crime to identify themselves, especially by requiring them to use government-controlled ID or documents such as driver's licenses, Social Security numbers, birth certificates, etc. Libertarians have long been strongly opposed to the creation of a national ID card in the United States, and for good reasons. What's less appreciated, however, is that these other forms of ID amount to essentially the same thing, because they can all be registered, monitored, and tracked via databases at the federal level. It is an unjustified invasion of privacy that is not really necessary to prevent people from fraudulently voting on Election Day -- unless the real goal is to disenfranchise people who are denied access to identification.

  Which brings me to what I believe is the other main subtext/motivation behind this push for voter identification besides Republicans seeking partisan advantage -- namely, nationalist bigotry against persons from other countries. The whole concept of citizenship as currently practiced is at odds with the American principle of "no taxation without representation", because non-citizens working and living in the United States have to all sorts of taxes just as other people in this country are forced to, yet are legally denied the right to vote on tax policy and those who make it.

  The bottom line is that nationalism is a form of pernicious, anti-individualist collectivism, just like racism, sexism, and homophobia. Governments have no right to discriminate against people on the basis of nationality any more than they have the right to discriminate against people on the basis of ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Letting governments control people and their ability to exercise important civil rights like voting by means of ID cards only enables further nationalist rights-violations while increasing the power, scope, and expense of the State.

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))