MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 
Monday, July 14, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 74.0° F  Fair
Collapse Photo Bar

Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Comments on the paper, the website, the mobile site and all other Isthmus-generated products go here.

Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby ilikebeans » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:03 am

Since Mr. Blaska has elected to unsubscribe* from a thread where he wrote some unsourced claims that I subsequently challenged, I figure perhaps this will get his attention. This one is the most egregious:

David Blaska wrote:The real-life experience is that voter participation after enactment of voter I.D. has increased.

As I posted, a study I found by Brown University shows exactly the opposite.

Mr. Blaska, where is the proof that your claim has any basis in reality?

Others may feel free to add additional questions that have gone ignored over the years.

*Funny, I've never used the forum's subscribe feature, and have no problem at all keeping track of its activity.
ilikebeans
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2789
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:23 am

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby David Blaska » Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:58 am

A study by the University of Missouri on turnout in Indiana showed that turnout actually increased by about 2 percentage points overall in Indiana in 2006 in the first election after the voter ID law went into effect. http://www.beaufortobserver.net/publicationreturnframe.lasso?-token.address=http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/07/Voter-Photo-Identification-Protecting-the-Security-of-Elections

An in-depth survey by former Federal Elections Commission member Hans Van Spakovsky reports that "record turnout in Georgia in the 2008 presidential primary election—over 2 million voters, more than twice as much as in 2004 when the voter photo ID law was not in effect (the law was first applied to local elections in 2007). The number of African–Americans voting in the 2008 primary also doubled from 2004." http://www.beaufortobserver.net/publicationreturnframe.lasso?-token.address=http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/07/Voter-Photo-Identification-Protecting-the-Security-of-Elections

This study from Columbia University says that tho the authors' sympathies are against voter I.D., they could find no evidence that it reduced participation. http://www.columbia.edu/~rse14/erikson-minnite.pdf

Furthermore, the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld Indiana's Voter I.D. (Crawford v. Marion County) ruled, according to its syllabus:
because it encourages citizen participation in the democratic process. ... the “electoral system cannot inspire public confidence if no safeguards exist to deter or detect fraud or to confirm the identity of voters.”


In 2010, a Rasmussen poll of likely voters in the United States showed overwhelming support (82 percent) for requiring photo ID in order to vote in elections. 30 states have some form of Voter I.D., 18 require a photo.

The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that does not uniformly require voters to present Voter ID when they vote. (Mexico also requires a thumb print.)

I will grant you one point, Mr. Beans: Voter I.D. does reduce turnout among fraudulent voters.
David Blaska
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 917
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Stately Blaska Manor

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby rabble » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:05 pm

So, when's your next unsubscription?
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5970
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:10 pm

Record turnout among African American voters in 2008? You don't say.
fisticuffs
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7779
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Slightly outside of Madison

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby David Blaska » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:58 pm

fisticuffs wrote:Record turnout among African American voters in 2008? You don't say.

But I do! I do! The point being that Voter I.D. does not discourage voting -- except among ineligible voters.

Bye.
David Blaska
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 917
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Stately Blaska Manor

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:01 pm

The point being that Voter I.D. does not discourage voting -- except among ineligible voters.


False.

Bye.
fisticuffs
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7779
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 2:49 pm
Location: Slightly outside of Madison

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:12 pm

The original question was too easily answered with muddy data. Shouldn't have been the big question.

How about:

In states that have implemented Voter ID laws, have instances of voter fraud gone down? In other words, if the conservatives think this is a problem that needs to be fixed, has Voter ID fixed it? What are the numbers on voter fraud between pre- and post-Voter ID enactment?
TheBookPolice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8352
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: The mystical Far East

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby rrnate » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:33 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:The original question was too easily answered with muddy data. Shouldn't have been the big question.

How about:

In states that have implemented Voter ID laws, have instances of voter fraud gone down? In other words, if the conservatives think this is a problem that needs to be fixed, has Voter ID fixed it? What are the numbers on voter fraud between pre- and post-Voter ID enactment?


Wait, you mean to say you're more curious to hear if this expansion of government is actually worth it's cost?
rrnate
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3656
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 6:33 pm
Location: Madison's Corporate Underbelly

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:09 pm

Mr. B, you mentioned that the new voter ID law is needed because of a few instances of felons voting. How will the new law prevent that from happening?
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19530
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby ilikebeans » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:01 pm

Thanks for responding, David. Now let's take a look at what you cited to support your assertion that "the real-life experience is that voter participation after enactment of voter I.D. has increased".

David Blaska wrote:A study by the University of Missouri on turnout in Indiana showed that turnout actually increased by about 2 percentage points overall in Indiana in 2006 in the first election after the voter ID law went into effect.

Interesting (and telling) that the link looks like it heads to The Beaufort Observer, but actually takes you to the Heritage Foundation. Hadn't heard of the Observer before, but a cursory examination shows that's it's a right-wing mouthpiece publication, so no surprise that it should redirect me, I guess.

However, the actual study is real. So let's look into it-- specifically, who funded it:

[author] Milyo said he had received a grant, but hemmed and hawed and couldn’t seem to remember from whom it came.

As it turned out, Milyo's grant money for his study came from an organization created by Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, the former Bush/Cheney '04 national general counsel, and one of the Republican Party's top operatives behind pushing for such photo ID laws around the country. Hearne was, in fact, instrumental in creating the very Indiana law which Milyo's study claims to show, has caused no voter disenfranchisement in the state.

Turns out, reading more from that link, that Milyo has a habit of publishing "research" that's friendly to right-wing causes. Indeed, Milyo turns out to be a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, which was co-founded by, *surprise!* Charles Koch.

Ok, I think we can safely put that one aside.

David Blaska wrote:An in-depth survey by former Federal Elections Commission member Hans Van [sic] Spakovsky reports that "record turnout in Georgia in the 2008 presidential primary election—over 2 million voters, more than twice as much as in 2004 when the voter photo ID law was not in effect (the law was first applied to local elections in 2007). The number of African–Americans voting in the 2008 primary also doubled from 2004."

Another Beaufort/Heritage link. Nice. Guess this makes sense, though, since von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Also, according to the Washington Post:

Career Justice Department lawyers involved in a Georgia case said von Spakovsky pushed strongly for approval of a state program requiring voters to have photo identification. A team of staff lawyers that examined the case recommended 4 to 1 that the Georgia plan should be rejected because it would harm black voters; the recommendation was overruled by von Spakovsky and other senior officials in the Civil Rights Division.

In addition:

Von Spakovsky served as Republican Party chairman in Fulton County, Georgia and as a Republican appointee to the Fulton County Registration and Election Board, where he championed strict voter-identification laws. While in Georgia, von Spakovsky was a member of the politically conservative Federalist Society. He worked as a lawyer for George W. Bush's team during the 2000 Florida Presidential election recount.

Nope, no bias there. But let's look at the actual claim that the voter ID law had no depressive effect on minority voters in Georgia in 2008. As Sundeep Iyer writes:

Even if turnout increases at the same time as the adoption of a new voter ID law, there may be something other than the voter ID law – Mr. Levitt identified campaign mobilization, in particular – that caused the turnout increase. In other words, correlation does not imply causation.
...
By comparing Georgia’s turnout with turnout in other similar states that do not have voter ID requirements, it is possible to control for other factors that influence turnout.
...
In other words, the black turnout jump in North Carolina, a state without voter ID laws, was more than twice the size of the jump in Georgia, a state with stringent voter ID laws. When appropriately contextualized, Georgia’s voter ID law no longer looks quite so harmless.


David Blaska wrote:This study from Columbia University says that tho the authors' sympathies are against voter I.D., they could find no evidence that it reduced participation.

Technically true. In the abstract, they phrase it as follows:

Stimulated by the pressing policy debate, recent scientific research on the turnout question is largely inconclusive: different datasets, measurement rules and statistical models produce different and contradictory findings.
...
Our findings suggest that the data are not up to
the task of making a compelling statistical argument.

So yes, these two authors feel the data doesn't support vote suppression. They also feel the data doesn't discount it, either. Inconclusive; however, they most certainly do not suggest that voter turnout increased, which is your claim.

David Blaska wrote:Furthermore, the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld Indiana's Voter I.D. (Crawford v. Marion County)

True, the law survived a SCOTUS ruling. How does that prove that "voter participation after enactment of voter I.D. has increased"?

David Blaska wrote:30 states have some form of Voter I.D., 18 require a photo.

Not quite right. Only seven states have strict voter ID laws (Wisconsin now being one of them), where a photo is required. Seven additional states ask for photo ID, but allow you to vote if you "can meet certain other critieria", which varies by state. Sixteen additional states require some sort of ID, such as utility bill or bank statement, which included Wisconsin until recently.

However, this is all beside the point. We were trying to prove that voter turnout generally goes UP in a state after a photo ID law is passed, right?

David Blaska wrote:I will grant you one point, Mr. Beans: Voter I.D. does reduce turnout among fraudulent voters.

[citation needed]
ilikebeans
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2789
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:23 am

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby Brainraid » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:27 pm

Bravo Beans!
Brainraid
Senior Member
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 3:38 pm

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:52 pm

I also noticed that the author cited many sources in the piece. The problem is that many were other articles he had written about the same subject. Many of the sources in those articles went nowhere. What stellar research.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4730
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby Donald » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:42 pm

I look at the voter ID issue differently. Although I abhor the racism and ageism inherent in the Republican vote suppression efforts, the Republicans have handed progressives and the Democrats a huge organizing tool.

The more Republicans try to restrict the vote of minorities, the elderly and students through these sorts of measures, the easier it will be to motivate young voters, older voters and minorities to rise up and stick it right back up the Republicans' big fat asses. The one thing about the minority and student vote you could count on was that it was extremely difficult to motivate to get out in large numbers. Now there will have to be big organizing and public relations efforts built from the bottom up in these communities, and it will involve motivating people to vote against those who want to take away civil rights. Once you've built that bottom up organization, it will be relatively easy to turn it into a weapon against the Republican Party.

Since I assume these laws aren't going to go away until the Democrats win total control of the government, we had better be about the effort of aiding students, minorities and the elderly to effectively organize efforts to get people ID, registered to vote and to the polls. Nothing like serving revenge with a knife the Republicans' have given us.
Donald
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2287
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 4:53 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby David Blaska » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:20 am

ilikebeans wrote:Thanks for responding, David.
David Blaska wrote:This study from Columbia University says that tho the authors' sympathies are against voter I.D., they could find no evidence that it reduced participation.

Technically true. In the abstract, they phrase it as follows:

Stimulated by the pressing policy debate, recent scientific research on the turnout question is largely inconclusive: different datasets, measurement rules and statistical models produce different and contradictory findings.
...
Our findings suggest that the data are not up to
the task of making a compelling statistical argument.

So yes, these two authors feel the data doesn't support vote suppression. They also feel the data doesn't discount it, either. Inconclusive; however, they most certainly do not suggest that voter turnout increased, which is your claim.

David Blaska wrote:Furthermore, the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court case that upheld Indiana's Voter I.D. (Crawford v. Marion County)

True, the law survived a SCOTUS ruling. How does that prove that "voter participation after enactment of voter I.D. has increased"?


Mr. Beans, your side is the one alleging that Voter I.D. reduces voter participation but you have scant evidence for it. I get that you don't like Republicans so that everything they say just has to be wrong. But even the Columbia study says they can't prove it. The Supreme Court has upheld Voter I.D. And it is the law in Wisconsin.
David Blaska
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 917
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Stately Blaska Manor

Re: Unanswered questions posed to David Blaska

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:47 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Mr. B, you mentioned that the new voter ID law is needed because of a few instances of felons voting. How will the new law prevent that from happening?

Bump.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19530
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Next

Return to Comments on Isthmus & isthmus.com

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


FacebookcommentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar