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Malloy: Tighter Voter Registration Laws are 'Un-American'

The governor's message at the Darien League of Women Voters luncheon on Tuesday was "in line with the general mission of the League of Women Voters," according to Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.

 

With the election between President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney so close in various parts of the U.S., Gov. Dannel Malloy said during a Darien League of Women Voters luncheon at Country Club of Darien Tuesday afternoon that new, tighter voter registration laws in some of those states may "tear [America's] political fabric asunder."

Malloy is referring to states, including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas, which, since 2008, have implemented laws restricting the forms of identification that residents could present as proof that they're eligible to vote. While supporters of the laws said they were passed mainly to prevent voter fraud, Gov. Malloy and other Democrats believe the laws were passed to prevent certain groups, such as minorities, from voting in the upcoming election.

"What's happened in America is that on too many issues... we make really stupid short-term decisions for political purposes that have long-term implications that are very, very destructive," Malloy said.

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The governor pointed out that the laws could be detrimental to urban communities where most residents use public transportation on a daily basis, thus making it unnecessary to obtain driver's licenses. He also questioned how college students in Texas aren't permitted to use state-issued IDs to register on their campuses, but residents are allowed to use their gun permits to register.

"Most of the 19 states and the two states that did it by executive order ...are safe one way or the other," Malloy said. "But there are a handful of states that will decide which [presidential] candidate wins—where this could very well have dramatic implications. Now, when you look at the 19 states plus the two states, you come to the conclusion that this is not about voter fraud, this is about voter denial."

Malloy stated that there is “almost no evidence of systemic voter fraud based on the identification of someone voting” and “less than four-tenths of one percent of voter fraud has been documented in any state over a long period of time.” He also provided statistics showing that between the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, the number of African-American, Latino, and Asian-American voters as well as voters between the age of 18 and 24 increased and he praised groups, such as the League of Women Voters, for encouraging higher voter turnout.

"We actually did in that election—for numerous reasons and some of those political reasons—what this league in town after town and county after county and state after state has been advocating for the entirety of the existence of the League of Women Voters and that is that more people would find a way to participate," Malloy said.

Malloy also praised Connecticut for focusing on expanding voter registration laws and doing so on a bipartisan basis.

"We are flying exactly in the opposite direction of what any other state has done over the last year and we are going to do everything in our power in the coming years to make sure it's easier to vote," he said "[Our efforts] were made a little slower perhaps by some, and some of the changes will not go into effect because we didn't get a super majority, but we did get majorities with participation from Democrats and Republicans to do what we all have the fundamental right to do: and that's to vote."

Malloy posed a challenge to the League of Women Voters to crunch the numbers once the election results are in and compare how the new laws have affected voter turnout.

"I don't want to see my democracy, my country torn apart," he said. "This has got to be important to somebody. And that job is your job. Do the hard, good work of proving that this idea is un-American."

Angie S. September 24, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Stephanie appears to be another one of those misguided affluent Democrats. You do not need to take a drivers exam to get a valid photo ID. My sister, to this day, still has no driver's license, but she has a valid photo ID issued by the DMV. You can show up at the DMV and simply get a regular photo ID even if you do not drive. And, unlike most New Canaan residents, I grew up in a poor family in the outerboroughs of NYC. No one in my family ever had any problems getting valid photo ID. Your view that poor people can't get IDs is based on false assumptions. There's a difference between not being able to and not being willing to. If you're too lazy to bother to go get a valid photo ID, then perhaps you're too lazy to go vote. I'm so sick of this kind of coddling mentality of the left-leaning mind. Honestly, I don't know how anyone can get anything done without a valid photo ID. You need a photo ID for so many things. I'd bet those very same down and out people would need an ID if they are applying for any benefits from any of the entitlement or social welfare programs. My own parents don't speak much English, and my grandparents certainly didn't speak an ounce of English; and they all managed to get photo IDs. It really is not that hard. Give people some credit. And if someone is really so inept as to be unable to obtain an ID, then perhaps that person shouldn't be voting.
Stephanie September 24, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I'm not misguided. I'm happy that your family never struggled to get photo IDs, but I'm still thinking of a lot of others that do. I don't believe that it is fair to assume that it's easy for everyone when we don't know each person's situation. I picture a single mother living in an apartment struggling to provide for her three kids. She may be working one or two jobs, and asking her to take a day off work to wait in line at the DMV is just something that she can't afford to do. I also think of an 18 year old African American living in the ghetto in an abusive household, who may not have a way of getting to the DMV. There are many different scenarios so we can't assume that it's easy for everyone. My point is, voter ID laws aren't even necessary since voter fraud was fake issue made up by the Republican party as a way to disenfranchise voters. A side note: as an 18 year old, I voted for the first time last November in our local election and there was a sign that said "photo ID required". I forgot my photo ID and was ready to turn away, but luckily I was with my mom who reminded me that Connecticut does not require photo IDs (http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/voter-id.aspx), so I filled out a form and got to vote. But a fellow voter told my Mom and I that his wife stayed in the car because she forgot her photo ID, so I'm sure others didn't vote either. There better not be a "photo ID required sign" at the polls in New Canaan this November.
Kendall L Owott September 24, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Stephanie, maybe Mike Turzai thinks voter ID will give the Republicans an advantage because most of the voter fraud is perpetrated by Democrats. To say that someone will struggle to get an ID because they are a minority is racist and I don’t think you mean it so but there are some who would read it that way. Nowhere in your video did Mike Turzai say anything about making it harder for minorities and low-income workers to get ID. The evidence you introduce doesn’t support only your conclusion. For example, I know people who were raised in an urban environment who had low-paid jobs and had no problem getting ID’s. Urban environments have public transportation. There are many high-income people who live in cities and don’t own cars because they don’t need one. Just because someone now lives in New Canaan doesn’t mean they didn’t live elsewhere and it doesn’t mean they forgot how other people live, or how they, themselves, lived. That is not to say that there are some people whose mindset is entirely focused on New Canaan, with occasional visits to NYC for cultural and food experiences.
Kendall L Owott September 24, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Stephanie, You group senior citizens, the disabled and the very poor and say they lean to the left. If you put a gun to my head and make me choose where the very poor lean, I would conjecture to the left. As for senior citizens and the disabled, I have no idea and you have not presented any supporting evidence. The figure of 14 miles is a statewide average maximum, the outer edge of a circle surrounding an ID source location. In Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, both with public transportation systems, the average maximum distance from an ID center is 3 miles. Both cities allow senior citizens to ride free and offer reduced fares for disabled persons. The question of preventing imposters from voting while not depriving genuine citizens has been around for a long time. The 2005 study is very comprehensive and not invalid because it was done 7 years ago. Please explain your logic when you say that a study that calls for a simple voting process demonstrates that voter ID’s are not necessary, especially when the Carnegie-Knight study actually recommends a voter ID process. Preventing imposters from voting is pro-American. Preventing legitimate voters from voting is un-American. No system can achieve 100% of either objective but it can be reasonably fair.
Kendall L Owott October 03, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Stephanie, now that PA Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson has delayed implementation of the PA voter ID law until after the Presidential election, no legitimate PA voter will be disenfranchised this November. Because the politicians ignored the recommendations of the Carnegie-Knight report of 2005 until the last moment, logistics problems were occurring. There were long lines and people waiting 8 hours to get voter ID’s. All laws are like antibiotics. If you want a 100% kill of bad bacteria, you will kill some good bacteria. If you want 100% protection of good bacteria, you won’t kill 100% of the bad bacteria. There is NO law which won’t have undesirable side effects. The fair thing is to minimize the bad effects. There is now time for PA to get it right. Why not assign state or hire private enterprise people ensure no person who needs an ID goes without? If a state makes a good faith effort to dig out the legitimate voters, then there should be little argument about disenfranchisement. Heavy fines and imprisonment for imposters would help, too. There is nothing wrong with the concept of this law, but fair and honest implementation is an absolute necessity.

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