Discussion: John Oliver Returns With Real Talk On Voter ID Laws (VIDEO)

Discussion for article #246026

I’m so glad he is back from hiatus!


Brilliant - and, of course, John Oliver is right on the money. Voter ID laws are a solution looking for a problem (and Republicans, with the endorsement of the Supreme Court, hope this will be a way to further influence the outcome of elections)


It’s obvious these laws are only meant to harm people who may vote for Democrats. But they also are great examples of general problems in todays GOP:

  1. the belief that everyone thinks like they do. After all, everyone they know thinks like them, therefore everyone does.
  2. they know they would cheat if given a chance, therefore, since everyone thinks like them, everyone would cheat if given a chance.

It is not possible for them to see the world through another person’s eyes. That’s why so many times when something tragic happens to one of them they suddenly support something they spent years fighting because it is not possible for them to understand that what just happened to them happens to many other people every day.


… one of the reasons for strict voter identification laws cited by
conservative lawmakers in South Carolina was a need to stop dead people
from voting in elections.

Because requirement to show ID is much more effective in preventing dead people from voting than they fact that they’re, you know, dead.


When the NC senate leader was asked why we need voter ID laws considering the lack of evidence of voter fraud, his answer was that the lack of evidence proved how successful the fraud was.

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This man is so on point on all subjects! Thanks for saying what I’ve been feeling when I hear this the “so called” news.

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After watching this I wonder if the reason Cruz and Rubio don’t mind being absent is because someone else is casting a vote or two for them?

Everyone knows what Oliver is saying.

It’s just that this is not on the MSM network news as a real item hammered home on a consistent basis. For example the same consistency as CNN had with the lost airliner at sea.

The MSM still creates social reality for most of us.

Post Script:

I will never forget the quote that Mathew Broderick opined in the semi-autobiographical Neil Simon film Biloxi Blues. He stated that people tended to believe something written down, because the logic that, if it were not that important/valid, no one would have taken the trouble to write it. The broadcast media has the same authority. And more so…who, after all, would take the trouble to hire all of these “knowledgeable and authoritative sounding” people to disseminate information FROM A CENTRAL SOURCE if it were nor true? In our (American) case, there is a strong tradition and reverence for the free exchange of information–I KNOW…I saw that on the Andy Griffith Show when I was a kid.


Yes, you are right. And all of the MSM shares the blame. Just this morning, Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC set up a false equivalency about the Supreme Court vacancy - asking her guests why President Obama started politicizing this in a manner so antagonistic to Congress. What?? Mitch McConnell announced the Senate’s intention to obstruct immediately after Justice Scalia’s death. Not one of the guests provided that clarification.

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I loathe Andrea Mitchell. In my opinion she is far FAR more dangerous to this Republic than the clownish Bill O’Reilly. One of the posters on another thread spoke of online people putting forth concepts. I assume he/she meant not only bloggers but also posters like both of us.

If our posting has alerted ONE more person to the damage the for-profit MSM does on a daily basis, I will have been satisfied.

Post Script.

If I am not mistaken, I believe it was YOU who floated the idea of focusing on vulnerable GOP Senators up for reelection in blue or purple states…the idea of pounding them with ads (if necessary) if they dragged their feet with any Obama SCOTUS nominee. It made sense to me then.

It makes sense now.

perspective from someone who has worked several elections (but none prior to when Voter ID was approved by bamboozled voters in my state):

  • It creates a TON of extra work in busy elections. The county does not staff us properly. So lines form and people bitch about the wait. They have made an improvement in the process of checking IDs by computerizing it, but when they tried it in 2014 it was far from perfect. I sure hope they have worked out all the kinks by this August when the primary election is held. Most primaries are sleepy affairs for poll workers but presidential election years are usually busy in both the primary and the general.

  • There are ALL SORTS of special cases that come up. I will never forget the elderly WW2 vet who showed up with his adult children, the latter clutching every bit of documentation they could come up with. It took two of us 10 minutes - FOREVER in a general election in a presidential election year - to go through it all and figure out a legal way to give him a ballot. He had no driver’s license since he lived in a nursing home. Therefore he also had no insurance bill, no utility bills, and so on. His military ID from WW2 was not sufficient since it had expired. Meanwhile the lines are growing and I’m not available to oversee the work being done by the other poll workers. Eventually we figured it out but it was very close. There are many other special cases. People get divorced and change their names or address, get their driver’s license updated but forget to update their voter registration. The Voter ID law requires an EXACT match between the offered ID and the voting record. EXACT means EXACT, it does NOT mean “pretty close”. Technically I could turn someone away for having an ID that says, “N. Butcher Drive” when their registration record says “N. Butcher Drive West”. I made the decision to not turn away voters on these exceedingly pedantic issues, but on all others I adhered strictly to the law.

  • In the wake of the 2012 general election, I read of MANY instances of poll workers enforcing very selectively the Voter ID law. You’re supposed to check ID for everyone, even for your own mother who lives in your house. These, of course, were anecdotal. But it’s the same exact shit that led to citizenship tests being ruled unconstitutional. I myself had to admonish my poll workers that we were NOT going to make exceptions when a voter was pretty close to having the right ID. I am not in any way confident that all polling places were run with the same faithfulness to the law.

  • If your ID is questionable, then you are sent to the provisional ballot table (which backed up horribly in the 2012 general election). We worked very hard to process everyone in a timely manner. But it’s a lot of paperwork to do a provisional ballot, and when you’re hurrying to get people through the line it’s easy to screw up. If the poll worker forgets to sign the “receipt” attached to the folder in which the voted ballot goes, the entire ballot is invalid. When a voter’s ID is questionable, the voter is allowed to vote provisional but they must go to a county office or satellite location within a certain number of days after the election to show their valid ID. That period is three business days for a state election and five business days for a federal election. How many people can take time off work a SECOND time to go there during business hours? How many will even bother when they have already heard the election results that evening in the news, especially when so many people don’t give a shit about most of the down-ticket races (that still fucking matter and in many cases affect them much more than the presidential election)?

  • The Voter ID bamboozlers NEVER SAY A WORD about the most obvious opportunity for gaming an election, early voting ballots. That’s because the suburban middle class professionals who tend to lean GOP or are at least receptive to their propaganda love early voting and would be pissed off if THAT was taken away or made inconvenient for them. In my state, some GOP legislators have made an issue of the practice of someone collecting early ballots and dropping them off en masse; they want to make it illegal to do so. This is because in 2014 the Democrats were much more effective than Republicans at getting out the vote by collecting early ballots (usually from people who either cannot afford to take time off to vote, or would get fired if they did so) from Democratic voters and having someone take them to the polling place on Election Day. Yet, we do get a great number of people who drop off the ballots for their household. If this law passes, it is going to make for a GREAT DEAL of additional work - not to mention pissed off voters - if we have to check IDs for everyone who simply wants to drop off an early ballot and get on with their day.

  • Finally, I would love to have the ability to track down and punch in the mouth with extreme prejudice every single glib, ignorant motherfucker who says, “how hard is it to check an ID?” or, “if you can’t be bothered to get a proper ID, you don’t deserve to vote!”, or “If the job is too hard, don’t do it!” Motherfucker, I am complaining because I don’t want YOU to have to wait an hour to vote, even if you are voting for every tea party POS on the ballot.


The idea ALSO is that Granny and Gramps have not moved in 40 years…that they have all the time in the world to waste on this bullshit.

I won’t take credit for that, but it’s a good strategy for 2016. Let the Republicans really worry about who might be appointed to the Supreme Court with a Democratic President and Senate.

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Thanks for your service to democracy!

I am so glad I live in Washington where we mail in ballots!!!

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thank you. It has been quite an education.

And, despite my very partisan rhetoric, I run my polling places with a fierce adherence to the law and the rules. At least once, almost every time, I have to admonish the poll workers to not discuss any of the races. Talking politics is allowed (though probably something that should not be done, or done with extreme caution); discussion of the various races is not. Voter ID laws are enforced uniformly, despite the temptation to make exceptions in order to not inconvenience voters who almost but not quite meet the requirements. I study up on the procedures for curbside voting (it’s really complicated) as well as the special equipment we have for special needs voters. We’ve never had to do it but I dread the day that one of these voters shows up and we’re not prepared and fumble our way through it.

I nominate this for most informative comment of the month, and, we’ll see, maybe of the year.

This should be required reading for any legislator considering one of these Voter ID bills, and any judge ruling on them.

Even if it means strapping them to a Barcalounger, propping their eyes open with toothpicks, and projecting it on an IMAX screen in front of them for a couple days.


It’s Ok if you’re a member of the Grumpy Old Party (But screw everyone else)