The Instigator
burningbusch
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Should Voter ID's be mandatory?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 535 times Debate No: 70681
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)

 

burningbusch

Pro

It should be mandatory to present valid photo ID whenever anyone goes to vote. If voting is what determines almost everything in our country, wouldn't you do anything and everything to ensure the sanctity of this institution?
ResponsiblyIrresponsible

Con

I accept.

PRO is advocating for a substantial shift in policy, and thus he bears the entirety of the BOP.

Rebuttals

" If voting is what determines almost everything in our country, wouldn't you do anything and everything to ensure the sanctity of this institution?"

This isn't a contention, but a mere rhetorical question for which people will have subjective opinions. The key problem with PRO's proposal are as follows:

(1) PRO needs to demonstrate some sort of need for voter ID laws--in fact, voter fraud is scarcer than shark attacks.

(2) He needs to show that this need outweighs obstructing democracy.

The problem is, we ought not be willing to do "everything to ensure the sanctity of the instituion" because it places us in a paradox: voter ID laws in fact UNDERMINE the institution itself--the very institution PRO intends to save--by obstructing democracy. Voter fraud is a non-issue, and insofar as there is any at all, it does not warrant destroying the democratic system. Rather, it is nothing more than a tool by politicians to prevent certain people--namely poor people who are likely to vote Democrat, which is why the GOP is pushing these laws in so many states--from voting and thus preserving their own power. It's disgusting, disingenuous, and a mere farce.
Debate Round No. 1
burningbusch

Pro

Thank you for accepting. First off, I'd like to apologize as this is my first time on this website and I'm not entirely privy to all the formal formatting and language used. I'll do my best to keep up with everything as fast as I can.

I take solace in the fact that we are both here with the same goal: that the democratic process of voting should be preserved and kept genuine. I understand the argument that voting fraud hasn't been a documented issue. However, my argument is this; Should we wait until it becomes an issue? Once again, I believe that voting is so intrinsic to the genuine success of our country that it's something we should be willing to make defenses for before it even happens. It's the same reason you build a wall around a compound, because even though the attack hasn't come yet, we value what is inside so much that we build the wall to ensure the protection of its contents.

As to the GOP pushing it to exclude poor people who tend to vote Democrat, I understand the concern. However, with something this important, I believe that people should be willing to do the very little it takes to obtain an ID. I've heard claims that the GOP is racist for pushing Voter ID Laws. What I believe is racist is saying to minorities "We know you're incapable of obtaining a photo ID, don't worry we'll take care of it". How demeaning is that? You need a photo ID to buy alcohol, cigarettes, open a bank account, apply for food stamps, apply for welfare, apply for medicaid/social security, apply for a job, or drive a car, but people think it's unreasonable to ask people to obtain one for a process that will determine the course of our nation? Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, and India all require forms of identification to vote. Why is it such a big deal when we do the same?

Additionally, there are bills in the works that provide free Voter ID's with proof of citizenship. I just don't understand why people are so reluctant to secure something so valuable at such little cost.

http://www.texastribune.org...
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com...
http://www.washingtonpost.com...
ResponsiblyIrresponsible

Con

Thank you to PRO for his argument.


PRO concedes that voting fraud isn't a documented issue, and thus there isn't a warrant for voter ID laws at this present moment. Yet, he remarks that perhaps we ought to act preemptively. He states the following: "Should we wait until it becomes an issue? Once again, I believe that voting is so intrinsic to the genuine success of our country that it's something we should be willing to make defenses for before it even happens. It's the same reason you build a wall around a compound, because even though the attack hasn't come yet, we value what is inside so much that we build the wall to ensure the protection of its contents."

I have several responses to this.


Firstly, as I noted last round and PRO hasn't responded to, his proposal to act preemptively undermines the very system he is intending to save by disenfranchising people. He claims that he wants to save democracy, but by making it harder for people to vote, he's in fact counter-productively--and, given his goals, paradoxically--destroying that very system. What is he intending to save? It surely isn't democracy if people who cannot afford voter IDs--poor people, minorities, etc., who are often most likely to be disenfranchised by these laws--are prevented from voting. It's nothing more than a jaded version of what democracy once was.

Secondly, he's making the assumption that voter fraud *will* become an issue, but again there's no warrant for this, as he concedes that it isn't an issue right now. In a just society, we don't act preemptively without warrant. I'm not going to alien-proof my house because I have no reason to believe that there's an impending alien invasion, especially if in doing so, I'm posing a detriment to myself and others--particularly of the loss of freedom, which ought to be held as sacrosanct.

The proposal does not achieve its aims in the slightest: it addresses an apparition and fabricates a problem which doesn't actually exist, in the process destroying the very system that PRO claims he wants to protect.

Next, PRO concedes that the GOP is pushing voter ID laws in several states to disenfranchsie minorities--you'll note that this itself is conceding that voter ID laws obstruct democracy, which is a huge impact in my favor.

Then, he goes on to claim that it's demeaning to minorities to say that "we know you can't obtain a photo ID, so we'll take care of it." He doesn't explain how this is the case, when the opposite of that--requiring that they obtain something that he CONCEDES they aren't capable of obtaining--obstructs their voice in the democratic system, and subjects them to taxation without representation, which is the very reason the US declared independence from Britain and fought the Revolution in the 1800s. The claim that people are required to have an ID to do a number of other things, and even need one in other countries, is also irrelevant--nothing more than an is/ought fallacy. He's stating what "is," when we're debating what ought to be. Further, his claim that it's "easy" to obtain an ID is also unfounded, which is precisely the reason he concedes that minoriites are unable to get one.

He then claims that there are bills that provide free voting ID's. First, he doesn't cite any of these bills, so this really becomes nothing more than an assertion. Second, why does this matter? He's claiming that the problem is "less bad" because he can mollify some of the costs, though what he fails to acknowledge is the additional costs of this bill. For instance, one of the key reasons that poor people aren't able to obtain a voter ID is not only that they can't actually afford it, but that it's difficult for them to actually obtain the ID because they're, for instance, working several jobs--and that's compounded by government inefficiency and the fact that it takes a considerable time to process infomration, verify paperwork, etc. Second, this bill will cost money, as wll enforcement of both it and voter ID laws, and PRO hasn't given us any reason why we ought to have either. It's nothing more than a wasteful, bureacratic decree that addresses a nonexistent problem by destroying the very system that PRO claims he wants to protect.
Debate Round No. 2
burningbusch

Pro

First off, I'd like to give an example that I believe illustrates my point. Does a country keep national security even when not in a state of war? Of course. It's foolish to follow the line of reasoning that states "because something isn't happening now means it will never happen and we shouldn't protect against it". Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't. Maybe a country will be attacked, maybe it won't. But it's a trade off. Is the very little required of people to be able to vote worth ensuring that catastrophic repercussions don't befall our nation in elections? Can you imagine if it would later come out that a Presidential election had been influenced by voter fraud? It's what you're protecting against. And in my opinion, you're selling people short.

I think that it's been made clear my goal isn't to disenfranchise people. My goal is to ensure the sanctity of the voting process in democracy, so I'd appreciate it if we debated whether or not Voter ID's should be mandatory, not my motives, because I believe I've made those very clear.

Where did I say the GOP is pushing voter ID laws to disenfranchise people? I apologize for the confusion, I did not concede that minorities aren't capable of obtaining ID's, I was merely quoting what people who believe there should be no voter ID laws think. That's demeaning, in my opinion, because you're assuming that people aren't capable of doing something as simple as obtaining a photo ID. Once again, I apologize, I'm not sure I understand the taxation without representation analogy, because if they are forced to pay something to get an ID, they're able to vote and be represented, but maybe I'm interpreting that wrong. Also, I don't understand how referencing other countries having laws and the other things that require a photo ID isn't relevant. It makes perfect sense to me that if we expect photo ID's for other rudimentary functions in society then it isn't unreasonable to expect that voter ID's be expected for something far more important. I also believe that your claim that it's "hard" to get a photo ID is unfounded.

I did cite the free voter ID law, see the Texas Tribune website. I'll post it at the end of this again. My question is, if a person is working multiple jobs and can't find time to go and get and ID, how can the person find time to go vote? Yes, this would, as would any other bill in the government, cost money. That's the nature of bills, so I don't find that a valid excuse for not passing it. I want everyone to be able to vote. But I want to make sure that voting is sincere. The integrity of the process is so important to me that I believe some sort of security is necessary.

http://www.texastribune.org...
ResponsiblyIrresponsible

Con

PRO's point on preemption is a complete false equivalency. First and foremost, national security is an active, perceivable threat. There is a warrant for actually keeping, for instance, a standing army because we have aorund 900 bases around the world and threats, such as ISIS, actively rear there heads in light of US interventionism--but even citing this is an example of polciy run amok, because it does nothing more than create more enemies, and thus a need for FURTHER policy, and that's even when a threat exists, has existed, and we know will exist, in which case it differs *completely* from voter fraud, which PRO even concedes does not exist.

PRO's example is more akin to Marshall Law, which we do NOT do. That would involve, for instance, the type of action we saw following the Boston Marathon bombing: lockdowns, police investigating homes without warrants, etc. That was unjustifiable because, in trying to preserve freedom, they in fact deprive us of freedom, undermining their own objective to no avail. It's the same case with voter fraud--which would destroy democracy--though, again, the crucial difference is that national security concerns respond to an actual thread, whereas voter ID laws do not. Again, I'll cross-reference my example of an alien invasion.

To recap, PRO's analogy to national security falls completely flat because (1) there's no warrant for voter ID laws in the same way there is for national security; (2) not even national security concerns allow us to permissibly trade liberty for security; and (3) PRO presents a false analogy, whereby a case of Marshall Law is much more akin to PRO's proposal, and even that responds to SOME warrant. In the absence of a warrant, voter ID's are responding to a threat no greater than an alien invasion, and thus there is no logically permissible reason that we ought to sacrifice liberty.

PRO says, "Is the very little required of people to be able to vote worth ensuring that catastrophic repercussions don't befall our nation in elections?"

This is deceptive, because this is *not* very little, and even what constitues that is subjective. He speaks of "catastrophic" repercussions, based on nothing more than a fairy tall, but ignores the ACTUAL catastrophic ramifications of depriving people of basic liberty and of their voice in government, perpetuating what we fought a revolution over.

Further, there is no reason to accept any of PRO's premises because he fails to acknowledge that people must present an ID in registering to vote. He contends that they ought to need an ID when they vote, but provides us with no reason to think that this is a problem or could ever be a problem, sans nonsensical hypotheticals, and the "catastrophic repercussions" he speaks of of are 100% theoretical. He cannot tell us what those impacts are because they don't exist: he made them up, in which case you'll disregard them.

"Can you imagine if it would later come out that a Presidential election had been influenced by voter fraud?"

This is of course a bogus hypothetical. Let's explore some things which are more likely to occur than voter fraud:

1. Winning mega millions (http://mic.com...)

2. UFO sighting (http://www.motherjones.com...)

3. Getting struck by lightning (http://www.usnews.com...)

This is a non-issue. Further, there are actually hard statistics on the amount of Americans who will be impacted by this:

"There are many thousands of Americans who have the same rights as you and I who do not have the kind of identification that politicians want to require. Something between 10-11 percent of Americans." (http://www.usnews.com...).

This, by far, is the strongest impact in the debate, and the reason you're voting CON--because you're going to prefer evidence over hypotheticals.

"I think that it's been made clear my goal isn't to disenfranchise people. My goal is to ensure the sanctity of the voting process in democracy, so I'd appreciate it if we debated whether or not Voter ID's should be mandatory, not my motives, because I believe I've made those very clear."
PRO falsely insinuates that I've questioned his motives, but throughout this debate, I've been questioning not only the merits of his proposal, but of the intentions of lawmakers pushing the laws he is defending--which he conceded to last round--and the necessary results of said policies. I could care less what PRO's intentions are when, in reality, voter ID laws do in fact disenfranchsie people.

PRO says, "Where did I say the GOP is pushing voter ID laws to disenfranchise people?"

In the last round, PRO said this: "As to the GOP pushing it to exclude poor people who tend to vote Democrat, I understand the concern. However, with something this important, I believe that people should be willing to do the very little it takes to obtain an ID." You'll note that he validated it as a plausible concern without seeking to refute it, thus conceding to this point--which is the real intention behind voter ID laws.

PRO says, "I did not concede that minorities aren't capable of obtaining ID's, I was merely quoting what people who believe there should be no voter ID laws think."

He did in fact concede that. Last round he wrote, with context added: "What I believe is racist is saying to minorities 'We know you're incapable of obtaining a photo ID, don't worry we'll take care of it'. How demeaning is that?" He wasn't relating what OTHER people believe. He began the sentence with "What I believe." He even went on to repeat himself in his last round! It isn't demeaning, because nowhere did I ever say that they're intellectually incapable of obtaining a photo ID--but that they lack the capacity, given their employment situation, to phyiscally obtain one, with the financial and logistical constraints that follow that. PRO is completely strawmanning and dodging my arguments left and right. It's like saying to a poor person, "I know you can't afford a steak dinner, but I'm going to force you to buy one for yourself anyway, lest I deprive you of your fundamental right to vote."

PRO states, "Once again, I apologize, I'm not sure I understand the taxation without representation analogy, because if they are forced to pay something to get an ID, they're able to vote and be represented, but maybe I'm interpreting that wrong."

He's right that he doesn't understand it, because it's not an analogy. Forcing someone to obtain a voter ID and refusing to allow them to vote unless they have one IS depriving them of their fundamental right to vote. It's saying that they must do X in order to be represented. PRO cannot whitewash this fundamental obstructon of justice by saying, "Well, I'm allowing them to vote AFTER they pay forward, because it would demean them to insist they cannot do it."

PRO states, "Also, I don't understand...other countries..more important."

PRO, again, fundamentally misunderstands my argument. I said it was an is/ought fallacy. We're debating what ought to be, not what is. Just because X law exists doesn't mean it OUGHT to exist, and just because we're depriving people of liberty in some aspecs of life (1) doesn't mean that we actually ought to do that and (2) doesn't mean we should steal away more freedom from people, especially when it comes to something so fundamental as voting. We need to examine laws like this on a case by case basis. You'll also note that PRO's evidence from other countries is nonexistent--though, of course, it would not represent an adequate impact because the points are completely nontopical.

PRO states, "I also believe that your claim that it's "hard" to get a photo ID is unfounded."

PRO is free to believe whatever he wants, but this is a debate, and in a debate you are required to present evidence.

For instance, Gandy writes the following:

"
In Texas, for example, the cost of traveling to the nearest Department of Public Safety office, Texas’ version of the DMV, can be burdensome: Of the 254 counties in Texas, 78 do not have a permanent DPS office. In some communities along the Mexican border, the nearest DPS office is between 100 and 125 miles away. And in rural communities in other states, the DMV offices are few and far between.That means a person without a driver’s license is going to have to rely on a family member or a friend to drive them to the DMV (or, in Texas, the DPS) in order to get a photo ID card. Now ask yourself this—would you want to drive your Uncle Bob two hours each way and then stand in line at the DMV for god-knows-how-long to get a photo ID?" (http://rhrealitycheck.org...).

And on financial constraints:

"Oftentimes, people don’t even have the money to pay for the underlying documentation needed to get a photo ID card. Getting a photo ID invariably requires proof of identification; usually, that means you need your birth certificate. But what if you don’t have your birth certificate?"

The point is, not only would this make it more difficult for people to exercise their most fundamental right, but it will discourage people who do not want to go through these processes from voting--and that itself is deleterious to a functioning democracy and utterly disgusting, all for the sake of a hypothetial problem.

PRO claims he did cite a voter ID law, but (1) the link cannot do the debating for him, but rather he himself most elucidate its contents and (2) he drops my objections to it, so I'll extend those.

As for how people find time to vote, in many cases they vote by absentee ballots, early voting, after work, etc.--but, clearly, getting a voter ID is infinitely more comlex than that.


Again, PRO has conceded on several crucial points and dropped several pertinent rebuttals.
Debate Round No. 3
burningbusch

Pro

burningbusch forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
burningbusch

Pro

burningbusch forfeited this round.
ResponsiblyIrresponsible

Con

Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
Blade-of-Truth
burningbuschResponsiblyIrresponsibleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a beat-down, dear lord. Conduct - Con. Pro forfeited the last two rounds of this debate, which is rarely acceptable conduct in any debate setting. S&G - Tie. Both had adequate spelling and grammar. Arguments - Con. Pro failed to rebut Con's final round, which is a clear failure of maintaining the BOP. Furthermore, Con was able to effectively rebut each point raised by Pro, whereas Pro tended to drop, concede, or inaccurately rebut the main contentions raised by Con. This is a clear win for Con in regards to arguments. Sources - Tie. Both utilized sources of solid quality, and neither really challenged the others'. Ultimately, this is a clear and brutal win for Con.
Vote Placed by Daltonian 1 year ago
Daltonian
burningbuschResponsiblyIrresponsibleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited his last two rounds, and in the rounds that he originally partook in, he failed to rebut the majority of con's attacks on his position. An analogy comparing preemptive mandatory voter ID laws to "preemptive" forms of national security was not strong enough or successful enough for me to consider it over con's effective rebuttals and counterpoints. Due to the forfeiture, pro was never given the opportunity to defend con's contentions in R3, one of which (that being that voters require ID to register in the first place) renders his premise irrelevant. A lot of the debate is subsequently irrelevant as a result. Even if PRO had continued the debate, his failure to adequately defend himself in the first two rounds indicated a clear win for CON's side to me. Thus, I vote con.
Vote Placed by Paleophyte 1 year ago
Paleophyte
burningbuschResponsiblyIrresponsibleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded/forfeited
Vote Placed by 16kadams 1 year ago
16kadams
burningbuschResponsiblyIrresponsibleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF