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Voter ID Analogy

Chaos88
Posts: 247
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9/1/2012 4:23:32 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
In my state, there is a Voter ID initiative on the ballot. This will require that, in order to vote, you must have a valid government-issued photo ID (like a driver's license or passport). Those opposed to this will often say it is unconstitutional, as it is a poll tax. I think their logic is something like this:

1. A poll tax is a fee one must pay in order to vote.
2. To vote, you must pay for an ID, or make arrangements to obtain a free one (which costs time and money).
3. The costs associated with obtaining a valid ID is a poll tax.

In hearing this, I thought of the following analogy:

1. A poll tax is a fee one must pay in order to vote.
2. A felon cannot vote while in prison, and depending on factors, even after release.
3. Tax evasion is a felony.
4. Income taxes are poll taxes.

Is this a fair analogy?
imabench
Posts: 21,230
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9/1/2012 5:19:46 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/1/2012 4:23:32 AM, Chaos88 wrote:
In my state, there is a Voter ID initiative on the ballot. This will require that, in order to vote, you must have a valid government-issued photo ID (like a driver's license or passport). Those opposed to this will often say it is unconstitutional, as it is a poll tax. I think their logic is something like this:

1. A poll tax is a fee one must pay in order to vote.

Yep

2. To vote, you must pay for an ID, or make arrangements to obtain a free one (which costs time and money).

Yep

3. The costs associated with obtaining a valid ID is a poll tax.

This is only true if the valid ID was obtained ONLY for voting and that you HAD to buy this ID in order to vote, therefore this statement is false

In hearing this, I thought of the following analogy:

1. A poll tax is a fee one must pay in order to vote.

Yep

2. A felon cannot vote while in prison, and depending on factors, even after release.

I dont think felons are allowed to vote at all no matter what.

3. Tax evasion is a felony.

Yep

4. Income taxes are poll taxes.

Neither of those are related at all and are used for COMPLETELY different purposes

Is this a fair analogy?

My opinion: not at all
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bossyburrito
Posts: 14,075
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9/1/2012 5:30:24 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
@Bench
The second analogy showed how absurd the first one was.
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Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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9/1/2012 5:33:51 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/1/2012 4:23:32 AM, Chaos88 wrote:
In my state, there is a Voter ID initiative on the ballot. This will require that, in order to vote, you must have a valid government-issued photo ID (like a driver's license or passport). Those opposed to this will often say it is unconstitutional, as it is a poll tax. I think their logic is something like this:

1. A poll tax is a fee one must pay in order to vote.
2. To vote, you must pay for an ID, or make arrangements to obtain a free one (which costs time and money).
3. The costs associated with obtaining a valid ID is a poll tax.

I haven't seen people argue this, but rather argue that it's pretty much a pointless infringement on liberty. But I'll assume that some people say this for purpose of analogy.

In hearing this, I thought of the following analogy:

1. A poll tax is a fee one must pay in order to vote.
2. A felon cannot vote while in prison, and depending on factors, even after release.
3. Tax evasion is a felony.
4. Income taxes are poll taxes.

Is this a fair analogy?

A poll tax directly affects whether you can vote, and makes a cost in voting. By contrast, crimes are what stops people from voting. The income tax isn't a poll tax, because it's an income tax. It sounds a bit blunt, but one can use the same analogy (when using the word "fee" a bit liberally) to say murder, rape, and generic crime is a poll tax, or corporate tax is a poll tax, or tariffs are poll taxes, etc.
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DetectableNinja
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9/1/2012 9:19:25 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I think an ID is unnecessary/shouldn't be needed, nor should felons be kept from voting (when not serving time).
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Contra
Posts: 3,941
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9/1/2012 11:13:34 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/1/2012 4:23:32 AM, Chaos88 wrote:
In my state, there is a Voter ID initiative on the ballot. This will require that, in order to vote, you must have a valid government-issued photo ID (like a driver's license or passport). Those opposed to this will often say it is unconstitutional, as it is a poll tax. I think their logic is something like this:

1. A poll tax is a fee one must pay in order to vote.
2. To vote, you must pay for an ID, or make arrangements to obtain a free one (which costs time and money).
3. The costs associated with obtaining a valid ID is a poll tax.

In hearing this, I thought of the following analogy:

1. A poll tax is a fee one must pay in order to vote.
2. A felon cannot vote while in prison, and depending on factors, even after release.
3. Tax evasion is a felony.
4. Income taxes are poll taxes.

Is this a fair analogy?

I don't think that the second analogy is that fair. Poll taxes prevent some impoverished people from voting. Income taxes discourage work, but aren't poll taxes in the same sense, sense income taxes don't prevent you from working.
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socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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9/1/2012 12:44:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Just having to incur a cost to vote can't be the only criterion for something being a poll tax. If you have to drive to wherever it is you vote then there is some costs incurred regarding the amount of gas you use or regarding the opportunity cost incurred from deciding to not be working or not doing something actually productive. That being said though, voting is pointless.

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Chaos88
Posts: 247
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9/1/2012 5:12:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I understand that an income tax has a different purpose and collection method than a poll tax.

Aren't analogies based on equitable logic, to then compare conclusions? Everyone seems to have an issue with my use of income tax because of the income taxes' purpose or the fact it is a crime, but these are not relevant to the logic. By using the logic of the first argument, the second argument reaches a ridiculous conclusion, which challenges the premise of the first argument. Isn't this the purpose of analogies?

I think this is a fair analogy because both require an action and a payment, and failure to do either results in my inability to vote. And, yes, my analogy is to show how ridiculous that argument is, as by their logic, almost anything is a poll tax (like eliminating one polling station so people have to drive farther).

To address imabench,
In MN, maybe not in FL, felons can have their civil rights reinstated with the court's approval.
The reason opponents say it is a poll tax is because about 150,000 people (3% of voting age residents) would be forced to acquire an ID for the SOLE purpose of voting. I don't know how they don't have an ID, but this is their argument. They often cite the elderly.

To Stephen_Hawkins,
I wouldn't say this analogy would work for most crimes. The inaction to commit rape would not land you in jail, thus restricting your vote. By contrast, the inaction to pay taxes will land you in jail. And, again, the purpose of laws is not to prevent one from voting. I know this.

And in MN, this is an argument I hear often, but there are others, and better ones. Namely, the cost of implementing this law (free IDs and disenfranchisement) would outweigh the benefits (stemming voter fraud). Also, they argue there is insignificant amount of voter fraud. Also, this law would do little to prevent voter fraud. However, this is not the purpose of this thread.