Politics How comes that several developed countries still do not required voters to show a photo ID?

Maciamo

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I was reading about the local UK elections. Boris Johnson had introduced for the first time requirement for voters to show a photo ID a few years ago and that buffoon was turned away at the polling station because he forgot his own ID!

That made me wonder how many developed countries still didn't require voters to confirm their identity with a photo ID. According to ChatGPT these countries included Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden.

In the United States it depends on the state, but apparently only six states require a strict photo ID. Half of US states do not require any ID at all!

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I find it quite shocking that they are still democratic countries that make it so easy for voters to cheat at elections. In Belgium I've always known the obligation to show a photo ID to vote at the elections. What's more, since 2001 Belgian ID cards have an electronic chip that makes them extremely difficult to fake.

The Economist explains how "photo id has also been required in Northern Ireland since 2002, to combat a situation where polling staff “were willing to turn a blind eye when half the inhabitants of the local cemetery turned up to cast their vote”.

I've also always known electronic voting in Belgium. It started in a few municipalities 1991, was extended to 20% of the electorate in 1994, 44% in 1998 and the whole country in 2003. It's been over 20 years and yet plenty of countries, some richer than Belgium, still have paper voting, which also makes it easier to cheat (some unscrupulous voters might bring copies of the voting bulletin in their pocket and drop several papers in the box).

I tried to find exactly which country use electronic vs paper voting. I couldn't find data for all countries, but among those I found, apart from Belgium, only Estonia, Switzerland and the US have electronic voting for national elections among developed countries. Japan only has electronic voting for municipal elections, while Australia and Canada have it in parts of the country for municipal elections. I wonder why a country would decide to have electronic voting only for municipal election and not for a national elections?

Oddly enough It appears that more developing countries have electronic voting than rich countries. This is the case for Bulgaria, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Brazil and Venezuela.
 
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Its all fake,vote changes nothing,There is no democracy,whats soever
 
I am not sure about that US map. I know that Florida requires a photo ID to vote. I should know, I live there.
 
I am not sure about that US map. I know that Florida requires a photo ID to vote. I should know, I live there.

I was wondering what they meant by 'non-strict photo ID'. I found this explanation on the National Conference of State Legislatures website:

  • Non-strict: At least some voters without acceptable identification have an option to cast a ballot that will be counted without further action on the part of the voter. For instance, a voter may sign an affidavit of identity, or poll workers may be permitted to vouch for the voter. In some of the “non-strict” states (Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont), voters who do not show required identification may vote on a provisional ballot. After the close of Election Day, election officials will determine (via a signature check or other verification) whether the voter was eligible and registered, and therefore whether the provisional ballot should be counted. No action on the part of the voter is required. In New Hampshire, election officials will send a letter to anyone who signed a challenged voter affidavit because they did not show an ID, and these voters must return the mailing, confirming that they are indeed in residence as indicated on the affidavit.
  • Strict: Voters without acceptable identification must vote on a provisional ballot and also take additional steps after Election Day for it to be counted. For instance, the voter may be required to return to an election office within a few days after the election and present an acceptable ID to have the provisional ballot counted. If the voter does not come back to show ID, the provisional ballot is not counted.

But even including the non-strict photo ID states, that brings the total to 18 states out of 50 that require a photo ID. Another 18 states require non-photo ID. That leaves 14 states that do not ask for any ID at all, including very populous ones like California, Illinois and New York!
 
I was wondering what they meant by 'non-strict photo ID'. I found this explanation on the National Conference of State Legislatures website:

  • Non-strict: At least some voters without acceptable identification have an option to cast a ballot that will be counted without further action on the part of the voter. For instance, a voter may sign an affidavit of identity, or poll workers may be permitted to vouch for the voter. In some of the “non-strict” states (Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont), voters who do not show required identification may vote on a provisional ballot. After the close of Election Day, election officials will determine (via a signature check or other verification) whether the voter was eligible and registered, and therefore whether the provisional ballot should be counted. No action on the part of the voter is required. In New Hampshire, election officials will send a letter to anyone who signed a challenged voter affidavit because they did not show an ID, and these voters must return the mailing, confirming that they are indeed in residence as indicated on the affidavit.
  • Strict: Voters without acceptable identification must vote on a provisional ballot and also take additional steps after Election Day for it to be counted. For instance, the voter may be required to return to an election office within a few days after the election and present an acceptable ID to have the provisional ballot counted. If the voter does not come back to show ID, the provisional ballot is not counted.

But even including the non-strict photo ID states, that brings the total to 18 states out of 50 that require a photo ID. Another 18 states require non-photo ID. That leaves 14 states that do not ask for any ID at all, including very populous ones like California, Illinois and New York!
Voters in NY get automatically registered when they obtain a drivers license or any kind of photo ID. They then can vote without presenting a photoID by obtaining a provisional ballot which can then be counted if they go to the vote registrar's office with any valid id such as:

  • Current and Valid Photo ID
  • Current Utility Bill
  • Bank Statement
  • Government Check or Paycheck
  • Government Document that shows Name and Address
Now all the bullets above require a valid photoID to initiate. For example to open a Bank account you need a photoID, something as to initiate utility service.

Most cases of voter fraud are voting in two different states on the same day or voting for a dead relative when the voter rolls have not yet been updated to reflect the death. Fraudulent voting is punishable by felony in most states. Now there are two different group of states that check each other's rolls to make sure that the person is not registered in two different states. Even then most duplicates are because people have moved and forgot to de-register in the old state. Now in Florida if you move within the state if you register at the new place it will automatically de-register you from the old one. I have no idea why all the states don't share a common database of eligible voters.
 
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Voters in NY get automatically registered when they obtain a drivers license or any kind of photo ID. They then can vote without presenting a photoID by obtaining a provisional ballot which can then be counted if they go to the vote registrar's office with any valid id such as:

  • Current and Valid Photo ID
  • Current Utility Bill
  • Bank Statement
  • Government Check or Paycheck
  • Government Document that shows Name and Address
Now all the bullets above require a valid photoID to initiate. For example to open a Bank account you need a photoID, something as to initiate utility service.

Most cases of voter fraud are voting in two different states on the same day or voting for a dead relative when the voter rolls have not yet been updated to reflect the death. Fraudulent voting is punishable by felony in most states. Now there are two different group of states that check each other's rolls to make sure that the person is not registered in two different states. Even then most duplicates are because people have moved and forgot to de-register in the old state. Now in Florida if you move within the state if you register at the new place it will automatically de-register you from the old one. I have no idea why all the states don't share a common database of eligible voters.

I understand what you mean, but if you are not interested in voting, like 1/3 of the US population at the last presidential election, you could give your provisional ballot to someone else, who would then vote for you (based on their political preferences). It would be very easy for party members or any of their associates to collect those provisional ballots from all the people who don't care about voting. They could even pay people to obtain them. If a photo ID is not required, who is going to notice that you are in the person whose name is on the ballot?

In Belgium all eligible voters (all the Belgian citizens from 18 years old) receive a summons letter at the address of their main residence, which they must bring to the voting station along with their electronic ID card. So the summons letter acts like the provisional ballot in the US, but people can't vote just with the summons letter. They also need their ID card to prove that they are the person whose name is on the summons letter. You can't vote if you don't have either of those.
 

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