A clean, well-lit place to vent

Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.

Susan | New Orleans, LA | July 28, 2012

We have been trying to get the necessary documents to obtain a state ID for our 19-yr-old son. The ID place wants an original birth certificate, a social security card, and a picture ID. He is homeschooled, so we created the picture ID, but all the other documents were lost in Katrina (remember her?). The social security office required a state ID and an original birth certificate to issue a replacement card. Don't even get me started on the birth certificate red tape. We ended up with the nicest person in the world as our case worker at Social Security, and I still don't know how he did it, but all the red tape went away. My son is now registered to vote, and he's registered with the Selective  Service. By the way, the Selective Service required no documentation at all! So hey, the whole process only took us -- almost 7 years!

Brian Threlkeld | Urbana, IL | July 28, 2012

Love the Jim Crow Nouveau storyline! Wish he'd disappear, but as long as he has such avid fans among Republican legislators, I hope he'll be a regular visitor to the strip.

Tony Laz | Newark, NJ | July 28, 2012

Here's why Voter ID Laws are Jim Crow: Prior to 2008, there was only one state (Arizona, natch) that required the showing of ID to vote. Somehow, our nation survived. Since 2008, there are now (depending on your standards) between 23-30 states that have either enacted or are trying to enact Voter ID laws. Study after study shows that these laws have a disproportionate effect on certain, specific groups. The elderly. College students. African-Americans. Latinos. Guess which political party those groups tend to vote for? And if you think that the election of our first ever African-American president in 2008 is just a crazy coincidence regarding these laws, you're a master of self-deception. To those who think showing ID should be mandatory, why was practically no one talking about this before Obama's election? Why is this suddenly an imperative? It certainly can't be "voter fraud", which GBT correctly points out is essentially non-existent. That's why Voter ID Laws are Jimmy Crow. They are a fabricated solution in search of a problem. And they, unquestionably, target the voter base of one political party. Wake up. Maybe the next set of laws will affect your ability to vote.

Wayne | San Francisco, CA | July 27, 2012

If they were serious about voter fraud, they'd draft an army of 1,000,000, form a conga line from Canada to Mexico and sweep across the country, coast to coast, shoulder to shoulder, and fingerprint and issue a tamperproof ID to every person they came across.

Marie Thompson | Kingston, NY | July 27, 2012

Thank you for bringing to the attention of our country the horrendous and what should be treasonous voter suppression occurring in too many states (even one state is too many). I am appalled to see such blatant bigotry committed by government officials and news media.

Patrick S. Poplin | Seattle, WA | July 27, 2012

I noticed that the gloves on the audience members in the July 24th Jimmy Crow strip were three-fingered Mickey Mouse gloves. I wonder what that means?

David Stanford, Duty Officer | July 27, 2012

This site has been in vacation mode for a few weeks, and I appreciate your keeping the Blowback comments coming. I'll catch up on posting them shortly.

K.T.U. | The Pacific Northwest | July 27, 2012

I think he is already registered in Skamania County, Washington.

Boadicae | Atlanta, GA | July 27, 2012

I live in Atlanta. At first glance the Georgia Voter ID law seems no big deal. But now the requirements for getting a picture ID have gotten so stringent we have lines out the building. It is taking days and weeks to renew licenses or obtain a picture ID. Lifetime residents of the city have to now produce a "certified" birth certificate, not a copy from the hospital. It has to be notarized. So, while producing a picture ID to vote may appear reasonable, if you make it a test of sheer endurance and resources (driving to obtain county records, paying for certified birth certificates, certified marriage licenses, certified divorce decrees) to "prove" your identity, then many of the poor, disenfranchised, working single parents, etc are not going to be in a position to vote in this election.

David Cooper | Bayfield, WI | July 26, 2012

I'm no bleeding heart, but ya gotta be pretty obtuse not to see the relationship between new voter ID legislation and Jim Crow. Turzai's (R-PA) boast doesn't leave much doubt about the goals. I'm happy to show my ID to vote, and I think we should move towards a system where everyone should have ID, but we should be doing it in a fair and measured way that doesn't leave our elders and less-fortunates behind. That's democracy. GBT is right on target with this one.

Glenn Martin | Grand Junction, CO | July 26, 2012

I always voted Republican starting with Eisenhower, but ever since I died I have been voting Democrat, because they are the only party that cares about us dead people.

David Mackey | Livonia, MI | July 26, 2012

My wife and I were at Sears the other day and when my wife wrote a check she had to show ID. I don't see what's wrong with showing ID when you vote.

Ezra | Randolph, MO | July 26, 2012

The "free" state IDs available are often not so free. In my case the requisite birth certificate, which had to come from Alabama, not only took substantial time to obtain, but the state required that it be sent by FedEx overnite. ($!$) US Postal Service delivery was not allowed! Consider how this affects the thousands of citizens on fixed incomes, or struggling to get by hand-to-mouth.

Aline Kaplan | Sudbury, MA | July 26, 2012

I think that Jimmy Crow 2012 would probably not be walking the highway with a hobo stick over his shoulder. We're more likely to find him reclining in a corporate jet with a fat cigar in one hand and a glass of single-malt Scotch in the other.

Peter | Holliston, MA | July 26, 2012

Every time voter fraud has been investigated, it's been shown to be a non-problem. If Chicago still has a problem, it's systemic. Individuals voting "early and often" is the most difficult way to rig an election. Messing with the voting machine totals requires fewer people and way less effort. Voter ID is about restricting access, plain and simple. My town has a paper list of eligible voters at the polls, and when I provide my name and address, it's crossed off the list. That's good enough for me, and it should work everywhere.

Kerryn | Adelaide, AUSTRALIA | July 26, 2012

In Australia voting is compulsory, regarded as one of the responsibilities of citizens, and regulated by an electoral roll on which all adults are required by law to register. There are always a number of people who fly below that radar, but actual voter fraud is virtually unknown. GBT's take on these manipulative new laws and the intent behind them is furnishing Australians like me who support compulsory voting (not that there's ever been any serious push against it) with an excellent reason to keep it that way. If voting were not compulsory and this sort of thing happened here, I think there would be a widespread grassroots campaign to ensure that everyone had easy access to some form of photo ID.

Steve | Rapid City, SD | July 26, 2012

Politics have not changed in 200+ years -- the haves ready to take on the have-nots. Both sides are guilty of taking the road to Perdition. There is more than enough guilt to go around, with each side blaming the other for not "fixing" the problems. The Jim Crow series reflects what I too have seen and I am a registered Republican. Thanks for depicting what I fear is the future.

Michael | Harrisonburg, VA | July 25, 2012

The fact is there are thousands of people that don't currently have picture ID and have no easy way to get one (read about Viviette Applewhite, or hear her story on this video). And, demographically, they tend to vote Democratic. Unless these laws are combined with efforts to provide free picture ID, they are transparent attempts at disenfranchising groups that lean Democratic. But don't ask me about it. Just ask Mike Turzai, PA House Republican leader, who said, "Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania: Done." None of this is going to matter in the long run. With Internet-based and other electronic voting machines (without paper trails), committing real and untraceable voter fraud is as simple as flipping some bits. Check out what Prof. Alex Halderman's University of Michigan research group did to the D.C. Internet voting system. Picture IDs won't do anything to prevent that.

Bob | Naperville, IL | July 25, 2012

I find it unbelievable that I don’t have to show some form of picture ID when I go to vote. I have three; take your pick. All over the country you hear of illegal aliens and dead people voting in elections. Chicago is notorious for getting the dead out to vote. This is illegal and has to stop. Having to show a picture ID before you can vote is the way to do it. The government will provide these ID cards, so what is the big deal? If you don’t have a driver’s license, get on the bus and go get a state ID card. What is so racist about that? I’m sick and tired of people playing the race card. Whether there have been documented cases of voter fraud or not, every state, every polling place should require you to show a picture ID.

Noemi | Lafayette, IN | July 25, 2012

If you do not have a photo ID it can be difficult to even get to the places you are required to go to in order to get one. Some must take time off from work to do this during business hours; some have no transportation to often widely-spaced facilities; some are squeezed between work and child care. If voter ID supporters were really interested in making sure all eligible voters could vote, they'd be running ID sign-up campaigns along with the new laws. But Republicans have made it pretty clear what their real intentions are.