A Generational Shift

by Stephen H. Miller on January 28, 2012

From an annual study of how incoming college freshman view things:

Even though the percentage of incoming freshmen who identify as conservative has stayed relatively stable, those students and the rest of their peers are shifting away from hard-line conservative stances on issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, marijuana legalization and affirmative action. … The rise in the number of students who support same-sex marriage is the biggest shift in this year’s survey. At 71.3 percent, the percentage of incoming freshmen who agree either “somewhat” or “strongly” that same-sex couples should have the right to legal marital status is up “a remarkable” 6.4 percentage points from two years ago, the report says. While support is more common among women (77.3 percent), it’s increasing faster among men (64.1 percent).

They are the future.

(Hat tip: Walter Olson)

{ 19 comments }

Tom Scharbach January 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm

They are the future.

They are also the present.

If we can get enough young Minnesotans to vote in November, for example, the anti-marriage amendment in that state may well fail.

Luckily, attempts to suppress campus voting in Minnesota were vetoed last session, and college students will be able to vote from campus addresses in November. Their votes may well make the difference for us.

North Dallas Thirty January 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Actually, Tom, the law in question was a photo ID law.

What it prevents is people from voting in multiple locations, such as college students who vote absentee or at their homes and then vote again wherever they are attending school — as has commonly taken place in Wisconsin with the full endorsement and support of the Obama Party.

It also prevents anyone from voting under the name of another person, as the Barack Obama Party has been known to pay college students for doing.

It is stunning that gays and lesbians like you oppose taking even basic steps to stop election fraud and insist that requiring ID to vote is homophobic. But then again, you work for the Obama Party of Wisconsin, which both encourages and defends election fraud, using your typical “progressive” argument — that fraud is fine as long as it rigs the outcome in a manner that you want.

And then, of course, like a good paid shill, you pinkwash your Obama Party’s endorsement of voter fraud by saying it will help throw an election in your favor and that’s good.

Gays and lesbians like you are so pathetically desperate that you will commit, encourage, and support voter fraud. You bleat and whine about “constitutional” and whatnot, but you won’t even honor the basic constitutional principles of one person, one vote.

Houndentenor January 29, 2012 at 9:05 am

There is very little evidence of voter fraud. It’s not as common as the right makes it out to be. At the same time, there are very few people who do not have a photo ID and it shouldn’t be that hard to help those few obtain one. This is a strawman issue on both sides. The only case I can think of where someone was charged with voting in two states was Ann Coulter and she was not convicted.

Tom Scharbach January 29, 2012 at 10:15 am

I agree that “there is very little evidence of voter fraud”. The available evidence concerning voter fraud suggests strongly, if not conclusively, that voting twice and voter impersonation, used to justify Voter ID laws, are virtually non-existent. After a concerted, five-year attempt to unearth and prosecute voter fraud in the United States during the Bush administration, the Department of Justice ended up with only a handful of convictions involving voting twice and none at all for voter impersonation. Truth be told, during the five-year period in question, roughly 300 million ballots were cast and the DOJ managed to unearth so little voter fraud that it convicted only 86 people of voter fraud of any kind. That’s not much.

On the other hand, I don’t agree that “there are very few people who do not have a photo ID”. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s study found that almost a quarter of senior citizens do no have driver’s licenses or photo ID’s, and less than half of Milwaukee County African-Americans and Hispanics have driver’s licenses. The figures are worse for younger voters.

With respect to students, the problem is compounded because Wisconsin’s Voter ID law expressly does not accept state-issued student ID’s as presently configured.

But voter fraud, however minor it may be, is this year’s Republican cause celebre, so damn the facts about voter fraud, full speed ahead, and the problems created, costs incurred and insanity of it all be damned.

Jorge January 29, 2012 at 10:26 am

The fact that senior citizens and African Americans are less compliant with basic citizenship practices than the general public is not an excuse to improve standards. With an increasing occurrance of elections being decided by very narrow majorities, with and without recounts, and with some states having a history of voter fraud, I think it is time for tougher measures.

The flaw in your reasoning, Tom, is that you are citing only prosecutions, and only those by the federal government. I had someone claim once to me that there were only seven instances of voter fraud in a certain state just because there were only seven prosecutions by the state for that year. This despite the fact that there were hundreds or thousands more votes than there were registered voters. It doesn’t work that way. Perhaps it is because voter fraud is so difficult to zero in on and prosecute that we need stronger measures to accurately identify who is coming in to vote.

Jorge January 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

Not an excuse to not improve standards.

Jorge January 29, 2012 at 10:29 am

Not incidentally, I don’t have a driver’s license myself, but I do have a non-driver’s ID. I hope you’re just citing the study wrong, otherwise the study’s findings are worthless.

Tom Scharbach January 29, 2012 at 10:46 am

The fact that senior citizens and African Americans are less compliant with basic citizenship practices than the general public …

Carrying around a state-issued identification card are now “basic citizenship practices“?

The flaw in your reasoning, Tom, is that you are citing only prosecutions, and only those by the federal government.

A point, but not much of a point. In the case of voter fraud, the number of people caught is almost certainly less than the number of people committing voter fraud.

But you have to look at the relative numbers. The Bush administration, motivated by Republican conviction that voter fraud was widespread, made a concerted effort over five years to root out voter fraud and came up with almost nothing – 120 prosecutions.

Look at it this way:

About 300 million votes were cast during the relevant period. A 1% voter fraud rate would have been 3 million cases of voter fraud. You can’t get there from the facts. A 1/10th of 1% rate would have been 300,000 cases of voter fraud. You can’t get there, either, from the facts. Aa 1/100th of 1% rate would have been 3,000 cases of voter fraud. That is within the range of reason, given the facts.

But even if the rate were twice (6,000) or thrice (9,000) what the facts seem to support, voter fraud of the type Voter ID laws supposedly remedy just isn’t enough of a problem to justify on a cost/benefit basis.

Voter fraud is a chimera, like the trumped-up fear that Sharia law is taking over the court system.

Tom Scharbach January 29, 2012 at 10:56 am

Not incidentally, I don’t have a driver’s license myself, but I do have a non-driver’s ID. I hope you’re just citing the study wrong, otherwise the study’s findings are worthless.

I linked to the UW-M study in my comment so that you and others could read it and see if I quoted it correctly or incorrectly. I think I quoted it accurately.

The study speaks for itself, and stands or fails on its own merits. It has been widely cited, including by SCOTUS. As I understand it, the other studies in the area have come to similar conclusions. It is probably on target, anecdotal “wisdom” to the contrary notwithstanding. To conclude that “the study’s findings are worthless” without looking at it is sloppy thinking.

North Dallas Thirty January 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm

And Jorge, I think you hit upon the problem.

Let’s restate the Obama Party shill Tom Scharbach’s “study” and its primary findings in different terms.

Less than half (47 percent) of Milwaukee County African American adults and 43 percent of Hispanic adults have a valid drivers license

Therefore, 47% of Milwaukee County African-American adults, and 43% of Hispanic adults:

- Have never bought cigarettes (since photo ID is required by law)
- Have never bought alcohol (since photo ID is required by law)
- Have never entered a bar where alcohol is served (since photo ID is required by law)
- Have never driven a car (since photo ID is required by law)
- Have never applied for welfare (since photo ID and residency are nominally required by law)
- Have never been employed (since photo ID and proof of citizenship or right to work are required by law)
- Have never opened a bank account, taken out a loan, or done anything in the banking system (since photo ID and proof of identification are required by law)

If they’ve ever done any of those things, they have photo ID.

And if they have photo ID, they can vote.

Tom Scharbach’s livelihood depends on Obama Party candidates winning elections by any means necessary. Tom Scharbach has also rationalized that committing criminal acts, such as college students voting multiple times in the same election, is a good thing if it’s done in the name of the Obama Party and “progressivism”. That is why he is such a staunch defender of voter and elections fraud and an opponent of any measures that would prevent it.

Houndentenor January 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I am not aware of any legal requirement for Americans to carry a photo ID unless they wish to operate a vehicle.

Also, if you want to assert that there is widespread voter fraud, you have to be able to supply proof. Until then, we must stick with the facts.

Tom Scharbach January 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I have to admit that this story cracks me up because Fox News was tripped up once again over its own sloppy journalistic practices, but the core facts of the story are revealing.

In the immediate aftermath of the primary election, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson made a claim that over 900 possibly dead Republicans (how could you tell?) voted in the primary election — according to Fox, widespread voter fraud necessitating a Voter ID system.

When the facts were sorted out two weeks later, it turned out that Wilson turned over exactly six cases of potential fraud for investigation and prosecution, all of which were baseless. Five of the six “dead” Republicans were alive, and the sixth died after casting his ballot (presumably he died of natural causes, not from recoiling in horror after he realized his choices). So the final score was 0 for 900.

I recognize that had any of the six actually been dead, the ballots cast in their name would have been, of necessity, cast by someone else — voter impersonation. Voter ID would have, presumably, caught this before it happened. But even if voter fraud had actually occurred, six cases in an election where 596.000 votes were cast?

That is the problem with Voter ID. Voter fraud of the type that Voter ID is designed to detect and prevent occurs so rarely that the cost and dislocation caused by Voter ID requirements far outweigh the benefit derived from the law.

North Dallas Thirty January 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Gee, Tom Scharbach, it’s interesting that you quote a study from 2005 about Milwaukee — especially given the other studies that have shown widespread voting fraud in that very city.

And of course, you blather on about “convictions” — when that source demonstrates a great deal of the problems.

One problem Biskupic cited was the flawed Election Commission records.

That was echoed in Tuesday’s report, which at one point states: “The Milwaukee Election Commission, through their ineptitude, raised enough reasonable doubt to prevent any further criminal prosecution.”

What a surprise. An Obama Party-dominated commission and organization responsible for keeping accurate voter records makes sure those voter and voting records are completely unusable for prosecution purposes.

And there’s more:

The report suggests the biggest difference between prosecutors and investigators centered on cases where out-of-state campaign workers voted here without any intent of becoming residents.

It cited at least 16 cases in which workers from outside the state voted while employed here by an outside group attempting to influence the election.

The report does not indicate the name of the group, or the campaign (or campaigns) the out-of-state workers were part of. But those voters, the report says, had to “commit multiple criminal acts” in the process of voting.

The report suggest prosecutors decided not to pursue such cases, because state laws allow those who have been state residents for “10 days or more” to vote.

A state law pushed and passed by Obama Party leaders and Obama Party staffers like Tom Scharbach.

So now you can cast your vote in another state, then come to Wisconsin and vote in both the state and the same Federal election you voted in previously — fully supported and endorsed by Tom Scharbach and the Obama Party.

And then more specifically to why Obama Party staffer Tom Scharbach is so concerned about students voting:

After noting many discrepancies in wards near Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, investigators looked deeper at student voting.

The report cites a detailed review of Ward 39, which consists almost entirely of UWM’s Sandberg Hall.

It found 2,101 ballots cast at the ward but only 1,887 people recorded as voting, part of the unexplained voting gap.

A further review found 31 people voting there who were not residents of the ward, including some UWM students who lived elsewhere.

And again, according to Tom Scharbach and Houndentenor, there’s no problem; students should be allowed to vote multiple times and in multiple locations in the same elections, or otherwise they’re being “disenfranchised”.

Once you realize the degree to which Tom Scharbach and Houndentenor have rationalized voter fraud and election fraud in order to ensure their Obama Party wins elections, you recognize why they are so creative in coming up with excuses.

Tom Scharbach January 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Tom Scharbach has also rationalized that committing criminal acts, such as college students voting multiple times in the same election, is a good thing if it’s done in the name of the Obama Party and “progressivism”.

I’ve done nothing of the sort. I’ve argued that the incidence of voter fraud is small in comparison to the costs and dislocations of a Voter ID system.

… at least 16 cases in which workers from outside the state voted …
… found 2,101 ballots cast at the ward but only 1,887 people recorded as voting …
… found 31 people voting there who were not residents of the ward …

You are making my point, Dan.

On the one hand, the number of voter fraud cases of the kind that Voter ID laws are might remedy are small. The 16 out-of-state voters may not have been able to establish Wisconsin residency, and Wisconsin’s Voter ID law would probably have caught it. But that is a small number in a statewide election. It wouldn’t even make a blip on the vote totals.

On the other hand: (1) Wisconsin’s Voter ID law would not have caught the 31 students who voted in their old ward after moving out because the law does not require that the address on the Voter ID card match the address on the roll of registered voters; and (2) the more serious form of election fraud (e.g. the discrepancy between the number of ballots cast and the number of voters recorded) is not of a nature that a Voter ID law will solve.

It gets back to cost/benefit. Voter fraud of the type that will be prevented by a Voter ID system doesn’t exist in sufficient quantity to justify the costs of a Voter ID system.

North Dallas Thirty February 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm

The 16 out-of-state voters may not have been able to establish Wisconsin residency, and Wisconsin’s Voter ID law would probably have caught it. But that is a small number in a statewide election. It wouldn’t even make a blip on the vote totals.

Oh really?

Just as an example, Tom Scharbach, say that these “out of state voters” — Obama Party staffers like yourself, although the article strangely fails to mention that — voted three times on that day. Easily done; same-day registration, nobody checks, and by the time the ballots are in the box, it’s too late. In fact, I’ll even spot you that six or so of them were only able to vote once — so let’s say we ended up with 10 of them voting illegally three times in three different precincts.

That’s 30 illegally-cast votes for the Obama Party candidate.

Now, let’s presume that the same thing happens in a mere 10% of Wisconsin’s 3,630 precincts — or 363 of them. 30 extra votes are cast per precinct.

That would be a net of nearly 11,000 votes — more than enough to swing a statewide race.

The simple fact is this, Tom Scharbach; you want us to assume that Obama Party staffers who are already taking advantage of a system to vote illegally once aren’t doing it twice, three, four, however many times — especially when their job is to get a candidate elected, and their pay and perks are based on getting that candidate elected.

And it’s interesting that only Obama supporters like yourself are adamantly against any type of voting safeguard. Republicans have no problem with it, and in fact have been at the forefront of such efforts — despite the fact that, if cheating were rampant in both parties, they would essentially be hamstringing themselves.

But again, it’s amazing. Only Obama voters would be inconvenienced. Only Obama voters would have problems. Only Obama voters don’t have IDs. Only Obama Party vote totals would drop.

Tom Scharbach February 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Dan, the fact is that there is no evidence that there is any significant level of voter fraud in our country.

For example, Wisconsin’s Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen undertook a resource-heavy investigation into voter fraud in the 2008 general election. The result was 11 cases where voter fraud charges were brought, out of just under 3 million votes cast. Similar investigations have had similar results all over the country. And everybody knows it, because it is a fact.

Yes, voter fraud exists, but it is rare.

What is true of voter fraud in general is doubly true of the kind of voter fraud that would be solved by Voter ID.

Voter ID will not, for example, solve the hypothetical you discuss above (and I do note that you cleverly did a little sleight-of-hand, converting 16 possibly ineligible voters statewide into ten ineligible voters per ward, each voting three times, not once), nor will it catch instances of voting once by absentee in one ward and once in person in another, your earlier hypothetical. It won’t catch but a few of the problems, to the extent that they exist.

My argument is that the level of voter fraud relevant to Voter ID is so low that the costs and dislocations created by Voter ID are not justified. I think that is backed up by the facts.

And so is my argument about costs. Conservative estimates (government and independent) are that the State of Wisconsin will spend $6-10 million to implement Voter ID.

That is a lot of money to spend on a problem that is so insignificant as to be non-existent for practical purposes.

But again, it’s amazing. Only Obama voters would be inconvenienced. Only Obama voters would have problems. Only Obama voters don’t have IDs. Only Obama Party vote totals would drop.

Well, if you substitute “primarily” for “only“, you are probably right. The studies that exist strongly suggest — consistently — that the voting populations most affected by Voter ID are Democratic demographics — young voters, old voters and minority voters. I think that you’re on to something — maybe the reason Republicans are pushing Voter ID so hard across the country has less to do with widespread voter fraud than voter demographics. That’s the reason for the Republican push, isn’t it, Dan?

But not to worry, Dan. The level of voter suppression will not be high in Wisconsin, thanks to the efforts of Wisconsinites. In our township, for example, a farmer’s wife has undertaken to identify older voters without photo ID and drive them down to the DOT office in our county on the two days a month that it is open so that they can vote in the April township primary. Similar efforts are going on all over the state, and those efforts, coupled with the GAB’s “Voter ID Awareness” program and efforts by local voting officials, will take care of most of the problem by the time the next election rolls around.

North Dallas Thirty February 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Oh, the hilarity of how Obama Party staffer and voter fraud supporter Tom Scharbach spins.

For example, Wisconsin’s Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen undertook a resource-heavy investigation into voter fraud in the 2008 general election. The result was 11 cases where voter fraud charges were brought, out of just under 3 million votes cast.

Not a surprise, given that the Obama Party-dominated police stalled the investigations – and made it clear that those who did investigate would be punished, as happened in 2004.

And remember what happened with the article I cited above, Tom Scharbach?

One problem Biskupic cited was the flawed Election Commission records.

That was echoed in Tuesday’s report, which at one point states: “The Milwaukee Election Commission, through their ineptitude, raised enough reasonable doubt to prevent any further criminal prosecution.”

Again, what a surprise. An Obama Party-dominated commission and organization responsible for keeping accurate voter records makes sure those voter and voting records are completely unusable for prosecution purposes.

And of course, when Tom Scharbach can’t defend his arguments in favor of voter fraud, he tries to claim anyone who supports voter ID is a bigot.

The studies that exist strongly suggest — consistently — that the voting populations most affected by Voter ID are Democratic demographics — young voters, old voters and minority voters. I think that you’re on to something — maybe the reason Republicans are pushing Voter ID so hard across the country has less to do with widespread voter fraud than voter demographics. That’s the reason for the Republican push, isn’t it, Dan?

Of course, the irony here is that Tom Scharbach is showing his own bigotry by insisting that these so-called Obama constituencies a) never have any form of ID and b) always vote for Obama Party members based solely on their minority status.

Last, but certainly not least, Tom Scharbach, the paid staffer and spokesperson for the Obama Party, the party that insists that greater regulation is always required and that compliance costs are irrelevant, is trying to complain that compliance costs too much?

Tom Scharbach January 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm

And then, of course, like a good paid shill …

Ah, here we go again with the tiresome stream of lying from ND30.

You really need to get a life.

TomJeffersonIII January 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm

1. Yeah, the effort for a ‘voter id’ law in Minnesota is basically directed at people who may oppose the anti-gay marriage ballot measure.

2. Minnesota has same-day voter registration and (for what it is worth) open primaries. We also tend to have more then two major parties (several active minor parties) and some pretty high turnout.

3. In Minnesota you ALREADY need some valid proof of your identity in order to register to vote (early or on the date of the election). Many different things are accepted to prove that you are you and eligible to vote.

So, if you do not have a drivers license, you can get a state ID, which is the same thing, but I think has a different color and makes mention of the fact that you cannot drive/disabled.

Personal tribal ID is accepted, student ID are accepted for on-campus students. Although, I think that you may also have to in this case bring along a bill with your address on it, like rent or cable or utilities. Now, the only main problem would be (1) the cost of getting an State ID. (2) In more rural communities it may be difficult to get to the state office where you apply for a state ID.

So, I would like to see what sort of ‘ID’ a voter ID law is accepting and what will be do about these two issues.

Most of the complaints are largely directed at college students are RESIDENCY issues and not registration per se. Let us say that you grew up in town ‘A’, but have relocated to town ‘B’ to attend college.
If you reside in town ‘B’ for a set period of time, then you can register and vote in town ‘B’ instead of town ‘A;.

Yes, their are probably registration issues related to that. But, if you are a student who lives off campus, chances are you have a state id or a state license and probably some sort of utility bill with your name and address on it. Most students generally want to live off campus, eventually.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: