Jun 29, 2015 (Raleigh) — They’re baaaaack. The most popular form of fake ID used in modern vote fraud, called the “HAVA ID,” was almost completely eliminated when North Carolina’s reform-minded legislature passed a comprehensive set of reforms in 2013 (HB 589), but last week’s HB 836, brought those critters back in a big way.
The “HAVA” (rhymes with lava) ID is a piece of paper with a voter’s name and address on it, that a voter can use instead of photo ID. Its nickname comes from a federal law, the Help America Vote Act, declaring such pieces of paper to be “proper ID.” Several vote-fraud-friendly states (NC among them) quickly passed state laws that mirrored the HAVA rules.
HAVA IDs are not valid for boarding an airplane or for opening a bank account or even for visiting your Congressman, but they’re perfect for voting . . . because the fact that there is no picture on them, which enables large-scale election fraud without detection.
Under the HAVA loophole, whenever a poll worker asked a voter for “some form of ID,” the trained (and paid) vote thief would just pull out the fake utility bill. The law prohibited a suspicious poll worker from asking for a photo ID. Thus, vote theft was the perfect crime!
From 2013 to last week, the only loophole that still allowed this easily faked form of ID was for people who drive up to the polls and vote from their cars. Senator Jerry Tillman introduced SB 49, to close that loophole, but it stalled in the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Bob Rucho (R-Meck). . . which means it will take an act of God to get a floor vote. In either case, the hasty passage of HB 836 created even more vulnerability. . . but it can be fixed.
While 836 is a necessary remedy for people who have a crisis the day (or two) before an election, some weasel wording in the bill created several dangerous (but easily fixed) loopholes and one of them involves the HAVA ID. After discussing this matter with several lawmakers, We’re convinced they all understood that voters presenting a HAVA ID would also be required to report their DOB and the last four of their SSN (called the “SSN-4), before their ballot would count. That’s a good idea and nobody knows how the “and” morphed into “or,” but changing “or” to “and” in this context would make most (but not all) types of fraud harder to commit. We discussed this problem in a prior post (seen by clicking here), so we won’t rehash it.
Making a fake HAVA ID is easier than making a fake ID for underage drinking. Some of my high school friends probably have a story to tell about that, but the point about ease of production has always bothered election integrity activists all across the nation.
The Bottom Line
We really discourage these bogus forms of ID unless they’re used to corroborate other forms of ID. For example, a voter walking in with a passport, a tribal ID card or even a military ID ought to prove their address. Current law prohibits election workers from asking for proof of address, but a HAVA ID would actually be helpful in that situation. Using a HAVA ID by itself as proof of identity is a major loophole that should be decisively closed.
While no system is 100% fraud-proof, a HAVA ID can be useful when used along with some other form of ID (preferably one with a picture) to confirm the voter’s residence.
On the matter of HB 836 (which is now law in NC) a HAVA ID that’s authenticated and verified [a topic discussed in this post] along with the voter’s DOB & SSN-4 would be reasonable requirements for somebody claiming not to have any photo ID whatsoever. Hopefully, Legislators will agree.
[The next post will explore the ruse–designed to put the public back to sleep–of the “sworn affidavit.]