Show a Photo ID to report for jury service

Add this to the times when one is required to show ID: jury duty. An example recent summons:

In other words, simply being at home to receive the physical piece of mail and then returning to the courthouse with that physical piece of mail is insufficient to establish identity and legitimacy.

37 thoughts on “Show a Photo ID to report for jury service

  1. To be fair, an individual could have an enormous incentive to pretend to be someone else to serve on a jury (say, to get their friend set free), and a single individual could have a big impact on the jury outcome. Furthermore, you’re not really disenfranchising anyone if you keep them from serving on a jury.

    When voting, your one vote has almost no impact on the outcome, so you’re committing a felony for essentially no reason. In-person voting fraud just really doesn’t make sense. Large-scale voting fraud would be a different story, however. You also tend to systematically disenfranchise democrats. It just seems completely obvious that republicans are mostly interested in voter ID laws to kick out democrats to win elections. Just like democrats are interested in signing up as many people to vote as possible simply because they’ll win more elections that way. Neither side has any particular interest in justice or the sanctity of the vote.

    • I wonder if anything like that has ever happened anywhere. That is, someone stealing a juror summons and using it to get sworn in on a jury in order to set a friend free. I doubt it.

    • More likely than stealing someone’s summons is buying it or intimidating them (think mafia). More likely than that is probably the rich paying someone else to serve in their place. It would be an economic no-brainer for a person making a few hundred thousand a year to pay an existing employee or unemployed person a thousand a week to serve in their place, if it meant the difference in maintaining their primary income.

  2. ND: “You also tend to systematically disenfranchise democrats”


    The United States is alone among all Western democracies in not requiring voter ID.

    “Neither side has any particular interest in justice or the sanctity of the vote.”

    that is just plain wrong. The Democrats clearly want to make it easy to come in large scale voter fraud..

    The only way for a democracy to function is for the voters to accept the results elections and making it easy to cheat as the Democrats do is destabilizing to our democracy.

    • Democratic voter fraud is propaganda fueled by political paranoia, ignorance and desperation. It’s not based in fact or reality. What IS destabilizing our elections, is the GOP grooming their constituents for decades to believe the same nonsense you’re pedaling here. Zero proof, despite decades of voting by over 100 million people. So desperate now, republicans aren’t even alleging actual voter fraud, but “concerns of voter fraud,” which they created and stoked. Too bad a large percentage of Americans are too dim to differentiate the two. It’s to the point now, where 70% of of republicans believe an election was illegitimate based on the words of the former leader of the party, who is a narcissistic, pathological liar. If Trump had told people the sky is purple, and it’s the fault of democrats, 70% of republicans would believe it. Kinda sad and tragic how far republicans have stooped and fallen.

    • Senorpablo, what is wrong with presenting ID? What establishment can anyone go without ID not as paying customer or invited guest? Even stores can ask for DL to validate credit purchases and photo id is required for alcohol/tobacco buyers. How stance against photo id only at a voting booth can not not to cause doubts on Democratic party motives. It is the other way, this illogical ans suspicious party stance only at voting booth makes people go for Republican/alternative news sources. I am not saying that photo ids would be a panacea from any type of fraud but make fraud a tad harder.

    • LSI – None of the examples you give are constitutional rights, let alone fundamental to our democracy. Credit cards, drinking, smoking and driving are privileges in our society. Also, America has a history of systemic voter “disenfranchisement” or “suppression” in the recent past. Interesting how that behavior, which was awful and actually happened right out in the open, gets labeled with a rather harmless sounding words, while the imaginary threat cooked up by the GOP gets the ominous sounding label: “fraud.”

      It must be a happy coincidence that the “solution” to this imaginary problem would also overwhelmingly benefit the republican party. Imagine that.

      Global warming – overwhelming evidence and scientific consensus; republicans: it’s a hoax, won’t even acknowledge the possibility.

      Voter fraud – zero proof despite billions of people having voted in elections; republicans: this is a huge problem and threat to our democracy, we must act now!

    • Senorpablo, hard proof only possible when there is medium to preserve traceable evidence and there are willing to talk witnesses of fraud. Even they are often ignored. especially in 2020. Despite hardness of proving specific fraud there are plenty of voter fraud convictions, unbiased search engine is your friend. I agree that individual group disenfranchisement and gerrymandering are all too common, especially in Democrat control cities. Voter ID helps to fight disfranchisement. Voting is not a right – it is privilege of those who hold US citizenship, unlike buying food items such as beer and pursuing happiness. Double voting disenfranchises those who follow law and vote once, ID helps to fight it. Buying food items is a right and often id is required. Walking in public spaces is a right and in some public spaces id is required.
      I would understand if you was against IDs everywhere from libertarian point of view but you seem to favor Democrats mantras.
      What does global warming has to do with this except being another Democrat mantra. You create Republican strowmans point of view. Weather changes with time but how Al Gore CO2 credits can help cool it?

  3. You realize, of course, that whenever you point these things out, the people who a vested interest in insuring that no IDs are used for voting have a file cabinet full of full of spin like the stuff ND talks about to tell you “to be fair” how it’s not the same thing, isn’t as important, does much worse things, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. There’s an entire industry of people who come up with counterarguments to use on the Internet, in print, in interviews, in the movies, in academia, in the Legislature, and your children’s textbooks to come up with those reasons.

    So why debate it here? Because there’s ZERO chance any minds will be changed!

  4. Once upon a time I did software for county governments- the voter registration and jury duty (in that case) were the same system. Irony, eh?

  5. It also occurred to me that maybe the greatest argument in favor of voters showing ID is our societal response to coronavirus. If an entire nation can accept having its civil rights wadded up and thrown into the dustbin of history for an indefinite period of time to fight an airborne respiratory virus, and we accept, in the words of the MIT Technology Review that invasive contact tracing and constant surveillance will be the “price we will be gladly willing to pay for the basic freedom to be with other people” then surely the idea of requiring ID to vote has no good counterargument.

    Even absent that, I don’t see what the counterargument is. The IDs are easy and cheap to get. Alternative forms of ID could be readily accepted and if there was any doubt, a person could just receive a provisional ballot. The idea of disenfranchisement at the polling place by malicious or bullying poll workers is remote-to-laughable now. If you’re worried about minorities, in most of the big city districts around the country, the poll workers are all minorities themselves. More than anything, I’d guess they’d just ignore the requirement if they wanted to and nobody would say anything.

    • In fact, that last sentence above is probably something like what would happen. Let’s imagine that at some point in the future Republicans control both houses of Congress and the Presidency – which is never going to happen again, but humor me – and passed a federal law stipulating that every state must require a government-issued ID for the purposes of voting. I can reel off a list of states that would immediately stand up through their Governors and Attorneys General who would say: “We just won’t do it!” and it would be fought all the way to the Supreme Court. And they would win.

      No, I’m afraid that we’ve shown that the government (acting through executive orders – not the state legislatures) has the power to shut down your business, force you to wear masks, force you to quarantine, pauperize you and your family and shunt you onto the Road to Serfdom to battle an airborne respiratory virus, but the idea of it ever requiring someone to show an ID to perform a basic civic function as a citizen of the United States is never going to happen. Once the insanity takes root, it can never be expunged until the patient dies.

  6. Do they make you guess how many beans are in a gallon size jar before serving on the jury as well?

  7. To simplify a bit, the marginal voter tends to be democrat. Republicans vote no matter what. Democrats vote if it’s easy. So republicans are always trying to make it harder, and democrats are always trying to make it easier. The people without IDs skew democrat. It’s fine for you to say, “It’s easy to get an ID.” You already have one to drive. But if you don’t have a driver’s license and don’t need one, it’s kind of a pain to get one just to vote, and many people who would otherwise vote probably won’t.

    If democrats were to righteously declare, “We’re super concerned about voter fraud. Driver’s licenses won’t cut it because you can just give your license to someone else and the volunteers manning the polling places might make too many mistakes looking at the photo. We need to have everyone vote in special polling locations located in city centers and manned by trained officials. Sure that might be a bit of a pain for rural voters, but it’s not that hard to just drive into the city to vote. And sure, rural voters skew republican, but trust us, we only have the integrity of the vote in mind,” and if you rolled your eyes and said democrats were just cynically trying to stop republicans from voting, I wouldn’t disagree with you. And that’s kind of where we are with voter ID laws now.

    I have no problem with requiring an ID to vote in principle, but when in-person voter fraud seems to be a non-issue and you have republican operatives sending emails (in 2011) saying things like, “Do we need to start messaging ‘widespread reports of election fraud’ so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number? I obviously think we should,” it starts to look like it’s just being pushed mainly as a way to stop people of the wrong party from voting. And that makes me uncomfortable.

    I don’t think the democrats are saints. As I said, I’m sure the only reason they’re interested in “get out the vote” exercises and same day voter registration is that it statistically will help them. I just think that requiring voter ID will likely decrease the number of (legal) voters and will likely have a negligible effect on voter fraud, and it’s being pushed mostly for partisan reasons.

    • ND, you have made a number of assumptions not backed by anything. It is a huge question whether ID negligibly or significantly affects voter fraud but it is clearly not a panacea from voter fraud. It is a huge question whether “marginal voters” (who are they?) are preferring Democrats because they are supposedly poor or they are supposedly poor because they are voting Democrat without understanding reasons why and effects of their policies. It is also a huge assumption that Republican voters mostly vote – it is not backed by any data. Many a disillusioned and not voting. Otherwise how Trump got 12+ millions more votes in 2020 then in 2016?

    • > To simplify a bit, the marginal voter tends to be democrat.

      I will put it even more starkly: the typical Democratic voter reminds me of special education students. If you make it as easy as possible to vote without any thought or effort, they may vote. If it requires any hurdle, no matter how small, they will just give up. It’s pathetic.

  8. > To simplify a bit, the marginal voter tends to be democrat. Republicans vote no matter what.

    Thanks for simplifying. That’s not what happened in Georgia, was it? Republicans lost both senate runoff races because their voters stayed home in larger numbers than the Democrats who were energized to turn out and vote, ID or not.

    > But if you don’t have a driver’s license and don’t need one, it’s kind of a pain to get one just to vote, and many people who would otherwise vote probably won’t.

    But doesn’t everyone need a driver’s license or at least some form of ID? Isn’t that why 16 states now provide them to undocumented immigrants? If you’re an illegal alien and live in any of the following states, you can get a driver’s license. So why is it “kind of a pain” for states to issue an ID for people who are bona fide citizens so they can vote?

    California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

    >Driver’s licenses won’t cut it because you can just give your license to someone else and the volunteers manning the polling places might make too many mistakes looking at the photo.

    So all those black people look the same?

    >And sure, rural voters skew republican, but trust us, we only have the integrity of the vote in mind…

    I live in a rural area of MA and wasn’t required to show an ID to vote. I wish I had been, because anyone could have voted in my place just by walking up to the poll worker and saying: “I’m Alex.” This becomes a very big concern in places where you know someone is out of town, will not be available to vote, etc. Many of the people where I live are vacationers. It would be very easy to manufacture dozens of votes where I live simply by noting who is out of town and bringing fake voters to the polling place to cast a ballot in their place. The ID requirement would at least make that more difficult.

    The ID requirement is a nothingburger. It’s simple to implement, inexpensive, and everyone would have one. At $5 per ID card every 5 years, you could do 330 million for a paltry $1.65 billion and America would find itself in the company of most other 21st century Western countries that require one. What’s the hold up?

    • > I don’t think the Democrats are saints.

      Well thank goodness for your perspicacity there. Cheers!

  9. Fraud or no fraud, having an impact final result or not, republican favoring it and democrats not, or what have you, blah, blah, blah. are all pointless and fruitless points. An ID must be a requirement to vote just like an ID is required for many, many other things in life. Period.

    Furthermore, it’s not hard to produce an ID and it doesn’t have to be a driver’s license ID and you have 4, yes FOUR years to get one. So get started if you don’t have one and stop whining about it at the last minute. If you don’t know how to get an ID, and you don’t put the effort to get one, then you are too stupid to know how to vote and your vote should NOT be counted. Period.

    I’m sick and tired of the progressives dumbing down this country and keep telling the dumbs and the bums that they will be taken care of. Even worse, that it is OK to be dumb and that it is not their faults.

    • George A., supposed ID inaccessibility is just Democrat talking point. Everyone who knows what word “elections” means has one and people are getting insulted when asked whether they can obtain ID for voting. It is required to get mobile phone service, phone or cable land line or mailing address.

  10. I hire employees at entry level and lower pay scales. Quite a few of them are middle age or even senior adults returning to the workforce, or changing jobs. As everyone knows, hiring someone involves completing form I-9, which requires a valid photo ID plus a secondary form of ID (such as a birth certificate or Social Security card).

    In the last year, I’ve had six candidates ranging in age from 20s to 80, whose IDs were expired. In one case, the ID had been expired almost 30 years; in another, over twelve.

    Most people’s daily lives don’t require an ID card. They’ve had the same bank account for their whole adult lives, and they’ve been depositing their check (no ID required) using the teller they’ve known by first name for a decade. It’s simply not an issue until they do something that requires an ID card.

    Young adults trying to get a job often have the hardest time getting an ID. It gets much more difficult after turning 18, because the requirements increase. Young people are increasingly delaying learning to drive, or they can’t afford a car. They don’t know to save paperwork, or their upbringing was too chaotic to do so (accompanied by a lack of parental involvement).

    Getting to and from the DMV, plus gathering the necessary documents, is daunting. If they were born in another state, obtaining vital records is expensive. Even if the state provides a free ID, the supporting documents are anything but.

    Yes, getting ID is more difficult for the poor. I live in a very rural and very white county, but it’s no easier in a very urban and very black community.

    If anyone cares, I’ll tell how my mother drove, worked, and voted without ever having a birth certificate until she was in her mid-50s. Not that she didn’t have a copy, but no such document had ever existed for her.

    • KBCraig,
      Of course. In olde times people entering USA were screened at Ellis Island and nobody even had a social security number. To continue with anecdotes, was it candidate in his/her 20’s whose ID had been expired 30 years? I hope that poor teenagers in your case did not have to attend private schools. Because public schools provide school IDs for free.

  11. ND “It just seems completely obvious that republicans are mostly interested in voter ID laws to kick out democrats to win elections.”

    It’s also obvious that Democrats know that a lot of their voter base is too stupid to figure out how to get an ID. Here in Canada ID is required for voting at any level and it’s not the slightest bit controversial.

  12. > None of the examples you give are constitutional rights, let alone fundamental to our democracy.

    So you’re in favor of letting people buy guns without showing ID? That’s a constitutional right as well.

  13. We just had a privately funded election with large disparate impacts.

    Read the Amistad Project for a real understanding of election shenanigans.

    Funded by hundreds of millions of dollars from Facebook founder Mark
    Zuckerberg and other high-tech interests, activist organizations created a
    two-tiered election system that treated voters differently depending on
    whether they lived in Democrat or Republican strongholds.

    In Democrat Delaware County, Pennsylvania, one drop box was placed
    every four square miles and for every 4,000 voters. In the 59 counties
    carried by Trump in 2016, there was one drop box for every 1,100
    square miles and every 72,000 voters.

  14. Over the last 20 years, I have served as a scrutineer in a number of elections, locally, and watched voter fraud as it happened.
    So I know it happens all the time. Insisting on ID just discourages some of the cheating. Its simple, and since you need photo ID for everything else in life as an adult, this is not an onerous requirement. Its insulting and racist to think that poor black people are disenfranchised because they need ID…really racist. Really disgusting that you would believe that your supporters are too “poor” to have ID. You dont believe that. It just makes it easier for you to cheat.

    • Do you call cheaters on it?

      If so, what happens?

      Do you think what you see is just the tip of the iceberg, or do you feel you have a good ide about the amount of cheating?

  15. Sure I call out and document “suspected” cheating, but if photo ID is not required, it is only suspected cheating. For example, a gentleman arrived in a BMW and walked in with only a hydro bill and a friend to verify identity. —No drivers license, even though he had the keys in his hand. Since he followed the technical requirements, he was allowed to vote. However, next day follow up showed that he should have been a 96 year old invalid, not a thirty something. But he had voted, and the ballot was in the system and could not be retrieved! It was a close election, less than 1000 votes separated the winner from the runner up. This situation was repeated many times.

  16. What I have seen is the tip of the iceberg. In every election, the number of voters, who vote, in a largely apathetic population goes up. We have gone from 48% up until 2010 to near 70% now (too high) and every year the popular candidate here loses by less than 1000 votes, with a few more votes than they got last time, and no name ghost candidate wins??!!…

    We are a small potatoes place in comparison to many contested places in the US.

  17. You can have fun with this. Call them up and tell them that you will appear for jury service, but you do not consent to a search. Since metal detectors at courthouses are deemed “consent searches” (you consent to the search as a condition of entering the building) and you are entering the building against your will (you have been summoned) they cannot force you to consent to be searched. There is no probable cause for such a search. Ask them to have a marshal meet you outside the courthouse to escort you in. If he tries to make you go through the metal detector, empty pockets, etc. simply refuse. While you’re there you’ll see fed. law enforcement, prosecutors and others pass by without emptying their pockets. You don’t have to either. The penalty is that you won’t be permitted to enter the building. Which is what you want in the first place.

    • Michael: Thanks for this, which is funny and interesting to contemplate. But can it truly be that simple? Couldn’t any witnesses who’ve been subpoenaed also get out of testifying via the same strategy?

    • Subpoenaed witnesses can’t get out of testifying but they can get out of the consent search. It’s a dilemma for courthouse managers. They would have to pass a new rule if everyone starts to do this. In one case I know of, they escorted the individual into the courthouse from outside. In jury duty cases, they simply will take your name off the list. You might also want to take a look at this:

      If you get a chance to serve on a grand jury, that’s a different story. Grand juries have extraordinary powers that are seldom used. In Boston, an investigation into the Aaron Schwartz case might turn up some interesting evidence.

      BTW, I’m a long time reader; I remember your Samoyed.

    • Michael: That is a great link and thanks for remembering !

      1: Upon receiving the summons, write “No English” on it and send it back. (Wouldn’t it be better to write “no Inglés”?)

      3. Upon receiving the summons, write a letter to the Clerk saying that you cannot serve “because only God can judge.” (This is a great point. The world has been organized by a benevolent omnipotent god. If someone commits an action that we deem heinous, e.g., voting for Donald Trump, then by definition it must have been God’s will. Why would we send someone to prison for merely doing what God wanted him/her/zir/them to do?)

      4. tell the judge that you cannot be fair because “if the defendant is here it means he must be guilty.” (This is also a great point. The defendant will have to pay $1 million in legal fees to mount a credible defense. Why would the government impose what is essentially a minimum $1 million fine on someone who isn’t guilty?)

    • @philg, regarding point 3, if you are referring to the only G-d of Bible which looks that you are based on content then you MUST judge fairly
      Deuteronomy 16:18: “Appoint judges and officials for your tribes . . . and they shall govern the people with due justice. You shall not judge unfairly”
      Deuteronomy 16:20: “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you.”

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