I am just using this as an example, I am not requesting any action be taken against any user of any kind. This just brings up an important question of how to handle possible misrepresentations of another user's question/answer. I am hoping for feedback on what the community thinks is the best course of action. I a grateful that the user didn't think my edit was a contentious edit and flag it.

I ask this because I tried to correct what I thought was a mischaracterization of my answer in this other user's answer. (My edit is on the bottom)

-Do “free” Voter IDs cost $25 in any state?

No. As your answer points out, there is no direct fee for a voter ID.

No. As your answer points out, there is no direct fee for a voter ID nor is their a $25 fee associated with any required documents in any state.

If you examine my answer, I never claim there is "a direct fee for voter ID. In fact my answer states multiple times that there is no indirect fee for required supporting documentation. It explains the minimum requirements for identification, notes some rejections of minority/poor's inability to obtain ID in court cases, and lists the actual free/low cost alternatives of all 50 states. (excerpt below)

No state requires paying a fee to vote. If you are unable to pay the required costs associated with obtaining the documentation to prove you can legally vote (indigent), then those fees are waived. If you are unable to travel to vote, you can always vote absentee, and similarly those people are exempt from providing supporting documentation.

I also corrected some ambiguity in my quoted? questions. The first is ambiguous because of an unreferenced pronoun.

Is this claim a misrepresentation of Voter ID requirements?

Is thisthe claim , "Obtaining photo ID can be costly and burdensome, with even free state ID requiring documents like a birth certificate that can cost up to $25 in some places," a misrepresentation of Voter ID requirements?

and this question, where my example in the OP to clarify what I meant by, "Is this claim a misrepresentation of Voter ID requirements?" was cut short. (There are other points too that I would call mischaracterizations, but I didn't catch them at first).

Are anti-VoterID advocates just claiming that birth certificates can cost as much as $25

Are anti-VoterID advocates just claiming that birth certificates can cost as much as $25. Voter ID laws require documents, an example of which is a birth certificate or utility bill, and they are just using the more expensive example?

My question is, what is the proper way to handle what could be considered a mischaracterization of another user's question/answer?

  • The answer currently has 2 upvotes. Some of you are encouraging this behavior. (After an edit/rollback, you can switch your vote). Remember, you get the site you deserve.
    – user1873
    Nov 1, 2013 at 6:19
  • You're trolling the site.
    – user1530
    Nov 1, 2013 at 14:15
  • I'm not sure you could say anyone deserves what politics.se has become, but the point is well made. Garbage in, garbage out. Site quality is directly proportional to collective effort and consensus. Nov 1, 2013 at 14:33
  • Let me summarize what you did: You posted a vague question asking something indirectly related to your quote, which you then asked people to confirm for you was misleading. You then answered your own question. Someone else then answered your question. You didn't like the fact that they weren't giving you the answer you wanted, so you edited it to match your opinion. The fact that you are having to ask 'how to handle this' seems to me to show that you do not understand the SE model. If you are treating this place as a personal political blog, I can see where your frustration comes from.
    – user1530
    Nov 1, 2013 at 14:41
  • 1
    Frankly, the question and each answer can all be reduced to less than half their length, and nothing of value would be lost Nov 1, 2013 at 15:08

3 Answers 3


Downvote the answer if you think it's a low quality answer and/or if you think it misunderstands you question.

That's what downvotes are for.

  • @user1873 You can upvote/downvote for whatever reason you want. If you think that the answer is overall a bad answer, for whatever reason, than feel free to donwvote Nov 1, 2013 at 18:35

Write a better answer in response.

Seriously. If you want to deal with inaccuracies in the question or with other answers, man up and submit your corrections to the will of the voters yourself.

Leave their inaccuracies alone. Chances are, whatever they wrote that was wrong is believed by someone else. By addressing the fallacy you have done the internet a service and hopefully earned yourself some points at the same time.

  • 1
    Sorry. "write a better answer in response" doesn't work on this site. Been there, tried that. Same partisan people upvoting crap because they agree with it will downvote the "better" answer.
    – user4012
    Nov 1, 2013 at 13:03
  • 1
    So DVK an user1873 feel that anyone that isn't a libertarian is a partisan hack. Many of us feel user1873's constant posting of vague questions tangentially related to a pundit quote is dragging the site down. I think that means we have consensus. The site is doomed. It was a fun experiment.
    – user1530
    Nov 1, 2013 at 14:17
  • @DVK, it will work eventually (I think). If we shed light on what is obviously indefensible, people will see (what is the negative threshold for hiding answers to new users?) the truth. Our only hope is that "the vocal minority" isn't banned from the site because they are a disruption to the majority and generate too many flags (justified or not).
    – user1873
    Nov 1, 2013 at 14:49
  • @AffableGeek, I had a better answer already. Are you contending I should write another answer (or modify my original) to correct the inaccurate representation of my first answer? Man-up, (are you insinuating I am a child or whining?) I have taken action by addressing the fallacy here, and a solution to future users too boot.
    – user1873
    Nov 1, 2013 at 14:54
  • You know what these running commentaries and cliques remind me of? The IRC flame wars and forum feuds I got mixed up in as a naive teenager. We really need to a great handful of pages from the Wikipedia conduct guide. Nov 1, 2013 at 14:56
  • 3
    @DVK You're the highest-rep user on this site. Somehow I doubt that the community is being unfair to you and user1873(who is the third highest-rep user) Nov 1, 2013 at 15:15
  • 1
    "people will see the truth" = yea, that kind of thinking doesn't bode well for this site.
    – user1530
    Nov 1, 2013 at 16:11
  • @SamIam - rep is a function of upvotes being much more than DVs (10 vs -2). Doesn't detract from the fact that people DV and UV based on partisan leanings (not you personally)
    – user4012
    Nov 1, 2013 at 16:39
  • Nor does rep detract the same people from posting partisan questions over and over again. @dvk just reminded me of this classic post: meta.politics.stackexchange.com/questions/1309/… I had forgotten about that one. It's clear that that user1873 has been using this tactic from day one. Post something over-the-top partisan, get called on it, then come to meta to complain that everyone else is partisan. This behavior hasn't been checked in many months, so I think that means this is just the way this site is
    – user1530
    Nov 1, 2013 at 17:11
  • going to be. I had fun. Thanks to dvk and username1873 for some fun debates, but honestly, as most people seem to appreciate, SE is not for debates. So, I bid you "good day". Maybe we'll meet again in another corner of the internet where passionate political debate is more applicable.
    – user1530
    Nov 1, 2013 at 17:12
  • @DVK Might I ask. What is the current upvote/downvote spread on the of user1873's answer?(the one that this meta-thread is about) Nov 1, 2013 at 18:38
  • @DA., your contributions will be sorely missed. you have a great number of excellent answer. (you should ask more questions)
    – user1873
    Nov 1, 2013 at 18:57
  • @SamIam, it fluctuats between 10-0 and 8-1. I am personally more interested in DA.'s answer, which started at 2-0 and is now at 2-3.
    – user1873
    Nov 1, 2013 at 19:23
  • 2
    @user1873 Not missed enough to change your conduct of course. Chalk another one up for the forces of demagogy. Asking more partisan questions on the other 'side' of the 'spectrum' to 'balance' the site, comically misses the point of stack exchange. Nov 1, 2013 at 20:53

We consider it best practice to not characterize another user's position? For example:

-Do “free” Voter IDs cost $25 in any state?

See foo-user's answer for details. (Hyperlink)


I won't rehash, "Do “free” Voter IDs cost $25 in any state?", because foo-user already provided an excellent answer. As to your other questions [...]

Editing another users post to correct mischaracterizations seems fraught with issues, (Edit wars, etc). Appealing to the Moderators doesn't seem like a good fix, because moderators aren't supposed to determine the truthfulness of answers. It may be the case that mischaracterizations are harmful to Politics.SE though. I could imagine users stating:

"As foo-user points out in their answer, Obama is Kenyan/Republicans eat babies."

  • I personally think it's problematic to have a dependency on another person's answer in the fist place. Not only does it make your answer insufficient, but it's also a bit too chatty for a SE site. Nov 1, 2013 at 18:14
  • SamIam, you are correct, someone could link to another answer, and then that answer could be edited from its original meaning.
    – user1873
    Nov 1, 2013 at 18:28

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