Second-class citizens deserve second-class ballots

Florida’s brand new voter suppression bill is moving quickly:

Tallahassee, FL — A new 151-page version of the Florida House of Representatives’ elections bill HB 1355 surfaced late last night, making a bad elections bill even worse. The League of Women Voters of Florida, along with other voter groups, is still digesting this massive effort to increase regulations and obstacles for voters, Supervisors of Elections and third-party voter registration groups like the League.

When I reached this section of the linked article, I went to the text of the bill because I honestly did not believe it (pdf):

A new provision added last night would now require voters whose legitimacy is challenged by poll watchers to cast provisional ballots with no opportunity at the polls to defend themselves and cast a regular ballot.

Yup. It’s in there.

The clerk or inspector shall immediately deliver to the challenged person a copy of the oath of the person entering the challenge, and the challenged voter shall be allowed to cast a provisional ballot.

Alternatively, a challenge in accordance with this section may be filed in advance with the supervisor of elections no sooner than 30 days before an election. The supervisor shall promptly provide the election board in the challenged voter’s precinct with a copy of the oath of the person entering the challenge. The challenged voter shall be allowed to cast a provisional ballot.

A simple sworn statement that the voter is not eligible is enough to force any voter to accept a second-class ballot. Wow.

Conservatives in Ohio (like Florida) instituted a strict voter ID regimen based on conservative and media claims of voter fraud. A lot of us said at the time that voter ID laws wouldn’t solve the voter impersonation fraud problem because there was no voter impersonation fraud problem. As predicted, the voter ID laws in Ohio and Florida have had no effect at all, the unsupported claims continue, and are now being used to justify still more draconian measures. This is not at all surprising, because it was never about fraud.

Conservatives and media invented a problem: voter impersonation fraud. They then solved the imaginary problem with strict ID regimes. We’re now moving to enact further laws based on the original, unsupported claim of “voter fraud”, although the “solutions” to the original accusation (ID laws) were put in place. Sound familiar?

Facts don’t matter in this one-sided debate, because it was never about voter fraud, just like the birth certificate “controversy” conservatives and media invented was never about official state records of birth.

With that, I’d suggest that voters should start protecting their own right to vote. If you’re a registered voter and are handed a second-class ballot, start with the presumption that you hold a right that is being summarily denied without a hearing.

Voting is a right (conservatives and media are wrong on the facts, law and history here: a trifecta of wrong) and any person who hands a voter a second-class ballot should have to defend that decision. I’d suggest that voters themselves “flip the script” when denied a first-class ballot and ask the poll worker questions that start with the presumption that the targeted voter is not guilty of fraud. If you’re handed a second-class ballot ask to see the specific rule that guided that decision and then ask if there’s any way under the rule(s) that you may cast a first-class ballot in that election.

That’s the way to approach the process because, despite conservative and media claims to the contrary, voting is not like cashing a check or using a debit card. Those are commercial transactions. Voting is not like driving because driving is a privilege. Voting is a right, and whether you own property or hold accounts or are state licensed to drive an automobile has no bearing whatever on that right.

You’re not at the counter at the DMV, bickering over your car registration. People died for this right, and the liberal position that one valid vote denied is one too many is an absolutely crucial counter to the conservative and media position that denying one or many eligible voters the franchise is no big deal.

Ignore Justice Scalia and his personal opinions, because he’s wrong. Don’t get over it.

83 replies
  1. 1
    El Cid says:

    __

    A new provision added last night would now require voters whose legitimacy is challenged by poll watchers to cast provisional ballots with no opportunity at the polls to defend themselves and cast a regular ballot.

    I thought this was already how it was in a variety of states in 2004.

    Those voters who were challenged and thus only permitted to get provisional ballots had no recourse at the polling place and if objecting would be removed.

    I don’t see why they let so many people vote anyway. Look at all these liberals and darker skinned types in office and you know how many people don’t even know how to vote.

  2. 2
    Mandramas says:

    Voting is a right

    In fact, in a more democratic world, It should be a Duty.
    American democracy, I’m afraid, is not so democratic. It is plutocratic biased, and pretty outdated.

  3. 3
    Kay says:

    @El Cid:

    I think their “ID”raises as many questions as it answers.

  4. 4
    lllphd says:

    hm. well. if this monster passes, dems should launch a huge poll watcher effort to question all those voters who arrive in minks and diamonds.

    if no voter can defend themselves at the polls and automatically get issued provisional ballots, it could be quite a hoot to see all those imperious floridians be forced to use provisional ballots.

  5. 5
    kerFuFFler says:

    And so if a person is given a provisional ballot, do they find out whether it was accepted or not—-or do they have to petition later to get it accepted?

  6. 6
    Yevgraf (fka Michael) says:

    If a few poll watchers get shot in the face for making bullshit challenges, this nonsense would stop.

    Where are the Black Panthers and Weathermen when we need them?

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    Kay, you’ve nailed the problem here and the Dems ought to be messaging it this way: these laws assume voters to be guilty until proven innocent, and that is not the American Way.

    I wish Maddow and others would frame it like this. It’s important to get the details right, as you do here, but we need to make it clear that this assumes a duty of culpability for voters that ought to be the state’s burden. THEY should have to prove that a voter isn’t eligible, not the other way around.

  8. 8
    PeakVT says:

    And of course Republicans are still the only people that have been convicted of voter fraud.

  9. 9
    trollhattan says:

    This is good news for the NBP Party! Florida seems to keep striving to prove it’s the Southernestiest State. Well played, sirs, well played.

  10. 10
    superking says:

    I kind of think there should be people at heavily Republican districts challenging everyone who comes to the polls. If they want this, they can hang on it.

  11. 11
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Brava, kay. And thank you. I’ve not much energy these days due to some health issues, and I couldn’t have said anything on the topic nearly as well. As you may recall, I live in a county where second class ballots are quite prevalent in heavily democratic precincts and the local GOP will petition for cert over the 6th Circuit’ decision ordering that all the ballots be counted. The nerve of those activist federal judges! Sigh.

  12. 12
    Brachiator says:

    A new provision added last night would now require voters whose legitimacy is challenged by poll watchers to cast provisional ballots with no opportunity at the polls to defend themselves and cast a regular ballot.

    Someone should file a suit challenging the validity of all absentee ballots, which the GOP loves (appeals to older voters). How does anyone really know that the person who submits the ballot is really the voter?

  13. 13

    Does the law provide any disincentive or penalty for making false or frivolous oaths? Other than the kind Yevgraf suggests.

  14. 14
    Yevgraf (fka Michael) says:

    Iprefer my recommended penalty. If it was good enough for Cheney’s friend to take for the cause, it should be good enough for some GOP activist type.

  15. 15
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Mandramas: In some countries, voting is mandatory. And in the linked article:

    (U.S.) State of Georgia in 1777 (10 years before the Constitution of 1787 established the United States of America):
    Every person absenting himself from an election, and shall neglect to give in his or their ballot at such election, shall be subject to a penalty not exceeding five pounds; the mode of recovery and also the appropriation thereof, to be pointed out and directed by act of the legislature: Provided, nevertheless, That a reasonable excuse shall be admitted.

    ETA: Fix bad link – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_voting

  16. 16
    kay says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I’ve said this before, but I think conservative language on voting is really insidious. You’ll hear “sacred” along with “privilege”.
    I think they’re snowing people into thinking of this differently.

  17. 17
    Steve says:

    Surely the Obama Justice Department has veto power over these changes under the Voting Rights Act.

  18. 18
    Carnacki says:

    Well voting is a privilege and not a right anyway…

  19. 19
    sukabi says:

    what is the punishment for entering a “false challenge”? if there isn’t any, then my suggestion for challenging ALL voters would work…

    seems like the most logical, disruptive way to deal with this new “provision” is to preemptively challenge all elected officials rights to vote… and to challenge all republican voters… because you KNOW who’s going to be the target of these “challenges”…

  20. 20
    SP says:

    Has anyone read the rest of the bill? Is there any reference to a reasonable reason required to challenge, or making it illegal to challenge a constitutionally suspect class, any limit to challenges or penalties for discriminatory challenges? Can they really just challenge all the black people that come in? Could someone just challenge all the old people that come in, since they vote Republican? I can’t imagine that would pass federal review, which of course doesn’t matter because several elections will pass before the law is overturned.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The actual problem is brown people are voting in their own interest, not in the interest of racist reactionary fucktards.

    So we need to deal with those damn brown people.

  22. 22
    Caz says:

    Ignore a Supreme Court justice, but pay attention to the juicetard blogger. LOL. Got it!

    You should provide the motivation you think is behind this as well. I don’t see how this provides any advantage to either party, so what’s the conspiracy about?

    How come when Beck says something, it’s a crazy conspiracy theory, but when a juicetard does it, everyone should pay attention to the evils of conservatives!

    This site is excellent entertainment, particularly because you don’t realize how pathetic, hypocritical, and ignorant you are, lol. Keep up the good work!

    And, again, you don’t have to waste your time replying to this and calling me a troll or whatever, because I’m not coming back to check up on replies.

  23. 23
    PurpleGirl says:

    Whatever happened to Ann Coulter’s voter fraud case in Florida?

  24. 24
    Zifnab says:

    *cough*SecondAmendmentRemedies*cough*

  25. 25
    Martin says:

    Voter registration really should be illegal at this stage. The requirements for establishing residency work just as effectively on election day as they do 3 months before election day. Thanks to the modern invention of computing devices, the state no longer needs to perform this informal census in order to know how many ballots to print.

    North Dakota really should be the model – show up, show residency, vote. If you want to pre-register for *your* benefit, that can still be offered, just not required.

  26. 26
    Poopyman says:

    The clerk or inspector shall immediately deliver to the challenged person a copy of the oath of the person entering the challenge, and the challenged voter shall be allowed to cast a provisional ballot.
    __
    … Alternatively, a challenge in accordance with this section may be filed in advance with the supervisor of elections no sooner than 30 days before an election. The supervisor shall promptly provide the election board in the challenged voter’s precinct with a copy of the oath of the person entering the challenge. The challenged voter shall be allowed to cast a provisional ballot.

    So what is the penalty for filing a false challenge?

    ETA: I see I’m late with the question. So sue me.

  27. 27
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    A well regulated electorate being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to obtain and cast ballots shall not be infringed.

  28. 28
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    The most direct route is to sue under the Voting Rights Act. And yes, the evil part of me wants to stand in those lines and challenge every right hander who walks through. Let it be based on some stupid criteria.

  29. 29
    Citizen_X says:

    Oh come on, when have their ever been election problems in Florida?

    But seriously, go look at the post: as much as the bill challenges voters, it also goes after third-party registration groups (ACORN!). Basically, they’ve now decided the fricking League of Women Voters are the enemy.

    Kay’s right: people fought and died for this right. Don’t let these assholes take it away because they want to go back to the Middle Ages.

  30. 30
    kay says:

    @SP:

    It was too long to include in this post but there’s a really alarming “standard of review” change, where a court cannot look further than the signature to analyze a rejected ballot.
    I haven’t thought it through yet, but that seems huge, because the canvass people have essentially the final say.

  31. 31
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator:

    The thing is, all Oregon elections are run with a vote by mail system, which in effect makes everyone an absentee voter.

    You’d think this would thrill the GOP, but, alas, those damn brown people are still voting. In fact, American Spectator invented out of whole cloth (as in totally fabricated) charges that the first election Oregon ran totally by mail was rife with fraud, and cited particular counties where this occurred on a massive basis.

    Alas, they didn’t bother to even ask the voting officials in Multnomah or Lane counties, where this massive fraud “occurred”, about the massive fraud.

    Because there was no fraud, period.

    It’s like the ACORN registration “scandal”: while the voter registration forms might have been fraudulent, the system worked, in that Mickey Mouse is still not a registered voter. No harm, no foul…but plenty of hand waving by the usual racist assholes.

  32. 32
    kay says:

    @Caz:

    And, again, you don’t have to waste your time replying to this and calling me a troll or whatever, because I’m not coming back to check up on replies.

    An accusation with nothing to back it up and no opportunity for rebuttal. You called me a lot of things, there, brave manly man. Now you’re going to run away?

    You’re a conservative, all right. Adios!

  33. 33
    rikryah says:

    they are who we thought they were.

    poll test…poll taxes…now this…

    same song, different verse

    objective is the same

    VOTER SUPPRESSION

  34. 34
    Citizen_X says:

    @Caz:

    And, again…I’m not coming back to check up on replies.

    Oh, honey, you keep saying that, and yet you keep coming back. Seems you just love the spanking you get.

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Caz, your valiant efforts to establish yourself as a major foul sack of shit are really quite entertaining, but you’ve got a long way to go.

  36. 36
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Yevgraf (fka Michael):

    Um, not being terrorists?

    Heck, Yevgraf is right, why hasn’t somebody murdered Anthony Kennedy or Antonin Scalia yet? Or Paul Ryan? Or Rick Scott? Why do our streets not run red with the blood of the corporate infidels? Revolucion!

  37. 37
    singfoom says:

    Just a small correction. These are third-class citizens. First-class citizens have the suffix of Inc. As in, Mr. Halliburton, Inc. Second class citizens are normal people like you and me.

    Then we have the felons and others who they don’t want to vote, those are the third-class citizens.

    Honestly, I’d be alright with shit like this if they’d make national election days a federal holiday where we’re all given the day off. But that would increase voter turnout, which is the opposite of their goal, as far as I can tell…

  38. 38
    joeyess says:

    In my opinion, John Fund should DIAF along with the entire Right Wing Wurlitzer.

  39. 39
    sukabi says:

    so if a challenge can be issued up to 30 days in advance, and the challenged voter will still be given a provisional ballot… where is the part of this new voter restriction law where a challenged voter can actually present evidence that he or she is actually who they say they are and live at their voting address and get a “real” ballot to vote with?

    It seems to say that you can be challenged and then regardless you’re going to be given a provisional ballot.

  40. 40
    El Cid says:

    I get tired of how all you balloon bangers keep begging for Al Qa’ida to blow us up. Sure, when some white supremacist sets a bomb to blow up a MLK march in Spokane you call them racist terrorists, but when you all talk about how you love bin Laden and the Taliban, you don’t see your own hypocrisy.

    And don’t think I’m going to be back to read replies, because I’ve already gotten my 75 cents for posting this little baseless accusation.

  41. 41
    kay says:

    @joeyess:

    Conservatives and liberals have a huge divide on voting. Conservatives focus on fraud, and liberals focus on access.

    My problem is there are no liberal voices on voting, anywhere, ever. It’s a one-sided debate. Conservatives plus media, and media don’t understand the actual mechanisms of voting, let alone understanding the legal standards or history.

    We’re beat before we start.

  42. 42
    Mr. Long Form says:

    I just want to say that I love this: “You’re not at the counter at the DMV, bickering over your car registration. People died for this right, and the liberal position that one valid vote denied is one too many is an absolutely crucial counter to the conservative and media position that denying one or many eligible voters the franchise is no big deal.” And I would also like to say that my affection for right-wing, confederate, thuggish, hypocritical, selfish, grasping, ignorant, misogynistic, racist, fucktard republicans has been further diminished.

  43. 43
    Mandramas says:

    ‘Course it is. And those countries have lower turnout, and the voting is more democratic. In fact, they choose almost always populist government, except when a particular populist party is losing face, and elitist party regains government.

  44. 44
    Xenos says:

    Shooting poll challengers is uncalled for. A solid right hook to the collarbone is more than sufficient, and does not even require a firearm violation. One less poll challenger available to make trouble that day, and we see how many teahadists are willing to suffer a bit for their cause.

    Not recommended for the non-judgment proof among us. Or for those whose hearts may not handle a bit of a tazing.

  45. 45
    Poopyman says:

    @El Cid: What he meant is that he was moving on to troll DougJ.

  46. 46
    Justaskin says:

    So in a functioning democracy, what sort of political party strives to suppress voter turnout?

    Months and years in advance of an election, what is it about such a party that assures it that it must discourage large numbers of people from voting?

    Given the ostensibly unpredictable nature of voters’ choices among ostensibly reasonable alternatives, what sort of party sees advantage in engineering an outcome of questionable legitimacy?

  47. 47
    jibeaux says:

    I would just love for someone to try to hand me a provisional ballot. I’d look up every local media outlet I could find (handy thing about a smart phone), the ACLU, and if I didn’t get a regular ballot then we would just throw down until I did.
    I have voted in a primary runoff election for Commissioner of Labor. I take my rights seriously.

  48. 48
    Mandramas says:

    @Carnacki:

    Well voting is a privilege and not a right anyway…

    My irony detector is giving me ambiguous results. Could you clarify?

  49. 49
    feebog says:

    Dems should simply put a poll observer in every polling place and challenge every single white voter.

    Turn this around on the bastards, completely foul up the election process and see how the cowards react.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Chad N Freude says:

    Dear Caz,

    you don’t realize how pathetic, hypocritical, and ignorant you are

    Your buddy, Chad

  52. 52
    agrippa says:

    @Caz:

    Caz, pathetic.

    You are not being ignored though

    well played

  53. 53
    Carnacki says:

    @Mandramas: There was a post here the other day where a Republican said voting was a privilege and not a right. He later corrected himself, but it was an insight, I think, into how Republicans/authoritarians really think

  54. 54
    agrippa says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Caz only wants attention

  55. 55
    liberal says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Actually, vote-by-mail and absentee voting really are vulnerable to fraud and other problems.

  56. 56
    agrippa says:

    And, again, you don’t have to waste your time replying to this and calling me a troll or whatever, because I’m not coming back to check up on replies.

    Caz proves the point that Caz is merely an attention seeker

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    @Carnacki: There was a post here the other day where a Republican said voting was a privilege and not a right. He later corrected himself, but it was an insight, I think, into how Republicans/authoritarians really think

    Well, it is how they act, too.

  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Because there was no fraud, period.

    Good points.

    And here in California there is a much use of absentee ballots, especially in GOP friendly Orange County, but no one much talks about voter fraud and mail ballots.

    And although I am being somewhat arch and cynical here, if people honestly thought that it were that important that people show proper ID in order to vote, then absentee ballots would be outlawed.

  59. 59
    Carnacki says:

    @Mandramas: Here’s the post I mentioned

  60. 60

    Why not just swear out affadavits denouncing the entirety of the local Republican party? It’s not like their membership rolls are secret. Use it against them; it’s probably the only way they’ll ever see how wrong this is.

  61. 61
    goblue72 says:

    If making sure that them there nigras and Mooslims and Mexicans have got the birth certificate to ensure they really have the right vote makes this huckleberry a racist, then shoot, call this huckleberry a pie.

  62. 62

    @Citizen_X: Basically, they’ve now decided the fricking League of Women Voters are the enemy.

    How come there’s a League of Women Voters but no League of Men Voters, huh? See, liberals are the real sexists!

  63. 63
    goblue72 says:

    @Cris (without an H): There is – its called the Republican Party.

  64. 64

    Current language, F.S. 101.111 Voter challenges.

    (2) Any elector or poll watcher filing a frivolous challenge of any person’s right to vote commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; however, electors or poll watchers shall not be subject to liability for any action taken in good faith and in furtherance of any activity or duty permitted of such electors or poll watchers by law.

    The penalty for a misdemeanor of the first degree is a definite term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $1,000. Not sure who makes the determination of “frivolous” and “good faith.”

  65. 65

    Let me follow up that “existing language” to stress that the part many of us are reacting against is already the law in Florida. It’s already the case that a challenge results in a provisional ballot; this new law simply takes away more of the challenged voter’s ability to defend themselves.

  66. 66
    Mandramas says:

    @Carnacki: Nice. Thanks Carnacki, it is instructive.

  67. 67
    jim filyaw says:

    actually, i take satisfaction in these kinds of antics by the republicans. they know the demographic clock is running on them, and these are the only way they can hang on to power a little while longer.

  68. 68
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    Not sure who makes the determination of “frivolous” and “good faith.”

    Probably a judge. Which judge exactly, well in the long run that depends on who is winning the elections, doesn’t it? Hurray for positive feedback loops!

  69. 69
    Mandramas says:

    @jim filyaw: Can I ask you a question? Do you remember where did you read the demographic clock thing? I thought it was some of the pet theories of m_c.

  70. 70
    Cassidy says:

    You’re a conservative, all right.

    Ahhhh…the smell of conservatives….a mix of pure coward, urine stained pants, and bile, with dash of closeted homoerotic lust.

  71. 71
    adolphus says:

    I have been a poll-worker in Florida off and on for the last 4 years and this looks like much ado about nothing to me. It looks like what is already been the law for quite some time.

    There may be more to this bill, and I am sure there is and I am prepared to be outraged by what the Republican machine is trying to, but there doesn’t seem to be anything new here with the possible exception of the ability of the challenged voter to mount a defense. Does this mean no oral OR written defense? Right now there is no provision for arbitrating this at the polls themselves, and do you want there to be? The primary actors in such a drama are the challenger, which can be a poll-watcher or private citizen, the challenged voter, and the clerk at the polls, who is a part time worker who does this MAYBE 2-3 times a year and may be an expert in poll procedures, but decidedly NOT in election law. These things should be decided by those who know more about the intricacies of the law like election judges and “regular” judges. Which means you just can’t do it right there at the polls.

    SO all that is left is a written challenge to the challenge, which is how it is done now. A challenger (who is, in the vast majority of cases a private citizen, typically an ex-spouse making their ex’s life difficult or using the challenge as maneuvering in a divorce proceeding) must fill out a form to mount an official challenge. This involves stating a reason for the challenge, providing your full name and contact info, and signing an oath to the truth of your statements under penalty of perjury. Without the challenge in writing, there is NO challenge. As it stands right now, the challenged voter then has the same opportunity to defend themselves, in writing, under oath, and all documents are forwarded to the election judge along with the provisional ballot.

    So the only serious changes I could see being outraged over is that it makes challenges easier (GSD forbid anonymous or bulk challenges) and/or removes the right of the challenged voter to mount a defense in writing COMPLETELY.

    And to answer kerFuFFler @5, the challenged voter is given a serial number for their provisional ballot and they can contact the election judge, typically the next a day, to find out the disposition of the case and I believe they can file some sort of appeal. The latter claim is above my proverbial pay grade, however, and I could be wrong about the appeal.

    A lot of people seem to think a provisional ballots are second class, and I guess they are to a certain extent. But keep in mind they are an improvement over the previous system. In the past someone who encountered a problem at the polls regardless of reason, were sent away without voting at all or sent to the election judge’s office. This hurt poorer people who did not have cars and could not go downtown to have their cases heard. They therefore didn’t vote at all. A provisional ballot, while possibly second class, is at least a vote and in my county clerks are trained that NOBODY who wants to vote is turned away without casting a ballot, wither provisional or normal. This is a vast improvement, if imperfect.

    Also consider that poll watchers have to be registered 30 days in advance, have to be registered voters, have to have id and are regulated by a host of rules when at the polls and tend to get thrown out when they talk to voters, try to touch the register etc etc.

    And this isn’t caging, where challenges are done in advance through nefarious and illegal means. This is at the polls, one voter at a time and takes a lot of time and effort and opens the challenger to charges if the challenge is frivolous or fraudulent. (Patterns of excessive charges usually does this.) To deploy this in any systemic way to effect any election above county level would require literally thousands of poll-watchers just one state like Florida.

    There may be more to this than I know sitting here and I will chase down the pdf and read carefully, but unless they loosen the rules for challenges (allow for bulk challenges similar to caging, or anonymous challenges, or suspend the challenged voter’s right to defend themselves in writing, or right to learn the disposition of their case) then I just don’t see what the big deal is.

    For now. That is of course a PROVISIONAL conclusion, based on what I read here. i am more than prepared to find awful things in this bill. Florida is a machine state and once described by a retired Republic politician as the biggest Ponzi scheme in the country. Please don’t think I am defending the Republicans here, just making sure we get outraged over the right things.

  72. 72
    adolphus says:

    Follow Up: Looking for text of the bill. Kay’s link downloads an .aspx document I cannot seem to open. Anyone with a link, this would be greatly appreciated.I will look elsewhere.

  73. 73
    agrippa says:

    @adolphus:

    adolphus:

    Thanks for that post.

  74. 74
    Cain LaTrans says:

    I don’t understand why all’y’all don’t just start challenging EVERYBODY.

    Force a 100% provisional ballot election – Or, force proof of discrimination.

  75. 75
    WaterGirl says:

    Test

  76. 76

    @adolphus: Thanks for your informed input.

    One thing worth noting here is that current law seems to allow a voter who has been challenged on the grounds of “residence not in precinct” may file a legal change of address and immediately vote a regular ballot. HB1355 would remove that option altogether.

    The .aspx URL is supposed to open the pdf. Maybe your browser plugin isn’t working or something. Try this copy instead.

  77. 77
    varmintito says:

    If the wingnuts want to raise the stakes, let’s raise the stakes.

    Wars have been fought in this country over the right to vote. Even when our country has not been at war with external enemies, the blood of countless patriots has been shed for the right to vote. Trying to interfere with somebody else’s right to vote is not fun and games.

    Anybody who is prepared to swear that somebody attempting to vote is unqualified to vote needs to back it up or face the consequences. The burden is in the objector to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the other person is, in fact, not qualified to vote. If they cannot prove this, they are guilty of a felony perjury. They must serve at least a year in state prison. Once released, they are barred from voting for life.

    This must be a strict liability offense. There should be no “oops, my bad, bygones, water under the bridge.” NO. If you are willing to impose such grave consequences with your sworn statement, it does not matter that your error was “innocent.” Your only legal defenses are either (1) the person you challenged is not qualified to vote, or (2) you are the victim of identity theft, and the person who issued the challenge was somebody pretending to be you.

  78. 78
    adolphus says:

    Cris: Thanks

    After a quick read I’d like to reiterate what I said above. The provisional ballot and challenges section is not what is outrageous here. It is the new burdens placed on third party voter registration organizations like League of Women Voters or other groups. They are asking for very personal information on every worker (including volunteers), enforcing very strict rules about when you have to turn in a completed form, accounting for every form, and assessing fairly egregious fines for any infraction. Interestingly, it seems from my quick read that if someone writes in a joke form (Casper the Friendly Ghost for example) you can be fined for turning in a fraudulent form AND fined for not turning it in within 48 hours. Quite the conundrum, I’d say. Purely accidental I’m sure.

    Also interestingly, there is no tightening of id requirements and they have instituted a requirement that not only do all poll watchers have to be registered and approved by the candidates/parties as well as the supervisor of elections, but they must also get badges with their name on it and designating them as poll-watchers. Not sure where that comes from and not sure what the aggregate effect will be, but come next election all voters will know exactly who works for the county and who works for the party.

    And I guess if they lose their stinkin’ badges they are booted? This seems on the face to be anti-pollwatcher.

    Did I say “voter”? This new bill changes us to “electors.”

    I’d love to find out why that is necessary.

  79. 79
    Cranky Observer says:

    > This involves stating a reason for the challenge,
    > providing your full name and contact info, and
    > signing an oath to the truth of your statements
    > under penalty of perjury. Without the challenge
    > in writing, there is NO challenge.

    You may recall that when the Democratic voters in Washington State who had their names falsely removed from the rolls by Republican challengers sued those challengers for libel and perjury the suits were dismissed. I believe the court held that signing a statement “to the best of my knowledge, under penalty of perjury” meant that the signer would have had to hold a false belief at the time to be liable – which would require mind reading to prove. End result: Democrats disenfranchised, Republicans laughing.

    Cranky

  80. 80
    AxelFoley says:

    Elections and their consequences, how does they work?

  81. 81
    Azzaiseait says:

    The biggest falsehood is that many provisional ballots are not considered or counted. EVERY provisional ballot has a large envelope where the precinct manager list the exact reason the voter’s eligibility is in question according to FLorida Statutes. Likewise, the voter has many lines to explain WHY they feel they are eligible. If they don’t have their ID –they have 46 hours from the time the polls close to bring that ID to the elections office and their provisional ballot WILL count.
    Every provisional ballot is researched by supervisor of elections staff and they presented to the canvassing board of the county, which reviews EVERY ballot. The fallacy is many never get looked at. It is just the opposite. EVERY one is carefully scrutinized and the canvassing board, made up of the supervisor of elections, the chief judge of the county and the president of the local city council are ALWAYS looking for every possible reason to COUNT every provisional ballot IF the law allows them to. This IS how voter fraud is prevented.
    The proposed law does go too far in not allowing those who move into a county or move within the county in which they are registered to vote a regular ballot. Today, they can simply fill out a voter registration application updating their address at the precinct where they live –and they vote a regular ballot. The new law would uselessly require them to vote a provisional ballot -adding thousand more to the canvassing board’s load. But if it DOES pass, you can trust that EVERY one of those provisional ballots will be researched and scrutinized, –not tossed aside or ignored as many ignorant news reports allege.
    If you have any doubts– the canvassing board is open to the public to sit right in front of them to watch them spend hour after hour going through each ballot. I suggest you doubters take advantage of this transparent process to shut the idiots up…

  82. 82
    Chup says:

    Fight fire with fire.

    If they pass this law, Democrats should have poll watchers who look for out-of-state license plates on the vehicles of older folks who vote in GOP-strong districts. They should “question” whether or not these folks are still on the rolls of the states they once lived in, or if they are “snowbirds” whether or not they are voting in two places. I don’t know enough about election laws, but I wouldn’t find it surprising at all to find a lot of folks in this GOOPer-friendly age group who vote in two states — especially Texas, Arizona and Florida.

  83. 83

    […] abhorrent idea – “skin in the game” and all that – the objections to Birtherism and phony voter fraud laws are inexplicable.  Their reasoning is simple: if you’re too screwed up to have a driver’s […]

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