John Lewis is concerned, but I’m well past “troubled”

Great piece by John Lewis on voting:

Since January, a majority of state legislatures have passed or considered election-law changes that, taken together, constitute the most concerted effort to restrict the right to vote since before the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The 1993 National Voter Registration Act — also known as the Motor Voter Act — made it easier to register to vote, while the 2002 Help America Vote Act responded to the irregularities of the 2000 presidential race with improved election standards. Despite decades of progress, this year’s Republican-backed wave of voting restrictions has demonstrated that the fundamental right to vote is still subject to partisan manipulation. The most common new requirement, that citizens obtain and display unexpired government-issued photo identification before entering the voting booth, was advanced in 35 states and passed by Republican legislatures in Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri and nine other states — despite the fact that as many as 25 percent of African-Americans lack acceptable identification.

Having fought for voting rights as a student, I am especially troubled that these laws disproportionately affect young voters. Students at state universities in Wisconsin cannot vote using their current IDs (because the new law requires the cards to have signatures, which those do not). South Carolina prohibits the use of student IDs altogether. Texas also rejects student IDs, but allows voting by those who have a license to carry a concealed handgun. These schemes are clearly crafted to affect not just how we vote, but who votes.

John Lewis, a Democrat, is a congressman from Georgia.

If we make it difficult for poor and young people to vote, or, in the case of “provisional” (second-class) ballots, make it difficult to have their votes counted, fewer poor and young people are going to vote and fewer poor and young people are going to have their votes counted.

One wrongfully disenfranchised voter is one too many, but in our country, in our cash-choked system, where moneyed interests already have a hugely outsize political voice relative to their actual numbers fewer poor and young people voting is a flat-out disaster.

So what’s it going to take before this becomes a top-tier issue for ordinary middle class democracy enthusiasts who may not (yet) be directly affected by these laws?

An attempt by conservatives to have portions of the Voting Rights Act declared unconstitutional? The same Voting Rights Act sections that were defended (successfully) by a majority in Congress as recently as 2006?

You got it. Last week, in Arizona.






105 replies
  1. 1
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    rapid fire posting tonight. Must be the hurricane. :)

  2. 2
    Phylllis says:

    Interestingly, the law is getting a lot of pushback here in South Carolina, and it’s implementaton has already been delayed.

  3. 3
    Kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Oh, well. It’s good, right? You can read while you’re refilling the bathtub with non-potable water, and waiting for the storm.

  4. 4
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Kay: yeah, not so much of that here in the sturdy midwest.
    ETA: As to the point of the post, I am still mystified as to why there isn’t a national standard for voting. That just makes common sense. Especially in national elections.

  5. 5
    kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Right. I’m the neighborhood tornado shelter. We have a house on a slab next door, and they come over like refugees. I myself will not go into the cellar, because I’m irrationally afraid of bats, and I once encountered one down there, but they are more than welcome to sit in the cellar w/out me.

  6. 6

    So what’s it going to take before this becomes a top-tier issue for ordinary middle class democracy enthusiasts who may not (yet) be directly affected by these laws?

    Long soup lines, with or without a another civil war.

  7. 7
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    If I hear one more time that you need an ID to cash a check I am going to murder someone. I have no idea what a checking account, or lack of one, has to do with voting.

  8. 8
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The net result of making it harder for college students to vote will be even fewer college students voting. It would be hard to imagine a successful campaign on this issue on most campuses in the South.

  9. 9
    kay says:

    @Phylllis:

    I’m glad. Was a time I followed all of them, but now there are too many. It’s a full-time job. I read two election law sites and not even they can keep up. It feels like a full-on assault, compared to 2004-2008.

  10. 10
    gbear says:

    …passed by Republican legislatures in Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri and nine other states…

    Fortunately, it was vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton in MN.

  11. 11
    AA+ Bonds says:

    These laws are mostly illegal under the Constitution, various state constitutions, and the Voting Rights Acts. However, “sobriety checkpoints” exist, so we’re pretty far down that road already with the Constitution at least.

  12. 12
    kay says:

    @gbear:

    Woo hoo!

    I saw there’s a challenge in WI under the Wisconsin state constitution, which is sort of bold ‘n creative. Or…sadly desperate. Take your pick!

  13. 13

    @kay:

    The wingnuts are desperate to their bones, like cornered animals with no where else to go but throw anything like fair play and basic democratic principle out the window. The writing is on the wall. The white supremacy didn’t need slavery to exist, nor even Jim Crow. What it does require is enough white people to maintain control, through the ballot in a functional democracy, even with a narrowing margin for victory. That is rapidly changing. You can hear it from race warriors like Pat Buchanan, and others.

    And that margin for control per democratic means is slipping away from them, and the recent insanity with the debt ceiling is only a prelude for the desperation and skullduggery still to come.

    It is serious business, when birthrights are threatened. People go to war for less.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @kay: Remember that tort reform in Ohio was overturned based on the a state constitutional right to a remedy. State constitutions can be more liberal than the Fed one.

  15. 15
    kay says:

    @General Stuck:

    I read this Texas Hispanic voting rights advocate who said she thought it might backfire. That people might value the vote more if conservatives make them jump through hoops, and they recognize they’re being targeted.

    I don’t know, though. That sounds like something I’d say :)

    Keep hope alive, etc. Be great if she was right, but I’m a tad skeptical.

  16. 16
    Yutsano says:

    @kay: Which Prosser will smack down like a whack-a-mole game at a cheap carnival. Prosser has already said he’ll do pretty much whatever Scotty Boy wants and back him up. Since this can turn into a federal issue, I bet that won’t be the end though.

  17. 17
    MikeJ says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I am like a hurricane, there’s calm in my eye.

  18. 18
    Jay S says:

    @kay: It isn’t even true. I cash checks for deposit in my account with nothing but my signature.
    ETA, but then I’m a middle aged white guy.

  19. 19
    nellcote says:

    Get to know ALEC

    It’s no coincidence voter disinfranchisement is happening in so many states.

  20. 20
    gene108 says:

    So what’s it going to take before this becomes a top-tier issue for ordinary middle class democracy enthusiasts who may not (yet) be directly affected by these laws?

    If white upper-middle class folks can’t vote, it may become an issue.

    I say may because of how low our voter participation already is. I think enough people just don’t care that no power in heaven or hell will make people wake up and think that they have a voice in a democratic government.

    They just get desensitized to the idea that in a democracy, people can have an active role in the government.

    This of course favors the small group of folks, who keep actively pushing their interests above those of the masses, but so far nothing seems to get the masses to get off their couches and get out to vote.

    I think voter turn out for the 2010 election was 35% or so, while in a Presidential election getting 50%+ of people to vote is a sign of our “healthy” democracy.

  21. 21
    kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Agreed. Good point. I don’t mean to be flip or dismissive. I think they should use everything they have.

    I’m discouraged. We’re doing a petition in Ohio to delay the latest Ohio suppression law and I’m getting a big yawn from the local Lefties and Democrats. It’s important to me, so I get pissed off. I don’t know why they don’t “get” it, and I am tired of lobbying them. I don’t think I should have to, at this point, honestly. I don’t know how blatant conservatives have to be before middle and upper class voters who are not directly affected see this as important. I have an ID. That doesn’t mean I’m exempt from the broader effects. I’m doing this ridiculous quid pro quo thing, where I’m telling them I helped them on SB 5, so they owe me one. Why do I have to do that?

  22. 22
    gene108 says:

    @kay:

    About as much as trying run the government’s finances like a person runs their household finances.

    It’s one of those “common sense” “heartland” ways of life, that defy all logic and reason, if logic and reason are of course applied, rather than reliance on the blind faith of a doctrine.

  23. 23

    The most common new requirement, that citizens obtain and display unexpired government-issued photo identification before entering the voting booth, was advanced in 35 states and passed by Republican legislatures in Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri and nine other states — despite the fact that as many as 25 percent of African-Americans lack acceptable identification.

    Not sure “despite” is the word I’d have gone with, there.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    @TooManyJens: It definitely sounds like a “working as intended” situation to me.

  25. 25
    jo6pac says:

    Sorry it’s nothing to worry about, please move along. I add everything is on schedule pleae move along. We would like a Smile with that.

  26. 26
    kay says:

    @gene108:

    I really think if media were to walk through the steps of registering and voting, themselves, they would see the holes in the conservative arguments, and know what questions to ask.

    It’s infuriating. We are not even to the point where we distinguish between registering to vote and voting. Two different things. We don’t even do that. Election process is so specific and rule-bound, and yet there is this constant media refrain that it’s just CHAOS out there, with no records or rules, and all kinds of fraud and such. Just the polar opposite of how it actually works, on the county level.

  27. 27
    Mattsky says:

    Kay you need a picture ID to do a lot of things including open a bank account or cash a check. You need one buy a ticket to ride a Greyhound bus or Amtrak. I needed one to get a library card. How come you never hear any out rage how the old and the poor are kept from taking out books at a public library?

    How come you nutroots don’t organize a protest against Greyhound, Amtrak or a public library for discriminating against the poor? Why is it you never hear that complaint against them?

    Somebody should go call the cops on Kay about now.

  28. 28
    gex says:

    The thing about young voters is that they don’t stay young. And if they want to vote and you don’t let them, they will remember that. And they’ll remember who didn’t want to let them vote.

    So much of the GOPs tactics rely on a voting block of people who won’t be here in 20 years or a demographic distribution that won’t exist in 20 years. So I guess they have to end participatory democracy by then somehow or all this shit will get turned around.

    At least, I hope so.

  29. 29
    birthmarker says:

    OT and maybe already covered, but front pager Laura over at DKos is covering the discussion Freddie started here the other night about school choice. I can’t link a bit, but here’s the title on GOS.

    Taking apart the choice argument for charter schools?

  30. 30
    gene108 says:

    @General Stuck:

    The wingnuts are desperate to their bones, like cornered animals with no where else to go but throw anything like fair play and basic democratic principle out the window. The writing is on the wall. The white supremacy didn’t need slavery to exist, nor even Jim Crow. What it does require is enough white people to maintain control, through the ballot in a functional democracy, even with a narrowing margin for victory. That is rapidly changing. You can hear it from race warriors like Pat Buchanan, and others.

    It’s not desperation or panic.

    I think the leaders on the Right have a long list of reforms we take for granted from the 20th century, which they would love to overturn. They also have a win-at-all costs mentality, where winning is the most important thing and how they win is secondary. They’re all disciples of Richard Nixon, at some level.

    They just made sure Nixon’s tactics became more palatable to the masses, rather than offend damn near every American.

    They created the Federalist Society to churn out lawyers and more importantly judges to push their intellectual view points.

    They created think tanks to mainstream these ideas and wrap them up in a fancy bow for mainstream consumption.

    They have expert media consultants, who make emotional arguments to people by the way they brand their agenda. The inheritance tax was meant to keep America from having a wealthy class of aristocrats, who just pass on inherited wealth to their descendents. Right-wingers rebranded it the “death tax” and got their followers to buy into wanting it overturned.

    Restricting voting by attacking the virtually non-existent problem of voter fraud is just another use of their marketing savvy to push their agenda, to make sure they win at all costs.

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mattsky:

    you need a picture ID to do a lot of things including open a bank account or cash a check. You need one buy a ticket to ride a Greyhound bus or Amtrak. I needed one to get a library card. How come you never hear any out rage how the old and the poor are kept from taking out books at a public library?

    Do you have a Constitutional right to do any of those things?

  32. 32
    jwb says:

    @kay: Anyone in the major media asking these questions would likely be quickly out of a job. The media serves to protect the interests of the monied class. The confusion you mention does not arise out of neglect or ignorance; it is quite purposeful, even strategic. Much comes into focus once you presume that the media is in fact very good at doing the job it is paid to do.

  33. 33
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I hear that active duty servicemen will be hit too,in some states. The active duty ID is not acceptable, it would be funny to see stories of vets denied voting in so-called “pro-military Replubican” states. Not that this is the first time the GOP sh*ts on the vets.

  34. 34
    gene108 says:

    @kay:

    I really think if media were to walk through the steps of registering and voting, themselves, they would see the holes in the conservative arguments, and know what questions to ask.

    That’d involve national media types to go out and talk to local county boards of elections, who register voters and discuss what they do to make sure they have checked the person’s status thoroughly.

    Most people, who work at the county board of elections are not “sexy” and would not get eyeballs onto a paper or T.V. screen.

    Also, too the people, who vote for Republicans are glad Republicans get elected and if that means keeping students, the poor, blacks, etc. from voting then that’s a good thing.

    You need to get the people, who tend to lean Republican really pissed off about the state of the country, in order to start seeing some level of reform, with regards to openness and equality and even then it’s a hard slog through the billions of right-wing dollars that’ll be rolled out to squash reform.

  35. 35
    suzanne says:

    I feel awful commenting on shitty election politics in Arizona, because the Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, is the uncle of a friend of mine, and I generally don’t like to tell friends how I think their family members are horrible people. (For those not in the know, Arizona has no lieutenant governor. The Secretary of State handles all election-related matters in the state, and is first in line for the governorship should something happen to the Gov. Janet Napolitano going to head the DHS meant we got stuck with community-college dropout Jan Brewer. Oi.) But this shit is so blatantly racist and horrible that it makes me go off like a bomb to everyone I know.

    Bennett’s LDS. Why am I not surprised?

    My husband and I were going to invite our friend Bennett’s nephew over tonight. Maybe that’s unwise.

  36. 36
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @General Stuck:

    The wingnuts are desperate to their bones, like cornered animals with no where else to go but throw anything like fair play and basic democratic principle out the window…

    That’s likely true for the visible wingnuts. Those who are pulling their strings are cold, calculating, and willing to play the long game. The wingnuts are their cannon fodder, providing bodies for votes and demonstrations of ginned up outrage.

    As gene108 very sagely observed @30, the string-pullers are careful to package measures that are actually inimical to the wingnuts themselves in ways that that the wingers are preconditioned to respond to.

    The more that they win, the more money they get. The more money they get, the more that they win.

  37. 37
    Mattsky says:

    Omnes Omnibus there is nothing unconstitutional about requiring a picture ID. You nut roots have no troubles with limiting second amendment rights while you find things in the constitutional that aren’t there.

    If needing ID effected the poor as you think it does why is it that a business like Greyhound who caters to low income people and requires a picture ID NOT an issue? How come we never hear about the poor people who aren’t allowed to ride the bus or who can’t take out a book at the library?

    It is because this is all just a left wing canard to paint the GOP in a poor light with the bonus that they can continue to vote early and vote often.

  38. 38

    @gene108:

    You missed the entire point of my comment. I am talking about demographic pressures and changes regarding the majority status white republicans have had since the founding.

    And the desperation comes from losing that, mostly, and Barack Obama’s election to POTUS sent them into a panic of sorts. While the messaging machine they have built over the decades remains largely intact, it cannot hold back the increasing numbers of minority voters, and decreasing numbers of white conservative voters. And why the voter suppression tactics have been kicked into overdrive, per Kay’s post.

    And that message machine can still keep a veneer of organization of shared purpose and the illusion of a structurally sound party. Where the GOP, in reality, is a swirling mess of countervailing tactics and strategies, and a growing nihilistic streak that was on full view with the debt ceiling fiasco. Demonstrating an alarming number of purist wingers in the House of Reps, that are okay with burning down the country, if they don’t get their way.

    I am saying, that at the core of the GOP, they are more and more being motivated by decreasing voting power from an all white base, that is decreasing in relative numbers versus increasing numbers and voting power of minorities.

    There have been those in the right wing brain trust that has recognized this unstoppable reality, such as Karl Rove, and others, warning that failing to reach out to these minorities, especially Latino voters, will cost the GOP it’s electoral viability. But the xenophobe wing, like the tea baggers, are having none of that. And they are the sole generators of energy in the GOP, right now.

  39. 39
    jo6pac says:

    I’m not sure why this a problem. I’m meam why would anyone like me be able to vote?

  40. 40
    Dennis SGMM says:

    It is because this is all just a left wing canard to paint the GOP in a poor light with the bonus that they can continue to vote early and vote often.

    Speaking of canards…

  41. 41

    @Mattsky:

    It is because this is all just a left wing canard to paint the GOP in a poor light with the bonus that they can continue to vote early and vote often.

    Don’t lie.

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mattsky: If something prevents someone who is a US citizen, is over 18, has not lost the franchise due to a felony conviction (in some states), and has lived in the district long enough to satisfy the residency requirement from voting, then a very good argument can be made that that something is unconstitutional. It really is that simple.

  43. 43
    boss bitch says:

    So what’s it going to take before this becomes a top-tier issue for ordinary middle class democracy enthusiasts who may not (yet) be directly affected by these laws?

    For the next year or so, liberal groups, unions, churches, charities and the Dem party should be going all over the country registering and educating voters about these laws. If they can’t be overturned then at least prepare people for election day. We can’t count on the media to do jack.

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    OT: Does anybody know how many of the Sunday morning puke shows will feature an exclusive interview with Rick Perry?

  45. 45

    @Dennis SGMM:

    That’s likely true for the visible wingnuts. Those who are pulling their strings are cold, calculating, and willing to play the long game. The wingnuts are their cannon fodder, providing bodies for votes and demonstrations of ginned up outrage.

    I am pretty sure the money men behind the tea party movement, did not expect nor desire that the minions they helped get elected was willing to default the US debt. And Having it take democratic votes to prevent that from happening, that would certainly not have been in the interest of the plutocracy.

    The plutocrats only want two things, less regulation from government, and the lowest taxes possible from their acolytes in congress to deliver. Not to burn down the entire economic system.

  46. 46

    @boss bitch:

    For the next year or so, liberal groups, unions, churches, charities and the Dem party should be going all over the country registering and educating voters about these laws. If they can’t be overturned then at least prepare people for election day. We can’t count on the media to do jack.

    Co-signed. We the people are on our own.

  47. 47
    Mattsky says:

    If something prevents someone who is a US citizen, is over 18, has not lost the franchise due to a felony conviction (in some states), and has lived in the district long enough to satisfy the residency requirement from owning a gun, then a very good argument can be made that that something is unconstitutional. It really is that simple.

    Do you stand by that too Omnes Omnibus?

    I’m not sure about you but for a lot of folks on the left, and the right too, the constitution only applies when it is convenient to them.

    Voter fraud in its own way disenfrachises legal votes. Picture IDs help prevent that from happening.

  48. 48
    jwb says:

    @Mike in NC: Look on the bright side: it’s looking more and more like we’re going to see what, if anything, Karl Rove has Perry.

  49. 49
    Scamp Dog says:

    A friend of mine pointed out that an election is a symbolic show of force: “We have more people than you do”. The Republican strategy of disenfranchising people may help them win some elections, but it conceals how may people oppose them. At some point (like, say 1789), not accurately knowing how many people are against you can have life-threatening consequences. Our elite are very lacking in awareness of people outside their Village, but lucky for them, the population is very docile. The white part of it, for the time being, anyway.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mattsky: How much documented voter fraud is there? Not some case where Mickey Mouse registered to vote. I am talking about someone who was not entitled to vote casting a ballot and that ballot being counted.

    To answer your question, I believe that Constitution applies at all times, not just when it is convenient. That being said, the Constitution is subject to interpretation and almost everyone word of it can be viewed in multiple ways. I do not think it is in appropriate for a person to look for and argue in favor of an interpretation of the document that is to his/her benefit.

  51. 51

    @Mattsky:

    Kay you need a picture ID to do a lot of things including open a bank account or cash a check. You need one buy a ticket to ride a Greyhound bus or Amtrak.

    You absolutely do not need a photo ID to buy a ticket to ride on an Amtrak train. I was able to buy a ticket for, and ride on, the Coast Starlight a few weeks ago, and never had to show an ID to anyone.

  52. 52
    Yutsano says:

    @Mattsky:

    If something prevents someone who is a US citizen, is over 18, has not lost the franchise due to a felony conviction (in some states), and has lived in the district long enough to satisfy the residency requirement from owning a gun, then a very good argument can be made that that something is unconstitutional. It really is that simple.

    You should go out and get yourself a nuclear weapon then. Go on, it’s your damn Constitutional right ain’t it?

  53. 53
    jefft452 says:

    “Picture IDs help prevent that from happening”

    How?

  54. 54
    fleeting expletive says:

    I think I love you, scamp dog. Or I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  55. 55
    The Dangerman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    How much documented voter fraud is there?

    Dude, we have an African American President!

    /snark

    Once the other side buys into the argument that Liberals are anti-American, who needs documented anything? It’s win at all costs; sadly, we’re in a cold civil war.

  56. 56
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Mattsky: I got my library card years ago and my memory is that all I had to show was an envelope with my name and address on it and a canceled stamp, to serve as evidence that I lived at the address I claimed to. Anyway, I just checked the Cincinnati library site and it appears you can apply for a library card on-line these days, no ID required at all. The form says its against the law to lie on it and that there is a possible jail sentence and a hefty fine if you do, but that’s true of voting under false pretenses as well.

  57. 57
    Dead Chicagoan says:

    I’m also outraged: they only let me vote twice!

  58. 58
    Peter says:

    Mattsky, can you point to a single election that was swung by fraudulent votes?

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: Oh shit, he changed my statement without using strike outs. Cheap little trick.

    @Mattsky: The portion of the Second Amendment that comes before the comma has meaning as well. The words weren’t just put there as placeholders.

    Also, the next time you quote someone and change their words to make a point, please have the courtesy to use strike outs or otherwise indicate what you have done. I assume your discourtesy was inadvertent this time, but if you were to make a habit of it, one might start to think that you weren’t engaging in a good faith discussion, but were, instead, simply trolling.

  60. 60
    wrb says:

    speaking of John Lewis, it was Connie Kay who played the oh-so-cool drums on Astral Weeks. “It was twilight and we just played in this twilight space”

    /inattention

  61. 61

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    @Mattsky: How much documented voter fraud is there?

    Free hint, Mattsky: if your answer includes the word “ACORN”, you don’t know wtf you’re talking about.

  62. 62
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah, it was a rather underhanded thing to do. There is a reason why I reached for the hyperbole in response.

  63. 63
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @kay: I’m with you – it’s hugely important. I mean, I have an ID, but really let’s look at how obviously the GOP is trying to disenfranchise entire populations that might not vote GOP. It could be us some day, since we vote the same way. At least that’s the point I’d make to the unconcerned.

    No wonder you’re pissed off having to trade on your SB5 referendum support for help with this. I’d be honking mad too. And thanks for all the work that you do.

  64. 64
    Peggy says:

    The election fraud that the GOP is ignoring is absentee ballots.
    The old and infirm vote absentee; no one checks their ID’s and the GOP laws don’t include them (to my knowledge).

    When I’ve done telephone canvassing and asked to speak to an adult’s parent who is still on the voting registry, people often get very huffy. I suspect that lots of absentee voters are dead or totally senile.

  65. 65
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    but were, instead, simply trolling

    Simply trolling. As in trolling as a simpleton?

  66. 66
    Peggy says:

    Re: having the dead vote absentee. Social Security will only stop sending checks if you inform them that someone has died.
    Not reporting is fraud, but with luck no one will notice.

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: I hadn’t intended that meaning, but it seems to work.

  68. 68
    Yutsano says:

    @Ruckus: I suppose. In the way Simpson means, “son of a simp.”

  69. 69
    suzanne says:

    @Yutsano: It’s always people like that that say they’re strict constructionists, too.

    I always love to ask them their thoughts on the Air Force.

  70. 70
    Mattsky says:

    You absolutely do not need a photo ID to buy a ticket to ride on an Amtrak train. I was able to buy a ticket for, and ride on, the Coast Starlight a few weeks ago, and never had to show an ID to anyone

    Kevin you are full of crap.

    http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/.....1267382692

    59.Peter – August 27, 2011 | 10:05 pm · Link

    Mattsky, can you point to a single election that was swung by fraudulent votes?

    Perhaps 1960. You’ll like this one, go look up the election in 1876. Florida in 2000 was how close? Less then a 1000 votes put Bush in the White House. It wouldn’t take that much fraud to swing Florida either way.

    Ohio Mom here in Massachusetts and in New York where I use to live I needed a picture ID.

    Omnes Omnibus I don’t think anybody really knows how much fraud there but I think it is a lot higher then most people think it is.

    Next time I’ll use a strike. I didn’t mean any discourtesy.

  71. 71
    Mattsky says:

    I botched the block quotes.. Sorry about that.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mattsky:

    I don’t think anybody really knows how much fraud there but I think it is a lot higher then most people think it is.

    I, for one, am uncomfortable with taking actions that will undoubtedly cause people to not be able to vote in order to prevent an epidemic of voter fraud that no one seems to be able to document.

    ETA: I am going to go watch a dumb movie now.

  73. 73
    Yutsano says:

    @Mattsky:

    Perhaps 1960. You’ll like this one, go look up the election in 1876. Florida in 2000 was how close? Less then a 1000 votes put Bush in the White House. It wouldn’t take that much fraud to swing Florida either way.

    That’s not proof of fraud dude. Try again.

  74. 74

    @Mattsky: Regardless of what that website says, they do not actually ask for any form of ID when buying a ticket, or getting on a train.

  75. 75
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @gene108:

    It’s one of those “common sense” “heartland” ways of life, that defy all logic and reason, if logic and reason are of course applied, rather than reliance on the blind faith of a doctrine.

    Here’s an idea from physics: It doesn’t scale.

    Newtonian physics (household economics) sez: If you want to go faster, go faster. You see it everywhere around you; Relativity (National economics) sez: you can’t go faster than the speed of light.

    Basically, physics says that what you see in front of you isn’t the way the world works if you scale it up. It appears to me that Economics works the same.

  76. 76
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @jwb:

    The media serves to protect the interests of the monied class.

    I see this written a lot. Does anyone have anything but anecdata to back it up? Most of the reporters I’ve known have been scrambling to stay in the middle class (I’m not talking TV bobbleheads here). Who, exactly, is telling the reporters what to report? Editors? General managers? Publishers?

    Most reporters I’ve known would tell their bosses to shove it if they were told what to write.

    Just lookin’ for some data here.

  77. 77
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Mattsky:

    …they can continue to vote early and vote often.

    Oh, just stuff it.

  78. 78
    Gromit says:

    @Mattsky:

    That website actually says you can present 1 photo ID or 2 valid forms of ID, one of which must be government issued. The writing is vague, but the strong implication is that you need 2 forms of non-photo ID if you don’t have photo ID.

  79. 79
    Ohio Mom says:

    Re senile and dead people “voting”: when our county started sending out absentee ballots to everyone on the rolls, the people we bought the house from, who had moved out of state and then died, kept getting them at our address We threw the ballots away of course. I called the board of elections at one point but they said they couldn’t take them off the rolls without a death certificate or after they hadn’t voted in a certain number of elections. It did make me wonder if all those unrequested absentee ballots weren’t working to promote fraud.

  80. 80
    karen marie says:

    @Mattsky: I don’t know why you think a picture ID is required to purchase a ticket on a Greyhound bus. You can purchase them online. The only time you need a photo ID (and a passport) is when you are traveling to and from Canada.

    Amtrak conductors can ask to see your ID, but they accept a variety of forms of photo ID, unlike many of these restrictive new voter ID laws.

    @Mattsky: Also, too — what voter fraud?

  81. 81
    karen marie says:

    @Mattsky: What voter fraud?

  82. 82
    Gromit says:

    @Mattsky:

    Voter fraud in its own way disenfrachises legal votes. Picture IDs help prevent that from happening.

    Only in cases where someone votes in another person’s name, denying that person his legitimate vote. If this sort of thing was at all common, voters would be complaining, so it shouldn’t be hard to document.

    Voter fraud that doesn’t directly prevent legitimate voters from voting would dilute the votes of legitimate voters, but not disenfranchise any of them. This is potentially a very serious problem if it is done on a scale that can affect the election results, and it isn’t something to take lightly, but it is not the same sort of offense as preventing a legitimate voter from voting. The latter is the denial of a right (THE right in a democratic republic), not a mere dilution of rights.

  83. 83
    karen marie says:

    @Peggy: Each year Social Security declares approximately 14,000 people dead who are not in fact dead.

    @Mattsky: I’ve lived in Massachusetts since 1977 and I have never been asked to show a picture ID in order to vote.

    Also, too, you can buy Amtrak tickets online and no photo ID need be shown.

  84. 84
    Yutsano says:

    @karen marie: The fraud that he says exists because SHUT UP THAT’S WHY!!

  85. 85
    Ruckus says:

    Don’t bother. Mattsky knows there is voter fraud. Just knows it. Doesn’t want facts, doesn’t even need them. Has a belief that there is wide spread voter fraud so it must be true. Beliefs don’t need facts, all they need is validation. And conservatives provide, if nothing else, validation for all their fears and hatred. It’s all they have so they do it well. Conservatives have never been about truth and facts, only about beliefs.

  86. 86
    Hill Dweller says:

    The apologists might have a hint of a case if the scumbags in the republican weren’t also shortening early voting periods and making it virtually impossible to register people, alas…

    The League of Women Voters had to terminate their registration efforts in FL after decades in the state because of the recently passed draconian restrictions.

    This is a mass voter suppression effort, because the republicans can’t win a policy debate nor govern worth a damn.

  87. 87
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @gene108:

    Voter “turnout” is horrible in Oregon because we don’t have to turn out. The advantage of this is that Oregon is among the states with the highest voter turnouts.

    It’s as easy as mailing it in because that’s all we have to do. I’m sure that somewhere out there a Republican is crying because of this.

  88. 88
    Yutsano says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    It’s as easy as mailing it in because that’s all we have to do.

    Most counties in WA operate the same way. Our participation rate is insanely high because of it.

  89. 89
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Mattsky:

    Omnes Omnibus I don’t think anybody really knows how much fraud there but I think it is a lot higher then most people think it is.

    @Ohio Mom:

    It did make me wonder if all those unrequested absentee ballots weren’t working to promote fraud.

    I wonder if the two of you are child molesters. Maybe there should be an investigation?

    Mattsky: “Ohio Mom here in Massachusetts and in New York where I use to live I needed a picture ID.”

    Ahhh, tag team stupid. Gotcha.

  90. 90
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Yutsano:

    Yup, and it makes sense. Especially for people who lead busy lives, making voting as easy as possible is a bonus for everyone.

    For some reason the Republicans believe that is a bad thing.

  91. 91
    Yutsano says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: I get my ballot about a month and a half before the election. I sit down, contemplate my options, make my selecions, seal it up, and mail it off. Easy Peasy.

    Though this whole discussion is reminding me that I haven’t changed my county registration yet.

    EDIT: That was fucking easy. Did that while updating my license too. We do things right here on occasion. :)

  92. 92
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Yutsano:

    We don’t even have to use postage if we use a county drop box (looks like a corner mail box but white). So while out and about we just drop them in one and we’re done with it. IMO, other states could learn from our experiences and results. That is, if they are really interested in getting every eligible voter to the polls.

    Like I said, Republicans consider getting everyone to the polls a bad thing. They prefer to use hateful rhetoric to inflame their side to vote and tactics at the local and state level to suppress voting on the left by placing all kinds of restrictions that their own voters are likely to already have.

    Republicans depend on voter suppression, especially with their rapidly dwindling numbers among minorities.

  93. 93
    Yutsano says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: I suppose this is our punishment for being ruled by sociallists no? :)

  94. 94
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Yutsano:

    We ain’t called the Left Coast fer nuthin! :)

  95. 95
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    They created the Federalist Society to churn out lawyers and more importantly judges to push their intellectual view points.

    I always love the fact that it’s called the “Federalist” society. In the original U.S. political, Federalists were the party of big government, and Democratic Republicans were the libertarians.

    On the other hand, Federalists were the party of business. So, you kinda know what matters to them.

  96. 96
    xian says:

    are the trolls getting dumber around here?

  97. 97
    gene108 says:

    @General Stuck:

    I don’t buy into the demographic shift as being the death knell for modern Republicanism and right-wing nuttery.

    There have been two forces at work, ever since Reagan put together the modern Republican coalition: the economic side and the social conservative side.

    The social conservative side will fall away, because the younger generation isn’t scared about gays, blacks, etc.

    The economic side are the true leaders of the GOP, who have a vision of returning America to the age of the Robber Barons. I do not see these folks losing any interest or support.

    As the social side loses potency, you see more and more the attacks from the GOP shifting to get people to openly accept things that benefit the wealthy, from gutting Medicare to eliminating taxes on “job creators” to repealing the “death tax”.

    The social values folk were and have always been disposable. The economic side of the GOP are the real leaders and as long as they can march us back to the era of the Robber Barons, there will be no benefit from the demographic shift.

    I see nothing to indicate that the folks in charge of this backwards march in time have lost their swagger or ability to churn out people to vote against their interests.

  98. 98
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @Peggy: That is not correct. SS gets info from the state on death certificates. A letter from SS after my mother’s death arrived in the mail the same day as our copies of the certificates.

  99. 99

    @gene108:

    I don’t buy into the demographic shift as being the death knell for modern Republicanism and right-wing nuttery.

    I never said it would be the “death knell” for right wing nuttery. I said the increases in minority voters, and decreases in traditional white conservative voters will make it harder for the wingnuts to win national and statewide elections. There will still be plenty of wingnuttery, and it will even become more mean and crazy and bigoted than it is now. But will be harder for them to to win high office.

    This is not some crackpot theory of mine. It is well documented fact. Here is Ruy Teixeira’s thoughts on the matter.

    And unless you believe these emerging and enlarging minority voting blocks are going to vote for the GOP, then the point I am making, from hard data, stands to benefit dems at the ballot box. The rest of your comment is irrelevant to this point I am making here.

  100. 100
    Peggy says:

    Cheryl- thanks for the info on SS.
    When my mom died her house was attacked by thieves and trespassers, so the situation was pretty confusing. I just remember that I called agencies like SS.

  101. 101
    RalfW says:

    The voting rights stuff has to be taken in the context of the news (I read it in US Today, so the news has gone wide) that brown babies are at the tipping point in the US.

    This voting stuff isn’t even about monied interests or taxes (though it is that too). It’s the last bastion of white flight – an attempt to try and craft Appartheid in the US, rather that Jim Crow: post Civil War, whites were a huge majority and imposed their will by force.

    Post 2010 ‘Merkka whites have to impose will by all the suppressive tactics of the morally bankrupt Afrikaners combined with the morally blinkered Corporatists. Quite the unholy alliance.

  102. 102

    Most of these voter ID schemes involve not just proving your identity, but also your current address. If your DL address isn’t current, because you moved and didn’t want to spend the time in line to update it, then you can’t vote. Unless you still live in the same voting precinct as you ID shows, that is.

    We are going to see news stories after the next election in these states of returning veterans being denied the chance to vote because their military IDs don’t show their current address. We are going to see elderly people who didn’t update their ID after going into a nursing home. And we’re going to see Joe Sixpack voters being turned away based on their ID’s address. It could be turned into a PR nightmare for the Right.

    The alternative is, ironically, fraud. You would have to vote in a precinct which you do not live in (but which your ID “proves” that you do) in order to vote. That’s fraud. And it’s created by laws to restrict fraud. And will be used to justify more laws to restrict fraud.

  103. 103
    kay says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I called the board of elections at one point but they said they couldn’t take them off the rolls without a death certificate or after they hadn’t voted in a certain number of elections.

    But think this through. You see the logic in not stripping someone from the voter rolls based on a phone call from a stranger, right?

    They periodically update the voter rolls, which media always reports as “massive amount of DEAD PEOPLE found on voter rolls!”

    Which is nonsense, but I read it every two years, and then the soul-dead ghouls on FOX regurgitate it, whole.

    In any event, the whole absentee ballot argument is invalid for conservatives, because they don’t tighten restrictions on absentee ballots.

    They don’t tighten restrictions on absentee ballots because their demographic (older people) use them. They’re not serious about fraud. If they were, they’d be going after absentee ballots, because that’s the one and only area where large-scale voter impersonation fraud could occur.

  104. 104
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @efgoldman:

    They also upheld “sobriety checkpoints”. Long story short, fuck them.

  105. 105
    grandpajohn says:

    @Gromit: You know, if It was me and I was truly, truly concerned with voter fraud, I would be working my ass off to make sure that all those voting machines with proprietary software were made to b e tamper proof and would have to give you a paper receipt, just like an ATM machine has to do.
    but then I am not someone who is merely trolling right wing talking points that have no factual proof of happening

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