Foxes Guarding Henhouses & Open Thread

Florida Governor Rick Scott, whose attempts to disenfranchise Democrats backfired when he inspired them instead to endure waits as long as eight hours to vote, now says it’s time to review and reform the voting system:

“We are glad that so many voters made their voices heard in this election, but as we go forward we must see improvements in our election process,” Scott said in a statement. “I have asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to review this general election and report on ways we can improve the process after all the races are certified.”

Maybe it’s time to federalize voting processes. A democracy can’t function if eligible voters are prevented from casting ballots, and Scott and other GOP clowns were openly subverting the process. They shouldn’t be in a position to do so.

Please feel free to discuss whatever.

[X-posted at Rumproast]

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77 replies
  1. 1
    bryan says:

    after all the races are certified. I think I know what races he’s thinking shouldn’t be certified, if you know what I mean.

  2. 2
    Zandar says:

    Oh things are about to be uniformly “federalized” when the Roberts Court razes the Voting Rights Act next spring.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    , whose attempts to disenfranchise Democrats backfired

    Hence the need to “improve” the process.

  4. 4
    owlbear1 says:

    Improve the process Ricky? How? By adding White democrats to the purge lists?

  5. 5
    amk says:

    The floridians bought it. Now it owns them.

  6. 6
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    but as we go forward we must see improvements in our election process,” Scott said in a statement.

    Haven’t we seen this movie before? About 12 years ago?

    “I have asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to review this general election and report on ways we can improve the process after all the races are certified.”

    So he’s going to ask for a report. Nice. I’m sure that will be ready before the mid-terms.

  7. 7
    kay says:

    In the meantime, I think we have to look to state law. There’s a lot one can do there. If the state has a “citizen veto” by referendum, that’s helpful. One can also mitigate a lot of restrictive state voting laws by adding; early vote, adding to the list of acceptable ID’s, etc.
    Then there’s lawsuits. Wisconsin sued relying on their state constitutional protections. The Obama campaign sued and won in Ohio on early voting
    because Republicans were dumb enough to write a law that created two classes of early voters.
    Even if we don’t succeed on blocking suppression efforts, fighting them is great for organizing, educating voters on the requirements, and
    getting our voters out.
    Democrats in the Senate did a series of field hearings this cycle in suppression states. We need more of that.

  8. 8
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Well, you said open thread . . .

    Love your spokeschicken!

    Day two in the new place. My ankles are of normal size again and my innards all seem to be working. I guess I’ll live.

    The one thing I resent most about moving is that, no matter how hard you work, you always fail to pull it off as smoothly as you wanted to. It’s an exercise in humility.

    Even if you wanted the move.

  9. 9
    Lojasmo says:

    @Zandar:

    I actually wouldn’t be surprised if the roberts court expanded the act to include all the states.

  10. 10
    Wayne says:

    Improve, hmm improve. Oh I know. The state needs only one voter, disenfranchise ALL except one. Wonder who the one would be Rick. Statewide voting would take 30 seconds, and no lines.

  11. 11
    kay says:

    Also, we should end provisional balloting. The idea behind it was solid, but Republicans are abusing it and it’s a placebo. It gives voters (and judges) a false sense of security. We would have had a lot more pushback against these laws if we didn’t hand people a sketchy ballot to shut them up. It was supposed to be a last resort, not a default.

  12. 12
    fuddmain says:

    Scott can dramatically improve the process by getting soundly voted out of office in 2014.

  13. 13
    greennotGreen says:

    If corporations are people, then when a corporation commits massive fraud, shouldn’t somebody go to jail? This wouldn’t have happened if Scott had served time in prison where he belonged.

  14. 14
    Elizabelle says:

    Speaking of foxes: David Carr’s column in NYTimes today.

    Fox News makes news by covering Election Night fairly (for them, for once). (*sigh*)

  15. 15
    aimai says:

    @kay:

    I agree. There’s no real reason why everybody can’t be given a real ballot, with their ID adjudicated right there given all that is actually known about each voter/citizen/taxpayer in advance. They do a better job with parking tickets than they do with voting, in some sense.

    aimai

  16. 16
    magurakurin says:

    drill baby drill

    According to the article the United States will pass Saudi Arabia in 2020 as the world’s number one producer of petroleum and will become a net export of oil by 2030.

    I don’t know if this is a good thing or not, but don’t the wingers continually blame Obama for destroying the US’s energy production capacity? Didn’t Rmoney promise to do what, apparently, Obama is already doing (done)? And more importantly, how long can a country survive when half of the voting public believes nothing but lies and bullshit and ignore the reality in front of them. This is a CNN article for fuck’s sake, hardly hidden from view.

    Oh, that Texas would leave and take all the wingers and tea baggers with them.

  17. 17
    Ken Adler says:

    We wouldn’t have these problems if Democrats voted in midterm elections. Everything we accomplished in 2012 will be wiped away in 2014 if democrats don’t vote in the midterm election.

  18. 18
    Elizabelle says:

    Florida today, some other banana republic state tomorrow.

    Federalize national elections. The states cannot handle it properly, and if you’ve got a sane state BOE now, you cannot assure that if whackos get in later.

    Uniform standards, and lots of early voting. Mail in voting too.

    Do away with Election “Day” and allowing the GOP to appoint Hans von Spakovsky or a mini-Hans to your state or county’s board of elections. (HvS is vice chairman of the Fairfax County BOE.)

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    Betty: I love your illustration.

    Fits so many situations.

  20. 20
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Wouldn’t it be an improvement if Florida just went back to Chris Christie’s policies?

  21. 21
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Do you mean Charlie Crist? Or is that a New Jersey joke?

  22. 22
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Sorry, yeah, Charlie Crist.

  23. 23
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    One way to improve it would be to throw Scott out on his ass, right? I doubt the Secretary of State will suggest that though.

  24. 24
    Wayne says:

    @fuddmain:
    Amen to that.

  25. 25
    Chyron HR says:

    We will never have meaningful voting reform until we can figure out a clever acronym for “FAIR”.

  26. 26
    Corbin Dallas Multipass says:

    The crazification factor strikes again, this time in a local MD election: http://chestertownspy.com/2012.....cratching/

    “It shows how uninformed people are when they go to polls,” said LaFerla’s campaign manager, Erik Gulbrandsen. “I honestly don’t know what it is; I wouldn’t call it apathy, because they did go out and vote.”

  27. 27
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Fox News gets war porny with its top headline this morning:

    Did Petraeus’ lover talk out of school?

    Expect “talking out of school” to become the conservative equivalent to the recent liberal adoption of the stat trope for algorithms “secret/special sauce” (which I recently heard used on NPR to describe some jackass’s campaign strategy)

  28. 28
    Sargeant Pepper's Spray says:

    Scott should be in jail. Period. If he’s not prosecuted, the voters of the State of Florida need to throw him out on his ass.

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    Why do I get the feeling that cutting time on lines from 7 hours to 5½ would be “improvement?”

    Memo to Gov. Scott – what is most necessary are improvements in the voting>/i> process, not in the election process.

    Until you make the distinction and call for addressing the voters above the mechanics, it is all window dressing.

  30. 30
    SFAW says:

    @Lojasmo:

    I actually wouldn’t be surprised if the roberts court expanded the act to include all the states.

    And how exactly would that benefit the Rethugs or the right wing in general? Because if there’s no benefit to those bastards, it won’t happen.

  31. 31
    MrSnrub says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    So he’s going to ask for a report. Nice. I’m sure that will be ready before the mid-terms.

    At the least he should have convened a blue ribbon panel.

  32. 32
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Your next voter suppression battleground will be North Carolina. You’ll want to win that state back – 48.4% of voters went for Obama this year – and it now has a fully Republican legislature and governor. The only thing that kept voter suppression measures from passing this year was the Democratic governor.

    If you let voter suppression measures stand in North Carolina this coming year, you’ll be in trouble come 2014.

  33. 33
    SFAW says:

    I see it as Tricky Rick Scott finally making the greatest of Reagan’s aphorisms come true. Specifically, the idea that one of the Biggest Lies is “I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help you.”

    It wasn’t true when Reagan said it, it’s (for the most part) not true now, but Tricky Rick is trying to fix that.

    Where’s that damn meteor when you really need it? (Not a BIG one – just one that’s big enough, and has exceptionally good aim.)

  34. 34
    gnomedad says:

    @magurakurin:

    According to the article the United States will pass Saudi Arabia in 2020 as the world’s number one producer of petroleum and will become a net export of oil by 2030.

    As far as I know, the “4% of the worlds reserves and 20% of the world’s consumption” figures (or something close to that) are still valid, so doesn’t this mean we’ll be the first to run out? Or am I missing something?

  35. 35
    Randy P says:

    @magurakurin: Romney tried to twist the facts on that one in the debates. Said that Obama had reduced the number of permits. Obama said they’d made oil companies use it or lose it on permits, so they gave up a bunch but production was up overall on the ones they were using. Romney kept trying to do a gotcha on that “just say yes or no, isn’t the number of permits down?”

    As a brilliant rhetorical strategy, I don’t think it worked too well. Fox probably scored it as a win though.

  36. 36
    SFAW says:

    @Ken Adler:

    Everything we accomplished in 2012 will be wiped away in 2014

    You mean no more DROOOONNZZ?

    (Sorry, just channelling a concern troll for a second.)

  37. 37
    Robin G. says:

    @Zandar: I’m not convinced the Voting Rights Act is in danger. Roberts seems concerned about his legacy; no court wants to be remembered for Plessy v. Ferguson instead of Brown v. Board of Education. (Also I think he might be pissed at the right wing reaction to the Obamacare ruling.)

    Roberts is always going to be a reliable pro-corporation vote, but I’m not so sure about the rest of it.

  38. 38
    Napoleon says:

    Kay,

    I assume you are aware of this:

    http://thinkprogress.org/justi.....?mobile=nc

    I plan to e-mail several in the Ohio media who have reported on this without ever mentioning what would occure under this system. The pushback on this needs to start now.

  39. 39
    Xenos says:

    @Lojasmo:

    I actually wouldn’t be surprised if the roberts court expanded the act to include all the states.

    Thqt really is not possible, short some wild overreaching on the part of the court.

    The best we can hope for is a congressional expansion of the VRA (yeah, right) or a constitutional amendment that federalizes election law (yeah, right X10).

    Simply put, this has to be fought out in the trenches, and there is no avoiding the fact. Fix bayonets!

  40. 40
    Persia says:

    I don’t know about federalizing the elections; it would have to be done carefully so we’re not just replacing one set of foxes with a bigger set. There really needs to be a nonpartisan system set up, whether it’s state by state or regional or…whatever.

  41. 41
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “I have asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to review this general election and report on ways we can improve the process after all the races are certified.”

    What Scott means is that he has to figure out a way to stop all the Blacks and Browns from persisting in exercising their right to vote. There is no way that a man who worked so hard to suppress the minority vote now all of a sudden sees the light and wants to improve the election process.

  42. 42
    Robin G. says:

    @Xenos: Why is it not possible? If it’s constitutional for some states, why not all of them? And if it’s not constitutional for all of them, shouldn’t it be constitutional for none?

    No snark here, by the way. I honestly don’t know enough about the nuts and bolts of the argument.

  43. 43
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    I did see it. Democrats will beat that back in the leg. If they pass it past opposition, we can put it to a referendum and veto it.

    I’d work on provisional balloting right now. The system doesn’t work and it’s wildly unpopular with both the public and election administrators. If Ohio had been close we’d be litigating provisional ballots right now. That’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of time. If we end provisional balloting (other than for very narrow applications: voter moved, etc) in an off-year, we can get all those voters up to speed on how to qualify for a first-class ballot by the next Presidential election. Husted took advantage of the provisional ballot process when he sent an absentee application to every voter with no public education effort. That can’t happen again. They recognize this is a weakness in the system, and they’re going to exploit it.

  44. 44
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Napoleon: Does Ohio have a process for recalling elected officials? (Actually more of a question for Kay)

  45. 45
    Napoleon says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    No, but there is a way to put a law on the ballot and get is repealed like they did the anti-union law. That is our biggest protection. Do they really want to do that and risk a title wave of Dem voters in an off year?

  46. 46
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    Does Ohio have a process for recalling elected officials?

    Only local officials.

  47. 47
    kay says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    One can recall an official in a “municipality” but there is no recall process for a state-wide official (or member of the assembly) in Ohio. The citizen veto process is a really powerful tool. We successfully stayed a restrictive election law in Ohio in 2011. OFA ran the effort. I think it was central to Obama winning Ohio, along with the Obama campaign’s lawsuit on early voting.

  48. 48
    bjacques says:

    I think this is a great time to ram the Voter ID concept down the wingnuts’ throats. Troll them by telling that President Obama has a plan to roll out a national ID card, using various election fiascos as justification. Pick the most restrictive, cynical Voter ID law you can think of and say that one was the inspiration for the proposed law.

  49. 49
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @fuddmain: That would not only be the best but the only logical improvement to be made. Dems should begin planning their GOTV strategy for Scott’s overthrow in 2014 right now.

  50. 50
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    The massive numbers of provisional ballots didn’t hurt us this time at the top of the ticket, but they are absolutely going to hurt us for down-ticket and local races, where candidates are apart by tens or hundreds of votes. It’s also just unfair to tell voters they are “voting” when they are really submitting this iffy ballot. It’s misleading. If we flat-out turned away all these people we’re shunting off to provisional ballots, there would be a huge group of really angry people. I ran into it on election day. I had a voter who used a utility bill as ID. They sent her from her polling place to the Bd of Elections, and they still told her she had to vote provisionally. That’s just incorrect. She was furious. She got a regular ballot, but it took two hours and 4 phone calls. SHE did it, though. SHE insisted on a standard ballot. Had she just meekly accepted the provisional, I would never had heard about it.

  51. 51
    Trakker says:

    Protecting every citizen’s right to vote. Another “state’s rights” fail.

    When it comes to citizen’s rights the federal government must oversee the process because disenfranchisement is just too tempting for state political parties seeking to keep power.

  52. 52
    kay says:

    @Napoleon:

    I observed at the Bd of Elections on election day. They were telling people who called that they needed “photo ID”. When pressed, they would list all the NON photo ID that is acceptable in Ohio, but come on. We’ve had an ID law since 2006. 6 years. Why are they using the phrase “photo ID”? That’s NOT TRUE in Ohio. We have a whole carefully compiled list of acceptable ID. There is NO requirement that it have a photo on it.

  53. 53
    AA+ Bonds says:

    States were always a stupid idea; we now reap the whirlwind

  54. 54
    WereBear says:

    I ADORED last night’s book thread. Though I came in late, it gave me so many good ideas!

    So much that I created an Amazon Wish List based solely upon it.

    This is going to be my “Thank You” option for my Way of Cats readers. Last year many loved the opportunity to buy me a little something, or just to see what this writer likes to read.

    If you missed that thread and don’t want to wade through it, check out the Wish List for my condensed version; if you like mysteries, history, science, and combinations thereof.

  55. 55
    El Cid says:

    “Governor Rick Scott Demands Thorough Investigation of Irresponsible Voting Issue Performance By Governor Rick Scott”

  56. 56
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    The only thing that kept voter suppression measures from passing this year was the Democratic governor.

    And the GOP was running a slate of judicial challengers this year explicitly to put in a set of warm bodies who’d rubber-stamp Voter ID and whatever crazy shit the GOP legislature receives in their fax machine. We’ll see what’s

    @AA+ Bonds:

    States were always a stupid idea; we now reap the whirlwind

    Other federal systems seem to do a much better job of it than the US. As I’ve said here before, if 95% of the population can’t identify their state legislators, perhaps it’s better to shut the whole governmental bit of states, and retain them for ceremonial purposes like sporting rivalries and making jokes.

  57. 57
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Chyron HR: There is already an anti-immigration group out there called FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform.

  58. 58
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Trakker: That’s where I come down on the issue. Voting has been so blatantly politicized this year, and the people who were doing the politicization LOST, so it seems like a good time to roll out a plan to put an end to this bullshit.

  59. 59
    WereBear says:

    @Betty Cracker: And that’s where a lot of Liberals get all squicky; it sounds like such a partisan thing to do! Can’t we all get along?

    But what such protests miss is that this isn’t a game of hopscotch. This is real democracy at stake, and true principles.

    That, confused and dazed folk, is how we can tell the difference.

  60. 60
    danimal says:

    I suspect we won’t see much voter suppression in 2014. Midterms usually don’t draw the same interest, and the lines aren’t as long, and yaddayaddayadda Republicans do well, so voter suppression isn’t necessary.

    The real fight for voting reform will be in 2016.

    Also, too. I’m dreaming of a world in which lefties and liberals and progressives and reality-based centrists get fired up in 2014 and retire the Orange Oz and his legion of flying monkeys.

  61. 61
    chopper says:

    @magurakurin:

    wow, that article’s a load of optimistic horseshit.

    we’re really going to add 3 million bbl/day, plus extra to cover depletion in existing convention wells, with tight oil by 2020? or is some miracle going to make ethanol production actually viable by then? lol.

  62. 62
    fuddmain says:

    @danimal: I hope, and suspect, we’ll see higher turnout in FL in 2014. I think non-whites, particularly African-Americans, are pissed at the purges and attempted suppression. They spent too long and went through so much to not only get the right to vote, but to actually exercise that right, to forget about this shit anytime soon.

    If that happens, Governor Dildo will be unceremoniously thrown out onto his pointed head.

    Hope I’m right.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    I saw this knitting pattern online and immediately thought of Miss Betty and her chickens — Chicken Shawl.

    Though apparently the owner found it much more amusing than the chicken, who immediately went on a lay-down strike.

  65. 65
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Napoleon: @AA+ Bonds: @kay: Thanks

  66. 66
    Betty Cracker says:

    @fuddmain: From your lips to the FSM’s ears. Even if 2014 turnout isn’t especially high, I suspect Scott will be out. Everyone hates that sumbitch. All the Dems have to do is nominate someone who can fog a mirror.

    @Mnemosyne: LMAO! I don’t think my hens would stand for that!

  67. 67
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Betty Cracker: Chickies do not like to have their wings be obstructed. You can usually get away with something on their heads, but their wings are balance tools. I highly doubt your hens would tolerate such outerwear Betty. :)

  68. 68
    SFAW says:

    @danimal:

    I suspect we won’t see much voter suppression in 2014.

    It’ll be a dry run for 2016. This year was the proto, 2014 will be the Beta, 2016 will be full product release.

    Same thing with Citizens United stuff.

    The real fight for voting reform will be in 2016.

    Better to do it before then, so that the battle will be getting libs/lefties elected, not fighting the Eastern Front of voter suppression initiatives.

  69. 69
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @greennotGreen: I have no objection to jailing Scott, but if corporations are people, then the corporation should “go to jail” if it commits a crime. Since corporations are non-corporeal, this either points to the foolishness of granting them personhood in the first place, or requires some creative definition of “jail”. Maybe they are barred from doing business during the sentence, or they are taxed at 100% during the sentence?

  70. 70
    Not Sure says:

    And when the party with all the foxes in it is in power? What then?

    I would say the elections should be held by the states under heavy regulation and supervision by the federal government. Not just in the former Confederate states, but everywhere. Note that the fox party is now trying to introduce Jim Crow into areas that have not traditionally been known for it. Like Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin. I say if a voting law is unlawful in Dixie, it should be just as unlawful in the north, and it shouldn’t require someone with enough money and lawyers to complain to do something about it.

  71. 71
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @kay:

    we can get all those voters up to speed on how to qualify for a first-class ballot

    I understand what you mean here, Kay — at least I think I do. Still, acknowledging that different citizens qualify for different classes of ballots is just sad.

  72. 72
    grandpa john says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: my thoughts also , the best way to improve the Fl election process would be for Scott, the criminal sorry ass bastard, to resign immediately and leave the country and go live in some third world haven for crooks and liars.

  73. 73
    SFAW says:

    @grandpa john:

    and go live in some third world haven for crooks and liars.

    Texas after it secedes (a/k/a Dumbfuckistan a/k/a Nuevo Aztlan)?

  74. 74
    Triassic Sands says:

    Maybe it’s time to federalize voting processes.

    Tempting, but the downside is pretty obvious — what happens when the GOP holds the White House, both houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court?

    The first consideration should be to depoliticize our electoral systems, but that won’t be easy. FEMA should be an apolitical agency run by technical experts. When a Bush selects a Brownie to do the job, trouble is sure to follow.

    Right now, on the state level, Secretaries of State run elections. They are elected officials and somehow we frequently get disasters like Kenneth Blackwell, Katherine Harris, and Jon Husted to fill these positions. The question is how can we depoliticize our elections, taking responsibility away from anti-democratic hacks like Blackwell, Harris, and Husted, and not give it to the kind of political appointees the GOP normally fills such positions with?

    After all, in a federalized system, what is to stop a President Bush from appointing a Blackwell/Harris/Husted to head up the electoral agency?

    Until the GOP is “fixed” (in either sense of the word — 1) repaired 2) neutered), I don’t see any way to guarantee free and fair elections, but I do think a single set of rules should apply throughout the US.

  75. 75

    …as we go forward we must see improvements in our election process.

    That is to say: All those hurdles we threw up didn’t keep the darkies and the wetbacks and the worthless, mooching poor away from the polls? Well, those weren’t enough, so we’re going to have to step up our game, here. But, not to worry. We have a jim-dandy fellow here who’s all set to make damned sure they can’t thwart the will of real Americans next time.

  76. 76
    SFAW says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.):

    Shorter you:

    Vote suppression cannot fail, it can only be failed.

  77. 77
    fuddmain says:

    Some good news. Florida Republican State Rep. Chris Dorworth lost his seat by about 120 votes. He was to be the House Speaker in two years. He outspent his opponent 12-to-1.

    To his credit, he didn’t go down kicking and screaming like West. He sent out an email to friends and colleagues on Friday thanking them and saying that while there would be a recount he didn’t expect it to change anything and accepted the will of the people.

    As he predicted, the recount confirmed his loss.

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