Well, sure, we could also try that

In the run-up to the 2012 election, I was attending meetings on voter protection. I’ve been doing voter protection in this county since 2006, so the Obama campaign and Ohio Democratic Party training sessions were a review and update for me (and for most of the other people in the room as well). At one of the last pre-election gatherings, however, there was a very young lawyer who spoke up and said he didn’t understand the written materials and he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do in a real-life situation. A lawyer who had been a GOTV volunteer in Florida in the 2000 election came and spoke to us that day and his story was just chilling. He gets a call that something “hinky” is going on with balloting in Palm Beach County and then it all went to hell from there. The dramatic re-enactment of Bush versus Gore from the visitor may have been what alarmed the poorly-prepared Ohio lawyer.

Anyway, an older man responded to the young lawyer’s concerns. He just looked at him and growled “blow the doors off and we won’t have to worry about any of this shit.” By “blow the doors off” he meant “turn out voters.” And that happened. I don’t know that we blew the doors off but Democrats turned out. It’s my belief that the coordinated GOP campaign to suppress Democratic voters DROVE turnout, to some extent. I have never seen such broad concern about voter suppression among “our” voters. I heard it everywhere I went. Concern wasn’t limited to those groups who have a history of being disenfranchised, as it has been in the past. I heard it from 65 year old white guys who have voted in the same precinct their entire adult lives. They were worried about it. That was new in 2012. We’ve always had a noisy, extremely litigious faction who care about voting rights, but we didn’t have broad buy-in, not here, anyway.

Which brings me to this challenge to the VRA:

In a little more than three weeks, the justices of the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case about the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, the venerated federal law that for the past 48 years has helped eased the sting of official discrimination in the exercise of the most important of all civil rights — the right to vote. It’s the Voting Rights Act that has stopped bigoted state and local officials from ginning up new literacy tests or poll taxes. It’s the Voting Rights Act that has forced cynical legislators to limit (somewhat, anyway limit the scope of their racial gerrymandering. In Shelby County v. Holder, the court has been asked by an aggrieved Alabama county to strike down Section 5 of the statute, the provision which requires certain jurisdictions (like those in Alabama) with long patterns and practices of discrimination in voting to “pre-clear” with the Justice Department their proposed changes to voting laws. It’s a vitally important case for many reasons — not least of which that the court’s conservatives appear poised to strike down the statute just months after it was invoked, successfully and often, in the 2012 election cycle to protect the vote for millions of Americans.

Here are some of the groups that are supporting preservation of the law, and it isn’t just African-Americans:

National Latino Organizations – Aspira, Dominican American National Roundtable/National Dominican American Council, Hispanic Federation, Hispanic National Bar Association, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, MANA, Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives, National Association of Hispanic Publications, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund, National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, National Council of La Raza, National Hispanic Media Coalition, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Institute for Latino Policy, National Latino Institute for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Mexican American Rights, Inc., National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc., Service, Employment, and Redevelopment, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute

More:

National Asian American Organizations ¬ Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian American Justice Center, Alliance of South Asian Labor, Asian Citizens for Justice/Asian Center for Justice, Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, Asian American Insitute, Asian Law Alliance, Asian Law Caucus, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, Asian PAcific American Network of Oregon, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forun, Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote ¬ Michigan, Asian Services in Action, INC., Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc., Chinese for Affirmative Action, Chinese Progressive Association, Hmong American Partnership, Japanese American Citizens League, Korean Americans for Political Advancement, Minkwon Center for Community Action, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, OCA, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, South Asian Americans Leading Together, South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, Southeast

That’s a partial list. It’s all organizations like CATO and comic book character and voting rights villain Hans von Spakovsky on the GOP side. There’s been a ton of media attention paid to GOP struggles with Latinos and Asian American voters. I assume Republicans have given up on persuading a majority of African-Americans voters, because no one even mentions that anymore. Are voting rights another area where Republicans are on the wrong side of an issue, if they hope to sell the Party to a larger more diverse group of voters? Could this backfire politically for them even if they win the court case?






64 replies
  1. 1

    Republicans want to gut the VRA and make voting difficult and then they wonder why minorities/new immigrants don’t vote for them.

  2. 2
    Richard Shindledecker says:

    But in fat Tony Scalia’s world uncle Clarence only has 3/5 of a vote and Elena and Sonia are only there to pick the wall paper. The VRA will die and we have to keep its intent alive.

  3. 3
    gex says:

    Shorter GOP: THOSE people should vote for us. If not THOSE people should not be allowed to vote.

  4. 4
    PeakVT says:

    Could this backfire politically for them even if they win the court case?

    We can certainly hope. And it will if the GOBP lets their freak flag fly on this issue, like they’ve been doing on so many others.

  5. 5
    Cassidy says:

    Are voting rights another area where Republicans are on the wrong side of an issue,

    It’s safe to assume that every position they have is the worng side of the issue.

  6. 6
    Aji says:

    And NO ONE, including the OP, is even mentioning American Indian voters. Vote suppression efforts target us at rates equivalent to those targeting African Americans, and we’ve launched serious pushback at local and regional levels among our tribes fo years now – with, I might add, precious little outside help.

    And yet, even among Democratic operatives, we continue to remain invisible.

  7. 7
    Handy says:

    Are voting rights another area where Republicans are on the wrong side of an issue

    Is there an area where the GOP is on the right side of any issue?

  8. 8
    aimai says:

    It boggles my mind that we don’t have a real, enforceable, right to a countable and counted vote. If you could sue to have your vote counted and states and counties had to account for votes refused and lost or for faulty information sent to voters we simply wouldn’t have this problem.

    This is why I’m in favor of a law (not that it would ever pass here) making it a legal requirement that you vote. That would enforce registration and create a voter accounting system which wouldn’t force people off the rolls but rather keep them on the rolls (somewhere). We should probably tie registering people to vote and making sure they vote in every election to federal grants and payouts–can’t get federal tax dollars until you’ve brought your registered and voting population up to 80 or 90 percent turnout. Maybe you shouldn’t be able to seat Congresspeople unless you get 80 or 90 percent turnout in their district.

  9. 9
    Mark S. says:

    Could this backfire politically for them even if they win the court case?

    I’m starting to think the GOP isn’t going to exist in 20 years. Oh, there will be a right of center party, but they aren’t going to call themselves Republicans. The way they alienate huge segments of the population is going to be their doom. One of the best ways to make sure someone never votes for you is to threaten to take away their vote.

  10. 10
    Sharl says:

    Some of this stuff has been so blatant and open – like the abnormally scheduled and totally partisan redistricting efforts (e.g., Virginia) – that I’m wondering if the Very Serious People, especially those in the media, are quietly letting it be known to (mostly) GOP power brokers that this crap is really starting to make it very difficult to run the both-sides-do-it shtick that has been benefiting them all up to this point. Y’know, regarding the kind of stuff the late Tim Russert* used to be able to so thoroughly ignore from the folks he allegedly covered as a hard-hitting no-holes-barred journamalist. His successors have learned well, but it would appear the game on the field is changing, as demographics are shifting in a way that is not pleasing to the big money folks. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

    *Yeah, it’s a link to Jane Hamsher, but it’s a good post from what I consider to be FDL’s Golden Years. YMMV.

  11. 11
    Bokonon says:

    Are voting rights another area where Republicans are on the wrong side of an issue, if they hope to sell the Party to a larger more diverse group of voters? Could this backfire politically for them even if they win the court case?

    Because they think the voters are stupid, and have short memories, and are easily maniptulated by the right pitch line and personality. And … you know something? A lot of the time, the GOP has been right.

  12. 12
    Lex says:

    Could this backfire politically for them even if they win the court case?

    If it doesn’t, then we’re doing it wrong.

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    @Aji:

    They’re mentioned at both of the links.

  14. 14
    c u n d gulag says:

    ‘Can it backfire?’

    Well, it’ll be kind of hard, if a lot less people can vote.

    They may very well be motivated, but how can they if they’re not allowed to do so because the SCOTUS fiddled with the VRA’s?

    To the GOP, there’s no “right to vote.”
    Just for the “right” people, to vote.

  15. 15
    Roger Moore says:

    @Handy:

    Is there an area where the GOP is on the right side of any issue?

    Many of the ones that show up around here seem to like pie a lot, which is an issue that it’s hard to dispute too heavily.

  16. 16
    Aji says:

    @Kay: I’d like to see it mentioned HERE. After how badly we were dissed by Netroots Nation and the GOS over exactly this issue, twice, it’d be nice to see that liberal blogger allies actually, you know, think of our existence when mentioning every other ethnic group.

  17. 17
    Kay says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Right, but in response to these actions there’s renewed interest in voter protection, voter registration, etc.

  18. 18
    Kay says:

    @Aji: @Aji:

    Okay, I see your point but it’s actually a main portion of one of the links, and that piece left out the Asian-American groups :)

  19. 19
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Are voting rights another area where Republicans are on the wrong side of an issue, if they hope to sell the Party to a larger more diverse group of voters? Could this backfire politically for them even if they win the court case?

    Seriously?

    Of course it will.

  20. 20
    LanceThruster says:

    @Bokonon:

    Because they think the voters are stupid, and have short memories, and are easily maniptulated by the right pitch line and personality. And … you know something? A lot of the time, the GOP has been right.

    No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up ~ Lily Tomlin

  21. 21
    gene108 says:

    @Sharl:

    if the Very Serious People, especially those in the media, are quietly letting it be known to (mostly) GOP power brokers that this crap is really starting to make it very difficult to run the both-sides-do-it shtick that has been benefiting them all up to this point.

    It’s not just the both-sides-do-it attitude that the media picks up on.

    It’s the fact that in very competitive work environments there’s just a certain work culture that’s considered the norm. The rules of the game are such that toxic soul destroying behavior can be tolerated because that’s just how those folks roll.

    Becoming a VSP is a pretty competitive thing. Not many people can become VSP and the drive required to do this probably comes with an understanding of how the game is played.

    The same goes for politics. A very competitive type of occupation, with a tacit acknowledgement that the “game” will have winners and losers. And winning is what matters most.

    Therefore the VSP’s do not see anything wrong with Republican “hijinx”/rat-fucking because winning is what matters at the end of the day. It is understood doing what it takes to win is how the the “game” is supposed to be played.

    Fairness, honesty, making sure you don’t dick people over, etc. are concepts for people, who just don’t want to try and succeed.

    This is one reason the media doesn’t have much outrage about the stuff the GOP pulls. They expect and applaud successful people to do whatever it takes to win.

  22. 22
    quannlace says:

    In the runup to 2012, I actually heard one conservative radio host complaining about early-voting, saying it ‘took away from the dignity of election day.” Excuse me? The indignity is forcing people to go through ridiculous complications just to exercise their constitutional right.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    @quannlace:

    They lost on early voting. People love early voting. I early vote, myself. It’s convenient.

  24. 24
    Aji says:

    @Kay: This is not intended to slam you, believe me. Having worked on this very issue for years, I really appreciate the work you put into it. It’s just that I run into this invisibility problem everyfuckingwhere. And some of us still feel nothing but contempt for the way Netroots Nation mishandled all of this in a year when they could’ve really made an enormous difference for NDN voters (especially since it was the first year without INDN’s List). So every time I see the usual locution on race, which invariably runs “African American, Latino/Hispanic, and Asian American” [note that it almost always stops there], I’ve begun to feel compelled to raise hell about it. :-)

  25. 25
    feral1 says:

    Funny I was just thinking about this issue last night. I was thinking that the Democrats need to pick a high profile fight with Republicans over voter access that highlights Hispanic voters. Something like a federal law that mandates the # of polling stations per 1000 voters.

    Either a useful law gets passed that makes voting easier in urban areas or the Republicans again get shamed as racists.

    It will stick because it feeds into an already established, and currently potent, narrative.

  26. 26
    japa21 says:

    @Aji: Aji, I thank you for bringing this here. I have to admit that I have not given thought to this issue, but it will stay on my radar now. I have a relative in Northern WI which has a large Native American population. She is a pretty liberal/progressive person and I will sound her out on what conditions are like up there.

  27. 27
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Kay:
    Oh, I’m with you, Kay!

    And I hope you’re right.
    But too many state legislature members are safely protected from voters, unless this becomes “Story #1” in the country.

    And the Republicans will be doing enough other sh*t to make sure this doesn’t get legs in time for ’14, or ’16.

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    awful lot of non-White folks represented there.

  29. 29
    Aji says:

    @japa21: Oh, please, please, PLEASE do! Lots of Anishinaabeg in WI, and numerous other nations, as well. There’s a long history in places like MN and the Dakotas of both overt and covert voter suppression of area tribes. Michigan, Wisconsin, and other parts of the Midwest, I think it’s been more opportunistic, but with the advent of the latest crop of Republican governors, I expect that to change completely, if it hasn’t already.

    Thank you! And if you hear of anything, will you report back?

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @japa21: @Aji: FWIW, I was in polling places on the Menominee reservation in Memominee County, WI, during a recent election. Those polling places were well run and reasonably accessible to all voters (and a lot of of people were voting). Anecdotal, but still.

  31. 31
    Aji says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Good to know that it’s working in some places. :-) Thanks.

    I think it tends to be less of a problem when the rezes are fairly localized [but not always; the Pueblo here was a good example of some of the worst of it in 2004]. But when you get up into places like the L/D/N rezes in the Dakotas, where people may have to drive a couple hundred miles round trip – and in some places, where the median annual income is less than $3800 – just getting to a polling place becomes a major accomplishment. To manage to get there just to be turned away for spurious reasons, as has happened a lot up there in recent elections, is obscene.

  32. 32
    catclub says:

    It seems to me that if the VRA was constitutional when it passed, then it remains constitutional. Conditions may have changed so that it is unnecessary (Ha!) but in that case the SC should say that if so, the legislature can act accordingly.

    I find it hard to believe the VRA has not been tested multiple times in the SC.

  33. 33
    David Hunt says:

    @Handy:

    Is there an area where the GOP is on the right side of any issue?

    I’d say that there must be some sort of issue they;d be on the right side of, for instance being against the destruction of planet. Unfortunately, their positions on climate change say bad things about even that. I know, global warming isn’t going to literally destroy the planet but it’s just going to make the surface of it less hospitable. However, I’m pretty sure most of the putzes fighting efforts to mitigate climate change have kids. What do they tell themselves so that they can think of themselves as something other than a comicbook supevillian?

    Sometimes I wonder if they think the Rapture is going to come along and so they and their kids won’t have to worry about their mess. That’s usually a joke and I really think that they cynically believe that their kids will be on top of the dystopia that they’re formenting. But there are times…

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Aji: In Wisconsin, elections are run at a local level under the supervision and guidance of a nonpartisan agency. This means that, for example, Native American voters in a municipality that is on a reservation are not likely to have many problems; those who live off of reservations may indeed face discrimination, especially if the voter ID law comes back into effect.

  35. 35
    Sharl says:

    @gene108: That is an excellent point. While I don’t work in the center(s) of power myself, as someone who works in Washington DC I am in close enough proximity to occasionally witness the very kind of dynamic you are talking about. And it’s pretty much a 24/7 thing too. Some years ago we had a visiting professor for a year (he was taking a sabbatical), and one morning he came in bitching about the dating scene he had been encountering, which (from his description) sounded more like an exercise in resumé comparison shopping than anything. I think he was mighty glad to get back to AZ when his year was up.

  36. 36
    Aji says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Not as subdivisions of the SoS or state Board of Elections or whatever? Do the tribes have their own “local management,” too?

    And, yeah, the voter ID thing is aimed squarely at NDNs, as well as anyone else of color (or other subgrouping) that might tend to vote for Dems. It will hurt us a lot, because “appropriate” ID often doesn’t include tribal IDs.

  37. 37
    Aji says:

    @David Hunt: This:

    Sometimes I wonder if they think the Rapture is going to come along and so they and their kids won’t have to worry about their mess.

    is not far off the mark.

    My father was corrupted by the fundies on his mother’s side of the family, so I got to grow up in precisely this environment. [Back then, they all thought the world would end before 1980; Armageddon keeps getting pushed back, I guess.] Anyway, it was a mix of authoritarian fatalism:

    God is coming back to destroy the sinners and save the Christians, so there’s no point worrying about that stuff anyway. Besides, God can save the world’s environment with a snap of His holy fingers, so if that’s what He wants, He’ll do it, and if He doesn’t want it, we shouldn’t, either. And besides besides, if you’re living the way He wants you to, you’ll be safe from harm anyway.

    No, it doesn’t make logical sense. In their worldview, it doesn’t have to. And FTR, that’s what I’ve heard fundies say to justify everything under the sun, virtually verbatim.

  38. 38
    John M. Burt says:

    @Mark S.:

    “[T]here will be a right of center party, but they aren’t going to call themselves Republicans.”

    My own hope is that the right-of-center party will be called “Democratic”, and with the Repubs on the ashheap, actual left-of-center types will feel free to move to the Greens or Working Families party.

  39. 39
    tamied says:

    @catclub:

    Conditions may have changed so that it is unnecessary

    Ha indeed. On the contrary, I think the law needs to be changed to include states that do not have a history of discrimination to be forced to “pre-clear”. Take PA and the lousy Governor we have (please!).

  40. 40
    kay says:

    @catclub:

    Not just when it passed. It was renewed by large bi-partisan majorities in 2006.
    That’s what pisses me off about the legal challenge. Republicans didn’t their fingerprints on it.
    Harry Reid predicted they’d support voting rights publicly and then sue, and that’s they did.
    There should be political accountability . They’re cowards.

  41. 41
    Keith says:

    Off-topic for VRA, but (if you will) the evil obverse side of the coin the opposition focuses on – “voter fraud.” Today in Cincinnati Alex Triantafilou (R) was quoted in this enquirer news report. I wonder if Kay has some light to shed on how problematic the charges raised truly are.

    The history of similar instances typically follows a predictable trend:
    — The number of charges or votes involved falls – here there are 28.
    — The waters become much muddy. It may become clear the characteristic of the multiple voter defendants, or fraudulently voting person turns out to be well, more white and even republican than Triantifilou assumes.

    Anyway – back on topic, here’s hoping the GOP fails with their court challenges to VAR in Alabama.

  42. 42
    Bokonon says:

    @catclub: The VRA hasn’t been tested with a Constitutional challenge until now because … honestly? Until recent years, there was no real possibility that the Supreme Court would overturn it.

    There also seemed to be reluctance, and a fear of bad appearances, of having a deep southern state like South Carolina stride into the Supreme Court and ask for the VRA to be overturned. Against the will of Congress, no less.

    But these days, with the changed composition of the Supreme Court, and a radicalized conservative block that wants to aggressively break with the tradition of upholding the Court’s precedents …? And with a Supreme Court willing to do things like suddenly discover that corporations are “people” with individual First Amendment rights, and overturn 100 years of prior decisions? Then I suppose that the challengers feel they have better than even odds of weakening the VRA or getting it overturned. In that sort of casino, why not roll the dice and try it?

    And as far as rolling the dice in the first place … there no longer appears to be no fear of bad appearances or restraint. What I see instead is a new, aggressive sense of aggrievement and anti-federalism – coupled with a powerful, coordinated effort to limit voting rights at the state and local levels. This didn’t exist 10 or 20 years ago. But it exists now.

    And it is a new ball game.

  43. 43
    kay says:

    @Keith:

    I’ll just wait and see. Republicans can’t really complain about absentee balloting and fraud. It’s always been the least secure, and they expand it every time they’re in power because GOP voters skew older. Husted made it universal this cycle, actually, which confused people.

  44. 44
    Petorado says:

    Looking at the broad plane of Republican tactics: voter suppression, gerrymandering, election law tinkering, the focus on money and external groups to manipulate the election process, the focus on use of deceptive language, exploitation of partisan media, hindering the democratic process in Congress through filibuster and procedural moves, what all these have in common is that their sole purpose is to advance an agenda that is bad for the broader public and wouldn’t stand a change in an open, fair, and reasonable democratic process. What Republicans want is not what’s good for the country, hence their use of so many underhanded tactics to undermine democracy.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Aji: The equivalent of a state board of elections in the the Government Accountability Board – a nonpartisan board of six retired judges. The staff is also required to be nonpartisan. And yes, elections are run at the town, village, or city level by the municipal clerk. It can create a weird situation like that of the Menominee Res. that I mentioned above. The reservation, the Township of Menominee, and Menominee County are exactly the same size. Beautiful area of the state, poor as hell though.

  46. 46
    xian says:

    I think, long term, Reagan backfired.

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @xian:

    I think, long term, Reagan backfired.

    Too bad the people who worship him aren’t interested in the long term. They care a lot more about the next elections and even the next 24 hour news cycle than they do about the long term good of the country.

  48. 48
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @gex: Ding ding ding ding ding!

    Even if Repubs lose this case, I’m sure they’re working hard on limiting the minority vote in other ways.

  49. 49
    Aji says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah, “poor as hell” is all too common, unfortunately. I do like the sound of the structure there, though. That’s how I always thought of WI – good-government types. But it’s amazing (and sad) how rapidly my impression of your state’s governance has been undone by Teabagger Boy and his minions.

  50. 50
    Origuy says:

    @John M. Burt:

    My own hope is that the right-of-center party will be called “Democratic”, and with the Repubs on the ashheap, actual left-of-center types will feel free to move to the Greens or Working Families party.

    I don’t know anything about Working Families, but from what I’ve seen, the people running the Green Party have no interest in actually building up the infrastructure to get people elected at all levels. The Republicans did it in the 1850s because they were able to take over the corpse of the Whigs; the country was a lot smaller, too. You can’t create a party just by running candidates for President. You need legislators and county commissioners, plus people like Kay to glue it all together.

  51. 51
    marian says:

    @Bokonon: Late to the thread, but actually, SC challenged the constitutionality of the VRA when it was passed (SC v Katzenbach) and lost. IIRC the grounds were that it applied only to some states and not to others. For what it’s worth, for many many years, SC had the cleanest record of compliance with the VRA of any state in the country. The current attack is on the grounds that the world has changed, no discriminatory laws being passed around here.

    Also, I’ve been wondering why challenges haven’t been brought based on the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 2, which provides that if male (sic) voters are denied the right to vote, the amount of house representation will be reduced proportionately.

  52. 52
    Bokonon says:

    Late to the thread, but actually, SC challenged the constitutionality of the VRA when it was passed (SC v Katzenbach) and lost.

    D’oh – you are right. It was incorrect to say that the VRA’s constitutionality hasn’t been tested in the time since it was passed. The VRA was challenged. Immediately. In the South Carolina v. Katzenbach case. And it was upheld. Remind me to plug in my brain.

    What I should have said was that the legitimacy of the VRA just hasn’t been challenged for decades. Outside of Congress, when the VRA has come up for renewal.

    This “change” argument in the current Supreme Court case is pretty clever – and it allows a collateral attack on the VRA that would allow the Supreme Court to avoid overturning Katzenbach directly. The Supreme Court is being invited to second guess Congress’ legislative findings in renewing the VRA, and possibly engage in some more 10th Amendment power shifting along the way.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Aji: The is a lot of governmental infrastructure (largely, the people he disparages who run the programs he despises) that just keep working for now.

  54. 54
    marian says:

    @Bokonon: You’re right, second guessing legislative findings is one of their favorite things. This argument had to wait till we got a Chief Justice who thinks the way to combat discrimination is to pretend it isn’t happening.

  55. 55
    karen says:

    So if the Supreme Court finds the VRA unconstitutional does that mean that suddenly people lose their right to vote if they’re not white Anglo Saxon Protestant males?

  56. 56
    aussie sheila says:

    This is the thing that I can’t get my head around-a polity that endlessly lectures the rest of the world about ‘freedom and democracy’ and is still unable to ensure that all its citizens have a right to cast a ballot which will be properly counted. I understand that voting systems are a state issue in the US, but would it be constitutionally possible for Congress to pass a law that required all states to ensure a minimum requirement for polling booth access, and to ensure that all citizens were able to register up to and including polling day by utilising just one piece of identity (the nature of the identity being a choice of IDs that did not disadvantage the young, the old, the poor and minorities?)

    In my mind the real problem in the US with the domination of the rich of both the debate and policy outcomes, is that neither political party is sufficiently ‘scared’ of the whole polity, in particular, they discount routinely the views of those who do not usually turn out to vote-fix that and you are nearly there to moving the polity towards a better direction for the majority of people.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @karen: No. It means that a large number of mechanisms to prevent people from infringing on the right to vote will go away.

  58. 58
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @aussie sheila: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 took its constitutional support from the 15th Amendment. It seems to me that that would be the way to go when defending such a law, and that it would be a reasonable argument to make. But I’m not a lawyer and I’m certainly not on the Supreme Court.

  59. 59
    J R in W Va says:

    @Aji:

    Hey, Aji,

    Which Pueblo Nation are you associated with?

    I have a lot of respect for the Pueblo nations, along with most other Native Nations, and try to do what I can to support their efforts to maintain their identity and help their members deal with an increasingly strange world.

    Best of luck!

    JR

  60. 60
    Aji says:

    @J R in W Va: I’m Shinaab. The Mr. is Taos Pueblo. :-)

  61. 61
    Cain says:

    @Aji:

    And you should.. Netroots have no excuse not to include indigenous people. In fact it’s a crying shame.

  62. 62
    seaboogie says:

    @Bokonon: You gotta do something when we elect a “blah” president – twice!

  63. 63
    seaboogie says:

    @Bokonon: You gotta do something when we elect a “blah” president – twice!

  64. 64
    brantl says:

    He just looked at him and growled “blow the doors off and we won’t have to worry about any of this shit.” By “blow the doors off” he meant “turn out voters.” And that happened. I don’t know that we blew the doors off but Democrats turned out.

    This about blowing the doors out, isn’t true, as long as an individual can’t check how he voted, and can’t potentially check everyone else who voted as well, you can swtich all those unattributed, anonymous ‘secret’ ballots, any time. The mechanism for switching them changes with each mechanism for recording the vote, but they still can be changed, and a significant percentage probably are changed. Bush cheated in both 2000, and 2004, he didn’t win Florida in 2000, and he didn’t win Ohio in 2004. Still got the presidency.

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