Repubs Against Voters: The Hood Mask Is Slipping

Richard L. Hasen, at Slate, on “The New Conservative Assault on Early Voting”:

In the past few weeks, a flurry of conservatives have attacked early voting, from Eugene Kontorovich and John McGinnis in Politico to George Will in the Washington Post to J. Christian Adams in the Washington Times. The timing is no coincidence: The Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which President Obama created to look at issues with long lines and other election problems, recently issued its much-anticipated report. The report is full of many sound suggestions for improving our elections, and one of the key recommendations is to expand early voting, either in person, through absentee ballots, or both. There’s good reason to follow the commission’s recommendation: Early voting takes pressure off administering the vote on Election Day. It helps avert long lines and aids election administrators in working out kinks. Voters like early voting because it lets them pick a convenient time to vote, when there are not work or child-care conflicts…

All of these conservative commentators agree that everyone should vote on Election Day to promote “deliberation” or to prevent “stubborn” voters from making “uninformed” or emotional decisions “prematurely.” In short, they argue that we cannot trust the people to decide for themselves when they have enough information to vote….

But conservative critics of early voting runs don’t just mistrust early voters; they mistrust voters in general. As I explained here, there is a fundamental divide between liberals and conservatives about what voting is for: Conservatives see voting as about choosing the “best” candidate or “best” policies (meaning limits on who can vote, when, and how might make the most sense), and liberals see it as about the allocation of power among political equals. Cutting back on early voting fits with the conservative idea of choosing the “best” candidate by restraining voters from making supposed rash decisions, rather than relying on them to make choices consistent with their interests…

Please do click over and read the whole thing, including a Jonah Goldberg quote that should get him shunned by decent people for the rest of his sorry life (not that it would make much difference in LoadBob DoughPant’s world).

84 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Conservatives see voting as about choosing the “best” candidate or “best” policies (meaning limits on who can vote, when, and how might make the most sense), and liberals see it as about the allocation of power among political equals.

    I didn’t follow the link, but I’m not a fan of this framing of the differences.

  2. 2
    Mandalay says:

    Here’s that odious Goldberg quote….

    Voting should be harder, not easier—for everybody. … If you are having an intelligent conversation with somebody, is it enriched if a mob of uninformed louts, never mind ex-cons and rapists, barges in? People who want to make voting easier are in effect saying that those who previously didn’t care or know enough about the country to vote are exactly the kind of voters this country needs now.”

    Meanwhile, back in civilization….

    Attorney General Eric Holder called on a group of states Tuesday to restore voting rights to ex-inmates, part of a push to fix what he sees as flaws in the criminal justice system that have a disparate impact on racial minorities.

    It is time to fundamentally rethink laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision,” Holder said, targeting 11 states that he said continue to restrict voting rights for former inmates, even after they’ve finished their prison terms.

    Amen to that.

  3. 3
    Ruckus says:

    A logical person would assume that rethuglician policies must be bad for normal people, the way they keep trying to come up with better more convoluted bullshit to explain why their bullshit is….. bullshit.

  4. 4
    Cassidy says:

    If Jonah Goldberg isn’t already shunned from polite company, then that isn’t company I consider polite.

  5. 5
    burnspbesq says:

    Rick Hasen is the best hire Erwin Chemerinsky has made in his tenure as dean of UC Irvine law

  6. 6
    Mike in NC says:

    Repubs do not oppose early voting. They oppose voting, period.

  7. 7
    aimai says:

    @Baud: I agree with you that the framing is bad but I also agree with this essayist that the Republican/Aristocratic view of voting is that there is one right answer, one right party, and that anything that prevents that party from assuming total power is a fradulent or incorrect vote, produced by a fraudulent/incorrect/uneducated/foolish voter. Meanwhile the Democratic attitude–at least as long as our voters tend not to vote–is that we would rather encourage total participation and take our chances with voters voting against us, because we are pretty sure that our policies will induce voters to vote for us if they only understand the issues.

  8. 8
    Helen says:

    You know, I don’t get this “voter fraud” shit. Those idiots say that Obama got elected cuzza “voter fraud” That a buncha (8,000,000; votes apparently) people voted by fraud. So. 8,000,000 people walked into polling places and voted as someone else. Here’s my confusion: I live in New York City. Home to 9,000,000 people. I go into my polling place every year and there are, I shit you not, THREE people who live in my building who are working the polls. And they all say “Hey good morning Helen” Seriously; if this happens in the big ‘ole non-personal city, how the hell does it not happen anywhere else? How are these “frauds” not identified?

  9. 9
    CaseyL says:

    More and more people are voting against the GOP. Only gerrymandered districts keep them in power. Demographics are against them as well. Of course they’re working to limit the franchise; it’s the only way they’ll be able to maintain any electoral influence.

    Don’t forget: the GOP is the Neo-Confederate Party. Limiting who can vote (particularly, making it harder for POC to vote) is a major part of restoring Antebellum America.

  10. 10
    Yatsuno says:

    Vote. By. Mail. Washington and Oregon have been doing this for awhile now and not only does it work it increases voter participation by a boatload. It’s such an easy solution Republicans of course hate it.

  11. 11
    Linnaeus says:

    It seems that many conservatives have a problem with democracy in general. They’ve never really gotten over displacing hereditary aristocracies.

  12. 12
    KG says:

    @Mandalay: you know, if Goldberg’s idea could be properly implemented, it’d probably disqualify a lot of Tea Partiers… I mean most of them would probably fail a PoliSci 100 test

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    Let’s see…Republicans are against voting, women, browns, blahs, gays, non-Christians, health insurance. These Republicans sound like great folks. If you’re white, male and straight.

  14. 14
    Helen says:

    @Yatsuno: Or by computer. To paraphrase Bill Mahar: “We’re scared of that – that it will be hacked – that the count will not be correct. Well, gosh, when your bank tells you have $11,000 in savings; they don’t say “Oh approximately $11,000, maybe $11,050.” NO. it’s $11,000.

    The technology exists. But the repubs do not want to do that. For the same reason that they want the census to be “door by door” Everyone knows that statistical analysis is more accurate. And that the “door by door” undercounts minorities.

  15. 15
    MikeJ says:

    @Helen:

    That a buncha (8,000,000; votes apparently) people voted by fraud.

    Some big poo-bah in Maine (gov?) swore there were roaming gangs of negroes going from small town to small town and voting repeatedly, in large enough numbers to swing the results in every single case.

  16. 16
    Petorado says:

    In Colorado, the Democratically-controlled legislature is working on a new measure to allow same-day voter registration, mandate mail-in ballots for those who are eligible, and clean-up some other technicalities.

    As per this thread, Republicans are opposing it because it is “a recipe for voter fraud.”

  17. 17
    jl says:

    @Helen:

    ” That a buncha (8,000,000; votes apparently) people voted by fraud. ”

    Time travel, eleventy D chess, and mystic mind control powers make it easy to hide all that fraud. I can’t think of another reason there is no evidence of any significant fraud at all.

    Unfortunately, one Supreme Court Justice who gets all skeered up in his head over the mere remote possibility, and don’t need none of them dang numbers and stuff, is kryptonite to that time travel BS.

    Edit: I assume the other Supremes who want to take away people’s right to vote knew exactly what they were doing, and knew about the lack of evidence and numbers all too well. But I could be wrong.

  18. 18
    Luthe says:

    @Yatsuno: The only thing Republicans hate more than blahs voting is the postal system.

    Also, did this post fall through the TARDIS? It used to be *before* John’s Ron Fourier post and now it’s after.

  19. 19
    jl says:

    I guess I am a radical. We use the Australian ballot and that worked pretty well. So why not compulsory voting with a preferential ballot?

  20. 20
    jl says:

    @Luthe: You people think some of us are joking about the time travel. Cole has connections, I tell you, connections.

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    @jl: The White House has already denied Obama is a time traveler. Which means that since the gubbmint always lies that he must really be. This would explains Cole’s party switch.

  22. 22
    kc says:

    Am I still in limbo?

  23. 23
    jl says:

    @MikeJ: No, that is a tricky evasion. The WH denied interplanetary teletransportation. Not time travel, and mind you, not terrestrial teletransportation.

    The sheeples need to be alert to tricks and misdirection.

    Alex Jones saw through it in a second, I assure you.

  24. 24
    jl says:

    @kc: Are you floating around in a kind of boring endless white space? I think that is what limbo is supposed to be like Some medieval theologian guy figured it out. Let us know.

    Edit: not to hot, not to cold. People who never had a chance to sin are there, so probably kind of bland company. I’m thinking would be a nice restful vacation spot, but want to know what it’s like first.

  25. 25
    Ash Can says:

    To sell their policies, the Republicans repackage them. To get their candidates elected, they keep the other candidate’s supporters from voting. God forbid they should ever, ya know, propose policies or run candidates that voters actually find attractive.

  26. 26
    Suffern ACE says:

    @jl: Yah. As restful as it can be surrounded by toddlers and infants.

  27. 27
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ash Can:

    God forbid they should ever, ya know, propose policies or run candidates that voters actually find attractive.

    How would you monetize that?

  28. 28
    Roger Moore says:

    @CaseyL:

    More and more people are voting against the GOP. Only gerrymandered districts keep them in power. Demographics are against them as well. Of course they’re working to limit the franchise; it’s the only way they’ll be able to maintain any electoral influence.

    I really think there’s more to it than that. The kind of people who vote Republican have never really liked the idea of the universal franchise. They’ve always wanted to make sure only the right kind of people get to vote, because that makes sure the right kind of people stay in power.

  29. 29
    Ripley says:

    @Violet:

    These Republicans sound like great folks. If you’re white, male and straight.

    I’m all those things and they sound like fucking assholes to me.

  30. 30
    Yatsuno says:

    @Roger Moore: If they could, they would go back to only white male property owners over 21.

    (edited fer accuracy)

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @Violet:

    These Republicans sound like great folks. If you’re white, male and straight.

    You forgot to add “rich” to your list. Heaven help you if you you have to work for a living and are just scraping by.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:

    @Helen:
    I think you misunderstand what Republicans mean by “voter fraud”; they mean The Wrong Kind of People voting. If you think it’s inherently fraudulent when one of Those People votes, then yes, Obama won only because of voter fraud.

  33. 33
    mainmata says:

    Charlie Crist had a nice interview with Colbert. Such a contrast from Gov. Voldemort. I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA (redundant since that is the only city with that name allowed to have the British “h”). Anyway, PA once had Republican governors that could be totally Obama style leaders, e.g. Bill Scranton or Raymond Shafer. No more, of course.State politics in so many places has just been trashed.

  34. 34
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yatsuno:

    If they could, they would go back to only white male property slave owners over 21.

    FTFY. Actually, I suspect they would be perfectly happy going back to only members of the hereditary aristocracy (which they’re sure they’d be part of) having any say in government.

  35. 35
    Sly says:

    Assuming for the moment that his characterization of allowing convicted felons released from prison to vote isn’t problematic, I don’t see why Jonah Goldberg should be against it. Loutishly barging in on intelligent conversations is his raison d’etre.

  36. 36
    different-church-lady says:

    Makes me realize that the wingnut attitute towards voting is the same as the wingnut attitude towards money: undeserving people are allowed to have it.

  37. 37
    Ruckus says:

    @Ripley:
    So am I and I agree.

  38. 38
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Absolutely the same.

  39. 39
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Vote.
    By.
    Mail.

    I live in Washington state, where I can fill out my ballot in the comfort of my own home. I haven’t been to a polling place in 20 years. All states should do it.

  40. 40
    Suffern ACE says:

    On a related topic, reading Edroso’s blog the last few says about the Right’s flip out fear that we’ll have too many poets because of Obamacare is really fascinating and kind of creepy. It’s like they’re completely aghast at the idea of fulfillment coming from anything that doesn’t involve working at a job that one hates.

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    @mainmata:

    During his campaign for the Florida governorship last fall, Charlie Crist frequently expressed deep moral opposition to the state’s practice of permanently prohibiting convicted felons from exercising their right to vote. But Crist is a Republican, and his promise to fix Florida’s notorious felon-voting ban sometimes sounded like nothing more than campaign puffery. Felon disenfranchisement has long given Republicans a considerable boost at the polls in Florida; if the state’s ex-cons had been allowed to vote in 2000, George W. Bush would now be the commissioner of baseball. Was Charlie Crist really going to kill this political golden goose?
    On Thursday, he did just that. Crist, who became governor after handily defeating Democrat Jim Davis in November, ushered in a proposal that will quickly restore the voting rights of most of Florida’s felons as soon as they are released from prison. The plan looks sure to alter the political landscape in the nation’s most populous — and electoral-vote-rich — swing state.

    That was 2007, and it wasn’t that weird at the time.

    Conservatives had this period where they seemed to have some religious or moral objection to disenfranchising felons. Both Santorum and DeWine (PA and OH) voted to restore felon voting rights.

    And then this happened:

    Sources inside the Romney campaign said DeWine was upset that Romney was critical of Santorum’s position on the felon voting bill, which is mentioned in an ad by Romney’s Super PAC and was brought up in a debate last month. DeWine and Santorum were two of only three Republican Senators who voted for the bill.

    It is difficult to overstate how far away from voting rights conservatives have gone. They’re opposed to voting, at this point.

  42. 42
    Ruckus says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    If you are supporting yourself doing something you are good at and enjoy then it is not possible to be suffering enough, therefore you must work in a job you hate, for an asshole boss, doing worthless repetitive shit. Or shorter, be a rethuglician.

    ETA Yes I could have added, work for poverty level wages and have no health care so that it is possible to die needlessly and painfully, much earlier than reasonable.

  43. 43
    Citizen_X says:

    @Mandalay: @Sly: When has Goldberg ever had an intelligent conversation with anybody?

  44. 44
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Repubs do not oppose early voting. They oppose voting, period.

    This is true. The problem here is that they have a structural platform to lean upon, which is a bunch of rich white men in the 1780s who weren’t exactly over the moon about voting either.

    Most countries have a historical narrative of expanding the franchise, where the idea of stepping backwards is absurd, but the American version is backstopped by both a creation myth and a constitutional framework that predates the context of universal suffrage. The right to vote is an add-on, not part of the main architecture. That’s how wingnut welfare recipients can get paid to say that women and blahs shouldn’t be able to vote.

  45. 45
    Kay says:

    It isn’t all bad news, either. There’s a move in the other direction:

    Since the beginning of 2014, and as of January 21, 2014:

    At least 190 expansive bills that would increase access to voting were introduced in 31 states whose legislatures have had floor activity in 2014.
    Of those, 12 expansive bills are active in 7 states,[2] in that there has been legislative activity beyond introduction and referral to committee in 2014 (such as hearings, committee activity, or votes).
    At least 49 restrictive bills were introduced or carried over from 2013 in 19 states whose legislatures have had floor activity in 2014.[3]
    Of those, 5 restrictive bills are active in 4 states,[4] in that there has been legislative activity beyond introduction and referral to committee in 2014 (such as hearings, committee activity, or votes).

    People really like early voting, too. It’s popular.

  46. 46
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Yatsuno:

    Vote. By. Mail. Washington and Oregon have been doing this for awhile now and not only does it work it increases voter participation by a boatload. It’s such an easy solution Republicans of course hate it.

    No.

    Vote-by-mail works in Washington and Oregon because Washington and Oregon have long-established civic cultures that treat participation in the democratic process and universal suffrage seriously. The vulgar explanation would be the Scandinavian influence, but anyway.

    Certain parts of the US have a civic culture that supports free and fair elections. The decisions they make on how and where to vote are a product of that culture. Other parts of the US do not have that culture. Vote-by-mail in South Carolina and Alabama and Florida would be made as compromised and discriminatory as voting in person.

  47. 47
    Ruckus says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:
    They are after all conservatives and want to conserve the constitution in it’s purest form, that is how it was written as the ink was first drying. Anything later than that date nor not actually written in the original document, can not possibly be correct. Even though there are many written examples of exactly the opposite train of thought from the originators and the means to change the document is part of it.

    ETA IOW they are conservatives. They don’t need rational, logical, practical, humane thought. And that’s exactly what they lack.

  48. 48
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    It is difficult to overstate how far away from voting rights conservatives have gone. They’re opposed to voting, at this point.

    “Repubs Against Voters”? Hardly. It’s a race against time. The Census Bureau says the so-called “non-Hispanic White” part of the population will shrink from 63% now to 43% by 2060.

    Prudence, that’s all it is.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    I sometimes wonder if people who are employed by the campaign industrial complex (like professional Republican pundits and flacks and media people, etc.) don’t like early voting because it makes the last pre-election stretch of election profiteering less vital to the outcome, so not worth pouring more money into ads, consultants, etc.

    The whole key advantage for Democrats in early voting is ground organizers, and those people don’t make much money at all. It’s just a grind. Not glamorous at all, and no one really makes any serious money off it.

  50. 50
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    Are you saying that conservatives are only in it for the money?
    How could I possibly beli……. OK it is pretty hard to type while rolling on the floor laughing.

  51. 51
    Helen says:

    @Cervantes:

    It’s a race against time.

    DING DING DING And I am sad that I won’t be here in 2060 (or I’ll be 98 years old. Hey my Great Aunt lived to 99; let’s be positive). I want to see what happens. Go listen to Louis CK about how great it’s been for forever to be a white male. 50 years from now? Not so much.

  52. 52
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Kay:

    because it makes the last pre-election stretch of election profiteering less vital to the outcome, so not worth pouring more money into ads, consultants, etc.

    It certainly screws over the horserace narrative of “momentum”, and especially the bullshit notion of a last-minute surprise, even though Nate Silver and others busted the momentum myth in the last cycle.

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    I read the George Will column and he sounds cranky, like he’s worried he’s becoming irrelevant :)

    I don’t know if this is now True Forever, but since 2008 Democrats have focused not on persuading voters, but on finding voters who are already persuaded and making sure they vote. Here, it was all about “sporadic voters” which seem to be a mostly Democratic group.

    “Persuasion” is where the big pundit/consultant/ad money is, really. Without that, they’re all out of a job.

  54. 54
    Ruckus says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:
    Without the pundits and the unskewed polls, mittens wouldn’t have known that he won……

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    Hell of a lot better them than me. Or millions of us little people actually. That’s not a bad trade off really. Unemployment goes down, lying sack of shit pundits lose their jobs. Sounds like a fair trade to me.

    ETA Hasn’t George been irrelevant for quite some time? He must be as slow as I think he is if he is just catching on.

  56. 56
    Helen says:

    @Ruckus: This. That and their theme for the convention “We built this” was absolute proof that they have NO FUCKING CLUE. Even the people who we thought were scamming the rubes. No, they are just plain stupid!! They ARE the rubes. Yay for us.

  57. 57
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    I sometimes wonder if people who are employed by the campaign industrial complex […] don’t like early voting

    Can’t say much about the “campaign industrial complex” but I can say this (which you know already): the Obama campaign (both times) loved having access to early-voting data and made very careful use thereof. Although these data do not tell you directly which candidate is ahead, they do tell you (in many states) how people registered before casting their vote.

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @Helen:
    They did build it. It was a huge multifaceted tub of shit, which is exactly what they built. So for once they weren’t lying.
    Misdirecting, yes, lying, in this one instance, no.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Kay says:

    @Cervantes:

    Republicans will catch up, though. They’ll get better at it.

    They were better at it than we were in 2004. The Bush people were fucking terrifyingly efficient. Like zombies on a mission. I knew we were going to lose by 4 PM.

    I wasn’t reading the internet then for politics, and I had no idea that everyone else thought we were going to win, so at least I didn’t have to deal with the whole “exit polls” disappointment :)

  61. 61
    Cervantes says:

    @Kay:

    They were better at it than we were in 2004.

    Yes, that was largely due to Ken Mehlman, God rest his soul.

    And Bob Shrum.

  62. 62
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Kay: Did you think something shady went on in OH during the 2012 election? The Republicans(Kasich, Willard, Rove, etc.) were damn certain they were going to win the state despite always trailing in the polling. Moreover, that was the one state where Obama seemed to underperform the polling.

  63. 63
    different-church-lady says:

    @Cervantes: And John Kerry, sadly.

  64. 64
    TriassicSands says:

    If we can’t trust someone two weeks before election day, we won’t be able to trust them on election day either. Generally, I think voting too early, when there is no need, is a mistake, but giving voters enough latitude so that as many as possible can vote is what is most important. It’s up to individuals to be responsible, and I’d argue that every voter who cast a ballot for a Republican on election day (or anytime earlier) certainly can’t be trusted to vote responsibly. But I can’t think of a constitutional reason to prevent them from voting.

  65. 65
    Cervantes says:

    @different-church-lady: I was talking about the mechanics of the campaign.

    All in all, Kerry was no worse a candidate than Bush — and a much better human being.

  66. 66
    Chris says:

    @Mandalay:

    People who want to make voting easier are in effect saying that those who previously didn’t care or know enough about the country to vote are exactly the kind of voters this country needs now.”

    If they didn’t care or know enough to vote previously, they’re not going to suddenly start just because you added a few days of early voting.

    I, for instance, don’t care or know enough about baseball to go to games. That’s not going to change if you offer to drive me, give me time off of work during the game, or get me free tickets, because I still won’t understand the game or give a shit about the outcome. The only people for whom that would matter are those who are dedicated to the game, and only stayed away because life interfered.

  67. 67

    […] HT to Anne Laurie. […]

  68. 68
    SRW1 says:

    I is confused! Why is Jonah ‘The Wale’ Goldberg arguing that the loudmouth tea baggers shouldn’t be allowed to vote?

  69. 69
    debbie says:

    If Goldberg would look up the definition of “lout,” he’d realize he was talking about himself.

  70. 70
    rk says:

    Conservatives see voting as about choosing the “best” candidate or “best” policies

    No they don’t. The conservative attitude towards voting is that only those who vote for Republicans should be allowed to vote. The rest should not be allowed near a voting booth.

  71. 71
    slippytoad says:

    @Mandalay:

    Voting should be harder, not easier—for everybody.

    So not fucking getting the idea of democracy, and wow what a way to shit all over everyone’s right to representation. Fuck these people. We need to marginalize them permanently.

  72. 72
    Brian Morgan says:

    Perhaps what we need is late voting rather than early voting. Make Election Day the start of voting and close everything up two weeks later. On that closing day, all the TV channels can cover the closing of elections and the reporting of results.

    Would not conservatives support this? After all, it now gives the voters additional time to learn the issues and become informed before voting.

  73. 73
    Lee says:

    What I say to my Republican friends on FB when they come up with this crap:

    The same tactics & rationale you are using to restrict the right of individuals to vote can be turned around on you and restrict the right to bear arms.

    That usually shuts them up.

  74. 74
    S-Curve says:

    So, to recap: Waiting period for voting = better informed electorate, superior democracy. Waiting period for gun purchases = fascist dictatorship.

  75. 75
    Matt says:

    Shorter RW loons: “The new media infrastructure means we can only keep a complete falsehood in the news for a handful of days before it’s widely discovered to be bullshit. How are we supposed to ratfuck properly if people have already voted before we start the ball rolling?”

  76. 76
    danielx says:

    Jonah ‘The Wale’ Goldberg

    I’ve always been partial to ‘Jabba the Hack’, myself.

  77. 77
    El Cid says:

    @aimai:

    the Republican/Aristocratic view of voting is that there is one right answer, one right party, and that anything that prevents that party from assuming total power is a fradulent or incorrect vote, produced by a fraudulent/incorrect/uneducated/foolish voter

    It would be nice to hang a billboard saying this outside all our major media editorial departments, for no reason than for the hell of it.

  78. 78
    danielx says:

    @aimai:

    Correct. They never accepted Bill Clinton as a legitimately elected president, they clearly have never accepted Obama as a legitimately elected president, and they won’t accept as legitimately elected the next Dem to be elected as president either.

  79. 79
    JustRuss says:

    @Helen:

    Or by computer.

    Oh hell no. Anybody remember the “Help America Vote” cluster? Diebold? If Maher thinks banks are a great example of safe computing, try googling “banks hacked”.

    Honestly, trying to automate a process that only happens once every two years is a colossal waste of resources, and, since everything has to work perfectly on Day One, very likely to fail. Setting up honest elections is easy, but we choose to make it hard. Well, some states do anyway, and that’s what needs to be changed.

  80. 80
    Julie says:

    @Yatsuno: Yes. This. I rarely voted when I was outside the PNW, but now that I’m back I never miss an election — even the small, local ones.

  81. 81
    JR in WV says:

    Using computers to vote is a terrible idea. I say this as a person with a BS Computer Science and 30 years in software development for scientific and regulatory purposes. Complex software is expensive and mostly developed for profit.

    Diebold sold ATMs that all include a paper trail of every transaction. Then they built voting computers which never included a paper audit trail! Why? Because the ownership of the company were all Republicans who promised to carry Ohio for the party! Plus, PROFITS!

    Now my county, where I’ve voted in the same precinct for 35+ years, uses computerized voting machines. I don’t mind, because they print a paper tape of the voter’s intentions when they push the “Cast my ballot!” button. Plus the feds keep an eye on things and bust elected officials regularly for all kinds of childish voter fraud.

    But really, plain old paper ballots with folks counting votes under close observation by party members is simple inexpensive and efficient, there’s nothing wrong with counting late into the night for good results.

  82. 82
    Rob in CT says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’m white, male, straight and, well, not rich but quite well off, and I think the GOP is unredeemable.

    GOP DELENDA EST.

  83. 83
    xian says:

    @Linnaeus: ITSAREPUBLICNOTADEMOCRACY!!!

  84. 84
    mclaren says:

    Notice how Democrats refuse to talk about the Democratic politicians who are eagerly and diligently helping the Republicans prevent Americans from voting.

    Democratic politicians like Eric Holder and Obama’s head of the DEA, who continue to prosecute mostly-low-income mostly-minority overwhelmingly-Democratic-voting Americans for nonviolent drug crimes, leading to felony convictions that prevent those people from voting again. Ever.

    Democratic politicians like Barack Obama, who giggles when asked if he should stop the marijuana prosecutions.

    Prosecutions which destroy the ability of tens of thousands of mostly-Democratic-voting Americans to vote.

    If Democrats are so enraged about the wholesale assault on the ability to vote, maybe Democrats should stop fucking helping the Republicans prevent tens of thousands of American voters per year from voting.

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