Wake up!

Charles Blow, one of my favorite columnists in The New York Times, says too many Democrats are sleepwalking through this election. We are not outraged enough about Big Money’s influence or the Republican State Legislatures changing the voting rules.

I hope everyone saw Doonesbury’s take on this with his character James Crow.

Blow points out that the people who will be prevented from voting in November are students, minorities, and seniors—people who tend to vote Democratic.

Republicans claim the changes are needed to prevent fraud, but actual instances of voter fraud are “more rare than being struck by lightning.”

Here are Blow’s numbers:

180 Restrictive voting bills have been introduced in 41 states since January 2011.

24 Restrictive voting laws have passed in 19 states, plus two restrictive executive actions.

16 states with restrictive laws account for 79% of the electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

Let’s wake up—and make sure everyone who wants to vote gets to vote.

11 responses »

  1. Wow, way to spin it. There’s one glaringly obvious reason that Dems are against voter id, because most voter fraud is perpetrated by Dems. The hypocrisy is unfathomable. You have to have an id to buy booze or get cigarettes or cash a check in most places, but an id to vote, that’s just too hard.

    Reply
    • “Because most voter fraud is commented by Dems” is the reason Obama will win: because of idiots like you who, like Fox, Glenn (‘Obama is coming for your guns’), and the Rush’s of your Grand Obstructionist Party, say things with no truth, no evidence (are you saying Dems were 6 of the 10 cases found in the entire history of America?)
      Now your extremists, like you, are turning on teach other for not being extreme enough:’Moderates” are out. Frank Gaffney is questioning if Norquist actually let Muslims infiltrate the White House during Bush. There is nor ‘reason’ in your party.
      You are still looking at the birth certificate. Your candidate can make a billion dollars over ten years and pay no, none, zero, taxes. How do you like your swiftboating now?Neil Metcalf metcalfenr@aol.com

      Reply
    • “Because most voter fraud is commented by Dems” is the reason Obama will win: because of extremists like you who, like Fox, Glenn (‘Obama is coming for your guns’), and the Rush’s of your Grand Obstructionist Party, say things with no truth, no evidence (are you saying Dems were 6 of the 10 cases found in the entire history of America?)
      Now your extremists, like you, are turning on teach other for not being extreme enough:’Moderates” are out. Frank Gaffney is questioning if Norquist actually let Muslims infiltrate the White House during Bush. There is nor ‘reason’ in your party.
      You are still looking at the birth certificate. Your candidate can make a billion dollars over ten years and pay no, none, zero, taxes. How do you like your swiftboating now?Neil Metcalf metcalfenr@aol.com

      Reply
      • A recent editorial in the Times says that a larger problem than restricted voting is VOTER REGISTRATION. Half of all qualified voters are not registered. That’s something we could all work on.

    • There is absolutely no statistically significant incidence of voter fraud in any state in the USA. The one or two incidences, three or four somewhere else — in decades — do not justify dis-enfranchising large swaths of the voting population in a hastily contrived attempt to eliminate certain types of voters (mainly minorities, of course).

      Do we need an ID to vote? Maybe we do. Maybe it would be more equitable. If we’re going to demand IDs, however, then it needs to be part of a national action which is given TIME to be implemented and significant effort is made NOT to eliminate valid voters, and the cost of obtaining the ID should be affordable for everyone. Enacting such laws so close to major elections is not just unconscionable; it has to be considered to be strategic. Voter fraud? Yes… but not the kind you’re imagining.

      Do we need a NATIONAL registry of voters? Probably. That would eliminate the possibility that some people might be registered in more than one place, BUT… and this is important, Porter… I may still be registered to vote in Mississippi, even though I told California about my MS registration when I registered to vote here years ago. Bureaucracies don’t always catch up with valid purges. Nevertheless, all voter info for MS would be sent to my old address there and NOT forwarded to any of my subsequent FOUR addresses in CA, so… it would be difficult to commit the fraud of voting in two states — and not cost-effective effort-wise for the dubious result of a single extra vote.

      Can electronic voting machines be hacked? Yes. So we need to make sure that can’t happen or stick to paper ballots.

      Should all campaign financing be eliminated except for state or national funds? No choice for the candidates? Yep. Definitely. Clean elections are the only way to ensure that the will of the majority of the people is represented, rather than the will of a few rich folks.

      And if we can’t have that, at least we can have full disclosure of all campaign and campaign-related ads, for the time being. I want to know the names and interests of the 50 or so millionaires and billionaires who are financing this year’s campaigns.

      So, when it comes down to it, yes, we do need a complete overhaul of our voting system. I’m for it. You bet. But not if the intention of the laws — admitted on tape by more than one conservative — is to tilt the election in the favor of one or the other party.

      Stop watching Fox News and listening to Rush Limbaugh and try reading a book or seven or even try seeking out other news sources. Good ones would be those who use statistics and facts to back up their statements, rather than lacing their so-called reporting with appeals to your fears or incitements to anger and outrage.

      Reply
  2. I assume unions and voting rights groups, not to mention Democrats, must be organizing (should have been organizing) for MONTHS to get people ID cards — JUST IN CASE. Perhaps I am unaware of these movements because California has passed no such law. However, shouldn’t it be exactly the same mobilization as when folks went to the south to register blacks during the Civil Rights Movement?

    I mean, we can NOT rely on any court, let alone the highly partisan Supreme Court, standing up for voters’ rights.

    And yet, I have heard nothing about such actions.

    Reply
  3. Margaret Sullivan

    Norma, I have retired this year after 25 years as the Chief election officer of polling places in Fairfax County, Virginia. Never once have I seen voter fraud of the kind these bills (including ours here in Virginia) are designed to prevent–someone attempting to vote as someone else. As an election observer overseas–particularly in the Philippines, which is notorious for its forms of fraud–I have seen a lot of it so I know fraud when I see it. I have seen none of it here. The new law in Virginia (we already had to present ID but if you were in the poll book and didn’t have ID with you, you signed an affidavit that you are who you are and voted a special ballot that was then counted later) says that voters without government ID or a voter registration card must appear in person at the office of election within three days after the election with documents to prove you are who you are and live where you say you do. Even in our country, which is affluent, getting to the office of elections is not simple and from our end of the county requires a 50 mile round trip without good public transportation. I personally am actively steamed about the whole business here and in other states. Restricting voter access is not the American way. Margaret

    Reply
  4. I left a reply…and the answer was ‘your reply is awaiting moderation’…which I do ‘not’ understand, nor which entity this came from.

    Reply
  5. Outrage and disgust is a two-edged sword: one edge for the Republicans who snookered us and the other edge for ourselves who naively let it happen. So how do we now reverse the thrust with a parry that will enable the temporarily disenfranchised to vote?

    Reply
  6. First of all, I am not a Republican, I was raised a Southern Democrat, and voted that way most of my adult life until the Democratic party became so perversely socially liberal (in my humble opinion). Secondly the idea of getting a valid id as too difficult is a fraud. Sure some may not want to put forth the effort, so what, then they don’t vote, that cuts down on the real fraud. To put it bluntly, I have an immense dislike for partisan liars.
    In response to Margaret Sullivan since she never saw any voter fraud under her eagle eye, that quite possibly makes the case for the ease in doing it. I have personal knowledge of fraud in the state of Georgia before id became a requirement. It was simple, use another voter’s registration card or make your own with readily available card stock. Maybe Fairfax County was/is full of solid citizens that would never do such as thing, but we all don’t live in such an idyllic place.
    +++

    Reply

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