Please visit the new home of Majikthise at bigthink.com/blogs/focal-point.

« Confessions of a junket whore | Main | Will the FBI investigate Lieberman campaign? »

August 15, 2006

Voter suppression in four more states

In Salon Magazine, Art Levine examines the state-of-the art in voter suppression:

In a series of laws passed since the 2004 elections, Republican legislators and officials have come up with measures to suppress the turnout of traditional Democratic voting blocs. This fall the favored GOP techniques are new photo I.D. laws, the criminalizing of voter registration drives, and database purges that have disqualified up to 40 percent of newly registered voters from voting in such jurisdictions as Los Angeles County. [Salon]

The article identifies six states at greatest risk for voter suppression in 2006. The list includes notorious offenders like Florida and Ohio, and four other states with lesser-known voter suppression programs:

In Arizona, legislation that requires proof of citizenship to vote is taking a toll beyond the illegal immigrants it seeks to keep out of polling places.

In Indiana, difficulties in securing state identification have complicated the ability of many to register to vote.

In California, problems have been identified with electronic voting machines, and the consolidation of statewide voter registration lists is being used to bar voters from the rolls.

In Missouri, rigid ID laws for voters are seen to be targeting minority voters likely to vote against Republicans. [The Raw Story]

The polls say that the public wants a Democratic congress, but the Republicans are prepared to fight the people every step of the way, including voter suppression.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c61e653ef00d834ddb32169e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Voter suppression in four more states:

Comments

corruption of voting process is one of the classic features of a fascist take-over. How does Bush dare to use the word fascism? What if those who are still listening to him came to believe fascim was actually a bad development rather than just a bad word you can use to smear your enemies and excite your followers?

"corruption of voting process is one of the classic features of a fascist take-over."

True; but the disenfranchising of people considered less-than-human has a long, long history in this country. Some of us were just naive enough to believe, not long ago, that we'd moved beyond all of that.

Republicans are just trying to keep the polls safe so no more al Qaeda candidates get elected, so it's important for them to keep the macacas away from the polls. You know, "mohawks", i.e., Mohawk Indians, like Magua.">http://www.thestudigroup.com/images/maguaweblarge.jpg">Magua. He was the treacherous one in Last Of The Mohicans. Actually, Magua was a pro-French Huron who cut his hair Mohawk-style to fool the British, but that's beside the point. The point is we need to keep undesirables away from the polls. Like Magua/macaca. He wants to kill all white eyes.

I guess the Dems should learn the art of voter suppression themselves.

I have no problem with Voter ID requirements and requiring one to prove they are a citizen to vote. And save the "voter ID's and citizenry proof disenfranchise the poor, minorities and the elderly" BS. By law, we are required to have some sort of state sponsored ID, be it a DL or a State ID card. If it becomes a problem for these people to afford the 5 bucks it costs, then just waive the fee, as WI does. It is a simple process: go to the DMV, wait in line like I have to, show your birth certificate, SS card, or the requisite proof, get your state ID card or DL, and sign up for your voting card all at the same time. That's what I did in IL. It took 3 hours of my day, but if I have to do it, so should every one else. Period!

As to the other tactics pointed out, these are disturbing trends that need to be examined and stopped if they are legitimately suppressing voting.

By law, we are required to have some sort of state sponsored ID, be it a DL or a State ID card.

Sez who? I've never seen a law in the US that says "every citizen must have papers". A lot of folks need them for different stuff, it's true, but require?

I might be persuaded that an ID requirement is a fair trade for making voting a right, rather than a privilege that the government can effectively suspend on flimsy pretexts. But this is the worst of both worlds: voting is a privilege AND there's an ID requirement that burdens the poor and elderly.

By law, we are required to have some sort of state sponsored ID, be it a DL or a State ID card.

Sez who? I've never seen a law in the US that says "every citizen must have papers". A lot of folks need them for different stuff, it's true, but require?

I might be persuaded that an ID requirement is a fair trade for making voting a right, rather than a privilege that the government can effectively suspend on flimsy pretexts. But this is the worst of both worlds: voting is a privilege AND there's an ID requirement that burdens the poor and elderly.

Sorry for the double post -- very slow response time after hitting the "post" button. Thought maybe I hadn't clicked.

I think we've joined the ranks of the other 3rd world countries, someone call the U.N. and get us those vote monitors fast!

The Patriot Act requires that ANY person display a valid ID to ANY law enforcement officer when asked to do so. That means a DL, an ID card, a passport, a green card, a work visa, whatever. I am no fan of the entirety of the Patriot Act, but it is what it is, the law.

Voting is a right, of the CITIZENS of the US. Not every illegal that sneaks in and thinks they are entitled to it. Again, I have yet to hear ANY valid, factual argument that shows why voter ID cards are hard for the poor and elderly to get. If I have to waste my time at the DMV, as I said earlier, so should everyone else. And as I pointed previously, in Chicago where I live, when you get your DL or ID card at the DMV, you also sign up for your voter ID card which is required to vote in Cook County, IL.

Provide some factual basis for why these ID cards are disenfranchising? There is no test to get them, no cost to get them. Simply show your proof and there you go. Very simple actually. Once you live a fact based reality, you will see that the requirement of a voter ID card is actually the best way to ensure that voter fraud does not occur.

Count Zero, I agree! WTF is going on in this country that we cannot run uniform elections with little to no error. So much for being the bastion of democracy, we can't even run OUR elections properly, how can we be expected to show others how to do it.

The Patriot Act requires that ANY person display a valid ID to ANY law enforcement officer when asked to do so.

Really? Cite the code section, please. And the code section that requires you to carry the ID on your person, so that you can do so.

Voting is a right, of the CITIZENS of the US.

Sorry, but it's not, at least in any strong sense. For example, there's the right to free speech, and it can't be conditioned in the ways that the right to vote is. You seem awfully bothered by this citizen thing. Your agenda is starting to show.

Provide some factual basis for why these ID cards are disenfranchising?.

Time off work, distance to travel, not every state makes them free. It gets worse when the REAL ID act is implemented. Not everyone has a birth certificate. Very few Americans have passports. Again, I'd trade this for a constitutional amendment to the right to vote and some nice permissive national standards on voting, but it's all about vote suppression. Here's a nice summary of the problems that at least one court found (as facts) with the GA voter ID requirement,

"The Patriot Act requires that ANY person display a valid ID to ANY law enforcement officer when asked to do so."

No, that actually isn't true. It's legal for them to ask you, as it was brought up recently in a case whether they can ask without probable cause. However, that is not the same as requiring every citizen to carry ID. It's a good idea, but it's not a violation of any law, and certainly not of the Patriot Act. It might be reason for them to detain you, however, that isn't the same as breaking a law.

Voting is a right, sorry to inform you. It is not a privelage that can be taken away, such as say the "right" to drive, whichis truly a privelage. It is a right because of you are a citizen, you can not vote. Unless I missed something in my basic Civics class in high school all the way thru law school!

As for the Patriot Act, when I have more time I will go over it. I will admit I could be wrong about that provision, I was under the impression that was a requirement. I remember the outrage when the Act was passed as to that ID provision I referenced. If it isn;t there, it isn't and so be it. It does not bother me if it is or if it isn't.

My "agenda" is that I do not like illegals in this country without accountability. I have no agenda when it comes to voting because so few people actually do vote, imposing "restricition" on voting, i.e. a voter ID card, would simply lower the turnout.

As for your "facts" you laid out, the GA policy was flawed from the get go because of the absentee ballot issue. After that, everything in the opinion is dicta. And the GA ruling has no value in other states, as it is a state law case and other states are not bound to follow it.

--"Time off work, distance to travel, not every state makes them free. It gets worse when the REAL ID act is implemented. Not everyone has a birth certificate. Very few Americans have passports."

These are excuses and signs of laziness, not factual reasons to declare voter ID cards unconstitutional. Well, all except the free part. And I agree they should be free, as should state ID cards. Only DL's and passports should cost a fee.

As for the Constitutional Amendment, see Amendment 26, also see the Voting Rights Act of 1964 for further evidence that voting is a right not a privelage.

"Voting is a right, sorry to inform you. It is not a privelage that can be taken away, such as say the "right" to drive, whichis truly a privelage."

I think he was trying to draw a parallel. I'll draw another, let's say between Voting rights, and for instance, the right to peaceable assembly.

G.W. Bush on many occasions has forcibly removed citizens who had every right to attend a publically financed rally or discussion. Were their rights being denied them, or is it just a privelage? I'm not sure. A right is a right, as long as there is someone to defend it. If those that are supposed to be defending our rights, are the ones who are in fact circumventing them, then we have no rights which are guarenteed. I think we assume a great many rights, constitional or not, which we don't always actually have in truth.

But here again, the right to peacable assembly is protected by the 1st Amendment. So it is not some mythical right we may or may not have.

Good point however on the Shrub administration and the Shrub himself having people removed. This is just wrong. Unless they cause a distrubance, they should be allowed to stay. However, I think we can all agree, that when people who dislike GW come to see him, it is not to throw platitudes his way, it is usually to scream obscenitites at him! ;) And in some instances I can see why people want to do that. But realize they will not let people disturb the function.

"So it is not some mythical right we may or may not have."

Well many people assume rights that aren't immediately known, or well known. For instance, if I take a walk in the park, I assume I have a right to do so since I pay taxes for it. Or for instance, I assume I have a right to walk around certain areas of D.C. when I want to, such as the park, however after 7PM I cannot.

It's only a right to vote once you get up to a vote booth, however, there are things that can be done to circumvent the process or make it untenable to make it a privelage. For example, if I were 80 years old and had to wait say 14 to 15 hours in a line to vote because they decided one area was in need of more voting machines than another (which happens to be Democratic), then voting is a privelage. They haven't taken it away from me, however, they've made the whole process intractable. I also in time, if I so choose to vote, cast my ballot, but what guarentee do I have that my vote actually is cast for the right person? If the vote is somehow flipped to another candidate, then my right to vote hasn't been denied has it? I cast the vote, therefore I voted - mistakes happen - oh well right? In that case again, I had the privelage to vote, but no "right".

It's not guarenteed I'll make it up to the booth to vote, it's not guarenteed that when I do it will be counted as I cast it, and until I'm guarenteed that's going to happen, it's a privelage, not a right.

Ok Count, agree to disagree because I just cannot get on board with your logic. I simply do not see it that way.

However, I think we can all agree, that when people who dislike GW come to see him, it is not to throw platitudes his way, it is usually to scream obscenitites at him! ;)

No, "we all" can't agree with that, smiley face or not.

If your intention was to argue that it's wrong to eject non-supporters of the President from his public appearances, it's a mystery to me why you felt compelled to write that sentence, which argues the exact opposite.

I understand where you are coming from - that since it's written it should be observed - Pacta Sunt Servanda - however, my point is it's not guarenteed. It's similar to the pointlessness of making new immigration laws if the current ones are never enforced. It's only when the law is observed, is it broken.
They could, if they wanted to, start rounding up people to be
sent back to their native countries, they are after all breaking the law, however, that isn't the reality of it. But I accept the disagreement - it happens.

Look here Uncle whatever, it was said tongue in cheek so relax. But the fact remains, GW causes such passion in people whether it be that the like him and want to defend him or hate him and want his head. That is the point I am making. I was just trying to add a little fun for tight asses like yourself. Relax a bit.

Count, I like that analogy and now see your point bit clearer. I do, however, disagree to a point, but definitely get a stronger sense of where you are coming from.

Maybe I am being to rigid and formalistic on this voting "right" issue. But it is only because I feel the "franchise" is so important. I guess I want to believe that voting is worth the effort and hassle and that every vote counts, and that in voting we are fighting the good fight and so on and so forth.

And for the record, for Uncle Kvetch:

I am against the Shrub banning people from publicly financed rallies and discussions. While I do not agree with or even like Cindy Sheehan, I found what happen to her at the State of the Union address to be wrong. She had not even made a peep. Had she caused a distrubance, yes, she should have been escorted out. But to forcibly detain and remove her as they did was wrong.

"Voting is a right, of the CITIZENS of the US.

Sorry, but it's not, at least in any strong sense. For example, there's the right to free speech, and it can't be conditioned in the ways that the right to vote is. You seem awfully bothered by this citizen thing. Your agenda is starting to show."
- Posted by: paperwight | August 15, 2006 at 03:12 PM


I was interested in the answer to this and it turns out that there are no Federal voter qualification, only Federal anti-discrimination statutes.

IT is left to the states to determine voter requirements. At present, 25 states do require proof of citizenship to register to vote.

Congress is currently taking up this issue in the House now...

"Non-citizen voting is becoming an area of increasing focus and policy concern. Some 25 states do not require proof of legal presence in the United States in order to obtain a driver’s license, and every driver’s license applicant is asked if they want to register to vote.

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Administration is holding a hearing Thursday entitled ‘“You don’t need papers to vote?” –Non-Citizen Voting and ID Requirements in U.S. Elections.’ H.R. 4844, the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, which requires voter identification to vote of proof of citizenship to register will be one of the topics. The hearing will be held at 10:00am ET on Thursday, June 22, 2006 in Room 1310 of the Longworth House Office Building. Patrick J. Rogers, a New Mexico attorney and a member of ACVR’s Board of Directors, will be testifying."

http://www.ac4vr.com/app/content.asp?contentid=948


Current status of HR 4844 is pending and in committee

109th U.S. Congress (2005-2006)
H.R. 4844: Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006
Overview

Summary

Other Info

Official Title: To amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to require any individual who desires to register or re-register to vote in an election for Federal office to provide the appropriate State election official with proof that the individual is a citizen of the United States to prevent fraud in Federal elections, and for other purposes.

Status:
Introduced (By Rep. Henry Hyde [R-IL])
This bill is in the first step in the legislative process. Introduced House bills go first to House committees that consider whether the bill should be presented to the House as a whole. The majority of bills never make it out of committee.

Introduced: Mar 2, 2006
Last Action: Mar 2, 2006: Referred to the House Committee on House Administration.

Like a lot of folks I had assumed that citizenship was a requirement to vote, which it isn't yet. My inquirey into this made clear the President's stand and the position of the Democratic party.

The Dems know that HR 4644 is not out of committee and that the illegal aliens can register to vote in at least 25 states, provided they can meet states requirement regarding residency.

While estimates vary from 11 to 20 million aliens are here illegally, given the qualifications I mentioned above... they represent a huge, highly motivated voting block for the November elections.

This also explains why the GOP has sponsored HR 4844, but they are split between the "corporate interest" and "border state" factions within their own party.

The picture is getting sharper!

--Residency Requirements for Voting
The Supreme Court decision of March 21, 1972, declared lengthy requirements for voting in state and local elections unconstitutional and suggested that 30 days was an ample period. Most of the states have changed or eliminated their durational residency requirements to comply with the ruling, as shown. Note, for all states, in order to register to vote, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen, a legal resident of the state, and 18 years old on or before election day. Additionally, most states do not permit an individual to vote if he or she is a convicted felon currently serving time in prison or has been declared mentally incompetent by a court of law.

See http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781452.html

My God, it is pretty common knowledge that you must be a citizen of the US to vote in ANY election.

The comments to this entry are closed.