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View Diary: This week in the War on Voting: Suppression brings out more voters, Rights Act to be reviewed (79 comments)

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  •  Time to Correct the Elections (1+ / 0-)
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    dragonlady

    After the 2008 elections, I suggested that the Obama Administration immediately get to work prosecuting election fraud (caging and other voter suppression efforts) that we saw rampant in that election. The Holder Department totally dropped that ball.

    Did they learn their lesson?

    I doubt it. But it isn't just the Justice Department that can do something about this. It's time that Congress set standards for federal elections.

    We think of voting as only the province of counties or maybe states, and traditionally they have set all the rules. But the Constitution specifically provides for Congress to set the rules:

    The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
    [Article I, Section 4, Clause 1] (emphasis added)

    as well as

    Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections [and] Returns and Qualifications of its own Members.
    [Article I, Section 5, Clause 1]

    In other words, it's the responsibility of Congress to fix this problem. And it is high time.

    Dear Legislators: Here's what I want to see:

    (1) A national voter ID that is automatically issued to anyone who has ever voted in a national election. All states would be required to accept this as ID for the purposes of voting for any candidate for national office.

    (2) Standardized dates and times for early voting that start at the beginning of October and end on election day and that require the board of election offices to be open for people to vote that include at least 12 hours per day on weekdays and at least 8 hours a day on Saturdays.

    (3) Standardized vote by mail so that all voters can vote by mail and send in their ballots up to three weeks before election day.

    (4) Standardized election district criteria that require districts to have balanced representation where the difference between registered members of the two largest parties be no more than 5 percentage points.

    This will eliminate most voter suppression and a lot of jerrymandering. It will ensure that people who don't have drivers licenses or were born without birth certificates will not be disenfranchised. It will override prejudice-based efforts to keep one group out of the polls.

    Let's fix this problem before the 2016 elections.

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