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View Diary: Here's thanks to some of those who kept the spotlight on the War on Voting (90 comments)

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  •  2014 is time for state constitutional Amendments (12+ / 0-)

    We should be preparing now, to get Constitutional Amendments in as many states as possible, to strictly define the rules of voting, some of which:

    1) No ID's.

    2) 3 week early voting.

    3) Required number of voting machines-locations/registered voter.

    4) Same day registration.

    5) Stiff voting fraud penalties (a bone for those who believe in the non-existent problem).

    6) Burden of proof of non-eligibility shifted to state (to prevent voter purges).

    •  Ironically (7+ / 0-)

      ... most of the voting fraud, rare though it is, is perpetrated by Republicans anyhow.  Your point #5 is a useful one for reasons stated.

      Federal level voting bill of rights might be in order.  New Mexico has poster goes up in every voting place enumerating voters' rights.  From time to time, it saves trouble in the polling place.

      "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!", but "That's funny..." (Isaac Asimov)

      by Land of Enchantment on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:30:13 AM PST

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      •  Exactly and I actually have no problem with ID (3+ / 0-)

        requirements, but it was wrong to do it, this year and right before a national election.

         But if voter fraud exists at all, it is most likely on the republican side, especially as mad as they are right now...and I honestly can say I want them to have to produce an ID.  

        If we are to have ID laws, make it a federal law.  Make them free and make getting a birth certificate a free venture too.  Do it now, so we have 4 years to prepare.  Give exemptions to those older than 70 or whatever age is deemed appropriate.  

        •  What do you think about this idea? (3+ / 0-)

          The vast majority of voters do have a picture ID.

          For those who don't, they will get their picture taken at the polls, and that will be their voter ID going forward.

          •  MN SoS Mark Ritchie had a better idea. (3+ / 0-)

            Instead of putting the onus on voters to bring their IDs, he would give pollworkers laptops so they could see the voter's official ID picture.

            Not only was that solution less expensive (something in the range of 1/4 the cost of a voter ID law, if I'm recalling correctly) and guaranteed not to disenfranchise any legal voter, but it also cut off the most obvious way that the right-wing's bogeyman, this supposedly well-funded wide-ranging "voter fraud" conspiracy, could get around voter ID laws: fake IDs.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:52:57 AM PST

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      •  While I would love to see a Federal Level law (3+ / 0-)

        it would take an amendment to the Constitution to do it.
        However, a project to synchronize all 50 states' election laws and procedures might be a way to achieve the same effect without the Amendment. Or as a step toward an Amendment. Either way, it's a massive political undertaking and with one major party invested in keeping the confusion and cutting down the participation, it's uphill all the way.
        Ideally, there should be a stand-alone department, like the Census, that runs elections in conjunction with local officials and volunteers. One that writes and owns the software that runs on the various voting systems. One that supports the IT that allows Election Day registration. One that ensures that enough machines and sign-in stations are distributed where they are needed and there's a safe and certified chain of custody for the ballots.
        And while we're at it, make Election Day a National Holiday, one where all but essential services and polling places are closed during voting hours.
        I can dream...

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:51:08 AM PST

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        •  No it wouldn't. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Amber6541, glitterscale
          While I would love to see a Federal Level law it would take an amendment to the Constitution to do it.
          For state and local elections, there would have to be an amendment, but for federal elections, the Constitution explicitly empowers Congress to overrule state and local election laws as it sees fit.

          Article I, Section 4:

          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.
          (The "chusing Senators" bit is a throwback to the pre-17th-Amendment days when state legislatures did the "chusing.")

          Congress could pass a law changing voter registration policies for federal elections, requiring sufficient numbers of voting machines, mandating early voting availability, or doing any number of other things—so far as they affected the process of federal elections.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:49:11 AM PST

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    •  7) Re-enfranchise former felons (8+ / 0-)

      8) publicly funded elections
      9) election day is a public holiday
      10) require tv stations to give free prime time ad time to every candidate in return for the use of public airwaves.
      11) require all secretary of state positions to be non-partisan
      12) require non-partisan redistricting commissions
      13) get rid of the electoral college, require direct elections
      14) get rid of electronic voting/counting machines
      15) standardize ballot format
      16) standardize the confirmation process for provisional ballots, quit comparing signatures which change over time due to age or illness

      •  A little too broad for state amendemnts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541

        I tried to separate what could be done in 2014 at the state level, form what will take longer and needs to be done at the national level.  Because of Citizens United, some of your suggestions would require a U.S. constitutional amendment, or a Supreme Court that would reverse this ridiculous decision.

        Many of your suggestions can and should be done at a national level, with the threat of withholding federal funds from states that fail to comply.

    •  This is a big one - the voting process is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Amber6541

      is regulated by states, but the right to vote is a federal right.

      6) Burden of proof of non-eligibility shifted to state (to prevent voter purges).
      There should be Federal laws written to establish best practice regulations for how registered voters are identified for potential deletion.

      Such as, starting right after an election.

      For anyone who voted:

      1. Their registration is automatically rolled over to the next election without challenge, UNLESS there is some current evidence they are not a citizen, or do not live in the district.

      2. Restrictions on what documents a SOS can look at to identify potential evidence.

      3. Restrictions on how to review registered voters who did not vote:  Now is the time to verify voter registrations, not 3 and half years from now.

      Public advocacy orgs could start now to canvass those who did not vote, and determine what the barrier was.  We need data, collected in an unbiased way to challenge future voter disenfranchisement.

    •  There oughta be stiff penalties for election (0+ / 0-)

      fraud like sending out flyers for the wrong day wrong precinct or saying no need to vote.

      American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

      by glitterscale on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:05:01 PM PST

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