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View Diary: Eric Holder hints at national voting standards. We need a Lloyd Blankfein Standing-in-Line Law (98 comments)

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  •  Count me in. (23+ / 0-)

    Every vote that creates a direct FEDERAL outcome should be subject to FEDERAL standards.  

    Predictable, consistent, clear, and well-publicized standards should exist for registration procedures, early-voting and absentee procedures, election-day procedures, and re-count procedures.

    I would even trade a clear and consistent photo-ID law (disadvantegous but popular) in exchange for uniform SAME-DAY voting and registration.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:41:07 PM PST

    •  Oh well. Noguhappin. (0+ / 0-)

      "States Rights" will continue to rule, and for pretty much the same reason they were implemented in the first place.  

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 01:45:33 PM PST

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      •  Easy one - noncompliance means reduced repres. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, Judge Moonbox, Farugia

        reduced representation.

        Sure - Rogue State?  Go ahead and balk.  We'll ignore your electoral votes next cycle.

        Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

        by sacrelicious on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 04:35:22 PM PST

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        •  Don't you mean we'll ignore your vote in the cycle (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp, HCKAD

          in which the cheating was done, and require a new and legal election before that empty seat fills or the electoral college counts their votes? Otherwise the crook still gets the seat he wanted. By the way, this one might require a constitituional amendment.

          The plan that makes the most sense here  to me as an amalgam is

          1. Single national registration which does not need tinkering when a voter moves or marries or divorces or in some other way mucks with their name, since the same computer system which issues the card for a registered voter can track it, and SS probably has the address for every taxpayer, with moves, for W-2 purposes, so that voter can be tracked. SS can also find seniors more easily than most. Photo on this card would be good. It may be that jiggering this and the SS card, after a horrible first year, might be the way to go.

          2. Uniform rules which operate automatically per above as to reinfranchisement of felons upon completion of their sentences per court records, and those who are granted citizenship, as part of the paperwork of the granting of citizenship so we don't have those fights about allegedly illegal voters who showed up in DMV as not citizens in year one, but are sworn in before the next election. Also a method for dealing with those whose legal competence is ended, unless the idea is that they shouldalso be able to vote even if they think . . . whatever.  The same rules could and should operate as part of the procedure of a state documenting the death of a person. The state which issues death certificates can require SS and ship a copy along to SS as it does the certificate for itself.

          3.All challenges to voters showing up on the rolls should be addressed to the Federal entity, and not to a state whose SOS or other authorities might fiddle with the complaint to disenfranchise or intimidate voters just before an election. All challenges must be resolved at least six months before the commencement of voting. If the matter is not resolved against voting, the voter gets to vote.

          4. No notice to voters until after the investigation of charges is complete, so that only those who are not in the national system and HAVE BEEN proven to be so can be challenged. Allow a system which does not require people to take days off work or go to faraway places to deal with challenges to their right to vote.

          5. Two weeks minimum for early voting.

          6. Consider mail in voting with lots of Electoral drop boxes as well. Mail in voting IIRC gets higher turnout. Make it a requirement that there are absolutely enough ballots for all voters available in each locale, and then some. Make it a requirement that all machines used in voting be checked carefully before voting and enough backup machines and paper ballots be in place before voting starts.

          7. Issue a voting pamphlet describing everything on the ballot which arrives before voting begins, so everyone knows and can peer at whatever  and whoever is at issue, and perhaps ask questions.

          8. Do not in this system allow two ballots in elections with Federal candidates, but require that all ballots for an election which itself includes Federal candidates and others be issued as a unitary ballot covering both. Less confusion there and less chance of one of the ballots being lost or forgotten.

          9. Make gerrymandering illegal and not just reversible.

           10. Make a past history of misconduct an automatic ground for Federal preclearance anywhere in the country, since the vices of Jim Crow are now countrywide.

          11. Prominent advertising campaign before election about the mechanics of voting, like remembering to sign the envelope in which a ballot is contained, and how, and where the ballots are to be returned, and pestering about how many days are left to vote. No room for local error on notifications or other communications to voters, like the errors which told Latinos this year that the voting date was two days after voting closed.

          12. All notifications and ballots need to be available in every relevant language, even if it is a lot. And speakers of that language available at the Election Commission or whoever so voters who only speak language X will have a human being to ask, with a parallel system on computer run by Election Commission so they can ask that way.

          Make violations of these rules which produce lost voting rights larger in number than the closest race in the state invalidate the election, and make violations of the rules a crime, not just an embarrassment. Disenfranchising crooks cannot be embarrassed.

          •  That IS what a uniform and enforceable national (0+ / 0-)

            system, might well contain.   But I had to imagine a collective "Federal over-reach" head-explosion.  

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:28:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not true. US Congress has the last word ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... for federal congressional elections.

        Constitution of the United States of America

        Article 1 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.
        Article 1 Section 5
        Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
        The only exception for the Places of chusing Senators relates to the fact that Congress couldn't tell the States legislatures where the election could be held, like ordering the delegation from Texas to hold the designation in Connecticut or crazy stuff like that. But, although not formally repealed, the point is now moot and void because the 17th Amendment took away the designation of senators from the states' legislatures, anyway.

        But for everything else, it's absolute, definitive and without any escape clause. Congress does absolutely what it may please. It's actually a bit scary when you think about how many dunderheads and mouth breathers there are in Congress.

        The case is much more muddled for the election of the President although article 2 section 1 says:
        The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
        But it doesn't say anything about altering state regulations or adjudicating the elections, returns or qualifications.

        For a long read on the subject.

        I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

        by Farugia on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:29:11 PM PST

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    •  And that should preclude (6+ / 0-)

      somebody from being registered in more than one state!

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

      by glitterscale on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 02:35:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone with a Social Security card... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and a simple ID with their name and address (utility bill should be fine) ought to be able to register and vote on the same day, in less than one hour, in every state and territory.  

      Registration should require a signature under a statement that registrant is in fact a citizen of the United States or its Territories, with civil penalties for misrepresentation, so this point is not in contention.

      "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards." ~Soren Kierkegaard

      by Beastly Fool on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:11:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Simpler (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The person votes in the district she or he is last registered. And if that person has moved temporarily or permanently but not yet re-registered, that person votes in her or his old district in person in the district or by mail from any polling place upon simple request, no questions asked.

        Period. End of the story. Finito.

        I deal in facts. My friends are few but fast.

        by Farugia on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:51:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  As long as those who make the argument pay for it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I would even trade a clear and consistent photo-ID law (disadvantegous but popular)
      While I think that the photo ID issue is just one of the most flagrant issues where the Tea Partisans show their hypocrisy--if they believed their ideology, they'd be asking "Can I say I'm somebody without a government card saying I"m somebody?"--I would go along with the requirement AS LONG AS those who made the huge fuss about it are the ones who pay all costs of getting these cards in the hands of those who need them.

      The furor over Friday's [10.5] job report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down Obama that good news drives its members into a blind rage. -Paul Krugman

      by Judge Moonbox on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 06:50:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As far as ID, we need to stop being doormats (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox

        whimpering about how we should go along because "it's so popular." Popularity is not a reason to go along with a bad idea, and with a clear message, popularity can be turned around in a instant. We should NOT have ID requirements. The idea that there will be widespread impersonation of others at the polling place is the most ridiculous boogieman of all. People can be sufficiently ID'd prior to the election at their BoEs with their name, address and signature placed in the poll book. For decades (centuries?) this has been all that was needed to make polling place impersonation basically nonexistent.

        Jon Husted is a dick.

        by anastasia p on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 07:53:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True, but if the bad idea's winning regardless (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Judge Moonbox

          then we might as well fight a meaningful rear-guard action and get something for it in exchange.  Though victory is always nicer than retreat, just as with court and public sentiment on gun control, this is trending NOT in our direction.  So I think we would be well-advised to make plans for damage control.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 08:33:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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