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voter suppression

Another election day in America, another senior citizen denied her vote.

Waukesha — It took persistence—and a second trip to her Waukesha polling place—by a 63-year-old Waukesha woman to vote Tuesday. But she said her 87-year-old mother who couldn't make the trip back was disenfranchised by a poll worker who asked to see a photo ID.

Wisconsin's new voter ID law was in place for the February primary but not for Tuesday's general election after a judge ruled it was unconstitutional. The photo ID requirement is on hold while the matter is appealed. [...]

The woman said she and her mother had moved to Waukesha last May and registered to vote at Waukesha City Hall in January. They went to their Waukesha West High School poll Tuesday but were asked to show identification—which her mother hadn't brought with her. Her own driver's license had an out-of-date address on it, she said.

"We were listed on their friggin' poll list," she said, "and yet we had our names highlighted." The poll worker said maybe they didn't register in time, though they clearly had.

The older woman ended up not voting. By the time they had figured out how to proceed, (since the voter ID law has been blocked by a judge, she shouldn't have been required to show ID), she had gone home and gone to bed. Her daughter did, however, get to vote. Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the elections board for the county, said, "I can't think of any reason ID would have been required."

This woman has good company around the nation. In Ohio, 86-year-old veteran Paul Carroll couldn't vote in the primary because election officials wouldn't accept his Veteran's Administration ID, despite the fact that it included a photo. The list also includes Tennessee voters Dorothy Cooper, 96, and Virginia Lasater, 91.

So here's a question: How many others haven't been able to vote, but haven't made a public stink about it? Good for these seniors for raising hell so that we know about the problem. But you know that these few are just a drop in the bucket.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How many citizens on the rolls (18+ / 0-)

    Duly registered to vote, will be denied the right to vote this November?  And will the Republican campaign against democracy create a Romney victory, a President Romney elected by a restricted electorate?

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:51:02 PM PDT

    •  I bet more... (3+ / 0-)

      Votes are lost from the ridiculous voting hours and long lines at certain places.  Why not rally around this?  Having a photo Id is not an unreasonable request in this day in age.  Make them free to get and offer rides to and from place to get them.

      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, peptabysmal
        Make them free to get and offer rides to and from place to get them.
        not always done, usually inconvenient, etc. Why demand them anyway?

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:19:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you really are (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hind2, PinHole, GreenMother

          who you say you are it shouldn't be a problem. The problem comes from restricting what type of ID is valid and where and when you can get them. If none of those barriers were in place I can't imagine any of this controversy would be happening.

          •  Not true. The entire purpose of these laws is (5+ / 0-)

            that it is often difficult for people to obtain photo IDs, and the people for whom it is most difficult are the poor, the young, and the old. The GOP figures that these people are likely to vote Democratic, so they'd like to disenfranchise as many of them as possible.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:54:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, so then just remove the restrictions (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              enhydra lutris

              though, I really don't see what is so unreasonable about having to show an ID to show you are who you say you are. Really, the way some of the people even resist that seems to play into the hands of the right-wing crazys about, that the only reason you care is so that illegals and dead people can vote. I'm sure that's not the intention but it just seems so many people are agains even having to have an ID that it does look suspicious.

              •  And if you have nothing to hide why do you (0+ / 0-)

                care about warrantless wiretapping and searches ...

                One doesn't want to always carry one along, but once it becomes mandatory to have it on you at all times, when surfing, etc.  I guess we'll all get used to it.

                A real question is why? Another is updating; glasses or not, pre and post facelift, pre and post dye job, haircut, perm, etc.

                The whole thing is an imposition, and they're never truly free, and they get lost and what for? So some untrained yahoo can throw you out of the voting line because (s)he doesn't think you look enough like your id?

                That's without giving it any thought. Mandatory IDs and internal passports gtive rise to images of some very abusive and terrible events in history. Many take the stance that every such step brings us closer to those states of affairs. but, for many it is simply that it is a really horrific imposition. A destitute quadraplegic, in most parts of this country, would have to go through hell trying to get one.

                That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                by enhydra lutris on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:22:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  A photo Id (3+ / 0-)

          Is standard for so many things.  We should make them easy to get and free.  But there is no reason a polling station shouldn't have a similar level of fraud prevention than say a bank or hospital.  I call bullshit on this being a progressive issue.  

          •  I used to think the same, but three things: (6+ / 0-)

            1) We should make them easy to get and free, but it's up to states to make ID's, so essentially we'll end up with some states with easy ID's and other states with difficult ones.  

            2) Voter fraud isn't a problem.  More people have walked on the moon than have committed voter fraud in the last decade.  If it were a problem, I'd expect most liberals would be happy to solve it.  But it isn't.  It's a fake problem that Republicans bring up so they can 'solve' it in such a way that  makes it for certain groups to vote, who just happen to be groups that favor Democrats.  

            3) The fact that it's a shady Republican proposal means that if you want to support something like it (even in the abstract), you have to watch what you say.  Not as a threat, but if you say things that make it sound like you're a shady Republican, people are going to treat you as one, and your addition to the discussion will not get any useful feedback.

            You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic

            by nominalize on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:54:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The number of people without one would (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SquirrelQueen, DSPS owl, GreenMother

            surprise you, and so would the difficulty, for many, of getting one.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:58:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  My bank has never asked for a photo ID. When (0+ / 0-)

            polling places hire people who are trained experts in facial recognition and document authentication, the requirement for a photo id might be sensible, but until then, it is just a way to hassle people without adding anything whatsoever in terms of putative fraud prevention.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:25:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  When opening an account.. (0+ / 0-)

              Your bank did not ask for identification?  That's either horse shit or your bank sucks.

              •  I opened my first bank in 1951 at the age of 5 - (0+ / 0-)

                they asked my folks if I was me. We didn't have 60 years of McCarthyism, paranoia and bogus scares back then. B of A offered passbook acounts to all kids 5 and older, no minimum deposit or balance to encourage kids to learn to save their pennies and nickles. They didn't even care what color they were.  The words "Anything whatsoever so long at it makes me a wee teensy bit safer were almost never heard".

                That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                by enhydra lutris on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 03:36:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Lmfao! (0+ / 0-)

                  Yeah, bank fraud is a figment of paranoid conspiracy theorists afraid of communism!  Ha.  They hold meetings at same place climatologists plot and where the landing on the moon was faked!  

                  I don't believe you have never had to show an Id when dealing with banks.  

        •  Seriously--if we can offer people free rides (0+ / 0-)

          during St Patricks day or Mardi Gras to avoid drunk drivers--then what is so freaking hard about offering free rides to polling stations?

          •  It isn't the ride to the polling station, but to (0+ / 0-)

            Walgreens to get 2 approved size passport style photos, which aren't free, then to someplace to get the id, which also is generally not free, etc. And for what? The dipsticks at the polls requesting them have no training in decideing whether or not they are authentic, or whether or not that really is you in the photo.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:27:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  A better idea (0+ / 0-)

        There should a photo id booth at every single polling place.

        You don't have your photo id... bring your passport or other id to the polling place, get your photo voter id right at the voting place... free of charge... then go to the voting line tell the poll worker to tell the GOP assholes who did this to go fuck themselves and go vote.

      •  Yes they are. (0+ / 0-)

        Voter days should be holidays and open later.
        I was once denied the ability to vote because of an employer who was too dumb to realize that NO--the polls are not open late.

        Thanks for nothing.

    •  I would take them to court (0+ / 0-)

      If there are enough of us, we might get a class action. I am sure there are some progressive outfits chomping at the bit to challenge this, just itching for the right test cases.

  •  I thought a court had found Wisconsin law bad? (12+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 02:58:29 PM PDT

    •  The court did enjoin the voter ID law.... (17+ / 0-)
      Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the elections board for the county, said, "I can't think of any reason ID would have been required."
      I can think of a couple reasons:  

      1) Either the poll workers were mis-informed, or

      2) the poll workers were NOT informed.

      Keep in mind too that this is in Kathy Nicholaus' county (Waukesha).

      •  Badly trained poll workers (10+ / 0-)

        Even if the parts of the Voter ID law now on hold were in place, it is quite possible - even probable - that the 63 year old should have been allowed to vote on her first visit.

        The fact that her drivers license had an old address on it does NOT mean it can't be used for ID - it can be.

        Because under the complete Voter ID law, there are two points at which documentation need be provided; you have to show residence when you register (which she had clearly done); and when you go to the polls you need to show IDENTIFICATION, and not proof of residence.

        So long as the drivers license had not expired (or had expired within the last year and a half or so), it is valid for proof of ID at a polling place no matter what address was on it. At that point it wasn't being used to prove residence, it was being used to prove identity.

        Even if the poll workers didn't know the "ID" part of the law was on hold, they got the "ID" part of the law wrong anyway.

        •  Poll workers (12+ / 0-)

          who are either as partisan or as ignorant as the ones we are talking about here, need to be "fired" and outed.  God, I so wish for some real journalists these days...particularly young ones looking to make their bones.

          I'd like to see local stories about exactly WHO turned down little old ladies to vote, based on wrong info, or partisan beliefs.  I'd like to see these poll workers named large in their community papers, and on their local news.

          One of the ways to stop this nonsense is to hold the people perpetrating it responsible.  I realize that being an election judge is voluntary, but there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for any poll guardian to not be up to date on the laws they're there to protect.

          These are those little windows in the world that no one pays attention to.  And we must start.

          •  A lot of districts have changed, so it could be (0+ / 0-)

            that the old address had her in a different district, so that then her voting location had changed. That happened to me at the one election where we did have to show ID, I went to the "old" voting place and they re-directed me to a new place. I don't know if that might have had something to do with this case or not, but it has been a little confusing at the polls.

            •  For some reason, my street, for local elections, (0+ / 0-)

              has all the even numbered houses in one district and the odd numbered houses in another. We are on the border, I guess, or the cut-off line between districts, so I think those kinds of lines add to the confusion, although I understand that the lines have to be drawn somewhere.

              •  The article says... (0+ / 0-)

                ...that the 63 year old said she was in that polling place's poll book.

                And that she had moved there last May, so she really didn't have an 'old' polling place (unless she lived in an area that held a senate recall last year - parts of Waukesha County did and parts didn't).

          •  Fired? I quit! (0+ / 0-)

            Or rather, I will after Nov. 2.

            I suggest you go volunteer to work an election. You get maybe two hours training, a pile of paperwork two feet high, a whole list of often contradictory instructions, computers that won't work, election machines that that come with instructions it would take a NASA scientist to figure out and an electorate that wants Tiffany service, but won't pay for the extra phones lines and workers needed to provide it.

            And a eighteen hour work day at $9 to $12 an hour.  

            Go work an election. I dare you. Pick a nice, busy election in a heavily populated precinct.  

            Those election workers are ordinary citizens, usually retired because they are available on a weekday,  who do this job because someone has to. They do it because they believe in elections. They believe in the right to vote. They try very hard to make sure people can vote. And they don't make the rules.

            Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

            by Sirenus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 07:50:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But they're supposed to... (0+ / 0-)

              But they're supposed to know and follow the rules.

              (I've been working at the polls for ten years now; these workers were flat wrong, and should have (and maybe DID) known it.)

              •  Maybe you get more training than we do. (0+ / 0-)

                We get maybe two hours per election. Every two years.

                Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

                by Sirenus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 08:34:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  One hour per election... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...and obviously, pretty much the entire hour this time was about the "ID" part of the Voter ID law being put on hold by the courts, which parts were still in effect and which weren't.

                  Yes, maybe one or two of the poll workers might have missed training (though technically, you're supposedly not allowed to work if you missed training), but that still leaves a half-dozen others who should have known the current state of the laws. And there is NO excuse for the chief inspector (ie the guy in charge at the polling place) not knowing.

                  •  We don't have chief inspectors. (0+ / 0-)

                    We have judges, one Republican, one Dem.

                    I'm the Dem.

                    So far, I've gone through three Republican judges.  In five years. They are the "senior" judges, because the GOP got the most votes in the last gubenatorial election--this is Texas--so they run the show. No joke. They are the czars of the election at my rural precinct.  What they say is LAW. And the last two had no clue what they were doing.

                    Right now, I haven't even received a notice from our elections office as to when training is. In fact, I haven't even heard what day they finally settled on--after the dust of litigation--for Election Day. I only know what it is because I read the news.

                    A few years ago, we got the electronic booths. Trying to even put those together was a chore...thank God we could do some of it the day before. As for the tally box...we couldn't get it to shut down per the instructions. When we finally just turned it off and headed for the elections office, there was a rep from the company that made it there. I asked him how many boxes had displayed this same problem. "All of them so far."  We have 43 precincts in the county, so 43 of the boxes had mal-functioned.

                    The last election, the new judge brought her 18 and 19 year old grandkids to work the election. We are always short of people. And training.  Gee, I wonder if they're ever going to tell us when training is?

                    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

                    by Sirenus on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:57:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Or the poll workers were just assholes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
    •  Waukesha county. Kathy Nickolaus, the (7+ / 0-)

      county clerk, has form (as the Brits would say).

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:26:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of Course, Waukesha! Where else on earth (15+ / 0-)

    can election employees ignore the law and get away with it.

    Goes right along with the usual and customary inability of Waukesha County to count votes in a timely manner.

    "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty (Mittens, Ricky, Gingrich, Limbaugh, pick your favorite) said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

    by Eman on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:12:01 PM PDT

    •  Oh, probably a bunch of places... n/t (7+ / 0-)

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:23:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, poorly trained poll inspectors (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enhydra lutris, PinHole, rosarugosa

        are not that unusual.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:14:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One thing: Don't blame the poll workers. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew C White

          I've served as an election judge for about five years now. This will be my last year. I've had it.

          We work from 6am to, in the case of the judges, as late as midnight. We get about two hours of training to handle updates on a job we do about once every two years.  And we have to enforce the rules set by the state--which change constantly--even if we think those rules are wrong or silly.

          Most elections are always short on workers. It's not a career, you know. Its something that private citizens do mostly because they think someone needs to. The pay for a clerk in my state is about $9 an hour; the pay for a judge is $11. We sure as hell don't do it for the money.

          Most elections are always short on workers. I remember one election that had people backed up and they had to wait about ten minutes.  One man was complaining quite loudly about it, making really nasty remarks about the poll workers, so when I handed him his code for the voting machine, I looked him straight in the eye and said quietly, "I understand that waiting is frustrating, sir. If we had more people, the wait would be shorter. Can we count on you to volunteer to work the next election?" He looked at me as though I'd suggested he work as a pole dancer.

          Voters often don't check to make sure they're still registered, or that they're in the right polling place, or they forget that if they've moved, even just down the street, their polling place may have changed. If our computers say that there's a problem, we don't get to ignore that, we have to check with the elections office. The state isn't going to pay to add more than a few extra phone lines on Election Day, so if you have a question, say, on the validity of  a voter's registration, it can take ten minutes just to get through and then, "We'll get back to you." So yes, it was wrong for that elderly lady to be denied her right to vote. But don't blame the poll workers. We do, as best we can, what we are told to do, and most of us do it pretty darn well.

          Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

          by Sirenus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 06:55:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've worked the last decade either (0+ / 0-)

            as a poll inspector (equivalent to election judge in other locales) or as a poll watcher. I understand and agree with everything you said here.

            Long hours, insignificant pay, poor training, changing rules, a job you do only a couple times a year, and yet you are expected to get everything perfectly correct... even those that are completely out of your control and in the face of often irate and unreasonable people.

            So yeah, poorly trained inspectors can and does lead to the sort of problem told in this diary but I don't really blame the poll worker for it. It's just the way the system works (or doesn't as the case may be).

            "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

            by Andrew C White on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:37:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bull (0+ / 0-)

              The Voter ID law has been, to say the least, a hot topic in WI over the last few months. The Feb primary was the first time it was in full effect, and so the training class prior to the FEB primary dealt almost entirely with it. Between the Feb primary and last Tuesday, the "ID" part of the law was enjoined by the courts, which was again a BIG story in the news. The training class prior to Tuesday was almost entirely about which parts of the law were still in effect and which were not.

              The ONE THING that every poll worker was told again and again was "Do NOT ask for ID."

              To then turn around and deny somebody a ballot because of their not having an ID has got to be willful ignorance of the law. There is simply no excuse, no matter how hard you guys might try to find one.

              •  ok, I'm not in Wisconsin (0+ / 0-)

                so I don't know the specifics. If they were specifically told "don't do that" and they did it anyhow then they don't have much of a defense. But what we've just been discussing about the general nature of poll working is true nonetheless. We're all just a bunch of average politically interested citizens volunteering for an important job. In my experience over the last few years a lot of the folks are retired people having a hard time keeping up with the technology and rules changes from hava. This has resulted in a lot of new people coming in that have never done any of this before so you have a mix of technology challenged people and inexperienced people.

                Anyhow, like I said, if they were told don't do that and they did it anyhow then it is on them. It was unclear to me from the story if the overruling of the law happened before or after training and therefore whether that info had been disseminated properly.

                "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

                by Andrew C White on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 11:34:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  That picture of their offices last night... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris

      explains how this happened. Only an office that's incompetently run would have to have reporters and party officials doing a HAND COUNT of their vote totals. Ridiculous!

      "Mitt Romney isn't a vulture capitalist: vultures only eat things that are dead." -S. Colbert

      by newinfluence on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:13:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's the excuse now... (11+ / 0-)

    ...for advocates of voter disenfranchisement like (in my state) David Dewhurst, the current Texas lieutenant governor and GOP Senate candidate? Voter suppression is NOT a Texas (or even American) value, and anyone who pushes for such legislation to deny otherwise eligible citizens the right to vote has no right to hold elected office ANYWHERE, even dog catcher.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Gandhi

    by alaprst on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:18:48 PM PDT

    •  Boy, do I agree with that! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Just look at what they picked as "allowable" photo IDs.

      Driver's licenses and credit cards.

      So if you don't have a car, and can't take off work to get to some bureau where you can get a state issued license, you're out.

      If you don't make or have enough money to have a credit card, you're out.

      Could it be more blatant? The poor--who tend to vote for Democrats--out!

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 07:53:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  AARP silence on voter suppression is deafening. (13+ / 0-)

    Just went to their website. If you search using the word "vote", you'll get a bunch of articles saying how important it is to vote. Not a single one of them mentions voter ID or attempts to suppress the vote, and what should be done about it. If you search using the word "suppression", you'll find a bunch of medical articles (about drugs that suppress one thing or another), but nothing, nada, zero, zippo on voter suppression.

    "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

    by flitedocnm on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:22:32 PM PDT

    •  That's fascinating. I wonder what the (5+ / 0-)

      significance is.  

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:28:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because most old people... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris

      Have a bank account and therefore have a photo Id.  To use Medicare card you have to show id at least in ERs.  We should be trying to help people get ids that don't have them.  

      Extend voting hours to 48 hours and make one of the days a weekend if you want to not disenfranchise people.

      •  Some old people stop banking and let their kids (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        or spouse take care of stuff like that. If they don't drive and don't go out that much to places where ID is needed, they  don't have ID's.

      •  Good luck getting enough poll workers for that. (0+ / 0-)

        I've worked as a poll worker for years. The pay is a pittance, the frustrations are many, the possibilities for screwing up are legion.

        There's nothing like getting yelled at by a voter at 7am because the election machine won't work because the directions to set it up aren't in the pile of paperwork you've been given by the elections office. Or getting yelled at by another voter because her house is just across the street so this MUST be her polling place, and she doesn't believe you when you show her the precinct map that shows that her actual polling place is five miles away. Or having to patiently explain to someone for the fourth time that the voting machine is not a touch screen system.

        Or having some citizen snarl at you that she has a perfect right to yak on her phone inside the polling place, even though she's walked right by a big notice that says "No cell phones allowed."  Or having to send a clerk out to pull down the candidate signs that someone has stuck up twenty feet away from the door, after they walked right past  the sign you put out earlier that says "No campaign material within 100 feet of the polls."  

        Or trying to explain to someone that the computer says that there's a problem with them voting and you'll have to call the elections office to check their staus....and you can't get through to the elections office. So you offer to let them vote "provisionally'--a five step process--but advise them, as you are required to do, that this vote will have to be reviewed by the elections office and it may not count...and get yelled at for that.

        The vast majority of voters have no idea what's involved in working an election. The paperwork is heavy and complicated, the rules change constantly and you're the one who gets blamed when the elections office says "Sorry. They can't vote." The payoff is those voters who thank us for doing the job. But they seem to be fewer in number each year.

        Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

        by Sirenus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 07:17:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Waukesha (8+ / 0-)

    No further commentary necessary.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:35:29 PM PDT

  •  Lawsuits are needed, naming the poll workers, and (6+ / 0-)

    state officials, asking for six figure damages. It would be nice to sue the state GOP but I doubt it's possible.

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 03:38:26 PM PDT

    •  Don't sue the poll workers! (0+ / 0-)

      Sue the legislators who pass these damn laws. Sue the people who decided to go from a simple paper ballot to a computerized system that voters don't understand and poll workers often can't get to work. Sue the taxpayers....who don't want to pay for extra phone lines and extra staff at the election offices, so poll workers who have a problem can't actually get through and get an answer without a twenty minute wait.

      In my state, if the computer pulls up a record on a voter that is marked as "Suspended" the poll worker is not allowed to let that person vote, except "provisionally" which is about a five minute procedure...and you must, by law, advise the voter that their vote may not count. And get yelled at if the voter is understandably angry.

      So don't sue the poll workers. The undertrained, understaffed, swamped with paperwork, in at 6am and often out at midnight poll workers. I've been one for five years. I'm quitting after Nov. 2. They don't  pass the laws. They don't make the rules. They just have to enforce them and check with the elections office if there's a problem. An understaffed elections office.

      If you don't like the system, change it. If you think it can be done better, volunteer!  But don't sue poll workers for the mess created by a bunch of fat cats in the state legislature.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 07:31:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped recced and republished to (5+ / 0-)

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 04:10:04 PM PDT

  •  voting (4+ / 0-)

    I made sure I called the GAB yesterday before I headed out to vote.
    I didn't have to produce ID at the polls in Kimberly, but for the first time in 29 years of voting I had to sign the poll book. That was ok by me though.  They had some really nice ladies working there, very helpful and polite.

  •  this country's making me more and more embarrassed (7+ / 0-)

    to call myself an American as each day passes.

  •  Preventing a registered voter from voting (9+ / 0-)

    should be a Federal crime.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:05:31 PM PDT

    •  So go after those who pass such laws. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love

      Not those who must run elections based on  them.

      BTW, a lot of registered voters don't get to vote for perfectly valid reasons. They don't bring any ID. They're at the wrong polling place. They've moved out of their precinct and not re-registered. Or the elections office has just plain made a mistake. Or failed to properly train the poll workers. (We get about two hours training once every two years and you'd better be prepared to ask questions, because the election office has a bad habit of assuming you know everything...and there's a lot to know.)

      If you start throwing poll workers in jail or suing them, you'd better be prepared to take a day off from your job come election day. Poll workers do this because they believe in the right to vote. It's not a career, it's not for the pay--which is laughable--it's because someone needs to do it.  And it can be a confusing, frustrating and damn thankless job.

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 07:39:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's almost as compelling... (2+ / 0-)

    As some anecdote of a single dead person casting a vote.  A photo ID is a reasonable request IMO.  Make them free and make mobile locations.  If you don't have an id there is all types of shit you miss out on...  Don't know why it's an issue.  Make them so they never expire if non-driving license.

    •  May be reasonable if you're middle class, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      white and have had a stable family life.  But consider this: only 55% of black men in Wisconsin have a valid drivers license (black women fare a bit better - 53% of them do have a license.)  If you were born out of state and don't have a copy of your birth certificate (required if you don't have other gov't issued ID) you have to figure out if you need to request one from the state, the county, or the hospital where you were born, pony up $20-120 and convince them you are who you say you are -without the ID that you need the certificate to get.  There are still plenty of people alive who were born at home and may or may not have a birth certificate.  And no, not everyone has a checking account, or a check to cash.  Nor does everyone fly on an airplane.  Note I haven't described a segment of the population that generally votes Republican.  That's why the Republicans push voter ID - it works really, really well to suppress voting.  And no, they don't make it easy to get a valid ID.  Just the opposite.

      •  Besides, they weren't free and DMV offices cut (3+ / 0-)

        back on the time they were open in many places. I should say, they were free, as long as you asked for one, but employees were directed NOT to ask if people needed a free ID for voting.

      •  Drivers license... (0+ / 0-)

        Is not the only form of id is it?  I still think that helping thaws folks obtain a free Id is critical to them.  If you don't have any form of photo Id what quality job can you get?  This is absurd.

        •  I didn't realize (0+ / 0-)

          that having a quality job was a requirement to vote.  And no, a drivers license isn't the only form of ID.  But the state of Wisconsin has narrowly defined what is a valid ID for voting, and for all practical purposes, to obtain a valid alternative ID for voting you must present your birth certificate.  

          •  Good lord this is absurdity. (0+ / 0-)

            I think progressives should want to assist people in doing better in society.  Having an id is needed to partake in every government assistance program I can think of.  It's required for employment, it's required to be a participating member of society.

            I think making them free and easy to obtain would benefit those that do not have them.  You disagree.  Time will tell.

    •  Your opinion vs state law (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, GreenMother

      "Your opinion" isn't really relevant for this particular case: at the time the women went to the polls, there was no state law in effect to require a showing of photo ID. That resulted in the older woman being dis-enfranchised, and that's why "it's an issue".

  •  Conservatives hate seniors (5+ / 0-)

    along with latinos, blacks, women, students, the unemployed, the poor, muslims, and democrats.

    Not necessarily in that order. Feel free to mix and match according to your experience.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:12:28 PM PDT

  •  let's see, in Godwin-land, voter suppression (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enhydra lutris

    included a trip to camp - what's next for the GOP

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:12:29 PM PDT

  •  Not sure what the GOP strategy is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enhydra lutris, rosarugosa, jnww

    Seniors helped the GOP to win more than any other group in 2010.

    The GOP's Senior Moment

    After the initial excitement over his presidency wore off, seniors became a particularly glaring soft spot for Democrats. Sixty-three percent recently told New York Times/CBS News pollsters they were disappointed in Obama, and surveys have repeatedly shown that they "remain the group most resistant to Obama's health-care agenda and the most skeptical of him overall." As a result, Tuesday's exit polls showed that in contrast to 2006, when voters over 65 split their vote 49 percent to 49 percent between Democrats and the GOP, they now support Republicans 58–40, by far the largest pro-GOP margin of any age group.

    They're disenfranchising the voters most favorable to Republicans.

    “The only thing that happens in an instant is destruction... but everything else requires time." - First Lady Michelle Obama

    by FiredUpInCA on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:13:16 PM PDT

  •  "We were listed on their friggin' poll list" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Americantrueandblue, ForestLake

    love that quote

  •  re: mail in ballot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm still unsure as to the wisdom of sending one in as there are a whole lot of votes that are never counted in the state of AZ if a race of ballot item is deemed "close". In the past several elections, when contested those "close" results were not close at all and surprise, surprise they erred every single time in favor of Republican candidates or conservative issues.

    Are we still not allowed to ask for non-partisan election oversight from the international community? WTF? Is this also part of "American exceptionalism"?

    •  In Wisconsin, absentee ballots... (0+ / 0-)

      In Wisconsin, absentee ballots are processed at the polling place on election day. They go into the same vote tabulator machine as 'regular' ballots. They all get counted.

      (The only exception to this is 'late arriving absentees'; any absentee that arrives between election day and the following Friday (I think) is counted at the 'official canvas' before official results are certified.)

  •  Why I love being in a blue state (0+ / 0-)

    I'm in one of the "reddest" parts of Connecticut.  When I registered here 11 years ago there was a thin wall and door between the Dems and the Republicans.  Later I volunteered to be a poll worker -- the Dem woman said they had enough and then called over to the Repubican woman to see if she needed anyone.  No but the both thanked me.

    I always bring my birth certificate, license and passport to vote because I only use my first name for the IRS and am terrified I won't be able to vote because of a name glitch.

    I get to the check in table and always get -- "Hi, honey, you live downtown, right?"  They never ask for an ID.  

    Give me my moderate plus some goofy Republican town over anyplace which wants to deprive someone of a vote.  I've just gotten my 3rd notice of a change of polling place in case I forget.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 07:38:16 PM PDT

  •  In upstate NY (0+ / 0-)

    if these voters came in and wanted to vote, and the poll worker stopped them, the workers are supposed to check with the supervising poll worker (such as Mr Pinhole) and then give the voter a paper ballot.  

    The paper ballot is then placed in a special envelope with details noted.  When the materials get to the county election office, they are reviewed by both R & D commissioners, staff and a judge.  (no reporters or party hacks allowed).  It is then determined if the vote will be counted.  

    This is done at the same time as the absentee ballots are counted.  This takes the problem out of the hands of the local poll workers.  People who are denied a vote, can insist upon this procedure.  

    Sounds like the state of Wisconsin really needs to clean up the whole voting procedure mess.

    •  WI has provisional ballots... (0+ / 0-)

      WI has provisional ballots, but for limited circumstances related to the (now on hold) voter ID law. So giving these two woman provisional ballot would have been incorrect because those parts have been put on hold by the courts.

      The correct thing to do was give them their regular ballots.

      •  I agree, but given the screw ups, (0+ / 0-)

        what you call provisional ballots, would have solved the problem.  
        Of course, I had no way of knowing these were also held up.  You cheese heads have a real mess on your hands.  (and I thought NY was bad!)

  •  So let me get this straight. (0+ / 0-)

    In many states, it is not only now difficult to vote without state issued ID (excluding your school ID from a state college) but in Florida they are also making it almost a crime to help people register to vote.  Yet, you can vote absentee without even showing ID, right?  So, why waste so much time and money getting those without ID to places to help them get ID the next few months before the elcetion?  I have heard it is difficult for many to obtain ID for various reasons.  Wouldn't it be easier to just start an absentee ballot voter drive for those already registered?  Let's just encourage people to apply for absentee ballots and vote that way.  That way, it would be easier to help just those not already registered to get IDs in time.

  •  Excellent diary. Sure shines some serious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    daylight on a really bad situation.

    My blood is boiling and steam is coming out of my ears.

  •  You gotta yell & threaten (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Some years ago I arrived at a new polling place, mine had been moved, was told my registration wasn't there & I couldn't vote. I said "What?" I voted regularly including primaries. I was raised in a family where voting was considered an honored right. The poll workers tried to minimize it, like no big deal if I didn't vote. I went ballistic. I said "I'm not leaving until I vote. I don't care what time it is. I call the newspaper &  TV stations."   Finally they got the City Clerk over with an emergency ballot. He was so apologetic. wasn't freaked out by me, but by the poll workers response.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 12:29:52 AM PDT

  •  Typical wingtwit bullshit with IDs (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry Ma'am I don't know what that ID is.

    You mean you don't know what a military ID looks like.

    Well ma'am we can only accept government issued IDs.

    And um--you think that the military is sponsored by McDonalds?

    Sorry ma'am, I don't recognize it, and I won't accept it.

    -----This conversation took place many years ago while trying to get a Driver's license.

    I was required to have two forms of ID.  I had a SSN Card and an Active Duty Military ID.

    TEH STOOPIDS are everywhere!

    Reading about the Veteran who was denied the vote because they didn't know what a VA ID looks like--Well that's like a slap in the nuts.

    You serve your goddamn country. You get a VA ID or a retiree ID so you can use your contractually promised govt benefits that you earned while serving, and some "MORAN-ic Tealibanner" denies you the vote because, "I ain't never seen one of those before--It looks fake!"

    If your name is on the roles and you have an ID, then you should be able to vote.

    And if the state requires you to have an ID, then it is their responsibility to make sure Valid, Picture IDs are cheap and easily acquired, and that poll workers are adequately trained to recognize all valid forms of ID--including but not limited to Military, Retiree, Veteran and Dependent IDs issued by the Federal Government.

  •  Kevin Kennedy (0+ / 0-)

    Kennedy is not "executive director of the elections board for the county"; he is executive director of the state elections board.

  •  There must be a middle ground (0+ / 0-)

    I will tell you a short tale about my personal experience with voting and identification. Last year, I trundled down to vote for some local and state things. My polling place is at a senior center downtown. When I walked in, I was the only one there. (Voting is heavier in early morning and at lunch, this was 9am or so, but that doesn't matter.) I walked over to the table. The lady looked up, and asked, "Name?" I told her, she scanned through the list, found me. The lady said, "Sign here." I did, and That Was It.

    I was taken aback; I could have been anybody, and just said a name I saw on someone's mailbox. I believe some sort of identification should be required, but I also understand the problems some people will have accessing a center for it. I do not know what can be done, realistically, but I feel like something should be.

    1984 was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual.

    by xenothaulus on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 06:55:00 AM PDT

  •  In the end foreign-owned SCYTL counts many (0+ / 0-)

    of our votes through their privatized system.

    SCYTL on

    A private company from Barcelona counts the American votes and we're just supposed to accept this? I imagine not many people know or understand the implications.

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 07:28:30 AM PDT

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