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Obviously we are all concerned with the manipulation of voting challenges started in the 1970s, but being ramped up by the Tea Party and others. Frank Pasquale at Balkinization points to an editorial in the NYTimes, and, of course there are many other links one could find.  A common thread is that the lists and challenges are characterized by a zillion false claims.

Elizabeth Drew at the New York Review of Books put some numbers on this

Iowa, Florida, and Colorado tried to purge the voting rolls of suspected unqualified voters, but their lists turned out to be wildly inaccurate. Florida officials compiled a list of 180,000 people whose qualifications were questioned, but after voting registrars checked (some protesting the unfairness of the purge) only 207, or .0002 percent of the state’s registered voters, were found to be unqualified to vote.
Thus Eli's simple rule to shut the assholes down.  For every challenged name, the challenger has to deposit $10 to cover the cost of investigation of the claim.  If the claim fails, they forfeit the money.  If it is correct they get the money back.  If you challenge someone at a polling place and they show (even later) that they are legit, they get the challenge money ].

Originally posted to Rabett Run on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:48 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That's a great idea. (0+ / 0-)

    It motivates the challengers not to make frivolous challenges at the same time it motivates those being challenged to show up with the needed paperwork.  Brilliant!

  •  Good idea, but $10 is not enough. (0+ / 0-)

    If you challenege someone who has already made the trip to a polling place, it should cost more.

    I believe a good yardstick would be one day's wages. It can take that long to stand in lines in government offices to get the paperwork you will need to beat a challenge.

    (Raised-seal birth certificate, Social Security card, etc.)

    The median wage in the US is about $26,000/year.  At 50 weeks/year and 5 days/week that is about $100.

  •  How about simply (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, wwjjd

    insisting that those leveling the charge should be made to provide the proof?

    It works for everything else!

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:19:59 AM PST

  •  A fee isn't the answer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, twigg, TheOpinionGuy, Hey338Too

    We should always be cautious of a fee-based rule situations like this because it could prevent a legitimate complaint by someone for whom even $10 is too much.

    More important, the other side has more money than God and it's not a stretch to think that even a very high fee could be paid by them.

    A better approach is to have consequences for frivolous challenges with a warning on the challenge form of what those consequences include.  If people think they could get into actual trouble, they're apt to think twice before making the challenge.  And with all the GOP's ranting and raving about "frivolous lawsuits" over the years, they're not in a good position to complain about such a mechanism in the voting realm.

    •  How Would Someone Who Can't Raise $10 Manage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to find one of the .0002% legitimate challenges to raise?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:36:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "How" isn't the question (0+ / 0-)

        My comment leaves aside the specifics of this past election and looks at the mechanism as a whole.  Adding an up-front fee requirement can produce a negative impact on the poor.

        The thinking here is loosely analogous to the "loser pay" idea that proponents of tort reform advocate.  It has surface appeal but in practice would chill legiimate suits by people who are just too afraid of the financial risk.

  •  i like it! (0+ / 0-)

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:04:24 AM PST

  •  I think something similar should be applied... (0+ / 0-)

    ... to any political donation above the amount allowed for an individual to a candidate.  Sure, you can give millions to your candidate or cause, but if your side loses those "charitable" donations aren't deductible (beyond the amount which an individual can donate directly to a campaign).

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:59:59 AM PST

  •  I believe responsible Republicans call that (0+ / 0-)

    having "skin in the game."

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