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Voter-ID impact on election not so big this time around

Strict voter-ID laws spurred massive opposition this year as GOP-dominated legislatures sought to prevent fraudulent voting that foes said happens so rarely that it's not even a statistical blip. What the initiators of these laws were actually trying to do was suppress the votes of people who are more likely to cast ballots supporting Democrats: minorities, low-income people, young people. But the courts, state and federal, sometimes with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as a backstop, blocked most of the laws from going into effect, at least for the 2012 elections.

The fear among citizen advocates was that even though the laws weren't in effect, some voters would stay home out of confusion over whether they needed a photo ID and whether some poll workers would ask for IDs despite court rulings. We'll never know how many people may have stayed home because they were fearful, confused or poorly informed about the laws. We do know that some poll workers asked for ID even though they weren't supposed to, but that the instances of this occurring were apparently not frequent.

Suevon Lee at the Pulitzer-winning investigative website ProPublica reported:

Experts agree that much-assailed voter ID laws were less an issue in this election than limited early voting hours, lengthy ballots and precincts shuttered after Hurricane Sandy. These issues contributed to long wait times, prompting some to simply throw up their hands and give up on voting.

“Of all the issues relating to voting rules, voter ID got the most attention but was probably the least significant, mainly because we didn’t have it in Pennsylvania,” said Rick Hasen, a professor at the University of California-Irvine who specializes in election law.

In Pennsylvania, where some feared the state’s continuing efforts to advertise the new law would confuse voters, election officials were required to ask voters for ID , but were not allowed to prevent anyone from casting a ballot for failure to produce one.

“On November 6, it was a dry run just as it was in the (April 24) primary,” said Ellen Kaplan, vice president and policy director at the Committee of Seventy, a non-partisan voter education group in Philadelphia. “We don’t know how many people might have been confused and didn’t show up. Among the people that did show up, there was certainly some confusion out there. But I wouldn’t characterize it as so overwhelming that it disrupted the voting process.”

There were anecdotal reports that voter suppression, including efforts to impose those strict ID laws, actually spurred black and Latino voters to turn out more than they would have otherwise. But ProPublica found evidence of this to be "spotty," at best. For instance, in Philadelphia, where the population is 57 percent African American and Latino, turnout dropped from 61.6 percent in 2008 to 59.7 percent this year. Barack Obama received some 5,300 fewer votes in the city in 2012 than he did four years ago.

Rep. George Miller proposes plans to speed voting

Democratic Rep. George Miller of California has proposed legislation to speed up voting:

“Americans shouldn’t have to wait for hours and hours to cast a ballot – and the fact that they had to do so in the 2012 election is absolutely unacceptable,” Miller [said]. “Voting is one of the most fundamental rights in our democracy and we must ensure that that right is protected. What we’re proposing here is a very simple solution. We’re saying give voters in every state the opportunity to vote early so that they won’t be left out on account of a last minute illness, a change in work schedules, or unavoidable emergencies, and make sure that there are enough resources on Election Day so that voters casting their ballots in person are not forced to choose between waiting hours to vote or not voting at all.”

The proposed legislation:

• Requires all states to provide for a minimum of 15 days of early voting in federal elections.
• Requires states to ensure that each voting precinct has sufficient poll workers, voting machines and other resources to ensure that voting lines do not exceed one hour, whether on Election Day or during periods of early voting.
• Requires states to have contingency plans in place to resolve situations in which long lines nevertheless develop.

In the Senate, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware introduced legislation to provide Justice Department grants to the states as incentives for upgrading their voting procedures. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia signed on as co-sponsor, taking note as he did so the long lines at the polls in his state last week.
“In Prince William County, folks waited for up to three hours. In Chesapeake, Va., folks waited up to four hours. It was remarkable that it was five days after the fact before we even knew the results in Florida,” Warner said on the Senate floor.
No amount of funding was specified.

The Justice Department is also looking into ways to deal with long voting lines.

(Please continue reading about the War on Voting below the fold.)

CREW files FEC and FBI complaints against Rove's Crossroads GPS: The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington lodged complaints with the Federal Election Commission and the FBI alleging that the third-party election group Crossroads GPS failed to disclose donors who contributed $6 million to the Ohio Senate race of Republican Josh Mandel. CREW also claimed that Crossroads GPS specifically solicited contributions for Senate contests in Virginia, Montana and Nevada. Crossroads GPS was co-founded by Karl Rove, a long-time Republican operative known especially for his work on behalf of George W. Bush.

Under the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, third-party groups are not required to disclose the names of their donors as long as the money is not tied to specific campaigns. But Rove specifically noted at a secret fund-raiser that a donor contributed $3 million in matching dollars that were dependent on Crossroads GPS raising another $3 million for the Senate race in Ohio, which Mandel lost last week to incumbent Sherrod Brown.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said, “Karl Rove and Crossroads GPS didn’t just skirt around the edges of the law; this time it appears they jumped headlong into a criminal conspiracy.”

A spokesman for Crossroads called the complaints “your average run of the mill Crew complaint [...] Crew is a hyperpartisan, labor-funded front group that files frivolous complaints like this as part of its mission."

There is every likelihood that the toothless FEC will not investigate.

In case you missed it: The retiring GOP party chief in Maine thinks there is something fishy about black voters showing up at the polls in rural parts of the state. But don't call him a racist, he says, because he plays basketball with blacks every Sunday.

State senator says Romney would have won Wisconsin with voter ID: President Obama won the state by more than 200,000 votes. In the mind of Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling, who made the voter-ID claim, that victory was a fraud perpetrated by the president's campaign team's busing in all those black people after they voted in Maine.  

Kansas secretary of state wants power to prosecute election crimes: The secretary, Kris Kobach, wants to overhaul how Kansas handles election fraud and to give his office the power to prosecute cases. He has sought this power before without success. But the newly elected state senate is more conservative. Currently, prosecution of election-related matters is left to county attorneys who put such cases on the bottom of the pile below violent crimes and the like.

The idea is to separate various forms of ineligible voters, such as felons who try to vote and people who try to vote in the wrong district, and create separate penalties, Kobach said.

“No one is going to be prosecuted for anything unless they have willful intent to break the law,” he said.

Florida ballot initiative slowed voting. On purpose? Florida voters stood in line for as long as seven hours this year, and some people, including a couple of state legislators, think ballot issues that could have been handled by the legislature were intentionally put before the voters to slow down the lines of people waiting to cast their ballots. State Rep. Perry Thurston, the incoming House Democratic Leader, to Josh Israel at Think Progress:
Without a doubt it was intentional. The items in those amendments were not items that needed to be placed in our constitution. Such a long ballot that requires so much reading, you see so many of them were defeated. That, along with the cutting back on the days for early voting, the hours. You could just see it coming and it was gonna be turmoil. […] It clearly was [the Republican majority's] intention to make it more difficult, and to discourage individuals. There is no way people should be waiting six to seven hours, but four to five hours is too long as well. It’s a sad reflection on our state when you require that kind of time to do something that’s not a privilege but a right.
Poll shows 88% of 2012 voters want federal voting standards

Ad hoc coalition seeks voting changes in Florida: In the wake of the voting disaster in Florida last week, a group of labor unions, Democratic lawmakers and activists are calling on state authorities to take action so that next time voters don't wind up standing in line for six to nine hours to cast ballots in some counties. The coalition made nine recommendations to improve matters.

"This election cycle now marks 12 years of Florida being a voting disaster area," said Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project, a liberal civil rights group based in Washington, D.C.
Later in the week, Gov. Rick Scott asked the secretary of state to meet with county election officials to discuss possible reforms.
Jon Husted, Republican Secretary of State for Ohio
Lose some, win some.
Sixth Circuit grants a stay on lower court ruling against Ohio's Husted: The Sixth Circuit Court in Ohio has granted a stay of Judge Algenon Marbley's Nov. 6 scathing 17-page ruling that said Secretary of State Jon Husted's stance on the counting of provisional ballots is unfair and violates state law. Husted had announced that the ID used to identify citizens casting provisional ballots must be verified in writing by the voter or they would not be tallied. Plaintiffs argued that this verification should be done by a poll worker instead. Marbley called this an "impermissible burden":
For an executive official of the state to flout state law in arbitrarily reassigning a poll worker’s statutory duty to a voter, with the result being the disenfranchisement of the voter.
But the appeals court disagreed in its stay order, arguing that Husted would probably prevail when the case is heard:
"Voting in the November 2012 election is now complete. Poll workers performed their duties during that election based on longstanding instructions provided by the secretary which put the voter in charge of writing down identification information," the appeals court said.
Republicans fail in effort to stop count of Latino votes in Arizona county: The vote in Cochise County, Arizona, for the state's 2nd District congressional seat included provisional ballots cast by Latinos that Republicans would mean their candidate, Martha McSally, couldn't beat incumbent Ron Barber in the state's 2nd District. So they tried to stop the count of those ballots for not being in sealed envelopes, even though that is not a requirement. They gave up the effort, however, agreeing to have the ballots counted but set aside so that they might challenged in the future. At press-time, Ron Barber, the incumbent in Gabrielle Giffords's old seat, was leading.

Joe DeCredico writes about the nitty-gritty of counting provisional ballots.

Opinions and Op-Eds

How To Fix the Vote by the Jewish Daily Forward.

Ten Things I Learned On (and Around) Election Day 2012 by Doug Chapin

Outside Group Spending Controlled the 2012 Election Convresation by Meredith McGehee and David Vance

Partisan bias in U.S. House elections by Rob Richie.

Changing Times: The Courts and the Future of Voting Laws by Linda Greenhouse

Is the Voting Rights Act Doomed? by Nathaniel Persily

Rethinking Super PACs by Reihan Salam

GOP’s gerrymandered advantages by Harold Meyerson

10 Right-Wing Election Myths Debunked by Reality in 2012 by Steven Rosenfeld

Limiting Citizen United's ill effects by Erwin Chermerinsky  

Why the Voting Rights Act Likely Won't Survive Supreme Court Review by Brentin Mock

Chief Justice Roberts's Iffy Support for Voter Rights by Rick Hasen

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Do You Know Why We Vote On Tuesday.

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Comment Preferences

  •  need uniform (Fed) voting standards/best practices (24+ / 0-)

    and ultimately national independent redistricting in place by 2020

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:06:24 AM PST

    •  Yes, absolutely (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flumptytail, wasatch, Candide08, annieli, BYw, joeff

      Too many states have shown that they are uninterested, unwilling and unable to handle elections without federal oversight and help. Fix this by prosecuting the vote suppressors, (like Jon Husted), and then put everything under one umbrella agnecy.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:26:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Black people are like Santa Claus! On a special (6+ / 0-)

    Day they visit ever polling place in the country, drop magically into the voting booths and vote to give themselves gifts in Their special magic FTL bus.

    "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

    by Rikon Snow on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:17:31 AM PST

  •  The states should have to pay people minimum (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, BlueJessamine, Cedwyn

    wage for every hour they have to wait in line.

  •  Anecdotal from Philly (7+ / 0-)

    I do know that the voter ID shift caused quite a bit of confusion and problems for older voters - my cousin, in her 70's  was one of them, and she was engaged in efforts assisting church members and neighbors after she spent time getting a new driver's license.  Sandy also caused problems in parts of Philly.  Have no idea how much though.

    If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:21:15 AM PST

    •  and a poll worker told me that provisional (0+ / 0-)

      Ballots (of which there too many more than there should have been because of registers unprocessed backlog,) would not be counted

      'unless the election was close'

      In Phila, nunh-unh. Not close. Could explain lower total..

      consider these terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout famine, acceptance of nature

      by renzo capetti on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:28:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about mail in votes? (5+ / 0-)

    I don't see that as part of Miller's suggestions, but it's certainly the most cost effective (and leads to a well informed electorate, too).

    Anyone here from OR care to comment?

    "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

    by nzanne on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:21:18 AM PST

    •  I've been voting my mail the last two years. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      renzo capetti, Cedwyn, Eric Nelson

      It's certainly easy enough though you do have to seal the ballot in an envelope, then put it in a second envelope and it took 2 stamps to mail it, though we were told it would only take one. It maybe should have free mailing and super clear instructions about the two envelopes.

    •  I've seen few problems here in Oregon (4+ / 0-)

      but we also have a tradition of relatively clean politics as far as elections are concerned.  We don't see our Secty of State trying to tilt the field by limiting access or really anything of the sort.  The biggest controversy seems to be around the initiative process, which I think makes for very bad legislation generally anyway, so I have no use for those who whine about limiting access to that process.  Personally I miss the voting booth and the ceremony of voting, but I'll let that go to get more people to vote, and that seems to be the result.  That's my take anyway.

    •  voting by mail is wonderful! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      you sit in the comfort of your own home and read the voters guide while sipping your morning coffee.  hop on teh google if you want to learn more before deciding!  

      you have two weeks or so to turn it in; i usually walk mine to the nearest drop box.

      every state should adopt it; turnout regularly exceeds 70%.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:14:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Probably a forlorn hope (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, flumptytail, wasatch

    but I would like to see every vote leave a paper trail and thus subject to recount.

    •  Possible with Open-Source electronic voting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      renzo capetti

      I wouldn't mind an electronic voting system, but it's got to have serious safeguards. Paper auditing is certainly one. A big one is that it's got to be wholey and entirely open-source, including hardware design and operating system. I want to be able to code review it.

      •  That's not possible, unfortunately. How do you (0+ / 0-)

        plan to audit the compiler that built the compiler that built the compiler that built the compiler that built the software?  Or how about the source code to the firmware of the (very expensive) machines that build the chips such as the CPU?  But yes, random paper audits should be mandatory and should be truly random as even most dice are not random/fair (true randomness can be obtained through radioactive decay and there are plenty of very weak radiation sources that could be used).

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:37:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  the dems need (5+ / 0-)

    to be wary of 2014, not only because of the rights increased focus on voting suppression but on the dem supporters not taking the off year election as serious as the pres cycle as they did in 2010.

    the dems need to keep their supporters energized and focused on the prize of taking back the natl house and state houses nationwide, to lose that focus will cause much harm to the progress made in 2012 and the progressive movement in the years to come.

    the gop may be down but they will not go away easily and will fight legally or illegally to enact their agenda of making america the land of the 1% at the expense of the 99%, the 99% can stop that if they only take their franchise responsibility seriously and continue to vote at all election cycles.

  •  That's such a gross mischaracterization (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steep rain, StrayCat, stevemb

    The first line in this post is:

    Strict voter-ID laws spurred massive opposition this year as GOP-dominated legislatures sought to prevent fraudulent voting that foes said happens so rarely that it's not even a statistical blip.
    (My bold)
    No. very clearly they did it to suppress left leaning voters from exercising their rights. "Fraudulent voting" was their excuse, not their reason. Many of them were quite open about it. Just because it didn't work doesn't mean we can now pretend it was benign. The second half of that line is also objectionable when you note that:
    ... foes said happens so rarely that it's not even a statistical blip.
    (my bold)
    Again, clearly and axiomatically that is a mischaracterization too as voter fraud empirically is less than a statistical blip and not just something opponents said. This thing reads like something out of the Washington Post or the New York times. These people don't deserve the benefit of the doubt and in my opinion, shouldn't be accorded any kind of sugar coating for what they did and tried to do.
    Not trying to be an ass, just my .02.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:24:30 AM PST

    •  "Very clearly did it to suppress...." (0+ / 0-)

      kind of hard to prove that in light of the results.

      And that may be an issue for further attempts in years to come.

      If they didn't suppress votes in 2012, they probably won't suppress votes in 2014, 2016, or beyond.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:54:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They *Did* Suppress Votes -- Just Not Enough nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite

        On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

        by stevemb on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:32:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's one thing to say it, another to show it. (0+ / 0-)

          Last I looked, President Obama just won his second straight election with a majority of the popular vote.  Pretty good margin, too.  Turnout was lighter than 2008, but that might just be a function of hope and change leaving the room.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:40:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You have to read my first sentence in isolation... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      ...from the rest and delete my second sentence entirely to make a case for "mischaracterization." By leaving it out, you utterly distorted what I wrote, missing the sarcasm in that first sentence:

      What the initiators of these laws were actually trying to do was suppress the votes of people who are more likely to cast ballots supporting Democrats: minorities, low-income people, young people.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 02:23:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  equal ratio of voting machines to voters (4+ / 0-)

    The problem is that every small town precinct has to have at least one voting machine and one official signing in voters ... but that large city precincts have proportionately less resources relative to the number of voters. This is what causes line lines in urban, Democratic-leaning precincts.

    If the same proportion of resources were provided to suburban and small town precincts as they are to urban precincts in Ohio and Florida, you'd could have small town voters driving 25 or 50 miles to their polling places.

    The solution is to require an equal ratio of voting machines to voters in any given precinct.

  •  Voter-ID impact on election not so big this time (0+ / 0-)

    Well yeah, because the ID laws were (or mostly) all blocked through the courts. Not exactly a long term strategy. They'll all be back, all our favorite voter-suppressing cast of characters, and ultimately people are going to have to be assisted in getting the appropriate ID.

    Bold at inappropriate times.

    by steep rain on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:36:49 AM PST

  •  National Voter ID Program With Buses That Issue ID (0+ / 0-)

    Let the states refuse to accept them if they want, but send buses around the country that can create national voter IDs.

    Let the GOP refuse to fund that!

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:39:27 AM PST

  •  I do NOT like mail in voting (3+ / 0-)

    because a lot of women are still under the thumb of their husbands and fathers and their vote won’t be their own.

    When you go into a booth, it is your own vote.

    Can you imagine all the mega churches having them vote on a Sunday at church?  People can’t hide their vote that way.  Sadly, people still have to hide their votes from others.

    Voting should be private.

    Voting should be a paper ballot-even if it is scanned, so their is a record.

    The press/government should not be able to release information until all 50 states finished voting.  Yes, no more staying up all night, but having the east coast called before the west coast is finished voting is unfair.

    •  Seriously? (0+ / 0-)

      Seems to me that a woman who can't find a minute in the day to hit the post office (Hey! Here in the US, women are allowed to drive.  Maybe you're thinking of some place like Saudi Arabia.) and mail off a ballot.  Let's see: drop the kids off at school,  run by the grocery store, vote...

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:56:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You seriously underestimate family dysfunction... (0+ / 0-)

        ...which is a whole other subject, too.

        •  Are you kidding? I'm an expert. (0+ / 0-)

          I don't have to estimate because I've grown up with it, but...

          let me ask you this...

          In such a case, what is the point of a voting booth?
          If the family is dysfunctional to a point that the woman can't even manage to drop a vote off at the post office, what's the likelihood she can exercise independent thinking if hubby dear drags her to the polling place?

          My stepfather was was an abusive drunk and my mother too needy to leave him, but even she could manage something like that.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:12:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your stepfather, my father... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dinotrac

            We're practically compadres!

            It's not so much that the controlled one can't drop the vote off, but the image I have in my head is that the votes would either be filled in and sealed around the table, or the controlling spouse (could be husband or wife) would just hand it to the other already sealed.

            I can also imagine (and saw) brief, sometimes fleeting moments of autonomy and independence. I hold onto hope that one could occur in a voting both.

      •  It’s not about time (READ what I wrote) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        renzo capetti

        it’s about someone standing over another person’s shoulder and making them vote a certain way.

    •  I've made this same argument in the past (0+ / 0-)

      about mail-in balloting, and the potential for interference by husbands, or churches, or even bosses.

      I Support Puerto Rican Statehood

      by InsultComicDog on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:57:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not like women in thrall to (0+ / 0-)

      mega churches are going to vote independently anyway.

      Vote by mail has been the norm in Oregon for years and there are very few problems.  There are laws to deal with coercion, and people are told all the time once the ballots are mailed out not to give their ballot to someone else to mail or drop off.

      No system is tamper proof, but both OR and WA have remarkedly clean elections with voter turn-out in the 80% range.

  •  in my PA district (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    renzo capetti, Meteor Blades

    back during the primaries, they asked for ID, and if you didn't have it, they let you vote anyway but let you know that during the general election ID would be required. That was, of course, before the court decision postponing voter ID until future elections.

    However, during the general election, I didn't see anyone even asked for ID in my district. I'm not sure why that is, and I didn't ask, but there were both Democratic and Republican observers there and no one asked anyone for anything while I was there.  

    I did hear that in many other districts, they did ask for ID.

    And there were a few cases where voters were told that they needed ID while they were waiting in line, but any polling places engaging in that behavior and that there were complaints phoned in about stopped doing it, so I assume there was some sort of intervention.

    Voter ID will now be PA law in future elections. The decision to abandon requiring ID was for this election only, on the basis of the state being unable to guarantee that all voters would be able to get ID on time if there were a last-minute rush before the election.

    I Support Puerto Rican Statehood

    by InsultComicDog on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:52:14 AM PST

  •  Things to do: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orlbucfan, Meteor Blades, Eric Nelson

    Voter Fraud must be replaced with Vote Theft. A clear, hard line between grievances should be the first step in this battle. The last thing this country need is confusion on this, or any other issue.
    If the recent election proved anything, it's that clarity of position trumps  subtlety hands down. We need a talking point, a simple one, that states in no uncertain terms exactly where we stand, and I see no reason why a two-word term such as Vote Theft would not fill that bill.
     Simple, concise and to the point.

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:56:44 AM PST

  •  Anecdote from downtown Orlando: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, Eric Nelson

    my elderly neighbor across the street has diabetes and is partially disabled. He drove down to his precinct on Election Day to vote. The line was over 3 hours long. He gave up cos he said he would need to use the restroom as he waited and none was available. He was an Obama vote.

    I hope we get this RW voter suppression nonsense solved before 2014. It's ridiculous and un-American.

    Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

    by orlbucfan on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:09:32 AM PST

  •  There Should Be A Two-Layered Approach (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Eric Nelson

    The first layer should be a basic set of minimum standards (paper ballots retained for post-election auditing, a required amount of early-voting time, both on the calendar on on the clock each individual day, voter choice between in-person and absentee ballot with no mother-may-I requirements for the latter).

    The second should be something along the lines of the Voting Rights Act enhanced scrutiny for jurisdictions with a history of past abuses. That is, if you get caught gumming up the works and creating long lines and/or voter confusion, the next few election will feature a squad of Feds breathing down the state Secretary of State's neck, sniffing up the state Secretary of State's ass, and generally making the state Secretary of State's life into a DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT TRYING THIS SHIT example for the other forty-nine.

    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

    by stevemb on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 09:15:20 AM PST

  •  I live in Colorado (0+ / 0-)

    We have vote by mail for 3 weeks before so-called voting day.
    You return the completed ballot by either mail or drop off into a secure box.
    Works for me.
    Worked for 70+% of all Colorado voters.

  •  Voter Supression (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Question:  Isn't it the overarching goal of all of these actions to move the Overton window in the direction of 'we must have voter ID, we  must have voter Scrutiny".  In short, the frame and window becomes - there must be barriers to voting.

    I'd be happier if there was push back on these actions but also promoting the Concept with a countering theme Such as: "We must protect the right of everyone's vote."  In short, the frame and window is - we must assist all in being able to vote.

    We need to not only resist the specific actions but must also assail the direction they are coming from.

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:04:18 AM PST

  •  Added tag: "election fraud". Great diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Thanks, Meteor Blades.

  •  Holiday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Voting day should be a national holiday.

    "We have facts on our side. They have propaganda on their side."

    by rlharry on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 10:23:33 AM PST

  •  Vote by Mail (0+ / 0-)

    It answers all the questions:  no voter id required, time to review ballot measures (we always have at least 5 in Oregon - it can be a pain when millionaires pay to get their pet ideas on the ballot, but with vote by mail you have time to read them before you vote them down) you have two weeks to vote, and can still drop off your ballot @ 8:00 pm on election day if you want to wait.  

    My out of state relatives were visiting just before the election so they had used absentee ballots this year - they really liked it and will do it in the future; in essence they will vote by mail.

    It makes no sense to stand in line for hours when Oregon and Washington have some of the cleanest elections in the country with vote by mail.  The fact that it will make the wingers crazy is a just a bonus.

  •  Husted = hell spawn; can't wait to oust him (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    & Kasick

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:33:29 AM PST

  •  The thing about the voter suppression efforts that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    were actually implemented is.........it was all especially hard on elderly voters...........who are predominately Republican.  I don't know, law of unintended consequences?  I'd like to see the breakdowns by age of people who would have voted but didn't, and for what reasons.

    Acceleration is a thrill, but velocity gets you there

    by CarolinNJ on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 12:10:44 PM PST

  •  Arizona isn't done yet and Latino community is.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..concerned:
    Arizona elections still not over as suspicion builds Salon - Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 05:00 AM PST
    Over 100,000 votes still haven't been counted, and activists fear Latinos' votes have been suppressed

    MSNBC host Rachel Maddow  
    highlighted the “broken-on-purpose election” Tuesday, noting that Maricopa County had sent out erroneous notices in Spanish saying election day was November 8, two days after the actual date, and that it had closed a number of polling stations despite long lines in 2008 due to budget cuts.
    With Sheriff Arpiao of Maricopa county involved who can blame the Latino populace.
    In a letter to state election officials, The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona expressed “grave concerns about remaining uncounted ballots and the process by which many voters were required to use provisional ballots,” saying that a “disproportionately high numbers of provisional ballots issued to minority voters.”
    So republicans may have failed legally to stop the provisional ballots that many Latinos were forced to use, but..
    Update: The Tucson Weekly reported late Tuesday the campaigns reached a compromise to let the counting continue, but the votes may be challenged in the future.
    ..it is almost to hard to believe that there was a fair accounting of all the votes in this state after what these right wing extremists have done so far, and they're still at it.

    And the voting rights Act may not survrive? What BS. These people Like Husted should be facing jail time imo.

    Thx - excellent wrap-up

  •  Polls should be open longer (0+ / 0-)

    Early voting is no bad idea, but what America really needs is longer polling hours. Every election in the UK, from general elections to a parish council by-election, has polling stations open from 7AM to 10PM, yet in Indiana and Kentucky you can't vote after 6PM. It's an obvious attempt to suppress the voters of poor workers.

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