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Fixing Democracy: At the Brennan Center for Justice, Erik Opsal has written an essay that includes three prescriptions for improving governance: modernize voter registration, ditch the filibuster and combat the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court that has made money an even bigger factor in elections. On the first matter, he writes:
America’s voter registration system is ramshackle. It’s straight out of the 19th century, relying on paper forms to register voters. If a voter registers at the DMV, they have to fill out a form, that form is mailed to an election office, and a county official types it into a database. This is not only inefficient and costly, it’s prone to inaccuracy. One mistyped letter or number and a citizen can show up on Election Day and not be able to vote. Not only does it prevent that one voter from having their say, it also affects others by causing bottlenecks and long lines at the polls.

It is time to harness new technology to modernize our voting system, which would add more than 50 million eligible Americans to the rolls, permanently. The Brennan Center’s modernization proposal would use existing computerized lists to pass names of eligible voters from state agencies on to election officials. Citizens could also register or update their registration online or at the polls, and registrations would move with a voter when they move within a state. In recent years, at least 21 states — without fanfare and in a bipartisan way — have implemented parts of this proposal.

Ohio's Jon Husted at it again on provisional ballots: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted will probably get an award from the Heritage Foundation or the Koch brothers or somebody of that ideological texture for being a model of voting suppression over the past 14 months. If it could keep Democrats away from the polls, he tried it.

Unsuccessfully in the big leagues, as it turns out. Obama and Sen. Sherrod Brown both won their races. But down-ticket there are still contests to be decided, and Democrats are accusing Husted of tossing out provisional ballots that might cost two Democrats seats in the Ohio state legislature.

Among the many reasons, provisional ballots are cast in cases when a voter has changed a home address and moved to a new precinct or county, among other reasons. A federal court ruled before the election that the state must count the votes of citizens who cast provisional ballots in the wrong precinct because of a pollworker's erroneous instructions. Democrats think that approach should apply to other matters, too. But the conservative Sixth Circuit Court overturned that rule.

Automatic recounts are going in two counties—Tuscarawas and Cuyahoga—where Republican incumbents lead Democratic challengers by a few hands full of votes. If Democrats lose these two races, the Republicans will have large enough majorities in both chambers of the legislature to place constitutional amendments on the ballot without the need to attract a single Democratic vote. In Tuscarawas County, 114 provisional ballots have been tossed out, and in Cuyahoga County race 270 have been. Democratic Rep. Debbie Phillips said that pollworkers were given were given plain brown manila envelopes instead of the official provisional ballot envelopes—part of which must be completed by the voter or the ballot won't be counted.Democrats say Husted is also tossing out ballots citizens cast at their former precinct even if they live in the same county and congressional district. That violates the 1993 "motor voter" act.

Ohio has the highest count of provisional ballots in the country, more than 200,000 this year, concentrated in urban areas that are heavily Democratic. In 2008, one in five provisional ballots was tossed out.

(Please continue reading below the fold.)

Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller backs voter ID law: It was a surprise to liberals and progressives and set off a mini-Twitterstorm when Miller said he this week that he wants a voter ID in the state. Capitulation to the forces of voter suppression seemed to be the sentiment, according to Jon Ralston:

Miller portrayed the move as “upgrading an antiquated and aging paper roster system by implementing electronic rosters with the enhanced feature of a photograph of each registered voter, preventing ineligible voters from impersonating other, eligible voters at the polling place,” according to a release from his office. And more: “The law, which is currently in the drafting process in preparation for the 2013 Nevada Legislature, will seek to import existing photographs of eligible voters from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database of drivers' licenses and state identification cards, into an ‘electronic poll book’ as an adjunct to the existing poll books that currently use signatures for identifying voters. When photographs of the eligible voters are not available through the database, poll workers will be available to take photos at the polling place at the time of voting and verify their identity by way of an affidavit."
Three other states may join voter-ID crusade: At the top of the list is Montana. Republican State Rep. Ted Washburn plans to introduce a law to permit only three forms of ID: a state-issued driver’s license, a state-issued ID card, or a tribal ID card. Military cards, passports and student IDs would not be permitted.

In Iowa, Secretary of State Matt Schultz is back at it, this time seeking to come up with a verification process for signatures on absentee ballots. Hugh Espey at the Des Moines Register vivisects Schultz's latest plan and tells him to "stand down."

Virginia already has tighter voter ID restrictions thanks to Republicans in the last legislative session, but state Delegate Mark Cole wants to make them tougher by disallowing bank statements and utility bills as acceptable ID.

Holder defers action in Texas case pending Section 5 review: A three-judge panel gave a thumbs-down to the new voter-ID law in Texas Aug. 30. But it did not deal with the state's claim that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is unconstitutional. That issue will be addressed by the Supreme Court this session in the case of Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder. Many observers think the court will rule against Section 5, which gives the federal government authority to "pre-clear" any major voting procedure changes in part or all of 16 mostly Southern states. The law was passed to demolish Jim Crow laws that kept African Americans from voting.

Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed to hold off on further proceedings on other issues in the Texas case until the Supreme Court makes its ruling on Section 5.

Six Democratic congressmen want investigation over Florida voting: The entire six-member Democratic congressional delegation from Florida has written to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights asking it to hear testimony on the state's election law. A former governor, former GOP state chairman and two Republican consultants told the Palm Beach Post that the law—HB 1355—was specifically designed to cut down Democratic turnout at the polls. The chairman and one consultant said the law was also directed at keeping black voters away from the polls. The letter stated:

“Recently former governor Charlie Crist and former Florida Republican Chairman Jim Greer, as well as an anonymous group of Republican consultants, alleged that the Republican controlled legislature passed HB 1355 in order to intentionally suppress Democratic turnout,” the letter said. “The law limited access to the polls for minorities, seniors and students. In particular it reduced the number of early voting days and imposed new restrictive regulations on voter registration groups.

“In light of these allegations we are extremely concerned with the integrity of this law and the justification for its implementation,” the letter continued. “Therefore we believe that a hearing must be held as soon as possible. As you know, trust in our democracy is what holds our country together. Voters must be able to trust that elected officials are acting in their best interest.”

•••  •••  •••

“The 2012 Voting Wars, Judicial Backstops, and the Resurrection of Bush v. Gore” by Rick Hasen:

The story of the 2012 voting wars is a story of Republican legislative and to some extent administrative overreach to contract voting rights, followed by a judicial and public backlash. The public backlash was somewhat expected—Democrats predictably made “voter suppression” a key talking point of the campaign. The judicial backlash, and the resurrection of Bush v. Gore in the Sixth Circuit, was not. The judicial reaction, from liberal and conservative judges and often on a unanimous basis, suggests that courts may now be more willing to act as backstops to prevent egregious cutbacks in voting rights and perhaps to do even more to assure greater equality and fairness in voting. However, it is possible that this trend will reverse in future elections.
Political geniuses, political fools by Roger Simon

Beware of partisan efforts to restrict voting by Andrea Kaminski

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Vote (10+ / 0-)

    Someone in tech fix the site!!!!

    I'm not getting 'new comments', especially in the diary I have up, when clicking through to view and maybe answer. Don't know about other diaries tried a few of the recs and I was able to add my own rec.

    This was happening in firefox so switched to google chrome and getting same!

    And surprised this FB one isn't showing any replies as I write this after it's been up awhile.

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:15:38 AM PST

    •  You CAN post, but it's not easy. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thankgodforairamerica, Zinman

      1.  Write your post and do the "preview" and then "post".  This is where the system hangs up, so...

      2.  Refresh the entire DailyKOS site, et voila! your post will appear.

      3.  But you're right, someone does need to fix this.

      I'm not sixty-two—I'm fifty-twelve!

      by Pragmatus on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:31:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Been Doin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        A bunch of stuff and keep getting back different results even in refresh.

        The site just plain ain't a workin and I'll bet it's not just for me!!

        Earlier it seemed to be working alright, not sure, but the last couple of hours I'm getting a bunch of different things, even in my diary for new replies I get a negative sign before the number, that's happened a couple of times, one was with one of my own replies, it's weird!!

        Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

        by jimstaro on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:39:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  National ID Card? (4+ / 0-)

    The elephant in the room (no pun intended) on this particular question is some sort of national ID card.  While I have significant reservations -- from a civil liberties perspective -- about adopting such an approach, it works well in many countries that we all consider 'free' and 'democratic' and such.  There's no such thing as 'voter registration'; you show up at the polls and vote, showing your national ID card, which demonstrates that you're a citizen -- and all citizens have a right to vote.  There are, of course, all sorts of other issues at play (relating, not least, to immigration).  But very few Europeans with whom I've worked can comprehend the notion that Americans have to 'register' to vote.  

    •  It use to be, could still be, that people would (4+ / 0-)

      say that a national ID would simply be a way for the Feds to know all about you when they came to take over. I'd say, the cat's out of the bag on that one. For all I know, even commercial America knows more about me than I do.
      Hell, yes there should be a national ID for the purpose of voting. I see no reason why the immigration issues could not be worked out. I see no reason why all issues could not be worked out.
      Progress is always tedious, so, the sooner we get started on this, the better.

      Vote suppression = vote theft.

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

      by franklyn on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:41:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can you say you're sombedoy? (0+ / 0-)

        If the Tea Party was true to its rhetoric, they'd be asking, "Can you say you're somebody without a government card saying you're somebody?

        But "If the Tea Party was true to its rhetoric" is a hypothetical on the order of "If we pissed gold."

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

        by Judge Moonbox on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 05:17:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  we register to vote here in the UK (3+ / 0-)

      and it is updated about once a year - we have to be ready for a general election on less than a month's notice, you see.

      BUT we do not have to register as one party or another, and we can't; just 'I am person name of X and over 18 and live at this address'.

      We don't prove anything when we vote - just turn up at the right place (we get a card throught the post that tells you where) and do the deed.  Or vote by post.

      National ID cards were proposed recently and were massively unpopular - and the destruction of the discs (with the info to date on) made front page news......

    •  More Like a National Voter Registration Card (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, a2nite

      I'm not in favor of a national ID, but I think the federal government should issue a voter registration card to everyone who has voted in a previous national election. This would be automatic (based on voting records where people already sign in to vote) and states would be required to accept them as proof of eligibility for national elections.

      See here for more details.

      This would eliminate the voter roll purges that have been going on without creating a huge expense for poor people or complications for people that don't have driver's licenses or birth certificates. It grandfathers in everyone who's been voting, so that you don't have millions of people in limbo casting provisional ballots, even though they may have been voting in elections for the past 80 years.

    •  National ID would solve multiple issues... (0+ / 0-)

      Not only could it be used to address (and scuttle) attempts by Republicans to enact harsh voter restrictions at the state level, but it could also be used as ID for employment purposes, which would address concerns on both the left and right about companies hiring illegal immigrants.

      In other words, national ID could be used to preempt state voter registration restrictions and it would also allow cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants by taking away the excuse that there is currently no secure ID that allows employers to easily confirm the status of a prospective employee.

      The catch, of course, is that national ID is controversial on both the left and the right -- on the left are concerns with civil rights and privacy, and on the right are concerns about black helicopters or something like that.

      Nonetheless, at some point it's an option that we are going to need to take a serious look at.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:28:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Voter suppression will be a constant evil (3+ / 0-)

    until the Republican Party is destroyed.  Then, and only then, can a sensible rightist party rise up to take its place.

    I'm not sixty-two—I'm fifty-twelve!

    by Pragmatus on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:20:56 AM PST

  •  I hesitate to use the term (8+ / 0-)

    'un-American' having had it hurled at me so often in the past 45 years, but there is no other term for voter suppression - it eats at the heart of who we are and who we should aspire to be.  

  •  you wouldn't believe who's registered at my house (4+ / 0-)

    i have a multi family house in a city where the majority of homes are tenant occupied. people who haven't lived in this house as long ago as 2007 are still registered to vote at this address. do they vote here? no.

    there are about a dozen people registered to vote at this address, but only four of us actually live here.

    back in 2008 at the DMV i switched my registration to my new address. a few days before the election i called the registrar of voters to make sure i was registered at my new address. i wasn't, so i went down in person to take care of it.

    the whole thing is a mess.

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:29:46 AM PST

  •  Why so much blather re Citizens United? (2+ / 0-)

    I can certainly understand a desire to kick political consultants out of work and to toss out reams of blurry black and white "too extreme" television ads, but...

    We just held a big election, and the money side lost.  Lost real well, too.

    At the end of the day, you have to have candidates and you have to convince voters of your message.

    In a year when the numbers made Democrats very vulnerable in the Senate -- twice as many seats to defend as Republicans -- they still managed to pick up 2 seats to go along with 8 new seats in the House.

    And, of course, President Obama became the first President to score to popular vote majorities since 1980.

    Come to think of it, much as I might like to see those political consultants scrambling for work, there were also a lot of copywriters, programmers, caterers, etc who made out.  Letting them pick up a little extra green for holiday cheer doesn't seem like a bad thing.

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

    by dinotrac on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:37:21 AM PST

    •  i think the more local elections are affected (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

      by thankgodforairamerica on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:43:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More transparency (5+ / 0-)

      Senate Republicans blocked the DISCLOSE Act back in July.  51 votes were not enough to break the filibuster.

      A response to the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. FEC ruling, this bill seeks to increase transparency of corporate, union, and special-interest money in national political campaigns. It would require organizations involved in political campaigning to disclose the identity of donors giving over $10,000, and to reveal their identities in any political ads they fund. All independent electioneering groups would have to certify that they are not coordinating with candidates, and groups would not be allowed to transfer money between them in order to mask the actual source of the money.

      Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

      by winsock on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:14:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure that I care about transparency (0+ / 0-)

        beyond actual candidate campaigns.  Not completely sure I care there, either.

        If people want to throw their money down a piss hole, it's fine by me.

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

        by dinotrac on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:46:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I care (3+ / 0-)

          insofar as knowing to whom a candidate is beholden can tell you an awful lot about the candidate.  I know there are objections to disclosure on first amendment grounds.  But in this case, I don't believe that free speech is materially infringed by identifying who the speaker is.

          Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

          by winsock on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:17:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Reasonable people can differ there, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the spectre of being harassed and threatened for supporting a candidate is no longer mere speculation.

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

            by dinotrac on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:32:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Valid point (0+ / 0-)

              It would then be up to the courts to decide whether such a disclosure law had sufficient chilling effects (undue burdens) on free speech.  It's a precarious balance, to be sure.

              Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

              by winsock on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:58:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You concede to dinotrac's RW arguments too easily. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The notion that CU doesn't matter because we managed to win anyway is an absurd, fallacious argument. There are numerous factors that helped us win races that could have gone the other way, and if they had, the massive massive CU influx from corporations, outspending the Dems on SuperPAC money 10-1, would have made a huge difference.

                Elsewhere, dinotrac is claiming that Dixiecrat racism is a Democratic legacy and that most racism consists of accusations from Democrats. Consider the source.

                •  Concede? (0+ / 0-)

                  I did not concede or agree that CU doesn't matter.  I was only responding to dinotrac's specific argument against the DISCLOSE act.  And in this case, I don't regard the objection as particularly RW -- it's much the same argument the ACLU has made.  But while worth consideration, IMO it's an insufficient argument.

                  I agree that CU matters, especially downticket.  It would be a grave mistake to dismiss the effects of CU simply because the Dems happened to do well overall in a single election cycle.

                  Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

                  by winsock on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:55:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's RW as a whole. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    To support his position that CU is no big deal, dinotrac seized upon a comment about "Proposition 8 supporters threatening contributors to the gay rights side" ... as if that was comparable to disclosure of massive funding by large organizations ... like the LDS.

            •  There is ample history disproving harassment (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              liberte, Judge Moonbox

              Donations to federal candidates totaling over $200 per cycle are already public record, and have been for decades. I know the political donations of many neighbors and co-workers. There is no evidence of widespread threats or harassment of political donors.

              (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

              by TrueBlueDem on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:56:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  If I could dig up 4 year old posts, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I have a clear memory of Proposition 8 supporters threatening contributors to the gay rights side. Then they complain about their supporters being harassed.

              They have no problem with harassment, they just think it violates the natural order for them to be on the receiving end.

              When Prop H8 supporters claim they're subject to harassment, I want to say, "Get back to me when you have a Matthew Shepard."

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

              by Judge Moonbox on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:01:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Just Imagine What We Could Have Gotten (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, TrueBlueDem, Judge Moonbox

      I agree with you that the fear of money is overblown. As I've pointed out elsewhere, when a community makes a decision no amount of money is going to change it. So, if we stick together we can bankrupt these people.

      However, if we were to completely get money out of politics I suspect we would see massive changes for the better. For one thing you would not see the huge subsidy for fossil fuels we've seen. It is likely we'd have been much further along the road to addressing climate change.

      Same with healthcare. Instead of an anemic Republican healthcare plan that doesn't address the most glaring issue--overall cost to the economy--we'd probably have some kind of full public system that provided all essential healthcare to people out of a progressive tax system.

      Speaking of taxes, without a flood of money, we'd probably see much fairer and more progressive tax rates. Right now the upper 1% of incomes hold over 40% of the country's assets, but they don't pay for anything like 40% of the costs.

      We really need to amend the Constitution to make it clear that constitutional rights only apply to natural persons, not corporations. I think there's some group that's doing that somewhere.

      •  Tricky thing, those constitutional rights. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, a2nite

        Unions and corporations are organizations of persons, and Citizens United applied to both types of organization.

        The same law struck down by Citizens United could have been applied to me and my neighbors had we formed a not-for-profit corporation to educate locals on the environment. BTW, from a free speech standpoint, corporations allow you avoid personal liability -- no small thing when deep pocket types might threaten to sue you into the ground.

        Picture this (fictional, but inspired by a real) situation:

        local town goes on a couple of street and bridge building rampages with little or no regard for the actual environmental impact.  Referenda and candidates are on the ballot.  Maybe even Congressional and/or Senate candidates weighing in on the topic.

        We schedule a meeting 3 weeks before the upcoming election on some marshy areas used by local waterfowl that will be more or less destroyed by a new bridge. We plan to present a video.

        That's very nearly the same scenario as the actual Citizens United case, except we substitute waterfowl for Hillary.

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

        by dinotrac on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:57:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where dies the Constitution mention money? (0+ / 0-)

          I can see some cause to believe that we should be careful if we try to ban campaign contributions, but where does th Constitution mention them?

          At best, your argument that there's a constitutional issue involved requires a penumbra. Also, if anyone actually believed that campaign contributions were speech, why didn't they defend President Clinton when he was caught "listening" to what some foreign contributors had to "say?"

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

          by Judge Moonbox on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:19:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  How Does That Help? (0+ / 0-)

          Taking away the rights of corporation does not take away the rights of humans to speak. It just makes it possible for Congress to set reasonable rules for political spending.

          What part of the law do you think you were breaking?

      •  Actually it isn't. What do you think will happen (0+ / 0-)

        when the money side starts paying the major TV stations a fee/bribe not to carry any Democratic campaign ads?  As well as paying ISPs to block/nullroute Democratic websites including DKos?

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

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:01:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Don't Understand This (0+ / 0-)

          If corporations are not protected by constitutional rights, but humans are, how will that suddenly allow the money side to spend more? They are already spending huge amounts. Is this comment a reply to what I said?

    •  You can't use one election that went favorably (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liberte, Judge Moonbox

      as your entire data sample. You also choose to ignore 2010. But election results alone do not tell the whole story. How much were the margins affected? How many potentially competitive races never materialized as such because of the outsized influence of certain groups? How badly were down-ballot, usually low-budget, grass-root races skewed by outside groups doing 90% of the total spending?

      Even more importantly, the policy implications of Citizens United are obvious. Policy agendas are and will continue to be heavily swayed by the power-brokers with the most money to throw around in the elections.

      (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

      by TrueBlueDem on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 02:07:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  horrible idea voting ID pix (4+ / 0-)

    Nobody's business what voters look like nor what Party the person who looks like the photo is registered with.
    State ID, motor, passport, if enacted, ok. Dreadful practices not yet unskrewed.
    If I was a clean DOJ atty, i'd be clamped on the Ohio evil. Rancid.

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

    by renzo capetti on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 08:40:22 AM PST

  •  Almost all voting online! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Look, if I want to move $10,000 in the next few minutes, I can do it online. I could vote the same way. There is absolutely no problem setting up a secure system through which over 90 percent of citizens could vote online. They get a pin and use it.

    Now, I realize there will be transients, folks with new citizenship, recent felonies etc who need to show up in person to get their pins. The lines would be relatively short, and of course we'd make sure access to the offices occurred on Saturdays for a month or so before the deadline.

    The goal would by 98 percent voter turnout. How'd that serve the GOP?

    •  I fear that you underestimate the problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      making a voting system secure enough for this is a challenge.... and are you sure some computer-savvy Republican't wouldn't rise to it?

    •  Get Wired (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I suggest you get a current copy of Wired magazine and look at the article on passwords. You will quickly realize that securing an online vote is not trivial.

      And since the gangsters in Russia seem to be adept at breaking into our security systems, I'm not sure I'd want online elections. We could end up with our elections run by some Russian oligarch. At least our oligarchs could go to jail here.

      We'd just need someone with a set of pecs like Putin to set a couple examples. Ha!

      •  In our household (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Liberal Thinking

        a Ph.D student in computer science with specialty in security. Has little to do with passwords. It's perfectly posslble and far more secure than our current electronic voting machines.

        •  How Are These Secured? (0+ / 0-)

          In that case, how do they plan to secure this? I'm very skeptical, since it is so easy to spoof the current system. What is going to prevent the same exploits from being used with online voting?

          •  Moving millions (0+ / 0-)

            How easy is it to spoof SWIFT?

            •  Millions Moving (0+ / 0-)

              How easy is it for us to know who is voting? The reason SWIFT works is because it can depend on working with known entities (banks and financial institutions). You can reliably know the identity of those entities. And they are very unlikely to cheat by passing their credentials off to another institution.

              Besides, you can use expensive security on the transmission, like entangling photons, to ensure that no third party is intercepting the communications and passing on a different message than the one originally transmitted.

              One problem with doing online voting comes in at the front end, where you have to identify the voter and verify their eligibility to vote. You would then give them something to prove who they are. Once you've done that, you can't be certain that the person presenting their credentials is the person you originally identified, because they could pass on those credentials to someone else.

              For a bank you could potentially use an IP address or even the MAC address of their computer to verify that the transaction is coming from the right place. For a voter, they could be at a kiosk anywhere. They might be traveling. So, you can't use the same method to verify where the vote is actually coming from.

              Another problem comes in between the person voting and wherever the vote is being registered. A party could set up shop in between and intercept the vote, then retransmit a different vote.

              For that matter, they might install key stroke recording on the voter's computer and simply send a different vote from it when the user voted. Your security there is only as good as the Windows operating system and the security-consciousness of the user. Many of these people use the word "password" to protect their computer from intrusion!

              So, I think there are a lot of security issues with this. I would love to be able to vote from my computer and not have to mail in a paper ballot. But whatever system we had would have to be iron-clad to reassure me that it was better than what we have now. Ideally it would  use an open source program that I could compile with an open source compiler, presuming you could get me to trust the BIOS chip installed.

              •  Still not making sense (0+ / 0-)

                When you request an absentee ballot, you can "easily pass it on." As a matter of fact, I've talked to dozens of family members at a nearby nursing home who say they regularly fill out the forms for elderly, comatose and demented relatives. In fact, there is nothing that really prevents your county clerk from knowing for whom you voted in that absentee "privacy sleeve" except his/her ethics.

                If your pin had somehow been interecepted and used, you'd know that. The vote would be cancelled and you vote again.

                Getting a pin? For almost all people, pretty easy since you just cross check the databases.

                And expense? Hell, what is the expense of a stolen election? The government doesn't have to develop these systems. BoA already has them.

                •  You Would Never Know (0+ / 0-)

                  If a program is running in between you and the board of elections you will never know about it, just like you don't know about virus software that's collecting information when it is installed.  You would never know because it would be talking to you on one side and the election computers on the other. To both sides it would look normal.

                  I would love to see this work because it would be more convenient. But it doesn't reason-check. Not only would you get all the security flaws of voting machines, but you'd add on the flaws of Windows (in most cases) and network security as well. Given that we know security there doesn't work very well, how would it work better for online voting?

                  And, yes, you can pass on an absentee ballot. But in that case, you have only one sent to a specific address where you know that the voter is a resident there, and you have a physical signature that you can check when it is returned. That, of course, isn't perfect, but it is not only better security but it creates a paper trail at the same time. Plus, it is auditable, because you then have paper ballots sitting somewhere that can be recounted and compared with the vote totals released to the public.

                  Where's the audit trail for online voting?

                  I think this idea needs a lot of work on the security side. I can just imagine what would happen in disputed election. The losing side would be able to credibly claim vote tampering and it would be very difficult to prove otherwise. The entire legitimacy of the system would be in question.

  •  Total Reform (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pragmatus, TrueBlueDem

    I agree. We need to fix all three of those things.

    Specifically, on voting, I've previously proposed four changes that I think we should force through Congress:

    (1) A national voter ID automatically issued to anyone who has ever voted in a national election. All states would be required to accept this as ID for the purposes of voting for any candidate for national office.

    (2) Standardized dates and times for early voting that start at the beginning of October and end on election day and that require the board of election offices to be open for people to vote that include at least 12 hours per day on weekdays and at least 8 hours a day on Saturdays.

    (3) Standardized vote by mail so that all voters can vote by mail and send in their ballots up to three weeks before election day.

    (4) Standardized election district criteria that require districts to have balanced representation where the difference between registered members of the two largest parties be no more than 5 percentage points. [See replies to the reference for details.]

    The time to correct this is now, not before the next election, and certainly not in 2016. We know there's a massive problem. It needs a massive solution, and that has to start today.

    Thanks, Meteor Blades, for keeping up the pressure!

  •  Husted is hell spawn (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (R's) take those tired memes and shove 'em, Denise Velez Oliver, 11/7/2012.

    by a2nite on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 11:44:46 AM PST

  •  Jon Husted needs to be in jail... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    ...seriously.  If a democratic official was pulling this kind of voter suppression and election tampering effort, I would have voted a straight republican ticket in protest.  Questions: Is this not an issue for the DOJ?  Does a suit have to be filed?  Would the Ohio state attorney general's office have any authority to address?

  •  Of the 114 provisional votes tossed out.. (0+ / 0-)

    .. in the 98th district race between Rep. Joshua O'Farrell (D) with 23,378 votes and Rep. Al Landis (R) 23,398 votes is a difference of 14 votes. That is 8 times the margin ...

    In Tuscarawas County, 114 provisional ballots have been tossed out, and in Cuyahoga County race 270 have been. Democratic Rep. Debbie Phillips said that pollworkers were given were given plain brown manila envelopes instead of the official provisional ballot envelopes—part of which must be completed by the voter or the ballot won't be counted.Democrats say Husted is also tossing out ballots citizens cast at their former precinct even if they live in the same county and congressional district. That violates the 1993 "motor voter" act. - emphasis added
    ..and the 7th district between Rep. Matt Patton (D) - 27,615 votes and Rep. Mike Dovilla (R) - 27,734 the margin is 119 votes, so Husted is throwing out 270 votes, twice the margin for a possible Democratic win.
    I recognize that there are people insisting there is no cause for indictments here - legally - but as a non-lawyer (and admittedly unqualified to say so) it still seems like this is a clear case for the DoJ to take on for Federal violations to me

    Plain brown envelopes instead of offical ballot envelopes - all this shit is wrong all the way. It is obvious voter disenfrachisement, and racial aspects can not reasonably be denied

    Yep this calls for year round campaigning at the state & local levels to spread the word of voter suppression & must be something Dems are planning to do and the President will continue taking it to the people

    •  One thing I want to say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is that I am tired of people framing the Republican supermajority in the Ohio legislature as being able the ability of the legislature to place constitutional amendments on the ballot.

      That's no biggie. I hope they do. The amendments the right wingers have been talking about and have been unable to gather enough signatures for (Right to Work for Less, "Personhood") are so politically poisonous that if the legislature IS dumb enough to put them on the ballot, they might as well concede the elections for every single state office in 2014 right now. In fact, they could actually lose control of the state House as a result. Let them go for it.

      I am not worried about that. I am worried about the legislation they might pass, especially tax dollar giveaways to private interests such as the for-profit charter schools and whoever they can trick into buying the turnpike. I am worried about Kasich rushing through a state income tax cut that will be paltry for average citizens but will destroy public services, especially public schools, in Ohio.

      Legislation — and not potential constitutional amendments — should be the focus.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:56:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Splitting the EVs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson

        Didn't Husted want Ohio "not to matter anymore" by splitting its electoral votes by district?

        I worry that if this GOP supermajority comes to pass that they'll pass this through.

        These bastards are so evil. Disgusting.

        "If these Republicans can't stand up to Rush, how can they stand up to the Iranians?" - Redmond Barry

        by xsonogall on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:01:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  RE Nevada, is the preposed ID law THAT bad? (0+ / 0-)

    Requiring photo ID's is not necessary to combat practically non-existent voter fraud, that is true. BUT as an election official and poll watcher, I can vouch for the fact that having a drivers license or other government-issued ID can clarify and speed up the voting process. The problem is making it the only means of confirming eligibility to vote.

    Names misspelled, address confusion, voting precinct lines change, names change (marriage and divorce) - there are many reasons why an ID with a photo and an address makes some sense. And, by the way, it has been used non-exclusively in states that have never been accused of voter suppression. Yes, appearances can change, too, but a formal government-issued ID reduces the variables.

    As the diary notes, Nevada is offering a ready safety valve: "When photographs of the eligible voters are not available through the database, poll workers will be available to take photos at the polling place at the time of voting and verify their identity by way of an affidavit." That's same-day verification with an affidavit. (Which would make a fraudulent voter think extra hard with that photo evidence. Satisified, GOP?)

    If the state is willing to put in place a system to issue government IDs at the polling place on election day, I'm willing to go with the proposal. In fact, I'd make an easy, free, very handy way to get an ID a condition of any law that imposes a photo-ID requirement.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House.

    by TRPChicago on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:14:52 PM PST

  •  Making Nice For A Cause - Teamwork. (0+ / 0-)

    I've gotten a bit of a bug today about Nancy Pelosi's plan to circulate a Discharge Petition on Tuesday, to force the Middle Class Tax Bill to a vote on the floor of the House. I've blogged a bit about this in some comments, and just now wrote some nicey nice comments to a couple Republican Congressmen from my local area, asking them to support this bill when it comes up, and by the way, this Discharge Petition, while it isn't being promoted by their own party, it is an issue that's supported by 60% of the American public, and that pretty much everybody in both parties agrees that continuing the tax cuts for those earning less than $250,000 is a good thing. And by the way, this would look especially good in the middle of the Christmas season, especially since it's a clean bill, and the Discharge Petition would make it happen simply and neatly and get it to the President's desk without excess hassle, making more working space for all the other fiscal issues needing to be negotiated - and by the way, don't they want to look great to their constituents during the Christmas season???
    Anyway, you get the idea.

    If you live in or near a Republican Congressional District, I suggest you write a nicey nice encouragement of your own to support the Discharge Petition as well (Pelosi needs 218 signatures - including about 26 republicans to get it done) Facebook, email, telephone, you know the drill - it's an upper to take action, and wouldn't it be great to see Pelosi with a new leveraging tool to have when the going gets too dicey with the GOP?


  •  State of Oregon is doing it right (0+ / 0-)

    Vote by mail.  You can drop off ballots and request and fill one out at your local elections office too.

    Online registration.  It is super easy.  Mail in registration, and your local elections office can sort things out for you too.

    Citizenship check at DMV and signature check to validate votes among other things.

    ***Be Excellent To One Another***

    by potatohead on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:12:20 PM PST

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