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This week in the war on voting is a joint project of Joan McCarter and Meteor Blades

Is the Voting Rights Amendment Act dead

The expectation was that a compromise bill to fix the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court's decision to eviscerate a key provision would clear both houses of Congress before the election. But that doesn't appear to be the case any longer. The Voting Rights Act Amendment is stalled both in the House and Senate "because of distrust and disagreement between and within political parties," according to William Douglas and Greg Gordon at McClatchy.

The amendment emerged after the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, ruled that nine states and selected jurisdictions in six other states would no longer have to "pre-clear" any new voter laws with the Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Those states, seven of them in the Old Confederacy, had a long record of suppressing the votes of African Americans, Indians, Native Alaskans and Latinos.

Under the VRAA, only states that have incurred five voting rights violations over the previous 15 years would come under federal oversight. This would also apply to local jurisdictions that had incurred three violations within the past 15 years and to jurisdictions with one violation and a “persistent, extremely low minority turnout.” Under those provisions, if the act were passed tomorrow, only Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas would be covered.

Many Republicans want the law to apply to all 50 states while some Democrats don't like it that the act would embed voter ID laws as acceptable, something they oppose because of potential for reducing turnout among people of color, young people, poor people and the elderly.

However, House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn

calls photo ID laws “an arsenic-laced solution put in a Coca-Cola can,” though he doesn’t think that will dampen overall Democratic support for the bill.
Below the orange butterfly ballot is more news in the war on voting.

Study finds evidence of discriminatory intent among lawmakers favoring voter ID laws

A recent study reveals what its authors consider strong evidence of discriminatory intent behind voter ID laws. Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post writes:

Demonstrating racial bias is not easy—I've discussed before, nobody actually calls themselves racists, because much racial bias happens at the subconscious level—so the USC researchers developed a novel real-world field experiment to test bias among state legislators. In the two weeks prior to the 2012 election, they sent e-mail correspondence to a total of 1,871 state legislators in 14 states. [The e-mails read greeted each representative formally and then stated:]
My name is (voter NAME) and I have heard a lot in the news lately about identification being required at the polls. I do not have a driver’s license. Can I still vote in November? Thank you for your help.
The key to the experiment lies in that voter name field. One group of legislators received e-mail from a voter who identified himself as "Jacob Smith." The other received email from "Santiago Rodriguez." Moreover, half of the legislators in each of these two groups received e-mails written in Spanish, while half received English-language e-mails.
Results? The representatives could have responded with a simple "yes." In none of the states where the emails were sent is a driver's license required to vote. Representatives who had supported voter ID laws responded to emails from "Jacob Smith" 44 percent of the time, but only 28 percent of the time to "Santiago Rodriguez." Representatives who opposed voter ID laws responded to "Jacob Smith" 50 percent of the time, and 42 percent of the time to "Santiago Rodriguez."

As Ingraham notes, a single instance of non-responsiveness under these circumstances does not prove bias:

But the significant difference between ID supporters and opponents in the extent of their Anglophone preference provides solid evidence of underlying bias, according to the researchers.
Seven Democratic leaders in the House join lawsuit over court-imposed change in federal voting registration form:
The case, Kris W. Kobach et al. v. United States Election Assistance Commission, centers on a request from Kansas and Arizona to add proof-of-citizenship requirements to the federal voter registration form that matches their state laws.

The House Democrats, led by Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Robert Brady of Pennsylvania, argue in an amicus brief released on Wednesday that providing that proof would limit voting rights. [...]

“For much of our nation’s history, state law was used to diminish or deny qualified citizens the right to vote. The Constitution was amended to correct that wrong and to empower Congress to take appropriate steps to ensure that history does not repeat itself ... Congress’s authority to override state law in matters of election procedures for federal elections is beyond doubt,” the signers wrote in the brief.

Progressive Caucus seeks voter registration help from HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell:

The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus—Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota—and CPC member Mike Honda of California sent a letter Thursday to Sylvia Burwell, the nation's new Health and Human Services secretary, seeking a meeting to enlist her in the effort to bring the federally facilitated Health Benefits Exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act into compliance with voter registration law.

Under the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (colloquially known as the Motor Voter law) the federal and state governments are required to provide opportunities to register to vote when a person obtains a driver's license or seeks public assistance.

Voter ID battle continues, but some states have passed laws expanding ballot access. The Brennan Center for Justice has updated its state round-up of happenings in voter policies. Not all of them are bad. For instance, Illinois has initiated a pilot program of same-day registration, making it the 12th state plus the District of Columbia to institute this technique for improving voter turnout.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Nebraska recently passed several of their own laws to expand ballot access. On the other hand, Alabama has proposed rules that would require voters who arrive at the polls without ID cards to prove by a "voucher" of mostly white election officials that they are who they say they are. The update looks also at laws and bills in Arizona, Kansas, Ohio and Virginia.

Myrna Pérez and Jerry H. Goldfeder give a broad view of the voter ID landscape.

Will California's "top two" primaries decrease polarization? David Stid at The Hewlett Foundation Blog:

[W]e know that the voters who do turn out for primaries are much more partisan and ideological than the vast majority who don’t, giving rise to the reasonable conjecture that congressional primary dynamics are linked to polarization. For those of us concerned about the health of Congress, you can see how congressional primaries are a problem.

The dynamics around California’s new “top two” primary election, which was held Tuesday, may help move questions about congressional primaries—how they are structured, which candidates run in them, how they run, and, not least, how voters participate in them—more onto the center stage of American politics.

Federal judge overrules Alaska officials on translating election material into Native languages: U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason ruled that the constitutional right to vote requires the state to translate election pamphlets, instructions, registration materials and ballots into Yup'ik, Cup'ik and Gwich'in and other Native languages for any voters with limited English skills.

Democrats adopt data project to spur voter  turnout:

Democrats are rolling out a new program [called the Arbor Project] that uses sophisticated data analysis to identify the neighborhoods that are ripest for registering new voters—potentially making the party’s registration drives far more effective. The effort underlines Democrats’ growing focus on bringing new voters into the process, with the party’s chances for electoral success increasingly hinging on boosting turnout. [...]

Through the project, campaigns and state parties  will have access to data showing them not just the number of currently unregistered potential Democrats in a given precinct, but also the expected vote gain that a registration drive in that precinct would provide. They could also look at a “density index” that rates the neighborhood’s suitability for door-to-door canvassing operations, so as to avoid wasting resources by sending volunteers into difficult-to-canvass areas where houses are far apart.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So, take the opportunity to get a law ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JJ In Illinois

    ... that says if a jurisdiction requires a voter ID, it must be a common one like a drivers license and provide the means for those who do not have one to get a counterpart state-official ID at no charge to them, very easily and right up to Election Day.

    It's not perfect, but some form of ID requirement is understandable, voting generally being tied to residential location.

    2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 09:15:46 AM PDT

    •  seems like a no-brainer to me.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TRPChicago

      I have never understood what all the obstruction against voter ID is all about.  Give people enough time (2-3 years?) before the law is enforced, and enough opportunity and provide it free of charge.

    •  Same for all, free to all. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TRPChicago, TexasTom

      The state must provide the voter ID to everyone qualified to vote at no cost to any voter.

      The GOP knows they don't have any real problems that they are dealing with so they should be forced to spend taxpayer money on everyone.

      Americans can make our country better.

      by freelunch on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 10:47:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All well and good if the ID is free (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, TexasTom

      but often the documentation to produce the ID is pricy, if even available; take the 80-something voter who might have been born at home and thus doesn't have a birth certificate on file with the county. And getting a copy of a birth certificate runs about $25 to $30; for someone working minimum wage that's about half a day's pay, or maybe a tank of gas needed to get to work. And if you're a married woman add onto that the cost of getting a copy of your marriage license, another $25 to $30. Some people lose those documents over time -- not everyone has access to a safe deposit box or other safe location to keep important documents.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:27:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, all barriers unless they've registered ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... previously. If they have, it would be reasonable to have a presumption (rebuttable by evidence to the contrary) that whatever it took to register then should be grandfathered now. Issue a voter ID card and call it a good day.

        However, if they haven't been registered before, they do need something to establish citizenship and residence. Those are not unreasonable requirements.

        Perhaps a social service agency could be enlisted to help locate official documents or determine that they simply do not exist for the area the individual was born in. This would be for a relatively old voter and could be particularly cumbersome if she or he were born in a different state. Still, it's not an impossible hurdle. In which case, there still should be some procedure for state offices to work together.

        If the purpose for getting a certified birth certificate is voting, the cost ought to be waived or covered by assistance funds if the person can't pay.

        I don't think we can expect a state to waive the basic requirements for voting. But we can make sure they are not barriers to a particular class of voters.

        We're a democracy. No one, no matter how partisan, should be heard to argue against a qualified individual's right to vote.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 01:58:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The evil teapublicans do almost everything in bad (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TRPChicago

          faith. They just make what there doing sound reasonable when it is to suppress voting that won't be for them.

          I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

          by a2nite on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 03:53:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Voter ID laws *could* work if... (0+ / 0-)

      ...those laws also included the requirement that the offices where voters need to go to get the appropriate ID will operate on convenient hours for working people, and will be located near potential voters.

      Also, the state would not only need to make the voting ID available for free, but would also have to assist voters on covering the cost of supporting documentation (ie, the certified birth certificate) and/or allow a voter who lacks a birth certificate to sign a document asserting that they were born in the US (since not everyone can obtain a birth certificate).

      In addition, such laws should not contain blatant partisan bias in the types of ID that are accepted -- for example, Texas accepts concealed carry permits as valid ID for voting, but not student photo IDs.  Think they're trying to put the thumb on the scale just a bit?

      Finally, I'd be a little more impressed if the supporters of Voter ID laws also were backing efforts to expand access to voting (ie, expanding early voting instead of reducing it).

      Needless to say, I have yet to hear of a single Voter ID law that does any of the things that I've outlined above.  So far as I'm concerned, if voters are forced to take off from work, drive long distances, or pay for a copy of their birth certificate as a condition for getting "free" ID, then it looks to me like a poll tax and should be illegal.

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 05:01:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What Supporting Documentation... (0+ / 0-)

        is required for a concealed carry permit?  A student ID?

        Is your residence address required on you concealed carry permit?  Student ID?

        What expansion of early voting do you support over the current system?  I think the early voting is sufficient in Texas.  I have used it many times.

        It is much better than the absentee voting in the 70's.

  •  Interesting side note on the (10+ / 0-)

    totally batshit insane Texas Republican Party platform:  it calls for the total repeal of the VRA.  

    We urge that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 codified and updated in 1973 be repealed and not reauthorized.
    As if there was any doubt about what they are all about.
  •  IMO (0+ / 0-)

    needing an ID to vote is a no-brainer. Everybody legal either has, or can easily get, a state issued card.  If they're to stupid/lazy to have/get proper identification they probably shouldn't vote anyways.

    •  Thank you for the RW talking point. (18+ / 0-)

      In theory, what you say SOUNDS reasonable.  In practice, it is not.  States make it difficult to get the ID for those who do not have driver's licenses  Those most likely to need it (the poor, the elderly) cannot GET to the offices where these are issued.  Or, the only way to get there is to take time off work and travel a long distance.  It becomes, in all practical effect, a poll tax, which was banned by the 24th Amendment in the 60s.

      •  amen (11+ / 0-)

        I just had to have someone drive me through three different counties to get a photo ID.  Major PIA, especially since the state has closed 2/3rds of the DMVs.  It's very obvious the state doesn't want me to vote, since I'm a lone Democrat in a sea of red Bible thumpers with rebel flags.

        Nothing pithy here.

        by sow hat on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 09:59:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We were fortunate (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chas 981, sow hat

          that we were able to request a copy of Mr. Scribe's birth certificate by mail; he was born in King County WA. Imagine if we'd had to spend the money to go up there and get it in person. We drove to the next county north to get my birth certificate, then to the board of records in our county to get a copy of our marriage license; we needed all the documentation to qualify for pension benefits when he retired back in 2011. It was a hassle, but at least we had the time since we're both retired. Imagine trying to track all that stuff down while working one or two jobs, taking care of family, etc.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 01:09:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't (0+ / 0-)

        think calling people stupid is a RW talking point (except maybe for Romney lol).

        The pain in the arse aspects apply to everybody, so if votes are lost it will be on both sides. People of all political persuasions get old etc...

        Small price to pay to get rid of both sides acting like kids on a playground.

        "You cheated"  "No you cheated"  "No you cheated"

        Just fix it and move on.

        •  Referring to them as lazy and/or (7+ / 0-)

          stupid for not getting an ID IS a RW talking pint.  It is not about the "pain in the arse aspects".  It is throwing roadblocks up to block a fundamental right  -- roadblocks which are not needed.  Photo ID is a solution in search of a problem.  

          •  Meh.. (0+ / 0-)

            How hard could it be to make accommodations for people to get an ID?  Put some kiosks out there at malls or WalMart or whenever, or even a mobile service for people to make an appointment to come to THEM.

            This shouldn't be so damn difficult.  We put a man on the moon ffs, surely we can print out some photo id's for those who need them and finally put this to bed.

            •  You are assuming good faith (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              a2nite, TexasTom

              If voter fraud was a real problem and the motivation for requiring ID to vote this would be easy to do and not a problem.

              The problem is that the desire to require ID for voters is designed to provide the opportunity to suppress democratic voters.   Thus, the Republicans don't want to and won't take the steps needed to make the  requirement not a burden.

            •  So why is it... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gramofsam1

              ...that not a single state that has passed a voter ID law has gone out of their way to accommodate people in the ways that you describe?

              If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

              by TexasTom on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 05:04:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Two problems with your narrative: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite

          1) ID laws can't eliminate "kids on a playground" accusations, as they address only one type of "cheating" - that of individual, in-person fraud - and none of the other verifiably more common sorts of election mischief.

          2) As long as such laws prevent only a statistically non-existent type of fraud - demonstrable in no more than double digits out of hundreds of millions of votes cast - but hinder the voting ability of millions of otherwise-qualified citizens, they create a bigger problem than they purport to solve.

          Rationalizing them by suggesting merely that votes will be lost "on both sides" is not only too high a price to pay, it's a defense so weak it serves better as an argument against them.      

        •  Redstate is calling you nt (0+ / 0-)

          I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

          by a2nite on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 03:55:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  When you register to vote... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      They mail you a voter registration card.  This ought to be enough ID to vote.  The idea that there needs to be a picture of you on the card is adding a major hassle into the process in order to solve a non-existent problem.  Or, in most cases, it's adding a hassle to the process in hopes that poor people who have to focus more on day-to-day getting by will be less likely to jump that hoop.

      I find myself continually frustrated by the apathy of the Democratic base. Voter turn out is growing ever more important as Republicans get more and more bold about straight out screwing the underprivileged, and I cannot believe that more people won't spend the couple hours a year to drag their carcass out and do what they need to do to get registered and to vote.  But it is what it is, so we need to make it as easy as possible for everyone to vote or we're going to get hammered.  

      •  I've never had to show my (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LinSea

        registration card or photo ID to vote; I use my sample ballot, which makes it easy for the clerks to look up my information so I can sign the roster book and get my ballot. Of course, California may be one of the few sane states left in the Union.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:32:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I live in Washington (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cali Scribe

          And we all vote by mail here, which is still more sane than California.  I don't have to show anyone anything, just sign the envelope.  

          •  We've gone to vote by mail (0+ / 0-)

            for smaller elections, like local school bonds and such, where it wouldn't be cost-effective to open a bunch of polling places. And it's fairly easy to register as "permanent absentee"; my parents-in-law did that because they were getting a bit too old and creaky plus there was no guarantee the polling place would be accessible for my mother-in-law and her wheelchair, so it was easier for them to vote at home and my father-in-law would take the ballots in person to the polling place.

            Mr. Scribe is a traditionalist and likes to actually go and vote; I'd be fine with vote by mail. (And after it took us till 7:40 to get to the polling place last Tuesday, I would prefer it.)

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 01:13:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I recommend you avoid being lazy and... (7+ / 0-)

      ...and stupid by doing some research before spouting another comment that doesn't mesh with the actual situation.

      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 Jun 07, 2014 at 11:23:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Quite a lot of people DO NOT have photo ID (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, LinSea, gramofsam1, Chas 981, TexasTom

      as it turns out, so if you say

      Everybody legal either has, or can easily get, a state issued card.
      you are simply mistaken, and don't know the statistics.

      People who don't drive, for whatever reason, don't have driver's licences.  Many older people, especially if they are poor, do not have them.

      So the issue isn't that

      If they're to stupid/lazy to have/get proper identification they probably shouldn't vote anyways.
      Shame on you.

      "Politicians don't see the light until they feel the heat." (Rep. Keith Ellison)

      by mbayrob on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 11:39:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  False. Also insulting to a lot of people. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea, gramofsam1, TexasTom

      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 Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:41:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe you shouldn't be (0+ / 0-)

      calling people stupid if you use "anyways" rather than anyway.

      But anyway, your comments in the month since you've been here have been- interesting. I don't know how you dodged a bullet (or a stream of HRs) on that disgusting comment about Michael Sams and his partner.

      You might find that your views on pretty much everything are not a good fit for dailykos. And people will notice you, as I just did, and you won't get away with comments like that again.

      Just sayin'.

    •  Sorry, but this is BS and offensive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, a2nite
      Everybody legal either has, or can easily get, a state issued card.  If they're to stupid/lazy to have/get proper identification they probably shouldn't vote anyways.
      Nonsense.

      In order to get that legal ID, you have to show a birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers, or other document proving your citizenship.  For those of us that have passports, that's easy enough -- but how many people have a certified copy of their birth certificate laying around, which means the cost of ordering a copy.  And some people (typically elderly) can't obtain a birth certificate because they were born at home and no county birth certificate was ever issued.

      Then there's the issue of the office where that card is issued only being open during standard business hours, which is a problem for people who work jobs that don't give them any paid time off.  In some cases, that office may be a long distance away from home, which would be a problem for someone who presumably doesn't have a drivers license (which would be acceptable voter ID).

      So, no, every doesn't have this ID, and sometimes it isn't easy to obtain.  Dismissing this people as being stupid or lazy is, well, stupid and lazy on your part.

      If Democrats proclaim the the Earth is round and Republicans insist it is flat, we will shortly see a column in the Washington Post claiming the the earth is really a semi-circle.

      by TexasTom on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 05:08:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I suggest people read this stuff because (7+ / 0-)

    Anything the evil racist tea-publicans come up with DOES NOT make voting easier or better for Democratic voters. They make it harder therefore easier for them to steal elections.

    Then we have aholes on our side saying if you're too stupid to figure it out you shouldn't vote. Voting is like driving, reading, walking, riding a bike, you have to learn & practice. Of course the evil framers made voting hard & our evil R enemies know this.

    But then we live in the best most expensive third world country.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 09:45:11 AM PDT

  •  FL Man Fires 50 Shots At SWAT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Just the usual parole violator with guns and Nazi regalia.

    http://www.gainesville.com/...

    He shot up the SWAT teams armored vehicle.  Some wingnuts question why the SWAT team needed an armored vehicle.  Maybe because they have deal with heavily armed nuts?

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 10:08:07 AM PDT

  •  Not A Fan Of The Runoff System (5+ / 0-)

    There is too much of a chance that you will get a result that is not representative of the electorate. Like CA 31 which has a GOP rep in a Democratic district. A large field of Democrats split the vote and the the two top republicans finished 1-2. With a large field in a primary, do not see how sending the top 2 finishers who get the largest plurality somehow represents the will of the district. By definition, both candidates have been rejected by a majority of voter in a district. If you want to increase turnout we need more polarization, not less. Polarization means that people are engaged. Same reason I don't like non-partisan elections.

    •  Time to embrace the polarization (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris, LinSea, Leo Flinnwood

      Totally agree with you.  Getting along is a virtue in kindergarten, but when you're hashing out how to run your society you need to stick to your guns.

      Besides which worrying about polarization now, in this political climate, is like putting "fire extinguisher" on your shopping list when the top floor of your house in on fire.

    •  Add transferable vote to the no-party primary (0+ / 0-)

      I like the top two primary, but the problem is that sometimes a minority gets lucky because the real desires of the voters are obscured by too many candidates. If we add a transferable vote (voter picks their choices in order and if their candidate loses, their next choice is counted) we can allow better competition while keeping weak minority parties from being lucky.

      Americans can make our country better.

      by freelunch on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 10:51:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds like "ranked choice" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LinSea

        or "instant runoff" voting, like what's used in San Francisco elections.

        The biggest problem with "top two" is that it totally marginalizes third parties; sure, they can run in the primary but no one pays attention to the primaries (the ostensible reason that "top two" was instituted), then they're shut out of the general election process. You'd never see a future Bernie Sanders getting his start under a "top two" system; he'd never make it past June. And often third party candidates raise issues that really need to be discussed, or at least given a fair hearing by the "mainstream" candidates.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:40:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No. That merely conflates two dumb (0+ / 0-)

        vote diluting ideas into 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 Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:44:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I just think we should start a nationwide effor... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    I just think we should start a nationwide effort across all 50 states to get everyone an ID who needs on by 2016. With the time, effort, and money we use to fight ID laws we could get everyone an ID and it would be a moot point that they can use to fight us with. It would be over and honestly we would be helping people. I just have a hard time understanding how people live in our modern society without a valid ID. It must be terrible inconvience to say the least and so the effort would help people in many other areas. They could then turn around with their new ID and vote, sign up for the ACA, get SS or Medicaid/Medicare, get an apartment, get a job, open a bank account, take out a library book, drive a car, or anything else that requires one.

    •  Then you need to get out more. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, enhydra lutris, TexasTom
      I just have a hard time understanding how people live in our modern society without a valid ID.
      I got my driver's license at 17.  My younger brother got his at 26.  And no, that is not a typo.  There are plenty of people who commute without cars.

      It is quite easy to live in most cities and never need ID.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 10:25:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I said valid ID not driver's license. (0+ / 0-)

        I said valid ID not driver's license.

      •  That's currently the case in the US (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        it's not the case in most developed countries.  Bailey2001 is correct that national ID cards, which you get for free by the time you're old enough to vote, is the way things are done in most cases.

        If we had a national ID system, your younger brother would have had an ID card even if he didn't have a driver's licence.  And there'd be no issue here.

        Of course, the reason these GOP morons like ID requirements is exactly because

        It is quite easy to live in most cities and never need ID.
        If easy access to qualifying ID didn't exclude a lot of people, the GOP wouldn't want to require it.  The exclusion, and not the ID, is the goal, as we all agree here.

        "Politicians don't see the light until they feel the heat." (Rep. Keith Ellison)

        by mbayrob on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 11:51:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If people misplace an ID just before an election (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Eric Nelson, enhydra lutris

      how will they be able to vote?  Other forms of ID, like utility bills in their name, or correspondence addressed to them at their address?  I once tried to get a library card using my passport as ID, but that wasn't acceptable, only a utility bill!

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 10:29:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, with the library (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ybruti

        they want to ensure you're not just who you say you are, but that you live in the library's district -- in my county, I can get a library card from any city in the county, but not for the next county over.

        Losing your ID right before an election is a big problem; they should expand the types of ID that can be acceptable. Technically, any ID that has your name and picture should work, perhaps with a secondary ID that shows your address, so say you have a work ID with your name and picture, and bring in a copy of your phone or cable bill, you could use those. (That assumes of course that the phone or cable bill are in your name, and not that of a spouse, roommate or parent.)

        Basically though, the photo ID requirements are an answer to a problem that doesn't exist or is overblown -- sort of like using a bazooka to kill a housefly. In a country with somewhere around 200 million (give or take a few million) people of voting age, would a few people voting when they technically shouldn't really make that much difference?

        If you're going to reform the voting laws, get rid of the restrictions on voting for convicted felons who've served their time and are trying to rebuild their lives...that would be a good start.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:50:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Who is going to pay for their time off (5+ / 0-)

      from work, the stuff like a birth certificate, travel to DL places?

      All of this costs time & money. The ID itself may be free.

      How about the elderly who have voted in the past but can't now because of the evil Rs & their poll tax? Just because our enemies call a poll tax & literacy tax something else dont make it so.

      Yeah, get IDs & fight it because they ALWAYS change the rules.

      I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

      by a2nite on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 10:44:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay but how many years are between elections? ... (0+ / 0-)

        Okay but how many years are between elections? You mean people can't get off from work ever for one day/afternoon in 2 to 4 years? And it is just not possible for us to figure out a nationwide campaign to help in these situations, if there are those who do not have one off day in 2 to 4 years? I mean I would be willing to help someone do that and take off a day to get an ID for someone and drive them where they need to go. I would do the same to get someone to the polls to vote. We use money and time and buses on voting day. We can't expand that for an ID effort? I'm just one person but I would bet there are millions of activists out there who would gladly help in this situation.

        •  OK let's look at the cost (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cali Scribe, Eric Nelson

          $25 for a birth certificate
          $10 for gas if you live where they are closing agencies to get rid of poor voters
          $50 lost wages unless you work where there is leave available
          So $85 to get an ID that you have as yet not needed for any other purpose than voting.  How many people will bother? which is exactly the point.

          Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

          by Leftleaner on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 11:34:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Add in cost of marriage license (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Nelson

            if you're a married woman -- maybe even more documentation if you've married more than once (divorce decrees/death certificates).

            It's not the ID that's the point -- it's making the potential voter jump through so many hoops that the person will just say "Fuck it" and not bother. Eventually we'll get to the point where we're no longer a representational democracy unless you're in the upper echelons of economic/social status. (Hell, we're already almost there...)

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:55:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, some people really can't get off from work (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, Eric Nelson, LinSea, Chas 981

          Low income people, especially the working poor, lack not only money, but time, and often, access to transportation.  And since many of the working poor are also single parents, going off to get a qualifying ID requires access to child care.

          I do think that where it's possible to help people get qualifying ID, we should try to do that.  But right now, the states that require ID also make it hard to get ID.  By design, and not by oversight.

          "Politicians don't see the light until they feel the heat." (Rep. Keith Ellison)

          by mbayrob on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 11:58:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Also required: Access to information (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mbayrob

            to find out what's needed, and how to get it.

            Suppose, like many low-income and elderly, that you don't have Internet access, or aren't adept at using it.

            First you need to know what's required.  (How do you get that info?)

            Now figure out, for example, how do you get your birth certificate from another state?  Contact the state office of something something something?  Okay, maybe start with some long-distance phone calls?  Or perhaps a trip to the library (which is beyond walking distance, and only open during work hours)?

            And that's just to get started.  It should be a simple process, but it's not.

        •  In cleveland OH there's an election every year (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson, Chas 981

          Even odd years when the mayor & city council are elected. It is a pain but I vote every time.

          NJ & VA have elections in odd years namely 2009, 2013 etc.

          Yeah, sure we should help people get an ID to vote. A national ID would help but the luddies don't want that. This ID solves the "we dont want the uppity negros" to vote. Some people get discouraged with all this shite.

          This ID thing is part of their voter prevention (dem) strategy.

          VOTING should be easier. It's bad enough that people don't vote which is one of many reasons that this is a good third world country.

          I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

          by a2nite on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:21:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Years? (0+ / 0-)

          In jurisdictions with runoffs, we're talking a few weeks between elections.

          Theoretically, the ID requirement is something you should only have to do once, i.e. arguably no big deal.  But every time the rules change, that's a bunch of people who have to go through the process all over again.

          •  I just don't get how we say this is an impossible (0+ / 0-)

            task but yet we can have nationwide voter drives (and registering to vote requires a valid ID by the way) but we can't at least try to just make this happen.

             Make it a priority and help a hell of a lot of people along the way...not just in voting but getting people an ID that would make life a whole lot easier in many, many ways, from getting health insurance to getting a job to driving to taking a college course or any number of ways that people need an ID.

    •  Conservative Paranoid and GOVERNMENT ID!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

      A lot of countries have government IDs.  These are universal, and they're free.  I actually agree, these tend to be good things.

      But ironically, conservatives in the US hate the idea.

      They don't want to require ID for any benefit to the public.  They want it because getting qualifying IDs (not all kinds of ID "qualify" for a racist state like Arizona) either cost money to get, or take a lot of time to get (and have a time cost).  Many kinds of ID that might be as good, and that used to be allowed, are no longer allowed.

      So your idea may solve a lot of problems, but your idea doesn't solve any problem conservative, racist Jim Crow types want solved.  The lack of a national ID card is a feature, and not a bug.

      "Politicians don't see the light until they feel the heat." (Rep. Keith Ellison)

      by mbayrob on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 11:46:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And money, don't forget that it comes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Eric Nelson

      with all the money needed to do those other things, and rubies, and pearls.

      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 Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 12:46:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's next? (4+ / 0-)

    Repealing the 19th Amendment?

  •  Mandatory national ID is the solution (0+ / 0-)

    Also, put everyone's pictures in a national database that election officials can access at polling stations.

    •  Which the Jim Crow types oppose, of course (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      Mandatory national ID is only the solution if the problem is making sure you can identify most Americans.  If you want to keep people from voting, it doesn't help you to solve that problem.

      "Politicians don't see the light until they feel the heat." (Rep. Keith Ellison)

      by mbayrob on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 11:53:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That poses a lot of other problems (0+ / 0-)

      such as keeping such databases free from hackers who could use those pictures as part of identity theft. And if you add in an RFID chip as extra security, you'll get the Rapture Right screaming about "mark of the Beast" and all that. Even some civil libertarians on the Left might have an issue with privacy; I admit I've got a bit of a squicky feeling about the whole idea.

      I'd rather see national voting standards than a national ID.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 01:01:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Every time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enhydra lutris, Eric Nelson

    I have to mention "the United States" and "democracy" in the same breath, I have to stumble over my words.

    "Behind every great fortune is a great crime." - Honore de Balzac

    by mooremusings on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 11:16:34 AM PDT

  •  Arbor Project=No More 2010 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Bravo for the DNC on its Arbor Project! I'm glad we know it's the "T" word--turnout, stupid! From 2014 onward, we must never repeat the 2010 no shows that gave us Speaker Boehner, gerrymandered districts, House gridlock on voting rights and immigration, and the farce of GOP committee "investigations." Exhibit A-- the "select" committee on Benghazi. Keep the Senate "Blue" in 2014! For more on the Benghazi GOP stunts, read  this

  •  Clyburn and others are correct on this part.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite
    Clyburn calls photo ID laws “an arsenic-laced solution put in a Coca-Cola can,” though he doesn’t think that will dampen overall Democratic support for the bill.
    Linsey Graham insists:
    “I think the effort to change the court ruling will die,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham
    ..That's where Dems should hold the line. Don't accept SCOTIS ruling and limit the fight to merely trying to "repair" if that repair includes new ID requirements.

    Reject the whole premise. This is where "bipartisanship" is abused by republicans; used as a tool And since the proposed "repair" does not stop suppression, use that fact, while doing the excellent things Raul Grijalva and progressives are working on. And the good work on registration drives and an updated data program to boost turnout.

    Put preclearance firmly back in place. Essentially: over turn SCOTUS. re-establish preclearance to all areas that were previously held to that requirement. And add any new areas (see NC, Wisconsin, Ohio et al.) to the list. Take a stand as far away from compromise as needed.

    Because this is not only not good enough:

    It would only cover election changes adopted at least 61 days after its enactment, so it wouldn’t affect anything already in place. And it would allow states to require photo IDs for voting, which Democrats complain will depress turnout from minority voters - emphasis added
    It's exactly what the GOP wanted; to codify new voter ID into the rules; and to make sure that any legislation to "repair" the RWNJ activist SCOTUS wouldn't stop voter suppression in time for up coming elections. As shown here
    The court struck down a requirement that nine states and parts of six others obtain Justice Department approval before making election changes that might disproportionately affect minority voting.

    The ruling freed from decades of scrutiny the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia, as well as select jurisdictions in California, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina and South Dakota.

    ..and it seems any effort by the right to should be met with this response form all Dems:  republican's want You to prove who you are are in your own home town. has got to be part of the Dems messaging. It ain't right.

    Meanwhile this - smart: Progressive Caucus Sends Letter to HHS Secretary on Voter Registration in Insurance Exchanges

    WASHINGTON—Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) and CPC member Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell today about voter registration for millions of Americans through the federal exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
    Registration drive - that is good and this is also great news: Feds say state election officials wrong on Native language rules
    A federal judge on Wednesday overruled state election officials and said the constitutional right to vote requires Alaska to translate all election materials into Native languages for voters with limited English skills.
    I f'cking love that. All those RWNJ legislators trying to pass English only languages; something that has been going on for too long - stomped down.

    Focusing on getting people GOTV increasing registration numbers:Democrats unveil new data program to boost voter registration = turnout

    So some very good things happening along with some not so good. But it seems the awareness is spreading about what the republicans are up to and it's backfiring, and that is always good

    Thx MB

    nice order of the articles too; top to bottom arrangement made it it clear - imo

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