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"Show Us Your Papers"

angry
I am way too busy these days for long political rants.

But I would be remiss if I do not at least make passing mention of how depressed, disgusted, and, yes, angry I've become as I watch the ongoing attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, and other states where Republicans and their Teabagger allies control key seats of power.

It is one thing to attempt to win elections. But trying to do so by denying the most basic and important right of any American citizen to hundreds and thousands of people, on entirely spurious grounds... that goes beyond reprehensible. That is despicable.

It would really be nice if there were still some Republicans of conscience out there who would stand up and loudly denounce these efforts, a few men of honor and integrity for whom "win the election" does not "win the election at any cost." There were once many Republicans I admired, even I disagreed with them: men like Everett Dirksen, Clifford Case, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton... yes, even Barry Goldwater, conservative as he is. I do not believe for a moment that Goldwater would have approved of this, any more than Robert A. Heinlein would have. They were conservatives, but they were not bigots, nor racists, nor corrupt. The Vote Suppressors have far more in common with Lester Maddox, George Wallace, John Stennis, and their ilk than they do with their distinguished GOP forebears.

The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.

And don't tell me they are libertarians either. No true libertarians would ever support a culture where citizens must "show their papers" to vote or travel. That's a hallmark of a police state, not a free country.


TUESDAY ADDENDUM: Okay, this has been running several days now, has been featured on HUFFINGTON POST and ABC news, referenced on Stephanie Miller, and no doubt countless other people. We have had four hundred messages, and I think everyone has had their say, and everything that needs to be said has been said. Generally eight or ten times. There are plenty of links and references in the comment threads for those who would like to know more about these voter suppression efforts. If you don't want to dig through the links, start with the Brennan Center for Justice and get the facts.

There's no sense in letting this spin on in circles forever. I am locking comments. Back to Westeros and worldcon and similar subjects, boys and girls.

Thanks for listening.

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Comments

kmanning
Aug. 11th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
Proving your a citizen
Hi George,
I am afraid I don't understand your gripe. Is there something wrong with asking people that they prove in some way that they are actually citizens of this country before they are allowed to cast a vote to determine who will represent the citizens of this country? Seems legit to me. And if you do want to rant about something truly reprehensible, please take a look at the actions of the clearly democratic biased group Acorn in the 2008 election. Sorry to disagree with you here, George. I truly love your books and respect your opinions. Thanks for all of the enjoyment that you have created for me.

Warm regards,

Kyle Manning
coaldustcanary
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:31 am (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Is there something wrong with asking people that they prove in some way that they are actually citizens of this country before they are allowed to cast a vote to determine who will represent the citizens of this country?

Until and unless the United States makes national or state ID available for free to every citizen, yes, there is. Did you know that over a quarter of the county Department of Motor Vehicle offices in Wisconsin are open less than 1 day a month? There are a few counties that only are open 1 or two days every year. It is extremely difficult and expensive for some people to get recognized IDs, when the choice is possibly having to skip work, get rides for an hour or more from someone, or navigate public transport for long distances. Many people change addresses frequently, making it difficult for them to provide utility bills or other proof of residence that are required to get IDs. Something like 1/8 of all Americans do not have access to their birth certificates for various reasons - many states or municipalities require such certificates to be copied or obtained *only* in person - what if you live across the country from where you were born?

Proving citizenship, particularly for many populations who face hardship in the US, is not a simple process. If states truly want to move forward with this plan for ID, to make sure that we all have state or national "papers", then they have to take the time and money to make absolutely certain that every citizen has them. It will take probably a decade or more, and will lead to a very different country than the one we have now.

But it's clear that nobody in power wants voting to be as fair as it could be. Nothing about our system is ideal to promote equal access to the voting booth.
an800lbgorilla
Aug. 14th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
That's just crap. The issue the left has with voter ID laws is that it prevents Mickey Mouse or your dead uncle Bob from voting for Dems. 75% of the country support voter ID laws. Google it. There has been plenty of prime examples of voter fraud to demonstrate the need for these kind of protections.

And lets be clear, it was Dems who pushed Jim Crow laws. It was Dems who started the KKK and it was Dems who constantly voted against civil rights legislation. These are all facts, look them up and educate yourself.
Re: Proving your a citizen - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 05:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
AbbyCohen11
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Thanks for setting Kyle Manning straight, and anyone else who does not realize the plight of many of our elderly who rely on public transportation to get around.
Topher McCarter
Aug. 14th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Did you know you can not enter a Federal Courthouse and most other Fed buildings without Picture Id. Also all the Voter id laws have provisons for free Id's. And I have a question how can some Polling areas have more votes cast the residents currently living?
Re: Proving your a citizen - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
shakauvm
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:53 am (UTC)
Ditto. Having to show ID in order to vote is hardly a Grandfather Clause or Literacy Test from the old Jim Crow days.

I'm much more suspicious of anyone who supports "vote early and vote often".
malacandra95
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:38 am (UTC)
Red Herring
No one is seriously supporting "vote early and vote often".

This is a solution in search of a problem. There's no evidence of any pattern of voter fraud.

But there's plenty of evidence of a pattern of voter suppression on the part of the GOP.
Re: Red Herring - Michael Conrad - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Red Herring - Kevin Mills - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Red Herring - Topher McCarter - Aug. 14th, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
infinite_hiatus
Aug. 12th, 2012 07:21 am (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
These papers you're asking our fellow citizens to present cost money to obtain. That makes these efforts little more than a poll tax. Many studies have shown that minority citizens have a higher % who do not possessive the required documents. The Republicans behind these poll taxes are not offering to provide the documents for free or reimburse citizens who have to obtain them.

And your mention of ACORN is both besides the point and incorrect.
eeepeeep
Aug. 12th, 2012 07:59 am (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Do you honestly believe that people would be okay with voter id laws even if they came with something requiring governments have offices in all major cities, open 24 hours a day capable of getting you the ID at no cost whatsoever?

An honest question, no snark or trolling intended.
Re: Proving your a citizen - grrm - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Jason Kenney - Aug. 13th, 2012 05:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Jose Sarmento - Aug. 13th, 2012 10:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - colwyndoggett - Aug. 13th, 2012 12:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Kevin Mills - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
papamishka
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Many studies have shown that minority citizens have a higher % who do not possessive the required documents.

Can you clarify this, please? Do you mean that the minorities are somehow not allowed to obtain IDs in the US? Or do you mean that the minorities are less interested in political life of the country?
Re: Proving your a citizen - grrm - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - EMHeld - Aug. 12th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - grrm - Aug. 12th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - EMHeld - Aug. 12th, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Craig L. Ching - Aug. 14th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - brightstrangely - Aug. 14th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - mkantonelli - Aug. 14th, 2012 11:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Kevin Mills - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
embers_log
Aug. 12th, 2012 03:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
I don't want to 'pile on' to kmanning's comment, but there is NOT ONE SINGLE INSTANCE of anyone registered by ACORN voting fraudulently (only instances of registration forms filled out wrongly or foolishly, and those are rare and always caught).

The Republicans are pretending to try to fix a problem that doesn't exist, they are making it impossible for people who have voted legally for decades to continue to vote.

Voter ID requirements becomes a poll tax for the poor, elderly, and/or students.
fanoffun
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
I was raised dirt poor but still found a way to get a DL and Social security card.
(no subject) - infinite_hiatus - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - akiko - Aug. 13th, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - devotdsatellite - Aug. 14th, 2012 03:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Kevin Mills - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
jayblanc
Aug. 12th, 2012 11:05 am (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
What exactly were the actions of ACORN during the 2008 election?

The "false registrations" were identified and reported by ACORN themselves, in compliance with federal laws that they had to file any registrations sent to them even if they thought they were fraudulent.

James O'Keefe turned out to be a hoax artist, who edited and re-cut his videos to make it seem like ACORN were supporting criminal acts. The raw unedited footage made it quite clearer what O'Keefe was doing, and how manipulative he was being. (Where is O'Keefe now? Facing potential criminal charges in New Hampshire after trying to prove voter fraud is easy, and getting caught acquiring ballots under false pretences.)

Lobbying and GOP grandstanding about these pushed congress to deny them access to all federal funds.

Four separate federal and state investigations entirely cleared and exonerated ACORN, but the damage was already done and their loss of corporate donations and federal funding meant they closed in 2010.

Bringing up ACORN isn't a defence of the GOP's actions, it's an indictment of the GOP's actions. The GOP aided and abetted a campaign against a group who's aims were getting low and moderate income families access to housing, healthcare and voting rights. The only "Democratic bias" there is that group is more likely to democratically vote for Democrats.
dcmykl
Aug. 13th, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
As Americans we once not so long ago took great pride in being a "free" country which did not require its citizens to produce "papers" on demand. I'm sorry, I don't think 9/11 was so great a calamity or the threat posed by potential voter fraud is so great that we should surrender willingly that unique freedom although it seems conservatives and Republicans are eager for us to do so.
James Kessler
Aug. 13th, 2012 11:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Kmanning, let us know when you can provide verified evidence that there is mass voter fraud going on.

Because George W Bush's administration spent 5 years looking for it and found all of 300 cases....98% of which was former felons voting when they didn't have the right to. Something which won't be stopped by any Voter ID law.

And then you can explain why the Republican Secretary of State in Ohio is limiting voting hours in Democrat counties to the hours of 9-5 but letting Republican counties have longer voting hours, just to use an example.
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
James I live in Pittsburgh, PA and voted for Scott Walker in his Recall Election... you used George W. Bush's administration not being able to find an example of voter fraud... Tell me something else that his administration got right, or anything that the government gets rigth for that matter... then I will agree with you that there isnt voter fraud happenning...
Kate Whitaker
Aug. 13th, 2012 11:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Also neighbor there is NO voter fraud. You are 255 time more liekrly to get hit by LIGHTNING than for somebody to vote in your name or anybody else's. Nobody is going in and voting illegally, so why make it harder for old people, students, poor people, and minorities to vote? It just doesn't make any sense, unless you are trying to suppress voters
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
I will refer to the time I voted for Scott Walker in his Recall election in WI. I live in Pittsburgh PA. There you go perfect example of Voter Fraud!
Michael Conrad
Aug. 14th, 2012 02:23 am (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Here here. You need an ID to cash a check, drive a car, prove your old enough to drink, smoke, etc. the list goes on. Why is it wrong or (racist) to prove you are old enough or eligible to vote? The only conceivable reason not to require people to show ID is to cheat the voting system. Which has been done in the past. And....they are offering free ID's for this purpose for those who are eligible and do not have an ID. It just doesn't make sense not to have one. Sorry but I can't see it. Voting is a privilege, not a right.
Re: Proving your a citizen - dreamingkat - Aug. 14th, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Rusty Patti
Aug. 14th, 2012 05:10 am (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Hi Kyle,

Is there something wrong with asking that the reactionary right prove that there is ACTUAL voter fraud before we disenfranchise millions of voters?

Is there something wrong with demanding to know why in Ohio extended early voting is available in Republican counties but not in Democratic -leaning counties and how this is not anti-American?

Is there something wrong with suggesting that the Right is terrified to let their ideas stand on their own and instead attempt to win elections by suppressing the vote?

I'll answer for you - no, no, and hell no.

Your friend, Rusty
Re: Proving your a citizen - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jonathan Stephan
Aug. 14th, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Kyle Manning:

Here in Germany, valid ID cards are required for voting.
BUT, at the same time, each and every citizen is given an ID card. If a citizen cannot afford the necessary fees, the social services will pay for the ID card.
Requirements should be the same for all voters. If a governments demands to a voter's ID, it should also provide an ID for the voter.
Re: Proving your a citizen - Neville Ross - Aug. 14th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
seneca123
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Do you have to show your papers? If you don't have to show it today. Will you have to show it tomorrow? and what reason will they come up with that will sound reasonable.
Joshua Subin
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Proving = show me your papers. Also, most states charge for their papers, which amounts to an added tax. Also what about the elderly and disabled, it is not easy for them to get to a DMV. What about the student, who they will not let register with a student ID? How is this even remotely small government, it is appalling. Thank you to GRRM for standing up. He is a hero.
Re: Proving your a citizen - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
DonalJMurphy
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
kmanning,

On the surface, nothing. Simple verification is a protection against voter fraud.

However, you can't just implement new standards 3 months prior to the election. If they really wanted this to be fair and equal, there should have been non-partisan voter registration drives across the country and other steps to make sure everyone had ample opportunity to comply with the proposed new regulations at the very least a year ago.

As it is being proposed, this is obviously just a shell game trying to keep some undesirable demographics away from the polls. I'm fairly conservative and even I can't stand what the Tea Party is pulling off.
Meghan Hubbell
Aug. 14th, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
I have to agree with Kyle here. I live in Georgia, and there are so many illegal citizens that have been allowed to vote for someone the know nothing about and about politics they know nothing about. I've been having to show these documents upon getting my license for a while, and don't have a problem with it. There are way too many people that have been allowed to vote that know nothing about what they're doing. Is there any way to start testing people? hahaha Where I live, I see too many able bodied people counting on that government check instead of getting out there and trying to make a living. Is that fair for hard working citizens to keep paying our taxes to these lazy people? Also, Mr. Martin, I absolutely love your books and like Kyle here, I totally appreciate and respect your work, but I do have to ask; if you feel so strongly about papers, how do you feel about the Democratic solution to Medicare? This Obama-care they're calling it. I just wonder, since you're ranting about Republicans. I mean that in the most respectful way, please keep in mind sir. I'm a huge fan, and just interested in your opinion on this matter. Thank You
Re: Proving your a citizen - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC) - Expand

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