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"Show Us Your Papers"

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.



(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)
You really to turn off Fox News and listen to some fact-based reporting.

Your post is full of so many misstatements, distortions, and outright lies that I hardly know where to begin refuting it.

Let me just state, for starts, that the "blocking the military from voting" is completely false, as one of the other posters documents below. Whoever told you that was case was a spin doctor, to be generous... but it's not true.
Aug. 12th, 2012 06:17 am (UTC)
Would you believe that your unbiased fact-based reports were in fact lies? Because as a member of the military my vote was never counted. Since you have established the fact you are willing to take Mary Speer's comments as fact I assume that me telling you I was disenfranchised because I was on active duty is good enough? Of course you won't believe me because your absolutist comments to this point show you don't allow much room for discourse. "Outright lies", "completely false", and "it's not true"; it's almost like you are omniscient to know that it has never happened to anyone. Are you omniscient?
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
How do you know that "as a member of the military my vote was never counted"? Can you provide some details on when, where, how this occured? What leads you to believe this?
Aug. 13th, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
I've been told that absentee ballots are only counted if they may possibly affect the election results, such as in the Franken/Coleman election in MN in 2008. I do not know about the veracity of that however, and no doubt it would vary from state to state regardless. Perhaps military ballots could be in a similar situation if true?

And thank you, Mr. Martin.
Aug. 14th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
All Ballots are Counted
That's long been a myth because people don't understand the vote counting process very well. Depending on the jurisdiction the absentee votes are counted first or last. Often people think when they are counted last that they aren't included. The totals you see on election night are not the certified totals. Usually some types of ballots still have to be counted, but it is not often that the remaining ballots change the outcome.

Certifications are usually made a couple weeks out after all ballots are counted with the only exception being some provisional ballots in some jurisdictions. Provisional are very different from military or absentee though. Military and absentee ballots are counted every time though.
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
Re: All Ballots are Counted
Thank you for the explanation!
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
GRRM... In 2008 when I was overseas... my absentee ballot was returned to me in the mail as "Undeliverable as addressed"... just saying...
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
Surely that was a mistake, not the result of some plot or policy.

I get stuff returned by the post office as well. Really important stuff I send registered or certified.
(no subject) - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Seamus Sullivan
Aug. 13th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
I think you've been spending too much time in your fantasy land if you see this as voter suppression, it's called providing a fair election for all candidates.
Aug. 14th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Fair Election?
Please explain how reducing polling hours for all the Ohio counties that went to Obama in 2008 and extending those hours for all the counties that went to McCain can be considered 'providing a fair election for all candidates.'

Jeremy McCaleb
Aug. 14th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
But NO credible study has shown significant fraud in voting.

This is a solution in search of a problem, so why go to any additional expense over it, especially when that expense is to the right, and actually duty, to vote in our representative republic.
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)

When I was over seas my mail in ballot got returned to me, but I lived in Massachusetts at the time so it wouldnt have mattered anyhow.
Mary Speer
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:46 am (UTC)
There were not thousands of dead people voting in 2008 or any other election. You have to have a voter registration card and you had to show some form of ID in the form of a Social Security card, utiltity bills, driver's license, etc. as well in order to vote. Show me one case of a dead person voting in 2008, besides the man who voted an absentee ballot but died before election day. You can't do it. And the idea that Obama or any of the Democrats are trying to keep soldiers from voting is a lie. If it were true, why would they be welcoming veterans and soldiers groups to file with them against the voter registration laws in Ohio and elsewhere?
All those fake names that were on Acorn registration lists? They didn't get voter registration cards, because county election clerks check those lists and verify the identity and address of the persons on there before they send them a voter registration card. Not only that, they aren't necessarily Acorn's fault, but the people that they hired to sign up voters. Acorn is only considered a Left-leaning organization because they were almost entirely black and blacks predominantly vote Democratic, although that's changing gradually, and Democrats are NOT Socialists. We're just not Fascists. Why are you swallowing all the lies that the far-right is putting out?
Aug. 12th, 2012 06:08 am (UTC)
To rebut just one of your many false charges, the issue in Ohio is not an attempt to restrict the voting rights of military members. The suit is to try to even the playing field for all Ohio voters by allowing early voting up until Monday for everyone, not just members of the military as is the current situation, on the basis that a two-tiered, early-voting process is unfair.

Don't believe everything you hear/read on the Internet, especially when it's coming from the opposing camp.
Aug. 13th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
Voting is a RIGHT
You need an ID to do just about anything else, but everything else is not a RIGHT. In our democracy every citizen of age has a right to vote regardless of their income status, education, or physical ability. These laws don't require just any photo ID, it requires a certain type of photo ID issued by a certain department that places a financial (cost of ID), physical (if you live in the many counties throughout the country without a DMV office or countless others where it is not close), and time burden (work hours lost waiting in line) to obtain. It's one thing if the state were to give free and accessible photo IDs to every citizen along with this law, but it is not so it is placing this undue burden on certain citizens in attempt to exercise their rights (which is why critics question its intentions). Think of it this way, do you have to show a photo ID anytime you exercise another right like free speech or religion? It wouldn't be much of a right then would it?

As far as integrity of the vote, let me give you some statistics about this manufactured problem that they call "voter fraud" from my home state of TX which is considering a Voter ID law. Between 2002-2010 over 20 million votes were cast in TX. About 300 voter impersonation cases (what photo ID is trying to prevent) were submitted but of those only 9 were deemed worthy of filing charges. However, the Department of Justice estimates over 600,000-700,000 registered voters in TX will not have this newly required ID to vote if this law goes through (many of which live in counties that do not have a DMV where they need obtain the necessary ID). So I ask you, what is a greater threat to our democracy? A handful of impersonators on rare occasions that likely have no effect on the outcome of any election or creating an obstacle that may prevent hundreds of thousands of CITIZENS from voting each year?
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC)
Re: Voting is a RIGHT
You only need to be three things to be eligible to vote: A citizen, 18 years or over, and registered within your precinct - where you live.
The 2000 election came down to 380 votes....just saying
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:23 am (UTC)
The 2000 election came down to 380 vote
You're wrong.

The 200 election came down to 5 votes.

The five conservative members of the Supreme Court ordered the state of Florida to STOP COUNTING THE VOTES and gave the election to GW Bush.

Yeah that was surely in the spirit and letter of letting the voters decide. A SC decision that even declared that their decision was to never be used again in legal arguments.

Edited at 2012-08-14 01:25 am (UTC)
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
Re: The 2000 election came down to 380 vote
Parrismch... using that arguement then the 33 states that have had reforendums against same sex marriage would be "Letting the voters decide" like you said?! right?! also the 2k elections is a perfect example of the Judges on the Supreme Court being human... the next example was their recent ruling on HR 3200... Nuff said.
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Voting is a RIGHT
Lep... Proving that you are entitled to those rights would not be stopping anyone from using them... your argument "do you have to show a photo ID anytime you exercise another right like free speech or religion? It wouldn't be much of a right then would it?" is missing a few key points... 1st: walking into some where and saying whatever you feel is not an official transaction nor is it being tracked (perhaps it is IDK) 2nd: Churches all over the world are considered in most cases public places. If you registered to vote, or cash SSI checks or purchase a vehicle or buy a cell phone, use your debit card, apply for a home health aide, or live in a nursing home (those 2 last ones should over the elderly and non mobile) your are supposed to have an ID card... Nuff said.
James Kessler
Aug. 13th, 2012 11:53 pm (UTC)
To Tasha Lei
And you have proof of those claims?

Oh and by the way..as for limiting voting for members of the military..yeah that's the Republicans doing that. Obama's suit is to keep the number of early voting days the same.

As for ACORN..yeah your claim about Acorn is a bald faced lie.
Craig L. Ching
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:35 am (UTC)
As GRRM said, your post is so full of misinformation that it's impossible to begin anywhere. But let me start with this. Driving is a *privilege* not a right. You don't have a constitutional right to drive in this country, as disappointed as you will be by that. But you *do* have a constitutional right to vote.

There is no voter fraud issue, only a vote suppression issue. You need to decide which "side" you're on, the side of constitutional rights or the oligarchy before you lose said right altogether.
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
Craig.. then how will one prove they are who they say they are, with out ID?
Aug. 14th, 2012 09:16 am (UTC)
You need to stop quoting fake news like Fox, it only makes you look, shall we say, woefully uninformed. According to the National Republican Lawyers Association, a Republican organization that has every reason to overinflate their numbers, there have only been 340 cases of voter fraud in the entirety of the United States over the past 10 years (including voter registration fraud, which is way different from actual voter fraud). Think about that for a second and then look at what you posted.

Republicans know exactly what they are doing by forcing voters to get IDs and they know exactly who it hurts (hint hint, it's not Richie Rich or even Average Joe, but anyone who struggles to make ends meet on a fixed income will not be able to vote).

Case in point, the Republicans did not push for the same stringent demands of absantee voters. Do you know why this is? It's because Republicans by and large vote absantee and by putting the same demands on absantee voters would hurt themselves. This is not about protecting the sanctity of voting and preventing voter fraud. This is about disenfranchising poor voters who would vote Democrat.

You might want to look into getting your news from somewhere else.
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
Craig.. then how will one prove they are who they say they are, with out ID?


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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