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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.



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.
Quintin Steeves
Aug. 14th, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
George it had the address right on it... Not that my GOP vote would have mattered much in Massachussetts LOL but I digress...
Aug. 14th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
So... I'm curious... why do you imagine it was returned?

A sealed ballot. No way anyone could tell how you voted.

What could it be besides an error?
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.


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

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