So about that GOP voter suppression

I know some people insist it’s just about avoiding voter fraud. How about this one?

After the recount debacle in Florida in 2000, allowing voters to cast their ballots early emerged as a popular bipartisan reform. Early voting not only meant shorter lines on Election Day, it has helped boost turnout in a number of states — the true measure of a successful democracy. "I think it's great," Jeb Bush said in 2004....But Republican support for early voting vanished after Obama utilized it as a key part of his strategy in 2008.
....That may explain why both Florida and Ohio — which now have conservative Republican governors — have dramatically curtailed early voting for 2012. Next year, early voting will be cut from 14 to eight days in Florida and from 35 to 11 days in Ohio, with limited hours on weekends. [B]In addition, both states banned voting on the Sunday before the election — a day when black churches historically mobilize their constituents.[/B]

Do de do de do


I swear, if brett’s reply to this includes the phrases founding fathers, lazy voters, or “the democrats do it too”, I’m going to slap him.

Early voting helped the Republicans in 2010 though, at least in North Carolina.

That said, I think early voting is a great idea, as it makes it easier for folks who work to get out and vote.

Having elections on Tuesdays is idiotic. I don’t care if the Founders intended it, it’s stupid. Just because George Washington had a cow’s tooth as a dental appliance doesn’t mean I need to slavishly follow in his footsteps.

Oh yeah??? Well, the Democrats do it somehow too, um, insert example.

(I have a migraine so I can’t do this right but someone has to insert equivalency argument or it won’t be P&R and this topic will die without a single personal attack ;) )

Insert example? I guess you don’t get a lot of right-wingers in here. Usually on the internet when someone brings up voter suppression there’s at least six people screaming about Al Franken and ACORN and the New Black Panthers That Obama Wouldn’t Prosecute Because He’s a Black Black Blackity Black Sympathizer (also he’s Black).

I think I’m going to like it here.

Jeff, you bastard. This is so typical of you. Why are you constantly attacking me like this for no reason?

Thank you. Ahhhhh… that’s worth taking the ice off my migrainey head for. :)

…on the actual topic of the thread…

…voter suppression, electoral fraud, campaign finance, gerrymandering, dishonest advertising, &c &c… all seem to fall into the basket of a kind of “category error” wrt how democratic systems work. Which is to say, the system we use to determine who will be our government is also used to police our standards of governance and our methods of refining the system itself, and it’s a binary system (either R or D wins at the end of any given election) and what all that means is… there’s too much weight placed on an imperfect “frame” and not enough strength in the “meta-frame” and over time the whole thing is liable to degenerate rather than evolve.

To put it in less abstract terms, given the option to vote on the single issue of whether or not we think voter suppression is a good idea, I’m sure a solid majority would be against it. But we don’t get to vote on single issues; we get to vote on an integrated “lump” of policies and philosophies attached to particular individuals, and especially given a highly polarised polity, stuff like having a somewhat fairer and more functional electoral process doesn’t even get a look in. This being the case, in each subsequent iteration of the system we’d expect the functioning of the electoral process to be even less fair and functional than the previous time around… until and unless things reach a crisis point and substantial numbers of people start clamoring for improvements. Until then… expect this kind of thing to get steadily worse.

Gee Jason. How do you explain that Hawaii’s new Governor Neil Abercrombie, with 90+ liberal rating, is doing the same thing. Cutting back on early voting hours and also not allowing early voting on Sunday’s. (FYI, Hawaii’s elections are held on Saturday except for national elections).

Yes it must be a vast right wing conspiracy.

It couldn’t possibly be because the budget for Office of Election in virtually all states have been cut back severely. Or that early elections typically are staffed by permanent state election board employees who cost twice or 3x , as much as the normal election temporary worker who get paid $100 or so for 12 hours of work. But of course all cutbacks by Republican governors for services are an attempt to screw poor people and especially Democrats.

As for being closed on Sunday, yes it must be to keep black churches from sending their members to the poll after the church. Because the Evangelist churches, with lots of Republican members meet on a different day when the polls are open and never organize there members. (May I suggest you do a bit of research on which party is more religious)

I couldn’t be possible that these same election employee are union members and get paid overtime or even double time for working on Sundays, making it very expensive to hold early elections on Sunday. No sir not a chance.

I don’t post links to Fox without imagining that just possibly I am not getting the whole story. Perhaps you might want to consider the Mother Jones,isn’t exactly a fair and balanced source either.

Well, the fact is (This is my best attempt at “fair and balanced”, LOL, with my headache) is that both sides fight for whatever will get them the most votes. I have no illusions that the Democrats fight for certain polling rules and no ID required for voting because of some noble stand, but rather because it favors voters who traditionally help them. And the GOP will do the same for whatever helps them. One category that tends to vote Democratic is the poor and another is minorities, so the Republicans are willing to be douchebags to do whatever will help them in the polls. My gut tells me that if those least likely to have drivers licenses and other govt. ID voted overwhelmingly GOP the Democrats would be extremely concerned about voter fraud.

Nothing more to add then to just say Jeff and Strollen both have posted very good posts on this subject and hopefully others here will read and understand what they are saying.

It’s so convenient that the Democratic attempts to allow more people to exercise their right to vote is a positive for them. Must be some kind of conspiracy.

Ohio’s governor is too busy doing far worse things this year to worry about voting in 2012. Besides, we screw up our elections the day of, not before.

It’s happening here in Maine, too. We’ve had both early voting and same-day registration for like 40 years, and our new GOP-led legislature struck it down. A citizens’ initiative has already gotten the signatures necessary to put a referendum on a ballot, though.

Can you name a single thing the Democrats do to disenfranchise groups that vote for the GOP? For reference, remember when Lieberman allowed late military votes to be counted in Florida 2000; no other late votes were counted.

I would be all for elections being a week long with just election Tuesdays just being the final day. Maybe you get a few more people. And if done right fraud (if any) would be kept to a minimum.

I’m sorry, but cost-saving measures that suppress voting are anti-democratic. Yes, we need to cut costs, but we don’t cut costs when it suppresses voting.

We need to encourage voting, not discourage it.

Can you name a single thing the Democrats do to disenfranchise groups that vote for the GOP?

Well, if the idea of reducing early voting is assumed to be for the purpose of disenfranchisement, then apparently they’re doing exactly that as Strollen pointed out.

But that’s the thing, isn’t it? Perhaps it’s not about disenfranchising voters.

This is one of those things where the GOP doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt. They’ve been shown to do enough shady stuff around the franchise in the past ten years or so that the assumption for liberals is that when they decide to limit the franchise somehow it’s being done for political reasons.

There’s also the fact that (Hawaii aside) there is no equivalency. You simply don’t find Democrats engaged in a systemic effort to limit the franchise of groups that tend to vote Republican.