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US politics > Voter ID Laws

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message 1: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy My state of NH now has voter ID laws. I have been protesting every election since then. I refuse to show any ID. I go through a few hoops and then vote. I sign an affidavit and swear I am who I say and then in a few months I get a postcard from the secretary of state. I wish the whole state followed me so we could stop the law.

Any of you facing voter ID laws?

message 4: by Lorin (new)

Lorin | 9 comments In Iowa, we still do not have to show ID, but many people running polling station in rural areas still ask for photo ID. Republicans constantly bring up the A.L.E.C. talking points about voter fraud, even though there was only a single case in 2012, too soon to check for this year.
Harsh laws to make it difficult to vote, or intimidate voters seem third world trend, but only 30% of eligible voters voting does show it to be affective.

message 5: by Mark (new)

Mark | 785 comments Hi, Lorin!

Good to see you back. I think the Republicans have effectively established de facto electoral nullification, at this point, so your report of events in Iowa seems wholly consistent. You ought to pitch in over in the general discussion at "Reality-Based Chat," as well. (Btw, of the books on your TBR, I'd really strongly recommend The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science--and Reality.)

message 6: by Lorin (new)

Lorin | 9 comments Thanks Mark.

I've never left, but am a bit in awe of some of the really good minds posting here. I'll certainly be around to read everything, comment when I have something to offer, but have and will most certainly use what I read here in debates with the right.

message 7: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy One thing I will share about my little protest with not showing my ID. There was one woman who was cold to me. I didn't care for it at all. It's almost like I can predict her party. But the last thing I wanted was to start any arguments. I would never not vote.

message 8: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Pellettier | 99 comments er....I've found the best and the most infuriating book about voter ID "laws"/electoral fraud is Greg Palast's book Billionaires and Ballot bandits: How to steal an election in 9 easy steps. It beggars belief that Karl Rove has not been prosecuted for electoral fraud/widescale voter suppression, but he's obviously cagey about which States he pulls off his shenanigans in. It's up to an individual state's Sec'y of State to prosecute, and actuallyseveral republican Sec'ies of state have inaugurated proceedings against him, but he and the machine have oustered them before he could be prosecuted. lovely. It's time for Eric Holder or his rplacement to step in. or U.N. observers.....

message 9: by Mark (last edited Nov 27, 2014 10:12PM) (new)

Mark | 785 comments Hi, Malcolm!

Thanks for joining in the discussion! I'd encourage you also to comment (any time you feel thus impelled) on the primary discussion thread ("Reality-Based Chat").

Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps (I've provided the link for members who may be interested) is, indeed, both revelatory and horrifying. I'm not incredulous that Rove (whose methods so mirror those of Joseph Goebbels, at the very least, and who has been claimed actually to have acknowledged some of that inspiration -- though I've been having trouble finding the quote I encountered in a book several years ago) has never been touched.

When the ideological affinity and propagandistic methodology is so overwhelmingly obviously derivative, I have no problem violating "Godwin's Law," so I'll also reference this 2006 article from dailykos, which I think makes many of the same points Palast does:

This quote from Goering (taken from the Nuremberg trials) seems further to inform (or coincide with) Rove's and the Republican's modus operandi:

“Naturally the common people don’t want war. But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”

Certainly, the Iraq and Afghan wars make it hard to refute the last sentence of that quotation. It's why we've named the mechanism of obliteration of the American Constitution, "The Patriot Act."

As for why Rove's never been prosecuted, I think he's immune to prosecution in virtue of the real powers by whom he's always been supported and protected. In the actual hierarchy of power in this country, I'm afraid Eric Holder doesn't hold a candle.

message 10: by Malcolm (last edited Nov 28, 2014 05:25AM) (new)

Malcolm Pellettier | 99 comments Hello Mark.
thanks for your comment.
Yeah. I'm familiar with the fact that the entire neo-con braintrust is beholden to Goebbels, Lenin, and if you read your chomsky, George Creel's propagandistic lessons, including the old socialist credo "no compromise," which pretty much explains Republican Congressional obstructionism in 2 words.

As for Rove, I'm actually a Canuck lawyer, so it's very difficult for me to look at what he's doing Stateside, and not (sort of) internalize it by comparing how our legal system would handle it. Our Constitution, which is called the Charter (of Rights and Freedoms) is much younger and much more progressive than you 200 yr old Bill of Rights. There's also a stronger Federal jurisdictional history and jurisprudence on our side (so no States Rights confusion up here). Any ways, Rove's tactics are so patently discriminatory that our Charter would dissallow virtually all of his voter suppression tactics irrespective of the laws' avowed purpose (namely, eliminating voter fraud) precisely because the EFFECTS of Wide scale voter suppression are, as I said, so patently discriminatory (against minorities, blacks, latinos, native americans).

I know that there is similar constitutional reasoning, and judicial tests in the U.S., but I gathered from Palast, that it does become a jurisdictional issue, as mentioned; namely, it's up to any given State's secretary of State to prosecute, and Rove (and I use Rove as short form for the neo-con brain-trust/machine) controls who becomes Secretary of State. (Pallast tells us that recalcitrant Sec's of State have inaugurated proceedings against Rove, but they were always dropped, cause Rove had the Sec's of State replaced) I simply don't know enough about your a) jurisprudence re: voting, and b)the separation of powers re: feds vs. states to know if Eric Holder (and by that I mean the federal justic department) can intervene. It appears that the state level Justice system can't be trusted to prosecute this fairly. Hell, I don't even trust SCOTUS, given they vitiated the Voting Rights Act.

It beggars belief to watch this happen, and of course, anything your neo-cons perfect down there, get adopted whole hog, by ours up here, so it's very important to keep an eye on the governmentin' goin' on at the state level as Charles Pierce likes to call it, basically for a preview of what's coming federally for you, and for us.

message 11: by Malcolm (new)

Malcolm Pellettier | 99 comments ...and thank you. I'll try to keep up with your "reality based chat room." I used to check in all the time. I'll have to start again.


message 12: by Mark (last edited Nov 30, 2014 12:29PM) (new)

Mark | 785 comments Thanks again for your participation, Malcolm. I can certainly understand your dismay, as an attorney in a country that still has a non-theoretical Constitution (or "Charter") -- and clearly, a better one -- in contemplating the disintegration of your southern neighbor as a functioning democracy, and what that might portend for your own political future. I think, if it's any consolation, that one possible buffer against that prospect that you enjoy (and that we don't) is a generally literate (or, at least, functionally literate) populace, perhaps less susceptible to über-right-wing derangement syndrome, and the absence of a whole region still immured in antebellum ideology. (Though I don't doubt you have your own lunatics, the ground is less-well fertilized by massive, stunning ignorance and the prevalence of people who think that there is no global warming, and that their great-grandparents must have ridden dinosaurs). (per your reference to Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free)

Concerning SCOTUS, of course you're right not to trust them. Leaving aside their complicity in the theft of the election in 2000, and their wholesale destruction of democracy via Citizens vs. United, at least four members (and probably five) are verifiable Federalist Society sock puppets. Whenever it matters for the furtherance of some truly pernicious agenda, though, Kennedy will throw in with the other four, whether or not he's actually a member or affiliate.

I know it must "beggar belief" to observe all this from your side of the border, but from my side, it is impossible to believe that the objective isn't, ultimately, to make beggars of us all.

message 13: by Malcolm (last edited Nov 30, 2014 01:45PM) (new)

Malcolm Pellettier | 99 comments Yeah. I'm not sanguine about replacing Notorious RBG now. I don't foresee any executive appointment getting past this new congress, which could be disastrous.

I hear you re: US. demographics and geographics. You guys have a lovely antebellum history including a civil war, of course, that we just don't have, and yes, the right preys on ,and perpetuates, a general lack of education in myriad ways, least of all evangelism. I gather your lack of Federal educational standards is partly guilty in this regard, but never discount the right's willingness to completely de-fund public education.

The only thing is that all is not well in Canuck land. We currently have our very own Goerge W. as Prime Minister and have done for the past 10 years, which is insane. Of course, there was controversy surrounding his election too - a robocalls scandal, mis-directing voters in tight districts to the wrong voting stations, etc (I wonder where he learned that?!) - but our elections laws are actually fairly toothless, and a series of underlings have fallen on their swords for this jackass. Sadly, the neo-cons have been a force in this country since before Newt Gingrich's contract with America (was it?). They've been elected and have destroyed some of our most populace and prosperous provinces, before getting elected federally. Yes, we, as a country ,have tradtionally been centre-left, whereas you've been centre right, (at best), and lately I keep thinking that we have Quebec to thank for that. Quebec is our second largest province population-wise, seems to always vote as a block, and carries on like a european social democracy.

What's really upsetting though, for us as Canucks, is the Fox News creep going on that, sadly, is pretty darn effective with even seemingly well educated folk. Our version is Sun Media, which is available over all outlets (newpaper, AM radio, dedicated television station, etc). We do, admittedly, have a MUCH stronger public broadcaster which is vital IMHO, but the neo-cons are ruthless in their calls to de-fund it, quie transparently for ideological reasons.

Nah, sadly you all have a gravitational pull on the rest of the continent it seems. Our politics have been ineluctably dragged rightwards. Right now, federally the big conundrum is that we have our version of the Democrats (liberals) in addition to a fairly traditional labour party (the NDP) who are splitting the left vote and enabling the neo-cons to get in. There's a tremendous discussion going on currently about whether the two parties should merge. Back in 2006 the 2 parties could have formed a coalition government to oust our current neo-con, but they were too head-strong to do the right thing, and we've paid the price for the last 10 years. Many fear a repeat scenario in 2015's federal election.

As for you all, I am not completely despairing, though I'm not overly confident. The right owns the airwaves, and has translated that into dominating at the state legislature level. However, I do think that the more these yahoos are allowed to govern, the more of a grass-roots groundswell against them will mobilize, kinda like the populist or the progressive movements during the gilded age. The question will be whether they can muster adequate political currency to effect significant changes without having to go through, say, the twin holocausts of a Great Depression and a World War, before NEW Deal leftyism is brought back.

message 14: by Mary (new)

Mary Sisney | 322 comments Deep blue California does not have a Voter I.D. law, but folks still find reasons not to vote. Of course, many people use the absentee ballot here, which could obviously lead to voter fraud. If I were sleazy, I could vote twice, once in person and once using my 86-year-old, Independent-since-Clinton's-nasty-boy-antics mother's absentee ballot, but I vote the way she wants to when filling out her ballot, which is not always the way I would vote, especially on propositions. She voted for Proposition 8 (the anti-gay marriage one) in 2008, for instance.

The main point I like to make when debating the I.D. laws with conservatives is that in addition to proving that Republicans don't really believe in a democracy because they are more concerned with illegitimate voting than with the millions of eligible voters who don't vote, the focus on voter fraud is a more subtle way than the birther nonsense to suggest that this legitimately elected President is not really legitimate. Why did we become so concerned with fraudulent voting after 2008?

message 15: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy It has nothing to do with fraud. It's all about preventing people from voting. And ALEC led the way:

message 16: by Jimmy (new)

message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary Sisney | 322 comments Those were good articles, Jimmy, although I think I read the Salon one earlier. We also can't forget how the conservative justices gutted the Voting Rights Act. The Republicans don't want people to vote.

message 18: by Brooke (new)

Brooke Just moved back to TN and yep, I now will have to show an ID. An effective deterrent for the very large Mexican and Kurdish populations here. In DC, this was not required. Of course, the congressperson I voted for in DC doesn't actually have a vote. That whole "Taxation Without Representation" thing. Something for another day.

message 19: by Mary (new)

Mary Sisney | 322 comments You moved back to TN, Brooke? You're a braver person than I am. I will never move back to Kentucky. But the lack of representation in Congress for DC should bother liberals. We shouldn't want any part of our country to be disenfranchised. Of course, we don't really have a representative government when California has the same number of Senators as Rhode Island, Alaska, and Wyoming. And let's not talk about taxation. Many of the blue states pay more in taxes than they receive from the federal government. I'll give Gropenator Arnold S. credit for pointing that out about California when he somehow became our governor, but he never was able to collect any of that money that he said he was going to Washington to get.

message 20: by Brooke (new)

Brooke I did Mary, but only because I couldn't get the healthcare I needed in DC. It is almost impossible, unless you are in the top wealth bracket, and even then, I knew people who had difficulties. I can't even imagine what those living at the poverty level there must live with. It's a broken place, but one I may move back to in the future so that I can help improve it. TN though, oy. Even the "Democrats" are Republicans.

message 21: by Mary (new)

Mary Sisney | 322 comments Yeah, I think the Southern Democrats tend necessarily to be more conservative. Right now there are no Democratic Senators from the South because they weren't conservative enough for those Tea Party racist types who vote in those states now.

message 22: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy The NH Supreme Court just declared our law "unreasonable." Good for them! The newest addition to the law was to force me to have my picture taken at the voting booth. Can you believe that?

I am really proud of myself for standing up against this law.

message 23: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy Kudos to Hillary Clinton for speaking out about voting rights today.

message 24: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy Here's a story from Texas:

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