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Author Topic: RIP Voting Rights Act
Blayne Bradley
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Since the USA elected a black man clearly systemic and institutionalized racism doesn't exist anymore, ergo it is no longer needed.
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Tittles
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Good riddance.
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Blayne Bradley
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Looks like we have a winner.
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Parkour
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What do you mean, "RIP Voting Rights Act"?

I see nothing in the news that says it is gone.

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Sphinx
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It's not gone yet, though the consensus amongst legal prognosticators (for whatever their opinions are worth) is that SCOTUS will strike down at least the coverage formula of the VRA, if not all of Section 5 of the VRA, when it decides Shelby County v. Holder. Section 5 requires certain states/counties with a history of black voter disenfranchisement to 'pre-clear' any changes they make to voting procedures with the Dept. of Justice. The formula is what determines which states/counties need to pre-clear, and it hasn't been updated since 1975.

For a fairly good run-down: http://www.npr.org/2013/02/27/173086612/conservative-justices-doubt-ongoing-validity-of-1965-voting-rights-act

It's been in the news because the Court heard oral arguments on the subject last week. The decision won't actually come down for a few more months, though.

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Samprimary
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So does anyone really seriously want to argue that conservatives haven't been concertedly targeting minorities with disenfranchisement schemes even in this last election? Does anyone really want to argue that that's not what they were doing? I'll wait.
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Tittles
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I think they were targeting liberal voters, and minority voters skew liberal. They were also targeting poor voters, and there are quite a few white poor people, if not in the same ratio as minorities.

I don't believe that the problem lays in people fighting against black votes because they're black and don't deserve to vote, more like they don't vote for the right person.

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Blayne Bradley
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And even though the VRA, at least in the south prevents this regardless, you would prefer it be gone and poor people and minorities be not allowed to vote because they don't vote for the right reason?

Even if we suppose that the reasons for voter disenfranchisement in the US is for Not Racist!(tm) reasons, but instead classist, if the VRA prevents it from happening in a number of states and counties does it matter?

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Samprimary
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quote:
And even though the VRA, at least in the south prevents this regardless, you would prefer it be gone and poor people and minorities be not allowed to vote because they don't vote for the right reason?
see blayne likes to say people are saying things they aren't saying at all so
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Tittles:
I think they were targeting liberal voters, and minority voters skew liberal. They were also targeting poor voters, and there are quite a few white poor people, if not in the same ratio as minorities.

The policies they have enacted in certain states have impacted high minority districts in ways that don't correspond in a parallel strength association to what would be economic targeting, and this has been the case for multiple techniques, including the purposeful understaffing of minority districts, purge schemes. One scheme in Allegheny County found that the 59 targeted precincts were, in sum, over 79% black, omitted precincts well within the same socioeconomic range (which were much less black), and the nontargeted precincts contained less than 11% black registered voters on average.

Rice University has detailed GOP minority-targeting voter caging and intimidation that literally dates unbroken back to the civil rights era.

As in, the same programs which today we would have a hard time dismissing as a conspiracy or an unproven "you can't say they weren't just targeting poors" (not like that's much better) just continued unabated but I guess the argument is that since the world's so much better for minorities / post racial / whatever, that it is much less credible to call it racial targeting on the part of conservatives, yet they're essentially identical, carried on by the same party. It's the very common refrain of "protecting against voter fraud" — apparently really spontaneously important in swing districts in multiple states with lots of minorities — despite the fact that voters are typically more likely to have been struck by lightning than to have committed voter fraud. And, concludes the report, these programs "are intended to have a chilling effect on voting," and "almost exclusively target heavily black, Latino, or Indian voting precincts."

IN ADDITION

Multiple recent admissions from within Republican ranks have surfaced, both private and public, that caging and similar so-called "ballot security campaigns" are intended to suppress the black vote. In 2004, John Pappageorge told a meeting of Oakland County Republican Party members that "if we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election." Yeah, suppress. The word he used is suppress. Detroit's population is 83 percent black, and I will say that while Pappageorge was looking to suppress the Detroit vote he was entirely against racial targeting whatsoever as part of his suppression need, because I'm completely naive.

Multiple other admissions from unnamed but confirmed sources, as well as people who have broken rank with the Republicans, all match up with this; former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer admitted the voting chaos was the result of nefarious GOP efforts to suppress the vote, which when analyzed, turned out to have (of course entirely coincidentally, because, as before, I'm totally naive) heavily preferencing minority racial demographic above even socioeconomic demographic, past voting record demos, etc.

Greer's allegations got backed up by Florida's ex-Republican Gov. Charlie Christ, GOP consultant Wayne Bertsch, and another unnamed Republican consultant.

One said: "I know that the cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that's a big day when the black churches organize themselves,"


AND this all got upheld by a court ruling with findings of fact ..

quote:
Parts of HB 1355 were overturned by a panel of federal judges in August, partially due to its anticipated impact on minority turnout. The three judge panel ruled that a "dramatic reduction in the form of voting that is disproportionately used by African-Americans would make it materially more difficult for some minority voters to cast a ballot than under the benchmark law.”
.. AND it matches up, unbroken, to similar overturnings from the same minority protection laws as were used in Texas under their confirmed racially disenfranchising gerrymandering schemes ..

quote:
Lawmakers drew some districts that looked like Latino majority districts on paper — but removed Latinos who voted regularly and replaced them with Latinos who were unlikely to vote.

In the redistricting case, a panel of three federal judges found that Texas lawmakers had intentionally created districts that would weaken the influence of Latino voters, while appearing to satisfy the requirements of the Voting Rights Act.

In drawing Texas' 23rd congressional district, the judges found that "The mapdrawers consciously replaced many of the district's active Hispanic voters with low-turnout Hispanic voters in an effort to strengthen the voting power of [Congressional District] 23's Anglo citizens. In other words, they sought to reduce Hispanic voters' ability to elect without making it look like anything in [Congressional District] 23 had changed."

and blah blah blah more crist/greer whatever

quote:
Jim Greer, the former chair of the Florida Republican Party, has accused the GOP of engaging in voter suppression, in statements given under sworn testimony in a deposition surrounding a lawsuit he filed over an unpaid severance. Greer claims he became uncomfortable with leading the party when an official began to openly discuss voter suppression tactics that would keep blacks from participating in the electoral process.

The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that incident occurred, according to Greer, after he had just completed a December 2009 meeting with party general counsel Jason Gonzalez, political consultant Jim Rimes and Eric Eikenberg, ex-Florida governor Charlie Crist’s chief of staff.

“I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.

etc

quote:
In the deposition, released to the press yesterday, Greer mentioned a December 2009 meeting with party officials. “I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting,” he said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He also said party officials discussed how “minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party,” according to the AP.
I mean okay you can dismiss Greer's testimony entirely cause he was a no good thief or something and he's got a bone to pick, but other people who are not in the no good thief category really just keep confirming what he's said.
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Lyrhawn
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It's a shame if that's the way they go. The VRA needs to stick around, and it needs to be heavily strengthened, not gutted.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Tittles:
I think they were targeting liberal voters, and minority voters skew liberal. They were also targeting poor voters, and there are quite a few white poor people, if not in the same ratio as minorities.

No. Minorities are targeted due to their high visibility, and due to racial prejudice against them, and the suspicions that the Republican Party fosters and plays upon to its base, that they are not loyal to or "of" the same nation or the same conception of a nation as good old fashioned white people.

This forms, in some senses, an open loop: going back to manumission of the slaves, and the influx of the Chinese and Japanese in the west, and Italians and Irish in the East (and now Mexicans from the south), these groups have benefited from and been enfranchised by liberally minded policies that focus on shared social opportunities, and the weakening of oligarchical financial and political structures.

In the 19th century, the Republican party was the party fighting against oligarchy. But as the north industrialized and the age of the Capitalist truly dawned, the pro-reform, liberally minded Republican party because dominated by "liberal economic," ideals, which favored business freedoms and, more and more, the new oligarchies of the factory farm and the business tycoon, which were replacing that of the plantation and the landed gentry.

So Republicanism became a new type of conservatism, where liberal economic policies were not focused on individual freedoms as a necessary element of a vibrant economy (the main economic argument against slavery was that it destroyed the consumer and artisan classes), but were instead focused on the freedoms of businesses and business owners, sometimes at the expense of individuals.

So the democratic party, full of the remnants of an oligarchy that was no longer empowered, became the greater champion of individual rights, as concerned the political and economic enfranchisement of individuals, and the protection of individual opportunity against the harsh tides of misfortune. Thus, it slowly attracted the loyalty of the millions of minorities and immigrants who were being used and often abused by Republican empowered captains of industry, and who found that the party that previously championed the middle class, now merely sang sweet songs to the middle class about the promise of future wealth. The Democratic party became the party of the working man and the middle class.

As it is today: Republicans and the party itself, is choosing between enticing a smaller and more virulent base, which is marked by xenophobia, anti-government sentiments, and paradoxically inflated patriotism, and the rest of the electorate, which is increasingly made up of minorities who have benefited from liberal social policies, and are often more sympathetic to the politically and economically disenfranchised than the "tea party" conservative voter.

And they have been choosing the shrinking and increasingly shrill base. This will probably change by the next presidential election (and if it doesn't, and they do run an even crazier conservative, then it will be a landslide defeat for the national party that will jeopardize its future existence), but for now, many elements of the conservative movement are making a concerted, last ditch effort to erode the government's ability to enforce voting rights and fair elections. This gambit is doomed to failure, partly because it is just not of the times, and partly because they don't want to win badly enough to actually openly declare themselves as a party against minorities in America.

Not to mention, not all of the Republican party *are* racists. And many of them are good enough politicians to chaff at the notion of throwing away votes by actively subverting people's civil liberties.

See, you can't target poor people and try to get them not to vote. And anyway, Republicans are actively seeking the votes of poor people who a) fear that which is foreign, and b) aspire to be like rich white people. They don't want to disenfranchise the poor- they want to entice the poor. And they do in large numbers. But black people? Mexicans? Asians? They are conveniently segmented into identifiable groups with unique culture, habits, places of abode, etc. And they are not all rich and they are not all poor. What they are is overwhelmingly loyal to the Democratic party. And with good reason. that is why they are being targeted.

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Darth_Mauve
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Great post Orincoro--factual without demonizing anyone.

I would add that the present primary system in the US makes retreating from the extremes very difficult for the Republicans. To win the Primary they need their base, but to win the full election they need to steer to the center for the undecided and any unhappy Democrats. The extremes promise no compromise with the Democrats, so the result is stalemate. Nobody gets anything done. While this is a Libertarian ideal--the government that governs best is the government that governs least, it is becoming apparent to the majority of Americans that some time of governing needs to be done.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Great post Orincoro--factual without demonizing anyone.

I would add that the present primary system in the US makes retreating from the extremes very difficult for the Republicans. To win the Primary they need their base, but to win the full election they need to steer to the center for the undecided and any unhappy Democrats. The extremes promise no compromise with the Democrats, so the result is stalemate. Nobody gets anything done. While this is a Libertarian ideal--the government that governs best is the government that governs least, it is becoming apparent to the majority of Americans that some time of governing needs to be done.

Exactly. And Republicans have a double-bind these days in that sense- something that started as a win-win, and is taking its toll on the party's politics. By being the "anti-government" party, Republicans have won the loyalty of some libertarians and "big C" capitalists, but they have also been forced to take steps to weaken government, even in places where doing so had no actual demonstrable benefit outside of mere political expediency. They used to benefit from weakening political institutions and then blaming government for failing to accomplish its goals in the face of their own concerted attempts to subvert it. But the population as a whole has slowly caught on to the game- and at this point, the old trick has become a political liability: something the Republican base expects the party to do, and more importantly, a modus operandi its largest financial benefactors depend on it continuing to do.
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Samprimary
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quote:
As it is today: Republicans and the party itself, is choosing between enticing a smaller and more virulent base, which is marked by xenophobia, anti-government sentiments, and paradoxically inflated patriotism, and the rest of the electorate, which is increasingly made up of minorities who have benefited from liberal social policies, and are often more sympathetic to the politically and economically disenfranchised than the "tea party" conservative voter.
quote:
"Self-described conservative Republicans represent only about 20 percent of the population. This base is not necessarily becoming smaller; it's still alive and kicking. What is true, however, is that the (1) base has never been sufficient to form a winning electoral coalition, and (2) that there are fewer and fewer non-base (e.g. moderates, libertarian Republicans, Republican leaning-independents). As these moderates have fled the GOP, the party's electoral fortunes have tanked. But simultaneously, they have had less and less influence on the Republican message.

Thus the Republicans, arguably, are in something of a death spiral. The more conservative, partisan, and strident their message becomes, the more they alienate non-base Republicans. But the more they alienate non-base Republicans, the fewer of them are left to worry about appeasing. Thus, their message becomes continually more appealing to the base -- but more conservative, partisan, and strident to the rest of us. And the process loops back upon itself."

as usual, I have to note that death throes are never pretty, and desperation tends to make things stink. The outright and obvious voter suppression attempts in the last three major elections, and the extent to which they have felt pressed and transparent, speak to that. Racial, or otherwise.

The GOP has reached the point where in most parts of the country they cannot win unless they concertedly suppress minority votes. They are acting on this.

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Colin Fraizer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
So does anyone really seriously want to argue that conservatives haven't been concertedly targeting minorities with disenfranchisement schemes even in this last election? Does anyone really want to argue that that's not what they were doing? I'll wait.

I would seriously argue that your accusation is untrue. (I consider myself a libertarian and have beliefs that overlap with some conservatives.)

I think many people who would prefer Republicans over Democrats are justifiably concerned about the impact of voter fraud on our elections. In response to the perception that voter fraud takes place, laws making such fraud less likely have been passed.

*My* perception is that groups aligned with the Democratic Party *have* engaged in or tacitly encouraged voter fraud, but I would support reasonable measures to prevent such fraud regardless.

*My* perception is that voter fraud is more common on the left than on the right, but that's the nice thing about neutrally applied laws that protect the rights of everyone.

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MattP
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quote:
*My* perception is that groups aligned with the Democratic Party *have* engaged in or tacitly encouraged voter fraud, but I would support reasonable measures to prevent such fraud regardless.
Which groups. ACORN? They had a number of cases where their canvassers engaged in registration fraud, the bulk of which were reported by ACORN itself. This type of fraud deprives organizations like ACORN of the money that they pay to canvassers but doesn't actually result in fraudulent votes since registration fraud generally involves the use of fictitious names (Bart Simpson!) or multiple registrations for the same name which represent a person that can still only vote once.

Meanwhile, there are multiple republican sources indicating that voter fraud is not a real problem and/or that "fraud prevention" laws are really about vote suppression.

quote:
*My* perception is that voter fraud is more common on the left than on the right, but that's the nice thing about neutrally applied laws that protect the rights of everyone.
A neutrally applied law can easily be prejudicial. Read up on poll taxes and literacy tests for some of the more abhorrent examples of these laws in our history. Incidentally, it's laws like these that led to the Voting Rights Act in the first place.
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Lyrhawn
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Republicans would have you believe that neutrally applied Voter ID laws would in fact protect everyone, but the facts on the ground support the supposition that they heavily target groups that tend to vote Democrat. GOP legislators have come right out and openly admitted that these laws will guarantee them victories, the most egregious case being in Pennsylvania.

And all of them were undertaken when there isn't a single study which suggests A. that voter fraud at the polls is a significant problem, or that B. VID laws will actually solve it.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Colin Fraizer:

*My* perception is that voter fraud is more common on the left than on the right, but that's the nice thing about neutrally applied laws that protect the rights of everyone.

*Your* perception is wrong, in the sense that voter fraud is about as common as conjoined twins. And when I say, about as common, I mean 1/100th as common. So calling it "more" common on the right, is sort of like calling 5 leaf clovers more common that 6 leaf clovers. It is a distinction based on no available facts. And the fact aren't available because there aren't any.


The thing about *rights,* as they have been recently defined by Republican rhetoric, is that they seem to be some sort of analogue for "rules." Like "everyone has the same rights," is the same as saying: "the same rules apply to everyone."

Thus you aren't trampling someone's "rights" when you say they can't marry the person they love, because "we all follow the same rules," and marriage is between a man and a woman. Thus a gay man can still marry- he just has to marry a woman.

Basically, the confusion lies with people believing that the law favors an equal application of the "rules" on all people, regardless of the nature of the rule- ignoring the fact that for this to lead to an equitable system of justice would require that *everyone be the same*. A rule like: "you must have been born on a tuesday in order to be eligable to vote," is a rule that can be "equally applied," but nevertheless ignores any provision of individual rights. So too with Voter ID laws- they can be equally applied, but they will flout the rights of individuals without IDs to vote- rights which are not negated by non-compliance with the rules. I know that's a toughie, but it's the truth: not following the rules does not negate anyone's rights.

If you like- equate it with the accused criminal's right to counsel: even a person suspected of a crime has the same rights as you and me. The suspicion of guilt- even a conviction on that basis, has no effect on those rights.

The same applies to voting rights. Republicans now apparently think it's ok to actively attempt to circumvent a person's right to vote: that person being a citizen of the United States and resident of any given state or country or municipality, because of "rules," such as voter ID (and in the past, literacy or poll taxes).

The upshot being that conservatives confuse the rights of people with the ability of government to impose and enforce rules. They mistakenly believe, or at least want to believe, that as long as a rule, no matter how prejudicial, is "equallly applied" to all, then it is not a violation of rights- no matter its intent, or effect.

I could explain some things to you about what a "protected class" is, and what impact that has on the actual legal implications of prejudicial laws... but you have to express some interest in the actual facts first. So far, we just have your perceptions.

[ March 07, 2013, 08:30 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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Thesifer
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I say we stop discriminating against previously (and currently) racist southern states. Change the voting rights act to include EVERY state needing Federal approval to redistrict, or change voting laws.
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Tittles
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Sam and Orincoro - You raise good points that I hadn't considered. I still find it a little hard to believe that these tactics target blacks(or whoever) for being black as opposed to being poor or for voting Democratic, but perhaps I am just naive. I'm no expert in voting laws or the politics behind them.

Thesifer also raises a good point. The VRA hasn't done much to stop shenanigans in Ohio or Wisconsin.

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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Tittles:
I still find it a little hard to believe that these tactics target blacks(or whoever) for being black as opposed to being poor or for voting Democratic, but perhaps I am just naive.

Since you're from the UK, your naivete would be expected, especially since the UK doesn't have much recent history of disenfranchising minorities (that I'm aware of, anyway).
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I think many people who would prefer Republicans over Democrats are justifiably concerned about the impact of voter fraud on our elections. In response to the perception that voter fraud takes place, laws making such fraud less likely have been passed.
Everyone has a right to their opinion, but no one has a right to insist it be respected just because it's their opinion. Do you have any evidence-not 'perceptions' or opinions, and by the way also definitely not isolated anecdotes in scary headlines-that voted fraud has been a significant problem in any American election in the last, way, fifty years?

I'll wait. But until and unless you do, and you'd be the first, I'm going to treat your perception as not worth much given that it's uninformed.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Colin Fraizer:

I think many people who would prefer Republicans over Democrats are justifiably concerned about the impact of voter fraud on our elections. In response to the perception that voter fraud takes place, laws making such fraud less likely have been passed.

*My* perception is that groups aligned with the Democratic Party *have* engaged in or tacitly encouraged voter fraud, but I would support reasonable measures to prevent such fraud regardless.

*My* perception is that voter fraud is more common on the left than on the right, but that's the nice thing about neutrally applied laws that protect the rights of everyone.

Of course that is your perception. That is what you have been told by folks who want to suppress minority votes. Do you have any evidence?
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
quote:
Originally posted by Tittles:
I still find it a little hard to believe that these tactics target blacks(or whoever) for being black as opposed to being poor or for voting Democratic, but perhaps I am just naive.

Since you're from the UK, your naivete would be expected, especially since the UK doesn't have much recent history of disenfranchising minorities (that I'm aware of, anyway).
I haven't really seen any arguments that blacks are being targeted because they are black. Even Orincorio said this:

quote:
What they are is overwhelmingly loyal to the Democratic party. And with good reason. that is why they are being targeted.
So where is your evidence that blacks are being targeted because of racial prejudice?
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Rakeesh
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Ok, Colin, you're getting a bit a pile here so I thought I'd step back a bit and explain some background, possibly lancing some hostility.

This is a topic that's been gabbed about here at HR before. Here's my take on it: voter fraud is bad, sure. We should be willing to go to quite a lot of trouble to prevent or punish it. But then the question has to be asked, "How bad is it?" Well in terms of an actual, pressing problem with our voting the answer varies but for the sort of fraud the nationwide patchwork of recent changes and voter ID rules supposedly address, the answer really is: almost no problem at all.

Someone physically showing up at a polling place and voting when they shouldn't, whether it's because they're not citizens or ineligible to vote or have already voted or don't live in the district just isn't the way we try and screw with elections here in the US. Feel free to dig into it a little, it's tough to prove something isn't happening, but I think if you take a step back and look for evidence of that sort of voter fraud without the assumption that it's a major problem and we need to *do something*, you'll see that it's not quite that simple.

It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with American politics that when we want to game the system, we do it earlier in the process than when a meatbag stumbles into a polling place and attempts to vote. We rearrange district boundaries, strike names off eligible voter rolls, give people the wrong address or time or date, we put out rumors that certain people are ineligible without ever making an official statement, things like that. Like so much in American politics, a great deal of the contest is about not the general election but about who gets to compete in the general election. Likewise for voter fraud or gimmicking.

So then we're left to ask ourselves, how much extra difficulty ought we to impose on those with the least time, disposable income, or access to the tools needed to meet new voter ID laws for the sake of preventing an insignificant problem-walk in voted fraud?

Because make no mistake, for every extra dollar you require or hurdle you insist be met, there are going to be those who either can't meet it, or decide it's too much trouble. What ought we do to avoid *that*? And then a further question is raised: exactly which politician or party do we really trust to be advocating a stance that is likely to impede the turnout of their rivals in the name of an abstract defense of democracy?

I'm a registered independent, but I wouldn't trust either of them.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Tittles:
Sam and Orincoro - You raise good points that I hadn't considered. I still find it a little hard to believe that these tactics target blacks(or whoever) for being black as opposed to being poor or for voting Democratic, but perhaps I am just naive. I'm no expert in voting laws or the politics behind them.

It doesn't matter. One way or another, it all means the same thing. Whether the GOP in a specific area is engaging in discrimination against minority voters because there's blatantly racist GOP leaders there (and there is no doubt this is true in many places across the country, especially with problematic tea party wunderchildren of various levels of moral fiber and mental capacity having ingrained themselves into party functions at all levels) or because they're "not racist of course" but stil are looking at dire demographic numbers and will still ultimately sign on to concerted attempts at keeping as many minorities as possible from voting ... the end result is the same, and either one speaks identically towards the need for the VRA. If it's not protecting enough people? If it failed to be used to stop the shenanigans in Ohio or Wisconsin, it just further establishes the need for it to be strengthened, not removed.
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Darth_Mauve
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Stiles, here is the argument:

Some Republican Operatives want to suppress Democratic votes.

Most minorities, including blacks, vote Democratic.

Minorities are easier to find/target than Majorities who are Democrats.

So they suppress Black/Minority votes because they vote Democratic.

They may not do it because of some Racist agenda--but it still ends up having the black/minority vote suppressed.

The other problem is one of trust.

Republican Operatives said Publicly "We are doing this to stop rampant voter fraud." then said privately "We are doing this to win elections."

When challenged on this they say, "We are doing this to suppress Democratic votes". Can we trust them not to be saying "We are doing this to suppress the @#$@#$ blacks from voting"?

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stilesbn
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Well I would say that yes as far as voters being suppressed the result is the same, but in terms of dialogue about it the result is not the same. The minute you throw the word "RACIST!" into the discussion you instantly divide and entrench all sides to the point of there being no productive dialogue at all.

So in that respect, it absolutely does matter if people actually are racist. If people are being shady people and trying to prevent legitimate voters from voting then why complicate the issue by insisting that the race card get thrown into it if it has no bearing at all? In fact, I would bet that a good strategy to ensuring obstructionism on any issue would be to try to get the race card thrown into as many issues you wanted nothing to happen on as you could.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Tittles:
Sam and Orincoro - You raise good points that I hadn't considered. I still find it a little hard to believe that these tactics target blacks(or whoever) for being black as opposed to being poor or for voting Democratic, but perhaps I am just naive. I'm no expert in voting laws or the politics behind them.

I work in marketing. In that business, you come to appreciate what small percentages of large numbers actually mean.

For instance, as a wild oversimplification: If I know that 70% of blacks will vote Dem, and there are 10 Million blacks in one state, and I estimate that 50% will vote, and I further estimate that pushing through one or another piece of legislation or doing some form of negative outreach to discourage voting will help to turn away, say, 3% of those potential voters, then I can reasonably hope to discourage 105,000 people from voting.

If I also know that there are 10 Million whites in this given state, and they will vote 60% for Republicans, and are 60% likely to vote, then I only need to make sure my campaign doesn't affect their turnout negatively above, say, 2%. At that rate, I can add 34,000+ votes to the win column.


There is plenty of data on this, and lobbyists and campaign strategists have this data, and know how to use it. The game is won in these small percentages of small percentages, becoming big numbers.

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Lyrhawn
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All the more evidence that politicians shouldn't be allowed to have anything to do with setting the parameters regarding elections. Redistricting, Secretary of State operations, etc, should all be non-partisan independent commissions that make decisions regarding elections, subject perhaps to some sort of oversight function. All evidence over the past few years points to non-partisan commissions providing much fairer results that more accurately reflect the electorate. The biggest example of course is California.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Well I would say that yes as far as voters being suppressed the result is the same, but in terms of dialogue about it the result is not the same. The minute you throw the word "RACIST!" into the discussion you instantly divide and entrench all sides to the point of there being no productive dialogue at all.

If they're willing to disenfranchise colored people to save their candidates in an election, they are willingly and wantonly engaging in racist discrimination. We could, I suppose, ease their poor tender souls, so sensitive to namecalling, and say "You are racial discriminators" rather than "You are racists."

But, again, the odds that a lot of the people willing to engage in this behavior aren't racist is not even worth play-betting on.

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by Tittles:
Sam and Orincoro - You raise good points that I hadn't considered. I still find it a little hard to believe that these tactics target blacks(or whoever) for being black as opposed to being poor or for voting Democratic, but perhaps I am just naive. I'm no expert in voting laws or the politics behind them.

Thesifer also raises a good point. The VRA hasn't done much to stop shenanigans in Ohio or Wisconsin.

Also, does it matter? Poor people, and Democrats, are allowed to vote. They have that right, and suppressing that vote is illegal and immoral.

If the net effect is to block out 83% of the black vote in a critical area, then it is racist, plain and simple. People can claim it isn't, but they are not being truthful.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
All evidence over the past few years points to non-partisan commissions providing much fairer results that more accurately reflect the electorate. The biggest example of course is California.

Definitely, works very well in Canada too.
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Blayne Bradley
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Also "voter fraud" and the like is a clear Lee Atwater-ish dogwhistle, when the GOP complain loudly about "people stealing the vote" or "lazy welfare queens" it tells a massage to their base, who are racist, that they really mean to talk about is black people.
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
...when the GOP complain loudly about "people stealing the vote" or "lazy welfare queens" it tells a massage to their base, who are racist, that they really mean to talk about is black people.

Yeah, and I didn't know this until I was almost 30. I tend to want to believe better of people than that. Sadly, people will disappoint you.
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umberhulk
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
quote:
Originally posted by Tittles:
Sam and Orincoro - You raise good points that I hadn't considered. I still find it a little hard to believe that these tactics target blacks(or whoever) for being black as opposed to being poor or for voting Democratic, but perhaps I am just naive. I'm no expert in voting laws or the politics behind them.

Thesifer also raises a good point. The VRA hasn't done much to stop shenanigans in Ohio or Wisconsin.

Also, does it matter? Poor people, and Democrats, are allowed to vote. They have that right, and suppressing that vote is illegal and immoral.


this

I'll say this, though, I showed my driver's license to the person attending my polling location and was surprised that I didn't need it. I suppose Voter Fraud could become a bigger problem. I don't remember if they asked for anything.

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Orincoro
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This is the source of common belief that the ID requirements are not onerous. For people who drive to work and carry ID in their wallets all the time, it feels like everyone has a driver's license. They do not understand, nor appreciate that it is neither a legal requirement to own ID, nor a requirement for voting. And considering that government issued ID is neither mandatory nor free, it is a violation of rights to require such ID for purposes of voting. Just as it is unreasonable and illegal to require bills, or letters to a street address (as it is not illegal to be homeless, and the homeless also have the right to vote).

The burden of proof is on the balloting authority to provide a reasonable suspicion of malfeasance- not on the voter to prove their identity.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
And considering that government issued ID is neither mandatory nor free, it is a violation of rights to require such ID for purposes of voting.

That's fine and all, and I agree that the burden shouldn't be on the voter to prove anything. But I want to remind you that in every US state that does have a mandatory voting ID law, government issued IDs for the purposes of voting are, in fact, free.
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kmbboots
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"Free" is not quite accurate. While there may be no charge for the ID itself, taking time off work (generally unpaid), getting to and from the DVM, acquiring the necessary documents (for which there generally is a charge) are not insubstantial obstacles for people who already have enough to overcome.
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Samprimary
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god, you're reminding me i have to get my new state id

....... urrrrrrgh, can't wait to waste a whole day with that

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kmbboots
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I haven't bothered with a state ID as I have a passport and don't want to waste a day either.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
And considering that government issued ID is neither mandatory nor free, it is a violation of rights to require such ID for purposes of voting.

That's fine and all, and I agree that the burden shouldn't be on the voter to prove anything. But I want to remind you that in every US state that does have a mandatory voting ID law, government issued IDs for the purposes of voting are, in fact, free.
To echo what others have said, an example from my own town: there are two places, roughly equal in travel time, where I could go to get any sort of government ID whether it was a license or just identification. One of them, a much newer place, does a lot of other government services (voter registration, tag renewal, utilities, various permits, etc) and everytime I've been there I've been impressed with their efficiency as well as not being a big pile of 70s era near-wreckage.

The other location, the much older one which for years was the only one around, is a dump. In spite of offering fewer services, it's a small, cramped, poorly ventilated (which for much of the year is no joke) location which was never less than an hours-long drudge fest over a lifetime of....four or five visits, I think, even when I made an appointment.

An appointment which require multiple calls and only recently could be placed online, and was not once actually kept on a visit.

What that all added up to was when I was growing up back there, I had to take anywhere from an hour and a half to four hours during weekdays, smack in the middle of the workday, to get access to the necessary identification. This would've been the same had I only been getting ID. Just to access a right which is supposed to be pretty important, I'd need to jump through al of those hoops.

I didn't live in a rural area, either, with a round trip of an hour or more. I was capable of standing in a cramped line in a hot, cramped room for two hours health-wise. I had a car that could get me there, and didn't have kids to drop off or pick up from school.

All of that just to prevent a problem that is barely happening. This isn't (necessarily) for you, Dan, but this is why I'm so quick to get utterly freaking exasperated with so-called conservatives in America-more government oversight, more government burden, on the people in order to *vote* in order to address a problem that doesnt need this sort of addressing at all. More government to prevent people from...doing what they're not doing!

God forbid we require any sort of nationwide background check or registry for firearm purchase, though. Oh, no, that tramples over the people and pisses on the Constitution. Let's also ignore that as conservatives supposedly we don't trust government officials not to be screwing us, and just accept their fears of walk-in physical voter fraud as honest.

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umberhulk
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Is there a way to voluntarily pin# or password protect your own vote?
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Swampjedi
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
"Free" is not quite accurate. While there may be no charge for the ID itself, taking time off work (generally unpaid), getting to and from the DVM, acquiring the necessary documents (for which there generally is a charge) are not insubstantial obstacles for people who already have enough to overcome.

I honestly had never even considered this, back when I supported such a thing. I mean, I have ID, everyone else must too - right?
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kmbboots
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Since I don't drive (a not uncommon situation for folks living in a city) I almost never need ID. I keep my passport card in my wallet but can't remember the last time I needed it.
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Rakeesh
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If I didn't drive, it's hard for me to think what I would need a government-issued ID for on a regular or even irregular basis.
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umberhulk
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I live in California. I need it for videogames.
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Orincoro
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California is a state n which the requirements are quite onerous. All ID is issued by CDOT(as far as I know), and cannot be replaced online, meaning that if you are out of state, you cannot have a replacement sent to you.

The lines are long, and required documentation is not available from the same offices (such as birth certificates and SSID).

Passports are another story, as getting one inside of 6 weeks now costs a whopping 300 bucks at the post office.

Edit to Add

I mean, this is coming from somebody who is (and this may be a shock to some who remember me from when I didn't have things together), a well payed professional who has arranged for government ID in 3 countries, and in two different languages. I have enough money to pay for professional help, and enough intelligence and wherewithal to get through the system where others are unable to do so.

And yet, for love or money, if I'm voting a week from now, and I've lost my driver's license and passport, what am I to do? I am an American citizen. I have the right to vote.

[ March 19, 2013, 02:03 PM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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