Suppressing voting rights: "rough justice"?

At Talking About Politics Carter Wrenn writes a story that turns the question of our fundamental right to vote in North Carolina into just a sort of fun conflict between Democrats and Republicans.

1. I wonder if this is how people like Wrenn persuade themselves that what they are doing is not morally wrong? His story is fascinating as a clue to the mentality of these awful people: maybe this is the kind of story they tell themselves during quiet moments in church.

2. By telling this as a story, Wrenn tries to obscure the obvious question: if making it easier to vote got Republicans elected in 2010 and 2012, why are they making it harder for people to vote? Shucks, can't you people see that it's just a kind of "rough justice"?

The reason that Republicans want to suppress the vote, of course, is that in the long run the easier it is for people to vote (especially in ungerrymandered districts), the more Democrats will tend to be elected.

3. Wrenn even points to a strategy that we liberals have simply got to use: "[Repubicans] proposed laws to make it tougher for college students to vote and to make absentee voting easier (since Republicans vote more often by absentee than Democrats)."

That's right: we need to encourage our supporters to vote absentee, especially if they can't afford the time and money to get a birth certificate, wait in long lines on work days, travel to their parents' county to vote, etc.


Absentee voting

This is an excellent point, and efforts should begin now to shift the culture of voting in North Carolina so that "absentee" is the norm. No ID required. No transportation required. This requires a full court press, sustained from now until forever.

If Wrenn thinks this is

If Wrenn thinks this is simply a tit for tat fight between Democrats and Republicans, I'd encourage him to look over the demographic stats for voters in the 1984 and 1988 elections. If Republicans put up a candidate that resonates with college age voters in some way, college age kids will vote for him or her over the Democratic candidate.

The "college kids as liberal" meme is something particular to this point and time in the US and North Carolina in particular. Things change and, over several election cycles, suppressing the college vote or ending early voting could help, hinder or make not that much difference to both Republicans and Democrats.

Limiting voting by any group gives ammunition to the other side and is really a dumb move. Right now, Democrats can use limiting voting by college kids and problems it creates for minorities to say that the Republicans are trying to disenfranchise you. If the Dems tried to do it when Republican candidates look stronger, the Republicans can say the same thing about college kids and substituting "working families" for "minorities" in their rhetoric.

State Sen. Bill Cook has said his bill was about "leveling the playing field" because college kids "don't pay property taxes" in the areas where they're voting.

Dems really need to hammer this guy on this quote - college kids do pay property taxes through the rental properties they live in. If the Dems were on top of this, they'd propose a parallel law that would only go into effect with Cook's law, exempting rental property owners from local property taxes if they can prove that their tenants are college students. It wouldn't pass of course, but it would make a point about what an utterly stupid idea this whole thing is and how much impact college students have in the towns and cities they live in around NC.

This is simple

People need to identify themselves when they vote. Prove they exist. Prove the are legal to vote, Prove they live here, Prove the name and the face match. That way we can be sure Republicans don't mess with voting. You know the dearly departed rising from the grave to vote sort of thing. There is still going to be fraud, but it will be more difficult which is a good thing.

It not too much to ask really. I don't see the problem at all. We also need to clear the voter roles as well. We are a highly mobile society, there are probably millions of names of people registered to vote in NC that no longer live here, or are dead, or are not citizens at all. All of which can be taken advantage of by unscrupulous people for whatever their agenda of the day is.

Enligten me

Please do, Don't run away.

Now, what is the word the kids use for this?

Ah, yes: trolling!!

If you were seriously interested in the question, even you know how to look for information: here's a search that finds evidence that go both ways.

I'm positive that if James or anyone else here were to engage you, you will never be convinced. Facts won't matter. It would be like listening to people talking to the Chapel Hill Town Council - repetitive and endless.

Read Carter Wrenn's article. Even he says that Republicans want to make absentee voting easier (since Republicans vote more often by absentee than Democrats).

Do you get it? Easier. Easier to vote without proof that you have the right to do so.

The argument isn't about fraud, it's about who gets to vote.

D'oh!!, I took the troll's bait, didn't I?

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

Enlighten yourself

It's really hard for me to get my head around having a thoughtful conversation with an anonymous person who is clearly standing on the other side of almost every issue that's important to me. You've been kind and polite, which is why I've stayed in the conversation.

But I'm sorry to say I'm not willing to spend my time working to enlighten you. I don't know who you are, and I don't have any evidence that you are really open to anything other than what you already think. That's fair enough as far as it goes, but the "debate" is not a useful use of either of our lives.

And just to say it, I am proud of my very long record of demonstrating open-mindedness. I've changed my opinions on everything from corporate taxation (kill it) to public schools (smaller is better) to business incentives to candidates and more.

The Google is a powerful resource for people who want to find facts that might disrupt their preconceptions.

Happy hunting.

It's not proof positive, but this:

"That way we can be sure Republicans don't mess with voting."

Leads me to believe you're posting under false pretenses. If you want an honest argument, bring it. But if you're an "R" trying to cast yourself as a "D", take it elsewhere.

I'm sorry

I have opened the floodgates by allowing anonymous posters to write without site moderation. I should have known that there would immediately be visitors whose ethical standards match those being displayed by McCrory & Co.

Why people have to lie and behave like middle-schoolers is beyond me, but it appears we are forever cursed with the presence of such creatures. Which explains almost everything anyone needs to know about the reign of terror unfolding in Raleigh right now.

I chose a side randomly. The

I chose a side randomly. The other side could be just possible. From now on I'll say......(fill in the blank) I've no trust or respect for either side these days Niether deserve it and both a capable of anything. For the next few years it will be R's and their brand and after that it will be D's and theirs.

No offense meant.

There is NO voter fraud problem

This whole pile of feces demonstrates the same level of ethics as selling air conditioners to Eskimos.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

I am more worried about the

I am more worried about the potential for fraud than I am if there is a problem. (If any) Accuracy is in everyone's best interest. Look what goes on in Washington, (on every side) everyone has an axe to grind and will do anything including lying, cheating and stealing to get it. My point is the potential is there, and would I like to make the reality (if ever) as close to impossible in NC as it cam be.

If a person really wants to exercise the franchise they will. Nothing will stop them.

I favor absentee ballots as well.

BTW I am polite because well....I am a polite person. None of this is personal to me, I enjoy discussing these issues. I learn a lot of things and as American its what we are supposed to do. The more uncomfortable and mad irt makes people the more we are supposed to dig into the issues and find out what the deal is. Sometimes you can't agree. that's ok.

I can go a couple of ways with this then ...

If you are truly interested in accuracy then you should be all for the accurate allocation of available resources to solve known problems before potential problems. Spending millions of scarce dollars (as spent in other states with similar issues) on potential problems like a .00002% voter "fraud" concern is an inaccurate use of resources. Real good could be done by spending that money where it can fix a known issue. When you say you are interested in accuracy then that implies a pragmatic, fact based approach to public policy.
OR ... If you are so concerned about potential problems then Global Warming must be keeping you up nights because the degree of potential harm there is tremendous. An uninhabitable planet means the end of human civilization. Likewise, you must oppose the death penalty because the very real potential exists that an innocent person could be executed. In fact that does happen so it is more than just a potential problem.

You see it's all really about your perspective and the knowledge and/or biases we all bring to these issues. This huge concern with voter "fraud" is a contrivance aimed at rigging the vote in favor of R's, nothing more. The head of the PA legislature admitted as much when PA (nearly?) passed such legislation. Apparently gerrymandering the hell out of NC is not enough.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

hmmm. Global Warming not so


Global Warming not so much. I suppose my view that people in the country (and State) have become so frustrated and mad about the state things are (Plenty if blame to go around) that We no longer talk with rather than AT each other. This state of affairs definitely makes an environment where "others" can use to work their will for their own aims. I guess its Human action in the political realm concerns more far more than Human action in the environment. The USA is pretty good things are a ton cleaner than they've ever been Its China, India etc that are really making a mess of things.

One question though Why would closing up avenues for voter fraud help only R's? and as to gerrymandering R's do it now D's did it before and will do it later. Its till wrong whoever does it.

So why not focus on what's wrong now

instead of what was wrong ten or twenty years ago?

Have you written letters to the current General Assembly telling them you object to the rigged electoral scheme?

Didn't think so.

You assume too much.

You assume too much.

I used to get vote out for GOP and...

they pushed FOR more early and absentee voting. Why is the GOP suddenly against it, now? Maybe because they lost the past two presidential elections. I could only speculate.

Could be. I really do want to

Could be. I really do want to hear "the other side. I could very well be wrong. I've no idea why people automatically assume one is a troll if there are not lock-step from the get go..Sheesh.

Why not ask Civitas?

Why not as one of Pope's lobbying groups why the Republicans are suddenly up in arms about early voting? They keep arguing that local elections boards are incompetent and can't verify the votes.

It's been a sawhorse of Civitas for some time. And, gee, why do you think Art Pope would be so concerned about it?

Because the main Tea Bagger group, Americans for Prosperity, which Pope is the second largest donor to, is wanting to do away with early voting in swing states to benefit conservative candidates.

This isn't so much about North Carolina's elections as it is about creating doubt and confusion about votes for federal level offices where the votes are typically much closer than they are in NC.

You'll notice that about the laws the Republicans are proposing - many don't seem to make sense or address a real problem here in North Carolina. But, if you look at other state legislatures, the bills are modeled on laws proposed by the American Legislative Exchange Council or groups like Focus on the Family or Americans for Prosperity.

Some are beng passed to help conservative groups drag states into cases before the Supreme Court (like abortion restriction laws or NC's Amendment One), others to drive money to private companies (like school or prison privatization legislation or laws against national health care plans) backed by donors to these groups, or to help them win elections for Congress (NC's Republican gerrymander).

You could keep a person busy with an almost full-time job comparing the bills introduced by Republicans in the state legislature to model bills proposed by national conservative groups and compiling information on which of these national Tea Bagger or evangelical groups is pushing for it and who would benefit from it.

Democrats have been dumb for letting his happen without calling attention to it. Republicans have been dumb for falling for it - you're being robbed and duped into furthering someone else's agenda.

Voter fraud? A big problem?

According to someone who bothered to contact the state board of elections, they investigated 86 suspected votes in the state between 2000 and 2010.

Eighty six. Out of three million votes cast.

Those 86 votes - did they make a difference in one race in North Carolina? Hello?... Bueller?... Bueller?

Let's talk about a bigger problem that's a documented and known threat to carrying out the wishes of NC voters.

It is one more sign that the USA has lost its way

when it is easier to buy a gun than it is to vote. It takes background info, a valid street address and soon a valid ID (i.e. some cash) to vote. All you need at a gun show is some cash. Just imagine if 40% of voters voted the way gun owners bought guns; the R's would be having 30-40 cows each in expressing their outrage that millions of those dangerous voters with their deadly ballots were running rampant and destroying civilization as we know it. R's even object to gun owner registries yet we have voter registeries. Voters rolls are public information; yet gun people want to remain anonymous. Which is more dangerous, a vote or a gun? R's have turned that question on its head.

The USA ain't what it used to be (perhaps it never was?) and is hell and gone from what it should be.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?