NC Republicans ask voters: 'Who's your Daddy?'

Last fall, voters across North Carolina made their choices at the ballot box. In the next general election we will see whether they still like those they chose.

I recently read a post from state Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover. He explains why he and Sen. Buck Newton, R-Wilson, introduced a bill taking away our choice to vote a straight ticket. Republicans like more choice in theory. Because freedom. But they insist on taking away this choice. Plus a few others.

See, straight-ticket voting indicates "voter laziness," says Goolsby. Meaning, 56 percent of North Carolina's straight-ticket voters choose the other party, and that's just wrong, as he sees it.

Or "You're doing it all wrong, son," as Foghorn Leghorn might see it. "Now a smart, I say, a smart voter...."

Goolsby and colleagues think busy working people should have to dig through thick stack of newspapers before voting. Or use their smart phones and laptops to bore down through the Internet and do their homework first. But mainly, by eliminating straight-ticket voting Goolsby is hoping -- insisting -- that voters try his brand.

A former colleague tells this story. He and his wife were out one night and ended up at some fancy brew pub with a beer list as long as your arm.

The waitress came over. Larry ordered a Budweiser.

His wife rolled her eyes and said, "That's what you always get!"

She held up the beer list and said, "You should try something different."

"I know what I like," said Larry.

His wife ordered jamocha almond fudge pale ale or something.

When the beers arrived, she took one sip and scrunched up her face. She pushed the beer across the table and asked if Larry would drink it so she could order something else.

Larry smiled quietly, pulled his Bud a little closer and said again, “I know what I like.”

Larry also knows what he doesn't like.

Larrys from both major North Carolina parties like voting a straight ticket. It's not for everyone, but it's what a lot of voters prefer. But since the senators don't like how the straight-ticket math falls out, they insist on making it harder for every Larry to choose the brand he prefers.

But like your father (and Foghorn), these legislators believe they know better. In fact, Republicans in Raleigh are going out of their way to narrow voters' choices. Like a stern father, they are not interested in helping you vote the way you want. These efforts are aimed at forcing more people to vote the way the GOP wants.

Daddy wants to make it harder for you to register to vote, and for people already registered, harder to get a ballot when they arrive to vote.

Daddy wants to make it less convenient to vote. Fifty-six percent of NC voters voted early in 2012. So Daddy wants a week's fewer early voting days and a limit of one early voting location per county.

Daddy wants a tax penalty on the parents of in-state students who dare exercise the right the U.S. Supreme Court said students have to register and vote where they attend college.

And should Larry make it into the voting booth, Daddy insists that he work down through a list as long as your arm just so he can choose the brand he knew he wanted when he walked in the door.

Making voting easier for North Carolinians is the last thing on our Republican legislators' minds. And at the next general election, when voters find they can no longer get away from work to vote when polls are open or, if they do, find that the early voting location they've used for years is gone when they get there, voters will find out just what these legislators had in mind.

And when Democrats and Republicans, Libertarians and independents stand in long lines, or find that they have to leave the polls without voting because the lines are too long and voting machines too few, or at the end of those long lines they are turned away because they do not have the right documents when asked to show their papers, expect to see a lot of scrunched-up faces on North Carolinians who wish they had made different choices in November 2012.

{Cross-posted from Crooks and Liars.)


I don't care which way it

I don't care which way it goes. I don't like straight ticket voting. I think undervoting is preferable to some clown getting a vote just simply because they have a letter next to their name.

Neither party deserves blind allegiance.

It's About Increasing Lines and Discouraging Turnout

When you have to mark 40 circles instead of 1 you will spend longer voting. When a thousand people in your already-crowded urban precinct (with early voting hours and Sunday voting slashed) are each spending 10 extra minutes voting the lines are going to last for hours. Some of those urban voters will give up and go home. Others will stay this time but will remember the lines and not come back next time. Mission accomplished.

You're right

especially if the Republicans are able to curtail voting access.

This is why I advocate being able to easily vote by mail, like they do in Oregon. I realize there are limitations to any model, and there are risks associated with mail-in ballots ... but the idea of voting at home (with the ability to use resources and do research and understand more about each candidate) is something that really appeals to me.

Voting is important

Many say it the most important thing we do in this country. If that is true, then taking some extra time should not be a problem. No employer should ever begrudge an employee voting. I know of NONE I've ever worked for having a problem.

If a person is so disinterested and uncommitted to having their vote counted that a little extra time will deter them do you want them to vote?. Really? Are they informed? Do they know what they are doing? Do they know the issues? Or are they just going through the motions? Probably. Especially if a slight inconvenience will send them away. This would be the straight line party voter I assume. Most likely the one whose vote we probably don't want.

And if they do walk away, Why is it assumed that this will depress only Democrat voters? Is it assumed that they are lazy and uncommitted?, disinterested, and once again just showing up? How can that be proven? Why is that absolutely assumed?

I contend that if one is intellectually honest you cannot ascribe voter suppression to ANY ONE PARTY, or type of voter. Most likely both will be affected.

I am not for voting simply for the sake of voting. No one should be.

If they fail to vote because of obstacles

If people fail to vote because of obstacles being erected or conveniences being eliminated, it will hurt voters of every persuasion. The GOP is just playing the odds that it will hurt their adversaries more.

Voting is a right. It's not contingent on being "informed." Being "informed" (according to whose opinion?) is desirable, certainly. But we once limited the franchise to white, male landowners under the rubric that all others had no "skin in the game." We imposed poll taxes. We had literacy requirements. All those tactics were designed to separate the wheat from the chaff (to use a polite euphemism), to weed out Americans the elite considered unworthy to share in running this country. Women as well: too emotional uninformed. They gave reasonable-sounding explanations for all of these measures. (We should have an "informed" test before voting, perhaps?)

All those barriers have come down. Plus we've made it easier than ever to participate over recent years. But Republicans in Raleigh are trying to take this country back to the old days. All these voting changes -- from voter ID, to tax penalties for the parents of college students who vote at school, to limiting early voting sites and hours, and eliminating Sunday voting -- form a pattern They are aimed at keeping certain people away from the process, however they can justify it, even if they hurt some of their own, to narrow people's options, to limit their choices, to make it ever more inconvenient for Americans to participate in elections, as is their right. They're not trying to protect the integrity of the process. They're trying to weed out people they consider undesirables.

When hours, days and

When hours, days and locations for voting are limited and the time at the polls increases the wait from minutes to hours, many people will have difficulty voting. Perhaps you have never worked for an employer that docked your pay or fired you if you were late for work a certain number of days? If you are waiting in line to vote at 1pm and your shift starts at 4pm do you leave after waiting two and a half hours because you are lazy and uncommitted, or because you are hard working and reliable?

You could also consider when your employer is a strong Republican or Democrat and he knows or suspected that you normally vote for the other party how accommodating he might be when you need to take off early or come in late because you need to stop by the polls.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Lines usually are from sign-in

From my experience, the lines come from the check-in process, not the actual ballot filling.

It takes longer to state name and address, wait for the worker to look you up and read your info back to you, put the label on the paper, ask you to double check it, sign it, then take the paper to another table to get your ballot. I can only imagine how much longer it will take when they start asking for ID.

Heck, I'd be FOR optional voter ID if it meant an express line. What if you could swipe your drivers license, have your photo show up on a screen for verification and be handed your ballot- all in about 10 seconds? Now THATS progress!

good idea

A party line vote is a true uninformed vote. Its THE PERSON not the party