Voter Suppresion or Disfranchisement, call it what you will.

Wed 8 Jan, 2020 12:09 pm
Institutional racism and the conservatives' continuing war against poor people and voter suppression walk hand in hand.

Let's catalogue current policies and campaigns led by Republicans on unconstitutionally stealing the votes away from minorities and/or poor people. Because violating the US Constitution? That's their way to manhandle the election and stomp out democracy.

Florida Faces A Rocky Rollout To Restore Voting Rights After Felony Convictions
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Wed 8 Jan, 2020 12:34 pm
Requiring voter ID so that Democrats do not vote multiple times in the same election isn't disenfranchisement.

Requiring criminals to complete their sentences before being allowed to vote again is also not disenfranchisement.

The only party with an actual history of voter disenfranchisement is the Democratic Party. They disenfranchised Michigan in the 2008 primaries.
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Wed 8 Jan, 2020 01:01 pm
Republicans tried to rig the vote in Michigan – but ‘political novices’ just defeated them

After a Republican bragged about cramming ‘Dem garbage’ into certain districts, a grassroots campaign has given the power to redraw political maps to the people

Katie Fahey started with a Facebook post. Photograph: Participant Media
In 2016, Katie Fahey, a Michigan woman with no political experience, put up a Facebook post asking if anyone she knew wanted to do something about gerrymandering, a pervasive practice of lawmakers drawing district lines to benefit their own party.

Michigan is one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. At that time, Republicans held majorities in the state legislature and congressional delegation, even though Democrats earned a significant share of the statewide vote, and the state is considered politically competitive. And the GOP lawmakers were not subtle: emails made public last year revealed a Republican aide bragging about cramming “Dem garbage” into certain Michigan districts in 2011, as they drew the current electoral boundaries.

But Fahey’s post would create a movement that could provide a roadmap for making US elections fairer. Coordinating over Google Docs and fanning out across the state, her effort grew into a group called Voters Not Politicians that would eventually amend the Michigan constitution to strip redistricting power from lawmakers. This week, Voters Not Politicians succeeded in protecting the new reform from yet another attack from Republicans in the state – underscoring how deeply entrenched gerrymandering has become, and how hard it is to end.

Gerrymandering reform advocates believe the Michigan effort can serve as a model for reform elsewhere (a similar effort recently launched in Oklahoma). Even the supreme court chief justice, John Roberts, who wrote earlier this year that federal courts can’t do anything to fix partisan gerrymandering, has held up the Michigan effort as a pathway for fixing the problem.

But Voters Not Politicians’ success was far from guaranteed. Starting in 2017, Fahey and other members went to all of Michigan’s 83 counties, using public meeting spaces like libraries to gather. They dressed up in costumes in the shape of gerrymandered districts at intersections and other busy places and even wrote jingles about the topic, according to NBC News. As the group grew to thousands of volunteers, its leaders emphasized that people should leave their personal politics at the door once they joined, Fahey said earlier this year.

In 2017, the group drafted the measure to give redistricting authority to 13 Michigan residents – four Democrats, four Republicans and five non-affiliated voters, instead of lawmakers. More than 2.5 million Michigan voters approved the measure to amend the Michigan constitution and create the commission last year.

In the recent lawsuit in Michigan, Republicans took issue with a provision prohibiting anyone with close partisan connections from serving on the panel to ensure the districts are drawn fairly. They argued that those restrictions effectively punish them for their political beliefs and asked a federal judge to stop the creation of the commission. In a decision on Monday, the US district judge Janet Neff declined that request, writing that the Republicans’ arguments were unlikely to ultimately succeed in court. The Republican plaintiffs are appealing against the ruling.

Even though there was overwhelming support for the measure – it passed with about 61% of the vote – Republicans have used every maneuver they can to try to stop it over the past two years. They unsuccessfully tried to kick the measure off the ballot in 2018. And once Michigan voters approved it, they brought two lawsuits in federal court this summer, arguing that the commission violated the US constitution.

The group successfully got the measure to pass and has fended off a mountain of legal challenges, even though the people leading the effort were all “political novices”, said Nancy Wang, the executive director of Voters Not Politicians. “It’s upsetting because these politicians, some of whom are plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits against the amendment, are the ones that are supposed to be working for the voters that passed this amendment,” she said.

Gerrymandering – the practice of drawing political boundaries for partisan gain – has helped Republicans maintain majorities in state legislatures and congressional delegations since 2011. Creating independent redistricting commissions, as Voters Not Politicians did, is seen as one of the most potent ways to fight excessive partisan gerrymandering because it strips the power of redistricting from politicians, who can craft districts to their benefit, and gives it to neutral mapmakers.

The decision on Tuesday means that the independent redistricting commission, not state lawmakers, is still expected to draw the state’s electoral districts in 2021 for the first time. That’s likely to create electoral districts that more accurately reflect Michigan’s political makeup.

Meanwhile, Fahey has joined a new group, The People, and plans to take the organizing lessons to other states. And Wang said the repeated victories in Michigan should also give people thinking about challenging gerrymandering elsewhere hope.

“Victories like ours give people a lot of faith and hope that they still can make a change. That people together are still stronger than the people who occupy political seats,” she said. “Obviously, it’s not gonna be an easy road. People are gonna put up a fight.”

Wed 8 Jan, 2020 04:52 pm
In the presidential election, "winner take all electoral votes" in a state disenfranchises voters.(It does not let their vote be counted as units , )
Also, the tyranny of small states over the big ones (population wose) disenfranchises huge numbers of voters . We really need to make a "one person, one vote" a reality.

Wed 8 Jan, 2020 05:16 pm
farmerman wrote:

In the presidential election, "winner take all electoral votes" in a state disenfranchises voters.(It does not let their vote be counted as units , )
Also, the tyranny of small states over the big ones (population wose) disenfranchises huge numbers of voters . We really need to make a "one person, one vote" a reality.

"tyranny of small states"... we should instead have tyranny of the big cities?
Wed 8 Jan, 2020 05:23 pm
Gasp!! What?? You mean no more: "“When people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles,” he said. “Sometimes they go to their car, put on a different hat, put on a different shirt, come in and vote again. Nobody takes anything. It’s really a disgrace what’s going on.”


Wed 8 Jan, 2020 07:36 pm
It would indeed be good to stop the Democrats from doing this. That's why people push for proper IDs to be shown before people are allowed to vote.
Wed 8 Jan, 2020 07:49 pm
farmerman wrote:
In the presidential election, "winner take all electoral votes" in a state disenfranchises voters.(It does not let their vote be counted as units , )

Winner take all doesn't prevent anyone from having their votes counted.

States choose for themselves internally whether to have a winner take all system. If any states do not like that system, they are free to change it anytime they want.

farmerman wrote:
Also, the tyranny of small states over the big ones (population wise) disenfranchises huge numbers of voters . We really need to make a "one person, one vote" a reality.

That as well does not prevent anyone from having their vote counted. But if you want to reduce the disparity between large and small states, that is easily done by passing the Congressional Apportionment Amendment.


The only party with an actual history of preventing people from having their votes counted is the Democratic Party, as was demonstrated in the 2008 presidential primaries.
Wed 8 Jan, 2020 08:17 pm
Proper ID's you say... And what constitutes "proper" is very subjective:

About half of the states with voter ID laws accept only photo IDs. These include

driver’s licenses
state-issued ID cards
military ID cards
Many of these states now offer a free voter photo ID card if you don’t have another form of valid photo ID.

Other states accept some types of non-photo ID. These may include

birth certificates
Social Security cards
bank statements
utility bills


Operative word...may...

If voting is our privilege,, why are you so afraid to allow people to vote?
Wed 8 Jan, 2020 08:26 pm
The only people with a history of voter suppression are the Democratic Party. I do not share their hatred for voters.
Wed 8 Jan, 2020 08:43 pm
The five ways Republicans will crack down on voting rights in 2020

by Carol Anderson

The fight to vote is supported by guardian.org
Wed 13 Nov 2019 06.00 ESTLast modified on Fri 6 Dec 2019 09.56 EST

America hangs in the balance. The elections in November next year will determine whether the United States continues down the road of authoritarian dynastic rule or reclaims the work of expanding and improving our democracy. Those are the choices.

That expansion was born out of the civil war, which left 1.2 million dead or wounded, but resulted in the 15th amendment, which made clear that the right to vote could not be denied or hampered because of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The subsequent struggles led to women’s right to vote, opening the franchise to those 18 and over, and the “single most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever passed by Congress,” the Voting Rights Act, which protected the franchise from states with a demonstrated history of racial and linguistic discrimination.

But in 2013, the supreme court declared that racism was essentially a thing of the past and gutted the Voting Rights Act. The results have been calamitous. More than half the states passed a series of voter suppression laws that targeted minority voters, breached a key firewall that protected American democracy, and greased the pathway to install a man in the White House whose racism, greed, and unfitness for office was well known.

What’s become clear over the course of three harrowing years is that the only real effective throttle that has slowed down the nation’s descent into authoritarian rule has been the throng of engaged, determined voters. The turnout in the 2018 midterm election, the highest since 1914, aided by a massive effort of civil rights organizations, was so overwhelming that control of the House of Representatives flipped to the Democrats and accountability finally began to creep back into the political landscape. As Benjamin Wittes, senior fellow in governance at the Brookings Institution, wrote: “The last line of defense against a lawless, oathless president is the electoral process.”

Similarly, the only way that Republicans can protect themselves and a rogue president is to suppress the votes of minorities, the young, and the poor (all of whom vote overwhelmingly for Democrats). In 2020, we’re poised to see more voter intimidation, criminalizing of voter registration drives, disguised poll taxes, attempts to maintain extreme partisan gerrymandered districts, draconian and flawed voter roll purges, squashing access to voting on college campuses, widespread purchase of hackable voting machines, and a slew of unqualified, rightwing judges appointed to the federal bench to provide legal sanction to the destruction of democracy.

In One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying our Democracy, I traced a history and a pattern of bureaucratic violence against American citizens’ right to vote. Given what’s at stake in 2020, I expect a similar range of tactics, wrapped in the veneer of law, that are designed to further undermine Americans’ access to the ballot box:

Intimidation of minority voters
We’re likely to see more abusive use of state power to intimidate and criminalize Asian Americans, African Americans and Hispanics for voting or registering minorities to vote. Georgia, in fact, has been notorious in this regard. And continues to be so.

In Texas, meanwhile, acting secretary of state David Whitley announced in January 2019 that he had a list of 95,000 non-citizens (immigrants) who were registered to vote in the state. Worse yet, he claimed, 58,000 of them had already cast a ballot in an election. He quickly turned over the names of these apparent miscreants to Texas’ attorney general to pursue criminal prosecution.

Whitley’s claim was, in the end, a lie. The list, as Whitley well knew, was structurally flawed and contained tens of thousands of naturalized citizens who had the right to vote. Texas, in short, was getting ready to remove American citizens from the voting rolls simply because they had once been immigrants.

Equally abhorrent, Whitley’s stunt sent the signal to Texas’ burgeoning Hispanic population that if they registered to vote, as their American citizenship allowed them to do, their names could easily be turned over to the attorney general for further investigation. In an era where Ice has been allowed to run loose and terrorize documented and undocumented populations, this was a clear warning shot. Keep your head down, don’t register, don’t vote, and you just might be safe.

It’s the same message of voter suppression that has haunted America’s political landscape since 1867.

Curbing voter registration
Another tactic, which Tennessee tried after 2018, is to criminalize voter registration drives. Initially, it would seem that a state ranked at the very bottom in the nation in voter turnout and close to the bottom in those registered to vote would try to improve their citizens’ participation in democracy. Instead, as the New York Times reported, when “tens of thousands of new black and Latino voters were registered in Tennessee in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections” the Republican-dominated legislature complained that many of the registration forms were incomplete and that the only viable solution was to hold those who held these voter registration drives criminally and financially accountable. Although a judge has struck down the law, the threat of what Tennessee Republicans are willing to do hangs there.

Felon disenfranchisement
Florida has also tried to stem the tide of new voters coming to the polls. After a citizen-led ballot initiative passed to restore voting rights to 1.4 million felons who had served their sentences, Republicans began searching for some way to neutralize the effect. Given that more than 20% of all African American adults were disenfranchised in Florida because of a felony conviction, and that the overwhelming majority of blacks vote for Democrats, the Republicans added a rider to “clarify” that a completed sentence required paying all of the court fines, fees, and penalties accrued during the trial and incarceration before the returning citizens’ voting rights would be restored. No matter how many ways the GOP tried to dress this up, this was a poll tax. It made access to the ballot box solely dependent upon the ability to pay.

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Florida law. But, he left enough room in his decision that the legislature could tweak, tweak, tweak until it has sowed the kind of confusion about eligibility that depresses voter turnout.

Election security issues
While Florida reached back to 19th-century Jim Crow to try to institute a poll tax, other states like Georgia are inviting full-fledged 21st-century hacking to tilt elections. There is already the 127,000 missing votes in the 2018 lieutenant-governor’s race. That was so mysterious that experts, but not Georgia’s election officials, tracked the discrepancy down to predominantly black precincts on election day. The missing votes did not come from white Democratic-leaning precincts or black precincts where voters used absentee ballots or early voting. The discrepancy happened only to those in predominantly black precincts, who used the machines on election day. Their votes just disappeared.

The voting machines used in the 2018 election were easily hackable, had no auditable paper trail, and ran on Windows 2000. As journalist Timothy Pratt noted: “Security vulnerabilities in the state’s election system had been repeatedly exposed: by Russian operatives, friendly hackers, and even a Georgia voter who, just days ahead of the 2018 midterms, revealed that anyone could go online and gain access to the state’s voter registration database.”

Georgia has now rushed to buy new machines, but the state settled on a similarly vulnerable machine that does not have a paper trail that the human eye can decipher. Instead, voters get a slip of paper with a barcode that is no more legible than that on a can of soup at the grocery store. Moreover, the state ignored the warnings of scientists from the National Academy of Sciences, Stanford, Georgia Tech, and Yale, who raised serious concerns about the cybersecurity of the voting apparatuses.

While multiple states are spending over a hundred million dollars on this flawed equipment, Republicans have refused to enact election security legislation, even as Vladimir Putin, when asked if Russia will interfere in the 2020 elections, “jokes”, even taunts, that: “I’ll tell you a secret: yes, we’ll definitely do it.” Given that Russian cyberattacks in 2016 targeted African Americans and voting systems in all 50 states, this bodes ill for 2020.

Partisan courthouses
The final, and overarching ominous sign is Senate Republicans’ determination to pack the federal courts with judges, more of whom than ever before have been rated “unqualified” by the American Bar Association and whose only expertise is hostility to civil rights, including the right to vote. As Dahlia Lithwick wrote, this is a “dangerous game of ‘How Many More Judges Can They Ram Through Before Democracy Breaks?’”

So far, the federal courts have beat back the most egregious voter suppression tactics, like Tennessee’s voter registration law, but if the Republicans can hold on to the Senate after 2020, the federal judiciary will hit a tipping point that will eviscerate what’s left of this democracy.

We’ve been here before. After the civil war, the supreme court gutted the constitutional amendments defining citizenship, due process, and the right to vote. It took more than 100 years, numerous legal battles, and an epic civil rights movement to recover from that debacle.

But like an ageing boxer whose taken too many blows, the United States doesn’t have another 100 years to waste on destroying democracy. We can, however, save it in 2020.

Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, a Guardian contributor, and the author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide and One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy.
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Wed 8 Jan, 2020 09:36 pm
In PA the GOP i the only party that has had members actually charged with voter fraud,(we have no specific charges for '
"voter disenfranchisement")
The Dems have always been the party in which politicians have dipped into their campaign funds to support their lifestyles. However, now with Trump hving done the same, weve fallen behind in embezzlement and campaign fraud.
Wed 8 Jan, 2020 10:20 pm
The Dems really have to step up their game if they hope to compete with all the other embezzlers.
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Thu 9 Jan, 2020 05:13 am
tyranny of small states"... we should instead have tyranny of the big cities?
I used that phrase specifically because it is well developed in the Federalist Papers and in the available records of the Constitutional Convention.
When the framers were arguing over the Constitution several members used the terms about "The tyranny of the large states". In order to protect the small states the Bicameral legislature was devised with the powers nd limitations of each house clearly defined in the constitution.
Now, with our huge population, we suffer from just the oppoisite condition "tyranny of the mall states".

The "winner take all aspect , IMHO, should go back to the original "vote tally" methodology, that being the score of electors and disallowing electors from switching their vote counter to actual selection by the voters. Otherwise, e are back to the original electoral college makeup when we had a very small population and minimal means of rapid contct.(Back then, rapid communication between two adjoining states meant days and across several states toook weeks to a month.) Today we are talking nanoseconds
Thu 9 Jan, 2020 05:42 am
the system of winner take all was initiated in 1824 as an offering to slave states to keep them in the union. (Were past that) Today , this thread is about VOTER SUPPRESSION PRESENT TENSE. Its a real issue when at least two of the electoral college bases for being actually disenfranchise voters and crush the power of their individual vote.

Sorry but youre just talking through your hat again.Youve posted the lie that is voter fraud "Free" when its a fact tht (and Im just watching my own state), wed seen at least 10 nd more voter suppression charges per higher state and fed election ( anything above county offices), per election.

The gop had, in recent past, even announced how they planned to "Adjust" the apportionment via the way they redrew the congressional districts based on how well the GOP could disenfranchise entire groups of people (Mostly people of ethnicities or color)

The GOP hs, historically been the party of the privileged white male and any ,ens to suppress that is on their playbook.

You seem to repeat and repeat a phrase in the hope that, if you say it enough times it will become fact.
EVidence doesnt work that way.
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Thu 9 Jan, 2020 05:57 am
passing the Congressional Apportionment Amendment.

Will do what exactly???
We didnt pass the " Concealed weapons must be shorter than 6 feet amendment" either.

The 1790 amendment was crafted in 18th century thinking, not 21st century reality. We dont hqve slqve stqtes anymore and we have communications at the speed of light.

Do you know that when congressmen actually VOTE on Bills, they dont use quills anymore?

Winner take all doesn't prevent anyone from having their votes counted.

Id suggest starting over in mathematics cause apparently youve missed a lot.(Or else youre just being a cynical snotbag)
Thu 9 Jan, 2020 08:19 am
California, Texas, New York and Florida combine for 149 electoral votes.

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin combine for 140 electoral votes.

I would say that the tyranny of the small states is an imaginary thing that people say to "prove" the electoral college is flawed. If a candidate cannot win, it is because they are not a good candidate. It's not because the electoral college is biased or some other imaginary reason.
Thu 9 Jan, 2020 09:17 am
Ive never EVER stated that a candidate was or was not a good one , you're getting like oral in trying to avert the focus.
The point is that what the framers wanted to protect AGAINST, is now drawn to a total reverse of fortune in a national election for the chief exec. So the "one person, one vote" desire will never be met without serious change.

The fact is that , had no "winner take all" electoral college delegate count been in effect, the election of 2016 would be reversed by 6 electoral votes (I can see how youd like to see nothing happen and try to ignore the fact that voters of several states are disenfranchised because those states are populous.
"Protection f smaller states" has a beginning based on an evil precedent and I dont like that.
I think 2020 will see that folks eyes will open and see how the political system is so outdated as to be without much merit.

"Winner take all" is a rather foul way to preserve an election process that was merely instated to keep slave states on board.
When we fought and won the civil war, "winner take all " should hve been removed,followed by a retooling of the electoral count system.
Thu 9 Jan, 2020 09:24 am
Of those states you put up nd(for whatever reason) compared their totl ellectoral votes as representative of large or small states, do something.

ALL those states are winner take all. Go back to the 2016 ellection and show the "winner take all" counts v a proportional electoral count (winner gets what he won nd loser gets his score)(PS, add Pa, and Ohio

Then look at the voter count.

The electoral college IS biased against populous areas based on the 1824 counting
Thu 9 Jan, 2020 09:26 am
You've not stated it, but the implication is there.

It was never intended for the President to be elected by the people directly, but by the states. It is up to the states, therefore, to decide how their delegates give their vote

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