SCOTUS, Voting Rights and Texas

 -A Guest Post By Amanda Green

*For those who don’t know it, Amanda Green is Texan.  She also might or might be my twin.  For months my husband thought she was my pen name, and he still wavers, even after he met her.  “I can’t tell your writing apart” says the love of my life.  “That’s because we’re twins,” I say.  “Makes sense,” he says — even though he’s met her and she’s a head taller than I and read-headed.  Don’t ask me.  Mathematician logic.  They think in quantum leaps.  Anyway, Amanda is not me, but she’s very kind to write a post for me, while I’m busy at Liberty con.  Now ya’ll be nice or I tie your ears together behind your back when I get to my tablet.*

This week has been a roller coaster ride for those who watch what comes down from the Supreme Court. The week began with the cries of outrage ringing from the vaulted halls of media as SCOTUS struck down parts of the Voting Right Act. Those cries of outrage turned to cheers of joy as the SCOTUS roller coaster turned the corner and — WHEE — overruled parts of the Defense of Marriage Act as well as Prop 18 out of California.

While I have my own opinions about DoMA and Prop 18, that’s not what has me scratching my head. No, it is the howls of outrage over the scuttling of Section 4 and, as a result, much of Section 5 of the Voting Right Act. This act was initially passed in 1964 as a much needed safeguard for minority voting rights. Since then, it has been renewed several times by Congress. The last, if my memory serves correctly, in 2010. Each time it has been renewed, it was with very little change to the original legislation.

And that, according to the majority opinion handed down by SCOTUS, is the problem. Things have changed since 1964. All you have to do is look at the number of minorities who have been elected to office in that time to see it. If that isn’t enough, look at the number of objections the Justice Department has filed against the states that have been required to undergo federal monitoring, meaning they couldn’t do anything to change voting districts, etc., without first getting federal approval. The objections filed by the Justice Department over the last few years have been in the low single digits.

If that isn’t enough to justify doing away with federal monitoring, the let’s look at the fact the courts have already allowed municipal jurisdictions to file for exception to monitoring if they can prove they’ve gone ten years without problems. More and more jurisdictions over the years have proven they have met the requirements of the Act and such oversight is no longer necessary.

But let’s get back to the ruling. Unlike what those condemning are saying, it doesn’t say the federal government can’t continue to have oversight to insure equality at the polls. What it does say is fairly simple and, at least to me, logical. The conditions that existed in 1964 have changed. More than fifty years of oversight, of people becoming better educated and more aware of what is happening in their community, etc., have changed the status quo. That means you need to adapt the formula used to determine if a state or smaller jurisdiction needs to be monitored. In other words, use current world facts and needs to determine whether or not oversight is necessary.

In short, SCOTUS has left the door wide open for Congress to pass a new Voting Rights Act. Whether it does or not isn’t something the Court should have to worry about. The Court’s concern is if the law of the land, within the framework of the Constitution and justice, is being applied. Yes, that’s overly simplified, but you get my meaning. If you don’t like what SCOTUS did, then talk to your congressman or senator and let them know. Of course, these are the same congressmen and senators who have yet to pass a budget and haven’t in much too long. These are the same congressmen and senators who voted for Obamacare without reading the bill. These are the same congressmen and senators who continue to vote on bills that effect you and me and they rely on interns and clerks to tell them what is in the legislation.

But to get back to the point, after the SCOTUS ruling came down, Attorney General Greg Abbott quickly announced that Texas’ voters’ identification law would be put into effect. Oh the cries of outrage. Oh the people on facebook claiming they’d never move to Texas because of decisions like this. HuffPo, not to be outdone, published an article with the headline: Harsh Texas Voter ID Law ‘Immediately’ Takes Effect After Voting Rights Ruling.

Wow. Harsh Law. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Maybe to vote in Texas you’ll have to run the gauntlet to get into the polling place. Or maybe you have to sign over your first born. Or maybe you just have to prove you are eligible to vote.

Under the Texas law, in order to vote you have to present an approved form of identification. This ID can be in the form of your driver’s license, passport, concealed carry permit, military ID,  citizenship papers with photo attached or state issued ID. Seems reasonable, doesn’t it? But now, those who condemn the law say it discriminates against the poor and elderly. They might not have a photo ID and they might not have the money to get one.

Well, that’s not a stumbling block. The state will immediately start issuing ID cards — at no cost — that will be good for six years. So, no economic hardship.

But that’s still not enough. After all, the homeless might not know about this and they won’t have a mailing address, etc., etc., etc. Again, there are procedures in place for such situations.

However, let’s look at this realistically, folks. Even those who are out of work and many who are homeless have to have ID in order to get their benefits or to be able to cash their checks. If you go to the doctor’s office or hospital, you have to show ID when you are checked in. It is difficult to live completely off the radar these days and those who do aren’t likely to be voting because, guess what, that puts you right back on the paper trail.

Voting is a right, yes. It is guaranteed to citizens of the United States and of the individual states. But that doesn’t mean the states can’t take action to prevent voter fraud. Just as the federal government can oversee the states to make sure they don’t gerrymander voting districts, states can take “reasonable” steps to prevent voter fraud. In fact, any state that doesn’t is not acting in the best interest of its citizens.

I can hear the cries of outrage now. They are saying votes can be checked after they’ve been cast. You can make sure no two people voted under the same name. After all, that’s what voter registration lists are for. Sorry, but when you look at the voter fraud and intimidation we saw in the last two presidential elections, when you consider how the media calls elections based on single digit percentages of electoral districts reporting in, you can’t. In today’s world when elections are usually called within hours of the polls closing, and when it costs candidates thousands of dollars to ask for a recount, why not have some reasonable safeguards in place at the time of the election?

Every party has poll watchers present in major precincts. The state and feds wills end overseers if there is the slightest suggestion of problems. The media will be zooming in with their cameras to make sure the Voter ID law isn’t abused. Remember, when SCOTUS overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, it didn’t say there couldn’t be safeguards and oversights put into place. It simply said they had to be applied based on a formula applicable to this day and age.

Neither the SCOTUS ruling or the Voter ID law will allow Texas or any other jurisdiction to discriminate based on race, religion, sex, etc., etc. Elections can still be challenged and, believe me, they will be. But there has to come a time when we step into the modern age of voting and require the same sort of proof of eligibility that we require to drive a car or buy alcohol or get married.

Voting is a right and something we should take seriously, very seriously. It affects not only us but our children and grandchildren. If was want to exercise our right to vote, we should not only educate ourselves about the issues and the candidates but we should be willing to present not only our voter’s registration card but our photo ID. With the State allowing those who don’t currently have an approved form of photo ID to get one for free, there is no bar left. At least not a reasonable one.

So, for those who say they’ll never move to Texas because we are backward and full of hicks who don’t want to move beyond the Uncle Tom days, grow up. Quit drinking the red kool-aid and parroting the approved party line. Type into your search engines a few simple terms and actually read the court opinions or the laws you are condemning. Or is that too much work for your poor, atrophied brains to handle? After all, it really is so much easier to just follow the crowd as it yells condemnations even as it hurtles over the edge of the cliff like a bunch of nice little lemmings.

157 responses to “SCOTUS, Voting Rights and Texas

  1. Once some bad people did some bad things. Therefore we must forever punish people who (in our Enlightened judgment) are somewhat like them.

    That’s called bigotry. But the bigots can never see that.

    • Or who might be related in some distant manner to them or who might once have had a single thought like them, etc., etc., etc.

      • Who live in kind of the same area as them….

      • I think the formal phrase for “related in some distant manner to them” is called attainder of blood and was specifically disallowed for treason. Shouldn’t it be a penumbra that it is disallowed for lesser crimes?

  2. Amanda – if they are that dumb, we don’t want them in Texas anyway!

    • Larry Patterson

      I35 north to Oklahoma and points beyond, or for real, real honest elections, I30 to Arkansas.

    • True. But then most of those who are screaming about voter ID laws would never want to come here. After all, we also have a pro-gun culture, live in the buckle of the Bible belt and are just uncouth meanies who refuse to become “enlightened”.

  3. The way the VRA was set up it’s like denying you and your descendants a drivers license because your grandfather had too many DUIs.

    • Martin L. Shoemaker

      Good analogy, but it doesn’t go far enough. The guy with the DUI wasn’t your grandfather, he was just some guy who lived in that town; and now that you’ve moved there from another town, they take away your driver’s license.

      Martin L. Shoemaker

      • Actually he didn’t even live in your town. Your town was sucked in a few years later by a change in the inclusion criteria.

        Texas wasn’t one of the original states named in the VRA. It was added when an amendment in 1975 included any state that have over a certain percentage of the population be Spanish speakers, and had not converted all of their voter forms to be Spanish language.

        I was very surprised to learn that New York, Michigan, Arizona, California and Alaska were also partly or completely under the jurisdiction of the VRA. Apparently the way it had been written, the number of regions under it kept growing.

        • Yep, which is why the exceptions and ways to get out from under VRA came about. After all, can’t have all those nice northern states included, can we?

          • Yes, the enlightened northern states. Uh huh, do tell.

            Anyone care to remember where some of the worst riots over forced school integration occurred?

            It was one of the last systems ordered desegregated in the nation.

            John Adams had practiced law there, and in a celebrated case defended Captain Preston, a British soldier who had been charged in an action that had resulted in several wounded and five dead.

            • I don’t know if my mom’s area had riots, but their “forced integration” meant that she rode the bus for over an hour to get to her new high school, and the same thing on the way home. Really sucked for rural folks…..

              • We have had elementary children getting on busses at seven in the morning and returning home at five in the afternoon. When the system was in the process of negotiating a new fuel contract the first time the price of gas was pushing $3.00 a gallon it was none too pretty. As one of the school board members put it, every penny we spend transporting a child around cannot be spent in the classroom.

                • Extra funny: there were no identifiable “black” students at either school. Lots of Irish, Italian, Basque, Indian and Mexican folks mixed in with the usual generic English-ish stock, but not seeing the huge benefit of bringing mostly-Irish-last-name folks whose stop-between was Kansas into a school with mostly-English-last-name folks whose prior stop was California….

            • Integration? But there was no integration in the northern states. What there was was judges’ arbitrary decision to force children to attend schools by racial criteria.

        • Sigh, I hit enter before I meant to. My biggest problem with making sure all the voter forms have been converted to Spanish is that that, in its own way, is exclusionary because it leaves out immigrants from other countries. I’ve always felt that if we are supposed to supply forms in a “native” language, then we ought to do it for everyone, not just for one group. Of course, I also feel that we shouldn’t have immigration laws that favor one nation over all the others. But our current immigration laws aren’t the topic of the day.

          • By allowing one group of immigrants not to learn the prevalent language we were not helping them, but limiting their opportunities and hindering them from becoming fully integrated into society.

            • Oh, I agree. I guess what really galls me is how the government is willing to bend over backwards for one group — especially those who have come here illegally — and yet those from other parts of the world who want to come here, be productive and obey the immigration laws get shafted to the back of the line or into a lottery to see if they can come over.

            • You mean keeping them poor, isolated, and dependent on one particular political party, right?

              • Not really. Although that does happen, but not just for that one segment of our population. Maybe I’m just jaded, but I have seen folks come over from other parts of the world and the first thing they do is learn the language. At the same time they are working hard to improve their lives and the lives of their families. I’m not saying all of the Hispanic community fails to do this. Far from it. But we are bending over backwards to encourage them not to assimilate and that bothers me one hell of a lot. But it is still their choice whether they learn the language, etc. It won’t take anything away from their culture to do so and it will make life easier for them in the long run.

                • That was exactly my point. It’s no accident, no Unintended consequence, that our policies toward immigrants have kept them on the social, economic, and political margins. Time after time the Democrats would watch waves of immigrants from all over the world come in and reliably vote Democrat. Then they would assimilate and start thinking for themselves.

                  By reducing assimilation the Democrat party keeps most of the immigrant population voting for them. It’s the only way they stay politically relevant.

                • Legal, second or third generation Mexicans with too much of an accent or in a district that wants funding get sucked in as well– “English as a second language” is a major issue, since you also don’t learn Mexican Spanish very well.

                  • Oh yeah. Back when my son was in elementary school, one of his best friends was hit by that simply because his last name was Hispanic. The kid didn’t know more than a dozen words in Spanish but the district wanted to put him in the ESL program because of his name. His parents finally wound up transferring him to a different school to keep it from happening.

          • People aren’t supposed to be naturalized until they’ve mastered sufficient English. There should be English-only forms.

            • Funny that — not.

            • It’s amazing how many people would call that racist even though it’s the complete opposite. The fact is that speaking English is necessary to be successful nearly anywhere in the world, but especially here. If English is a requirement for citizenship then we have an obligation to teach it, or at the very least point potential citizens to those who do, thus setting them up with the tools necessary for success.

  4. If you ever have a problem figuring out how to fill out a form for government stuff, or if you need to know the regulations, feel free to ask old ladies or the homeless, because they’re generally well up on the regs.

  5. Honestly, I have never seen the sense in people squalling over having to show an ID at the polls to vote. You have to show an ID to get on an airpline, to cash a check and to use a credit card (sometimes) – so why is having to show one at the polls the Greatest Hardship Evah!!

    Oh, and I live in Texas. Nice place, and the oil extraction biz is booming again, but it is a bit to hot in the summer.

    • Try to get into a political rally for President Obama sometime without ID …

      • Try and get into a court building without I.D..

        • I’ve been in a couple here in Washington, but they took my baby-fork out of my bag and I had to reclaim it when I was done. (Totally serious. I’d even taken the baby-knife out of my diaper bag to avoid conflict. Killer: I was there to get my CC papers done….)

          • That’s only the killer to anyone with a brain. And it’s well known that the Securitus cretinii species doesn’t have a brain, only a spinal column. Hence its inability to do anything besides react by reflex.

            • It’s not the security guy’s fault– their bosses act like they have no brains, so they make rules that act like they have no brains.

              Sometimes, they deserve to be treated that way… and not hired in the first place….

              • Security staff are hired according to their willingness to be treated like mushrooms — kept in the dark and fed horsesh?t, and promoted according to how well they thrive on such a diet. A security staffer with brains is a) likely to be extremely frustrated in the position and b) in position to take over operations and run things intelligently*.

                The problem is in the process, not the personnel. The personnel are a symptom, not the illness.

                *Given the demonstrated standards of most politicians, not a particularly high hurdle to clear. See: http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/171615/ (#WARONMEN)

        • You need ID to get into a courthouse where you live? I have never been asked for ID to get in any courthouse in the three states I can think of going into courthouses in (Idaho, Washington, Oregon) now in Washington you do walk through a metal detector and have to leave your pocketknife etc. until you leave. I don’t recall a metal detector in Oregon, but it has been a while, and here all the courthouses I have been in have a metal detector by the doors, but only some of them are actually set up where you have to walk through one, and in all the years I have been going to them (usually to look up deeds and registered surveys, not because I am constantly in trouble) I have never seen one turned on.

          Even with a CC you aren’t supposed to have any weapons in one however, shows the trust they have in the citizens that are supposedly the governments employers.

          • In Nevada you must show an ID, put all your metal in a metal detector thingie, and walk through a thingie (mind is not doing well with nouns this morning). Every one– then there are the wands … it has been that way here since the mid-90s.

      • Uh. . .why would I want to?

        • Ummm … Someone has to shout out “You lie!” when he speaks?

          Although I wonder what would be the effect of several dozen people laughing uproariously whenever he makes one of his pretentiously ignorant assertions?

          • He’d probably have to stop and look at his teleprompter to see if he’d just said a joke or not. When he finally figured out he hadn’t, he’d be so lost since he’d be behind what was on the teleprompter that he’d have something else to worry about.

    • Celia, it might be hot in the summer but we don’t have to worry about the tons of snow in the winter and I can live with only one or two ice storms a year. 😉

  6. I show my driver’s license at the polls even though it’s not required (I vote in Ohio). 1) It keeps everybody honest at least in my case and 2) it p***es off any leftists among the poll workers. Although, I should say, they always politely check it against the book and thank me when they hand it back.

    I suspect — and, really, you’re being too kind here by giving the benefit of the doubt — that the principle reason Democrats object to voter ID (and really, there’s no other reason to do so) is that they want to be able to cheat and voter ID requirements are fairly effective at shutting that down.

    And it should be noted that the swing states where Obama won in 2012 and shenanigans are suspected are all states without voter ID requirements.

    I’d move to Texas if the weather were better.

    M

    • What I heard is that they planned to do to TX what they did to CO — MASSIVE FRAUD to flip it blue — and TX went and spoiled their fun, the meanies.

      I’d move to TX if it weren’t so lizardy.

      • When The Daughter and I were in TX I saw few lizards. I did see big hairy spiders, which aren’t so bad, and a couple of scorpions, which did give me pause.

        • Spiders are fine. Lizards are just icky

          • We have lizards here in NC, generally of the smaller types. The Daughter and I once devoted a pleasant break in an afternoon walk/toddle to watch a chameleon. She has since seen others on the local university campus, and I don’t mean the human type…

            And, on another occasion, a friend and I were once stuck for some time in one place on the Blue Ridge Parkway waiting for a tree trimming crew to finish work, but we were, thankfully, entertained as we waited by a small lizard on the rock face of the cliff wall next to us.

            • There are actually lizards in the west side of Oregon, too. Blue skinks. Much nicer than the bat my cats brought in yesterday.

          • That’s why you have cats, Sarah. They take care of the lizards. Of course, every once in awhile, the cat gets sneaky and brings the lizard to you — usually while you are still in bed and asleep and said cat then drops the lizard on your face.

            • Trust me, Amanda, dogs will do it too…. as I found out one morning when my Fuzzy (see gravatar) deposited a mostly dead and twitching cucarachua about one inch from the end of my nose and then sat back looking sooooo pleased as I opened my eyes in the grey light of dawn and saw it…

              “Won’t you share my kill, pack leader?!?!? See how good I am…. You’re levitating to the ceiling, pack leader? Is there a problem?” 😎

              • LOL. If my dog, AKA the drooler, ever did something like that, I’d have to go looking for the pod because I’d know something had happened to my REAL dog. Poor Rocky is so neurotic that he’s afraid of the refrigerator and waits for the cat to kill the bugs. And this is a dog the size of Lassie.

          • Sarah,

            If you move to Dallas I’ll either kill all your lizards or arrange for someone else to do it!

  7. The claimed issue of two people voting under the same name is not and has rarely been the issue (until recently when folks started discovering their names were down as voted Absentee when they had not requested the ballot) but the one person going to multiple polls and using multiple names to vote … Was it the one Dem dingbat that was proud she voted 5 times for 0bama … and even Texas’ new law leaves the possibility of it. I know one guy who probably could vote, he has a CCW permit, with photo, and that is the only ID he has that fails to mention he is a resident Alien (but working towards citizenship so this is temporary, I’m sure the Dems would be fine with his voting … he is Mexican … unless he votes Republican) and there are states that have always required ID to vote. Some I believe are quite Blue (er commie red more like it).
    There is one way to be sure Dems are solid against any voter fraud. Prove a Republican benefited by it.

    • The problem is they then discard your ballot, because they confirm you already voted “absentee.” But that’s with ID, except the absentee doesn’t need it, of course!

      • “Vote By Mail” is the ultimate fraud, of course. It allows them to create fictitious voters casting fictitious ballots. In a nation which sends $45 million in Federal tax refunds to almost 40 thousand people residing at a single address we can be confident in the sanctity of the ballot once we get Vote By Mail instigated nation-wide.

        Of course, the cost of printing and delivering the ballots to the voters can be prohibitive and limit the money available for funneling to cronies … to campaign supporters … to deserving constituencies, so alternatives must be devised. Perhaps the state could follow the lead of so many on-line service providers and invite each voter to provide a one-time voting directive which the government would use to determine how to cast the votes on the subject’s citizen’s behalf. Or the government could buy space in newspapers every election, publishing the ballots which people could clip and cast.

        Maybe the solution is On-Line voting, with the government issuing each voter a unique identifier allowing them to vote online (replacing voting machines with computer terminals. Under the Federal Open On-Line Election Day! Act everybody would be able to vote and results would be instantaneously known as soon as polls closed, if not sooner.

        • We could replace the hanging chad with the crashed/corrupted server.
          I live in a state with vote by mail. I lack confidence it the integrity of the process

        • Michael Brazier

          Do you think the VRA, with a new section 4, could be used to outlaw voting by mail and same-day registration? Gosh that would be a fun bill to introduce in Congress …

          • I am eagerly looking forward to the Congressional attempt to devise a workable reformulation of Section 4. Think of all the poison pills each side will attempt to insert, such as a national voter data base to prevent voting in multiple locales, or a national requirement (with funds to provide for it) for picture voter ID.

            Sadly, I suspect the GOP will fail to rise to the occasion, since the media coverage will scare too many of them senseless.

      • That depends on the state as well. iirc here the deal is you vote, present a valid ID and they are supposed to attempt to validate the Absentee then discard that as the Vote on the day is the one supposedly validated at the poll. This often doesn’t seem to occur in high dem areas (hence dems running the polls) and of course never seems to be the case in Dem states no matter the procedure

    • William O. B'Livion

      The claimed issue of two people voting under the same name is not and has rarely been the issue (until recently when folks started discovering their names were down as voted Absentee when they had not requested the ballot)

      I was a poll worker (not a pole worker) in San Francisco and witnessed it. young lass was MOST upset.

      Still, that was one incident of that sort I witnessed in 6 years of working the polls, so can’t say it was common.

  8. Funny, the people that think homeless and poor and elderly people don’t have access to photo ID/don’t have a mailing address/etc don’t seem to think they have to have photo ID to get their food stamps/EBT cards, or to cash their welfare.social security checks, or open a bank account, or a place to use as an address to register to vote in the first place… the people that think and say these things have clearly NEVER actually been homeless in any urban area.

    • actually they can register without an address now in CO — same day registration. Like Chicago, we too can have a hundred people all living in a vacant lot. We have a recall petition out for some of our jokers. It’s too little. What we REALLY need is tar and feathers.

    • Birthday girl

      Yes. I’m also remembering the “victims of the day” last year, who were a religious order of elderly cloistered nuns. The lefty line was that they had been cloistered nearly all their lives and thus had never needed nor obtained photo IDs … wah wah wah now they won’t be able to vote … only one problem with that story … elderly women need a lot of medical care, none of which is available without showing ID … so were those elderly women truly going without medical care, ’cause that’s the logical result of no ID in our day and age? Of course, that’s ridiculous.

      Lefty sob stories … sigh …

  9. I’m an election judge in Texas. The new law is a very small change from existing law. Up to now, it’s been possible to vote simply by showing your voter’s registration card, which has no picture i.d. (You can also use a variety of other forms of i.d., without or without a picture, including utility bills or any correspondence from the government, as long as the address matches your address on the voter registration lists. Probably about half of my voters don’t bother to carry around their voter’s registration card and prefer to use a driver’s license. Other forms of permissible i.d. are used only in rare emergencies.)

    On the other hand, under existing law, it requires a photo i.d. to become registered to vote in the first place. The only exception is people who registered by mail, and they are flagged on the voter’s registration list so that they will be required to show i.d. the first time they use their voter’s registration card. In other words, everyone already is required to have photo i.d. to vote legally. If they don’t show up on the registration list for my precinct, I cannot let them vote. If they’re on the list and flagged to show i.d. but don’t show it, I cannot let them vote.

    The only difference now is that you’ll have to produce the photo i.d. at the polls every time you vote instead of just once up front. Big deal?

    • ENORMOUS if you plan to vote under three names. But Bogdamnit, we have to at least make them create fake IDs! Show some work.

    • librarygryffon

      I’ve worked the polls in CT the last four years, and that’s pretty much how it is here right now. You don’t have to have a picture ID except for registration or the first time you vote if you registered by mail. Last year we had a lot of people asking us why they weren’t required to show a picture, they thought it was perfectly reasonable. And we do have a way for people who don’t like ID to vote (one guy at one district does it every time, so we know him pretty well anyway – benefits of a smallish town)

      However I know our town Registrars of Voters (we have one each for D and R) are *not* happy with the new changes which allow same day registration and which will cost the town thousands of dollars each election (we’ve had years with four what with primaries) to set up people at each of seven districts and a central office, and odds are we might have two or three people use it. It’s not like CT is purple and needs any “help” turning blue. Sigh.

    • Given how many nursing home staffs have bragged about “helping” their patients vote?

  10. states can take “reasonable” steps to prevent voter fraud. In fact, any state that doesn’t is not acting in the best interest of its citizens.

    Yea, I say yea.

    • But I thought you knew those steps are only reasonable if they benefit the current party in power. Anything that might not benefit the party in power is oppressive and must not be allowed to happen.

      • I have noticed this argument in the history I am presently reading, but it is a discussion the Russian Republics and the ones making the argument are Stalinists.

        On the other hand, the history I am listening to while doing housework (Joseph J. Ellis’ American Creation) is moving towards the summer of 1776. Very different. 😉

  11. North Carolina. The Daughter and I usually go to vote together. Although we live in one of the more liberal metropolitan areas The Daughter always produces and insists on showing them her I. D.. The poll worker always assures her that it is not necessary, they cannot ask, but … well … they wish they could. Then I step up with my I. D. … we all smile and do it again.

  12. Don’t encourage them. The last thing we need in Texas is more liberals. IF only we could convince people in Travis county how much happier they would be in San Francisco.

    • San Franciscans: “I would never move to Texas!!!”

      Texans: “Who axed ya? Just send us yore biznesses.”

    • Travis County and Harris County. And they don’t have to go to San Fran. I’ll be happy if they just leave for points anywhere but here 😉

      • Parts of Tarrant and Dallas too. TX 30 especially. For a Nurse, Eddie Johnson comes across as a rather unintelligent human being … must be the three different colleges she went to.

        • The sad thing is, I can remember when Eddie Bernice wasn’t this caricature she seems to be now. She did a lot of good for Dallas years ago and for the African-American community there. Now, not so much.

          • sorta what happened with Ray Nagin in N.O. He broke lots of corruption and did a bang up job when first elected … then came Katrina and it went down hill from there

            • Ray Nagin (laugh scornfully). When he was supposed to be breaking corruption, the corruption was same as always… ask about what happened to all the money for preparing for the emergency… before Katrina. It is really interesting how many people in the government there got rich on it.

              • Ray Nagin was what you would expect to get from electing a Cable TV executive: a mayor long on promise, short non delivery.

                The question is: was any better option available in Nawlins? Elections are fixed best when they are fixed well before they take place.

                • Probably not– and from what I hear about the place (I know people who were from there), if you had options you left.

                • jpkalishek

                  He did well the first bit, especially compared to Morial who had just left, and a big part of the issue come Katrina was during the Governor election he backed Jindal over Blanco and she hates him for it, and they were not working together at all when GWB would call to coordinate. This leaves out the stupidiy of not following the plan (he was given accolades for coming up with the plan in the first place, previously there was nothing worth calling such) and using the Dome after it had been trashed the first time folks “Sheltered In Place” for Georges.

                  • Larry Patterson

                    Always laugh at James Lee Burke’s character Robicheaux calling NOLA “The Big Sleazy.”

              • jpkalishek

                yeah. people look at me really weirdly when I tell them Nagin is the best Mayor N.O. has had … not that he is a good one, but the rest were that much worse. He did do a decent job with the Taxi commission, airport contracts etc. But then it went pear shaped … or as it’s known in N.O. … Normal.

    • Pardon. I live in Travis and I am NOT a liberal. I am, however, slightly outnumbered.

      • Then your job, should you decide to accept it, is to help point the liberals to the nearest exist from the state. Remind them of the greener pastures in California and the wonderful seasons in the Northeast. 😉

        • There’s that. I’m also slowly undermining the most thoughtful of my liberal friends.

  13. Y’all acting like it matters if you pick jackass A or Jackass B. Both are handpicked crooks who will ignore your will and serve the corporations who funded their election. That you will choke down the choice put before you maintains the illusion they have your consent for what they do after.
    They say you can’t complain if you didn’t vote – truth is when you vote you agree their numbers and candidates are valid.

    • Larry Patterson

      Good point. Parties pick candidates, suckers believe their claptrap.

    • Change “Corporations” to “interest groups” and I won’t disagree with you….much. But the idea that Big Business is running this mess is hysterical. I’m not saying they don’t influence the hell out of it, but if they were calling the shots, things would be a lot different.

    • Ding dang– you really think the corporations are what started this mess. The Corps have found that they can’t do business w/o bribery (look at what they did to Microsoft a few years ago). So yes, it is the corps money– but place the blame where it belongs– crooked individuals who want power and the people who enable them.

      • Yes, business’s do what they have to, to stay in business. If they don’t they don’t stay in business and are no longer A business. The government is like a protection racket, must of the business’s would prefer to not pay protection money, but it is either pay it, close their doors, have their doors closed for them, or hire enough muscle (opposing party) to protect them from the protectors.

      • Heh – I just read The Corps have found that they can’t do business w/o bribery (look at what they did to Microsoft a few years ago). and had a “Wait. What?” moment – As capitalized, “The Corps” to me refers to the United States Marine Corps, and I (A) was puzzled, not hearing that things had gone quite that far downhill in the time I since I did my last supervised four-count pushup that they couldn’t do their business without bribery, and (B) wondered how I missed it in the news when that MEU visited Redmond, OR to pay a call on Microsoft HQ…

        Then I reread it. To quote Emily Latella, Nevermind.

  14. I look forward to the inventive arguments the Vile Progs employ to block finger-inking — a process we should have long since deployed.

    Although, in America I don’t think the finger that we ink should be the index.

    • I do recall the UN observers being a bit flabbergasted about how much we trust the votes to be handled fairly.

    • There may be allergy issues, and the ink is not sustainably produced. Marking people is akin to targeting them for genocide – a thing we must stamp out no matter how many people we have to destroy.

  15. Larry Patterson

    People here in Portugal are amazed that you can go around without ID there. And all citizens must register to vote.

    Of course, that means that “None of the Above” comes in first place often.

    • Hell I’d vote a straight None of the Above ticket all the time if it were available here. Trouble is, I suspect, that’s tantamount to an admission of the possibility that nobody SHOULD be occupying a given office.

      M

      • I believe that one state has used a none of the above option. Nevada, I believe. There are some who say that this mysterious candidate is the reason we have Harry Reid.

        • I meant to comment about “none of the above.” (being in NV and all)… When someone votes that option, they vote for the opposition because “none of the above” doesn’t count even if it wins. Just a way to make sure the Dems invalidate votes.

          • Yup, I gather that if none of the above wins, the person in second place is then declared the winner by default.

            • Wayne Blackburn

              Well, that’s certainly a corruption of the intent of allowing such a choice on the ballot. It’s supposed to mean that the election has to be done over, and no one currently on the ballot is allowed to run.

              • That may be what you or I would intend as the meaning a win for none of the above, if we were to write such an option into law, but that is not how the law is written in Nevada.

                I guess, since no one can find N. O. F. Above to swear in, the candidate is declared in non-compliance, or some such nonsense… 😉

              • Should be, but isn’t… which is why there is a group trying to get that choice off the ballot.

          • Larry Patterson

            “None of above” is just a way of saying abstention. The mostly repugnant political class inspires many to inaction, because people know the answer to “What difference does it make.”

  16. There is an article today in a Paraguayan online newspaper (ABC Color) with the headline:
    “Foreigners can vote with Paraguayan ID” and the sub-headline is: “Foreigners will be able to vote in the upcoming municipal elections but they must have Paraguayan identification.”
    The article is actually a reminder from the National Elections office what it takes to get National ID for children and foreign spouses of Paraguayans returning from living overseas, so they can participate in the upcoming elections.

    Still: I wonder that Paraguay has more stringent laws than my state, which keeps setting up laws and then apparently thinking up ways to circumvent them.

  17. I like to show my ID… except the polling people refuse to look at it. *sigh In my youth in Utah, we showed our ID to prove we were the person who had signed up to vote. What the heck happened with such good logic and reason?

    • Wayne Blackburn

      In Kentucky, it’s “Show your ID, then sign beside your name”. Has been every time I have voted. We took a long time to go to the new computerized machines, too. The old lever-flip ones were good enough for a long time.

      • Yes– the words I used to hear a long long time ago. *sigh

      • Voting machines, what are those? Here in Idaho I show my ID, sign beside my name and get a ballot and a pencil, fill in the little bubble beside the name of the person you want to vote for.

        In Washington when I lived there I always voted absentee by mail (now I believe they are a vote by mail only state) because I worked out of town and was almost never around on election day. After moving to Idaho and changing my address, drivers license, legal residence, registering to vote in Idaho, etc., Washington continued to send my a ballot (to my Idaho address) for several elections. Even after calling multiple times and explaining that I did not live in Washington, would they PLEASE take me off the voter rolls?

        While not quite as convenient, I far prefer the absentee voting as offered here, because it cuts down tremendously on fraud. Here if you want to vote absentee you can go into the county courthouse at anytime before election day (I think a month or six weeks, not sure on the exact length of time, but it is a long time) and vote just like you would on election day, show ID, sign your name, take your ballot over to the little booth, fill it out with the provided kiddy pencil with no eraser, put it in the envelope, sign it, and hand it to the lady who drops it through the slot in the locked ballot box. Oh and that list where you sign beside your name after showing ID to prove you are that person, it is the list used to both check if you are eligible to vote and if you have voted already.

        • We are all by mail.

          So poorly advertized that I heard of some entire (conservative/traditional) religious communities showing up to vote and finding the polling place closed.

          When I was in the Navy, I faithfully registered as required to get my ballot sent to my base; it always went to my folks. When I moved to Spokane after leaving the Navy, my folks and I got a ballot. I am scared that my old address in Spokane is still getting ’em, along with my prior address over here one town over…..

          • Oh yes, at least once (I believe the first year I moved) they sent one to my folks as well. It shouldn’t really be a surprise, they need to find those ballots to tip close elections somewhere.

  18. scott2harrison

    Agree entirely with your main point. However, at least twice you feffered to voting as a right. It is not. The only thing in the constitution about the ability to vote is that it may not be taken away for certain causes including race and previous condition of servitude. It would be perfectly constitutional (apart from disparate impact) to require people to pay more in taxes than they receive in direct benifits in order to vote, or to deny the franchise to blondes, or single mothers, or divorced people, or government employees …

    This is an issue that Is something of a hot button for me, in part because it is used to justify the denial of the right to bear arms (which IS a right). The vile progs (thanks Sarah) say that you can be denied the right to vote for that, so it is OK to deny the right to bear arms also.

    • You are incorrect.

      “Section 1. (of Amendment 15)
      The right of citizens of the United States to vote…”

      “Section 1. (of Amendment 14)
      No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

      “Section 1. (of Amendment 24)
      The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.”

      • scott2harrison

        I noted the fifteenth ammendment restrictions on denying the right to vote above.

        I do not believe that the fourteenth ammendment is relevent to this issue. It certainly is not held to be in the current restrictions on voting. Still, since it has been a dead letter almost since its passage, it is hard to say what it actually means.

        I had forgotten the twenty-fourth ammendment. That might prevent restricting voting to those who paid more in taxes than they received in benifits. Thank you for bringing it to my attention again. Still, it would not keep us from preventing those dastardly red-heads from voting.

  19. If they were intelligent they wouldn’t be liberals.

    Really, any law that reduces voter fraud should be supported, even if it initially rejects more legitimate voters than fraudulent ones. Fraudulent votes disenfranchise people just as much as turning them away from the polls, but the latter person knows they’ve been disenfranchised and can work, agitate, and sue, to be allowed to vote. Thus the number of people denied their right to vote will tend toward zero (there’s no such thing as a perfect system). While the person whose vote has been cancelled by an illegitimate vote has no idea and can do nothing to correct it. Indeed, the tendency will be toward an increasing number of illegitimate votes as time goes on.

    We can never eliminate voter fraud, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work to keep it unimportant in all but the closest races.

    • I would be wary about saying that any law that reduces voter fraud should be supported. I keep in mind two things. People are horribly ingenious, and somebody somewhere is going to find a way to break just about any system if they think it will profit them. It is altogether probable that at some point the actions seen as necessary to make any more gains in eliminating voter fraud could become outweighed by the intrusive and onerous restrictions it would place on the legitimate voter.

      Now, just because I don’t think we can entirely eliminate voter fraud it does not mean that I would suggest that attempt should be made to reduce voter fraud. I would say that any reasonable action to reduce voter fraud should be taken. Then the argument becomes what is reasonable. My definition for law has been the minimum necessary to produce the maximum result — and, with voting, because it’s legitimacy is essential to our system and any fraud undercuts the whole system, I am willing to see the minimum set pretty high.

      • That’s why I said “reduce” not “eliminate”. I’ve spent too much time playing “how do I break this?” to think that any system is perfect.

        On the other hand, I’m not too concerned about denying the vote to legitimate voters because, as I said before, that tends to be self-correcting. If you are told you cannot vote you will take action to fix the problem. Those that are too apathetic to bother aren’t capable of making intelligent choices about the direction of the country.

  20. “Voting is a right…” (incorrectly repeated here and in many news articles)

    Voting is a privilege. Only citizens who are mentally competent, at least minimally literate, and at least 18 years old can vote. Some states require proof of residency for voting. Voting is denied to most felons. Voting used to be restricted by sex and by whether the citizen owned property. Congress and the President can enact laws that change voting criteria.

    Most voting jurisdictions check only citizenship and age. Requiring an official ID to confirm those two factors is not a hurdle to legal voting. Those squawking about the ID requirement obviously support fraudulent voting. Since almost all fraudulent voting is for democratic candidates, it is easy to understand why all the squawkers are democrats (or far lefties).

    • EXACTLY! and all the 13th, 14th, 15th amendments have to say about it is that if you require any voters to show up at the polls naked, then all groups must equally show up that way.

      • I would support and amendment that requires all voters to show up to the polls armed, to prove they have the means of defending their right to vote 🙂

    • The Constitution refers to the right of a citizen to vote. Did the authors not know what they had written?

      A right may be restricted, such as the right of free speech guaranteed in the First Amendment. The courts have held that it does not cover knowledgeable reckless endangerment of other persons or property, such as incitement to riot or shouting fire in a crowded theater when there is none.

      Nor are our Constitutional rights considered to be universal. (Although some argue that we should treat them as such.) They are not automatically extended to foreign citizens who are visiting or in residence in the country.

      At present the right to vote is restricted to legal citizens who are in good standing, having obtained the age of 18 or more and being of sound mind. You can be disenfranchised by committing certain crimes, or by being declared to be incompetent by the courts. This does not make voting any less a right.

  21. I live in Texas. I’m not worried about people who “might not move here”. I’m worried about the people who might. So anything in the news that helps convince the residents of the East and West coast that Texas is a racist, sexist, homophobic, polluted, uncaring, poorly educated, gun-worshiping hell on earth is fine by me!

  22. ….Isn’t it more reasonable to go “hey, you’re either believing the MSN about how Texas is scary, or you’ve got all the information and still think it’s terrible? Why should you not moving there be a threat, again?”

  23. I wonder where we got the idea that voting should be easy. Tens of millions of men and women have put up with such discomforts as oppressive heat, mind-numbing boredom, and – oh yes – BEING %#*^{ING SHOT AT in defense of democracy. If you cannot be bothered to wait in line at a polling place or find a couple of hours to go to the DMV at some point in two years, then I don’t really care about your opinion on the direction of the nation.

    • But, but, but, I want it easy. I want the government to make everything easy for me. Isn’t that what they’re here for? (snark meter off now)

      • The government seeks to make you easy to govern, to ease you into being a good subject, easy to not be a citizen. To make you so comfortable in that handbasket you don’t ask awkward questions about the destination.

        You wouldn’t want to make their jobs hard, would you?

      • And I want to motorboat Scarlett Johanssen. It’s good to want things, it keeps you sharp.

  24. Dorothy Grant

    Note for libertycon guests. The breakfast crowd will gather in the lobby to leave for city diner at 9am.

    This is apparently not the thy city diner downtown,

    And now, to bed.

  25. This is one of those city problems that kind of catches me by surprise. I know the poll workers (one lives next door–next door is not quite half a mile away). I know the other voters. I can see how you could commit vote fraud by mail, or when you absentee vote, maybe (Idaho-Bearcat described our method) but how the heck does someone commit voting fraud on election day? Either you live in the precinct or you don’t.
    And then I remember that yeah, city precincts probably have more people in them. So another solution would be to say no more than a hundred voters in the precinct. A hundred’s probably about where we are: I was pretty late in the day and I was #91. I think I’m with Lazarus Long on this–if you need an id card, time to move on.
    The hardest part of voting here is respelling my last name a couple times for the poll workers, because as long as I live I will always be “The MyParents’LastName Girl” to the neighborhood.

    • “The hardest part of voting here is respelling my last name a couple times for the poll workers, because as long as I live I will always be “The MyParents’LastName Girl” to the neighborhood.”

      You took your husbands name? Gender-traitor!

      • You’re assuming s/he is female and married a male?!? HATER!

        • I find it sexist but true that pretty plants are always named after women, not men.

          • If you had MyParents’LastName and you had a chance to change it to anything easier to spell, you’d take it, too! It just so happens that my married last name is near as bad as my maiden.
            Bearcat’s in Idaho, Foxfier, so knows that only one male/one female marriages are allowed here: safe and correct assumption.
            Bearcat, I clicked through to your website, those are some fine dogs. We used to live up in Troy–too bad I didn’t ‘know’ you then! Or did I? Those are some small towns . . . We certainly have mutual acquaintances.

            • Not that I’m aware of, I tend to keep to myself a lot, but there is just not that many people around, I’m sure we know some of the same people.

    • In the 2008 elections one precinct in Philadelphia supposedly reported 110% turn-out of the registered voters. (The city has 1,700 districts, with an average of 600 registered voters apiece.) Now, I could see this as theoretical possible, although highly improbable, if Pennsylvania had same day registration at the time (it does now) – and the turn out was 110% of previously registered voters. Still I am inclined to note: pull the other one or I’ll be limping.