Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republican Disregard for All Things American

With November quickly approaching the Republicans in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and Colorado are attempting to hijack and corrupt the voting process again. This is a much more sweeping and obvious attempt to shut out poor, minority, elderly and traditionally Democratic voters in the above mentioned swing states.

State Rep. Ron Reagan (Weird huh?), Sen. Bill Posey and the Republican party in florida have signed into law a crippling late fee for not-for profits like the League of Women Voters who have been registering voters since 1939.

From Time.com

“The League of Women Voters has been signing up voters ever since women won the right to vote in 1920. But now, for the first time in the League's storied history, a branch of the organization has shut down its operations to protest a new Florida law that the League claims will have a chilling effect on voter registration - in a state that already has one of the nation's most notoriously dysfunctional election systems.

In a federal lawsuit filed in Miami on Thursday against the Florida Secretary of State and Division of Elections, the League's Florida branch acknowledged that it had recently ceased efforts to register voters because of what it calls the law's draconian fines against organizations (other than political parties) for submitting forms late. The League of Women Voters of Florida joined several other pubic interest and labor groups, including the Florida AFL-CIO, in challenging the constitutionality of the law, which went into effect Jan. 1. They are asking the U.S. District Court to immediately suspend the fines - which the groups say could bankrupt their voter registration budgets.”
“On March 19 the board of directors for LWV of Florida voted unanimously to suspend voter registration rather than put its volunteers and $80,000 annual budget at risk, says its president, Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti. "I'm angry, okay?" Wheatley-Giliotti says. "This hits at the core of our mission. We were founded to educate voters and get them involved in the political process. I can't do my job, really.

Florida is the only state that levies fines for submitting registration applications late or not at all, says Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, who also represents the plaintiffs. And the LWV of Florida claims the impact of the fines could be devastating. "The League of Women Voters' entire annual budget of $80,000 would be decimated if only sixteen voter registration applications collected by its volunteers were lost in a flood, or if its volunteers took 11 days to submit the few hundred applications they often collect during one day's work," according to the lawsuit.

Contacted shortly after the filing in Miami, Susan Smith, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State in Tallahassee said the agency had not yet seen the lawsuit and therefore could not comment. Other voter registration advocates say they also fear that one of the underlying political intents of the law - which was passed by the Republican-majority Florida Legislature - is to dilute and discourage Democratic voter registration, since groups like the AFL-CIO are thought to register more working-class and minority voters.

Sen. Bill Posey, a Rockledge Republican, argues that hurricanes or other disasters are not the issue; by imposing the fine for failing to submit a voter's application, he maintains, the law discourages people or groups from destroying the registration forms of people with differing political views. (Weiser points out that Florida already had a law on the books to address that problem.) And if a hurricane hits, any fine due to delay or destruction can be appealed, he says. "If a hurricane blew a building away, I can't imagine they're going to get somebody for that," Posey says. "I think common sense would prevail. If there is a nuclear holocaust I think the last thing people are going to be worried about is getting their registrations in on time."

State Rep. Ron Reagan (no relation to the former President), a Sarasota Republican who sponsored the law, says political parties are exempt from the law "because we rarely have a problem with political parties. It didn't matter what side you were on. We were not going to penalize them." But Weiser of the Brennan Center calls that position "discriminatory. The League of Women Voters and AFL-CIO have been forced to shut down their operations. It's not only burdensome but discriminatory. That's problematic - and unconstitutional."


““In Iraq, the U.S. Army spent six weeks helping citizens register to vote. We're not seeking special assistance - only asking that the government get out of our way, and let the League and other civic organizations continue to help each voter exercise the most basic civil right,” Wheatley-Giliotti said. “We've been dedicated to this work for 67 years, and we don't want to stop now.”

The challenged law creates a punishing and complicated tiered regime of deadlines and fines. For each and every voter registration form submitted more than ten days after the form was collected from a prospective voter, the government will impose a fine of $250, while for each registration form submitted after the passing of a registration deadline, the fine is $500.

If a registration form is not submitted, for any reason, the fine per form jumps to $5,000. Most chilling to plaintiffs' activities is the law's adoption of a “strict liability” legal standard, meaning that no extenuating circumstance -- not even destruction of an office by a hurricane -- will excuse the failure to submit a registration form.

Plaintiffs say the impact of multiple fines would devastate the budgets of many non-partisan voter registration groups. For example, the entire annual budget for the Florida League of Women Voters is $80,000, or the equivalent of just 16 lost registration forms. At the same time, virtually everyone associated with an organization -- from a volunteer canvasser to the organization's Board chair -- can be held personally responsible for paying the fines.

“There's no mistaking the impact of these fines,” said Wendy Weiser, co-counsel for the plaintiffs and deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. “Anyone who is a leader of an organization has good reason to be scared of the consequences of authorizing a voter registration drive in Florida today.”

“What the State has done is radically raise the cost of doing business for voter registration groups,” said Mrs. Wheatley-Giliotti of the Florida League. “In effect, this is a tax on democracy and a tax on democratic participation that makes voter registration work prohibitively expensive for many of the state's leading civic organizations.”

“The specific targeting of non-partisan voter registration groups with these onerous fines gives another 'black eye' to Florida, a state already plagued in recent years with a less-than-pristine track record on voter registration and election issues,” said Gary Rosen, pro bono co-counsel and a shareholder at Ft. Lauderdale law firm Becker & Poliakoff.

The complaint explains that another constitutional failing of the challenged law is its unequal treatment of political parties and non-partisan groups. The law exempts political parties from the fines to be assessed against non-partisan organizations. Plaintiffs claim there is no evidence whatsoever in the legislative record to suggest that late or lost voter registration forms have been more prevalent among Florida's non-partisan groups than among Florida's political parties - in fact, they say, there is no evidence in the record of any serious problem of late or lost voter registration forms.

“These fines will quickly erase from the state some of the most basic sights of American democracy: the non-partisan voter registration table at the mall or bus stop; the unaffiliated registration advocate at a school or workplace; and the encouragement to participate in elections often found in churches and synagogues,” said Elizabeth S. Westfall of the Advancement Project, co-counsel for the plaintiffs.

Joining the Florida League of Women Voters in completely suspending Florida voter registration efforts in the face of the new law are PACT and the AFL-CIO, while the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 79 (AFSCME) has substantially scaled back its voter registration activity.

Should plaintiffs succeed in their lawsuit and the federal court agree that the First Amendment protects voter registration activities from the fines and other burdens Florida has established, the legal outcome will help to head off comparable voter-suppression statutes in other states, such as Ohio, New Mexico, and Colorado.”


How is it that those of us who attempt to protect the values, rights and traditions of The United States of America are labeled traitors, unpatriotic or socialists?
When did torture, spying on it's own citizens, vote tampering, lying, attacking those who disagree, spreading propaganda and misinformation, disregarding the rest of the world, ignoring scientific facts, corruption, cronyism, a blatant disregard for healthcare for Americans, greed, waste, incompetence, ignoring the educational needs of the children of this country, forcing Christianity on the world and bigotry become American values and traditions?

Murtha and Kerry are cowards who are harming the nation and aiding the enemy, despite their valiant service defending their country, while Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney a.k.a. “The Deferment Boys” are the embodiment of American toughness? They're patriotic Americans?
What am I missing?
We are the patriots, not the Republican machine that continues to trample the constitution and the rights of all Americans. We are the ones fighting for our country. The GOP has diminished our credibility and our reputations in the eyes of the world long enough. We cannot allow them to corrupt the voting process that is the cornerstone of our democratic government.


Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at June 14, 2006 12:16 PM
Comments
Comment #157630

Andre Why not just continue to advise illegals to vote thats what your party has been caught on video doing?Iadvise the far left liberal groups that you mentioned to abide by the law.You act like election laws do not apply to the Democrat party.With all due respect does the left ever stop Whinning?

Posted by: lookingout at June 14, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #157639

Lookingout,
Other people at Watchblog have dismissed you as a troll. I would never do that because I learn from many people with varying perspectives.I also respect your point that no U.S. lawmaker should call for any illegal activity, regardless of party affiliation. I’m not whining in my post. I’m merely stating that the GOP is once again manipulating state electoral laws and it’s wrong.
Was suggesting that illegal aliens vote appropriate? No
Is manipulating election laws to favor a particular party is also not appropriate.
Thanks for reading my post.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at June 14, 2006 1:41 PM
Comment #157657

I will admit that I didnt read this entire post. (didnt have time)

But if im correct in what your saying, that your upset about numerous groups that decided “not” to follow the voting laws and are gonna be fined for breaking the law.

your saying that the GOP passed all these laws to pick on the democrats?

Am i correct in this break down.

Posted by: MacIrish at June 14, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #157659

Andre, very good. Typical of Republicans. The important thing is to win, never mind how. If you must trample on our democracy to do it, do it.

This is the Karl Rove approach. Lie, attack, smear, set up whispering campaigns, destroy reputations of candidates - and reduce the number of people voting for Democrats any way possible.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 14, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #157660

Andre,
I’ve been reading about this law too. Yet after all the shady dealings that have already transpired with that states elections, should we really be surprised? Of course it stinks, and carries the radical stamp of the Neocons, but it did seem like the next logical step that these people would take to lock down their ability to win in Florida, permanently.

Last two paragraphs of your post — Agree 100%.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 14, 2006 2:15 PM
Comment #157664

Paul cite me one lie Carl Rove has told.Are you questioning the honesty of the special prosicuter or do you have imformation that the rest of the world dont have?Now i;m not talking about things that you wish were true but something to back your claim that Carl Rove is a liar.If not who is the liar here?

Posted by: lookingout at June 14, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #157674

the poll tax (or its moral equivalent) rises from the ashes of our discriminatory past…

Andre,

it’s all about power and winning. The GOP has a highly organized absentee ballot system, especially since absentees vote the slate more than 70% of the time(the margin of victory in the CA-50th was the absentee ballots).

Democrats have always had the edge in voter registration. Repugs have succeeded (for the moment), taking out that advantage everywhere they could. The laws won’t hold up under judicial review, but that wasn’t the intent. The intent was to screw up 2006. In 2008 they will corrupt the process again with more laws that will survive just long enough.


Andre,

the GOP doesn’t care what you think about their tactics. They have no remorse. Rove is laughing because he is focused on winning and enjoys all the wasted Democratic energy on indignation - including the wasted energy debating a troll like looking out.

The only way to beat them is to beat them, not to whine about their tactics. We need to beat them in spite of it.

Got a plan?

Posted by: CPAdams at June 14, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #157682

Some sad news from Boston today raids on illegals around Boston has made life a little rougher for Senetor Ted Kennedy Liberal Democrat from mass.It seems he now has no one to bring him Vodka on the rocks.But he is looking on the bright side he plans to lose 600LBs by being his own bar tender.

Posted by: lookingout at June 14, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #157701

Please Please can we get an ignore button?

Posted by: sickofitall at June 14, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #157705

lookingout-

Congratulations! That was the first post of yours I have ever read that was not full of spelling errors. Hooked on phonics worked for you! Now, if you can just learn how to properly structure a sentence, you’ll be well on your way to that GED! Huzzah!

With people like lookingout making up their base, is it any wonder the Repubs get away with the things they do?

Posted by: David S at June 14, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #157706

How does this law help Republicans in particular?
If all the law does is fine these groups for not submitting the applications on time, why don’t they just submit them on time?

It seems to me that this law is good in that it would keep these groups from simply destroying the applications of people who are trying to register with a party they oppose.

Am I missing something here?

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #157708

I just saw a new term coined (at least I had not seen it before) it is immigrant rights activists. To the extent that these groups represent illegal aliens, I guess they are protected by some constitutional amendment to sanction/aide and abet a crime.

When the illegal Mexicans get here with the support of the Immigrant Rights Movement” do they then get turned over to the “Illegal Voter Registration” groups.

Posted by: steve smith at June 14, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #157713

This law seems designed to discourage shady practices. After all, if someone register to vote and his application is not submitted until after the deadline, is that not a threat to disenfranchise him? You can imagine the outcry.

It is very easy to register to vote. It is hard to feel sorry for anyone who cannot figure it out. I know there are lots of such people around. They get lost on the way to the polls or forget which day the election is held. Shiny objects distract some as they are going to vote. Most of these people seem to be Democrats, so they always have reason to complain. You can only try to make the process idiot proof.

Adrienne

I can see why you like those last two paragraphs.

Posted by: Jack at June 14, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #157714

Yea! Two points for Steve!
Seriously. Touche.

Posted by: DOC at June 14, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #157731

So if it is such a fair and balanced law, why this:

political parties are exempt from the law “because we rarely have a problem with political parties.

If it is indeed designed as Jack suggests, it should apply to all groups, yes?

Posted by: womanmarine at June 14, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #157733

TheTraveler,

assuming your confusion isn’t feigned,

under the law, if a registration form is not returned or returned late, the state has the right to fine the volunteer who collected the form, the officers of the non-partisan group, the board of directors and and those running the day-to-day operation of the program -

regardless of who was at fault.

Why would anyone in their right mind volunteer to do a job that could lead to millions of dollars in fines?

The law as written is specifically intended to prevent voter registration drives by anyone group other than a political party.

Given that exercise of the right to vote is fundamental to all of our other rights, why aren’t you concerned about a law specifically designed to prevent voter registration??

Posted by: CPAdams at June 14, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #157734

Andre
I have registered voters in a variety of states, some red some blue. Each of these states require a voter registration to be turned in within a set number of days upon completion. This is to prevent tampering and to ease the logistical process. The step Florida has taken is only logical if that law is continually violated. That does not mean that the lawmakers that passed this law, from either side of the aisle, believe the League of Women Voters may be cheating or any other respected group. The fact that the political parties were given a pass may be a bit disturbing, but it is understandable due to the political nature.
The simple thing is to turn in voter registration cards within a few days of completion and completely avoid the fine. When I worked on registration campaigns, we had someone take the VR cards to the county courthouse the next morning. Simple enough. No laws violated. No fines to worry about. Its just simple logistics.

Posted by: political_sniper at June 14, 2006 5:08 PM
Comment #157735

Jack:
“I can see why you like those last two paragraphs.”

Well, thanks for noticing what I wrote. Let’s look at those two paragraphs of Andre’s again, since they’re so good, shall we?

How is it that those of us who attempt to protect the values, rights and traditions of The United States of America are labeled traitors, unpatriotic or socialists? When did torture, spying on it’s own citizens, vote tampering, lying, attacking those who disagree, spreading propaganda and misinformation, disregarding the rest of the world, ignoring scientific facts, corruption, cronyism, a blatant disregard for healthcare for Americans, greed, waste, incompetence, ignoring the educational needs of the children of this country, forcing Christianity on the world and bigotry become American values and traditions?

Murtha and Kerry are cowards who are harming the nation and aiding the enemy, despite their valiant service defending their country, while Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney a.k.a. “The Deferment Boys” are the embodiment of American toughness? They’re patriotic Americans?
What am I missing?
We are the patriots, not the Republican machine that continues to trample the constitution and the rights of all Americans. We are the ones fighting for our country. The GOP has diminished our credibility and our reputations in the eyes of the world long enough. We cannot allow them to corrupt the voting process that is the cornerstone of our democratic government.

Yes indeed, very well said.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 14, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #157738

“Most of these people seem to be Democrats, so they always have reason to complain. You can only try to make the process idiot proof.”

Your condescending and snide remarks are really becoming very tedious.

Be that as it may, the Republican tactics of prevarication, dissembling, lying and subterfuge when it comes to elections and governance has drug the entire country into a gutter. The darker side of the Democratic party, and others, are all taking notes. And I suspect in an election cycle or two, there will be no pretense of democracy and open elections anymore. The fascade is getting extremely grotesque now, thanks to Rove and company.


Posted by: Tim Crow at June 14, 2006 5:14 PM
Comment #157741

Andre, Adrienne, and Jack,

How is it that those of us who attempt to protect the values, rights and traditions of The United States of America are labeled traitors, unpatriotic or socialists?
When did torture, spying on it’s own citizens, vote tampering, lying, attacking those who disagree, spreading propaganda and misinformation, disregarding the rest of the world, ignoring scientific facts, corruption, cronyism, a blatant disregard for healthcare for Americans, greed, waste, incompetence, ignoring the educational needs of the children of this country, forcing Christianity on the world and bigotry become American values and traditions?

That would be during the Jackson administration if you remember your American Political history.

Posted by: political_sniper at June 14, 2006 5:16 PM
Comment #157753

I fear any law that exempts a political party (any party) but will fine a non-profit that its only stated goal is to regester voters to be a part of our political system. Something seems to smell in river city.

Posted by: timesend at June 14, 2006 5:28 PM
Comment #157761

Jack,

the law was passed 83 to 35 with 3 absent. Shockingly, the Florida House has 86 Republicans and 35 Democrats.

Glad those Republicans are out there protecting their asses, excuse me, the right of every citizen to have their vote counted.

Posted by: CPAdams at June 14, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #157762

It is pretty well accepted that lower income voters vote predominantly Democrat. It is fact that lower income voters register at a much lower rate than higher income voters, according to the census bureau. So it makes sense that non-profits who specialize in mobilizing low-income voters increase the number of votes for Democrats. Usually, if a voter’s registration is late, that registration is not valid and the person can’t vote. This legislation would go one step further and threaten the legitimate work of non-profit voter registration drives over a non-existent problem.

Posted by: David S at June 14, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #157772

Sickofitall:

“Please, Please can we get an ignore button?”

You’ve been getting excellent lessons in ignorance from the Republicans for the last five years—look at this administration: the ignore button is between one’s ears.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 14, 2006 5:50 PM
Comment #157775

Just some personal experience registering voters. Sometimes I volunteer for the Dems in CA at the county fair booth. The Reps also have a booth and believe me there is no love lost between the groups. Stll when we occasionally get a Republican registration we take it over to their booth. They do the same. It seems that for people willing to give there time to register voters there is a real sense of duty to democracy. Except maybe in Florida.

Posted by: BillS at June 14, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #157778

For the uninitiated, this is just one more action by the Repugs to keep power at all costs. In Ohio, Repug Governor AND candidate Ken Blackwell has issued new election rules requiring that anyone collecting a voter registration form must hand deliver it themselves to an election office. These rules violate federal election laws.

This comes after Blackwell’s rule in 2004 requiring all registrations to be on 80lb paper stock (postcard thickness). This arbitrary rule was eventually removed after intense public criticism, but it served its purpose - to interefere, even if only temporarily, with voter registration drives.

Andre, Adrienne,

I think we are past polite (and impolite) debate. I think discussing the Repugnant behavior is fine, but our efforts must focus on actions to combat plans to steal a third election.

If we have the votes, we must make sure they are counted.

Posted by: CPAdams at June 14, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #157788

I did poll watching last year in our state elections. I was with an old Democratic lady, who could not see too well. I helped her check off her voters and tried to make the process work and I believe she was able to do a better job because of my help. Our guy lost, but that is how elections work sometimes.

I don’t want to disenfranchise anybody, but I also don’t want people to vote fraudulently. Each time someone votes fraudulently, he disenfranchises a legal voter. We also need to agree to follow whatever rules are in place on election day. The problem with the last two elections is that some people, on both sides, tried to change the rules after the results.

Elections are a statistical, not a metaphysical event. We cannot determine the “true” intent of every single voter. Some voters don’t know their true intent even when you ask them. Some will make mistakes. Presumably these mistakes will not be systematic to favor one party or the other. We assume that error and stupidity are distributed evenly among the parties. There is no problem unless the results are very close.

People blinded by partisanship or actual dishonesty try to make a big deal about little variations. This kind of thing is natural and expected. When I voted in the last presidential election, my line was very short. My wife, whose name begins with a different letter, had a line that took 45 minutes longer. We could pretend there was some kind of nefarious plot at work, but there was not. We both voted for Bush.

Nobody stole any presidential elections since the time of Tilden v Hayes, maybe. 1960 was very close and there probably was significant fraud in Texas and Chicago, but not enough to change the result. 2000 was essentially a tie and was decided by the rules in place at the time. I understand Democratic frustration, but you cannot interpret the rules after the game. It could have gone either way. 2004 was not very close at all. It was a clear victory for Bush, although I hear some people had to stand in longer lines than others.

Posted by: Jack at June 14, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #157794

It would be very easy for a mole to volunteer and mis-place forms very easily. Most groups rely on volunteers and never do a background check. The League of Women Voters is rigorisly non-partisan(alas). Maybe this will wake them up.

As too the continueing nonsense that that the Democrats or anyone else tries to register non-citizens,hogwash. An old right wing tactic is to accuse the other side of whatever it is you are trying to do. In this case steal elections. Its in the play book. It also helps those idiots stay in denial about why on earth most Americans disagree with their bonehead policies.

Posted by: BillS at June 14, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #157798

CPAdams:

“…our efforts must focus on actions to combat plans to steal a third election.

If we have the votes, we must make sure they are counted.”

I find your sentiments to be admirable. But one of the most distressing aspects of this electronic voting nonsense and the egregious conduct of partisan election officials in Florida and Ohio, is the absolute disconnect of Democratic leaders regarding these deceptions and their steadfast unwillingness (or inability) to call attention to it. They should be doing it daily, without surcease, until it becomes a mantra. This fear of any discouraging word regarding the legitimacy of the government is actually accelerated by the stunning lack of a fearless demand to investigate legitmate grievances, and the punishing of those involved—THAT is what delegitimizes a government.

If they want to take a Republican tack, make the right to vote an ammendment to the Constitution, making it a felony not only to tamper with vote counts, but a felony to discourage, impend, or prevent anyone from being able to vote. So some political hack decides to send too few voting machines to a predominately Democratic precinct?Throw them in jail. Someone else is found busily throwing legitimate voters off the rolls for bogus reasons? Lock ‘em up. So, in the case of John Bolton and his white cronies busting in to stop a legitimate court-ordered vote recount in Florida, arrest him, convict him, and throw him in prison for five years. Protection of the right to vote—what a novel idea.

And any state official that okays private electronic voting machines that have proprietary computer code? Fire them.

We are either serious about the right to vote, or we aren’t. And it is very easy to tell the difference. The Democrats are as guilty of this mess as the Republicans. The GOP is only doing what any good junk-yard dog would do—take advantage of weakness.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 14, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #157799

Tim Crow,

Totally agreed. Unfortunately I was referring to the previous post regarding Ted Kennedy, and expressing my dismay at being exposed to absolute nonsense in my effort to find opinions pertaining to the topic. It sounds much like the incessant babbling of those children that never seem satisfied with the level of attention given payed by adults.
I should have been more specific. Sorry.

Posted by: sickofitall at June 14, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #157806

CPAdams,

Given that exercise of the right to vote is fundamental to all of our other rights, why aren’t you concerned about a law specifically designed to prevent voter registration??

Because you haven’t been able to prove to me that the law does that. It was designed to do just the opposite.

I agree that the fine is excessive, and that it’s completely unfair that the parties are exempted. But the point of the law is to get the voters registered correctly. At least, that’s what I get from Andre’s article.

The law didn’t stop these people from helping register voters. They did that voluntarily. If they don’t think they can do that job correctly, I certainly wouldn’t want to rely on them to register me.

This will not stop anyone who wants to vote from voting, because these groups are only a middle man.

I also don’t see anything here to show that this law is of particular help to the Republicans.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #157809

sickofitall:

Well, it’s not the first time people here have talked at cross purposes—and it won’t be the last.:-)

No apology needed.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 14, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #157813

Statistical or metaphysical? How about mathematical? You know,count all the votes,twice if you have to, and the person with the mosts wins.

Ha,Jack,are you absolutly sure your wife voted for Bush?

Posted by: BillS at June 14, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #157823

For a moment I will pretend that I need help in registering to vote. Some volunteer group worker comes to my home and helps me register. It is a giant leap of faith on my part to assume that this volunteer will turn in my registration if I have registered with the party they oppose. What then will happen to my registration? Who knows! Perhaps instead of fining private organizations we should just outlaw them all. For those poor souls who can’t figure out how to get registered on their own, too bad. Live with the consequences. Sounds harsh? You bet, just one more reason to learn to read and write. Jim

Posted by: Jim Martin at June 14, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #157826

CP:
“I think we are past polite (and impolite) debate. I think discussing the Repugnant behavior is fine, but our efforts must focus on actions to combat plans to steal a third election.

If we have the votes, we must make sure they are counted.”

You’re absolutely right. Problem there is that the majority of Dems have been acting like even mentioning this topic of our elections being stolen is for tin-foil chapeau wearers. Until the whole party starts taking this subject seriously, I don’t think we have much chance to change anything at all. It needs to be discussed at the national level, not just in the occasional magazine article or in all the blogs.

Tim, sickofitall, BillS, great posts.

Posted by: Adrienne at June 14, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #157828

When I moved to Michigan, I registered to vote when I got my driver’s license. Not very difficult. They asked “would you like to register to vote?” I said, “yes”. They said, “sign here” I did. Didn’t take a rocket scientist. Now in order to vote, I must drive into town and find the town hall - decked out in red, white and blue with giant signs in English and Spanish that say “VOTE HERE!”. Now, most people in my town are Democrats (misguided fools) and they don’t seem to have a problem finding the place. Now, if you don’t register, you don’t vote. If you don’t register in time (and it’s on the news every day for months that you must register by such and such a date) then you don’t vote. Just what is the problem? Are all these people in Florida, Ohio and wherever else stupid or lazy? And just who would admit to being this stupid and/or lazy? They should be fined for this alone.

Posted by: Ilsa at June 14, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #157831

I want to change my party affiliation and register as a Republican. I also want to join the Florida Right to Life movement and register people to vote. Then the first chance I get I want to destroy or throw away or burn as many of the new registered voters as I can. Get my point. The monitary punishment is to severe. Moles could ruin political groups. It could also work the other way.

The way it is now in Florida, as I understand it, is that if the voter forms are not turned in a certain number of days after being signed, they become invalad. That person can’t vote. That law seems perfectly ok with me. Instead of trying to punish the people who are trying to go out and get people to vote, let the law punish the idiot who was a Republican who went to a Democratic booth and registered Republican. Hello, talk about people who shouldn’t vote.

Of course in a perfect world we would hope that the group getting out the votes would do the right thing and turn in all voter applications. But obvioulsy that isn’t happening.

What the Republicans did in Florida is change the law as it currently stands to add a punitive damage to Non-Profit groups who are trying to register voters. In my opinion the law was fine just the way it was. If the card isn’t turned in on or before the trun in date, the voter isn’t registered. It is that simple.

Posted by: Rusty at June 14, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #157843

BillS

With any really large number and some ambiguity, it is statistical. We counted how many times in Florida? Why do you believe any one of those was the right one? I know Dems wanted to count until Gore won.

My wife is too smart to make a mistake in her vote and she is more conservative than I am, so I believe she voted for Bush. Of course I don’t have metaphysical certainty.

Et Al

Something interesting occurred to me. We all know it is easy to register and easy to vote. We worry that congnitively challenged people might get confused about where and how to do it. We worry that laws that make is harder will discourage those who don’t plan ahead. We worry that a complex ballot might trick people. We worry that some might be felons or hiding from the law. In short, we believe that SOME subset of voters is cognitively challenged, doesn’t plan ahead, may be dishonest, is poorly organized and irresolute. Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to keep such people from voting and many Republicans may secretly hope they indeed do stay home. WHY.

Because ALL of us here assume people like that are predominantly Democrats.

Posted by: Jack at June 14, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #157844

Adrienne,

Problem there is that the majority of Dems have been acting like even mentioning this topic of our elections being stolen is for tin-foil chapeau wearers.

Well, now we know there’s one thing the majority of Democrats are right about!

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #157848

I tend to favor Jims attitude. If a person needs help in the registration process, regardless of thier right, they ought not be voting. The exception to this is obviously applies to those who are physically limited. There is an obvious government agency that should always maintain respectable operations without regard to political favoritism. Even in the most rural of areas, everyone has a post office. Perhaps registration needs to be as autonomous as voting itself, doing with the political party oriented registration drives. It is our right, but it is also our responsibility. I wouldn’t suggest using the post offices as a polling place (unless necessary), but it seems the most equiped to handle autonomous registration.

This is just an idea. I would expect nothing more than for someone to tell me where it falls down, or add to it.

Regards

Posted by: sickofitall at June 14, 2006 8:52 PM
Comment #157849

Jack:

“The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist, Jack.”

H. L. Mencken

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 14, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #157851

Sorry for the spelling and gramatical errors. Its been a long day.

Posted by: sickofitall at June 14, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #157860

Adrienne (again)

Problem there is that the majority of Dems have been acting like even mentioning this topic of our elections being stolen is for tin-foil chapeau wearers.

Part II:

Perhaps if they focused on real election fraud instead of fearmongering?

This article is a good example. Andre said, “This is a much more sweeping and obvious attempt to shut out poor, minority, elderly and traditionally Democratic voters,” and yet he couldn’t even begin to make that case. Like I said, the law he was talking about was meant to do just the opposite.

Stories such as this are meant to scare the least intelligent and those who are too lazy to look at the situation logically. Same with the stories about “disenfranchisement” for waiting in lines, etc. They focus so much on spin that they don’t even bother to look for actual fraud or real disenfranchisement. This is easier, so this is the story they run with.

With poorly spun stories like this and claims of discrimination and disenfranchisement about people who actually voted(!), is it any wonder most people see this as a non-issue?

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 9:20 PM
Comment #157866

I’ve posed a really “dumb-ass” question to many people in the past and really been laughed at like I’m a total fool, so I’ll ask it one more time:

Now that a “person” has to get a Social Security number before they can effectively wipe their own butt, what’s the problem? The government can supposedly track employment records, criminal records, etc. but somehow they have a problem with VOTER REGISTRATION?

Anyone heard of PURPLE INK!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 14, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #157875

“is it any wonder most people see this as a non-issue?

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 09:20 PM”

Non-issue? There is no more important issue. In the past 30 years this is the one issue I’ve heard people site most frequently as a reason for not voting.

If any American believes their vote isn’t counted that’s the biggest issue of the day. I personally would like to see an optional “open vote” procedure where a voter could “pledge” there vote so the parties could state factually that they were pledged a certain number of votes. Not to decide the election but certainly to give validity to election result challenges.

Personally, I have no problem admitting who I voted for. I’m not easily intimidated. I doubt most people are. We are, after all, (by and large) decendants of the same people that formed the worlds greatest democracy.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 14, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #157876

The government can supposedly track employment records, criminal records, etc. but somehow they have a problem with VOTER REGISTRATION?

That’s bureaucracy for you! ;-)

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #157878

KansasDem,

Non-issue? There is no more important issue. In the past 30 years this is the one issue I’ve heard people site most frequently as a reason for not voting.

I didn’t asy it was a non-issue. I said many people see it as one for the reasons I outlined.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #157879

Hey, Lookingout:
Are you in love with Karl Rove? Do you by chance recall that one of Rove’s outstanding characteristics according to the early day cheering section for this administration was: Karl Rove has an oustanding memory, which is what makes him such an asset to Bush. With this loud and clear message on his mental memory ability, are we really supposed to believe he “forgot he spoke to a reporter about Valerie Plame”. Please!!! Argue with a little more credibility. Libby was also touted as having a fabulous memory. And I believe he forgot about talking to a reporter as well. Only problem is, his butt got indicted, and Rove’s buffalo butt got a reprieve. Go figure how politics work. With Rove’s uncanny ability to uncover or manufacture dirt on people, perhaps Fitzgerald has a skeleton which he wants kept in the closet. WE will probably never know, but in the court of public opinion he is as guilty as hell.

Posted by: Kathy at June 14, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #157881

I have a question???? Though I am not, repeat NOT a Rumsfeld fan at all, he did active Navy service from 53-57 as a aviator, Where is the deferment claim????

Posted by: brittp2 at June 14, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #157885

KansasDem (again),

In the past 30 years this is the one issue I’ve heard people site most frequently as a reason for not voting.

I’ve got a part II for you too:

The people you talked to are either ignorant or simply too lazy to vote. They disenfranchise themselves and make excuses for it.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #157898

“The people you talked to are either ignorant or simply too lazy to vote. They disenfranchise themselves and make excuses for it.

Posted by: TheTraveler at June 14, 2006 09:49 PM”

I believe the vast majority of the working poor truly believe their vote is not counted or “due to the electorate college” simply doesn’t matter.

Of course I’m speaking of Presidential elections and I’ve only lived in, and been politically active in, Nebraska and Kansas.

Ignorant and lazy? I don’t think so. Disillusioned, yes!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 14, 2006 10:30 PM
Comment #157941

Betty, is that you? Welcome back!:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 15, 2006 12:35 AM
Comment #158023

“That would be during the Jackson administration if you remember your American Political history.”

Political Sniper - wasn’t he also impeached?

KansasDem - something you said above brings up my opinion about voting registration. I think voting registration is ridiculous. Just a way for the government to track who belongs on what side. We all have social security cards. Why can’t we just show up at a voting booth on election day, show our social security card and bring something to vertify where we live, say a utility or credit card bill with our name and vote?

Posted by: Lisa C. at June 15, 2006 10:32 AM
Comment #158028

Kathy No im not in love with Carl Rove Im in love with Ann Coulter.You need to get your facts straight Vallery Plame was not undercover only in hers and the rest of the liberals minds.What you folks did was waste Millions of tax payers dollars on a witch hunt when all you had to do to find witches is look in your own party.Nancy polosi,Barbara Boxer,Vallery Plume get the picture?

Posted by: lookingout at June 15, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #158030

Lisa C. You’re kidding, right? Do you really think that the government bureaucracy woould be able to comprehend a common-sense idea like yours? Where’s the kingdom to build? Where’s the career enhancement that leads to bigger GS numbers? In short, what’s in it for them?

Having been a government observer for many, many years on local, state and national levels, I can tell you one thing. It doesn’t matter what rules, procedures, or programs the elected officials want. It all depends on that faceless, unelected, union protected bureaucrat four levels down. If he/she doesn’t want it to happen, there are many ways to screw up the process.

Cynical, probably. Realistic, definitely.

Posted by: John Back at June 15, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #158089

Someone upthread (lookingout?) asked for an example of Karl Rove’s lie. Here you go:

During questioning by the FBI about his role in the Valerie Plame affair, Rove told federal agents that he only started sharing information about Plame with reporters and White House officials for the first time after conservative columnist Robert Novak identified her covert CIA status in his column on July 14, 2003. This is according to a report in the American Prospect about Rove’s testimony in March 2004, a copy of which can be found here

But Rove wasn’t truthful with the FBI as evidenced by the disclosure of Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper’s emails, which reveal Rove as the source for Cooper’s own July 2003 story identifying Plame as a CIA operative, and show that Rove spoke to Cooper nearly a week before Novak’s column was published and, according to previously published news reports, spoke to a half-dozen other reporters about Plame as early as June 2003.

Posted by: Timmer at June 15, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #158091

The above post also takes into account the fact that although KKKarl is not going to be indicted for perjury along with his little buddy Scooter, whether or not Fitz chooses to indict him for treason is a matter of speculation, and which party is in power in 2009.

Posted by: Timmer at June 15, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #158094

Timmer do your homework as late as yesterday cooper said Rove never mentioned Plames name and she was’nt top secret under cover.Find a new lie to spout.

Posted by: troll kookingout at June 15, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #158101

John Back - I hear you and that’s exactly how I feel. Government desperately needs to be streamlined. Everything from voting to federal income tax needs to be re-vamped with a better system. Even who we elect should be looked at the same way. I’d love to see our elected officials have backgrounds in business instead of only lawyers going into politics. Maybe if we had some variation in the backgrounds of our congressmen and looked at the election process as a job interview, there would be more effiency in government.

Posted by: Lisa C. at June 15, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #158132

Democrats love queers!!

Posted by: William at June 15, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #158138

as late as yesterday cooper said Rove never mentioned Plames name and she was’nt top secret under cover.

Show me your source, here’s mine:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8525978/site/newsweek/

Rove has never publicly acknowledged talking to any reporter about former ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife. But last week, his lawyer, Robert Luskin, confirmed to NEWSWEEK that Rove did—and that Rove was the secret source who, at the request of both Cooper’s lawyer and the prosecutor, gave Cooper permission to testify.

Posted by: Timmer at June 15, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #158142

Timmer you need to give this info. to the special prosacuter!You can be a hero> ha ha ha

Posted by: K.O.n5 at June 15, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #158311

TheTraveler,

“This article is a good example. Andre said, “This is a much more sweeping and obvious attempt to shut out poor, minority, elderly and traditionally Democratic voters,” and yet he couldn’t even begin to make that case.”

83 of 86 Republicans have passed a law that slaps huge fines on non-profit groups who attempt to register voters who may be disabled, elderly or incapable of registering themselves but allow political activists to sabotage elections with impunity.
You can downplay the post but the meaning of the law is crystal clear.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at June 16, 2006 8:35 AM
Comment #159040

Dave S

Why is it that you liberals just can’t stay away from personal attacks on people? The 2 biggest things I see over and over in blogs, chats and elsewhere are attacks on people’s ability to spell and name calling.

So what if lookingout can’t spell very well or structure a sentence properly. Does that make his/her thoughts and opinions any less valid?

My wife has a Master’s degree in Accounting. She is a wiz at math, keeping accurate books for her employer, tracking costs and expenditures. She was an admin specialist in the Air Force for 12 years. She has raised 2 fine sons and is a caring, loving mother and wife. But she can’t spell or structure a sentence to save her life. That doesn’t make her dumb. Not everyone is good at the same things. I am sure there are many things that lookingout can do that you royally suck at!! Does that make YOU dumb?

Liberals, lay off the personal attacks on people’s spelling abilities. You ain’t perfect either folks!! And if you want to know why lookingout can’t spell, look no further than your liberal controlled public education system!

Posted by: DaveR at June 19, 2006 7:47 AM
Comment #159215

In my state, you can register at the polls. All you need is evidence of your residence (hey, it rhymes almost!) or a registered voter to vouch for you. Pretty simple. Yes, it could allow some fraud, but that would be so time and labor intensive that it couldn’t have much impact on 99.999% of races. On the other hand, formal impediments to registration set up by the ruling political party can have large impact on elections. This is why Saddam Hussein usually won by votes like 97% to 3%. It’s just a matter of the extent to which you are willing to put up barriers. State police were actually used to intimidate black voters in Florida (Jeb Bush for President) by coming to their homes to “investigate” voter fraud. News travels fast in those communities.

Note also that the vote counting is the most important part. That’s why John Bolton and crew disrupted the vote recount in Florida.

Posted by: mental wimp at June 19, 2006 4:44 PM
Comment #164537

I am so ashamed that I wasted my vote on a low life oligarch like george warmonger bush. It is clear that 21st century republicanism is all about making the rich richer by screwing over the middle class and poor to get there. Even human lives mean nothing to this current generation of republicans and their daddy bush. There is a very special dark place in hell for bush and his supporters and the religious right wing of this nation should be very ashamed by the fact that they let the republican party take advantage of their ignorance and one dimensional voting behavior in order to seize power. I will never make the mistake of voting republican ever again. Thanks for all the memories GOP.

Posted by: American Patriot at July 3, 2006 5:07 PM
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