Where Will the Voting Right’s Fight Lead America?

I think that one of America’s shortcomings is our squabble over voting.  When you have two political parties that are both dirty, it’s easy to see why neither one trusts each other or their motives.  I don’t hold any allegiance to any party, and I honestly would not shed a tear if the party system evaporated into thin air in the next 5 seconds…  Oh well, so much for wishful thinking.

In the past few years, we’ve had several conservative states lead the charge on restricting voting rights under the guise of preventing fraud.  Numerous states have passed Voter ID laws for a problem that’s been proven thus far to be as huge as a baseball hanging from the rafters of the New Orleans Superdome.  A detailed search of voter fraud cases was done by News21, part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education. The results of their research found that, “Since 2000, a time when 146 million Americans were registered to vote, News21 found 10 cases of in-person voter fraud, which only photo ID laws would prevent. That would be about one case for every 15 million eligible voters”. That runs counter to the hysteria about rampant voter fraud that requires restrictive ID laws.

Even though only anecdotal information is cast out when questions are asked about fraud, these laws are being pushed like the next best thing to sliced bread.  In addition to these laws, there were the court challenges to the Voting Rights Act that eventually led to the SCOTUS ruling this year that invalidated part of the VRA.  I haven’t figured out how this isn’t a case of those “activist judges” that conservatives love to cry about since they basically gave Congress the finger and said they don’t know how to do their job.  The VRA was just renewed in the past 10 years using factual information and debate between lawmakers to come to a decision.  I wish we could see the factual information those 9 judges used to determine that Congress didn’t know what they were doing.

Anyway, once that ruling was handed down, states started the engines to their voter restriction machines.  Now, Attorney General Holder is going after Texas in regards to their voter law.  Normally, I wouldn’t give two whits about Holder, but in this case, I have to say “Go Get’em!!!”

One of my passions is voting.  I think that every single citizen should be able to vote.  I don’t agree with many of the currently accepted restrictions either.  If you’re currently serving time in jail or prison, then it’s fair to restrict the right to vote.  Once that sentence is done in full, voting rights should be automatically restored.  Instead, we have allowed politicians to fix the game where those with means can pay to have their rights restored while those who can’t afford to end up losing the right to choose their representation, a new-age form of taxation without representation.

If you want to require ID’s, then make them a requirement for ALL voting methods.  Make it a uniform ID and not the hodgepodge crap where you can use a gun permit but not a school ID.  You would think a 1st world country would be capable of producing a national ID that could be used to verify citizenship and ensure the person has the right and ability to vote.  We chastise other countries for rigging elections while openly allowing our politicians to rig ours here.  It’s time out for this crap, and I hope Holder lights the fire to end the charade of fair elections here in the US.

Here’s a direct link to the database of voter fraud cases that were examined by News21.

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2 thoughts on “Where Will the Voting Right’s Fight Lead America?

  1. While part of me is with you on the idea that nearly everyone should have the right to vote, part of me wishes the voting population was better prepared for its job. I take voting seriously; I try not just to understand national issues and political figures but state and local ones as well. I study the voter’s information guide published by the League of Women Voters before every election. I go online to find sample ballots. If there’s a candidate or an issue I’m not familiar with, I google for more information. If there’s an area where I don’t understand what’s up and I can’t find out enough specific information (judicial seats often fit in this category), I don’t vote in that particular race. I figure that should be left to the people who have a more informed opinion.

    I have a good, good friend who has a master’s degree, a first-rate intellect, and a thorough investment in our system (four adult children, grandchildren, owns her home, has worked and paid taxes since she was in her teens, is looking forward to retirement in just a few years). She reads no newspapers and watches little TV. She’s one of those many Americans who would fail the citizenship test foreign nationals have to take to become naturalized Americans. She couldn’t begin to tell you how many members of Congress there are; she has only a hazy understanding of checks and balances. But she prides herself on voting in every national election. Of course, after she gets out of the voting booth, she can’t tell you the name of the presidential candidate she voted for. She just punches whoever’s listed for the Libertarian party. She feels she does her bit for democracy. I feel she corrupts the system. I can’t quite figure out how to reconcile things like that.

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    • I understand your view as well. The optimist in me hopes that active civic participation would lead to active education on the candidates and topics. Groups, such as the League of Women Voters, are vital to enabling and encouraging better education for voters. If those groups simply lay out facts, then they are worth their weight in gold. When they push rhetoric, they harm the system more than ignorant voters could ever do on their own.

      When I first registered, I was one of those people who looked at whomever others were voting for. I quickly realized that didn’t really express what I really stood for. After meeting marchers from the sixties, I took voting as serious as I took my school work and my job. I’m at the point where I look beyond the actual candidate to see who are the advisors and staff of the candidate.

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