-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Although Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) does not believe “there is any particular evidence of polls barring African Americans from voting,” there is plenty of evidence that States are making it more difficult for African Americans to vote. Paul is using a strawman argument to recast the voting issue to one in which African Americans are prohibited from voting. Preventing African Americans from voting is the intended result of Republican efforts in numerous states. Using analysis of voting habits, Republicans have passed laws that intentionally create voting difficulties for groups that traditionally vote Democratic. Jim Crow has been dressed up a little, to become James Crow, Esq., but statistically speaking, the results are the same.
In Florida, minority voters waited to vote nearly double the time of white voters, as shown by this graph. Statistical analysis of voting patterns showed that 61.2 percent of all early voting ballots were cast by Democrats, compared with 18.7 percent by Republicans. The Republican solution: delete six days of early voting and extend voting hours to accommodate those voters who have jobs. A GOP consultant noted that “cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that’s a big day when the black churches organize themselves.” Although not directly targeting African Americans, the intention is to reduce African American voter turnout.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker closed down DMV offices in predominately Democratic areas after passing a voter ID law. In Ohio, Republicans curtailed early voting from thirty-five to eleven days, including the Sunday before the election when African-American churches historically rally their congregants to go to the polls.
In North Carolina, voter suppression has been taken to new levels. Among the new measures are:
- The end of pre-registration for 16 & 17 year olds
- A ban on paid voter registration drives
- Elimination of same day voter registration
- A provision allowing voters to be challenged by any registered voter of the county in which they vote rather than just their precinct
- A week sliced off Early Voting
- Elimination of straight party ticket voting
- Authorization of vigilante poll observers, lots of them, with expanded range of interference
- An expansion of the scope of who may examine registration records and challenge voters
- A repeal of out-of-precinct voting
- A repeal of the current mandate for high-school registration drives
- Elimination of flexibility in opening early voting sites at different hours within a county
North Carolina now has the strictest voter ID law in the country. US military ID cards will be accepted, but IDs from students at state colleges will not be accepted. In the election of 2012, 1.4 million voters voted straight-ticket Democrat, while just 1.1 million voted straight ticket Republican, so that feature is gone. During the first seven days of early voting in the 2012 election, now eliminated, 458,258 Democrats used in-person early voting, while just 240,146 Republicans did so. Although not directly targeting African Americans, the intention is the same.
There doesn’t appear to be any help from the Constitution which states:
The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
In a 2007, the Brennan Center for Justice reported (pdf) that “by any measure, voter fraud is extraordinarily rare.” If Republicans can’t win by getting more votes than Democrats, they’ll lessen the number of Democratic voters and achieve an identical result.
As President Lyndon B. Johnson said in 1965 regarding the right to vote:
Every device of which human ingenuity is capable, has been used to deny this right.
H/T: Tom Anstrom, Dara Kam and John Lantigua, Ian Millhiser, Washington Post, Associated Press, Charles P. Pierce.
329 thoughts on “Jim Crow’s Demise Has Been Greatly Exaggerated”
Well, it suddenly occurred to me that since the Indiana law was passed in 2005, that it would be instructive to see what horrible effects occurred there after the passage of the racist, genocidal, and holocaustal Photo ID law. I couldn’t find any. I did find this, from about the same time:
This is the same group somebody above cited, and these guys really seem to be on the hunt for some racism, too. They don’t seem to have found it yet. But, I wonder:
If voter suppression laws don’t suppress votes, are they still voter suppression laws???
And now you know why I’m looking to leave Louisiana. The degree of general ignorance here, not to mention the willfulness and even pride in ignorance, found in the population of this state is truly impressive. It’s no wonder that for the first 10 years of my life I kept asking my parents if I was dropped off by aliens.
The worst part?
This is an intellectual paradise compared to Alabama.
Accountability for the government’s post-Katrina blunders from Louisiana Republicans:
Poll: Louisiana GOPers Unsure If Katrina Response Was Obama’s Fault
Twenty-eight percent said they think former President George W. Bush, who was in office at the time, was more responsible for the poor federal response while 29 percent said Obama, who was still a freshman U.S. Senator when the storm battered the Gulf Coast in 2005, was more responsible. Nearly half of Louisiana Republicans — 44 percent — said they aren’t sure who to blame.
“What is a greater problem … is the dilution of votes caused by ignorant people voting …”
I respect your honesty, something lacking in others. I, however, disagree. From the Declaration of Independence:
… Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, …
… the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
James Madison, Note to His Speech on the Right of Suffrage:
Under every view of the subject, it seems indispensable that the Mass of Citizens should not be without a voice, in making the laws which they are to obey, & in chusing the Magistrates, who are to administer them, and if the only alternative be between an equal & universal right of suffrage for each branch of the Govt. and a confinement of the entire right to a part of the Citizens, it is better that those having the greater interest at stake namely that of property & persons both, should be deprived of half their share in the Govt.; than, that those having the lesser interest, that of personal rights only, should be deprived of the whole.
I certainly agree with the aspect of governance being with the consent of the governed, but I think you see a right to vote there that is not inherent in the concept. Even a dictator can rule a country without any votes, and he can do it with the consent of the governed if he is a good and charitable ruler. Most families in the Western world probably operate without voting rights being given to the members of the family. They are actually unnecessary in a small group because the head of the household can easily discern the desires of those he governs, and he can inquire of them when he is unsure of their position.
Your quote from Madison basically explains the difficulties inherent in voting and clearly does not treat voting as an equal right. He acknowledges the contrast of property owners versus those not owning property. He considers the way Congress has two houses as a balanced way of dealing with it. The House of Representatives are elected directly related to the population of free men (remember that women and slaves had no votes at this time), and the Senate was equally represented by every State regardless of population. This was their way of trying to give property owners a more weighted vote.
Now that we are well into the computer age, we really need to rethink voting. I just don’t know if we have any politicians up for the task. The entire voting system should be computerized, and we need to develop a weighted voting system. The system we have now is broken. Voting means nothing. Voting has no power. Voting is heralded as a right, but it is not a right. It is a privilege that at this time is almost completely worthless because all the emphasis is on voting instead of on becoming educated and voting responsibly.
If voting were truly an inalienable right of man, then all government officials should be directly elected. The Supreme Court Justices should be directly elected. Furthermore, our votes for Senators should result in equal representation in Congress. And the electoral college too is all messed up in electing our President and Vice President. Only the popular vote should count if voting were truly an inalienable right of the individual.
The truth is that voting is a construct completely based upon our own rational approach to fairness and proper representation. Nobody has an inherent right to vote. They have an inherent right to a government that does what is best for the public. The mechanics for how that is achieved can be done in a number of different ways. It can be done with a dictatorship, or it can be done with various types of voting systems. Like the old saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. The form of government and the mechanics of voting is really just up to what we decide to make it. From my perspective, all this effort not to disenfranchise a voter or to stop voter fraud is straining at gnats when we really need to overhaul our entire voting system.
Voter suppression laws “have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race.” Section 5, VRA, RIP.
Texas v. Holder:
The end-run around the Fifteenth Amendment is wide open.
Having given offerings to the spam gods myself (without copying), I understand. FYI, anything caught in the spam filter of this blog is there forevermore.
I answered you, but the Spam Gods must have demanded a sacrifice. If it doesn’t appear by tomorrow, I will repost a copy I made. Which, copies are probably a good thing for people to do.
Well, the easiest and most understandable way to respond to you, is to use your argument, to wit:
THEN, wouldn’t a lack of presentation of victims of voter suppression be evidence that voter suppression isn’t statistically significant- something which the court case cited here said:
After discovery, District Judge Barker prepared a comprehensive 70-page opinion explaining her decision to grant defendants’ motion for summary judgment. 458 F. Supp. 2d 775 (SD Ind. 2006). She found that petitioners had “not introduced evidence of a single, individual Indiana resident who will be unable to vote as a result of SEA 483 or who will have his or her right to vote unduly burdened by its requirements.”
it would really be a good thing for all interested persons to actually read the SCOTUS case, found here:
And without imitating Mario Apuzzo and going to 9,000 of cutting and pasting, with exigesis, the nub seems to be this:
Petitioners ask this Court, in effect, to perform a unique balancing analysis that looks specifically at a small number of voters who may experience a special burden under the statute and weighs their burdens against the State’s broad interests in protecting election integrity. Petitioners urge us to ask whether the State’s interests justify the burden imposed on voters who cannot afford or obtain a birth certificate and who must make a second trip to the circuit court clerk’s office after voting. But on the basis of the evidence in the record it is not possible to quantify either the magnitude of the burden on this narrow class of voters or the portion of the burden imposed on them that is fully justified. First, the evidence in the record does not provide us with the number of registered voters without photo identification; Judge Barker found petitioners’ expert’s report to be “utterly incredible and unreliable.” 458 F. Supp. 2d, at 803. Much of the argument about the numbers of such voters comes from extra record, post judgment studies, the accuracy of which has not been tested in the trial court.
Further, the deposition evidence presented in the District Court does not provide any concrete evidence of the burden imposed on voters who currently lack photo identification. The record includes depositions of two case managers at a day shelter for homeless persons and the depositions of members of the plaintiff organizations, none of whom expressed a personal inability to vote under SEA 483. A deposition from a named plaintiff describes the difficulty the elderly woman had in obtaining an identification card, although her testimony indicated that she intended to return to the BMV since she had recently obtained her birth certificate and that she was able to pay the birth certificate fee. App. 94.
Judge Barker’s opinion makes reference to six other elderly named plaintiffs who do not have photo identifications, but several of these individuals have birth certificates or were born in Indiana and have not indicated how difficult it would be for them to obtain a birth certificate.
458 F. Supp. 2d, at 797–799. One elderly named plaintiff stated that she had attempted to obtain a birth certificate from Tennessee, but had not been successful, and another testified that he did not know how to obtain a birth certificate from North Carolina. The elderly in Indiana, however, may have an easier time obtaining a photo identification card than the nonelderly, see n. 17, supra, and although it may not be a completely acceptable alternative, the elderly in Indiana are able to vote absentee without presenting photo identification.
[skips] In sum, on the basis of the record that has been made in this litigation, we cannot conclude that the statute imposes “excessively burdensome requirements” on any class of voters. See Storer v.Brown, 415 U. S. 724, 738 (1974).20 ,
Sooo, once again, I think this is the simplest way to answer you, but not the only way. The other way gets very long winded, something I am not wishing to do because the basic exercise there gets very rarefied. And, frankly, it isn’t really necessary in light of the SCOTUS case. Trying to append mathematical or statistical concepts onto legal concepts is never going to work to very well or give satisfactory results. See Monckton Math or Mario Apuzzo.
There is, of course, much more at the link, but I don’t feel like plopping more into this comment. Those who are truly interested, should have enough energy to go to the link and read it for themselves! That is not much of burden, and this encouragement should not be characterized as a return to the days of Jim Crow.
Now, as to the Democratic ground game, I would submit that those folks are hardly into Christian Charity work, and they are not attempting to simply enlarge the number of voters – – -they are attempting to enlarge the number of Democratic voters.
As to the “concern troll” remark, it is totally misplaced. The “concern” is the rightful province of the states, as explained in the case above. Even little Democratic states like Rhode Island!
Gene, Blouise and anyone else interested. There was a discussion (and I use that term in the loosest way possible) on DKos. The commenter I responded to has been contending–no, insisting–in dozens of comments running over many weeks, that owning a gun is NOT a civil right. I finally had enough, and this was my response:
You apparently misunderstand the meaning of “civil rights.” The legal definition of civil rights is summarized below:
In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393, that the Constitution did not apply to African Americans because they were not citizens when the Constitution was written. After the Civil War, therefore, new laws were necessary for the purpose of extending civil liberties to the former slaves.
In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was enacted to make Slavery and other forms of Involuntary Servitude unlawful. In addition, Congress was given the power to enact laws that were necessary to enforce this new amendment.
The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, provides that every individual who is born or naturalized in the United States is a citizen and ensures that a state may not deprive a citizen or resident of his or her civil rights, including Due Process of Law and Equal Protection of the laws. Congress is also empowered to enact laws for the enforcement of these rights.
The Privileges and Immunities clause also defines and clarifies what is meant by “civil rights.” “Privileges and immunities” encompass all rights as granted by the Constitution, enumerated in the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments, that relate to people, places, and real and personal property.
I think that was clear enough. The commenter has not responded to that, and I don’t really expect a response.
That was nice.
I’m rather proud of my play at the beginning of the next game… You’re not pro-fur, are you? Bwa-ha-ha-HA-ha!
Well that would be because the NRA is run by the gun manufactures now and they pick a bunch of g-dd-mned fanatical lunatics to front the show, Blouise. 😀 OS and I both know people who are pro-2nd but left the NRA because they ceased to be a citizens driven lobby some time ago. But the emotionalism about the 2nd really comes from almost every angle. The “ban all guns” crowd is just as out of touch with reality as the hardcore NRA “arm everyone with anything” crowd. The rights argument is on a very solid foundation. The “ban everything” crowd has about zero percent chance of winning the day on that legal argument. Just so, the “unrestricted access” crowd totally ignores that reasonable restrictions exist for most rights and that very few rights are absolute. They too have about a zero percent chance of winning the day on their legal argument. That is the never ending struggle in a society like our Founder intended: balancing the restriction and protection of inherent individual rights against the value such restrictions and protections provide for society.
That’s why from day one this issue started to heat up on this blog, I’ve tried to keep emotionalism rebuffed. Emotionalism is counterproductive. Mark (mespo) has consistently taken that same tack too. The 2nd exists for valid reasons. We need to take care in crafting anything that restricts the right as it is indeed based on fundamental inherent rights. The result of going too far could/would be as detrimental as not trying to do something to mitigate the damage of the mentally ill getting access to firearms.
Even though this latest round of the 2nd fight was started by Newtown and it was a tragic event it is important to realize that no amount of legislation or regulation would have stopped that from happening. A lunatic killed a lawful owner and took her weapons. Crazy happens. And if we can just keep the understandable but counterproductive emotionalism of “think of the children!” out of play and the overreactions of the NRA out of play, maybe, just maybe, something can be done to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong kind of people or at least make it harder for them to get through a legal channel. That being said, you will never eliminate gun violence. Even if you banned all guns, they are simply too easy to make for someone with a minimal amount of machining skills. The primary problem isn’t the tool. It’s the people. And as noted a couple of times this week, we as a species are naturally killers. We are also prone to mental defect.
Okay bucko, I played … got 15 points with “oi” … not bragging, just rather proud of finding the space at the end of the game.
Everybody gets too emotional over the 2nd … on second thought, that’s not a fair statement on my part … a lot of folk get too emotional over the 2nd. The privilege/right argument is a good one but the NRA has wedged it to the degree that common sense is very difficult to keep on the table during discussions which makes the other side angry to the point of losing their tempers and nothing but shouting takes place.
What you both seem to not realize, my fellow Scrabblers (I will be returning as a situation you are both aware of resolves), is that my philosophical base has pragmatic application. I love theory, true, but I can turn a wrench as well as a phrase.
So there. 😛
My mother may have been very polite, but I’m far from a country gentleman… 😛
And I’m not exaggerating even a little bit when I say that I’ve tried every trick I know to catch you in this game to no avail.
I favor the pragmatic over the philosophical as well, but I don’t think we’ll ever convince Gene.
The fact is that it’s not that the Democratic ground game is superior, as you keep asserting, it’s that, because of demographics, their ground game is far more efficient and effective. Democrats spend their money on a ground game because they tend to win high-turnout elections. Republicans spend their money (and political capital) on voter suppression because they tend to win low-turnout elections. The difference is that getting people to register and vote is perfectly ethical while suppressing the vote is clearly unethical and unAmerican if not actually illegal (like caging or throwing away Democratic registrations). That wouldn’t change if the parties were reversed and I feel certain that the people here arguing against voter suppression would be even more strident if it were the Democratic party trying to suppress the vote.
The ends don’t justify the means, Squeeky, the means shape the ends which may be reached.
Does Eric Holder’s vote being offered to a stranger cause anyone pause for the potential of voter fraud?
I personally think most of the foundation for voting is all wrong. I do not think there exists any inherent right to vote. Voting is a privilege, not a right. It requires some demonstrated responsibility. While the Constitution currently gives everyone over 18 the right to vote, it is not an inalienable right. We really should treat voting like driving a car, something that is allowed if a person can demonstrate the ability to know who and why he is voting. We need a Constitutional Amendment to fix this problem.
Voting fraud is a minor issue, and disenfranchising of voters is even less of a problem. What is a greater problem than either of these is the dilution of votes caused by ignorant people voting simply because it has been drilled into their heads that they are doing something good by voting. When someone mindlessly votes, putting a mark by someone’s name who they know nothing about, that person is doing something WRONG and EVIL in society. A mindless vote has the same exact effect as a fraudulent vote. It nullifies the vote of someone else who intelligently studies the issues and chooses who he truly thinks is best. Why are Democrats not harping on this problem? Could it be that they like the mindless voters?
The biggest case of voter fraud I personally have observed is people rounding up homeless people and bringing them to vote and offering them food or other personal things if they vote. Of course, they make it very clear who they want them to vote for.
“a reasonable restriction” is where we are headed. One has to get buy (word play for your enjoyment) the NRA first and that’s pure greed and politics and that is where the rabbles enter the picture … the gun nuts versus the soccer moms
It’s fun to argue the issue with Bob … and it’s educational too.
Investigation: Just Who Is Behind Voter ID?
The Secret Group Known as “ALEC”
By Liz Dorland
CREATED Feb. 24, 2012
Omaha, NE — It’s a secret national group made of powerful corporations and billionaire conservatives, a group that few Omaha voters know about. Why would “they” be writing
Our lawmakers claim they came up with the idea for those controversial Voter ID Laws in Nebraska and Iowa themselves and that we all need to start showing ID at the polls to fight voter fraud. We’re told we need changes in our voting laws to make sure nobody cheats on Election Day. Not only is there no proof of a voter fraud problem in either state, there is proof that the lawmakers writing both those laws are not telling you something important. About a group called “ALEC”.
Nebraska State Senator Charlie Janssen is confused about why we want to know about the secretive, but very powerful group known as “ALEC”. “I didn’t use them at all for this bill so I’m really not understanding what the relevancy is,” questioned Senator Janssen.
Senator Janssen says no powerful billionaires had any role in his Nebraska Voter ID Law. He stated, “We’ve experienced a lot of voter fraud across the country.”
Even the chief official in charge of Nebraska elections says there’s no real problem here. Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale said Nebraska has an aggressive Voter Fraud Unit already. Gale adds that “very few” people ever try to cheat here. In fact, there’s little proof of serious voter fraud anywhere, but 31-states have jumped on the voter ID bandwagon anyway.
Iowa is headed there, too.
The majority of people go Democratic. The Republicans have been trying to stave off demographic oblivion ever since the “Southern Strategy” collapsed.
I’ll send you an email later about the other thing.
Tell us more about the country that your friend comes from. How do people register to vote there? What are their polling places like? Is there a white majority in the country? Where do the people get their photo ID cards?
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