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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:29 am 
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faugusztin wrote:
I guess you didn't really look around the world then :wink: . In most countries you are required to have ID or passport for most tasks.

Want to take out money from the bank in person ? ID or passport needed.
Want to do any official business with the state (driver licence, gun licence, social security etc) ? ID needed.
Want to buy something 18+ (alcohol in shops, adult magazines in new stands) ? They have the right to ask you for ID and deny the sale if you can't confirm that you are over 18.
Want to vote ? ID card please and if you want to vote elsewhere than your main address, you need to get a voter card which allows you to vote anywhere.

Pretty much the only countries not having ID cards are the common law countries (US, UK, Australia, NZ etc).

I agree with you here. Having worked a lot internationally (I have nearly half a million air miles from 3 years!) I have to say that most countries are much more centred on official ID. In most countires you can not check into a hotel without showing an ID card or passport. The normal anglo-saxon response is that this is oppressive yet this covers many of the worlds most democratic countries.

m0002a wrote:
There is actually no requirement in the US Constitution that people even be allowed to directly vote for president or even vote directly for electors to the Electoral College that elect the president.

Thanks, now we can be under no illusion that the US is a democracy. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:09 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Voter list purges done at the last minute without any safeguards -- as is being done right now in places like Florida --

and Texas - I love the "I'm not dead, yet" Monty Python vibe.

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:31 pm 
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edh wrote:
Thanks, now we can be under no illusion that the US is a democracy.

It has been clearly stated in this thread and many others that the US is a republic, not a democracy. However, most experts would classify it as a democratic republic, which is still not a pure democracy. But none of this has anything to do with voter id laws, which can easily coexist in a pure democracy.

If that bothers really disturbs you, don't come here, and don't buy any products made in the USA.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:34 pm 
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Right, the problem with the positive response required confirming "I'm not dead yet!" is that it is totally dependent on the mail working, and lots of other things, like the person noticing that it is not junk mail, etc. If they want to do registered mail, then that would be better. The silly thing is this what qualified voting list managers are already doing: maintaining the voters list based on official death records! What's the hurry?

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:55 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
People who have served their sentences for their convictions should then be allowed to participate in society again -- how else can they be reintegrated into society? They have to be given a stake; otherwise they would be encouraged to commit more crimes.

You are entitled to your opinion, but is is OK if we let each state vote on how they want to handle voting for convicted felons? Many states do allow convected felons to get their voting rights back at some point, and in two states convicted felons maintain their right to vote and can even vote absentee from prison.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
And how can we prevent wholesale election fraud through hacked systems if we cannot verify touchscreen voter machines and the actual results?

Damn good question. Not only are electronic voting machines creating a system where massive fraud is possible, the US has spent many billions of dollars since 2000 upgrading to these machines.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
How can we make redistricting as neutral as possible? Should we have open primaries where ALL candidates from all parties and independents all run against each other? The two who get the most votes then run against each other; no matter what party they are from. Should we have the actual vote count be used to elect the president?

Yes that would be preferable. Why don't you contact your state legislators and ask them about introducing such a bill. I don't think you will find it any more popular in blue states than in red states. Maybe some swing states would be more apt to approve it. Louisiana uses non-partisan primaries for state and local elections. Nebraska uses it for the state legislature only. Many cities and counties in the US have non-partisan elections for mayor, city council, school board, etc. It would be a big improvement if done at the state and federal level. Even if non-partisan elections are done only for state elections, that would help the redistricting issues, since the state legislatures are responsible for redistricting.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:36 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
... Even if non-partisan elections are done only for state elections, that would help the redistricting issues, since the state legislatures are responsible for redistricting.


California voters approved a move from having the incumbent state legislature drawing the lines to a redistricting commission (three who are Democrats, three who are Republican, and two who are either Decline-to-State or are registered with another party). A lot less gerrymandering with the new districts. Time will tell how it plays out.

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:33 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
the US is a republic, not a democracy.

Those two are the same - outside of crude websites who try to build ideologic rhetoric. And episodes of "The West Wing".

Republic, from the latin "res publica" - public matter - means the land belongs to the people and is governed on their behalf. It has therefore got to be an indirect democracy. Every dictatorship that bears the word Republic in its name goes through great lengths to maintain the facade by faking elections that renew this transfer of authority.

The counterpart to republic is monarchy, where the land belongs to the sovereign. After their accession, be it through inheritance, election or coup d'etat, no further legitimization is needed and they'll retain authority until death - or very rarely, abdication.

The term democracy has never been limited to the concept of "direct democracy", otherwise it would have been fiction only.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:38 pm 
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tim851 wrote:
Those two are the same - outside of crude websites who try to build ideologic rhetoric. And episodes of "The West Wing".

Republic, from the latin "res publica" - public matter - means the land belongs to the people and is governed on their behalf. It has therefore got to be an indirect democracy. Every dictatorship that bears the word Republic in its name goes through great lengths to maintain the facade by faking elections that renew this transfer of authority.

The counterpart to republic is monarchy, where the land belongs to the sovereign. After their accession, be it through inheritance, election or coup d'etat, no further legitimization is needed and they'll retain authority until death - or very rarely, abdication.

The term democracy has never been limited to the concept of "direct democracy", otherwise it would have been fiction only.

While that is one definition, it is not the definition used by the founders of the USA when deciding on the type of government to implement via the constitution. Another, more meaningful definition in the case of the United States is the following:

"A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution). A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority. A Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals while democracies are primarily concerned with majority wants or needs (the public good) as determined by elections."

Article IV Section 4 of the US Constitution states "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government".... Conversely, the word Democracy is not mentioned even once in the US Constitution, and as previously mentioned the US Constitution leaves the selection of electors for the Electoral College to choose a president to each state legislature (who have in modern times have chosen to conduct elections, but are not required by the US Constitution to do so).

James Madison (the "father" of the US Constitution and 4th US President) wrote the following in explaining why the Constitution provides for a republic rather than a democracy (Federalist Papers, No. 10, 1787):

"Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths..."

"We may define a republic to be ... a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior."

It is true that some countries that specifically call themselves a "democratic republic" or a "peoples republic" are decidedly not democratic by most any measure, but that is a different subject.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:14 am 
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The Founding Fathers shouldn't be a reference for a lot of things. They thought the atom was indivisible.

I'd be hard-pressed to tell which democracy the Founding Fathers could have referenced with their "rule of the majority". Do you know of any historic (or even contemporary) state that would fit this description?

They were likely juxtaposing their Republic to the emerging Constitutional Monarchy, that was back then referred to as democratic, hailing to Rennaissance fascination for Classical Antiquity. Up until the 19th century, most - if not all - so-called democracies were just new Aristocracies ("rule of the elite"), as women and people of lower classes were not allowed to vote.

Direct democracy is often associated with the rule of the majority. Ironically, the United States is one of the few countries that has provisions for direct democracy (at least some states), as witnessed by the Proposition 8 incident.

The "rule of law" is a rule of men. Laws don't fall from the sky. They're written by men. Then they're either voted on (by a majority) or forced on the people by legitimization of higher powers. I don't see how the American constitution could even theoretically hold up in the context of your cited passages. It only codified the interests of the then-ruling majority of white land-owning men. Universal human rights and equal rights didn't make their way into it until later on.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:05 am 
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Should we let each state decide if they want to have slavery? So no, lifetime removal of voting rights is wrong -- if you want people to want to be a part of society after they have paid the price for their crime, then they must be able to exercise their right to vote.

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:29 am 
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tim851 wrote:
The Founding Fathers shouldn't be a reference for a lot of things. They thought the atom was indivisible.

I'd be hard-pressed to tell which democracy the Founding Fathers could have referenced with their "rule of the majority". Do you know of any historic (or even contemporary) state that would fit this description?

They were likely juxtaposing their Republic to the emerging Constitutional Monarchy, that was back then referred to as democratic, hailing to Rennaissance fascination for Classical Antiquity. Up until the 19th century, most - if not all - so-called democracies were just new Aristocracies ("rule of the elite"), as women and people of lower classes were not allowed to vote.

Direct democracy is often associated with the rule of the majority. Ironically, the United States is one of the few countries that has provisions for direct democracy (at least some states), as witnessed by the Proposition 8 incident.

The "rule of law" is a rule of men. Laws don't fall from the sky. They're written by men. Then they're either voted on (by a majority) or forced on the people by legitimization of higher powers. I don't see how the American constitution could even theoretically hold up in the context of your cited passages. It only codified the interests of the then-ruling majority of white land-owning men. Universal human rights and equal rights didn't make their way into it until later on.

I believe you are naive and misinformed. The Founders knew perfectly well what a democracy was, and they were not referring to a Constitutional Monarchy. They had the same concerns about democracy as Plato when a vote of the Athens Senate had Socrates put to death for "corrupting the youth" even though he violated no laws of Athens. You can read Plato’s Republic for more information about his concerns about democracy. The idea that that people in Ancient times, or the Founding Fathers of the US, were a bunch of dufuses who did not understand these things is ridiculous.

On the contrary, the Founders believed that the rights of men were only guaranteed by the law, and not by the whim of the people who decide things by election, and which could take their property and other rights away from them by majority rule. The closest thing today to what they were concerned about is socialist democracy. Of course, socialist democracies have a tendency to evolve into socialist dictatorships, which is something else that Madison noted.

For example, if we had an election today about whether there should be forced readings from the Christian Bible in public schools and other public events, such a law might win the majority of votes in some places (such things have been approved during US elections in modern times). In some socialist democracies you could substitute Marx or Mao for the Bible. But it is only by the rights defined in the Constitution that prevents that from happening in the USA (assuming that there is also acceptance of the rule of law and obeying Supreme Court orders, something President Andrew Jackson refused to do). Proposition 8 is a good example, whereby the rights of individuals can be infringed by the whim of the majority in an election. Things would be much worse than these examples if elections in a democracy had the power over the rights of individuals guaranteed in the US Constitution.

The Founders would also be dismayed about the "unrestricted" right of decisions by election (or mob rule) to take property away from people. This applies to real property (what we call real estate) or personal property (excessive taxation). For example, if an election was held and the majority voted for a socialist democracy, the Founders would be against the ability of the majority to impose its will on the minority in violation of their rights and liberties. The same applies to the establishment of a state religion, whereby the majority could impose its will on the minority via an election.

The idea that the Founders did not understand democracy and the difference between a democracy and a republic is just not true. Madison's Federalist Papers (and other documents from the time) gives us clear insight into what the Founders were thinking when they created the US Constitution and why its provisions (such as Bill of Rights) got into the document.


Last edited by m0002a on Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:47 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Should we let each state decide if they want to have slavery? So no, lifetime removal of voting rights is wrong -- if you want people to want to be a part of society after they have paid the price for their crime, then they must be able to exercise their right to vote.

The rule of a democratic elections should not be allowed to override the rights and liberties of individuals. So neither slavery, nor forced readings from the Christian Bible in public schools, should be allowed, and both have been determined to be a violation of the US Constitution (the abolition of slavery required an amendment to the US Constitution).

I think the issue of voting rights of convicted felons is a different matter. The reason why one might want to restore the right to vote of convicted felons is a practical one. As you noted, it would give them some incentive to reintegrate back into society after their sentence has been served. Should we restore those rights after their prison term, after their parole, or only after their probation is completed? These questions are not so easy to decide by reference to Constitutional rights, and various states have decided these issues differently.

I would not be against such restoration of voting rights, and most states actually have restoration at some point, but I don't believe that convicted felons should have the right to vote while still in jail, as two states allow. However, since I don't live in those states, I accept that the people of those states have the right to grant convicted felons the power to vote as they see fit, so long as they don't violate anyone's Constitutional rights.

In any case, the US Supreme Court has found that such restrictions regarding the voting rights of convicted felons does not violate the US Constitution, and if one believes in the rule of law, then one must respect the right of states to decide these issues, unless and until such time as they are determined to be un-constitutional by the US Supreme Court.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:44 am 
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I have to say that for the most part, this topic is more interesting than I thought it was going to be...

about voter fraud (keep the sources in mind when reading) :
http://www.truthaboutfraud.org/case_studies_by_state/
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... harts-maps
http://www.rnla.org/survey.asp
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ ... story.html
http://www.npr.org/2012/08/15/158869947 ... en-turnout
=> conclusion regardless of the source listed above : voter fraud is a non-issue.

Some questions : has anyone ever proposed that voting day be a national holiday, so that more people can vote ? Higher turnout should be a priority for both parties, no ?

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:53 am 
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m0002a wrote:
The rule of a democratic elections should not be allowed to override the rights and liberties of individuals.

But it does. It's the point of a democracy : we as a group make a majority decision that the whole group has to follow. And it's true in your daily life : decisions are made by those elected, and whether or not you agree with those decisions, you have to follow them.
I believe you're giving the definition of anarchy... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:31 am 
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frenchie wrote:
But it does. It's the point of a democracy : we as a group make a majority decision that the whole group has to follow. And it's true in your daily life : decisions are made by those elected, and whether or not you agree with those decisions, you have to follow them.
I believe you're giving the definition of anarchy...

In the US, you are correct that some decisions can be made by election that impose the will of the majority on the minority, however, those decisions cannot unreasonably infringe on Constitutional rights and liberties, as determined by the US Supreme Court.

For example, the majority may pass a law that says you must have a drivers license to drive a car, and an appropriate government issued photo id to pass security at an airport. The US Supreme Court has ruled many times that the right to travel freely between the states is a right of citizens (for example, Saenz v. Roe, 526 U.S. 489, 1999), states do have the right to impose reasonable restrictions and requirements, such as having a drivers license, requiring that drivers have insurance, a vehicle that passes safety tests, emissions tests, etc. The courts have also ruled that it is permissible to require photo id's for passing security checks at a airport.

The rationale is that, even though the right to freely travel between the states is a constitutional right, these limitations and requirements do not unreasonably infringe on that right. If those requirements rose to the level where they did infringe on a constitutional right, then they would be declared unconstitutional and not permitted, regardless of the will of the majority. For example, poll taxes (essentially a fee charged to vote) did infringe on the rights of people to have fair elections and were declared unconstitutional, since some could not afford the poll tax.

So when you say that the "point of a democracy : we as a group make a majority decision that the whole group has to follow" is basically true. But the US is more accurately a Republic, where the rights of individuals are protected by the US Constitution, regardless of the will of the majority. In a true democracy there are no Constitutional rights, the will of the majority prevails at all times.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:50 am 
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I understand m0002a to be saying that a republic is a moderated democracy.

I imagine it similar to a forum online, where a number of moderator's maintain discipline as opposed to a majority rules democracy, where minorities could be prevented from making posts by the vote of the majority.

Both are 'democracy', in the literal sense, however, they differ in the method, checks and balances invoked.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:53 pm 
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lightbearer wrote:
I understand m0002a to be saying that a republic is a moderated democracy.

I imagine it similar to a forum online, where a number of moderator's maintain discipline as opposed to a majority rules democracy, where minorities could be prevented from making posts by the vote of the majority.

Both are 'democracy', in the literal sense, however, they differ in the method, checks and balances invoked.

The Founders believed that the ultimate checks and balances are the rights granted to states and to the people in the US Constitution, and which cannot be taken away or usurped by the Federal government merely by popular opinion (even via elections). In any other respect, democracy and voting is entirely compatible with a constitutional republic, so long as constitutional rights are not violated.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:54 pm 
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frenchie wrote:
I have to say that for the most part, this topic is more interesting than I thought it was going to be...

about voter fraud (keep the sources in mind when reading) :
http://www.truthaboutfraud.org/case_studies_by_state/
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... harts-maps
http://www.rnla.org/survey.asp
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ ... story.html
http://www.npr.org/2012/08/15/158869947 ... en-turnout
=> conclusion regardless of the source listed above : voter fraud is a non-issue.

Some questions : has anyone ever proposed that voting day be a national holiday, so that more people can vote ? Higher turnout should be a priority for both parties, no ?

Every single one of those sources are known left-leaning organizations. Every single one.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:47 pm 
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So provide a source of your own that shows documented significant voter fraud.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Facts are facts -- they don't have a point of view. In Pennsylvania, the judge asked the state for any specific cases of voter fraud -- AND THEY COULD NOT PROVIDE EVEN ONE. They wanted to have a law to prevent something that doesn't happen -- and voter ID doesn't actually prevent in-person voter fraud, anyway...

The politician in PA said the real purpose of their voter ID law -- to get Mitt Romney elected! Why would he say that, I wonder?

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:52 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Facts are facts -- they don't have a point of view. In Pennsylvania, the judge asked the state for any specific cases of voter fraud -- AND THEY COULD NOT PROVIDE EVEN ONE. They wanted to have a law to prevent something that doesn't happen -- and voter ID doesn't actually prevent in-person voter fraud, anyway...

The politician in PA said the real purpose of their voter ID law -- to get Mitt Romney elected! Why would he say that, I wonder?

There was massive voter fraud in Chicago during the 1960 election won by JFK, and many claim when LBJ was elected to the House of Representatives. But it is virtually impossible to prove fraud if there is no voter id law. Showing a photo id is a common part of life in virtually every country in the world, and there doesn't have to be proof of previous fraud for it be constitutional in the US according to the Supreme Court.

Why would a politician say that? Because he wants Obama reelected, just like the Judge.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:13 pm 
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frenchie wrote:
Some questions : has anyone ever proposed that voting day be a national holiday, so that more people can vote ? Higher turnout should be a priority for both parties, no ?

In about 3/4 of the US states they have early voting, which lasts for about 2-3 weeks prior to the election, sometimes including at least one weekend day. Some states allow early voting my mail (similar to absentee voting, but you don't have to affirm you will be unavailable on election day to do it).

I almost always vote early in order to avoid lines. Usually takes only 5 minutes when voting early and I can do it on my lunch hour. Early voting by mail (for those states that allow it) should alleviate any concerns about people be able to get off from work to vote.

Ironically, many of states that don't have early voting are heavily Democratic states in the northeast such a NY, PA, MA, MI, CT, RI, etc. Part of reason for that may be that since those states always vote Democratic at the statewide level, none (or very few) of those elections are really contested (and during presidential voting, winner takes all in the selection of electors for the Electoral College)..


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:08 am 
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m0002a wrote:
There was massive voter fraud in Chicago during the 1960 election won by JFK, and many claim when LBJ was elected to the House of Representatives. But it is virtually impossible to prove fraud if there is no voter id law. Showing a photo id is a common part of life in virtually every country in the world, and there doesn't have to be proof of previous fraud for it be constitutional in the US according to the Supreme Court.

Why would a politician say that? Because he wants Obama reelected, just like the Judge.


Ok, maybe I should rephrase, show me significant voter fraud in the 20 years.

Being constitutional doesn't mean it is a good idea. I happen to think it looks too much like a poll tax to be constitutional, but more importantly I think it is just a terrible idea, and will disenfranchise far more people than were voting fraudulently.

Actually, the politician who said that is the PA House Republican Leader, I don't think he want's Obama to win. I think he was being serious.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:13 am 
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frenchie wrote:
m0002a wrote:
Nicias wrote:
Furthermore these denials disproportionally hit people of color and the poor. Both groups tend to vote for Democrats. This in itself should cause one to pause to consider if these laws are motivated by partisan politics.

Yes, this subject is motivated by partisan politics. If it were not true that "both groups tend to vote for Democrats" you would never in a million years see Democrats objecting {snip} that a photo id be required to ensure fair elections.

Never thought I'd say that : I agree with m0002a (minus snipped part)...

And?

Under any given circumstances any of us can be murders, thieves, etc. The potential for doing bad exists in all, but last I looked we don't write on our tombstones "Joe Smith, possible murderer" or even "possible political extremist." We base our evaluations of others on acts, intent, and motive. Even the people who hid Jews in parts of occupied Europe from the Nazis could have become murderers, or unethical political bastards. They chose not to, a choice that was available here as well, but wasn't taken.

So what does the remark accomplish? Does it justify what has actually happened? Clearly no. I didn't hear anybody try to hide from reality by saying the democrats were and are capable of a Watergate-style break in, that would have been a just-as-feeble attempt at justification as this remark.

So all we actually derive from this tidbit is another Faux-like or CNN-like pointless point of view that neither justifies what's happening nor represents any iota of objectivity on subject. It does offer a humorous example of how one's own mouth can denegrate far better than others. m0002a, please continue to keep up the good work, which remains another example not only of what we're all capable of, but what what some of us put into motion.

Back to the subject - I wonder what the blacks in Florida who were prevented from voting in 2000 think of all this? And exactly how much voter fraud was prevented compared to how many legitimate voters were prevented from voting? This from the kind that looks at Gordon Gekko as a model business man.

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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:22 am 
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Nicias wrote:
Ok, maybe I should rephrase, show me significant voter fraud in the 20 years.

I have no obligation to show anything, and even a single instance of fraud is sufficient reason to protect the integrity of the voting system by requiring a photo id. It is almost impossible to prove fraud when there is no voter id, and voter fraud (of any type) occurs most often when one party controls a particular district (and therefore the pole workers) and do things that no one ever finds out about. To say there is no voter fraud in the US is ridiculous.

In posts above, I have heard people claim that someone who is poor and holds down 3 jobs doesn't have time to get a photo id once every 5 or 10 years. I wonder how people get those jobs, because one must have a government issued photo id (along with other doc) on the first day at work to prove that one is either a citizen, or a non-citizen who has a valid work visa to work in the US.

The US Supreme Court decides whether the voter id laws are constitutional or not. In Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008), the US Supreme Court held by a vote of 6-3 that an Indiana law requiring voters to provide photo IDs did not violate the Constitution of the United States. Certain other voter id laws in other states have been struck down by the US Supreme Court or lower courts. So as long it meets certain criteria, the basic concept of a voter id law is permissible.

Justice John Paul Stevens (a liberal on the court) wrote in the majority opinion that the burdens placed on voters are limited to a small percentage of the population, and were offset by the state's interest in reducing fraud:

"The relevant burdens here are those imposed on eligible voters who lack photo identification cards that comply with SEA 483.[SEA 483 is the Indiana election law at issue in Crawford.] Because Indiana’s cards are free, the inconvenience of going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, gathering required documents, and posing for a photograph does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters’ right to vote, or represent a significant increase over the usual burdens of voting. The severity of the somewhat heavier burden that may be placed on a limited number of persons—e.g., elderly persons born out-of-state, who may have difficulty obtaining a birth certificate—is mitigated by the fact that eligible voters without photo identification may cast provisional ballots that will be counted if they execute the required affidavit at the circuit court clerk’s office. Even assuming that the burden may not be justified as to a few voters, that conclusion is by no means sufficient to establish petitioners’ right to the relief they seek."

So if people want to argue that state id cards should be free, or that provisional votes be allowed, that is OK with me. It is not OK with me (and the US Supreme Court) to ban voter id laws completely as a matter of principle.

Your objection has been dismissed. Please see Rusty on your way out.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:26 am 
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Quote:
The Founders believed that the ultimate checks and balances are the rights granted to states and to the people in the US Constitution, and which cannot be taken away or usurped by the Federal government merely by popular opinion (even via elections). In any other respect, democracy and voting is entirely compatible with a constitutional republic, so long as constitutional rights are not violated.


These rights were not granted, they were recognised to be natural and inalienable. In principle, they cannot be taken away, though in fact they can, which is why eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. In a very real sense, rights must be seized and invoked, they cannot be granted.

Upon constitution of the federal government, rights were *retained* by the states and the people. The US Constitution does not outline these rights, it delimits the authority of the US Federal government and the relationship it has with the member States, Citizens and foreign affairs.

Quote:
IX - Rule of construction of Constitution

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


Note the use of the term enumeration to indicate that these rights were in existence and formally recognised. The rest indicates that even those rights not enumerated were "retained by the people."

Quote:
X - Rights of the States under Constitution

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


Power is delegated to the United States via the Constitution from the People.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:58 am 
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lightbearer wrote:
These rights were not granted, they were recognised to be natural and inalienable. In principle, they cannot be taken away, though in fact they can, which is why eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. In a very real sense, rights must be seized and invoked, they cannot be granted.

Upon constitution of the federal government, rights were *retained* by the states and the people. The US Constitution does not outline these rights, it delimits the authority of the US Federal government and the relationship it has with the member States, Citizens and foreign affairs.

Yes. To provide additional detail, here are the rights and powers of the Federal Government that are enumerated in the Constitution.

  • Article 1, Section 8 contains the powers given to Congress
  • Article 1, Section 9 contains the limitations on Congress
  • Article 1, Section 10 contains the powers prohibited of the States
  • Article 2, Section 2 contains the powers of the Executive Branch (President)
  • Article 3, Section 1 contains the powers of the Judicial Branch (US Supreme Court)

In the 10th Amendment (part of the Bill of Rights Ratified 12/15/1791) the Powers of the States and People are clarified:

"The powers not delegated to the United States [Federal Government] by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States [in Article 1, Section 10], are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
http://www.usconstitution.net/const.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:28 am 
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m0002a wrote:
Nicias wrote:
Ok, maybe I should rephrase, show me significant voter fraud in the 20 years.

I have no obligation to show anything, and even a single instance of fraud is sufficient reason to protect the integrity of the voting system by requiring a photo id.

Ok, you made two statements here. They are both false. You are claiming a law is in the public interest. It is your obligation to show that it is. I am saying it is not. I have stated the costs, you have not shown any tangible benefit.

You are wrong that the "integrity of the voting system" is worth a single voter fraud. If your "integrity of the voting system" prevents 1000 people from voting because, let's say, they get mugged on the way to the voting center and have their ID's stolen, but prevents one person who should not be able to vote from voting. That is a net loss of "integrity" so if that were the case, a voter ID law would actually hurt the "integrity of the voting system."


Quote:
In posts above, I have heard people claim that someone who is poor and holds down 3 jobs doesn't have time to get a photo id once every 5 or 10 years. I wonder how people get those jobs, because one must have a government issued photo id (along with other doc) on the first day at work to prove that one is either a citizen, or a non-citizen who has a valid work visa to work in the US.


Easy, the jobs are under the table, or their employers are lax.

Quote:
The US Supreme Court decides whether the voter id laws are constitutional or not. In Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008), the US Supreme Court held by a vote of 6-3 that an Indiana law requiring voters to provide photo IDs did not violate the Constitution of the United States. Certain other voter id laws in other states have been struck down by the US Supreme Court or lower courts. So as long it meets certain criteria, the basic concept of a voter id law is permissible.


You seem to be missing the point. "Constitutional" doesn't mean "is in the benefit of society." It would be constitutional to ban the sale of corn across state lines. It would be a terrible idea. I am not disagreeing with the constitutionality of that voter ID laws, I am just arguing that they are not to the benefit of society.

Again, if you are asserting that they are constitutional, but not to the benefit of society, that is one thing, and I wouldn't have an objection to that. If you are asserting that they are to the benefit of society, then you are making a claim, which requires evidence. I don't see you providing any, except complaining about an election 50 years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:39 am 
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Nicias wrote:
Ok, you made two statements here. They are both false. You are claiming a law is in the public interest. It is your obligation to show that it is. I am saying it is not. I have stated the costs, you have not shown any tangible benefit.

You are wrong that the "integrity of the voting system" is worth a single voter fraud. If your "integrity of the voting system" prevents 1000 people from voting because, let's say, they get mugged on the way to the voting center and have their ID's stolen, but prevents one person who should not be able to vote from voting. That is a net loss of "integrity" so if that were the case, a voter ID law would actually hurt the "integrity of the voting system."

You seem to be missing the point. "Constitutional" doesn't mean "is in the benefit of society." It would be constitutional to ban the sale of corn across state lines. It would be a terrible idea. I am not disagreeing with the constitutionality of that voter ID laws, I am just arguing that they are not to the benefit of society.

Again, if you are asserting that they are constitutional, but not to the benefit of society, that is one thing, and I wouldn't have an objection to that. If you are asserting that they are to the benefit of society, then you are making a claim, which requires evidence. I don't see you providing any, except complaining about an election 50 years ago.

Please refer to the Supreme Court ruling Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008), whereby the US Supreme Court held by a vote of 6-3 that an Indiana law requiring voters to provide photo IDs did not violate the Constitution of the United States. If they are not unconstitutional, then states have the right to enact such laws.

I am not personally interested in trying persuade those who disagree with voter id laws or to debate in this forum whether they are in the best interest of society. Obviously I believe that they are, and you don't. However, I will note that Justice John Paul Stevens in his majority opinion on Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008) said that the state has a legitmate interest in preventing election fraud and implementing voter id laws that pass constitutional muster to prevent such fraud.

Further, I will accept the democratically elected state legislatures for each state on whether they want those laws or not (assuming their laws pass the constitutional test, which some do and some others do not). The constitution delegates the responsibility (within constitutional limits) to conduct elections and to establish things like voter registration procedures, residency requirements, voter id, etc. So if some states don't want voter id laws, I am OK with that. For the same reason, if Vermont wants to grant the right to vote to felons while still serving their prison term behind bars, that it none of my business because I don't live in Vermont and the US constitution has provided Vermont the right to decide that for themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: Voting in America just got a bit harder
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:52 am 
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There is, of course, the ultimate power of the people, from which all the delegated power of the United States is granted.

"When in the course of human events..."

The US Constitution was written for the purpose of forming "a more perfect union" and is in this sense an oddity. I say this as many other constitutions were formed with the purpose of invoking authority as a means to power. Whether this be State, party or People.

It is in keeping with this modest distinction that the laws of the United States ought to be written to. The question remains, to what end will any given law contribute to the forming of "a more perfect union"?


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