Friday, October 19, 2012

It's not voter fraud until the election is rigged.


  1. As a likely Romney voter, I also prefer paper ballots. I'd also like to go back to voting in person and having verification of voter ID at the polls. However, it is the Democrats in our state that pushed for electronic voting and mail-in ballots. How do you explain this?

  2. How do I explain this? "Every American should have the right to vote."


    If you insist on having strict limits on the time, place, and method of voting, you will exclude people for no good reason. That is not how this country is supposed to work. The original need for representatives took into account the long travel times and communication difficulties. The original idea of having one Tuesday in November as the sole day and the hometown as the sole location and the in-person ballot as the sole method allowable for voting fails to account for the person who commutes 45 minutes and can't get back in time to vote, or the elderly shut-in, or the military active-forces, or the retiree in Florida for the winter, or the person who stands in long lines and gives up because the voting machines in the (one-party) district mysteriously malfunction. There are too many instances of voter suppression for me to feel comfortable -- and it's not just of Democratic voters.

    I favor letting ALL citizens vote. I abhor the Sec'y of State's comments that " 'This legislation' will deliver PA to Romney." I detest those who make these decisions and laws with disenfranchisement as the goal.

    My feeling is that we should be having a four-day election day ... Saturday through Tuesday, that TV networks be forbidden from displaying polls and results until the end and only in aggregate, that this greatest country on Earth needs to get this right.

  3. Ok, perhaps I worded that poorly! Washington State has gone mostly mail-in, and there is some machine voting. Why would the Democrats in this state want to use machines if they feel the machines are easy to tamper with? In what way does machine voting make it "easier"? Having elderly parents, I am frequently aware of their confusion with technology and their uneasiness with such changes to familiar routines. I think the old punch-card ballots or the sort of ballots we use here for mail-ins work just fine.

    Washington State has voted Democrat for the last 30 years. Democrats pretty much have it sewn up here, and they had to have approved this method of voting. If they hadn't, we wouldn't be using it! If you know anything about our last two gubernatorial races, they were ugly. In 2004, military ballots were delayed, and there were complaints from soldiers who felt deliberately disenfranchised; boxes of ballots were conveniently found in warehouses at the eleventh hour, which tipped the election in Chris Gregoire's (D) favor. It took not just one, but two recounts and a court ruling to finalize the election. You'd have a hard time convincing a lot of people here that we had an "honest" election. (If you're curious to learn more about it, google "Stefan Sharkansky", "settlement", and "Ron Sims", and see what turns up.)

    I am not advocating "barring" people from voting. I favor letting all citizens vote as well, but in some ways making the effort to physically do it underscores the importance of the action. There is something volitional and deliberate about it. It used to be a small matter of pride to make the effort - kind of like giving blood. You'd show up to cast your ballot, visit with your neighbors while you waited in the queue, and collect your "I voted" sticker. It isn't an empty symbolic gesture, in my opinion, but indicates a greater motivation on the part of voters to participate in the process. Absentee ballots were always a fallback option for people who were truly too inconvenienced, busy, or incapacitated to vote in person. How does that disenfranchise, if mail-in is still an option for those who want it?

    When my brother came back from his second tour in Iraq, he told me about guarding the polling places and the eagerness of people to turn out in spite of some pretty serious "voter intimidation" (at least the New Black Panthers only carry night sticks, not grenade launchers)! He said older women in particular led the way, and frequently brought even more elderly, handicapped people with them. Families with young children in tow showed up. The chance to vote there is worth the inconvenience, apparently.

    By the way, I agree with you on a nation-wide four-day election and on barring news coverage until all the polls have closed. It is really discouraging to have the race decided before your ballot even has time to get through the postal system and get tabulated! In 2008, McCain conceded the race the day after I dropped my envelope in the mail. Talk about feeling "disenfranchised"! Yes, I know by the time I got to vote, the race was unrecoverable for McCain. Still, it is kind of a slap to "lose" without even having your vote counted!