Dispatches from District 48
Obama Says It's Easier to Order Pizza than to Vote in the U.S.
But somehow dead people manage to vote and not order pizza.
I'm waiting to see if my Mother votes in this election. She voted in the 2012 election even though she passed away in 2010.
So I suppose all the stories in 2012 about people waiting hours in line to vote were just fiction? This 102 year old woman (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/voting-while-elderly/473454/) didn't wait three hours?
And these lines aren't an accident. States have been deliberately cutting early voting and making other changes to make it more difficult to vote. Voter ID is just a part of the voter suppression tactics that have been introduced in the last several years. I'd be far more ok with an ID requirement if every push for it didn't come from the exact same people who are constantly making it harder to vote.
You know, I've waited in line to get into my pizza place, too. And those lines weren't an accident, they were having a good sale that day and everyone in town decided they'd have some pizza for lunch.
Bernie Sander's out of state paid staffers are registering to vote in the primaries using the campaign office as their domicile.
I'm sure they know its illegal but rarely enforced so why not.
I'm sure we can all recognize there's a difference between a line at the local pizza place and waiting hours and hours in line to vote. The right to vote is supposed to be stronger than the right to pizza.
Voting shouldn't be easy. If people aren't willing to work a bit to vote, why should we want their opinion determining our government.
As to voter ID, calling it "voter suppression" is positively Orwellian. No, it is voter quality control. India, which is a lot poorer than the US, has voter ID for all of its citizens.
I'm not saying everyone should be able to vote by sending a tweet, voting does and should require some effort, but I believe that putting barriers like hours long lines in front of voters is wrong. Voting should be as easy as possible, within some reasonable bound for cost and practicality. Not everyone is able to organize their lives such that they can stand in line for hours, whether due to physical infirmity, their job, or caregiving responsibilities. Democracy is not meant to be a trial by ordeal experience. And just how difficult should we make voting exactly? If we believe making voting more difficult produces a better outcome, then surely we should make it really difficult. Why not just have one polling place per county? Per state?
Voter ID, when enacted as one part of a coordinated campaign to make voting more difficult, especially ways that disproportionately impact minority voters, is absolutely "voter suppression." It goes right along with slashing early voting, eliminating all voting on Sundays, limiting the time period when people can register to vote, doing poor quality database matches on names of felons to arbitrarily deregister innocent voters, etc...
Voter ID is hardly trial by ordeal. A non-driving state ID costs about $20. Given that photo identification is used to buy alcohol, open a bank account or use checks, use payday loan services, access most gov't services, obtain long distance transportation, enter bars/clubs, look at apartments, obtain a job (I-9 verification), etc. it seems to me that the lack of an ID causes more fundamental daily problems and inconveniences than not being able to vote.
Furthermore, I would argue that if that $20 is such a terrible financial burden to bear for the poor, some well meaning libs could set up a private charity to help these people overcome that barrier. How many people could vote, and obtain access to so many other things at the same time with the help of even a small non-profit organization dedicated to the task?
As for the quality of voting, my personal preference would be one of tiered voting. People who pay net taxes and property holders (i.e. the people who pay the bills), or those who provide materiel service to the community such as military personnel get the most say, wards of the state and other looters and moochers get the least say. Changing the number of polling stations, or even going entirely to a vote by mail system where you don't technically have "a day at the polls" such as in my state probably doesn't affect the quality of the electorate at all.
As a further note, I'd actually also be pretty OK if the voter lists were purged every other year on non-election years to purge the dead, the fraudulently registered, the migrated out of state, and the apathetic from the rolls.
If voting is such a sacred duty, people can take five minutes to register to vote in any of numerous ways to show their civic engagement. The idea that voting is being compared to a triviality like ordering pizza is a little galling.
Of course if voting were effective in placing competent people into the government, there would not be lines that took "hours and hours."
Even were this true, it's as it should be. Buying pizza isn't a major consideration. You know what tastes good, and you buy it.
VOTING should be the process of research and considerable thought and concern on the topic.
Sure, but that process of research and thought happens before the actual act of voting, which is a separate process. The government can't make everyone be an informed, thoughtful voter.
States that have Voter ID requirements normally will issue IDs that have the same requirements as Drivers' Licenses (but don't confer the privilege of driving) for free.