Friday, August 24, 2012

Voter suppression in Florida, for independent voters the choices are clear: protect democracy by denying the GOP your vote ... by gimleteye

I blogged about my experience trying to obtain a new driver's license: an example based on direct experience how suppression levied by Gov. Rick Scott will suppress Democratic votes. The Florida Dept. of Motor Vehicles required me to obtain an original Social Security card before issuing me a new driver's license notwithstanding the fact I brought a US passport, utility and bank statements to the DMV. The federal Department of Social Security used the driver's license about to expire to obtain a social security card.

Voter suppression serves the GOP agenda because citizens less likely to have photo ID are more likely to vote Democrat. The implication is that the GOP is actively engaged in tilting election outcomes its way. How do independent voters feel about that?

The Washington Post has a long editorial on voter suppression in Florida. "The Scott administration has shown unsettling virulence in enforcing these provisions. Five of Florida’s 67 counties are subject to pre-clearance under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and this month a panel of federal judges ruled that Florida couldn’t prove that its shortened early-voting period wouldn’t have a disproportionate effect on African American voters. Instead of suspending the entire provision and striving for a uniform policy across the state, Mr. Scott, as if to encourage another Bush v. Gore, has insisted that the law still applies in Florida’s 62 other counties.
"Unsettling virulence" has many siblings.

One EOM reader offers the following on the recent local election in Miami-Dade, Florida's most populous and politically influential county: "So I dutifully went to vote in the primary. Got there at 7:15am after my morning walk. Presented my voter's registration card... was not asked for a picture ID and after they looked carefully at the computer they informed me they could find no records for me. I insisted I had voted before and they kept up looking. They finally found me and said that my name was next to the word "INACTIVE". I asked them what that meant and they said I probably had not voted in quite a long time. So I proceeded to explain that the "long time" was the last election.I vote in all primaries and general elections and told them I was NOT leaving until I voted. After 1/2 a hr of waiting (thank goodness I was the only person there at that time) they finally said all was well...that it had been a computer glitch since they had just switched to this new system. I voted (hopefully it did register) and I left feeling quite uneasy and thinking how easy it will be for tallies to be manipulated..."

The Koch Brother billionaires have also invested an unprecedented effort to diminish the chances that Democrats will win. "It's almost like Kochs have created an alternative to the Republican Party that pushes their brand of conservatism — an economy with less regulation and one in which the government intervenes far less than it does now," said Bill Allison of the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation, which tracks political money. "I don't think we've seen anything like this before, and a lot of it is under the radar."

For independent voters, the choices at the polls this November should be AGAINST a GOP machine, well funded by corporate special interests, that is determined to steal elections by suppressing the vote.


David said...

I suppose that the next logical iteration of your specious thought process is the requirement to provide ID to get on an airplane is a republican plot to prevent democrats from flying.

I am at a loss to reconcile how ensuring someone is legally allowed to vote is a nefarious republican plot to steal elections from democrats. If democrats are less likely to possess ID than republicans, whose fault is that...the republicans?

Anonymous said...

Voter suppression? Really? 84% of registered voters did not vote in August with 8 days allocated, so another week of voting would have produced what exactly?

Anonymous said...

You assume the creation and application of the "inactive" label is the product of a conspiracy to use that label to disenfranchise Ds disproportionately - apparently because you are a D and have established a sample size of 1.

Rather than ASSuming, you might take a check of the voter database. When you do, you'll find the label has been misapplied across the board in relatively equal proportion - with no rhyme or reason, D, R, and NPA voters have been labeled "Inactive" despite having voted in recent election cycles.

Occam's Razor. Never assign to a complex evil plot, that which can be explained more easily by garden variety bureaucratic incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Even if there are problems at the iID station, EVERYONE can vote by provisional ballot. No one can be denied their right to vote.

I love the requirement of an ID and the clean up of the voter lists. It protects against voter fraud.

I usually agree with you, but you are dead wrong on this one. I only wish our legislature had been as diligent in dealing with absentee voter fraud as they were on requiring photo ID's.

Anonymous said...

What am I missing here? What is the problem with showing a photo ID to vote? The DMV issues State ID's if one doesn't drive. Yes, it's a PITA but I would rather have legal US Citizens at the poll who have proven their citizenship one way or the other. I could also be other forms of ID as well.

I think by blocking the photo ID's the Dems are the ones playing games, not the GOP. Even the courts have ruled in favor of photo ID's, it's our Justice Dept. who keeps trying to block their usage.

As to corporations - Media Matters? Sorros and Move On are just little "groups".

Come on. Both parties are playing the game trying to literally "game" he system one way or the others.

And, nope, don't watch Fox News and am a registered Independent and I say that because whenever someone takes an opposing view on these kind of issues, the first line of attack is the above.

And, I'm also not a Tea Party members nor do I believe for a non second the "occupy" movement isn't anything more than a Union front!

Thanks for the freedom of speech here. At least we still have it somewhere.

Anonymous said...

The Drivers License regulations are Federal not state.

Geniusofdespair said...

As I understand it, the Fed program, Real ID sets minimum standards - the states can adopt more stringent standards.

Anonymous said...

The Feral law requires Proof of a social security number. It does not say you have to produce a social security card. An IRS tax Return form would suffice. The State has made the card a requirement.

Anonymous said...

If you had a problem getting a driver's license, your beef is with the motor vehicle bureau not with elections. It sounds like you just got the idiot employee at the Motor vehicle dept.

Anonymous said...

You have to have a photo identification to get a job when filling out an I-9. If you're not legal to work,you're certainly not legal to have to produce photo identification for just about anything. Certainly to insure our democratic process is fair, everyone should be able to verify eligibility. The Democrats objection only demonstrates they can't reproduce their positions without cheating. That's how they buy the vote, promise the world in return for the vote and paid for on the backs of productive entities.

Anonymous said...

I remember the days when voting was on one day, ELECTION DAY…and people voted in HUGE numbers.

Then we started cuddling non-voters with the AB ballot (which they abuse constantly), and two weeks of early voting and they still don't vote.

Then we changed the early voting to a few days and there is fuss coming from the Democrats…only the Democrats.

What is it you want? I have worked as a volunteer at every election for years and I have seen days when nobody showed up to vote on many early voting days. It is nothing more than a gathering place for the volunteers and the opportunity for Democrats to round up the people they can cajole to vote Democrat.

Enough!! It costs money to keep the polls open when only one or two people show up to vote and sometimes none. It is a waste of time and money, but you Democrats always seem to need something to grumble about.

But what I believe angers me more that that is that the Democrats do not want to purge the polls at all. Why not? This used to be done on a regular basis as a rule. The polls should be purged, to clean it up making it up more accurate by changing individual party, removing those who have moved and/or died and so forth. What is wrong with that?

jules said...

president obama has destroyed our economy with his reckless spending and his trillion dollar deficits. there is no way i would ever vote to keep the man who has done so much damage to our nation. he is the worst!!!

Anonymous said...

To my understanding, inactive means that the Election department mailed the voter a confirmation address letter, but it was undeliverable by the post office and returned to sender.

The voter can still vote. During the check-in process the poll workers usually confirms the address with the voter and if there is a discrepancy then an affirmation is filled out in order for the elections department to update their records for subsequent elections.

Anonymous said...

What is always ALWAYS left out of the stories criticizing "Republican suppression efforts" is that whenever there is any type of discrepancy about a persons right or ability to vote, they always are able to vote via provisional ballot so that the information can be verified later but in case there was a mistake and the vote was justified it still will be counted. Even if you show up without ID you can vote via provisional ballot and your identity is verified via your signature as if you had voted via absentee ballot.

Of course this is always left out of stories because if it was included it would confirm that the noise is much to do about NOTHING!

Rick said...

All these anonymous comments might be somewhat relevant [and interesting] if there was any evidence of widespread voter fraud. But there isn't. There never has been.

So it just becomes another boring comment thread populated by Fox News viewers who have suddenly come to life in 2012 after sitting through decades without uttering a peep about "voter fraud."

What changed in the last 4?

You folks are real smart. Figure it out.


Little Steven said...

Rick, don't confuse the lack of arrests and prosecutions with an absence of voter fraud. The same could be said about absentee voter fraud until last month.

Earlier this year we found that there 50,000 dead people still on the voter rolls in Florida. God only knows how many dead voters have voted in past years.

Geniusofdespair said...

Rick we are overrun with trolls. I am back in town and will be moderating.

Cato II said...

One way to deal with the issue is to take a page from the Republican's book. Get everyone who does not have a valid ID to request an absentee ballot.

Rick said...

Little because we don't know whether it's a problem that means it might be so we must risk violating the rights of some in order to find the unknown number of voters scamming the system? Really?

Again, I ask: Why did this all of a sudden become a problem and a priority in 2012?

Tea Partiers, please feel free to consult Glenn Beck and Rush before answering.

GoD... please let these Neanderthals speak. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.


Anonymous said...

Actually, you have been overrun with common sense. When you get back, I am sure you will return to your usual practice of censoring all opinions with which you disagree.

Bet you will start by censoring this one. LOL!

Geniusofdespair said...

Hey Rick, I just noted that you don't allow trolls to comment on your blog. Why here?

Rick said...

I guess everyone has their definition of what a troll is. If people stay on topic and say stupid things, I generally let them remain. But when the comments wander or when they personally attack me, then they go.

My comment was mostly tongue-in-cheek as some of the above comments are so, well, Republican, it's hilarious.


Grayland said...

Welcome back GoD and Rick, I love your blog too.

I'm not a troll, but I do support the ID's at the polls. No evidence has been produced that it will have a negative impact on anyone. I was always taught when bringing forth an argument, have proof. No one has provided proof, just supposition.

That's my opinion and not that of the GOP or Fox News!

Rick said...

Grayland: here.

And I'll ask again because all the anonymous people who were so vocal over the past couple days have apparently moved on or have become mute.

Why did this all of a sudden become a problem and a priority in 2012?

Anyone can answer!


Anonymous said...


Maria said...

Why did this all of a sudden become a problem and a priority in 2012?

Rick, it's been a problem for decades. Thank God someone is finally addressing it.

Rick said...

Maria: You said, "Rick, it's been a problem for decades."

Everything that I've read, without exception, indicates that it hasn't been a problem, Maria. But I would be open to reading any links you may have handy to support what you're claiming.

And, I ask again, if it has been such a problem for decades, why has it become such a priority now in 2012, 6 months before a national election?

This is the 3rd or 4th time I've asked the question and no one has the answer.