Voting in the Old Confederacy

Voter suppression Southern style is a success.

ncstate-capitolRight wing candidates “closed the deal” on November 4, 2014. By instituting several voting law changes, the heavily Republican state legislature (as a result of the 2010 election and redistricting) successfully created a formula where the majority of the people were disenfranchised and the minority seized power. All of this in the guise of “voting integrity”. By shortening the period of early voting by 7 days in North Carolina, forbidding “same day” voter registration (registering and voting on election day), stopping high school seniors from registering, and closing many polling places (voting precincts) on college campuses, as well as doing away with voting at a precinct by absentee ballot if you forgot or attempted to vote at the wrong place. These measures have historically proven to attract a more liberal voter.  The right to vote has changed for many, back to the idea that voting is a privileged.

 

The conservation idea of voting integrity has been dis-proven. So few illegal or fraudulent votes are cast, no ineligible voter would have changed or altered any election. The finality of the vote is difficult to change once a person or group of people has been disenfranchised going back to seek recourse is virtually impossible.  Of course no one is denied the right to vote, which is the response to allegations from the right.  However, the point is not how difficult it is but how accessible it is to vote.  The question is, are rights being infringed? Or, are rights being challenged? The challenge to a “right” is the key question. Many on the left feel rights cannot be challenged without “due process” not by statute or laws. A court has to determine a persons eligibility not an elected official or appointed bureaucrat. Several countries around the world encourage full participation and even penalize citizens for not voting. The old Confederacy has turned it around and limits voting. Some can’t help but feel these actions are reminiscent of the past. Poll taxes, literacy tests and any impediment to the voting process thinkable all shrouded in the hypocritical “integrity of the vote” mantra.

voting_rights_act_rally-62013-thumb-640xauto-8412The State of Oregon has voting by mail. Southern conservatives would probably ignore the reality of a majority population protecting the rights of the minority. Sometimes the minority is just the poor. Registered voters, in Oregon, receive a ballot two to three weeks before an election. Ballots must be received by the state by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Voters may register to vote on line. To register you must either have a valid drivers license number or a social security number. In 2013, Oregon prosecuted the 13th person for voter fraud since the “vote-by-mail” elections started in 2000. During that time 23.8 million ballots have been cast statewide.

The ease, efficiency of the Oregon process would seem to embarrass many from “voter suppression” states. It would embarrass southerners if the objective was ease and efficiency. The objective is obvious. Limit the voting pool. Discourage the poor and disenfranchise any that may need to participate in their government process by having a voice. Those voices don’t matter to conservatives.

Voter fraud or as the proponents of strict voter registration and voting guidelines and the integrity of the vote, is serious. However, the cost and the burden of eligible voters to the state is a charade. The fear of ineligible voters having a negative effect is purposely overblown for blatant political reasons. Some would go as far as to say racial reasons as well. Some could even say that conservatives couldn’t win in some places without cheating.

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