Monday, September 17, 2012


By Khalil Bendib , OtherWords
Our local Port Huron Times Herald 9-16-12 editorial, Spare voters needless obstacles,” gets it right.  The problem in our democratic elections system is not voter fraud, but voter inactivity.  There have been almost no cases of documented voter fraud in the past two decades [Wall Street Journal 8-31-12 “Voter Fraud: Hard to Identify”].  Almost half of eligible voters don’t vote in national elections.  Some of this is unfortunately voter apathy, but in addition we have subtly engineered ballot box obstruction [eg. those “anti-voter fraud” laws written by our state’s Republican legislature, most of them commendably vetoed by Gov. Snyder.]

Unfortunately, Republican strategy across the nation appears designed to further, and selectively, decrease voter turnout.   Democrats are no political angels, but a decade plus of Karl Rove’s Machiavellian influence is having unprecedented effect on the GOP juggernaut.  His super-PACs and others are not just trying to convince you by billion-dollar advertising to vote their way, but if it’s likely you’ll vote otherwise, they’ll put tripwires in the way.  Will Michigan’s newly minted emergency managers provide enough voting booths and staff in the 5 cities of over 50% minority population they now control?  [see article in my June 2012 archive]
It appears we can vote on this as a ballot proposal this election.  Hope the font size is adequate.
Photo ID laws now in 11 states  [21 states yet have had no voter ID law at all, photo or otherwise—as noted in TH editorial, identification is taken care of by voter registration] [and according to the WSJ article above, the rate of voter impersonation in the U.S. is "statistically zero."]  Felons barred from voting [5.8 million Americans denied this year].  Voter record purges by computers.  Rollbacks to early voting [which was response to long lines in inner city areas, in 2000 and 2004 elections].  Redrawn congressional districts—now disputed in Texas--to minimize minority voters’ impact.  New laws to make it very difficult for voter registration drives.  Cadres of vote challengers sent to swing precinct polling places, trained to harass the process.  A redundant citizenship question, to get a ballot in our state.
      Group wants to use this button at polls to challenge

Voter ID has been a hot topic in state legislatures over the past decade. Since 2001, nearly 1,000 bills have been introduced in a total of 46 states. Twenty-four states have passed major legislation during the period 2003-2012…”

Now Representative. Candice Miller joins the fray on the side of the vote protection racket. She co-sponsors a House bill which would automatically advise the voiding of a new voter registrant in Michigan of their previous state’s voter registration, when they move here and go through the driver’s license process. This is the subject of her 9-12-12 “Putting an End to a Chance to Cheat in Elections” email posting.  Innocuous enough--and she does cite one person who was an alleged double voter in two states while maintaining double registration.  Yet most people in transition may keep 2 voting registrations as they make the move.  They don’t try to vote double, and God bless them if they do take the time to register and vote in their new location, or in their old if they’ve not completed the move.   Rep. Miller would better serve constituents by writing new jobs legislation for a new generation of workers, and effective regulations and declaration of war policies for the war- makers and financial wizards who’ve nearly bankrupt our nation.

Instead of circling the wagons to “protect the vote,” we need new ways to encourage the vote.  How about a law making national voting day, every 2 years, a National Election Holiday?  Everyone know your candidates, the issues, and get out and vote.  Make a day of it—responsible citizenship.  How about our state joining those 45 that have early-voting and/or no-excuse- necessary absentee voting?
As the corporate power brokers, now further empowered by the Citizen’s United court decision, beat the final breath out of the dying/dead horse of democracy, too many politicians stand by ready only to administer more convoluted last rites.  There is an even deeper problem to be addressed beyond whether we’re in the 99% or the 1%, that overshadows all our financial disparities.

Are we an inclusive or exclusive society?  For those of us who are Christian believers, some believe in the interdependent family of humankind given grace and justice by the one all-merciful God, and that the greatest among us are the ones who serve, that losing our life for the sake of the Gospel we save it.  Then there are those who believe in Manifest Destiny belonging to the fittest survivors who are committed to using all their powers to secure God’s blessings for themselves, and for the trickle down benefit of their chosen allied communities.  Which way will we turn, and who are our leaders?


Preview of coming voting distraction in Michigan?


No comments:

Post a Comment