Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:10 AM
DonViejo (16,180 posts)
Dear Mr. President: “Fix that” - By Sandra Fluke
Twelve years after the 2000 Election crisis, dismal voting conditions continue. It's time for real reform
BY SANDRA FLUKE
Those of us who were still awake late into election night 2012 heard President Obama say, “I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that.” If I could ask President Obama to do just one thing over the next four years, I would ask him to use his leadership to “fix that.”
Twelve years after the startling disarray of the 2000 election, in too many states dismally bad election administration has become the expected course. Hours-long lines, malfunctioning voting machines, and hopelessly confusing ballots are the headlines potential voters see. How can we expect that busy citizens will not be deterred from voting by the thought of such barriers? Every botched election and new barrier to voting causes even more citizens to completely disengage from their own governance.
This year, we saw thousands of our fellow citizens still wait in those endless lines, cast provisional ballots and file complaints when they were illegally denied the opportunity to vote. American citizens are literally fighting for their right to vote. Now it’s time that Congress and President Obama step to that fight.
This election season, the barriers to voting only grew worse as a multitude of states limited early voting and enacted voter ID laws designed to disenfranchise targeted communities of color, students and other groups. Since election night, we’ve learned of yet another threat to voting rights. The Supreme Court will hear a case challenging aspects of the Voting Rights Act, expected to result in a weakening of the Justice Department’s ability to protect voters from discriminatory election regulations. The case likely would not have been heard if Congress had headed the court’s call to update election legislation several years ago.
8 replies, 1156 views
Dear Mr. President: “Fix that” - By Sandra Fluke (Original post)
Response to DonViejo (Original post)
Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:15 AM
democrattotheend (7,445 posts)
I really hope the president is serious about what he said on election night.
In Ohio, his margin has gone up from 1.9% to 2.7% since they began counting provisionals, and Columbus has not even counted its provisionals yet. Who knows how many more provisionals did not get counted?
Even though elections are conducted at the state level, there are lots of things Congress and the president could do. For example, they could pass a law mandating that all states provide one voting machine for every X number of registered voters, calculated so that the wait time should be no longer than 30 minutes, and provide federal funding for the purchase of additional machines. HAVA was in some ways an important step in that direction (although obviously flawed and in some ways makes things worse), but there is still great disparity between urban and rural/suburban areas in terms of wait times and the reliability of voting equipment.
Response to democrattotheend (Reply #1)
Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:06 PM
Cha (164,062 posts)
4. Of course, President Obama is serious about it. I have
Our biggest job is to get a Democratic Congress in 2014 so these important issues in our County can get done.
Response to DonViejo (Original post)
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:04 PM
demhottie (292 posts)
8. STFU Sandra Fluke
I hate this passive whining-- saying to the president "Fix that". Wouldn't "Let's fix this be a better imperative?
If this election taught us anything, it's that change comes from us. Sandra Fluke, you don't get to sit on your ass for four years and wait for things to get done after declaring that the most important task for the president is the one you chose.
"Now it’s time that Congress and President Obama step to that fight."
"...Here we are now, entertain us..."