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Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:22 PM

What Can Democrats Actually Do to Prevent Voter Suppression?

Democracy has seen better days than November 6th, 2018. Though dozens of diverse new leaders were elected to Congress, several states were plagued by dysfunctional voting systems, effectively disenfranchising countless Americans. This was largely the result of voter suppression measures enabled by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that ravaged the Voting Rights Act, allowing states to change their election laws without federal approval. “Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the decision, “and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.”

As has been made abundantly clear, Roberts jumped the gun on the whole “racism is over” thing. In North Dakota, thousands of Native Americans living on reservations were told they needed a residential address to vote. In Kansas, only one polling place was opened to serve over 13,000 voters in Dodge City. In Georgia, Secretary of State Brian Kemp purged hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls and instituted a controversial “exact match” policy that was later ruled by a federal judge to be restrictive of voting rights. Kemp refused to step down from overseeing the state’s elections even as he was running for governor, only resigning after the election concluded. He narrowly defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams, who refused to concede, citing the “gross mismanagement of our elections process.”

“The election system is getting hit by a wrecking ball because there are constantly more and more inventive tactics being used to suppress the vote,” Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden tells Rolling Stone. Wyden’s state has for 20 years allowed residents to vote by mail, a move that has led to some of the highest turnouts in the nation as the elderly, disabled and working class are able to cast their ballots with little-to-no hassle. In 2017, Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the Vote By Mail Act, which would require every state to provide residents with a similar option. Earlier this month, Wyden kindly reminded his followers of how easy it is to vote in Oregon.




“Experts know that one of the biggest ways to increase voter turnout is #VoteByMail,” Wyden tweeted a week later as states like Georgia and Florida struggled to tabulate votes. “Oregon and Colorado have led the way on making voting easier and more accessible. It’s time for Congress to follow suit and pass my bill to expand Oregon-style #VoteByMail to every state.”

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/voter-suppression-tactics-759179/

Washington State is also vote by mail except my neighborhood drop box is made of metal and is locked.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 10:34 PM

1. 20 years after, I'm glad some are asking. eom

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 11:12 PM

2. On MSNBC Michael Moore told Ali Velshi tonight

that there should be propositions on the ballots in all states to stop gerrymandering, etc. Moore said to talk to GOP voters and tell them that t it harms them too when they are on the losing side of gerrymandered districting. Actually props like legalized pot, LGBTQ rights, and Climate Change actions and gun control bring out younger voters and that is another way to win in 2020....more props on the ballots he said.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 22, 2018, 12:10 AM

4. Correct, but Moore has it wrong in one sense

People will vote for those measures but not for the reasons Moore believes. GOP voters are so clueless they refuse to believe that their own party is gerrymandering districts and suppressing the vote. They think anything that sounds sinister and twisted is the work of Democrats.

In essence, take advantage of their stupidity.

We cannot win secretary of state races. It seldom works. One tight loss after another, like this year in Nevada where we swept everything else but lost secretary of state. The ballot propositions are far superior.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 22, 2018, 12:34 AM

5. He suggested an independent non-partisan voting commission

to separate politicians from the election process altogether. A non-partisan commission that would be responsible for managing the voting process as well as redrawing the electoral maps to remove the gerrymandering. I support that idea and have suggested it before. I think it makes total sense, especially after the amount of gerrymandering that has taken place.

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Response to ooky (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 22, 2018, 01:17 AM

6. I wonder how/who we could do that?

I wanted (along with all the Dems who wrote bills, only to have them shelved by McConnell) an independent commission to investigate tRump and the election which would not have any possibility to be derailed by either party but of course the GOP wouldn't touch it.

How can we get a non-partisan voting commission started? I must have missed that part of Moore's piece.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 22, 2018, 10:12 AM

10. Moore suggested it as one of the ballot initiatives he was talking about.

I think it would have to be done state by state, where, either as state ballot referendum or legislated by state governments. Obviously that is something that would be fought by states whose legislatures and or governors are still holding on to their gerrymandered voting districts. But in states where democrats are already in control, or take back control should immediately move to establish independent election commissions.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 22, 2018, 10:20 AM

11. Both CA and AZ have independent commissions

They use academics and other non partisan folks to draw a map

The guidelines are very specific, must use existing political boundaries like counties first and then geographical boundaries, etc

Districts must be as round and contiguous as possible.

AZ the "deep red state" currently has 5 Dem Congress people and 4cRep.

We also have 1 Dem Sen and are looking at getting#2 in 2020

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2018, 11:44 PM

3. Work like blazes to get a Dem elected Secy of State in as many states as possible

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2018, 01:24 AM

7. I know what was done in Texas-we had a strong voter protection program

I have been volunteering for voter protection programs since 2004. I was in charge of my county's voter protection program and we were very busy.

First, we had a statewide hot line 1 844 TX Votes that was manned by a large room of lawyers.


There were war rooms set up in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The DNC has a database called LBJ which allowed us to document issues and to refer issues to the appropriate county. I was in my county's war room. According the LBJ spreadsheet, I handled about 50 issues for my county

I had poll watchers in key voting centers. We had a Judge Booth Controller overheat and start smoking in one location and it had to be replaced. We had several locations where the electronic poll books crashed and we had long delays while the system was rebooted.

Second, since 2012 the state has invested in vote by mail programs. I was part of a group that raised funds for vote by mail programs for the smaller counties. The cost of this program has gone done. In 2014, I remember that the group that I was with gave the party $14,000 for our county and only targeted strong D. In 2018, the program was much cheaper and covered more person.

The issue with vote by mail is that there is a 1% to 3% nationwide rejection rate where a ballot board could decide that a voter signature did not match. I like voting in person and I always vote during early voting.

Another program that the state party did was to identify voters who were strong democrats who were registered in counties other than the one they were living in. A group that I help fund raised money to sent these voters fully completed voter registration cards that they only had to sign and send it.

Texas has been active in suing on voting issues In 2014, voter turnout went to 33% from 39% in 2010 due to voter id. The outside counsel for the party, Chad Dunn, sued and got the voter id law largely gutted.

Finallly we voted out a teabagger named Stan Stannart out of the election office in Harris County In 2016 we elected a new tax assessor who is charge of voter registraiton (I had trained her as a poll wstcher in 2012) and so we had no issues. Stan is a Kings Street Partriot asshole who limited voting hours and locations. Stan was fired on November 6


There is a great deal more to do. Texas does not have onlline voter registration or automatic voter registration. We will fight for these and other changes in the upcoming session of the Texas legislature

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2018, 06:40 AM

8. MASSIVE TURNOUTS, overwhelm them, and get as many offices as possible at all levels.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2018, 07:54 AM

9. A start would be to vote in every election regardless if you are excited

or motivated, or if the candidates are less than perfect. Vote like it's your duty, because it is.
Vote like you understand that the winner of nearly every election is going to be either the Democratic candidate or the Republican one.
But Republicans love when those on the Left choose to self-suppress their votes.

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