Wednesday, April 7, 2021

So here's the GOP game: make it hard to vote so only' quality' voters vote easily

 If we didn't get the point before, we know it now.  Coded words delivered with a wink to those in on the joke are no longer necessary because some in the GOP actually spilled the beans to the rest of us..  ‘Everybody Shouldn’t Be Voting,’ Republican Blurts Out (nymag.com)  A state legislator from Arizona was not the first to publicly claim. only quality voters should vote and. the goal was not quantity.  What they really mean is no secret now, thanks to that legislator's and others' slip of a loose tongue.  That may be what the GOP wants, but the emperor has no clothes any longer. Until then, the GOP had been clothed in the piety of preventing fraud, real, imagined, fantasy, or feared. Their real goal is now bared naked for the world to see. Their agenda is to make it inconvenient for all who are over 18 to vote. but particularly those of low wealth,  dark skin color, or less education. 

 What the rest of us need are quality legislators who can comprehend and honor the Constitution and legislate fairly and intelligently.  I am trying to find the word "quality" in the Constitution as a condition for approved voters. It just is not there. Once in our very racist south, we used to have literacy tests along with poll taxes and other hindrances to less than desirable voters, meaning African Americans.That was found unconstitutional years ago and stopped by voting rights legislation. The voter suppression law passed in Georgia has specifically aimed at voting habits of African Americans, causing them to stand in line for hours without food or water to vote and lack of car-owning mobility of African Americans to get to the few drop boxes and voting sites left in their neighborhoods.. This is Jim Crow 2021 by another name.

 If fraud prevention GOP says is the goal, that is a bogus reason based on a lie since there was no evidence of any significant numbers. The GOP had 60 chances before judges of all ideological ilk to present their evidence, and they failed...Preventing fantasy and feared fraud is not their real game, but preventing people to vote easily who they deem unqualified voting for the other party, is their goal..   What is broken in such minds so it needs to be fixed is there are just too many young people, black and brown people,, folks who work with their hands or who have less than a college education, or doddering old people,  voting who are likely to cheat or not know what they are doing because that is who they are.  Fraud fighting is their cover story, but that is not the reason.  Those demographic groups are not inclined to be GOP voters.

 Try Colorado's legislation if stopping fraud and convenient voting is really their game. It is possible to make it easy for all to vote and still stop fraud.  Colorado devised a way to do it with one of the highest turnouts in the nation with   99.3% of voters doing it by mail and dropping off their ballots in convenient boxes.  But that is really not these GOP goals. We know that now because they could enact such workable laws if they wanted to. There are successful models to follow if they cared to encourage all to vote and still guard against fraud.. Since 2013 I have been voting by mail in Colorado and I am a big city  (Denver) former election official.  I marvel at the checks and double-checks built into the system to prevent fraud. It can be done. It was devised by a GOP-dominated legislature and shaped by a GOP Secretary of State and the implementation continued by a Democrat Secretary of State with an agenda to make it easy to vote and to prevent fraud. You have to get into the weeds of rule making and administrative procedure conforming to the legislation to grasp it, but given the history of a lack of voter fraud since the Colorado law was enacted years ago, it has worked to protect against fraud.

Better informed voters are not really  GOP goals either. We know that now. If that kind of quality is your concern, do it by mail. I have found that I am also able to take time, study the issues and candidates, at home. The Blue Book and whatever information  I need to understand the issues and candidate is sitting on the kitchen table as I go through the ballot since I got the ballot in the mail sent to registered voters.  I do not need to get a doctor's permission slip or take the extra step to fill and send a mail request to get an absentee ballot. I have no excuses. There it is staring at me on the table so I can get it right without having to wing it in a voting booth.. I am making more informed decisions than ever have.  If the quality of decision-making is defined as an informed voter is the goal, doing it by mail makes it more possible. But that is not what those legislators mean by "quality", is it?  We know that now, don't we.

These suppression attempts are springing up in over 40 states. This points to a need for passage of federal legislation like HR-1 and SB-1to stop these voter suppression tactics. They cropped up because Supreme Court decisions gutted many enforcement provisions of prior voting rights laws and GOP leaders felt free to revert to past laws.  Many formerly slave states with GOP-dominated legislatures and statehouses were alarmed that nonwhite voters made the difference in their Senate and House races and cost them elections. Other states whose politics were dominated by Trump-aligned state government officials have followed Trump's party line or used their sponsorship of such voter suppression tactics to establish their Trump follower bonefides.

 Colorado Vs. Georgia Voting Laws: What Are The Differences? | Colorado Public Radio (cpr.org)  The MLB will play their All-Star game at Coors Field in Denver as a protest to Georgia's proposed voter suppression laws.  Colorado is considered the gold standard on voter participation laws and there is a very significant difference, per the CPR article. Fraud fears in Colorado?None: Colorado does require voter ID to vote in person but it does not require voter ID to vote by mail, unlike Georgia. Voter ID in Colorado permits 16 kinds of ID, but in Georgia, only 6 kinds.  Georgia's new law does enlarge early voting in person a few days more than Colorado, but  99.3 of Colorado voters vote by mail with out the two step hassle of request ballot, provide ID mail in voting as in Georgia. Per the CPR report" Kemp and others also have said that Colorado requires photo identification to vote, which is false."  .https://www.5280.com/2020/05/no-fraud-isnt-rampant-in-colorados-mail-in-voting-system/ Colorado has mail-in voting and it has very effective ways to deal with fraud.  


Per the NYT aritcle "Representative John Kavanagh, a Republican legislator who chairs Arizona’s Government and Elections Committee and is shepherding through a bill to make voting more cumbersome and therefore rare, described his party’s motives with blundering candor."“There’s a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans,” he told CNN. “Democrats value as many people as possible voting, and they’re willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don’t mind putting security measures in that won’t let everybody vote — but everybody shouldn’t be voting … Not everybody wants to vote, and if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they’re totally uninformed on the issues. Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well.”


         

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