Monday, November 5, 2012

Election 2012: "They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote..."

They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by the majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the election - quite candidly - goes up as the voting populace goes down." ~ Paul Weyrich, founder of the modern conservative movement. 1980 speech
Do you think the strategy surrounding the current election is any different?

Clearly not.

In a whole host of states, Republican officials have made it harder to register to vote and, are now making it harder to cast your ballot.

In Florida, countless droves of people waited in line for eight hours on Saturday in order to cast their ballots. Why? Because the Republican Governor of that state cut the early voting time in half. When the outpouring of Florida citizens was evident on Saturday, the Governor was asked to extend early voting hours. He said, "No."

And when voters insisted on casting an in-person absentee ballot on Sunday - chaos ensued and the elections officials locked voters out of the Miami-Dade elections office.

So, why is having the ability to vote early important? Because on election day, many people who work try to vote on their lunch hours - and, as you'll remember from the heavily Democratic precincts (read: working class precincts) in the 2004 election, people were forced to wait up to seven hours in order to vote. So, early voting reforms were put in place and have been shown to be extremely popular.

You can imagine why Republicans want early voting time cut, right? Actually, you don't need to imagine it. Just listen to what some Republicans say...

Even though long lines for early voting stretched for blocks and blocks in certain parts of Ohio, a Republican County Chairman said there was no need to lengthen the time in which Ohioans could cast an early vote because lengthening early voting times would only "... accommodate the urban - read: African-American - voter turnout machine."

Indeed, in Ohio, early voting restrictions were put into place by that state's Republican Secretary of State, Jon Husted. The Supreme Court rejected those restrictions - but, Husted isn't finished, yet.
Four days before Election Day, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted emphasized to boards of elections a step that voters who use provisional ballots on Tuesday will have to take.

Voters will be obligated to write on the provisional ballot form what type of ID they show at the polls and not rely on poll workers to do it for them, according to the directive issued late Friday afternoon.
And, any form that has a mistake on it regarding the ID - including type, dates etc. - will be thrown out with it's accompanying provisional ballot.

And what's more - if you, in the flood of confusion being perpetrated by outside GOP groups, end up at the wrong precinct ... you will only be allowed to cast your vote on one of these provisional ballots. Here's hoping you dot every 'i' and cross every 't' because if not, your ballot will be thrown out.

If the margin of victory in the presidential election comes down to less than a quarter of 1%, Ohio is a state that mandates and automatic recount - which will be overseen by none other than Ohio Secretary of State - Republican Jon Husted.

Yep. It makes you feel slimy ... like you need a shower ... doesn't it?

Then, there are the confusing and stringent Voter ID laws passed in many states. They say it will help deter a form of voter fraud called "voter impersonation" - even though recent research shows that UFO sightings are 3,615 times more common than instances of voter fraud.

In fact, Republicans will also tell you the reason why they *really* wanted these Voter ID laws passed. Pennsylvania's law was praised by that state's Republican House Majority Leader Mike Turzai because in his estimation the "Voter ID law ... is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania". Courts ruled, however that the new Voter ID laws in Pennsylvania could not go into effect until after this year's presidential election. Yet, there are still billboards up in heavily democratic districts telling people not to forget their ID on election day.

Many in the Republican party want to politically profit off of the fact that many of us have been forced - or will be forced - to stand in long lines to vote. Why? Because traditionally we Democrats do not have the time to do so. We may have to get to work. We may have to pick up your kids. Or, in the case of older Democrats, there are some who may not be physically able to stand in line for six, seven or eight hours at a stretch. Yes, the Republican party is banking on that. Which is why they like to make it as hard as possible for many of us to cast our ballots.
...our leverage in the election - quite candidly - goes up as the voting populace goes down.
What does it say about a party that has to "fix" elections in order to win? What does it say about their ideas?

Steve Benen at the The Maddow Blog put it best:
[I]f Obama has been such an awful failure, why do so many Republicans feel the need to rig the elections process in the GOP's favor? Shouldn't they consider it easy to defeat the president in a fair fight?
We can't let this happen. We have to do everything we can to help everyone vote.

What can you do? You can volunteer to go door to door, make calls, and talk with our neighbors to make sure everyone in your community is committed to voting tomorrow. You can help elderly friends and neighbors get to the polls. You can make sure that parents have childcare for their children so they can get to the polls. You can - and must - help out so we can get everyone to the polls to vote.

I don't think I have to remind you that this is an extremely important election with so much at stake: Medicare, Medicaid, The Affordable Care Act, PBS, National Endowment for the Arts, potential Supreme Court appointments which could affect Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make her own decisions about her healthcare .... just to name a few key issues.

In order to help our oountry move FORWARD, we must all vote.

This is not a joke. This is not a drill. The campaigns are, in effect, over and tomorrow is Election Day.


It is our fundamental right as Americans to participate in the election of our government. It is a key principle upon which our great country was founded. If you sit by and let a nervous political party corruptly muck-up your chances to take part in that vote ... if you allow them to bully you into not being allowed to cast your vote ... then, you have allowed them to adulterate our elections.

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