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Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Posted by dublinbay z6 KS (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 14:14

It was with some relief that I read today that the Justice Dept is challenging the recent voting laws in Texas (and other states) that tried to limit the participation of minority voters and Democrats in general in elections. Those laws, as you will remember, have tried to cut down on the time period for registering to vote, eliminating early voting, and other such things that, for instance, create long lines of waiting voters (over 8 hours wait in some places) who just happen (?) to be largely minorities--and other such shenanigans. I was really beginning to fear that the Republicans were going to be successful in gerrymandering Republican candidates into office (including for President!) by drastically curtailing the minority vote.

The recent Supreme Court ruling that declared no states (which historically had a record of racial discrimination) had to submit their voting plans for review by the Justice Department certainly had me worried where we were heading.

I'm happy to report that the Justice Department may have found a way to restore some control over the wild and woolly Texans.

Here is a selection from today's Reuter's newsclip:
The U.S. Department of Justice will ask a federal court to reinstate its authority over Texas voting laws, part of a new Obama administration strategy to challenge state and local election laws it says discriminate by race, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.

"This is the Department's first action to protect voting rights following the Shelby County decision, but it will not be our last," Holder said to a standing ovation at the annual conference of the National Urban League, a civil rights organization, which is meeting in Philadelphia.

The Texas action was expected to be the first in a nationwide roll-out of voting rights cases aimed at counteracting the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that invalidated a key part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The Obama administration has been searching for new ways to oppose voting discrimination since a 5-4 conservative majority on the high court ruled that a formula used to determine which states and localities were subject to extra federal scrutiny was outdated.
. . .
As a first step in its new strategy, the Justice Department plans to make clear it supports a pending lawsuit that racial minorities brought against the redistricting plan in federal court in Texas.

If the court agrees the plan was racially discriminatory, then the Justice Department will ask the court to place Texas back in the preclearance process for an undetermined period of time, according to Holder's prepared speech.

The Supreme Court in its June ruling left in place the preclearance process and most other parts of the Voting Rights Act, invalidating only the formula for states and localities to be subjected automatically to extra scrutiny.

Three cheers for Holder--and for the voting rights of the American public! Every once in a while, we do get some good news out of D.C.!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Kate, this will also set a precedent for other states to be brought into line with supporting voting rights.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Yes, pidge--a very good point. I'm just waiting now for the dominos to fall, one after another, as red state after red state finds its biased voter registration laws invalidated, one after another!

Now I hope the Justice Dept. (or whoever) figures out a way to invalidate all the red states' anti-abortion laws also. Republicans have had a whee of a time slamming laws into place that the states know are unconstitutional, but they don't care. They are passing them anyway, hoping for a constitutional challenge that will overturn the constitutional laws they don't support. Their pie-in-the-sky strategy, I guess. I really hope we soon see them with pie-in-face results, don't you? LOL

Kate


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Thanks for posting this, Kate.

Really good news.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

I'm pleased with this. There was a reason these states needed the special scrutiny Section 5 afforded.

North Carolina, a former preclearance state, is shortly planning on taking a wrecking ball to voting rights. A pox on all their state houses!


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Kate's OP: "The U.S. Department of Justice will ask a federal court to reinstate its authority over Texas voting laws, part of a new Obama administration strategy to challenge state and local election laws it says discriminate by race, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday."

Someone remind me what states are for.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

For some of the states - places to disenfranchise the citizenry.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

There are several states that still don't allow early voting. Should the federal government force them to allow it? Allowing early voting certainly makes it easier and more convenient for voters, but how does not allowing it specifically cut down on participation of Democrats and minorities and not Republicans?

This post was edited by kittiemom on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 20:47


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

It is well known that a large number of minorities take advantage of the earlier voting opportunities--among other reasons, to avoid those long lines that have to wait 8 hours or more to get into the voting booth on election day--only in largely minoritiy neighborhoods, however! How did that happen? Well, ask the Republicans in charge. They could double or triple the number of voting places so that no one would have to wait in line 8+ hours to vote, but no--they don't want to change that . Why not? Because they know that a large percentage of those minority voters will vote Democrat and the Republicans in charge want to discourage the Democratic vote by making them wait so long that the (minority) voters will get discouraged and go home without voting.

How do we know this? Because the Republicans in charge in those states have said that is what they are doing. Which state was it--maybe Pennsylvania?--where after the Republicans in charge changed the voting laws (eliminating early voting, etc.) the governor exulted directly into the TV microphone that they had just made sure that the state would go Republican in the next election.

Why doesn't it affect Republicans? Because the Republicans in charge make sure there are plenty of places for voters in largely white neighborhoods to vote without having to wait 8 hours--in fact, in white neighborhoods, the average wait is something like 10 minutes! Therefore, they rarely take advantage of early voting--because they don't need it.

This is hardly news. Most people who follow politics have known about this for quite a few years now.

Kate


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Gee Elvis why was this an issue with these States? Horse cart door barn.
ptu teshe wrods ni mose nidk fo order!


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Also, minorities tend to have lower-paying jobs and cannot afford to take time off to vote during business hours so that is why extended voting hours and weekend voting hours are more important to them.

Boy, if we ever get to Internet voting, imagine how many more people will vote because they didn't have to wait in line! Think that will happen?


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

I don't see why internet voting couldn't happen somewhere down the line. Every registered voter gets a "control number" like that which appears on stock proxys. (The word "control" will annoy some.)

But the physical act of going in person to one's polling place and exercising the franchise by marking a ballot might be too steeped in culture to change.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Is it really about culture Duluth? Voting is a right and privilege. It should never be taken lightly. I get up in time to be at the poll when it opens with my ID in hand. Though I can think of times when I would choose to go back and change my vote, Jimmy Carter and Bobby Jindal come to mind. I have thought seriously about my vote and go with the serious intention of voting for who I think is best. That is what I hope to see from every voter. Not just people who are corralled and bussed to a polling station for an outing. I don't want people to vote two or three times for someone, because what do they really care about the process. Why should a vote that was paid for with a five dollar bill count? I don't care what side of the aisle you are on, your vote should be one of the most important things you do as a citizen. If I had to drive or catch a ride to go twenty miles to vote, I would do it. And I want every voters vote to be just as important to them.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Don't see why internet voting isn't just around the corner. More secure than snail mail is and that's done in most places.

This post was edited by chase on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 10:13


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

I think you might have misconstrued what my last sentence was meant to convey.

Lightly? I don't take voting lightly and also consider it both a right and privilege. And I would always prefer going to my polling place and physically marking a ballot in lieu of signing on my computer. I may be wrong, but I believe many think that way too despite whatever direction the internet might go.

Being there along with others being there to participate is the cultural aspect I intended - and I doubt if the participants who are "corralled and bussed" (your words) in after a church service look at going to vote as a mere outing.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Being there along with others being there to participate is the cultural aspect I intended - and I doubt if the participants who are "corralled and bussed" (your words) in after a church service look at going to vote as a mere outing.

You are absolutely right. I should have said some, certainly not all.

I guess what I mean, is I want voting to be very important to the voter. There are people who do not even know the name of the vice president. I shudder to think of these people going to the polls with no clue who or what they are voting for.

I don't even like mail in ballots. I think they should be reserved for shut ins or the disabled. But, I don't live in one of those states, that's the voters choice.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Even voters who live in States that have early voting and mail-in voting (and other variations) have a choice--they can still go physically to the voting place and, along with the general public, mark their ballots, if that is what is meaningful to them.

My concern is that places that take away that choice--by banning other options. Voting physically at the voting place is not particularly meaningful if you have no other choice. Besides, there are all sorts of people who for all sorts of reasons may want to use early voting or mail-in voting. Who is to say that vote isn't just as meaningful to them as it is to the person who goes to the public place to physically cast their vote?

As to the busload of churchgoers--let say it--usually we are talking about Black churches/churchgoers. I can think of all sorts of reasons why a black churchgoer might prefer going en masse to the voting booths. One possibility that pops immediately to mind is the decades of intimidation blacks too often faced when they tried to vote with the general public. That problem may not be so prominent now, but if I were a black person knowing that history, I too might feel more secure going with a group I trusted.

Other reasons--many blacks still have lowerclass/lower-paying jobs and can't get off on the general election day. If they can get to church, that is also a good time to go vote. And I suspect some might be poor enough that they don't have ready transportation, or can't afford it. The church bus solves that problem.

I'm sure there are other reasons. Given the history of denying blacks the right to vote in this country, I'd guess going as a group celebrating their right to vote makes that bus trip very meaningful to many, maybe all, of the churchgoing voters.

And I must add--there is almost no evidence of voters voting two or three or four times. Some may try--but they get caught and their vote doesn't count. As far as someone getting paid $5.00 to vote, that could happen just as easily at the voting booth. It has no relevance to the issue of early voting or mail-in voting.

I think the fact that some minority voters in some places stood in line for over 8 hours in order to vote at the voting booths shows that lots of people, minorities included, believe voting is their right and privilege. I can think of some whites I know who wouldn't stick around if they had to wait that long!

Kate


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Stop with the race baiting Kate, my exchange with Duluth had nothing whatsoever to do with race, on my part and nothing that I read that the she wrote would make me think on her part as well. I would imagine that the right to vote is of the utmost importance to black people, considering how few years they have had that right.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Voting is a right and privilege. It should never be taken lightly.

Voting is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. If you wanted to go into the polling booth and use a dart to pick a candidate, that would be your right as a citizen of the US. Just as you have the right to vote for any candidate you want, that vote is yours and you also have the right to waste it if you want.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

I was not race baiting, mrsk. I 'm sorry you read it that way. The simple fact is that I do not completely agree with a number of the statements you made earlier. Just throwing in my two cents worth.

And I thought a number of us were involved in this discussion. I did not realize this thread was a private conversation between you and Duluth.

Kate


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

And I must add--there is almost no evidence of voters voting two or three or four times.

Thank you, Kate. This fact should be repeated often.

I also don't think that Kate played the race card, but rather described actual events in Florida and other places where laws were enacted to restrict access to voting. Many African American churches participated in the civil rights struggle, and continue the struggle against the new Jim Crow -- in whatever form it takes.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Not a private conversation.

Sometimes you just need an opportunity to clear up a statement. Culture is a broad term, but it certainly encompasses any patterned behavior of a people - even the behavior of desiring to cast a ballot in person.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

I said exchange, not at all private and not at all about race.

No evidence?

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Whatever.

I wasn't trying to pick a fight.

Goodbye.

Kate


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

No evidence?

Three instances -- in Ohio, not Texas.

What percentage is that of all votes cast?

If that's all you have, I'd say there's no reason to worry, especially since the fraud was discovered -- the system is working.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

oops....moved those dang goalposts!


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

oops....moved those dang goalposts!

Or in other words: Busted!


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

oops....moved those dang goalposts!

You bet, for only three instances.

I'm glad that you're not in charge of budgeting and allocation of resources; you'd incur tens of thousands of dollars of expenses for something like .00000002% likelihood of occurrence.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

You said there was no evidence of anyone voting more than once. You were wrong. Why would I incur any expenses. It cost me nothing to google that. I bet you could have too.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Ok, so the phrase should have been "no significant evidence".


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Why would I incur any expenses.

Given your endorsement of laws restricting voter registration, that's a significant expense for an insignificant problem -- statistically nonexistent -- for which there is an already effective solution.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Your country certainly takes something as simple as voting and makes it very complicated. You would think after all these years, you could have figured out how to make it easy for everyone to cast their vote.

I've never had to wait more than ten minutes at a polling station.

IN Canada, "By law, qualified electors must have three consecutive hours to cast their vote on election day. If your hours of work do not allow for three consecutive hours to vote, your employer must give you time off." WITH PAY!!!!.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Good to hear, Kate... I'm glad the Supreme Court is involved in making things right.


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

US pretends!


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

To clarify matters, Nancy was incorrectly accused of saying that there was no evidence of anyone voting more than once.

Well, mrsk, you can take your claws out of her. That is NOT what she said. She quoted me, and what I said was:

And I must add--there is almost no evidence of voters voting two or three or four times. [bold added for those with reading comprehension problems]

That statement is still correct. There is very little double or multiple voting going on, and the few occasions when it has been tried, the miscreant voter got nabbed and the faulty ballot tossed out. In other words, multiple voting is a tiny miniscule problem that the Republicans get themselves all worked up about so that they can carry on prolonged arguments about something that is practically a non-issue while they declare Republicans are saving America and the integrity of the voting booth. Of course, catch them when they think no outsiders are listening, and they frankly and openly admit that all the "clean up the vote" measures they keep pushing are really for propaganda reasons (to make the Democrats look bad) and, even worse, to discourage minority voters who insist too often in voting Democrat.

And NO, I am not race-baiting. Republican leaders admit they are trying to suppress the minority vote so that Republican candidates can win more elections. It is the Republicans that are playing the race-card, not me. I'm just describing what they are doing and admit they are doing.

Now, how many times do we have to go back and forth on this topic again (and again and again). ? As far as I'm concerned, it has been adequately covered now.

Kate


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RE: Biased Texas Voting Laws Challenged

Ann, though it varies slightly from state to state, workers are given time off to vote and many states prohibit firing or docking employees because they took time off to serve as election workers.

The polls open early and stay open late; most of us are fortunate in being able to zip in and out, but that's not the case in states where the not so subtle voter suppression tactics are in place. It's a fervent hope that the DOJ can replace the teeth knocked out of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

I found this interesting from an Elections Canada piece:

• Non-land owning men had the right to vote in 1920.
•May 24, 1918, women were given the right to vote in federal elections if they were over the age of 21, not alien-born and met the property requirements in the provinces where they existed.
• Aboriginals in most parts of Canada had the right to vote from Confederation on ��" but only if they gave up their treaty rights and Indian status through a process defined in the Indian Act and known as “enfranchisement”. On March 10, 1960, the House of Commons finally gave Aboriginal people the vote without making them give up treaty rights in exchange.


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