If you can’t stop ‘em at the polls, just keep ‘em from registering!

Florida is experiencing the effect of a draconian GOP-sponsored law that imposes severe penalties on organizations that fail to meet strict voter registration guidelines.  The outcome is record low new voter registration.

The state’s new elections law — which requires groups that register voters to turn in completed forms within 48 hours or risk fines, among other things — has led the state’s League of Women Voters to halt its efforts this year. Rock the Vote, a national organization that encourages young people to vote, began an effort last week to register high school students around the nation — but not in Florida, over fears that teachers could face fines. And on college campuses, the once-ubiquitous folding tables piled high with voter registration forms are now a rarer sight.

Several Florida counties are reporting that

new registrations dropped sharply in some areas where the voting-age population has been growing, the analysis found, including Miami-Dade County, where they fell by 39 percent, and Orange County, where they fell by a little more than a fifth. Some local elections officials said that the lack of registration drives by outside groups has been a factor in the decline.

Similar laws in other states have had similar effects.

The law in Florida, which is among the strictest in the nation, is similar to one New Mexico passed in 2005, which also imposes penalties for failing to meet a 48-hour deadline for handing in forms. Civic groups challenged the New Mexico law in court and lost. Since the law passed, census data shows, the percentage of New Mexicans who are registered has fallen.

The GOP has become the party that fears the voters.  Overwhelmed by the emerging demographics, the only way Republicans can maintain any semblance of a majority is to disenfranchise the young, college students, the elderly, African-Americans and hispanics.  They’re accomplishing this through so-called voter ID laws and voter registration restrictions.  It’s pathetic.

6 comments to If you can’t stop ‘em at the polls, just keep ‘em from registering!

  • Steve P.

    This issue really leaves me wondering if it favors Democrats/Republicans depending on which way it swings, and I found this website:

    http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/voter-id.aspx

    I don’t see any clear resolution here. 11 states require photo ID’s, but there is no consistency on whether they are Democrat or Republican states (for example, PA, GA, and SD are among those states). Another 19 state require a non-photo ID (but as I understand it, a photo ID is also acceptable); that list includes the likes of WA, TX, AR, CT, and DE, which is again a mix of states that typically fall to either of those parties, as well as the keystone swing state of OH.

    I read lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters, citing the five tenets under which the Wisconsin Constitution allows exclusion from voting, and agree that the law doesn’t meet any of them. However, if the requirement were to include a photo ID as well as a document proving residency, then it appears that it would be constitutional.

    However, section 1 requires voters to be 18 years of age. A photo ID with birthdate seems to be a valid way to confirm that you are such a person.

    Also, if the official Voter ID also carried a proof of residency before it could be issued, that could also solve those problems.

    I guess I just don’t see the big deal about this. Considering how simple it would be to pose as someone else at the polls by simply providing a name and address you could find in the phone book, and recent history of voter frauds in New York specifically, it seems to be a reasonable thing to do.

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    • Zuma Bound

      Steve P. wrote, in pertinent part: “Considering how simple it would be to pose as someone else at the polls. . .”

      Zuma: Hmmmm. Well, Big Steve, however “simple” it might be, IT. . .doesn’t. . .happen.

      Thanks for playing.

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      • Steve P.

        The statement “how simple it would be…” was not intended to imply how much it does or does not happen. It merely points out that it wouldn’t be hard to do. There are many things that are easy to do that people don’t do.

        How about weighing in on the topic at hand…Voter ID Law…good or bad?

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      • Steve P.

        The statement “how simple it would be…” was not intended to imply any frequency on how much it does or does not happen. There are a lot of misguided things people can do. If that wasn’t clear to you before, I hope it is now.

        How do you feel about the Voter ID Law?

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  • Steve P.

    Actually, on closer inspection of the website I provided, there is a table below the map that describes each states ID law. According to that table (for Wisconsin), if the ID is not proof of residency, then proof of residency must accompany the photo ID. I didn’t see the in the LWV suit, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. If the voter ID law actually has this requirement, then it seems constitutional to me.

    You could also make the argument that the states that have no ID requirement are generally liberal leaning states, including CA, MA, IL, and WI, which gives some creedence to the notion that having no ID requirement is consistent with producing more liberal votes. If you run with that argument, could you say that they are liberal-leaning because there is no ID law, or that having no ID law makes them liberal-leaning? There’s a chicken and an egg in there somewhere.

    At any rate, I don’t have a problem with the law.

       0 likes

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