Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown that's surrounding us and suffocating every moment of our lives, the GOP-controlled court system in the state of Wisconsin refused to postpone that state's primary election, or to even respect the sudden influx in mail-in ballots from people who didn't want to get exposed to a virus simply for exercising their right to vote. Read the rest
During the White House press briefing on Tuesday, April 7, Trump was asked about mail-in voting. He answered
Early this week, the Supreme Court had rejected a request to extend the mail-in ballot deadline for Wisconsin's primary election. With coronavirus shelter-in-place policies in effect, in-person voting is potentially dangerous, especially for people who are already immunocompromised. As a result of the chaos of the last few weeks, people who requested mail-in ballots may not have received them; and some ballots that were mailed ahead of time may not have reached polling office in time, thanks to the general shipping slowdowns affecting everything right now.
In the Press Room exchange, Trump said:
Mail-in voting is horrible. It's corrupt. […] You get thousands and thousands of people sitting in someone's living room signing ballots all over the place. No, I think that mail-in voting is a terrible thing.
In reality, mail-in voter fraud like the kind that Trump described is only slightly more common than in-person voter fraud, which has by all estimates happened less than 100 times total in the last 20 years. Across all elections, across the entire country. Which makes it pretty much a moot point. Individual people are not directly frauding elections; and considering that only about 60% of people even vote in US Presidential elections, there is absolutely no logical reason to make it even harder to get people to vote, "just in case" these next-to-never instances of so-called voter fraud ever actually occur. Read the rest
I've been a huge fan of Elizabeth Warren since I saw her yelling at a cop during the 2012 Boston Pride Parade. I generally think that her past history as a Republican should actually be a selling point, as it demonstrates her capacity to examine the available evidence and change her mind. But one place where Bernie still stands out in front is his willingness to extend voting rights to people who are incarcerated.
I'm not surprised that Warren is hesitant to go all the way in allowing people to vote while still incarcerated — after all, unexamined biases against incarcerated people are extremely common — but I am disappointed.
The more I thought about it, however, I began to consider how strange it is that felon voting rights (during or after incarceration) tend to be such a partisan issue. As a progressive, I've come around to understand why it matters, as all human rights matter, particularly in an unjust legal system. As much as I hate it, I can at least understand the true authoritarian racist argument in favor of retaining free labor through a loophole-by-design of the 13th Amendment.
But when I think about the conservatives I know, and the philosophies they claim to adhere to, that's where the contradictions arise. For example, let's ignore the contrived veneer respectability that shines on every deceptive video from PragerU, and take their argumentative claims at face value and in good faith. PragerU pumps out plenty of content defending the Electoral College by rationalizing it around a fear of mob rule, or the "tyranny of the majority." Read the rest
On Capitol Hill just now, the House of Representatives has voted to PASS the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 to restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Read the rest
Political gerrymandering not an issue for the courts, SCOTUS rules 5-4.
“We believe voting is the sacred right of every American, and every American should be able to exercise it.” — spreadthevote.org.
Help a disadvantaged fellow American obtain an ID to get a job, a safe place to live, and so they can vote.
In 2015, Stephen Harper's Tory government began enforcing a 1993 law that stripped expatriate citizens like me of our right to vote in Canada; last month, Justin Trudeau's Liberal government restored our voting rights.
Read the rest
An evening of police brutality in 1965 ushers in one of the most pivotal moments in Civil Rights history. From John Wilcock, New York Years
, a history of the 1960s underground press and related events. (Also, Happy MLK Day
, Jan 16)