Various Direct Links

14 October 2011

FollowUp 1: Voting Rights

As I wrote a week and a half ago, Republicans appear to be determined to make it more difficult to vote.  This week there are two interesting developments, one in Florida and the other in Wisconsin.  Florida is suing to remove Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the section that requires preclearance of changes to voting rules in parts of the country with a history of suppression of voting rights of minorities.  Wisconsin is considering changing how it participates in the Electoral College.

The Miami Herald reports that Florida Republicans are upset that the Justice Department did not allow four of the measures that they had tried to enact.

Those four sections reduce the number of early voting days, slap new requirements on groups conducting voter registration drives, require voters changing out-of-county addresses at the polls to cast provisional ballots and make it more difficult to get citizen initiatives on the ballot.

Only one of these measures has anything to do with preventing fraudulent voting, that being provisional ballots for those who have recently moved.  The other three measures just limit democracy.  The ACLU has a stronger opinion.  According to an article on Care2, the SCOTUS under Chief Justice Roberts is eager to take an activist stance and undo Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Like Pennsylvania, the Wisconsin legislature is considering a bill to change from having a state majority determine the Wisconsin delegates to the Electoral College to having the delegates selected by Congressional district.  This would mean that the state would offer a split vote for President instead of a majority takes all vote.  Think Progress considers this to be a strictly partisan maneuver to limit President Obama to one term.

On general principle, I think that the Electoral College is a relic of days gone by that should be reconsidered.  It is not difficult to argue that the Electoral College denies representative democracy for the Executive branch of United States government.  Chopping away at it on a state by state basis is partisan and, if done, likely to favor the other party in a subsequent election.  If the Electoral College is to be changed or eliminated, it should be done for the entire country, not on a piecemeal basis.

3 October 2011, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings article.

22 October 2011, FollowUp 2.
6 November, FollowUp 3.
14 November 2011, FollowUp 4.
14 December 2011, FollowUp 5.
8 March 2012, FollowUp 6.
2 April 2012, FollowUp 7.
3 June 2012, FollowUp 8.

No comments:

Post a Comment

No longer open for freely commenting.