Chamblee54

New Law About Voting

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 15, 2022

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Democrats have proposed a new law about voting access. Grandpa Brandon thinks denouncing “voter suppression” is the way to build support. Unfortunately, the debate has centered around toxic, race-pandering rhetoric. Almost nobody is talking about what the proposed new law would do. A bit of googling turned up a document from Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. If you get tired of the chamblee54 version, you can go to the original source. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.”

Most of the proposals are the federal government telling states how to run elections. The IANAL masses might wonder if this is constitutional. Another feature of this bill is that the instructions are given to the states. In Georgia, the elections are mostly run by the counties. This did not stop Democrats, or Donald J. Trump, from blaming the Secretary of State for inconvenient election results.

Lets take a look at some of the specific proposals. With regards to early voting, the bill requires the states to offer early voting for a specified time period. No-excuse absentee ballots are subject to a national standard, along with other regulations concerning mail-in voting.

Election Day holiday: “The bill would make Election Day a legal public holiday…” This sounds good in theory, but may be troublesome to many employers. One thing that might help here is to move ED to Monday. Voting on Tuesday is a holdover from days when farmers went to the county seat on a horse. Voting on Monday would make things a bit simpler.

“Voter validation: The bill would promote a national standard for states that have an identification requirement for in-person voting, allowing for the use of a wide range of forms of identification (including electronic copies) and alternative options for voter validation. States that do not impose an identification requirement would not be required to have one.” Voter ID is widely denounced as being racist. If this passage is any indication, Voter ID is here to stay. (In the controversy over Georgia’s SB202, the ID requirement was widely seen as a feature of Jim Crow on steroids. It turns out that SB202 calls for the voter writing their driver’s license/ID number on an absentee ballot application.)

“Cracking down on deceptive and intimidating practices: … It would also establish federal criminal penalties for deceiving voters…” If it was a federal crime to deceive voters, every politician in America would be in prison.

“Voting rights restoration: The bill restores federal voting rights to formerly incarcerated citizens upon their release … removing the vestiges of restrictions born out of Jim Crow.” Kentucky had a law disenfranchising felons in 1792. This was a hundred years before the Jim Crow laws were passed. There are arguments to be made on both sides of this issue. It should not be addressed with misleading racial arguments.

“Countering long lines and related discriminatory practices: The bill creates protections for individuals subjected to excessive lines on Election Day — most often Black and Latino voters — by requiring states to ensure that lines last no longer than 30 minutes …” This is more gratuitous race baiting. While the idea of lines less than 30 minutes is appealing, one wonders exactly how the feds are going to enforce this requirement. Also, since the elections are usually administered by the counties, what are the states supposed to do?

“Requiring paper records and other election infrastructure improvements: The bill requires states to replace old, paperless electronic voting machines with voting systems that provide voter-verified paper records and provides grants for states to purchase more secure voting systems.” Georgia is going to a system with a backup paper ballot. When you cast your vote, a laser printer prints out a sheet of paper with your vote, represented by a QR code. This paper is then fed through a roller into a receptacle. To this uninformed voter, that seems like a lot of moving parts. While the new system MIGHT work in a high volume election, there is a high potential for screw ups. These are Georgia elections we are talking about here.

There are sections of the bill devoted to Campaign Finance Reform, and Gerrymandering. You can look at the Brennan Center document for more information. While the new bill has good intentions, the suspicion here is that the proposals will make things worse. God is in the details.

“The bill would require strong, uniform rules for congressional redistricting, including a ban on partisan gerrymandering and strengthened protections for communities of color.” Gerrymandering is like the weather … everyone has opinions, but relatively few know what they are talking about. If you create a black district, then the districts surrounding it are going to get whiter. If you tinker with the districts to favor one group, another group is going to be unfairly affected. The bill has good intentions, that might not be well thought out. God is in the details.

“Automatic voter registration: The bill would make automatic voter registration (AVR), which 19 states and the District of Columbia have already adopted, the national standard.” In Georgia, when you get a drivers license, you are automatically registered to vote. This eliminates any of the “exact match” issues that Democrats made so much noise about in 2018. The DMV is an exact match operation. Also, paperwork at the DMV is typed. Illegible paper applications were a major reason that registration applications were thrown out in previous elections. Illegible applications were also a problem with the New Georgia Project, a voting registration program directed by Stacey Abrams.

“Same day voter registration: The bill requires states to offer same day voter registration … SDR permits eligible voters to register to vote and cast a ballot in federal elections on the same day.” The sense here is that this is not a good idea. What happens when you move, and want to vote in another precinct? Will your old registration be cancelled? How do the states/counties keep up with all this? Is there a national database, that tells Georgia to cancel your Atlanta registration because you have moved to Alabama? And how are we going to process all of this while people are waiting in line behind you to vote? Once again, SDR might be a good idea, but there are a lot of details to work out.

“Protections against unlawful voter purges: The bill provides safeguards to prevent unlawful, faulty, error-prone methods for purging voter rolls … Further, states would be required to notify within 48 hours any individual removed from the list of eligible voters of their removal, the reasons for their removal, and how they can contest the removal.” In 2018, before voters were removed from the rolls, they were sent a post-card, and asked to reply. If they did not reply, they were removed. Now, if the state could not get in touch with them before, how are they going to reach these voters now? The feds do not always think these things through.

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