US Election

This might catch me a lot of hate but I have noticed in the podcasts reminders to go out and make sure you register to vote because it can be hard in some places. And I also hear about voter suppression in the US. I’m not very educated on the subject, but how can a country claimig to be the poster child of democracy have the ability to make it so hard for people to vote? I live in Canada and here they mail out a card saying where to vote. If I don’t get a card in the mail I go to the closest place to vote and show my I.D. So I guess my question is, why does your government make it so hard for it’s citizens to vote? And why do the citizens put up with them doing so?
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Comments

  • Because one party only represents the interests of a small percentage of the nation and they want to make it as hard as possible for the majority to vote because those people generally don’t vote for that party. 
    CretanBullDeeGiovanni
  • Modern voter suppression started after the civil war to keep the newly-enfranchised African Americans from changing the entrenched power structure, charitably. Less-charitably and more-realistically is was just plain racism.

    Methods included poll taxes, literacy tests to be able to vote, voter intimidation, and logistical barriers (make the polling and registration locations hard for some to get to, especially poorer people with less flexible jobs and less access to transportation).

    This was primarily the purview of the virulently-racist southern Democrats until the parties flipped on minority advocacy during the 60s (Kennedy and LBJ) and then became the purview of the less-obviously-racist Republicans.

    It continues because of, charitably, power dynamics. There are less Republicans in the country and minorities and the poor typically vote more Democrat so the Republicans have a powerful incentive to suppress the vote from these populations.

    It is justified primarily these days by fear-mongering about rampant voter fraud, which hasn’t been shown to actually exist on any meaningful scale. ID requirements, and this new requirement in North Dakota for a street address while “coincidentally” many of the Native Americans there use PO Boxes, are the usual method though there are still logistical barriers as well including arcane registration deadlines and purges of existing registrations without notification.

    The ID thing is hard for many to understand (Trump thinks you need an ID to buy bananas at the grocery store), but is driven by the fact that many of the poor don’t drive and so don’t have a state ID, and the logistical barriers and fees associated with obtaining a state ID make it much more-likely for the poor and minorities to not have one and so they become an easy population to disenfranchise.

    Cancelling registrations while requiring registration a long time before an election also tends to disproportionally affect the poor and minorities who may be less well informed about administrative rules and who are more likely to move every year or two (and thus not receive notification of a purge when it does happen, and more likely to be targeted for a purge due to an interim address change).

    There is nothing democratic about the issue, it’s really just naked power dynamics. The more people who vote, the less Republicans win, so they tend to impede voting.
    gguenotmylifeaskirkDeeDuckofdoomFreddy
  • It is advantageous to those currently in power to suppress the votes of those who oppose them. This makes it difficult to effect change in the elected governing bodies which could prevent these practices. I don’t see many lauding the success of American democracy these days.
  • I guess it's been a very long time since I've had to register to vote as I've always lived in the same area so I don't really remember the process that well but I don't think it's really that difficult to get registered to vote.  You have to prove your residence in a specific county and I believe that's it.  I did a quick lookup and they actually have a way to register online that seems fairly simple so I think it's something that might be being blown out of proportion in the media.  Again I'm going to reiterate that I have not had to actually go through registering to vote for several years so I don't have personal experience with it, this is just what I've been able to find for info.
  • MrXMrX CO
    edited October 2018
    I guess it's been a very long time since I've had to register to vote as I've always lived in the same area so I don't really remember the process that well but I don't think it's really that difficult to get registered to vote.  You have to prove your residence in a specific county and I believe that's it.  I did a quick lookup and they actually have a way to register online that seems fairly simple so I think it's something that might be being blown out of proportion in the media.  Again I'm going to reiterate that I have not had to actually go through registering to vote for several years so I don't have personal experience with it, this is just what I've been able to find for info.

    In Georgia right now, thousands of voters - a majority being African American - thought they were in your situation; had registered to vote years ago, have voted in multiple elections since then - and then suddenly have found themselves kicked off the registration rolls. This is happening in Georgia and other states, and has been bolstered by SCOTUS recently weakening the Voting Rights Act. This is not the media blowing something out of proportion.

    https://apnews.com/fb011f39af3b40518b572c8cce6e906c
  • LordByLordBy Utah
    edited October 2018
    I guess it's been a very long time since I've had to register to vote as I've always lived in the same area so I don't really remember the process that well but I don't think it's really that difficult to get registered to vote.  You have to prove your residence in a specific county and I believe that's it.  I did a quick lookup and they actually have a way to register online that seems fairly simple so I think it's something that might be being blown out of proportion in the media.  Again I'm going to reiterate that I have not had to actually go through registering to vote for several years so I don't have personal experience with it, this is just what I've been able to find for info.
    Some states make it super easy. In states without same day registration, the purges without notification and changing voting requirements in other states often mean that voters don’t realize they can’t vote until they try to and then they are too late to remedy the problem.

    The North Nakota thing is pretty ugly. The Georgia Secretary of State purging rolls while running for governor is also disgusting and their registration deadline has already passed.

    I don’t know where you live, but most of the ugliest suppression is still in the old confederacy.
  • LordByLordBy Utah
    edited October 2018
    The old 2000 Florida butterfly ballot may also have been an attempt at suppression, or just gross incompetence, or some combination of the two. Lots of old folks who though they were voting for Gore actually punched the ballot for Pat Buchanan.
  • MrX said:
    I guess it's been a very long time since I've had to register to vote as I've always lived in the same area so I don't really remember the process that well but I don't think it's really that difficult to get registered to vote.  You have to prove your residence in a specific county and I believe that's it.  I did a quick lookup and they actually have a way to register online that seems fairly simple so I think it's something that might be being blown out of proportion in the media.  Again I'm going to reiterate that I have not had to actually go through registering to vote for several years so I don't have personal experience with it, this is just what I've been able to find for info.

    In Georgia right now, thousands of voters - a majority being African American - thought they were in your situation; had registered to vote years ago, have voted in multiple elections since then - and then suddenly have found themselves kicked off the registration rolls. This is happening in Georgia and other states, and has been bolstered by SCOTUS recently weakening the Voting Rights Act. This is not the media blowing something out of proportion.

    https://apnews.com/fb011f39af3b40518b572c8cce6e906c
    Wow, I was not aware of that.  What a complete disaster.  I will be honest that I don't watch/read the news much if at all so I was not aware of that situation at all.
  • Requiring an ID to vote is one of the strategies people say is voter suppression.

    sbench2 said:
    This might catch me a lot of hate but I have noticed in the podcasts reminders to go out and make sure you register to vote because it can be hard in some places. And I also hear about voter suppression in the US. I’m not very educated on the subject, but how can a country claimig to be the poster child of democracy have the ability to make it so hard for people to vote? I live in Canada and here they mail out a card saying where to vote. If I don’t get a card in the mail I go to the closest place to vote and show my I.D. So I guess my question is, why does your government make it so hard for it’s citizens to vote? And why do the citizens put up with them doing so?

  • One easy way to make it a lot easier for everyone to vote would to be get rid of Columbus day and make the first Tuesday in November a federally mandated holiday. Wouldn't solve voter ID laws and other ways that some states are making it hard for some people to vote, but it would get around the use of early-voting restrictions as a way to suppress voting among the working class.
    Kate23Giovanni
  • MrX said:
    I guess it's been a very long time since I've had to register to vote as I've always lived in the same area so I don't really remember the process that well but I don't think it's really that difficult to get registered to vote.  You have to prove your residence in a specific county and I believe that's it.  I did a quick lookup and they actually have a way to register online that seems fairly simple so I think it's something that might be being blown out of proportion in the media.  Again I'm going to reiterate that I have not had to actually go through registering to vote for several years so I don't have personal experience with it, this is just what I've been able to find for info.

    In Georgia right now, thousands of voters - a majority being African American - thought they were in your situation; had registered to vote years ago, have voted in multiple elections since then - and then suddenly have found themselves kicked off the registration rolls. This is happening in Georgia and other states, and has been bolstered by SCOTUS recently weakening the Voting Rights Act. This is not the media blowing something out of proportion.

    https://apnews.com/fb011f39af3b40518b572c8cce6e906c
    Wow, I was not aware of that.  What a complete disaster.  I will be honest that I don't watch/read the news much if at all so I was not aware of that situation at all.

    Yup, while voting is pretty easy in a lot of states (including my state of Colorado - everyone gets a ballot in the mail that they can mail back or drop off at a polling location or dropbox, and they also can vote in person before and on election day), a lot of states are employing all sorts of devious tricks to suppress certain parts of the population from voting.

    ACLU has a good breakdown (it's from 2016 so there have been some changes since then, but I think it's mostly still applicable):

    https://www.aclu.org/map/voter-suppression-laws-whats-new-2012-presidential-election
    mylifeaskirk
  • Federal holiday, or a Saturday election, combined with same-day registration would go a long way. Easily-accessible (not just business hours, weekdays, at an out-of-the-way location) and free-of-charge availability of government IDs would go a good distance also if you’re paranoid about voter fraud.
    CretanBull
  • Requiring an ID to vote is one of the strategies people say is voter suppression.

    sbench2 said:
    This might catch me a lot of hate but I have noticed in the podcasts reminders to go out and make sure you register to vote because it can be hard in some places. And I also hear about voter suppression in the US. I’m not very educated on the subject, but how can a country claimig to be the poster child of democracy have the ability to make it so hard for people to vote? I live in Canada and here they mail out a card saying where to vote. If I don’t get a card in the mail I go to the closest place to vote and show my I.D. So I guess my question is, why does your government make it so hard for it’s citizens to vote? And why do the citizens put up with them doing so?

    We don't even need ID in the conventional sense.  We're sent a voting notice in the mail, when you go to a polling station you hand in your notice and they ask you what your address is and they confirm that the notice you gave them matches the address that you told them and they cross your name off the list.  If you don't have your notice, anything that proves your address qualifies as ID for this purpose - so a bill in your name sent to your home address is accepted.
    MrX
  • I think the issue with a one day holiday is that a lot of businesses (service based... which tends to be poorer employees) don't actually close on holidays because it's lucrative for them to be open when everyone else has free time. So those employees would still work. So perhaps a weekend, or a weekend plus Monday? I like the Columbus day alternative but kind of would rather see that just turn into Indigenous Peoples Day complete with an education package around it. I just don't know if today's world can handle such a long process with all of our demand for immediate data and results.
    MrX
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    In Australia we have to vote - we get fined if we don’t. Is Canada the same? You need ID to register though (I am one of those few non-poor people who has constant issues with ID, because I don’t drive and I don’t have a passport). We also vote on a Saturday. 

    Oh, and we get a democracy sausage, which I highly recommend for encouraging voter turnout. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_sausage
  • Dee said:
    In Australia we have to vote - we get fined if we don’t. Is Canada the same? You need ID to register though (I am one of those few non-poor people who has constant issues with ID, because I don’t drive and I don’t have a passport). We also vote on a Saturday. 

    Oh, and we get a democracy sausage, which I highly recommend for encouraging voter turnout. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_sausage

    That is supposed to encourage turnout? What have they done to that poor sausage?


    BrandonTheBard
  • Doctor_NickDoctor_Nick Terminus
    edited October 2018
    In New York I don’t need any notice or ID. I give them my address and I counter sign next to my signature from the voter registration they have in record at the check in table. That’s what people mean by easy voting. 
  • Dee said:
    In Australia we have to vote - we get fined if we don’t. Is Canada the same? You need ID to register though (I am one of those few non-poor people who has constant issues with ID, because I don’t drive and I don’t have a passport). We also vote on a Saturday. 

    Oh, and we get a democracy sausage, which I highly recommend for encouraging voter turnout. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_sausage
    We're not mandated to vote.  It's been floated as an idea in the past but ultimately didn't gain much momentum here.  Our elections aren't on the weekend, but companies are required to give full time employees 1 hour (paid) off to vote...either vote in the morning and show up an hour late for work, leave an hour early or take off for an hour mid day if you work close to your polling station.
    Jovial_Falcon
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    MrX said:
    Dee said:
    In Australia we have to vote - we get fined if we don’t. Is Canada the same? You need ID to register though (I am one of those few non-poor people who has constant issues with ID, because I don’t drive and I don’t have a passport). We also vote on a Saturday. 

    Oh, and we get a democracy sausage, which I highly recommend for encouraging voter turnout. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_sausage

    That is supposed to encourage turnout? What have they done to that poor sausage?


    How dare you - that is our national dish! 
    MrX
  • Dee said:
    MrX said:
    Dee said:
    In Australia we have to vote - we get fined if we don’t. Is Canada the same? You need ID to register though (I am one of those few non-poor people who has constant issues with ID, because I don’t drive and I don’t have a passport). We also vote on a Saturday. 

    Oh, and we get a democracy sausage, which I highly recommend for encouraging voter turnout. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_sausage

    That is supposed to encourage turnout? What have they done to that poor sausage?


    How dare you - that is our national dish! 
    I think it looks delightful, except substitute mustard for that ketchup.
    DeecdriveMrXdjcaudle01
  • Dee, the mustard on that sausage is a weird color
    MrXDee
  • This is quite a bit of insightful information. But I personally find it infuriating that the government in power has the ability to basically decide who can vote. And I don’t even live in your country. What is the overall feeling of the citizens on these practices? If the concesnsus is against it, how do you stop it?
  • MrXMrX CO
    edited October 2018
    LordBy said:
    Dee said:
    MrX said:
    Dee said:
    In Australia we have to vote - we get fined if we don’t. Is Canada the same? You need ID to register though (I am one of those few non-poor people who has constant issues with ID, because I don’t drive and I don’t have a passport). We also vote on a Saturday. 

    Oh, and we get a democracy sausage, which I highly recommend for encouraging voter turnout. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_sausage

    That is supposed to encourage turnout? What have they done to that poor sausage?


    How dare you - that is our national dish! 
    I think it looks delightful, except substitute mustard for that ketchup.
    Yea that was my issue - ketchup does not belong on sausages / hot dogs!


    djcaudle01
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    MrX said:
    LordBy said:
    Dee said:
    MrX said:
    Dee said:
    In Australia we have to vote - we get fined if we don’t. Is Canada the same? You need ID to register though (I am one of those few non-poor people who has constant issues with ID, because I don’t drive and I don’t have a passport). We also vote on a Saturday. 

    Oh, and we get a democracy sausage, which I highly recommend for encouraging voter turnout. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_sausage

    That is supposed to encourage turnout? What have they done to that poor sausage?


    How dare you - that is our national dish! 
    I think it looks delightful, except substitute mustard for that ketchup.
    Yea that was my issue - ketchup does not belong on sausages / hot dogs!


    Okay, that’s it - I’m declaring war on America. And it’s not ketchup - it’s tomato sauce. Or, more correctly, “dead ‘orse“. 
    cdrive
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    edited October 2018

    sbench2 said:
    This is quite a bit of insightful information. But I personally find it infuriating that the government in power has the ability to basically decide who can vote. And I don’t even live in your country. What is the overall feeling of the citizens on these practices? If the concesnsus is against it, how do you stop it?
    It does seem kind of crazy to me as a non-American. My country’s government hassles us non-stop to register and to vote, whereas the American government seems to do all they can to actively discourage it. I mean, I get why, but it’s not at all democracy by any stretch. It’s so shady. 
    Kate23
  • Dee said:
    MrX said:
    LordBy said:
    Dee said:
    MrX said:
    Dee said:
    In Australia we have to vote - we get fined if we don’t. Is Canada the same? You need ID to register though (I am one of those few non-poor people who has constant issues with ID, because I don’t drive and I don’t have a passport). We also vote on a Saturday. 

    Oh, and we get a democracy sausage, which I highly recommend for encouraging voter turnout. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_sausage

    That is supposed to encourage turnout? What have they done to that poor sausage?


    How dare you - that is our national dish! 
    I think it looks delightful, except substitute mustard for that ketchup.
    Yea that was my issue - ketchup does not belong on sausages / hot dogs!


    Okay, that’s it - I’m declaring war on America. And it’s not ketchup - it’s tomato sauce. Or, more correctly, “dead ‘orse“. 
    Wow, like Ketchup or even marinara sauce was too flavorful so you were looking for something even-more bland to put on a perfectly good sausage?

    Shameful.
    djcaudle01
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    LordBy said:
    Dee said:
    MrX said:
    LordBy said:
    Dee said:
    MrX said:
    Dee said:
    In Australia we have to vote - we get fined if we don’t. Is Canada the same? You need ID to register though (I am one of those few non-poor people who has constant issues with ID, because I don’t drive and I don’t have a passport). We also vote on a Saturday. 

    Oh, and we get a democracy sausage, which I highly recommend for encouraging voter turnout. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_sausage

    That is supposed to encourage turnout? What have they done to that poor sausage?


    How dare you - that is our national dish! 
    I think it looks delightful, except substitute mustard for that ketchup.
    Yea that was my issue - ketchup does not belong on sausages / hot dogs!


    Okay, that’s it - I’m declaring war on America. And it’s not ketchup - it’s tomato sauce. Or, more correctly, “dead ‘orse“. 
    Wow, like Ketchup or even marinara sauce was too flavorful so you were looking for something even-more bland to put on a perfectly good sausage?

    Shameful.
    Uh, I don’t think the people who invented casseroles made with cream of something soup and crushed cornflakes have any call to be pointing fingers.
    djcaudle01LordBy
  • edited October 2018
    Hey hey hey...here in the dirty south we might fry butter and milky ways..and our foreign cuisine is basically limited to Vienna Sausages...

    But we will NEVER disgrace our “pig in a blender” based products with Ketchup...there are just some lines that can’t be crossed


    Dee
  • @sbench2
    The main issue at hand is that people actually are frustrated with voter suppression, but the only way to change that is obstensibly via challenging it in court.  This sometimes works, but the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, is and has for a few decades been controlled by a Republican majority which tends to vote in favor for allowing Republicans to continue suppressing votes and given the recent Kavanaugh debacle they will probably continue to do so. 
    MrX
  • Basically the fact of the matter is that the Republican Party in general is a party representative of a shrinking minority of the US populous and therefore cannot actually win elections on the basis of pure democracy, but since they control all aspects of the government they can just override the will of the majority by any means necessary to maintain that stranglehold as long as possible. 
    mylifeaskirksbench2gguenotMrXCretanBullGiovanni
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