Who Believes What? – Voting Rights

Yesterday some of my friends and I discussed voting on Facebook – and why people don’t do it.  One man  wrote that if voters had an “unbiased, simplified version of what they were voting for,” it would be easier to vote and more folks would do it.  When I was younger it seemed that the media helped us understand the issues.  That isn’t true any more – bias!  So I thought I’d blog a bit about Democrats and Republicans and voting.

In general, Democrats support the broadest definition of who votes.  As a result, they are often popular with the poor and the young. Republicans generally worry that the definition of voter be tighter to avoid fraud. (Pew Report)  I don’t intend to take sides, so bare with me.  I’m trying to get at the “unbiased” version.  If I have it wrong, because I do have an opinion I hope to keep under control, please let me know.  Be gentle!

In order to stop the fraud they suspect, Republicans:

  • Encouraged laws that cause voters to show a photo ID to vote.  Such a law would stop those who are not citizens from voting among others.  “Support the right of states to require official government-issued photo identification for voting and call upon the Department of Justice to deploy its resources to prevent ballot tampering in the November elections.  We support efforts by state and local election officials to ensure integrity in the voting process and to prevent voter fraud and abuse, particularly as it relates to voter registration and absentee ballots.”  http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/GovernmentReform.htm#10
  • Regulate voter registration drives
  • Discourage voting early ahead of election day
  • Discourage election day registration
  • Encourage people to have a birth certificate to register to vote
  • Oppose attempts to restore the right to vote for convicted felons, even after they have served their time
  • Oppose attempts at quick naturalization procedures

In order to extend the universal right to vote, Democrats:

  • Oppose photo ids.  My experience with civil rights makes me feel this is a way to keep the rural poor from voting.  According to The Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement “these laws discourage voting by the elderly and poor who are less likely to own a car and are thus less likely to possess a valid driver’s license or other form of photo ID.”  http://www.crmvet.org/info/votehist.htm   That’s scary, I hadn’t thought of the elderly being the ones who don’t have a chance to vote.
  • Include election day registration
  • Encourage absentee and early voting
  • “Every citizen of this country should be guaranteed that their vote matters, that their vote is counted, and that in the voting booth, their vote has as much weight as that of any CEO, any member of Congress, or any President.”  Barbara Boxer.

If an individual wants to decide which party represents him on the issue of voting, he must consider how he feels about who has the right to vote. There are many more pieces to the voting puzzle.  Please let me know what you think.  I would like to make this blog work to help, not generate confrontation.

 

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