Voting access is all the rage right now. Dems are wanting to make voting super easy… too easy… while the GOP is trying to put all kinds of restrictions and roadblocks to reasonable access to voting. Now, let’s not kid ourselves, both parties are taking stands that benefit them in elections and thwart the other party. If you think either party is truly altruistic, you’re naive. The people the Dems want to include are more likely to vote for them, and the Reps want to thwart that because, as Reps are a sizeable minority, the split is close enough where it makes a difference between winning and losing.
Here’s some of the things Reps want to do, will vary by state…
- Narrowing the window for mail-in/absentee ballots.
- Narrowing the window for early in-person voting.
- Restricting hours on certain days.
- Restricting absentee ballots, in general.
- Requiring absentee ballots be notarized.
- Closing some polling places.
- Closing some places to get an ID.
- Eliminating “drop boxes”.
- Eliminating mail-in altogether, even for true absentee ballots.
- Prohibiting distributing of food and/or drinks to people in line. (If you endorse this you forfeit the claim to decent human being.)
- Paring down voter rolls.
- Changing up elector allocation processes.
That’s quite the list… and it’s not complete, but you get the gist.
Now, I’m actually with the GOP in some of these. I don’t fall in line with either side. Some of these have merit, some are simply petty and, well, corrupt. If radcen were the voting czar, here’s how it would go…
- ID: Voters should be required to show ID to vote. Spare me the “poll tax” red herring, to be a reasonably functioning member of society you need an official ID of some sort. But don’t fear, I have a solution. Give IDs (not driver’s licenses, just IDs) free of charge. Not because of the alleged poll tax, but to make the poll tax people STFU. Is it difficult for some people to get an ID? It is. So here’s the solution: Starting right now, phase it in over five years. Again let’s be real, if a person cannot figure it out in five years they’re not sincere about wanting to vote, anyway. Having said all that, with the proliferation of non-traditional voting methods in place and coming, people cannot show an ID anyway, so this one is a moot point, so why bother?
- What is an acceptable ID? We need to lighten up on that. Driver’s license, state-issued ID, passport, military ID, college ID, etc., are all just fine. Not things like library cards. We also need to lighten up on requirements to get an ID, some (usually older) people only have things like church records, or whatever. That wouldn’t qualify for a “Real ID”, but it should qualify for something that would qualify.
- Mail-in voting should be restricted to military, college students, legit out-of-town business, and the handicapped/home bound. Not people who just want to be lazy and stay at home. If it’s important to you get off you ass and go to the polls. Exceptions: If a state does all voting by mail, or if a state does not allow early in-person voting.
- Early in-person voting should be no less than 14 days and no more than 30 days.
- Rolls should be pared down. If a person has not voted in 12 years, which should cover three presidential election cycles, said person should be dropped. If they want to vote again, they can re-register their status. That’s not unreasonable.
- Not a fan of drop boxes. a) If you can mail it in, why are they needed at all? Postage is free, or should be. Can’t have another “poll tax” <eye roll> b) That is a case where I see potential fraud and/or theft, too easy a target. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t. c) If we have to have them, then only inside courthouses, city halls, post offices, etc., not in front of the Piggly Wiggly.
- Expand the number of polling locations. Self-explanatory.
- We should be willing to pay people a decent wage to man polling stations. Depending on Great Grandma to volunteer is too sketchy.
In concept there is absolutely nothing wrong with verifying people voting are actually and legitimately qualified to do so. Citizens, etc. It’s not the ID thing that is abhorrent, it’s all the other crap masquerading as concern that is repugnant, and that needs to be nipped in the bud.