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The Tipping Point

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by hobbsyoyo, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I'm going to break down the ways that Republicans are rewriting the rules of our elections and breaking laws nationwide to bring about one party rule.


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    Exact Match

    The Justice Department used to have overseeing authority (called Pre-Clearance) for election laws in states with a history of racial voter discrimination. With this authority the JD denied a Georgia law called 'exact match' which compared voter registration records against other random databases both within Georgia and other states. The names in all the databases have to match up exactly and if they don't then your vote won't be counted.

    This law was seen by the Justice Department as racial discrimination as 70% of the voters flagged under the law were people of color. Then the Supreme Court took away the ability of the JD to have this oversight and Georgia re-passed the law in 2017.

    Since then between 50 and 70,000 voters (mostly African Americans) in Georgia have had their voting rights infringed under this law. Florida and other states have similar laws as well so the ultimate numbers just for exact-match systems is likely in the hundreds of thousands to millions.


    Use It Or Lose It
    Further, Georgia passed another law which purges the voter roles of individuals who have not voted in previous elections. Guess which group is most affected by this? Well it's African Americans again who make up around 70% of the 107,000 people under use it or lose it laws. Again, this same type of law is used elsewhere. In Ohio, missing a single election begins the removal process.


    Felon Disenfranchisement

    @Velegon had an excellent write up of felon disenfranchisement policies in Florida. Rather than re-tryping everything he said, I'll just quote and attribute him here:
    Other states have similar policies.


    Voting Machine Problems & Record Destruction

    In Georgia and Texas, voting machines have been alleged to have swapped votes for voters. Moreover, it is known that many of these voting machines are unsecure and vulnerable to attacks but Republicans have refused to act to ensure their electoral integratity. Going back once again to Georgia, just this year the Secretary of State destroyed voter records from these electronic voting machines that were under federal subpeona after a contested, tight election.

    Guess who's running for Governor this year in Georgia? Brian Kemp - the Secretary of State that destroyed the voting records and went unpunished. He's in charge of running elections in Georgia and he's running for Governor against a black female candidate, Stacey Abrams. He has also expressed concern in donor meetings about African Americans exercising their right to vote.


    Polling Station Closures

    Across the board, Republican-controlled states have taken to shutting down polling stations that service minority neighborhoods and cities. For example, in Dodge City (population 27,000, 60% hispanic), all of the polling stations within the town were shut down and replaced by single one well outside of town in a wealthy White majority area. A total of 866 polling stations have been shut down by Republicans since the Supreme Court neutered the Voting Rights Act five years ago despite the population growing at a steady clip.


    Aggression and Suppression
    Most alarmingly, the county officials have stopped buses of elderly black voters and forced them to turn around and disperse while they were on their way to vote. Has Brian Kemp done anything to stop it or punish officials? :lol:


    Gerrymandering and Court Stealing

    Gerrymandering went so far in Pennsylvania that the state supreme court forced the state to change the districts. The response from the Republican-led legislature was to threaten the judges with impeachment. They also resubmitted gerrymandered districts in open defiance of the court ruling. The court will now have to create their own districts for the state. In Texas, Republican efforts to gerrymander went so far (and would have effectively ended the Texas Democratic party as an entity) that they left the state en masse to prevent a quorum on the vote.

    The Supreme Court was stolen when Merrick Garaland was denied a hearing and it turned around and upheld gerrymandered districts in Texas and elsewhere. In Florida, Rick Scott mounted an attempt to appoint several outgoing judges to the Supreme Court on the final day in office as the Supreme Court term ends a few hours earlier. Luckily, the Supreme Court of Florida invalidated this power although I can't find a more recent article on that - I just heard it on NPR the other day. There are also reports that Donald Trump arranged for Justice Kennedy's son to get a very high power job in exchange for his retirement. He also hired 3 of Kennedy's favorite clerks to powerful positions all in an effort to get him to retire.

    -------------------


    Given all of the above and the fact that the 2020 census is going to start under the Trump administration, it is pretty clear to me this is the make or break election that could put us on the road to one-party rule. If Republicans are not stopped now across the board they will rewrite all of the election laws to de facto ban political opposition. This is the tipping point.


    VOTE
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  2. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    It took quite a bit of effort to write that, even if you disagree I'd appreciate some likes for my troubles. :lol:
     
  3. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    You got 3 before you even posted this...
     
  4. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I added a section on Gerrymandering and Court Stealing.

    I could also add a section just on North Carolina. A Democrat barely squeeked out a win in 2016 for governor and the Republican legislature moved to remove as many powers as they could from the governor's office during their lame duck session in response. They will very clearly break literally any taboo, law or point of order to obtain and maintain power against the will of the people. This is a very serious situation.

    The slow motion coup has rolled to our doorstep and this coming election may be our final chance to roll it the hell back.

    Thanks for the likes.
     
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  5. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    The fundamental goal of the conservative movement is the end of democracy, and the extinction of the middle class. Which is one and the same goal. This is the way to do it.
     
  6. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I added some content on Kennedy's (sus) retirement.

    VOTE
     
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  7. Arwon

    Arwon

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    This is a great roundup of the slow motion Republican coup but a couple more bits:

    -Increasing restrictions on early voting like one of the Carolinas getting rid of it on Sundays to stop black church groups who organised a lot of voting then.

    -Restrictive voting ID rules like Kansas featuring proof of citizenship and North Dakota requiring IDs with a residential address something many native Americans who use PO boxes don't have.
     
  8. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    Yeah those are big misses on my part thanks for pointing them out.

    Voting by mail and absentee ballots are also attacked by Republican legislatures. I had an out of town job one year and needed an absentee ballot in Missouri. The process was meant to deter people from voting. First I had to find the form literally hidden on a state website, print it out and sign it. Then I had to go to the courthouse during work hours, wait in line to see the clerk and sign a notarized affidavit as to my reason for absentee balloting. Then I had to officially request the ballot itself, wait for it by mail and of course I had to pay postage (poll tax) to mail in the ballot itself.

    I can't blame the legislature entirely in Missouri - in that same election the voters turned down a proposition to create an early voting week (there is currently no early voting). In any case this situation isn't really unique to Missouri.

    Missouri also had voting ID laws and they would not accept student ID's of course. Other states also refuse to allow students to register at their university addresses even when they choose to declare that as their home for tax purposes (and therefore legally 'reside' there). The kicker is that some states will accept concealed carry registration cards and other firearm-affiliated forms of identification for their voting ID verification.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
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  9. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

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    I'm worried voting won't be enough for all the reasons laid out in this thread.

     
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  10. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Since gerrymandering can become a runaway effect, the plan B when dealing with a gerrymandered district would have to be the courts

    I really, really worry what happens after the courts decide to not intervene in gerrymandering. I cannot see a legal plan C
     
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  11. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    There is one area that Trump actually has done better than just about every President in history -

    He appoints judges like no one's business. The process has come to resemble an assembly line as judges come in and have joint hearings before the Senate who quickly rubber stamp them through. What I mean is they have a group interview where 5 white dude judges are all being interviewed together for 30 minutes and are then voted in.

    Worse, the Democrats have failed to even attempt to stop this and in fact have at times not raised procedural hurdles for the Republicans in return for literal legislative table scraps.

    This madness can only stop when the Democrats retake the Senate which likely won't even happen this year. At best we may be playing Whack-a-Mole trying to win back individual parts of the government even as the balance of power has slowly and irrevocably shifted in their favor. We may already be in the permanent one-party rule spiral.
     
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  12. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I know I'm not using the word literal correctly there but the alliteration was too damn good
     
  13. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    I hate this kind of fearmongering. I hated it when Republicans would post the same kind of crap about Obama instituting martial law and and rounding up all the conservatives and putting them in FEMA camps. This kind of stuff doesn't help and only serves to further polarize the population no matter who is saying it.
     
  14. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    literal legislative table leavings
     
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  15. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    I do not see any peaceful way of defeating this Republican coup. Especially since the "moderates" firmly stand against doing anything at all for fear of looking "biased".

    I'd rather be back in Germany. Slightly better outlook for democracy there.
     
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  16. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Paper ballots are best.
     
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  17. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    Agreed. As has been demonstrated, voting is one area where the only way to even have some semblance of accuracy and legitimacy is to keep the process "primitive" and get rid of voting machines.
     
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  18. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    Yeah, the difference is that when conservatives posted things like that liberals scoffed and said they were paranoid crazies. When liberals post things like this conservatives say "what a great idea!"

    Well over half of self identifying Republicans agree that Trump delaying the election "might be necessary."
     
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  19. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    That's one of the things Stephen Harper (our previous and not-remotely-missed ex-Prime Minister) did in the (Un)Fair Elections Act. The new ID rules resulted in problems for students, senior citizens, disabled voters, aboriginal voters, and homeless voters.

    Just a couple of weeks ago I got an email from my telecom saying that they were switching to e-billing and there would be no more paper bills. I phoned and told them that I insist on receiving a paper bill because that's one of the forms of ID I'm allowed to use for voting. Utility bills are considered valid proof-of-residence provided you can show two of them. Since I get my electricity bills via snailmail, that and the phone/internet/cable bill are what I show. They're also the least intrusive ones (the Elections Canada workers take photos of whatever ID the in-home special ballot voters use).
     
  20. Commodore

    Commodore Technology of Peace

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    This does kinda make sense though. The reason being that you don't have to be a US citizen to go to a US university, but you do have to be a US citizen to vote in our elections. So that means only showing a student ID with no other form of ID cannot be accepted as proof of citizenship.

    The only reason I'm sort of okay with this is because of out-of-state students that attend universities. Of course, the reasoning I'm about to use really only applies to local and state elections so keep that mind.

    I don't think it's really fair to allow out-of-state and out-of-city students to register as residents of that state/city/district while they are attending university because there is no guarantee they are going to remain a part of that community after they graduate. So it would be pretty unfair in my opinion for them to be allowed to be a part of the decision-making process for that community that could have long-lasting or even permanent effects only to have them say "peace out" once they graduate in 4 years. With that said, out-of-state students should still be allowed to register in the state and district they originated from that way they can still vote in national elections.

    A similar situation to demonstrate what I'm talking about would be active duty soldiers (meaning those that are full-time professional soldiers, not the National Guard or Reserves). Soldiers on active duty can be sent anywhere in the country, but when registering to vote, they register under their "home of record" which is the address they listed as their residence before they enlisted, rather than the address of their duty station. For example, I was stationed at Fort Lewis, WA and lived in Olympia. However, I was not registered to vote in Washington and did not vote in their state elections, but rather I remained registered in my hometown in Ohio and still voted in Ohio elections by mail.

    E-bills should still have your address on them, so all you would have to do is print them out and you should still be able to use them as proof of residence. At least, my utility e-bills still have my address on them so I am assuming yours should do the same.
     

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