Monday, November 5, 2012

If you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em...

There's winning, and there's winning at any cost, including integrity and a respect for the rights of your fellow citizens.

You might be surprised that there is no actual "right to vote" in the U.S. Constitution.  The ability of a person to cast a vote in this country is regarded as a core value equal to freedom or religion, freedom of speech, etc., but it's not that simple in practice.  Only a handful of items in the Constitutional relate to your actual right to vote.

Several Amendments to the Constitution prohibit the denial of voting based on race, gender, or the use of poll taxes.  However, the 10th Amendment states that any power not given to the Federal government in the Constitution belongs to the states.

This last point is the key - as long as a state is not directly violating the Constitution, they have a lot of latitude in how they manage your ability to vote.
Voting locations & hours, paper versus touchscreen, receipt or no receipt, who handles the machines and the voting records - all up to the states. This also includes setting the terms for absentee voting, early voting and provisional voting.

The other key issue, which has become a battleground in courts, is the ability to states to define guidelines for what ID one must present in order to vote.

There are several states where the outcome is a toss-up, and in the ones with Republicans in control at the state level, all sorts of games are being played to steer the outcome Republican.

There isn't just one state or one issue to talk about, so see for yourself. Go to and search on "voter access issues" (I'll make this a link later).

These are cynical games being played with your rights by people who can't offer candidates who can win cleanly and convincingly on merit.

Remember who's behind this, and vote accordingly when the time comes to keep them or replace them.

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