Category Archives: Voting Issues

The Last Voter Suppression Outrage

WSJ 6/12/2021 By the Editorial Board

With hyperbole swirling around voting reforms in GeorgiaFloridaTexas, Iowa and beyond, it’s worth recalling what happened last time Democrats did this Chicken Little performance. In a 2014 speech, Vice President Joe Biden rang alarms about a “new assault on the most basic of civil rights, the right to vote.”

Mr. Biden took specific aim at voter-ID laws, calling them “an attempt to repress minority voting, masquerading as an attempt to end corruption.” The Associated Press reporter covering the speech added: “Biden said if the laws had been in effect during the 2012 election and only six percent of black voters who cast their ballots had been unable to vote, President Obama would have lost Florida.”

Today 36 states have voter-ID laws of some kind, and Mr. Biden’s dire story of politically motivated disenfranchisement hasn’t panned out. “Strict ID Laws Don’t Stop Voters”: That was the headline last month in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Earlier versions of this study have circulated for a while, but the latest one merits a look. The authors analyzed 10 years of data, from 2008 to 2018, precisely when Mr. Biden warned of voter suppression.

Even “strict” voter-ID laws, the authors said, “have no negative effect on registration or turnout, overall or for any group defined by race, gender, age, or party affiliation.” But the ID laws appeared to lift turnout slightly among nonwhite voters, relative to whites.

“The likelihood that nonwhite voters were contacted by a campaign increases by 4.7 percentage points,” they wrote, “suggesting that parties’ mobilization might have offset modest effects of the laws.”

Against the GOP’s interest, the study found that “strict ID requirements have no effect on fraud—actual or perceived.” Except for hype from folks like Mr. Biden, states could have quietly passed these laws without harm. Keep in mind, too, that results from 2018 don’t reflect former President Trump’s false claims about 2020, which seem likely, alas, to worsen perceptions of fraud. Bolstering security might help today.

Not every study of voter ID reaches the same result. A paper last year in the journal Politics, Groups, and Identities said that, looking at data from 2012 to 2016, “the gap in turnout between more racially diverse and less racially diverse counties grew more in states enacting new strict photo ID laws.” But if Ph.D.s using high-powered statistical measurements can’t agree on whether the effects are nonzero, they must be ambiguous.

Last year, contra Mr. Biden’s earlier warnings, voters certainly weren’t suppressed when they turned out in historic numbers to put him in the Oval Office. He won Georgia, despite its “strict” voter-ID law, where Democrats then flipped two Senate seats.

Even so, Mr. Biden is now telling the same tale of suppression as in 2014, with almost identical language. He calls the Texas election bill “part of an assault on democracy.” This time, he says, the sky really is falling.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-last-voter-suppression-outrage-11623448789?mod=opinion_lead_pos3

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The New Political Rules of Baseball

So there are more restrictions for volunteering at a MLB game than MLB wants there to be to vote. Nice… mrossol

WSJ. 5/17/2021  by James Freeman

Remember last month when weak CEOs got bullied by leftists into condemning Georgia’s sensible voting reforms? The passage of time hasn’t made such corporate gestures any less empty. Take Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, who attempted to signal organizational virtue by announcing he would move this year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta. Now preparations for the relocated game in Denver, Colorado reveal why he never should have abandoned the Peach State.

The leftist canard has been that Georgia’s effort to ensure the integrity of the ballot is akin to the racist Jim Crow laws of years ago. On April 2 Mr. Manfred endorsed this nonsense when he issued the following statement:

Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.
Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.

What restrictions? The law expanded weekend voting and ensured no-excuse absentee voting and drop boxes in every county. It also required proper identification to vote, which is broadly popular in America outside of tweeting leftists and the CEOs who fear them. A Journal editorial noted in March:

So what does the Georgia law do? First, it gets rid of signature matching, so election workers aren’t trying to verify mail ballots by comparing John Hancocks. This subjective process should concern both sides. It creates avenues for contested outcomes, with fighting over ambiguous signatures. In 2018 about 2,400 ballots in Georgia were rejected for issues with the signature or oath, according to a recent paper in Political Research Quarterly. Those voters were 54% black.
Instead of signature matching, voters will submit a state ID number with their mail ballots or applications. This way there’s no arguing over handwriting: The ID number either matches or it doesn’t. Georgians who vote in person are already asked to show identification. Anyone who lacks an ID can get one for free.

An April editorial added:

The public debate on Georgia’s new voting law has become a stew of falsehood, propaganda and panic… Start with President Biden, the great unifier, who on Wednesday to ESPN called the law “ Jim Crow on steroids,” while saying he’d “strongly support” moving the Major League Baseball all-star game out of Atlanta. He’s picking up the smear about Georgia from Stacey Abrams, who still hasn’t accepted that she lost the race for Peach State Governor in 2018.
 
“You’re going to close a polling place at 5 o’clock, when working people just get off?” he said to ESPN. “This is all about keeping working folks, and ordinary folks that I grew up with, from being able to vote.” Mr. Biden either doesn’t know what’s in the Georgia bill or he is lying about it…
On Election Day in Georgia, anyone in line by 7 p.m. gets a ballot. The new law requires an extra Saturday of voting, while specifying early voting hours: The minimum is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but counties may run 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In metro areas, “you might not notice a change,” explains Georgia Public Broadcasting. Elsewhere, “you will have an extra weekend day, and your weekday early voting hours will likely be longer.”

Little more than a month after this media storm of distortion, Major League Baseball policy is making it clear just how seriously Mr. Manfred takes this issue. MLB’s current position is that rigorous verification procedures should be reserved—not for elections to choose the people who will govern us—but for other societal activities, such as serving as an unpaid volunteer at baseball’s all-star game.

The MLB website provides helpful answers to questions likely to be posed by aspiring participants:

What is the volunteer registration process?
You will be invited by email to create a profile in our volunteer management system and to attend a volunteer information session in late May/early June. You then will be notified of your acceptance and sent a link to sign up for the specific opportunities for which you would like to volunteer during MLB All-Star Week. This information then will be processed and you will receive your confirmed schedule and orientation information. All unpaid volunteers must pass a background check to the satisfaction of Major League Baseball and the Denver Sports Commission.
 

Just to be sure that volunteering at an almost entirely meaningless event is more difficult than voting in Georgia, MLB adds a number of important safeguards:

Are there any requirements to volunteer?
Yes. All unpaid volunteers must be 18 years of age as of the date of their online registration, must sign a release of liability, waiver of class or collective action claims, agreement to arbitrate claims and eligibility form and must pass a background check to the satisfaction of Major League Baseball and the Denver Sports Commission. A valid driver’s license or state identification may be used as proof of age.

It’s possible that Mr. Manfred thinks that the democratic process at the heart of our constitutional republic really is less important than recruiting unpaid staff for his entertainment events. But who can believe that?

James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-political-rules-of-baseball-11621268139?mod=opinion_lead_pos11

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Georgia Election law

I’ve seen this a dozen times. By the way, the title for this article was “5 Ironclad Truths About the Georgia Voting Law”. Yes, there were hyperlinks to the story. The argument being made by Mr Andy Serwer was that we (Americans, States, Feds, Locals, etc.) should do all they can to make voting more accessible to “voters”. mrossol

This is from a daily email from Yahoo News. 4/10/2021

After watching the fallout from the new Georgia voting law passed two weeks ago, I’ve come to five conclusions.

‌-The right to vote shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but sadly has become one.

‌-The new law isn’t about election integrity, it’s meant to suppress voting.

‌-The law has set off a chain reaction that continues to this day.

‌-The consequences here are changing the relationship between politics (mostly the GOP) and business.

-And in all this there is nuance and a good many twists to the story.

The story continues….  mrossol

The Georgia GOP, including Gov. Brian Kemp, say the new law improves the state’s voting process. But clearly that is not the intention. The intention is to make voting more difficult particularly for Black citizens, through new ID requirements, restricting drop-off boxes and by giving state (GOP) officials more power over elections. Be wary of those who cherry-pick specific points of voting laws in other states to show Georgia’s is not restrictive. The larger point is that, in total, Georgia’s new law is a move to discourage not encourage voting.

Here’s the thing: Voting is an inalienable right in our country. Lawmakers should be making every effort to make voting easier for all Americans, not harder. Suppressing the right to vote, something so essential in our country, is nuts. What are they going to do next, deny people food and drink?

What is not mentioned:
Voting should be for CITIZENS, not “Americans”.

The INTEGRITY OF THE VOTE is as important as the ACCESSIBLITY of the vote.

The concept that REQUIRING A VOTER ID restricts voting, when it is required to do about anything else in the United States of America. (Get on a play, get a doctor’s appointment, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.)

So, while it was a bit of a challenge to digest WHAT Mr. Serwer said, it was very disappointing what he DID NOT SAY. mrossol

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