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Old 10-10-2018, 05:58 AM
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Georgia purges 1 in 10 voters from voter rolls

(Courtesy of Eonwe's ongoing thread in the pit, I figured starting this thread in elections might be sensible.)

https://truthout.org/articles/gops-b...got-the-names/

Quote:
I brought in one of the nation’s top mailing database experts, Mark Swedlund, and his team to go through the list, name by name. Among the voters purged are thousands who supposedly left the state but remain in Georgia. Thousands more are people who moved from one end of town to another and lost their vote — and we even found one who simply moved from one apartment to another in the same building.

These registration cancellations are therefore dead wrong and, say voting law experts, coldly break the law.

[...]

“But they have not moved,” notes Swedlund, who says not returning a postcard is an “absurd, dangerous” way to determine if voters have moved — especially if their rights are at stake. And basing cancellations on non-responses to postcards is, Swedlund notes, endemically biased against voters who move often, including the poor, students, and Black and Latino voters — in other words, Democrats.
Now, it's worth noting that the supreme court, in a 5-4 partisan split, has deemed this sort of purge legal. So let me make it clear that nobody has said that what Brian Kemp did is illegal. It is, however, deeply undemocratic; the kind of thing where there should be a law. In fact, there is a law! It's just one with the kind of loophole you can drive a truck through - the kind of loophole a court paying attention to the intention of the lawmakers would have closed - hence the 5-4 split.

However, the scope of this is really somewhat stunning - 1 in 10 voters in Georgia were purged from the rolls as a result of this action, and it wasn't until literally a day before Georgia's voter registration closed (that was yesterday, for those keeping track) that a reporter could force the governor to disclose who was purged. We're looking at at least 100,000 legitimate voters purged from the rolls, and purged in a way that is inherently biased in favor of the republican party and against minority voters, by a republican governor who knows he's in a dead heat with his african-american opponent.

This is an utterly indefensible antidemocratic action, the kind that has been all too common lately among the GOP.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:04 AM
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If Republicans can't (pick one: rig the game/stack the deck/load the dice) then how can they win elections? A Republican? Playing on a level field? Bah!
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:23 AM
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... So let me make it clear that nobody has said that what Brian Kemp did is illegal. ...
Legality is all that matters. Nothing legal is wrong. You are immoral to think otherwise. Our side wins! Ha ha ha ha ha!
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:43 AM
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And let's not overlook yesterday's Supreme Court decision, which disenfranchised a nontrivial chunk of North Dakota voters by a means clearly aimed at Native Americans living on reservations:
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The law lets voters who don’t have the required ID show certain supplemental documentation with their name and street address. Native Americans in the state had challenged a provision in the law requiring that the address be a residential street address, rather than a PO Box or other kind of address, given that some members of some tribes don’t have residential street addresses.
Per RBG's dissent, about 70K ND residents lack qualifying ID, and about 18K of them don't have supplemental ID that would meet the requirements of the law that the Supreme Court allowed to take effect.

This is a totally unreasonable requirement, and of course here a particular minority is clearly being targeted. (Yeah, like they're going to try this in WV or PA or KY, where the people being excluded by virtue of not having standard street addresses would largely be rural whites. Let me know when that happens.)
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:52 AM
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Technically, in the ND case, the Supreme Court refused to review an Eighth Circuit decision last month that allowed the ID law - which had been stayed by the District Court until then - to take effect for the November elections. SCOTUSblog gives details.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:02 AM
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Legality is all that matters. Nothing legal is wrong. You are immoral to think otherwise. Our side wins! Ha ha ha ha ha!
Oh come on, that's not true. There are plenty of legal things that are against Catholic doctrine that are immoral!
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:08 AM
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Wait for it, wait for it: "America's not a democracy; it's a republic."
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:10 AM
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Who needs Russian election hackers when you've got Kris Kobach?
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:40 AM
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Legality is all that matters. Nothing legal is wrong. You are immoral to think otherwise. Our side wins! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Warning. You should know better than to take shots at other posters like that, even covered up.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:41 AM
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Is there any real democracy on Earth outside the USA that puts so much effort into preventing citizens from voting?
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:43 AM
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Redundancy alert.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:47 AM
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purged in a way that is inherently biased in favor of the republican party and against minority voters
Can you explain how the return of a postcard is inherently biased in favor of the republican party and against minority voters?
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:55 AM
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Is there any real democracy on Earth outside the USA that puts so much effort into preventing citizens from voting?
Where do you draw the line? Prevent enough citizens from voting and it's no longer a democracy.
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:59 AM
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Can you explain how the return of a postcard is inherently biased in favor of the republican party and against minority voters?
The article explains it thusly:

“But they have not moved,” notes Swedlund, who says not returning a postcard is an “absurd, dangerous” way to determine if voters have moved — especially if their rights are at stake. And basing cancellations on non-responses to postcards is, Swedlund notes, endemically biased against voters who move often, including the poor, students, and Black and Latino voters — in other words, Democrats.

This is not a huge bias, but it is a bias. Just like, in general, any given hurdle will lay higher on the poor than the rich (a trip to the local DMV is a lot harder without a car or if you work two jobs), black people are more likely to be poor, and both poor people and black people are more likely to vote democratic.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:06 AM
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Can you explain how the return of a postcard is inherently biased in favor of the republican party and against minority voters?
Those who move from one address to another, even within the same voting precinct, tend to be poor or students who tend to vote Democratic. A postcard that is not delivered to the current address causes such people to be disenfranchised.
Like sleeping under bridges, the law applies to everyone, but inordinately affects one group.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:13 AM
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The article explains it thusly:

“But they have not moved,” notes Swedlund, who says not returning a postcard is an “absurd, dangerous” way to determine if voters have moved — especially if their rights are at stake. And basing cancellations on non-responses to postcards is, Swedlund notes, endemically biased against voters who move often, including the poor, students, and Black and Latino voters — in other words, Democrats.

This is not a huge bias, but it is a bias. Just like, in general, any given hurdle will lay higher on the poor than the rich (a trip to the local DMV is a lot harder without a car or if you work two jobs), black people are more likely to be poor, and both poor people and black people are more likely to vote democratic.
Thanks, I seemed to have missed that in the quote in the OP and the article

But the article also says this: "And the majority of others purged had not moved from their original registration address"

So on one hand, it seems like most were removed not because they moved, but because they didn't return the card. But on the other hand, he says the process is biased against people that move a lot.

It seems to me that since the majority of those purged "have not moved", the process seems biased against those who don't know how to return a post card.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:28 AM
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Thanks, I seemed to have missed that in the quote in the OP and the article

But the article also says this: "And the majority of others purged had not moved from their original registration address"

So on one hand, it seems like most were removed not because they moved, but because they didn't return the card. But on the other hand, he says the process is biased against people that move a lot.

It seems to me that since the majority of those purged "have not moved", the process seems biased against those who don't know how to return a post card.
Or who ignored it. One consistent claim about these letters is that they look like junk mail, and that many people simply ignore them as a result. Which, let's be honest, is exactly what you'd expect if this were, in fact, a purge.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:29 AM
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It seems to me that since the majority of those purged "have not moved", the process seems biased against those who don't know how to return a post card.
Or more precisely it is biased against both groups as well as those for whom the post card got lost in the mail or whose postman simply didn't bother to deliver it.
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Old 10-10-2018, 09:54 AM
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Or who ignored it. One consistent claim about these letters is that they look like junk mail, and that many people simply ignore them as a result. Which, let's be honest, is exactly what you'd expect if this were, in fact, a purge.
Yes, I would expect that. But how does that disproportionately affect poor and/or minority voters or students?
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:02 AM
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Yes, I would expect that. But how does that disproportionately affect poor and/or minority voters or students?
Who spends any time looking ta junk mail? Old people. Old people are more likely to be Republican and more likely to vote.

I'm sort of kidding in that post, but only half so. I think that if you're looking at laws that make it more difficult to vote, unless there is a really good reason for the law, it's reasonable to assume that the law was intended to help one political side at the expense of the other. You don't have to find some rock-solid evidence otherwise.

Last edited by John Mace; 10-10-2018 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:32 AM
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Who spends any time looking ta junk mail? Old people. Old people are more likely to be Republican and more likely to vote.

I'm sort of kidding in that post, but only half so. I think that if you're looking at laws that make it more difficult to vote, unless there is a really good reason for the law, it's reasonable to assume that the law was intended to help one political side at the expense of the other. You don't have to find some rock-solid evidence otherwise.
Voter rolls have to be kept up to date. If someone has not voted for a while the state reaches out to see if they are still at the same address. If they do not respond they are taken off the rolls and they have to re-register. How pathetic are people that either voting every couple years, responding to a postcard, or registering to vote is undoable?
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:35 AM
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Voter rolls have to be kept up to date. If someone has not voted for a while the state reaches out to see if they are still at the same address. If they do not respond they are taken off the rolls and they have to re-register. How pathetic are people that either voting every couple years, responding to a postcard, or registering to vote is undoable?
People are pretty pathetic, and you can quote me on that. Taking advantage of that for political gains is no bueno. YMMV.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:00 AM
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Wait for it, wait for it: "America's not a democracy; it's a republic."
But "America" doesn't have a nationwide popular vote of any sort - not even to ratify proposed Constitutional amendments (the way, say, Australia does) - and each state is a democracy, at least when it comes to electing its Senators.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:17 AM
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Voter rolls have to be kept up to date. If someone has not voted for a while the state reaches out to see if they are still at the same address. If they do not respond they are taken off the rolls and they have to re-register. How pathetic are people that either voting every couple years, responding to a postcard, or registering to vote is undoable?
It's all in the intent. The intent here is to prevent certain people from voting. Thus you notify them by postcard, which can be easily lost in the mail, not delivered, or mistaken for junk mail. Whether they vote regularly or not is their right and they should not lose the right to vote by virtue of not voting often. The people aren't pathetic, the Republicans who want to keep them from voting are.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:24 AM
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Voter rolls have to be kept up to date. If someone has not voted for a while the state reaches out to see if they are still at the same address. If they do not respond they are taken off the rolls and they have to re-register. How pathetic are people that either voting every couple years, responding to a postcard, or registering to vote is undoable?
But if my postman doesn't deliver it, or it looks like junk (I personally do a very fast sort of junk vs. read), then I get unregistered. And I don't know I'm not registered until I show up at the polling place and get turned away.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:33 AM
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It's all in the intent. The intent here is to prevent certain people from voting. Thus you notify them by postcard, which can be easily lost in the mail, not delivered, or mistaken for junk mail. Whether they vote regularly or not is their right and they should not lose the right to vote by virtue of not voting often. The people aren't pathetic, the Republicans who want to keep them from voting are.
What certain people does the return of postcards prevent from voting?
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:40 AM
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What certain people does the return of postcards prevent from voting?
If you target specific populations, then a certain percentage of that specific population will be prevented from voting. Those who are not targeted will not be affected.
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:52 AM
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What certain people does the return of postcards prevent from voting?
The certain people to whom cards were sent in the first place. You don't think they select areas for the purge?
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:56 AM
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The certain people to whom cards were sent in the first place. You don't think they select areas for the purge?
Did they select areas for the purge? Or did they mail cards to everyone in the state who hadn't voted in the previous two general election cycles?
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:57 AM
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:05 PM
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If you target specific populations, then a certain percentage of that specific population will be prevented from voting. Those who are not targeted will not be affected.
The specific population that is being targeted is people who didn't vote in the last election, didn't notify the county of their change of address, and don't read their mail.

The Georgia Secretary of State's website gives the requirements for voter registration. One of the things mentioned is pretty clear -
Quote:
Voters are required to notify the board of registrars of their county of residence whenever they move.
Those are being prevented from voting are those who didn't vote last time, don't have Internet access or a printer, can't afford a stamp or an envelope, can't make it to their local county board of registrars' office or election office, public library, public assistance office, recruitment office, schools, and other government offices, have not applied for or renewed a driver's license, and is not a college student.

That sounds pretty specific to me.

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Old 10-10-2018, 12:08 PM
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Did they select areas for the purge? Or did they mail cards to everyone in the state who hadn't voted in the previous two general election cycles?
Did they decide to do this now because they knew that Democratic turn-out was smaller than it had been in the past.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:09 PM
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Well, it seems like in this particular instance, they decided to do it in 2017.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:16 PM
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Voter rolls have to be kept up to date. If someone has not voted for a while* the state reaches out to see if they are still at the same address**. If they do not respond*** they are taken off the rolls and they have to re-register. How pathetic are people that either voting every couple years****, responding to a postcard, or registering to vote***** is undoable?
*Since the last election, including midterms, usually less than two years ago
**By sending an easy-to-miss postcard that many will dismiss as junk mail because it is designed to look like junk mail
***Within 30 days
****Which has been made harder by the same people pushing this
*****Which has been made substantially harder by the same people pushing this

It feels like there's a whole lot of asterisks needed to make what you posted look at all like the full picture. Sure, if you ignore everything wrong with this picture, things look hunky-dory.

Oh, also, the biggest, fattest asterisk belongs on the first sentence, because that's the biggest misleading thing - where you pretend this is just business as usual. Because it isn't! States have kept their voter rolls clean in the past, but this is actually a new strategy. And it's one that is having a dramatic effect on voters - at least 100,000 of the people purged were confirmed to be still living in Georgia, and this strategy purged one in ten people in the state. Over half a million people, in a state with a population of 3 million. That's weird, right? Doesn't that strike you as at least a little odd?
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:33 PM
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It sounds like Democrats are worried because they might lose votes among people who don't read their mail, don't know how to work a stamp, and don't vote anyway.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:35 PM
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...Doesn't that strike you as at least a little odd?
Not in the least, the motivations and mechanisms are perfectly clear. How dearly I wish it were weird and abnormal.

If any of you feel less informed than you might wish, Talking Points Memo has an excellent and concise breakdown of How The Fuck We Got Into This Mess.
https://talkingpointsmemo.com/featur...governors-race

Last edited by elucidator; 10-10-2018 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:32 PM
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It sounds like Democrats are worried because they might lose votes among people who don't read their mail, don't know how to work a stamp, and don't vote anyway.
How about being worried that democracy itself is being undermined? Did that one ever occur to you?
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:40 PM
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It sounds like Democrats are worried because they might lose votes among people who don't read their mail, don't know how to work a stamp, and don't vote anyway.

Regards,
Shodan
There is a conservative idea, exemplified here, that Democrats just want poor people to have access to the polls because it'll boost their numbers.

That's exactly backward.

Democrats want increased access to the polls--and that's part of why poor people support Democrats.

If it were only about relative partisan advantage, the Republican efforts to disenfranchise black people and poor people would be matched by Democratic efforts to disenfranchise the rural and rich white people. But you don't see those efforts by Democrats: Democrats try to win by increasing, not decreasing, access to polls, because increasing civic engagement is a core value.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:00 PM
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There is a conservative idea, exemplified here, that Democrats just want poor people to have access to the polls because it'll boost their numbers.

That's exactly backward.

Democrats want increased access to the polls--and that's part of why poor people support Democrats.

If it were only about relative partisan advantage, the Republican efforts to disenfranchise black people and poor people would be matched by Democratic efforts to disenfranchise the rural and rich white people. But you don't see those efforts by Democrats: Democrats try to win by increasing, not decreasing, access to polls, because increasing civic engagement is a core value.
I see what point you are trying to make, and I agree with you. I don't think the Democrats are doing what they do for (purely) partisan reasons. But your logic is faulty on that last part. You are arguing:

- There are two paths the Democrats can take, both of which give them a partisan advantage.
- Because the Democrats are taking only one path, and not the other, that proves they are taking that one path for non-partisan reasons.

But a party doesn't have to take all possible paths in order for it to be taking one path for partisan reasons.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:08 PM
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I see what point you are trying to make, and I agree with you. I don't think the Democrats are doing what they do for (purely) partisan reasons. But your logic is faulty on that last part. You are arguing:

- There are two paths the Democrats can take, both of which give them a partisan advantage.
- Because the Democrats are taking only one path, and not the other, that proves they are taking that one path for non-partisan reasons.

But a party doesn't have to take all possible paths in order for it to be taking one path for partisan reasons.
I mean, I know the Democrats are famously inept at electioneering, but the idea that there's an obvious partisan political move they could make, and they're not making it because it hasn't occurred to them? Not buying it: they're not making it because it's against the core value of an engaged electorate.

Of course this isn't universal: there have definitely been the odd occurrences where someone on the left tries to suppress the vote. Nothing like the multi-tiered Republican efforts to decrease voter turnout, however.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:33 PM
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It sounds like Democrats are worried because they might lose votes among people who don't read their mail, don't know how to work a stamp, and don't vote anyway.

Regards,
Shodan
Assuming what you describe above applies, what you're saying is that if these individuals do read their mail, figure out how to work a stamp, and do show up at the polls and get turned away, that's just their tough shit?

That's not how rights work; a right is something that government shouldn't be allowed to take away.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:35 PM
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That's not how rights work; a right is something that government shouldn't be allowed to take away.
Tell that to felons who are not allowed to own a gun.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
There is a conservative idea, exemplified here, that Democrats just want poor people to have access to the polls because it'll boost their numbers.

That's exactly backward.

Democrats want increased access to the polls--and that's part of why poor people support Democrats.

If it were only about relative partisan advantage, the Republican efforts to disenfranchise black people and poor people would be matched by Democratic efforts to disenfranchise the rural and rich white people. But you don't see those efforts by Democrats: Democrats try to win by increasing, not decreasing, access to polls, because increasing civic engagement is a core value.
As I pointed out, no one is being disenfranchised. There do seem to be a lot of Georgians who can't figure out how to read their mail or work a stamp. And if this is an evil scheme to target Democratic votes, the subjects of the scheme are people who didn't vote anyway. So it is not a particularly clever, or well-targeted, scheme.

Like I've said before, Republicans are always being accused of thinking that Democratic voters are too lazy and stupid to do what everyone else does. And Democrats work themselves into a lather about stuff like the OP, because they think so too.

Those evil Republicans, who think that voters should be able to fill out a postcard and then actually go out and vote. Vs. the virtuous Democrats, who are deeply concerned about people for whom filling out a change-of-address form is a daunting chore. And who don't even vote anyway.

Regards,
SHodan
  #44  
Old 10-10-2018, 03:43 PM
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Assuming what you describe above applies, what you're saying is that if these individuals do read their mail, figure out how to work a stamp, and do show up at the polls and get turned away, that's just their tough shit?
No - I am saying that those who do read their mail, and manage to get a stamp to stick to an envelope containing their legally obligated notification of a change of address, won't be turned away if and when they cast a ballot.

Regards,
Shodan
  #45  
Old 10-10-2018, 03:44 PM
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As I often say: The predictable effect is the desired effect.
  #46  
Old 10-10-2018, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Like I've said before, Republicans are always being accused of thinking that Democratic voters are too lazy and stupid to do what everyone else does. And Democrats work themselves into a lather about stuff like the OP, because they think so too.
I agree: you've said that before. Consistency is sometimes an admirable trait.
  #47  
Old 10-10-2018, 04:07 PM
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As I pointed out, no one is being disenfranchised. There do seem to be a lot of Georgians who can't figure out how to read their mail or work a stamp.
That's 1 in 10 registered voters. Not eligible voters, registered voters.

Would it matter if it was 2 in 10? 5 in 10? What percentage of Georgia's population would have to be removed from the voter rolls by this before you said, "Hmm, that's a little odd..."
  #48  
Old 10-10-2018, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I mean, I know the Democrats are famously inept at electioneering, but the idea that there's an obvious partisan political move they could make, and they're not making it because it hasn't occurred to them? Not buying it: they're not making it because it's against the core value of an engaged electorate.
If you want to pursue this further, can you go into more detail about this obvious political move? What laws would be passed in states controlled by Democrats that would selectively disenfranchise rich GOP voters?
  #49  
Old 10-10-2018, 05:11 PM
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What a fascinating subject for a thread!
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:09 PM
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If you want to pursue this further, can you go into more detail about this obvious political move? What laws would be passed in states controlled by Democrats that would selectively disenfranchise rich GOP voters?
If you're genuinely unable to come up with any political shenanigans off the top of your head that might accomplish this, start a new thread. I find it trivially easy to come up with some basic ideas, but also recognize that Republicans have devoted thousands of hours, tremendous political expertise, and incredible resources to refining their attempts, and even then a lot of their attempts have been ruled illegal. I'm not going to hijack this thread with my giving you off-the-top-of-my-head counterfactual ideas how Democrats could try to engage in similar legally-questionable strategies to disenfranchise people, when the entire point I'm making is that they're not doing so. But this might be a fun Thread Game topic or something; go for it if you'd like.
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