Will Obama and the democrats do anything to make voting easier

Obama is out talking about mandatory voting.

From a purely partisan POV, the harder it is to vote the better republicans do. The easier it is to vote the better democrats do.

So Republicans have declared war on voting in the last 6 years. Trying to make it harder to register to vote, harder to vote, harder to do early voting, absentee voting, requiring ID, closing polling places, etc.

The democrats, it seems, have done nothing to make voting easier. Does Obama’s talk signify a new tactic by the democrats (one at least 6 years too late) to do the opposite, making voting as easy as possible? There are several things that could be done to do this.

Make election day a (paid) national holiday
Absentee voting is easier
Early voting is easier
More polling places
Internet voting options
Automatic registration
Mandatory voting (although there should be a ‘none of the above’ option for voters)
Funding for groups that drive people to the polls
Fighting ID requirements

Is anything going to be done for any of that? Is there any substance to making voting easier coming from the white house? Is there anything he can do with his executive powers since nothing will get through congress?

They can’t do anything at all, easier voting harms the Republicans so they are never going to let that happen.

They have at the state level.

Most of that falls under the states’ purview not federal. A federal holiday isn’t in that category but even current holidays don’t mandate a paid day off for most workers. I’ve never had an employer aside from the military that recognized every current federal holiday (and I’ve been in uniform on duty for every one on the list too.) Mandatory voting might be possible, but I see doing it federally as being closer to a Constitutional amendment. Even at the federal level those are legislative branch issues not executive. Obama’s executive power probably extends as far as giving federal employees the day off.

Obama does have the classic presidential soft power. He can use the bully pulpit to frame the conversation and build political will. He’s doing that now. The bulk of the work is a state by state slog.

For all elections, yes, but Congress can make a law for congressional elections and hope the states decided to follow it for everything rather than split their election system. (That’s why you can register to vote at the DMV. Mississippi split its elections for a few years, so that you were only able to receive a ballot for members of Congress and presidential electors if you registered at the DMV, but eventually that was too much work even in Mississippi and the motor voter roll was merged into the general voter roll.)

I don’t think Internet voting could ever be done on a widespread scale. There would be endless accusations of hacking, glitches, bugs, votes counting numerous times or not at all, password theft, accusations of people registering for multiple accounts under dead people’s names, etc. It would be an electoral nightmare.

I don’t think there’s anything they can do other than talk about it. In states where Democrats have enough votes they could institute things like automatic registration and mandatory voting, but that’s about it.

I suppose Obama could try some extreme wacky executive action like denying federal contracts to companies in states that don’t pass the voting laws he wants, or denying highway funds or something, but I would hope that he wouldn’t do anything like that (and I’m fairly certain he wouldn’t), even if I agree with the goal.

Oh? Can I have a cite for that?

Can I read this declaration of war somewhere?

Again, cite? Looking at a few of the things on your list, the facts don’t match what you say.

“Requiring ID”: states governed by both Democrats and Republicans have passed such laws in recent years. It’s obviously not a purely Republican thing. Anyone who can legally vote can also legally get an ID. An ID is necessary for basic things such as getting a job, driving a car, or boarding a plane. That’s why virtually everyone has an ID, so it’s not an obstacle to voting.

“Early voting”: Looking at this list, there doesn’t seem to be any relationship between having early voting and being in one political column. Most states governed by Republicans have early voting, and some governed by Democrats don’t.

“Harder to register to vote”: In virtually all states, you can register just by sending in a form. What exactly have the Republicans done to make it harder to register to vote?

Go to the voter ID thread in the BBQ pit. This has been re-hashed time and again, and thus far, no one has been able to make a good showing for the GOP side of this issue. Maybe you’ll be the first. Probably not though.

Actually, he’s right, sorry you didn’t get the memo, but we totally made it all up so we could have something to whinge about. ** BG** was Commissar for Memos that week, pretty sure.

It’s true that making voting easier will lead to more Democratic voters turning out. Problem is, you have to figure out how to make it so easy that they can cast a ballot with no effort at all, because that’s the threshold you’re going to need.

Or, you could put forward candidates that actually make people want to vote. But nah, that’s too hard.

Ever see those pictures of people who line up for four, five hours to vote? You see eager Republican voters, do you?

Voting-by-mail would do it. That’s how it’s done in Oregon.

Disingenuity, thy name is Conservative Doper X…

Disingenuity, thy name is Conservative X

This is pretty obvious. With three years’ lead time they couldn’t create a website that could withstand visits from a few hundred thousand people in a day when the deadline for registering for insurance came. How could we possibly trust that the government could run a website that could accommodate more than 200 million voters in a single day?

Just for fun, these are the states that require a photo ID:

Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.

These states require no ID at the polls:

California, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C…

If you’re sensing a pattern, it’s because it’s in conservative self-interest to suppress voter turnout. To pretend otherwise is just silly.

To be fair, PA is only on the second list because people fought the law and the PA supreme court overturned it. There was such a law passed. But, while PA tends to go blue in Presidential races due to the densely populated Philly area, the state government isn’t so certain and was Republican controlled at the time the bill was passed.

So PA does support your argument, just not in the way you think.

How does a photo ID requirement suppress voter turnout? As I said already, anyone who can legally vote can also get a photo ID. Indiana and Georgia have recently created such a requirement and afterwards, voter turnout went up, not down.

The two examples given in that article are Georgia and Indiana in 2008, after ID requirements had been implemented. The number of blacks voting was higher than previous elections where ID had not been required. However, 2008 was Obama’s first Presidential run, so comparing the black turnout in those elections to previous elections is comparing apples and oranges. It proves nothing one way or the other about the effects of voter ID laws.
It’s telling that these two states are the examples that the article cites. Could it be that they couldn’t find any examples that didn’t have the confounding factor of a black presidential candidate?