Balkinization  

Friday, April 06, 2007

Florida reforms its felon disenfranchisement rules-- a brief reminiscence about the 2000 election

JB

Florida has embarked on a compromise plan to let many felons vote. To be eligible, former offenders must have not engaged in a violent felony, such as murder, kidnapping, and assault, must have completed their sentences and probation, and must have paid all restitution. Violent offenders still must petition the state's clemency board, an arduous process that can take years.

The compromise does not mean that most ex-felons in Florida will be able to vote, because the state must identify people who have long ago served their time to see whether they meet the new criteria. In addition, some ex-felons may not be able to afford to pay restitution and will be barred from the administrative process to restore voting rights until they do.

One test of this compromise will be how it meshes with the maintenance of Florida's voting rolls. You may recall that Florida's felon disenfranchisement rules became particularly important during the 2000 Presidential election. During the 2000 election Florida state officials attempted to purge the voting rolls of felons using defective lists (in some cases laughably defective) which wrongfully disenfranchised a significant number of voters, many of them likely Democratic voters. This purge of voting rolls effectively decided the 2000 election in Florida and put George W. Bush in office. Although we tend to remember that election as having been decided by the butterfly ballot and the decision in Bush v. Gore, it was actually decided by a series of tactics by Florida officials-- including the voting roll purge-- that violated the federal voting rights act, as the U.S. Civil Rights Commission later found. Civil rights groups successfully sued Florida for voting rights act violations arising out of the 2000 election; the state quickly settled out of court, promising plaintiffs most of the reforms they sought in the lawsuit. One of the things that the lawsuit could not do, of course, was change the result of the 2000 election in Florida.


Comments:

Professor Balkin:

This purge of voting rolls effectively decided the 2000 election in Florida and put George W. Bush in office.

Do you perhaps have some actual evidence of this which the Dem attorneys never found?

This would require an actual count of actual non-felons who went to vote for Gore (less those who went to vote for Bush) who were turned away because their proper registration was incorrectly removed from the roles because they were mistaken for felons. From this total, you would need to remove those felons who illegally voted for Gore (less those who illegally voted for Bush) because the felons lists provided were incomplete and missed these voters.

For example, I think the Washington Post found two such voters.

As an aside, I have always found it amusing that Dems (and many GOP) automatically assume all felons would vote Dem. Why is that?
 

Bart,

Of course, most ex-felons vote Democract. Criminals vote for criminals, what else is new?

;)
 

Hey folks, MANY of those people disenfranchised in 2000 were NOT felons.....as Professor Balkin clearly notes, they were on DEFECTIVE lists. The question then is whether they were in areas more likely to vote Democratic.
 

Professor Balkin:

This is such an important issue and I'm glad to see it getting coverage on widely read blogs (like yours). A question: is there in the language of the law - or elsewhere - a goal date by which the state would have to have gone through its rolls of ex-felons and restored civil rights? Or could the state dilly dally until long after the next round of elections?
 

Bart has a point: There were not only non-felons wrongly disenfranchised, there were also felons wrongly enfranchised. Democrats conspicuously lack interest in this latter group, who could be the only reason Gore was in striking distance of winning Florida in the first place.

To my mind the significant aspect of this reform, is that it is NOT merely a proposal to let felons vote. They're going to restore ALL of the felons' civil rights. That's the way it should be, none of this partial restoration aimed only at getting the felons' votes, while leaving them still second class citizens in other respects.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

This would require an actual count of actual non-felons who went to vote for Gore (less those who went to vote for Bush) who were turned away because their proper registration was incorrectly removed from the roles because they were mistaken for felons. From this total, you would need to remove those felons who illegally voted for Gore (less those who illegally voted for Bush) because the felons lists provided were incomplete and missed these voters.

For example, I think the Washington Post found two such voters.


Here ya go.

As an aside, I have always found it amusing that Dems (and many GOP) automatically assume all felons would vote Dem. Why is that?

You miss the point, "Bart". Many of the "purged" were not felons.

humblelawstudent:

Of course, most ex-felons vote Democract. Criminals vote for criminals, what else is new?

Then you folks ought to be in pig heaven. Cunningham, Griles, Safavian, Libby, anonanonanonanon... Hell, even Abrams, and Poindexter. Is this the new Republican GoTV campaign?

Cheers,
 

Haha, defeatocrats have to get ex-felons to win elections. Our Glorious Leadership would never stoop to such denigrating tactics to win elections.

Did I mention that as part of the Unitary Executive power, President Bush could just declare all ex-felons to be enemy combatants and have them shipped off to Guantanamo, a geographically distinct, non-jurisdictional unit of the Executive State (TM) for habeus-free processing. It says so, right there in Article II. I quote:

"The President shall be commander in chief of...the United States, and of...the several states...and he shall have power[!]"
 

"Brett":

Bart has a point: There were not only non-felons wrongly disenfranchised, there were also felons wrongly enfranchised. Democrats conspicuously lack interest in this latter group, who could be the only reason Gore was in striking distance of winning Florida in the first place.

Lack of evidence duly noted.

"Better a thousand guilty men go free than one innocent rot in jail...."

If a felon does vote, and is ineligible to do so, you may punish them. How do you make it right to the innocent folks you turned away?

Cheers,
 

Of course, most ex-felons vote Democrat. Criminals vote for criminals, what else is new?

I think if you were to work in a stinging barb about Al Gore inventing the intarweb, you'd win a prize or something. ;)

FWIW, I swear on the bible that Bart Depalma, jr. is not my creation.
 

arne:

"Bart" DePalma: This would require an actual count of actual non-felons who went to vote for Gore (less those who went to vote for Bush) who were turned away because their proper registration was incorrectly removed from the roles because they were mistaken for felons. From this total, you would need to remove those felons who illegally voted for Gore (less those who illegally voted for Bush) because the felons lists provided were incomplete and missed these voters.

For example, I think the Washington Post found two such voters.

arne: Here ya go.


Your linked blog identifies 5 names, none of which claimed they tried to vote for either candidate.

Typical non-effort.
 

Brett said...

Bart has a point: There were not only non-felons wrongly disenfranchised, there were also felons wrongly enfranchised. Democrats conspicuously lack interest in this latter group, who could be the only reason Gore was in striking distance of winning Florida in the first place.

The NCIC national criminal record database which I used as a prosecutor (and which was probably the source for much of this voter role review) is notoriously incomplete. It relies upon the local police and sheriff's offices and courts to send in this data and compliance varies significantly between jurisdictions. Many times, you only get notice of arrests, but not the disposition of the case in court.

There is probably a plus or minus 3-5% error rate in these databases and probably in the voter roles themselves. It is the nature of government bureaucracies.

I kept and still keep a full copy of my military personnel and medical records because the military screwed these records up continuously. I did not get paid for my first few months at war, they wanted to give me two full spectrum sets of inoculations and, after I completed 12 years of active and reserve service, they tried to call me back to command a postal unit claiming I had not finished my contract. Showing them the original paperwork was the only way to straighten them out.

Word to the wise to anyone dealing with the government - keep every scrap of paper you ever received from them and keep track of all of your government services including your voter rolls for accuracy. This goes double for felons. This is not a political conspiracy, it is a conspiracy of incompetence.
 

Bart, you're famous! There's a new blogger on the block devoted entirely to mocking you, an honor you share with Glenn Reynolds.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

Your linked blog identifies 5 names, none of which claimed they tried to vote for either candidate.

Typical non-effort.


Oh, there's more. And more and more. "Bart" will ignore it until it's shoved under his nose, and probably then as well.

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

This is not a political conspiracy, it is a conspiracy of incompetence.

"It's two mints. Two mints. Two mints in one!"

Katherine Harris.

Cheers,
 

""Better a thousand guilty men go free than one innocent rot in jail...."

Since people casting votes illegally cancel the votes of people legally voting for other candidates, you get disenfranchisement either way; You just prefer the sort that helps your candidates.
 

PMS Chicago,

I don't really like attacking Al Gore. I mean, what sort of idiot makes the internet nothing but a series of tubes? A big dump truck would have been far better.
 

Arne:

Going from a non-effort of 5 names to the ravings of Michael Moore is not an improvement.

I am becoming convinced that they never uttered the word evidence at Boalt Hall.
 

Please stop all this discussion of voting as if it were some sort of fundamental right. There is no fundamental right to vote enshrined in the Constitution. Who cares if people are disenfranchised, especially in 2000? The Supreme Court said it was okey-dokey to stop counting votes, so what's a little antecedent voter purging matter in the big picture? You defeatocrats just can't bear that Our Glorious Leader won that race fair and square. Anyway, Bill Clinton got a hummer in the Oval Office, so Our Glorious Leader deserved to be President regardless.
 

Well, junior, there's certainly no right to vote for the office of President enshrined in the Constitution, anyway. But judging by your comments, you should probably go back and review what actually happened in the Florida election litigation. It might open your eyes a bit.
 

Brett:

Since people casting votes illegally cancel the votes of people legally voting for other candidates, you get disenfranchisement either way; You just prefer the sort that helps your candidates....

Nonsense. People voting for the other candidates "cancel" your votes for your candidates. Do you suggest that we disenfranchise them? Is that your idea of "democracy"?

But I've already explained that there's a whole lot more justice to allowing those that are illegal to vote than to deny someone that right (not to mention, as I also pointed out but you ignored, the cure for the first case is readily available). The right to vote belongs to the people, not to the candidates that think they deserve their votes, nor the people that support some particular candidate (something the cowardly per curiam forgot in the Dubya v. Gore case).

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

Going from a non-effort of 5 names to the ravings of Michael Moore is not an improvement.

What did I say, folks? Did I call it or what? OK, OK, so it was a no-brainer.....

From my last link:

"Palast has discovered that current lists of 47,000 “felon” voters which Florida has targeted for removal is at least 90% wrong.”

“These so-called criminals’ only crime,” said Palast, “is VWD - voting while Democratic.” The “purge” list contains four Democrats for every Republican.

Palast pointed out such names on the lists as Thomas Cooper whose date of conviction is entered as January 30, 2007, “a criminal of the future.”

Earlier this month, after Palast testified before the US Civil Rights Commission in Washington, the CRC voted to ask the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation of the State of Florida’s handling of voter rolls.

Palast’s exposé of the “fake felon purge” for Harper’s Magazine was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2002."

Despite "Bart"'s distaste for Michael Moore, Moore is a good, albeit partisan and pointed, film maker and investigator. The argumentum ad hominem is "Bart"'s preferred method.

Greg Palast is the principal investigatove journalist here, and he wrote a whole book about the elections, with much more detail (but doesn't put it all on the web, in part so people will buy the book. "Bart" needs to read it: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. It's in paperback, so even if the drunks are slacking in Colorado Springs, "Bart" should be able to afford it ... or he can just go to the library ... in Denver.

Cheers,
 

Brett:

But judging by your comments, you should probably go back and review what actually happened in the Florida election litigation. It might open your eyes a bit.

Sure. The cowardly anonymous per curiam found standing to entertain an "equal protection" claim where they had never done before (and will never do again, as they so honestly admitted), lied about the opinions of the dissenters to try and prop up their shoddy decision, and mandated a "remedy" that caused the very "equal rights" vilation they proclaimed they were so horrified by.....

As Sandra Day O'Connor said, watching the early results on election eve, "This is just awful...."

Cheers,
 

Nonsense right back at you, Arne. If I vote for Bob, and you illegally vote for his opponent Jim, you've disenfranchised me as effectively as though you'd stood at the polling station entrance with a gun, threatening to shoot me if I entered. Only more insidiously, as I won't know it happened.

Now, you don't think felons should be disenfranchised. As a policy preference, I can understand it, and given felony inflation, even sympathize, though if only serious crimes were felonies I'd think it a good policy.

But expecting people to care about violations of the law you dislike, while you don't give a damn if laws YOU don't like are violated, is rather stupid.
 

I'm honestly curious about how an illegal vote disenfranchises anyone. I just don't follow that logic in the slightest. Regardless if there are illegal votes, your vote gets counted just the same.

And much like the idea that we'd prefer to let guilty go free than imprison the innocent, the voting laws in this country are based on the notion that we'd rather have illegal votes than have people that can vote be turned away.
 

Brett:

Nonsense right back at you, Arne. If I vote for Bob, and you illegally vote for his opponent Jim, you've disenfranchised me as effectively as though you'd stood at the polling station entrance with a gun, threatening to shoot me if I entered. Only more insidiously, as I won't know it happened.

Nah. Logic error here. At best the argument is "vote dilution", and what makes your vote so special? If there's a hundred thousand people voting for your candidate, they're all "hurt" (assuming the person voted for the opponent, which you don't [and can't] know, but assume), the same hundredth of a thousandth of a vote. Comparing that to putting a gun to your head is absurd. Once again, consider that against the obvious loss of an entire vote, one by right given to a person, when that person is illegally or wrongfully deprived of his right to vote. They've clearly lost it.

I'd say you're showing the hallmarks of a Republican here: "It's about me. It's allll about MEEEEEEEEEEE........ Pardon me a moment while I go and retch.

Now, you don't think felons should be disenfranchised.

You're right. I don't. But that's a different issue.

... As a policy preference, I can understand it, and given felony inflation, even sympathize, though if only serious crimes were felonies I'd think it a good policy.

Did you have a point?

But expecting people to care about violations of the law you dislike, while you don't give a damn if laws YOU don't like are violated, is rather stupid.

Is this an accusation, Brett? Can you be more specific as to how I've done what you claim I've done? It's rather hard for me to defend muself when no one bothers to read me the charge sheet ... which may account to some degree for my sympathy to the Guantanamo prisoners' plight.

Cheers,
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

I hope you don't mind an off-topic comment, but I think this is important: There is a great post on The Carpetbagger Report from a few days ago about the mainstream media's (specifically Time magazine's) ignoring the prosecutor purge scandal.

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/10367.html


What explains the failure of the mainstream media to cover the purge scandal for so long, and so many other scandals? Do you think somebody just set up newspaper editors to cheat on their wives, and threatened to tell if the editors wouldn’t play ball when they come back some day and ask for something?

It wouldn’t be that hard to do, when you think about it. People wouldn’t talk about it.
 

Bart, of course, is absolutely correct. What I meant to say was, there's no fundamental right to vote for President. But, if you have been granted the privilege to vote for President, then your vote should be as equal as the next voters. In 2000, as our Eminently Wise Justices noted in their triumph-of-moderation-in-the-face-of-leftist-activist-judges opinion in Bush v. Gore, they were "presented with a situation where a state court with the power to assure uniformity [had] ordered a statewide recount with minimal procedural safeguards. When a court orders a statewide remedy, there must be at least some assurance that the rudimentary requirements of equal treatment and fundamental fairness are satisfied."

Well, duh. Our Wise Eminences were just making the obvious point that a recount couldn't possibly be fair to all voters, so the best result was to be fair to those whose votes had already been counted. As my daddy, Bart Sr. (may he rest in peace) used to say, "It's better to have the votes you have counted count, than to have the votes you haven't counted not count."
 

BTW, per the Miami Herald article on this issue, how about Attorney General Bill McCollum's argument that this will encourage more crime?

Love that. You have to pay restitution (which is inequitable, but yes, it was a compromise), violent felonies have to get committee approval, murders/sex offenders have a 15yr wait, and the Gov. supported a chain gang measure.

Still a libbie at heart, I guess. Anyway, Stuart Taylor also brought up this "how about those felons who did vote" line back in 2000. Others pointed out the problems, but more to the point, what evidence is there that this was an equal problem?

Meanwhile, much evidence is in place of intentional use of overinclusive ways to count felons (great policy -- enforce a bad law really badly) that targeted loads of non-felons or (in a related issue) new residents whose out of state felonies should not have been counted.

The focus of some here brings to mind recent comments in Talking Points Memo and elsewhere that the focus of the Bush Adminstration Justice Dept. was to secure the voting rights of whites. Or, rather, certain types. (id req.... except for absentee voting which actually is where some fraud might take place etc.)
 

I now appear to have a stalker and a doppleganger. I feel so honored.
 

Mike said...

I'm honestly curious about how an illegal vote disenfranchises anyone. I just don't follow that logic in the slightest. Regardless if there are illegal votes, your vote gets counted just the same.

Let us say you, I and and one other person are voting in an animal beauty contest between a Pachyderm and an Ass.

If you and a second person vote for the Ass and I am the only vote for the Pachyderm, the Ass wins with a 2-1 majority with your vote arguably providing the margin of victory.

If I fraudulently add another vote for the Pachyderm, your vote has been effectively nullified by the fraudulent vote and we now have a tie.

If I fraudulently add two votes for the Pachyderm, your vote and the other vote for the Ass has been effectively nullified by the fraudulent votes and I have stolen the election.

Your votes may have been counted in every scenario above, but it has been offset by fraudulent votes.
 

A question for sister Lisa, "Is "Brett" the past-pluperfect of "Bart"?
 

"Bart" DePalma:

I now appear to have a stalker and a doppleganger. I feel so honored.

Of course, he won't bother to figger out why he's gotten a "doppelganger". As for a "stalker", I'm afraid that "Bart" spends way too much time dealing with figments of his imagination ... the "windmills of his mind".

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma tries to explain "vote dilution" to a crew all pretty much smarter than him:

Let us say you, I and and one other person are voting in an animal beauty contest between a Pachyderm and an Ass.

If you and a second person vote for the Ass and I am the only vote for the Pachyderm, the Ass wins with a 2-1 majority with your vote arguably providing the margin of victory.

If I fraudulently add another vote for the Pachyderm, your vote has been effectively nullified by the fraudulent vote and we now have a tie.

If I fraudulently add two votes for the Pachyderm, your vote and the other vote for the Ass has been effectively nullified by the fraudulent votes and I have stolen the election.

Your votes may have been counted in every scenario above, but it has been offset by fraudulent votes.


No. We just didn't get the results we wanted (albeit admittedly because of illegality). That's not a guarantee in an election. But we did at least get to vote, and it got counted.

Of course, the same election result pertains if someone goes and invalidates our two votes or prevents us from voting by illegal means (or simply bureaucratic malarkey).

Both "Bart" and Brett seem to favour the latter approach to fixing elections ... ummm, yeah, you're right, that "fixing" should have been in quotes.

Neither "Bart" nor Brett have addressed my point that illegal voting is redressable by being punishable after the fact (and thus discouraged and unlikely to happen), and the other point that no one has shown that such illegal votes were anywhere near the magnitude of the errors in the illegal "purge lists".

Cheers,
 

I'd also note that "vote dilution" by illegally voted ballots, in a strict sense, "harms" everyone equally. As such, it's harder to call it an "equal protection" violation (and that, in fact, was one of the fundamental flaws of the Dubya suit in Dubya v. Gore ... outside of the fact that as he wasn't a Florida voter, Dubya's vore couldn't possibly have been diluted regardless of what they did).

Cheers,
 

Arne,

Okay, your ridiculous arguments have gone on long enough. I'm responding to your 2:41 PM post.

1. Your whole argument rests on the assumption that a vote illegally cast is better than a vote denied. That is questionable at best.

Your supporting assertion is that if people vote illegally at least they can be prosecuted. Yes, that is possible, but it rarely happens.

But, also, you can prosecute someone for illegally using purge rolls. If its illegal, they can be prosecuted, right? Of course, you will protest and say they aren't. Well, exactly, it probably doesn't happpen often. Neither are people often prosecuted or even investigated for voting illegally.

More importantly, you can still just as easily have the one unredressable result -- that someone wins an election that otherwise shouldn't have.

Just stop pretending you are appealing to some "higher principle." You aren't. Both sides choose values (neither of which is superior) and each value choice conveniently helps each respective side at the ballot box.
 

Arne, your concern for the "little people" is touching. However, I think you and your far-left friends should come to understand that voter fraud by individuals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, while voter fraud by political parties and politicians should be dealt with in the Free Market of Ideas (TM).

Suppose Katherine Harris (whose honesty and wholesale devotion to fairness and equality for all right-thinking voters shall not be questioned) DID steal the election in Florida, the fine people of Florida could just have voted her out of office at the next election. Instead, they recognized her faithfulness to the rule of law (and our Glorious Leader) and elected her to the House. (That they didn't elect her to Senate in 2006 is evidence of likely voter fraud by far-left Democrat activists.) On the other hand, suppose many of those so-called "disenfranchised" non-felons had voted in 2000 when they shouldn't have. You couldn't vote them out of office. The obvious solution, then, is to vigorously seek out potentially fraudulent voters, purge them (from the voter roles) and, if they're found after the election, prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

I mean, this is pretty basic republican governance theory. How many times am I going to have to explain it to you?
 

someone said...

Arne, Okay, your ridiculous arguments have gone on long enough. I'm responding to your 2:41 PM post.

1. Your whole argument rests on the assumption that a vote illegally cast is better than a vote denied. That is questionable at best...


arne operates under the old Chicago Democrat machine dictum of "vote early and often." After all, you can never have enough "democracy" - upper and lower case "D," of course.
 

Arne Langsetmo said...

I'd also note that "vote dilution" by illegally voted ballots, in a strict sense, "harms" everyone equally.

Tell it to Nixon when Daley ginned up a few thousand dead people to "vote" for Kennedy in 1960.

As such, it's harder to call it an "equal protection" violation...

Equality arne style is when Dem elections officials in three counties sanctioned by 4 Dem party activists who were appointed to state supreme court get to create votes for their candidate and the other side does not.

Unreal.

I hate to interrupt a neat pathological conspiracy theory with some facts, but none of the accounting firms which reviewed the ballots for the media after the fact could find all those extra votes the Dem voting officials were adding before the Supremes stopped them.
 

Someone:

Arne,

Okay, your ridiculous arguments have gone on long enough. I'm responding to your 2:41 PM post.

1. Your whole argument rests on the assumption that a vote illegally cast is better than a vote denied. That is questionable at best.


No. My claim is that the harm caused by denying someone their legitimate right to vote is personal and fundamental, and it is irremediable ("Oh, sorry, well, better luck next time" don't cut it). The harm caused by allowing someone to vote who is not legally entitled to harms no one specifically, and is remedied (and discouraged) by prosecution after the fact. The right to vote belongs to each and every voter. There's no such fundamental right to have someone vote for you, or to be voted in, or to have your candidate win. Why is this so hard for people to understand?

Your supporting assertion is that if people vote illegally at least they can be prosecuted. Yes, that is possible, but it rarely happens.

Did you have a point?

But, also, you can prosecute someone for illegally using purge rolls. If its illegal, they can be prosecuted, right? Of course, you will protest and say they aren't.

True, but Katherine Harris wasn't prosecuted, she was instead elected to Congress by the democracy-loving Republicans.

Yes, you have a point. But my point remains: The voters denied their votes are not made whole.

... Well, exactly, it probably doesn't happpen often. Neither are people often prosecuted or even investigated for voting illegally.

You might note that many places have put in procedures for "provisional ballots", so that if there's any question as to whether a voter is entitled to vote, it can be resolved (hopefully honestly and justly) and the vote then counted if legally cast. Good solution, but not one that Republicans are fond of. Republicans don't like people voting and do their best to discourage voter, to scare them with false "warnings", to intimidate them, to demand tons of ID, to provide inadequate voting facilities, to "purge" voter lists, and otherwise put any possible roadblocks (including physical ones, as was reported in Florida in the 2000 election) up for voters. Republicans don't give a damn about voter's rights. They care about "winning" elections.

More importantly, you can still just as easily have the one unredressable result -- that someone wins an election that otherwise shouldn't have.

Not true, FWIW. Elections can be overturned in cases of fraud.

But you miss my point. No one has a right to win an election. The right, if I may repeat myself for the nth time here, is the right for a citizen to vote.

Just stop pretending you are appealing to some "higher principle." You aren't. Both sides choose values (neither of which is superior) and each value choice conveniently helps each respective side at the ballot box.

Huh? I value the right to vote. I think it should not be taken away illegally. I don't value the "right" to cast illegal ballots, but, as I said early on, better a hundred people be allowed to vte illegally (and perhaps be prosecuted for their misdeeds) than to deny a single eligible person their right to vote. It's like letting a hundred criminals go free rather than locking up a single innocent one (which, perhaps, you don't agree with, but if so, out with it). When we as a gummint commit a wrong, that's worse than letting individuals do illegal things. That's been a pretty common maxim in American political life; you know if you don't like it, there's plenty of counties that think less of the right to vote....

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

[someone]: 1. Your whole argument rests on the assumption that a vote illegally cast is better than a vote denied. That is questionable at best...

arne operates under the old Chicago Democrat machine dictum of "vote early and often." After all, you can never have enough "democracy" - upper and lower case "D," of course.


This is a slander and a lie. I have never said such a thing, not have I suggested it. "Bart" repeatedly accuses me of "slander" but fails to point out what my supposed "slanders" of him are. OTOH, this claim of "Bart"'s here is simply and obviously not true.

I would prefer if everyone entitled to vote were allowed to vote, and no one not entitled to vote be so allowed. That, I'd hope, is what everyone would want. The problem comes when there's any question as to whether someone is entitled to vote. The execrable Katherine Harris knew (because Choicepoint/DBT told her) that the "purge" lists were inaccurate (wildly inaccurate, as Greg Palast has documented), but told the folks to use them anyway. Some saner heads ignored her, but others didn't. Using these "purge" lists, known to be inaccurate, resulted in people genuinely entitled to vote being deprived of this right. "Bart" seems to think this is a "good thing". My thinking is that if you can't reliably determine that someone shouldn't be voting, you should let them, because to do the oppposite is ... well, the epitome of un-Democratic (not to mention just what the racist bastards had [have?] been doing for years in the South to try and deny blacks the franchise).

I demand an apology from "Bart". I have never extolled "vote early and often". To suggest I encourage illegal behaviour is scurrilous, slanderous, and totally false.

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

[Arne]: I'd also note that "vote dilution" by illegally voted ballots, in a strict sense, "harms" everyone equally.

Tell it to Nixon when Daley ginned up a few thousand dead people to "vote" for Kennedy in 1960.


I've already pointed out that no one has a "right" to win an election. The right to vote resides in the voters. As I pointed out, each and every legal voter has their votes "diluted" to the same (small) extent by any illegal voter, and that is the extent of the damage.

Aside from that, the Illinois election irregularities are hardly unquestioned fact, Nixon chose not to contest there, and Nixon would not have won in any case.

{arne]: As such, it's harder to call it an "equal protection" violation...

Equality arne style is when Dem elections officials in three counties sanctioned by 4 Dem party activists who were appointed to state supreme court get to create votes for their candidate and the other side does not.


Huh? Oh, yeah. Forgot, the weekend's on, and "Bart" must be deep in the bottle again, talking to the pink elephants in the room....

But FWIW, I note that "Bart"'s 'interesting' rejoinder here doesn't address my point at all.

Unreal.

I hate to interrupt a neat pathological conspiracy theory with some facts, but none of the accounting firms which reviewed the ballots for the media after the fact could find all those extra votes the Dem voting officials were adding before the Supremes stopped them.


Huh?!?!? Now "Bart"'s just making sh*te up....

Of course, the best solution to the question of how the folks in Florida voted would have been to actually examine and count all the ballots. Not just the ones in certain counties (and FWIW, this included "stealth" manual recounts in Republican-leaning counties that netted Dubya a couple hundred votes or so, as well as the more public Broward, Volusia, Palm Beach and MD recounts).

Of course, this has little to do with denial of the right to votes to legal voters, or any illegal votes cast....

Cheers,
 

I wonder, does the requirement of payment of restitution as a condition of restoring voting rights exempt those who are demonstrably unable to pay? If not, does that constitute a poll tax in contravention of the 24th Amendment?

BTW, those who persist in channeling Joe McCarthy by misusing "Democrat" as an adjective should be grateful that literacy tests for voting are no longer in use.
 

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