Home > Uncategorized > GOP War on (what remains of) American democracy, part neufdyneuf

GOP War on (what remains of) American democracy, part neufdyneuf

Just try to read it without wanting to pull your hair out…  it’s the story of a 97 year old who has voted in every Presidential election since she was eligible, but who nearly couldn’t vote in Fulton County, Georgia.  She doesn’t look Republican enough.


Peggy has voted in every presidential election since she was eligible, and most if not all others, too…

So Peggy gathered up her voter registration card, some utility bills, bank statements, rent receipts and tax returns and went to Driver Services. [months before the election] They said “Great, you have everything you need. Except a birth certificate.”…

They said “Great, you have everything you need, except the last name on your birth certificate [Peggy’s maiden name] isn’t the same as on all these other documents.”…

They said, “Great, you have everything you need, except your Social Security number doesn’t match our system. Sorry, no exceptions.”…

The friend, who had only bargained for lunch really, drove Peggy home to search for more papers with her Social Security number on it, then drove her to a Social Security office in Marietta. The agent could find nothing amiss, and gave her some papers…

Drivers Services finally relented and gave Peggy a Georgia voter ID yesterday, 5 days before the election. What would she have done without that determined friend?

  1. November 3, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Not having documents match, but be reasonably close and still refuse some one seems too strict – especially just looking at the age of some one and realizing their experience in life – Examples shown in this article demonstrates a lack of thought and common sense.

  2. November 3, 2012 at 9:59 am

    No, Charles. What’s shown in this article demonstrates a great deal of thought and intention. It’s just not the sort of thought and intention you’d hope for from someone responsible for guarding the vote.

  3. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I went around this one time with Fred. He refused to believe these efforts are widespread or part of a deliberate attempt to reduce the number of Democrat voters. Evidence doesn’t interest these people.

  4. A pesky fact
    November 3, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Exceptions prove the rule, they do not negate the rule.

    Making laws based on the exceptions to principles is enshrining logical fallacies into the law. It’s a terrible idea.

    I suspect your real opposition is to the rule itself. And that, sir, is the ultimate attack on freedom, because that us when the shift occurs from a nation of laws to a nation of men.

    So, praytell, what laws should be used to prevent the host of recorded electoral abuses? And, based on your repeated emotional appeals to set aside the rule of law in favor of the rule of men, how can you claim to advocate for democracy (or in our case, a democratic republic), when the rule of law is the essence of the democracy?

    Sorry to use logic and reason like this. I know it upsets the “emotions rule!” applecart.

  5. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 10:22 am

    When you get around to using logic and reason, let us know Pesky Fact.

  6. November 3, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Not to digress, but to bring up something along this same line I addressed a while back. We were discussing this in the comments to a Santa Rosa Press- Democrat story on voter I.D. a few months ago. A lady there pointed out all the things an I.D. is often required for nowadays:

    Renting a video, cashing a check, using a credit or debit card sometimes and, ironically enough, getting your credentials to be a delegate at the most recent Democratic National Convention. How anyone could go through life without some sort of I.D. is beyond me.

    Taking it even further, if someone doesn’t do at least some of those things that require I.D.- in other words figuratively living in a cave-, do I really want them voting on things that affect people that don’t live in the cave. No, I don’t.

  7. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 10:42 am

    The bottom line on these voter ID laws is that tens of thousands of eligible voters will be turned away at the polls for every one non-eligible voter that is prevented from casting a ballot. Hard to see how that will make the outcome of the election a better reflection of the will of the voters.

  8. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Why not take it one step farther, Fred? Anyone in this day and age who doesn’t have a smartphone or tablet, is clearly a caveman, figuratively speaking of course, and they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

  9. theendisnear
    November 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Fred is from the fascist wing of the Libertarian Party. The Fog Cabin Libertarians.

    Where in the Constititution does is require some one to have an “ID?”

    Have you ever heard of “rights” Fred?


  10. November 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

    You don’t need a smartphone or tablet to function in everyday life.

  11. Plain Jane
    November 3, 2012 at 10:56 am

    As we have seen repeatedly, in-person voter fraud is not a problem and voter ID’s won’t stop the real, systemic election fraud being perpetrated across the country with improper purges of voters in majority Democratic areas, too few voting machines discouraging people from voting with long waits, reduced voting days and hours, destruction of valid registration forms of Democrats and election clerks “finding” enough ballots in their desk to swing the election to their party’s favor, 2 elections in a row. Believing that there is no reason for people to not have photo ID’s is not a good argument for requiring them to have one to vote. None of the things for which we are required to have an ID are constitutional rights, voting is.

  12. Plain Jane
    November 3, 2012 at 11:02 am

    So how exactly do you think the millions without photo ID’s function in everyday life, Fred? Or do you think they really have photo ID’s but are just being stubborn about showing them?

  13. Just Watchin
    November 3, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I couldn’t find any mention of this guy Spakovsky being involved in this issue. I also never saw any mention that Peggy was a democrat. And there was no one involved at the voting place quoted as saying ” she didn’t look Republican enough”.
    Is everything a conspiracy? The trend really seemed to catch fire when Hillary blamed the “vast right wing conspiracy” for the stories about her horndog husband.

  14. November 3, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Plain Jane :
    So how exactly do you think the millions without photo ID’s function in everyday life, Fred?

    If they don’t live in a cave, you tell me.

  15. November 3, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I might add, can only think of one guy I’ve met in my life that didn’t have some kind of ID. How he got through life, I have no idea as I only met him briefly. He didn’t vote, though, so that wasn’t an issue.

  16. Plain Jane
    November 3, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Fred, the fact that millions DO function without a photo ID makes your question as to how they do it completely irrelevant.

  17. November 3, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Not at all. You’re stretching it to say that cause you don’t know whether they have id, or how well they function.

  18. November 3, 2012 at 11:24 am

    “So, praytell, what laws should be used to prevent the host of recorded electoral abuses?”

    My, my, pesky’s feeling his oats this morning. Everyone who has studied the subject of election fraud from a non-partisan point of view recognizes that the big concern is wholesale fraud by insiders, not retail fraud by voters. Everyone.

    Voter ID is purely a political ploy to disenfranchise a segment of the poor.

    The Brennan Center for Justice has a report: http://www.brennancenter.org/content/section/category/voter_id

    The real dangers in connection with the voting process (as opposed to the whole elections process) is deletion of eligible voters via registration purges and the use of electronic voting without an auditable paper trail, or without checking of the auditable paper trail.

    Try here, pesky. Praytell, it’s the best I know of, though I’m not in complete agreement: http://verifiedvoting.org

  19. Plain Jane
    November 3, 2012 at 11:25 am

    JW seems to be under the false impression that the “vast right wing conspiracy” was focused on Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades when, in fact, the investigation started over Whitewater, and expanded to include the death of Vince Foster and dug up every piece of dirt they could find to throw at him. They gave new meaning to the word “Witch-hunt.” Of course, this same “vast right wing conspiracy” amped up again to accuse Kerry of cowardice in their Swiftboat smears and Obama over his birth certificate, his real father, his religion, his pastor, his friends, his home purchase, etc.

  20. Plain Jane
    November 3, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Do you have a credible source, besides your own twisted thinking, to explain why people would claim they don’t have an ID when they do, Fred? Or why the states which are pushing for voter ID haven’t disputed the claims that millions of people lack photo ID’s as well as the financial and documentation required to get them? Do you have information that the courts (which ruled against implementing photo ID’s in this election for this very reason) didn’t have?

  21. unanonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

    hmm i would say partisan war on our intelligence….

  22. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 11:59 am

    “what laws should be used to prevent the host of recorded electoral abuses?”

    Pesky Fact – please provide descriptions and specific instances of these “recorded” abuses. Specifically, provide examples of abuses that the rules in story would have prevented. Oh yes, those “pesky facts”…

  23. Ponder z
    November 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm
  24. Ponder z
  25. Casey Jones (the Grateful Dead version)
    November 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    It seems to mean the real issue of this story has been lost here:

    The woman in question had plenty of identification… just not the RIGHT identification. She came to the office loaded for bear and was told she needed strange stuff like her present last name on a birth certificate. Excuse me, but most women change their last names when they marry. In the case of this person of her age group, nearly all women did this.

    That is the issue; not that ID is required but rather ID is used as a barrier to one’s right to vote. They use to do this kind of stuff during the gold old days of Jim Crow to keep African American’s from voting.

    Two kinds of photo ID? Well, I only have one, my driver’s licence. And while I don’t live in opulence, I also do not live in a cave.

  26. Casey Jones (the Grateful Dead version)
    November 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Casey Jones (the Grateful Dead version) :
    It seems to mean the real issue of this story has been lost here:

    Oh fudge. “It seems to ME….” The lighting in my cave is not very good. Sorry…

  27. November 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm


    Read the Brennan Center report. Voting really does have a different requirement set than almost any other activity we engage in. It is a very labor intensive process to run precincts, and it is usually a once a year process dominated by volunteers who are often new to the process. Verifying an ID sounds easy enough, but the reality is that without extensive training, it amounts to security theatre, not security. That doesn’t matter to people whose real goal is not protecting the election process, but intimidating some potential voters they don’t like.

    Might someone vote twice if ID is not checked? Sure, it probably happens on occasion. But volunteers have lists of people entitled to vote, and they cross off each person as they come in. So if someone tries to vote on the name of another voter and that voter than turns up, the fraud gets flagged. It happens only extremely rarely.

    What would adding an ID requirement do when it comes to someone who is going to double vote? They’ve already decided they’re going to risk breaking a law with serious consequences. Now they have to pay a few bucks to someone to counterfeit a license and laminate it. The risk changes very little.

    Surveys have found that surprising numbers of people don’t have easy access to identification. It’s hard for many of us to believe, because the people who have the hardest time coming up with identification tend to be poor and not exactly in middle-class radar. But they are still citizens and have as much right to vote as you or I have. If you prevent ten percent of them from voting as easily as you or I, you are skewing election results in a predictable direction, the same way that Southern states used to use poll taxes and literacy tests to skew elections in a predictable direction.

    Are some non-citizens registered to vote? Maybe, but requiring a drivers license at the precinct would have no impact on that — the time to check citizenship would be at registration time, not voting time. Are people double-voting? There’s very little evidence of that, and the evidence would be overwhelming if it were happening at more than a microscopic frequency.

  28. Casey Jones (the Grateful Dead version)
    November 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Mitch #27: I thought I was on your side.

    The discussion was skewing to whether people should have two picture ID’s and that was what the last part of my comment was addressing.

    I could have sworn I was agreeing with the “ID being used to disfranchise legitimate voters” camp. Why address your comment at me?

  29. November 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Sorry Casey, I’m feeling a little trigger happy I guess. I apologize if I was jumping on you.

    My concern with your comment was your statement that the issue was not that ID is required.

    I’m not sure and perhaps someone will correct me, but I don’t think California even allows precinct workers to legally ask for ID.

    Given the difficulty of knowing whether an ID is valid, and the importance of making it as easy as possible to vote, I think that’s the correct approach. I’ll admit that it’s a throwback to an earlier era, when it was assumed that precinct workers would know who everyone was. But I think the severe penalties against voting without being registered, combined with the empirical evidence that you essentially never see two attempts to vote off the same name, suggest that California’s approach is still appropriate.

    And I still feel confident that the most famous voter fraud that I’m aware of was conducted by Mitt Romney, who claimed his son’s basement as his legal Massachusetts residence in justification of his voting in Massachusetts, when he was clearly not a resident of that state. But Massachusetts refuses to investigate. There’s one set of laws for the 99.99%, and another set for the 0.01%.

  30. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I would hope this is not a true story.

    It’s partially not a true story. The Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe is not the United Nations, nor even a member of the United Nations. It is an observer in the UN general assembly, which is the equivalent of sitting at the back of a court room, watching what’s happening, but having no voice in what’s happening. The OSCE is its own independent organization.

    The OSCE began observing American presidential elections in 2004 ***at the request of George W. Bush***. I’d be highly suspicious of any US state that is worried about election observers, let alone might be threatening observors with legal action… not that any of this matters. If someone is going to hack electronic voting machines, it would be done in a way that an outside observer isn’t going to notice.

  31. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    A brief reminder:

    Voter suppression began in earnest as a means of rolling back the right of former slaves to vote in elections in the Southern states after the Conferacy lost the Civil War. It happened as soon as the Union got tired of enforcing the laws that protected those rights and ended “Recontruction.” The conservative forces opposed to “negro suffrage” suppressed those people’s rights by means of fire, rope, gun and terror. Nowadays, the forces who oppose the right of all the people to vote don’t have to rely on hooded night-riders to terrify dark-skinned people who want to vote. They rely on legislative processes to achieve the same goals.

    Some types of shame will never, it seems, be erased from the fabric of American politics.

  32. Casey Jones (the Grateful Dead version)
    November 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Mitch: No, my feelings weren’t hurt, I was just mystified by your reaction.

    The story above was about a woman who could quite credibly ID herself, but bizarre barriers were set in her way. Obviously it was a case of stealing from a legitimate citizen her right to vote. That was what I commented on.

    I even covered myself by relating the same thing happening in the Jim Crow era (what some folks still remember as the “good old days”) when African Americans were denied their legal right to vote. It eventually led to the federal voter’s right act. To my mind all this ID sniffing runs afoul of the voter’s rights act.

    I agree that in some states they are using cruise missiles to swat flies. I’m happy with how California handles voting. In all my years of voting, I can’t remember a single time I was asked for ID. If voter fraud is not a problem here in California, I seriously doubt it is much of a problem anywhere else.

  33. November 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Makes sense. Sometimes I’m mystified by my reaction, too.

  34. Conspiracy nuts are tiring
    November 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I understand that WalMart is having a sale on tin foil hats for all of you.

  35. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    There’s no need for tin foil hats when the evidence demonstrates the conspiracy theories are true… not fear-mongering about the future, but lamenting what has already come to pass.

  36. HUUFC
    November 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I vote and I always have. It’s none of my business if other people vote or don’t vote, it’s a free country. There is no sensible reason to not require photo identification to vote, none. In 2012 no citizen can conduct business without a photo id. If anyone is allowed to receive government assistance without proper identification that demonstrates an enormous problem, giving taxpayer money away without justification. If people are too lazy or stupid to comply with the rule of law for voting that’s just too bad.

  37. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    HUUFC :If anyone is allowed to receive government assistance without proper identification that demonstrates an enormous problem, giving taxpayer money away without justification.

    Calm down, big guy. That just never happens.

  38. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Just glad that Fred doesn’t decide who can vote and who doesn’t. Living in a cave should not be a dis qualifier if one wishes to exercise their franchise.

  39. Casey Jones (the Grateful Dead version)
    November 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm


    Most folks who do have photo ID do so because they drive a car. Not everyone does so, such as the elderly, the disabled and people who live in cities and never bothered to learn because the public transportation system works just fine for them (I’ve known several people who had to learn fairly late in life when they moved to Humboldt). I’m sure there are other groups of legitimate voters who also fit this category.

    Few of them live in caves. None of them deserve to lose their right to vote.

  40. Anonymous
    November 3, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Attention would-be vote suppressors — proceed at your own risk — you can’t say you weren’t warned:

  41. HUUFC
    November 3, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    There is no “right” to vote in the United States Constitution, rules for voting were left up to the states.

  42. Plain Jane
    November 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm
  43. Plain Jane
    November 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    The 14th Amendment (the equal protection amendment) guarantees the right to vote, Huffy. You remember that amendment? The one that was used to give personhood to corporations before women could even vote?

  44. November 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Jane, you are doing a yeowoman job in these parts, without a doubt, and definitely appreciated.

    Here’s a wry smile, from your favored paper, one of those with the sharpest pen there also.


    p.s. you are especially invited to any corners presently around that you might find…and just to relax. No need to engage there, or to prevent campaign signs being lifted. It’s a forest corner.

  45. Plain Jane
    November 4, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Gail is always a good read, Narration. She has the rare ability to present her views with humor and kindness without raising hackles. I also enjoy when she and Brooks politely mix it up.

  46. November 4, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Yes, I like that too — held back to mention it….

  47. anonymous
    November 4, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Plain Jane :
    So how exactly do you think the millions without photo ID’s function in everyday life, Fred? Or do you think they really have photo ID’s but are just being stubborn about showing them?

    The St Vincent DePaul dining hall does not require ID’s.

  48. HUUFC
    November 4, 2012 at 8:48 am

    “There is no “right” to vote in the United States Constitution, rules for voting were left up to the states.”
    Sorry, check it out for yourself go to Wikipedia or Goggle.
    To help you out, various federal laws including the 14th amendment prohibit specific ways of discrimination of the voting process.

  49. Plain Jane
    November 4, 2012 at 9:01 am

    How can you prohibit discrimination in exercising rights that don’t exist, Huffy?

  50. HUUFC
    November 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Easy, as an example you do not have the right to own a house, if you wish to buy a house various government laws prohibit discrimination against you for race, sex, ect. when you are attempting to purchase the house.
    There is no Federal right to vote.

  51. November 4, 2012 at 10:39 am

    HUUFC, you are entirely mistaken in your closing statement.


  52. HUUFC
    November 4, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Read it, there is no federal right to vote, sorry.

  53. Plain Jane
    November 4, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Huffy either didn’t read it or couldn’t understand it:

    “The Act codifies and effectuates the 15th Amendment’s permanent guarantee that, throughout the nation, no person shall be denied the right to vote on account of race or color. ” What right to vote?

    “The 15th Amendment to the Constitution granted African American men the right to vote by declaring that the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Although ratified on February 3, 1870, the promise of the 15th Amendment would not be fully realized for almost a century. Through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other means, Southern states were able to effectively disenfranchise African Americans. It would take the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the majority of African Americans in the South were registered to vote.”

    Section 2 of the 14th Amendment

    “Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.”

    And then of course, the 19th amendment granting the right to vote to women:

    “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

  54. tra
    November 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    HUUFC claims “there is no federal right to vote”

    And yet the 14th Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause, the 19th Amendment and the Federal Voting Rights Act all confer very important “federal rights” that relate to voting. So, there are clearly “federal voting rights,” lots of them.

    So HUUFC’s claim that “there is no federal right to vote” seems to hinge on a quirky definition that would amount to an singular, absolute right to vote, for every person, in all cases, no exceptions. Of course there is no such thing, just as there is no such thing as a “federal right to speak” for every person, at all times, in all cases, no exceptions. So by employing HUUFC’s quirky notion that a right doesn’t exist unless it is all-encompassing and without exceptions, we would also have to say that “there is no federal right to free speech,” even though we know that the Constitution guarantees significant “federal free speech rights.”

    It seems a bit silly to say that there are federal voting rights, but nonetheless there is no federal right to vote, and that there are federal free speech rights, but nonetheless no federal right to free speech. Look, if you like to play silly semantic games, you can split hairs even finer than that. If that’s what floats your boat, have at it…but I think at that point your boat is adrift in the Doldrums of Irrelevance.

    Because in the real world, people who attempt to curtail our voting rights do find themselves crashing headlong into federal voting rights all the time — the defeat of the attempt to restrict early voting in Ohio is just one example of many this year.

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