Monday, April 23, 2007

Prop 200 victorious again.

When liberals can't even get the 9th Circuit to see things their way, it would be wise perhaps to take a step back and rethink your message. On Friday, the 9th Circuit (again) denied an injunction trying to suspend prop 200.

The decision came as part of an ongoing challenge to the voting requirements approved on the November 2004 ballot as part of Proposition 200. The proposition, known as Protect Arizona Now, also includes the requirement that voters show identification at the polls.

Plaintiffs, including Indian tribes and Latino groups, were appealing a U.S. District Court decision not to put the citizenship requirement part of the law on hold until the lawsuit is settled.

The Appeals Court said there was insufficient evidence that the law severely burdens the right to vote or amounts to a "poll tax." Secretary of State Jan Brewer called the decision a victory for states' rights and for voters. "The people have spoken, and this is what they want in the state of Arizona," she said.

Rep. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, a plaintiff, said the decision challenges plaintiffs to show more proof of the harm of the law as the case progresses in U.S. District Court.

"I'm confident once we are able to provide the full record of how it will impact voters in Arizona, particularly minority voters, that we will win on the merits," he said.

What has taken place is that many seem to confuse the inconvenient with undue burden and the two are not remotely the same. You can run all the surveys and try to concoct as many DISENFRANCHISED! tales as you wish, but until you can prove that providing ID at the polls is an undue burden, it makes no difference. Its not about a group, it is about the individual.

And before I hear about the "sacredness of the ballot" remember that I don't belong to the party of the Vote Lottery, or the abolishment of the secret ballot for voting on unions. Many Democrats' commitment to the franchise only seems to go as far as their own advantage.

And for once, the 9th circuit and I see eye to eye.

9 comments:

Sirocco said...

Of course, the question of what rises to "undue burden" may vary by individual. The favorite example of those opposing the law, an elderly woman, Native American say, living on a remote part of a reservation and unable to drive who has no recrod of a birth certificate is going to have a real problem meeting the needed standards.

Given the recurring evidence of how _little_ voter fraud is occurring across the nation, a case could be made that it's not worth disenfranchising a single voter to solve a problem that, apparently, exists largely in the minds of conservative demogogues.

Having said that, the legal opponents need to take a different tack -- find that stereotypical voter facing an undue burden and have them file an actual test case.

Framer said...

Sirocco,

You are assuming that such a case exists, and that, somehow, this individual while incapable of compliance with Prop 200, has the industry and wherewithal to file a lawsuit.

I would assume if this tack were available originally, it would have been used.

Demagoguery works both ways.

roger said...

I'd be fine with the vote ID thing if we could do a few things instead which do much more to lower turnout than anything.

We should have our elections on days when MOST people don't work. Like Sunday or Saturday (with pardons to Religions on these days)...go after church.

Second, end the practice of not allowing felons who have served their time to vote. If a person has served their time, a barrior to voting has absolutely no rationale whatsoever and it has an effect on families. Those who do not see their parents voting or participating in the political process are less likely to vote.

Let's be honest Framer. The ballot initiative you favor is not one real bit about voter fraud and it is about making it more difficult to vote. I was a Republican once and this as well as the two things I mentioned above were never considered because they know that the more people who vote clearly...and I mean clearly...doesn't benefit your party.

It is also why your party clings to the notion of "well people should not be lazy and should do whatever it takes to vote" even though we know that most other democracies in the world have few such barriers and have elections on weekends.

I think we should celebrate Democracy. The day we vote should either be a holiday...like July 4th...a celebration of our citizenship...or it should be on a weekend when Americans who work 2 jobs don't find it a burden to try to go before work...or shortly after...with only an hour or two before and after to get in the long line to vote.

AZAce said...

Roger,

I like the idea of election day being on a weekend. But I don't feel we need to do what "most other democracies in the world have" although I would dispute that statement. Not that we can't learn from others, but just because someone else does it differently shouldn't suggest we need to jump on board.

It is ridiculously easy to register and cast a vote in our country, but despite all that, most don't bother to turn off the TV and drag themselves away long enough to take care of it. As for those working long hours, I once worked two full time jobs and managed. It really can't get much easier. The law provides for being excused from work in order to vote if voting by mail earlier is just too burdensome and one can't otherwise make it to the polls in the alloted time.

It's hard for people to vote? Pleeease. I have yet to meet anybody who fails to participate because their circumstances don't allow it despite my interactions with people in numerous native american tribes, in back woods communities, etc.

Keeping the foundational process for democracy secure must be kept sacrosanct to uphold confidence in the people's right and ability to choose their leaders. ANY compromise on this can destroy the underpinnings of democracy. A quick and easy method for showing that one is a citizen and entitled to vote is a common sense way to accomplish this and far outweighs any of the extremely unlikely scenarios describing people prevented from voting that have yet to pass beyond conjecture.

Sirocco said...

Framer,

Actually, I am _not_ assuming such a stereotypical case exists. That's why I said they needed to find one and then provide the wherewithal for said individual to pursue a lawsuit. If none exists, there is no case.

I disagree this would have been the tack to take originally. First you do what they did, which is claim it is generically Unconstitutional. That failed. Now you have to find someone who has suffered actual harm from the law and try again.

roger said...

AZACE,

I appreciate what you have said but disagree respectfully. The problem I have with the rationale of "I worked 2 jobs and still managed to vote" or the everyone is lazy comments is that this is YOUR experience and it isn't everyones. It doesn't excuse placing more and more barriers for what is diminishing marginal returns on making our vote beyond reproach. In fact, what we see instead is barrier after barrier for what everyone knows is this reason: It lowers the turnout of some who Republicans hope will not vote.

I know this to be true...I was one of you...I was even an operative once..and that is what everyone said in the backrooms. Essentially that it will make it difficult on the uneducated, under-educated, and those who work hard...to get there.

What astounds me is that there is no rage from your party when some hacks commit blatant voter fraud (like that dude in New Hampshire) aimed at thousands of people. That plus a long history "dirty tricks", intimidation, and challenging voters in minority areas of our country. All of this and slaps on the wrist and all of this and you would go to almost any length to prevent a single illegal person from voting.

As I have said before the cost is not worth the benefit here. You spend more of my tax dollars to fix this "problem" and do very little to fix any others.

This is politics...through and through. Don't call it something higher.

GOP Boomer Gal said...

Roger,

I'm and RN; I work 12 hour shifts and a LOT of weekends. It's silly to think that people who work an 8 hour shift can't take the time to vote.

Voting by mail has become ridiculously easy.

I used to be a Democrat, but when I saw how they encouraged the lazy to steal from the productive to give the government bureaucrats, more power, I grew up and changed to GOP.

roger said...

Boomer Gal,

I appreciate what you say but still do not appreciate using that rhetoric as a way of using stiffer and stiffer laws, purposely, to make it more and more difficult to vote. The Republican party has never been about expanding voting rights to citizens or making it easier. Making it easier doesn't make people less of citizens.

Also, I can't imagine that any of you feel that a felon that has been convicted, served his or her time should be denied their right to vote forever...like in Florida. Or with the very difficult restrictions on restoring rights to vote here in Arizona.

Studies show over and over that parents how do not vote lead to children who do not vote. What disenfranchising felons does is create a cycle of non-voting citizens in our society.

And I'm waiting for a "those folks are too lazy to vote anyway" on that one.

GOP Boomer Gal said...

I don't think it's wrong to restore the franchise to felons if they have a period of time that they are crime free, and apply for the franchise.

Incidentally, Neil Boortz, in his new book, argues that there should be more restrictions are voting; ie people on welfare who are stealing from those who are working. Interesting proposition.