Voter fraud, schmoter schmaud, take a number, we’ve got bigger fish to fry. Those endless waits in endlessly long lines at the polls caught the collective eye of a few Democratic Congress members. Glad that got your attention, guys, because that issue was just a tad worrisome to whole lot of us. And by a tad worrisome I mean unbelievably distressing. And by unbelievably distressing I mean embarrassingly appalling.
There were people standing in long, cold lines for up to nine hours, some well past midnight. The pages-long, baffling ballots didn’t help, nor did the shortage of voting machines and poll workers. Of course, to some secretaries of states and governors, the confusion and eventual giving up and leaving were music to their GOP ears.
Voting should not only be easy, it should be easily accessible and free. Americans should be encouraged to cast their ballots, not discouraged, suppressed, intimidated, confused, stymied, obstructed, misled or costly. Way too many of us (mostly Democrats, mostly black and Latino) were subjected to the equivalent of a poll tax by the disenfranchisement efforts of Republican governors and legislators.
And early voting should be available everywhere, no strings attached. Instead, officials like Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted restricted it, knowing full well who would be most affected. And don’t get me started on Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott, also a Republican.
Not very patriotic of them, now is it?
Now, just days after the polls closed, a number of Democrats say Congress should intervene to “normalize” voting nationwide and ensure the snags at the polls in 2012 don’t plague elections down the line.
“This ought not to be difficult. This is not rocket science,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said in a phone interview Friday. “We’ve got to figure out how to clean up federal elections.”
Rep. Jim Moran, another Virginia Democrat, echoed that message, saying the delays are “unforgivable in a modern society.”
“It’s a form of voter suppression,” Moran said Friday by phone. “For people to have to give up hours out of their work day … how is that different than a poll tax?“
The rash of delays makes it “incumbent on the Congress” to step in and “normalize the process” nationwide, Moran said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), senior Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is also calling for federal reforms.
Now we’re talking.
But– and there’s always a but– finding GOP cosponsors is another story.
“It’s hard for us to understand, if I can put it that way.”
– United Kingdom conservative party leader David Cameron, quoted by Vanity Fair, on Sarah Palin’s popularity.
Pip pip, don’t you know, eh Corrupta McDimBulb?
I think the public needs some more educating before we continue to read too much into polling about this. I include myself in that statement.
I’m not saying we wouldn’t still prefer a (robust) public option, but if the rest of you (well, most of you) are anything like me, you’re head is spinning a little.
I’m having trouble following the winding path this debate is taking, although I have a general idea that the Medicare idea could work out if done right… whatever that means.
No, this isn’t my area of expertise by a long shot, but Medicare for all was always my plan of choice, and the public option has been weakened enormously, so I’m as open as Dennis Kucinich is. On MSNBC he said, “I may be able to support” the Medicare buy-in compromise, and then went on to say, “as long as it doesn’t…”– and then he went on to list about 5 things.
Via Greg Sargent:
The new CNN poll’s internals show that the public option is more popular than the Senate health care proposal by a whopping 17 point difference.
The poll finds that only 36% favor the Senate proposal, versus 61% who oppose it.
By contrast, the poll finds that 53% favor the public option, versus 46% who oppose it.
He goes on to analyze the poll numbers. Please read.
I particularly appreciated this sentence:
It would be hard to find a clearer expression of how badly the need for a supermajority in the Senate is perverting democracy.
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