Elections have consequences, so many in fact that it’s impossible to list them all. During the past week we have before us the stark realization that a nearly psychotic (Ted Cruz, Michelle Bachmann and and their buddy Ken Cuccinelli) TeaPublicans are holding the nation hostage. They’ve served notice that everything we hold dear is under attack. They have used extortion. And they have taken hostages. They are even trying to chip away, and in some cases take a sledge hammer to, the right to vote.
Most fundamental to citizens in a Republic is their voice, their vote. Almost on cue, the Teahadists of NC have taken aim at Democratic voters, by illicitly purging legitimate voters. In Virginia, they have even targeted (Democratic) election officials. How convenient! And right before an election, which should never, ever happen. They cannot “win” without cheating.
If you think the recent purge is bad, you haven’t seen anything. And what we in North Carolina are experiencing is what you can expect should Ken Cuccinelli become Virginia’s governor. North Carolina’s GA has lost its collective mind. They know they cannot win fair and square, so they have hatched more ways than any other state to cheat. And photo IDs are not the heart of the recent legislation, but rather the subterfuge because you can always find folks who will say, “What’s the matter with that?” But NC has made an art of disguising an even more insidious list of vote suppression tactics behind the curtain of “Voter ID.” And the collective media have yet to tell voters the whole story.
1. More voter purges. Voters in NC have to continually monitor their registration status to protect their vote. Those who have moved from one state to another can find themselves wiped off the voter rolls in both their previous (which is OK) AND their new locations (so not OK). There is absolutely no excuse for the latter. It should be criminal to intentionally remove any such person. But it isn’t. Welcome to Teahadist hell. This disproportionately affects Democrats because they are more often to be students, move to a new job and move in retirement.
Voters in Virginia are now learning about this kind of vote suppression. No problem, claimed Republican registrars, just re-register. Yeh, after election books have closed? What a##hats!
2. It’s easier to challenge voters at the polls in NC. Anyone can challenge any voter. So confrontation by Teahadists and vote suppressionist groups threatening our right to vote are just fine with this extremist GA.
3. Reduced transparency in redistricting. Records to and from private attorneys are not subject to open records law.
4. Photo ID required. But not just any photo ID. College ID’s, even from state institutions, wont do.
5. And while we are at it, forget young people in NC getting to preregister to vote when they get their driver’s licenses. The preregisters were then automatically activated when the students turned 18. Bye, bye civics lesson at school. And good luck finding time to get to the DMV or Registrar to register during the school year. Crowding is awful.
6. Compress thousands of voters into precincts, 9,000 even. Yeh, they rolled back that one in one precinct, the worst case. But other precinct compressions are happening. We already have lines up to 5 hours or more in numerous precincts in the area, even during early voting.
7. Cut early voting, which addresses that the registrars in NC bought far too few voting machines. Keep whittling away at early voting until hourly workers, those working multiple jobs, long days or with cranky vote suppressionist GOP bosses cannot vote at all. No wonder elections often go against most voters’ interests.
8. Same day registration was allowed. Beginning in 2014 that will no longer be allowed.
9. To vote absentee, You must have signatures and addresses of two witnesses or one notary public. NC voters wanting to vote absentee must also submit either a utility bill, a bank statement (are you effing kidding me? talk about risking identity theft), pay check or any government document.
10. Effective in January poll hours cannot be extended to compensate for power outages or computer outages. Are you getting the picture?
11. In addition to the voter challengers, there can be more poll observers (up to three additional ones per party per precinct) getting in the way and potentially meddling.
12. Place on ballot. The party of the governor gets all its candidates listed first. Thus having gerrymandered themselves into the majority of statehouses in the US, the GOP can depend upon primacy effect on the ballot indefinitely too.
13. No more stand by your ad by candidates.
14. Corporate money can flow directly to political parties.
15. Increased contribution limits.
16. More secret money in elections.
There’s more to the bill than the above. But you get the idea.
If you let Ken Cuccinelli, Wacko E.W., or flaming radical Bircher-type Obenshain win in November, you can count on more of the above happening in Virginia. To protect your vote, vote for Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam and Mark Herring. Seriously.