Post by Gary Riccio on Jul 23, 2020 7:53:16 GMT -5
One dimension of the problem is at the point of voting. The number of poll workers that is required to make voting work is mind-boggling. It is a source of immense pride in a national that makes this work, at least in principle. It also is a fragile system rife with opportunities for meddling and frank suppression. Here (link) are some stunning statistics about the requisite infrastructure.
Post by Gary Riccio on Jul 23, 2020 8:02:29 GMT -5
Reclaim Our Vote (link) volunteers inform and mobilize voters of color to make sure they are registered and they know how to get a ballot and vote. We are looking into a variety of initiatives and organizations that utilize similar or complementary methods. This snippet gives one glimpse into ways that individuals and their friends can get involved with whatever amount of time they can manage. Stay tuned. We will be provide more information and feedback about such initiatives.
From the site:
In fall 2018, working with our partners, we made hundreds of thousands of phone calls to voters in Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, and Texas. Canvassing teams on the ground followed up with those who could not be reached by phone. In 2019 we sent 347,000 postcards, 114,000 texts, and made 90,000 calls to voters in our target states!
Our goals for 2020 are substantially higher -- and we need your help! We are, currently, focusing on Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas. We have made more than 140,000 phone calls and sent more than 1.4 million postcards so far in 2020.
Post by Gary Riccio on Jul 23, 2020 8:07:06 GMT -5
Through cutting-edge policy research, inspiring litigation and deep relationships with grassroots organizations, Demos (link) champions solutions that will create a democracy and economy rooted in racial equity.
Post by Gary Riccio on Jul 25, 2020 17:53:36 GMT -5
The article at this link discusses planning for some scenarios by which Americans will either be prevented from voting or having their vote count. It is disturbingly plausible, but such planning is necessary to informed personal decisions about how to get involved to counter these threats to democracy.
"But voting by mail can also be used as a tool for voter suppression. In 2016, for example, mailed ballots cast by Black and Latinos in Florida were rejected more than two and half times as often as those cast by white voters."
"A deluge of absentee-ballot requests may, paradoxically, put pressure on traditional polling places."
My current view is that these are the top ten priorities, in decreasing order of urgency:
Monitor "rejection" of mail-in ballots by County Registrars and help "cure" as many ballots as possible
Encourage and enable as many people as possible to become poll workers so that there is not a shortage
Encourage and enable as many people as possible to vote in person at their local polling places
Identify and promulgate best practices for public health and safety at polling places
Communicate best practices for safety and risk of voting in person compared to other common activities
Identify and promulgate information about status and adequacy of polling infrastructure in particular localities
Identify and promulgate information about potential and actualities of voter suppression in particular localities
Public pressure on government officials to ensure that there is adequate and equitable polling infrastructure
Encourage and enable mail-in voting (only) by people who cannot vote in person or who cannot do so safely
Ensure that the U.S. Postal Service is able to deliver mail-in ballots without selective voter disenfranchisement
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2020 16:37:31 GMT -5 by Gary Riccio
Post by Gary Riccio on Aug 15, 2020 13:53:57 GMT -5
Voter intimidation is a tried and true chapter in the "voter suppression playbook." The countermeasure may be to watch the watchers. Take pictures and videos of people who are taking pictures and videos of voters, their companions and their personal vehicles. The assumption is that those intending to intimidate voters are less likely to do so if they know they are similarly being watched, essentially caught red handed.
Post by Gary Riccio on Aug 15, 2020 16:18:33 GMT -5
We're tracking the vote-by-mail conundrum caused by the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and the "voter suppression playbook." Here is a nice user-friendly summary of the state-by-status status of laws on voting my mail.
A study on the 2018 midterm elections by the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan policy institute, reported “severe voter suppression” in states with highly competitive races, including Florida, Georgia, Texas and North Dakota.
Today there are a variety of methods of suppression: onerous voter registration rules, voter purges, photo ID requirements, misinformation, harassment, poll closures, shortened voting hours and days, long lines and a perennial favorite—gerrymandering.
This year, an unforeseen pandemic injected a potentially lethal dose of fear into the voting process and opened the door for another wave of voter suppression.
“The Justice Department has halted a lot of its voting rights enforcement and has been MIA in the area of elections and voter rights.”
Marginalized and vulnerable populations can be stealth targets for voter suppression.
Fontes enacted election policy reforms that vastly impacted Maricopa County, which, with nearly 4.5 million residents, is the fourth most populous county in the United States. In its 2018 elections, 40 “vote anywhere” centers—locations where any registered voter can cast a ballot, no matter where they live in the county—opened, and tens of thousands of previously denied voters were added to the rolls.
“College students are on today’s voter hit list, too,”
Post by Gary Riccio on Aug 16, 2020 9:07:59 GMT -5
"Debunking the Voter Fraud Myth" with verifiable evidence. Serious people suspect the mythology of voter fraud because of the over 20,000 lies promulgated by the current POTUS administration to date. But one can also view it as an hypothesis that is sufficiently specific to be tested. And it has been tested. It is difficult to imagine a stronger repudiation of theory by reality. Thus, the claim could not possibly have been based on confirmation bias (i.e., concerned officials noticing only the evidence that confirms their prior opinions) because the incidents are as rare as purple unicorns. The only conclusion one can draw is that the claim has been a systematically executed campaign to deceive the public into a level of fear sufficient for a policymaking quorum to tolerate innovative reinvigoration of voter suppression comparable to what occurred in the American South after reconstruction.
The good news is that despite the surge in turnout in 2018, unacceptably long lines to vote were infrequent. Among in-person voters, only 6% reported waiting more than 30 minutes before they could cast a ballot. The bad news is that the percentage of voters reportedly waiting more than 30 minutes to vote doubled since 2014, when it was only 3%. By drilling down into the data, it’s clear that in some states, the surge in long wait times was especially dramatic. Furthermore, disparities persist in states where voters do experience long lines, with long wait times more likely to occur in precincts with high minority populations, high population density, and low incomes.
After two national iterations of the BPC/MIT Polling Place Line Study, it’s clear that long lines most fundamentally form when there is a misallocation of resources necessary to handle the service requirement of a polling place. In other words, there aren’t enough poll books, voting booths, ballots, or machines to handle the crowd.
Post by Gary Riccio on Aug 21, 2020 8:39:53 GMT -5
Our election systems are changing rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governors are shifting election dates, courts are issuing emergency orders, and election officials are working to expand mail ballot access and provide safe options for voting in person.
The Voting Rights Lab is tracking these state and local responses to the pandemic in all 50 states, from executive orders and administrative guidance to new legislation and litigation. We are updating our tracker on a daily basis, so please check back frequently for updates.
If we live by Howard Thurman's concept of "nonspatial neighborliness," we can help each other mobilize an unprecedented grass-roots campaign in citizen science to promote the stable society on which our economy depends.