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Politics Note to Democrats: Voting has never been easier

18:32  25 january  2022
18:32  25 january  2022 Source:   thehill.com

Trump said Republicans will never be elected again if Democrats pass their voting rights bill

  Trump said Republicans will never be elected again if Democrats pass their voting rights bill The "Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act" seeks to expand voting access and introduce reforms related to redistricting and campaign finance."Their scheme has always been to erase American votes with illegal votes and now they are doing so openly," Trump said. "Their legislation is not a voting rights bill. It's a voting fraud bill.

Democrats took a beating last week when their massive effort to federalize elections went down in blames.

People leave the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, Va., after voting on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Virginia is voting for governor, state house and senate races. © Greg Nash People leave the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, Va., after voting on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Virginia is voting for governor, state house and senate races.

One reason for their election-reform flop is they haven't been able to convince voters - or Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) - that millions of voters are being disenfranchised. And the reason that narrative has been a hard sell is that voting has never been easier.

You don't have to take my word for it. A recent survey from National Public Radio/Medill School of Journalism/Ipsos found that 67 percent of voters cast ballots in 2020, more than in any other presidential election in 120 years.

A filibuster almost derailed MLK day, too

  A filibuster almost derailed MLK day, too As the US grapples, again and again, with voting rights and civil rights, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday has again become political. © Horace Cort/AP Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shakes his fist during a speech in Selma, Ala., Feb. 12, 1965. King was engaged in a battle with Sheriff Jim Clark over voting rights and voter registration in Selma. (AP Photo/Horace Cort) Heirs to King argued Americans should not celebrate the national holiday without passage of a new federal voting rights standard that is stalled in the Senate.

NPR's Senior Political Editor Domenico Montanaro, reporting on the survey, pointed out that while a third didn't vote, "Difficulty voting doesn't appear to be a major reason why they don't vote. Three-quarters said they think it's at least somewhat easy to vote."

Indeed: There is no poll tax or literacy test to register to vote, and lots of people are actively and successfully registering new voters. Cars, public transportation and more flexible work schedules for many have made getting to the polls much easier than decades ago. States increasingly try to minimize language and disability barriers. And local media outlets go to great lengths to provide the public with news about dates and requirements for voting, polling places, candidates and ballot issues.

Pelosi suggests filibuster supporters 'dishonor' MLK's legacy on voting rights

  Pelosi suggests filibuster supporters 'dishonor' MLK's legacy on voting rights Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had some sharp words Monday for the senators protecting the filibuster amid the voting rights debate, suggesting they are debasing the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. just as the country is honoring the civil rights legend."If you really, truly want to honor Dr. King, don't dishonor him by using a congressional custom as an excuse for protecting our democracy," Pelosi said during a voting rights event at Washington's Union Station on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.The Speaker did not name names. But at least two Senate Democrats - Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.

In addition, most states have made voting easier. According to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) 44 states, Washington, D.C., and four U.S. territories offer early in-person or absentee voting, including the eight states with all mail-in voting - options that have increasingly been allowed and expanded for three decades. Only six states do not offer those options: Alabama, Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Even so, Democratic ire is targeting several states, especially Georgia and Texas. Let me comment on the latter.

I live in a very racially diverse suburb of Dallas. Not only is no one turned away from voting places because of their race (our community wouldn't stand for that), many candidates are minorities.

I always vote early. There are usually no lines or waiting times; the process takes all of 10 or 15 minutes. There are several volunteers doing the work, and I personally have never observed anything that looked amiss. Maybe that's why Phase 1 of Texas's four county election audits found virtually no problems.

Analysis: A grave week for civil rights, democracy and a presidency

  Analysis: A grave week for civil rights, democracy and a presidency Democrats appear certain to add another failure to their list of missed deadlines and thwarted legacy goals this week, with a push for voting rights bills expected to crash in the Senate with humiliating implications for Joe Biden's presidency.The party faces a moment of stark symbolism just a day after the holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., which Democrats had set as a deadline to pass new laws to counter Republican curtailments on voting in multiple states.

So what were the reasons why those in the NPR/Medill survey didn't vote?

  • 29 percent said they weren't registered;
  • 23 percent weren't interested in politics;
  • 20 percent didn't like the candidates;
  • 16 percent said their vote wouldn't have made a difference; and
  • 10 percent were undecided about the best candidate.

Democrats' election reform efforts wouldn't have much impact on those Americans. If you aren't interested in politics - which is your right - you probably aren't that concerned about registering to vote or care about the candidates. And notice that voter ID laws, which the large majority of states have, were not cited as a deterrent to voting.

None of that is to say there isn't room for improvement, as an October 2020 FiveThirtyEight report highlights. But while the U.S. Constitution empowers the states to establish election procedures, counties manage them - and there are some 3,142 U.S. counties and county equivalents.

Although most county election officials are dedicated professionals, with that many people, human error, incompetence and some questionable, even illegal, practices will occur.

Senate to take up voting rights legislation, asteroid to brush by Earth: 5 Things podcast

  Senate to take up voting rights legislation, asteroid to brush by Earth: 5 Things podcast Passing voting bill through Senate may be impossible without eliminating the filibuster, plus tips on finding at-home COVID-19 tests: 5 Things podcastDemocrats were able to pass a bill through the House, but doing so in the Senate may be impossible without eliminating the filibuster. Plus, research from Israel shows a 4th COVID-19 vaccine dose may not be as effective against omicron, we hear some tips on finding at-home COVID-19 tests, Tonga remains isolated after a tsunami and a massive asteroid passes by Earth.

One reason that several states have passed, or are considering passing, election reforms is to address such issues. For example, Texas's Harris County (Houston) decided to mail all registered voters a mail-in ballot in the 2020 election. The state stopped that effort because it had never been done or approved by the legislature.

Several states are also requiring additional efforts to ensure their voting rolls are up to date. While the left seems to see that as a not-so-subtle effort to disenfranchise some voters, people move to different areas, change their names, pass away and make other adjustments - often without informing or providing the correct information to the state. Keeping track of those changes for millions of people is incredibly challenging. Just look at how many checks Social Security sends to dead people.

Yes, some states may go too far in their reforms, and that's a problem for the courts to decide. But most states are working to ensure that voting is as easy and secure as it can be. And that's an ongoing challenge that will never be finished.

Merrill Matthews is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, Texas. Follow him on Twitter @MerrillMatthews.

Sinema censured by Arizona Democrats for blocking voting rights legislation .
The Arizona Democratic Party's executive board announced Saturday that it formally censured Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for voting to maintain the Senate's filibuster rules, effectively blocking Democrats' voting legislation that is a key priority for the party. © Senate TV The symbolic gesture Saturday from Arizona Democrats adds to the mounting pressure Sinema is facing from those in her state who helped her flip a Senate seat in 2018. Sinema -- who started her political career as a progressive -- has been a target on the left during Biden's administration for her stances. Sinema and Sen.

usr: 1
This is interesting!