Vote, and Vote again.
November 2, 2004 5:33 AM   Subscribe

How strongly do you believe in your candidate, or hate the other? Would you purposely vote twice? How do you feel about a federal voter id card? And would you have a problem with indelible ink?
posted by tomplus2 (20 comments total)
I already have a social security number, why do I need a voter id card?

One ssn, one vote.

Following the logic of a recent la times article, atms never screw up. What's so hard about this?

(I know, I know, no money to be made...)
posted by dig_duggler at 5:53 AM on November 2, 2004

Is individual voter fraud really so rampant that we need to go so far in the opposite direction that we are disenfranchising or intimidating thousands of otherwise qualified voters? That's not a rhetorical question. I really thought the bigger problem was with 1960's Chicago Machine-style excesses than it is with Joe Blow voting in person in one state and filing an absentee ballot in another (which really should be a lot easier to track down than it is apparently).
posted by psmealey at 6:09 AM on November 2, 2004

Having been imunized back in more primitive times, I, like most of my boomer cohort, have a big, circular scar on my shoulder. Doesn't bother me. Drawing inspiration from that, I figure maybe we should each get a tattoo when we vote. It could be worn with pride, showing our commitment to civic duty over the years. Kinda like the old Soviet medals they awarded to women for having too many babies, only permanent.
posted by gregor-e at 6:16 AM on November 2, 2004

Individual voter fraud is not rampant. Institutionalized vote suppression, on the other hand, is absolutely out of control. [realaudio, NPR, NSF blood pressure]
posted by ook at 6:37 AM on November 2, 2004

After the tragedy of 9/11/01, we federalized airport security in order to standardize and professionalize a system that had failed us.

After the tragedy of 11/7/00, we were silent.

It's time to federalize elections.
posted by PrinceValium at 6:43 AM on November 2, 2004

It seems that the only way to guarantee that everyone's vote counts, and isn't nullified by someone else's illegal vote, is to fine tune the system.

Voting is a right, as well as a responsibility. If someone can help decide who runs the country, they should also have enough responsibility to obtain and use a voter card. I don't think it this could be retroactive, but could be rolled out over a number of years. not to intimidate. Or we do go the primative route and mark fingernails. Keep it simple?

Gregor-e, Like the "kills" painted on the side of fighter jets?
posted by tomplus2 at 7:04 AM on November 2, 2004

I have to agree with Prince Valium. In the past the argument was that federal elections would restrict states' rights. But we have national standards for eligibility. Then the argument was 'if it's working, why fix it'. Well. It isn't working. There is no reason why Florida has to be so chaotic and corrupt, other than it's Florida. It frustrates me that we can't hold states to a national standard.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:04 AM on November 2, 2004

dig_duggler: atms never screw up - really? Well, maybe leaving them open to abuse isn't exactly screwing up ?!?
posted by daveg at 7:06 AM on November 2, 2004

It frustrates me that we can't hold states to a national standard.

We may in fact need a constitutional amendment. Art. II, ยง 1, cl. 2 gives complete discretion to the states in how electors for president are chosen. The only restrictions on this are the constitutional bans on specific types of discrimination: race (15th Am.), sex (19th Am.), poll tax (24th Am.) and age (26th Am).

Until a new enumerated power is added to the Constitution, neither Congress or the FEC has the right to kick out county election boards and institute mandatory reform. (Arguably it does under the equal protection guarantee of the 14th Amendment, but this is dubious.)

Given that both sides of the aisle are complaining about vote suppression and fraud in this year's election, such an amendment may well have bipartisan support. I'm sure that state and local officials won't mind federal dollars pouring in to replace their election budgets. This would make ratification quite easy.

Another major advantage of federalized voting is that it all but eliminates absentee voting except for people who are housebound or live out in the sticks. If you are from Connecticut but get called away on a business trip, you can vote in downtown Chicago for your local offices in Connecticut. There will be voting machines in downtown Paris and South Korea and on military bases in Baghdad, all run by professional federal government officials.

I'm going to devote a significant amount of time to this cause over the next year or so, and also try to formulate a national voting standard. If you would like to be a part of this, please e-mail me.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:22 AM on November 2, 2004

As long as we're federalizing elections, can we please do away with the stupid Electoral College? I hate being second-guessed.
posted by alumshubby at 7:28 AM on November 2, 2004

c'mon daveg. south africa and uk. any american instances, where we (or corporations) reeealllly care about our money?

I will exclude robbery (it happens) . But for the most part it's used a significant number of times every day w/ little or no problems. I think the technology applied to voting machines could handle once every four years (or two). You'd even get a print out (receipt) of how you voted for a paper trail.

There are potential problems, but I think the gist is that and excellent model as to how it could be done already exists.
posted by dig_duggler at 7:51 AM on November 2, 2004

I think it's pretty clear that US ATMs seem to work better than US voting machines. I agree with dig--thanks, voting machine people, for reinventing the wheel and making it square and squeaky.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:24 AM on November 2, 2004

"Would you purposely vote twice?"

No. I like my candidate, but I like standing up for the idea of "one person, one vote" more.
posted by jscalzi at 9:04 AM on November 2, 2004

i received three voter registration cards. i look forward to casting my votes.
posted by quonsar at 9:40 AM on November 2, 2004

I received about 5 voter registration cards.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:44 AM on November 2, 2004

I believe in my candidate OK; I have very strong feelings against the current president--if I knew him better I might hate him but I can't say I do now; I might purposely vote more than once if I felt strongly in a close election; a federal voter ID card (in the US right now) is a dumb idea; yes, an inkstain might prevent me from voting.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:30 AM on November 2, 2004

We have to have one simple national standard, with a paper trail. (I'd like a receipt, too.) And whatever company gets the contract should not have current or former government officials on the payroll, or on the payroll at any time in the past 10 years. And the source code (all code for it) should be held at the Library of Congress (maybe they could create a system?)
posted by amberglow at 10:35 AM on November 2, 2004

I think, in the end, the geeks will save us.
posted by dig_duggler at 10:39 AM on November 2, 2004

I despise anyone who would vote twice, whatever their justification, regardless of the party and/or candidate they supported. I believe the current president is a stupid, evil, dangerous man - but I want my side to win fairly, and openly and with utter clarity that we played by the rules.

Anyone that votes twice clearly can't be relied upon for anything requiring trust - they've already demonstrated that their own opinion matters more to them than the rule of law. I hope that nobody I know would be so underhanded and slimy.
posted by Irontom at 10:53 AM on November 2, 2004

All you people talking about federalizing elections: aren't you at all concerned about how that would concentrate even more power at the federal level? Right now we have problems because the people in charge of elections in some states are biased or corrupt -- you'd rather see it work out that way for the whole country?
posted by ook at 1:34 PM on November 2, 2004

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