General Question

crazyguy's avatar

Are the laws submitted by Desantis "voter suppression" or common sense?

Asked by crazyguy (2213points) 1 week ago

CNN has headlined the story as follows:

“Florida GOP Gov. DeSantis proposes voting restriction bills for state lawmakers to pass this session”. See
https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/19/politics/desantis-florida-election-proposals/index.html

Here are the proposed bills:

1. This bill “would ban vote-by-mail ballots from being sent out to all residents, making it so only voters who request a ballot would receive one.” Th bill would require a voter request each year, which, I think is a bit onerous.

2. Another bill requires that “residents should either mail their absentee ballot or drop it off at an election office.”, instead of using a ballot box.

3. In a third bill “DeSantis also wants lawmakers, when they convene in March, to bolster the vote-by-mail signature verification process and to not “shut out” Florida political parties and candidates from observing the voter signature matching process.”

“DeSantis also wants lawmakers, when they convene in March, to bolster the vote-by-mail signature verification process and to not “shut out” Florida political parties and candidates from observing the voter signature matching process.”

The story goes on to repeat the mantra that there has been no evidence of widespread fraud, but it points out the possibility in another story:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/30/us/broward-county-dead-people-register-to-vote/index.html

Reading through the proposed legislation, I do not understand why anybody with a clear conscience would have any objection to any of the proposed provisions, except the one I highlighted.

Even though I expect nobody on this board to believe a word I say, let me emphasize that I am genuinely confused by CNN’s headline, and am waiting for enlightenment.

Often, it is not an actual crime, but the appearance of one, that increases the odds of a protest.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

66 Answers

Zaku's avatar

“1. This bill “would ban vote-by-mail ballots from being sent out to all residents, making it so only voters who request a ballot would receive one.” Th bill would require a voter request each year, which, I think is a bit onerous.”
– Is it “all residents” or all voters?
– Seems to me they should be sent to all registered voters, without needing to request each one.

“2. Another bill requires that “residents should either mail their absentee ballot or drop it off at an election office.”, instead of using a ballot box.”
– Seems to me that’s designed to make it harder to vote. Other states have managed to put ballot boxes in convenient conspicuous places with no reason not to do that.

I don’t know the details of point 3, which seems unclearly worded.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s surprising that you find any aspect of these proposals “onerous”. These proposals are nothing short of an open admission that Republicans are but the dinosaurs staring at the inrushing asteroid of demography. All of those proposals are simply about restricting the vote. They’re just variations on poll taxes and literacy tests as qualifiers—anything to reverse the ACTUAL realization of the democratic process wherein voting for all should be as accessible and seamless as possible.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
gorillapaws's avatar

Election integrity is critical to a democracy. Mail-in ballot fraud is not the area to be worried about. IMO it’s voting machines running closed-source, proprietary code on insecure equipment that is the real concern. We need open-source, open hardware, independently verifiable by all parties (including the public) voting systems.

JLeslie's avatar

I think we should talk about voting laws now, so we don’t have voting laws bullshit discussions and changes weeks before or during an election. This is the time.

I don’t agree with all of his proposals, I’m just saying this is the time for states to hash it out.

Florida has signature match, but we also allow time to remedy if there was a problem with the signature.

We have to request a mail-in ballot, why is that a big deal? We can do it online, in person, by phone or by email. If it will eliminate a complaint of the GOP, one less thing they can point to to say an election has fraud.

I think we should have ballot boxes, but I’m fine with requiring they be manned.

I also think anyone should be able to drop off someone else’s ballot.

One thing I think must be added is states should have to start to process and count mail-in a minimum of two weeks before Election Day if not more. The only argument to wait for Election Day in my opinion is for voter suppression and to cast doubt on the counting process. It is a purposeful delay in my opinion that the GOP tried to employ.

@Tropical_Willie Why in the world would DeSantis try to block LatinX voters?

flutherother's avatar

In the UK, polling stations are manned and open from 7:00am until 10.00pm on the day of election. There are lots of them and there is almost never any queuing. In addition, anyone eligible to vote can request a postal vote for a single election or on a permanent basis. The aim is to encourage people to vote by making it as easy as possible to do. The system is trusted by the public and the results are accepted by the politicians.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Those are interesting numbers, I mean that seriously, but keep in mind it is the older Hispanics who are Republicans and they are more likely to need the mail-in vote.

Florida has a significant mail-in vote for many years now and Florida tends to vote Republican, so I don’t think DeSantis is trying to stop Latin Americans from mail-in voting. How does anything proposed inhibit LatinX from voting? Except for the availability of ballot boxes maybe, but we do have early voting and people can turn in their ballots early or just drop the ballot in any mail box AND track if the ballot was received, processed, and counted. At any time someone can come in before election day and vote over the counter at a primary election center in the county and void the mail-in ballot if its feared it was lost.

I am not questioning that Republicans try to suppress voting, it definitely happens. I worry more about what FL senator Rick Scott proposed in September or October (not sure exactly which month) that was a federal law saying all votes not counted with 24 hours of Election Day should be void. I’d be watching for that sort of thing, which is a disgusting display of obvious voter suppression knowing full well some states won’t start counting in Election Day and minorities were voting in bigger numbers by mail.

What rules do you want for voting? Everyone registered gets an automatic mail-in ballot sent to them? The registration rolls have all sorts of mistakes. Not that I think that’s such a big deal, I don’t think someone would take my ballot and vote because they received it in the mail, but it does seem a little chaotic to me. I’ve been registered in more than one state multiple times. I think Oregon does it though and it seems to work ok.

I think most likely DeSantis is just feeding his ego more than anything. Like he has the best system and has a bug head about it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@flutherother That seems perfectly reasonable on all counts.

crazyguy's avatar

First of all, my thanks to all of you for providing your honest, well-thought-out answers.

1. @Zaku 1. I quoted directly from the CNN story. I do not know for sure what the proposed law states.
2. Is mailing a ballot really harder than dropping it off in a special-purpose box?

2. @gorillapaws You say: “Mail-in ballot fraud is not the area to be worried about.” I agree with you that there is zero evidence to suspect that mail-in ballots have been tampered with to any significant extent. The only reason mail-in ballots make me uneasy is the fact that Democrats have been pushing them. I do not know why.

3. @JLeslie I agree that discussions of election laws should take place well before any election.

If you have a lot of mail-in ballots sent to voters who did not request them, you just may increase the temptation to make a few bucks off them. I think that is why I agree with sending mail-in ballots only to those voters who requested them.

Do you really think ballot boxes are more convenient than mail boxes?

I am not sure why anybody may need a stranger to drop off his/her ballot in the mail; please explain.

I think the only reason for requiring that no ballots be counted until after the balloting is concluded is the possibility of a leak of the early results. Any relaxation in those laws needs to be accompanied by a corresponding toughening in sentencing guidelines for a leak of preliminary results.

crazyguy's avatar

@flutherother As long as mail-in balloting is accompanied by strict checks on the person who actually voted, I see no problem with the British system. In the US system, I think it is necessary to allow a longer campaign (since anybody can run). I would love it if all polling were restricted to Election Day or voting-by-mail with a strict guideline that all ballots should be received by poll-closing time.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I do not address anything posted by the person you responded to. However, I’ll address your post.

I disagree that the proposed laws have anything to do with voter suppression – if any voter is suppressed by having to request a mail-in ballot, mail his/her ballot in a post box, and mail it early enough to receive confirmation that it has been received, perhaps the problem lies with that voter and not the system.

I think if all legally cast ballots cannot be counted by election night, we have a problem that needs to be addressed.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy I think if the USPS is struggling and states have the chutzpah to make unreasonable deadlines regarding mail-in ballots then actual ballot boxes where poll workers are collecting the ballots make sense.

If you are ok with using USPS how would you know who is dropping the ballot in the mail? To make this some sort of “issue” makes no sense. There are disabled people, there are people who drop off ballots for their spouse or parents or neighbors. It’s really not a big deal.

People early vote, isn’t that being counted? I think those counting laws are old laws on the books from before the time of early voting.

If you think the GOP never tries to suppress votes that’s completely incorrect.

Zaku's avatar

“Is mailing a ballot really harder than dropping it off in a special-purpose box?”
– Only by the cost of postage, or for some people, possibly further distance. I think it gives some people more of a sense that there’s slightly less risk that a mail delay might be an issue, and that they can vote on election day without worrying their vote might be too late to make as much of a difference, or whatever.
– But none of that really seems relevant to this bill which seems to insist there not be any ballot boxes. What would the purpose of that be, other than to provide less access… perhaps in places where there are fewer mail boxes, or for people who are so busy that making voting slightly less convenience might mean they don’t vote?

JLeslie's avatar

Just saw this quote on CNN said by Alice O’Lenick who is the chairwoman of Gwinnett County board of registration and ejections in Georgia “I was on a Zoom call the other day and I said, ‘I’m like a dog with a bone. I will not let them end this session without changing some of these laws…they don’t have to change all of them, but they’ve got to change the major parts of them so that we at least have a shot at winning.” Here’s a link: https://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/local/gwinnett-elections-boards-new-chairwoman-wants-limits-on-no-excuse-absentee-voting-voter-roll-review/article_7df1c274-5715-11eb-a31d-dfa23b30ec62.html

She outright says if everyone votes the Republicans lose and that they need to make it harder to vote. There are quotes like this from many Republicans where they admit they need and want to suppress the vote. I told you above what Rick Scott proposed.

Also, I want to add that if a state requires people to request a mail in ballot they MUST make is easy and accessible for everyone to do it. It can’t just be online. It shouldn’t be only if you speak and write in English. I would not trust all states to make it simple to order the ballot.

@Zaku Mail-in ballots don’t require postage if mailed in the US.

Smashley's avatar

@crazyguy – wow. “ I am not sure why anybody may need a stranger to drop off his/her ballot in the mail; please explain.”

No one ever said “stranger,” that was you. Any chosen representative is more accurate. But seriously, ableist much? Count the blessings that allow you to be so blind.

Demosthenes's avatar

Higher turnout is better for Democrats, so Democrats try and make it easier to vote and Republicans try and make it more difficult. That’s really all there is to it. “Widespread voter fraud” is a fiction. In Georgia, Republicans are trying to ban early voting on Sunday because it’s a popular day for black people to vote after church attendance. The motive is clear. It’s not about prevention of fraud, it’s about making it harder for people who are likely to vote Democrat to vote.

No, these Florida measures don’t sound so draconian at first, but it’s clear what they’re trying to do. What, may I ask, is wrong with ballot boxes? Are ballot boxes specifically associated with higher rates of fraud?

jca2's avatar

Why might someone else put something in the mail on your behalf, @crazyguy? Maybe at work, you need something mailed and someone is taking the mail to the mailbox or post office. Maybe a wife mails the family’s mail which includes the husband’s. Maybe the husband mails the family’s mail which includes the wife’s. Maybe the kids are putting mail in the mailbox or teens are driving to the post office, on behalf of the family. Maybe someone is home sick or elderly or infirm in some way and the neighbor takes the mail to post it. Just a few examples I can think of.

Strauss's avatar

Republicans have a long history if voter suppression under the guise of election integrity, dating back to the 1980’s and beyond.

JLeslie's avatar

Way before the 1980’s. Selma happened in 1965, voter suppression is the very topic of that event, and @crazyguy if you have not seen the movie Selma you might want to watch it.

The Southern states especially had laws to try to stop Black people from voting. You had to own property to vote, or you had to pass a test to vote. Many states closed the polls early and voting was only on Election Day and employers didn’t allow Black people to go vote.

You really need to be very wary every time a Republican suggests a voting law. Some are worth discussing, as I said above I think some rules are ok, but too often they are outright racist. Don’t be naive.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie In most states mail-in ballots are sent out to either all registered voters, or to those voters who requested mail-in ballots at least three weeks before the election. Why is it so hard to get them in by election night?

As to your second point, my answer is

“PRECISELY. That is my problem with mail-in ballots.”

Somebody dropping off your completed ballot is permissible, but it obviously generates the possibility of fraud. Anybody who cannot grasp that basic fact is deluding him/herself. If a ballot harvester can access a few ballots that have not been completed yet, s/he can vote for somebody else. I know that you wish to avoid that happening. I think the only way to avoid such things happening is to eliminate the possibilities. If you truly believe that eliminating such possibilities amounts to voter suppression, because it requires a voter to expend some thought and effort into voting, I guess further communication on this subject will not get jus anywhere.

Here is what I believe:

1. Voting is a sacred right.
2. Every voter owes it to him/herself and to America to educate him/herself about the required procedure to vote.
3. The primary purpose of a voting procedure is avoid any possibility of fraud. A secondary purpose is make it easy for voters.
3. If the procedure is too cumbersome or hard to understand for a significant percentage of voters, it needs to be changed.
4. However, if the procedure is necessary to avoid any possibility of fraud, it should not be changed. However, if an alternate procedure can be designed that serves the same purpose, that possible alternative should be explored.

I have said before that our voting systems are archaic. For a modern society, a voting system should have the following features:

1. Every voter should be identified beyond reasonable doubt.
2. Every vote cast by an eligible voter should be counted.
3. An audit of the actual votes cast by actual voters should be possible.
4. If an audit reveals that the number of fraudulent and/or possibly fraudulent votes exceeds a candidate’s margin of victory, a Federal judge should rule on the possibly fraudulent ballots. If no definite conclusions can be reached, the election should be immediately declared null and void, and re-run.

As far as privacy laws interfere with election integrity, they should be set aside. If a voter is embarrassed about voting for Candidate A vs B, perhaps s/he should not vote. BUT if the voter decides to cast a ballot, s/he should immediately give up any privacy rights.

crazyguy's avatar

@Zaku Any voting provision that permits a possibility of fraud should be carefully subjected to a cost vs benefit analysis, and changed to something that makes fraud absolutely impossible. Our elections should be not just free of fraud, but free of even a shadow of possible fraud.

Show me one area where it is harder to mail a letter than reach a specially set up ballot box.

You mention “people who are so busy that making voting slightly less convenience might mean they don’t vote”. I do not think the Democrats are trying to capture those people anyway. However, I would say that the vote of anybody who has better things to do than exercise his/her sacred right to vote is relatively unimportant.

crazyguy's avatar

@Smashley How exactly do you propose to assure beyond reasonable doubt that the ballot is being dropped off by a “chosen representative”, and not a stranger?

crazyguy's avatar

@Demosthenes I believe your first sentence: “Higher turnout is better for Democrats, so Democrats try and make it easier to vote and Republicans try and make it more difficult.” is generally true. I think our elections deserve absolute assurance that there can be no fraud. If that requires making it harder to vote, so be it.

@jca2 I could be wrong on this, but I believe that existing and proposed laws in almost all states allow a chosen representative to mail a completed ballot.

crazyguy's avatar

@Strauss How much easier would Democracy be if challenges to our election results would be few and far between? And when they occurred, they could be dealt with expeditiously and definitively? I think you will agree that the basic requirements for one person, one vote are the following:

1. Each person must prove beyond reasonable doubt that s/he is eligible to vote.
2. Each person who is an eligible voter must prove beyond reasonable doubt that s/he is the person casting a particular ballot.

ANY voting system that meets those two essential requirements is acceptable to me.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I have watched Selma, and cried at some of the abuses (My wife will tell you that I cry more at movies than at real life tragedies). I readily admit that blacks have suffered indignities. However, I do not think that we should permit voting laws that seem to invite voter fraud. That would be akin to leaving cash available to a cleaning lady because you trust her honesty.

I truly think our elections should be above even a hint of possible fraud. Most laws proposed by Democrats increase the possibility of fraud.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy So, you are ok with using USPS for delivery, but not ok with me dropping off the ballots for 20 people into the mail? What are you going to do? Put video cameras at all mailboxes? Think about what you are saying. It’s not logical. My mail is at a central location, it’s not like each house has its own mailbox and the mailmen can call the voting police if there are 5 ballots in my mailbox. How do you picture controlling how many ballots a person puts in the mail? This is a Republican talking point that the party hopes their own people will just stay angry about and never think it through.

Ballots sometimes have ten issues on them that a person needs time to research. Often there are 10 candidates that people have never heard of before that they look up to try to cast their best vote. People need some time. The last ballot I filled out was 3 pages if I remember correctly. It’s large font and bilingual, but still I’m just saying it’s overwhelming and takes some focus if a person wants to vote for everything that is on the ballot.

flutherother's avatar

Voter fraud is not a problem in the UK. In 2017 for example only one person in the UK was charged with voter fraud. They had registering under two forms of their name, a crime with little benefit to the perpetrator while attracting harsh penalties. As far as I know it isn’t a problem in the USA either and there is no justification for complicating the voting process.

Strauss's avatar

@flutherother ^^ Voter fraud is not a problem in the US. A voter is statistically more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I would tend to agree with you (and others) that we have no hard evidence of significant voter fraud. If that is what you wish to hang your hat on, fine. However, I would like to raise the bar just a little to eliminate any possibility of fraud. If doing that makes it impossible for some people to vote, we should examine their reasons in detail, and then try to figure out if they really wish to vote or not.

@flutherother You say: “As far as I know it isn’t a problem in the USA either and there is no justification for complicating the voting process.” I agree that it has not been a problem because evidence to prove it or disprove it is almost impossible to get. However, many changes made by mostly Democrats in the 2020 election did increase the possibility of fraud under the guise of COVID. By the way, the same thing is happening as we speak with the COVID Relief Bill, which is becoming a vehicle for many unrelated Democratic spending priorities.

crazyguy's avatar

@Strauss I would agree with you if you changed the statement to say: A voter is statistically more likely to be struck by lightning than to be caught committing fraud

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy I’ve always been fine with taking measures to reduce voter fraud keeping in mind the most important thing is to make sure everyone has access to vote.

Having polls close at 5:00pm is not a fraud issue it’s an access issue.

Having processing and counting for mail-in vote start two weeks before Election Day is not a fraud issue it’s trying to manipulate the appearance of fraud issue.

Allowing people to rectify a signature challenge is making sure people get their vote counted.

Trying to say there is a difference between an out of state voter who owns 5 homes and wants to vote by mail and a man afraid to vote in person because of covid is outrageous. To say anyone needs an excuse to vote by mail is outrageous. Why is being rich a valid reason to vote by mail?

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I think we basically agree except I might switch our top two priorities. I would say preventing any suspicion of possible fraud is Priority 1, making sure everyone can vote is Priority 2.

Since we have early voting, poll closing time on Election Day is NOT an access issue. If a voter fails to vote because the polls closed at 5, it is his/her own damned fault.

Starting processing and counting before Election Day lends itself to a suspicion of a leak of results, which might result in undue influence on un-cast ballots. I would be against that unless penalties for unauthorized results are significantly beefed up.

Rectification of signatures is an interesting subject. Is rectification allowing an attempting fraudster a second crack at fraud, or is it allowing a legitimate voter to fix his/her error?

I do not know where you got the point about being rich or not. While I agree 100% with you about the non-value of riches in this context, I have no idea why you are including this in your reply to me.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy You are in California. I venture to guess you have no idea some of the voting laws in the Southern states.

South Carolina finally at the last minute changed laws for absentee voting, previously someone needed to be disabled or out of state on Election Day or some other circumstance similar to Tennessee and many other Red states to vote by mail. A friend of mine who was concerned about catching covid didn’t want to lie on the South Carolina request form. I told her to go visit her daughter out of state and she won’t be lying. How many poor people do you know who can just travel out of state like that?

Here is Tennessee’s CURRENT requirements https://sos.tn.gov/products/elections/absentee-voting

You assume too much about early voting. What if AL and MS decide early voting will only be M-F 9–5? The modus operandi of these states is to chip away at voting rights. Like I said, DeSantis did an order to start counting mail-in ballots 22 days before Election Day and then FL senator Rick Scott proposed a national law to not count any votes not counted with 24 hours after Election Day knowing in most states mail-in ballots favored Democrats and many states didn’t start counting until Election Day. That’s what I call a one two punch.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie Thanks for the education. You are absolutely right; the little bit I know about election laws in the South I have picked up right here.

The Southerners kept Blacks as slaves for so long that they cannot stomach being citizens alongside their ex-slaves. So I am not surprised that they try to suppress the Black vote every chance they get.

Please let me know if the following assumptions about Southern blacks are correct or not:

1. Most of them live hand-to-mouth. They do not own any computers, or even smart phones.
2. They generally have no idea about election issues and the candidates.
3. Their votes can be ‘bought’ rather easily for a few dollars.
4. They work at jobs where they would be docked pay for taking time off to vote.
5. They are generally honest, but money is very, very tight.

If my assumptions are correct, aren’t the Democrats trying to create a situation where some votes can be swayed? Of course, the most important point about Blacks is that they are Democrats to the core, and, if they vote at all, they will vote the straight Democrat line.
4.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy You make it sound like poverty equals stupid and dishonest. That’s offensive.

These stats on poverty are from 2014, sorry so old, but probably still relevant:

10.1% of all white non-Hispanic persons
12.0% of all Asian persons
23.6% of all Hispanic persons (of any race)
26.2% of all African American persons
28.3% of Native Americans / Alaska Natives

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States#Factors_in_poverty

If you scroll down on this link you will see an interactive map of where minorities live and the percentages. I highly recommend you at least glance at the map. https://www.brookings.edu/research/americas-racial-diversity-in-six-maps/

Poor people are less likely to even know that voting laws are different in other states. Hell, I think most of America was unaware of the differences in mail-in voting around the country until the covid situation.

This shows access to broadband at home by income. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/05/07/digital-divide-persists-even-as-lower-income-americans-make-gains-in-tech-adoption/

Minorities are less likely to have had parents who voted so they too are less likely to vote. They don’t know how to navigate the system. They don’t know how to register, where to vote, that they can leave part of the ballot blank, it’s intimidating.

In more recent years we have people in the Black and Hispanic community helping people understand how to vote. That’s not fraud. Look at the map. Is it surprising minorities have a lot of voting power, especially in the South, if they just vote. The density of Black people in the South is huge.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I would TRULY like to know where it is in the world you are living. For the life of me, I cannot envision ANYPLACE in this country where one might exist unaware of the basic dynamics of black folks in the South, regardless of ideology or stereotypes. How is this possible?

stanleybmanly's avatar

The long and the short of the questions you ask here indicate a truly shallow and superficial understanding of this place that no person of literate adulthood could possibly display. How you and the wulf acquired your English skills with so narrow an understanding of this country is truly astonishing. Like the vast majority of the conservatives in this country, you are NOT going to understand this place if your education is based on FOX, MSNBC, or CNN. I do not believe you can possibly know how breathtakingly appalling your perception is of the black citizenry here. If the black population is solidly Democrat, have you the presence of mind to research WHY black folks are OVERWHELMINGLY opposed to the current policies of the political party which FREED them! WHY and WHEN did it happen? And while you’re at it, find out what happened to the wulf. I’m wondering if he has fallen to the virus.

JLeslie's avatar

This link says 87% of Black voters identify as Democrats. https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2016/09/13/2-party-affiliation-among-voters-1992-2016/

Of course White Republicans want to stop their vote. Now, you have motive. Motive is a good indicator of guilt.

Republicans have been trying to woo Black people with religion, ideas of Democrats wanting to kill them with eugenics through abortion, and pointing out their cities are run by Democrats, but they know the white man has kept them down for centuries, especially where they live, and where they live white men are Republicans.

Race relations in the South are very different than the rest of the country in my experience. The history there and the social class differences. That’s a broad generalization, so of course it’s not like every part of the South is the same, but in the South there are more remnants of generational oppression and separation.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie First of all, I did not intend to imply that all poor people are “stupid and dishonest”. I agreed with your main point that Republicans have an incentive to suppress the Black vote. And I did use the words assumptions and most.

Based on the sources you provided, I see that more than 50% of poor people do have broadband, a desktop computer and/or a smartphone. Therefore, I was incorrect in saying that “most” Southern blacks are ill-informed. It is actually less than half.

However, the basic thrust of my post is correct. Any voter who does not care enough about a candidate or the issues, would be willing to sell his ballot to the highest bidder. That is human nature. By creating more opportunities for this kind of fraud to occur, the Democrats are guilty of creating fraud possibilities whether these lead to massive fraud or not. The price would depend on your economic status. The extremely poor, which probably includes a substantial percentage of Southern blacks, might accept just a few dollars for the ballots.

You must admit that by sending ballots to all registered voters the Democrats are creating opportunities for ballot harvesters. I do not know if the Democrats’ actions are a response to Republican efforts to suppress the vote; I do not think DeSantis’ proposals are intended to do that.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I agree that White people have tried for centuries to keep down the Black people. I did not realize that the majority of White people in the South are Republicans. It is fairly obvious, now that I think about it.

The best way of raising somebody out of poverty on a sustainable basis is debatable. We should save that discussion for another time. I personally think the Blacks would be helped more by Republican policies that encourage economic expansion than by Democratic hand-outs.

Therefore, I think Republican interests in the longer term, would be helped more by convincing the voters of this probability, than by suppression of votes. I think DeSantis is smart enough to know that; that is why I see his proposed laws geared more to preventing election fraud than voter suppression.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

“I think DeSantis is smart enough to know that; that is why I see his proposed laws geared more to preventing election fraud than voter suppression” + + + + GOP view point exactly.

Ten thousand people have voter suppression and there is a handful of voter frauds cases (most voter frauds are Republicans).

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy DeSantis made a move to require former convicts to pay all their fines and fees before being able to vote. The Republicans know former felons are more likely to be Democrats.

Poll taxes are illegal, and having all these debts settled up to be able to vote is arguably a poll tax. Even if the person is not late in paying they would be unable to vote was my understanding.

Here’s an article: https://apnews.com/article/florida-voting-rights-elections-courts-voting-b4f68dd4f11a6df4430fbdc74ae93de3

I think DeSantis is a mix of voter fraud protections and trying to limit the vote.

That’s the thing, we need to look at each proposal separately and not just trust our party leaders or blindly follow. I’m not saying you personally, I mean people in general on both sides of politics need to stop trusting their party leaders simply because they see themselves in them.

Demosthenes's avatar

That’s the thing, we need to look at each proposal separately and not just trust our party leaders or blindly follow.

If only that were as easily done as it is said. I agree that not every attempt at combating fraud is “voter suppression”, but a lot of it is. As you said—the motive is there. It was refreshing to hear a conservative friend of mine say “of course it’s about preventing Democrats from voting and of course I support it”. Disturbing to know his cynical view of democracy, but let’s call a spade a spade here. Both parties engage in gerrymandering to draw the districts in their favor, Republicans try and limit turnout, Democrats try and increase it. All the evidence I’ve seen is that what fraud does occur happens on both sides and Democrats are not more likely to engage in fraud. Republicans are trying to get these measures passed because the demographics of their states are changing and they’re freaking out. Republicans may never win a presidential popular vote again. Instead of trying to suppress votes and decrease turnout, maybe they might try and expand their message to appeal to a more diverse population instead of continuing to be the “party of white people”? I criticized the Democrats for refusing to appeal more to rural white voters in swing states and blaming their loss on Russia; I’ll criticize the Republicans for not trying to appeal more greatly to the increasing Hispanic and black populations in their states and blaming their loss on fraud.

crazyguy's avatar

@Demosthenes Every society that I am aware of has more ‘have-nots’ than ‘haves’. Most ‘have-nots’ are Democrats; therefore, you are correct in saying that “Republicans may never win a presidential popular vote again.” In fact I am surprised that they ever managed to win one!

The Path to Citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants will increase the Democratic majority by at least 5 percentage points. So after eight years pass, the Democrats will never have to worry about winning an election, unless they mess up. The way Biden is going now, the Democrats will mess up, and will give the Republicans an opening.

You would be perfectly justified in wondering why I can state that Biden is messing up. What I am referring to are two things:

1. COVID Relief Bill: Less than half of it is really justified by covid relief.
2. Illegal immigration: By providing a Path to Citizenship for current illegal immigrants, he provides incentive for more illegal immigrants to enter the US. Of course, he makes it easier for them to enter.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie Let us do exactly what you are suggesting: “look at each proposal separately”.

1. This bill “would ban vote-by-mail ballots from being sent out to all residents, making it so only voters who request a ballot would receive one.” The bill would require a voter request each year, which, I think is a bit onerous. I do not understand why any serious voter would have a problem with this, especially if each voter were sent a post-card reminder each election. The postcard would require the voter to indicate his/her desire to vote by mail, and a signature.

2. Another bill requires that “residents should either mail their absentee ballot or drop it off at an election office.”, instead of using a ballot box. Please explain where exactly a ballot box is more convenient than a mail box.

3. In a third bill “DeSantis also wants lawmakers, when they convene in March, to bolster the vote-by-mail signature verification process and to not “shut out” Florida political parties and candidates from observing the voter signature matching process.” What other way is there to ensure that the authorized voter cast the ballot?

These are the major provisions of the bill. If there are any other provisions that you find objectionable, let us talk about them.

Smashley's avatar

@crazyguy – Presume competence and honesty, ask for a signature, and generally use a method that will allow citizens to vote, because, in a democracy, that is actually the greater imperative than preventing all fraud.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy I think in my very first answer I went through most of your points.

I agree with @Smashley that allowing people to vote is most important. Maybe the small occurrence of fraud matters when a vote is only apart by 100 votes, but that’s usually not the case, the spread is usually several thousands or more. Preventing hundreds of thousands or millions of people from voting is a much bigger fraud.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie Here is your first answer:

“I think we should talk about voting laws now, so we don’t have voting laws bullshit discussions and changes weeks before or during an election. This is the time.
I don’t agree with all of his proposals, I’m just saying this is the time for states to hash it out.
Florida has signature match, but we also allow time to remedy if there was a problem with the signature.
We have to request a mail-in ballot, why is that a big deal? We can do it online, in person, by phone or by email. If it will eliminate a complaint of the GOP, one less thing they can point to to say an election has fraud.
I think we should have ballot boxes, but I’m fine with requiring they be manned.
I also think anyone should be able to drop off someone else’s ballot.
One thing I think must be added is states should have to start to process and count mail-in a minimum of two weeks before Election Day if not more. The only argument to wait for Election Day in my opinion is for voter suppression and to cast doubt on the counting process. It is a purposeful delay in my opinion that the GOP tried to employ.”

Where exactly are the answers to my points?

@Smashley I do not agree we should presume anything, because we know that whatever can be challenged will be challenged. Therefore we should structure election laws to preclude any suspicion of possible fraud.

Smashley's avatar

@crazyguy – You cannot achieve this goal. These bills are precluded on a lie, and have achieved its political relevance by the power of that lie. Lies about the election are being packaged like subprime mortgages into a product designed to to do the classic republican play of restricting voting to try to gain an electoral edge. Even a perfect system is vulnerable to suspicion, especially when there is political gain in lying about it,

crazyguy's avatar

@Smashley The Democrats would like nothing better than to let suspicions linger with no way to prove or disprove the allegations, mainly because of privacy laws. You can find out where I live BUT NOT WHO I VOTED FOR!!!!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@crazyguy Can you give us, say 7 cases of voter fraud?

Smashley's avatar

@crazyguy – I’m sorry, but you’re just too far off the deep end here. Please, The Democrats want suspicions about the election to linger? Are you even listening to yourself? They want the suspicions to go away, because the suspicions are dumb, and part of an orchestrated, political lie, that a child could see coming from 4 years away. Yes the suspicions undermine Democratic power, but that is not a justification for their existence.

I trust that the preponderance of evidence heavily supports the notion that the election was not stolen, and that Trump was always going to lie about it, regardless. The fact that political power has been leveraged from the lie it shameful, and that the political power it leveraged is being used to attempt to disenfranchise voters, which is the only way Republicans think they can win an election in the United States, is astoundingly shameful.

crazyguy's avatar

@Smashley The possibility of fraud will invariably lead to allegations of fraud, whether it happened or not. I really do not understand] why anybody wants to build such loopholes into our election laws. If you really think dropping off a ballot at a mailbox is too hard for some people, HELP THEM OUT, the law lets you.

Strauss's avatar

@crazyguy How much easier would Democracy be if challenges to our election results would be few and far between?

Many Republicans keep saying there was fraud, or that many Americans are concerned about election irregularities, which is true, but mostly because Republicans have spent months darkly suggesting there were irregularities.
The challenges to our election results were the result of the “big lie” being propagated for years before the election, and intensively hammered into the media echo chamber. Any untruth heard often enough will sound like the truth, especially if it is spoken by a source or sources trusted by the hearers.

We just finished with an election that was reported by the government itself to be the most secure election in the country’s history.

crazyguy's avatar

@Strauss The problem with our election laws and practice is that fraud allegations can never be fully dispensed with. How can they be? When Georgia cannot pout the ballot together with the envelope it came in. We are more concerned with voter privacy than election integrity. However, I do believe that privacy can be preserved by making fraud impossible. Then there cannot be any allegations of fraud.

Strauss's avatar

@crazyguy I hope you enjoy the kool-aid!

crazyguy's avatar

@Strauss Final punch as the fighter falls to the floor of the ring?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Bullshit! The premise that voter fraud is endemic or even a threat in this country is nonsense, and once again the screen for suppressing the vote. A guarantee against fraud is equivalent to a guarantee against indigestion. In a pool of tens of millions of voters, there will be an insignificant few so stupid as to believe they can sway an election through cheating. But such instances are ALWAYS negligible and NEVER as significant as simply the random errors implicit in any enterprise involving hundreds of millions of people. There will NEVER be a guarantee against fraud, just as there will NEVER be a guarantee against the stupidity of those claiming one possible.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly Great paragraph.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Response moderated

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther