A Mention of Voter Roll Purges As Voter Suppression.

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  1. GA Anderson profile image88
    GA Andersonposted 2 years ago

    Stumbling across a mention of Voter Roll purges, specifically the increasing frequency of voter roll purges as a method of voter suppression, prompted a question of "How?"

    A quick look-around found four primary reasons to purge: died, are imprisoned, have moved to another state, or become legally incompetent. That seems right to me.

    From that look-around I found a couple of common themes among anti-purge sources; some states were using "flimsy" purge criteria, and using the National Change of Address system maintained by the U.S. Postal Service and data generated by the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), make it unnecessary (30 states use the ERIC system in some manner)

    I think relying on those latter sources is simply and irresponsibly passing the buck. If one follows the logic of accepting that premise, then it is only a couple of more steps to establishing a national voter registration system and doing away with local and independent offices.

    A presented example of a state's flimsy excuse was purges due to inactivity. That doesn't sound right until the details are explained; generally, this purge happens when a registered voter has not voted in multiple election cycles, and, the voter has not responded to a mailed request for updated information.

    The "failed to respond" part makes this seem valid to me. Consider; it is your responsibility to maintain updated records. You have no data from a voter for a minimum of 4 - 6 years, (2-year election cycles), or 8 - 12 years, (4-year election cycle), and, you have officially and can document your efforts, (the mail), asked for updated information.

    You are left with two choices: assume the voter just forgot, or didn't get the mail, or just doesn't care to bother and assume that responsibility for yourself and leave them on the rolls. Or, assume that the voter views their Right as important and would have responded if applicable—and purge their active status. The last would be my choice.

    What am I missing, where and how has voter roll updating been attributed as voter suppression. *as a note, I am familiar with the problem of identical name/near-identical detail problems encountered in the past, but on scale I would venture those numbers to be so low as to be insignificant. (yeah I know, not to the one it affected)

    GA

    1. Credence2 profile image79
      Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Makes sense that voters should be concerned enough about the process to respond to inquiries by county government regarding their continued eligibility. But, it is equally as important that voter purges be done without error, accurately all of the time, not handled in a haphazard, capricious manner.

      1. GA Anderson profile image88
        GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Well of course they should be handled in a non-hazardous and non-capricious way. I didn't come across anything that said that was the charge against Georgia's new law.

        I find the voter suppression charge against voter roll updates/purges to be nothing more than a partisan talking point. I think we all know how they come about. And considering all the `what about your states' baggage that such a claim carries, I think it's a bad idea to plant your flag on

        GA

    2. Sharlee01 profile image90
      Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      It would seem some feel the technique of purging the voter's rolls in some states may be being done to try to attempt to tailor the electorate and achieve their preferred political outcomes.   State election officials due to regulations to have the obligation to try to keep voter registration records up to date by canceling registrations for all the reasons you have provided.   And have done this for decades. 

      But lately, a minority of states have been accused of going further and engaging in a practice that some feel is glaringly unconstitutional—purging people from the rolls solely because they have skipped voting in several consecutive elections and they have not responded to a letter asking them to confirm where they live.

      Not sure why now, some are up in arms?  Purging voting rolls is not new nor is it illegal.  Gosh, I can't imagine the mess the rolls would be if they were not at some interval purged.

      So here is what you might be missing ---   In my view, this is once again a political ploy to stir the pot.

      Plus, if purged for one of the reasons the law stipulates of a given state, one can just re-register. Pretty simple...  We have laws that dictate how we vote, as well as how a state keeps the rolls.   We can't have laws for one group --- those that follow them, and those that just don't.

      1. GA Anderson profile image88
        GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Nope, I didn't miss the political ploy point, as you can see from a follow-up comment, I called it out: "I find the voter suppression charge against voter roll updates/purges to be nothing more than a partisan talking point."

        I didn't want to start with that because it is possible there are other reasonable perspectives.  We'll see.

        Another thought just occurred. The purged names would have to be cherry-picked—only Democrat registrations should be purged. Imagine the complexity, and scale, of effort that would be required. Try a mental picture of a Republican operative hunched over their desk at 2 am, and with only their small desk light on, clicking away on the keyboard looking for potential Democrat purgees.

        GA

        1. Valeant profile image85
          Valeantposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Choosing to do the purging of voters from only counties with large cities where Democratic leaning-voters are congregated would not need someone hunched over a desk.  Pretty much achieves the goal in a presidential election.

          1. GA Anderson profile image88
            GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            That also sounds like a stretch. I suppose the number or percentage of voters purged could shed some light on your possibility. Someone should take a look.

            GA

            1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
              Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              The Brennan Center did an analysis and found that counties with a history of voter discrimination are purging people from the rolls at high rates.  Much higher than other counties.
              Before the Supreme Courts (2013) Shelby County decision, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act required jurisdictions with a history of discrimination to submit proposed changes in voting procedures to the Department of Justice or a federal court for approval, a process known as “preclearance.”

              Prior to the  Shelby County decision, jurisdictions covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act collectively had purge rates right in line with the rest of the country. " A major finding in last year’s report was that jurisdictions that used to have federal oversight over their election practices began to purge more voters after they no longer had to pre-clear proposed election changes. The 2016–2018 EAC (Election Assistance Commission) data shows a slightly wider gap in purge rates between the formerly covered jurisdictions and the rest of the country than existed between 2014 and 2016.

              This is of particular interest because this continued, and even widening, gap debunks possible claims that certain states would experience a one-time jump when free of federal oversight, but then return to rates in line with the rest of the country. They haven’t.

              The median purge rate over the 2016–2018 period in jurisdictions previously subject to preclearance was 40 percent higher than the purge rate in jurisdictions that were not covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. "

              https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/ … ysis-finds

              1. Sharlee01 profile image90
                Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                Informative information. However, what is not provided is any cases that the voter roll purge has caused any complaints from actual citizens that were purged. The actual people that end up purged seem to have a little problem. Have there been complaints from citizens in regards to being purged?

                In my view, this is rhetoric from the Democratic party to stir up racial tension.  It seems destructive to point out an injustice that perhaps is not there?  They scream about a problem, without proof of the problem.

                  I have not dug up any form of votes complaining about being purged... I think once again Democrats are revealing a destructive political ploy, using racism to glean support. Making problems that just are not there, for the people they say these problems affect...    Does this really work to heal or move forward for American's?

              2. GA Anderson profile image88
                GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                I had read your Brennan center link Faye, so I will take a chance of shooting myself in the foot by answering from recall. It seems to be the source of many of the anti-purge articles and evaluations.

                It started with a 17 million purged voters number for 2014-2018(?). This seemed impressive. So much so that Valeant's point looked relevant. But then things started getting cloudy.

                First, to set the scale, that number was a national number, even so, it's still a big number. But, was it for a 2-year cycle or a 4-year cycle; 2014 - 2016 or 2016 - 2018, or both; 2014 - 2018? If it is for 2 purge cycles the number per surge is probably more significant.

                Then, Brennan tosses in the disclaimer that because of changes in state reporting, ie. some states didn't report purge numbers in the same way, some states didn't participate in the reporting for all the years included in their study,(but did report some years), and some states didn't purge on a regular basis, that extrapolation of the numbers to pre-clearance vs, post-clearance percentages might not be as indicative as the straight math says.

                The article continued with enough caveats to leave me feeling that they were comfortable with the 17 million total number, but not much else.

                There was no identification of illegal or mistaken purge activities in that large number, and, there were enough gray areas to make the preclearance vs. non-preclearance states' percentages 'iffy'. I think I recall that the inclusion of some states/counties in the 2016 - 2018 period—that weren't included in the 2014 - 2016 period, may have also skewed the percentages—as they relate to conclusions drawn from a straight precleared vs. non-precleared comparison.

                I finished the read feeling a `maybe'. Maybe the numbers are saying what Brennan wants them to say, or maybe they aren't. Even with the taint of a previous history of bad acts, the Brennan report didn't convince me that those states' purges were partisan operations.

                I was still left with doubt; 17 million is a big number but is it an unusually big number? *shrug With the caveats and varying reporting by states, is the covered vs. non-covered jurisdiction comparison validly supported? Again, a *shrug

                I am not dismissing the Brennan report, but I am not convinced it is the rock of support that many of the claims derived from say it is.

                GA

                1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
                  Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  Between 2014 and 2016 states purged almost 16 million voters from the rolls, four million more voters than were  removed from 2006 to 2008. Yes, of course it is difficult or maybe impossible to know How many of those were purged in error. Although, Ohio last year purged 460,000 registrations, thousands of them in error. https://www.lwv.org/newsroom/news-clips … all-change

                  I do find it very troubling that those areas released from being subject to preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act had “significantly higher” rates of purging voters. It's sort of feels like they're back to their old tricks? 
                  Obviously voters should check their registration. But additionally, Brennan reported;  "We’ve found that a lot of these purges happen in secret and problems are only found on election day when people went to try to vote,”  so that’s why it’s critical that states be transparent about what their policies are on purging the voter rolls. 

                  Lastly, I'll add that the practice of purging names of people who have not voted in recent elections  may very well be unconstitutional.

                  " It is well established, under the Constitution and federal law, that American voters have a right to choose not to vote and not to be penalized for doing so."
                  https://www.americanbar.org/groups/crsj … stration0/

                  The Brennan report does not convince that the purges are a partisan operation. But many believe that Republicans benefit when the voting populace goes down.

                  1. GA Anderson profile image88
                    GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    I appreciate your effort in finding the numbers Faye, but given the number of important unknowns and variables, I am not convinced they show more than the possibility of a problem.

                    For instance, the significance of the 2006-8 vs. 2014/16 comparison. 4 million is a significant increase but how does it compare to 2010 - 2012 or 2014 - 2016, are they the same magnitude of difference? And, once again, the data appears to do no more than possibly support assumptions, ("sorta feels like").

                    But wait. I am not making contrary claims about those other cycles. so no need for anyone to spend the time checking. I am just pointing to why I don't want to make the same assumptions.

                    When I got past the seemingly supportive Brennan-type data and looked for the problem itself, I didn't find it. It may be there, and those assumptions mentioned may be right, but as it stands for me, still, the voter suppression charge hasn't been supported.

                    Your closing thought seems to indicate that you too see the reason for that doubt. When `belief is the only support doubt is almost automatic.

                    GA

            2. IslandBites profile image90
              IslandBitesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Well, that's telling.

              1. GA Anderson profile image88
                GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                Telling? Hmm . . . is that a jab that I didn't look around? If it is, it is not quite right, as my response to Faye should show.

                GA

        2. Sharlee01 profile image90
          Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          So, I wonder why has the long-time procedure of purging voter rolls all of a sudden drawn such concern from Democrats?   And more importantly, has there been an outcry from actual citizens that have been purged off the rolls, or is it just a bit of rhetoric meant to stir up an unnecessary concern about what some see as voter suppression.

          1. GA Anderson profile image88
            GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Those are good questions. Is this a problem or just a possible problem?

            GA

            1. Sharlee01 profile image90
              Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

              I guess in my view, it's a problem if one party decides to promote a problem, that it well appears citizens that may have been purged could care less about.  But that's politics is it not?

              Just feels very wrong, to pursue this allegation of voter suppression in regard to something states have been doing for decades, without the outcry of any citizens that were purged.  My common sense is working on overdrive.

              In my view, it's another liberal, "can I help ya" ---  "hey, we think you need our help, seems you did not realize you have been wronged".

              1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
                Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                I think when you have Nine states with a history of racial discrimination who are aggressively removing voters from the rolls, it requires collective action.

                1. Sharlee01 profile image90
                  Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  Did you care about this before it was brought to your attention as of late? Have you found it a problem you have seen reported in previous years?
                  Have you heard of any cases where a citizen stepped up and claimed they were unlawfully removed from the voting rolls?

                  Youn uses the word racial discrimination in nine states. Is there actual proof of the nine states removing black people illegally from the rolls?
                  I would hope you have facts to back this up, Faye.

                  All American's have the right to vote, they also are expected to follow the laws that their state has put in place.  It would seem you feel Black citizens need not follow the voting laws.  I would assume many whites get cut from the rolls for not keeping up their voting responsibilities.  I don't feel blacks need to be provided a separate set of rules when it comes to voting.

                  1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
                    Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    Below is the link to the Brennan study that I previously elaborated on in a post to GA above. I believe that post also has a link to voter purges recently found in Ohio and Georgia also. As well as a link from the American bar association with a stance calling the purges for "use it or lose it" As most likely unconstitutional.
                    The states in question have a long history of discrimination unfortunately. They were under the guidance of the department of Justice  until that section of the voter rights act of 1965 was struck down by the Supreme Court. It seems that since their guidance/oversight has been removed they are back to aggressively removing people from the voter rolls.  And yes they've been shown to be in predominantly minority, working class areas.

                    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 … ter-report

                    I do not believe that there should be separate voting rules for anyone. I do expect that state regulations around cleaning rolls is evenly and fairly applied though.  This was clearly not done in the past and seems to be rearing its ugly head again.

                    I don't think this can be rationalized by saying if people dont complain it's not an issue. We can say that about so many things.  States are required to follow the rules even if no one complains.

    3. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
      Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Heritage is spending $24 million over two years in eight battleground states—Arizona, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin to pass and defend restrictive voting legislation.
      The aim?  To help Republicans win elections. The difference now is that Mr. Trump's baseless claims about 2020 have given them the ammunition to get the bills passed.

      The embedded video is well worth a watch.
      https://www.motherjones.com/politics/20 … sion-laws/

      1. GA Anderson profile image88
        GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Oh no Faye . . . not Mother Jones.

        Okay, here's my take on the article and about half of the video.

        So what? Politicians have been using lobbyists and special interest
        groups, (I know, redundant), to craft the structure of legislation forever.  I think that can and should be a good thing, but I am aware that it can also be a bad thing. I can see the same effort, and bragging rights, occurring in the liberal legislative arena without thinking it is automatically bad.

        Then, I read the article's claims about the suppressive restrictions in the Georgia bill. I have looked at those "restrictions" in detail. The article gives the entire body of its second paragraph to what are nothing more than partisan mischaracterizations. Just like our "purge" discussion, the charges and claims are nothing more than assumptions.

        GA

  2. Valeant profile image85
    Valeantposted 2 years ago

    Some of the issues tend to be the timing of when voter rolls are updated and how close to an election is appropriate.

    1. GA Anderson profile image88
      GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Hmm . . .  I did see one mention that it could not be done within 90 days of an election. I don't see that as a problem either.

      GA

  3. wilderness profile image94
    wildernessposted 2 years ago

    I can't see any real problem with updating voter registration rolls either.  The only complaint I can fathom is coming from those that wish anyone and everyone to vote - dead or alive, legal or not, local or from across the country, etc.

    In other words it is only those people that do not wish to ensure only legal votes that are complaining.

    1. GA Anderson profile image88
      GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      As a side note, It seems the most current controversy about this issue is focused on Georgia, but I think that is a wrong choice of targets that diminishes the authority of the claims. An easy look-around finds many states, (of both colors), that have much more stringent regulations than Georgia's new law.

      Taking the risk of mentioning a current talking point, Pres. Biden's own state of Deleware ranks as the most voter-restrictive. Along with New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. A Northeast Democrat bastion that may merit a fair comparison with the much-criticized `Southern states.'

      If the antebellum South is so damn racist then maybe a similar taint lays with the Liberal Northeast. I don't recall hearing any of that from the voter-suppression messengers.

      GA

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Makes sense - the objective is to gain more Democrat votes, not Republican ones.  If voting is loosened in the NE, you might just get more Republican ones, so that is not on the agenda for complaining about.

  4. IslandBites profile image90
    IslandBitesposted 2 years ago

    Purges: A Growing Threat to the Right to Vote

    "Voter purges are an often-flawed process of cleaning up voter rolls by deleting names from registration lists. Done badly, they can prevent eligible people from casting a ballot that counts. This report examines the growing threat, and outlines steps every state can take to protect voters in November and beyond."


    "Use It or Lose It": The Problem of Purges from the Registration Rolls of Voters Who Don't Vote Regularly

    It is well established, under the Constitution and federal law, that American voters have a right to choose not to vote and not to be penalized for doing so. Instead, the nine or so states that engage in this type of purge of registrants say it is justified because not voting in recent elections and not returning a mailed notice is a proxy for identifying people who have moved to a different jurisdiction.

    1. GA Anderson profile image88
      GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Islandmom. I had viewed both of your linked sources in my little look-around.

      Regarding your first link, I found it a summation of possible `ifs,' `maybes.' and `coulds.' I don't say that flippantly. Those ifs and could are possible outcomes, but I did not understand them to be probable outcomes. I am not sure, but my earlier blurb about "flimsy" criteria may have come from that link. Failure to vote for 2 - 12 years, (2 - 3 election cycles), and, failing to respond to requests for updated information does not seem like flimsy criteria at all. It seems very sensible to me. The only other possible expectation would be to charge the office with the investigative responsibility to go out in the field and seek the verification they need to ensure the accuracy of their rolls. That's nuts.

      Relative to your "Use it or Lose it" link, the voter doesn't lose their Right to vote, they just have to make some effort to exercise it. Surely one would think a Right so valuable and intrinsic to our democracy would be worth at least some effort?

      I don't accept the accusations against the inactivity thing as valid.

      GA

  5. Valeant profile image85
    Valeantposted 2 years ago

    Mitch McConnell pulls a Biden Freudian slip today on Twitter when talking about voting rights:

    "Well the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans," McConnell responded.

    "In one quote, he summarized the entire GOP worldview. They think it’s a White nation and anyone who isn’t White isn’t a true American," tweeted another person.

    1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
      Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Oh my Freudian slip!  I had to go and take a look at this. I thought it was a tweet he made but he actually spoke this!  I suppose it could be a slip in omitting the word  "white" in front of Americans. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
      I'd like to think the universe is giving him a little lesson in holding his own tongue when he attacks President Biden's speech gaffes

    2. Sharlee01 profile image90
      Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      First, Did we need to go there,  over McConnell dropping a word? I mean I think he is a rule very well-spoken.  Now Biden IMO, he is an innate racist, he comes out with racial remarks so easily. And most of his remarks are very much what racists do think about blacks... Very stereotypical. words like junky,  inferring blacks are not incredibly diverse, associating being a drug attic with being black, And then shocked at Obama ---being articulate and bright and clean... He just can't help himself, it's innate, part of his very character.

      Did these statements summarize the entire Democratic party worldwide?

      Biden held with syndicated program host Charlamagne the God in May. "Well, I'll tell you what," Biden said, "if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't Black."

      Then in August 2020, Biden told a gathering of black and Hispanic journalists that “unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly different attitudes about different things.”  Joe Biden

      "In the same interview, responding to a question on whether he had taken a cognitive test, Biden angrily fired back with the suggestion that the black reporter was a drug addict.

      “That’s like saying you . . . before you got in this program, you’re take [sic] a test whether you’re taking cocaine or not,” Biden said. “What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?”

      In 2007, he referred to Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean.”

      In 2006, he said, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

      Way back in 1977, he said that forced busing to desegregate schools would cause his children to “grow up in a racial jungle.”

      Of course, he infamously worked with segregationist senators to oppose that mandatory busing, which decades later led to the strongest moment in Kamala Harris’s campaign for president.


      Now if you feel you can explain or justify these comments. Maybe you might want to think --- Mitch dropped a word, he did not string entire sentences that would appear to be racist in nature.

      I have never known Mitch to be racist. But I guess in today's climate, hey smear him. 

      Like I said why even bring it up? Seems petty in my view. And just deepens the great divide.

      1. Valeant profile image85
        Valeantposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Not a smear to quote what someone said and how someone else perceives that exact quote.  Especially when he's standing against legislation to protect the voting rights of certain Americans.

        1. Sharlee01 profile image90
          Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Seems a bit of a  smear, as I smeared Biden...  Do we need to go there?

          1. Valeant profile image85
            Valeantposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            You go there daily as it is.  Not sure why today would be any different.

  6. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
    Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years ago

    Robert Reich today on Twitter summed it up nicely:

    "There is something terribly wrong with a system that allows 41 Senate Republicans representing 21% of the country to block voting rights legislation supported by nearly 70% of Americans. It really, truly, doesn't have to be this way."

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I find that the "70% of Americans" wanting voting rights without safeguards to be nothing but political flak.  There isn't a chance, IMO, that that many people want to throw our polls open to anyone wanting to case one, or many, votes. 

      Rather the large majority wants safe, fraud free elections...and that means safeguards to protect the process.

    2. GA Anderson profile image88
      GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      That thought goes back to the assertion that one senator is more important than another. Does the same apply to Congress, is a House member with a large district more important than one with a small district?

      A rationalization using percentages can be as worthless as a loaded poll when the use of percentages isn't the proper measure. Relative to a senator's voice, the number of constituents represented shouldn't matter.

      Ipso facto, and by majestic GA decree, poof! Reich is wrong!

      GA

      1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
        Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        But the senators voice is representing a defined number of people!  This is back to the minority rule conversation. Every state no matter if it has 1 million people, or 30 million gets two senators.
        Again,  a system designed to protect the rights of smaller states has turned into partisan minority rule. A few hundred thousand people in Wyoming have as much power as tens of millions of people in California or New York.
        I would make a case for the Senate to be more proportional in its representation. Obviously not likely to happen.   Or, something even more radical such as could changing the powers of the Senate. Around the world, most upper chambers are less powerful than the lower chambers that represent the people more directly.  Anything to move toward a more pure form of democracy.

        1. GA Anderson profile image88
          GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          I do not think a senator's voice should be defined by the number of people represented. I think the strength of their voice and the weight of their vote is exactly equal to every other senator—50% of the voice of their state.

          Small states have equal sovereignty with large states. Accepting your premise demands disagreement with equal sovereignty. I don't disagree.

          In anticipation of comments that would qualify segments of that equal sovereignty Right by issues; ask the pregnancy question first; can one be
          a little bit pregnant?

          And to carry that thought further, acceptance of your premise would obviously lead to acceptance of proportional vote strength: a  California senator gets full weight for their vote but a Wyoming senator's vote would only be worth 3/5ths of the big state senator's vote. I know how that sounds to me, what about you?

          And then there is the perfect closing thought. No, moving toward pure democracy is not a good thing. It is a thing our Constitution was written to avoid that movement as much as possible. It is also a thing that is so easily illustrated to be the bad thing it really is. Start with the most basic illustration of mob rule, (in the case of a hanging mob?), and then address the over-used analogy of 4 wolves and 2 sheep voting to decide who will be dinner, and step to the near-present with the example of CHAZ. All of those are examples of pure democracy.

          GA

          1. Valeant profile image85
            Valeantposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Perhaps you could point to the part of the Constitution where the filibuster exists then?  Where in the document it states that 60% of the Senate needs to agree to pass a bill.  I'll wait.

            1. GA Anderson profile image88
              GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              What does the filibuster have to do with my comment?

              However, I will take a guess at the "Constitution" question. I would look around the area where it says something about the chambers having the responsibility and authority to set the rules for their legislatures.

              The odds are good that someone that knows will pop-in and inform both of us.

              GA

          2. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
            Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            Well in today's political climate we have two sheep armed with assault rifles holding the wolves hostage.

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              If that what it takes for sheep to protect their rights to live as they wish, how is that bad?  Is it so horrible that California residents do not decide how Wyoming residents shall live?

        2. Credence2 profile image79
          Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          I don't think that we have to go that far.

          A the compromise was necessary to bring small states on board with the 1787 Constitution.

          States are equally represented as states in the Senate, but the House is designed to allow for the greater influence California should have over Wyoming based on population.

          You are right; it is not going to happen, as major changes to the Constitution requiring 3/4 of the states in agreement, the small states are never going to cede such power and influence.

          But if I had my choice, I would prefer that the more powerful branch of Congress was based on the principles of the House, while the less powerful would reflect the situation of the current Senate.

          1. GA Anderson profile image88
            GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            So you would want the emotion of the multitude of voices to rule over the deliberative voices?

            Think about that: the clamor and raw representations of 435 voices, each representing the voice of their constituents, (supposedly), with the emotion of their electors, presiding over the deliberative voices of 100, with each representing only one voice—the sage voice of their state, (again, supposedly).

            That's not the way I would want it.

            GA

            1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
              Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              The Senate was once the place where problems got solved, where senators were able to converse across party lines and get things done. Increasingly that is not the case.
              Yes, the founders intended to protect minority opinions but  I feel certain that they did not intend to create a dictatorship of the minority that prevents the majority from moving forward with sensible policies that benefit everybody.
              By what possible metric can the U.S. Senate flatter itself that it remains the world’s greatest deliberative body? Certainly not by the quality of the deliberation that takes place there.
              This is today’s Senate. It is distinguished neither by its deliberation nor by its legislative accomplishments; its members are, with a few notable exceptions, the most ordinary sort of political minds.
              Yes, give me all of the emotion of the 435 representatives scrapping it out.  The more fight, emotion and passion the better. Maybe something will actually get done.

              1. wilderness profile image94
                wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                "I feel certain that they did not intend to create a dictatorship of the minority that prevents the majority from moving forward with sensible policies that benefit everybody."

                The problem is that those "sensible policies that benefit everybody" do nothing of the sort.  They benefit the residents of populace states that want something different than those of less populated states, but no more than that. 

                That "something get done" is not the purpose of government, or at least should not be.  That "something get done that everybody wants done" is.

            2. Credence2 profile image79
              Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Funny, that arrangement that I suggest seems to be working in Britain, the raw representation of the MPs over the lords and aristocrats.

              What does deliberative mean? The "sage" voice of the state may not be as representative of my voice as that of people as I would like. Yes, it is "supposedly".

              As I believe that the state only exists with the support of the people that live there and over some sort "sage" interest that do not reflect the will of the majority of residents.

              Btw, if it wasn't for the Constitutional Amendment providing for the direct election of Senators, the Senate would just be another "House of Lords".

              1. GA Anderson profile image88
                GA Andersonposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                Swap in "succeed" for "exist" and it would be a fair thought.

                That American `House of Lords' thought seems to be further support that the senate was intended to be just as described. Considering the times, it was the aristocracy that was considered to be smart, intelligent, and informed, (and a bunch of other bad adjectives). Even in that direction, the Founders were looking for reasoned and deliberative considerations.

                GA

                1. Credence2 profile image79
                  Credence2posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  Understood, GA.

                  At one time, the aristocracy were considered so much smarter, intelligent and informed then the general masses, today they just have more money. That is all.

                  1. wilderness profile image94
                    wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    Unfortunately much of the historic "aristocracy" was quite inbred...and if often showed.

                    But if you consider "American aristocracy" to be the likes of Oprah, Musk, Perry or Gates, they are most definitely smart, intelligent and informed (at least in the areas that matter to them).

        3. Sharlee01 profile image90
          Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

          Faye, Senators represent the people's voice, ultimately their ideologies. Should the voices of any given state be tempered due to population?  The House of Representatives represents the congressional district, which gives way to supporting the voices of many districts in a  given state. It further breaks down the opportunity for all to be heard. The larger states do have more of a voice due to population and ultimately having many more districts.  Ultimately, it works and provides fairness. It seems to me it would be very unfair to change the balance. Not sure where you are coming from. It sounds as if the larger more populated states would dictate every election, a one-party state. This system has all the traits of communist Marxist.

          Democracy is built on balance.  A government in which power and civic responsibility are exercised by all adult citizens,  through their freely elected rep- resentatives. Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule, but also on individual rights. Taking away a state's voice by deducting a Senator would be taking away the citizens of that state's right to be represented as other larger states. A Democracy would die without the fair representation of all citizens. frequent, and well-managed elections are essential in any true democracy.

          1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
            Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            The incoming Senate in 2020 Democratic senators represented at least 20,314,962 more people than their Republican counterparts. This is my problem.  This is where legislation happens. This is where Supreme Court justices are confirmed. It's a problem.  This is in no way a "fair" representation

            1. Sharlee01 profile image90
              Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

              Do you feel we should change the Constitution? --  Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof for six Years.”

              1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
                Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                That obviously won't happen but it doesn't change the fact that it's a problem that is creating increasing frustration in everyday Americans. 

                When you have Vermont’s 625,000 residents with 2 United States senators, and so do New York’s 19 million. That means that a Vermonter has 30 times the voting power in the Senate of a New Yorker just over the state line.  The  biggest inequality between two adjacent states.
                The Senate has always been unequal, giving less populous states an outsized voice relative to their population.
                In fact, it’s reached the point that Republicans can win a majority of Senate seats while only representing a minority of Americans.  I suppose people don't really care if they are on the side that dominates, fairly or not.
                As I said to GA, I'd rather see more power go to the House of Representatives.  The representation Is more closely related to the actual population. This would be the true balance that you're talking about.

                1. Sharlee01 profile image90
                  Sharlee01posted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  I have a basic concern about changing the Constitution. It has worked well for us, and would it be wise to tweak three distinct branches? 

                  We have always had a fraction of American's that would opt to do away with the Constitution. But, I don't think the majority of American's would feel we should tamper with the Constitution.

                  1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
                    Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    Well actually, some defenders of the Senate have suggested that we should not question the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in fashioning the “Great Compromise” that created this institution.  But in fact, most of the framers of the Constitution originally opposed this system, with only five of the thirteen states strongly supporting it.  Alexander Hamilton was particularly incensed with the idea that all states should have equal legislative representation. Writing in Federalist 22, he complained:

                    "Every idea of proportion and every rule of fair representation conspire to condemn a principle, which gives to Rhode Island an equal weight in the scale of power with Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or New York; and to Delaware an equal voice in the national deliberations with Pennsylvania, or Virginia, or North Carolina. Its operation contradicts the fundamental maxim of republican government, which requires that the sense of the majority should prevail."

                    In the end, the two-senator rule was adopted, primarily because the small states threatened to drop out of the whole process if they did not get their way.  It was more a matter of political extortion than of reasoned compromise.

                    More importantly though, because of its undemocratic nature, the Senate has become the graveyard of far too many policies supported by the majority of Americans. As the grim reaper himself Mitch McConnell has boasted.

                    I'd suggest that there could potentially be a road to reform. And we have tampered plenty with the constitution in our history.   After all, the public rose up once before and demanded a constitutional amendment to reform the Senate.  Originally, senators were not popularly elected, but chosen by state legislatures. Public dissatisfaction with this lack of public accountability grew, and the demand for the popular election of the Senate became part of the platform of the Populist and Progressive movements and eventually resulted in the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913.

        4. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 2 years agoin reply to this

          "Again,  a system designed to protect the rights of smaller states has turned into partisan minority rule."

          No, it is protecting the rights of smaller states.  Yes, Wyoming has the same power (in the Senate) as New York...which is the way it should be and the way our Constitution was set up.

          Never forget that we are a republic of states, not a single conglomerate of people.

  7. CHRIS57 profile image59
    CHRIS57posted 2 years ago

    A good one from Joseph Vissarionovich Jughashvili, called Stalin:

    "Знаете, товарищи, - говорит Сталин, - что я думаю по этому поводу: я считаю, что совершенно неважно, кто и как будет в партии голосовать; но вот что чрезвычайно важно, это - кто и как будет считать голоса". - Борис Бажанов: Воспоминания бывшего секретаря Сталина, ГЛАВА 5. http://lib.ru/MEMUARY/BAZHANOW/stalin.txt

    A little abreviated translation:
    "You should know, comrades: It is absolutely not important who and how this party will vote, it is only important who counts the votes and how they are counted."

    Do you see similarities ?

    1. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
      Fayetteville Fayeposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Yes I do in relation to the slow-roll
      Coup that is headed straight for the 2024 election. Republican legislatures in key states have begun to replace the apparatus or the individuals that thwarted them in 2020.
      For example,  Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp  who signed a new law in March that undercuts the power of the county authorities who normally manage elections. Now a GOP-dominated state board, beholden to the legislature, may overrule and take control of voting tallies in any jurisdiction.
      The State Election Board can suspend a county board if it deems the board to be “underperforming” and replace it with a handpicked administrator. The administrator, in turn, will have final say on disqualifying voters and declaring ballots null and void.

      We got lucky in 2020. The idea of nullifying votes was too novel, too shocking and too poorly pitched by Mr. Trump's clownish legal team for legislative leaders to take it up. But I wouldn't expect them to make the same mistakes again. Since 2020, as Barton Gellman wrote in The Atlantic, “With tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft."   

      Republican leaders loyal to Mr. Trump are vying to control election administrations in key states in ways that could drastically distort the outcome of the presidential race in 2024. With the former president hinting strongly that he may stand again, his followers are manoeuvring themselves into critical positions of control across the US  from which they could launch a far more sophisticated attempt at an electoral coup than his effort to hang on to power in 2020.

      Mr. Trump has endorsed a number of Republican candidates for key state election positions who share a common feature: they all avidly embrace the myth of the stolen election.

      The candidates are being aggressively promoted for secretary of state positions – the top official that oversees elections in US states. Should any one of them succeed, they would hold enormous sway over the running of the 2024 presidential election in their state, including how the votes would be counted.

 
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