Las Vegas Sun

November 26, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Plenty of problems with this election

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Thank God! The election is finally over. Never in my life have I gone through something so painful and unpleasant for so long.

I must say that I voted this year, but I am not particularly proud of it. In fact, in a couple of the races, I was downright embarrassed to vote for any of the candidates.

I didn’t vote because of all the men and women in uniform who have served our country to preserve our right to vote. I did that 40 years ago in Vietnam, and protecting your right to vote was the last thing on my mind then. And I didn’t vote because it was my “civic duty.” Civic duty is a feel-good thing, and I didn’t feel good about voting in this election.

The reason I voted this year was freedom of speech. The Supreme Court has ruled that money is free speech and can’t be suppressed.

To my knowledge, the court has never ruled that voting also is free speech, so it could be suppressed.

More states are passing laws that in order to express your opinion as to who should govern us, you have to prove that you are a U.S. citizen.

Yet, there is no law anywhere that requires a person to show a picture ID in order to throw buckets and buckets of money at campaigns.

For the conspiracy theorists worried about noncitizens influencing our elections, how do you know that they aren’t already doing it by donating to super PACs?

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  1. I have never been asked for any form of "ID" to vote in Nevada, other than presenting my sample ballot to the volunteer seated at a table. He/she checks the sample ballot, finds my name on the list of registered voters,I sign by my name and the volunteer hands me my voting machine card, and I vote.

    Having said that, it is time for all states to be on the same page as regards voting. No one can dispute that attempts were made in GOP governed states to make it more difficult. Ohio tried to affect early voting, and their efforts were rejected by the courts, up to and including the Supreme Court. The a**hat in charge of voting in Ohio then, out of pettiness, shortened early voting to two days. It didn't effect the outcome of the election, but it wasn't from lack of trying.

    Nevada has early voting for two weeks prior to election day. It works, as the turnout suggests. All states should have something similar.

    If states want to have the voter present ID, then now is the time to issue said ID to those who don't have it. The ID requirement should be the same in all states. Just as the Federal govt. supplies a form of ID for Social Security and Medicare, they can create a format for voting ID, and mandate that the state governments use it. If the states deem that to be an "intrusion" on "states rights", too bad. The right to vote trumps that.

  2. I never understand this argument about showing ID to be able to vote. We require it to board an airliner and for many other actions too. We require ID to protect the 'integrity' of whatever 'system' we are talking about. I never hear the same people that make this argument about voting making the same argument about the 'other' systems that require ID. Why?

    Accommodations are made by airlines for people who don't possess a standard ID and nobody makes a stink. But that same accommodation isn't acceptable for voting. Why?

    Do people like the letter writer actually feel comfortable with letting people vote when they are required to show zero proof that they are who they claim to be? Why?

    Michael

  3. Money talks! And it lies a lot when it does.

  4. Michael, It is amazing how hard it is to fake a signature and the penalty for voter fraud doesn't make it worth it.

  5. Mark,

    Do you honestly believe that a consistent effort is made across all polling places in all states to check signatures done on voting day with signatures on file?

    If you do, then you'd be comfortable with what is currently done. I'd do what the airlines do. I'd insist on ID and I would make available ways to satisfy requirements if a person doesn't have a standard ID.

    I think that is reasonable for airlines and it should be reasonable for voting as well.

    Michael

  6. There is no absolute right to vote in the Constitution. The fact that it has taken amendments to prevent restrictions based upon several criteria (i.e. age, race, gender) and that the vote is denied to felons in most states demonstrates this.

    The way to fix the money aspect is simple: pass an amendment that says only those people eligible to vote may make a campaign contribution. That would instantly block many of the contributions that people complain about now.

  7. Micheal, yes, I actually feel comfortable with letting people vote when they are required to show zero proof that they are who they claim to be. Why, you ask? Because any resident of the United States, legal or otherwise, who cares enough about this country to vote deserves to have their voice heard, unlike the 50% of legal, photo ID carrying citizens who don't bother to vote.

    But my question to you is "Are you comfortable letting people throw buckets of money at elections without being required to show any proof of who they are? Why?"

  8. Richard,

    I am not comfortable with letting anyone that wants to vote, vote. I am not comfortable with people being able to contribute to elections without disclosing who they are.

    I want to see and have advocated for public financing of campaigns, lobbying reform, term limits, and a voter ID requirement for voting.

    That's where I stand. And just to add, I hate the fact that our voter participation is so low, but that does not mean I want to allow people to vote without showing ID. That's the wrong solution to the problem.

    Michael

  9. How about addressing VOTER FRAUD. How many illegals voted? Who do you think they voted for?

  10. @Roselenda....the only definitive study on non-citizen voting identified 54 individuals out of a registered base of more than 7 million, an insignificant percentage. Speculation on the 180,000 plus in Florida and Fox news hysteria are insufficient to restrict voting. I can, after all, prove that there are monsters under my bed because I can cite hundreds of books that say there are monsters under my bed.

    @wtplv.....Since I was required to provide positive identification when I registered I'm unwilling to go any further. The notion that I have to start showing some secure id for every interaction both public and private starts to fall too heavily on the side of totalitarianism. Since there is essentially non-existent voting fraud compared to say, blowing airplanes up or crashing them into buildings, your comparison of voter id to airplane boarding id is specious at best.

    Here in Washington we vote by mail, quick, convenient and easy. County Clerk check my signature and tabulates or puts it in the provisional pile for double check.

    Find me a problem and I'll reconsider my stance but the only voting fraud I've seen is the Republican gal busted a few days before the election. I haven't seen a follow up on that story.

  11. Consider how technology is changing the way things can be done, as well as other things. Maybe someday retinal scanners will be used for voter ID verification.

    Of course that will be difficult for voting by mail, but maybe voting on the Internet will be combined with retinal scanners for voter ID verification.

    Currently, it isn't fail safe due to such diseases like cataracts, diabetes, or glaucoma, but I suspect that hurdle will be overcome eventually.

    Until then, the old fashioned way, of initial registration with a government photo ID, and signature, should suffice for validating a voter from that point forward.

    Technological advances have effects on our culture in many ways. Each generation is more comfortable with the evolution that occurs, including in thinking.

    I think the main objections to the current years changes in requiring photo ID's was the time and motive, and that it was Republican Governors who initiated it, one admitting the motive was to ensure Romney's election.

    Even courts agreed with the premise, but waived the implementation for after the current election because of the difficulty for some potential voters obtaining such photo ID's in the time frame needed.

    States may have to go back to the drawing board to ensure everyone can obtain what is necessary to avail them of the ability to vote in 2014 or 2016, depending on how accommodating the laws are.

  12. A fake ID is much easier to obtain then forging someone's signature. Checking someone's signature is much more secure than just checking their ID. When a bank checks your ID to cash a check they are comparing signatures.

  13. Bill, peacelilly, and Pat give perfectly fine answers to Michael Casler's overwrought worries. His worries are on the order of worrying about alien abduction.

  14. Pat,

    How does one handle voting by mail in Washington if they have no mail pickup, and either can't drive or walk to a distant mailbox or post office?