Even If A Particular Registered Voter Only Votes Once In A Blue Moon, That’s Their Right: They Should Not Have To Jump Through Hoops Or Be Forced To Use A Provisional Ballot That Can Be Easily Challenged
We’ve gotten a whole lot of responses here and in other places we publish about the piece we ran on the Supreme Court ruling regarding voter laws in Ohio. To recap: An Ohio law says if someone doesn’t vote regularly in federal elections, they get a letter in the mail, and if they don’t respond to that, they’re off. Justice Alito’s majority option agreed that if done this way, they’re not getting thrown off for not voting, which is unconstitutional. Instead, they’re getting thrown off for not responding to a letter in the mail, so it’s OK…
So we thought we’d spend a few minutes talking about that today.
But first, just a reminder that President Trump is expected to nominate a new Supreme Court Justice at 9PM EDT tonight. Announcing a Supreme Court Justice is always important; now it’s also a prime-time extravaganza. (A “Rose Garden” ceremony). Last time around we handicapped it and correctly picked Justice Gorsuch as Trump’s pick. That was based on appearance alone: we thought he looked the most “judgely”. Because we believe Trump cares most about “putting his mark on it.” (We don’t think he personally cares about specific issues like Roe v. Wade very much, beyond the fact that his base does. Basically, he’s looking for a Justice who’s going to be reliably pro-business and pro-Presidential powers. And so very likely any of the names on his list will do.) Beyond that, Supreme Court Justices are the most valuable currency Trump has to maintain the loyalty of the Republican party. The most “judgely” this time? Thomas Hardiman. At the same time, the Massachusetts native is from a more hardscrabble background than Trump usually recruits from, which many have been positing plays well with Trump, but if you look at who Trump’s stocked his cabinet with, we don’t think that’s necessarily so.
Here are links to two stories we found interesting:
- One in the Washington Post about how Trump’s Supreme Court moves, while they still appear to be somewhat improvisational, are actually one of the few things in the White House that’s been carefully planned out.
- And another in the New York Times that discusses the influence Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, may be having on the nomination process, something we’ve always been curious about. She’s a well-respected federal court judge (appointed by President Clinton BTW).
More on the choice tomorrow…
Regarding the Ohio decision, several people have written us with comments like:
“Election fraud is a problem: My tabulation of Judicial Watch’s state-by-state results yielded 462 counties where the registration rate exceeded 100 percent. There were 3,551,760 more people registered to vote than adult U.S. citizens who inhabit these counties.”
Except those numbers don’t prove election fraud. They would if they showed more people are voting than live in those counties. That’s nowhere close. All these stats prove is that voting logs are bloated. Which as we said in the original piece, is a legit problem. Only it’s a different problem.
We agree: election boards and Secretaries of State are inefficient at getting people off their rolls who’ve passed away and moved. Part of the reason for that is that people never contact their local election board when they die, because they’re dead. And people almost never contact their local election board when they move, because typically they register to vote in their new place of residence and don’t vote in the old one.
“Why is it so hard to keep your voting information up to date? You have the same requirements to hold a drivers license if you move.”
Right. We’ve moved around a bunch. And each time we’ve moved to a new state, we’ve gotten a new license, and turned our old one in. We have never gone back to the state we moved from and notified them we’re gone. So if you moved, went to register, and that generated a notice to the election board for your previous address, we’d be fine with that. But as soon as it starts becomes incumbent on us to fix the inefficiencies of a government bureaucracy for it or potentially lose our rights, then it becomes an impediment to voting.
If you’re saying there should be better ways of monitoring deaths and relocations so voter rolls aren’t distorted, fine. We agree. But there are other, less intrusive ways of doing it that don’t put an extra burden on voters who might want to vote, even if they don’t vote much. (Like cross-referencing death certificates with voter logs for starters).
Receiving and filling out a card from the government may seem simple and easy, but a lot of people don’t trust the government and so won’t do it. However, they still have the right to vote if maybe a candidate comes along every once in a while they think they might be able to trust. And while you may feel you take your civic duty seriously and others don’t, your vote and their vote still count the same.