“Making it harder for Democrats to vote”

posted at 12:31 pm on March 30, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Dr. James Joyner sends up a rather typical piece from the New York Times this week on how Republicans are making it harder for Democrats to vote. Most of the topics under discussion are nothing new, but the Gray Lady tries to put some new spin on it for the mid-terms.

Pivotal swing states under Republican control are embracing significant new electoral restrictions on registering and voting that go beyond the voter identification requirements that have caused fierce partisan brawls.

The bills, laws and administrative rules — some of them tried before — shake up fundamental components of state election systems, including the days and times polls are open and the locations where people vote.

Republicans in Ohio and Wisconsin this winter pushed through measures limiting the time polls are open, in particular cutting into weekend voting favored by low-income voters and blacks, who sometimes caravan from churches to polls on the Sunday before election.

Democrats in North Carolina are scrambling to fight back against the nation’s most restrictive voting laws, passed by Republicans there last year. The measures, taken together, sharply reduce the number of early voting days and establish rules that make it more difficult for people to register to vote, cast provisional ballots or, in a few cases, vote absentee.

The Times article goes on to specifically use the phrase “make it harder to vote” repeatedly. And – of course – the people who are supposed to be finding it “harder” to vote are listed as minorities and the urban poor, who tend to vote Democratic. Joyner seems to see no problem with this finding.

[T]he pattern of states and localities where Republicans control the rule making enacting election rules that just so happen to disadvantage the demographic groups most inclined to vote for Democrats is too consistent and widespread to ignore. That the Republican party is increasingly reliant on older white voters makes these moves seem to be a rather transparent means of eking out a few more wins while they still can.

The article also tackles questions about voter ID, but that’s been covered here ad nauseam. What’s more interesting to me today is the question over voting days and hours. Overlooked in the lengthy flood of analysis is the fact that it is well established that each state decides its own voting procedures, including how and when you vote. While it’s true that some states currently allow for generous, extending polling periods, not all of them do. (As an aside, I’m not talking about absentee voting, which is a separate matter.) If a state decides to tighten up the window for voting, that applies to everyone. If you find a state trying to say that Republicans get seven days to vote and Democrats only get five, let me know. I’ll be right there with you protesting the law.

And while I suppose that having more days to vote may wind up seeing more people go to the polls, a failure to provide for that doesn’t seem to bother Democrats all the time. For example, I live in New York. Do you know how long we have to vote in person? One day. And it’s a Tuesday. The polls open by 6 AM and close at 8 PM. That’s all you get. So why aren’t Democrats fighting tooth and nail against this horribly unfair voting restriction? Because Democrats always carry New York in national elections so it’s no big thing.

The bottom line here is that the laws are – and must be – the same for everyone. Saying that one particular demographic group has a “harder time” getting to the polls or that they need special Sunday voting hours because they caravan to the polling place after church sounds a bit less than equal, doesn’t it? If I were to make any argument about the unfair nature of the system, it would be to note that rural voters tend to have to travel further to get to the polls than tightly packed urban precincts. Of course, over a national average, rural voters tend to lean more conservative / Republican, so I suppose that’s not worth arguing over.

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Thank you for your refreshing honesty.

everdiso on March 31, 2014 at 3:53 PM

And thank you for your stupidity. You’re a perfect illustration of how your Democrat party lost the college graduate vote in 2012.


Now please tell us again why Poor Democrats are More Equal than everyone else and should be exempt from the same laws as everyone else, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll stop laughing at you.

Del Dolemonte on March 31, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Thank you for your refreshing honesty.

everdiso on March 31, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Apparently you have little to spare. I have asked you three times nicely. Are you a US citizen? If yes. Are you covered under 0Care? Last chance to show me your honesty.

Bmore on March 31, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Better title:

“Making it harder for Democrats to Cheat.”

Bob Davis on March 31, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Wouldn’t “Making it harder for Democrats to commit voter fraud” be a more accurate title to this post?

dandydon on March 31, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Another alternative title “Making Sure Your Vote Counts More Than A Non-Citizen or a Non-Living-Citizen’s”

Annielou on March 31, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Single moms working two jobs, factory workers working 12hr shifts, non car owners whonhave to use public transit – these rules are ckearly and unarguably made to make it harder formthese people to vote.

Suburban soccer mom, joe lawyer, with cars and daytime to spare – these rules do not impact them at all.

Wish you guys would just be honest with yourselves – you guys don’t believe in democracy. You would prefer if only the select were allowed to vote, and the unwashed masses were not.

everdiso on March 31, 2014 at 3:24 PM

I’ll make a deal with you: I will support early, in-person voting for evenings and weekends IF you support showing a valid picture ID (or dual IDs) that also prove citizenship. Deal?

Maddie on March 31, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Thank you for your refreshing honesty.

everdiso on March 31, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Your welcome . . . . . now, when are we going to get reciprocity from you ?

listens2glenn on March 31, 2014 at 11:27 PM

I don’t see that dead democrats have any problems voting. It occurs in every election. Democrat vote totals in many districts actually exceed registered voters. Anyone still think democrats arn’t guilty of massive habitual voter fraud? All their whining over voter ID is an effort to continue their fraud.

sharpshooter on April 1, 2014 at 10:44 AM

My grandmother is going to get upset over these new restrictions.

She always used to vote straight Republican.

However, after she died, she has become a democratic voter.

txdoc on April 1, 2014 at 3:33 PM

To make it impossible, just move the cheese.

MSGTAS on April 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

My grandmother is going to get upset over these new restrictions.

She always used to vote straight Republican.

However, after she died, she has become a democratic voter.

txdoc on April 1, 2014 at 3:33 PM

I don’t care who y’are, that’s FUNNY right there … : )

listens2glenn on April 2, 2014 at 10:43 PM