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April 04, 2021

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corporate America’s deepest needs remain access to the levers of state power

Often, but not quite always. If your customers, or your employees, care enough, that could be even more important.

For example: baseball has moved the 2021 All Star Game out of Atlanta. Why? Because they have seen how athletes reacted to the Black Lives Matter protests last year. And the last thing they want this year is a players' union strike over the issue. The Players Association (the union) hadn't yet spoken up; but the Players Alliance had.

Yes, baseball and its players are far more consevative than, for example, basketball. On the other hand, the gesture carries little political danger for MLB.** And so it's cheap insurance. And, give how close to the heart baseball is for those longing for a return to the 1950s, one which may be particularly effective.

** Especially since Georgia's loss is someone else's gain. They can pick a replacement with an eye to damage control, if it seems necessary.

That's a good point. And the piece has some more aspects, so I hope you can see it all.

I was trying to find an interview with Warnock, unfortunately, the only thing I could find was a Fox news piece headlined 'Warnock declines to oppose Georgia boycotts' which I found to be an interesting phrasing. I don't remember the interview exactly, but that headline didn't quite match what I remember.

From Marshall’s piece, this jumped out at me:

a more interesting question about whether we should applaud a system in which corporate America tries to exercise a veto over the political choices of state governments.

That horse is well and truly out of the barn, but even if it’s a question whose answer is a foregone conclusion at this point, it’s worth at least remembering that it’s a question that could be asked.

What I really don’t understand is why every state gets to make their own rules around voting for federal offices. And it would be great if (R)’s stopped trying to keep people from voting.

If states didn’t get to make their own rules on federal elections/voting (and perhaps were even more constitutionally restricted on state and local elections based on voting rights generally), there wouldn’t be states’ political choices of the kinds these corporations are attempting to veto. It’s a clusterf**k at its foundation, so sh*t happens (to put it delicately). I see it as an unstable system.

What I really don’t understand is why every state gets to make their own rules around voting for federal offices.

Because the Constitution says they get to, unless Congress decides otherwise. And it's a subject that Congress has been historically reluctant to act on. Reluctant, most likely, out of a fear that the gate swings both ways. If the Democrats establish Congressional meddling this year in order to make voting easier, four years from now the Republicans may be in a position to make voting much more difficult everywhere.

From the article: Put this all together and it means that in the domain of culture and consumerism blue America is already leaving red America in the dust. It’s not even close. Think of Nike, Apple, Coke, Pepsi, Google, Nestle, major league sports...

Nestle?

I dunno', but I tend to see Marshall's thesis as a bit of a stretch.

Because the Constitution says they get to

Yeah, I get that. So, instead of “I don’t understand why”, maybe read “IMO it sucks that”.

And, sometimes we change stuff in the Constitution. I recognize the political impediments and have no expectation whatsoever that it will change. Just expressing my wish that it was otherwise.

A lot of the Constitution is the way it is because they had to get 13 more or less autonomous parties to sign on. People talk about the Constitution as if it’s some kind of holy writ, but government designed by committee is probably closer to the truth. Not saying it isn’t a remarkable document and a remarkable achievement, just saying it’s a salmagundi of compromises. Or, more to the point, just saying that just because it’s in there doesn’t mean it’s good. Several million people were 3/5 of a person in the original.

Also FWIW, the “it might be to your advantage this year, but think of what the other guys will do sometime down the line” argument is not that persuasive, to me. Not that it doesn’t reflect reality, just that the reality exists now. People mess with the electoral process for partisan advantage all the time, all over the place, right now, and have always done. See also not only voting regulations, but gerrymandered districts and all of the other nonsense that goes on.

IMO it would be appropriate to have uniform standards for who can vote, when people vote, how votes are cast recorded and counted, and anything else to do with voting, for federal offices. People can do whatever the heck they want for state and local elections. And yes, if there was a federal standard, it would probably end up being the way local stuff was done. So be it.

Among other things, equality under the law means everyone gets equal access to the franchise. In my opinion.

And it would be really great if (R)’s didn’t keep trying to keep people from voting. The fact that they feel the need to do so should be a clue to them that their policies and programs do not reflect what people want.

it's a subject that Congress has been historically reluctant to act on.

Reluctant, not not totally unwilling. See the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Granted, it takes major obstruction of voting by some states, and recognition that they are doing so, to get Congress to act. But what we are seeing at the moment probably meets that threshold.

As for the possibility of a future Congress turning around and enacting national restrictions, I'd say that's more of a boogeyman that a realistic concern. Even something as generally supported as a national voter ID law might well die in the face of objections to a national identiry card (and database), which that would entail. Especially since a lot of the same people who argue for voter ID laws are the p veryeople who hate the idea of a Federal ID otherwise.

Reluctant, most likely, out of a fear that the gate swings both ways.

Reluctant, most likely, due to our political structure ("sovereign" states) and more or less being comfortable with the status quo.

If the Democrats establish Congressional meddling this year in order to make voting easier, four years from now the Republicans may be in a position to make voting much more difficult everywhere.

So what? They are trying to do so right now...state by state. I would counter that the logic of this kind of reasoning is unilateral political disarmament.

Pass the bill.

The fact that they feel the need to do so should be a clue to them that their policies and programs do not reflect what people want.

Unfortunately, while that's generally true, locally the people who elected them do want it. Or have been convinced (sometimes without real evidence) that they need those policies -- and are in danger of losing them. Which, indeed, they are in some cases. Albeit not in anywhere near as many as they have been told

The fact that they feel the need to do so should be a clue to them that their policies and programs do not reflect what people want.

As if they give a fnck what people want. :-(

Several million people were 3/5 of a person in the original.

I think it's important, when nodding toward the three-fifths rule, never to forget that slaves were counted that way not to reduce their voting power from 1 to 0.6, because they had no voting power, but to inflate the voting power of their owners. The more slaves your state had, the more clout you got in Congress, proportional to population, compared to non-slave states.

It occurs to me even as I write this that all this voter suppression is an attempt to recreate those conditions.

Bastards.

Sorry, this is a little obsession of mine. I know you understand this, russell, but people are constantly citing the 3/5 thing as if it counted slaves as 3/5 of a person. It counted slaves as nothing -- except padding for their owners' political power.

Of course, it's not even that simple. Women -- and in some places men who didn't own a certain amount of property -- couldn't vote either. Is it better to be counted as 1 person or as 0.6 of a person when determining how powerful your betters are?

It's reasonable for states to be able to decide for themselves what electoral system they want - why shouldn't Maine and Nebraska be able to split their electoral college votes, or California and Washington be able to hold non-partisan primaries?

It's not reasonable for politicians to be able to manipulate the polls to improve their chances of re-election, whether by gerrymandering or making it harder for their opponents' supporters to vote.

Perhaps a reasonable compromise would be a federal law requiring states to set up non-partisan commissions to decide on constituency boundaries and voting procedures.

Perhaps a reasonable compromise would be a federal law requiring states to set up non-partisan commissions to decide on constituency boundaries and voting procedures.

Which is, indeed, one of the provisions of HR 1.

And, as a resident of a state which already has one, I can testify that it works just fine. However much I may dislike the honest-as-Trump Democrat it saddled me with since 2018.

Reluctant, not not totally unwilling. See the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Which set out a target -- don't discriminate based on race. And for some jurisdictions, said that they had to get pre-approval from the DOJ for changes the states/counties wanted to make that the changes didn't violate the goal. HR1 is down in the weeds: there must be early voting, the number of days/hours there must be early voting, there must be no-excuse vote by mail, lines must never exceed a certain length, polling places must meet a lengthy list of conditions, legislatures may not draw district lines, etc.

Even LBJ probably couldn't have pushed HR1 across the finish line.

Several million people were 3/5 of a person in the original.

While counting anyone less than a whole person is bad, it did reduce the political power the slave states would have otherwise had.

While counting anyone less than a whole person is bad, it did reduce the political power the slave states would have otherwise had.

Another patented, smug libertarian pronouncement that manages to sound plausible by leaving out all other possibilities and all the nuances and complexities.

Suppose they hadn't counted the slaves at all for apportionment purposes? Suppose they had only counted people who could vote?

Bleh. This is a fool's errand.

So there is pushback against a bill that is basically no more limiting than most other states. Because, Georgia is still purple.

Suppose they hadn't counted the slaves at all for apportionment purposes?

As I recall my history class, that was never a possibility. The 3/5 compromise was a decrease in the political clout of the southern, slave-plantation, states, in order to keep the northern states on-board.

It's reasonable for states to be able to decide for themselves what electoral system they want - why shouldn't Maine and Nebraska be able to split their electoral college votes, or California and Washington be able to hold non-partisan primaries?

Assumes the electoral system is not another legacy of government designed by committee. Which is to say, not an invalid point, but it somewhat begs the question.


While counting anyone less than a whole person is bad, it did reduce the political power the slave states would have otherwise had.

As Janie notes, it actually had the effect of increasing the political power of slave states, and that is what it was intended to do.

So there is pushback against a bill that is basically no more limiting than most other states. Because, Georgia is still purple.

or, because...

it has become a flashpoint in the national conversation over voting rights as more than 40 states consider bills that would raise barriers to voting.

The US is now a nation with near-universal literacy and virtually universal access to basic education.

The claims of voter fraud that these restrictions are supposed to be a defense against are based on a vanishingly small number of events, when they aren't outright lies.

There is no good reason to place restrictions on voting.

The (R) party would like to prevent people who aren't likely to vote for them from voting at all. That's not acceptable.

As Janie notes, it actually had the effect of increasing the political power of slave states, and that is what it was intended to do.

But, at the time of the constitutional convention, it was the slave states pushing for slaves to be counted as whole persons.

So there is pushback against a bill that is basically no more limiting than most other states.

Pure unmitigated baloney.

So there is pushback against a bill that is basically no more limiting than most other states.

You mean other states already don't allow giving water to people standing in line to vote??? Who knew?
/sarcasm

Could solve all of those "voter ID" problems, PLUS the "illegals are takin the jerbs", and a bunch of other stuff too, by just mandating that everyone in the USA gets 'chipped'.

just mandating that everyone in the USA gets 'chipped'.

Great for crime fighting, too. Since we would be able to find out where everybody had been at the time a crime was committed. Alibies for everyone who is innocent! (Only criminals** could object to that, right?)

Of course, the system would inevitably get hacked. Only way for private detectives to stay in business, I guess.

Plus any time we got into a conflict, the enemy could ping the chips to find out exactly where our troops were.

** And Congressmen who were engaging in immoral behavior....

As Janie notes, it actually had the effect of increasing the political power of slave states, and that is what it was intended to do.

But, at the time of the constitutional convention, it was the slave states pushing for slaves to be counted as whole persons.

Duh, of course they were. Because that would have swollen the relative clout of the adult white men who ran everything even further, slave state vs free state.

The more weight given to slaves in this calculation, the more their owners were empowered.

My point, which maybe I'm not making clearly, is that 3/5 is generally cited as a horrible dehumanization of slaves / black Americans. Superficially it is. But behind the bare number is the fact that the higher the number, the more empowering it was / would have been for slaveowners. Slaveowners would have had much less relative clout in Congress if slaves had been counted as zero.

And it would be really great if (R)’s didn’t keep trying to keep people from voting. The fact that they feel the need to do so should be a clue to them that their policies and programs do not reflect what people want.

the party of sedition in the name of Q doesn't even know who the American people are. they seems to think they are the only actual Americans and everybody else is a terrorist lining up to stab real Americans in the back.

As if they give a fnck what people want.

***

the party of sedition in the name of Q doesn't even know who the American people are. they seems to think they are the only actual Americans and everybody else is a terrorist lining up to stab real Americans in the back.

Truer words were never spoken.

I have the luxury of being able to say to these self-proclaimed "real American" types:
"My ancestors got here, from Europe, before yours did. So, by your own standards, I'm more of a real American than you are!"
They find that particularly hard to deal with. I, on the other hand, find it amusing. For all that it's nonsense.

Some of my ancestors on my mother's side got here (from England) in the 1630s.

I've got dockyments. ;-)

Then my mother went and married the offspring of some later, darker-skinned southern European arrivals, which makes her a traitor, I suppose.

Time was, marrying a German immigrant was seen like that. Who are the outsiders who are wrecking things for real Americans? It keeps changing. Happily, an ignorance of history can spare you those inconvenient facts.

You mean other states already don't allow giving water to people standing in line to vote??? Who knew?

The worst thing in the new GA law isn't even that: it's that the state legislature can, if it wishes, over-ride local Boards and decide on its own which electors to choose. IOW, the new law gives the state the power to do what many of Trump's lawsuits demanded: throw out election results altogether and let the state legislature pick a winner.

I think the AZ GOP is trying the same thing.

I'm amazed that part of the law isn't getting more attention. It's about as anti-democratic as you can get.

Other states don't allow people from campaigns within 100 yes. The new law allows for water stations to be available. It's ridiculous hype for solving the common problem they had of campaigns catering the lines. And that's the only piece that is close to controversial. The rest is pretty middle of the road compared to other states.

Total bullshit reporting. Stupid knee-jerk reactions.

I think the AZ GOP is trying the same thing.

The chances that they will succeed in AZ are vanishing small. It's just performance art. A single defection in the AZ House and the bill fails. Two defections in the Senate and the bill fails. The governor is term limited in 2022, isn't running for any other office, and the state party has already sanctioned him for saying good things about the existing AZ voting system. Finally, AZ is a veto referendum state. The bill doesn't go into effect until 90 days after it's signed, and if signatures equal to or exceeding 5% of the votes cast in the most recent governor's race are collected during those 90 days, the law goes on the November ballot and dies w/o ever being in effect unless the people approve it. According to the AZ Sec of State's web site, voter registration in AZ is split 35/32/32 for Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated. These are the same voters who approved an independent redistricting commission, higher minimum wage, family leave, and recreational marijuana over the screams of the Republican legislators.

Other states don't allow people from campaigns within 100 yes. The new law allows for water stations to be available. It's ridiculous hype for solving the common problem they had of campaigns catering the lines. And that's the only piece that is close to controversial.

It's true that other states don't allow campaigning near a polling place. Having worked the last several elections here, I'm aware. But Georgia already had that law on the books. If anyone has evidence of providing food or water being used, illegally, for campaigning in Georgia, they have unaccountably failed to make the case under the existing law.

The new restriction on anyone providing food or water to people in line gets attention because it is gratuitously cruel. And the obvious way to eliminate the problem (assuming it really exists) would be to make sufficient polling stations and poll workers available so as to eliminate the lines. Yet there's no sign this was even considered.

And that's the only piece that is close to controversial.

That is demonstrably NOT TRUE.

Total bullshit reporting

NOPE.

Marty, where on earth do you get your (bullshit) information (which could also be called kneejerk), that is so easily and readily disproven?

People in actual democracies are shocked by pictures of long queues at polling stations. When I vote I cycle or walk to a polling station half a mile from my house, and never have to queue. This is normal here.

Making people wait hours to vote is the biggest problem in Georgia's elections. So what does this new law do about it? Well, it says that if a precinct has more than 2000 voters, and there have been very long waits, then Superintendent should either reduce the size of the precinct or not.

If the Superintendent chooses not, he must do something else, however ineffective, which might reduce queuing.

This is not the law one would write if one actually cared about people being able to vote. It is the law one would write if one wanted to be able to suppress the vote in selected precincts.

Are you defending this, Marty?

One thing which is not a problem in elections anywhere is personation. Because there's a high risk of being caught - the legitimate voter may try to vote also - and a tiny upside - you're vanishingly unlikely to change the result of an election by doing it. And yet the Republican Party is obsessed with measures ostensibly designed to prevent it. Because they're actually designed to make it harder to vote, and can be used to discourage the wrong sort of people from voting.

Yet there's no sign this was even considered.

In poker parlance this is known as a tell.

A tell, and nothing like a subtle one.

What happened to going full hog?
Make any carrying or consumption of food or water within unreasonable distance of a polling location illegal. Use that as a justification to move all (partisanly inconvenient) polling stations out of populated areas. Transporting people to a position within a mile of a polling location will be declared incitement (to vote). This will of course include any means of public transport, although polling locations should be at least that distant from any bus stop, train station etc. anyway. If you intend to drive to your polling location, your car will have to be registered as a 'voting vehicle' at your precinct and that registration renewed before any election. State legislature or its chosen deputees will have authority to define the details indivicually for any voting precinct at short notice (i.e. to within one hour before the polls opening).
Any person who's right to vote is challenged at the polls will have to go to the back of the line again (or arrested on the spot if the challenge is not unsuccessful). There will be no limit to re-challenge*. It will not matter, if you are already in line when polling closes. Unless your ballot is already handed in and properly registered it will not be counted but (to avoid them accidentally be counted anyway) destroyed on the spot. In order to guarantee for the polling location to be closed the minute the time is up the entry doors will be closed a sufficient time period before closing time and no further potential voters will be allowed in. I propose at least as much time as you have to arrive at the avarage airport before departure of your flight (that should be 1-2.5 hours). Any gathering, congregating or queuing before the polls open is to be treated as an illegal demonstration and to be suppressed forcefully (although state legislature or its chosen deputees may give dispense on an individual precinct base).
In order to avoid unnecessary queuing before the polling location any potential voter will need a valid same day queuing registration from a state approved entity which has to be located at least 5 miles from any polling location and can only work during the opening hours of the polls themselves. It has to be renewed any time a potential voter gets in line** (state legislature or its chosen deputees may grant exceptions on an individuual basis).

*State legislature or its chosen deputees will have authority to re-define the details and/or make exceptions indivicually for any voting precinct at any time (including during the elction).
** in particular, if your right to vote has been challenged unsuccessfully as described above

Why make it so complicated? Just go with, "The state legislature will decide which ballots, and votes for which candidates, are counted." As long as you gerrymander carefully, you can keep all those pesky people from the other party out.

To easy without enough legalese to show that it is in no conceivable way intended to disenfrnachise specific voting groups. It has to be as complicated as possible to allow SCOTUS to weasel out of reading it the way it is actually meant.

Marty, where on earth do you get your (bullshit) information (which could also be called kneejerk), that is so easily and readily disproven?

you know where

you know where

Well, I don't really. Marty says it's not from Facebook or Fox, which would be the obvious answers, so other than "the GOP talking points as disseminated into the ether", I don't know the answer. Unless you mean that, when Marty watches (or reads) the news on a quasi-respectable media outlet, he only pays attention to whatever is said by the GOP hacks they (the GOP) put up to rebut the facts? Hmm, maybe that's it.

Have you looked at right-wing Twitter lately?

And yes, there are plenty of GOP hacks on e.g. the Sunday morning talk shows, from what I understand, not to mention podcasts, op-eds, platforms like Substack, and on and on. Meghan McCain goes on The View and spouts (often shouts) right wing talking points, it's not like you can't find them everywhere.

Plus, Marty may say it's not from Facebook or Fox, but I'm not sure I believe that what he means by that is what we think he means by that. He has told us repeatedly that he's the only sane person in the midst of craziness on both sides, so surely he works out his opinions on his own from the stew around him, which no doubt he makes sure is evenly concocted of viewpoints from all sides. It's only because it's The Truth that he and Fox arrive at the same True Conclusions.

Although, come to think of it:

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-being-anti-media-is-now-part-of-the-gop-identity/

Marty did say some time ago that he didn't trust the NYT because it was so partisan (funny, given a) how many of the ObWi commentariat don't read it because, I suppose, of both-sideserism, and b) how famous the NYT is worldwide for factchecking, even or perhaps particularly in the wake of a few scandals).

Right-wing Twitter: I am not going to link. But Ben Shapiro is a gem. Erick Erickson. Andrew Sullivan. Glenn Greenwald.

Okay, one link. And speaking of which, the National Review, just for example, is neither Fox nor Facebook, and yet.....

It's a permanent, high velocity Gish Gallop, extremely persuasive to someone who wants to believe all of it anyhow, impossible to refute point by point otherwise.

From your librul New York Times.

b) how famous the NYT is worldwide for factchecking, even or perhaps particularly in the wake of a few scandals).

I don't read it myself, except for the occasional link I follow, but that goes for any outlet you could name. But the news operation is not the same as the editorial operation. Same goes for WSJ, where I believe the news arm is relatively reality-based and the editorial arm is...not.

Missed your first reply, Janie, and have only now caught up. Yes of course, now you mention it, that makes perfect sense. Confirmation bias takes care of the rest of it. And I have observed a bit of the same phenomenon in parts of the left in the UK (e.g. the Tories have always complained that the BBC is full of liberal/lefties, but even the not-very-far-left complained vociferously about BBC bias during the Corbyn years, and not always with reason. And that was certainly fuelled by some paranoid lefty twitter.)

Let's not forget, most of us, maybe all of us, are wildly unlikely to change our minds about fundamental values and goals because of "rational" arguments on the internet or around the dinner table or whatever.

I believe that Marty and I want fundamentally different worlds. To the extent that we could use the same vast generalizations to describe the worlds we want, we still have fundamental and apparently unbridgeable gaps in our beliefs about how to get there. It's not quite true that all the rest is entertainment, and people do "change their minds" and reverse sides (e.g. John Cole), but I wonder how much even then it's a fundamental reversal versus a realization that your own fundamental values are better served by "the other side."

gaps between our beliefs, i.e. his and mine

It's a permanent, high velocity Gish Gallop, extremely persuasive to someone who wants to believe all of it anyhow, impossible to refute point by point otherwise.

it's a cult. and its members keep shouting its parables at us expecting us to see them as the same gospel truth they do.

Marty is doing his community service by lecturing the infidels.

I can't help myself, but before I start popping off, I want to make sure I'm shooting at the actual target: what are the specific deficiencies in the new GA voting law that make it racist? Thanks.

what are the specific deficiencies in the new GA voting law that make it racist?

my opinion: it's not specifically racist. it's intended to make it marginally more difficult for people who vote for (D)'s to vote.

the fact that people who are relatively more likely to vote for (D)'s are relatively more likely to not be white is maybe of interest, because of the history of voting in GA, but is not essential to the objections to the law.

(R)'s lost GA's electoral votes and two senate seats by the skin of their teeth. they're trying the shave the margins back in their favor.

is how I see it.

Marginally on topic here, but I found this fascinating.
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2020/08/31/as-trumps-popularity-slips-in-latest-military-times-poll-more-troops-say-theyll-vote-for-biden/

For anyone who ever worried (or, for that matter, is somehow still concerned) about anything like a pro-Trump military action, it's quite an eye opener.

e.g. John Cole

Conservatives lost Cole over the Terry Schiavo thing. Or, at least, that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

In general I think Cole is a guy who (a) has a low tolerance for bullsh*t and (b) has a basic core of decency and common sense, and the (R)'s overstepped on both counts.

I'm not sure he's that much less conservative than he ever was, I think he simply had his fill of the carnival barkers.

I wonder who in this thread was the first person to type the word "racist"? Once again "we" are being asked to defend a simplistic, caricatured position that no one here has expressed.

In other words, when McKinney says "Jump," there is no absolute requirement for people to say "How high?"

Although I do appreciate russell's calm, nuanced reply anyhow.

the GA law:

a) is unnecessary. it's solving problems that don't exist outside the fevered rantings of the GOP cult.

b) is petty. who the hell would be upset that people standing in line in GA (FFS!!!) get water?

c) gives the GA GOP ridiculous control over local elections boards - based entirely in the same insanity that Trump used to rally his troops for the failed insurrection on 1/6

also: fuck the GOP and all its works.

“Here, let me straighten that hook out for you”.

LOL.

When enacting a new law one should ask oneself "what problem am I trying to solve, and will this law be effective in solving it".

In this case the problem is that the Rs get fewer votes than the Ds in Georgia, and the law has a good chance of solving the problem if used in a partisan way. Which it will be.

That's the objection of people who care about democracy.

If you actually believe that the law is intended to address problems in electoral procedure, go ahead, point out the problems, and show us how the law will solve them.

For example, you might argue: "Ds have been buying votes by offering water to undecided voters in queues at the polling station, so we have to ban water supplies in order to get a fair vote. The alternative of taking effective measures to shorten queues, would be unreasonable because [reason I can't think of but perhaps you can]." Go ahead, make the case. With evidence.

For example, you might argue: "Ds have been buying votes by offering water to undecided voters in queues at the polling station,"

Of course, if they actually were buying votes that way (or any other), that's already illegal. So why not just prosecute those involved?

I think I should amend my comment above.

Instead of:

they're trying the shave the margins back in their favor

please read:

They're trying to shave the margins back in their favor through legal gamesmanship, instead of adjusting their policies to be closer to what the majority of the people in GA want.

That has been the (R) pattern for some time, and apparently will be for the foreseeable future.

The weird thing is, they probably wouldn't have to move the needle all that much toward the center to be able to prevail without the legal games. However, as a national party, they've been captured by their own lunatic fringe, and so this is what they've been brought to.

I thought the issue was that it was racist. Isn't that what all the fuss is about?

gives the GA GOP ridiculous control over local elections boards - based entirely in the same insanity that Trump used to rally his troops for the failed insurrection on 1/6

Ok, this sounds like it might be something--do you have a link that gets specific with how the GOP can put its finger on the scales?

If it's not racist, then why the national uproar?
I read LJ's links. The AJC piece seems pretty straightforward. I'm trying to find out what the fuss is. Thanks.

In this case the problem is that the Rs get fewer votes than the Ds in Georgia, and the law has a good chance of solving the problem if used in a partisan way. Which it will be.

They're trying to shave the margins back in their favor through legal gamesmanship, instead of adjusting their policies to be closer to what the majority of the people in GA want.

Ok, I understand that this is the end result that is being asserted; however, what I'm missing is: (1) is the new law racist, as many are saying? and (2) in what specific way does the new law tilt things in favor of the R's?

Again, thanks.

The weird thing is, they probably wouldn't have to move the needle all that much toward the center to be able to prevail without the legal games. However, as a national party, they've been captured by their own lunatic fringe, and so this is what they've been brought to.

There's a substantial population in the US which is fairly conservative. The problem for today's GOP is that a lot of them are members of various minorities. And on top of being reactionary (the lunatic fringe), much of the existing GOP base is adamantly racist. There's simply no way to square that circle.

It may (I pray) be possible to put together a center right, but not bigoted, party. But it's not at all obvious that it's even possible to get there from where Nixon's Southern Strategy has left the party.

in what specific way does the new law tilt things in favor of the R's?

OK, here goes. First, on the "no water" law.

  1. Georgia is hot. Having to stand in long lines in the sun is no fun. (Being in Houston, I'm sure this isn't news to you.)
  2. In Republican areas, there are plenty of voting booths, polling places, etc. So, lines tend to max out at under 5 minutes.
  3. In Democratic areas, the infrastructure for voting isn't there, so lines can be hours long. For those who can and will tough it out. Some won't.
Advantage, Republicans.

Second, on the "legislature control" law

  1. Elections have been administered locally. And they generally have run elections, and counted the votes, fairly and accurately.
  2. Now, the legislature will be able (without even needing a substantive justification, let alone evidence) to take over. Including deciding which ballots get counted.
  3. The legislature is (currently, and thanks to gerrymandering, probably for the next decade minimum) safely in Republican hands.
Advantage, Republicans.

There are doubtless more. Since, as the Republican Georgia Secretary of State has testified, there was no election fraud or other problems with election security, the only, ONLY, reason for the law was to advantage the party which currently controls the Georgia legislature. They may turn out to have failed in some caee. But it won't be for lack of trying.

Ok, I'm not moved by the water issue. There is early voting available to all, so long lines are only an issue for people who do not early vote, and GA in November is no warmer than TX which is to say, not all that warm and, if I understand correctly, the "no water" thing is within 150 feet of the polling place and even then, poll workers, just not partisans, can distribute water (or, people can bring their own).

Now, the legislature will be able (without even needing a substantive justification, let alone evidence) to take over. Including deciding which ballots get counted.

Ok, again, this seems like something bad, but I'm not getting what the GA Leg can actually do. I say this because what people think a law means and what it actually means are often quite far apart. When a partisan--any partisan--is making a partisan point, there tends to be spin. I like to make up my own mind and for that reason, if someone has a link on this specific topic that looks at the statutory language *as written* and then demonstrates how the GA Leg can fiddle with votes, I would be grateful.

As per usual around here, the discussion is being steered away from the very manifest and obvious problems of equal representation and access to voting and into arguments about intentions with not one single bit of concern about the people being harmed by the disparate outcomes that are being not just ignored, but engineered for partisan gain.

I got nothing. If it's no concern of yours how other people are being harmed, then I don't really see any point in a discussion.

As per usual around here, the discussion is being steered away from the very manifest and obvious problems of equal representation and access to voting and into arguments about intentions with not one single bit of concern about the people being harmed by the disparate outcomes that are being not just ignored, but engineered for partisan gain.

Thank you. Especially "is being steered." The legalistic nitpicking is just maddening.

if I understand correctly, the "no water" thing is within 150 feet of the polling place and even then, poll workers, just not partisans, can distribute water (or, people can bring their own).

Just out of curiosity, what real world problem do you see the "no water" thing as addressing?

As per usual around here, the discussion is being steered away from the very manifest and obvious problems of equal representation and access to voting and into arguments about intentions with not one single bit of concern about the people being harmed by the disparate outcomes that are being not just ignored, but engineered for partisan gain.

I'm just trying to figure out what the actual harm being done is. Seems like a fair thing to ask, since everyone appears to be very upset. Who is being harmed and how? I am very much not down with anyone being harmed by state action, so please tell me what harm is being inflicted, particularly if it is being inflicted in a focused, racist way. If, as you say, there are "very manifest and obvious problems", it should be easy to point them out specifically. Thanks.

Just out of curiosity, what real world problem do you see the "no water" thing as addressing

I don't see a real world problem of any kind being addressed except that GA doesn't want electioneering within 150 feet of the ballot box (we have a similar rule in TX) which doesn't seem like a reason for anyone to be upset.

...if I understand correctly, the "no water" thing is within 150 feet of the polling place...

Within 150 ft of the polling place, or within 25 feet of any person waiting in line to vote. The latter apparently independent of how far the line extends from the polling place. As I recall there were reports from the Atlanta area last November of lines that were at least several hundred feet long.

Within 150 ft of the polling place, or within 25 feet of any person waiting in line to vote.

Ok, that's an interesting statutory formulation: if no one can approach within 25 feet of someone standing in line to vote, then whether that voter is within or without 150 from the polling place is irrelevant and statutes usually aren't written that way, i.e. one provision rendering another provision meaningless in the same overall statutory scheme. It also seems strange because every voter is within 6 feet, or less, of those behind and in front--are they prohibited from sharing or giving water to someone in need?

I get that there can be long voter lines, particularly on the last day of an election, but not allowing partisans to give water to people waiting to vote (isn't that what the statute says), that's voter suppression? People can't bring their own water? What am I missing, specifically?

If, as you say, there are "very manifest and obvious problems", it should be easy to point them out specifically.

How about we start with you doing the work of addressing what actual harms are being addressed by the specifics of the legislation instead.

What harm was done by Fulton County using mobile polling places?

What harm was done by increasing the number of people eligible to vote by mail?

What harm was done by having drop off sites that were accessible 24/7?

What harm was done by opening registration and early voting earlier?

What harm was done by giving water to people waiting in long lines?

Real harms, please, not hypotheticals with no evidence that it's a real problem, or one-offs that were caught and had no effect on voting integrity.

People can't bring their own water? What am I missing, specifically?

there's no reason at all this water thing needs to be in the law.

but they decided it needs to be.

why?

because they want to make it just a bit more unpleasant for people who end up in long lines. and who, in GA, waits in long lines?

guess

On June 9, the last day of voting in Republican and Democratic primaries, the average wait time after 7 p.m. was six minutes — if you were at a polling place where at least 90% of voters were white. If you found yourself at a polling station where 90% of voters were Black, the wait time was 51 minutes. That’s an eight-fold difference.

that's why it's racist. this pointless petty partisan law was written to deliberately make voting a little more unpleasant for people who tend to vote Democratic.

McKinney, lawsuits are being filed about this. You could do your own googling to find the answers to your questions, instead of expecting people here to do your work for you. But I suppose that wouldn't be as much fun as watching people here hop to your tune.

I used to judge speech contributions at speech and debate tournaments at the local high school. I never judged debate because it's very technical and it helps to have some experience. But my understanding is that the kids had to be prepared to argue either side of an issue. So that's another idea: do some research (again, instead of expecting people here to do it for you), and prepare some arguments both ways. You're a clever lawyer, surely you're competent to do that. Otherwise this is still nothing but the usual "jump, how high?" And "Can you guys play my game as well as I can?"

How about we start with you doing the work of addressing what actual harms are being addressed by the specifics of the legislation instead.

Answering a question with a bunch of questions. Ok, I'm going to say you don't have much of a case unless you can actually make it out by linking something in the statute to a real world harm.

Where is the undue burden on anyone's right to vote?

Cross-posted with nous and cleek....

I don't see a real world problem of any kind being addressed except that GA doesn't want electioneering within 150 feet of the ballot box (we have a similar rule in TX) which doesn't seem like a reason for anyone to be upset.

But they already HAVE a law against electioneering near a polling place. Just like most places have. And there haven't been any noticeable number of cases involving people breaking it. So where's the need for this? (Other than just to make life difficult for people they don't want to vote at all, of course.)

Ok, I'm going to say you don't have much of a case unless you can actually make it out by linking something in the statute to a real world harm.

Right on schedule: player, referee, commissioner of the league, all in one tidy package.

As for taking over election boards: The first measure the Georgia legislature took (even before the law we are talking about right now) was to take the authority away from the only two (R) officials who refused to go along with Jabbabonk's scheme to take Georgia by crook.

The people giving water were obeying all existing laws about not campaigning close to polls and were in no way identifying as "partisans." Also, the people giving water were not asking waiting voters who they planned to vote for, and distributing or not distributing accordingly. Anyone who wanted water was welcome to take it.

Also, there were long lines to vote at some locations DURING early voting days, largely because the number of early voting locations is much smaller than the number of precincts on election day proper.

If voters being manipulated while waiting in line is a concern, how about just increase the number of voting locations and voting machines per location so that there are no lines.

Ok, I'm going to say you don't have much of a case unless you can[...]

Speaking of tells.

I'll pass until any of our three devil's advocates actually engage on substance rather than on procedural, semantic, or historical grounds or in any way acknowledge the larger context in which GA decided to push through these changes.

nous: just out of curiosity, who are "our three devil's advocates"? What have I missed, other than that this has been another episode in that long-running series, "Same Old."

On June 9, the last day of voting in Republican and Democratic primaries, the average wait time after 7 p.m. was six minutes — if you were at a polling place where at least 90% of voters were white. If you found yourself at a polling station where 90% of voters were Black, the wait time was 51 minutes. That’s an eight-fold difference.

Ok, I'm still not moved and here's why: first of all, you are taking a very select cohort: people in line after closing time on election day. Second, you are using a percentage--90%--without sharing the underlying raw numbers that the 90% is being applied to. For example, are their 50 people in line in R areas and 500 in line in D areas, and therefore you get a higher base number, so of course, your wait time is going to be longer. Why is it longer in D areas? Is it because fewer D's avail themselves of early voting? Or, did fewer R's show up to vote that late in the day? Or were there just fewer R's to begin with? Or, is there another reason?

You could do your own googling to find the answers to your questions, instead of expecting people here to do your work for you. But I suppose that wouldn't be as much fun as watching people here hop to your tune.

I'm pretty sure that I've limited myself to two things here: (1) asking what the underlying specifics of the GA law are (and it seems to boil down to partisan water distributions to waiting voters, so, no, I'm not moved) and (2) making my own substantive comments on the egregiousness, or lack thereof, of the GA law. Seems like much ado about very little.

Anyone who is eligible to vote, can do so and everyone has the same access to the ballot box via early voting. Waiting until election day may mean a longer wait in line. Fine, bring water. Not a constitutional crisis. Not racism in any meaningful sense. At least, based on what I've seen so far.

Final note: whether I'm a clever lawyer is beside the point. When I take a position--which I often do--I usually make it a point to defend it and I don't mind defending it (which is why I'm on semi-sabbatical here, because I don't have time to fully respond and it is fair comment that I've dropped a bomb or two and then left without giving others the respect of addressing their views--I'm going to try hard not to do this until I have the time to treat folks as they deserve). I'm certainly not offended when asked to justify or support my arguments. I think the reverse is equally fair and I don't think asking specific questions or asking for actual evidence or whatever is unreasonable. It's what's been going on here since forever.

Finally, I don't personalize--or at least I try not to.

Also, there were long lines to vote at some locations DURING early voting days, largely because the number of early voting locations is much smaller than the number of precincts on election day proper.

Ok, so it's still water. If the water thing is *it*, thanks to all, I know what I need to know. I remain unmoved. I will try to loiter for a day or two and address any comments to me posted after after 2:30 CST today, but it will be tomorrow.

Why is it longer in D areas? Is it because fewer D's avail themselves of early voting?

fewer polling places per capita. and, GA's black population traditionally prefers to vote on election day (and they don't trust mail-in voting)

the GA GOP knows what it was doing.

Ok, so it's still water.

it's more than water.

but you specifically asked about water, above. that's why we're talking about it now.

I was responding to your mischaracterization of the particulars of the circumstances of that particular issue.

Not racist, but racially disparate impact is the reduction in early voting availability on Sundays, where in the last cycle African Americans were 37% of the electorate compared to about 30% of the electorate generally.

I would elaborate more, but I'm at work, so who knows when I will be able to return to this exciting discussion.

I'm just trying to figure out what the actual harm being done is.

LOL...well, if nothing is being "harmed" then why was this legislation rammed through to begin with?

My opinion? The real harm seems to be more stink on the GOP image.

I have provided several links above. When you read them, get back to us. If you express disagreement with what was expressed therein, OK. But if you use the words "not substantive" in your critique, big deduct points shall apply.

Not racism in any meaningful sense. At least, based on what I've seen so far.

a bunch of things that didn't need to be done but all tend to either work against a specific group of Dems (on the ground) or for the GOP (in the election process).

the GA GOP knew what it was doing.

that they crafted each of these provisions to look small and innocuous in isolation so the party faithful can handwave them away one at a time was pretty clever.

don't pretend to be puzzled why most minorities continue to hate you, though.

"continue to hate you"

you = GOP

i'll just assume all minorities love McTx personally.

Why the uproar?

Well, it seems pretty obvious.

I'll pass until any of our three devil's advocates actually engage on substance rather than on procedural, semantic, or historical grounds or in any way acknowledge the larger context in which GA decided to push through these changes.

Context: GA didn't push this through, the GA GOP pushed it through on a party line vote.

Context: For those of us who don't live by the McKinney Rules about what's "substantial" and what isn't, it's telling that not a single GA Dem went along with this farce. I mean, it's not as if they don't know who they're dealing with, or what motivates them.

Context: I'd like to see McK say with a straight face that this law has nothing to do with the fact that GA just elected two D senators by thin margins. No, I'm sure the GA GOP did it out of an abundance of righteousness and a love of justice, so that every Georgian can be sure of having equal access to the ballot box.

Context: A black female state legislator was arrested for knocking on the door while a bunch of white men gathered for the signing of this law beneath a painting of a plantation.

Context.

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