Padilla’s Decision, to End Appeal of Court Case, Allows Restoration of Voting Rights to Felons in California

Padilla-Alex

Last year, the Alameda Superior Court concluded that low-level offenders who are subject to mandatory supervision or post-release community supervision under the Public Safety Realignment Act are eligible to register to vote under Article II, Section 4 of the California Constitution.

The ACLU and other civil rights groups along with the League of Women Voters sued Debra Bowen, California Secretary of State, last year, arguing that the legislature had created the community supervision categories under AB 209 as an alternative to parole for low-level offenders. Therefore those people in the programs should not be classified the same as state parolees.

The ruling in that case, Scott v. Bowen, was subsequently appealed by the previous Secretary of State administration under Ms. Bowen.  This week, the current Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, announced “both an end to the appeal and a settlement that ends a policy that disenfranchised thousands of Californians.”

In a press conference, Mr. Padilla explained, “My decision to pursue settlement was based on a number of factors.” He said, “Under the sweeping changes created by Realignment, there was no legislative intent to deny voting rights to thousands of citizens.”

Moreover, he said,State and federal law protects the right to vote and requires that I give every reasonable presumption in favor of protecting that right.” He added, “The Alameda Superior Court issued a thoughtful ruling based on a thorough examination of our Constitution and the Penal Code and ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the Plaintiffs.”

But, finally, he said, “I agree with the court and I believe it is the right thing to do.”

Anna Castro, of the ACLU, said in a statement that Padilla’s decision “sends the nation a message that California will not stand for discrimination in voting and that he will fight to protect the right to vote for all eligible Californians.”

According to the settlement, “Californians subject to post-release community supervision or mandatory supervision under Realignment will be eligible to register to vote once the court has officially dismissed the appeal.

“Passage of the Voting Rights Act was not easily won,” Secretary Padilla said. “People marched. People struggled. People died. They bravely sacrificed for each other – for friends, family, for our country so that each of us could be empowered with the opportunity to participate meaningfully in our democracy.”

“Civic engagement and participation in the election process can be an important factor helping former offenders reintegrate into civil society.  If we are serious about slowing the revolving door at our jails and prisons, and serious about reducing recidivism, we need to engage—not shun—former-offenders. Voting is a key part of that engagement; it is part of a process of becoming vested and having a stake in the community,” Mr. Padilla added.

“The United States Supreme Court eloquently proclaimed, “No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.”

“Our California Supreme Court has made similar pronouncements: “No construction of an election law should be indulged that would disenfranchise any voter if the law is reasonably susceptible of any other meaning.”

“Today’s announcement is in line with these statements, the arc of California history, and the spirit of the Voting Rights Act,” Mr. Padilla said.

Not everyone is pleased with the Secretary of State’s decision. Harriet Salarno, chair of Crime Victims United of California, said, “With (the felons) voting and with some of the things that we have on the ballot – that will harm us on public safety.”

“Today we take a step forward towards a more inclusive democracy,” said Helen Hutchison, President of the League of Women Voters of California. “We applaud Secretary Padilla’s efforts to restore voting rights to the disenfranchised.  Our democracy is strongest when all eligible Californians can express their values and shape their community by voting.”

“There is persistent confusion nationwide, among election officials and the public, about criminal disenfranchisement policies,” Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law said. “This results in the mass dissemination of inaccurate and misleading information, which leads to disenfranchisement of untold hundreds of thousands of eligible would-be voters. We’re thrilled California has taken an important step to reduce that confusion. No citizen living and working in the community should be disenfranchised because of a criminal conviction in her past.”

“We have always recognized that our voting rights are larger than the right to cast a vote – it’s about the struggle for formerly and in some cases currently incarcerated people to be respected as citizens,” said Dorsey Nunn, Executive Director of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and a taxpayer plaintiff in Scott v. Bowen. “Our votes belong not just to us, but to our communities and families.”

“Every day probation officers are working to reduce recidivism and help former offenders successfully reenter their communities,” Jerry Powers Los Angeles County Chief Probation Officer said. “My department sees firsthand just how powerful it is to engage former offenders in the community and to promote civic participation. Ensuring Californians under realignment have the right to vote will help facilitate their reentry into society and reduce the likelihood that they will commit new crimes.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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137 thoughts on “Padilla’s Decision, to End Appeal of Court Case, Allows Restoration of Voting Rights to Felons in California”

  1. PhilColeman

    Inasmuch as we’re just beating our gums anyway, and both Supreme Courts and the California Legislature don’t exactly hang onto every word we say, permit me expand this discussion of convictions and voter franchise.

    Among the many life-long penalties we assign to convicted felons is the denial to vote. This sanction is very common, found in many other states and probably dates back to English Common law, as do most our criminal law origins.

    Unlike other felony conviction sanctions, saying you can’t vote just leaves me with some bewilderment, and a hearty, “So, What?” Legal sanctions are intended to discourage repeat behavior, deter would-be offenders, demonstrate to the offender that society is displeased, stigmatize, and/or cause some level of personal discomfort.

    Does taking away voting privileges for convicted felons do any of that? About 70% of the citizenry already self-sanction themselves by not voting at all, in most elections. Taking away the voting privilege only lets the felon join the masses, hardly a scarlet-letter sanction. And that’s another thing; unlike other felon sanctions, not being able to register as a voter is never revealed publicly, so where’s the disgrace? I seriously doubt that all convicted felons, restored with voting power, would form a bloc vote and attempt to alter the political landscape.

    Before anybody takes this notion and then “slippery-slope” it, it will not necessarily be a prelude to felons holding public office. Convicted felons already served their time, they probably don’t want to serve another prison sentence by becoming an elected public official. And even if they do, we have had plenty of hard-core convicted felons hold public office already. The just reversed the sequence.

    1. WesC

      PhilColeman…  very well put, and I agree completely.  Telling a felon he can no longer vote probably has about the same effect as telling him he can no long go to square dances.

  2. Biddlin

    If it is the community’s desire that parolees and probationers succeed in becoming positive, contributing members of their community, I can see no good purpose in disenfranchisement.

    ;>)/

  3. Frankly

    It is all politics.

    Democrats are controlled by the liberal wing in most places.  Certainly we don’t see Kennedy or Reagan Democrats calling the shots in California or the nation for that matter.   There is a cabal between the liberal wing that is filled with about 20% of the population afflicted with an egalitarian obsession… some rational but a lot just emotional… and the Money Democrats… the political-industrial complex (primarily connected to the main media and Wall Street).

    The cabal has figured out how to utilize wedge politics and victim mentality to harvest and maintain a healthy crop of reliable below-below-the-line voters.

    And below-the-line people with a felony record are just another field they want to harvest.  The liberals because they are obsessed with “fairness” twitches, and because they crave more people to “save”.  The Money Democrats just want the votes to help them retain power so that more money flows into their pockets and the pockets of their friends.

    It is an interesting co-dependent relationship between liberals and money Democrats.   It is a dysfunctional relationship, but each help the other get what they want… so it continues.

    Where we start to see it unraveling is at the local level where fiscal problems are causing the end to programs that liberals crave… and taxes cannot be raised any higher.

  4. Eric Gelber

    … saying you can’t vote just leaves me with some bewilderment, and a hearty, “So, What?”

    It is disturbing that conservatives trivialize the right to vote–among the most fundamental rights of citizenship. Such thinking helps to rationalize laws imposing barriers to the exercise of voting rights, which conservatives embrace. The fact that ex-offenders are released from prison as second class citizens and are subject to legal discrimination–not only in voting but also in housing, employment, etc.–is a significant factor in preventing their reintegration into society and the resulting high rates of recidivism.

    1. Barack Palin

      It is disturbing that conservatives trivialize the right to vote–among the most fundamental rights of citizenship. 

      Yeah, those darn conservatives want voters to be ID’ed so the ones who are voting are actually the person they claim to be.

      Outrageous !!!

    1. Barack Palin

      Did I say anything about taking a test in order to vote, but you should have to prove that you’re actually the person you state you are in order to cast a vote in that name.  Do you actually have a problem with that?

      1. Matt Williams

        BP, that sounds a whole lot like “guilty until proven innocent.”

        When I have walked into my polling place over the past 10 years, I have always been known by name by the poll workers. Should I still have to provide proof that I am the man that I actually am?

        1. Barack Palin

          Matt, how many poll workers know all the names of all the voters in the precinct where they work?

          But yes, you should still have to show proof.

        2. Matt Williams

          BP, if I have understood you correctly you are advocating that every person who appears at the polls to vote should be required to provide verification of their identity. Am I correct in that understanding?

          If I am indeed correct in that understanding, then your question above makes no sense to me. You have completely lost me. Could you please clarify? Thanks.

        3. hpierce

          (friendly comment, Matt)  Have you NO CLUE? BP wants to restrictict voting to those who agree with BP!  Of course, somebody named “barack” was obviously not born a citizen (per “birthers”).  Everyone should need to show certified evidence of being US citizens, particularly in states that were not states when they were born.  Palin (if she was born in Alaska) should also be suspect as being a citizen.  Therefore, BP is absolutely right… should have to show originally certified birth certificates, certified copies of their voter registration, and at least two photo ID’s before they can vote, instead of the questions they are currently asked… name and address… which have to coincide with the Roster of Voters.

          You go BP!  Really… GO.

          1. Don Shor

            I think I’ve been voting by mail since it was called absentee….I started out applying for an absentee ballot because it was a hassle to get into town to vote (I’m in a rural precinct). Then they made it mandatory for all of us out in the country. But we can, if we wish, drive the ballot in to a polling station.

        4. sisterhood

          The monsoon woke me up early. Wish I could send some of our rain your way to help with the drought & wildfires.         I guess BP is okay with this scenario: his wallet gets stolen the day before elections. He and another family member go to his polling place, his next door neighbor’s garage in Wildhorse. He gets turned away or perhaps asked to do a provisional ballot, which may or may not be counted later. Hillary ends up winning the state of CA by one vote!         This prove-you’re-a-citizen mandate is the same logic that got AZ in trouble for trying to allow cops to ask folks who look Mexican to “show me your papers”. It just stirs up images of Nazi Germany in me.

        5. Barack Palin

          Miss Sisterhood

          It just stirs up images of Nazi Germany in me.

          Another example of Godwin’s Law.

          I guess BP is okay with this scenario: his wallet gets stolen the day before elections. He and another family member go to his polling place, his next door neighbor’s garage in Wildhorse. He gets turned away or perhaps asked to do a provisional ballot, which may or may not be counted later. Hillary ends up winning the state of CA by one vote! 

          Sisterhood must be okay with this scenario.  She goes on vacation at election time and her neighbor knows she’s gone and goes to the polling place claiming to be Sisterhood and casts a vote in her name because no ID is asked for.  Trump wins Arizona by one vote.

           

        6. Barack Palin

          Hpierce

          BP wants to restrictict voting to those who agree with BP!  Of course, somebody named “barack” was obviously not born a citizen (per “birthers”).  Everyone should need to show certified evidence of being US citizens, particularly in states that were not states when they were born.  Palin (if she was born in Alaska) should also be suspect as being a citizen.  Therefore, BP is absolutely right… should have to show originally certified birth certificates, certified copies of their voter registration, and at least two photo ID’s before they can vote, 

          Shut up Hpierce, I never said any of that and you have “no clue” what I want.  Quit putting words in my mouth.

        7. sisterhood

          Once again your lack of manners speaks volumes. You call Dr. Will “Miss Will” and you call me “Miss Sisterhood”. I’m 59 years old so if you want to call me “Miss”, even though I am not, I guess your failed attempt at button pushing is actually a compliment. I could refer to you as “that little boy, Palin”, but I won’t. Re: Trump, Totally off topic, beccause you often are, but Trump will self destruct. I pray he is the nominee, or the 3rd party candidate. Oh, yeah. Mention that I’m the one who brought up Hillary in the first place. That’s okay. You no longer bother me. I used to avoid your words at all costs, now you amuse me. Still waiting for you to write something substantial in the Contribution section.

          Still no response to my request for a truce? That’s okay, too.

        8. Barack Palin

          Re: Trump, Totally off topic, beccause you often are, but Trump will self destruct. I pray he is the nominee, or the 3rd party candidate. Oh, yeah. Mention that I’m the one who brought up Hillary in the first place. 

          Um, maybe that’s because you did.

        9. sisterhood

          Hope you never misplace your drivers license the day before elections. Still waiting for that substantive article you could submit to the Contributions section.

        10. Barack Palin

          Hope you never misplace your drivers license the day before elections.

          No problem, there’s other forms of ID that I could present to prove who I am.

          1. Matt Williams

            What other forms of ID BP? I know of only two that rise to the level I believe you are requesting … a Passport and a Drivers License. What other ones are there? Military ID?

        11. zaqzaq

          The impact of elections on the community is great.  Society has an interest in making sure that only eligible voters participate.  Voter ID laws support this interest.  I find it hard to believe that in this day and age there are people out there who do not have a valid ID.  The state should provide free ID cards for voting purposes where eligibility is determined.  This could be done at the DMV.

      2. sisterhood

        Re: Godwin’s Law (After a while, if a blog conversation goes on for very long, someone is sure to mention Nazi Germany)  Here’s something from the Let Me See Your Papers! website:

        USA: “Show me your I.D.”
        Nazi Germany: “Show me your papers.”
        USA: “Where are you headed? Where are you coming from?”
        Nazi: “Where are you headed? Where are you coming from?”
        USA: “Homeland Security”
        Nazi Germany: “Fatherland Security”
        USA: Security Checkpoints.
        Nazi Germany: Security Checkpoints.
         

  5. zaqzaq

    Convicted felons should be prohibited from voting and jury service.  They have forfieted these rights by their illegal conduct.  They lack the moral values of a responsible citizen.

    1. hpierce

      Does that also apply to felons, who have committed the same crimes, and not formally ‘caught’?

      I opine that unless someone is fully informed of the issues, and can articulate them (pros and cons), they should not be allowed to serve on juries nor vote.

    2. Tia Will

      zaqzaq

      They lack the moral values of a responsible citizen.”

      Perhaps they did at the time of their crime. Does this mean that you believe that there is no possibility of redemption and that this is true of every “criminal” for the remainder of their life ?

    3. sisterhood

      “They lack the moral value”   I believe folks who make statements like this are judgmental and lack moral values.
      “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind,
      one to another.”

      1. sisterhood

        You are definitely way too interested. many others whine on this websie, but I am the only one whom you made a passive/aggressive reference to after describing child molesters, rapists, and drug dealers. My roommate was not convicted of one of those heinous crimes. He plea bargained, was released from probation two and one half years early, due to being a “model citizen”, according to a Yolo Co. Judge,  and soon after, his record was expunged.

        [moderator] edited.

          1. Matt Williams

            I concur with Don. When discussions reach the polar, personal level that this one has reached, very little positive is likely to happen … especially when neither participant knows enough about one another to speak in an informed way.

            JMHO

    4. sisterhood

      The state should provide free ID cards for voting purposes where eligibility is determined.  This could be done at the DMV.

      I’m okay w/ your solution, if there is no charge whatsoever and if the polling place personnel can also verify ID of their neighbors. Also, mobile registration vans available for homeless and folks who live nowhere near a DMV. Or perhaps they have an elderly family member or newborn to care for and perhaps cannot handle the hassle of the lines at the DMV.

      We should be making it easier to vote, not more difficult. Wealthy housewives and retired folks will always find the time to vote.Others may think it is not worth the disruption, especially if they are low income workers or homeless and have difficulty making it to the polls.

  6. hpierce

    David, Don, or Board Members… seems some can reply at “levels” in the discussion that others cannot.  Often I see Don, David, and a few others who reply one level down from the last “reply” prompt.  Just curious…

    1. Don Shor

      I view the comments through an admin panel, which evidently allows me to do that. For others, I guess the limitation was put on to correct the previous problem of having the frames get narrower and narrower.

  7. Tia Will

    Hi sisterhood ( no monsoon here unfortunately, just insomnia)

    Point well taken about the ridiculousness of voter identification laws of individuals personally known to the polling volunteers. And I cannot help but wonder if those in favor of these identification laws believe that everyone should have to show their ID , or only those asked for it by the polling volunteers ?

    If the latter, do they not concede the possibility of harassment of those who the poll official knows are not in agreement with their political preference. How about this scenario.?  I favor the Democratic candidate for president and my garage is a polling station. I know all of my immediate neighbors personally. As they line up, I let all of the Democratic voters proceed unimpeded but request that all known Republicans show their ID even if I know them by name. If someone has been in line for 1/2 hour but left his wallet at home, too bad if you will be late for work, go back and get it. I wonder if this sounds either fair or democratic to those who favor voter id ?

  8. sisterhood

    I used to register voters in Yolo Co. Years ago, I was warned that the Republican folks who worked at the registrar’s office were harder on Dem registrants than their own party. I was really hoping it was just a bad rumour. Then I registered a homeless woman who mainly hung out at the parking lot of the “Old Nugget.” Man, did they give me a bad time. Of course, she had no I.D.  All you folks who state she could just go to the DMV & get an I.D. even if she didn’t need a drivers license: she did not have the money for the fee. The law states we cannot charge folks money to vote. In essence, making her buy a state I.D. is making her pay a fee to vote. Luckily, Yolo Co finally accepted the registration form from her, without any sort of I.D., and she was allowed to vote.

    At WIC, we had a Federal audit, one of our smaller community sites was told they must I.D. everyone.  Apparently, the staff remembered moms after they came in a few times & they were only asking for I.D. for the brand new moms on their first visit. So their excellent customer service, making the moms feel at home, calling them by their first names & not requiring I.D., actually got them in a tiny bit of trouble! No big deal, but it was kinda going overboard, imho.

    If I.D.’s are ever required at the polling place, I will fight that tooth and nail. IMHO, one of the best parts about being retired is I can spend time reading our laws and learning about my rights as a citizen. It is very empowering, and very interesting. It gives me a new appreciation of lawyers.

    1. hpierce

      Actually, Sisterhood, you may have misunderstood the information you were given… those who pass out and accept voter registration cards have to provide them to all who ask.  Somehow, those that are recieved by ‘partisans’ (and yes, it cuts both ways), which do not pass the ‘partisan’s’ “litmus test”, sometimes never make it to the County elections office.  Under both Berhard’s and Oakley’s tenure @ Yolo county, am 99.9999999999999% sure that the hassling of a registrant, based on party affiliation is non-existent.  The ‘partisans’ should watch out, though… “decline to state” and/or “independent”/no party, are the fastest growing affilition in California.  Will soon surpass Republican registrations, and the number of Democrats is decreasing as well.

      They are all fed up with the Rep/Dem, Lib/Con BS.  I made the decision many years ago.

      1. sisterhood

        In 2004, I registered the homeless woman with several others & mailed all their registration forms all to the Woodland Co. Registrar’s Office, or whatever it was called. A lady called me, said she needed an address for the homeless woman. I told her she mostly hung out at the Nugget Market in South Davis and she did not have a home. I suggested she put the address of Nugget, or, “the corner Mace and Cowell”. She then argued there is no such address. Finally, after arguing for a few moments, she admitted she knew where that Nugget was and it was actually on Mace & Chiles. She said she had to talk to her supervisor and call me back. Eventually, after much discussion, they decided to register the (Democrat) homeless woman. Hmmm.

        Re: “declined to state”, here in AZ that is a large percentage of voters.

      2. sisterhood

        “…you may have misunderstood the information you were given… those who pass out and accept voter registration cards have to provide them to all who ask. ”

        Of course I understand it. I stand by my remarks that other volunteers told me the Woodland registrar, prior to and up to the 2004 presidential election, was harder on Dem registrants. Possibly Green party, too. I have no knowledge how they behaved after that date.

  9. Barack Palin

    I know all of my immediate neighbors personally. As they line up, I let all of the Democratic voters proceed unimpeded but request that all known Republicans show their ID even if I know them by name. 

    That’s why everyone should have to show an ID in order to vote.  If that were the law then under your scenario of only asking Republicans for an ID you would be breaking the law and should be liable for the consequences.

    1. sisterhood

      In your vacation scenario you posed, I’m not the least bit concerned because I vote by mail & do not have to show any kind of ID whatsoever. If I did vote at the polls, the neighbors know me & would recognize an imposter. Voter ID checks is a violation of our Voting Rights Act. It came about because of harassment & discrimination of citizens when they tried to register . I strongly recommend you at least view this segment of the movie, Selma: the scene where Oprah’s character tries to register. Maybe then, just maybe, you will understand.

      1. Barack Palin

        In your vacation scenario you posed, I’m not the least bit concerned because I vote by mail & do not have to show any kind of ID whatsoever. If I did vote at the polls, the neighbors know me & would recognize an imposter. 

        So are you implying that in every precinct that the poll workers know every voter on sight?  Not a chance.  My scenario is a very legit possibility.

    2. hpierce

      Having worked polling places in Yolo County nearly everytime for the last 20 years, I’ll tell you ~ 15-20% of the voters bring their County issued voter’s sample ballots with them… particularly if they have a difficult-to -spell/pronounce name.  If you work the same precinct 2-3 times (common) you may not know their names, but you recognize most of them as ‘frequent-fliers’ (due to the low turnouts etc.).  Main “problem” is students who live and are registered somewhere else (Alameda Co, for example). Each voter is asked for their name and address.  If there is a dissonance from the rolls for that pricinct, 99% of the time they are re-directed to their precinct of residence, or told that they have to be “provisional” voters, where they have to go thru a lot more scrutiny, and County Elections ‘sorts it out’.

      Strongly suspect BP and other “voter-fraud-ists” have no clue of the safeguards in place, at least in Yolo County.

      Oh, and, frankly, denying registered voters from voting is also voter fraud.  See, Florida, 2000… another example of “democrat/liberal” bias… oops, just remembered it was the “republicans/conservatives” who did that, and gave “shrub” the election, but only after it went to SCOTUS.

    3. Tia Will

      BP

      In my opinion, this is why no one should hve to show an ID to vote. Regardless of what zaqzaq and/ or you mayf find hard to believe, not having an ID was the situation facee by my mother until her death at agee 94 four years ago. She had not worked outside her home since age 24. She had never obtained a driver’s license or other official form of ID, and lived in rural Washington by choice. Her only family in the area, my sister, is leagally blind. The nearest DMV was a 40 minute trip across the Narrows Bridge in Tacoma at that time.

      So it does not seem rational to me that a woman who the poll volunteers know personally by her nickname “Butch” should not have  her ballot he processed the  same way as anyone else’s. How is she any less likely to be herself than Don or hpierce are when voting by mail

  10. Eric Gelber

    A couple points:

    On voter ID: Before imposing requirements that undeniably have a disparate impact on low-income individuals we should have evidence of widespread fraud of the type that would be fixed by voter ID requirements. We don’t.

    To those who would impose morality tests as a voting requirement: Shall we disqualify all serial adulterers, anyone who has cheated on their taxes, or lied about WMDs to justify an invasion, etc.? If you think we have low voter turnout now, wait until we start applying morality tests.

    1. sisterhood

      Re: morality requirements, I guess that includes anyone who says “No, those jeans don’t make your butt look big. Oh, your new haircut looks so cute! I was working late, honey…”

      Also, anyone who cheats at works. You know, the boss counts how many phone calls you take in a hour. So you answer the call, put them on hold, then disconnect them. Or you lie on your stats. Or you steal your co-worker’s account, then get that big commission & promotion.  Maybe you settle insurance claims by throwing money at them.  You hide your money in a hundred legitimate ways to avoid paying taxes, while low & middle income folks foot your bill. Maybe you’re a chiropractor who bills in excess of the fee schedule, or bills for more patient hours than you spend? Maybe you illegally download music and movies? Do you ever tap into your neighbor’s wi fi?

      So, only felons (even if they’re innocent &  pleas bargained), or misdemeanor offenders, too? How about folks that have moving traffic violations? A woman who ran a solid red light almost killed me. Is she as immoral as the teen who had a joint on him? Or the market owner who sells wine to minors over in San Francisco, by SFSU? Or the older brother who provides the keg at his high school sibling’s party? Or even the parent who does that?

      It’s so easy to judge the felons. They got caught. Or not.

       

  11. Frankly

    We should require voter ID, but just make it easier to get an ID… and allow the use of many forms of ID.  Many other countries do this.

    Poll workers in Ireland can ask voters for proof of identity, but voters have a choice of “five different forms of photo ID, in addition to bank books, credit cards, checkbooks and marriage certificates.”

    In Switzerland, every registered voter is sent a registration card prior to an election, and if the voter brings her registration card to the polling place, no additional identification is needed.”

    Canada permits any voter who lacks one of the allowed forms of photo identification to present two of forty-five other forms of identification or documentation that have the voter’s name and address on at least one. Acceptable documents include leases, student transcripts, and utility bills.”

    Sweden’s policy is a bit more vague, requiring that a “voter who is not known to the voting clerks [produce] an identity document or in another way verify her or his identity.”

    India allows the use of fifteen different types of identification, ranging from property documents to arms licenses to income tax identity cards. Included, too, are forms of identification most likely to be possessed by the poor…. For instance, voters can present ration cards issued to the poor to allow them to buy food staples and kerosene oil at subsidized prices.”

      1. Frankly

        Hard to prove when all the authorities that would investigate are public sector employees having a vested interest in allowing more voter fraud to occur.

        And the media isn’t going to investigate it either because the media is politically correct and in bed with the Democrat party machine that also benefits from voter fraud.

          1. Don Shor

            It’s been studied and analyzed plenty of times.

            I’ve been tracking allegations of fraud for years now, including the fraud ID laws are designed to stop. In 2008, when the Supreme Court weighed in on voter ID, I looked at every single allegation put before the Court. And since then, I’ve been following reports wherever they crop up.

            To be clear, I’m not just talking about prosecutions. I track any specific, credible allegation that someone may have pretended to be someone else at the polls, in any way that an ID law could fix.

            So far, I’ve found about 31 different incidents (some of which involve multiple ballots) since 2000, anywhere in the country. If you want to check my work, you can read a comprehensive list of the incidents below.

            To put this in perspective, the 31 incidents below come in the context of general, primary, special, and municipal elections from 2000 through 2014. In general and primary elections alone, more than 1 billion ballots were cast in that period.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2014/08/06/a-comprehensive-investigation-of-voter-impersonation-finds-31-credible-incidents-out-of-one-billion-ballots-cast/

        1. Frankly

          The “media” these days is diverse enough if there were widespread fraud, it would be on it.

          Maybe you are correct.

          Liberals who oppose efforts to prevent voter fraud claim that there is no fraud — or at least not any that involves voting in person at the polls. But New York City’s watchdog Department of Investigations has just provided the latest evidence of how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. DOI undercover agents showed up at 63 polling places last fall and pretended to be voters who should have been turned away by election officials; the agents assumed the names of individuals who had died or moved out of town, or who were sitting in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, the testers were allowed to vote. Those who did vote cast only a write-in vote for a “John Test” so as to not affect the outcome of any contest. DOI published its findings two weeks ago in a searing 70-page report accusing the city’s Board of Elections of incompetence, waste, nepotism, and lax procedures.

          http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368234/voter-fraud-weve-got-proof-its-easy-john-fund

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I believe it is relatively easy to commit fraud, the problem is we have one-third of the people voting, so I don’t see a lot of incentive to commit the fraud. And again, ease isn’t evidence of fraud.

    1. Frankly

      Oh and…

      “Countries such as Spain, Greece, France, Malta, Belgium, and Italy provide national identity documents to their citizens to use for many purposes, including travel, banking, and healthcare access as well as voting.”

      No waits in the DMV line required.

      1. Eric Gelber

        evidence of how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable.

        Perhaps the consequence of a federal penalty of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine is the reason such fraud is virtually nonexistent. The evidence simply doesn’t warrant disenfranchising voters who don’t have photo IDs, the majority of whom are seniors and those with low income.  Now, who would benefit from that? Oh. Right.

    2. Tia Will

      Frankly

      Thanks for posting your examples from other countries. However, I am unsure how any of these offeres more surety of the identiy of the voter than knowing them personally. For example, many of the forms of ID that you mentioned would be readily obtainble by someone bent on voting fraudulently. Just one example. I do not shred my utility bills. Thus anyone who wanted to use my utility bill as “proof” of my address would only have to rifle through my trash. I would rather take the chance of a poll worker knowing me personally and beiing willing to make an attestation that they know me personally as an alterantive.

  12. NoneYaBidness

    OMG, Seriously? If you can make it out to vote. You can go get an ID. If you are not capable, or not entitled to a legal Id, I’m thinking you shouldn’t vote.

    And how many convicted felons actually even think or care about voting. LOL Even if they had the rights, I bet 2% would even vote.

    1. NoneYaBidness

      And yes, you should have to show proof of who you are to vote. Not only to keep people from voting that do not have the right. But also to keep people from voting more than they are entitled to.  It’s not rocket science. And It’s not hard to get an ID.

        1. NoneYaBidness

          Um, democrats need minority vote. Minority vote comes from alot of illegal immigrants and voting fraud, anchor babies, and illegal immigrant workers and their families. Nobody needs to prove any of that. It’s fact. You can find it out on your own.

  13. Tia Will

    And It’s not hard to get an ID.”

    It’s not hard to get an ID if you are mobile, sighted, live in central California and have enough money or a good enough support system to get you to a government venue in which you can get an ID. If you live in many rural areas of our country, are legally blind, or mobility impaired, it is not so easy. So according to your statement, anyone who is not able bodied or blessed with others who have the time and will to take them 30-60 minutes from their home just so they can get an ID to show the folks that already have known them by name for years, they just shouldn’t be voting ….. right ?

     

    1. NoneYaBidness

      They have that many people that know them by name for years? they have an established life, they are aware enough to know who to vote for. But they can’t get an ID to do an absentee vote, or get a ride in to vote? Well, now you’re just being silly.

      Not to mention, that is probably not an overwhelming problem in this country at this moment. LOL

    2. NoneYaBidness

      So a blind person that has the wherewithal to know who they want to vote for, some way of living,  have people “that know them by name for years” , but they cant at least get a ride once in four years to get an ID? That whole thought seems so ridiculous it makes me laugh. And no, if they can’t go get an ID, no, they probably are not in a position that they should be voting.

    3. NoneYaBidness

      “And It’s not hard to get an ID.” No, its not. Anyone that has a heartbeat and a birth cert, can go to DMV, and pay $25 and get one. And if your life is so messed up, that, in a four year span, you can not find some way of getting down to the DMV. I think you have more problems than not being able to vote. And usually if you are that old, or have a disability, you have already established a support system in place. And for those that don’t, I’m sure the last thing they are thinking about is “who should I vote for”. So ridiculous, this topic is absurd.

      1. Barack Palin

        NONEYA, Democrats have to get very creative to come up with scenarios where they claim someone can’t obtain an I.D.  It’s all ludicrous and I think deep down they know that to be true.

        1. NoneYaBidness

          Seriously!? How can you get anything with out an ID? How could you live without an ID. LOl It’s so stupid. How would you have a home, TV, radio, any contact with the world around you to even know who to vote for, if you don’t even have an ID? It’s the most retarded argument I have ever heard of in my life.

          And YES, I think if your life is that messed up that you can’t even get an ID, you should not be voting.

          And most people with disabilities,or older people, actually have their life in order better than that.

        2. Barack Palin

          I totally agree with you NoneYa.  Some here want to claim that poll workers know the voters on sight.  Maybe sometimes but when I vote I don’t know any of the poll workers and they have no idea who I am.  We all should have to show an I.D., it’s not a big deal and won’t take hardly any more time at the polls to do so.

        3. Tia Will

          BP

          It’s all ludicrous and I think deep down they know that to be true”

          It’s all ludicrous until it is within your own family. And “deep down” I know the truth of my mother’s previous situation better than you do.

    4. NoneYaBidness

      Tia, That was so very specific too. LOL “mobile, sighted, live in central California and have enough money or a good enough support system to get you to a government venue in which you can get an ID” ok so now you are diluting it to blind people, non mobile people, and non central CA people….LOL

      Well, for those people that live anywhere in central California, and are blind, and mobility impaired, and need a ride to get an ID. Contact me and I will take you and pay for your ID.

      1. sisterhood

        “…you may have misunderstood the information you were given… those who pass out and accept voter registration cards have to provide them to all who ask. ” Of course I understand it. I stand by my remarks that other volunteers told me the Woodland registrar, prior to and up to the 2004 presidential election, was harder on Dem registrants. Possibly Green party, too. I have no knowledge how they behaved after that date.

         

        Hey “none…” – LOL at an elderly woman who isn’t mobile enough to get to the polls to vote? Wow, aren’t you kind.

        1. NoneYaBidness

          ” Hey “none…” – LOL at an elderly woman who isn’t mobile enough to get to the polls to vote? Wow, aren’t you kind.”

          I don’t understand this comment. Please explain.

      1. Tia Will

        NYB

        And Tia, were did you get this “30-60 minutes from their home” from? did I say that?”

        No, you did not say that. What you said was that getting an ID was not difficult. And I in no way implied that you were lying. I am sure that you are telling the truth of the world in which you live. However, not all Americans live in your world.

        The situation that I was describing was that of my own mother until she died four years ago.The setting was in rural Washington. She did not want to leave her home, was in her 90’s and had all of the things that you are describing provided by my sister until she became legally blind. Because you are unfamiliar with a different way of life does not mean that the different way does not exist.

        “And YES, I think if your life is that messed up that you can’t even get an ID, you should not be voting.”
        And why would you assume that this means that your life is “messed up”. My mother consistently played by all the rules of her time. She was a homemaker and raised two children after the death of her husband. The fact that she preferred rural over urban life is a reason to be disenfranchised in your mind ? ”

         

      1. sisterhood

        If you really meant what you said, every single election day there are seniors calling for rides to the polls. I know. I volunteered. Why don’t you, next time?

  14. Tia Will

    As we lose our country to Mexican drug cartels, as we become slaves to china…. As we get over-run by a slow moving mold. You fools.”

    I cannot help but wonder what you believe that we, personally have lost. If you live in our region, what have you “lost” to a drug cartel ?  How are you enslaved, or even restricted by China ? What “slow moving  mold” are you being engulfed by ? Or are these just references to fear tactics highlighted by a certain segment of our news media that profits by fomenting fear ?  This is an honest question as I do not share your vision of the horrors facing our country. I do see reasons for concern about drug trafficking, imbalances in trade in certain sectors, and the health risks of mold for those who are economically disadvantaged, but “lose our country”, I see as an unrealistic fear.  Can you clarify ?

    1. NoneYaBidness

      Based on what you said in your post. I would conclude that you are very un-informed as to what is really going on around you. And it would take a 10 page essay to inform you. I will not do that. I would say that maybe you should do some research as to what is happening to our country, what is going on in the world economy, and maybe then you would understand.

      1. sisterhood

        “…it would take a 10 page essay to inform you. I will not do that.”

         Your ten page essay might be fascinating, and would be published by David in his Submissions section. We’ve encouraged BP, who seems to have similar beliefs, to do the same. We’re all still waiting.

        P.S. I doubt that a woman who took the time and energy to go to med school is someone who is uninformed.

    2. NoneYaBidness

      I would say read some books on economy, maybe read some books on gang culture, unions, learn about the drug trade in our country, look into the outsourcing of jobs to china, etc. then talk.

      1. sisterhood

        How many books have you sought that do not align with your political beliefs? One of the ways to prevent Alzheimers is to stretch your brain by reading or doing activities that are foreign, or different. Try it. It’s fun. For economics, perhaps the book Small is Beautiful by Schumacher. Also, The Second Sex, by DeBeauvoir.

  15. NoneYaBidness

    Really? Are you that un-informed? No, I will not explain. If you don’t understand what I was saying then I feel bad for you, and you are part of the problem. You obviously have no clue what is going on around you. But that’s ok. A lot of people don’t.

    1. sisterhood

      “…what is going on around you…” Perhaps that is precisely the issue. Do you only see what is going on around you?  Perhaps you need to get out of your comfort zone for a while, experience different cultures and different folks and different neighborhoods? It’s fun.

      1. NoneYaBidness

        Oh, I do…. You have no Idea sister… no Idea…..My Intire life has been plagued with it. Believe me when I say, I am, and have been mixed up with different cultures to the point where I want nothing to do with anyone. In fact, I find it amazing you could tell me to “get out” without even knowing me or knowing what I have experienced. You have no clue. Get off the cross.

        1. Tia Will

          NYB

          I find it amazing you could tell me to “get out” without even knowing me or knowing what I have experienced.”

          I would say that maybe you should do some research as to what is happening to our country, what is going on in the world economy, and maybe then you would understand.””I would say read some books on economy, maybe read some books on gang culture, unions, learn about the drug trade in our country, look into the outsourcing of jobs to china, etc. then talk.”

          What I find amazing is that you are criticizing sisterhood for doing exactly the same thing that you did with regard to me. I doubt that you know what books, articles, magazines and blogs I read, what classes I have attended ( I was a political science major initially) and how much news I listen to and from what sources.

          For me the point of participating in a blog is to share my ideas, not to tell others what they do and do not know, think, or feel. It would seem that we have different philosophies of blog participation. And as you said, that’s ok.

  16. sisterhood

    “LOL” You expect an elderly half blind woman to whip out her IPhone 6S and download Uber to come out to rural Washington. LOL

    Btw, you can call the League of Women Voters & find out who will need a ride to the polls, if you truly mean what you write.

    1. NoneYaBidness

      No, I really don’t think a blind elderly woman (or man) could do that. I was being sarcastic I think.

      And I will do that, I would very much be happy to give rides to vote. In fact, I would rent a van, and make a group run. Not a problem. A van for a day would be less than $200 and its a write off. I absolutely would not have a problem with that at all.

      I think my point was that people are describing the problem in this country as if it was because poor elderly people can’t go and vote. I don’t agree with that at all. (That is an issue, but not the main problem).

      1. sisterhood

        I wish I knew how to get folks who are fed up with politicians on both sides to get off their butts and go vote. Here in Arizona, there is a huge population of people who register Independent, or, Decline to State. But they are so fed up they don’t vote at all. Bottom line, then they have no business bit&*ng after the election.  I do get irritated that felons who really want to vote (I know one) cannot, and lazy people or folks who are fed up, cannot. Funny, the felon could move back to CA and vote. But overall, he likes it here better. There is still a middle class here.

        1. Tia Will

          Hi sisterhood,

          First thanks for the note. I keep intending to respond but not quite doing it. Much appreciated.

          I have a question for you. In your post of 9:38, how are you defining “middle class” ?

          I believe that there is a “middle class” in California, it has just been redefined over time largely in the Bay area ( broadly defined) by the influx of very well paid tech workers. I now find myself well within that “middle class” despite an income that would have a decade or so ago placed me in the “upper class” at least financially if not culturally.

           

  17. Tia Will

    NYB

    “Education would seem also to be in the eye of the beholder”. What you seem to be saying is that unless my reading, sources, and conclusions about the state of our country are identical to yours, then I must be “un-informed” as opposed to differently informed.

    But I do think that you have revealed a bigger truth than you may know. Your statements on other people’s “messed up lives” and how they should not be allowed to vote, suggests to me that unless someone’s life conforms to your minimum standard, they should not be allowed to vote. I am concerned that many would agree with you. This is, in my opinion, a very undemocratic point of view, and hardly in keeping with the principles upon which our country is founded.

    1. NoneYaBidness

      Were you talking to me? Cause you quoted me at one point, then quoted someone else, and you really did not make any sense in your comment so I don’t even know how to respond.

      1. Tia Will

        NYB

        Ok, apologies for being unclear. I will attempt to simplify.

        I believe that your comments regarding those with “messed up lives” and how they should not be allowed to vote, while possibly popular, are undemocratic and breach the principles upon which our country was founded.

         

    2. NoneYaBidness

      “Education would seem also to be in the eye of the beholder”……………….

      Where did you get this from? Why are you using Quotes in a statement addressing me if it is not my quote? Do you know what that implies? Do you not understand what “” is? I NEVER said ANYONE should not be allowed to vote. You need to learn the proper way of “quoting” somebody. Learn how to use quotes, and if you are going to state MY opinion, get it right.  And I never compared your “reading, sources, and conclusions about the state of our country are identical to yours” to mine….. I simply gave you my opinion that I believe you are un-informed. And maybe you should work on that. There is no point in having an argument, if you don’t have any clue what you are talking about.

      1. NoneYaBidness

        Let me set the record straight as there seems to be some mis-understandings. When I talk about people with “messed up” lives, I’m talking about irresponsible people, people that don’t, or are not willing to do the best they can. People that use drugs, people that are in this country illegally, people that complain about everything and yet do nothing. Do I mean an elderly blind person that has done nothing wrong, has lived her life well and raised caring responsible children? NO. Don’t be so stupid.

        And I NEVER said ANYONE should not be allowed to vote. What I implied was that, for those people that have messed up lives, (as described above) I don’t care if they have the ability to vote, and they probably would not anyways, and I don’t think they should.

        1. NoneYaBidness

          Note that I said “should not vote” . I never said that they could not vote, or that they should not be “allowed” to vote..

          EVERYONE is allowed a vote.

  18. Tia Will

    NYB

    And YES, I think if your life is that messed up that you can’t even get an ID, you should not be voting.”

    I NEVER said that people with messed up lives should not be “allowed to vote”.”

    Your second sentence is true. And I apologize for not quoting exactly. That was sloppy of me. However, I am unclear how else one might interpret your first sentence which is an exact cut and paste of what you wrote. Perhaps you would like to clarify what you meant so that I will understand.

    1. NoneYaBidness

      And I never said that “Education would seem also to be in the eye of the beholder”  I don’t know where you got that from. Don’t mis-Quote me.  You quoted that “unless my reading, sources, and conclusions about the state of our country are identical to yours, then I must be “un-informed” as opposed to differently informed.” 

      No, I don’t require you to have the same opinion as me. I just think you are un-informed. As  I said before.

    2. NoneYaBidness

      Let me set the record straight as there seems to be some mis-understandings. When I talk about people with “messed up” lives, I’m talking about irresponsible people, people that don’t, or are not willing to do the best they can. People that use drugs, people that are in this country illegally, people that complain about everything and yet do nothing. Do I mean an elderly blind person that has done nothing wrong, has lived her life well and raised caring responsible children? NO. Don’t be so stupid.
      And I NEVER said ANYONE should not be allowed to vote. What I implied was that, for those people that have messed up lives, (as described above) I don’t care if they have the ability to vote, and they probably would not anyways, and I don’t think they should.

  19. sisterhood

    Hi Tia,

    No worries, you’re a busy woman!

    Re: Middle class: I moved to AZ after perusing the areas in CA where I could retire at 56.

    1st choice. Davis. Nope, out of the question because the city stole my affordable house out from under me, with no time to get the cash only down payment together to buy it, once it became a grou bankruptcy situation, du to too many factors to write about. I will say, I never missed one payment on my home. Bankruptcy was not my choice for the solution.

    2nd choice: area where I could still drive to the bay area in one day to visit my kids. Dixon? Nope ,lazy cops there. Vallejo? Nope, a kind cop and a jail guard both told us to stay as far away from there as I could. Fairfield? Nope. Sorry, the neighborhoods I could afford were not that great, crime wise.

    I continued to search the bay area. Nothing I could afford. I wanted a condo or home under $250,000. So, for me, that is middle class. I don’t think of middle class in terms of education or blue collar vs. “professional”, whatever that means. I think of it in terms of being able to scrape together enough to own your own home or rent a nice home that is not managed by a mean landlord who won’t fix anything. I’ve heard good stories about Davis rentals. Sadly, I rented 3 homes in Davis (can’t quite bring myself, even 4 years later, to say  I “rented” my co-op affordable home after the city stole it away from me.) All 3 homes were in disrepair and needed constant prodding to get the owner, all wealthy people, to do even minimum repairs. (No electricity in the kitchen for 2 weeks. No a.c. for the whole month of August, the year that broke the record for the longest streak of days over 100 degrees) A gorgeous old-growth tree in our back yard illegally chopped down. Enough said.

    The parts of CA where I could afford were not desirable. We made an offer on a home in Natomas. Thank God it was not accepted. 6 months later, its value dropped over $50,000. I’m happy in AZ. My home holding its value. Things are more affordable, and I can volunteer.  Finally, a plus, we are still near a college town!

    What is your definition of middle class?

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