Parties and voting: First things

As everyone in North Carolina knows, Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory beat the “voter ID” horse quite nearly to death in his run for office. Without a shred of evidence to prove there actually is significant voter fraud, he has proposed a costly solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. How costly? According to some estimates, the price tag could run upwards of $100 million in the first year alone. If there were even 100 instances of known voter fraud (there are not), McCrory would be spending a million dollars on each case.

But voter ID is only one of Pat McCrory’s partisan voter suppression schemes. He also wants to (1) make it harder for college students to vote, (2) cut back on one-stop voting, and (3) shorten the window for early voting. This what happens when a person’s agenda is driven by politics instead of principles.

In the area of electoral politics, here are the principles I advocate.

  1. More participation in voting by citizens is better than less participation. North Carolina should strive to expand access and make it easier – not harder – for people to vote.
  2. College students must be allowed to vote where they live without penalizing them or their parents. The US Supreme Court has already addressed this issue. McCrory’s attempt to circumvent the law of the land is illegal.
  3. Regarding political parties, the organization of names of candidates on ballots according to party affiliation is an inappropriate intrusion of partisanship into the electoral process. Straight-ticket voting must be eliminated.
  4. Not one cent of public money should ever be used to acknowledge or affirm any aspect of party affiliation in North Carolina. Ballots should have no reference to political parties. Publications and online material associated with the General Assembly should have no mention of party affiliation. State government facilities should never be used in any way that is governed by partisan affiliation. Violating these principles should result in immediate termination for elected officials, state employees and contractors alike.
  5. Rethinking this one: Contributions and gifts to candidates should be reported as ordinary income by the candidate and taxed accordingly.



I admit to not knowing the whole sordid history of how political parties came to dominate our government, but I have always felt is was wrong. Parties sometimes seem more like private clubs than public institutions, and I see know reason why taxpayer dollars should be spend in any way that even acknowledges their existence.

I'm not saying parties should be eliminated. On the contrary. They should be able to do anything they want, as long as they do it with no cost to citizens.

I'm an independent Democrat. I don't expect the government to promote my party's interests.


And, of course, redistricting activities should include no reference to or acknowledgement of any aspect of party affiliation whatsoever.

A couple of election laws I

A couple of election laws I would be in favor of:

-No polling place should ever be located in a house of worship, on the property of a religious institution, or in a space owned or used for commercial enterprise. Spaces used for voting should be politically neutral.

-Redistricting should be carried out by an independent, politically balanced and neutral panel using computer models of population, place of work and other data that makes districts reflective of individual communities and regions of North Carolina.

I'm livid that my area, which includes mostly professional residents working in the Triad and Triangle, has been lumped in with another rural conservative county that has no economic or community ties to my area.

No polling place should ever

No polling place should ever be located in a house of worship, on the property of a religious institution, or in a space owned or used for commercial enterprise. Spaces used for voting should be politically neutral.

I like the idea, but execution is impractical. How many suitable secular, non-commercial sites are available in the quantities and locations necessary for an election? Already, government buildings are used to a large extent, but sometimes a church hall is the only/best choice. Besides, I enjoyed voting against Amendment One at my polling place- a Catholic Church.

I would agree that churches should not be used as

... a polling place. Most every precinct will have either a school or volunteer fire department. We have a kazillion churches in Person Co. but none are used as voting locations. That is as it should be for to use a church as polling place brushes up against the 1st amendment imo.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Agree with some...

Polling places...who cares they don't effect the election so who cares.

Redistricting I agree, but I think we need to get rid of the federal gerrymander laws that makes a computer model more difficult. and How would we safe guard the computer model. Who write it. At least they way it is we know who to yell at.

Such clear-headed thinking

I appreciate it. I really think the party affiliation on the ballot has to go. It's just an out for lazy voters and media who can't take the trouble to get to know a candidates issues. Granted that is not always the easiest thing to do but we need a better way to compare candidates like free televised debates or maybe public questionnaires.

btw-why is my reply type so tiny on my screen?

Thanks for the kind words

I will ask the tech team about the size of the type on your screen. It might be that you can make it bigger using CTRL+

It seems to be working okay on my screen.

I'm definitely in favor of making it easier to vote.

I've not ever had an issue voting, but I'm a white female whose gender identiy matches my name. My concern is not only for racial and ethnic minorites, and for people like the elderly who don't have a reason to have a driver's license, for instance, but for people whose gender expression doesn't match the gender on their license or their name.

Personally, I like seeing the (D) or (R) or (U) next to a candidate's name - I'm not a lazy voter by any means, but I sometimes do miss someone, and it makes it easier for me to make a choice on election day (which to me is the day I go to vote). I'll be honest, I check with the local Democratic party to find out who they recommend on the unaffiliated races and why.

I'm not writing that coherently right now - but I'm firm on this: I don't want to see any restrictions made to voting rights in NC, and I'm afraid it's going to happen.

I can tell party affiliation by the way candidates talk.

Party affiliation does influence a candidate's decisions when they are elected. However, in "non-partisan" elections, you can still tell who is Republican and who is Democrat in other ways.


This I have to hear...How can you do that?

Non-partisan races

In non-partisan races, like judges and such, you can tell a difference by reading voter guides, biographies of the candidates and their endorsements and then doing a bit of Google searching.

It takes some work before you go to the polls and you sometimes can't quite figure out where a candidate is coming from, but it can done to a certain extent. Especially here in NC when you do searches for candidate names and the names of specific foundations and think tanks that Pope funds.

One example is that homophobic guy from Winston that McCrory appointed to the Board of Education. If you do some searching on his name, you find out that not only was he on the Winston school board, he's an attorney and has done workshops for Civitas.

I like knowing affiliation too

but I'm suggesting there is a bigger issue at play here. Political parties are not public institutions, they are private organizations that, in my opinion, have far too much influence on the structure and processes of government.

I've tried to find a way to reconcile the issue, and have come to the conclusion that it must be "zero tolerance." Just as no elected official may use public resources to fundraise, for example, so too should they be prohibited from using public resources to promote their partisan affiliation.

I realize this is a radical suggestion, but I believe we are in a phase of our nation where radical may be necessary.

As a side note, this is a related to the idea of moving away from corporate personhood. People - not parties or corporations - must be at the center of our government.

The Overarching Strategy for Republican voting depredationx

The common thread in the anti-voting strategies and tactics by the Tea Bag Teabag Taliban, locally and nation wide is to increase the length of lines, radically, everywhere, to discourage voters. For example that is the purpose of the elimination of straight ticket voting, it will increase the time every voter needs to go through the ballots - and guess whose constituents will be slowest? Of course, the elderly will contribute greatly to this problem. Examination of IDs adds to time taken per voter and contraction of early voting will first increase individual times and then place greater stress on periods polls are open. So, look to how all these add to confusion, complexity and overwhelming lines at the polls.




Don't you think that would discourage their own voters as well?

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