Republicans move to limit voter access

By attempting to shut down early voting sites:

Suzanne Rucker, chairwoman of the Cumberland County Republican Party, told the Board of Elections on Tuesday that early voting costs too much money to justify all of those locations, especially when turnout is normally poor during the one stop period.

Ralph Reagan, who was chairman of the local GOP in 2008, was a big critic of early voting. He called it a burden on election officials and an opportunity for ill-informed citizens to vote. He hated Sunday voting, too, which he said benefited Democrats over Republicans in Cumberland County.

Or, could it be because those "ill-informed citizens" put Barack Obama so far ahead during the early voting of 2008?

Comments

Why didn't the Cumberland GOP chair note the cost

...of military voting?

Now there's a cost differential. Military voting procedures vs. a one stop voting location in Spring Lake.

Somehow I doubt it would have the same political punch.

Another item to file under "If you REALLY cared about reducing expenses, you'd look at military spending"

Oh well. Blame the poor.

What else is new?

 

Presidential Years vs Mid Terms vs Municipals

To be honest, the number of locations should be tuned to the expected turnout.

Presidential years should have more locations open, mid terms a few less and municipals even fewer.

I wouldn't think it would be that hard to set up.

I think that's what they're doing

That said, this quote from the Republican spokesperson is beyond laughable:

"The savings to the taxpayers could be spent for other needed services," she said.

Pretty funny to see a Republican touting "other needed services" when their whole agenda is to eliminate "services" at every turn.

Tail wagging the dog

At what point does limiting access actually affect the voter turnout that it is supposed to be tailored to?

Early voting is designed to mitigate potential roadblocks to voting, like election day transportation/work scheduling conflicts. If we want voters to be more engaged in smaller-ticket elections, the last thing we need to do is reduce their access.

No, it isn't.

We have absentee voting for that, scharrison.

Early voting doesn't increase access. Convenience, perhaps, for a few voters, but not access.

Dave

Why early voting?

What is the purpose of early voting, anyhow? What is it good for?

Well, I can think of one thing. It presumably reduces lines on election day at polling places during heavy-turnout elections. But I think that end could be more efficiently served simply by increasing staffing at polling places during peak voting hours (before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.) for heavy-turnout elections.

So, what else does it do?

  • It encourages people to vote before the campaigns are over, i.e., before they have had an opportunity to get all the information they will have on election day. Is that good? It doesn't seem like it to me, unless you like having ill-informed voters pick our leaders.
  • It increases the "coverage requirement" for campaigns to stake out all the voting locations, thereby giving an increased advantage to campaigns with very deep pockets. Is that good? It doesn't seem like it to me, unless you think that money has an insufficient influence on our elections, already.
  • It encourages people to vote who are so disinterested that they might not bother to vote on election day if the weather is bad. Is that good? It doesn't seem like it to me, unless you like having disinterested voters pick our leaders.
  • It provides election officials with an opportunity to skew election results by selecting early voting locations which are in neighborhoods that favor the party in power. Is that good? Well, it might be good for the party in power, but it isn't good for democracy.
  • It costs the taxpayers money. Is that good? Well, since y'all know I'm a Republican, you know my answer!

These crazy days, when public money is being spent profligately on "shovel-ready" paving projects for roads that don't yet need repaving, while teachers are being laid off for lack of funds, I suppose that early voting is a relatively minor waste of NC's resources. But we'd still be better off without it.

Dave

You aren't looking at this correctly

ncdave4life you aren't looking at early voting correctly. Your bullet points don't make any sense. Early voting is not only for convenience but to enable people to vote that might not be able to on one particular day and who are you to question the cost of freedom and the opportunity to vote in the first place?

Here is an article that was written before the 2008 elections I liked because I thought it was that important on early voting in Virginia:

But in recent years the availability of early voting, whether by mail or in person (with some polling places open on weekends), has increased as voters have demanded a convenient alternative to waiting in long lines on the first Tuesday of November.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1841934,00.html#ixzz0uAJEjPZv

You say you are a republican and infer that is why you feel like you do. I know a lot of republicans and most of them disagree with you. I think you are just picking an argument here.

A lot of elitism in there, Dave

While you're writing off those "ill-informed" and "disinterested" voters, why don't you go a few steps further and have them take a test to see if they make the grade? And after that, have them run a fricking obstacle course, just to make sure they really want to vote, and aren't just bored and looking for something to do.

Agree on one point

I do believe as early voting gets more popular it does make advertising/ campaigning more expensive. Whatever the best timing is for campaign advertising, it costs less if everyone votes on the same day. When you stretch voting over a couple of weeks, you'll probably have to spend more money to get your full message out over a longer period of time.

That said, I do believe that early voters are much more likely to be informed. They are motivated and search out the one-stop locations and vote early to make sure their vote is counted. They are the ones who are not swayed by last minute media blitzes ande are more likely to have done their own research on the candidates. I could be wrong, but that's my gut instinct.

I could early vote for Elaine right now...

It encourages people to vote before the campaigns are over, i.e., before they have had an opportunity to get all the information they will have on election day. Is that good? It doesn't seem like it to me, unless you like having ill-informed voters pick our leaders.

...months in advance and still be better informed than most voters on where she stands come election day.

Discussion 101

Your bullet points don't make any sense.

They make fine sense. You might disagree with them personally, but there's a big difference between that and them making no sense whatsoever. Granted, the third bullet point is weaker (anyone that disinterested isn't going to vote one way or the other), but in total, they're perfectly rational arguments.

who are you to question the cost of freedom and the opportunity to vote in the first place?

Freedom costs money, and the opportunity to vote costs money, because they both require resources to maintain. Those resources must be responsibly managed. It is well within Dave's rights and duties as a citizen to question the cost of anything the government does.

You say you are a republican and infer that is why you feel like you do. I know a lot of republicans and most of them disagree with you. I think you are just picking an argument here.

Dave said that he was a Republican to infer that he dislikes high government spending. He never claimed to speak for all Republicans. Are you claiming that Dave has no right to deviate from his chosen party's political line, if he so chooses? And of course he's here to pick an argument. The blog is called BlueNC. And he's obviously Republican. Aside from "picking an argument," I would also call it "trying to have a debate or discussion." But unfortunately, most people today on either side seem incapable of doing anything other than dismiss, ignore, or shout down anyone who doesn't already agree with them. I applaud Dave for stating his argument here rationally and without personal attacks.

While you're writing off those "ill-informed" and "disinterested" voters, why don't you go a few steps further and have them take a test to see if they make the grade? And after that, have them run a fricking obstacle course, just to make sure they really want to vote, and aren't just bored and looking for something to do.

Does anyone have a legitimate argument against Dave's points, rather than just sarcastic comments that do not address anything Dave actually argued for?

That said, I do believe that early voters are much more likely to be informed. They are motivated and search out the one-stop locations and vote early to make sure their vote is counted. They are the ones who are not swayed by last minute media blitzes ande are more likely to have done their own research on the candidates. I could be wrong, but that's my gut instinct.

I think this argument is interesting. Any others?

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Arguing with Dave is a waste of time

There's a mountain of information out about early voting out there to be had. He could have looked up, you could have, too.

After spending about five hours more time with it than I should have, I determined that the evidence is inconclusive. Like almost any other public policy, it has benefits and costs ... and they are not clear cut. Sort of like your comment about freedom. It comes at a cost, for sure, but what cost are we willing to pay?

That ambiguity pushes the discussion into the realm of of opinion and values. I believe anything that making voting easier, more convenient, etc., is a good thing, as long as there's a paper trail. And given that the incremental cost of one-stop early voting is budget dust, compared, say, to buying a whole new squadron of fighter jets for Cherry Point, it seems worth the investment in my book. I've voted early in every election over the past few cycles except for one, and in that instance, I used an absentee ballot, which was pretty straightforward.

I personally am a vote by mail advocate (though it has drawbacks too) because it is the cheapest way to go. Unfortunately, that dog won't hunt here in North Carolina.

Good effort Black Sheep

You have made a good effort here in picking particular things said and coming up with alternate views of them. I agree with you that this is a discussion board and that is what we do here. In answering your request for specific points from the side I stand on with regard to early voting I would like to offer up some reasons I particularly like offering people more than one day to vote in America.
- A person or possibly a family is going to be out of state or out of country or just not available on that Tuesday for various reasons including vacations or school trip or attending to a family member out of state and such.
- A person that works 12-hour shifts may very well not have the time to go to the polling place.
- A person is scheduled for a surgery or hospital stay or may have a business trip or something else making it impossible to get to the polling place on one particular Tuesday.
- A national guard or reservist has his or her weekly stint during a week that particular Tuesday falls on.
- An elderly person relying on public or other transportation does not have access to the polling place on that particular Tuesday.

Need I go on? There are possibly hundreds of scenarios like these. What advocates of one-day voting seem to be saying is that we should not make provisions for those that cannot get to the polling place on one particular day for a number of "reasons" including costs.

I would think that any republican or libertarian would see this in the light of the "what cost freedom" category. I don't want to sound argumentative but I do wonder if there was not provisions for people that couldn't get to the polls on any particular Tuesday to actually cast their ballot would the dave4life people then question why everyone doesn't get their chance to cast their vote. There just seems to be too many reasons to make provisions for everyone eligible to vote to be able to do so within reason.

That wasn't just a sarcastic comment

Does anyone have a legitimate argument against Dave's points, rather than just sarcastic comments that do not address anything Dave actually argued for?

Two of Dave's bullet points dealt with people who (theoretically) actually did/would cast a vote, but fell into categories (ill-informed, disinterested) of which he didn't approve. And I addressed those two in my comment. The sarcasm was just a bonus.

And while you're applauding Dave for his methods, maybe you should consider giving a little applause to BlueNC for allowing people like Dave (and you) to post here in the first place.

The Golden Mean

I think James understands me here, and I appreciate it. Thank you, James.

Regarding your comment, scharrison, I think I may understand how your comment addresses Dave's argument now. If I understand you correctly, you did not intend to directly argue against anything Dave said, but rather to undermine his argument by implying that he was elitist for disapproving of ill-informed or disinterested voters. If I'm still wrong, please correct me. If I now understand you correctly, then I'm even more confused because I cannot fathom how ill-informed or disinterested people voting would ever be a good thing (so I don't see how Dave was elitist).

As a side note, I do not actually agree with Dave. For the money, I think the benefits of early voting outweigh the costs. I just wanted to point out that Dave's arguments were rational and deserved more than just casual dismissal or personal attack. Like any reasonable argument, they deserved a respectful counterargument (and some have been provided).

And while you're applauding Dave for his methods, maybe you should consider giving a little applause to BlueNC for allowing people like Dave (and you) to post here in the first place.

I don't intentionally track people across these boards, and I don't specifically recall reading many of Dave's posts. So maybe he's a troll for all I know, and his post here was uncharacteristically reasonable. But I take no shame in applauding a man for voicing his opinions in a reasonable way, and more power to him for doing so in a place that will almost certainly disagree with him. I personally am saddened by the lack of true discussion in our nation's politics, and that's all I was applauding and encouraging here.

And as long as I'm patting peoples' backs, then I will acquiesce and applaud BlueNC, a public forum on a public internet, for being so magnanimous as to allow me to post here in the first place, seeing as how inflammatory and prejudiced my contributions have been thus far.

The sarcasm was just a bonus.

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Yes, still wrong

Dave set up a couple of groups of voters that are impossible to quantify, and then blamed early voting for (if not) their existence, a major increase in their numbers. Both of those claims are pure speculation on his part, and that speculation is (likely) driven by frustration over the 2008 election results.

And just so you know, this is not a "public forum", it's a privately-owned and privately-financed website. Posting here is not a "right", it's a privilege, and one that is frequently abused by trolls and other various under-the-bridge dwellers who wander in and piss on the carpet. And frankly, my patience for that is wearing real damn thin.

But now I understand!

Now I understand you. I hope you understand why I didn't earlier, though.

And in any case, as I said earlier, my entire and only reason for posting on this thread at all was that I felt Dave was being treated unfairly, despite the reasonableness of his argument (and I don't mean reasonableness as right or wrong, just not fallacious or unnecessarily inflammatory).

And perhaps my terminology is incorrect. Very few sites are "public" in terms of funding. But this one does not require any particular set of credentials or a donation for users to create an account and post. In that sense, it is public. And the ability to post is certainly a privilege granted by those maintaining the website, and rightfully revoked to trolls, goblins, carpet-pissers, and other unpleasant beasties. But I would hope that the powers that be wouldn't revoke that privilege simply because a user disagreed with the majority of the user base, or argued that a another user's arguments were not being given the sincere respect that any reasonable argument should be given.

There can be a fine line between trolls and those who sincerely want to initiate or carry on a reasonable discussion. I would like to think that I fall into the latter category, and I saw nothing in Dave's post that screamed "troll" either.

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

All is well

We have a bit of history with Dave, not much of it positive. And while I like to think we're evolved enough to get past a person's historic transgressions, I know that I personally struggle with it from time to time, as do we all.

Whenever Steve gets grumpy, I'm often able to step in and make nice ... and vice versa. That said, we're both more or less human, and it does get tiring fighting the same old battles again and again.

Our only standard of engagement at BlueNC is what we call the "intolerably obnoxious" rule. It is admittedly subjective. You've steered clear of that quite well, thank you, and I for one am glad you're here.

Thanks. :)

Well said.

Thank you very much!

EOM :)

Cheers,

The Black Sheep

Cheers,

The Black Sheep