Letter: Amending voting rights

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  • OC Guy San Diego, CA
    May 9, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    For the benefit of Utah readers, Utah does allow no-excuse absentee and permanent absentee voting, as in California, so there should be few barriers to voting in Utah for those who work on Tuesdays. However, many states still require proof that you will be out of town on election day. I.e. you cannot vote absentee out of convenience or, in the case of a nurse working 7am-7pm shift, simply because of your employment.

  • OC Guy San Diego, CA
    May 8, 2014 11:23 p.m.

    Here in California, we have at-will absentee voting. Anyone may request a mail ballot, without cause or reason. 2/3 of primary election votes and 1/2 of general elections votes are now cast by mail in California. If all states had this system, I'd agree that minorities aren't targeted, because it only costs two stamps.

    However, many states place far greater restrictions on absentee voting. Some states allow it only for those who can prove they will be out of town that day (favoring the wealthy who travel for leisure or work). Some states with GOP majorities are eliminating or reducing early voting, which gives lower income voters an alternative to taking time off from work on Tuesdays.

    If voters have few or no alternatives to voting in person on Tuesdays, the wealthy are favored over the poor, who are less likely to be able to get time off from work to vote. I am an MD who often has to work more than 12 hours/day and I almost always vote absentee---because sometimes I can't leave the hospital in time to vote.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    May 2, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    In addition, 2 bits, while it is true that you need a SS number to do all the things you mentioned, you don't need a driver's license to do those things (other than drive), and carrying a SS card to vote will not cut it. So that's no help. Really poor urban people do not own cars. For you or me, as middle class or upper middle class folks, yeah, of course we use ID all the time. Poor people, really poor people, do not live like you or me. Neither do the disabled or very elderly. These voting law changes are a hassle for them as well. Why make a hassle for people when voting law fraud is almost non-existent? Voting is a Constitutional right. Like owning a gun, ya know?

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    May 2, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    Minorities who are part of the middle/upper class are not affected by these voting law changes. Poor people are the ones who are affected. Per capita, more minorities are poor. Thus, minorities are more affected by these changes. How are poor people more affected? When you are very poor, you do not have enough money to maintain a vehicle. You use public transportation, meaning you have no need for a driver's license. Therefore, if you are required to show a driver's license to vote, you're up a creek unless you think ahead (more than any person who owns a car will have to do) and go get a government ID. In addition, when polling locations and times are decreased, there are longer lines. That means an urban voter has to wait in line much longer to vote (more people crammed into the smaller window of time), discouraging voting. Just a couple of reasons why these laws affect minorities disproportionately. It's about making voting as inconvenient as possible for people who don't vote the way you want them to vote, and that is wrong.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 29, 2014 3:40 p.m.

    other than call repubs the wicked stepmother, can you please explain HOW they are restricting voting by minorities or making it any harder on minorities (or anyone else)?

    I cited a specific example, can you do more than call names?

    No, this is all smoke and mirrors by the BO misadministration, trying to create more boogeymen to draw attention away from their abysmal record.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    April 29, 2014 3:14 p.m.


    Your premise is wrong, As Redshirt mentioned that you need an ID to do a lot of things (several he mentioned).

    As for Elderly, If they need an ID to get Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, etc. Having an ID not stop anyone "legally" from voting. If they change the polling place, did not the Elderly have to find a way to get to the original polling place?

    Love the far left smoke and mirrors...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 29, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    If you think showing ID is RACE targeting... then I get why they are able to convince you that this is a big racial problem.


    You can't live in America without ID. You are supposed to get a SS# for your kids as soon as they are born (it's not like when we were kids and you could wait).

    Your kids can't be registered for elementary school without a SS#.

    You can't put them on your health insurance without putting their SS# on the form.

    You can't drive without ID.

    You can't drink without ID.

    You can't do MOST things without ID.

    Why is it such a huge hardship to show your ID before you VOTE.... proving who you are, and that you are eligible to vote in that election, aren't in the country illegally, and haven't voted already???

    Why is it seen as a RACIAL thing to verify EVERYONE's identification before voting???

    Is it also racism to verify people's ID when they start a job???

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    Two: If you are looking for a big bad white burley guy standing at the polls and telling people of all colors (except white) they can't vote, no not one person has ever been in the news as having that happen to them. Right you are. Now if you ask if a person has to show ID before being able to vote, that might be a different answer.

    So let's say that someone shows up to vote without the proper ID, suppose the law changed recently to require ID. Then perhaps older people of all colors who don't have ready access to transportation, people who don't drive (lots in big cities), people who don't hunt (some States allow a hunting license as proof), kids who are here for college and have current student ID (some States allow that and some don't), people who have moved from another State, etc, etc. etc. You see how some could have been "prevented from voting".

    Thankfully the new Count My Vote compromise allows for same day registration and voting in Utah...got a problem with that?

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    This whole debate reminds me of Cinderella's step-mother: "Why certainly, dear, you can go to the ball, IF you can find something suitable to wear, and IF you scrub the house from top to bottom, and IF . . ."

    The step-mother Republicans aren't going to do something so blatant as to ban minorities from voting, which would of course be illegal. They just need to make it so hard that a sizable portion of them will give up trying. That way their ugly step-daughter candidates might have a chance to win the prince's hand and become queens themselves.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 29, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    Has ANYBODY really been prevented from voting... because of their race???

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    April 29, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    So I guess by the authors sentiment that those groups (non-white) are somehow not as intelligent or able to get out to vote as are white people. What an insult to minorities. I suppose this same argument is supposed to be made in about 30 years when white people in America are the minority. The only real episode of voter intimidation that I've heard of in recent times is the one mentioned by Lost in DC when the Black Panthers were in front of a polling place. Notice our esteemed Attorney General didn't do anything about that. The liberals are not only creating a straw man argument here but are also the same crowd that doesn't believe that the single most important activity a citizen engages in, voting, should require an ID as proof of eligibility. Especially in a country that has millions and millions of non citizens living here. And if 300 votes in Florida can make a difference in a Presidential election, then don't say thousands of unauthorized votes could not do the same in any election anywhere.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    April 29, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    To "The Real Maverick" how are Republicans preventing minorities from voting?

    Poll locations move all the time. I lived in a city that changed their polling location, and it didn't stop anybody from voting.

    As for voter ID, that isn't a problem either. You have to have ID for getting a job, buying cigaretts, alcohol, plane tickets, some cold medications, and countless other things.

    Please name an instance where a registered voter has been prevented from voting like you claim.

    To "Schnee" those are early voting locations. That still does not prevent anybody from voting. Their regular polling locations are available on election day.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    "When a polling place, or date, or district boundary is moved, doesn't that effect Caucasians too? How is that discrimination? It effects every voter equally."

    Take something like say... some districts in North Carolina that used to have an early voting polling place on campus but are moving them away (Appalachian State, UNC, also looking into doing this for Fayettesville State, North Carolina A&T State and Winston-Salem).

    Or let's say there's an urban county (Hamilton, home to Cincinatti) in Ohio whose early voting place used to be in it's main city. Instead it was moved outside to a location that requires an hour to get on a bus out of the city and walk the half a mile from the bus stop to get to.

    Ohio gets rid of voting the Sunday before election day, traditionally "Souls to the Polls" day for many black churches.

    All voters are affected but some groups are more targeted than others.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 29, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    Can you give us specific examples (real people you know) who are having their voting rights taken away... based on their race???


    If they move the voting location... #1) They may have a reason. and #2) they move it for residents of all races in the neighborhood (not just Hispanics, etc). It moves for all residents in that area.

    And how do you know they are moving it to make it HARDER for them to vote? They may be moving it to make it EASIER for them to vote!

    My voting location moved recently... I don't know why, but I don't blame it on race... or somebody trying to keep me from voting... They just moved it!

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 29, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    I'll believe this misadminsitration is concerned aboutr equal access to voting and voting rights when it prosecutes those black panthers who in 2010 intimidated white voters away from the polls in Philly.

    No, this is all just smoke and mirrors to deflect attention from BO's abysmal record.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    April 29, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    From the letter, "minorities throughout our country (including African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and others) continue to face attempts to block their right to vote, such as moving polling places, election dates and district boundaries."

    When a polling place, or date, or district boundary is moved, doesn't that effect Caucasians too? How is that discrimination? It effects every voter equally.

    EVERYONE equally must go to the polls.

    No one is making minorities go to a special, or 'separate' polling place.

  • RogerClegg Falls Church, va
    April 29, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    I respectfully disagree about the author's endorsement of the proposed VRA amendments. First, there isn't any legislation needed. The Shelby County decision was aimed at only one section of the Voting Rights Act -- the preclearance provision, requiring some (mostly southern) jurisdictions to get permission in advance from the federal government before making any change related to voting -- and the rest of the Act remains in full force, including other, potent enforcement provisions for every jurisdiction in the country. These provisions are being used aggressively, and there is no evidence that they are inadequate.

    The new provisions are there to help the Left advance its agenda, which in this case is flatly at odds with the original ideals of the Civil Rights Movement: It wants to bring lawsuits that require racially gerrymandered and segregated voting districts. Even worse, the bill uses overtly discriminatory means to achieve this dubious end: The bill affords protections to "minority" voters that it denies to "nonminority" (that is, white) voters.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 29, 2014 6:15 a.m.

    But those are the groups that the right wants to prevent from voting.

    Minorities, young people, and poor people typically vote Democrat. Rather than adjust their platform to meet the needs and desires of the people, repubs would rather just prevent them from voting.