Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Democracy Protection Act

Caveat: I do IR, but have been writing about #voterfraudfraud for a quite some time.  I don't much about election laws or the division of responsibilities between the feds and the states over the conduct of elections.  So, take the following with a huge grain of salt:

When the Democrats come back into power, if Trump/GOP don't utterly subvert American democracy, one of their first steps should be to protect American democracy from threats both foreign and domestic.  We could call it a new Voter Rights Act because that is the heart of it, but whatever sells is fine with me.  The key ingredients:
  1. Proper investigation of what happened in all races, not just Presidential, in terms of foreign interference.
  2. Require for federal elections that machines have protections against hacking and produce paper results that can be verified and that produce a receipt for voters showing how they voted so that they know that their votes will be counted appropriately.
  3. Require all presidential candidates to submit federal tax returns for the previous 20 years (apparently the norms are not sufficient).
  4. Restore voting rights for felons.  Given how justice is unequally distributed, depriving felons of voting rights is voter suppression.
  5. Move federal election days to Saturdays (I am not a fan of mandatory votes--freedom means not having to vote, and mandatory vote is unlikely to pass anyway).  
  6. Require that all precincts in a state have the same hours/facilities as the ones with the best access (most favored nation logic applied to local voting rules).
  7. Require that any new law that affects voting have no worse than a neutral effect on the franchise--that is, any new law will make it easier to vote, not harder.  That any effort to impose voter id requirements is accompanied by policies/funding that make it easier for potential voters to get such id.
  8. Work on constitutional amendment to require non-partisan, expert-advised panels to decide how to draw electoral districts within states (I think that is what it will take--and unlikely to pass so Dems should vow to work at the state level on this and the rest of this stuff).
  9. Constitutional amendment effort to reverse Citizen United and allow for reasonable regulation of campaign finance.  Ok, promise and work on it--tis very tough.
  10. Enforce existing laws to prevent voter intimidation (Alabama reminds us of this).
The aim here is not to make sure Dems win every election from now on, but to create a set of rules that maximize the possibility that people can vote.  Oh, and if it forces the GOP to appeal to minority voters, that would be a good thing.  While it could be seen as gaming the vote for the Dems just as the GOP has gamed voter suppression so that they can win the election, the basic moral stance is an obvious one--who is against facilitating the franchise?  Racists and autocrats.  Any citation of voter fraud is cover for that since the risk has clearly been far more that folks are disenfranchised rather than elections swung by voter fraud.

I am probably forgetting stuff since  I am addled by days of driving up and down and now across.  What else should be included?

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