Elections laws question

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Ritterskoop
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Elections laws question

#1 Post by Ritterskoop » Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:20 pm

I ask that no one assume they know my positions on any of the items in the new Georgia law. My positions are not one-sided.

My fundamental position on discussing politics is to assume that people in different groups mean well, and are doing what they think is best for everyone, not for their own group. Given that assumption, I am trying to work out the reasoning behind some of the items. The one I think we have a chance to discuss here, reasonably and without name-calling, is this:

Wy would a state legislature be interested in telling local elections board that their early voting locations must open or close by a certain time, if they wish to be open longer? What is a legitimate reason for a state legislature to tell local boards they can or cannot be open for voting on weekends or in the evenings past a specific time, if they wish to be?

I understand the state mandating a minimum number of hours, to be fair to everyone, but why a maximum? Why isn't that up to the local boards, who know what their capacities are?

I look forward to a civil discussion. Thank you.

EDIT: changed "precincts" to "early voting locations" after re-reading the relevant portion of the bill
Last edited by Ritterskoop on Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elections laws question

#2 Post by Bob Juch » Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:34 pm

Your error is in thinking that the groups are doing what they think is best for everyone, not for their own group.
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Re: Elections laws question

#3 Post by Ritterskoop » Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:26 pm

Bob Juch wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:34 pm
Your error is in thinking that the groups are doing what they think is best for everyone, not for their own group.
If we don't start from this position, we become completely polarized with no path toward solutions.

EDIT: removed rah-rah statement
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Re: Elections laws question

#4 Post by Bob Juch » Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:44 pm

Ritterskoop wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:26 pm
Bob Juch wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:34 pm
Your error is in thinking that the groups are doing what they think is best for everyone, not for their own group.
If we don't start from this position, we become completely polarized with no path toward solutions.

EDIT: removed rah-rah statement
Yep :cry:
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Re: Elections laws question

#5 Post by BackInTex » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:21 pm

Ritterskoop wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:20 pm
I ask that no one assume they know my positions on any of the items in the new Georgia law. My positions are not one-sided.

My fundamental position on discussing politics is to assume that people in different groups mean well, and are doing what they think is best for everyone, not for their own group. Given that assumption, I am trying to work out the reasoning behind some of the items. The one I think we have a chance to discuss here, reasonably and without name-calling, is this:

Wy would a state legislature be interested in telling local elections board that their early voting locations must open or close by a certain time, if they wish to be open longer? What is a legitimate reason for a state legislature to tell local boards they can or cannot be open for voting on weekends or in the evenings past a specific time, if they wish to be?

I understand the state mandating a minimum number of hours, to be fair to everyone, but why a maximum? Why isn't that up to the local boards, who know what their capacities are?

I look forward to a civil discussion. Thank you.

EDIT: changed "precincts" to "early voting locations" after re-reading the relevant portion of the bill
Good question. Off hand I can’t think of a reason. As long as a local board provides plenty of advance notice (which could be defined by the legislature) on the polling days and hours within the voting period I can see no reason to forbid it.
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Re: Elections laws question

#6 Post by Ritterskoop » Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:08 pm

I asked an acquaintance in real life, who said elections are actually run by the states, so they can indeed have opinions about what is best.

I said if a local district knows their voters are all elderly and need to vote in the morning, or they all get off work at the Lance plant at 3pm and need to vote in the late afternoon/evening, or their Jewish volunteers are willing to staff the place on Sundays, can't they work with that? He said you'd hope so, but if the legislature literally lays down a law like this, maybe not.
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Re: Elections laws question

#7 Post by Ritterskoop » Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:10 pm

BackInTex wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:21 pm
Ritterskoop wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:20 pm
I ask that no one assume they know my positions on any of the items in the new Georgia law. My positions are not one-sided.

My fundamental position on discussing politics is to assume that people in different groups mean well, and are doing what they think is best for everyone, not for their own group. Given that assumption, I am trying to work out the reasoning behind some of the items. The one I think we have a chance to discuss here, reasonably and without name-calling, is this:

Wy would a state legislature be interested in telling local elections board that their early voting locations must open or close by a certain time, if they wish to be open longer? What is a legitimate reason for a state legislature to tell local boards they can or cannot be open for voting on weekends or in the evenings past a specific time, if they wish to be?

I understand the state mandating a minimum number of hours, to be fair to everyone, but why a maximum? Why isn't that up to the local boards, who know what their capacities are?

I look forward to a civil discussion. Thank you.

EDIT: changed "precincts" to "early voting locations" after re-reading the relevant portion of the bill
Good question. Off hand I can’t think of a reason. As long as a local board provides plenty of advance notice (which could be defined by the legislature) on the polling days and hours within the voting period I can see no reason to forbid it.
Thanks for not making this thread like many others. I really can see reasons for many of the things the Georgia bill addressed, whether or not I think they are problems, I see the reasons. But this one, I don't get what is the problem they were trying to repair.
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Re: Elections laws question

#8 Post by silverscreenselect » Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:54 am

Ritterskoop wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:20 pm
My fundamental position on discussing politics is to assume that people in different groups mean well, and are doing what they think is best for everyone, not for their own group.
While that would be nice to assume, it flies in the fact of what some Republicans have actually said in regard to new voting restrictions. And I'm not talking about random commentators or websites. I'm talking about the people responsible for passing some of these laws. In a recent argument before the Supreme Court, one attorney for Republican party officials arguing in favor of a restrictive law was asked during oral arguments why he didn't like the previous version of the law: "Because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats. Politics is a zero-sum game." Two days after the Presidential election, Lindsey Graham said: "Mail-in balloting is a nightmare for us. [Without changes in the law], we're never going to win again presidential. ... If we don't do something about voting by mail, we're going to lose the ability to elect a Republican in this country."

In Georgia, absentee voting requirements were liberalized substantially (no-excuse voting was initiated) in 2005, shortly after Republicans gained control of the governor's office and legislature. At that time, absentee balloting was rarely used, mainly by older voters and those who would be out of the state on Election Day (I voted absentee once in the 1980s when I had a business trip scheduled on election day). The votes tended to be Republican. In 2018, Stacey Abrams' voter initiatives resulted in a much higher use of absentee ballots, and in 2020, later-reporting absentee voting swung the Georgia presidential race and both Senate races in favor of Democrats. Thus, the new concerns about "election security."

Gov. Kemp and SOS Raffensperger repeatedly defended the results of the 2020 election both in public comments and in court. An in-depth, hand audit by trained GBI fraud investigators of 10% of the absentee ballots (15,000 in total) in one of Georgia's most populous counties revealed no evidence of fraud and only two ballots that should not have been counted (one voter signed the outside of the envelope instead of the inside and another signed for his wife). None of the lawsuits filed in Georgia or any other state found any significant voter fraud. The fraud issue is one that has been completely fabricated by Donald Trump and other Republicans to baselessly claim that he won the Presidential election. Those claims didn't work in November and December.

If these restrictions stand, at the legislative level and in court, it won't be the end of this election tampering. Republicans will never be satisfied with the "integrity" of the results of any election that they didn't win. Some lower-level Republican candidates even alleged fraud and rigging in elections they lost by 30 points or more. These laws are not about election integrity; they're about making it easier for one party to win.

I will agree that the Democrats' opposition to some of these bills has been political as well. However, what we should remember that voting is a fundamental constitutional right. It's not a duty; it's not a privilege. It doesn't matter that the laws today are more liberal than they were at some time in the past. The Constitution says that laws that impinge on fundamental Constitutional rights like the right to vote or free speech can't be upheld unless the law furthers a compelling state interest and the law is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest. These laws are not narrowly tailored to achieve any interest in avoiding fraud.
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Re: Elections laws question

#9 Post by Jeemie » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:34 am

Ritterskoop wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:26 pm
Bob Juch wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:34 pm
Your error is in thinking that the groups are doing what they think is best for everyone, not for their own group.
If we don't start from this position, we become completely polarized with no path toward solutions.

EDIT: removed rah-rah statement
We are completely paralyzed because far too few of us do not start from this position.
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Re: Elections laws question

#10 Post by Jeemie » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:38 am

Ritterskoop wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:20 pm
I ask that no one assume they know my positions on any of the items in the new Georgia law. My positions are not one-sided.

My fundamental position on discussing politics is to assume that people in different groups mean well, and are doing what they think is best for everyone, not for their own group. Given that assumption, I am trying to work out the reasoning behind some of the items. The one I think we have a chance to discuss here, reasonably and without name-calling, is this:

Wy would a state legislature be interested in telling local elections board that their early voting locations must open or close by a certain time, if they wish to be open longer? What is a legitimate reason for a state legislature to tell local boards they can or cannot be open for voting on weekends or in the evenings past a specific time, if they wish to be?

I understand the state mandating a minimum number of hours, to be fair to everyone, but why a maximum? Why isn't that up to the local boards, who know what their capacities are?

I look forward to a civil discussion. Thank you.

EDIT: changed "precincts" to "early voting locations" after re-reading the relevant portion of the bill
It’s my understanding that while the language is somewhat nebulous, the state is actually not telling precincts when they can’t be open for early voting (except for prescribing the date when it ends) but are telling precincts the minimum hours they MUST be open.

So the law doesn’t prohibit a precinct from opening on Sundays...it gives them the option to do so but doesn’t mandate it.

It doesn’t prohibit a precinct from offering early voting from 7-7...it tells them they must be open from at least 9-5.

I’m willing to be corrected if I am wrong.
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Re: Elections laws question

#11 Post by BackInTex » Sun Apr 04, 2021 6:03 pm

Jeemie wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:38 am
Ritterskoop wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:20 pm
I ask that no one assume they know my positions on any of the items in the new Georgia law. My positions are not one-sided.

My fundamental position on discussing politics is to assume that people in different groups mean well, and are doing what they think is best for everyone, not for their own group. Given that assumption, I am trying to work out the reasoning behind some of the items. The one I think we have a chance to discuss here, reasonably and without name-calling, is this:

Wy would a state legislature be interested in telling local elections board that their early voting locations must open or close by a certain time, if they wish to be open longer? What is a legitimate reason for a state legislature to tell local boards they can or cannot be open for voting on weekends or in the evenings past a specific time, if they wish to be?

I understand the state mandating a minimum number of hours, to be fair to everyone, but why a maximum? Why isn't that up to the local boards, who know what their capacities are?

I look forward to a civil discussion. Thank you.

EDIT: changed "precincts" to "early voting locations" after re-reading the relevant portion of the bill
It’s my understanding that while the language is somewhat nebulous, the state is actually not telling precincts when they can’t be open for early voting (except for prescribing the date when it ends) but are telling precincts the minimum hours they MUST be open.

So the law doesn’t prohibit a precinct from opening on Sundays...it gives them the option to do so but doesn’t mandate it.

It doesn’t prohibit a precinct from offering early voting from 7-7...it tells them they must be open from at least 9-5.

I’m willing to be corrected if I am wrong.
That doesn't sound like Jim Crow or vote suppression or restricting in anyway. Am I missing something here? Or is that what you are saying, also?
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Re: Elections laws question

#12 Post by Ritterskoop » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:28 pm

Jeemie is correct.

I just re-read this section. It is the worst-written run-on sentence in the world, but it does end with "determined by the registrar or absentee ballot clerk, but no longer than 7 a.m. through 7 p.m."

So I am moving on from this particular item, as it does not seem way different than before (except I guess before you could go to 8 or 9 pm, if you wanted).
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Re: Elections laws question

#13 Post by SportsFan68 » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:26 pm

As soon as I see any kind of election laws issue, I immediately filter it through Colorado's experience with an all-mail system. (N.B., as Doc used to say, you don't have to vote by mail. I have voted 25 ballots several times in person for a dry run as required by law, including voting as if I couldn't see the ballot.)

The heavy lifting on our current system was done by an excellent public servant, former Secretary of State Wayne Williams. I think he would still be the Secretary of State if he hadn't been so prompt sending in all of Colorado's voter information when Trump demanded it. Not only Wayne, but every County clerk in Colorado demonstrated a commitment to fair and accurate elections and wrote an excellent set of election laws. Some local party chairs have fussed, but the complaints always come to nothing.

With an all-mail system, Skoop's questions are moot. To refresh: Why would a state legislature be interested in telling local elections board that their early voting locations must open or close by a certain time, if they wish to be open longer? What is a legitimate reason for a state legislature to tell local boards they can or cannot be open for voting on weekends or in the evenings past a specific time, if they wish to be?

You can mail back your ballot or put it in a drop box somewhere in the county. Postmarks don't count, so if you're mailing, you gotta mail it back at least four days in advance, preferably a week. But you get plenty of time, ballots go out a month ahead of time. In other words, I don't know how to approach Skoop's questions. The whole system encourages voter turnout.

S3 quoted Lindsay Graham: Two days after the Presidential election, Lindsey Graham said: "Mail-in balloting is a nightmare for us. [Without changes in the law], we're never going to win again presidential. ... If we don't do something about voting by mail, we're going to lose the ability to elect a Republican in this country." I don't know about Presidential, but he's wrong about electing "a Republican." Talk about nightmares, my congressional district just elected one -- Lauren Boebert, a scofflaw who "seem[s] more interested in working for Twitter than for the people [she] represent[s]." Money is already pouring into her re-election campaign.

Every time I read about Georgia, or anyplace trying for voter suppression, I want to make them follow Colorado's example. Not gonna happen, I guess.
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Re: Elections laws question

#14 Post by silverscreenselect » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:09 am

SportsFan68 wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:26 pm
Every time I read about Georgia, or anyplace trying for voter suppression, I want to make them follow Colorado's example. Not gonna happen, I guess.
Well, at least the powers-that-be at MLB read your post. The All Star game is moving to Coors Field in Colorado this year.
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Re: Elections laws question

#15 Post by Ritterskoop » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:19 am

Back in the final season of The West Wing, the election came down to three states, including Oregon. For the show, they conveniently forgot that Oregon voted entirely by mail even back then. I guess it was possible they were still counting overnight as in the story, but I want states that vote by mail to count them as they arrive (not to reveal the totals, but so that they don't have to count them all after election day). It drove me nuts that my state (NC) built-in a dang week to count, rather than count as they arrived.

I know this past election year was different, with a ton more voting by mail than ever before because, pandemic, but people had all summer to plan for it. Let's start counting earlier.
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Re: Elections laws question

#16 Post by silverscreenselect » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:40 am

Ritterskoop wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:19 am
I want states that vote by mail to count them as they arrive (not to reveal the totals, but so that they don't have to count them all after election day). It drove me nuts that my state (NC) built-in a dang week to count, rather than count as they arrived.
In some states, including Pennsylvania, the legislature mandated that early votes could not begin to be counted until election day, knowing the scenario that would play out. The same-day vote got reported first and favored Trump, and as the early vote was counted, especially in heavily Democratic areas like Philadelphia, the election swung to Biden, allowing Trump to scream fraud.

Ironically, in some states, like Ohio and Texas, the early vote was counted first, giving Biden a lead that he soon relinquished. No allegations of fraud there though.
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Re: Elections laws question

#17 Post by SportsFan68 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:35 pm

silverscreenselect wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:09 am
SportsFan68 wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:26 pm
Every time I read about Georgia, or anyplace trying for voter suppression, I want to make them follow Colorado's example. Not gonna happen, I guess.
Well, at least the powers-that-be at MLB read your post. The All Star game is moving to Coors Field in Colorado this year.
We're honored. I'm delighted to be recognized not only for our accessibility and security in elections, but also for the work that Gov. Polis and others have been doing to get a future all-star game to Colorado. It just happened a little sooner than we expected. I'll put Griswold and Polis's remarks in another thread.
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Re: Elections laws question

#18 Post by jarnon » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:06 pm

silverscreenselect wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:40 am
In some states, including Pennsylvania, the legislature mandated that early votes could not begin to be counted until election day, knowing the scenario that would play out. The same-day vote got reported first and favored Trump, and as the early vote was counted, especially in heavily Democratic areas like Philadelphia, the election swung to Biden, allowing Trump to scream fraud.
I don't think that's accurate. The Republican legislature changed the election law, including expanding mail-in voting, in 2019. If they could have known there would be a pandemic, and Democrats would vote by mail while Republicans continued to vote in person, they never would have passed that law.

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Re: Elections laws question

#19 Post by Bob78164 » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:45 pm

jarnon wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:06 pm
silverscreenselect wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:40 am
In some states, including Pennsylvania, the legislature mandated that early votes could not begin to be counted until election day, knowing the scenario that would play out. The same-day vote got reported first and favored Trump, and as the early vote was counted, especially in heavily Democratic areas like Philadelphia, the election swung to Biden, allowing Trump to scream fraud.
I don't think that's accurate. The Republican legislature changed the election law, including expanding mail-in voting, in 2019. If they could have known there would be a pandemic, and Democrats would vote by mail while Republicans continued to vote in person, they never would have passed that law.
I was following these developments in real time. After the pandemic started, Democrats in the General Assembly wanted to change the law to authorize counters to get a head start on counting. The Republicans wouldn't agree to that unless the Democrats agreed to substantially reduce access to drop boxes. That was a poison pill, of course. I think it's fair to say the Republicans wanted to use a red mirage to undermine confidence in the results. --Bob
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