Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Politics On The Road

Went down to San Francisco again Sunday. I paid special attention to political bumper stickers while driving. The idea being to gauge support for candidates and get some idea of interest in the upcoming election.

I was most surprised at the lack of bumper stickers. I might have seen one of those cars with umpteen stickers all over the back, but the vast majority of cars had none.

The grand total after returning to Eureka was 3 Obama stickers and those were all seen Monday morning in Marin County. The only other sticker was the Gary Johnson "Live Free" sticker on the back of my truck.

With 1 out of 4 stickers being a Gary Johnson one, that gives the Libertarian Party 25% of the bumper sticker presence between Eureka and San Francisco. Not bad for a third party candidate, huh?
I forget how long ago it was that they started asking for identification when you check in with UCSF Oncology. It might have been a couple years ago. I was surprised to find they've gone one step further.

Now they have a sign up in front of the room where they draw blood that says you need two forms of identification to have your blood drawn. I didn't think to ask why at the time, but it did get me to thinking about accusations of "voter suppression" we've been hearing of late- there being numerous proposals around the country to require identification to vote.

I certainly don't like being hassled for ID, but it happens all the time. A lady commenting on a recent Santa Rosa Press- Democrat story on voter I.D. reminded me there are many routine activities where we're required to show identification. Some of those as simple as renting a car or a DVD or, ironically, being a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

As she enumerated the number of things I.D. is asked for, I got to thinking about the voter I.D. proposal from a different angle than most: If someone doesn't drive a car, write a check, rent a DVD, or do any of the common things in life that require I.D., do we really want them voting?


At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The voter suppression efforts go way beyond requiring ID cards. How about purging voters from the records without a shred of evidence they aren't valid voters? Oh, look, the purged voters tend to have traditional Hispanic or African-American names. What a coincidence!

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I don't know about that. There are a number of ways to get rid of deadwood in voter lists.

Years ago I did a mailing to every registered Libertarian Party voter in Humboldt. I was surprised at the number of my mailers that came back as "Not at this address", or some such. Not wanting the bad addresses on my list of LP voters, I took the mailers in to the Elections office on H Street so they could remove them from their list.

Not sure how exactly they did it. Could they take my word and the mailer the Post Office returned as evidence to remove the names? I don't know but a year or so later the list I got from Elections had a couple hundred less names on it.

Some groups are particularly prone to being purged for one reason or another. I don't know about hispanics or blacks, but students are notorious for having a transient lifestyle. Some of the HSU Libs on my list seemed to move about every 6 months and fail to re- register. I only became aware of that because I knew the people in question.

I was speaking with some of them at a meeting and reminded them of the need to re- register saying it was especially an issue with students because of their "transient" lifestyle. At least one took offense to the term "transient". I had to explain that simply meant they seem to move a lot.

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's fine to apply the same purging standard to all registered voters. That's not what's happening in 19 states. People are being selectively targeted and the criteria for their selection is not being disclosed. We know it's selective from the states that are kind enough to mail a respond-to-this-letter-or-you-can't-vote mailing (because everyone doesn't get sent them, only certain people who typically have demographics that make them likely Democrats). In some other states, where notification doesn't occur, people won't realize they can't vote until they show up at the polls.

In contrast, there are only 9 states launching ID card requirements for voting.


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