Georgia legislators have a ‘fix’ for early voting

101612-elex-vote-kdj18-1In the 2012 presidential election, early voting and weekend voting were so popular in Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton and DeKalb counties that voters sometimes had to wait hours at early-voting locations. And by Election Day, despite the fact that 1.9 million voters statewide had used the early-voting option, voting lines were still hours long in places.

Never fear, though. The Georgia Legislature knows how to “fix” that problem.

Under a bill making its way through the House, the number of potential early voting days will be slashed almost in half for the 2016 presidential election, from 21 days to 12 days. (it was 45 days just a few years ago.) Weekend voting opportunities will be slashed as well. Such changes are all but certain to make voting lines even longer, both on the truncated early-voting schedule as well as on Election Day.

Why? It’s an interesting question.

Cynics might point out African-American and other minority voters, who tend to vote Democratic, comprised a disproportionately large share of those who voted early in 2012. If you restrict early voting, you create longer lines and discourage participation by those voters.

Of course, the Republican legislators pushing House Bill 194 assure us that partisan advantage has nothing whatsoever to do with the change. It’s just that in smaller, rural counties, the expense of offering extended early voting and weekend voting just isn’t justified, with precinct workers often sitting there doing nothing. They defend the legislation in terms of uniformity, with every county in the state abiding by the same basic if reduced voting schedule.

“Uniform,” however, should not be confused with either “fair” or “practical.”

Look at the numbers: Eight Georgia counties have populations of less than 5,000. Thirty-two have populations of less than 10,000. Sixty Georgia counties have populations of less than 20,000. Ninety-three of the state’s 159 counties have populations of less than 30,000.

Somehow, I doubt that voters in those communities had to wait hours to cast their ballots in 2012, as did many voters in Fulton County, with 977,000 residents; or Gwinnett County, with 840,000 residents; or DeKalb and Cobb, both with more than 700,000. Early voting in those smaller counties is far less necessary as a “safety valve” to prevent nightmares come Election Day than it is in urban areas.

National data back up that conclusion. According to an MIT study, “rural areas had the shortest wait times and cities had the longest” in 2012, with average waits in urban, densely populated ZIP codes more than triple the wait time in rural ZIP codes. When broken down by race, “African Americans waited an average of 23 minutes to vote, compared to 12 minutes for whites; Hispanics waited 19 minutes.”

Putting all counties, large or small, on the same truncated schedule doesn’t give voters a uniform opportunity to vote. It’s “Procrustean,” named after a figure in Greek mythology. As a good host, Procrustes wanted to make sure that all of his guests fit comfortably in the bed that he provided, and since he only had one bed, that posed a challenge. His solution was to hack off the legs of those too tall for the bed, while those who were too short would be stretched out on the rack.

It was, you know, uniform.

Reader Comments 0

1662 comments
healthnut
healthnut

Ivg what that got to do with early voting

healthnut
healthnut

It wont let me sign it DUH      Its says can't display this page

lvg
lvg

Go hug a Muslim today and pay their bills so they do not feel oppressed. Obama says that's why they turn to terrorism

breckenridge
breckenridge

Meanwhile just north of Dillard, Georgia, which is just north of Clayton, Georgia,  the Romney-Ryan in 2012 billboard is still up. At this point I'd imagine they'll just leave it up until next year, when it will be replaced with a Bush-Schiavo in 2016 billboard.


Oh wait a minute...............

Brosephus
Brosephus

@OriginalProf 

"What about absentee ballot-fraud? These are heavily used by 65+ year old Republicans, especially in North Georgia. I should think they would be easy to duplicate and easy to lie on, too. Do they have to be notarized?"

Absentee ballot fraud is far more prevalent than in-person fraud, which is the only fraud that would be caught by the voter ID laws being passed.  Those laws don't even touch on absentee voting at all.

http://votingrights.news21.com/

That site is about the most in depth research I've seen done on voting fraud from all angles.  They even have a database where you can search through different types of fraud and other metrics.  The intersesting thing they found is that not all states even keep track of fraud cases.  It's easy to claim rampant fraud when you don't even track the statistics.  That gives you the excuse of plausible denial when it comes to actually having to prove the fraud.

fedup52
fedup52

@Brosephus @OriginalProf  They even have a database where you can search through different types of fraud and other metrics. 


Is there reason for not keeping a tab on fraud?


fedup52
fedup52

The true meaning of Zionism as defined by Isaac Herzog (opposition candidate to Bibi):


It means equality, minority rights, social justice, well-being and peace with our neighbors.


I hope he becomes the new PM of Israel after March 17.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@fedup52 

Interesting redefinition of the original term that simply meant the reestablishment of the Jewish homeland. I  hope it's short-hand for, "get rid of all the settlements."

breckenridge
breckenridge

re: radical Islam


Anytime you have people believing an ancient religious text is word-for-word truth you start running into problems, regardless of the religious text in question.

fedup52
fedup52

Just read in BBC:  There are a few rich folks in England who are willingly paying 45% tax rate.  There are quite a few of them there.  Unfortunately there are a sizeable number try to avoid paying that rate and some are out right tax cheats.

Nobody_Knows
Nobody_Knows

@_GodlessHeathen_ @fedup52


"Three of the guys are American, in the band, and they voted already," McCartney continued. "Do you know who they voted for? Obama. And this is who we think you should vote for. Tell all your friends, get all your mates, let's get him back into office. Vote Obama."

The law states that only U.S. citizens can vote in federal U.S. elections. McCartney, who is a British citizen, also Tweeted the link to the video to his over 1 million followers.

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

When will you liberals admit that there is a huge amount of voter fraud out there with way too many early voting days which are held in malls. Why is it so hard to get out and vote on one day where the polls are logically opened from 7a-7p on a Tuesday? It's not that hard, my pals. Would all of us feel more comfortable knowing that everyone who is a legal US citizen with a proper photo ID voted on THE designated day that we are supposed to vote? Hmmm, I wonder why Democrat members in the General Assembly want this early voting boondoggle. Yes! The answer is that their fraudulent friends vote in these malls on a Sunday afternoon. Give me a break! Good night. Amen, Bill 

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Bill OrvisWhite 

When you or anyone else shows proof of huge amounts of voter fraud, I will believe it.  When I see people charged and convicted of huge amounts of voter fraud, then I will believe it.

What you have now is spotted cases of registration fraud, if you can even call it that.  By law, people who are registering voters have to turn in every single application that's filled out.  So, If I go to the RNC and sign up to vote as Hugh G. Schitter, then they have to turn that application in or they will be breaking the law.

When a person registers to vote, their ID is thoroughly verified, through photo ID or other means.  When people claim there is a necessity to show an ID at the polls, that means they have no faith in the registration process.  I'd suggest fixing the registration process to your desired effectiveness, and your fears of voter fraud will disappear.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@SFM_Scootter @Tuna Meowt @OriginalProf @Brosephus @Bill OrvisWhite Been out recovering from surgery, Scootter.


It was a little thing that I put off as long as I could before it turned into a big thing; I had it taken care of last month and have been recovering at home.


Spent the first week after surgery knocked out from the meds; I don't really remember about 4 days after the surgery.  Feeling better now, too, but I'm not very mobile just now.  So don't ask me to do any jumping jacks and I should be okay.  :)

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Brosephus @Bill OrvisWhite 

What about absentee ballot-fraud? These are heavily used by 65+ year old Republicans, especially in North Georgia. I should think they would be easy to duplicate and easy to lie on, too. Do they have to be notarized?

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@OriginalProf @Brosephus @Bill OrvisWhite They do not.


You sign the ballot and then sign again on the flap of the inside envelope (there are two envelopes the ballot has to go into).


I have no idea how that's supposed to deter fraudulent absentee ballots.


Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Bill OrvisWhite 

"When will you liberals admit that there is a huge amount of voter fraud out there..."

When someone demonstrates that it actually exists?

Brosephus
Brosephus

@SFM_Scootter 

Glad you're convinced of that.  I'm not.  I'm so tired of hearing that voter fraud crap.  Nobody ever offers up any substantial proof of this fraud, even in court proceedings where they've claimed there's lots of fraud.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

Jay called in sick.

This horse's corpse is in for continued abuse.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@_GodlessHeathen_

Fun fact—

the phrase “flogging a dead horse” originally meant trying to sell one that was already deceased, not literally beating it.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

@Visual_Cortex @_GodlessHeathen_ Interesting.


Have you heard the story of the farmer that raffled off the dead mule?

Was anyone upset when they found out the mule he raffled was dead?

"Just one guy, and I gave him his money back."

St_Simons_he-ne-ha
St_Simons_he-ne-ha

Imagine David Koresh, or Jim Jones were Islamic - and didn't kill themselves - and then started an End-Times movement - and they had relatives with oil money - that's ISIS. Their 'state' (online & paper) publication is named "Dabiq' - which is their version of the Armegeddon story. That's ISIS. 

You/me  would have never heard of Koresh if we hadn't attacked them. That's what they desperately want. Just think about that.


http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/


breckenridge
breckenridge

Radical so-called Christian activism - the anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda - is NOT the answer to radical Islam.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@DownInAlbany @breckenridge 

"I guess you believe that "jobs" is the answer?"

There's that conservative binary "either/or" thinking again...

But, yeah, if you want to keep people from becoming religious radicals, it makes sense to change the conditions likely to make them become so.  So "jobs" would indeed be "part" of the answer.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany @breckenridge

Well you didn't ask me, but yeah, basically.

Do you think that socially engaged, self-sufficient individuals want to leave their homes and go fight in a sandlot for religious weirdos of any stripe?

I think it's profoundly disturbing for some to think outside our own boundaries, and our own lifetimes, but we really do have to do this.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Visual_Cortex @DownInAlbany @breckenridge 

There is a really excellent article on the growing, unemployed or under-employed, highly disaffected Muslim youth in France, "Violence and Muslims: France" by Mark Lilla in the New York Review of Books, March 5. This problem is not going to end anytime soon.