Tag Archives: voting

A First Family Example

14 Dec

Board of Elections absentee ballot forms for President Trump

President Trump and the First family live in the White House now but their official address for voting purposes is still in New York City so during the 2017 election this November the First Family sent in absentee ballots to cast their official votes in the election.

President Trump however, signed and mailed in his absentee ballot for NYC’s mayoral race, with the wrong date of birth. Above is a copy of his ballot obtained and published by the New York Daily News. The President was born in June and not July as his ballot states.

Meanwhile, First Lady, Melania Trump, had her absentee ballot rejected because she incorrectly wrote in her address… Under “county” she wrote in “USA” rather than “New York.” She also failed to sign the inner envelope, per the instructions.

Then First Daughter, Ivanka, had her ballot rejected because she mailed it too late!… And her husband Jared? Well, he just didn’t bother to vote at all… Perhaps he was too busy brokering peace in the Middle East?

So there you have it: The First Family goes 0 for 4 in their first election after winning the White House in 2016…And this from a President whose first order of business was to create a special Presidential Commission to look into what is wrong with our electoral system!?!

So much for the common folk of America trying to clean the government swamp that is filled with too many career politicians and the serial wealthy…I guess this is what happens when you’re like, really smart…huh? Hey where’s the forest? All I can see is a bunch of trees! Now let’s all eat some cake! Chocolate! Mmmmmmmm, yummy!

 

 

The Government We Deserve

15 Feb

Image result for electoral college

In Florida, state officials recently released a report showing that more than 161,000 of the voters casting a ballot in the 2016 presidential election did not cast a valid vote for president!… And the rate of invalid votes for president in 2016 was more than double the rate it was in 2012 and 2008.

That number includes those who wrote another name on the ballot, like Mickey Mouse, or Bart Simpson and then voted for those “joke” candidates. Others simply left the ballot blank. And still others decided to vote for more than one candidate thereby making their vote invalid.

And when you consider that Republican Donald Trump won Florida and its 29 electoral votes by just about 113,000 votes, then those 161,000 wasted votes might have made a big difference in the outcome.

But when you consider the fact that here in the United States, according to The Elections Project, there are 251,107,404 Americans who classify as members of the voting-age population, but 2.5 percent of those Americans or 3.2 million people are ineligible to vote because they are felons…And of the 248 million or so voting-age Americans left, only about 200 million are registered to vote… and of those 200 million only 138,884,643 Americans voted.

That means that 46.3% of all voting-age Americans did not cast a ballot during the 2016 elections. That’s almost half! That’s 144 million Americans who couldn’t or wouldn’t vote or who wasted their vote!

But it gets worse because while the top vote getter for the Presidency of the United States received close to 66 million votes, that was only 26% of all potential US voters…but that person lost the presidential election to someone who received 3 million fewer votes! Which represents only 25% of all voting-age Americans!…

So what gives! Americans today, in the greatest democracy ever invented, refuse to vote. 1/2 of them just can’t be bothered about going to the polls to choose a leader or they go there and then vote for a cartoon character for shits and giggles… Apparently, for most citizens, It’s just not a big deal.

And our leaders, AKA those already in political leadership positions, don’t try to make it any easier for Americans to vote either. In fact they try to make it harder each year by adding more voting rules, regulations, and restrictions, eliminating already registered voters from the voting roles, and gerrymandering more districts in favor of one party so as to render more votes insignificant…And besides all that it all comes down to only 538 elected electors (out of 330 million citizens) voting for the POTUS anyway!

So here we are living in a wonderful, free and democratic society where citizens don’t want to vote and our political leaders don’t want them to vote and their votes pretty much don’t count anyway! Is this anyway to run a democracy?

So I ask you: With a convoluted system like this and a disinterested electorate like ours, Is it any wonder that after only 241 years of Independence we now have our own “Mad King George” and his merry court of unqualified sycophants running the country?

And perhaps I should add: What took us so long?!

 

 

 

 

Gimme Shelter

4 Nov

So far the survival rate for Americans who have become infected with the Ebola virus is 100%. We’re 3 for 3! In Africa where the disease originated it’s fatal in about 50% of all cases. That’s one of the big the differences between living in a First World country and a Third World country.

Here in the United States, on this election eve, the Republicans are eager and hopeful of winning a majority in the Senate. And right now it looks as though they have a very good chance. It is important to note that One of the things they are promising to do, should they obtain the majority, is to pull out all of the stops in an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. At the very least their hope is to undo the law’s funding provisions through a special parliamentary process requiring only a simple 51-vote majority…without funding they hope to cripple the law’s ability to help people who don’t have enough money of their own to purchase health insurance. Why?

Because, as we all know, spending money on helping Americans to have better Healthcare is bad for the economy…or is it?

If you live in first world America then let’s be honest: You have little to fear from the Ebola virus…but if you live in third world America as 50 million fellow Americans do, then your potential future infection and survival of this deadly disease may just be…a vote away.

So, if you really are worried about the Ebola virus and about disease, pandemics and plagues, Please vote for health and not money this election day. Because in the long run voting for money may cost you and your family (1st, 2nd, 3rd world or not) more than you’ll ever know…and will that really be worth it?

Let the People Vote!

31 Oct

It always amazes me that whenever I walk into a polling station it feels like I’m time traveling back into the 1970s when I was first able to cast a ballot in an election. When it comes to voting in the United States, apparently nothing has changed in the last 40 years…not even the machines…or the tables or chairs or buildings or the people inside. They too all seem to be about 40 years older than they were when I first encountered them back in the day.

What gives? How come everything else in the world has become modernized and electrified and computerized to the point where it can be accessed with a hand held device and the point of a finger tip, but not voting. And now in certain states they are making it even harder for people to get to the polling stations, requiring them to wait on longer lines and making it more difficult for people to prove who they are…in person!

And all the while still asking us to push a button on an old machine, or punch a card, or mark a paper ballot and drop it in a box…and all because there supposedly just isn’t any other safe way to do it… for after all what could be a safer and more accurate way to count votes in an election than by having people count paper ballots by hand or reading numbers from machines and then adding them up together and then handing them over to other people who continue to do the same. Did you ever play telephone? It seems to me that that is how archaic our voting system is.

Are we living in the 21st century or am I just dreaming? Is this the age of the iPad and smart phone and Ebay and Etrade and E banking and computerized, drone warfare? Or isn’t it?

Can we at least start to modernize our voting system in what most Americans seem to agree is the greatest democracy in the free world so that each and every one of our citizens, of voting age, can vote in a timely, safe, quick and easy manner? I know it can be done because it is the 21st century and voting should be convenient, computerized, simple and secure…just like on-line shopping for crying out loud.

There are 118 electoral democracies in the world and all but 11 of them guarantee their citizens the “right to vote” within their nation’s constitution.

Amazingly, The United States, is one of those 11 democracies that does not guarantee its citizens the right to vote within its own constitution. When the country was founded, the U.S. Constitution did not define who could vote and ironically the United States, while always helping and encouraging new democracies to include the guaranteed right to vote for all citizens in their constitutions, has never adopted an amendment that afforded such a right to its own.

In 2005 the United States helped Iraq to write its new constitution which included the declaration that Iraqi citizens, both men and women, would have the right to vote. And now in Afghanistan thanks to the U.S. all citizens are also guaranteed the right to elect and be elected. When the U.S. army occupied Japan after World War II we helped them to write a constitution guaranteeing “Universal adult suffrage” and in Germany after that same war the new German constitution was written to include the phrase, “Any person who has attained the age of 18 shall be entitled to vote.”

Yet here in the United States Over 30 states recently passed new and more prohibitive voter ID laws in efforts to supposedly thwart voter ID fraud when there have only been 31 recorded incidents of identity impersonation since 2000… out of over 1 billion votes cast! Fox News just recently reported that Colorado had just passed a law allowing voters to print ballots on their own home printers so that they could then vote as many times as they would like, making voter fraud a certainty in the Mountain State. Can you believe it? Well, you might but you shouldn’t because it was a completely false and erroneous story that Fox News made up and had Meagan Kelly deliver with a straight face! I kid you not! You can Google it!

So what’s the deal? Why are so many political forces trying to scare, deceive and suppress the American electorate? And Why doesn’t the United States pass a constitutional amendment simply and explicitly guaranteeing all of its citizens the right to vote? Was this a right that our forefathers overlooked or was there method in their mistake by accidentally on purpose creating an escape clause that might come in handy someday when say a Congressman’s approval rate was at 9 percent while at the same time their reelection rate was over 90 percent?

How are those statistics in any way shape or form indicative of a democratic and representative form of government for the “Greatest democracy the world has ever seen”?

So get out and vote! Vote early and…don’t go home until you get to cast your ballot. Punch that chad! Push that chit! Mark that space! Pull that lever! Circle that name! And vote for people who want to live and work in the 21st century with the rest of us and who want to help us modernize our nation and join the other 107 “real electoral democracies” in our world.

Get Out the Vote?

19 Jan

There are 118 electoral democracies in the world and all but 11 of them guarantee their citizens the “right to vote” within their nation’s constitution.

In 2005 the United States helped Iraq to write its new constitution which included the declaration that Iraqi citizens, both men and women, would have the right to vote. And now in Afghanistan thanks to the U.S. all citizens are also guaranteed the right to elect and be elected. When the U.S. army occupied Japan after World War II we helped them to write a constitution guaranteeing “Universal adult suffrage” and in Germany after that same war the new German constitution was written to include the phrase, “Any person who has attained the age of 18 shall be entitled to vote.”

By now you probably know where I am going with this…

Amazingly, The United States, is one of those 11 democracies that does not guarantee its citizens the right to vote within its own constitution. When the country was founded, the U.S. Constitution did not define who could vote and only non-Negro men with real property or sufficient wealth for taxation were permitted to vote. Since then several amendments have been ratified which have extended the right to vote to additional groups of U.S. citizens but ironically the United States, while always helping and encouraging new democracies to include the guaranteed right to vote for all citizens in their constitutions, has never adopted an amendment that afforded such a right to its own.

So what’s the big deal? Why doesn’t the United States have a constitutional amendment simply and explicitly guaranteeing all of its citizens the right to vote? Was this a right that our forefathers simply overlooked or was there method in their mistake by accidentally on purpose creating an escape clause that might come in handy someday when say a Congressman’s approval rate was at 12 percent while at the same time their reelection rate was over 90 percent?

How are those statistics in any way shape or form indicative of a democratic and representative form of government?

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down several measures outlined in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, (an act of Congress that at least helped to strengthen and further define U.S. citizen’s rights to vote) freeing states to change their election laws without advance federal approval and effectively allowing individual states to decide what kind of voting rights citizens will and will not have and thus making it even easier for Congressmen to maintain and retain the lifestyles that they have become so accustomed to without having to worry about whether or not the will of the people, whom they are supposedly representing, is being served, let alone being heard.

Thank you Supreme Court! Whose side are you on? These are the same folks who declared corporations people…so I guess they’ve made it pretty clear.

And that leaves only one branch of the government left who might still be on our side: The president…. But in 2000, The Supreme Court stated in Bush v. Gore. “The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States unless and until the state legislature chooses a statewide election as the means to implement its power to appoint members of the Electoral College.”

And what does that mean?

In the United States of America, a citizen’s right to vote is a privilege… which according to Merriam-Webster is: a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others… and that is simply not right at all. So enjoy it, if you can, while you can, because if 90% of us don’t like the jobs our politicians are doing but 90% of us keep voting them back in then this is a privilege that apparently none of us even deserve!

 

 

The Wayback Voting Machine

11 Nov

Well, it was election Tuesday this week. Here in New Jersey we had our second major election in the last three weeks. Thankfully this last one was actually on a Tuesday.

Still it always amazes me that whenever I walk into a polling station it feels like I’m time traveling back into the 1970s when I was first able to cast a ballot in an election. When it comes to voting in the United States, apparently nothing has changed in the last 40 years…not even the machines…or the tables or chairs or buildings or the people inside. They too all seem to be about 40 years older than they were when I first encountered them back in the day.

What gives? How come everything else in the world has become modernized and electrified and computerized to the point where it can be accessed with a hand held device and the point of a finger tip, but not voting. And now in certain states (Republican controlled) they are making it even harder for people to get to the polling stations, requiring them to wait on longer lines and making it more difficult for people to prove who they are…in person!

And all the while still asking us to push a button on an old machine, or punch a card, or mark a paper ballot and drop it in a box…and all because there supposedly just isn’t any other safe way to do it… for after all what could be a safer and more accurate way to count votes in an election than by having people count paper ballots by hand or reading numbers from machines and then adding them up together and then handing them over to other people who continue to do the same.

Are we living in the 21st century or am I just dreaming? Is this the age of the iPad and smart phone and Ebay and Etrade and Ebanking and computerized, drone warfare? Or isn’t it?

Can we at least start to modernize our voting system in what most Americans seem to agree is the greatest democracy in the free world so that each and every one of our citizens, of voting age, can vote in a timely, safe, quick and easy manner?

The United States is first in war, first in wealth… and for some reason when it comes to bringing election technology into the 21st century…first to say, “It can’t be done!”

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