Voting

Matt Lewis Is Right: Rand Paul Is Wrong on Term Limits, Here’s Why

(Editor’s note: this post first appeared on George Scoville’s personal blog.)

The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis has a really important piece up this morning critiquing Rand Paul’s rhetoric on congressional term limits from Paul’s announcement of his 2016 presidential campaign yesterday. During his speech, Paul said, “We limit the president to two terms … It is about time we limit the terms of Congress.”

Here are the counterpoints Lewis offers (emphasis added):

Reflections on the 2012 Cycle

Excerpted from “How I Voted — 2012 Edition” at The Dangerous Servant.

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Obama won a large Electoral College victory, but he did not receive a mandate for his agenda

People more eloquent than I am (who probably had more coffee today than I did) have already made this point. I thought this tweet from left-of-center blogger Cory Doctorow summed things up pretty nicely:

When it’s a struggle for your most vocal supporters to root for you, that’s not a good sign about how effective you’ve been as a leader. To read more on how exactly Chicago pulled off this election, see thisTIME piece. That kind of attention to detail made the Obama reelection effort more nimble and better prepared to adapt to changing conditions on the ground, and it’s really no surprise (from an operative’s perspective) that they won.

Should a libertarian support voter ID laws?

Since 2003 a number of states have passed laws requiring some sort of ID to be shown when a person goes to vote.  Proponents of the laws present them as a way to stamp out voter fraud; opponents decry the laws as a way to prevent minorities or the poor from voting, as they are most likely to not have acceptable ID.  The battles have waged not only in legislatures but in courthouses as well.  Wisconsin’s law was just struck down by a judge and Texas’ law is being challenged by the DOJ.

For a libertarian, it seems like both sides of the argument have been a little disingenuous.  Voter fraud has yet to be shown to be anywhere near as widespread as Republicans would like us to think, though this could be because it has heretofore gone undetected.  And showing a form of basic ID, often provided at no cost to the voter, is a very low bar and one that is gladly accepted when doing numerous other activities - even buying alcohol or getting into a bar.

So we are left to sit outside and try to figure out which side to take.  On one hand, for those libertarians who believe in voting, the integrity of elections is very important.  We need to ensure that elections accurately represent the will of voters.  On the other hand, though, it is important that no one is prevented from voting for illegitimate reasons.  If the laws are an underhanded attempt to disenfranchise certain groups, as opponents say, they are problematic.

Reclaim Your Republic

No other election day has held the level of significance for me than this one does. While I’ve always voted, this was the first election cycle in which I took an avid interest and actually became involved in the political scene. For nine months, I was an active supporter of my hero, Dr. Ron Paul. After Super Tuesday, and it became evident that Dr.

Tuesday Will Be Last Electronic Election For VA & MD

In complying with recent state legislation that requires election officials to move their votings systems back towards paper ballots, Tuesday’s election will be the last federal election with a signficant usage of electronic touchscreens.

Goodbye, electronic voting. Farewell, fancy touch screen. Maryland and Virginia are going old school after Tuesday’s election.

Supreme Court strikes down part of Voting Rights Act

In a decision that is being viciously derided by the Left, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act because the standards by which the federal government reviewed changes in certain states’ election laws were out of date.

The case, Shelby County v. Holder, asked the Court to review two specific sections of the Voting Rights Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1965 as a response to pervasive Jim Crow laws in the South. These laws, which were a scourge on our history, mandated racial segregation and discouraged minorities from voting.

Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act set determined the states that were subject to pre-clearance requirement in Section 5 based on the number of minority voters they had registered. While this section of the law was undoubtedly needed in 1965, the screening forumla is out-of-date. Moreover, the process for approval is arduous and costly for states.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts explained that the criteria needs to be updated to reflect current conditions in order to justify pre-clearence for states with a track record for racial discrimination.

“Congress could have updated the coverage formula at that time, but did not do so, noted Roberts. “Its failure to act leaves us today with no choice but to declare [Section] 4(b) unconstitutional. The formula in that section can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance.”

White House to Further Involve Federal Government in Elections

ballot

As Americans were preparing to celebrate the Easter weekend, President Barack Obama quietly signed an executive order that establishes the “Presidential Commission of Election Administration.” This nine-member panel will, according to the release from the White House, make recommendations to promote the efficient administration of elections in order to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots without undue delay.”

During the State of the Union address, President Obama addressed the reports of long lines at polling places around the country, using an example out of Florida, one of the areas of the country that experienced problems.

“We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor.  When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours,” President Obama said during his speech to the joint session of Congress.  ”And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say.”

Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her,” he continued. “Because Desiline is 102 years old.  And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read ‘I Voted.’”

The commission, which will have six months to report its finding to the White House after its first meeting, will consider a number of points dealing with voter experience at the polls, including:

Voting For Obama is Like Having Sex

This would be weird video if this was an ad produced by a random YouTube user. But this ad was produced and is offfically hosted by President Obama’s campaign, which gives me the creeps:

Rep. Jim Moran’s son resigns from campaign

Patrick Moran

Yesterday, Matt posted video of James O’Keefe latest video, showing Patrick Moran, son of Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), bragging about voter fraud. The video immediately setoff a firestorm among conservative bloggers and on social media sites as well as gaining some attention in the mainstream media.

To follow up on Matt’s post, the Washington Post reports that the younger Moran, who was serving as field director for his father’s re-election campaign, resigned shortly after the video came out:

The son of Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., resigned from his father’s campaign Wednesday after a conservative group released an undercover video in which he discussed a plan to cast fraudulent ballots.
[…]
The resignation came hours after Project Veritas, an organization led by activist James O’Keefe, released a video showing an undercover operative pitching a voter-fraud plan to Patrick Moran. The plan called for casting ballots in the name of 100 voters who were registered but rarely voted.

In the video, Patrick Moran expresses doubts about the plan but eventually tells the undercover volunteer to “look into it.”

In a statement issued Wednesday night, Patrick Moran said, that “at no point have I, or will I ever endorse any sort of illegal or unethical behavior.”

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Stands

Voter ID Pin

A state judge has ruled that Pennsylvania’s controversial voter ID law, pushed by Republicans, will be allowed to stand:

A Pennsylvania judge ruled Wednesday that a new Republican-supported state voter ID law could be implemented for Election Day, despite objections that it was a partisan attempt to hurt President Obama and could cost thousands of voters the right to cast ballots.

Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson said the individuals and civil rights groups challenging the law had not met the heavy burden of proving that it so clearly violated the state constitution that it should not be implemented. He said there was still time for those without proper ID to acquire it.

“Petitioners did not establish . . . that disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable,” Simpson wrote, adding, “I was convinced that Act 18 will be implemented by Commonwealth agencies in a nonpartisan, evenhanded manner.”

The detailed, 70-page opinion by Simpson, a veteran of the bench who is a Republican, makes it much more likely that Pennsylvania voters will now be required to show specific forms of photo ID. It is one of many new restrictive voting laws across the country — in almost all cases, sponsored by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.


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