Tens Of Thousands Of Unprocessed Democratic Voter Registrations Prompt Lawsuit In Georgia

Tens Of Thousands Of Unprocessed Democratic Voter Registrations Prompt Lawsuit In Georgia

A group charged with registering new voters in the state of Georgia recently filed suit against elections officials over 40,000 unprocessed new voter registration forms. The lawsuit, filed by the New Georgia Project, a project of the parent organization Third Sector Development, asks the court to order state elections officials to speed up the process with which these voters are entered into the…

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Which voters waited on long lines to cast their ballots on Tuesday? According to a survey by the AFL-CIO, Obama voters were much more likely to wait on lines longer than 30 minutes than Romney voters, with blacks and Hispanics especially vulnerable.

The long lines were so bad, it took just two minutes for President Obama to mention them in his victory speech on Tuesday, with a rare flash of anger: “By the way, we have to fix that.”

Election finance reform NOW. Citizens United ruling by the right-wing Roberts Court is a massive distortion of free speach and a green light for corporate influence.

Speach is not free when hundreds of millions of dollars by a few donors control an election.

Improve American democracy: stop electing these positions!

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty certain that governance in the US would be improved if we stopped electing a lot of people at the state and local level we currently elect. Such as:

—judges. Seriously. Do it the US Constitution way with impeachment. You can even term limit them if you need to. But giving $ to judicial campaigns stinks no matter how legal it is.

—Sheriffs: For sure. The moment you make law enforcement a campaign tool, you get political enforcement, not law enforcement.

—States’ attorneys/district attorneys: Ditto.

—Coroners. Really: we elect the coroner here. On what basis? You don’t need any qualifications at all to be a coroner where I live. There’s your CSI for you.

—County clerks; registrars; recorders of deeds: you name it. If people are worried about their elections, the offices are about elections, not service.

No doubt there are lots of other positions—and no, I don’t mean “Congress,” etc.

Guinea-Bissau began voting Sunday for a new president, an office nobody has held for a full five-year term in the west African state where chronic instability has fed a booming cocaine trade.

The election and its aftermath will provide a key test for the poor former Portuguese colony which needs to prove its stability to usher in crucial international aid for reforms to a bloated and powerful army.

“This election is very important for me and my country,” said Victor Bessante, 56, as he cast his ballot in the Chao de Papel suburb of the crumbling seaside capital Bissau.

Since independence from Portugal in 1974, achieved after an 11-year armed conflict, three presidents have been overthrown by coups, and one was assassinated in office in 2009.

The army has never been downsized and has been in constant, often deadly competition with the state. Taking up about 10 percent of the national budget, the military gets more money than health or education.

Sunday’s election comes after the last president Malam Bacai Sanha died in January following a long illness.

A mutiny by renegade soldiers in April 2010 prompted the European Union and the United States to suspend crucial budgetary and security sector reform support — leaving much hanging on a smooth election and post-poll reforms.

Despite a peaceful three-week election campaign, some fear violence or military intervention if the army does not approve of the winning candidate.

Nine candidates are running for office, four of whom are seen as frontrunners.

These include Carlos Gomes Junior, 62, who stepped down as prime minister to run in the election as the candidate for the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (APIGCV).

Vincent Foucher of the International Crisis Group based in Dakar said Gomes is seen by the international community as “the least worst” candidate. Also in the fray is former president Kumba Yala, 59, whose 2000-2003 regime was marked by instability, and who was overthrown in a coup d’etat.

FULL ARTICLE (The Jakarta Globe)

Amendment to Reverse Citizens United

Today’s serious topic: Amendment to Reverse Citizens United.
This isn’t as appealing as the SOPA fight largely because it is harder to understand and in particular because the “Citizens United” name is confusing in itself.  If I’m following correctly “Citizens United” was actually a euphemism for ultra-conservative factions and large corporations. (see link below for some wiki info)

But the whole SOPA/PIPA battle, if anything, lends strength to the argument that having big companies in a position to control the outcome of government processes in the United States is not a good thing. Which is what this amendment is about.
I’m just getting off the ground understanding the background and history of this issue so please forgive any inaccuracies.

Apparently two years ago a Supreme court decision nullified a good portion of the campaign finance restrictions that prevented corporations from essentially buying up elections or at the very least using their large amounts of money to heavily influence the outcome of elections. Up until that point laws were in place at both the state and federal level to keep corporations in check so that the huge quantities of money that these large businesses have couldn’t overwhelm the election process.

Meaning, at it’s simplest, let’s say Megacorp wants to put it’s candidate in place in order to have positive outcomes for the company. Lets say for example that Megacorp has cigarettes as a big part of its business and they want to control Virginia (a big tobacco state) politicians to maintain a positive political environment for tobacco. So Megacorp pumps in huge amounts of money to their chosen candidates. Campaigns are very expensive and if a corporation had deep enough pockets they could significantly overwhelm other, less well-financed candidates.

The outcome can be a political climate in which what citizens want their government to do is overwhelmed by what huge companies want.

I remember there was very little hullabaloo at the time of the decision. Now there is an attempt afoot to enact a Constitutional amendment that would put controls back on the degree to which companies could control the election process using their money.
My ultra-fast foray into US government last weekend (http://juliatoos.net/ushistory/ushistoryhome.html) reminded me of how complex the process of passing an amendment is. I can’t help but feel less than sanguine about the prospects of this getting off the ground.

BUT it’s important to think about this and to be more aware of the degree to which the interests of huge companies are taking precedence over the interests of the citizens of the country. Last week, the SOPA/PIPA fight gave the country an object lesson in the power that citizens have to influence the outcome of politics and government decisions. Perhaps the next step is taking this amendment seriously as a way to prevent Megacorp and all its buddies from getting their hooks deeper into our government.

Petition to support the amendment: http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/5660/t/4438/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=116067

Information on Citizens United (which is full of obfuscation so it’s hard to see what the real purpose of the organization is): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_%28organization%29

Information on how amendments become law:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Constitution#Procedure

"The fundamental problem of the electoral college is that the states of the United States are too disparate in size and influence. The largest state is 66 times as populous as the smallest and has 18 times as many electoral votes. This allows for Electoral College results that don’t match the popular vote. To remedy this issue, the Electoral Reform Map redivides the fifty United States into 50 states of equal population. The 2010 Census records a population of 308,745,538 for the United States, which this map divides into 50 states, each with a population of about 6,175,000.”

Neil Freeman: Electoral college reform

As the group WhyTuesday.org has pointed out, the practice of holding elections on Tuesdays stems from an 1845 law meant to accommodate an agrarian society that is long gone. Today, voting on a workday is a burden for most Americans, and it just isn’t necessary. The District is free to move its local elections to the weekend. Ideally, Election Day would be a 24-hour period running from noon Saturday to noon Sunday, to avoid both religious conflicts and the inevitable morning and evening “rush hours” created by voters flocking to the polls before and after work. But if voting over two days is too onerous or expensive, the city could have Election Day on either Saturday or Sunday, with early voting a few days beforehand for those who are away on the weekend or can’t vote on the Sabbath.
—  Our board member and resident scholar Norm Ornstein, in today’s Washington Post, on ways to help Washington D.C. increase voter turnout.
Please do not assume I am an Obama supporter because I do not support Romney.

I support election reform and voting for people who represent you — not just the lesser of two evils.

Fuck the first-past-the-post election system. Fuck the electoral college. Democracy run using these two techniques is not democracy, it is a way to keep the people down. Let’s try something new, thanks.

Fast For Families: A Call For Immigration Reform & Citizenship.

By Jueseppi B.


Fast for Families: A Call for

Immigration Reform

& Citizenship

On November…

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Tomorrow is Election Day. You should be sure to vote. But why do we vote on Tuesdays of all days? The answer: ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER. Not joking.

For more watch my TED Talk.

Then be sure to sign the petition asking the President and Congress to move Election Day to the weekend so EVERYONE can vote.