voting absentee

usatoday.com
Evelyn Turner:  I tried to help black people vote. Jeff Sessions tried to put me in jail
It would be a great step backwards if he got the job others used to expand voting rights.

In 1985, U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions indicted me, my husband, and another civil rights worker, Spencer Hogue, on false charges of election fraud for assisting elderly black citizens with absentee voting ballots.

Until the day I die, I will believe that our arrests were because of our successful political activism and were designed to intimidate black voters and dampen black voting enthusiasm. Meanwhile, Sessions declined to investigate claims of unlawful white voting…

Let me tell you guys about the absolutely bonkers election my province had last night. 

Why is it bonkers, you ask? Because we still don’t know what government we got out of it.

So for a party to form a majority government, they have to have at least 44 seats in the legislature. A majority government means the ruling party holds more than 50% of the seats, and can therefore make any decision they want without being hindered by the other parties. A minority government means the ruling party has fewer than 50% of the seats, and therefore has to convince the other parties to vote with them if they want to get anything done. 

British Columbia hasn’t had a minority government since 1952, because we don’t do things by halves out here on the West Coast. Until last night, apparently. 

So, the magic number is 44, right? The Liberal party “won” with 43 seats, the New Democrats got 41, and the Green Party got the last 3. On paper it looks close, but clearly a minority win for the Liberals, right? Oh no. Because at least three of those seats are so closely contested that they will almost definitely change. 

How close you say? 

Nine. Frigging. Votes. What the FUCK BC. 

So it’ll take a few weeks to sort out absentee votes and recounts, but since there are SO MANY ridings that are THIS close, literally in two weeks we could be looking at:

  1. A Liberal majority
  2. A Liberal minority
  3. An NDP minority OR
  4. An NDP majority

And nobody knows for sure what it’s gonna be! Any of these outcomes is statistically possible! Some are more plausible, obviously, but the fact that such a wide range of possibilities is still on the table the day after an election is nuts.

But anyway, you probably don’t live here and don’t really care about the ultimate outcome of this bizarre situation. But next time an election is coming up in your area, ask yourself whether you could be one of the nine people who decides the enormous difference in the future of a government. Hell, see if you can convince eight of your friends to go vote with you. Maybe you and your buds can topple the government and then go grab a beer later. 

On this day, October 17, in 1864 Abraham Lincoln received a very concerned letter from congressman Elihu B. Washburne from Galena, Il, warning in a The-End-Is-Nigh style pamphlet that Lincoln’s re-election would be a mere impossibility unless he managed to get the soldiers hailing from Illinois home in order to cast their ballot.

While Lincoln agreed on the importance of the soldier vote and – along with Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton – had encouraged absentee voting laws, that allowed the soldiers to vote in the field, the state of Illinois was not among those who had enacted them.

However, in the case of his chosen home state, Abraham Lincoln seemed much less concerned than Washburne.

He endorsed the letter with one single word: 

“Stampeded”

As usual, Lincoln was right – he carried Illinois by more than 30.000 votes a few weeks later (with a total of 348.236 cast).

Hello I love you and I know it’s annoying to constantly hear about having to vote but
I just wanted to remind those of you at college/away from home or who will be working on voting day: you can vote absentee or vote early! you will need to fill out a form but it means you don’t need to be physically present at the booths! This is also helpful if you hate lines or crowds. Okay thank you have a nice day!!

comicauthors  asked:

Presidential Primaries & Caucuses: What are they? Why do they matter? Can I participate in them? What if I'm 17? What if I'm not registered with a party? What if I'm not registered at all? What if I'm living outside the US? What if I have a disability and can't leave my house (or have difficulty doing so)?

This is not a drill, friends - the Iowa caucuses are tomorrow. We’re officially in the thick of it. Presidential primary season has begun. But in order to get a really good grasp on the process, we need to begin at the end: The respective parties’ nominating conventions.

The Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention are both happening in July this year, in Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. Delegates from every state swarm into a convention center for huge, week-long events with speeches, panels, deal-making, protesting, making decisions on party platforms, and, finally, to nominate a Presidential candidate. The Republican Party has a total of 2,470 delegates; the Democrats have almost twice as many at 4,051. 85% of these candidates are “pledged delegates” - in other words, they’re obliged by party rules to vote for the candidate that they came to the convention to support. The other 15% are “unpledged delegates,” or, more commonly, “superdelegates,” who are allowed to vote for whomever they want. The candidate with a majority of delegates supporting them at the end of the convention gets the nomination, makes an acceptance speech, and then there’s usually a huge balloon drop. It’s good television.

Where do you even get that many balloons?

In order to make it to Pennsylvania or Ohio in July, the candidates will undergo more than 50 separate elections in each of the respective states, plus American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas. These elections can take one of two forms: A primary election, typically run by the state government, in which ballots are collected from the populace at large, or a primary caucus run by the Democrat and Republican parties. The outcome of those events determines which delegates are sent to the nominating convention in July. The process is reminiscent of the Electoral College - I imagine that isn’t an accident.

Caucuses 
Primary elections are simple. You get the ballot, you fill it out, you drop it in the box, the votes are tabulated, the delegates are chosen.

Caucuses, though? Caucuses are weird.

A primary caucus is like a town hall meeting for members of a political party. You might have dozens or even hundreds of them in a single state, depending on whether they’re organized by county, or congressional district, or town, or even neighborhood. They’re typically held in school gyms, or churches, maybe even literal town halls. And the structure of caucuses are never quite the same from state to state, but they’ll always run down the rules at the start of the meeting.

In terms of structure, caucuses are a little like a microcosm of the nominating convention itself. After you check in, you have a seat. People are allowed to get up and make speeches for their candidates. The candidates themselves may make an appearance - though odds are, they’ll send a DVD instead. Some caucuses allow anyone to get up and speak to everyone, while some have set agendas and speakers. It’s a weirdly small form of democracy, and having been to the Colorado caucuses in 2012, I can understand why people go. Filling out a ballot is convenient, but it feels rote. Detached. Going to a caucus, getting up and speaking to people, milling about with party members and your fellow citizenry… it starts to feel like an almost idealized example of how American democracy is “supposed” to work. You almost get a sense that this must have been how it felt 250 years ago. At the end of the night, you take a vote, often by a show of hands or by seating yourself in your candidate’s section of the room. It’s… there really isn’t another word for it, it’s nice. Today, most states do things by primary election, and I understand why - I’m sure it’s way, way easier. But seriously - if you live in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming or especially Iowa, call your local political party of choice up and find out how and where you can attend. It’s a really interesting experience.

The 2012 Republican caucus in Littleton, Colorado, at Columbine High School.

Primaries and caucuses get tricky, though, because as I said earlier, every state governs its own rules about primaries, so every state is going to have a slightly different way of doing things. Because of this, the Democratic and Republican contests might be on different days and have completely different rules about who can participate. Some states allow 17 year-olds to vote, some allow you to vote by absentee ballot. Broadly, though, primaries and caucuses fit into one of three categories:

Open primaries:
In an open primary, any registered voter is allowed to cast a vote, regardless of his or her party declaration - Democrats are allowed to vote in the Republican primaries, Republicans are allowed to vote in Democratic primaries, and unaffiliated voters could choose either one. This system is the most flexible, but also takes a lot of the control over the nomination process out of the parties’ hands - and may allow for some strategic voting, if, for example, you are a Democrat who has a vested interest in making sure an unpopular Republican gets the nomination.

Closed Primaries:
Closed primaries, on the other hand, only allow voting from people who are registered with their respective parties. It provides for a stronger sense of party unity, but unaffiliated or independent voters are excluded by fiat from the primary process by being disallowed from participation in either party’s primary.

Hybrid Primaries:
Most states fall somewhere in between the two extremes of “open” and “closed.” The rules in many of these states vary in how to treat independent or unaffiliated voters, or the policies of the Democrat and Republican parties may even differ within the same state. The most surefire way to find out, especially this time of year, is to find your state party’s website - a quick Google search will surely suffice - and I almost guarantee that all the information you want will be there.

One more thing: For the last month or so, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Iowa and New Hampshire. Traditionally, the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary election are the first two contests of the primary season, and though both states represent fewer than 1% of the total delegates in play for either party, they’re hugely important for Presidential hopefuls. A strong showing in Iowa and New Hampshire can build up a lot of momentum for the later contests, and a weak turnout in both states has spelled the end of more than a few campaigns. Both states, as a result of being first, operate as a kind of bellwether - they signify, to some degree, the general feeling toward a candidate. And though of course neither contest is decisive, the results will be especially important for the Republican party, who are fielding some 15-odd candidates right now. We should expect to see the field narrow significantly over the next week or two.

Hacky political cartoonists often take issue with the fact that Iowa has the first caucus. Seriously, there are like a million of these.

Resources
FairVote.org has a really nice page that explains in detail the rules for each state’s Republican and Democratic contests. You can find that right here. 

If you’re 17, some states will still allow you to participate in a primary election or caucus, as long as you’re 18 by election day. Here’s a map.

If, for any reason, you need to vote by absentee ballot, here is a website with resources for every state.

And finally, here’s the schedule of when your primary election or caucus is happening.

I think that about covers it for presidential primaries! As always, if you have any specific questions that I didn’t address here, or questions about ANYTHING, feel free to drop me a line.

stupostals  asked:

Do you know much about Svoboda? Western Media seems to be avoiding the issue of this extremist party which holds 36 seats in the Ukrainian parliament. I even heard Anne Applebaum sidestep this issue in an interview the other day. What are your thoughts?

Svoboda is absolutely terrible. Party leaders and members are blatantly pro-Nazi but unsurprisingly they deny any charges of extremism, racism, anti-Semitism, etc., despite their own platform strongly indicating otherwise. Their typical line is that they’re pro-Ukrainian and not anti-anyone else, as if their love of Ukraine can somehow eclipse their rabid hatred of those they perceive to be outsiders, which is actually a very common “defense” in neo-Nazi and white nationalist circles. I really don’t know why some people in the media are so reluctant to acknowledge the support that Svoboda has in Ukraine but the western media doesn’t seem very interested in covering just how complicated the situation really is. Currently they seem most interested in promoting the idea that the Russian occupation of Crimea will result in another Cold War or, better yet, WWIII.

-“In its official programme, Svoboda demands criminal prosecution for “Ukrainophobia”, and also various regulatory measures which are oriented to a greater or lesser extent towards the principle of national identity:

  • the restoration of the Soviet practice of indicating nationality in passports and on birth certificates;
  • proportional representation on executive bodies of ethnic Ukrainians, on the one hand, and national minorities, on the other;
  • a ban on adoptions by non-Ukrainians of Ukrainian children;
  • preferential treatment for Ukrainian students in the allocation of hostel places, and a series of similar changes to existing legal provisions.

Measures such as these are in themselves nothing out of the ordinary, but if they were all introduced at once, they could result in officially sanctioned ethnic differentiations that may eventually lead to the stigmatization of Ukrainian citizens of various nationalities, and guests of Ukraine. This would violate the principles of human rights to which Ukraine signed up when it joined the Council of Europe, and would aggravate existing ethnic conflicts in Ukrainian society. What is more, Svoboda announces in its programme that it is both possible and necessary to make Ukraine the “geopolitical centre of Europe” – a typically nationalist case of delusions of grandeur, reminiscent of Russia’s current superpower ambitions.” (x)

-“Svoboda’s presence has been felt immediately in Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, where its 37 deputies belong to a broad coalition opposing President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.

Meeting for its first two sessions in mid-December, the Rada - as it has a number of times in the past - degenerated into scenes that resembled not so much a legislative process as an ice hockey brawl, involving dozens of shoving, punching and kicking parliamentarians. Svoboda’s newly installed deputies, clad in traditional Ukrainian embroidered shirts, were in the thick of the melee, when not actually leading the charge.

They helped attack and drive from the opposition’s ranks two deputies - a father and son - who were accused of preparing to defect to the ruling party. Then they joined a massive free-for-all around the speaker’s rostrum, in protest at alleged illegal absentee-voting by deputies from the governing party. One of Svoboda’s leading members, sports journalist Ihor Miroshnychenko, his ponytail flying behind him, then charged the podium to prevent a deputy speaking in Russian. (Svoboda believes that only Ukrainian should be used in all official bodies.) Outside, Svoboda deputies used a chainsaw to cut down an iron fence erected last year to prevent crowds from storming the parliament building. This they justified in the name of popular democracy. “No other democratic country has fenced-off the national parliament,” said Svoboda’s Ruslan Koshulinskiy, the deputy speaker of parliament. “People have chosen these lawmakers and should have a right to have access to them.” Chaotic and confrontational as this may seem to Western eyes, Svoboda’s over-the-top behaviour is partly what drove many Ukrainians to vote for them.

The party has tapped a vast reservoir of protest votes. In a political landscape where all other parties are seen as corrupt, weak or anti-democratic - or all three - Svoboda seems to have attracted voters who would otherwise have stayed away from the polls altogether. Its strong anti-corruption stance - promising to “clean up” Ukraine - has resonated deeply. “I’m for Svoboda,” said Vadim Makarevych, a supporter, said at a recent rally in Kiev. “We have to stop what is happening in our country. It’s banditry and mafia.”

At the same time, they have staked out a position as fervent - some say rabid - defenders of traditional Ukrainian culture and language. Months before Miroshnychenko charged the parliament podium, Svoboda activists were photographed appearing to spray police with pepper gas, at a demonstration against a law making Russian an official language in some regions of the country. Among those who see Russia as a threat to Ukraine’s independence - chiefly in the west rather than the east of the country - many applaud this tough anti-Moscow stance. But in the run-up to October’s election, the party also wooed centrist voters by softening its image.

Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok repeatedly reassured voters that Svoboda is not racist, xenophobic or anti-Semitic - just pro-Ukrainian. “We are not against anyone, we are for ourselves,” he said. By presenting itself as a party of very devoted patriots, Svoboda seems to have won over voters who would be repelled by some of its more radical views - or voters who sympathise with these views, but prefer them to remain unspoken.

In the last parliamentary elections five years ago, Svoboda managed only 0.7% of the vote. This time, in addition to expanding its traditional base in the country’s Ukrainian-speaking west - it won close to 40% in the Lviv region - Svoboda made inroads into central regions, capturing second place in the capital Kiev. Last week (20/12/12) the charismatic Tyahnybok was voted Person of the Year by readers of the country’s leading news magazine, Korrespondent.

But while the party’s radical past can be papered over, it cannot be erased. Its name until 2004 was the “Social-National Party” and it maintains informal links to another group, the Patriots of Ukraine, regarded by some as proto-fascist. In 2004, Tyahnybok was kicked out of former President Viktor Yushchenko’s parliamentary faction for a speech calling for Ukrainians to fight against a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” - using two highly insulting words to describe Russians and Jews - and emphasising that Ukrainians had in the past fought this threat with arms.

In 2005, he signed an open letter to Ukrainian leaders, including President Yushchenko, calling for the government to halt the “criminal activities” of “organised Jewry”, which, the letter said, was spreading its influence in the country through conspiratorial organisations as the Anti-Defamation League - and which ultimately wanted to commit “genocide” against the Ukrainian people.

Tyahnybok stresses that he has never been convicted for anti-Semitism or racial hatred, though prosecutors opened a case against him after his 2004 speech. “All I said then, I can also repeat now,” he says. “Moreover, this speech is relevant even today.”

Other Svoboda members have also courted controversy. Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, a parliamentary deputy considered one of the party’s ideologues, liberally quotes from former Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, along with other National-Socialist leaders.

This undoubtedly appeals to a number of Svoboda’s voters, though to what extent is difficult to determine. Even now, Svoboda’s platform calls for passports to specify the holder’s ethnicity, and for government positions to be distributed proportionally to ethnic groups, based on their representation in the population at large. “We want Ukrainians to run the country,” says Bohdan, a participant in a recent Svoboda rally, as he waves a Ukrainian flag and organises cheering and chanting. “Seventy percent of the parliament are Jews.”

Some see signs that Svoboda’s radical elements are reasserting themselves. Activists recently attacked and sprayed tear gas at a gay rights rally in central Kiev. Ihor Miroshnychenko, meanwhile, used abusive language to describe the Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis, who is Jewish, in an online discussion.

However, a number of Svoboda’s critics, while underscoring the potential dangers of the party’s rise, also say that its popularity may be fleeting. Svoboda’s surge mirrors the far-right’s growing strength in many countries across Europe, they point out, and may not signal any fundamental, long-term rightward shift among the Ukrainian population. With the increased scrutiny that the party will come under in parliament, more Ukrainians may also take objection to Svoboda’s wilder statements, or decide it creates unnecessary divisions in an already polarised country. The party itself could also become more mainstream as it conforms to pressure from its political partners. This has happened with other far-right groups in the past, like the Italian Fascist party, which mellowed as it integrated into Italy’s conservative camp, experts say. “There’s a belief that Svoboda will change, once in the Verkhovna Rada, and that they may become proper national democrats,” says Andreas Umland, a political science professor at Kiev’s Mohyla Academy University. But he hesitates to predict how the party’s internal tensions will be resolved. “We don’t know which way Svoboda will go,” he says. “It may actually become more radical.” (x)

The Open Letter signed by Tyahnybok (2005)

  • Title - Stop the Criminal Activities of Organised Jewry
  • Signed by Tyahnybok and 17 others
  • Lists Jewish businessmen, who got rich in the 1990s, and claims they control Ukrainian media
  • Describes Zionism as “Jewish Nazism” and warns of “genocide” through the impoverishment of Ukrainians
  • Demands investigation into the activities of Jewish organisations headed by people “suspected of serious crimes” (x)

More on Svoboda:

-The Right Wing’s Role in Ukrainian Protests (x)

-Svoboda: The Rising Spectre Of Neo-Nazism In The Ukraine (x)

-Ukraine’s nationalist party embraces Nazi ideology (x)

-Ukraine’s Ultranationalists Show Surprising Strength at Polls (x)

-Svoboda’s rise inspires some, frightens many others (x)

-The Ukrainian Nationalism at the Heart of ‘Euromaidan’(x)

-A Fascist Hero in Democratic Kiev (x)

-UPA: Controversial partisans who inspire Ukraine protestors (x)

-Anti-Semitism rears its ugly head in PR war over protests (x)

normally i would say that if you live in a state that will for sure vote democrat/republican no matter what, then you can get away with voting third party, but this presidential race is fucking insane. some states like arizona and georgia that are usually guaranteed red states are only leaning republican. you need to vote for hillary clinton. please just fucking do it. vote absentee and decry the flawed two party system the entire time ur filling out the ballot. idc. idc if she offends your delicate sensibilities as a voter and doesn’t ~inspire you~ and give you the warm fuzzies lmao i don’t even like her but donald trump is literally the worst and if he gets elected by just a few electoral votes bc 20% of you fuckheads voted johnson or stein instead of clinton, someone who supports like 70% of the same shit that you do, im going to lose my goddamn mind. if you put your need to feel “””inspired””” over the lives and wellbeing of immigrants, people of color, women, lgbt people, disabled people, poor people, or any marginalized group that trump has promised to attack, you aren’t progressive. you aren’t sticking it to the DNC. they’re all millionaires who literally will not be affected by trump’s policies at all. you are, however, saying that you would rather fuck over marginalized groups than have to hold your nose for three fucking seconds and vote, and you might as well just personally hand-deliver your vote to trump if you’re gonna be like that. don’t fucking call yourselves progressive. you’re selfish, privileged babies who prioritize ideas over actual human beings. 

I made a bunch of videos discussing how to register, vote absentee, get a sample ballot, find your polling place, and vote in each of the 50 states. Each of them is around 2 minutes long and they have all the information that you (and everyone else) needs to get make their voice heard on November 8th. Please spread so those who are voting for the first time can have an easy resource to figure out exactly how to do it!

STATES
AlabamaAlaskaArizona  - Arkansas  - California  - Colorado  - ConnecticutDelaware  - FloridaGeorgiaHawaii  - Idaho  - Illinois  - Indiana  - Iowa  - Kansas -  Kentucky -  Louisiana  - Maine  - Maryland -  Massachusetts  - Michigan  - MinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming 

OTHER
Washington DCUnincoporated Territories - Military and Overseas

How not to vote in early America,

Today in the United States it seems there is an emphasis on “getting out the vote”, with the idea that voting is not only an American right but an American duty.  Complaints abound that American voter turnout is dismally poor, among the lowest rates of developed nations.  Several programs and campaigns have been created to convince non voters, especially younger adults, to go to the polls and vote.  Even governments had taken steps to ease the difficulties of voting, such as early voting programs and absentee ballots.  While we may think voter turnout numbers are dismal today, in early American history voting rates were especially bad. With America’s first national presidential election (1789), less than 1.3% of the population voted.  In the presidential election of 1792, .88% of the population voted, less than one percent! In the presidential election of 1796 between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, around 2.2% of the population voted.  From 1789 up to the 1820’s and 30’s, this trend continued, with small percentages of the population, often single digits, turning at the polls to vote.

So what accounted for such low voter turnouts?  Of course late 18th century transportation may account for some numbers, as many citizens could not travel to a polling place, however there were larger reasons at work. The fact of the matter was that while America was founded on the ideals of liberty and freedom, universal voting rights was not a part of that freedom, and the vast majority of Americans could not legally vote.  Today voting is a basic right taken for granted, however in the late 18th and early 19th century, voting was a privilege reserved only for an elite few.

When the Constitution was ratified in 1787, it made no mention of voting, none whatsoever.  The rules of voting, determining who can vote, who can’t, and how voting was to be conducted was to be determined by the individual states.  Each state could determine voting regulations as they saw fit.  In addition, the US Constitution and Bill of Rights was only to be respected by the Federal Government.  Individual states did not have to respect the Constitution, it was a free for all where states could establish their own state religions, limit free speech or the press despite the 1st Amendment, could have legal slavery despite several provisions in the Constitution confirming freedom for all, and create their own regulations defining who was and wasn’t a citizen.  It wouldn’t be until the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868 that US Citizenship was officially defined, and all states were forced to recognize the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  The implication of this system was that many states set severe restrictions on voting which limited the voting population to an elite few.  While each state had its own regulations, there were many that were in common, most of which survived from earlier colonial voting regulations.  So in early America could vote?  Who couldn’t vote?

The largest group of people who couldn’t vote were women.  So right off the bat, at least 50% of the US population was disqualified from voting.  In most states only men had the right to vote.  The only exception was New Jersey, which defined all voting citizens as male or female, and believe it or not women commonly voted in New Jersey at the time.  Unfortunately, women’s suffrage was brought to a screeching halt in 1807 when a law was passed banning women from voting in New Jersey.  Over the decades some states would allow women to vote, especially western states such as Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho.  National women’s suffrage would not occur until the ratification of 19th Amendment in 1920.

Another gaping maw in America’s early voting population were minorities.  First and foremost, slaves could not vote.  Free black men could only vote in a few states, such as New York.  However, the vast majority of African Americans could not vote whether slave or free.  Nor could Native American’s.  Religion could also disqualify a prospective voter, as many states had religious requirements that barred certain groups such as Jews, Catholics, Quakers, non-Christians, and other non-Protestant Christian sects. It would take a Civil War to bring about 15th Amendment (1869), which prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude.  A century later the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would prohibit discrimination in voting.

So while women and minorities couldn’t vote, what about white men?  Again most white males couldn’t vote.  First there was an age restriction.  Back then one had to be at least 21 to vote, today thanks to the 26th Amendment (1971), it is now down to 18.  There is even talk of lowering it to 16.  While this weeded out a few prospective voters, by far the regulation that prohibited most white males from voting were property requirements.  For centuries in colonial, English, and European tradition, owning a minimum amount of property or wealth was a requirement for citizenship.  The idea behind this was that the most enthusiastic citizens were those who had the largest economic stake in the country.  During America’s colonial era this tradition passed on, until eventually most states adopted property requirements for voting as well.  Generally, the requirement stood at either 50 acres of land or its equivalent value in wealth.   A very strict regulation, such property requirements ensured that only upper class, and perhaps upper middle class men could vote.  Property requirements would be in effect with many states in the late 18th and early 19th century.  After the War of 1812 some states began to drop property requirements.  Then in the 1820’s and 30’s the election of Andrew Jackson as president sounded a death knell for property requirements.  Jackson advocated a system of popular suffrage, a part of “Jacksonian Democracy”, and many Jacksonian Democrats rewrote state constitutions and laws to do away with property requirements. It wouldn’t be until the late 1820’s and 1830’s when a sizable percentage of the population could vote.  As a result of Jacksonian Democracy, by the Civil War most white men over the age of 21 could vote.  Some states would try a backdoor route to prevent poor whites from voting by instituting poll taxes, or poll fees.  Later, this method would also be used to prevent poor blacks from voting as well.  Poll taxes would be outlawed with the 24th Amendment in 1964.

So in early America, say between 1788 and 1830, who were the elite few who had the inalienable right to vote?  White men 21 and over who were wealthy and Protestant.  If you don’t fit into that category, go home! No voting for you!

I try not to delve into politics but last night I saw this picture that really sent a chill up my spine.  This woman is going to vote for Donald Trump, and there are millions like her.  When Trump first announced he was running for president, I thought it was hilarious.  Trump…president.  Hahaha!  That’s like when Gary Coleman and that porn actress ran for governor of California along with Arnold Schwarzenegger…Then I remembered Arnold Schwarzenegger actually ran the state of California for two terms.  Why?  Well, we voted for him.

The thing about Trump is this:  He’s brilliant.  Smartest politician I think I’ve seen in my lifetime.  He’s so smart in fact, we are collectively referring to him as a politician, which he is obviously not.  He’s been a “politician” for about a year now.  His name is in our mouth every single day, he’s constantly trending on Twitter, he’s clobbering the Republican candidates, and you can bet your sweet ass he will be on the ballot come November.  Every action he has taken so far in his campaign has boosted him.  He’s remaining relevant and each day he’s climbing.  At this point, Donald Trump will essentially have a 50% chance of being our president.  If we stopped today and had the election next week, he’d be on the ballot.  We are watching it happen.  The fact that he’s still in the running is terrifying.

So how do we stop him?  While I would like to say taking over his rallies and clashing with his minions—I mean supporters—is the way to fight him, it’s not.  It actually makes him more powerful.  Ripping up signs and drawing blood might seem productive, but it further agitates the beast that is Trump supporters.  It’s the same way the Kardashian family is running magazines, TV, and the Internet.  We just can’t keep their name out of our mouths.  Do they care if we loathe them?  Nope.  They thrive off us mentioning them, no matter how.  It’s the only way they stay relevant, and the media is not our ally.  The media LOVES Trump.  LOVES him.  He ain’t going anywhere.

Now, I can protest all Trump’s rallies and slap an “I’m With Bernie” hashtag after a bunch of reblogged photos, but if I don’t show my ass up to vote for the man (or woman) I’m siding with, then all my actions, all my protesting, it didn’t matter.  This country decides who does what through voting.  Whether you agree or disagree with the method, it is how the election will go down in the next few months.  And if we do not VOTE, which means walking, driving, hoverboarding your ass to a polling site, then come January (that’s just 10 months away now), we may watch Donald Trump, DONALD TRUMP, be sworn in as our 45th president.

If we are to be realistic, it’s probably going to come down to Trump Vs. Bernie or Hillary.  Typically, if you are a democrat, you’re going to vote democrat, and if you’re a republican, you’re going to vote republican.  Elections are usually the lesser of two evils type thing, and it’s true.  Is Bernie our godsend?  No.  Will he cure and fix everything?  Hell no.  Name a president who has.  But with Trump, this is different.  He’s not some villain in a wrestling match we love to boo at.  He’s a racist, sexist, immature, born into wealth, (I could go on all day)…man.  White man.  And he has POWER.  And what tends to happen to people with power?  They don’t like to give it up.  Trump right now, as of March 12th, 2016, has a tremendous amount of power, and he is going to fight like hell to keep it.  We are not looking at a man who is going to use his power for good—because he’s had power a long, long time, and his contributions have been that of a shitty reality show where he gets off on saying, “You’re Fired” to some actor/actress.  Oh, and “saying what he means” and “telling it like it is”, which is slang for “racist rants”. 

I don’t expect anyone to read this and change their minds about anything.  Do not expect crashing a Trump rally to wake a Trump supporter up.  Guess what?  They’re going to vote for Trump, and if you don’t show up, they just won.  The stealing of Trump signs, fighting KKK members at a rally…these actions will have been for nothing if you do not vote against him.  The image of a black woman being shoved around at a Trump rally will mean NOTHING to society STILL, if you do not go vote against this man.

This has been the most stressful election I’ve ever seen, and will possibly see in my lifetime, because there are people literally dying every day because of so many of our government’s institutions failing them.  And we are at a cross roads where those who are being failed, have a voice stronger than ever.  There are countless ways you can get your vote in—absentee ballots, Uber your ass to a poll, hell, if you live in Los Angeles, email me and I’ll fucking drive you.  No excuses.  That voice comes through in a vote.  Vote, vote, vote.  Your Tumblr posts and your memes and your flipping off people with a Trump bumper sticker are WORTHLESS if you do not vote.  We are approaching crunch time and still talking about how bad this man is—we get it by now.  He’s bad.  If his rallies are any indication as to how this country will be run if he wins, we are going to have another Civil War.  We already are.

I hope this picture reminds you how scary this election is becoming.  This woman, giving her “pledge” to Donald…is going to show up to her polling site, and fill in a ballot with “Trump”.  You can egg her house, or pour sugar in her gas tank, find her employer and harass her, and she will still vote.  Her voice will be heard because she’s going to support him.  Trump supporters are the most loyal people—they will not give up on their hero.  There is nothing more I’d like to do than to kick Donald Trump in the face—I can assure you—but it will sting him much more when I go in and vote for Bernie Sanders.  And by voting, I will be cancelling out this lovely woman’s vote.  I hope this gets spread around and people understand the power of voting versus grabbing Trump signs off someone’s lawn.  Why not do both?

hey american college students planning to vote absentee in your home state while at school: if you haven’t applied for an absentee ballot do so immediately.

if you’re receiving a ballot by mail, it will take time to get to you. additionally, your home state’s absentee voting regulations may have changed – which means you might realize that you need to register to vote in the state you’re going to school in instead! the majority of states require you to register to vote by october 11th, so make sure you have time!

sincerely,
an idiot who didn’t realize her state’s absentee voting regulations had changed

npr.org
Want Your Absentee Vote To Count? Don't Make These Mistakes
About 1 in 5 voters now mails in his ballot. But many ballots are rejected because they arrive late, the voter forgets to sign the form or the signature does not match the one on record.

Those mistakes are often easy to avoid. Here are some:

  • The voter forgets to sign the ballot envelope, as required.
  • The voter sends the envelope back, but forgets to include the ballot.
  • The voter uses the wrong envelope.
  • The voter already voted in person.
  • The voter’s signature on the ballot envelope doesn’t match the one on file.

geekyhobbies  asked:

American living aborad, here. Also, for any others living abroad, it is super easy to register to vote. I personally signed up for email absentee voting. You need to do this NOW, 'cause you also need to send in your actual signiature via snail mail to your home COUNTY of origin. EX: I lived in Erie County, NY so I sent to there. Google how to vote abroad, and you will be directed to the website. (Tumblr doesnt like links.) Took me 10 min tops. The site well tell u the address to send ur papers.

Signal Boost!!

anonymous asked:

Hi I'm a first time voter with pretty severe anxiety and OCD. This stopped me from voting before and I don't want to let it do so again, so I'm finally getting registered! I was just wondering if you could give me a heads up about what to expect when voting? What is the standard situation like? Will I have to talk to many people? Just in general, what am I expected to do? I feel like knowing this stuff will help ease my anxiety so I can prepare! Thanks and it's okay if you can't answer this! :)

Hi there! I answer your question below, but FYI you don’t have to go in at all, you can vote by mail via Absentee Vote if you prefer:

https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot/

Normally speaking you really don’t interact much anyway. You walk in with an ID and there are people with books of names and addresses in the district. You say your name and show your ID, they check you off, and give you a voting sheet that you take into a booth. Afterwards you hand your ballot to a worker who puts it in a secure container. That’s it!

The whole process is super private and besides giving them your name and address to confirm who you are, you don’t have to talk to anybody.

Hope that helps!

bakubros  asked:

Hi! I wasn't really sure who to mention this to, but I know that a lot of people have trouble finding the time in their schedule to vote, so I just wanted to remind everyone that absentee voting is totally a thing! You just have to submit an online application six days before your state's primary and your county director mails you a ballot. It's an option that I think a lot of people forget about! Bernie needs all the help we can offer him!

You are right, if it is absolutely not possible for you to get to the polls, vote absentee. 

But don’t think of it as just an easy way to vote. If you can, please, actually go to the polls and vote. This is important because studies of the 2008 elections have shown that about 1 in 5 absentee ballots do not get counted. 

If the problem is with someone having to work, most states have laws requiring that your employer gives you time to vote. The requirements vary per state and you can find all the information you need here. 

If you need to learn how exactly to vote absentee in your state, this post should help you out.

-tony

VOTING TIME (open all the polls and let you out into the world)

Hey Followers!

If you are a U.S. citizen aged 18+, I strongly encourage you to go out and vote tomorrow, November 4th. Tumblr has even installed a handy-dandy helpful locator for your nearest polling place on your Dashboard! So it’s easy to find out where you need to go. 

I voted absentee last Saturday, so here’s some recognition to those of you who are doing the same. I know not everyone has a living situation that allows them to vote in-person. But you made the effort to vote anyway! Congratulations!

Our type of democratic system operates best when there is more participation, so I cannot stress enough the importance of taking part. Again, please go out and vote!

-B. & R.