Monday, March 07, 2011

Voter Notes

Voter Notes

While we wait for Ron Paul this afternoon, a few notes from the realm of election law:

  • Deja vu: First Florida plays leapfrog with the primary date, and now, as usual, Michigan is getting in on the act.
    The state Legislature sets the primary day and according to a 1999 law, the Feb. 28, 2012, date stands for next year's presidential primary. That coincides with the state's quarterly local and school elections. Michigan reimburses localities for the cost of running a presidential primary, and in 2008 it was nearly $10 million.
    I'm actually OK with that argument, since 2/28 is at the very very end of the early window. But that's not what it's really about:
    State party leaders say they want to challenge the influence of the traditional "early states" of New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, and there has been no effort to change the primary date.

    "We still think it's unfair that New Hampshire and Iowa always go first," said John Tramontana, spokesman for the Michigan Democratic Party.
    And I still think it's unfair that "in a last-minute deal worked out between state and national officials in 2008, the Democratic delegates, stripped of their votes ahead of the convention, were seated just days before the kickoff in Denver."

  • In New Hampshire, Republicans Don't Want You To Vote if you're a student:
    New Hampshire's new Republican state House speaker is pretty clear about what he thinks of college kids and how they vote. They're "foolish," Speaker William O'Brien said in a recent speech to a tea party group.

    "Voting as a liberal. That's what kids do," he added, his comments taped by a state Democratic Party staffer and posted on YouTube. Students lack "life experience," and "they just vote their feelings."

    New Hampshire House Republicans are pushing for new laws that would prohibit many college students from voting in the state - and effectively keep some from voting at all.
    Iowa may get lucky since new Secretary of State Matt Schultz, who got elected on a wave but seems to believe it was about photo ID, doesn't appear to be interested in any other issues. But Indiana's ID law didn't keep THEIR new Republican Secretary of State from committing voter fraud and voting from a bogus address.
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