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November 7, 2018 - 10:51am

Today's Poll: Are you satisfied with the election outcomes?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Howard B. Owens
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FWIW: Somebody I've been listening to a lot recently is Joan C. Williams, who is a progressive Democrat (by her own admission) but an expert in the role of class in American politics. She has some very good insights into why Trump won and her advice to Democrats is pretty hard medicine. She basically puts it on the Democrats to repair the fissure in American politics.* I think there are lessons in her insights for both sides though. YouTube is filled with videos of her talks. Here's just a few

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV0-P_0Bgeo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8DyplVNLH4

I first heard of her through a podcast called Hidden Brain:

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/15/657547685/voting-with-a-middle-finger-two...

*One of the issues going on that rubs me the wrong way is Democrats complaining about the Electoral College and the two-senators-per-state setup, which puts more power in the hands of rural voters. They say, disproportionately. Doing away with these check-and-balance procedures would put all the power in urban centers, leading to a permanent reign of progressive politics. The imbalance of power -- whether you agree or disagree with progressivism or not -- would be bad for the country. Instead of trying to game the system in their favor, Democrats should try to figure out how to win back rural voters. That's the nature of competition. You don't change the rules of the game because you don't like the outcome. You figure out how to be more competitive where you're losing. Joan C. Williams is a good person to listen to in that regard.

Tim Miller
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I'm glad the Dems took the House - Americans now have some semblance of checks and balances back.

I'm disappointed that the GOP will likely increase its majority in the Senate, but that's just how it goes.

I'm disgusted at the Georgia Governor race - the GOP candidate was GA Sec of State, and purged 10% of registered voters over the past 2-3 years as well as made voting harder for Georgia citizens.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/georgia-governor-kemp-...

I'm also disgusted that one man (and I use that term VERY loosely) got down on his hands and knees and kowtowed to another man (again, used very loosely) who insulted him, called his wife ugly, and accused his father of being a murderer. But then, that is Texas for you.
https://www.facebook.com/editorial.political.cartoons/photos/a.422173394...

Eric Dunn
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The purging of the voters was all legal and there are guidelines on who is purged. Most have not voted in many years, dead or have moved. I believe it is done in every state. All the people that were purged were notified by mail long before the election and had a chance to re-register and vote.

Tim Miller
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"legal" and "right" can be two very, very different things. Especially when one abuses the power of office to benefit oneself. (Gosh - what Trump... errr, I mean President might that also refer to?)

Howard B. Owens
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I can't find fault with purging voter rolls. There's legimate reasons to do it and it sound like legitimate procedures were followed.

I'm more concerned about the early poll closings, the long-lines, the shortage of voting machines.

I saw a video purportedly from Atlanta yesterday of hundreds of people waiting to vote at one polling place and only three voting machines available.

That's either poor planning or voter suppression. And I say that as a guy who generally has treated cries of voter suppression as more smoke than fire.

Tim Miller
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"voter suppression as more smoke than fire"?
(sorry - this is a long one)

Let me tell you about North Carolina... Once the GOP had control of both houses of the legislature and then the Governorship, things were ablaze hotter than an oxyacetylene torch.

First - gerrymander. Create boundaries chopping the state up such that even though 52% of the voters voted for Dem congressional candidates in 2012, 10 of the 13 seats go to Rep candidates. (Technically not voter suppression, but the bastardization of "one person, one vote") When asked why the districts were drawn to give 10 seats to the GOP, the GOP state legislator responsible for redistricting stated simply "because we couldn't figure out how to get 11."

Second - institute "voter ID requirements". Make the rules for which IDs are valid that favor your own party. For example, in NC there are lots of hunters and gun owners, but a greater percentage are conservative/GOP. Therefore, making concealed carry permits legitimate IDs while not allowing IDs that favor liberals/Dems (college IDs, etc.). Oh, and make access to sites that produce those acceptable IDs very difficult, such as shutting down DMV offices in rural areas. You need a valid ID because you do not have a drivers license? Not a problem - all you have to do is somehow go the 35 miles to your nearest DMV office because the one in your town coincidentally shut down earlier this year. Also, make sure these rules specifically target Dem leaning voters - even state that in emails to your fellow conspirators.

Third - sharply restrict early voting. Dems had been more likely to take advantage of early voting, so... Cut early voting time in half; Try to eliminate early voting on the Sunday before election day because many, many congregants of southern black churches (who happen to predominantly vote Dem) leave church that day and go right to the early voting sites; Eliminate early voting sites - try to limit them to county seats (long drive to vote early in rural counties).

The fires were so hot and bright that every single one of those attempts to restrict voting were shot down to some extent by the courts.
- Gerrymandering was determined to be so heinous that the courts demanded districts be redrawn. Of course, the GOP legislature dragged their feet so badly that they could not be redrawn in time for Tuesday's vote. Guess what? The GOP retained 10 seats (one uncontested), and Dems retained 3 seats. In the 12 contested seats, Dems received more votes (51.5% vs 48.5%), but only won 25% of the seats.
- Voter ID requirements were deemed to adversely affect the targeted voters (just as desired by the GOP) to such an extent that they were shot down completely. However, the GOP didn't give up and took a lesson from Nikita Khrushchev. They added an amendment to the NC Constitution to Tuesday's ballot requiring valid ID (to be determined later) to vote. The GOP couldn't restrict the vote with a voter ID requirement, so they sold the rope to NC voters to do it. It passed.
- Early voting restrictions were so bad the courts demanded they be somewhat extended and zapped the "county seat" limitation. The Sunday before election day was still killed.

Howard - there is no smoke here... just fire. And we didn't even get into the efforts over the years by conservative groups to kill Democratic voter registrations.

Eric Dunn
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Howard quite a few of the polling places that had problems actually stayed open up to 3 hours late. And to answer your last question it was basically poor planning. Their are a few counties in GA, Fulton being one of them, which is where Atlanta is located have problems every election. The people they have running the elections in those counties are just not qualified.

Eric Dunn
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Tim, it sounds to me like some of the elections did not go the way you wanted them to.

Tim Miller
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Eric - they don't always, do they?

But you trivialize the efforts to bastardize democracy. If you are one of the folks who cannot stand NYS being run by Dems I can appreciate your position - but it is a different situation than what I described. Face it - you live in a state that is dominated (probably should be capitalized) by NYC, and so you have to deal with it. At the same point, name all the Dem county office holders in Genesee County... I think you'll be able to do it without taking off your mittens as Genesee County is dominated by the GOP.

The situation I've described is not like the US Senate, each state gets 2 senators, resulting in a vast difference in representation per person ("Each California senator represents nearly 19.8 million people, over 68 times as many as the 290,000 each Wyoming senator represents."). Thems the rules, and that's it. I'm talking about manipulating the system in a way where the office holder chooses his voters, not the other way around (and it was wrong in Maryland...and in NC 20 years ago).

So save your pithy and useless comments.

Ed Hartgrove
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Tim. If I'm not mistaken, Eric no longer resides in NY. I believe he lives in the Carolinas now, in which case, his state wouldn't be dominated by NYC.

Ed Hartgrove
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Eric. Concerning the "purging of the voters".
Perhaps Nevada should have purged the "candidates" this year.

Nevada voters elected a DEAD man. Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof (R) died last month, but still won a state legislative district. (I heard that the "numbers" were something like 70% to the dead man, versus 30% to the opponent).

How bad must one be, to garner less than half the votes running against a dead person?

Tim Miller
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Ed - maybe voters were hoping one of his "bunnies" would fill the void?

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