Voting Rights Act to expire???


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jefnvk
August 6, 2005, 03:55 PM
Can anyone tell me anything about this? I had never heard it before today.

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http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/08/06/democrats.radio.ap/index.html

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, urged Congress to reauthorize the landmark Voting Rights Act, saying Saturday that failing to do so would imperil 40 years of progress for African-American voters.

In the weekly Democratic radio address, Lewis said his party is committed to strengthening the sections of the law that are set to expire at the end of next year.

Conservatives are pushing for modification of two provisions. One requires nine states, mostly in the South, to get federal approval before changing voting rules. The other requires election officials to provide voting material in the native language to immigrant voters who don't speak English.

"Our democracy depends on protecting the right of every American citizen to vote in every election," Lewis said.

Lewis participated in the Southern civil rights struggles of the 1960s that secured congressional passage of the Voting Rights Act.

"We were beaten, tear gassed and trampled by horses," said Lewis, recounting a March 7, 1965, march in Alabama that drew attention to the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson.

The black Vietnam veteran was shot as he attempted to protect his mother, who was beaten by police during a civil rights march.

The Voting Rights Act came at a time when it was "almost impossible for people of color to register to vote" because of poll taxes and literacy tests, Lewis said.

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LAR-15
August 6, 2005, 03:58 PM
Certain provisions *could* expire.

I don't think Ted Kennedy wants them to though.

BostonGeorge
August 6, 2005, 04:40 PM
Certain provisions *could* expire.

I don't think Ted Kennedy wants them to though.

And you do?

beerslurpy
August 6, 2005, 04:47 PM
It will change nothing. A literacy test for voting would be awesome IMO, as long as it was fairly administered. To deny stupid people a say in government would be a terrific boon on the entire nation.

An Aside
Personally I think they should just administer an LSAT type test (reading comphrehension and logic questions mostly with questions on the constitution and how govt works) once every 5 years and only let those who score in the highest 25th percentile vote. I think this is being enormously generous btw. Anyone not elibible to vote could not hold ANY government position, no matter how menial.

And this would actually work. The chiense civil service system was very similar and produced a stable and fair government that lasted nearly 3000 years.


All the efforts necessary to prevent undesireable persons from voting have already been completed despite the voting rights act being in full force for decades. The War on Drugs plus lifetime felon disenfranchisement accomplish much of the same effects that Jim Crow did, only it is more crafted towards lower-class behaviors than towards ethnicity.

You want to know what has undone the civil rights movement? 40 years of government welfare that allowed a poisonous ghetto mentality to flourish with no repercussions. Laziness and immorality are keeping black people down better than a million guys dressed in Klan robes ever could.

You know I'm right.

jefnvk
August 6, 2005, 04:55 PM
beerslurpy, no arguments here.

So, what provisions might go away?

And before I support literacy tests, I'd support basic Civics tests. People really should know how the gov't works, before they vote in the people that make it work.

beerslurpy
August 6, 2005, 04:58 PM
I read about it a month ago, nothing is really changing. It is basically a bunch of powers given to the AG to make sure that people arent doing blatantly racist things like refusing to let black people vote or throwing all the ballots from black areas in the swamp.

# the authorization of the U.S. Attorney General to send federal registrars (examiners) to register voters, in counties where the local registrar refuses to register blacks. [Section 6, 42 U.S.C. 1973d]

# the authorization of the U.S. Attorney General to send federal observers to monitor elections, to make sure that blacks who are eligible to vote are actually permitted to vote, and that their votes are actually counted. [Section 8, 42 U.S.C. 1973f]

# the requirement that specially covered jurisdictions gain the approval of the U.S. Attorney General before implementing new voting practices or procedures, to make sure that any voting changes that they make are not racially discriminatory. [Section 5, 42 U.S.C. 1973c]

DeseoUnTaco
August 6, 2005, 06:06 PM
Yeah, there should be a test for voters. It will be a two-question true-or-false test about the Constitution. Despite being true or false questions they are very difficult:

1. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
() true () false

2. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
() true () false

That should set things straight!
I read about it a month ago, nothing is really changing. It is basically a bunch of powers given to the AG to make sure that people arent doing blatantly racist things like refusing to let black people vote or throwing all the ballots from black areas in the swamp.
As you point out, none of that is necessary anymore. So many blacks have felony convictions that there's no need to throw ballots in the swamp. And you can't legally pay a worker less money because he's black... but you can pay him less money because he's a felon.

Thank you War on Drugs!

Joejojoba111
August 6, 2005, 06:47 PM
"A literacy test for voting would be awesome IMO, as long as it was fairly administered."

I hope you speak Spanish better than 74% of the population then. Or maybe the language will be German? Or French? Seeing how many people complain about having ot read Shakespeare it had better not be English. Or perhaps you had a specific version of English from a specific time period in mind... say the way you currently read and write?

It's OK, I feel the same way often! If I had my way I'd be the only one allowed to vote. That might bother a few million people though, because they'd each want to be the only one too. So I guess we all just compromise and each vote once.

In theory I'd be against any 'test' one had to pass to vote. If one wants to go back to the requirements of land ownership beyond a certain value and specifying gender, no problem, I think I might pass some day. At least it was clear and straight forward, not some test written by a bureaucrat. And without any real idea how to accomodate those who are blind, dyslexic, drunk, sleepy etc.

You are a citizen you get 1 vote. It's the only way that works. You can make millions of people a seperate sub-class and deny them equal rights, but it's not a wise long-run strategy.

CAnnoneer
August 6, 2005, 06:51 PM
If we want to improve the quality of voting, something else that might be useful to do is age limitations.

I have been thinking more recently that 21 may not be a mature enough age for a reasonably judicious vote. When the age was set, people would marry as young as 14 and be financially independent of their parents as young as 17. The same is clearly not true nowadays. In fact, I would say that the average financial independence age is probably well in mid-20s, if not even later. Thus it would make sense to me that the voting age be changed to 30.

On the other side of the spectrum, people beyond 70 on average are increasingly less lucid and many just are too set in their ways to remain receptive to the continuously changing world. Thus they might not be reasonably expected to produce judicious decisions for the society's future.

Thus it seems a reasonable voting range would be 30-70. This certainly does not mean that people outside it cannot be politically active. Just not voting.

308win
August 6, 2005, 07:00 PM
The other requires election officials to provide voting material in the native language to immigrant voters who don't speak English.
A. We need a law that makes English the official language; and
B. If you can't speak the official language you shouldn't be allowed to vote.

beerslurpy
August 6, 2005, 07:01 PM
The official language of this country isnt spanish or german. It never has been.

I mean modern english as tested on the modern SAT, LSAT and MCAT.
I mean the language that the laws are written in.
I mean the langauge that the Constitution is written in.

If you cant understand these things and understand the laws that congresscritters are passing, then you should have no say in who gets elected to the positions. Nor should you be allowed to hold any government position. And I think they should abolish the age limits for enfranchisements. Let anyone with the mental capacity of an adult be treated as one. Let those who never acquire such capacity stay out of everyone else's way.

Car Knocker
August 6, 2005, 07:04 PM
The other requires election officials to provide voting material in the native language to immigrant voters who don't speak English.

I thought that one had to demonstrate a degree of proficiency in English to be granted citizenship, said citizenship being the primary qualifier to vote.

Joejojoba111
August 6, 2005, 07:22 PM
"I think they should abolish the age limits for enfranchisements. Let anyone with the mental capacity of an adult be treated as one."

I agree with that. It makes sense to me, we have defined younger ages committing crimes to not be 'children' under the law, so it would logically ensue that they could vote, that is before they commit the crime:P

And as for the argument that in the old days people started families younger... Well, that's a trend coming back...

Marshall
August 6, 2005, 07:36 PM
I mean modern english as tested on the modern SAT, LSAT and MCAT.
I mean the language that the laws are written in.
I mean the langauge that the Constitution is written in.

If you cant understand these things and understand the laws that congresscritters are passing, then you should have no say in who gets elected to the positions.

Absofrickinlutley.

And phote ID proof of citizenship.

Monkeyleg
August 6, 2005, 07:44 PM
I don't believe in literacy tests for voting. There are many people here on THR, for example, who are knowledgeable about the Constitution and and current issues, but express themselves very poorly in writing.

As for raising the age limit, while it's true that many young people don't know what's going on in the world, many others do. And, if a person is old enough to die for his/her country, that person should be able to vote.

That said, I don't think it's too much to ask that a voter have at least a rudimentary knowledge of our government. For example, a person should know who the president and vice president are, and be able to name at least a couple of cabinet secretaries.

The problem with that idea, though, is that there are people who don't vote unless there's something that affects them directly. A referendum on building a new school, for example, that will lead to a tax increase. Should a person have to take a test in order to vote on an issue that impacts him directly?

HankB
August 6, 2005, 07:55 PM
Personally I think they should just administer an LSAT type test (reading comphrehension and logic questions mostly with questions on the constitution and how govt works) once every 5 years and only let those who score in the highest 25th percentile vote Good in principle, but who's going to decide what the right answers are? People like SCOTUS justices Scalia or Thomas, who believe in original intent, or people like Ginsberg, Souter, or (shudder) Ted Kennedy and Chuckie Schumer?

Personally, I'd weight a citizen's vote by how much personal income tax he actually pays. People paying no taxes, would get no vote. (If they don't contribute, why should they have a say in how things are run?)

beerslurpy
August 6, 2005, 08:01 PM
So just the reading comprehension and logic portions then.

The only danger I can see of this is if the people in the "voting caste" start to infringe upon the liberties and property of the non-voters or erect unfair barriers to becoming a member of the caste. The end result would either be much suffering or a revolt.

The problem is that any system in which people dont beleive in and follow natural law can be perverted to violate natural law in favor of the stated principles of the system. The concept of the "majesty of the law" is a dangerous thing because the Law can often be a tool of thievery and injustice even if those are not its rightful ends.

The answer is natural law, if only for the reason that natural law inflicts the least amount of harm upon the citizenry and is simple enough that a child could understand when it is being violated. Those who occupy a dominant role must feel constrained by natural law, if not out of common decency, then out of fear.

chaim
August 7, 2005, 02:43 AM
And phote ID proof of citizenship

In the last presidential election I pulled out my license to prove who I was and I was told they couldn't look at it because it is illegal to require ID to allow someone to vote. Not sure if it is state or federal elections law, but around here anyway that would be illegal.

I was still a conservative Democrat at the time. I had no longer been a Dem in philosophy for some time but there was more going on in the Dems primary than the Republican one so I waited for the primary. When I got there they wouldn't take my ID, said it would be illegal, all they used to identify me was to check my signature. Then I voted. After voting I went back to the elections judges and told them I wanted to fill out the form to change my registration to Republican....they told me that to change my registration I had to produce ID because they couldn't have someone posing as me changing my registration :banghead:

So, to vote as long as I signed my name I (or anyone else) could vote as me, and once you vote you can't undo/redo it. But to change my registration, something easily changed, they needed ID in case I was someone else even though I had just voted as me (which if I wasn't me would have been irreversable). :confused:

beerslurpy
August 7, 2005, 02:53 AM
Ballot box stuffing is still fairly common in certain areas, I would think.

The Chicago Democratic machine has long been famed for its ability to get out the dead vote.

Washington State seems to have discovered the ability to get out the warehouse vote. IE, find ballots in a warehouse and then count them.

RealGun
August 7, 2005, 11:58 AM
I am drawn to the notion of being required to be an actual taxpayer (employed) to get to vote, but I actually have an issue with the income tax.

I would appreciate knowing that all votes were cast by real, live people and only once per person.

On a local level, I think property owners have a much greater stake in some of the issues. Small business owners would qualify even if leasing because they pay license fees plus property tax on equipment and inventory, whether or not they are currently reporting a profit and paying tax.

What I think is definitely a problem is a large number of voters who are dependent upon government programs. At a minimum that would include financial assistance recipients, beneficiaries of other social programs, and retired people whose real politics consist of simply a concern for health care costs and cost of living increases in Social Security. The integrity of both of these groups as well as the political partys that pander to their concerns are compromised by government payments. I don't think what's good for America is really an issue to them.

I think it is time to grant active and reserve military the right to vote when otherwise under age. Even if somehow leaving the military before of regular voting age, they would get to remain a registered voter, barring some other problem that would normally disqualify anyone.

Kharn
August 7, 2005, 12:20 PM
Chaim:
In the last presidential election I pulled out my license to prove who I was and I was told they couldn't look at it because it is illegal to require ID to allow someone to vote. Not sure if it is state or federal elections law, but around here anyway that would be illegal.It was a Maryland Supreme Court ruling, IIRC.

Kharn

Crosshair
August 7, 2005, 12:24 PM
If you're on welfare, you don't get to vote. You want to vote, go work at McDonalds and work you're way up.

This will of course never pass because it's not PC and the Dems would loose a whole voting block.

GT
August 7, 2005, 12:39 PM
I am with RealGun on both the tax paying and the problem with taxation arguments.
Crosshair sums it up rather well.

It's more like if you are a net drain on the populace you don't get to vote (this would include Social Security also, of course, because that is welfare).

And as far as folks starting families younger, most of them are basically wards of the state. What the original poster was referring to was financial independance at a younger age.

Oh yeah... and SPEAK EEENGLISH. Nothing else counts.
It's charming you are ethnic and all and speak other tongues but that is your business not the government's nor mine.
Put up your own posters in your own ghetto, but don't try to make my country into your ghetto (just look back at where you came from if you need any pointers).

G

Joejojoba111
August 7, 2005, 12:52 PM
I'm against people not paying taxes just as much as the next guy, but I think the real scandal there is what corporations are getting away with. It's incredible the vast sums they avoid paying. Mind boggling. It really would boggle your mind.

But I have the opinion that taxation should be seperate from voting. Voting is sort of an untouchable thing, I'd even be ok with criminals voting, because it is the whole 'all men are equal' thing. Maybe it doesn't make sense, ok it probably doesn't, but I just have this gut hunch so that's how I feel bout it.

And equating money to power, well this is already pretty well done... I don't think there's any need to enshrine it. When you realize that 0.1% of the population garners 8-10% of the wages, it doesn't take a genius to fiure out that 0.1% of the population would then legitimately control the country by their control of the vote. It would be a nightmare country to live in, absolute worst case.

Third_Rail
August 7, 2005, 12:54 PM
Our democracy....


Republic. We've never been a democracy, nor is it feasible to become one.

jefnvk
August 7, 2005, 01:40 PM
# the authorization of the U.S. Attorney General to send federal registrars (examiners) to register voters, in counties where the local registrar refuses to register blacks. [Section 6, 42 U.S.C. 1973d]

# the authorization of the U.S. Attorney General to send federal observers to monitor elections, to make sure that blacks who are eligible to vote are actually permitted to vote, and that their votes are actually counted. [Section 8, 42 U.S.C. 1973f]

# the requirement that specially covered jurisdictions gain the approval of the U.S. Attorney General before implementing new voting practices or procedures, to make sure that any voting changes that they make are not racially discriminatory. [Section 5, 42 U.S.C. 1973c]


OK, so we don't really have to worry about renewing these, right? No one is really trying to keep black people from voting, there is no need for these parts, right? (Just trying to draw a connection to some liberals ideals that the 2A should be gone)

When you realize that 0.1% of the population garners 8-10% of the wages, it doesn't take a genius to fiure out that 0.1% of the population would then legitimately control the country by their control of the vote

I don't think they were saying yur vote gets eighed by how much you pay in taxes, just that you must pay some taxes (or at least refuse welfare) to vote.


EDIT:
Looks like some are afraid they won't be able to vote.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/08/06/voting.rights.ap/index.html

Rebar
August 7, 2005, 02:19 PM
Just another sign that the liberal/left is still living in the 1960's, just another excuse to bash Bush and republicans.

jnojr
August 7, 2005, 03:11 PM
The other requires election officials to provide voting material in the native language to immigrant voters who don't speak English.

Then let it die. The '50s are over. Racism is dead. The ignorant hillbillys who still hate dem colored folk don't have anything to do with elections. But I am sick and <> tired of seeing ballots in Spanish, Vietnamese, and two dozen other languages. If you can't read and speak English, how the heck can you have any idea of what you're voting on? We have enough idiot voters as it is. Adding in huge blocks of voters who get their viewpoint from one native language newspaper that's run by people with their own agendas doesn't "empower the people".

p35
August 8, 2005, 06:29 PM
In my third year of college I took the old "literacy test" from Alabama, IIRC. I missed a couple questions. As it was explained to us, if you got anything wrong it was up to the test administrator to decide whether you passed or not. Of course, in practice, that decision was based on skin color. IOW, even as a third year college student (and National Merit Scholar) I could have flunked the "literacy test" if I was the wrong skin color.

Point is, that's one of those things that sounds reasonable on paper, but lends itself to abuse in practice. It would also lend itself to endless litigation about whether any given individual got a fair shake. Really not a path we should go down.

beerslurpy
August 8, 2005, 09:56 PM
If you're on welfare, you don't get to vote.

I pity the fool that doesnt understand the many forms of welfare. The government creates most constituencies through the creation of "jobs"- hiring extra ATF or IRS agents, funding the coast guard, the EPA, etc. Look at the energy bill they just passed.

Welfare is the problem, but it isnt the kind youre thinking of.

Control Group
August 8, 2005, 11:05 PM
said citizenship being the primary qualifier to vote.
HA!

Pull the other one, it's got bells on.

Crosshair
August 8, 2005, 11:48 PM
OK, OK, OK let me be more specific beerslurpy. If you are on the "sit on you're arse all day and do nothing while the government pay's for you and you're 18 kids" welfare, you don't get to vote.

Keaner
August 9, 2005, 10:04 AM
I mean the langauge that the Constitution is written in.

We can institute that as soon as the Supreme Court learns that language :D


In all seriousness: If you are a citizen, YOU CAN VOTE. Thats the way it HAS to be, otherwise, our country falls apart! Once we start making requirements to vote, this stops being a representative republic, and starts being an Oglarchy! Heck, at that point, the Constitution gets thrown out the window.

The purpose of the American government was to create equal representation for EVERY citizen. And yes, I do feel the "felon" law is unconstitutional as well (Think Nelson Mandela).

As soon as there are requirements to vote, we turn into a 1700's France, with a ruling class, and a peasant class, something which is detrimental to our society! By advocating minimum requirements, we are giving our country away.

WT
August 9, 2005, 10:39 AM
Let's face it, American English is a dying language. It is being replaced by Spanish. We might as well just accept it since the progression is not going to change.

The Hispanic States (like Florida, California, Arizona, Texas, etc.) will soon have over 50% of their residents speaking Spanish as their native language. Spanish is now widely spoken and written in those areas. Once Hispanics learn to unite and use their political power we will see and hear Spanish as the official language of the states, if not the nation.

Glock Glockler
August 9, 2005, 11:06 AM
As soon as there are requirements to vote, we turn into a 1700's France, with a ruling class, and a peasant class, something which is detrimental to our society! By advocating minimum requirements, we are giving our country away

You mean exactly how it is right now? Let's see, we don't have a govt right now of, by, and for corporations and other special interests?

When someone finds out they can vote themselves a bigger welfare check you have a problem, and in case you havent noticed the constitution has been thrown out the window, so it's pretty obvious that what we are doing now isnt working and we should think of other ideas when trying to pick up the pieces of this country.

Representatives are, for lack of a better term, representative of their constituents, so when you have absolutely no standards the quality of the reps goes way down. You get what you pay for.

Keaner
August 9, 2005, 11:11 AM
You mean exactly how it is right now? Let's see, we don't have a govt right now of, by, and for corporations and other special interests?

When someone finds out they can vote themselves a bigger welfare check you have a problem, and in case you havent noticed the constitution has been thrown out the window, so it's pretty obvious that what we are doing now isnt working and we should think of other ideas when trying to pick up the pieces of this country.

Representatives are, for lack of a better term, representative of their constituents, so when you have absolutely no standards the quality of the reps goes way down. You get what you pay for.

I am not saying we are perfect today, but we cannot go even worse! By limiting voting to only a certian class, it means that we have a ruling class, which is amazingly destructive. What I am saying is: Let everyone vote (who is not IN prison), and regulate Special Interest donations. Remember, it is OUR votes that get these guys elected.

The Constitution is being trampled, I admit entirely, but lighting it on fire is not the way to get it back.

buzz_knox
August 9, 2005, 12:21 PM
The Hispanic States (like Florida, California, Arizona, Texas, etc.) will soon have over 50% of their residents speaking Spanish as their native language. Spanish is now widely spoken and written in those areas. Once Hispanics learn to unite and use their political power we will see and hear Spanish as the official language of the states, if not the nation.

Given that the official language of air travel and economics is still English, said Spanish speakers will either adapt or convert the nation to a third world country. The world will go to Arabic or Chinese as a primary language or simply retain English long before going to Spanish.

Glock Glockler
August 9, 2005, 07:31 PM
I am not saying we are perfect today, but we cannot go even worse! By limiting voting to only a certian class, it means that we have a ruling class, which is amazingly destructive

You mean we'd be ruled by people that weren't total idiots? Nooooooo, anything but that, I want stupid people do decide my fate.

Seriously, why is it that we don't have the elite limiting driver's licenses to themselves and discriminate against all the "other people" (fill in the blank undesireable)? Imagine what a difficulty if the vast majority of people couldn't drive and only the select few could, they would be very much at the mercy of the elite, but it hasnt happened.

A driver's license requirement keeps many bad drivers and drunk drivers off the road and from harming others, and we havent devolved into an auto caste system, so I don't buy your arguement.

The core of it is that if people attempt to run a system without understanding how that system works they will eventually destroy it, you can't just wish an economy to improve and ask Uncle Sugar to do things that will harm it.

Monkeyleg
August 9, 2005, 07:31 PM
With regard to speaking Spanish, buzz_knox nailed it: as long as people cannot speak English, they will not move up in this country. Neither Spanish nor Ebonics nor Lithiunian will ever be the official language of boardrooms of American corporations.

Daemon688
August 9, 2005, 07:41 PM
You are a citizen you get 1 vote. It's the only way that works. You can make millions of people a seperate sub-class and deny them equal rights, but it's not a wise long-run strategy.

I agree with the above statement 100%

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