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Voting Rights Act to expire???

Discussion in 'Legal' started by jefnvk, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    Can anyone tell me anything about this? I had never heard it before today.



    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.
  2. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Well-Known Member

    Certain provisions *could* expire.

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

    BostonGeorge Well-Known Member

    And you do?
  4. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    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.
  5. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    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.

  7. DeseoUnTaco

    DeseoUnTaco Well-Known Member

    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!
    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!
  8. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Well-Known Member

    "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.
  9. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. 308win

    308win Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    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.
  12. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Well-Known Member

    "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...
  14. Marshall

    Marshall Well-Known Member


    And phote ID proof of citizenship.
  15. Monkeyleg

    Monkeyleg Well-Known Member

    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?
  16. HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

    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?)
  17. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    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.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2005
  18. chaim

    chaim Well-Known Member

    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:
  19. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    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.
  20. RealGun

    RealGun Well-Known Member

    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.

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