The Vote: A Sacred Right


President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with members of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration at the White House. From left are co-chair Robert Bauer, Vice President Joe Biden, Obama and co-chair Benjamin Ginsberg. The Commission was created following the President’s 2013 State of the Union pledge to identify non-partisan ways to shorten lines at polling places and provide better access to the polls for all voters.





Washington Post: Bipartisan Election Commission Releases List Of Suggested Fixes

A bipartisan commission appointed by President Obama to study barriers to voting recommended a series of steps Wednesday, including several to take advantage of technological advances, to make casting ballots simpler in the next election. Concluding a six-month review, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration said in its report that jurisdictions should expand online voter registration and early balloting, update electronic voting equipment as first-generation voting machines grow obsolete, and share voter registration records across state lines to protect against fraud.

The 112-page report also suggests improvements in the more traditional ways Americans have cast ballots. Those include increasing the number of schools used as polling places, simplifying voting for members of the military and other Americans living overseas through better access to state Web sites and insuring that polling places are close to voters’ homes. “One of the troubling aspects of the work that they did was hearing from local officials indicating that we could have even more problems in the future if we don’t act now,” Obama said before meeting with commission members at the White House.

More here









89 Responses to “The Vote: A Sacred Right”

  1. January 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm

  2. January 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Ok, it’s officially a slow day on TOD.

  3. 14 57andfemale
    January 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm


  4. 16 donna dem 4 obama
    January 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    • 17 jackiegrumbacher
      January 22, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Donna, we’ll hear crickets from the media about O’Malley because he’s young, smart, charismatic, a strong family man and has accomplished wonders in MD. Of all the current governors (except for Patrick Duval), he would very likely make the best president. But he might as well be invisible to the media because he’s a Dem.

    • January 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      O’Malley isn’t alone. @JerryBrownGov delivered his today as well. But of course, California is only the state with the largest population, in the top 10 of countries according to some reports.

      P.S. Thanks, BobFR, for letting us know that twitter/Wordpress functionality is back!

  5. January 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Thank yoooooooooou UT – for the post, and for Juan Mata 🙂

  6. 26 Ladyhawke
    January 22, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    The New Nullification Movement

    By Ari Berman


    The GOP is whiter, more Southern and more conservative than ever before, and the “Southernization” of the party, in both style and substance, extends west to states like Arizona and Kansas, which are embracing voter suppression tactics pioneered by the Jim Crow South. The party of Lincoln has “become the party of Calhoun,” Sam Tanenhaus wrote in The New Republic earlier this year. When it comes to voting rights and so many other issues, the Confederates and Dixiecrats of yesteryear are the Republicans of today.



    • January 22, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      I listened to an interview of Moaning Joke and all he talked about were “state’s rights”. The laws against discrimination…that keep Jim Crow at bey are federal. Those fools are still fighting the Civil War.

      • 28 99ts
        January 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm

        Joe thinks McDonnell should not have been charged – because he only broke Federal laws – not state laws.

        • January 22, 2014 at 6:09 pm

          He’s such an idiot to me. I can’t stomach him. He thinks everything should be left to the states.

          • 30 99ts
            January 22, 2014 at 6:14 pm

            Only in those states with GOP administrations – they can do no wrong – the ignorance of some folks is astounding – especially as some are relatively well educated

    • 31 jackiegrumbacher
      January 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      LH, restricting voter rights is an act of terror. Those who work to prevent people from voting are terrified that people will vote against them. Their goal is to strike enough fear in the hearts of potential voters, they won’t even try. I’m very glad PBO is pursuing this initiative. We can never forget voting restrictions about after an election is over0. We have to keep pressing so that people are forced to pay attention.

  7. 32 Ladyhawke
    January 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Jim Crow II

    A history of the fight for voting rights and the movement to restrict them once again.

    By Ari Berman


    This country has many distinctions as a democracy. The saddest is that it is the only advanced democracy ever to disenfranchise, enfranchise and disenfranchise again an entire segment of the population. What should be its most settled right—the right to vote—remains the most contested. Our past tells us that people don’t recognize how important that right is until it’s taken away.



    • January 22, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Ari Berman does an excellent job of reporting on the new voting rights laws and the historical account he gives in this piece is superb. But I think the Republican movement we see today mimics what was called The Mississippi Plan.

      During Reconstruction, after former slaves were granted the right to vote, African Americans registered and elected Blacks to many local offices and over a dozen Black men to the United States Congress, in what was called the Black and Tan Revolution.

      In response, Whites promoted the idea that Blacks had ascended to office only through means of fraud and corruption. (ACORN)

      Once whites regained control, and eliminated Blacks from office, a strategy called the Mississippi Plan placed restrictions at the point of registration, gerrymandered and organized groups of agitators ( Tea Party) and states passed new constitutions or amendments that effectively disenfranchised most Blacks.

      Same thing, warmed over.

  8. 34 57andfemale
    January 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm

  9. 35 jackiegrumbacher
    January 22, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    As I have mentioned many times, PA has MANY Dem candidates running for Governor this year. But so far only one, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, has come out with comprehensive voting reforms that include early voting, same day registration and even the possibility of voting by mail. I have not felt good vibes about Schwartz until now because I not sure she is viable in the western half of the state, but this has put her ahead in my book. I hope other candidates follow and either support these ideas or come up with better ones. PA remains among the worst states in the union for its outdated and draconian voting rules and Ed Rendell didn’t lift a finger to change this in eight years as governor. We are long overdue for a change.

    • 36 Vicki
      January 22, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      jackie, I hope you can keep us apprised of the Gov race in PA. That numbskull Corbett has to go and it would be great if we could have a democrat to be enthusiastic about.

      • 37 jackiegrumbacher
        January 22, 2014 at 4:56 pm

        Thx, Vicki. It’s the focus of all of our attention in PA because Corbett is so completely awful and because we have so many candidates. Schwartz is the only candidate I’ve not seen in person, so I’m anxious to make a judgment about her viability.

  10. January 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Clocking in for the first time today, and I can already see that WordP wants to check my signature! Sure is hard on the ego when WP forgets you after a measly 16 or so hours. 😦

  11. January 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Hi all! Just signed on and dropping in for a minute to say hello. A lot of good stuff going on! Gotta leave for awhile and may be back. Have a wonderful evening. Thanks Chips! I can sign in using Twitter again. Fast and easy. Appreciate your work on this.

    • 40 Lynn
      January 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Milt is a sweetheart. Me…not so much.

      Milt is spot on, but we need Joe Biden to carry President Obama’s change into the future with a VP candidate who is young and fresh. I had hopes for the junior senator from N.Y. or the Governor of Md.

      Just my opinion, Magic.

  12. 41 Linda
    January 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Attorneys representing former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) on Wednesday asked a judge to push back his initial court appearance because one of his defense lawyers is currently out of the country, according to the Washington Post.

    It was denied.

  13. January 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    One more good thing!!

  14. 44 Ladyhawke
    January 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm


    Election panel eyes reforms

    By Steve Benen


    Rick Hasen, an elections-law expert, took a deeper dive and concluded, “Kudos to the Commissioners and staff for accomplishing much more than I thought could be accomplished given the limited charge. Given the charge, this is a tremendous accomplishment. If these changes could be implemented it would positively affect the voting experience of millions of voters.”

    Which brings us to the “if these changes could be implemented” part.
    In this sense, the new non-partisan commission represents something of a challenge to Republican policymakers at every level: you can make it easier or harder for Americans to participate in their own democracy. This panel concluded that “no citizen should have to wait more than 30 minutes to vote,” and presented steps to help ensure that standard is met.

    Are Republican officials prepared to take this seriously or not?



    • 45 Vicki
      January 22, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      This is very good news and i hope it gets the attention it deserves.
      Not much is as important as getting the democratic vote out, to the polls in 2014.

    • January 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      Republican party will never sign on to these ideas. If they really wanted people to vote, the solution is so simple…everyone becomes eligible automatically when they turn 18…period. I never quite understood why we have to register or declare a party.

  15. 47 donna dem 4 obama
    January 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

  16. 48 jackiegrumbacher
    January 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    President Obama today handed 2014 Democratic candidates the ticket to success. He’s basically telling them to champion voter rights and champion women’s rights. Any Dem candidates who doesn’t stand up and fight for women in the face of all the blatant GOP misogyny is missing a HUGE bet. Women are tired of being pushed around and the current bashing of Wendy Davis is making a lot of us enraged.

  17. 50 Ladyhawke
    January 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    On The 41st Anniversary Of Roe v. Wade, The GOP Is Doubling Down On Its Anti-Abortion Strategy


    • 51 jackiegrumbacher
      January 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      LH, the GOP is daily narrowing its base: white, old, hate-filled men. Seems to me that leaves a might big voting electorate for the Dems.

  18. 52 57andfemale
    January 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm

  19. 53 Linda
    January 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    America with Jorge Ramos is on at 5 PM in my World now.

    Bye Bye Ed……( he is ranting again today )

  20. 54 LDS
    January 22, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Jackie, so true. Once again our President shows what a visionary looks like.
    GOP does not have a clue and sad to say neither does some Dems.
    Still trying to understand why the Dems in NJ allowed that Bully to intimidate them to the point of voting him back in office.
    My vote now is as precious as gold and I am not, will not give that up that “sacred right” to anyone.
    Why is Corey Booker so quiet now? Did the Mayor of Chicago get invited to MO birthday bash? I am about disgusted with his silence, also.
    What is his f****ing problem?

  21. January 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    (Late to this, as usual.)

    For 57F:

    Wasn’t able to comment on LL’s helpful insight on metadata thread, but agree with you completely.

    I’ve mentioned before here that emoPutins and Snowdenwald cultists think of themselves action superheroes (comic superheroes seem to be overwhelmingly young white males). They consider themselves cyber avengers and are such narcissists that they truly believe that someone cares if his Mom/GF/BF/roommate wants him to pick up some milk on the way home.

    As for Charlie Pierce, it seems he’s abandoned all common sense. Anyone with half a brain knows that there are tradeoffs for being on the web. (Reason 4,876,220,982 that I’m grateful to TOD – no annoying pop-up ads follow me from site to site.)

    “Do no evil” Google is the company to watch:

    Which reminds me of this article that amk posted a few days ago.

  22. January 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Also, this may no longer relevant (posted tweet last night) — but for Vicki, LDS and others in the NYC area, this made me laugh.

    Christine Quinn got the NYTimes endorsement and votes from those who are probably not the 99%.

    Does anyone know what the yellow patch to the right of Harlem, across an estuary is?

    • 57 Vicki
      January 22, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      NY media has attempted to creat a fake scandal that DeBlasio didn’t plow the only area he didn’t win in. The mayor smacked this nonsense down very forcefully in his morning Presser with the Sanitation Chief and other Very, very, very happy looking City officials backing him up.
      Why did they look so cheerful?/
      Here is why. For 12 years they had a mostly absent mayor who seemed peeved when anything disturbed his personal life.
      The same folks in place now with deBlasio had to cover for the Tyrant.
      Now, they have an engaged and positive Mayor to work with them. If you were watching this Presser you would have seen a few of these guy smile for the first time maybe in a decade.

  23. 60 Nerdy Wonka
    January 22, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Video has been added to the post.

  24. 61 Linda
    January 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Which idiot reporter will be interviewing PBO for the Super Bowl ?

  25. January 22, 2014 at 5:59 pm

  26. January 22, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Oh Juan, you’ll be groomed by that stellar developer of talent, David Moyes.

  27. 78 dotster3
    January 22, 2014 at 6:15 pm


  28. January 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm

  29. 82 hopefruit2
    January 22, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    They must all be going thru some serious Obama withdrawal!

  30. 84 hopefruit2
    January 22, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    If these polls are accurate, then Snowjob is over.

  31. 86 No Child Left Behind
    January 22, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I must confess that every evening for the past few days, it has been a delight to watch the line up at MSNBC except for those segments when Ed goes off his TPP. There should be more tonight.


  32. January 22, 2014 at 7:41 pm

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