Val Thomas: The flip side of dead people voting

By Signal Contributor

Last update: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Assemblyman Scott Wilk is correct when he says dead people should not be allowed to vote. I was born and raised in Chicago and have long known dead people have still been on the voter rolls and “voting.”

But there is another side to the issue: voter suppression. This occurs when citizens are required to have unreasonable papers to register – for example, requiring a driver’s license where significant proportions of the population do not possess them.

This occurs when early voting days are minimized or eliminated. It occurs when precincts are shut down in minority or college areas so that voters must stand in long lines for hours at the few available precincts.

It occurs when those precincts are shut down at the “mandated closing times” although many voters have been standing in line for many hours waiting their turn to vote.

Of course dead people should not be allowed to vote, but the other side of the coin is equally egregious!

Voting is a protected right for virtually all citizens and should be respected and encouraged at all levels of government.

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Val Thomas: The flip side of dead people voting

Assemblyman Scott Wilk is correct when he says dead people should not be allowed to vote. I was born and raised in Chicago and have long known dead people have still been on the voter rolls and “voting.”

But there is another side to the issue: voter suppression. This occurs when citizens are required to have unreasonable papers to register – for example, requiring a driver’s license where significant proportions of the population do not possess them.

This occurs when early voting days are minimized or eliminated. It occurs when precincts are shut down in minority or college areas so that voters must stand in long lines for hours at the few available precincts.

It occurs when those precincts are shut down at the “mandated closing times” although many voters have been standing in line for many hours waiting their turn to vote.

Of course dead people should not be allowed to vote, but the other side of the coin is equally egregious!

Voting is a protected right for virtually all citizens and should be respected and encouraged at all levels of government.

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Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

  • nohatejustdebate

    A fair point Val but can you tell me which states mandate that you cannot vote unless you have a driver’s license? My understanding is that each state provides alternatives in such situations so that everyone can vote.

  • nohatejustdebate

    The end of the Declaration of Independence reads, “We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor” This is exactly what nearly all of the signers had to pay for our right to vote.

    Is it too much to ask to go to the polls earlier or show proper ID?

  • tech

    Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008):

    Justice John Paul Stevens, in the leading opinion, stated that the burdens placed on voters are limited to a small percentage of the population and were offset by the state’s interest in reducing fraud. Stevens wrote in the leading opinion:

    “The relevant burdens here are those imposed on eligible voters who lack photo identification cards that comply with SEA 483.[3] Because Indiana’s cards are free, the inconvenience of going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, gathering required documents, and posing for a photograph does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters’ right to vote, or represent a significant increase over the usual burdens of voting. The severity of the somewhat heavier burden that may be placed on a limited number of persons—e.g., elderly persons born out-of-state, who may have difficulty obtaining a birth certificate—is mitigated by the fact that eligible voters without photo identification may cast provisional ballots that will be counted if they execute the required affidavit at the circuit court clerk’s office. Even assuming that the burden may not be justified as to a few voters, that conclusion is by no means sufficient to establish petitioners’ right to the relief they seek.”

    Justice Antonin Scalia states in his concurring opinion that the Supreme Court should defer to state and local legislators and that the Supreme Court should not get involved in local election law cases, which would do nothing but encourage more litigation:

    “It is for state legislatures to weigh the costs and benefits of possible changes to their election codes, and their judgment must prevail unless it imposes a severe and unjustified overall burden upon the right to vote, or is intended to disadvantage a particular class.”

    https://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/Crawford_v_Marion_County_Election_Bd_553_US_181_128_S_Ct_1610_170?1480024442

Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor