in which i decide that writing about state politics is too much for my delicate constitution

outline-31326_640This is the proposed voter-ID law for North Carolina.  The highlight (for me) was mandatory photo-ID when voting, which the voter must pay for (or swear under oath that financial hardship prevents them from doing so.)

I’ll keep it brief and say that:

  • This is obviously a functional poll tax, unconstitutional under the 24th amendment.  (You can’t require people to pay money to exercise their right to vote.)
  • This will obviously cost millions to implement, and millions more to defend in the courts
  • Taken in the best possible light, this is an attempt to fix a problem that doesn’t even exist.

All of which tends to re-affirm my suspicion that 90% of the time, our state legislators are just pulling proposed laws out of their asses, with no other reason than just because they can.  (The other 10% of the time, they’re actively working to shaft somebody, usually for their own benefit.)

House Speaker Thom Tillis, BTW, just can’t STFU about the proposal, and offered the following pearls of wisdom:

“What we’re simply saying is someone who comes in who is clearly able to pay for it, then they, like the people who come in and get a driver’s license, should pay the cost,” Tillis said Thursday

…because, you know, the “right” to vote isn’t really a “right”; it’s a “privilege” just like driving a car 😦  In my high-school civics classes, the right/privilege distinction was actually taught using voting and driving as the examples.  That the Speaker of the House failed to see the absurdity here is typically depressing.

And also…”We call this restoring confidence in government,” Tillis said. “There are a lot of people who are just concerned with the potential risk of fraud.

Actually, the title of the proposal is:  “AN ACT TO RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN GOVERNMENT BY ESTABLISHING THE VOTER INFORMATION VERIFICATION ACT TO PROMOTE THE ELECTORAL PROCESS THROUGH EDUCATION AND INCREASED REGISTRATION OF VOTERS AND BY REQUIRING VOTERS TO PROVIDE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION BEFORE VOTING TO PROTECT THE RIGHT OF EACH REGISTERED VOTER TO CAST A SECURE VOTE WITH REASONABLE SECURITY MEASURES THAT CONFIRM VOTER IDENTITY AS ACCURATELY AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT RESTRICTION”

…but I don’t even know where to start with that abomination of a title.  Tillis’s point though, was that this proposal isn’t intended to combat voter fraud, it’s just intended to make people feel better about the possibility of voter fraud occurring.  I get it; I get it… polling shows that the public’s confidence in the government is running really low.  Polling also shows that people (for some reason) think having to show photo-ID when voting is a good (or even important) idea.  Here’s the thing though:

  • Confidence in the government is low, because: (1) most people expect government to be able to do all kinds of things that it simply can’t do; and (2) it’s a shitty time in general right now.  When times are tough, people complain.  That’s not something you “fix” by wasting time/effort on an unrelated issue; it’s human nature.>
  • If the state legislature really feels it needs to make pointless gestures to make people feel better about the risk of non-existent problems, we could decrease cost and increase efficiency drastically by just passing “AN ACT TO RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN GOVERNMENT BY ESTABLISHING THE BOOGEYMAN DISINTEGRATION ACT TO PROMOTE THE SLEEPING PROCESS THROUGH DISINTEGRATION OF BOOGEYMEN TO PROTECT THE RIGHT OF EACH REGISTERED VOTER TO SLEEP PEACEFULLY WITHOUT MAKING SURE THAT THEIR FOOT NEVER CREEPS OVER THE EDGE OF THE BED WHERE THE BOOGERYMAN MIGHT GRAB IT.”

I don’t know… maybe I’m being to harsh.  Maybe their polls are just poorly phrased.  Maybe instead of asking a leading questions like:  “Would you object to showing a photo-ID when voting?”, they should try asking something a bit more on target, like:

You know that complete lack of faith you have in the ability of your state government to do pretty-much anything?  That lack of faith we that we bought and paid for with years of internecine squabbling and gross corruption and incompetence?  Could we maybe make that all better by making voting day a little bit more like a TSA checkpoint?

And, of course, even then, in North Carolina, the answer would probably still be “yes” for at least the majority of the people.  And that’s why I think that my secessionist movement will continue to pick up steam, until the RTP area is free-and-clear of the deranged hinterlands.

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One Response to “in which i decide that writing about state politics is too much for my delicate constitution”

  1. AlphaCentauri Says:

    Most voter fraud involves casting votes for people who don’t show up (because they’re dead or don’t exist or whatever). Any law that makes it harder for real people to cast real votes at their real polling place where everyone knows them makes it easier for someone else to cast a fraudulent vote on their behalf.

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