Opposites Repel; MA versus PA

“‘Welfare voters’ are latest battleground in Brown-Warren Senate race.” According to a Christian Science Monitor article with that title, liberals have used the law to pressure the Massachusetts state government to send out voter registration forms to anyone on state welfare rolls. This could potentially bring many thousands of the 400,000-500,000 poor people on these rolls into the voting booth.

Republican Senator Scott Brown, who is in a strongly contested (and very expensive) battle with well known champion for the average Joe, Elizabeth Warren, is crying foul. He’s trying to convince everyone that this is a misuse of public money, just a crass political move to help Warren win the election.

Well, yeah, Scott. It’s politics after all.

I think he’s having a little difficulty making his case, though – that this effort to encourage poor voters to vote is in any way objectionable. Quoting here from the Monitor article: “It is fundamental to our democracy that all eligible citizens be accorded the maximum opportunity to register and vote.”

There’s a very different voting story going down in Pennsylvania, where Republicans are trying everything they can to disenfranchise the poor. Could liberals in the Keystone State fight back with a Massachusetts-like strategy? Alas, I kind of doubt it.

Why? Number one, except for the Philadelphia area, I’m not sure how many liberals actually live in PA. The second reason is, as the Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson’s recent ruling on the new voter ID law indicates, the courts don’t seem to really care all that much about poor folks being able to get to the polls. The third reason is that Ryan budgetary strategy true believer Governor Corbett has made such drastic cuts to the welfare rolls that I’m not sure there’s enough people left on them to really make all that much difference in the voting.

In this country’s ongoing political feud, the very different approaches of MA and PA to the sacred democratic right to vote tell you a lot about the real values of the competing parties.

Author: KAY WOOD

20 Comments

  1. Here’s a solution for the future that our brave politicians in Washington could enact:
    Enroll every male or female at age 18 in a pool for a possible draft/service requirement.

    At the same time issue an electronically embedded identification card/combined SS card (simultaneously entered into a data base) that could be used at any polling center in the U.S. and for other purposes like a passport.

    And if we are really are serious about getting the vote out, then make it mandatory for national offices, Pres, VP, senator and congressman. (The rest would be up to the states and local election committees.)

  2. Just more clarity on the relative positions and insight into the motivations of each party. The democrats are trying to get more people to vote, while the GOP seeks to win by getting less people to vote. Also no mention of the outrageous attempt by the GOP in OH to literally restrict the voting hours in areas that are heavily Democratic leaning while widening the voting hours in areas that are likely to vote Republican. The GOP has been caught in attempts of naked disenfranchisement, shame on them.

  3. DD, Germany has national ID’s, which are totally separate from drivers licenses.
    they have a cute little saying… its translate..

    No ID, No Freedom

    and I am not joking

    but this goes to your point… why not issue such a thing at the same time we register for the draft? Other countries have national ids…why dont we?

  4. Register every citizen at age 18 regardless of gender. I’ve always thought a lawsuit should be brought against the draft law since it discriminates by gender.

  5. Egad! A national identity card? One more freedom down the drain. When the UN troops are called in by Obama (this is the last election we’ll have, you know), this will only make it easier to find us all. The End Alas.

  6. In Ohio the Obama administration is arguing any voting allowances made for one group that is not extended to all is unconstitutional. Seems like you’d run into the same problem with this proposal.

  7. I’m just tired of the fraud/suppression argument. Everyone should be required to vote and a national ID is not taking any freedoms away, it is constitutional ask Roberts.

  8. National IDs are actually pretty convenient… they are no different than a green card.

  9. The main issue is whether something appropriate can become inappropriate when selectively applied. I have no doubt that if Arizona were to send out registration to all gun owners, the Democrats would be outraged.

  10. For a nation where the internet was invented (thanks, Gore), the hone of Google, Amazon, Apple and dozens of other technology companies, to be behind in the information/identification/voting areas is ironic.

  11. Ugh, Shannon, that Germany anecdote made me die a little bit inside.

    National ID card is a step towards tyranny, as is enforced voting.

    Everyone has the fundamental right to live off the grid if they so chose. Everyone has the right to abstain from the democratic process if they so choose. And we have enough problems with stolen social security numbers without having a national ID card.

    And as far as “we have internet, google, amazon, etc.”, our great Internet culture has given birth to an immense arena for cybercrime. Who is the biggest victim? Various government agencies.

  12. It’s no secret the GOP would prefer poor people didn’t vote. It’s entirely consistent with their philosophy.

  13. LOL at the juxtaposition of Barky’s comment followed by Z’s.

    I gave up shlepping to the bank to make deposits and pay as many bills as possible via internet banking. I swipe my Metro-card on my $100,000 city bus, go to the supermarket and buy food, and I don’t even have a smartphone.

    To say that a national ID will slide me into a 1984 world, I don’t buy. I am a Rep and I still think everyone should be required to vote, why is that bad; what am I missing.

  14. dd
    I’d buy into the National ID card if seniors, current handicapped and a few others were grandfathered out of the card. Say everyone under 30 needs to get card.

  15. rudi, why, these people would benefit by having a card, especially those that don’t drive. They have a SS card, this would just replace that and they can vote or cash checks or whatever. Where’s the harm. The point is to get all to vote, not just under 30.

  16. I’m about as liberal as they get but I have no objection to a National ID

    • ** IF ** obtaining one is not a burden (financial or geographic) on those who can’t afford it AND
    • ** IF ** provisions are made that local law enforcement are FORBIDDEN to become the “Show me your papers” police.

    A National ID would also solve the non-existent voter ID ‘problem’ overnight… Imagine ALL the lower 70% would have to do would be show up at the poll, show their National ID, and vote!

    hah, The Republicans wouldn’t win another national election until they cleaned up their act… kicked out the crazies… and the bought and paid for’s… And start representing Americans instead of Corporations for a change. :)

    A little off topic: I carry passport card in my wallet at all times even though I only leave the country every 90 days or so… It’s comforting to know that it’s there.

  17. Let the chips fall where they may (computer chips, that is). Who knows, maybe a third party might pop up.

  18. How would a National ID solve the voter ID problem? I’m assuming that the National ID would be much the same as a passport, showing that the holder is a legal citizen of the country. But the voter ID laws want to ensure that you are both a legal voter AND that you are voting at the correct polling place. If it assumed that the National ID would contain your current address, I see this as overreach of the federal government. Would it be linked to all federal and state crime records to verify that you are not a felon with voting rights suspended? Again, more over-reach. If this is what is intended by a National ID, then I truly believe we will be well on our way to a “papers please” state, commrade.

  19. If someone is not intelligent enough to realize that voting is in his/her best interests, do you REALLY want to force them to vote?

  20. RC, yes, as is jury duty and to defend our country (draft). There are a lot of laws that “force” us to do things, licenses, etc., oh and see the mandate for ACA.

    ST, I don’t think so, but thanks for explaining the other viewpoint. Oh, and I guess you are correct, it would probably make it easier to have more gun and immigration control. Yes, there is the potential for Big Brother to expand.

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