Election Laws…And Other Stupidity

Well…ya’ll have prob’ly heard ‘bout those “outrageous voter suppression laws in Georgia and Iowa that are doing nothing but trampling on the rights of citizens to vote”…at least if you’ve read any of the mainstream media or seen any quotes from various progressive politicians up to and including the President.

Before that though…pretty much same-o-same-o round here. Been a little cooler the past 4 or 5 days so we could open up and get the breeze and so far it looks pretty good through the middle of next week or so. We started planning a trip up to VA…or these days mebbe I should start referring to it as East PRC since the state is pretty much turning into the eastern nanny state version of the left coast original…to visit Alex and also catch the part of the US-50 coast to coast trip we started in 2019 but missed some of the eastern part after Neil’s kidney stone episode which grounded us in Cody WY for almost 2 months. Neil planned out a route that would have us gone from home 12 days but when Connie started checking out the places we had planned to go for hours and such it turns out that they’re all pretty much closed still. Given that we cancelled the trip before planning really got going…we are really wanting to see Alex and his parents but spending 4 days on the road to spend 2 days there didn’t seem like a very smart idea…they have their own lives and things to do so we generally try to just stay a couple of days to minimize disruption in their routines and what they need to do. Besides…Neil’s new camera probably won’t be here then anyway.

We did get out to eat last Monday for Date Night…now that we’re fully vaccinated we decided that as long as we wear masks and distance appropriately…and try to eat at open air places with good ventilation…we could get a little more back to normal. So we headed out to the Nauti Parrot Tiki Bar after having Happy Hour at home first…and it felt really good to get back to a little normality. Nauti Parrot is a pretty big place but the tables are spread out more than they used to be…and all the waitresses are masked as well as customers until they’re sitting down. We had a couple glasses each of wine, split a stuffed mushroom appetizer and then had some seared ahi tuna (Connie) and a Philly Cheese Steak (Neil)…they were outstanding and we were still home well before sunset since we went early to miss the dinnertime crowd. In addition to the more sparse crowd…there are no walls on 3 sides of the place as it’s right on the canal with the marina and there was a nice breeze coming through the dining area. Nice…with the exception of a burger at the outside Tiki Bar at the Punta Gorda Elks north of us and a few dinners at our own lodge…that’s the first time we’ve eaten out in a year. We’ve got at least a half dozen similar places with outside seating that we’ll be able to frequent each Monday until things get back to normal.

Oh yeah…back to those “outrageous voter suppression laws”.

Yes…those two states have recently passed some election laws but at least in some circles…for example not progressive politicians or most of the media…the actual effect of those laws seems to be a little different fro what you’ve seen in the media. So I figured I would offer up some actual fact as to what is actually in those laws and why…and how whether those restrictions are either perfectly justifiable or a vicious attack on democracy depending on where the restrictions are in effect.

These days…there is pretty much no such thing as an unbiased news source…but the Wall Street Journal is about as straight down the middle, just the facts with no spin as you can get…the rest of this post pretty much comes direct from them as published on March 31. Yes…the piece was written as an opinion and commentary by a Republican…but let’s face it…facts are facts and the WSJ would not have posted lies as it goes against the way they do business.

Last week at his press conference…the President called Republican efforts to reform election laws in Iowa and Georgia as “un-American” and “sick”…yes, those were the words he used. He then went on with numerous statements of “fact” regarding the laws passed by the legislatures in those states. First…he stated as a fact that Republicans would “end voting at 5 o’clock when working people are just getting off from work”…but the actual law in Iowa, while it did reduce voting hours by one hour…specifies that polls are open from 7 AM to 8PM…and in Georgia the hours of 7 AM to 7 PM are unchanged.

He also stated that “there will be no absentee ballots”…which again is incorrect. Iowa’s only absentee ballot change was that they needed to arrive by 8 PM on Election Day…and in Georgia again there was one change in that instead of verifying signatures absentee ballots would have to include the number from the Georgia drivers license or from the free state provided ID or via a photocopy of the ID issued to military members, government employees, and Indian tribal members…thus making verification of the voter’s identity to allow citizens to vote once each. This was implemented due to frequent arguments over the matching of the signature on the ballot with the signature on records of the voter’s registration authority. In the past…election workers who may or may not be experts in signature analysis…used their judgement to determine whether the voter who signed the registration was also the voter who signed the absentee ballot. While most adults that we know of always sign their name the same way…there are those that don’t and whether the middle initial is included or the middle name spelled out or the handwriting style is the same makes signature verification problematic…hence the requirement of the appropriate number.

Finally…he stated that “some states” are saying that “you cannot bring water to people standing in line waiting to vote”…which is an over-statement. It’s not actually a lie like the first two instances above but perhaps a fuller understanding of what is in the election laws of Georgia might lead you to a different interpretation. GA law states that electioneering is prohibited within 150 feet of the polling place and within 25 feet of voters standing in line more than 150 feet from the polling place…this limit is pretty much the same that exists in every state…the purpose is to prevent people from trying to sway your vote one way or the other while you’re standing in line. What the revised law in Georgia states is that politically involved groups are prohibited from doing this but that election officials should provide self service water stations from an unattended receptacle. See…the idea is that politically involved groups…of any political affiliation…can’t do this since that could constitute electioneering within the stated distance limits. 

Finally…he stated that these new laws are “despicable” and “the most pernicious thing” and “make Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle”…whatever that last means but presumably  eagles are bigger, stronger, meaner and more vicious than crows or something.

So…in two cases…the President simply lied and in another he grossly mis-stated the intent and effect of a clause in the new law…seems that the left and media routinely lambasted the former President for doing the same thing but apparently because it’s a Democrat lying and mis-stating it’s all hunky dory and fine.

Let’s look at those two states new laws and compare them with another state…in this case let’s pick Delaware which is home to our President and which he represented in the Senate for 40something years. Remember…he called Iowa and Georgia racist…so let’s see how their laws compare to Delaware’s.

Iowa and Georgia…well, both of them allow unlimited, no excuse needed absentee voting by mail…simply submit an application by the required date and then vote and mail it so it arrives by the deadline and your vote gets counted. Any registered voter can vote by mail without waiting for Election Day. In neither state does the new law reduce that allowance. In Delaware…unlimited, no excuse voting by mail is prohibited…in order to vote absentee you must meet strict limits…you must be a government employee, student out of the county of residence on Election Day, or with religious prohibitions not allowing in person voting on Election Day. Why is it that the much more restrictive absentee voting requirements in Delaware aren’t being pilloried in the media and by progressives?

Georgia has capped the number of drop boxes for hand delivered absentee ballots at one per 100,000 registered voters or one for every early voting site. Yes…this is a reduction in the total number of drop off boxes…but Georgia has double the number of drop off boxes per capita compared to Delaware. Again…why is the more restrictive requirement in Delaware not being protested?

Iowa (since 1990) and Georgia (since 2004) have allowed no excuse in person early voting…in Iowa it is the last 29 days of the election cycle and in Georgia it is 17 days and an optional 2 additional Sundays…this is actually an increase in Georgia over the election in November 2020…it’s really hard to understand how increasing the number of no excuse in person early voting days is in any way voter suppression…but that’s what progressives are claiming. Delaware…well, actually no excuse in person early voting is specifically prohibited there…they do have it but you must meet one of the criteria for absentee balloting to participate. To their credit…starting in 2022 they will allow no excuse in person early voting…for a period of…10…yes 10, count ‘em 10…days. I know it’s redundant…but again why is that state not being pilloried by media and progressives?

In fact…in last year’s election…59% of Iowa votes and 80% of Georgia votes were cast early in person, by drop off, or by absentee mail in…while in Delaware that number was 29%. In other words…it was far easier to vote last November in both of those states than it was in Delaware.

Voter ID to vote in person…let’s take a look at that. All three states require it and accept many of the same forms of identification. Georgia and Iowa provide free IDs on request while Delaware lets you sign an affidavit that you’re the person listed on the voter rolls with a fine/possible jail time if you lie on that affidavit. Seems to me that taking the voter’s word for who they claim to be makes illicit voting more likely. I’m not suggesting that voters in Delaware would lie…but when it’s cost free to get the ID you need and the ID decreases the possibility of fraudulent voting…why is this a bad thing?

The answer is simple folks…this Jim Eagle crap and voter suppression talk is all about political advantage…nothing more and nothing less. Taking just one of the issues above…voter ID…go ahead and count the number of things that you must have an ID for…

  • Buying alcohol
  • Buying recreational marijuana
  • Checking out a library book
  • Getting on an airplane or train
  • Registering for and picking up your welfare check, foot stamps, SNAP funds or subsidized housing allowance
  • Driving a car to do any of the above
  • Opening a bank account
  • Apply for or receive Medicare or Medicaid
  • Apply for a job
  • Buy or rent a vehicle
  • Get married
  • Purchase a firearm
  • Adopt a pet
  • Rent a hotel room
  • Apply for a hunting or fishing license
  • Buy a cell phone
  • Visit a casino
  • Pick up a prescription from the pharmacy
  • Hold a rally
  • Donate blood
  • Buy an M rated video game
  • Purchase nail polish (at CVS at least)
  • Purchase certain cold medications over the counter

Now please explain to me…if you need an ID to do any of the above things…and I’m guessing that the number of US citizens who don’t do at least one of those things is pretty darned small…and if none of those things are nearly as important as exercising your civic right and duty to vote for your government…why is it immoral, racist, and suppression to require the same for voting?

Also please explain to me why the more restrictive requirements in the President’s home state aren’t being pilloried in the media and by progressives while Georgia and Iowa are?

As I said…political advantage, pure and simple…a moron could recognize this.

Moving on to other stupidity…and these two really take the cake.

Let’s start with Baltimore MD. If I were to conduct a survey to find out what the most corrupt crime ridden city in the country is…I’m guessing that Baltimore would be pretty close to the top. 

The state attorney in Baltimore…Marilyn Mosby…announced in March 2020 that her office would no longer prosecute and in fact dropped all pending cases for drug possession, prostitution, trespassing, open container, public urination, paraphernalia possession, attempted distribution of drugs, and minor traffic offenses. She stated that police would not arrest people for these “victimless crimes” and that there was “no public safety value in prosecuting those offenses”. In other words…she announced that in effect…those were no longer crimes in Baltimore. She announced last week that the experiment was over, declared it a complete success based on “incarcerating 18% fewer people”, and that the rules were now permanent. Strange how when you stop arresting people for crimes and don’t prosecute them for those crimes that the number of people in jail is reduced…and in other news water is wet and the sun comes up in the east.

In actuality…the murder rate there is significantly higher over her 6 years in office.

Moving on to that bastion of gun control Chicago…the week before last there was a police involved shooting. The department has some technology spread around the city that detects and localizes gunshots and in the wee hours of the morning it detected and localized 8 gunshots to which police responded. Getting out of their police car and entering the area they located two males who then ran instead of surrendering when ordered…so naturally the police chased them because…well…that’s what they’re paid to do. The two males entered an alley and one of them turned around and apparently aimed a weapon at the pursuing police…who responded by shooting him. The dead gunman turned out to be a 13 year old…my guess is that no matter who was shooting the gun originally it was given to the 13 year old as they ran since he was a juvenile and would get less severe consequences if caught with it.

In response…Ms. Lightfoot the mayor of the city announced that there would be a reform of “foot pursuit” in the city by the summer…so what she’s essentially saying is that she is intent on banning foot pursuit by the police in Chicago…in other words if the criminal runs they will have to let them go…essentially legalizing crime in Chicago similar to that done in Baltimore.

What the heck are these people thinking?

Let’s see…what else do I see on the news these days. 

We’ve heard many progressives since the election last fall start to demand that the Supreme Court be packed to eliminate their conservative decisions. One person who was adamantly against this until her death was the late Justice Ginsburg…and this week another justice also came out against this…none other than the liberal Justice Breyer. If even the liberals on the court are against packing it…maybe the progressive left should rethink their demands.

Over in Sri Lanka…they apparently have a beauty pageant named…Mrs. Sri Lanka. Last week…a woman named Pushpika De Silva won the 2021 edition of the pageant on national television. At that point…the 2019 winner stormed the stage, tore the tiara off of her head and placed it on the runner up declaring that Mrs De Silva was divorced…thereby rendering her ineligible. A riot broke out and Mrs. De Silva was injured. Turns out that she is separated but not divorced…and therefore eligible…and the pageant returned her crown.

No new images for ya…wildlife has been kinda scarce ‘round the pond these days. Neil keeps threatening to run down at sunrise to the wildlife park a couple miles downtime road…maybe now that sunrise is about 0730 due to daylight savings time he’ll get there.

Interesting things found on the net.

CemetaryFreakOut

BackInAJiff

PilotHomeWork

LunchablesForMen

Cyas.

About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
This entry was posted in Homebody, Reality Based Blogging, Ya Can't Fix Stupid. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Election Laws…And Other Stupidity

  1. Ruth Streb says:

    I worked in the polling for 5 years which was not in my prescient. As I was not in my own area and permitted to leave once the polls opened I was instructed get an absent ballot. Why I did and voted that way. After I notified them I would no long work they continued to sent me the mail in ballot. I used it every time. This was in Florida.

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      HI Ruth, yeah…we had the same ourselves in years gone by. We became FL residents back in 76 when I was first in the Navy and attending school in Florida and signed up for absentee ballots as I was never stationed in the state again…back then you had to have a reason to vote absentee but sometime in the intervening years they went to no excuse absentee voting being allowed. In 1994 when I retired from the Navy in Virginia we became VA residents because I was now earning income and had a home there…but we still got absentee ballots every election from Palm Beach County up until the mid 2000s before they finally stopped sending them…I’ve got one of the hanging chad ballots from the Bush/Gore election in our curiosity cabinet still. We re-registered in FL back in 2016 when we shifted from SD residency that we started in 2012 when we started our full time RV life…went with SD because at in 2012 FL did not allow you to use your mailing service as your residency and voting address. That changed sometime before 2016 and our residency/drivers licenses came up for renewal in late 2016 after we arrived back in FL for the winter we had to either drive up to SD in December so that we could spend one night in the state as required to continue residency status and renew our licenses…or we could shift to FL which we knew we would eventually do anyway. Since we came to FL to get out of the cold…changing to FL was the clear winner over driving to SD in December. We voted absentee from 2016 until last year up in Clay County where the mailing service is located and moved registration to Lee County when we bought our house in North Fort Myers last year. We’ve voted here twice now and even with voter ID via our drivers licenses both times we were in and out of the polling location in 10 minutes…we vote at the clubhouse in the next gated community north of us so it’s pretty easy.

      >

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