Tag Archives: Election

How to rig an election in three not-so-easy steps

BOOK REVIEW

Primary Politics, Author: Elaine Kamarck.

By Elaine Kamarck – The first and most straightforward way to “rig” an election is to arrange to steal votes.

One popular tactic of the big-city political machines was to vote the graveyards. They would get a group of people who went from precinct to precinct voting in the name of people who had died and were still on the rolls. This was pretty easy to do in the days before computer technology could update voter rolls.

The list of other ways you can commit electoral fraud is lengthy. Voter intimidation, vote buying, disinformation, confusing or misleading ballots, ballot stuffing, mis-recording of votes, destruction of ballots, tampering with voting machines, and voter impersonation are just a few. more>

How to Rebuild a Political Party

The Democratic Party is looking for a way forward. In North Carolina, they’re betting big on redistricting.
By Seth Cline – In many ways, North Carolina is a case study of the Democrats’ misfortune.

The party ran the state for decades, and now holds barely a third of its legislative seats. Though Roy Cooper, a Democrat, won the governor’s race in 2016, Republicans in the legislature have curtailed his executive powers and overridden his vetoes – including that of the state’s budget in June.

To win back seats, many Democrats nationwide are turning to issues such as single payer health care or populism. But Roy Cooper and North Carolina Democrats’ new campaign, called “Break the Majority,” focuses primarily on the issue of partisan redistricting.

“The Republicans spent decades preparing themselves for the moment they found themselves in the majority,” Wayne Goodwin says. “I’m not gonna discuss in detail our long game efforts but it is clear that we have learned what is needed to battle in the political arena these days.” more> https://goo.gl/Udftxv

Remaking the Presidency

By Joseph P. Williams – The willingness to buck convention, smash important precedents and use Twitter like a shotgun has historians and analysts considering whether the impulsive CEO president, unbound by political customs and arguably unaware of limits to his authority, has redefined the office for his successor while tailoring it for himself.

“Trump was elected to blow up the office,” says Jeremi Suri, a historian and scholar at The University of Texas-Austin. Mission accomplished, Suri says – but at a price, for the Republican Party, the president’s own legacy and perhaps American democracy.

“You’re going to see something about presidential reforms coming out of this horrible period we’re in right now,” Suri says. Trump, he says, has destroyed “the myth of a true government outsider” running the country, and likely has paved the way for an experienced outsider, like a governor or low-profile congress member, to take his place.

In the next election cycle, “we’re likely to see a full sweep – a new Congress intent on curbing presidential power and recalibrating the checks and balances.”

“The Trump style of the presidency has only resonated with about 30 to 35 percent of the public,” says Jonathan Turley, who notes that a president’s public-approval rating is directly proportional to his or her leverage with Congress. That means Trump is operating at a power deficit, he adds, and therefore “I’m not sure that future presidents would view this administration as a model to replicate.” more> https://goo.gl/Dv7Dwn

The Demobilization of the US People and the Spectacle of Election 2016

By Tom Engelhardt – We now have the never-ending presidential campaign season. In the past, elections did not necessarily lack either drama or spectacle. In the nineteenth century, for instance, there were campaign torchlight parades, but those were always spectacles of mobilization. No longer. Our new 1% elections call for something different.

It’s no secret that our presidential campaigns have morphed into a “billionaire’s playground,” even as the right to vote has become more constrained. These days, it could be said that the only group of citizens that automatically mobilizes for such events is “the billionaire class” (as Bernie Sanders calls it).

Increasingly, many of the rest of us catch the now year-round spectacle demobilized in our living rooms, watching journalists play… gasp!… journalists on TV and give American democracy that good old Gotcha! more> http://tinyurl.com/naadm5m

Which candidate should you vote for this fall?

By Matthew Yglesias – Most of American politics can be explained with a single liberal-conservative axis, but that at certain points in time — notably the middle of the 20th century — a second axis related to racial equality issues was also very important.

During the time when the racial axis was scrambled, the parties were not perfectly sorted around liberalism versus conservatism.

A lot of southerners with conservatives views on economics were in the Democratic Party for reasons related to white supremacy, and some northerners with moderate views on economics and liberal views on race were Republicans. more> http://tinyurl.com/pvxv7hb

This is no way to fix the problem of billionaires buying elections

By Dana Milbank – For those concerned about money corrupting democracy, finding a fifth justice is easier than assembling the supermajorities needed for an amendment.

In a sense, the system is self-correcting: If Republicans continue on their current course, they’ll eventually hand Democrats a liberal majority on the Supreme Court.

Koch billions can’t have the same impact in a presidential race, where spending is well past saturation. And at the rate Republicans are alienating Latinos, single women and young voters — due in part to far-right lawmakers whose seats have been bought with unchecked contributions — there may not be another Republican president for some time. more> http://tinyurl.com/kasbnxm

Sandy’s winds of uncertainty blow through presidential race

SLIDE SHOW (82)

By Andy Sullivan and Alina Selyukh – Though superstorm Sandy is unlikely to determine whether President Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney wins the White House, experts said it could expose flaws in how the United States conducts elections, leading to protracted legal wrangling and lingering bitterness in a country already fractured along partisan lines.

In a worst-case scenario, the storm disruption could cause Obama to lose the popular vote and still win re-election, stirring up vitriolic memories of the contested 2000 battle that allowed Republican George W. Bush to triumph over Democrat Al Gore. more> http://tinyurl.com/a8l5mya

Updates for the People

Voting and Elections

Voting and Elections pages for resources on voter registration, absentee ballots, volunteering at polls, and more.

Updates for the People

Voting and Elections