Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

To Suppress or not to Suppress, is that the question?

On September 15, just about three weeks ago, the Arizona Republic editorial board boldly and unequivocally declared about results of a recall election in Colorado which ousted two lawmakers,
No, it wasn't 'voter suppression,' so shut your mouth
Our View: False claims like these hurt people's faith in elections
With one of the main points in the editorial,
Real voter suppression is a grave concern. But so are spurious claims of suppression that only contribute to cynicism about the integrity of the vote.
The recall was called because the two voted in favor of legislation to expand background check requirements for gun sales and to limit the size of firearm clips.

The problem is that the Republic's editorial presented NO information to support their claim that reports of voter suppression in Colorado were false. Instead, they made their case based solely on the fact that it was Democratic Party officials who pointed out that the suppression had taken place.

Okay, if it's only a "he said, she said" situation, it might be hard to sort out the reality. But there was substance to the Democratic claims.

On the day prior to the Colorado recall election last month, Huffington Post ran a story on the confusion caused by court rulings prohibiting voting by mail.
Much of the confusion stems from a decision that prohibited voting by mail, even though Colorado voters have overwhelmingly relied on mail-in ballots in the past. District Judge Robert McGahey ruled against the use of mail-in ballots last month, even though a state law passed earlier this year guaranteed a ballot by mail to every registered voter in Colorado, including in a recall election.
Ellen Dumm, an anti-recall operative stationed in Pueblo, said it wasn't until about 10 days ago that the decision was overturned to allow some voters to cast their ballots by mail. But at that point, the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot was just four days away, which made it difficult to educate most of the public on the process.
Corporate media (including the Arizona Republic) after both Democrats lost their recalls blasted the losing incumbents as well as national Democrats for not taking the defeat gracefully.

Apparently, very few editors, editorialists and reporters in America's corporate media have any grasp on electoral history in our country. I say this because until really just days ago, all I knew were a few related facts.

Originally only white male landowners could vote. Despite the language of liberty in Founding Documents of our country, it took until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920 before women could vote in every state, a few years earlier in the young state of Arizona. And until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 racial discrimination was effectively sanctioned throughout the South.

But really, for the Arizona Republic editorial writers to demonstrate such blatant ignorance of the deep and long history of voter suppression in Arizona and the United States really boils down to journalistic malpractice.

Since it's never too late to learn something new(s), I strongly recommend that every member of the editorial board enroll in and complete the MOOC class entitled Securing Digital Democracy offered for no charge at coursera.org. University of Michigan Prof. J Alex Alderman lays out the problematic history of voting.

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Just yesterday, Tom Horne brazenly issued an anti-democratic (yes, lower case "d") Attorney General opinion that voters who register to vote using the federal form would be allowed ONLY to vote in federal elections.

The Republic's editorial board was right on it, however. Today, in response to Horne's outrageously anti-voter proclamation, they said
Here’s an old trick: Create a phony problem and take credit for attacking it vigorously.
After years of hunting for voter fraud in Arizona, there is scant evidence of non-citizens voting. The real problem is lack of voter participation. (emphasis mine)
DUH! No Sherlock, s**t!

One sometimes has to wonder if at the Republic, the left hand knows what the right hand is doing.

The REAL problem IS lack of voter participation. Voter suppressionist Michele Reagan wants to be the chief election officer for Arizona. For ANY Republican to be elected to that office anytime in the near future is a ridiculous notion.

In this country, voter lack participation has pretty much been the case THROUGHOUT our history.

Now we have GOP officials working systematically through political and legal channels to further limit voter participation. And corporate media is right there with inexplicable claims that the political problems come from both sides of the spectrum. Horse manure.

And when they are not covering their asses (from attack by Republicans/conservatives) by putting forth false equivalence myths, they find other ways to be dismissive. Here's Bob Robb, on HB2305,
While the outrage over HB 2305 is grossly overdone, I suppose I shouldn’t complain. There are worse liberal causes than rescuing lazy Libertarians.
Yes, grossly overdone... because we all know the real problem has nothing to do with Republican lawmakers incrementally building the wall higher between voters and their ability to exercise the franchise.

It would be overly redundant for me to include the youtube clip of Paul Weyrich every time this issue comes up.

Anyway, God forbid that the Republic completely eliminates its far right voices (Doug MacEachern being even worse than Bob Robb). But to allow those bozos to have as much influence as they do seems shameful. And for goodness sake, at least have them get some understanding of voting history in our country before you end up finding even more ways to contradict other editorial board pronouncements on the issue of voting.


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