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February 28, 2005

How To Not Vote on the Count Every Vote Act in Three Easy Steps

Julie Saltman is wondering how Republicans will oppose the obviously-popular provisions of the Count Every Vote Act. The answer is through the magic of Congress! If every piece of introduced legislation had to face an up-or-down vote at polls, CEVA would pass in a landslide. But not only won't it find itself in front of voters, it's not going to find itself in front of congress critters either. With no Republicans jumping on board and the Democrats firmly in the minority, that bills never going to make it out of committee, and sure as hell won't find itself on the floor. Indeed, the bill is basically dead until its sponsors -- Kerry and Clinton -- run for president in 2008.

Why the bill hasn't attracted any Republican cosponsors is, however, an interesting question. Nothing so self-evidently popular can be ignored by politicians lest they find themselves similarly shunned by voters. So Republicans have created a counter-bill which, under the guise of tamping down on fraud, makes it harder for people to vote. Brilliant. Now the press can satisfy itself by reprinting quotes promoting the legislation of each side and belittling the proposals of the other side, Americans can assume that it's just more partisan food-fighting, and meaningful electoral reform can be totally ignored. So the answer, Julie, is through a manipulation of representative democracy, a mastery of congressional maneuvering, and a compliant press corps. Makes you proud to be an American, no?

Update: Seems Kevin Drum is puzzling over this as well. Guys -- Americans want health care reform way worse than electoral reform, but Republicans haven't had to give them that, either. Bills drafted by the minority and ignored by the majority enter a special hell where, along with lost socks and unwanted puppies, they cower in isolation forever. CEVA will be forgotten in a week or two.

February 28, 2005 in Policy | Permalink

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» http://alvintostig.typepad.com/index/2005/02/so_the_count_ev.html from Something Requisitely Witty and Urbane
So the Count Every Vote Act is a great idea that everyone can get behind, right? Ezra Klein talked today about the lack of Republican co-sponsers for the bill:Why the bill hasn't attracted any Republican cosponsors is, however, an interesting [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 28, 2005 4:06:20 PM

» Holding the bill from Something Requisitely Witty and Urbane
So the Count Every Vote Act is a great idea that everyone can get behind, right? Ezra Klein talked today about the lack of Republican co-sponsors for the bill:Why the bill hasn't attracted any Republican cosponsors is, however, an interesting [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 28, 2005 4:08:24 PM

» Making sure not to count every vote from Here's What's Left
Ezra's got an interesting thing over there about the Count Every Vote Act, and why it won't see the light of day:With no Republicans jumping on board and the Democrats firmly in the minority, that bills never going to make [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 28, 2005 10:20:31 PM

Comments

I think that voting reform is a very different public issue than health care reform. Health care is very messy/complex and deals with huge issues of risk and actuarial-type projections that are hard to solve and even harder to talk simply about. And the trade-offs involved in any solution to our health care problems are difficult to assess and very easy for opposition to muddy. No one really understands it all. Voting, on the other hand, is pretty simple and most everyone understands it and/or feels like they do. It is easy to communicate to people that a voting machine should give them a paper receipt -- every ATM machine in the country does that. Anyone can judge whether it is a problem for voters to have to wait 7 hours in line on election day. And while opinions might differ a bit on the merits of the felon issue, I think most folks would agree with the idea that someone who's paid their debt to society ought to get their rights back. That's just fair. So, in the end, I think this issue is a winner for Dems, as opponents will have a hard time justifying their opposition without looking craven or foolish. (Though the alternative bill problem is always difficult to deal with.)

Posted by: Sam | Feb 28, 2005 1:53:50 PM

But will the public even care? I don't know of many 'mainstream' media sources carrying this story.

Posted by: Steve M | Feb 28, 2005 3:25:14 PM

I worry more about the Rethuglicans casting the democratic bill as the "Give murderers and child molestors the right to vote act", especially when contrasting it with their own "Don't let the cheaters steal the vote act".

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