Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Democratic Candidates Who Want More Votes Should Make More Voters

Repugs are always pissing and moaning about the loyalty of African-American voters to the Democratic Party, as if repugs don't know that people tend to vote for the party who made it possible for them to vote.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act - conceived, passed and signed by Democratic elected officials - lost the South for Democratic candidates for double the "generation" that LBJ predicted.

But Democratic state officials don't have to accept it, or the blatant voter suppression committed by repugs in dozens of states.  Instead, Democratic officials can go on the offensive to add more voters to the rolls.  Voters who will gratefully votes for Democratic candidates.

Steve Benen at Maddowblog:

One of the most discouraging facets of Republican governance in recent years is the aggressive new restrictions on voting rights, unlike anything Americans have seen since the Jim Crow era. 
Between the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act and the coordinated GOP campaign, half the nation's states "have adopted measures making it harder to vote" since 2011. Ari Berman recently added that from 2011 to 2015, "395 new voting restrictions have been introduced" in 49 states.
But while the national tide is moving in a regressive direction when it comes to voting rights, some states are doing the opposite. David Ingram reported yesterday on a breakthrough policy taking root in Oregon.
New legislation signed into law [on Monday] in Oregon paves the way for the state to one day have close to 100% voter registration. The new law takes the federal "motor voter" law to new levels and registers a person to vote when they obtain or renew a state driver's license or ID – and it's partially retroactive.
The law dictates that once residents interact with the state DMV -- whether to get a license or ID for the first time, or renew an existing one -- they'll become registered to vote if they aren't already. The registration will be provisional for 21 days, during which time applicants will be notified of their new status and be given a chance to become affiliated with a political party or to opt-out of the voting process altogether.
That opt-out provision is key. In recent years, whenever ideas like these have come up, conservatives have argued that it's unconstitutional to force eligible Americans to register to vote if they don't want to. In effect, Americans have a right to forgo the benefits of citizenship if they want to.
Oregon is acknowledging this by giving the public a choice: eligible residents will be included in the system, but those who want to withdraw voluntarily are free to do so.
If you'd done this two years ago, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, you might have lost to Mitch McConnell by a lot less than 15 points last year.  Do it now, to give yourself, Jack Conway and the rest of the Democratic field in state races this fall a fighting chance.

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