Thursday, January 19, 2012

Disenfranchising voters right and left

Republicans in state houses throughout the country, who have busied themselves gerrymandering voting districts and disenfranchising the poor, disabled and elderly through voter-ID requirements, have found yet more ways to disenfranchise voters.

In Iowa, it appears that we will never know who won the Republican caucuses. In part because, Iowa Republicans have lost the results from eight precincts. The Des Moines Register reports
There are too many holes in the certified totals from the Iowa caucuses to know for certain who won, but Rick Santorum wound up with a 34-vote advantage.

Results from eight precincts are missing — any of which could hold an advantage for Mitt Romney — and will never be recovered and certified, Republican Party of Iowa officials told The Des Moines Register on Wednesday.
Rather than count further, Iowa Republicans are simply declaring that the results are "close enough."

Closer to home, approximately 43,000 residents of Guilford County are slated to go unrepresented in their own county government because of a mistake in a redistricting law that state Republicans rushed through the NC General Assembly.
Last year, the General Assembly rushed through a redistricting plan that redefined Guilford County voting lines and reduced the county board from 11 members to nine.

The new district map was heavily criticized. Beyond claims about racial bias in the map, it created logistical problems:

• Some districts are left without any direct representation by commissioners.

• Other newly created districts are represented by more than one commissioner.

• No provision is made for electing at-large representatives until 2014, which would mean no at-large representation on the board for two years.
Republicans tout their strict adherence to Constitutional principles, but it seems they have a blind spot to the Constitutional right to vote.

Either that or they are grossly incompetent.

Come to think of it, they could be both.