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Free and fair elections for all...

Free and fair elections for all...

Old Nov 17th 2019, 3:48 pm
  #46  
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Default Re: Free and fair elections for all...

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
I'm not sure what this is about and I write that as me , a BE poster.

Is this about a few students choosing to abuse a registration system that is in place to help them to vote if they so wish? In which case I can quite see that some students might think it a larf to act the fool.
I doubt there would be enough prepared to take the risk - if they even realised that it was a criminal offence - to sway any results. I would also feel that there are checks for any irregularities so anything en masse would be quickly highlighted.

Is this what this is about?
It's a propagandist conspiracy theory that has been completely debunked in the US.

In the US it is difficult and cumbersome to vote in many cases. Voter suppression is a real thing and there are lots of tricks used to keep young people, people in certain (urban, more liberal) areas, and people of non-white ethnicities from voting successfully (I won't call them "minorities" because the US is on the fast-track to becoming a majority-minority country and that's what this whole thing is all about. )

There will be an old white person along shortly shouting about how easy is for THEM to vote, therefore it must be that easy for EVERYBODY. They'll claim these college kids are just a bunch of entitled, lazy, whiners. Don't get dragged in that mud because facts are facts and I have personally been on the receiving end of a voter suppression scheme. Because I am civically aware, I was able to think ten steps forward and ten steps backward to understand what was happening to me. Normal everyday people wouldn't have even known what was happening until it was too late and they found themselves disenfranchised.

To narrow it down to the topic of the thread. College students often live half the time at their school and the other half with their parents. Because of federalism, US elections are not always consistent, we have special elections, mid-term elections, local elections, off-year elections, state elections and federal elections. Other than federal elections, the states can pretty much hold elections whenever they like. Some of them fall on the same days/weeks/months but many do not. There is a very real chance that a college student will be at school for some elections and at home for others. Rather than having to constantly change their voter registration (which in many states would mean changing their drivers' license), or travelling home every time there is an election, they are allowed to register in both jurisdictions and vote wherever they are at the time of the election. It is not complicated.

Voter fraud is very rare. The portion of the article that I quoted above will you an idea of the situation. FWIW the article references a comprehensive investigation in North Carolina. NC has 85 colleges and universities and, when closely scrutinized, there was no evidence of voter fraud among college students. It would take a pretty strange person, possibly mentally ill, to vote in one jurisdiction and the run like the wind to go vote in another jurisdiction. Specially in a country where the margins are rarely close enough for it to even make a difference.

Election fraud is not so rare. When you take everything into account --- tampering with elections, tampering with ballots, voter suppression, gerrymandering, using foreign entities such as Russia and wikileaks to influence the election and shaking down the Ukranians to launch false investigations against your political rival --- election fraud is quite common. But it's not being done by college students. This is another example of projection as confession. The ones throwing around the accusations are, as per usual, the ones doing the dirt.

Last edited by Leslie; Nov 17th 2019 at 4:29 pm.
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Old Nov 17th 2019, 4:21 pm
  #47  
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Default Re: Free and fair elections for all...

And, just to jump to the British perspective, since the OP is (presumably) British, living in Europe, maybe, and the OP was talking about the possibility of voter fraud in the U.K.

In 1969, the voting age was reduced from 21 to 18 in the U.K. As it happens, that was the year I went away to university. In the U.K., elections don’t happen on a day set well in advance - they can happen any time of the year, at very short notice. So, when the voting age was reduced to 18, it made sense that undergraduate students should be allowed to register in both places they lived in. This has been the rule and the common practice for fifty years, students have been encouraged to register in both places and the system has worked well.

Because electoral registration is non political and non partisan in Britain, and, by law, everyone eligible should register,and the electoral register is updated annually & on an ongoing basis, it has not been a vexed political issue as it has been in the US (for the reasons Leslie lists.) A very high proportion of eligible people are properly registered, and voter participation is higher than in the US (although still lamentably low compared with some other countries.)

So what was the OP on about in the first post? Tragically, this seems to be another wing nut conspiracy theory that has noxiously been exported from the US and imported into the U.K. by .. social media? Russia? Conservative funding sources? Daily Express etc?
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Old Nov 17th 2019, 4:28 pm
  #48  
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Default Re: Free and fair elections for all...

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
And, just to jump to the British perspective, since the OP is (presumably) British, living in Europe, maybe, and the OP was talking about the possibility of voter fraud in the U.K.

In 1969, the voting age was reduced from 21 to 18 in the U.K. As it happens, that was the year I went away to university. In the U.K., elections don’t happen on a day set well in advance - they can happen any time of the year, at very short notice. So, when the voting age was reduced to 18, it made sense that undergraduate students should be allowed to register in both places they lived in. This has been the rule and the common practice for fifty years, students have been encouraged to register in both places and the system has worked well.

Because electoral registration is non political and non partisan in Britain, and, by law, everyone eligible should register,and the electoral register is updated annually & on an ongoing basis, it has not been a vexed political issue as it has been in the US (for the reasons Leslie lists.) A very high proportion of eligible people are properly registered, and voter participation is higher than in the US (although still lamentably low compared with some other countries.)

So what was the OP on about in the first post? Tragically, this seems to be another wing nut conspiracy theory that has noxiously been exported from the US and imported into the U.K. by .. social media? Russia? Conservative funding sources? Daily Express etc?

When I clicked on the OP link, I was taken to a subscription page and couldn't read the article. Based on the rest of the posts, I just assumed it was about the US propaganda campaign because it was identical. I had never heard this being brought up in any context other than in the US. Crazy.

I've deleted the portion of my post where it seems I got the wrong end of the stick. I'm not convinced that I actually had the wrong end of the stick, as you have said, I think this is a US export and being used for the same reasons. I may re-post if the conversation goes in that direction.

Last edited by Leslie; Nov 17th 2019 at 4:36 pm.
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Old Nov 17th 2019, 4:41 pm
  #49  
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Default Re: Free and fair elections for all...

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
You are talking a load of rubbish, I would have used a stronger term but the sweary filter might get upset.
Students are allowed to register in both places, in fact they are encouraged to do so, and it has always been so. They can only vote in one of those places though, again it has always been so.
I wonder if there is any possible way that any student double voting could be checked? I can't see the counters/checkers in the University ward having an automatic check with those of the home ward?
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Old Nov 17th 2019, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Free and fair elections for all...

Originally Posted by Cape Blue View Post
I wonder if there is any possible way that any student double voting could be checked? I can't see the counters/checkers in the University ward having an automatic check with those of the home ward?
I’ve wondered about this too. In the US context, it’s a lost cause - each state, and indeed county, has its own (sometimes antiquated) system. In the U.K., it should be possible to build something in. As far as I remember, in the U.K. registration, there is no question - “please list other districts in which you are currently registered, or intend to register.” That might be a start.
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Old Nov 17th 2019, 5:43 pm
  #51  
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Default Re: Free and fair elections for all...

In the last several months, I’ve been involved in outreach efforts organized by the League of Women Voters (a non-partisan organization) to register college students. We set up a table in the college library, or the student center, engage students in conversation, tell them about their rights, get them to actually fill out a registration form if they decide they want to. We check the form for errors, make sure they’ve signed it, and batch submit the forms to the county Board of Elections.

In NY - I believe it’s similar in most US states - you register with a particular party or choose to be “independent.” So, I know the party affiliation of the hundreds of students we helped to register. In NY there are six or eight political parties, not just D or R. So I can tell you, those students were NOT all Democrats or Working Families Party. They included republicans, conservatives, libertarians... so anyone who thinks just because a voter is an undergraduate student, they are left wing, is wrong.
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Old Nov 17th 2019, 8:04 pm
  #52  
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Default Re: Free and fair elections for all...

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
In the last several months, I’ve been involved in outreach efforts organized by the League of Women Voters (a non-partisan organization) to register college students. We set up a table in the college library, or the student center, engage students in conversation, tell them about their rights, get them to actually fill out a registration form if they decide they want to. We check the form for errors, make sure they’ve signed it, and batch submit the forms to the county Board of Elections.

In NY - I believe it’s similar in most US states - you register with a particular party or choose to be “independent.” So, I know the party affiliation of the hundreds of students we helped to register. In NY there are six or eight political parties, not just D or R. So I can tell you, those students were NOT all Democrats or Working Families Party. They included republicans, conservatives, libertarians... so anyone who thinks just because a voter is an undergraduate student, they are left wing, is wrong.
I could not agree more. Same thing with early voters. Definitely not all Democrats. Of course, these issues aren't raised equally everywhere either.
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Old Nov 18th 2019, 2:10 am
  #53  
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Default Re: Free and fair elections for all...

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
In the last several months, I’ve been involved in outreach efforts organized by the League of Women Voters (a non-partisan organization) to register college students. We set up a table in the college library, or the student center, engage students in conversation, tell them about their rights, get them to actually fill out a registration form if they decide they want to. We check the form for errors, make sure they’ve signed it, and batch submit the forms to the county Board of Elections.
What a great thing to do!
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