Plan Your Election Day

Vote Democratic in the 2012 General ElectionElection Day 2012 is tomorrow, are you ready to vote? Make sure you know who and what you are voting for. It is very important that everyone that is registered to vote get out and get their vote in tomorrow. We live in a great country and it can only become greater if we all do our civic duty and vote in our countries elections. Elections are the very core of America and the democracy we all hold so dear. It is the responsibility of every American to vote in every election. Only then can we truly be the masters of our own fate.

Make a plan. Schedule a time to hit the polls and grab your friends and family that still need to vote. It is a lot of fun and there is a certain sense of pride and accomplishment that can be felt when we do vote.

Most people in America have already decided who and how they are going to vote. However if you are still undecided here are some of the big issues that are on everyone’s mind this election year.

  • If you are a college student, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you are a firefighter, police officer, teacher, or any other government worker, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think that the health care industry should profit off us being healthy instead of being sick, , vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you are a woman, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you are on unemployment, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you are one of the 47%, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you are one of the 99%, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you depend on Medicaid, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you depend on Medicare, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you depend on Social Security, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you don’t have a job now, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you depend on PERA, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you depend on a retirement fund, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you don’t want to see another  financial crash, , vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you know that a person’s health is vital to our pursuit of happiness, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you know that cooperation and bipartisanship is the only way to move forward, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you know that every human, without exception, has inalienable rights to freedom and happiness, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you know we solve problems through kindness and cooperation, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you know woman deserve equal pay for equal work, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you lost your job in the great Republican Market Crash, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you live on the coast, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you do not enjoy disastrous weather, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you realize a balanced approach to fiscal responsibility is the only feasible way to dig this country out of the financial hole we are in, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you remember the downward spiral of our country prior to  2008 and want to keep us on the path the repairing that damage, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you report less than 1,000,000 dollars on your business taxes, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you report less than 250,000 dollars on your income taxes, , vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you show up at the polls this year and you can’t vote, , vote for Democratic candidates next election.
  • If you think it is wrong to buy elections, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think it was about time that someone brought Osama Bin Laden to justice, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think our environment is worth protecting, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think that every America equally share the burden of balancing our national budget, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think that everyone deserves to be healthy whether they are rich or poor, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think that people of all origins deserve a chance in America, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you think that women’s health care is important, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a better education for your children, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a chance to afford education, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a government that focuses on real problems, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a President that can get things done even when an entire political party’s singular goal is to undermine him, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a President that nurtures and grows foreign relations, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want a President that sticks to what he says, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want American businesses to pay taxes in a country that makes them successful, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want bridge the income gap, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want cheaper drug prices, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want healthcare to be better and cheaper, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want jobs to be created in America and the jobs that are here to stay in this country, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want our schools to continue to improve, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want to expand our energy independence and versatility, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want to have a real shot at the American Dream, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want to make a positive difference in America’s future, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want to move America back to being a world leader, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want to see the reckless behavior of Wall Street stop, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.
  • If you want us to push forward into the 21st century instead of falling back into the 20th century, vote Barack Obama for President and vote for your Democratic candidates.

But if you want to take a step back in time, forgot about the costly illegitimate wars, the economic crash, don’t care women’s health, corruption, and cronyism that brought our country down so fast, vote for the other guys.

The bottom line is that everyone needs to get out and vote. So make a plan, talk to your friends and get out there and participate in one of the most important things that you can do as an American.

Happy voting!

Top Ten Ways to Vote Responsibly in Politics

people-politicpolitics-voter-infoWe are just under a month away and it is time to make sure that everyone, and I do mean everyone, in the United States of America is prepared, registered, and eager to vote in the upcoming presidential general election.

I would love to see Americans set a new standard this year for voter turnout. I would love to see the American people finally step up and show the world through their political actions that we are the premiere democracy we all hope and wish to be.

To this end I have whipped up this quick Top Ten Ways to Vote Responsibly in Politics checklist to make sure every eligible voter in America is registered and ready to make a responsible political vote come November 6th.

Top Ten Ways to Vote Responsibly in Politics

Number 1: Make sure you are Registered

With the voter fraud and ID laws that have been enacted in many states, many eligible voters have been purged from the system. Many of my friends and family who have been active in every election for years were removed, so don’t believe for a second you are immune to these voter purges. Make sure you are registered! Just Google “Register to vote [your state]” and pick the website that is a .gov.

Number 2: Make sure you have the Required ID(s) to Vote

Some of the voter fraud laws have restrictions that only those with certain types of ID or proof of identity can vote, even if you are registered. So be sure to have the correct ID ready and available. You should be able to find out this information when you verify your voter registration at your state’s website.

Number 3: Decide how you will Vote

In most states you have the ability to either vote in person at a polling place or to vote by mail. The preference is yours but I would suggest figuring out exactly what you are going to do so you are prepared come election day. If your state has been part of the new voter fraud laws you may want to vote by mail this year as the polling places are going to be stuffed and chaotic with many voters that will not be able to vote due to these new restrictions and laws. It might get really ugly. So to avoid these you may want to vote by mail this year. Or at the very least have a mail in ballot ready should your polling place be packed on Election Day.

Number 4: Know where you will Vote

It is important to find out ahead of time where your polling place is. Depending on the state you might have a very specific location where you have to vote or you might have the freedom to vote at any polling place in your district.

Even if you plan to vote by mail it is important for you to learn where these ballots have to be turned in should you need to turn it in at the last moment.

Number 5: Learn when you can Vote

This is also important as it can save you a headache come November 6th. Many states now offer early voting. This has really helped to alleviate Election Day woes of long lines and confusion at the polling places. Most early voting starts around a week ahead of Election Day, but your area may be different. Make sure you know so you can take advantage of it.

Employers are federally required to give their employees time to go vote. So don’t let your work schedule stop you from getting out there to vote!

Number 6: Learn about the Presidential Candidates

Make a point to go out and learn about all of the political candidates for president. Read through the top issues they are campaigning on figure out who best suits your ideals, values, and beliefs. Then please make a point to do some research on them. Don’t limit this research to just the websites, media outlets or talk shows that support your candidate. Also search for those that represent the other side as well as those that are try to be unbiased and neutral. You will never ever hear the truth from a single source so do yourself a favor, become broadly informed.

Number 7: Learn about which Representatives are up for Election

These are the politicians that are going to represent your political will at the national level. These are very important as they will have your state issues in mind. They will also follow their party line to some degree. This can be very tricky as often times these two things conflict politically. When it comes to your representatives look to how and what they voted for. On occasion you will have a representative that doesn’t yet have a voting record so you have to take their word on faith. This can be difficult.

Number 8: Learn about your Local Representatives

Local political representatives are often harder to learn about due to many are often running for office for the first time. Generally this is where many politicians start. If they like being a politician and are liked by the people they often move up to the state level.

However, these politicians are the ones you can easily go out and talk to. They will have town hall type meetings in the area. Will often respond directly to email or phone questions. This can make it more personal but also allows you to find out where they stand on issues directly.

You might have to do a little digging depending on where you live to get good information on them but most local newspapers do a great job of going through the candidates that in your area. So pick up your local papers special politics additions to get the bead on which local politicians you want to support.

Number 9: Learn about the Local and State Issues up for Vote

You should be able to learn about the local issues that are coming up for a vote through your local newspaper and their website. You should also receive a voter booklet to help you learn about the issues.

Often times these are the same issues you will hear about quite a bit leading up to the election. These are going to be votes to change the local budget, approve taxes for schools, constitutional amendments, and a myriad of other political issues. You may only have a couple to look into or several dozen depending on your location.

Even though it may seem arduous, these local issues are going to be the ones that directly affect you so it is very important that you learn about these issues. Try to watch the news on these up until the time you vote as there can be some last minute changes and information that comes up on these local political issues.

Number 10: Create a Voting Cheat Sheet for Yourself

Whether you are voting at the polling places or you are voting with a mail in ballot make sure                   that you create a cheat sheet for yourself so you are sure you are voting how you want to. It is easy to get pressured, nervous, or forgetful when it is time to pull the lever and pick your circles. It’s important to make sure that you know exactly how you want to vote when the times comes.

Most states have sample ballots that you can print off. This is the best route to take as it should be an exact copy of the ballot you will fill out. Mark your answers on it and any notes that you want to add. Then when the time comes, double check the official ballot you are filling out is the same and you can quickly mark down your answers.

This assures that you vote how you want to vote and you speed up the process for everyone when the time comes.

The Final Touch to being a Responsible Voter in Politics

All of these tips and tricks should help you make an informed decision about what is best for you, your family and your area.

The very best thing you can do, after becoming an educated and responsible voter, is to speak to those around you about how to follow these steps and become a better citizen of these United States of America. At times it is hard to see how our one vote in millions makes a difference. It does, and it can make a dramatic one at times. However, these effects are often hard to see immediately and can lessen our civic excitement and duty.

However, by being a responsible, educated voter in America you are one of millions that is working to shape our future as a people and as a nation. Only through the power of the people will we be able to assert our will past the demagogues, the mountains of money, and those bent on keeping the people disenfranchised, and instead bring this country to a better place. By voting, you keep the reins in the hands of the people. By asserting yourself and helping others to become better voters you help the people to keep the power. And only by showing that we the people of the United States of America are engaged, educated and insistent can we hope to make a brighter future for our children and the generations to come.

See you are the polls on elections day!

Full Video of the 1st 2012 Presidential Debate Between Obama and Romney

If you didn’t get to see the first 2012 Presidential Debate live between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney you can watch it here. There is analysis of this debate all over the just about any kind of media you can think of. There are tons of different political views from every side and every viewpoint so I am not going to get into it now. I just wanted to make sure there was another avenue for voters to see the video and to try to form their opinions.

After you have wanted the debate, which I think every responsible voter should, make sure that you then troll through a few of the good fact check sites that we have listed here on It’s important to know where President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney stretched, distorted, or otherwise blatantly lied about the truth of their own or the others policies and stances on social political issues.

National Voter Registration Day

national-voter-registration-dayToday is national voter registration day! Make sure that you are registered to vote so you can participate in the upcoming presidential election. No matter who you are, what your political affiliation is, you should be absolutely sure that you are registered and ready to vote.

It is our belief here at People Politco that everyone that is eligible to vote should vote. It can be hard to be excited or be involved in politics. However, it is something that affects us all. It may not feel like it does at times but the decisions and actions our politicians takes directly affects us so in turn we all need to be directly involved in politics.

There have been a flurry of voter laws that have passed recently to purge out registrations voter eligibility. Regardless of your thoughts on this recent voter purge it is absolutely vital that each and every one of us makes sure we are registered and ready to vote.

I have already re-registered. Despite my constant participation in elections and making sure that I was active and up to date these voter purges has affected me and my house hold. I say this because I want everyone to make sure they register to vote. Even if you are pretty sure that you are, make sure you go and verify that you are still registered to vote. It has been amazing how many people that I know have been actively involved in the elections have had their names removed from being eligible voters.

Most states have a place you can check your voter registration. You should be able to just search for voter registration in your state. This should get you started. It is very easy with most states and will only take a few minutes.

Just make sure that you do not hesitate to get registered to vote. Each state has different deadlines but all of them are coming up. So get out there and make sure that your get registered to vote. While you’re at it make sure that those in your household, your friends and co-workers register to vote as well.

The more each and every one of us participate in this democratic America the more democratic it will truly become.


2012 Presidential Race Begins in Earnest

reflecting-fountainWith Rick Santorum ending his bid for the presidency in the 2012 election, the real race for the presidency has begun.

Are you excited? I hope so. I hope the nasty vitriol of the past year coming from both parties (ironically a lot of it from the GOP, aimed at their own party) has not soured you on the process. If you are a normal person it probably has. I guess that’s a good thing, at least it shows that there are still people out there that get disgusted by the inhumanity that we see in candidates when they are trying to defame each other.

During this time of terrible turmoil in America, we need to have leaders that are fighting for America, and not just their own political parties. We need leaders that are willing to work with each other to progress the United States into its next great chapter. We need a government that fights for equality in all of its citizens.

So even if you are already sick and tired of the mountains of trash talking, misleading, finger pointing and hypocrisy I urge you to take a deep breath and keep on plowing through the political general election season. Now is not the time to give up and toss in your vote to whatever “side” you think you are on.

Now is the time to time to kick up the heat. Now is the time to push all potential presidential candidates to come forward and be truthful about what they have done, what they stand for, and what they most want to achieve. It is time to call them out on the pandering and political positioning.

We now know that the main contest is going to be between the incumbent, President Barack Obama, and the GOP front runner Mitt Romney. It doesn’t mean these two will be the only choices, though. There are a few others that will still likely be running, including Ron Paul. Dr. Paul has quite a bit of support. And there will be others.

We have six months and change left to go before the general election. We have been inundated over the last year as the GOP goes through the long and arduous process of selecting their nominee to run against President Barack Obama. Now the real fight is going to begin. If we think it has been ugly to this point watching the Republicans go at each other’s throats, imagine how nasty it is going to get when the different parties start attacking each other.

Now is the time we need to pay attention. Now is the time we need to call them all out for their pandering and misdirection. Now is the time to hold the media accountable for their reporting.

A Civil Tongue in Politics

A Civil Tongue in Politics

Now is the time we need to be sure that we are using our heads, not our hearts, to follow this political struggle. The gloves are coming off and we need to be ready. We can’t let them push the people out of the debate. We can’t let them marginalize the citizens of the United States. We can’t let their unfounded lies go unchecked and unchallenged. We have to make sure that the truth of what and who these politicians are becomes common knowledge, not what one party or the other wants us to think.

We need increased honesty, integrity, and accountability in all things revolving around politics. We need to be sure this process becomes better. The only way to do that is to make sure that we, The People, shout out loud and proud that we are fed up with the declining and dysfunctional state of our political environment.

This can happen if we come together as a unifying force for truth in action, accountability for inaction, and serious repercussions for those that find it easy, more fun or entertaining to degrade, slander or otherwise defame each other. Responsibility, respectability, and courage are needed from everyone involved to make this a reality.

I will stand up, speak out, and form my opinions based on fact-based reality. I will not shut my mind to differing opinions and ideas of others. I will keep the discussion respectable and open. I will work to find common ground between those around me. I vow to be a better citizen, will you?

The Cost of a Vote in 2012

people-politico-five-dollar-billsNone of us like to think that the millions of dollars spent by presidential campaigns are trying to buy your vote. However, that is in fact the case. So I thought I would take a minute to look into what a vote costs in America today. I was shocked, and I think you will be too, so I’ll try and ease you into this a bit. Politics have changed dramatically in the time after the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United basically removed all caps on contributions from corporations and unions to political campaigns. It has been widely accepted through our history that money influences politics, corrupts democracy, and takes the power from the people and puts it in the hands of those with money. The Supreme Court’s decision put democracy more firmly into the hands of the corporations by allowing unlimited spending on elections.

Spending on elections was out of control before this decision, and now it’s incomprehensible, it’s a joke, and we the people are the punch line.

There are a few things we need to know about making a rough guess about the amounts of money being spent to win your vote. In most cases they can’t actually trade money directly for your vote, so instead they use advertising, media, new outlets,, pundits, the internet, you name it, to get their message and their brand out to you. Unfortunately there is very little regulation regarding the insane and often false things they say to sway you one way or another. When there is regulation, they will get around it by using a 501c/PAC combination to absolve any involvement and responsibility. If you think this is a joke, watch this series masterfully done by Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report. He actually creates his own PAC, then turns it into a Super PAC, and ends up with a million dollars donated. Really.

How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It

How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It

PACs have to disclose who gives them money. However, a 501c is a tax-exempt organization that does NOT have to disclose donors. All a person or corporation need do to circumvent the disclosure rules is contribute money to the 501c. The 501c then gives to the PAC and the PAC does what it wants with the money. It’s money laundering on a breathtaking scale. A candidate could pour money into the 501c and get it right back through the PAC. Sickening and totally legal.

So now that we know how it’s done, let’s see how much money it takes to buy a vote.  That’s what all the money is ultimately there to do. I’ve rounded the numbers for ease of understanding. A few thousand here or even a few million there will not make much of a difference in our completely broken election system where billions of dollars are involved.

In 2010, it is estimated that there were about 236,000,000 registered voters. According to this data, we can estimate that the registered voters will increase to 240,000,000 in 2012. Going by prior voter turnout numbers, we can expect 50% or so to turn out to vote in the upcoming Presidential Election. This gives us the first part of our equation: 120,000,000 votes.

How much money is going into getting those 120 million votes? This number is difficult, because campaigns want to keep this number as quiet as possible.  So first we’ll look at how much the politicians are raising themselves. This is required to be publically disclosed and it is the number most often reported. Over the last year we can see that a total of almost $380,000,000 was raised by politicians.  We can assume that over the next 6 months the money will flow in faster than in the last year. It is probably conservative to say that this total will reach $800,000,000 by November. Many analysts are saying that campaign spending will easily break a billion dollars. But we’ll use $800 million for our calculations.

Next we need to try to determine the contributions to PACs and Super PACs. They are required by law to disclose their finances, but with over 7,500 listed in the Federal Election Committee’s database, there are bound to be errors.  To make it easy, we’ll use this information. You can find the information here: Adding it all up gets us $1.7 billion from 2010 to 2011. For ease of calculation, we’ll round that number down to $1.5 billion to use for 2011-2012. This gives us $3.2 billion for these two years of PAC and Super PAC fundraising.

With no cap on how much money can be contributed to an election, candidates are looking at three to four times the amount of money they had to spend in the past.  They can spend the majority of it on    sleazy ads, misinformation campaigns, robo calls, spamming, and whatever else it takes. And the best part is, the candidates are “completely separated” from the PACs and Super PACs. If someone gets offended or if an ad backfires, the candidate can throw up their hands and claim plausible deniability.

Math Time!

  • $800,000,000 (candidate money) + $3,200,000,000 (PAC money) = $4,000,000,00 or a cool 4 billion dollars. Easy to remember.
  • 120,000,000 voters.

Now all we need to do is take the money spent on elections and divide that by those who vote. Gravy!

  • $4,000,000,000 (Money) ÷ 120,000,000 (Votes) = $33 and change.


Well that doesn’t sound too bad, you have 33 bucks don’t you? So to put in your equivalent support as a citizen of the United States you should toss $33 to who you support.

The problem is that it doesn’t work out that way. Our democracy is supposed to form and control our government on a 1 to 1 basis, but now with these new rules we are getting further and further away from the 1 to 1 vote working.

Rich Joe used to be capped at a $2,500 donation. But now he can give his $2,500 personally to the campaign and can also funnel in $1,000,000 or more  from his company, trust fund, dividends or whatever.

Money equals influence in our government, and the increased flow of money from corporations and unions magnifies their influence.

Influence of Donations Before Citizens United

Poor Joe throws in $33 to support his one vote. Rich Joe throws in his $2,500 to support his vote. Rich Joe’s influence on his candidate is 75 times more than Poor Joe’s. That in itself shows the system was sad, broken, not working as intended.

Influence of Donations After Citizens United

Today Poor Joe throws in his $33 again to support his candidate. Rich Joe throws in his $2,500 and also donates $1,000,000 dollars from his company. Again, Rich Joe’s influence is obviously more, but by how much? His influence is now a staggering 30,378 times more than Joe’s! This one person/entity now has tens of thousands of times more influence than Poor Joe in the elections.

I don’t even know what to think about this. I am disgusted. I am appalled. I am horrified that we allowed this to happen to our country.

Checkbook Democracy: How Money Corrupts Political Campaigns

Checkbook Democracy: How Money Corrupts Political Campaigns

With these billions of dollars intended to influence us, and with the mountains of lies about their opponents, and false promises about themselves, it is no wonder our government and our country is screeching to a halt.

We have allowed democracy to be taken away from us. We have literally sold it. We have allowed a plutocracy to take its place.

When the wealthy control the country they do whatever they can to not only increase their wealth but consolidate it. That is exactly what we are seeing now.

With the caps lifted, they can literally spend whatever it takes to convince us they are not doing exactly what they are doing. The facts are in front of us. I have presented many here and you can look for yourself all over the place. We are swimming in the evidence of the fall of our democracy but so many would rather drown than to think about this.

This cannot endure or our country will not. We have already fallen behind because of our broken and crippled system. We are being surpassed by many other countries in almost every sector you can think of. The power has been taken from the common people. We are simply being outbid.

It’s time you did your part along with those around you to stand up, speak out and shout out that you want your vote back and demand it can’t be outbid anymore.


Voter Suppression in Politics

voter-infoMore voter suppression arguments are out there this year and if you ignore the indignity of the voter fraud and just look at the numbers involved, it would be very easy to solve this issue. Especially when you look at the very low numbers involved in actual voter fraud versus legitimate votes getting mixed up, tallied wrong, lost or the myriad of other things. The bottom line is we need to work on getting people out to vote, not stopping those that do vote.

Getting People to Vote

We need to get every single American and dual citizen of voting age to vote every single time. We need to ingrain in our children, in our people, the importance and significance of voting. The quality and functionality of our democracy is directly related to how many of its people are involved, educated, informed and acting on their democratic duty.

I would go as far to say that we should PAY people to vote. Invariably people will pay at least some attention and most have some idea of who and what they want out of life in this country. If you were to offer a $500 tax credit for voting in the general elections, it would greatly increase turn out. Just getting people excited and involved would go a long way to make this a better country.

Personally I find it appalling when the reporters exclaim that we have recently had record-setting voter turnout, and the record-setting number is in the 40% range. That is embarrassing, pure and simple. As the “world leader” in advocating and pushing freedom and democracy, we simply have to do better than that.

So I propose this to you: Make it your mission, as a responsible voter, American, and patriot, to get one person you know to register and vote this year. Let’s make those days of seeing 40% of voter turnout something of the past as we tag on 10-20% more.

A Political Fix to a Non-Partisan Problem

The Politics of Disenfranchisement: Why Is It So Hard to Vote in America?

Why Is It So Hard to Vote in America?

With the next wave of voter registration and polling legislation comes another slew of outcries to voter suppression. I understand the basic idea behind the argument; however, the proposed solution is no solution at all.

These pieces of new legislation are meant to tackle the estimated .0002%-5.000% voter fraud that has been reported recently. These numbers vary greatly depending on who, what and where you are looking but with the dozen or so articles, websites and other sources I investigated, the highest was floating around 5% with some as low as .0002%. Part of the reason for this is that we are addressing specifically voter fraud. We are not talking about mistakes in registration, people who have moved from their old addresses, people with the same names, addresses, lost ballots, miscounts, and the myriad of OTHER things that causes inaccurate vote count.

Much of the current legislation that is pending this year revolves around forcing all those that are voting to show valid and up to date photo IDs at the time of voting. This may address the lower end of the vote tally and fraud issues but would leave most of the other horrendous holes and problems with our system in place.

However, legislation to force presenting photo IDs in order to vote is estimated to affect at least 10% of the population that currently votes now, legally and without problems. Many of these voters without photo IDs tend to have lower incomes and are much more likely to vote Democratic than Republican.

This could also affect a much greater number of people that vote from abroad or by mail. Many places have been voting strictly by mail, especially for the smaller elections. If everyone now has to go back to a polling place to vote, won’t that decimate the numbers of people who can vote?

Make Voting Easier Not Harder

There is such a small portion of the population that votes fraudulently it has almost no effect on our current system. The numbers show the problem is nearly nonexistent. 80 fraudulent votes in a general election are not going to make much of a difference when we are talking about millions of people voting.

Instead of further limiting a minority group to vote, and making more difficult what should be an easy process and every citizen’s duty, we should be empowering all Americans to register and vote.

I’m not so proud to be an American when I find out more people vote for American Idol then in a general election. That is unacceptable and shameful.

What we should be doing is passing legislation to move our voting system from the 19th century into the 21st century. We have an archaic system to pick our representatives and run our country.  We should be embracing the newest, best, and most efficient ways to insure our democracy is protected.

Just think about it: we currently trust so many facets of our lives right now to the technology around us.  Why not support improvements in voting technology as well?

It’s easy to say that voting systems can be hacked, of course they can. However, many more people are currently skewing election results with lost ballots, miscounting by hand, going to the wrong polling place, voting as a dead person, you name it. This Pew Research document points out some of the huge flaws we have. Those are the issues that need to be addressed, the problems that need to be fixed.

I know it’s not perfect, no system is. However we have the technology, the know how to do it, we just need the will. Change can be scary but using technology and the computer power of America could and would streamline our voting process in ways we can’t fully appreciate.

We need to get 10-20% more voters voting. Not reduce the number of valid voters by 10% or more.

Here are some links to some more info and some of the specifics in voting issues around America:


GOP Political Showdown on Super Tuesday

sw_fake_ballot_sa03045Super Tuesday is upon us. Super Tuesday usually refers to the Tuesday in February or March before a presidential election when the greatest number of states hold primary elections to select presidential candidates to run for each party.

This year Super Tuesday is on March 6th and is much anticipated by the GOP. It’s surprising how little excitement really revolves around all of the front running candidates. Most agree that it will either be Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich. My hats off to Ron Paul though, for a good showing in the race. Even after Super Tuesday, he may very well continue running as an independent candidate.

As usual the candidates are going at each other’s throats and spewing as much vitriol at each other as possible. Most also agree that this may be one of the most nasty, underhanded, and venomous bids of the presidential nomination by any party in recent history. One of the biggest contributors to this ugly campaigning are the hundreds of Super PACs contributing millions of dollars to smear and slam their opponents. The beauty (or horror if you like) of this new system is the candidates have to remain 100% “unaffiliated” from these Super PACs. This excuse is used to try to say they have no influence in these despicable campaigns. However, I digress… I’ll discuss the Super PACs and their detrimental effect on democracy in later articles. We’ll see just how nasty they can become for the General Election.

Anyway, after a nice even twenty Republican debates, everyone should have a good gauge of what each of the candidates stands for and what they say they will do with our country should you entrust it to them.

What is even more surprising than the cat fighting going on between a bunch of grown men is how indifferent the entire GOP seems to be about any of their candidates. The mixed messages, the confusion in what they stand for, and the hypocrisy about a great many issues, seems to have weakened and disorganized the party. The Republican party is plagued by flip-flops and missteps. The Affordable Care Act, deemed Obamacare by opponents, is similar to Senator John McCain’s health care proposal from the 1990’s and Mitt Romney’s health care reform plan for Massachusetts. Apparently health care reform is completely taboo now that a Democratic White House has decided to take their ideas seriously. And the mysterious debt ceiling debacle? It should have been obvious that putting the entire nation’s economic future in jeopardy just to oppose President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party was a severe misstep.

However, through all of the GOP’s hardships on their journey of self-discovery, and trying to figure out which candidate best represents their conflicting and confusing ideals, they still all agree that once Super Tuesday is over they will all rally behind the victor. They look to each other and their interviewers in the media with surprise and disgust when asked if they will “fall in line” to support the “other guy” in the General election. They act as if questioning their personal integrity should be a crime. Their responses all fall along the same line, the importance of holding America and its People above petty differences between its politicians is first and foremost. “I will honor the election and refuse to betray my people, no matter what the outcome of Super Tuesday.” If these candidates purport to have so much respect for the candidate the voting public chooses, why has the Republican party had so little regard for the current sitting president, duly elected by the American people?

Political Primaries Need an Overhaul

voter-infoAs the political circus of the last year kicks into full gear, we all sit back and wonder…when will the madness be over!?!

That’s right; I’m talking about the ridiculous, wasteful, and in many ways corrupt primary system of this country. I don‘t know why we (meaning we the people, the American citizens) allow the primary elections to last weeks and weeks. Shouldn’t elections last one day? Think of the madness and insane consequences we would have if the presidential election was held over a period of weeks? It would be chaos. It would be totally misleading. It would be a gigantic political farce.

I think the primaries are out of control for several reasons: First, millions of dollars are offered for states to hold the first primary in a place that heavily favors candidate X. Then, everyone disregards all of the “rules” that nobody actually follows and any recourse or penalty is in name only and never really penalizes anyone except the candidates not favored in this micro region. Political candidate X might have some totally radical ideas that go over well in this small region regardless how the entire country thinks. Even though this one state’s primary involves only a small fraction of the country, the media takes the story and runs with it, acting as if this one state speaks for the nation.

Since almost all political candidates at the national level are also public servants who are currently in office, primaries and elections take candidates away from their responsibilities as elected officials. This contributes to the slowdown and breakdown of our already dysfunctional government. If they happen to lose, they may only waste a year of their public office. However, if they stay in the race or even win a nomination, they will spend up to two years of their time in public office campaigning instead of governing. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking it is NOT OK to spend 25%-50% of your time in a job neglecting your actual job duties to look for another job. That kind of dereliction of duty should define someone as unacceptable to hold that position. But the candidates don’t have a choice if they want a shot at the nomination.

To get our political system moving back in the right direction, we need an overhaul of the political primaries. Here are some ideas to move this along:

Reverse Citizens United

First and foremost, corporate money needs to be taken out of politics. This has much more far reaching impacts but this unlimited, anonymous money that flows to the most cooperative politicians has to stop. This ruling above all else is fundamentally undermining our entire democracy.

Institute an Attendance Policy

I would like to see active politicians have a mandated requirement for the amount of time they must spend actually doing the job they were elected for in the first place. We did not elect them to campaign. We elected them to help run our country.

Regulate Campaigning Time

This can be a bit tricky, but I believe regulating the time ALL politicians can spend campaigning could be the key to successful governing. If campaign time was restricted by law or rules of elections it may have a huge impact on the time spent and wasted during the months and years of campaigning.

This could also have the benefit of forcing politicians to tackle the real issues in quick and concise ways. If they had 2 months to let the nation know where they stood on the issues versus two years, they would have to be clearer. And if they weren’t, they would appear to be unable to handle the monumental tasks involved in governing, and we would not vote for them.

Primary Elections Held at the Same Time

If the primary elections for these politicians were held at the same time on the same day like regular elections, we would avoid so much of our current troubles. The final national elections would reflect more accurately the will of the people, if the parties nominated their candidate on the same day. As it stands now, the many different primary elections all act like micro-elections with their own media circus and media analysis.

Something Has to Change Politically

Our current system is a joke. It wastes time and money. It doesn’t give us a clear picture of any political candidate nor does it reflect what the country actually wants.

If all the states’ primaries were the second Tuesday of February, it would all be done at once.

Pull the corporate money out of the equation so politicians can actually focus on doing what’s best for the American people, instead of the corporations that buy them.

Limit wasted time. Politicians were elected to govern!

You may see some problems with these proposed ideas. You might think of a loophole or two. You may be right, but is our current system any better?

We KNOW the current process is severely flawed. We might only guess that something proposed here won’t work politically. But until we try new things, or impose new rules and regulations until things DO work better and our government DOES work for us. We are the ones at fault because we as a people are not pushing hard enough for real, true, and helpful change.

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