Voting

A Pre-Marked Voter Registration Card? It's All in the Overrated Tradition of Democracy.

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Pre-marked voter registration
KGTV

It's fair to say that never has an ambitious government program been passed without an eye to buying votes or even—what the hell—buying voters outright. From a politicians' perspective, what's the point of expending time and effort on legislation if it's not going to win a little ballot box love? So it's little surprise that a couple in La Mesa, California, not only received a voter registration packet from Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange charged with implementing Obamacare in California, but that the form was helpfully pre-marked for the Democratic Party.

From ABC10 News:

A local couple called 10News concerned after they received an envelope from the state's Obamacare website, Covered California. Inside was a letter discussing voter registration and a registration card pre-marked with an "x" in the box next to Democratic Party.

The couple–who did not want their identity revealed–received the letter and voter registration card from their health insurance provider Covered California, the state-run agency that implements President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

They have lived in La Mesa for years and they have always been registered to vote Republican. Now, they are perplexed as to how the voter registration card pre-marked Democrat ended up in their mailbox.

Why is Covered California sending out voter registration forms to nearly four million enrollees? Well, it has a big database, and voter rights groups threatened legal action unless that database was put to good use.

It's not a terrible stretch to assume that a health program closely associated with a Democratic president and his political party might attract more potential donkey voters than fans of the competition, but pre-marking the registration card with that choice is a tad presumptuous. Even so, Covered California claims astonishment, and refers inquiries to the Secretary of State's office. The San Diego County Registrar of Voters sends people with questions to Covered California.

It's a mystery!

Assuming the worst (and not an unfortunate error on some low-level somebody's part), this is small potatoes compared to how voting used to be handled. Writing for The New Yorker a few years ago, Jill Lepore told the tale of a somewhat vigorous election day in 1859:

On the morning of November 2, 1859—Election Day—George Kyle, a merchant with the Baltimore firm of Dinsmore & Kyle, left his house with a bundle of ballots tucked under his arm. Kyle was a Democrat. As he neared the polls in the city's Fifteenth Ward, which was heavily dominated by the American Party, a ruffian tried to snatch his ballots. Kyle dodged and wheeled, and heard a cry: his brother, just behind him, had been struck. Next, someone clobbered Kyle, who drew a knife, but didn't have a chance to use it. "I felt a pistol put to my head," he said. Grazed by a bullet, he fell. When he rose, he drew his own pistol, hidden in his pocket. He spied his brother lying in the street. Someone else fired a shot, hitting Kyle in the arm. A man carrying a musket rushed at him. Another threw a brick, knocking him off his feet. George Kyle picked himself up and ran. He never did cast his vote. Nor did his brother, who died of his wounds. The Democratic candidate for Congress, William Harrison, lost to the American Party's Henry Winter Davis. Three months later, when the House of Representatives convened hearings into the election, whose result Harrison contested, Davis's victory was upheld on the ground that any "man of ordinary courage" could have made his way to the polls.

Political factions have always tried to put as much pressure on the voting process as possible and, in the process, render the whole thing as bogus as can be imagined (assuming that you think 50 percent plus one has some special significance to begin with). Compared to a bloody gauntlet, pre-marked voter registration cards are mild stuff.

But we can use an occasional reminder that politicians expect a return for their efforts, and they're willing to put a thumb on the scale to get it.

NEXT: Judge Rejects Drug Court Judge's 1.5 Year Plea Deal, Demands 2 Years Instead

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  1. …but that the form was helpfully pre-marked for the Democratic Party.

    It’s California. What difference does it make?

    1. The only people who complained were racists.

    2. Indeed, California is one of the states where everyone gets to vote in everyone else’s primary.

      So the sole purpose of doing this would be to make it *look like* there are more registered Democrats. So it totally has the stink of something a progressive Democrat would so.

      1. Not only that, but suppose they didn’t have the crossover primaries. What good would it do the Democrats to enroll Republicans into their party?

  2. Davis’s victory was upheld on the ground that any “man of ordinary courage” could have made his way to the polls

    To be fair, this was 1859, and our nation’s reserves of courage had not yet been depleted by the latter half of the 20th century.

    1. *by the events of the latter half of the 20th century.

    2. Speaking of outrage Celebrity mom says something, millions of other moms offended.

      1. She wasn’t too busy to write that letter was she?

      2. You don’t think Gwenyth said something extremely out of touch? I’m not surprised people got annoyed. Are we also going to pretend that she doesn’t have a million assistants anyway?

        1. There is nothing particularly difficult about raising children and having a full time job. Paltrow actually had a point, it is easier when you know your schedule for weeks/months in advance, it allows you to plan.

          1. It only gets easier when there are multiple children and the older can be forced to raise the younger.

            1. It only gets easier when there are multiple children and the older can be forced to raise the younger.

              This is a friend’s “retirement plan.” He had five kids by the age of 30 and is grooming them to take care of him by the time he and his wife retire.

              1. Yeah, I’m sure the kids he’s already enslaved the hardest are going to be really psyched to take care of him in his old age.

                1. No, Nikki, they will manages the orphans in the monocle factories!

          2. Do you think most mothers have the kinds of assistance Gwyneth Paltrow does? Raising children with a full time job is a piece of cake if you’ve got nannies.

            1. Hmmm, I manage just fine without a nanny. Keep making excuses.

        2. It’s supposed to be news that she said something out of touch? This woman’s entire career is based on nepotism. So she’s always in the news for some elitist comment. I don’t care, either. It’s just weird that people wouldn’t have gotten used to it by now.

  3. the Overrated Tradition of Democracy

    1,000,000 wolves and 999,999 sheep…

  4. As mendacious as I believe the bureaucrats of the state of california to be, even I cannot help but think that this is a hoax.

    The fact that I put the odds at 50/50 of hoax though is perhaps the most disconcerting.

  5. They send those to everybody with an hispanic surname, because they are genetically programmed to vote for Democrats.

  6. All part of proud (D) tradition. Vote Early, Vote Often, Vote (D).

  7. So glad we don’t show a party affiliation on our voter registration cards in South Carolina. We have open primaries where you can vote in any party’s primary.

    1. The idea of an open primary is even worse than the idea of a primary. Either it’s a matter for the party to pick their candidate, or it’s a matter for the final ballot. I prefer to let all candidates who have signature numbers onto the final ballot with no party designations whatsoever (or allowing as many with the same party designations as got the signatures for those parties)

      1. If the party wants to have control over its elections, then it should not have handed them over to the state. If I’m paying for the election, I should be able to participate in it.

  8. Well, we can’t know whether it was done by the mailer, the old geezer marked it and forgot, or it’s a hoax, but it’s absolutely certain that Matt Drudge has an erection right now.

    1. In typical prog fashion, when presented with examples of the moral vacuity and slimeball-tactics so often employed by their fellow TEAM BLUE teammates, the only reaction is to sniff haughtily and remark in condescending fashion, “Oh, I assume those monkey-people who dare oppose us must be finding this somewhat amusing. How droll.” No reflection whatsoever on their own complicity or their own inherently anti-‘democratic’ tendencies in service of maintaining power.

      1. I’d be appropriately outraged if this turns out to be a conspiracy. Appropriate as in proportionate. As in this is about 1/10,000th as outrageous as the Republicans’ national campaign of overt suppression of the franchise.

        1. Fake scandal in the making?

        2. Use of IRS to suppress political groups?
          Surveillance of Associated Press to identify political leaks?
          Throwing man in jail for YouTube video to create substance for coverup lies?

          YAWN = OTHUR SIDE WORSER ME MORALLY SUPERIOR YAY

          1. Yes, a national campaign to suppress the vote is worse than all those bullshit trumped-up scandals.

            1. by ‘suppress the vote’, are you referring to people asking for identification?

              1. Among other obvious and admitted-to schemes to suppress the vote.

                1. I am curious, how does showing you really are the person on the voter rolls “suppressing the vote”?

                  I assume you would take a check without ID, yes?

                  1. Or check out a library book without a card or ID?

                    1. Requiring IDs makes it harder for some people to vote and that is the only reason it exists and you can get Republicans to all but admit this. This is not even mentioning cutting early voting, Sunday voting, closing precincts, and the other schemes with just this purpose.

                      It is truly beyond the pale for you guys to support this. You are the liberty guys. You want less bureaucracy over our fundamental rights. You are willing to accept the risks that come with smaller government. This is absolutely a big-government solution to a problem that doesn’t even exist.

                  2. “I am curious, how does showing you really are the person on the voter rolls “suppressing the vote”?”

                    Because blacks and hispanics are too stupid/lazy to get IDs.

                    Deep down, this is really what they (white progs) believe.

                    1. “Requiring IDs makes it harder for some people to vote..”

                      like I said…

  9. assuming that you think 50 percent plus one has some special significance to begin with

    Its significance is that it is not 50 percent minus one. You people act like changing one person’s mind is the biggest imposition ever. “Why can’t I just get my way all the time??” you seem to ask.

    1. You provide proof as to how intractable people are when presented with evidence, so changing minds is rather difficult.

      1. The Cato Mercatus Study on How Less Regulation and Lower Taxes Are Still Awesome! does not count as “evidence” in my book, but so what you’re saying is that it would be so much easier if you could just force your silly little cult on everyone instead of having to bother will the pointless rituals of engaging in the marketplace of ideas and winning elections. Totally understandable.

        1. Did Tony make the classic mistake of confusing me for a Libertarian. I’m a social and fiscal conservative, dipshit. My core values are personal responsibility and debt-free operation. On financial matters I’m aligned with these people on reason because the government needs to reign in its rampant profligacy and pay down it’s debts before even thinking of spending money again. The very simple fact is, eventually people stop loaning money to wastrels, and the well is going to dry up really bloody fast.

          1. I’m a social and fiscal conservative

            My mistake: your silly big cult. It’s just such a shame that your men in office are unequivocally far worse stewards of the federal budget.

            1. There are no social and fiscal conservatives in office and the moment, so I find your counterfactual accusation confusing.

              But then I remember who you are, and feel some iota of pity for you.

    2. Proggy projection of the day?

      “Why can’t I just get my way all the time??” you seem to ask.

      I know; its still early.

  10. “buying voters outright.”

    Buy American!

  11. As in this is about 1/10,000th as outrageous as the Republicans’ national campaign of overt suppression of the franchise.

    Yeah, suppressing the ability of people who are not citizens or otherwise unqualified to cast a vote is like The Worst Evsr.

    1. I love it when self-described liberty maximalists advocate putting a layer of bureaucrat between people and one of their most basic rights to address a problem that doesn’t exist.

      1. “Problems that don’t exist”

        http://www.cincinnati.com/stor…..o/6712981/

      2. “Problems that don’t exist”

        http://articles.latimes.com/20…..t-20140127

        1. Yes, a problem that doesn’t exist, that being an epidemic of voter fraud widespread enough to justify the extra layer of bureaucracy you want to impose on people’s fundamental right. Since two cases meets this standard for you, clearly you must be in favor of much stricter gun control measures. You know, since you’re for more government separating people from basic rights in the name of protecting the public.

          1. I’m going to use Tony logic here. According the 2A, I have a right to beat arms.
            Therefore, I ought be able to buy a gun with no restrictions or regulations, and if I can;t afford one, Tony’s tax dollars should pay for me to get one.

            1. Gun regulations propose to address problems that actually exist in this universe, which can’t be said about widespread in-person voter fraud.

  12. When I voted in 08, I was handed a sample ballot outside helpfully filled out for the Democratic ticket, so I would know how to keep the cash flowing.

    It was that kind of neighborhood.

    1. In Chicago it is the “palm card” that gets handed out. By very helpful men in union jackets!

    2. As long as you weren’t asked for ID, it’s A-OK!
      /Tony

  13. Compared to a bloody gauntlet, pre-marked voter registration cards are mild stuff.

    And yet, a merely ‘confusing’ ballot* was akin to a coup being orchestrated by the GOP.

    *Apparently confusing to Democratic voters, but not confusing to fifth graders, scientific studies showed.

  14. “any ‘man of ordinary courage’ could have made his way to the polls”

    I’m all for a gauntlet of running firefights being a requirement to get to the polls. My candidate would win every election.

  15. “any ‘man of ordinary courage’ could have made his way to the polls”

    I’m all for a gauntlet of running firefights being a requirement to get to the polls. My candidate would win every election.

  16. “any ‘man of ordinary courage’ could have made his way to the polls”

    I’m all for a gauntlet of running firefights being a requirement to get to the polls. My candidate would win every election.

    1. Squirrels!

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