observations and opinion
The news this weekend that state and county officials are trying to make it difficult or impossible, for people to vote, makes one sick at heart. The lawyers are already at work, trying to correct it. Is it necessary for international election monitors to be stationed in Broward County, for the United States to have a fair Presidential vote?
In the wide divide that cuts through American politics, the last tenuous ties from one shore to the other, is the belief in democracy itself. If one side, in any precinct, commits itself to a course of action intended to obstruct the exercise of the franchise, then frankly what common ground is left?
The long lines in Ohio and Florida of course are not outliers, but rather symptoms of a generalized effort in Republican-dominated areas, to suppress the turn-out of voters, in the admitted belief that the more people who vote, the more ballots will be cast for Democrats. The exquisite gerrymandering of districts themselves (a bipartisan effort historically) has become similarly geared to crushing the number of places where Democrats can get their ballot registered in the form of an Electoral Vote this year.
Section 14(2) of the United States Constitution, which is little quoted, says:
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State
Ignoring the inaccurate gender and age elements of this old Amendment, section 14(2) can be understood to say that a State which impedes the fair exercise of the franchise among its citizens for improper grounds, shall suffer the consequence of having its Electoral votes reduced or ignored.
The last thing America needs is another law suit, but if inevitable, maybe someone can try to squeeze some juice out of Article 14(2).