This blog originally founded by Blogger who holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Is it Fair?


One great strength of a Democracy is the ability of its citizens to choose their own leaders. Unlike the pretended democracies such as Iran, Cuba, China and the like, our system serves us well. That is unless of course you lived in old Chicago where they voted the dead, or unless you happen to live in a small town like I do, where the right to choose one’s leaders can be usurped by transients.

The loss of self-governance here is not exactly equivalent to the loss of self government in the false democracies. However, the outcome is the same. Dis-empowerment creates disheartenment. Our little community is a case study of the unintended consequences of giving transients the vote. Several years back, students of our large university were granted the right to vote in local elections. Now it is heartbreaking to watch the anguish on faces of local candidates for office, who serve their communities for years, carried all the local precincts, then watch their victories snatched from them when the results of the university precincts come in–voting precincts set up conveniently in buildings on campus.

Mistrustful of government interference in their lives, the locals have a long history of voting against intrusive government. There are more Republicans registered than Democrats here, and Republican typically carry all of the precincts where long-term residents live. Yet even with that history and with superior numbers, Democrats hold every leadership position.

What distresses is that everyone wants to encourage young people to practice citizenship. However, some may be able to understand why small communities might want them to practice some place where they will have reason to be committed to the long term future of that community. Also, it would be more just if they were out from under influences of unscrupulous adults who manipulate them for their own political purposes.

13 comments:

guy faulkes said...

You used to be able to purchase a copy of the voter registration information from the Board of Elections that would give you all of the information they had on someone when he registers to vote. You could get this information sorted by precinct. It included the birth date of the individual concerned. You could get a report of this information that includes only those that actually voted in a particular election.

Due to privacy concerns, they will no longer give you the birth dates. If they did, it would be interesting to get a copy of the voters in the last Town of Boone Elections, screen them for those within the ages of 18 to 25 and go to the ASU site to see how many are students. If there was a way to get their home (original) addresses from ASU, it would certainly be interesting to see how many (if any) are registered to vote in two places. It would then be interesting to know which location is valid, or if people voted in two places. Someone good with Excel or Access could do the screening very quickly, but, to the best of my knowledge, the information is no longer available.

Before some of my liberal friends get their panties in a wad, please note this information would show problems with people registered in either party.

Wolf's Head said...

I doubt it would be of much concern to the Republicans, they tend to follow the voter laws.

From what I have seen, it is the dems who consistantly pull voter fraud at elections, Mayor Daley and the Chicago Machine being prime examples.

The dems seem to think the ends justifies the means, and they mean to be elected. Clinton exemplified this when during his testimony on his '96 election run he justified questionable campaign monies from the orient by saying that "I had to do something about the Republican Juggernaut that was heading into the election." This, of course, means that the electorate was fed up with the left's policies and he had to do anything, even illegal, to keep power.

Considering that anyone with a driver's license can now register and vote, even an illegal alien, I expect massive voter fraud in the next election.

But the Republicans are too spineless to do anything about it.

Reader said...

From speaking with a few students at work, I don't think they give a shoofly about our local elections. When the presidential elections come around, they are flipping through the channels like crazy to keep up with the candidates, but I haven't noticed that with local elections. They don't even mention it. Half our town must not care either. I voted and will again. The people in the ETJ would love to have the opportunity to vote. Why don't they get to vote? Are the students required to have a town address or just a PO box? Where do you find information on the requirements of voting in the TOB? The older I get, the more interesting these things become.

Morgan said...

Anyone who actually lives within the town limits can vote in the town elections. One would think it a pretty simple concept to wrap one's mind around. If you are asking do students have to actually live on campus within the town limits, the answer is yes, having a PO Box is not sufficient.

Wolf's Head,, you are indeed a student of right wing talk shows, but the premise has already proven to be false. In fact, I challenge you to report here and to the police any of these "dems who consistantly pull voter fraud at elections,". You cite Daley and the Chicago machine as an example. I presume you are thinking of the old Mayor Daley and not the current one. You show an incredible ignorance of American History if you claim that the Democratic Party is the one party to have engaged in corrupt machine politics. If you bother to do a little research you will find that both current parties, and all parties in our history, have engaged in extensive corruption and have constructed elaborate political machines.

If you do a little more research, you will learn that the talking point you are so faithfully parroting has been proven to be both false by republicans in the Federal Government and a deliberate, cynical lie engineered to manipulate the vote in favor of republican candidates.

You should do a little more studying before forming your opinions. Don't let yourself be such a tool for a political party. Try to start from democratic principles and work from there. Decide on whether something is right or not based on its own substance and not on who ultimately benefits.

Anonymous said...

Morgan,

How does the Board of Elections verify a person's physical address? How do they know someone lives in the city limits?

Reader said...

I admit to not knowing a lot about politics, so forgive me.

I should have rephrased my question in the previous post. The majority of the students' addresses are their parents. I was just wondering if it's legal to change your address to vote and then change it back after voting?
The parents don't want to pay property tax on a child's vehicle in two counties. If it's legal, then it's legal...just asking.

Morgan seems to want to talk down to me. Shyster doens't get involved with local politics, so maybe someone else can answer.
Guy, Wolf, Blogger?

Opinionated said...

You have to have proof of your physical address to register to vote - a utility bill works, since folks don't pay for electricity where they don't live. And you can't register to vote in two places, especially since the dawn of computers. If you're in the database registered somewhere else and you register here, you're kicked out of the other place's registration - ergo, you can't vote there.

Students who are not interested in local elections don't vote in them here. Those that ARE interested, do vote. I don't see the problem.

a friendly local said...

The problem arises where a student claims to have more than one residence, because you can only have one legal residence. This address required to be listed and be the same for voting as it is for DMV. Where does a person really live when they claim a dormitory (which is closed half the year) as their residence for voting, but have a Charlotte address on their license, reqister their car in Charlotte for taxes, have their personal bills sent to Charlotte, and have a Charlotte cell phone number?

Morgan said...

The answer is they choose which one is their primary residence. This is exactly the same for all citizens. You might be familiar with Floridians who live here for six months and in Florida for six months. They choose one to be their primary address and vote in that precinct. If a person has multiple addresses than it is up to them as a citizen to choose which one to be a voter in.

I don't mean to be perceived as talking down and I don't mean to single you out, but the right to vote is a very basic premise of democratic society, something that one would think would be taught in school. Yet I would suggest that the vast majority of the American people don't understand basic democratic principles. How can our country regain its strength if the basis of that strength, our democratic principles are abandoned? There are too many too willing to discard these principles for short term political gain.

guy faulkes said...

Reader,

To the best of my knowledge, the lists of registered voters are not purged on a regular basis. The Board of Elections relies on attrition to purge the roles for them. In other words, people move away, register somewhere else, and do not vote here for years. Eventually the problem is supposed to take care of itself.

There is no cross referencing of registered voters between counties to the best of my knowledge. One can apparently register to vote in a municipal election if he claims he has been a resident of the municipality for as long as 30 days in some instances. In other instances, I have heard there is actually no set time that you have to be a resident. You just have to register by the deadline to vote in the election. To the best of my knowledge, there is no procedure to check to see if someone votes in two separate locations (in different counties) except by someone challenging the individual vote at a location on election day. There is no requirement to inform the old place one was registered that one has moved and is now registered somewhere else. As far as I know, one could conceivably vote both places. This would not necessarily be done in the same election or for the same races. For instance, it might be possible to vote in a municipal election both in Boone and Charlotte. There is no statewide voter identification method to prevent fraud of which I am aware. I have asked about this at the Board of Elections in the past, but have never been given a definitive answer.

If there is better information available, I would be as interested as you in finding out what it is and how the system works.

Wolf's Head said...

Opinionated your wrong about the electric bills. I have 3 other houses where I pay electric bills at other than my residence.

I called the elections office before the election and was told that to vote in Boone you needed a photo ID such as a driver's license, a physical address, such as a dorm room, be living here for 30 days prior to registering and fill out a voter registration form which askes if you are registered to vote anywhere else. To be registered in more than 1 precinct at a time is a FELONY.

From what I understand, if someone puts down the dorm as his residence, he should have NC plates, NC driver's license, be registered to vote ONLY in Boone, pay NC income tax and so on.

Otherwise I don't think they are residents.

Reader said...

I appreciate the answers Guy and Wolf. I admit I have never taken an interest in politics until this year. The town elections have gotten my feathers ruffled just a bit, so that's why I have been interested. I am from a family that have never really talked about politics, we all feel this is a personal subject and not interested in fighting among one another. I was curious about the students and their voting, that's why I asked. I don't want to offend anyone by asking questions that should have been taught to me in school, but I appreciate your kindness in explaining them to me.

Chris E. said...

Yeah, those damn kids. How awful that they have the right to vote in local elections. If only we could just get rid of that pesky 26th amendment...

This post is insulting and condescending to those of us students who actually try to keep up with local politics. Instead of sobbing about the failure of local conservatives to reach out to students, (here's a hint, you may want to tell candidates not to pull a Blust and declare that students should not be allowed to vote.) Work harder to make your case to the students, show how their voting choices will directly affect both their education and their quality of life here in Boone.

Comparing students to shiftless drifters will not help your candidates. Supporting candidates who want to revoke one of the most basic American rights will not help your reputations.