Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Voting Rights Violators: A Fun Theory, Some Depressing Stuff, and Why It Matters

In 11 weeks we go to the polls again to reelect President Obama. Republicans know that they aren't going to gain the support of the American people, so instead they're going to strip them of the right to vote:
  • The Guardian has my new favorite theory for why Mitt Romney is refusing to release his tax returns: they could prove he committed voter fraud.  The article is worth a read, but the gist of it is that during the 2010 special election to replace Ted Kennedy, Mitt and Ann Romney did not own any property in Massachusetts and registered to vote out of their son's Belmont, MA basement.  Now just because Mitt's worth a quarter of a billion dollar and owns three mansions in other states, it doesn't prove that he wasn't living in his son's basement.  But his 2009 tax returns, which were filed shortly after the special election, could.  In fact, in cases of voter fraud by disputed residence, where someone lists their residence on their tax returns is considered the gold standard.  For extra fun, this type of voter fraud would not be prevented by Republican Voter ID laws.
  • Why do I make such a big deal out of all of this stuff?  Because Obama (and Democrats in general) beat Republicans 2 to 1 among "unlikely voters.  Those are the people most likely to get disenfranchised by voter suppression tactics.  If you want to say that makes this a partisan issue, that's fine.  But it also means that Democrats are on the side of more people legally voting while Republicans are on the side of preventing people from exercising their right to vote.  And in a democracy, that makes us the good guys.


  1. I'm glad you have regular posts coming out again :-)

  2. The Guardian makes a good case, but I like Charles Pierce's (of Esquire) theory better ~ Romney won't show his tax returns - not necessarily because he's hiding anything, but that would be interesting indeed - because Romney doesn't believe that he shouldhave to condescend to disclose anything to You People.

    1. I think some weird sense of entitlement is definitely a part of it, but if it was just that his advisors would have forced him to release them by now just to make the bleeding stop.

      Of course the true beauty of the Romney Tax Return issue is that none of the theories are mutually exclusive, they could all be true!