Thursday, April 10, 2008

VA Drags its Heels Over Voter Registration

The nation's VA hospitals are full of disabled veterans, naturally, and many of those vets are disabled to the point where getting out to register to vote is an almost unbearable burden. So the natural solution would be for the VA -- like many other government agencies operating under the 1993 Voter Registration Act-- to take on the responsibility to get those vets registered and on the permanent vote-by-mail lists that most states offer.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

Well, not so fast. The VA itself, in the person of its new director, James Peake, is claiming that this would "divert substantial resources from our primary mission".

Substantial resources??? That may sound like reality to someone from, say, Mars, but registering to vote is actually one of the easiest interactions that take place between citizens and their government.

Here are those resource-hogging steps to get registered to vote:

1. Fill out a postcard-sized card.
2. Send it in.

And that's it. So why is the VA dragging its feet over this very simple process that would "divert substantial resources" away from veterans health care? Could it be that the BFEE is trying to suppress voting by hospitalized veterans because it's afraid that they will not vote for Grampaw McCain?

I'm just asking.


pepsiholic said...

Hey Farns, Aren't the vets that are in the VA Hospital there short term? For example, if I'm from Michigan and was injured in Iraq and was going to spend three months in the VA hospital in Virginia before returning to Michigan, why would I fill out a voter registation for Virginia?

Anonymous said...

You really ARE an idiot. What difference does it make how long they are there? If they are residing there during an election, they shouldn't be allowed to vote?
What is WRONG with you?

Farnsworth68 said...

Anon, just ignore the poor little man. As his Xian god-guy could have said, he knows not what he says.
A great many veterans in VA hospitals are there for the really long term because their wounds are so severe that they will likely never get out.
So I guess they shouldn't be allowed to vote.
First they take away the vote of the disabled, then the vote of the minorities, then ... well, you know where this is going.
Poor PH, he just doesn't "get it". But as I say, just ignore him. You won't change his "mind" and you're just giving him the kicks that he so desperately craves.
--The F Man

pepsiholic said...

Actually Anon, you're the idiot. If I'm in there for three months, I may not be there for the election.

I find it funny that you fools would think just because they were injured they would switch parties. They may have lost a limb, it doesn't mean they lost their spine and decided to vote democrat.

Anonymous said...

Why are you so hung up on that "three months" thing? What about all those other veterans who are there for as Farns says the really long term?
I guess you don't want them to vote. Why is that? Don't you trust them to fall into line with you and your Repugnican "values" when it comes to selecting the next president?

jae said...

Sorry Farnsworth. I can't Take It Anymore.

"Actually Anon, you're the idiot. If I'm in there for three months, I may not be there for the election."

From the Sunday February 7th, 2007 edition of the WaPo:
They suffer from brain injuries, severed arms and legs, organ and back damage, and various degrees of post-traumatic stress. Their legions have grown so exponentially -- they outnumber hospital patients at Walter Reed 17 to 1 -- that they take up every available bed on post and spill into dozens of nearby hotels and apartments leased by the Army. The average stay is 10 months, but some have been stuck there for as long as two years.

"I find it funny that you fools would think just because they were injured they would switch parties."

Uh....nowhere in the post or the responses did ANYONE say ANYTHING about switching parties. The reference to McCain was not a ReThug reference...just a reference to the candidate that seems most likely to continue to Endless WOT.

Besides, anyone with a brain in their head (which apparently excludes PH) knows you vote for the PLATFORM ISSUES, not the party.

Holy S**t.

(jae steps back to to avoid the spray of foam that pours from the mouth of PH)

Farnsworth68 said...

That's what he does best, J. He has nothing else to do, apparently, but erect straw-man arguments, since people like him have very little in the way of reality-based facts to back them up. That's his MO, actually, if you go back and read some of his prior posts. He will snip some minor element out of a story and elevate it to a big federal case. I think it's something they are putting in the Kool-Aid they give to poor people like PH -- if he ever had an original thought, it would die of loneliness.
--The F Man

pepsiholic said...

Uh....nowhere in the post or the responses did ANYONE say ANYTHING about switching parties.

Jae, "Could it be that the BFEE is trying to suppress voting by hospitalized veterans because it's afraid that they will not vote for Grampaw McCain?"

Wow Jae, you must be really slow... Since most military members vote republican, why else would Farns think that the VA hospital was trying to suppress voting? Or are you saying that only democrat military members get hurt and that is why Farns would worry that voter suppresion is going on? Do you REALLY think Farns would make an issue of this if he thought republican voters were being suppressed? Jeez and you guys claim to be the smarter ones, lol.

Getting back to Farns original statement, I wouldn't have a problem if they passed out voter registration cards for those service members that are going to be there during an election. What you don't need to do is make it like the DMV where as you check in, they register you to vote.

pepsiholic said...

Hey Farns, you're going to have to start paying me more money to argue with these guys ;)

Either that or get me some that actually know how to think themselves...

pepsiholic said...

(jae steps back to to avoid the spray of foam that pours from the mouth of PH)

That's pretty funny jae... conservatives aren't the ones who get all crazy and wild. When was the last time you saw conservatives carrying signs down the streets protesting something? You don't, we are the calm ones whereas you are the wild-eyed cuckoo for cocoa puffs, Bush was behind 911, the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen crazy.

Conservatives are the doers, mostly firefighters, cops, military types, business owners. We are the ones that get stuff done. Democrats are the ones who don't like to take chances... they might get hurt... fight a war??? Not me! Start a business? No way! I might lose money! Give me liberty or give me death!!! Ah, can I pick another option?? I'll be a slave as long as you don't hurt me! Liberals are mostly passive. That's why they are teachers, government jobs, social services... they are the needed drones in our society.

Another Vietnam Veteran said...

I don't want to beg the question here, but I went back and looked at the original post. There is NOTHING in it about switching parties.
I hate to be the one to break it to pepsiholic, but you don't have to belong to a political party to vote for president in this country.
Not yet, anyway. That may change if your neocon fascists get their way. And I really question your assertion about most military members voting Republican. Define "most". I haven't done the Googling myself, but I think that "most" implies a very huge ratio of Repubs to Dems, and that is not the case.

pesiholic said...

I haven't done the Googling myself, but I think that "most" implies a very huge ratio of Repubs to Dems, and that is not the case.

Another Vietnam Vet... As a liberal, you aren't used to using facts. So lets check the year end 2007 military times poll to see what the ratio is:

2) In politics today, do you consider yourself a:
Democrat 14.4%
Republican 48.9%

Hmmm... I think that is a fairly large ratio... almost 4 republicans for every democrat. And maybe that is why republicans are considered more patriotic... they are more willing to serve their country than democrats are... unless you are State department workers who are scared that they may actually have to go some place where they may get hurt (like Iraq)!

So why would liberals be making such a big issue out of this "suppression" of the military vote if they didn't think it was suppressing liberal military votes. We all know democrats have no problem disenfranchising military votes, just look at what they did in Florida in the 2000 election.

This issue like many other liberal issues is a "made up" issue. By that I mean that liberals can argue it either way. By that I mean say that suppose the VA already was issuing voter registration cards when patients checked in. What would Farns have written?:

"VA Rethugs harass wounded vets!"

In a new low for even Der Monkey Fuehrer he has the VA administration signing up wounded vets to vote. Soldiers who have lost limbs, are brain damaged and facing long recoveries and what is this administrations top priority??? Getting them healed, Hell no, it's making sure these republicans are ready to vote for the next election!!! Hospitals should be a place for healing, not political activism! Can these rethugs go any lower in their deperate attempt to gather votes from their shrinking base?

See if you are a liberal, you can argue any side you want. Bush doesn't care about the environment he doesn't support ethonal! Food prices are going up! It's all Bush's fault because he supports big agrobusiness and their money making ethonal business!

jae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae said...

Oh boy.

Another Vietnam Vet said...

Hey, pepshiholic: Gotcha!
Only in rightwing world (fuzzy math section) does less than 50% equal "most".
I have to confess, I really did the math up front and found that 48.9% figure myself. I just threw up that ratio argument as a smokescreen, since I knew that you would fall for it.
So you do admit that over 50% of all military personell are NOT Republican.
Hardly your claim of MOST, now is it?

Anonymous said...

Admit it, peps, he got you there.
Better luck next time.

pepsiholic said...

Another Vietnam Veteran, Your exact words were " And I really question your assertion about most military members voting Republican."

OK, lets do the math:

Democrat 14.4%
Republican 48.9%
That accounts for 63.3% of the military. In other words, 36.7% are independents or others. Who do you think the independents are going to vote for?

Now, lets look at who's in the military... Are you going to have any of the democrats who are tree hugging pacifists? If there are any, there numbers are probably fairly low. Believe it or not, there are democrats out there like Lieberman who put national security over politics like today's democrats do. I should know, I was a democrat while I was in the military. Even independents in the military are going to lean more republican on issues of national security. That is why democrats were so eager to challenge and try to get military votes thrown out in Florida in 2000.

...Gore’s attempt to invalidate the votes of America’s servicemen and women was part of a strategy outlined in a memo that fell into the hands of GOP lawyers. The memo outlined the steps Gore’s lawyers were to take in challenging absentee military ballots...
...Dannheisser told Flemming that he had gotten his hands on a five-page memo from a Democrat lawyer dated that day that spelled out the Gore team’s shoddy game plan to disqualify military ballots. It was written by Mark Herron, a lawyer working for Gore in the postelection battle.

"Herron distributed what obviously was intended to be a confidential memo to their lawyers, to give them reasons to challenge the ballots," Fleming told Sammon. "But one of the attorneys that they hired locally to do that said, 'Well, gee, this seems good. I´ll just send it to the county attorney in advance, so he´ll know what points I´m going to make at the canvassing board meeting.´

"So he sent it to the county attorney of Santa Rosa. It was one of the dumber lawyers that had been retained by the Florida Democratic Party," Fleming said.

After having determined that the memo was a public record by virtue of having been sent to Dannheisser’s in his capacity as county attorney, Flemming carefully read what he realized was the Gore team’s "smoking gun."

The memo instructed Democrat lawyers to make "pettifogging objections” to military ballots, especially those not postmarked.
...Tom Bishop, one of the Republican lawyers, was incensed as he watched the Democrats, armed with the smoking-gun memo, blatantly go about disqualify large numbers of military ballots.

"They had their little cheat sheet they were using, and they objected on every single possible ground they could, no matter how spurious," Bishop told Sammon. "It was so bad that there was rolling of the eyes by even some of the Democrats there who were watching their lawyers work."

Before Nov. 17, the Duval supervisor of elections compared signatures on ballot envelopes against signature cards on file. He could find only two absentee ballots that could not be included because the signatures did not match.

"But now the Democrats insisted that they be allowed to compare all signatures, one by one. For seven tedious hours, they bitterly argued that signatures on more than 100 envelopes did not precisely match the signature cards - although some envelopes had been signed by sailors on rolling seas in hostile situations,” Sammon wrote.

"You could clearly tell it was the same person´s signature, but they would object because it didn´t have a certain curlicue or didn´t have a certain twist or it was smaller," Bishop told him.

The Democrat lawyers sought to disqualify military ballots that had no overseas postmark on the grounds that some voters might have marked their ballots a day or two after the election and then mailed them in.

"But the Gore lawyers took this argument to absurd lengths by actually disqualifying ballots received before Nov. 7. One belonged to a sailor named John Russell, whose vote was unceremoniously thrown out.”

"I don´t know how somebody in the Sea of Japan or the Indian Ocean could have miraculously gotten it here on the sixth of November if it was supposedly mailed after the election," Bishop told Sammon. "The whole idea behind the foreign postmark is to make sure it´s timely." The Gore lawyers also protested ballots on which the return address of the attesting witness was incomplete. They challenged ballots on which foreign postmarks were smudged or partially illegible.

"Our goal was to challenge every vote that didn´t appear legitimate," says Mike Langton, Gore campaign chairman for northeast Florida.

By 7 p.m., the Democrats protested against 147 absentee ballots. The canvassing board agreed to hear formal arguments from the Gore and Bush camps.

A full 19 hours after it began, the nightmarish battle over Duval´s military ballots came to an end. When the canvassing board announced that the ballots of 149 soldiers, sailors and airmen had been disqualified, a pair of jubilant Gore lawyers actually exchanged high-fives for their victory against America’s service personnel.

"A Republican, visibly shaken by this sight, demanded to know how they could celebrate the disenfranchisement of U.S. military personnel risking their lives around the world. One of the Gore lawyers glibly replied: ‘A win´s a win.’" Statewide, Gore’s henchmen had been able to disqualify 1,420 ballots statewide - or more than 40 percent of the 3,500 cast.

And lets see what the latest numbers are for independent voters in the general public:

Poll: McCain Now Leading Obama Among Independents
By Greg Sargent - March 20, 2008, 12:43PM
The new CBS News poll we posted on below has some numbers buried in the internals that might give Obama supporters pause.

They show that Obama's 10-point lead over McCain among independents has disappeared and has been replaced by an eight-point lead among them for the Arizona Senator, a fairly big swing. Here's the breakdown of independent registered voters, compared with those of last month:

McCain 46% (36% in Feb.)
Obama 38% ( 46% in Feb.)

Anyway... getting back to the original discussion, we see that McCain right now gets more independent voters than Obama. but, lets say that ONLY 10% of the independents voted republican. That would mean that an additional 3.7% independents would vote republican. Add that 3.7% the 48.9% and you would get 52.6% that vote republican.

In other words I stand by my original statement that the majority of military votes republican.

Another Vietnam Vet said...

Uh, peps, the 2000 election was eight years ago... Why do you people have to go back so far in the past for your arguments?
Oh, yeah. I forgot. It's because the last seven years under Republican rule have been a total and unmitigated disaster for this country.
Your speculations on which party someone might vote fore are so pathetic as to be laughable.
You don't have the hard facts so you're trying to figure out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. If there are angels. If there is a pin.
Farnsworth is right about you. You are a sad pathetic little loser. Come on back and keep plugging at me. You will only lose.

Pepesiholic said...

Anothr Vietnam Vet, Oh, is that how you accept defeat by claiming victory? I went back to the 2000 election because it proves that even back then, demoncrats knew that the majority of the military voted republican. That is why they tried to invalidate every military vote they could. You were wrong and you know it. Next time, try looking up some facts before making stupid statements and looking so foolish.