Thursday, March 14, 2013

Can "Jiu-jitsu" Save SB 63? The Real Voting Rights Fight Behind the Theatrics.

Back in December, we discussed martial arts. Yes, that was something else. What was really impressive was analyzing Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller and what the University of Minnesota's Doug Chapin famously proclaimed to be "election geek jiu-jitsu".

In January, we came to know this "election geek jiu-jitsu" as SB 63. Miller even hosted a symposium on this and larger issues of election reform & voting rights. Mayhem then erupted when "tea party" agitators screamed about nonexistent "VOTER FRAUD!!!" At that point, I sensed trouble ahead.

And today, that trouble emerged. And of course, it emerged from Senator Barbara Cegavske (R-ALEC).

MT @SandraChereb: Cegavske says cheaper, easier, to require voters to get own ID card. /Thus does GOP turn @rossjmiller's plan to voter ID.

That is, it's cheaper and easier for the radical right to initiate voter suppression. We know Cegavske is a member of ALEC, the "Tea Party, Inc." clearinghouse for radical right legislation. She must have been upset over Ross Miller supporting his own bill instead of ALEC's model legislation for voter suppression.

Remember that this is what Barbara Cegavske and the rest of the "tea party" are demanding when they call for strict voter ID laws. They want voter suppression.

When Cegavske and her "TEA" fueled allies cry "VOTER FRAUD!!!", they're crying about a virtually nonexistent problem that's already taken care of under current law. And the "solution" they're peddling disenfranchises young & minority voters. It just so happens that young & minority voters typically don't vote for Republican candidates. I'm sure you can do the math from here.

If not, then pay attention to this.

That's what's really at stake here.

Going back to SB 63, conservative support for Ross Miller's bill had always looked suspect. Pat Hickey may have tipped his hand back in December when he drove a wedge between Miller and Democratic Legislature leaders by trying to tie SB 63 to unrelated legislation regarding driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. Now, Barbara Cegavske is confirming what we've been suspecting all along.

If conservatives really want election integrity, Ross Miller is serving it to them on a silver platter with SB 63. It has modernization. And it has visual verification. And it's not meant to disenfranchise legal voters. But wait, that may be the real problem certain radical right lawmakers have with SB 63. That explains Cegavske's call for (more) ALEC model legislation.

Unfortunately for Ross Miller, SB 63 may become "collateral damage" should Republican legislators demand the kind of voter ID legislation that promotes voter suppression. Democratic leaders clearly don't want that. Even Harry Reid has stomped his foot down on it. And not too many in Carson City seem to have the appetite to invest in modernizing Nevada elections. So Mr. Secretary and SB 63 may be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

It remains to be seen if any kind of martial arts can save SB 63 at this point.

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