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I know that, and it has facilitated all sorts of local discrimination, gerrymandering, and downright vote rigging by whoever is in power at the local level.  When the US decided it was time to take the civil rights issue seriously, it had to be done by Federal legislation against a lot of local opposition - e.g. the school busing issue.

If we are to stop whining about vote rigging and start doing something about it, we have to encourage major candidates to adopt a platform of electoral reform to be applied consistently across the US - and that can only be done at Federal level - especially if we also want to remove the Diebold monopoly control of parts of the process.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 07:55:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a very complicated constitutional issue. In the case of civil rights legislation the laws were passed relying on the 14th amendment among others. There is very little basis for the Feds interfering in state run elections. In fact, as far as the Senate is concerned voting is not even required. The state legislature can appoint senators. The same may be true with the electoral college, ie; that the legislature can appoint the electors without a vote. If I am wrong on these assertions someone please correct me.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 09:03:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After checking, I believe you are right. Neither Article Two of the United States Constitution, Clause 3: Electors nor Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution says that the electors have to be elected by popular vote.

Wikipedia says:

The Constitution gives the power to the state legislatures to decide how electors are chosen, and it is easier and cheaper for a state legislature to simply appoint a slate of electors than to create a legislative framework for holding elections to determine the electors. As noted above, the two situations in which legislative choice has been used since the Civil War have both been because there was not enough time or money to prepare for an election.


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by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 01:05:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough - as far as the selection of electors is concerned.  But can Federal laws not be written to control how Federal elections are conducted?  Otherwise what is to prevent the wholesale non-registration of minority voters, the systematic under-representation of minority areas in terms of voting booths, and the utilisation of partisan resources/people/machines in the vote counting process?  Is there not a concept of over-arching human/civil rights in the US constitution which can over-ride local and state level discriminary practices in the democratic process?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 01:51:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think if you can make a case that someone is being discriminated against because of race the feds can make a case. If the feds just don't like the way you count, I'm not sure. I have legal training but in no way am I a constitutional lawyer. You might want to email Glen Greenwald if you read him on Salon.com. He is a great constitutional lawyer.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Jan 16th, 2008 at 02:10:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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