hoop-jumping to vote – a decoy?

Posted on July 25, 2012


There’s been a ridiculous amount of discussion over new voting laws around this country. I don’t know why it hit me when i was reading this article about the ACLU battle in Pennsylvania , but i had an epiphany after reading this:

“The integrity of the electoral process is not enhanced by turning away people at the ballot box,” David Gersch, an attorney for the petitioners with the law firm Arnold & Porter LLP inWashington, told Judge Robert E. Simpson. “Voting is not a privilege. It’s a right. Why is it that we need all these hoops? It’s really not necessary. It’s harassment.”

The ACLU is asking Simpson to block the law pending a final court decision. Pennsylvania, one of nine states that passed strict laws requiring a photo ID to vote, has become a test case in the voter eligibility debate after a tally by the state suggested as much as 9 percent of its electorate may be denied a chance to cast a ballot in the presidential election.

…the integrity of the electoral process…….voting is not a privilege, it’s a right…

what interesting concepts.

Now let’s take it back a step here, because there is also another national dialogue happening (which I believe was given energy by Occupy and various resistance-minded groups as of late) about how voting is only the illusion of choice. This functions on at least two levels…

first, let’s talk about not electing individuals but voting on initiatives (like prop 19 or 8)… there’s a lot of legwork and money involved in getting initiatives on a ballot. The options we are presented with are filtered and and propped up by special interests (whether that be financial institutions or the Human Rights Campaign.. I don’t think they’re all that different); we are like children given options… Do you want peas or carrots for dinner, dear?

I personally don’t like peas or carrots. I would prefer broccoli and artichokes, but they didn’t even make it on the menu.

I hope my analogy is clear.. i’m only half way through with my morning coffee.

But at least those votes count (unless they defy federal law like 19 in cali). It’s not like the presidential election where the masses can vote for one person but if the electoral college votes for the other guy, well then tough shit american citizens (remember 2000?).  Add in Citizens United and superpacs, and this is why I will not be voting for a president.  Not only do i feel that I am not represented by the only candidates who have a shot at winning (thanks to the fact they are backed by many of the same high rollers and institutions), my vote literally doesn’t count for anything.

And you have a generation of young people who are figuring this out fast. Obviously generations before us have paved the path to this understanding, but I think (and maybe my unique perspective has led me astray in this) we understand it on a larger scale thanks to the information-sharing era we grew up in.

So we have this culminating understanding of the political charade we are subjected to making its way into mainstream dialogues, and then at the same time we see all these “voter fraud” initiatives where people are literally fighting tooth and nail just to be able to participate in the charade.

it’s brilliant. It changes the national narrative and keeps focus away from what i believe are the root causes of political failure in the US while it simultaneously pits average citizens who want change against each other.