Please — Don’t vote!

Terry Garlock's picture

I know I am not allowed to say things like this. Oh well, if we are to ever revive common sense, we will have to shed the blood of a few sacred cows.

Maybe I am the only one weary of bleeding hearts imploring the masses to vote. “No matter who you vote for,” they say, “it is so important to please-please-please exercise your right to vote.”

Well, no, it isn’t. If you need cajoling, pampering and special care to make sure you don’t go out of your way to register and vote, maybe the country would be better off if you stay home.

Perhaps I am alone in rolling my eyes at motor-voter laws requiring easy voter registration where every driver goes for a driver’s license.

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) was a great bleeding heart victory to grease the skids for those finding it too troublesome to register to vote the old fashioned way, which is easier nowadays anyway by Internet downloadable forms. Out of the many millions registered by NVRA, less than 5 percent actually vote, thereby creating more problems than it solves.

The NVRA imposes requirements making it difficult for states to purge “deadwood,” people who have died or moved to another state. Some states now have more voters registered than they have voting age residents. Both the registered deadwood and live and present registered non-voters are an invitation to potential fraudulent voting in person, especially in states that don’t require photo ID, or in all states by absentee ballot.

And yet some hearts seek ways to make things even easier for the downtrodden unregistered voter. Maybe we could offer voter registration at McDonald’s drive-through windows to minimize disruption to anyone’s day.

I have a contrary attitude. If you are too dang lazy to register to vote, please sleep as late as you wish on Nov. 6 and don’t sully the process that should be reserved for serious people.

I wonder if Democrats are still doing what was routine in the 1990s in New Jersey, using fists full of cash called “walking around money” distributed by the campaign to round up idle people on a bus and pay them to ride to the polls and vote for the favored candidate destined to save the world.

I don’t know if Republicans did that too because Democrats there were pretty much in charge, but I wouldn’t doubt it since dirty tricks squeeze through the tinniest crack in uncontrolled hardball politics.

Maybe new photo ID laws will help minimize those scams, even if nothing short of Ghostbusters can stop the tradition of dead people voting in Chicago.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently preached to the NAACP choir in Texas, vilifying voter photo ID laws, saying that requiring such identification is a resurrection of “Jim Crow” and “poll taxes” designed to keep minorities from voting. What a racist and oppressive idea, he implied, to ask people to prove who they are in order to vote.

I don’t know how anyone, much less an Attorney General, can keep a straight face while spouting such pandering rubbish. Apparently it escaped Holder’s notice that a photo ID was required to gain entrance to hear his speech.

As we all know, a photo ID is required to open any account, for banking transactions, to gain access to government buildings, to rent a movie, to take exams, to purchase Sudafed at the pharmacy and so on. Flying from anywhere to, say, Chicago, requires showing photo ID a dozen times before boarding an aircraft.

If you are so uninvolved with life in America that you don’t have a photo ID, you should take steps to get one just to be ready for the daily crap the rest of us have to endure. Being able to use that photo ID to then vote would be kind of a bonus.

Of course, if you are such a dim bulb that you can’t read a calendar to anticipate voting day and do what it takes to have your photo ID by then, do us all a favor and go fishing on Nov. 6 while your fellow citizens with a more active mind put it to work making what should be important choices for our country’s future.

If you are so detached and uninterested that you need someone to knock on your door and persuade you to register to vote, I suggest you leave voting to those of us who would tear down a brick wall to get to the voting booth because we care enough to be informed and involved.

If you are not cheerfully willing to show photo ID as a minimal step to discourage voter fraud, if you consider the requirement to prove your identity at the polls to be an affront and deliberate racist attempt to prevent you from voting, I hope you have more important things to do on Nov. 6.

If you can’t be bothered to google your county’s office of elections to determine the voter registration deadline before the upcoming election, if you are not sufficiently motivated to do what it takes to register to vote and have the required ID, your vote won’t be missed. Well, at least it won’t be missed by me.

In case I have been too subtle, I am unsympathetic with people who don’t vote because they are lazy, uninterested, uninvolved, uncommitted and ignorant on the issues or candidates on the ballot. I think the voting process is far better off without them.

So, if you can be talked out of voting, please use your time to watch “Dancing With The Stars” or “The Big Bang Theory.” You will be better entertained and far less frustrated than you would be voting and trying to understand election returns. Leave the important work to the adults prepared for and up to the task.

Spare yourself. We’ll take care of it for you.

There. I feel better now.

[Terry Garlock of Peachtree City occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is terry@garlock1.com.]

ptctrader2010
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You Are On Target Terry

It is distressing to know that so many "voters" are clueless to the issues, platforms, or impacts. So this past July, we had primaries here in Fayette County. I think voter turnout was 8% That 8% were the ones who knew that this primary for many of the candidates. WAS the election. It is a reach, but this 8% is the group who likely know enough to cast a responsible vote. You are correct.... there are a ton of folks who should just stay home. Not because they don't have a right to vote... Really because they lack the base intellect to know what they are voting for. Their responsibility... not yours, mine, or anyone else.

If you are going to vote...KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING OR STAY HOME!

Robert W. Morgan
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Agree Terry, it is like a poll tax in reverse, this election

Poll taxes were the stick, Obama offered them a carrot last election and did not deliver the carrot.

Meaning the people who came out in droves to vote for the very first time 4 years ago were doing it so they could get some "Obama money" or so they wouldn't have to worry about car or house payments and some definitely voted for skin color. Now 4 years later, things are worse for those ignorant voters as well as the rest of us. The ignorant did not get their goodies or special treatment, so they are going to vote with their feet by not voting. This is what has the Dems so riled up and why they are pandering to stupid people with stupid ideas and simplistic outright lies. They want those young and clueless back at the polls. If they stay away - disaster in a lot more than the so-called swing states.

Davids mom
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RWM

Interesting 'theory'. The polls just aren't showing the reality of your 'theory'. We'll see November 6. Democrats aren't riled up now - just working hard for all of the AMERICAN people during a very difficult time. You can call Democrats stupid if that makes your day. It looks like the courts are going to uphold the right of all Americancs to LEGALLY VOTE IN THEIR RESPECTIVE STATES. I remember how Georgia proudly stated that they would have a mobile unit for some rural areas for free photo ID's. ONE UNIT!! Thank you. No one is staying away. The under 50 vote right here in Fayette County will surprise many of you. They respect their elders - but don't agree with some of their ideology. Obama received 46% of the Georgia vote in 2008. Interesting. The change is not just in 'racial' demographics.

PTC Observer
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Mr. Garlock - You

know what they say.

Part 1 - If you can't win an election, then steal it.

Part 2 - Once you steal enough elections then revert to Stalin's famous quote

"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election, the people who count the votes do."

S. Lindsey
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Terry are you advocating FOR voter suppression?

Believe me there are many that need to be watching the X-Factor or General Hospital or whatever on November 7th.

There are way too many people that vote simply for a skin color, an ideology or just because someone said they should. If you don't know who you are voting for or totally ignore the facts of their own record in Government then maybe staying home is the best we can hope for.

But remember getting a FREE ID card is just to hard for some Americans and according to some... certain people are just not capable of it.

lion
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Garlock and Voting

TG's remarks on suppressing the vote are not exactly new.

They are in the tradition, particularly in the South, of denying or discouraging voting by those who are not like "us".

Poll taxes, literacy tests, and violence were used to deny the right to vote to African Americans until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Women were denied the right to vote until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920. But Georgia voted against the 19th Amendment in 1919 and did not ratify the Amendment until 1970.

Blacks and women were not like "us" so we fought to keep them from voting.

The picture ID voting requirement spreading to other states is intended to make it more difficult for the "others" to vote.

If we wanted to keep the ignorant and uninformed from voting we would bar those from voting who deny evolution, deny climate change, birthers, those who believe President Obama is Muslim, believe the U.S. Constitution was based on the Bible, and those who think (because the NRA told them) that President Obama is about to seize their weapons.

We would also deny voting rights to those who listen daily to Limbaugh, Hannity, Boortz, etc and think they are listing to intelligent political comment.

The point is that in a democracy we encourage everyone to vote--the wise and unwise, the ignorant and well-informed, and have faith that in the long run Americans will sort it all out.

MYTMITE
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I still cannot see how anyone could feel that requiring people

to have a valid driver's license or picture ID will keep away anyone who wants to vote. What can you do this day and age without proper identification? I cannot go to the doctor's office, pay for any services where I use a check and very often even if i use a credit card. You need ID to apply for anything from the gov't be it Social Security Benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps or anything else. As for the long lines to get a valid driver's license, I wonder how many of those complaining about the wait would stand in line starting before daybreak and lasting for hours to get the latest toy, i.e., I-Pad, Phone, etc. Anyone who really wants to vote can find a way to do so.

lion
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Voting ID

Imagine this:

I live in Fayette County. I do not drive. I do not have a passport or any of the other "approved" GA picture IDs for voting.

I live more than 12 miles from the Motor Vehicle Office where I can get a picture ID.

I do not have any friend or relative who can take time off from work to drive me to the DMV.

Fayette County does not have any mass transit that might take me there.

A taxi ride there and back would cost me more than I can afford.

I have voted in every presidential election since 1964 in three different states with an ID required but not a picture ID.

So do not tell me that the GA voter ID law does not place a greater burden
on some of us to vote.

As MYTMITE says "anyone who really wants to vote can find a way to do so."
You are darn right. I will vote and you can bet I will not vote for those conservative Republicans who want to disenfranchise me.

S. Lindsey
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Uhhh.. They come to you Lion

Yep come right to your door, but like someone else said how are you going to get there to vote then?

I know what if a giant meteor hits the Atlantic and floods the seaboard do you think you might float then to the polls?

wynnmeade1
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Then how would get to the polls to vote? Roar me an answer

If you suffer from all those handicaps, how could you possibly get to the polling place to VOTE, either early voting or voting day?

Or could you actually secure a ride on that one day, of all days, but not on any other day of the year preceding to get your free photo ID?

Oh, wait. You would want an absentee ballot, wouldn't you?

Can you get out to the mailbox to post your letter of request for an absentee ballot?

If so, you would need NO ID of any kind, would you?

So, Lion, why can't you vote — WITHOUT photo ID — from the comfort of your own home (rented, owned or borrowed) via absentee ballot?

And how would you then be disenfranchised?

But you will ignore this logic, won't you? Your ideology trumps all logic.

grizz
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Vote early and often

Not only am I going to place a absentee ballot in Fayette - I'm then driving to Ohio to vote there as well.

Anyone who tries to prevent me from doing so is a RACIST!!!

Robert W. Morgan
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Like wynmeade1 said, Mr. lion - why not vote absentee

Why is that so hard and what is the big deal Huh? Huh?
You know how easy it is to get an absentee ballot without an ID card, don't you? If not, ask the dead Dems in Chicago, some have been dead since JFK and his father were involved. Some are still voting. No ID.

AtHomeGym
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Lion & Imagination

Fiction is your forte; don't expect to make a living at it.

kcchiefandy
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Imagine this, lion...

...I work a low-wage job, but enough to get by. My employer does not provide medical benefits in my low-wage job, so purchasing health care is cost prohibitive, so I don't purchase any. Now the Feds can fine me for not having it.

Yeah, yeah, hey there's Medicaid, but I don't want to be dependent on the Gov't. My choice? Be dependent or get fined.

I WILL vote to get these UN-Democratic Nazis out of office.

Mike King
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lion

While I laud your defense of the privilege of voting, I would caution that in elections that seem to cast more votes than those registered, or living, there is a requirement for safeguards that uphold the integrity of the electorate.

Surely, you don't recognize the privilege to cast a ballot among the deceased, do you? Prisoners? Foreign nationals?

You get the point.

Davids mom
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Mike King

A question. How is the government validating the online/absentee voting, etc.? No photo ID is required. As has been pointed out, more of these 'different' folks (Americans) are now registered - and ready with all the required ID to VOTE!! Why, they've even figured out a way to get around the closing of polling places on Sunday - (Some states have this feature) - so that those who would vote after church - can vote at another time!! Those who live in other regions of our country are aware of the issue that lion mentions. Wow! Obama has a 10 point lead in some states. I still feel this will be a very, very close race. How many 'dead' folks voted in Georgia in 2008? Why was one Republican leader quoted as saying if this 'suppression' worked, Romney would win? (I hope you show me where this was a fabrication or misquote.) Why the slip of 'those 47% that aren't going to vote for me anyway" comment?
I'm sure you can see why there is a feeling of mistrust by some Americans regarding the Republican Party. Don't worry Mr. Garlock, there are citizens in Georgia and other states that are working hard to see that all legal registered voters will be equipped with the proper ID by November 6. (well before). We are aware that there are those who would like to classify those who haven't obtained the required ID as lazy and irresponsible, etc. - but with support, they will be able to overcome any hurdle to casting their vote.

kcchiefandy
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Mike K., why...

...would the Democrats stop a successful program such as deceased voting rights? They were once living citizens; why should death stop this? Make it inheritable by their family, and if none, award the vote based on their previous voting trend.

Heck, if the Obamites win this election, they'll be at least 800K new Latino 'citizens' to vote for them. Heck, they'll grant amnesty as their first act and add another 11 million!

When it comes to 'the evolved' like Lion, who believe 2 men or 2 women can have a child 'together' and call it 'theirs', or that government should be the caretaker of all things human, you're certainly not going to dissuade them from altering our current form of suffrage, or in the eventual end, of government.

stranger than f...
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Ethical and Responsible Voting

As this discussion expands from voter suppression (anathema because of historic civil rights abuses) to voter intelligence, its valence increases. What constitutes an ethical and responsible vote? I would welcome electors refraining from any choices until they are capable of articulating the indications AND contraindications of each candidate/issue before them. Only with this level of sophistication can responsible votes be cast. Perhaps the portion of the electorate who glean their knowledge from single source outlets such as Bill Maher, Fox News, CNBC, or a.m. radio should stay home with the soap opera crowd on Election Day.

PTC Observer
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Stranger than..... Voting

These are good points, but you see there are reasons for these uninformed voters voting, it's called self interest. The only thing that motivates their vote is what they get out of the vote that they cast. I suspect that it is primarily this catalyst, self interest, that drives most people to the polls. You don't have to know much about each candidates views if you know which candidate will line your pocket. If you are a defense contractor, my guess is you will vote for the Republican and if your a person on food stamps you will vote Democratic.

So, you see choosing the candidate becomes simplified if you know which party is going to line a particular special interest's pocket. This is democracy in action STF.

I am sure you don't believe that it is some noble calling to do what is in the best interest of the country that motivates people to vote, not even the dead ones.

stranger than f...
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Less voter participation

PTO - Obviously, your assessment of self-interest fueling elective choices explains voter motivation and behavior. My Utopian comments are merely an extension of Mr. Garlock's wish for appropriate (vs. universal) voter participation.

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