Voter Viability Loss (A starter/primer)

With all the news that has come out of AttorneyGate, especially with respect to voting rights ( and attempts to subvert them), and the Texas Redistricting decision by SCOTUS in 2006, I think it is important, now, more than ever to concern ourselves with voter dissatisfaction, which is different from and can be more dangerous than voter intimidation. Half of the battle is voting, the other half is having it count. But if you don't even come to the polls, well you see my point...

So I wanted to try and attack this issue from the voter level. This being my first diary entry and the topic I'm choosing being such a big one, this will be a starter primer. A look into my thinking process as it were. I hope the community here will help me.

From a voters stand point the Texas Redistricting ruling, coupled with a politicized Justice Department (that we now know was trying to make the Civil Rights Division obsolete) will facilitate what I call Voter Viability Loss. First let me define some compliment terminology (these are my definitions):
  • Voter District Fatigue - A voter who is move between districts/counties numerous times and can not stay abreast of the different laws, ordinances, and the voting record of the ones who serve them may experience this.
  • Voter District Genetics - just as biological genetic diversity is essential for different species to grow and develop the ability to adapt, so too is voter diversity. By allowing constant redistricting to occur, you end up with these districts that have "recessive" traits.
  • Voter Nullification - A constituent's vote essentially being discarded because gerrymandering favors the party in power. If you don't like how an election went, wait a couple months then gerrymander that person out. (thanks SCOTUS)

Now I can define Voter Viability Loss
  • Voter Viability Loss - factoring in Voter District Fatigue, Voter District Genetics, and possible Voter Nullification outcomes, you get a picture of a viable voter and can gauge where the loss is in a defined unit
A voter will now have to work harder to stay informed of laws being legistlated in their county, city, state and ultimately federal government. But all that work is meaningless if in the end the politician they voted for (if he/she won) is gerrymandered out. Voters become disenchanted and eventually stop participating in political process.

From a political party's perspective, the way in which a state legistlative body is organized, now, promotes incumbancy over competitiveness. For example, imagine now if Ned Lamont wants to run again and is gerrymandered out through some sort of backroom deal between Connecticut Republicans and Connecticut DLC-ers. Our perhaps a third party candidate whos constituency is deliberately split across several districts. See where this is heading?

Alot of congressional seats that were becoming competitive, now have SCOTUS precedence against them. Unfortunately the only remedy now that the Supreme court has ruled, and a politicized Justice Dept., is legistlation from Congress, not state congresses. That's why this is so dangerous. By the time the Supreme Court may hear challenge(s) to it's ruling, the 2008 election maybe be over, and possibly future elections may suffer. Also issues like challenging votes, intimidation tactics, the process for voting (distribution of voting machines, waiting in line, who makes the voting machines) all play a part in the confidence of the American election process.

So that's what I currently working. I'm in the process of fleshing out the terms I describe above and am hoping to write all of this up in white paper.

Tags: fatigue, knowledge, Redistricting, SCOTUS, suppression, texas, voter (all tags)


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