The Christian Science Monitor tells the story of a new “Get Out The Vote” initiative that has a great name:
National Tequila Party Movement
From the article:
“We want to motivate Latinos to vote,” says Belinda “DeeDee” Blase, spokeswoman for the fledgling National Tequila Party Movement, which has adopted a nonpartisan stance. “[Democrats and Republicans] don’t take us seriously because we don’t vote consistently.”
Through rallies and concerts in at least 20 states, the group wants to mobilize Latinos to vote in record-breaking numbers in the 2012 election. The idea is to issue a wake-up call to both parties – Democrats for taking the Latino vote for granted and Republicans for pushing policies that adversely affect the Hispanic community.
This is a great idea; getting people to pick up their heads and pay attention, by any branding or marketing means necessary, is worthwhile.
Many of us vote out of a sense of civic duty. Some do so out of a sense of pride. Some even do so when they are really mad or really happy and they want to express themselves in some political way. Whatever motivates people to GET to the polls matters far less than the fact that they DO… and that they cast their ballot.
Voting is our only direct involvement in the political process that governs all of us. Be it Tea or Tequila, all that matters is that we all do our part and vote.
Whatever it takes.
Activity is on the rise around the country to increase voter turnout. With so many known issues related to identity and eligibility verification, battles have raged in almost every statehouse in the country in recent months trying to address them. California just wrapped up their own debate and have made their next move, according to the Silicon Valley Mercury News:
Californians would be able to register and vote on the same day at county election offices under a bill passed by the state Senate.
Lawmakers passed SB641 by Democratic Sen. Ron Calderon of Monterey Park. The bill would allow eligible citizens to register and vote on election day at county election offices, but not at polling places.
The bill passed 21-14, according to the article, which suggests there was fairly strong support for the measure.
There has been a great deal of resistance to same day registration & voting because of the dramatically increased risk of voter fraud. That California tipped their hat to this concern by requiring registrations to take place…NOT at the polling places but… at a County election office seems a reasonable alternative and one that should not only improve turnout and participation but increase the chances that only ELIGIBLE and properly identified citizens will vote…and vote only once.
Governor Rick Perry signed legislation on Friday (May 27, 2011) making Texas the 12th state in the US that will require a photo ID from anyone that wishes to vote in an election. According to Reuters:
The measure was one of the Republican governor’s “emergency” legislative priorities for the session, and he’s not alone. Republicans across the country are pushing such legislation. This year, more than 30 states have considered adding or strengthening voter identification requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Photo ID requirements were signed into law in Wisconsin this week and in South Carolina earlier this month. Kansas also passed a photo ID measure this year that goes into effect January 1.
The requirement is already in place in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan and South Dakota. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton on Thursday vetoed a photo identification bill.
Opponents of legislation such as this argue that any additional requirements, or extra sets of rules, only serves to suppress votes and impinge on the rights of those without any form of photo identification. The article states that “about 11 percent of American adults don’t have photo identification” and adds that legislation like this does nothing to make voting any easier for those folks.
Regardless the party affiliation any of us might identify ourselves with… or no affiliation at all… the idea that we’d rather have everyone “able” to vote, even if we don’t know who they are or whether they are even eligible to do so, just doesn’t make any sense to fair minded people of every stripe.