A Bit on the Citizenship Question

The Electronic Privacy Information Center sued Commerce and the Census Bureau in Federal court over the inclusion of a citizenship question in the upcoming census.  EPIC centered its case on the premise that these agencies must explain the impact on privacy of such a question prior to

initiating a collection of new information

when that collection involves electronically stored, personally identifiable information.

The DC Circuit correctly tossed the case on the grounds that EPIC had suffered no harm, so it had no standing to sue.

Pick One

Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill that returns the ability to vote to felons when certain conditions are met.  However, in his piece at the link, Arian Campo-Flores wrote

Under the bill, the state doesn’t automatically restore rights to felons who completed their sentences but have outstanding fines, fees, or restitution—common for many released from prison.

That’s a misunderstanding of the law and of the Florida Constitutional Amendment that prompted it. Either the felon has completed his sentence, or he has not. If he still has outstanding fines, fees, or restitution, he hasn’t completed his sentence.

Felons Voting

That’s what Democratic Socialist and Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I, VT) thinks ought to happen.  He couches this as all citizens having a right to vote, “even terrible people.”

Unfortunately, though, Sanders has misunderstood the nature of the social compact, and the Lockean nature of our American social compact.

Heads in the Sand

There is a Defcon computer security conference in progress at which a Voting Village hackers collection is busily hacking various voting machine manufacturers’ machines.  As McMillan and Volz put it in their Wall Street Journal piece about the Village,

These hacks can root out weaknesses in voting machines so that vendors will be pressured to patch flaws and states will upgrade to more secure systems, organizers say.

Sadly, many of those manufacturers are upset over it, even to the point of warning about voting software license abuse.  Even State government representatives don’t like the idea of testing this software’s and these machines’ security.  Here’s Leslie Reynolds, National Association of Secretaries of State Executive Director:

Facebook Strikes Again, Again

I’ve written before about the duplicity of Facebook and its MFWIC Mark Zuckerberg.

Here’s another example, even more blatant than that last.

Voter Fraud

Progressive-Democrats like to decry claims of voter fraud, denying the very existence of it and deprecating those who worry about its impact on elections, even as they worry—correctly—about Russian attempts to alter our elections.

However.

Non-American citizens are increasingly found on voter rolls thanks to covert registration methods, with nothing actually stopping them from casting a ballot in an election.

For instance,

Elizaveta Shuvalova, a Russian citizen who became a US citizen only last year, was registered as an eligible voter in 2012 and added to the San Francisco voter rolls, The Washington Times reported.

Suboptimal

A Maryland gerrymandering case, this one brought by the Republican Party, after it lost an election in the newly gerrymandered district, was before the Supreme Court this week.

One of the plaintiffs’ arguments is that the redistricting “violated Republican voters’ free-expression and political-association rights.”

Justice Sam Alito had the correct response to that bit of nonsense:

[I]f understand it, I really don’t see how any legislature will ever be able to redistrict[]

If the Republicans don’t have anything more than whining about losing an election, how can their legitimate gerrymandering complaints be taken seriously?

A Justice Misunderstands

The Supreme Court heard arguments the other day on an Ohio voter registration law.  That law removes voters from the roll if they haven’t voted over a two-year period and don’t respond to a follow-up notice from Ohio’s Secretary of State.

It’s a partisan case from the Left’s perspective: those opposing the law argue, with some justification, that those who live in urban regions (and who happen to vote Democratic) relocate more frequently than do those who live in the ‘burbs and out in the country (and who happen to vote Republican).  This would seem to put Democrats at a disadvantage in elections since they’re more likely to have not voted over a two-year period and not responded to the follow-up notice.

Congressional Districts and Gerrymandering

North Carolina’s Congressional districts are illegally drawn, says a special three-judge court.

A special three-judge court invalidated the North Carolina map after finding Republicans adopted it for the driving purpose of magnifying the party’s political power beyond its share of the electorate.

I’ll leave aside the disparate impact sewage that local districts must reflect the larger State’s electorate “demographics.”  The larger problem is with the underlying premise of gerrymandering: that some groups of Americans need their political power enhanced relative to other groups of Americans because some groups are, in some sense, fewer in numbers than other groups.

Gerrymandering and Voting Districts

Further on the Supreme Court’s considering a Wisconsin gerrymandering case, and that dredges up some thoughts in my pea brain.

Taking the Federal government as my canonical example, I suggest the following to saucer and blow the whole gerrymandering question.  Each State should be divided into squares having substantially equal numbers of citizens resident.  Then, starting with four squares sharing a common corner that is at the geographic center of the State, add squares around the four, building outward in that fashion to the State’s borders, deviating from the square and the square’s straight-line sides only at those borders.