Discussion Responses Part A: Please respond to these students’ discussions with 50 words minimum. Also ask them critical thinking questions in each response.
1.The concept that is causing me to continue to struggle the most are the attempts to stifle and shut down the minority vote. I suppose growing up not hearing this in history class and being told the truth is sad. One could argue that children couldn’t handle truths such as this but I would argue otherwise. If children are told the injustices that were and sometimes still are done to people they may grow up wanting to change and focus on making a better future by having a real picture of the past. If as a society we continue to hide and lie about the wrongs that were done we cannot move forward. I speak from my own perspective as when I do and have done wrong I know then what I can do right or better next time.
Part B Please respond to these students’ discussions with 100 words minimum. Also ask them critical thinking questions in each response.
*My state that I represent is NY just in case you need to reference the NY laws.
1. Describe voter ID laws in a state of your choosing. Summarize any recent developments or controversies regarding voter ID laws in the state you have chosen.
· All California active registered voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 3, 2020 election. Your county elections office will begin mailing ballots by October 5, 2020.
· Voters who can vote-by-mail will help ensure safe physical distancing at voting locations.
· Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by November 3, 2020. Ballots returned at a secure ballot drop box or a voting location must be deposited by 8:00 p.m. on November 3, 2020.
· In-person voting locations will offer voter registration, replacement ballots, accessible voting machines, and language assistance to those who need it.
Analyze and describe the pros and cons on both sides of the debate about these laws.
The pros of this system outlined above will make voting very accessible and convenient for everyone since one can be home and still be able to vote considering the COVID-19 situation. The cons may be that those who may not mail out their ballots on time and miss the deadlines or mishandled them ballots due to lack of proper guidance as every election year comes with newly people who have never voted before and may lack directions as to how to follow exactly to handle the ballot papers.
Is voter fraud a major problem for our democracy, or are some groups trying to make it harder for some segments of society to vote?
I don’t think that voter fraud is any major concern. I think that checking IDs like either states or driver license, mailing address, or bank statement should be the requirement as this can help solve the problem of voter fraud if there exist any. I think that consideration should be made for people like senior citizens and people with special circumstance as well. .
Analyze the impact that media (mass and social) has had in influencing public opinion, specifically regarding voter ID laws.
The media can influence the election in both positive and negative way. This happens when the media turns to support and favor one party over the other. The media should play a role of being neutral—reporting things that they have actually covered and be authentic. This will help brings about a peaceful election.
How was the Trump/Clinton election in 2016 impacted by voter laws and the media?
In the Trump/Clinton election in 2016 expect believed that the controversial new rule that required the checking of IDs for voting contributed to the defeat of Clinton in the election as this blocked vast number of people largely, the young and racial minority from casting their ballots. It has also attributed it to the lowest turnout in 20 years. I heard in the news, the media and even there was several debates that Russia also has it hands in this election and therefore played an important role in the defeat of Clinton but as to how they did that was not so clear and I kind of wonder how a country like the US could be easily messed with in this manner if it was true.
Fine, T. S., & Levin-Waldman, O. M. (2016). American government (2nd ed.). Retrieved from
Elections and Voter Information. (n.d). Election 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/election-2020
Underhill, W. (n.d.). Proof at the polls: July/August 2011. National Conference of State Legislatures. https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/proof-at-the-polls.aspx
2. I currently reside in New York State. In New York you can use a valid state issued ID in order to vote. Every person is sent a letter to a specific place where that can vote. You can also use any other type of identification as long as it has your name and address on the document. I could not find any controversies over New York’s actually voting laws but this state does have one of the worst turnouts out of all the states. In 2016 the state ranked somewhere around 40 for worst turnout. Putting us at roughly 50 percent of the population voting. This is more than likely caused by the fact there is no early voting and not enough voting stations. The lines are extremely long and people flood them in the morning before work.
Voter fraud is a big issue when and if it happens in this country. Voter Fraud is actually extremely rare inside of our country. Lately we have heard from news outlets and the right side that there has been a “lot” of voter fraud inside the country. Its hard to get reliable news in this country now a days. One article will talk about how voter fraud is going on right now and it is happening at a rapid rate. On the other hand there are articles that talk about how that is not true and that it is extremely rare.
I have personally never seen an election that hit the media like that of 2016 with Trump and Clinton. Maybe this is because I am still a relatively young guy and do not watch the news a lot anymore. The media has been after President Trump and I do not think they will ever stop. With President Trump always talking about fake news and voter registration fraud it will definitely sway the public opinion and that of supporters of Trump to think this is something that is 100% happening. I am a republican, I have no problem saying this but I do not take everything that the right says as evidence of being true. I also do not let myself get swayed by opinions. People will always believe what they want too.
3. I am choosing to go over my home state California voter ID laws. I feel that the registering process to be able to vote here is fairly easy. You just have to prove who you are by either providing your driver license number or the last four of your social security number. Anytime you go to the DMV here for anything they always have the spot on the forms where you can check off if you want to register to vote. This year I had my ballot mailed to me for the first time and it came two weeks ago, I filled it out, signed it, and dropped it off at the County Registrar of Voters. I then received a notification when my ballot was received and my vote counted.
I don’t feel that there are any cons about the way the system of voting is set up here. I don’t think that voting fraud is an issue but I have seen people post on social media claiming to received multiple ballots with their names on it. I am pretty sure their votes won’t count multiple times if they chose to break the law and send back multiple ballots filled out. I do think some people are going way over and beyond spurring hate when they hear about others not voting for who they prefer.
The media does have a huge influence with influencing public opinion, it makes me so mad when I see a certain post being shared many times without the people who are posting them even doing a fact check first. I honestly don’t think it was a great idea for presidents to use social media to campaign because it caused more division among the country by making people fight online for not politically agreeing on the same things. In the past there have been both democratic and republicans in office but it was never the democrats vs. the republicans among the people. I asked my mom how many of her old friends were democrats or republicans and she said she doesn’t even know what they were because it wasn’t an issue before.
What to Bring to Your Polling Place:: California Secretary of State https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/voting-california/what-bring
4. I picked my home state of Texas to look into its voter ID laws. To vote in Texas you have to present one of 7 different kinds of acceptable photo IDs that are current, or for voters that are between 18-69 it can be expired but not more than 4 years. For those who are over 70 years old, the expiration date doesn’t matter as long as the card is still valid. Those 7 forms of photo ID include Texas Drivers license, Texas Election Identification Certificate, Texas Personal Identification card, Texas Handgun License, United States Military Identification Card, United States Citizenship Certificate, or a United States Passport. If you don’t have one of those photo identifiers and cannot get one for some reason you can present some supporting documents instead. These supporting documents include a copy of an original government document that shows voters name and address along with voters certificate, current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or certified mail or birth certificate. If you go this route you then need to sign a Reasonable Impediment Declaration to show the information you provide is accurate. This way of determining the person is a fraud or not is a decent system, but besides that, there is a scare on the uprise of the mail-in ballots. It seems that local officials are being reprimanded by the state’s Republican leadership for attempting to proactively send applications for mail-in ballots, while the people doing the scolding are still urging their voters to fill them out. I think for this crazy time that we are in there shouldn’t be much push back for the mail-in ballot system. As long as we give enough time for all the ballots to reach their destination with the way our mail has been getting places slower I think we should be fine. I think we should be able to give the people the option of going in person or mailing it in to stop the spread or risk of catching Covid.
Vote Texas. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.votetexas.gov/mobile/id-faqs.htm
Ura A & Livingston A Sept 4, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.texastribune.org/2020/09/04/texas-republicans-vote-by-mail/
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