We know conservatives on the Supreme Court would just as soon the whole Voting Rights Act were scrapped. And "as [Chief Justice] Roberts undoubtedly knew, the chances are slim that our highly polarized Congress can reach agreement on a new formula for the Voting Rights Act (even if lawmakers did, the Roberts court may not accept it)," Norman Ornstein writes in the Washington Post today.
"But the decision in Shelby County v. Holder should serve as a springboard to something more ambitious: a drive for a new Voting Rights Act that would go beyond the scope of the original to make voting more universal and accessible to all eligible Americans." ...Norman Ornstein, WaPo
Ornstein goes on to suggest changes in how we vote, changes that seem so obvious that we have to wonder why we haven't seen them made already. Take voting in federal elections: how about a separate federal ballot that corrupt state authorities can't fool around with? Separate from those state ballots with endless choices and propositions and referenda? How about no more state specials like "butterfly ballots"?
How about putting the onus of registration on the state? How about a Social Security card with a photo that the state is obliged to give every citizen?
Why shouldn't it be easy find your voting place because any voting place is open to you in a federal election? No problem! "Congress would provide the funds to modernize voter registration lists and create a 21st-century voting process in which voters could get personalized ballots printed, with all the offices they are eligible to vote on, at any polling place in their vicinity. Why shouldn’t Americans be able to vote at any nearby polling center?"
Gee, imagine that! Actually making it easy! pleasant! No more Tuesdays, but a 24-hour period over the weekend! Plenty of early voting!
Meanwhile, back in reality:
A liberal civil rights hero and a conservative Wisconsin Republican joined forces Wednesday in an uphill fight to restore the voting protections shot down last month by the Supreme Court.
Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.), and James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) urged a Senate panel to bury partisan differences and update the Voting Rights Act, a 48-year-old law designed to protect voter access in states with histories of racial discrimination. ...The Hill