The Real Voter Fraud

Nov 08, 2016 · 360 comments
Joe (NYC)
If voting is such a sacred right, then why do we stand for such thinly veiled ways of preventing people to vote? Why weren't the primary's disenfranchisement acts covered? Why was the Democratic National Convention misrepresented? Why in the face of the wikileaks memos, where it was proven that the laws were broken, no action was taken? Our Republic is down the rabbit hole.
Brad (North Carolina)
I exercised my right to vote today and am amazed at how easy the process was considering I live in a state mentioned in this article as restrictive. No photo identification or any form of identification required at all. I simply stated my name and address and was provided a ballot. I watched the volunteer search for my information and noticed my son's information filed beneath mine. He is attending an out of state university and will vote via his updated, "out of state" registration. I could have easily returned later today and voted on his behalf and no one would have known. By the way the whole process took me 20 minutes and I live in Wake County, one of the most populated counties in the state.
sonnet73 (bronx, NY)
Why, in the world's most advanced technological democracy, are there long discouraging lines to vote, obstacles to voting, questions about voting, difficulties about voting, challenges to voting? We need to make it EASIER to vote. Duh. My high school students could come up with better ways. Why in THIS are we so analog and primitive. It doesn't make sense.
Getreal (Colorado)
Don't forget the 2 ton gorilla at the polls.
This horrible Voter Fraud is perpetrated on Americans in every election.
"republican Gerrymandering."
Never mind Hillary's much to do about nothing E-mails. Why aren't the republicans responsible for the gerrymandering in prison for voter fraud?
Ashley Madison (Atlanta)
I can't think of a better I cannot think of a better way for the Republican Party to mend bridges with groups who were a minority in the past than to enthusiastically embrace the franchise of the vote. It would be a best practices method of proving to voters that their votes count and they are citizens in good standing.

Suppression will fail. The leftover stench of it can only be eliminated by embracing full citizen's rights for everyone, not just their own committed voters.
Ellen Liversidge (San Diego CA)
I know this article is about fishy business in the general election, but what about all the shenanigans that went on during the primary? Many here in California felt/were disenfranchised when the NYT and other media called the primary for Clinton the day before we had a chance to vote. And this wasn't the half of it.
Great White North Guy (Canada)
Most citizens of the world are stuck in various degrees of authoritarian regimes and can only dream of living in a democratic country. But the world has been watching this election with fear, amusement and bewilderment as the U.S. exposes just how weak democracy can be.

Gerrymandering, voter suppression and intimidation, racism, threat of not recognizing election results, politicizing the judicial branch, threatening journalists, and vowing to lock up political opponents, are all contrary to democratic values. Democracy is sought after around the world, but who would want a system like that? I my opinion, this election is a strong argument for autocrats around the world to convince their people that democracy is a bad system. Are the Chinese people wanting a U.S.-style democracy now? Are the people of Hong Kong helped in their battle to seat duly elected pro-democracy representatives? Is the Turkish people trying to resist a creeping dictator helped? Are Russians watching with envy?

Democracy is a fragile social contract rooted in the agreement that we all have a voice, agree to disagree, and that by compromising and accepting not winning on every issue, we can strive for the betterment of everyone. These elections exposed how badly a democracy can run amok when it is highjacked by money and special interests, and stops serving society at large.

Watching these elections, the world has lost one potent argument in favor of democracy.
jerome whitson (California)
The article makes good points, but is incomplete. See this, from CBS:
"Election judges in Clinton Township, Butler County confirmed there were issues with two of their eight automated voting machines. Most of the issues came when people tried to vote straight party ticket.
However, other said they specifically wanted to vote for Republican Donald Trump only to see their vote switched before their eyes to Democrat Hillary Clinton."
jblog (Connecticut)
I live in Connecticut -- a state so blue we look like a bruise -- and we have a voter ID law here. What could the justification be in such a progressive state?
Cogito (State of Mind)
SCOTUS will weigh in after Hillary is president and appoints the missing justice (and maybe 1 or 2 more). Until then, we have a Supreme Court that is in collusion with Republican voter suppression.
Jim (Canada)
It always amazes me that Americans want to insinuate themselves in foreign countries to monitor the vote, to ensure the voting is fair, all the while allowing massive voter disenfranchisement within their own country. I understand that millions of Americans are disgusted by the tactics of the Republican party to disenfranchise Americans of African descent but it is time to do more than be disgusted. It is time to talk about the fact that Jim Crow has never stopped, that the efforts to stop Americans of African descent from voting have changed but NEVER stopped. That the policy of the Republican party is to do everything legally possible to disenfranchise Americans who are not likely to vote for them. That the Supreme Court was WRONG when it ruled that parts of the Voting Rights Act need no longer apply, that racism is over because they had an American of African descent as President. This issue has to be high on the agenda of the next administration and kept there by the media. The fact that going to jail as a felon PERMANENTLY disenfranchises human beings says that you can never repay what you may have done, that you are forever less than a full citizen. That is permanently and forever wrong.
Ian Maitland (Wayzata)
Apropos of the tear jerking "atrocity story" about the retired legally blind lawyer whose vote didn't count because he put the date in the wrong place. Color me skeptical.

The story reminded me of the great British lawyer Lord Birkenhead, known to everyone as F. E. Smith. Back in the early 20th century, F.E. had been briefed for a tramway company which had been sued for damages for injuries to a boy who had been run over. The judge was deeply moved. ‘Poor boy, poor boy’, he said. ‘Blind. Put him on a chair so that the jury can see him.’

F.E. said coldly: ‘Perhaps your honour would like to have the boy passed round the jury box.’

‘That is a most improper remark’, said Judge Willis angrily.

‘It was provoked’, said F.E., ‘by a most improper suggestion.’

Election judges have a tough job, and probably very little discretion. But if the election had been close enough for a recount, I have no doubt that his vote would have been reinstated.
Ellen (Palos Park, Illinois)
My North Carolina resident brother recently told me it was too expensive for the state to open all those early voter polling sites. Of course this didn't apply to where he lived, he was able to vote early without waiting in an unreasonable line.
tbdb (south carolina)
Reasonable access to the ballot box with meaningful enforcement mechanisms should be at the top of President Clinton's agenda. Mandatory early voting and population-proportional sites for early voting in all federal elections. And, to perhaps give the party of Piety and Voter Suppression something to think about, a significant criminal penalty for officials and persons acting in concert therewith who ignore court orders or intentionally give misleading information regarding voting qualifications and procedures. The party of Property Rights is all to happy to deny citizens of their most important right in our democracy, and that needs to stop.
LHC (Silver Lode Country)
Here is one key constitutional provision which creates and exacerbates the problem: "The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof. . . ." (Article I, Sec. 4.)

The clause goes on to say: "but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators." But Congress does not see fit to set aside state control over elections to the House and Senate. Individual States are far more likely to discriminate against certain people than Congress is.

Article II, sec. 1 doesn't help. As to election of the President, the States also control the process: "Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress. . . ."

We need one consistent set of rule and procedures governing elections to federal offices. We cannot allow the States to continue to control then.
Andrew G. Bjelland, Sr. (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Why is it that Democrats often approach the courts in order to secure voters' rights?

Why is it that the Republicans seldom, if ever, do so? Is it because the Republicans are beginning to think that gerrymandering alone will prove insufficient to keep their zombie party shambling onward? What next? Will they be losing faith in trickle-down economics and other key elements of their fact-free ideology?
Ian Maitland (Wayzata)
As I recall, the genius of gerrymandering was Philip Burton (D. Calif.). Both parties practice gerrymandering, and both parties go to the courts to try to overturn what they consider to be gerrymandered districts. I'd day the Democrats have bene better at it than Republicans. Democrats normally win any race to the bottom.

The most disgraceful gerrymandering is a result of the Voting Rights Act which has been interpreted as requiring districts gerrymandered to ensure that African-American candidates get elected.

Where are all of the Democrats who noisily deplore the role of money in our politics and yet have fallen silent over Hillary Clinton's huge financial lead over Donald Trump?
Andrew G. Bjelland, Sr. (Salt Lake City, Utah)
"The court can acknowledge that its 2013 dismantling of a key part of the Voting Rights Act hinged on an overly rosy view of the aftermath. The Equal Protection Clause offers one solution, as the scholar Richard Hasen has argued: The justices could interpret it to overturn state laws making it harder to register and vote."

This seems like a good strategy.

Does anyone have an equally good plan for getting the Supremes to back-track on Citizens United and on its decision that the 2nd Amendment is not primarily about supporting a well ordered militia, but is ultimately about each citizen's right to open-carry military weaponry wherever the citizen might wish?
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
Feel welcome to Utah, Andy. I am sure the locals are glad to have you around.
Citizens United is the best thing that ever happened to Hillary's campaign, which may total as much as Barack raised in BOTH of his races together.
You'd be shocked how few full-auto weapons are even in private hands in this country. That process is petty complicated.
But if invading militaries are packing single-shot rifles like the British had in 1776, then America is more than ready, I'll give you that.
Queens Grl (NYC)
Fine dismantle CU but then cut out ALL union money.
Ashley Madison (Atlanta)
I have a much better idea. Send a majority Democratic Congress back to D.C. to actually fulfill the will of the people. That act alone will tilt the SC balance so that reasonable interpretations of our Constitution may prevail.
Rick (New York, NY)
What I'm about to write should be properly classified as paranoia but can't be dismissed in the wake of Florida in 2000. Each state controls its own voting and certifies the results through the office of its Secretary of State. Because of the Republican wave elections at the state level in particular in both 2010 and 2014, almost every Secretary of State in a battleground state is Republican. Each of them has at least some leeway to shape the results by setting the guidelines for voting. You can bet that each Republican Secretary of State will do what (s)he can to shape the results in Trump's favor. Florida is again a concern on this front; it would not surprise me if SOS Ken Detzner were as in the tank for Trump as Gov. Rick Scott and AG Pam Bondi are (her conduct in particular regarding Trump has been egregious).

The underlying lesson in all this is that state elections matter - a lot. Some of them could even end up deciding future federal elections, perhaps even the Presidency. Vote today, of course, but also vote in off-year elections and make informed choices for state races (and local races too) as well as for federal ones.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
You're not paranoid. Some are ethical and some are not, but the continuing effort to prevent Democrats from appointing judges and otherwise take over ever possible office has been in evidence for a long time. 2000 was particularly egregious with Jeb Bush, FL SoS Katherine Harris ( and the 2008 movie Recount), and others colluding to elect GWBush. There was Diebold and the unaccountable voting machines. There's the FBI refusing to go after Trump and his Russian connections. There's Merrick Garland and a raft of other delayed judicial appointments for the last 8 years.

You can get some of the material from Jane Mayer's Dark Money (some of her reporting is also accessible at The New Yorker which you can read online).

Generally speaking, the effort is despicable and, unfortunately, successful.
Ian Maitland (Wayzata)
The conspiracy theorists aren't all in Trump's corner!

From the same Wikipedia entry Susan cites: "The Florida Supreme Court decision was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore. (2000) In a per curiam decision, by a 7-2 vote, the Court in Bush v. Gore held that the Florida Supreme Court's method for recounting ballots was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. By a 5–4 vote, the US Supreme Court held that no alternative method for a recount could be established within the time limits set by the State of Florida."

Surely the story in Bush v. Gore is that the Fla. SC almost pulled a fast one by selective recounts?
FiremanWTF (Alexandria)
I worked for many years on international election administration promoting programs to encourage greater voter turnout and elimination of roadblocks that citizens face when trying to vote. A true democracy should find ways to maximize voter turnout rather than find ways to prevent people from voting. It's clear that in the US there are politicians who are constantly looking for ways to stop people from voting especially anyone of color. The Republican Party is especially guilty of this travesty of justice.
joltinjoe (Mi)
Easy to say but not factual. In Chicago alone there is and has been proved voter fraud by Democrats more so than any Republican effort ever. Your bias leads to lies. Always and everywhere. It will always be so. Remember that always. Now you know!
Ian Maitland (Wayzata)

You say "true democracy should find ways to maximize voter turnout rather than find ways to prevent people from voting."

I agree that people should not be prevented from voting, but (1.) there is nothing democratic about maximizing turnout (that is for the individual to decide), and (2.) voters should be expected to show some gumption about providing themselves with ID and otherwise planning to vote.
Donna (California)
Is the hatred of Black and other minority voters so intense? Is the reality that this type of disenfranchisement is never punished- the impetus? Is the lust for power the cause? WHAT....IS...IT that propels otherwise decent human beings to contort themselves; the laws of this nation to deny others the same rights to freely exercise one of the hallmarks of citizenship?
I wish one Republican had the decency, honesty and integrity to explain the thinking behind the continuing subterfuge of yelling *Rigged*. How does it work? Who aides the alleged individual? How does said individual manage to vote 3,4,5 times at a polling place? I so wish Loretta Lynch would actively pursue those elected officials who've perpetuated the purging of hundreds of thousands of black voters. When will the protection of a citizen's right to vote become a top priority with our Justice Department: This must become as much a priority in this nation as thwarting foreign terrorism on U.S. soil.
Rick (New York, NY)
"WHAT....IS...IT that propels otherwise decent human beings to contort themselves; the laws of this nation to deny others the same rights to freely exercise one of the hallmarks of citizenship?"

C'mon Donna, you know the answer to this question. It's the desire to win at all costs. It's really as simple as that.
joltinjoe (Mi)
I am a decent independent voter. Voter fraud is a continuing practice in Democratic citadels, especially in Chicago. Now even computerized voting machines have been clearly shown to be full of fraud. 100 cast votes for a Republican candidate were tested. 86 votes assigned to the Democratic candidate. Whew. Four years ago in Minnesota 86,000 votes were recounted in the Senatorial election. All 86,000 votes turned up for the Democrat. One needs no further proof. Now you know!
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
As Barack Obama joked in 2008, cities like Chicago rig elections by allowing votes ''from'' the dead and others who moved away long ago.
Cities like Philly simply erase GOP votes from poor black neighborhoods as probably cast in error. Nobody seems to mind all that much.

Minnesota rigged a Senate election by slipping votes cast by felons in prison in while people weren't watching. That state didn't allow convicted felon to vote, but Al Franked was sworn in anyway.

As long as North Carolina's election process was run by Democrats, you'd think that anything going wrong there was done by them. jus' sayin'
Jim (Phoenix)
Ran into Alice Cooper and his wife this morning at our polling place. The shock rock star is a good guy in real life, does a lot of charity work here in Phoenix and is well liked, but they sent him back to his car to get is ID anyway before they'd let him vote. You just can't make this stuff up.
Michael (Houston)
The NYT has written several articles this year about the Right trying to stop Minorities from voting. However, in those articles, early voting is never discussed. For those who are working lower wage working jobs, getting time to vote on a specific day can be very difficult. But when you have two weeks, like Texas has, the opportunity to vote is dramatically increased. When I voted on November 3, I was i and out within 7 minutes.

Here we have the NYT critiquing all the voting laws, but they never mention New York state's lack of early voting. That's rich.
This is all very confusing. Is there no voter fraud whatsoever, or is voter fraud rampant? The answer seems to depend upon whose voter is being frauded.

If Trump claims voter fraud is rampant, the Times rebuts his assertion in the strongest terms.

However, if the Times sees voter fraud behind every Republicant action, we are offered an in-depth analysis of the breadth and depth of institutionalized fraud (rephrased by the Times as "disenfranchisement") perpetrated on defenseless members of the Democratic minority block. Sanctioned, of course, by a corrupt Supreme Court.

Very confusing.
Gunmudder (Fl)
You said it. " we are offered an in-depth analysis of the breadth and depth of institutionalized fraud". And Trump and the GOP proof? Non existant.
Mike (somewhere)
What confusion?'re talking about the same phenomenon and the Times (as well as other well-sourced media) has a consistent position...assertions of voter fraud are bogus are being used precisely to justify legal measures to suppress voting by various groups who will run afoul of minor administrative oversights. The Times does NOT assert 'voter fraud' but 'voter disenfranchisement''s different sides of the same issue, not an inconsistent view of voter fraud...there is NO voter fraud, but the threat is used as a bogey man to force the courts to approve measures that will suppress votes among groups that typically lean Democrat. You're either not understanding the issue or being willfully obtuse to make confusion where there is none.
Dan M (New York)
I am so sick and tired of the "voter suppression" nonsense. It is 2016, how many people can not produce a photo identification? Leonhadt suggests that Congress impose minimum standards for each state. what exactly would that be, checking for a pulse?
Reality Chex (St. Louis)
Do you not pay attention to the news stories on various Republican voter suppression efforts, Dan M? In Texas, the answer to your question was "over 200,000 people." The number varies by state, but in each instance, thousands of people would lose their right to vote because of so-called photo ID bills. That's an unconstitutional infringement on their right to vote.
LHC (Silver Lode Country)
Sorry, an, you seem not to be listening. ID laws aren't the only impediments to voting that are purposely erected to suppress votes. The times of day when voting may take place, the number of polling places, the number of machines at each polling place, the locations of polling places. All of these factors impede some people from voting. Take, for example, an urban district in which working class people live. They have jobs. If the polls don't pen until, say, 8 .a.m they're already off to work. They won't be able to vote until after work. If the polls close at 7 p.m. many are left standing in long lines as the polls closed. They are eligible to vote, eager to vote, willing to wait in line after a day's work. But they are shut out. Now picture other districts of African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities. It's easy to suppress their votes. All you have to be is unAmerican enough to want to.
shayladane (Canton NY)
Furthermore, in many states, it is not having just a photo ID, but having a specific ID which many college students, the poor, and minorities have difficulty obtaining because the only places to get it are too far away.
Ps Bregman (Toronto)
Tbis should be the number 1 post election issue with a goal of total enfranchisement by 2018. (yes I am American and can vote)
JTSomm (Duluth, MN)
And here you have the most important reason to vote for Hillary and Democrats in down-ballot races--particularly in the Senate. If Democrats can nominate the next Supreme Court justices, voting will be protected for millions of American citizens. If not, our democracy will be in peril.
jim emerson (Seattle)
If you don't know your own or your country's history, and most Americans don't (but that's another subject entirely), it might be hard to understand why, say, simply requiring a photo ID to vote could actually be (especially in some areas of the country) used as a form of voter suppression.

But there is no evidence, anywhere, of significant/widespread voter fraud (voting by dead or otherwise legally ineligible voters, or multiple ballots cast by individuals, for example) in this century, so most of these so-called "anti-fraud" tactics must, by definition, be addressed at something else. And, if you know about Jim Crow practices, you know how suppression can be disguised behind seemingly neutral ("states' rights!") and sensible housecleaning practices (large-scale purging of voter rolls, "caging lists" -- ostensibly to weed out ineligible voters, etc.).

The ideal American process has always been to allow all voters who show up at the polls knowing their own names and addresses to cast their ballots. And if, after Election Day, when each state verifies its vote-counts locally, any are found to be questionable, they are investigated and disqualified at that point (long before electors meet in December).

This campaign has been a lesson in Jim Crow "dog whistle" rhetoric. The only documented, widespread voter fraud (and voter suppression) tactics have been designed to prevent people from casting their legitimate ballots in the first place.
Peter (LA)
There is vanishingly little voter fraud at the actual polling places, and attempts to stop it are certainly really about voter suppression. But there is a certain amount of voter fraud going on with elderly people and absentee ballots. This happens in nursing homes. This is related to what Breitbart (I think) did with raising money by writing to residents of nursing homes claiming that their contribution (entirely fictitious) was "lost in the mail", and it would be a blessed act to send another. Vicious elder abuse.
Frea (Melbourne)
That, and the disfranchisement of thousands through crimes that have no relation to their right to vote.
People's crimes should have nothing to do with their voting. They're still citizens and part of society.
It is a tool born from the racial past of the country, where all manner of trickery was used to disenfrnachise some citizens.
No body should even have to "register" in the 21st century in the United States. Citizens should automatically be added to the voter rolls upon birth and shouldn't have to jump hoops to be able to exercise their right to vote.
And voting day should be a public holiday.
It's funny how the US claims to promote democracy around the world, yet, has all manner of undemocratic facets itself that would really surprise people who don't really know what the US voting system is really like.
mike russell (massachusetts)
There are several messages from Republicans in this election. First, they have no shame. They are defying court orders in North Carolina and Ohio. Local registrars refuse to register black voters. The rule of law means nothing to them. They see themselves as above the law. The 1965 voting rights law should never have been voided by the Roberts court. I lived in Tennessee for 39 years before moving to Massachusetts. The Republican legislature there in one of their gerrymandering moves put two popular black representatives in the same district. That violated the law. If Hillary wins, I hope that she nominates to the Supreme Court someone interested in overturning what the Roberts Court did. Democracy has been under attack in this election. Lets make America great again by restoring it where it has been demolished.
Dennis Walsh (Laguna Beach)
North Carolina has an opportunity today to join the 21st Century. Voters can turn out the party that works in every way to suppress the vote. They can demonstrate to the rest of the country that they are indeed the New South..... open, integrated, welcoming and in the cultural mainstream. Or they can allow leadership that holds onto the past and all it's ugly baggage. Seems like an easy choice to me.
Marie (Boston)
There are many who fight tooth and nail for their right to bear arms. They fight any restriction believing the the rights granted under the 2nd amendment should be unencumbered. That any restriction of their rights is affront to their rights as citizens.

So why is that so many of those who so strongly support their constitution rights in one regard are all too willing to see the basic right to vote be subject to restrictions, laws, and institutional barriers?

Is a vote more dangerous than a gun?
Frank Mann (Washington)
The 2000 election recount was stopped due to "no uniform standard".
How about a National Voter ID for EVERYONE who is an eligible voter.
As opposed to NRA cards, it would seem to be a standard that EVERYONE could agree upon, right?
Cogito (State of Mind)
The recount was stopped because the fix was in.
Joe S. (Harrisburg, PA)
Mr. Leonhardt writes: "...the once-radical notion that human beings should think for themselves, rather than merely obey kings and priests."

Unfortunately, it's becoming more common to find people who do indeed wish to mindlessly follow some sort of royalty or, especially, today's version of "priests". Someone who will take the heavy lifting of thinking off their shoulders, so they can focus on more important things like sports or reality TV.
Incredulous Canuck (Canada)
Of all the ghastly elements of this election, voter suppression is the most shocking to me as a Canadian, both as to its impingement on democracy and the lackadaisical attitude of the press. Instead of being led by the nose and noise to parse each day's developments (mostly a spinning wheel of trash), why was the press not loudly and persistently vehement about voting restrictions. In any respectable democracy with current technology, voting should be as easy for everyone as most everyday transactions. Why go on about the racism of candidates where there is systemic discrimination which inevitably weights votes in favour of the privileged. Will Trump have to stand in line for 6 hours to vote?
vanowen (Lancaster, PA)
We sure have come a long way from the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004 haven't we...........America, where every vote counts, except when it doesn't......
Locke (Philadelphia)
This election and the wikileaks have taught us that we can't trust the MSM media, they are just colluding shills for the bad guys. As painful as it's been for many of us, Julian Assange deserves a congressional medal of honor and all of our gratitude.
Rebecca Rabinowitz (.)
Anyone sentient and honest can draw only one inescapable conclusion, namely that the GOTP lacks the demographics to win elections without stealing them through voter intimidation, illegal voter purges, disenfranchisement and Jim Crow suppression tactics in every red state, and hard gerrymandering. There is, indeed, voter fraud, and it is being perpetrated by the amoral, anti-Constitutional thugs in the GOTP, who are obsessed with absolute power over all else. Let them go down in flames today - that is, if those they are desperately trying to prevent from casting votes can manage to prevail. Election Day, 2016, 12:19 PM
Marcko (New York City)
I voted this morning in the suburbs of New York City. There were long, slow moving lines. Those working the polling place seemed to have only a vague idea of how the process works. It was not apparent if anyone was in charge to help direct the process efficiently. Voting itself was done by filling out cumbersome sized paper forms with felt tip pens and then feeding them into ancient-looking tabulation machines. I had to put my ballot through the machine three times before ti was accepted. An uninformed observer watching the circus atmosphere at my polling place would be forgiven for presuming that the powers that be had deliberately designed a system designed to suppress or dis-incentivize voting to the greatest extent possible. I can only imagine how much more difficult and time consuming the process is in less fortunate neighborhoods and in places where the local leadership has put up significant roadblocks to voting access. It seems that with the advent of digital technology nearly twenty five years ago, and its purported (though nonexistent in my extensive experience) security issues notwithstanding, there should be a better way of allowing Americans to exercise this most fundamental of our rights than that on display in my town today.
Michael (Morris Township, NJ)
If less time for early voting in NC is racist "voter suppression", where is your outrage at NY, which doesn't offer it at all? How can a minor curtailment of the number of days be a violation of federal law, while not providing it at all is just ducky?

Where is your admission that in many states with voter ID requirements, Black turnout INCREASED? (Fine racists these "vote suppressers" turn out to be!)

Automatic voter registration isn't a bad thought; it is usually done through MVC/DMV, which means the voter must provide good proof of identity and address, etc., It enables catching people who vote in multiple jurisdictions, etc.

(Alas, here in NJ, when the Dems posted a bill providing for automatic registration, they actually included a provision which excused fraudulent voting!! You can't make this stuff up.)

Let's be clear: it is EASY to register. (Too easy, as the repeated fraud, mostly by Democrats, shows; even you can't deny that). And it is EASY to vote. It's borderline racist to aver, in effect, that Blacks (and other so-called minorities) are incapable of coming to the polls on election day or voting by mail if they can't.

There is no evidence - NONE --that reasonable security measure "suppress" voting. Bit it gins up the base, so the fact that it's a lie won't get in the way.
Cogito (State of Mind)
Just keep on harping on that lie about massive voter fraud...
Silence Dogood (Texas)
It is really sad that Republicans wax eloquently about the government they claim to love and know so much about, and then the next moment they do everything in their power to impede the electoral process.

The party of family values, small government, etc. is just a ruse, and a nasty one at that.
TD (Indianapolis)
As someone who voted for Sanders in the primary, I think that the time and expense that the Democrats put my state through to hold a primary for their party was a compromised, maybe even worthless. It is clear from emails obtained through wikileaks that my vote was really just for show, and the process was a sham. We talk about rigged elections after the primary, but the whole nominating process was an insult to honest voters whose motives were sincere and based on what they care about. It was HRC, or bust, and the rest was fraudulent.
Fred DiChavis (NYC)
Sadly, efforts to suppress the vote for partisan gain probably will continue until the political price for such efforts becomes unbearable. Since we no longer seem to have a civic morality above and beyond partisanship, it's difficult to see how this happens.

I wonder if instead we could make some kind of grand bargain: universal (reasonable) voter ID laws in exchange for across the board access to early voting and other reforms. At the least, this would make it crystal clear that there's no motivation for these rancid practices other than trying to influence the outcome.
Carl Diehl (Fairfax, CA)
Only one party is trying to suppress the vote.
Carol (New Mexico)
"If Congress won’t act, the Supreme Court can."

This is true only if the Senate stops treating SCOTUS like a Senate subcommittee and makes prompt nonpartisan justice confirmations. You all had an article on this recently. Sorry to say I would not be concerned about this issue if we were looking at a new GOP president. So I guess I am getting the government, or lack thereof, that I deserve.

My county has finally settled our issue of voter lines with a voter bar code id. Early voting was heavy but lines moved quickly.

My state also have a historic problem with the final vote count (it takes weeks) and if the cause was tech rather than partisan vote challenges I am hopeful that some improvements have been made. We'll see.
L (TN)
All this is wishful thinking. How do we change the system when those who are in control of Congress and like it this way write the rules? Nearly every incumbent would have to be replaced by someone who wants the rules rewritten. In other words, the GOP would have to give up Congress to a more moderate coalition. Not likely.
Ps Bregman (Toronto)
If you can get enough voters telling them to start respecting voters nkt the Freedom party and send the same message every day you will geet media attention which matters them even if voters don't. It could be spread nationwide with eve RY Tuesday designated as Give every American the vote day" Piles of oletters and petitions make good photo ops. Couple with a website showing real time progress. In an age of social media we should start using it for important things
Rick (Summit)
Live in s Republican town in a Democratic county and we have one fewer machines than usual. Line is an hour and a half long all morning.
Jay Joris (Houston, TX)
In my opinion, the prospect of finally having a woman president, especially this woman president, makes 2016 extremely inspiring. That so many men are blase about this speaks volumes.
Ian Maitland (Wayzata)
Today David Leonhardt joins Donald Trump in the gutter in claiming that our election is rigged. Just the other day, Leonhardt was accusing the GOP of "a new level of partisan cynicism." I suppose in an election, like in love and war, everything is fair.

Take Leonhardt's second charge about partisan cynicism. He was talking about rumors that a GOP Senate majority might seek to seat a ninth justice, "simply for ideological reasons." I am sure readers were shocked, shocked that politicians might act out of ideological motives.

Leonhardt wrote: "Refusing to seat a ninth justice, simply for ideological reasons, would be a clear and worrisome break with democratic tradition."
But wait. As long ago as the Bork non-confirmation, the Times editorially opined that a Supreme Court confirmation is and always has been ideological.
(Has the Times flip-flopped since, like it did over filibusters? Guess.) Does Leonhardt not remember the views of Senators Biden and Obama?

But my point is Leonhardt's liberal double standard. (At least they have some standards!). You see, liberals are perfectly happy for Justices to decide cases based on their ideology. But how is it OK for judges to judge ideologically, but not for Senators to confirm (or not) on ideological grounds?

A new level of partisan cynicism? Tosh. Partisans make that charge about their opponents every election.
Carl Diehl (Fairfax, CA)
Only one party is trying to rig the election by suppressing the vote: the Republicans.
Richard (Madison)
I just voted at the same polling place I've used for the last thirty years. The line was five times longer than it usually is, even at 7:15 AM, but no one was leaving. Lots of my neighbors, determined to send a message to the Republicans that run our state now. Your voter ID law notwithstanding, we will not be denied our vote or our voice. Your day of reckoning is at hand.
MikeM (Fort Collins,CO)
I liked how honest some of the NC legislators were saying, "We're not racists. We're not trying to suppress the votes of people because they are Black or poor. We're just trying to suppress votes of Democrats." Apparently they believe if the discrimination is purely political, it should be okay.
Marie (Boston)
I noted on the electoral map that polls close in "most of Indiana, the eastern half of Kentucky" at 6 PM. 6 PM doesn't leave people, primarily working class people, very much time to get back to the polling places from work and would seem to be a means of preventing some people from voting.
Lucy (Indiana)
In Indiana we have several days of early voting with evening hours as well, to give every qualified individual the opportunity to vote. There are many places to register, including the BMV. On Election Day, It's 6 a.m. Until 6 p.m. A photo ID is required, as it should be. There is nothing that precludes a person from obtaining a state photo ID. They are easily available. I think it's important to make sure that only US citizens over the age of 18 vote, and that they only vote once. If one is so irresponsible that they can't obtain an ID, why should they be allowed to vote?
Margaret G (Westchester, NY)
In states like Alabama and Wisconsin, State officials moved places to obtain IDs out of poor and minority areas. When you don't know where your next meal is coming from and you don't own a car, how do you amass the resources to travel an hour or more to obtain an ID?
Majortrout (Montreal)
For such a great country, you have so many faults that are so against "We, the people".

1.Voter Fraud
2.Vote prevention
3.Corruption at the highest levels of government
4. The largest police force and armed forces in the world, next to Russia
5. Letting the Banks and big companies, and Big Oil off the hook for their
indiscretions, while sending "small fry" felons to jail for years and years.

However, you are a great country, and I hope that it will come back to what it once was.
JayK (CT)
With all of the incessant stories and talk of voter suppression, voter fraud, rigged elections, discriminatory photo ID laws, etc., I have finally come to realize how fortunate I have been my entire life to not have to worry about any of these impediments to cast my ballot.

I walked into my polling place this morning (an elementary school), took my assigned place in one of two lines based upon the first letter of my street address.

I was not approached or accosted by any insane "poll watchers" brandishing guns or even idiotic second amendment fan boy t shirts. It has been this way for basically the forty or so times I've walked into a polling place.

One man directly in front of me line, in a fairly innocuous fashion, did ask me who I thought would win the election.

I modestly demurred (not easy for me) that it was probably not such a good idea to discuss it in line. He understood, and left it at that.

When I got to the check-in table, I presented my drivers license, they verified my address, gave me a ballot. I walked over to one of the voting "booths", filled in the ballot, then took it to the ballot counting machine and fed it in.

May your experience today be so powerfully mundane.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
Mine too, but they don't require ID. They just check my name on a list twice. Perhaps if I seemed confused they might ask for an ID? The procedure is careful, but the honesty is clear and the experience friendly. I know, voting in South Boston, that some of these people know that as an incomer I have different politics from them. But that does not lead to disrepect but to tolerance.
Peter (LA)
Interesting... I had an easy (except for a modest half-hour line) time voting. Here in California we don't have to show our drivers license, though the young fellow behind me did. Wonder what that was about... Maybe he has a tricky name that he's bored of spelling out. Maybe he doesn't like to talk to strangers. Maybe he thinks we all should do that.
Linda (Oklahoma)
I didn't realize this happens until it happened to me. I don't think it was done on purpose, just oversight, although who knows? When I moved to Arkansas I registered to vote when I got my driver's license. When the Senate election came up I went to vote. There I was told I wasn't registered. I said I registered when I got my driver's license and they answered, "They forget to send those in all the time." I lost my chance to vote because motor vehicles forgot to send my registration in.
I checked to make sure I was registered to vote here in Oklahoma before this election. I told them what happened to me in Arkansas. The head of the county's election board said, "It happens here all the time, too."
I wonder how many people across the country can't vote because wherever they registered forgot to send the registrations to the election boards?
Richard (Madison)
If you believe the DMV workers "forgot" to send in your registration, Chris Christie has a bridge in New Jersey he'd like to sell you. Provided you close it on demand, of course.
Margaret G (Westchester, NY)
It may be time to criminalize failure to hand in voter registration forms.
Carl Diehl (Fairfax, CA)
Welcome to yet another Republican voter suppression technique.
njglea (Seattle)
This is a Great idea, "The Equal Protection Clause offers one solution, as the scholar Richard Hasen has argued: The justices could interpret it to overturn state laws making it harder to register and vote." The right of every American citizen of age to vote must be protected. Automatic voter registration when a citizen turns eighteen years old is a good first step.
That is what Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton supports.

WE have to make sure democrats and independents take back the Senate so she can appoint justices who will make decisions based on law and social reality instead of BIG democracy-destroying money.

Starting tomorrow WE must deluge the current Senate with relentless correspondence of every kind demanding that they CONFIRM JUDGE GARLAND NOW. It's the least we can do for President Obama as he ends his service to us.
Lucy (Indiana)
We should never confirm a justice as a favor or token of appreciation for a president. Ajustice should be chosen based on their education, reputation, and dedication to upholding the constitution.
jkj (Pennsylvania)
The ONLY fraud is by the unAmerican unpatriotic fascist deplorables and Republican'ts. The only way they win is by lying and cheating as per their actions not words! Oh, don't forget their scare tactics. They are guilty of campaign and election fraud as there is no, and never has been or will be voter fraud.

Americans, don't mess this up!

How to fix it? More voting days and hours, NO VoterIDs which is a poll tax and unconstitutional against the 15th/19th/24th Amendments, mandatory voting or fines, restore the Voting Rights Act and update, Motor Voter Bills, etc. Plus, vote against ALL Republican'ts and deplorables. Problem solved.

Take back the Senate and House Tuesday November 08, 2016.

Tuesday November 08, 2016, vote ONLY Democrat and shove the Republican'ts and deplorables so far down that they will never recover and end up in the trash heap of history where they belong. Problem solved. Simple.
Indie Voter (Pittsburgh, PA)
There is no disenfranchisement in voter identification laws. In fact having no voter identification is a far more damaging crime. You must have and possess a valid ID to partake in almost every other facet of our society. Including but not limited to buying insurance on the ACA website, receiving subsidies, entering a state or federal building to conduct business, other simply paying with a credit card.

But when it comes to that which is the most important and fundamental to protecting our freedoms people say it is not fair to ask for such or some poor person in far flung reaches of society cannot vote.
Jim (North Carolina)
There is no problem with voter fraud. Not that the party that denies climate change is likely to pay attention to data.
Meredith (NJ)
Did you actually read this article? Silly omissions or mistakes like putting the year in the wrong place has zero to do with ID, and yes, sorry, that is disenfranchisement. So is deliberately and knowingly defying Court orders, whether you agree with them or not. Voter suppression practices are very real - that's also deliberate disenfranchisement.
Sashafleming (IL)
I don't quite understand why asking for i.d. is a racist form of vote suppression. If this is based purely on cost, there are far more poor whites in the US than in other groups.
Jim (Long Island)
It is not the just asking for ID. It is passing laws requiring ID when no voter fraud based on false ID is presented ( 31 proven cases nationally out of one BILLION votes). It is allowing gun licenses as ID but not college ID. It is requiring an ID issued by motor vehicle offices and then closing or severely restricting hours for such offices in minority neighborhoods.

In short it is a complete integrated collection of rules and regulations designed to keep people from voting. This cycle it is mostly Republicans doing it. But I am against it regardless of what party does it.
Meredith (NJ)
The answer is no, it isn't based purely on up, please. Trust me, reading is a very, very good thing - even if Trump doesn't think so or do it.
Peter R (San Diego)
In Australia, if you do NOT vote, you have to pay a fine!
That seems like real democracy. If only that were possible here.
tired of belligerent Republicans (Ithaca, NY)
We think we're an "advanced" country, a model for the rest of the world. We are not.
Ian Maitland (Wayzata)
I want my own vote to count -- and everyone else's too.

But I am ticked off by David Leonhardt's "strategic" outrage. Look it's the even of the election. Partisans are in full cry accusing the other side of atrocities against democracy. If Leonhardt is sincere in his concern with the integrity of the process, then his timing is weird. No, I think this is all about whipping his side to the polls.

Leonhardt might follow up on a recent MIT PhD thesis, reported by the estimable Tyler Cowen over at Marginal Revolution. Cowen asks, "Do voter ID laws matter for outcomes?" And he answers based on the thesis "Not very much, and maybe not at all." November 7, 2016.

As for the Reuters report Leonhardt cites, it smells to high heaven. A retired blind lawyer. What a tear jerker! Is Leonhardt saying that if the election is close enough so that each vote counts that the vote won't be reinstated in the recount? Sorry I don't believe a word of it.

Shame on Leonhardt for trying to drag politics into polling places.
Meredith (NJ)
Gee, silly me, and here I thought polling places were specifically designed for politics....
Carl Diehl (Fairfax, CA)
Spend a few hours as a poll watcher in AZ (as I am doing at this very moment), and your eyes may be opened as to needless confusion, delay and discouragement these voter ID laws cause.
Lawrence (Washington D.C.)
You can be sure that gerrymandering occurs in bluerer than blue states as well.
Maryland's congressional map has to be seen to be believed.
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
@Lawrence: Find me the Republican office-holders who support nonpartisan (not bipartisan) redistricting, and I will be happy.
Jim (North Carolina)
False equivalency. Every democrat in the country would be happy to have fair districting, since if they were fairly represented they would have control of all three branches of government and ... might be able to preserve Democracy.
Instead, it seems unlikely there will be even a faint chance at actual governance at the federal level for decades.
Easy Goer (Louisiana)
I just voted in Louisiana, and I had to present my photo ID. I sure hope it is because I was born and grew up here; moved to NYC in 1988; (after 28+ years there) I moved back a couple of months ago. It sure better be...
Third.Coast (Earth)
It seems like we end up here every four years. It would be amazing if the "black lives matter" people refocused their energy on the issue of ballot access. Challenge accepted?
Solomon Grundy (The American Shores)
Voter fraud is rampant and the Left wants it to continue. Illegals, felons, dead voters. All good as long as they are voting for Democrats. My solution to the voter fraud problem is more voter fraud. If the GOP committed fraud bigger and better, then the Democrats would get on board with stopping this shameful practice.
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
Gunmudder (Fl)
It took the judicial branch to stop the GOP from disenfranchising voters! Your comment doesn't even rise to the level of ignorant. It's just a big lie and you have been caught.
Carl Diehl (Fairfax, CA)
Actually the real fraud is Republican voter suppression. Felons who have served their time have paid their debt to society. They should not be disenfranchised for life. That's not part of their sentence.
Paul (Albany, NY)
The election campaigns in 2016 sheds light on Congressional Republicans' actions in the past, and the intentions behind those actions. Their intention in 2000 was to truly rob the election for George W. Bush with the Supreme Court playing partisan kingmaker. The Republicans' actions also shed light on their intentions to impeach Bill Clinton - saying that moral values was their goal only to reveal their core "religious" base does not love their neighbors if they are brown or black. Their goal to invite Netanyahu to speak in Congress against the sitting President was not because they had a legitimate concern about foreign policy, it was to weaken Obama's foreign policy (at the expense of America's concerted Will abroad; a weakening of that concerted Will has embolden nations like Russia who see cracks and openings from Republican partisanship). Many voters wrongly think the problem is Washington because the media has false "balance" by blaming both parties for the actions of one, monopolistic, increasingly authoritarian party that is undermining the independence of the Judicial system, the Supreme court, and the FBI. This is a slow motion coup.
Debbie (Ohio)
I would give anthing to talk to Justice Roberts and question him if he still believes that cutting the soul out of the Voting Rights Act as he did in Shelby County was correct. Clearly the actions of those states run by Republician leadership illustrate his decision was based solely on the fact that he was against the Voting Rights Act before being appointed to the Supreme Court.
Saoirse (Loudoun, VA)
Any reasonable state has assistance for the blind, visually impaired, arthritic, and other voters who need assistance with the process. Often, the "Chief Judges" or lead "Election Officials" will assist the person who needs help. One official from the Republican Party and one from the Democratic Party assist together. There is less chance of someone later calling foul, even though election officials work those long days out of respect and love for the right we each have to vote.

I worked the polls for many years and never saw a hint of impropriety on the part of any voter or official.

Poll watcher? You could observe as you waited your turn to vote, but you'd best steer clear enough not to learn how anyone voted. Once you voted, you left. Questions were answered if asked.

Our poll watchers, who monitored the counting and totalling (before computers), were admitted when voting was done. We didn't check IDs because we knew them well. Had strangers arrived, they would have had to show ID.

When the posted hour of the closing of the polls arrived, an official went outside and closed off the line to late arrivals. Because of the size of our precinct and high voter turnout, there was no time we didn't have a line. If you were in line, you voted.

Had anyone tried to vote for someone who was dead, they'd have been held for the local police. Had anyone become disruptive, they'd have been held as well. That's not how we have elections in the US.
Carl Diehl (Fairfax, CA)
I'm an attorney poll watcher in AZ. I wish judges ruling on voter ID laws could spend a few hours at a polling station watching the needless confusion, delay and discouragement these laws cause. Many voters have moved, and even when they have updated their addresses, the voter lists often don't have their correct addresses. Although they are allowed to vote provisionally (with long delays) it is by no means certain their vote will be counted.
Meredith (NJ)
Thank you for writing common sense - breath of fresh air.
David (Portland)
Someone needs to examine the fact that Republicans project their crimes onto those they see as their enemies (other Americans who are different than themselves), this dynamic seems like the most obvious thing in the world which has played out almost daily for decades, but is not reported. Why is that, do you suppose?
B. Rothman (NYC)
Say, Mr. Leonhardt, does David Brooks ever talk to you? He might learn something about what the real GOP is doing to foster democracy by making it confusing and difficult for people who don't fit the normative "white middle class" category to vote. With individual voter fraud practically a non-entity, Brooks' philosophical bent leads him to support those who are enterprising at undercutting the franchise for those "other" groups while they wrap themselves in the American flag.

Here's the irony: while middle America votes Republican in order to keep voting rights "pure", the Republicans they put into office then turn their energies into crippling the government so that it doesn't work for anyone who isn't rich. Keep that in mind Iowa, and Indiana, and the Dakotas and Kansas et al. You are voting for the very party that makes up the majority of the Congress whose policies have undercut your lives and undercuts the Constitution at every turn ( no hearings or votes on Supreme Court Justices etc.) because it is every bit as narcissistic and selfish as Donald Trump.
Are you referring to rich Republicans such as Buffet, Gates, Steyer, Soros, Cuban, Bloomberg, the Hollywood set, the Hamptons set, the Martha's Vineyard set, the Silicone Valley set, the Wall Street hedgers?
Carl Diehl (Fairfax, CA)
At least the rich people you mention pay taxes (in substantial amounts), unlike Mr. Trump.
Iver Thompson (Pasadena, Ca)
For the most sacred right in America, it sure seems to garner the least amount of thought or planning or resource. Check-in usually entails a friendly greeting by all the retired seniors in the area who faithfully labor to find my name in those bulky tomes of voter registration files, carefully underlining them in red. As each nods to the next one beside them as my name works it way down the table to the one who actually hands be a ballot, I feel I've watched snails move faster. Then the next queue forms for the paltry handful of actual voting machines that make the huge gymnasium that we're assembled in appear even more voluminous in comparison to the obvious shortage of machines that otherwise could have easily fit into such a big space. There doesn't seem much of a concerted effort to even try and make the process appear efficient.
Mike (Little Falls, New York)
Don't forget the Illinois election judge who submitted her dead husband's vote for Trump:

This is how Don knows there's election fraud going on: it's his people doing it.
Meredith (NJ)
Anyone who associates with the likes of Roger Stone - a known dirty trickster and unabashed lyin' cheatin' weasel, knows no other way.
Glen (Texas)
Allow me to respectfully disagree with hen3ry on the subject of whether an individual's vote "counts" or not, particularly in the case of the presidential contest. How much help will Hillary get from my and my wife's votes, even when combined with millions of votes other Texas citizens cast for her? In the words of Edwin Starr in his song "War," the answer to the question asked: "What is it good for?"..."Absolutely nothin!"

Approximately 8,000,000 Texans voted in the 2012 presidential election. Using that figure, in a worst-case scenario with Hillary getting 30% of the popular vote here, she still gets 2,400,000 votes. That is more than the entire populations of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska and most of North Dakota combined. That's 12 electoral college votes right there. When only the voting populations of states are taken into consideration, the list gets much longer, easily doubling, perhaps tripling the electoral college effect.

The sense of resignation and lack of respect that voters in states dominated by one party or the other is real, and is probably the greatest vote suppression tool we deal with.

Despite that, my bride and I have voted, for Hillary, and no I don't feel like we have any say or impact at all in the outcome of today's presidential election. What may have made sense to the men in Philadelphia 240 years ago now distorts their vision more than they could ever have imagined. It takes a lot of imagination to think they would approve of Trump.
Meredith (NJ)
It does count. There is also the popular vote to consider in the end. Not showing up and voting, however which way - and often there are referendums as well as local races that are important - would be very unfortunate indeed.
Glen (Texas)

I just spoke with my son, who lives across the river in Oklahoma. He didn't bother to vote for president for two reasons: 1) He couldn't stand either candidate; 2) "If you put a gun to my head and told me I had to vote," he said, he would have voted for Hillary, but still, the question why do so? remains. Trump has the state and all its electoral college votes locked in.

The electoral college, hand in had with gerrymandering is the greatest vote suppression tool available. Get rid of both and let's have fair and real campaigns.
Glen (Texas)
Meredith, please read my addendum to my comment. My son did vote, just not for the office of President of the United States. And for pretty much for exactly the reason I gave in my comment. On local matters, democrats do on occasion prevail. Nationally? Different kettle of fish entirely.
Web (Boston)
"The changes have most likely contributed to the 9 percent decline — equaling 65,000 votes — in African-American early voting here, versus 2012."

A gross assumption. Far more likely IMHO this is because Obama is not on the ticket this time around.
Sir Huddleston Fuddleston (Boston)
Wrong. AA voting is UP by contrast in FL, where the Republicans have been less successful at disenfranchisement.
blank (Venice)
Have you seen the lines for polling stations in North Carolina ?
Meredith (NJ)
An equally gross assumption. And we all know what 'assume' breaks down into meaning.
RT1 (Princeton, NJ)
I could not agree more. The Republican party seems to have made voter suppression a plank in their platform. Even with their house crashing and burning around them they have retreated further into the inferno instead of getting a hose out to stop their self destruction. They have to know that every time they steal someone's right to vote that they have made an enemy of the Republican party forever. I always thought they played the long game but given the last two decades they seem intent upon throwing the party of Lincoln onto the trash heap of history alongside the Whigs.
Laurie C (Marina, CA)
I haven't read through the comments so someone may have already brought this up, but another group of disenfranchised voters are those with severe disabilities, mental and/or physical.

Sometimes polling places are not accessible, so they have something called "curbside voting", which is exactly what it sounds like - voting on the sidewalk outside. As a kid I was taught that voting was an extremely private affair; for many years I even assumed it was a right, but in reality it all depends on where you live (different election offices have different rules).

In 2004, staff at a California VA nursing home refused to let volunteer voting educators enter the home because the residents were "too demented to vote".

What's called competence challenges can also be used to affect election results. In 2004 Republicans in Ohio were being trained to raise these challenges.

Sometimes poll workers do not know the law around disability rights and voting, and they may incorrectly make it more difficult for the person to vote by doing things such as administering a test others did not have to take. Care workers may decide that the disabled person they care for is too disabled to vote.

Who gets to decide how disabled is too disabled to vote? That decision rests with the courts, case by case. It certainly does not reside with the poll workers, or the staff at the institution, or the family. And yet.
Pat (Portland, OR)
Disenfranchising American citizens is the most unpatriotic behavior I can think of short of treason. These tactics make me want to weep.
Marcia (Cleveland, OH)
I've often wondered why the Republicans first line of defense is to suppress votes instead of working on improving their own GOTV efforts but then I realized that Republicans know that the higher turnout is the more likely they are to lose. When more people vote, Democrats win.
neal (Westmont)
So as evidence of this supposed disenfranchisement, the Times links to a report showing 2 (TWO!) signs were at polling places stating ID was needed. In all of Texas. And this was over 2 weeks ago, after a court ruling.

Yes folks, you are personally being disenfranchised because of 2 signs in the state
Sir Huddleston Fuddleston (Boston)
So Republican vote authorities should break the law to support their candidate? And yet you squeal about voter fraud, when in reality that almost never happens. The usual double standard.
Meredith (NJ)
You're missing the point. ANY sign that potentially turns EVEN ONE voter away is by very definition deliberate disenfranchisement. Not to mention illegal.
William Turnier (Chapel Hill)
We do suffer from fraud in our elections. Unfortunately, in recent years most of it has been brought to us by Republican legislatures and voting officials. Also complicit in this is our Supreme Court which with a Republican appointed majority in 2013 decided Shelby County v Holder, ruling the preclearance portion of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, a part of the Act that had already withstood constitutional scrutiny by previous Supreme Court panels.

The GOP can read the demographic tea leaves and rather than trying to appeal to our changing demographics to gain the support of the voters, from local officials to state legislators and administrators on up to the Supreme Court they have settled on restricting the franchise through fraudulent steps that at best involve those at the highest levels in specious, disingenuous thinking.
Bruce Fancher (New York, NY)
This article is nonsense on stilts. As John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky have extensively documented, election fraud is way too common and we'll have elected "a dangerous authoritarian president" no matter which of the two major party candidates wins.
Shenonymous (15063)
Wrong. Hillary Clinton will be a coalition President who will work with all political persuaded people!
Navigator (Brooklyn)
The Times is missing the real story here. Dysfunctional polling places. I tried to vote in my district in Brooklyn this morning on my way in to work. I couldn't. I have ID of course, I don't know anyone in the city who doesn't, but one of the machines was out and the line out the block and around the corner was two hours long. Who has two hours? Who at my age can stand for two hours? I left. Maybe I can get back later, maybe I won't be able to. I feel like my vote has been blocked. That is the real voter suppression. There should be a better way, in this day and age, to vote.
Keith Ferlin (Canada)
the easiest and most economical solution is all mail balloting. This eliminates long lines and voter suppression, big points for the Democrats. It also effectively eliminates the possibility for voter fraud, big point for the Republicans.
Amy (San Diego)
California has made it easy to vote, at least in my area! I opted for mail ballots, and mailed mine a couple of weeks ago. My husband took a long time to fill out his mail in ballot (it's long) and we were worried it wouldn't be counted if he mailed it. But no problem, I took it to a nearby drop off ballot drop off center (a public library). I was allowed to do it for him as a family member.

My relatives in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania were surprised that we already voted. It's obviously widely varied across the country, ranging from ease to downright voter suppression.
wem (Seattle)
There is a better way to vote! Way out here in Washington state (and Oregon), we vote by mail ONLY. It is great! The ballots come in the mail about 3 weeks early, so we can fill them out at our leisure. (My family gets together around a table after dinner and researches the "down ballot" races and initiatives together.) Then you can mail in the ballot, or drop it in a drop box at various locations and save yourself the stamp.
This year we can go on line and actually see that our ballots have arrived, our signatures verified, and that our ballots will be counted.

Plus this leaves "paper trail" in case a recount is necessary.

No lines. No intimidation. Totally private. I love it. Why don't the other 48 states do this?
G.P. (Kingston, Ontario)
Another grievous wrong are the people from the United States Island territories; Guam, Virgin Islands, North Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.
Four million people, many of whom have and are serving in the American Armed Forces are not allowed to vote.
Svenbi (NY)
So an email was "discovered" in Green Bay, Wis., denying Students to vote on campus because "students lean more towards the Democrats"!!!! Where is the FBI when you need it??? Ohh, sorry, James Comey was already busy "tweaking" the election at large. This, is conjunction with the other opinion pieces today, -trying to look past today and "unify" as a country again-, seem more and more absurd given the fascist character at heart of the GOP. If you have not voted yet, go and do so now, go vote against the orange tyrant as long as you are still able to do so.
C. Morris (Idaho)
David L,
Thanks for finally pointing this out explicitly. Trump is right about the rigging. He just fails to mention it's being done in his favor, by GOP/FBI collusion, Putin, red statehouses. Hopefully Hillary will win by a big enough margin to defeat this, but with our hopelessly lame Electoral College system anything is possible. (See 2000 cycle) Anyone else remember all the hand wringing and pledges to 'fix' the EC system? Didn't happen.
trueblue (KY)
True that the Russians, FBI and KKK are working to get Trump elected. YIKES be afraid very afraid. Move to Russian if you'd like feel free to do so.
FunkyIrishman (Ireland)
The real voter fraud was a conservative SCOTUS gutting the voting rights act.

The nanasecond that happened, republican controlled states initiated all sorts of laws that would discredit & disenfranchise people that tend to vote Democrat.

It may not be enough to swing the balance in the Presidential race, but almost certainly will help elect a few senators and many congressmen\women continuing the gridlock. Nothing will get done, which is exactly what republicans want; to blame Democrats for everything and wait until they are in power to actually do something and then take credit

A vicious cycle that needs to be broken .
F. B. (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
In every healthy, civilized country (for instance in Europe), voting is easy.
In an average city with, say, 200.000 inhabitants, dozens of voting stations are available, equally distributed in all neighbourhoods, so that you won't see the shameful queues seen in the US. It usually takes no more than 10 minutes to be able to cast your vote. Besides, you can be asked to show an ID apart from your convocation (received by post), but everyone has an official ID --- regardless of whether you have a driving licence or such. And no, these countries are no dictatorships.
MA yankee (Berkshires, MA)
F.B.: Yes, in European countries everybody has an ID and it's routinely issued by the government. It's different from a driver's license. When this has been suggested for the US, many people have cried foul.
yomick (Pennsylvania)
Sorry, if you're a convicted felon, you should lose your right to vote.
jean (portland, or)
Not after you've served your time. If you've served, you've served. Period.
Unless you want to vote for the Democrats on the ballot.
Daedalus (Rochester, NY)
The fraud is mostly in the minds of citizens who neglect their right to vote until practically the last minute. This is not the UK, where a snap election can be called on a few weeks notice. In the USA you have literally years of advance notice of elections. Assuming you don't move every six months, you can register far enough in advance to ensure that you get to vote. An article in today's Times about poll workers said it all: most voters show up without a clue.

trueblue (KY)
It is Donald Trump who is the ugly nasty (unamerican) candidate. Hillary is warm, knowledgeable, prepared, steady and ready. We are stronger together with her as our President. Putin wants Trump because he wants a Putin like US President who is his puppet friend.
Sam (Virginia)
The denial that significant election fraud occurs is more religious mantra than real.

...Particularly in light of the 2008 Minnesota Senate Election won by Al Franken by 312 votes the outcome of which may have been determined by illegally voting felons, the walking dead or combination thereof.

A review of Minnesota’s database of registered voters is reported to have revealed at least 2,812 deceased individuals voted in the general election of 2008.

And, in 2014 The National Review reported: "recently, former Cincinnati election official Melowese Richardson, who was released early from prison after being convicted of voting six times for Barack Obama in 2012, was called up on stage at a rally for Al Sharpton’s National Action Network…"
Sir Huddleston Fuddleston (Boston)
Redstate and the National Review are your sources? LOL.
Cheryl Withers (Pembroke Massachusetts USA)
The sources you cited are right wing garbage. Real studies showed 31 fraudulent votes out of one billion cast. The real fraud is disenfranchised voters and limited polling places
Sam (Virginia)
"Killing the messenger" admits the accuracy of the message.
Eugene (Oregon)
I wrote a reader comment much like this right after the last presidential election. In it I urged the Times to thoroughly document the shortcomings of our voting system and specifically call out hindrances and illegalities. It has been abundantly clear for decades that we need uniform voting regulations. States, cities and counties have decisively proved they are not up to the task. When some criminal halfwit can close sixteen poling place leaving only city hall we have to have accountable adults step in and bring sanity to the process. Bringing up on election day while well intended is not an effective way to make the process fair.

I'v found Leonhardt's addition to the opinion pages to be a positive one but would like to know how and why did Leonhardt moved from finance to opinion?
c harris (Candler, NC)
This is the reason the Republicans are going to try to keep the empty Supreme Court seat empty. Voter suppression which is real and pointedly directed to people of color and the poor is a particularly ugly hobby horse of the normally libertarian leaning Republicans.
Dennis (CT)
How can you be a functioning member of society and not have a photo ID?

It seems like a pretty basic requirement to prove you are who you say you are. Regardless of whether voter fraud is actually an issue.
Marie (Boston)
Dennis. Define functioning. Is a nursing home resident or an elderly person taken care of at home functioning? Is a millennial who lives in an urban area with no car and does everything on line functioning? Not everyone lives your life. Are they eligible to vote?
Cheryl Withers (Pembroke Massachusetts USA)
Fraud is not a "real" issue except for the fraud that limits voter rights. The issue is not an ID but the limited forms of ID that are accepted. For instance EBT cards even with photos and college ID doesn't count but gun registration ID does. We have laws against poll taxes so if ID is going to be required it needs to be easy to get and paid for by the state
notker (chicago)
And yet, with all the evidence of Republican voter fraud, the Democrats, as always, do not fight back. Hillary Clinton has by and large let Trump spew his lies with no effort to set the record straight about the rigged system that already exists.
lzolatrov (Mass)
Yeah, this has been going on for years now and what exactly has the Democratic party done about it? Almost nothing. The corruption in our politics runs deep and is so cynically focused on money that until that changes things will continue to get worse and worse until...maybe a "better", a more charismatic Trump type candidate comes in and gets elected and the whole world will be screwed.
MA yankee (Berkshires, MA)
It's very hard to get anything constructive done with a Republican controlled Congress whose goal is to frustrate anything proposed by the Democrats and to make sure government is as dysfunctional as possible because this suits their line that government can't do anything good or right.
Big Sam (Wisconsin)
Yeah, we need all the felons and people who can't figure out how to get an ID card making big decisions.
Vesuviano (Los Angeles, CA)
Organized Republican suppression of Democratic voters was formalized in 1980 in a speech by Paul Weyrich, a TOP direct-mail operative, who famously stated that the fewer people vote, the bigger the chance that Republicans will win.

That this has been public knowledge for over thirty years and is still largely allowed to happen is a disgrace to the entire country, but to the Democratic Party in particular. You'd think they could figure out how to stop it, now wouldn't you?
Cheryl Withers (Pembroke Massachusetts USA)
We need to reinstate the voting rights act and pass federal rules about voting. For instance x population mandates y number of polling places
hugken (canada)
This is one more reason that America is not a great country and never has been. Big does not equal great!
The USA and Canada have a history of corruption, government is controlled by special interests.
A. Stanton (Dallas, TX)
Trump’s concession speech early Wednesday morning:

It’s amazing. Nobody ever did this before.

Believe me, I won. She lost. It’s disgusting what she did with those emails. She has no stamina. She will be the worst President ever. I guarantee it 100 percent.

And by the way, it looks like a lot of dead people voted. Somebody needs to look into it.

Those women lied. Nobody respects women more than I do. They are going to be sued.

The whole thing was rigged from the start. The media hates me.

I pay more taxes than anybody.

But if you really want to know, I don’t care. I’m rich. I’m smart. Amazing how stupid they are. I’m the only one who could fix it.The blacks and the Hispanics. I was their last chance. What did they have to lose? Now we’ll be overrun by terrorists from everywhere. The Mexicans would have paid for my wall.

Look at the size of my crowds compared to Hillary’s. We’ve got a movement. Let’s make America great again.
Bonnie Robins (NY)
I wonder how do homeless people vote in voter ID states? Since they do not have addresses, how can they get a govt issued photo ID? My son has mental illness. He has nothing in his name, though he does have a residence. It has been extremely cumbersome to obtain a govt ID for him and would never have happened if I didn't assist him in this. My son votes every year. He takes élections very seriously. But this year in Conn he needs a govt ID. ID requirements disenfranchise just those that need their chance to have their voice heard through one vote the most. It should be outlawed.
Samuel (U.S.A.)
Let's implement one year universal service, i.e. a civilian draft. It could address racism, civic responsibilities, mental health issues, physical health issues, education....the lot. Everyone goes through a little boot camp, receives emergency training, then its off to either a national guard type service or a civilian outreach program like Habitat for Humanity.

Oh, yes, you can also vote.
E.H.L. (Colorado, United States)
I don't understand how those people can look themselves in the mirror, when they don't even lie to themselves as to why they're cheating. It IS cheating, plain and simple. Shame on them.
Paul P. (Arlington VA)
I've said it before, but it is worth repeating:

If the Republicans and their message is a worthy one, and it resonates with voters, they would not need this childish, (and in my view, immoral) behavior of suppressing the will of the voters.

And to those who immediately jump up and scream about the non existant voter fraud? There is NO proof of this, as found by the most recent review of the matter, 31 votes out of ONE BILLION were found to 'possibly' be fraudulent.

So, it the voter with the problem, or is it more likely your message does not resonate with the majority of Americans?
Darian (USA)
Ask for photo IDs and the Democratic party disappears...
RDA (Chico,CA)
Gee, really? Where would a Democrat like myself go? Into the ether? Thanks for letting me know; I'll never go anywhere without my photo ID now at the risk of "disappearing." Now, go and grow a brain....
Larry Lundgren (Sweden)
At the risk of being called a monomanic as concerns voting (a replier warned readers that I am a heat-pump maniac) I stick by my view that in 21st Century America - not here yet - we must use social security number and photo ID uniformly specified nationally.

If you have SS no, then once you become of voting age you can vote simply by showing that photo ID - or some future version.

No questions asked.
Dual citizen - US SE

PS now you understand where the blog title comes from Only in Sweden, Never in America
RJ (Londonderry, NH)
David - do me a favor. Have the Times do a NATIONAL poll that asks one simple question:

"Do you support the notion that a valid Photo ID must be presented to vote in State and Federal elections?"

Publish the results - then let's talk.
Concerned Citizen (Anywheresville)
It is really very very simple. David and other lefty liberals and the whole NYT staff want illegal aliens to vote....because they vote 100% in favor of Democrats who promise them amnesty and welfare freebies.

To have illegals vote WITH cannot have strong voter ID laws.

So this about the desire of Democrats to have illegals voting for their candidates.
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
David is so partisan I heartily recommend that he hold onto this job with both hands because party hacks never earn this kind of money in the rest of the world.
Wide-open ''any-warm-body'' voting takes away all responsibilities those in government have toward the voters. We need MORE vote security, with finger-pint scanners negating the need for any ID cards.

And until the shady ones like convicted international greenmailers are completely out of the voting-machine business, all votes should be on ballots made of paper.
Nick Metrowsky (Longmont, Colorado)

The real voter fraud is what the political parties ended up with as presidential nominees. That is fraud conducted against the American people.

End sarcasm.

Let's see what the final turnout is. If it is low, then the parties were successful in both voter fraud and voter suppression.
MVT2216 (Houston)
You are giving a false equivalence. The Republicans have been far more aggressive in trying to suppress voting in states that they control. On the other hand, the Democrats have fought to widen participation in voting by increasing registration. How is that voter fraud?
Susan Anderson (Boston)

Even with "proper" voter ID, polling stations in poorer districts in some states are fewer and have less staff.

The stories are pouring in. But this is nothing new.

In 2000, millions of black voters were disenfranchised because nobody would represent them in the Senate. If any of the many cheating efforts had been overcome, the election would have gone differently.
Marcus Aurelius (Terra Incognita)
"Even with "proper" voter ID, polling stations in poorer districts in some states are fewer and have less staff."

Whose fault is that?
Jordan Davies (Huntington Vermont)
To deny the right to vote is a crime. Flimsy requirements to vote are something the GOP has made up to discourage voting by minorities, minorities who are opposed to much of what the GOP stands for. This is fraud, it is wrong and unconstitutional.
hen3ry (New York)
The other fraud is the one we perpetrate upon ourselves when we say our vote doesn't matter. It may not matter for some things but a presidential election and the elections for senators and representatives to the House are important. They are the elections where voters determine what they want to happen in the country. If you don't vote in those elections you are giving your vote to those who win and if you don't like the winner you cannot complain about it. Voting for president and your representatives in Congress is the best way to make your country listen to you. Voting them out is another way.

So, if you can vote, vote. And the GOP should take note: if they continue to obstruct legitimately registered voters from voting or preventing citizens from voting, or making voting difficult in minority districts in order to secure seats for themselves they do it at their own risk. History is not kind to cheaters that do what the GOP has been doing for the last 35 years.
Christine McMorrow (Waltham, MA)
I think there is a special place in hell reserved for any state election officials who would dream up rules to suppress the vote of minorities (African-Americans, Hispanics, and students).

That they do it so brazenly, this year particularly, is simply mind-boggling. To hear the GOP presidential candidate yelling about making America great again begs the question: how can we be great at all if some aren't accorded the same basic freedoms as everyone else?

I just don't get it. Only one party does this and yet they are the same party that keeps chanting USA, USA. They claim to be patriots, but our first patriots here in New England were men who first resisted tyranny, spearheading the movement that led to the declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.

That Declaration of Independence was purposely written to reflect the philosophy that the legitimacy of government is based on the will of the the people as expressed in the vote.

How can the will of ALL the people be expressed if a series of ridiculous and constantly changing laws are set up to confuse voters, discourage voters, and worst of all not count voters at all?
Andrew (NYC)
Right, but as they'll tell you, America was great when white, straight, Protestant men made the decisions, and those initial Patriots were also predominantly white Christian men.

The conclusion is wrong, but if you operate within the narrow, bigoted assumption that life was better for everyone (and not just the aforementioned white men) back in the day, then there is a perverse logic to the whole thing.
uniquindividual (Marin County CA)
Throughout history The Elite have tended to oppose democracy.

Royalists, Segregationists and now Suppressionists got/get their money and propaganda talking points respectively from Kings, Plantation Owners and Corporatists.

This struggle will never be over, it's a function of the fear many elites have of someday having to work for a living.
David Gregory (Deep Red South)
Voting should be easy but verified.

I am a Progressive but have no problem with voter ID as long as the states make ID card available to voters at no cost. Funny how most self styled conservatives oppose national identity cards but want voter ID. If states want to impose photo ID requirements they should be required to make them easily available.

The nonsense that happened in the New York Primary where hundreds of thousands were unable to vote in the Primary because their party registration was magically or otherwise switched shortly before election day with no provisions for correction in time to vote needs to go away. No government should be able to purge your name from a list or change any aspect of your registration without prior notification. Voter suppression does not only happen in the South, we will never know what would have happened in New York if every person that wanted to vote was able to vote.

Like I posted elsewhere, taxpayers should be allowed to vote and tax dodgers like Trump should not be able to run or vote. Likewise, Green Card holders who pay taxes should get to vote. I am a native born American and have no problem with allowing legal residents the right to vote. If you can pay the President's salary you should have a say. As the old saying goes, taxation without representation is tyrrany.

Finally, give Washington D.C. 1 Senator and 1 Representative.
LibertyHound (Washington)
We have had early voting across the nation. Yet if past is prologue, Democrats will file lawsuits to extend hours for voting only in minority communities in certain inner cities. Apparently two weeks is not enough. Their voters need two hours more than everybody else where polls are close. No voter fraud my eye!

Voting is too easy and vote fraud is not prosecuted because it takes a lot of effort for a misdemeanor. Then we point to that lack of prosecution as evidence of no voter fraud.

Voting is not just a right, but a responsibility. We should not bend over any more for people who are not responsible enough to vote when we have made it so easy already.
elizabeth (chesterfield, va)
you need to go back and re-read this article and make an effort to understand it. there are very real, very difficult obstacles put in the way of minority voters. family obligations, long work hours, unhelpful employers, lack of transportation, polling places long distances away in areas of poor public transportation, very long waiting lines, etc etc can make it hard to get to vote even within two weeks. generations of being deprived of one's lawful right to vote can be very discouraging. how arrogant to say people are not responsible enough to vote when you have probably just had to stroll in to place your ballot with no major effort at all.
Samuel Tuthill (New York)
Those minorities are given dramatically fewer polling places, and many are forced to travel miles to wait in endless lines along with everyone else who did not have any options close to their home. In upper-class white neighborhoods, they have many more, decreasing lines and the amount of time they need to take off work to vote.
Patricia J Thomas (Ghana)
Might it be that voting places and hours have not been decimated in rich white areas, which results in the lack of lawsuits to keep the polls open in those areas. Where have you been? Oh, watching Fox and reading alt-right blogs. And how can you possibly believe that it is too easy to vote? For you, maybe. But it is not easy enough all across the country, in every state and county, and it should be made easier. Easier, and uniform across the nation, not rigged by gerrymandering in most states, with various laws and election procedures carried out by elected party officials and state gerrymandered officials, sometimes with different rules in different counties within the same state. (See Texas 2000.) Every adult American should be able to vote easily, without being intimidated or tricked into going to the wrong place at the wrong time by GOP candidates and their campaigns, whose record of sending out voting misinformation is well documented. The only voter fraud uncovered so far has been a woman voting early for Trump twice. Think about that.
Sheila Smith (Sarasota)
I am a big fan of yours and we have mentioned you in the blog. Unfortunately, no matter who is the presidential choice on November 8th, our republic faces its moment of reckoning. What are the values we stand for and are we capable of governing and being governed.
We are the oldest Constitutional Democracy but there are no guarantees that we can keep it intact.
Each presidential election provides an opportunity for civic education. We certainly need it because we no longer value civic education in our children’s learning experience.
This election has revealed that the last two decades have left many behind. We have inequality of income, growing inequality of education and inequality in the right to vote. The frustrations of many of our fellow citizens are real. Their anger is real, and it is a warning to us all.
It is time to demand that those we elect begin to work together to address the fears of both Democrats and Republicans. It is our job and the responsibility of what once was the “Fourth Estate” to remind those elected if they do not work together, they will not be there for very long.
Doug Terry/2016 (Maryland)
One of the biggest anti-voting frauds in America is the effort to prevent college students from voting. If they show up to register, many are told they aren't residents because they live in a dorm. In that case, they would need to vote absentee at their parent's address or travel back there to vote which, for many, is not possible.

Texas doubles down on this sham. It prevents the use of college or university IDs as acceptable identification for voting (under the temporarily halted rules). Why should this not be acceptable? Just because the Republican legislature, following long term tradition, didn't want students to vote. Besides, they might vote against the GOP.

When voting rights were established for everyone (besides convicted felons, in many states) over the age of 18, college towns pushed back. They don't want students to have influence in local elections, even though there is no term of residency required for voting. Instead of trying to accommodate student views, the easier route was to deny access.

Many college students, their minds aswirl with classes and a myriad of other concerns, like paying their tuition and other bills, are indifferent to voting in the first place. Trying to stop those who are more civic minded and want to step up as adults and vote is an ugly manifestation of how our two political parties, with their market basket of ideas to sell, don't serve our larger national and local interests.
Sheldon Bunin (Jackson Heights, NY)
The media says that we have a divided country. True. There are two main groups: (1) Democrats and those who cherish democracy and our constitutional framework as laid out by the Founders; and (2) Neo-Confederates, white supremacists, nativists, armed militias, the alt right comprising, inter alia, the KKK, Neo-Nazis, the new American fascist party, which has taken over the Republican party and their leader Donald Trump, who who is running for dictator.

The 2nd group hates this country and most of its people and it hates democracy and voting. If they could seize power with force or conspiracy via a coup d’etat, even with the help of hostile foreign governments they would. Barring that they will do their level best to keep the first group from voting.

This election is our only chance to break the grip of the Neo-Confederates, and the Neo-fascists in Congress and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court do not belong to them.

Those who love their country and are not just lying, like Trump, those who put nation over party need to elect Hillary Clinton president and give her a Senate majority, which means a working Supreme Court to restore the rule of law. This “Republican gang has done enough damage since 2009 and even before and now is a time for true patriots using the tools we have take our county back from those who would destroy it.

If you haven’t voted yet and are qualified to do so, turn of the computer and get in line and strike a blow for democracy.
Denise (New Jersey)
I'm voting for Trump, and I'm a 65 year old white, college educated woman. My son is a Green Beret. Get over yourself.
Jim (Seattle to Mexico)
Ohio shut down their backup vote security system and, when challenged, the Republican appointed judge dismissed the complaint.For an additional analysis of the voter fraud that is taking place, read Greg Palast`s August 24th piece in Rolling Stone online "The GOP`s Secret War Against Voters" or watch him today on
Since we have had the worst ever "do nothing congresses" in the last three sessions, the only hope, before 2020 when gerrymandering is due again, is to
appoint female justices who care about inequality and justice and not just 4 white male corporate hacks.
Sean (Greenwich, Connecticut)
David Leonhardt fails to clearly state who is ignoring in "the real voter fraud": it's Republicans. All across the nation, Republicans are engaged in passing laws that stop minorities, the young, college students, Hispanics, and the poor from voting. And they're doing it because those groups overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

Tell the ugly truth: The Republican Party, through its systematic efforts to pass voting restrictions, is attacking the very foundation of American democracy.

Don't mince words.
JaneM (Central Massachusetts)
I just don't understand why they keep doing things that make more people hate them every day. The Republican Party is disgusting.
Jack N (Columbus, OH)
It may not alter the presidential race, but it could flip enough Senate races to allow the Senate to continue to block or delay presidential actions, including court appointments.
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
It is the President's job to present viable judicial nominees. Sotomayors who never had the first clue about leaving law-writing to the legislative process need not be nominated.
If all we need on the Court are knee-jerk go-alongs to do what the progressive wing demands, we could fill the bench with 12-year-olds.
P2 (NY)
With citizenship, you get a photo ID, which is an acceptable voter ID.
- For those who born here gets it automatically when they turn 18 and for those who naturalize, get's it with their citizenship certificate.
- This ID expires with a citizen not before and not after.
- Every state must offer mail-in vote by default.
- Every school should be a polling booth.
- Every poll worker gets paid fairly by having a 1% Democracy surcharge on all election spending.
- Election cycle should be July till November with 2 Days blackout before actual voting day.

Can we work to get this as an amendment into national level or in every state for next time?
billeedee (Mi)
It will never happen. The Republican losers won't stand for it. Anyone who does not understand that is blind.
ebmem (Memphis, TN)
People vote in local elections under the same registration as is used for federal elections. How do you propose to verify the precinct of residence under your central government control registration scheme?

All election spending by people who presently hold elected office should be subject to a 50% surcharge. The revenue collected should be distributed to any and all first time office seekers.

The big problem with all of the money spent on elections is that the incumbents have an advantage to begin with (80% re-elected) and in addition have a fundraising advantage. As we have seen with Hillary, she's collecting donations based on the certainty by her donors that "she's with them." Any campaign reform needs to give a bigger portion of funds to those new to the electoral process.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
The right to vote is, as a coin's reverse shows, also an obligation... provided the citizens of a democracy are willing to stop corrupt officials rigging the system. We, as parents, have an obligation towards our children, that of teaching them to think critically for themselves, be able to make up their own minds. If that is so, and were it applicable to voting, each one of us would take it responsibly serious, and not be swayed by charlatans trying to cheat on us. The question is, how to remedy the situation when we seem lost, unprepared for this most basic democratic tenet, the vote.
Elias Guerrero (New York City)
Election day should be a national holiday, voting registration should be simple enough for a kindergartner to do and the actual voting day process should be simple as walking into a grocery store. Voter suppression is morally reprehensible, pure and simple. I wonder what kind of tranquilizers the people who do these things take at night in order to be able to sleep. A pox on them.
Mike Pod (Wilmington DE)
It is time to kick the table over...that is, the Republican cognitive dissonance over national picture/biometricaly secure ID cards, provided and facilitated by the federal government. They would not only address the (unfounded) concerns of voter fraud, but also immigration concerns. The GOP is throwing a tantrum about "voter fraud" and illegal immigration, but resists the most obvious solution for ideological reasons.
billeedee (Mi)
The GOP doesn't want everyone to vote. That is why they do everything possible to prevent it. If they were voted out of office a few times they would get the message that we don't like it and will no longer tolerate when the vote is suppressed for anyone.
ebmem (Memphis, TN)
You seem a little confused. It is the Democrats who oppose affirmative identification because it would suppress criminals.
JK (Chicago)
The Electoral College system for electing our president and vice president may have made sense in the late eighteenth century, but it's demonstrably a kludgy system in the twenty-first century. Add to that the fact that our presidential elections campaigns are absurdly and mind-numbingly long -- longer even than our professional baseball and football seasons.

We (like Canada, the U.K, and even Mexico and Japan) need to make our presidential election a truly national election set within a reasonable time span and managed by the federal government where the American voters (not a "college" of "electors") directly elect our president and vice-president.

It would clean up and streamline the entire process. To say nothing of preventing, as in the 2000 presidential election, the election of a president who has a minority of the popular vote
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
As long as corrupt state & local governments allow the dead to vote and just pretend to protect the voting process, the Electoral College needs to stay exactly where it is.
ebmem (Memphis, TN)
Clinton/Gore were elected in 1992 with 42% of the popular vote. I do not recall any Democrat (or Republican) objecting to the electoral college in 1992 or four years later when they won the election with 47% as incumbents.

Gore did not have a majority of the popular vote in 2000, although his plurality of the popular vote was slightly larger than Bush's.

It is ironic that Gore has spent the last 16 years whining about how he was robbed by the electoral college process. Absent the electoral college, he would have not been elected vice president in 1992 or 1996. Had he not been elected VP in 1992, he would have been the unknown Senator from Tennessee in 2000.
Lee (Chicago)
Are we "United" States of America? First of all, voting right is the most fundamental right of US citizens, and the inconsistent voting laws in various states put up obstacles for minority groups, students to vote. Why don't we have a unified federal voting law to ensure consistency so no one is discriminated against, and Republican governed states cannot "rig" the election? Should we protect the most fundamental right of citizens in democracy?
Michael (Houston)
There are two points to this article that bother me.

1. The author mentions the "largest form of disenfranchisement" as the massive imprisonment of Blacks resulting in the inability to vote but fails to mention the Clinton Crime Bill, a major component of the imprisonment of so many Blacks. Also, per this website, there is a myth that felons can never vote again.

2. The author mentions the Voter ID laws as an attempt to prevent minorities from voting. Why is that? Are minorities incapable of obtaining IDs? There seems to be a racist element in the that assertion. If it is because of poverty rates in some minority areas, what about the 18 million Whites in poverty. What about those votes?
Susan Anderson (Boston)
You appear to be late to the party. There are a wide variety of stories of difficulties placed in the way of people trying to get those IDs. These are often working people who have more than one job, elderly people, and most are without private transport. In some places there are very few office hours and stringent requirements to get this "approved" ID.

Taking time off from work to get an ID and then to vote might be easy for you, but for the underprivileged it can be hard. For example, when I get my car fixed I have to take several forms of public transit (expensive too) and it takes a couple of hours, for what is a 15 minute drive.
Jasr (NH)
"1. The author mentions the "largest form of disenfranchisement" as the massive imprisonment of Blacks resulting in the inability to vote but fails to mention the Clinton Crime Bill, a major component of the imprisonment of so many Blacks."

What is your point? It was an over-reach, perpetrated in the 1990s, signed into law by a president named Clinton. Does that mean it should not be addressed now?

"Also, per this website, there is a myth that felons can never vote again. "

You are totally correct. Some states have restored the right to vote to ex-felons, and some have not. Again, what is your point? That they all should, or that they all should not?

"2. The author mentions the Voter ID laws as an attempt to prevent minorities from voting. Why is that? Are minorities incapable of obtaining IDs? There seems to be a racist element in the that assertion. If it is because of poverty rates in some minority areas, what about the 18 million Whites in poverty. What about those votes?"

Poverty is one factor. Making it difficult or onerous or expensive for poor and working poor people to obtain a state-issued ID and requiring that ID to vote affects poor Whites as well. It is not a measure taken out of racism. It is a blatant measure taken by one party to disenfranchise the voters who tend to vote for the other party, on the pretext of addressing a problem with fraud that simply does not exist.
irma (NorCal)
It's odd how the myth of what contributed to the rise in the prison population gets passed on, and on. Please take the time to read this evaluation of the data.
Nick (Ohio)
What about the people going around getting people to vote early from their house? I know of one person who had two people visit them in the evening and were ready to take their "official" vote, to avoid the polling place. The person told them to leave before she called the police. This was reported to the local Dem HQ lawyers and they were to investigate it. This is illegal and could influence some people.
Sounds similar to the scam run in NW Ohio in 2012 of the change in Election Day to a later date and sending out the notices on "official" letterhead paper to people in a depressed area of the state.
Both scams appear to be run from the alt right/GOP end of the spectrum. Desperate people do desperate things...
ebmem (Memphis, TN)
Those scams were run by Democrats, but were not reported by a biased media. Reporting Democrat fraud to the local Democrat headquarters is not likely to prompt an investigation. Why didn't the person report the fraud to the government? Why didn't she call the police?

The reason there are few cases of voter fraud reported is because the reporters don't like it when their preferred candidates get caught.
Clearwater (Oregon)
So many people throughout our nation's remarkable history have been deprived of this most basic of rights that to get to this year, so far in the future from our founding date in 1776, and to still have problems is unfathomable. But I know it is so.

The reasons are many and they are not. Depriving a vote is to deprive power and power sharing. It is obvious, at least in this nation, why that has been so. To disempower those who are not white men; men of property - men of power.

I am a white man but have never had much power nor property and everyday I thank my lucky stars that I was not raised by a man of property and power.
If I had been I may not feel that all Americans should be treated, well, like all Americans should; equally.

And that man who raised me jumped out of an airplane onto French soil hours before the main forces arrived that fateful day in Normandy. That man helped liberate a concentration camp and free starving beaten Jews who were deprived of all rights. That man went on to serve this country until retirement in the mid 70's. And although that man is no longer here - he expects you to vote. He expects you to not deprive any other American of their vote. He didn't spend 4 years in the world's most horrible war so you could make it impossible for other Americans to be American.

My dad is counting on you. Do the right thing and honor my day today and always. Vote and help others to vote.
Heather (Youngstown)
I have a friend who moved to Northern Florida earlier in the year to take care of her elderly mother. She filled out her voter registration, included all of the appropriate ID. She said that she actually hesitated before she checked the Democrat box, thinking about Florida's ugly voting history, but she did. More recently she filled out the forms for a mail in ballot so that her mother would not have to go to polls and wait in line. The ballots never arrived. So she took her mother to an early voting site some days ago, hoping to avoid lines. There she found out that her registration had somehow never been processed, "lost". She had sent everything in a timely manner. So she can't vote. It is too late for her to get a mail-in ballot from Texas, where she moved from. She is hopping mad. This election is very important to her but she cannot abandon her mother and fly to TX to vote in person, and if she did if her vote there would be considered fraudulant. I wonder how many other mailed-in voter registration were mysteriously lost, and how many of them checked the "Democrat" box.
Carl Diehl (Fairfax, CA)
I'm an attorney voter observer currently at the polls in AZ and the same thing has happened three times so far this morning at my precinct. All three were allowed to vote provisionally but if their "lost" registration cannot be found, their vote will not be counted. Very mysterious how properly registered American citizens cannot have their vote counted. This is how voter suppression works folks.
Christine McMorrow (Waltham, MA)
This is so sick. The only way Republicans can win, it seems, is to suppress the votes of opponents. They even brag about it!
Jeannie (West Chester, PA)
When I was working in northern Florida 4 years ago, I hand delivered my forms to the office in Tallahassee to ensure nothing got "lost".
Bill Chinitz (Cuddebackville NY)
Something you can take to the bank: they may nullify an individual's right to vote but the "dollar's" electoral effect will remain undiminished.
L. Herman (NY, NY)
Another form of voter manipulation is gerrymandering. Why shouldn't electoral districts be drawn by unbiased, apolitical computer algorithms with all districts of similar shape, say rectanguloid?
Bob Cook (Trumbull CT)
If we had good primary methods for providing candidates we would not have the same candidates. Figure that into your voting fraud.
Brad Blumenstock (St. Louis)
Who the candidates are has nothing to do with voter fraud.
ML (Boston)
Couldn't we just dip an index finger in ink and hold it up, as we've promoted in other countries?
Mike Wilson (Danbury, CT)
It is interesting that one of your solution goes through the Supreme Court which the Republicans have decided is their eminent domain. Do you seriously think Republicans will relent on voter supression give their current tactics to control the courts?
john (washington,dc)
You realize there are 4 liberals on the Court, right?
MBrantley (Lansing, MI)
It's an embarrassing list. We should be making it easier for citizens to vote--everywhere. Maybe there needs to be an federal law that creates minimum standards...something like an updated Voting Rights Act that outlines early voting, more convenient registration, require voting systems that provide a hard-copy record of votes...states can operate however they want within confines of outlined best practices.
Elizabeth (Roslyn, New York)
It is well past the time for the federal government to step in and create guidelines that each state must follow to ensure the right to vote.
Bonnie Robins (NY)
Amen to that..but not just guidelines, federally regulated voting procedures. All states would be the same. And misleading voter information should be a felony.
Susan Anderson (Boston)
Unfortunately, the Supremes seem inclined the other way. They did gut the law that addressed some of these issues.
Bevan Davies (Kennebunk, ME)
Here in Maine, our governor attempted to intimidate college students at Bates and other schools by stating that they needed updated driver's licenses and current car registrations in order to vote. The Secretary of State, Matthew Dunlap, forcibly denounced this false statement by Governor LePage, and the local ACLU weighed in, claiming that the governor's statement was a clear instance of voter intimidation which should be investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The governor has endlessly complained about voter fraud in our small state, and virtually none has ever been found.
Tired of Complacency (Missouri)
Yes, the system is rigged against those that are poor, lesser educated, foreign born (but citizens) and people of color...

The GOP has been doing this state by state for years... They are a dying party, with no policies to sell. Their only choice where they still have power (30+ states) is to bias the voting to them. This is the worst secret in America.

For a nation that will actually go to war to project democratic values and embed election watchers in other countries, we have done a crappy job to ensure no ones vote is improperly eliminated.
mdalrymple4 (iowa)
Hope to wake up tomorrow to the first woman president-elect, a more evenly matched House and a senate dominated by democrats. We need to get something done and republicans have proved for years they have no desire to do anything to further our democracy. They like disenfranchising non-whites. They like keeping felons who have done their time away from voting. My republican governor is one of those. A previous governor, Vilsack, restored all voting rights for former felons who followed the rules, when he was in office. The horrible partisan Branstad, rescinded those rights as one of the very first actions when elected. Vote out hate (republicans) and vote in love (democrats) and let's get this country working again. The supreme court has proved they really dont care about people so do not count on them.
john (washington,dc)
"they like disenfranchising non-whites" Where do you even get this nonsense? Seems to me your hate has overwhelmed you.
Steve Brown (Springfield, Va)
Whether or not there is a constitutional right to vote is still being debated, and so, states may set requirements for voting, even if some of those requirements are burdensome.

What is odd, is that those who do not want any restrictions on voting, relish setting up hurdles to exercise the constitutional right to arms.
Brad Blumenstock (St. Louis)
Thanks for sharing your skewed priorities with us Steve. Something is severely wrong when gun rights are seen as more important than voting rights.
Steve K (NYC)
"Whether or not there is a constitutional right to vote is still being debated"? Try the 15th, 19th & 26th Amendments for starters. Check out court decisions regarding literacy tests and poll taxes. Then look at what requirements are being set by the states, and the way in which they are applied, and tell me it's not a naked attempt to disenfranchise people based on race.
gratis (Colorado)
The National Election should be run by the Fed government to ensure consistency across all 50 states.
Each state could then run their own local elections, governor, senators, etc, with their own rules, disenfranchise whomever the deem unAmerican.
Mogwai (CT)
Civics should be a High School graduation requirement - as in Seniors need to have a reasoned debate on America, Democracy and their civic duty as citizens.

A year or 2 after graduation almost all have never voted and could care less about all the above. THAT is dangerous.
Doug Terry/2016 (Maryland)
Voting should be a requirement of all enrolled college students. It is a vital part of learning to be functional in a democracy, but most colleges and universities have run screaming away from the old idea that imparting moral standards is important. Instead, they cowardly look the other way while students stage binge drinking parties on weekends, with the inevitable bad results.

To my eyes, our colleges and universities appear to be centers of moral cowardice, constantly fearful of any controversy and deathly afraid of law suits, so much so they are often frozen like a deer in the headlights. Abandoning the idea of moral principles, they become processing centers whereby one picks up the necessary key to open the door to many jobs.
MWG (<br/>)
Thank you for letting America know how difficult it can be for Americans to vote in some states. Who wants that kind of America? Who has to cheat to win? I'm watching for the pantsuits of pantsuit nation for all the positive reasons to care about everyone. Voting? How could you not?
Ron Aaronson (NY)
If you can't lick 'em, cheat 'em. Another example of the G.O.P.'s denial of the Democratic Party's right to govern.

If the shoe were on the other foot and the Democratic Party started participating in this type of attack on democracy, I know that I would be outraged and leaving the party. Why then do Republican voters seem so blithely indifferent to these tactics? Can the ends really justify these means?
James Demers (Brooklyn)
"Can the ends really justify these means?"
For today's GOP, any end they desire justifies any means they can think of.
This is a sign of a party that doesn't want to govern, but desperately wants to rule.
Ron Aaronson (NY)
@James - Perhaps I should have been clearer and said, "Can the ends really justify these means to the voters?" As for the G.O.P., I have no illusions.
Patrick Stevens (Mn)
We had standards, the Voting Rights Act. The courts gutted it. Think about a Donald Trump as President when you vote. Conservative means restricted.
sharonm (kansas)
Mr. Leonhardt neglected to include Kansas in his dishonor roll. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has made it a primary goal to disenfranchise Kansas voters in his phony attempt to prevent voter fraud. He provides an excellent case study in what people can expect when they yield to prejudice and paranoia.
john (washington,dc)
And yett, Kansas allows illegals to vote.
Dr. Sam Rosenblum (Palestine)
Legal citizens of the USA should be allowed to vote. They have earned that privilege. All of them.
Non citizens should not be allowed to vote no matter what their circumstance is.
Samuel (U.S.A.)
It is already the case in America: non-citizens do not vote. The issue is the obstruction of eligible voters for political expediency. The GOP has found it an effective strategy, even though it is morally wrong, to keep their Democratic opponents from going to the polls by making it difficult, even impossible, as described in this article. Voting is fundamental to this country, but then so is racism, greed, and chicanery, traits which Republicans seem to have embraced.
MyNYTid27 (Bethesda, Maryland)
Print media such as the New York Times and the Washington Post have reminded us this year of the value of investigative reporting, at least those of us who do not have our noses buried in smartphones following Twitter and Facebook feeds all day. I would hope that after this mess is over, a serious effort is made to document voter suppression efforts in the United States in the election of 2016. It is clear that there is one major political party that incorporates the anti-democracy practice of voter suppression as a tactic to win elections. While the presidential outcome may not be affected, I do not doubt that many Senate and House contests may be altered by denying citizens the right to vote. Such efforts need to be uncovered and displayed for all to see.

(After that, impeach Comey and root out the right-wing rogues in he FBI.)
VB (San Diego, CA)
Agree on all counts!
Dan Barnett (New York City)
Mr. Leonhardt is on to something but doesn't go nearly far enough, mainly because he is not out to improve the system, simply to aide his preferred candidates.

Our electoral system has many problems which should be fixed. We don't have one person one vote due to electoral college. US citizens who happen to live in Washington D.C. are disenfranchised from the United States Congress. State voter rolls are not cross checked and people who have no right to vote or who want to vote in more than one state can easily do so.

But let me focus on something basic. I know I was able to effectively exercise my right to vote only if I know my vote was counted properly & everyone else's vote was counted properly. When my vote is scanned into a machine, the machine gives NO confirmation of how my vote was registered or even that it was registered, and there is no way for anyone to know the tallies in the machine at end of day are accurate and not manipulated, then we have no transparency.

In virtually all countries where elections are free and contested, including advanced European countries, voting results in paper ballots being generated that all parties can see, and all interested parties sit around a table at the end of the day and tabulate. That is transparency!!

We need a transparent voting in the system here is the U.S. and if David Leonhardt doesn't like that it is Trump who has brought the issue up that is too bad for him, we are all still entitled to transparency.
Jonathan (Boston, MA)
So Trump is right, the system is rigged. And his party is doing the rigging.
Ken R (Ocala FL)
I'm curious how all these people who have no photo IDs function in this country? Do they only leave the house once a year to vote?
Dan Styer (Wakeman, Ohio)
My mother has no photo ID. She's 88 years old and no longer drives. She does leave her nursing home to walk around the block, and she does so nearly daily. She doesn't leave her nursing home to vote, because she votes by absentee ballot.

So, now Ken's curiosity has been satisfied. When presented with the facts he asked for, will he change his opinion?
GG (New Windsor, NY)
Not everyone has a passport. Those who reside in major cities can avail themselves to mass transit and therefore have no need to get a drivers license. Since most cities seem to lean democratic, I often wonder why Republicans push for these voter ID laws. In my state, you show up at the polls, go to your district where there is a book of registered voters which you sign next to a copy of your signature, easy and simple, as it should be.
Samuel (U.S.A.)
The elderly, the young, the poor, the urban...many people do not need drivers licenses and get along just fine. Yet, they are still eligible voters. But as this article points out, there are many other techniques the GOP uses to strip voters from the registration lists.

Before you can legitimately advocate for voter ids, you have to acknowledge that actual studies - real facts - repeatedly demonstrate that voter fraud is not remotely a problem for American elections. Only tens of people commit this crime. But on the contrary, laws restricting access to the polls are having a significant effect. Thousands are being disenfranchised.
Ken (MT Vernon, NH)
The next President will fix our immigration mess and this will include a free national ID.

We can once and for all end the Democrats' specious claims that their voters are not intelligent enough to get themselves an ID.

The national ID will be required to vote.
RioConcho (Everett, WA)
OK. Then let the ID be required of everybody. Let these IDs be easy to get, not have a reduced number of locations where they can be obtained, especially in 'certain' areas. Let there be no odious requirements for proof of identity, like birth certificates from the 1920s, from states on the other side of the country. Above all, let there be no 'sudden' purging of voter rolls 90 days before elections.
Vote rigging is only done by Republicans. One fraudulent voter can only do one or two extra and is easy to catch. Harris in Florida with one stroke of the pen purged over 8000. This is REAL vote-rigging!
Al (Springfield)
Where do you get that hogwash from? All Democrats have been saying is that certain states make obtaining an ID intentionally difficult. If an ID was free and easily obtained then no one has an objection for an ID requirement. But that's not the case is it? Also, you conveniently gloss over the fact that the type of fraud that an ID is supposed to prevent virtually does not exist in this country. 30 cases of voter ID fraud in the last 20 years while billions of votes have been cast. The problem is definitely not one party thinking that certain voters are intelligent enough to obtain an ID. The problem is that certain voters aren't intelligent enough to recognize a red herring issue which is a poor cover for voter suppression.
elniconickcbr (New York City)
The most important thing that must be emphasized is the Supreme Court, in its 2013 ruling, dealt a blow to fairness. But unfortunately for Republicans, ideas and action matter and eventually they will seize to exist as a viable party.......lest they forget: "for the people by the people"
John LeBaron (MA)
The last, best refuge of scoundrels is to drown the forum in noxious noise, accusing opponents of the misdeeds they themselves launch and continue to pursue with gleeful abandon.
Inveterate (Washington, DC)
We have to credit the Republicans with very innovative tactics.
Arlee (Chevy Chase, MD)
Thank you for this analysis. The Upshot is the primary place to get the truth, along with Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman. The Republicans lie about everything. They are treated by the rest of the media as one side of the story, without identifying how totally false their statements are. As Ezra Klein has so well articulated, American democracy now hangs by a thread.
Janis (Ridgewood, NJ)
Automatic voting would be great; it could to tied to one does their tax return.
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
All elections should be held SOON after taxes are due so people will remember how much their bad decisions cost them.
And even if we keep taking federal taxes out of checks before we get them, there should be a little ceremony where the taxpayer signs a ''check'' for the TOTAL amount each level of government has taken from her or him for that year or the previous year.
I'm all for ditching income taxation and just running everything off of sales taxes. THAT would be a huge, constant reminder to voters of how much they really pay for government.
Ken R. (Newport News, VA)
Every effort North Carolina officials have made - as they claim - to ensure a fair election process and reduce supposed "voter fraud" has been "in the best interest of the Republican Party". They are unable to accept diversity and live in the past.

Go Tar Heels Voters - vote out your so-called "leaders" that are failing you and the rest of the country.
John diekmann (North carolina)
Here's a radical idea - judge all politicians first on how much they increased voter registration and turnout during their term. Media could help by keeping this data front and center.
Elizbeth Moore (Lowellville, Ohio)
The goofy part of the idea of voter fraud is that it infers that every citizen votes. We have to beg eligible voters to vote.
Paul P. (Arlington VA)

This morning, at 5:15 am in Arlington Virginia, 400+ people were in line to vote at the polls which opened at 6:00 am.

Beg people to vote?

Not hardly.
Mike James (Charlotte)
David Leonhardt once again demonstrates that he is a full throated partisan liberal, That is fine for a pundit, but this guy was a "straight" new reporter and editor for a very long time.

Leonhardt would be the first to sneer at the concept of liberal bias, but his transition from "journalist" to partisan pundit is a great example of it (along with others like Egan, Greenhouse and Bruni who have made the same transition.)
Rebecca (Seattle)
I do not believe ad hominem attacks on the writer debunk anything he has to say. Plenty on the far right side talking about 'voter fraud.' Either pick your site more carefully or thoughtfully engage with the issues. This election has seen enough personal attack I think.
gratis (Colorado)
As a liberal, I truly believe reality has a liberal bias. And I embrace it.
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
The bias described here is so far from Jefferson's call for an independent media that I feel sure he'd tell us our democracy cannot continue long with 90% of media people sworn to upholding ''the government party.''
However, Goebbels, Lenin and Stalin would cheer the partisan media on relentlessly.
Ellie (Boston)
We should have national voting laws and rules, and forget the state to state gamesmanship. Forget the "hanging chads" in one state and the hackable voting machines in another. The varying voting hours are ridiculous as are the fewer voting machines in poorer and minority neighborhoods. How about numbers of machines mandated by numbers of registered voters in a district?
Consistent ballots and consistent rules aren't hard to figure out. But the gerrymandering crowd won't like it much.
SJM (Florida)
Once they ran out of ideas the GOP turned to the cynical use of election tricks and voter suppression. This void of meaning has haunted the party and led to the rise of tricksters like Trump and the busload of empty suits and outright deplorables. Recycling their worn out policies has done nothing to improve their lot. So, they resort to denial of rights. Some party leadership, huh?
hawk (New England)
We vote like it's 1972.

In an age where there are more cell phones that people, gas stations with stores that sell everything from coffee to firewood, Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts on every corner.

You walk in, insert a bank or EBT card with a micro chip, type in a PIN and pay for a coffee.

Yet we can't figure out how to identify someone and allow them to vote.

In my town, the DOR ladies will ask my street, and I'll point to my name on a stack of green bar, then will then check it off with a pencil. When I exit, same thing. I guess they want to make sure everyone left the building before they turn off the lights.

It's very quaint, old school New England.

But here's the thing, I can say I am anyone. In fact I can see who voted, and who hasn't voted on my street, and pick a name.

The Republicans claim there is too much fraud, the Democrats claim the Republicans don't want minorities to vote.

The problem lies in the States, there is no standardization. People have 12 months or more to register, that's not an excuse. And you cannot mandate a person to register or vote as we have the right of "free association".

Soon we will have cars that drive themselves. I am confident the government can figure out a safe, and equitable process to vote.
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
You have to clear out the dead and those moved away constantly. If this requires a federal gov't role so be it - but every time the White House changes hands, the chance of this only being done like in Obama's Chicago comes right back.
Paul P. (Arlington VA)

It's likely those same quaint ladies know who you are. It's also interesting that you are advocating Voter prove that it exist.

Chicken or Egg?
E. Bennet (Dirigo)
The majority of Americans do not agree with Republican policy. Rather than addressing the substance of their policies, the Republicans change the rules to make it harder for their opponents to vote.
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
60 to 70% of Americans say the country has been on the wrong track for eight years. Do you really think you have the majority numbers on this one?
With millions of people registered in multiple locations, vote fraud is a REAL issue.
izzy607 (Portland.OR)
How many of those blame the wrong direction on the obstructionist Republican congress?
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
Q: How many of those blame the wrong direction on the obstructionist Republican congress?
A: Only the biased or ignorant.
KJ (Tennessee)
This article should be on the front page of every paper in the country. But awareness is just the start. People should have proper tamper-proof identification for reasons other than voting, and ID's should be easily available and free to the poor.
L’Osservatore (Fair Verona where we lay our scene)
ID's are free to the citizen just about everywhere. But people have to act to go get them. This is a non-issue.
izzy607 (Portland.OR)
They are NOT free here in the Land of the Free. Many of the states that passed voter ID laws severely restricted the types of IDs that qualified, and shut down and reduced hours at DMV offices and other state ID issuing offices. Its hard to realize this if you live in Verona, but there are many places in the Untied States where you can only reach such an ID issuing office by driving a couple of hours on a workday, where there is no public transportation, and where the fees to get the ID, or supporting documentation are far from "free".
Patricia (Edmonton)
Efforts to suppress voting in a democratic country are unethical, immoral, indefensible and unforgivable. Bandaid solutions haven't worked.

The only rational way to cleanse this cancer is to require all citizens to vote.

Citizens can vote for Mickey Mouse or vote none of the above on all candidates, but they must vote.

I doubt that anyone, who was unjustly deprived of their right to vote, will bleat about this kind of law infringing on their "constitutionally protected rights".
Mor (California)
It's interesting to observe the cognitive dissonance among the Trump supporters. On the one hand, voter suppression is good because it prevents the ignorant and uninformed from voting. On the other hand, the media are elitist and classist because they reveal the Trump voters to be ignorant and uniformed. You can't have it both ways. Perhaps the Trump supporters should just safeguard the purity of the vote by staying home.
Chris Macy (Dixon MO)
The Justice Department needs to step up to stop all of these efforts by the GOP to disenfranchise large chunks of the American electorate. Let's let the League of Women Voters destroy all these gerrymandered congressional districts and create a fair congressional district map. Then jail those legislators who've enacted these obviously racist voting restrictions!

Once we take these actions, then we'll actually see candidates that represent the American people instead of the special interests who control our elections now.
J P (Grand Rapids MI)
A real-life anecdote: 2 or 3 years ago, during one of our minor elections (there are up to 4 elections per year in Michigan, sometimes covering only a single office or ballot issue), I noticed signs at the polling place stating that a photo ID was required in order to vote. As I gave the poll workers my photo ID and received my ballot, I asked them what I could do if I didn't have photo ID. (I already knew the answer.) They murmured among themselves, then one said that I wouldn't be able to vote. After I completed and turned in my ballot, one of the poll workers told me that, while I was voting, they had checked with an authority and learned that people without photo ID can vote if they first sign a brief form and turn it in. (Yes, that was the correct answer to my question.) What seems odd is that the poll workers' training apparently hadn't covered such a basic and obvious question -- and, apparently, either none had asked about it during the training, or someone asked and was given incorrect information. Hhhmmmmm -- why?? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the Republican party is forever dominant in this area? (I live in Gerald Ford's old Congressional district.) This year, at least, the alternative to having photo ID is being advertised widely. What took so long?
Concerned Citizen (Anywheresville)
Or maybe virtually everyone, of every race, had a photo ID since most American adults need an ID anyways to do stuff like cash checks, rent cars, apply for Social Security and so forth.
PaulB (Cincinnati, Ohio)
The impact of these GOP-led voter suppression efforts cannot be under-estimated. In NC, for example, if the Republican ticket of Trump-McCrory-Burr wins, many will question whether all eligible voters had the opportunity to cast their ballots, or were intimidated at the polling place or had their opportunity cavalierly rejected. The races there were extremely close in advance of today, but if the GOP candidates win out, it will be difficult not to conclude that suppression and intimidation affected the outcome.

And, let's make no false equivalence out of this: vote suppression is owned lock, stock and barrel by the Republican Party and its minions. To their everlasting shame.
MillertonMen (NY)
I agree with you, Ohio Republicans have suppressed and politicized access to voting. In New York State however, the Democrats who control the Assembly, the Governor and a sizable minority of the Senate have not advocated ANY early voting. I say that as a concerned registered Democrat.
Paxinmano (Rhinebeck, NY)
"The casting of a ballot is the most fundamentally American act that any of us takes. It connects us to the Enlightenment ideals of the country’s founding — the once-radical notion that human beings should think for themselves, rather than merely obey kings and priests."

So misguided and hopelessly romantic. But not in a cute way. What a silly silly sentiment. We are all misled and have been and always will be when power is at stake. What an illusion. And the fact that such sentiments get published with a element of validity, well, frankly, absurd and evidence of the silliness of it all.
notJoeMcCarthy (south florida)
David, the modern Republican party compared to Lincoln's party of 1860's, is a party that has gone more inwards towards the rural America where there are fewer colleges with rural people mostly caring for livestock and raising corn or extracting coal from the mother nature's belly.
So passe.
But that's what the Republican party has turned into, a passe.
They had a real chance to turn around their party's image from a racist Whites only party, to a modern every American's party by choosing an African-American or a Hispanic presidential candidate long before Democrats chose Obama as their standard bearer.

But they blew that chance away in such a stupid way by their hard knock approach by sticking to their formula of keeping the party totally White.

The result being, just when they needed all the diverse voters to make up the losses from the extra White voters than what Obama got (39%), who're voting for Hillary in the current election, they won't vote for their anointed candidate Trump or any of the down ballot candidates in the Senate and the House.

Yes, none of the minority voters, be it the Black or Hispanic or Asian voters have anything to with the Republican party as a whole as soon as the modern day Hitler called Trump came, who eviscerated the entire party with so much of vitriol that anyone who's not a racist White like all of Trump's supporters who'd nothing to do with a party who's short on ideas but more into blast of hatred from the past.
Rest In Peace : R.N.C.
Peter (Cambridge, MA)
Every time the GOP accuses the left of something nefarious, you can pretty much count on two things: first, the accusation is based on distortions or outright lies, and second, they themselves have been doing it for years. So, we have voter id laws pushed by the right, despite the reality that in-person voter fraud is essentially nonexistent and that it would be a terribly inefficient way to try to tilt an election. Conservatives have found a much more efficient way to tilt elections, by disenfranchising blocs of voters likely to be Dem supporters.

It's like characterizing "income redistribution" as a left-wing socialist plot, after 35 years of gutting unions and opening gaps in the tax laws wide enough to drive a Rolls Royce through, accomplishing the actual income redistribution: 90% of the economic growth of the last 3 decades went to the top 1% and middle class incomes stayed flat.

Or how about those sententious conservative evangelicals spouting the Bible and telling us all what sinners we are, while having adulterous affairs with people of various genders? Or the accusations that Obama has been unwilling to compromise, from those who vowed to block everything he did from day one?

Trump is just the latest and most blatant version of this. A man who lies 70% of the time he opens his mouth and has cheated and stiffed his workers and creditors for years calls his opponent "crooked Hillary."

The mud they sling is the mud they are hip-deep in.
James Lee (Arlington, Texas)
One of the celebrated features of our constitutional system is federalism, the division of authority between the state and national governments. This limitation on the power of Washington enables governments closer to the voters to take responsibility for issues that affect only the people of a particular state. Under the Constitution, rules regulating elections fall into this category.

Theoretically, federalism strengthens democracy by empowering the voters in any state to hold accountable the officials who have the greatest impact on their daily lives. While the system often accomplishes this goal, it also enhances the power of local elites, at the expense of marginalized groups. Federalism made Jim Crow possible, for example, and only the intervention of the federal government eventually dismantled that system of racial oppression.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 played a key role in the demise of Jim Crow, and it is past time for a new law that nationalizes the rules governing voting and elections. A constitutional amendment would almost certainly have to precede such a measure, not an easy obstacle to overcome. But ultimately, no voting group or party enjoys immunity from an attack on suffrage. What conservative GOP legislators do today, creative liberal Democratic lawmakers could devise ways of accomplishing tomorrow. Safety for any group of voters lies only in the protection of the rights of all groups.
r (undefined)
This is a great article ... Mr Leonhardt should write a Part 2 and maybe 3 ...

Orange, NJ
Crossing Overhead (In The Air)
I think we go back to the old system that only land owners get to vote, that would make things much easier to manage.
Chris Macy (Dixon MO)
Fortunately for America, ease of management is not important in a republic. Voting can often be messy, but your suggestion is elitist (obviously) and probably sexist and racist. If you want to return to the 18th century, you'll also exclude women and blacks, of course. Think again!
Mary Feral (NH)
Well, that would be an excellent way to cut out huge numbers of women! It would help Mr. Trump and his cohorts a great deal.
G.H. (Bryan, Texas)
Never happen since the majority of land owners are white. Dems would not put up with it just as being against voting ID which apparently only minorities have a difficult time getting a valid ID . Dems relying on illegal vote and can not even agree that only citizens have the right to vote.
Pete in SA (San Antonio, TX)
"The Real Voter Fraud" is that we ended up with two mainstream choices, both of whom say they represent John Q. Voter but we know they really relate to whole other partisan interests. The shame of it belongs to all of us for not stepping up to the bar and for failing to educate ourselves and our children about Democracy, Capitalism and Freedom.
Dan Styer (Wakeman, Ohio)
"but we know ..."

Speak for yourself, Pete. I don't know that, and you present neither facts nor reasoning to support you claim.
Avatar (New York)
The GOP playbook: gerrymander, intimidate, restrict early voting, close voting places in "selected" neighborhoods, enact draconian voter id laws and then make it extremely difficult for minorities to obtain ids. And with the help of the GOP majority on the Supreme Court, you remove poll watchers and strip the Voting Rights Act of enforcement powers in many areas.

When you have no ideas and no accomplishments this is how you fight: DIRTY.
Dave Walker (Valley Forge)
There's only one party seeking to shrink the electorate by raising barriers to voting. Let's hope they get their comeuppance this evening. If Hillary Clinton is elected and the democrats regain the senate, the balance of the Supreme Court can be tipped for a generation. Voting rights can be restored, dark money removed from political campaigns. If Donald Trump wins, America will become the world's greatest Banana Republic.
Nora01 (New England)
The things you suggest will happen "if Hillary is elected" will not have a snowball's chance in you-know-where if the senate remains in Republican hands. Throw the bums out and clean the House while you are at it.
Mark Caponigro (NYC)
Even if Hillary Clinton wins, Democrats must be prepared to challenge the results of elections in close races, in which their candidates for Senate lost. The situation in North Carolina is especially worrying, but so are Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.
David Henry (Concord)
The GOP's meddling in our elections must be legally halted. It has done enough damage, starting most famously in Florida. Bush's phony election resulted in 9-11 and thousands dying in Iraq for no reason.
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
David Henry: HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS died (caps. intentional). Most of them were not Americans, but they died for "us", i.e., George W. Bush and his coterie.
Socrates (Downtown Verona NJ)
American state and federal governments already have complete data on who is an American citizen and how old they are.

The government could start automatically registering eligible citizen voters tomorrow and issuing free Voter ID cards to all voters tomorrow that would address all concerns on the right and the left and in the center.

But that would make too much common sense, and it would increase voter turnout dramatically...two ideas staunchly opposed by the Grand Oppression Party, whose best political friends are low voter turnout, Gerrymandering Over People, two Senators for every empty-headed redneck state and systematic Jim Crow era voter suppression that ensures tyrannical right-wing white supremacy that would make Jefferson Davis proud that the Confederacy is thriving 150 years after it lost the Civil War.

Republicans can't stand democracy and the American right to vote.

Get out and vote for the continued American right to vote today.

Vote Democratic and put an end to tyrannical Republican voter suppression.
chickenlover (Massachusetts)
India with a population of 1.2 billion has already issued over 1 billion adhar cards - the name given to a unique identification card. And here we are in the USA still arguing about it.
lzolatrov (Mass)
Sorry but your putting all the blame on the Republicans is flawed thinking. If it really is possible to register all voters on the Federal and State level using data already collected why, for instance, didn't that make it through Congress when Obama was elected with a Democratic House and Senate? Why did Obama let the 2010 elections turn so very red in a census year? There is something corrupt at the heart of both parties, differently perhaps, but both are pawns of the 0.1%.
Mary Feral (NH)
R. Law (Texas)
Leonhardt is correct when to say:

" Come Wednesday morning, the country will probably have avoided electing a dangerous authoritarian president "

but the tactics outlined in the piece show why GOP'ers may still be over represented in the Senate - by suppressing voter turnout in places like Cleveland and Cincinnati by providing only 1 in person early voting location in each city erects hurdles in predominantly Dem voting areas, after Dems are already under represented in the Congress due to gerrymandering.

A primary reason we vote Dem is because we've never seen Dems try to suppress voters' access to the ballot box, in order for them to exercise one of the most fundamental democratic rights.
comp (MD)
Horrifying that voter suppression has supplanted the marketplace of ideas in deciding the governance of this country. How can anyone who countenances these dirty tricks claim to believe in American democracy, or claim to be a loyal citizen of the United States?
Michjas (Phoenix)
The Ohio voter restrictions referenced here are not unlike those struck down in North Carolina, The Ohio restrictions were upheld by the 6th Circuit on a 2-1 vote. The NC restrictions were struck down in a 3-0 vote. All judges voted straight party line. This is just one more example of an issue so politicized that courts consistently render political decisions.
Concerned Citizen (Anywheresville)
There are no restrictions in Ohio, Michjas.

Come here. I will prove it to you. They even print our ballots now in SPANISH.

You can vote a month early, by absentee ballot -- or a week early at the BOE offices (free parking!).

You can register here on a POSTCARD, with no ID and then if you can't afford a stamp, you can drop that postcard off at any library.
Tom (Midwest)
Where we live, the location to obtain an ID (or drivers license etc) is open one day a week and is up to an hour drive to get there with no public transportation available. It may be different where you live.
Carl Diehl (Fairfax, CA)
The system is rigged alright: rigged by Republicans to suppress the vote because they have lost touch with reality to such an extent they may never be able to win a presidential election again. They have made the conscious decision that the only way they can compete is not on their so-called ideas, but by preventing Democratic voters from exercising their right to vote. The GOP in North Carolina openly rejoiced that they were successful in diminishing the African-American early vote this election! Rigged indeed-- and disgusting!
Mike James (Charlotte)
Why do the moderators constantly censor on topic and civil comments that come from conservatives, but are happy to publish off-topic partisan screeds like this?

Oh yeah that's right. The NYT is biased from head to toe. Never mind.
Ken (MT Vernon, NH)
The only alternative with these editorial monkeys is to submit several comments and hope one makes it through their partisan screening process.
Richard Luettgen (New Jersey)
The most fundamentally American act that almost half of Americans make is watching a football game, preferably in a sports bar where an ample variety of good microbrews is available.

David juxtaposes the anecdotal incidence of the person who lies sufficiently outside the mainstream as to have difficulty proving who she is to obtain a ballot in SOME places against the pronounced preference on the left to make voting so trivial an exercise that the most UN-informed and DIS-engaged Americans say “what the hey?” and go ahead and vote. Apparently, the left can’t win unless they mobilize those who would rather be in that sports bar than vote so long as the slightest inconvenience presents itself to vote – by removing the slightest inconvenience.

The numbers are absurdly one-sided. A few million at most might claim significant inconvenience in proving themselves entitled to vote, yet 40% of our people don’t vote, not because they don’t possess adequate identification already but because of the lure of that football game and their favorite microbrews.

Giveth me a break. This column is no more than yet ANOTHER argument for putting a “D” button on all bottles of beer in America to exploit a resource that normally is beyond ANYONE’s benefit: the disinterested, highly manipulable, uninformed American on which the left depends to win.
IgnatzAndMehitabel (CT)
Really? That's your take? The right to vote is just that: a right. Nothing more, nothing less. Those who choose to participate in our democracy can do so, and you can have no judgement about who makes that choice, your condescending dog-whistle comment notwithstanding. Disenfranchisement, by any means, is denying citizens their rights, as citizens, of participating in our democracy. Any move to disenfranchise people is inherently undemocratic.

It's curious that you identify the left with courting the uninformed and disengaged and your basis for this astute summation is your deep knowledge that those who are uninformed are those who watch football, and not of the correct class to actually be allowed to vote.

No. Voting is not trivial. Denying the right to vote, however, trivializes the very core of participatory democracy. That's on you.
Dan Styer (Wakeman, Ohio)
Sure, I'll give you a break, if you give me a breakdown of the source of your number "a few million at most". Please tell me the source of your estimate for an upper bound.
comp (MD)
Hours-long lines and remote polling places are not the "slightest inconvenience." The polls are open during working hours--and most "real Americans" who are eligible to vote, work. They are not hanging out in sports bars instead of voting. Shame on you for having so little respect for your fellow Americans and for democracy. If the only way certain 'ideas' can compete in the marketplace of ideas is to remove them from market forces, they're likely garbage to begin with.
Mark (San Jose, CA)
This should, and must become, the non-partisan issue of the next election cycle. Here the mainstream media have an unavoidable responsibility. And these institutions must police themselves. Any journalists, newspaper or media site that enables, justifies, or promotes voter suppression efforts should be ostracized by other media organizations and associations the way doctors condemn other doctors who engage in malpractice and lawyers disbar lawyers who defraud their clients or enable criminal activity. Agreeing that every person has an inalienable right to vote is a very low bar to set but we have to start somewhere.
kcbob (Kansas City, MO)
And so we are left to wonder how long the GOP can survive while waging war against our democracy, and whether the nation can survive the GOP.
VB (San Diego, CA)
Whether the nation can survive the GOP is, indeed, an important question. As the GOP currently is constituted--and acts--I think not.

As to how long the GOP can survive while waging war against our democracy, I would say it will survive just as long as the Kochs, Scaifes, Adelsons, Murdochs, Waltons, NRA, et al, with their endless deep-pockets and SCOTUS-protected "right" to buy puppet politicians, want it to survive.
carlA (NEW YORK)
Why is preventing Americans from voting allowed to happen? How did we get to this , is our notion of democracy a complete sham? We may as well go back to having a ruling monarch. Why are we not demonstrating on the steps of the Supreme Court? How have the Republicsns gotten away with these subversive tactics? What has happened to the basic notions of fairness and decency? Instead the election process has morphed into my way or the highway.
This is an ugly time in Americsn history.
John Springer (Portland, Or)
Shockingly, there is no right to vote in the Constitution. That august document leaves voting up to the states. Amendments outlaw restricting by race or sex, but other than that, it's a free-for-all.
Della (Denver)
The various Euro-nirvanas this journal's opinionators love to use as example require identification to vote. Every one of them. The only reason to seriously oppose this is to support fraud. Period. These hypocrites in major media have the upper hand these days with their far-flung, smug and classist sentiments. But that day is coming to a close and soon, justified reactions from the constantly vilified will be forthcoming. This election season was the first such reaction. Regardless of result, the election's aftermath will begin the next phase of resistance. Get used to it the turmoil because as you might like to hear said, "no justice, no peace". Sleep tight.
Ed Gracz (Ex-pat in Belgium)
I live in one of those Nirvanas, and the difference is one of national IDs, issued at no cost and required to be carried by all citizens.

Americans -- and especially Republicans -- fight the idea of such IDs tooth and nail.
Robert van Raamsdonk (Almere, The Netherlands)
From a Dutch national who has to present valid photo ID at the polling station during every local and national election: a voter identification requirement per se isn't a bad thing. It only becomes a problem when national, state or municipal authorities make obtaining such identification difficult, or even impossible, for large blocks of eligible voters. That doesn't happen in the Euro-nirvana's. It seems to be happening in the US, on a significant scale, which is shameful.
IgnatzAndMehitabel (CT)

Threatening? If you think the "far-flung classist sentiments" come from the left eclusively, read Richard Luettgen's comment below. You're being played.
Smitaly (Rome, Italy)
We Americans living outside of the United States are rooting for those of you who will be voting today. (We cast our votes some weeks earlier. I'm proud to say I voted for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.)

Thank you for voting, despite how difficult it is in so many places. Thank you for enduring the long lines and the threats of intimidation. Thank you for exercising your right to undertake this "most fundamentally American act that any of us takes."

We here in Rome will be pulling an all-nighter to watch your votes as they're counted. Go America!
thomas (Washington DC)
It might be difficult for Republicans to oppose a "right to vote" amendment to the Constitution that places that right on the same level as free speech and gun ownership. Oh, I'm so convinced of their fundamental phoniness that I can well imagine them doing so and with a straight face. But I think a majority of Americans would find it too contrary to their ingrained sense of civic pride in American democracy to travel that road with them. It would be interesting to try it out and see.
Nora01 (New England)
Maybe we should require a voter ID card to purchase a gun? That would get them where they live - the GOP, that is.
Michjas (Phoenix)
I am tired of purposeful statistical distortion. This article relies on statistics indicating that early voting has dropped among blacks in North Carolina while it has increased in other Southern states. Based on this, you are to conclude that voter suppression is at work in North Carolina. But that appears not to be true. The other Southern states all changed their laws to encourage early voting and in all those states early voting has increased more among whites than blacks. So early black voters, as a % of all early voters, has gone down across the South. And you can expect that trend to continue on election day. It's not about North Carolina election laws. Ii is, of course, all about the fact that Obama was running in 2012. Everybody predicted a decline in black voters this year. And that's exactly what's happening. This article argues that the decline in North Carolina is an aberration. But it is not. It is typical of black voting patterns across the country. We are being lied to with statistics yet once more.
Jack (Asheville, NC)
Well, in fact it is about suppression by any means possible, including eliminating polling places, changing polling locations and hours, etc, etc. And even if statistics can be manipulated, the truth of the Republican attempts to suppress the minority vote cannot be denied. The judge who overturned them called them "surgically precise" in undermining the franchise for minority communities. When Republicans begin to work with Democrats to maximize voter participation regardless of party affiliation, then and only then can we be assured that they are not working to suppress the turnout of their political enemies.
Mike James (Charlotte)
Michjas - please don't bring reason into this comment thread. It is for angry liberals who need to shout about how the evil of not sharing their narrow minded views.
Michjas (Phoenix)
There is no doubt Republicans are trying to reduce Democrat voting. But study after study reveals it isn't working. Democrat turnout does not go down with voter id laws -- they hardly affect anybody. So the truth is that the Republicans are trying but not succeeding. This editorial makes it seem like they are succeeding by manipulating statistics., which is not supported by the facts. If you don't care about the facts, if the truth is just a technicality, then make up the facts for yourself and live in a fantasy world.
ikenneth (Canada)
The GOP is so bereft of good ideas that they must rely on lies and the disenfranchisement of left leaning voters to win elections. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Richard Janssen (Schleswig-Holstein)
While you're at it, Mr Leonhardt, dare to know that in Immanuel Kant's homeland, Germany, you've got to produce an official photo ID to vote, too. Have the courage to use your understanding: it's no big deal.
neil (Georgia)
In Georgia photo ID is required. Forsyth County is over 80% Republican and mentioning Hillary Clinton's name in the public setting is not a good idea. I've heard educated people make preposterous statements. Such as, "Obama caused racism" or "he made racism worse." A couple of my friends have said "Hillary is going to do away with the Second Amendment." They are not "nut cases." When I asked them if they know what it takes to pass an amendment to the Constitution they invariably say no. After I informed them that it takes two thirds of the house and two thirds of the Senate and three quarters of the states to pass an amendment, they shrugged their shoulders and say, "she'll find some way of doing it." I call my sister who lives in California just to talk with someone who has a similar worldview. It's sad.
Nora01 (New England)
Gee, are you talking to the uninformed, football watching crowd that Richard L was claiming voted Democratic? Sure sounds like the same folks to me.
orbit7er (new jersey)
My family found out the obstacles to obtaining an ID when we moved my 80 year old mother-in-law from Ohio to live with us. She does not drive but went to the Motor Vehicles Dept to get an ID. They wanted proof of residency like a
Utility bill to our address. Of course our name is on all the Utility Bills so that didn't work. Also we only get mail to our Post Office Box but they want a street address. She could not get a Credit Union account because they wanted an ID card (catch-22!) which could have been another proof for an ID. Finally after literally months she received medical bills to our street address in her name and we managed to get her an ID. But happens to the homeless or just moved or others without the support we were able to give for her ID? This has to be a problem for a lot of seniors moving across States to live with their adult children...
Keith Ferlin (Canada)
That is a perfect example of the willful ignorance that afflicts your nation. This causes problems not only in how they vote but their everyday lives as well, impairing their judgement in decisions that affect their health and welfare.
silver bullet (Warrenton VA)
Today Americans can show the devastating power of the ballot when they go to the polls. This lethal weapon of democracy can put down any insurrection or implied assassination threats from 2nd Amendment zealots and alt-right storm troopers. This election is a call to arms and a defense of the American way. Voters can show obstructionist and racist Republicans what firepower really is! I'm definitely with HER.
Ami (Portland, OR)
Congressional laws are not enough to prevent this tragedy from happening again. Not if the Supreme Court can overturn them. We need another amendment to the Constitution that addresses polling stations.

We cannot accept that it's acceptable for southern states to close 868 polling stations. People died to give us the right to vote. If we stand by and do nothing our vote could be the next vote to be silenced.

I am blessed to live in Oregon. We were the first state to do ballots by mail. I can register online to vote. I can track my ballot online and make sure that it's processed. Voting should be this convenient for all Americans.

Write your congressmen and senators. Write the President. Demand action so that this travesty is stopped dead.
Nora01 (New England)
It isn't just the polling sites; it is also the hackable and unauditable voting machines. Claims that the machine changed votes have been frequently heard for years. It happened during the New York Democratic primary. Unfortunately, I am not sure the GOP is alone in some types of voter suppression. Let's have voting machines that give a produce a paper trail.
Lisa (Cairns, Australia)
I don't disagree with you at all, but not everyone in the USA can own a computer for all that online tracking. And have you seen what's happening in local libraries recently with budget cuts to computing resources? I think we need a wide variety of options, including plenty of in-person options and same-day registration. Maybe a civic requirement to vote as well, or pay a penalty.
Daniel (Ottawa,Ontario)
Indeed, of ALL the times that folks should absolutely be marching in the streets, this is the one. Letting these Republican apparatchniks get away with the disenfranchisement of voters with lesser means is an abomination.
We are becoming a Banana Republic under these criminals.
Marla (<br/>)
I was taught that it was wrong to cheat in order to win. Honor codes exist for the same reason. I guess these party officials were brought up differently than many of us.
G.H. (Bryan, Texas)
I was brought up to believe in the rule of law and now wonder how a President can encourage (prefers) offices to ignore existing law by protecting illegals. Can I, an American citizen since birth, pick and choose which laws I want to follow? The issue of illegal immigration is the main reason, by far, that had drawn people to a man of Trumps ilk. Had it not been for the illegal immigration issue Hillary could have started moving into White House as soon as she cheated Bernie out of it. If any future administration can make sure that the issue is dealt with, they will have a feather in their cap, as well as votes on their ballot, for years to go. We are America and we will make it through whatever the outcome this evening brings.