States Rights or Human Rights

"get out of the shadow of states' rights and ...
[into] the bright sunshine of human rights
Hubert Humphrey, Mayor of Minneapolis
1948 Democratic Convention

Among the rabble wanting no change in local voting procedures are the new age State Rightists. Their argument is that each state should be allowed to set its own rules to meet local needs. This is appropriate for different fishing laws for Minnesota and Maine. It is not appropriate for human, civil or voting rights.

State Rightists initiated wars between the states of Europe. These are the same people who used states' rights to justify slavery and segregation. States' rights have always been the refuge of people who want to violate basic universal human rights that transcend time and geography. States' rights is politically equivalent to the economic defense of politically sanctioned theft: "It's legal." State Rightists want different voting systems so they can control the state to benefit a few rather than all the people of the state.

Imagine the health impact if the blood banks around the country were encouraged to forgo health standards for state testing different from any other state. (No need to imagine--China's blood-sharing mire ). For too often and for too long, the blood of democracy has suffered dilution, waste, and contamination by those delegated with the task of collecting the votes. Why do we tolerate in the voting booth what we would not tolerate in heart surgery? Politicians want the best blood for themselves and their friends. For the rest of us, the politicians just don't bloody care.

Despite the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence--all men are created equal--one need only visit the Federal Elections Commissions "State Registration Requirements" to see that we are not created equal from state to state. Even more confusing is the myriad of different election officials--some elected, come appointed with different duties and powers: Secretaries of State and/or Directors of Elections. Equality can be achieved with an economic savings of 95% plus by implementing Global Democracy and the timistic clutter cutter ballot. With a national database and timistic balloting, we can eliminate 19 out of 20 election jobs while improving the integrity of voting.

The quotations show why we need to replace all election officials in all states-- why .

  • 001222 WSJ
    1. Fixing the System: Lessons From States Hold Hope for Reform
    2. The Election of 2000 threw a glaring spotlight on a simple fact: The American election system, which sits at the very heart of global democracy, is in disrepair.
    3. Every turn in the five-week postelection standoff gave a glimpse of a different systemic flaw: a crazy-quilt of standards from one county to the next; antiquated equipment that miscounts ballots and disenfranchises many voters in low-income areas; an inability to ensure the integrity of the swelling volume of absentee ballots.
  • 010204 AP
    1. Officials to urge election reforms
    2. Spurred by the memory of dangling chads, 38 of the nation's secretaries of state--including Katherine Harris of Florida--are ready to recommend changes in the ways Americans cast their votes.
    3. Makes 11 far-reaching recommendations and asks that the federal government provide the money to implement them.
    4. Nowhere in the report are there discussions of national uniformity in regard to voting standards, what constitutes a vote or endorsement for a particular voting machine or technology.
  • 010206 AP
    1. Secretaries of state make election recommendation
    2. In fact, many said they want assurances that Congress won't delve too deeply into the ways states conduct elections, arguing that each has developed its own process.
  • 010426 New York Times
    1. Little Change Forecast for Election Process
    2. Despite the outcry over last year's presidential election, the next national election will probably occur under virtually the same circumstances as the last, with the same unreliable voting systems and under the same dizzying hodgepodge of rules that vary from county to county across the nation.
    3. Setting national or state standards for ballots and recounts might have seemed a logical response to the mess in Florida. But it is becoming increasingly clear that elections officials are resistant to giving up turf. And untangling the roles of federal, state and local officials is emerging as a central obstacle.
    4. Sharon Priest, secretary of state in Arkansas and president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, said she could accept statewide standards but she rejected national standards.
      • "Frankly," Ms. Priest said, "we don't have to have the feds tell us everything that we have to do."
      • She gave perhaps the gloomiest assessment on the future of election reform: "Unless there's a real uprising on the part of people in this country who will call their congressmen and senators and say, `Elections are important to us and democracy comes at a price, and we're willing to pay that price — do something!' then I'm not sure, running into budgets now, that anything's going to get done."
  • 010517 USA Today
    1. Already running behind for 2004, voting-machine exec says
    2. But Welsh said that would be ''a prescription for disaster'' because voting systems must be customized for each locality and officials and voters trained to use them. President Bush provided no money in his budget for election reform.

"We have not had a crisis in the elections process.
We have had a civics education."

Sharon Priest, Arkansas Secretary of State,
head of the Nat. Association. of Secretaries of State


  1. States' rights invariably mean human wrongs.

  2. States' rights have too often been a cover for states' wrongs.

  3. If it is a human issue or a human right, it is not a state right. While history shows that the boundaries of states and nations shift and change over time, the boundaries of human rights are eternal and earthwide.

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