Gerrymandering and other voting rights issues
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Is the Supreme Court finally ready to tackle partisan gerrymandering? Signs suggest yes
So far there has been no word on the Gill vs. Whitford (Wisconsin) case outcome from the court, which issues decisions in its hardest cases as late as the end of June. There was, however, a tantalizing development late last week when the court agreed to hear a gerrymandering case out of Maryland this term. Benisek vs. Lamone involves a single congressional district drawn by Democrats to make it harder for Republicans to elect a member of Congress.
Deciding Gill and Benisek together would allow the court, in announcing a new partisan-gerrymandering rule, to say that sometimes the rule favors one party and sometimes it favors the other.
Inside the gerrymandering data top Pa. Republicans fought to keep private
Pennsylvania’s map is considered one of the most extreme congressional gerrymanders in the country. Since the map’s creation in 2011, Republicans have consistently won 13 of 18 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, even as votes across the state have generally split evenly between Democrats and Republicans.
Republicans attempted to hide the data because it “undercuts their story in a big way,”said Michael Li, an expert on redistricting at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
I would like it if House Representatives were voted on state-wide and not locally (which might also carry the advantage of sanding the edges off of some of the more extreme and/or unqualified candidates), but I don't expect that to ever happen.
Given that this is unlikely, and I'm not sure of the constitutionality of this, I'd like it if states were required to define districts mathematically, generally minimizing the size of district borders in order to keep them as tight as possible (no "unwinding the baseball," so to speak, in order to help either side). Perhaps something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUS9uvYyn3A
Unfortunately, this is not the type of solution any politician is likely to endorse.
My favorite scheme is one where a score is defined that includes a large component for compactness (I'm sure there's a mathematical formula for it somewhere) but also gives bonuses for adhering to city and county boundaries. It might be possible to then program a computer to come up with the best score, but I don't think people would trust the result. So my plan would be to give out the census data and programs to analyze that data to whatever group wants it and allow each group to develop their own redistricting plan and submit it to the state. The state would then score each plan and adopt the one with the highest score.
That way the Democrats and the Republicans could come up with their plans to maximize their political power, ethnic groups could have their own plans to try to elect as many of their groups members, and maybe a farm group could develop their own plan to elect more rural representatives. But the final plan would be the one that creates the most compact districts that also groups communities as much as possible.
Justices Won’t Block Pennsylvania Gerrymandering Decision
The United States Supreme Court on Monday refused to stop Pennsylvania’s highest court from requiring lawmakers there to redraw the state’s congressional map, which the state court had found to be marred by partisan gerrymandering.
Fivethirtyeight has been writing about this issue.
The Gerrymandering Project
>7 cpg: Basically imagine a state with an even mixture, 60/40 of Whigs and Greens, where even neighborhoods are 60/40. If you want Greens to have 40% of the districts, your districts are going to be gerrymandered to hell and back. If the closer that matches American states, the more impossible getting all the nice features we want is going to be without doing things more massive than just redrawing districts. There are other ways to do things that would solve this problem; setting aside 6 seats for Whigs and 4 for Greens and letting people in a party vote on a particular party seat, for example.
Kris Kobach Just Got Humiliated in Federal Court
the trial devolved into a comedy of errors, with Kobach’s witnesses frequently contradicting his claims or getting humiliated by pointed questions they couldn’t answer.
Over and over, the claims of voter fraud offered by Kobach and his witnesses collapsed under scrutiny.
Kobach has often said that the evidence of fraud he’s uncovered in Kansas is only “the tip of the iceberg.” In his closing argument, ( ACLU lawyer Dale) Ho said, “The iceberg, on close inspection, Your Honor, it’s more of an ice cube.”
Mother Jones posts this story:
Top Republican Official Says Trump Won Wisconsin Because of Voter ID Law
In a University of Wisconsin study published in September 2017, 1 in 10 registered voters in Milwaukee County and Madison’s Dane County who did not cast a ballot in 2016 cited the voter ID law as a reason why. That meant that up to 23,000 voters in the two heavily Democratic counties—and as many as 45,000 voters statewide—didn’t vote because of the voter ID law. Trump won the state by 22,000 votes.
there's a simple and free Wisc. state photo-ID which anyone who is a legal resident and eligible voter may obtain by application.
Did no one explain this to the NY Times or Mother Jones Magazine?
>11 proximity1: Free, if your life means nothing. One visit to the DMV in Sauk City?
"Disability access: Limited
Wednesday: Special Rules - 5th Wednesday of the month 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If you live in Sauk City, you can get a license for the November election on May 30, August 29, or October 31 (though the last one might be cutting it a bit close.) I don't know what the lines look like, but if you work a full day on Wednesdays, you can't get there without taking a day off of work. And nice job on the disability access.
South Milwaukee is not as ludicrous, but it seems like it, like all the DMVs I saw are
Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
M-F 9-5 need not apply.
I don't know what average distances to DMVs Wisconsin are, but I live in Las Vegas, as the nearest DMV is a 40 minute bus ride or an Uber away for me. Double that for there and back.
Spend a 40 minute bus ride, say 40 minutes waiting (who ever has had to spend more time then that at the DMV?), and a 40 minute bus ride, and that's two hours of your life. You call that free? There's a joke that economists don't recognize each other in the polling lines, like Baptists don't recognize each other at the liquor store, because time spent voting is worth more than your impact on the vote and thus voting is an irrational economic decision. Economists will tell you right off the bat that you don't need much expense and trouble before people will stop voting.
>12 prosfilaes: (BTW: that is from the guy who wasn't aware (because he couldn't be bothered to find out first) that, in Florida, the rules of Florida criminal procedure provide that capital-murder defendants are not necessarily ineligible for bail pending trial.)
Applicants can apply on-line.
Got a networked telephone? "You" can apply via remote connection on-line. Is there a public library or a friend with a computer network connection that one knows? "You" can apply on-line.
There is apparently not necessarily any need to go personally to the office. Remember, a prospective voter is, by necessity, already a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization.
" Economists will tell you right off the bat that you don't need much expense and trouble before people will stop voting.
LOL! "Economists will tell you..." really takes the cake. Yes, I know. Economists will tell you anything. They're famous for that.
Did you know, for example, that economists will tell you that "immigration is vital to the nation because of the fact that 'there are many jobs which U.S. citizens simply won't do' ?
Yep. Economists will tell you that and so many people have heard this repeated so often without challenge or reflection that they actually take it for granted as true.
The truth of the matter is VERY different: there are many jobs--and they're far from trivial or unimportant--for which the private-sector prefers to pay serf-wages and, thus, shall refuse to pay at any livable-wage rate--and those jobs, yes, many U.S. citizens simply cannot afford to take. Those that do take them are desperate refugees working on the U.S. employment black-market, paid illegally low wages, often in case as "casual day-laborers who enjoy no rights or benefits at all and are often treated viciously by the employer who knows damn well these people have no recourse but to take what they're given or quit --their job or even the country itself.
You crack my shit up!
>13 proximity1: Applicants can apply on-line.
>11 proximity1: "If you do not have a birth certificate or other documents, you can still obtain a document for voting that is valid for 180 days after one visit to the DMV
In other words, the page you originally linked to, and the words you quoted from it, are explicit in saying "one visit to the DMV". Your link contradicting your post doesn't actually say what you claim it does, and never mentions the IDPP. I've never seen anyone get a new photo ID without going to a DMV; if they go to the DMV, the DMV can take a fingerprint and a photograph, know they're both from the same person and there was at least no obvious masks or tricks going on.
LOL! "Economists will tell you..." really takes the cake.
Mockery isn't an argument, or really a response. Tossing new random shit out there is a debate tactic, but it's part of the reason a lot of scholars won't get in debates, because it just adds noise trying to hide the fact you can't answer an argument.
What's the value for someone voting? Monetarily, the probability I will shift an election and it will help me in the long run is incredibly low. Emotionally, how much time and money would people pay for one vote? Surely not enough that two hours of their life just to vote can be considered anywhere near free.
"Applicants can apply on-line."
"If you do not have a birth certificate or other documents, you can still obtain a document for voting that is valid for 180 days after one visit to the DMV."
Both are true in certain cases. I see that, if an applicant cannot afford the usual ID fee, then, it's true, he has to appear at a DMV office in person with some documents to prove name, place of residence, age, citizenship --this is for voting purposes, after all-and his application is premised on the fees being waved from financial need. That's reasonable then--unless one wants to argue that everyone should be entitled to a state photo-ID without fee -- and one could make a case for that.
Now, you chose to notify us of the insanely limited office hours of the Sauk City DMV office. Horrors. However, there's a DMV office in Baraboo, (Distance from Sauk City, WI to Baraboo, WI
Distance 18 mi Time22 minutes) and its hours are Monday 7:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday 7:00am - 5:00pm.
Really, to get a voter photo-ID does not appear to be the ordeal it's being made out to be.
LOL! "just to vote"?
"Surely not enough that two hours of their life just to vote can be considered anywhere near free."?!?!?!
Okay. Now I get it: voting, in your view or that of your hypo(pa)thetical person here, is *really just not that important*. It might even cost two whole precious hours of one's life! The horror!
Okay then. Whatcha bitchin' about then? Nuthin'
Case closed, then.
>15 proximity1: Oh, and after >13 proximity1:, I'm going to officially come out and no longer read your posts. I'm doing this publically because people can point it out if I do reply to you, so I have external motivation to not read and not reply. Life's too short to spending time on stuff like >13 proximity1:.
>16 prosfilaes: Good for you.
You have nothing interesting to "contribute" here. You can't think straight, don't know the basic facts concerning the topics on which you venture opinions and, when challenged, you have only the rarest readiness to recognize your faults.
Don't read my posts and, certainly, don't reply to them. Good riddance.
>17 proximity1: Well played P1. Your constant incivility and negativity is driving people away. At this rate, you can declare Mission Accomplished and claim victory.
When we had this discussion, or something similar, before on LT, Tim Spalding said that the problem was people without proper ID, and to some extent I agree with him. I don't know how to deal with the problem of someone who has lost all form of ID to bootstrap from, but it's a real problem, and people need ID in our modern world. One of the problems with this Wisconsin voter ID, IMO, is that as far as I can tell, it's useless except for voting.
>19 prosfilaes: Apparently, by 2020 my NC Driver's license might not be enough to get me on an airplane:
Federal Judge Holds Kansas Elections Official In Contempt Of Court
U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson says Kobach violated her preliminary injunction to allow some potentially ineligible voters to remain eligible to cast a ballot, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
The judge found that the Kansas secretary of state, who has crusaded against voter fraud, failed to update his office's website informing some new voter applicants that they were still eligible to vote. She also found that Kobach's office did not send postcards to such voters, who had not shown proof-of-citizenship documents when they registered, as the judge required.
What a convenient little rule change by Mnuchin!
NRA and some other nonprofits will no longer need to identify their donors to the IRS
Critics say the rules could make it easier for politically active nonprofits to conceal foreign contributions, which are not allowed under election laws.
"The IRS is already a toothless watchdog when it comes to overseeing nonprofits," said Robert Maguire, political nonprofit investigator for the Center for Responsive Politics. "But it should have donor information that it can use to effectively oversee the political activity of these groups."
Maguire said this rule change allows "dark money" to flex its political muscle through anonymous donations.
"It's a boon to anyone who wants to spend large amounts of money on politics without any accountability," he said.
In my state (Michigan)...
Democracy on the Ballot
Eli Savit | July 17, 2018
Michigan voters want a chance to end partisan gerrymandering. Republican judges might not let them.
... A grassroots group called Voters Not Politicians collected almost 425,000 petition signatures—100,000 more than were needed—to get a proposal for an “independent redistricting commission” placed on the ballot this November. The initiative, which would amend the Michigan Constitution, calls for the state Legislature to be stripped of the power to draw districts, instead vesting that power in an independent, nonpartisan commission.
...A group called Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution filed a lawsuit challenging the proposal’s place on the ballot, but that challenge was unanimously rejected by a three-judge panel. That rejection made sense, as constitutional amendments of this type are procedurally routine. In the past half-century, the Michigan Constitution has been amended 10 times via citizen-sponsored initiatives. What’s more, citizens in other states have used the exact same mechanism to break partisan gerrymandering’s stranglehold on their politics. Voters in California and Arizona, for example, have directly amended their state constitutions to provide for independent redistricting commissions.
Nevertheless, the Michigan Supreme Court stepped in earlier this month and announced it would hear an appeal in the case.
...the main legal argument against placing redistricting reform on Michigan’s ballot is highly dubious.
In light of the challenge’s legal infirmity, a Supreme Court decision to remove redistricting reform from the ballot would raise an unavoidable appearance of partisanship. In Michigan, gerrymandering strongly favors Republicans, with the state’s Republican lawmakers drawing some of the country’s most lopsided legislative maps. Unsurprisingly, Michigan’s Republican Party has publicly expressed its strong opposition to independent redistricting efforts. The kicker? Michigan is one of just 10 states that provide for partisan election of judges. Five of the seven justices on the Michigan Supreme Court are Republicans. Two of those Republicans are up for their party’s nomination in August, and for re-election this fall. If those justices vote to kick independent redistricting off the ballot—thereby protecting their party’s gerrymandered advantage—the scent of partisanship will be overwhelming.
It gets worse. Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, the shadowy group challenging the redistricting initiative, is heavily funded by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. In recent years, the Chamber has spent lavishly to elect Republicans to the state Supreme Court. In 2016, it spent more to elect two Republican justices than those justices’ campaigns and the state Republican Party combined. Were the court’s Republican members to torpedo redistricting reform, it would create the inference that they acted at the behest not just of their party, but also of their biggest campaign contributor.
Those optics aren’t just bad—they’re unacceptable. As the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly admonished, “justice must satisfy the appearance of justice.” That’s why judges must recuse themselves from cases where the risk of bias appears intolerably high. Given the swirling morass of partisanship and money in this case, any decision by Republican justices to push redistricting reform off the ballot would appear unjust indeed. And that, in turn, would severely tarnish the Michigan Supreme Court’s reputation as an independent actor...
Judge shuts down multi-million dollar loophole in election law.
Might as well throw campaign finances into the mix here.
Stumbled across an Esquire article from May that applies.
Paul Ryan Just Made a Complete Mockery of Campaign Finance Rules
So Ryan (as a federally elected official) can't ask for $30 million, but he can make the entire case for it—and lend the scene a certain gravitas as perhaps the country's second most powerful elected official—then promptly leave the room so the sausage can get made.
Georgia county considering closing seven of nine polling places.
Georgia polling places to remain open after intense scrutiny.
The NYT has an in depth report on the Georgia story.
Georgia County Rejects Plan to Close 7 Polling Places in Majority-Black Area
Campaign finance watchdog site:
Easy search function and summaries.
I looked up my Senators and Congressman.
Dark Money Groups Will Have To Disclose Their Donors In Time For The Midterms
The FEC will likely convene soon, according to Weintraub, to discuss and release guidelines for groups on how to comply with the new disclosure rules. The commission will not be able before the election to issue any regulation to replace the old one invalidated by the court, as it has to abide by federal laws allowing a long public comment period. “The timing’s not great,” Weintraub said.
Dark money groups will likely either stop spending money on the 2018 midterm elections to avoid having to disclose their donors or shift tactics.
The court ruling covered only independent expenditures — for ads or other efforts that call for the election or defeat of candidates. The ruling does not cover electioneering communications, better known as issue ads, which applies to spending by outside groups that stops short of calling for the election or defeat of a candidate. That could be an ad that names a candidate and says terrible things about the person but ends with a request for viewers to call the candidate’s office and say how they feel.
Still, this is a major disturbance for the 2018 campaign strategies of both political parties.
A new book is scheduled for release soon, by a professor of communications:
Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President—What We Don’t, Can’t, and Do Know, by Kathleen Hall Jamieson
How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump
Her case is based on a growing body of knowledge about the electronic warfare waged by Russian trolls and hackers—whom she terms “discourse saboteurs”—and on five decades’ worth of academic studies about what kinds of persuasion can influence voters, and under what circumstances.
"...it is not just plausible that Russia changed the outcome of the 2016 election—it is “likely that it did.”
Another big Democratic loss. And yet more complaints about a ‘rigged’ system.
Aaron Blake | October 8, 2018
...Brett M. Kavanaugh...was an unpopular nominee confirmed by senators representing less than half of the total U.S. population (not to mention that he was appointed by a president who lost the popular vote). The Senate these days can reach a majority, in fact, with the votes of senators representing 17 percent of the population.
GovTrack has also done some good work noting that the Senate, as with Kavanaugh, is indeed increasingly relying upon the votes of senators who represent a minority of the country... (See charts at website!)
...(in the beginning) there were vast differences in the populations of states, with Virginia having 12 times as many people as Delaware. Both states were given two senators.
Today the gap between the biggest state and smallest state is closer to 70 times — California vs. Wyoming — but that difference is actually smaller than it has been for most of the past 150 years.
...Republicans have positioned themselves politically to take advantage of this; Democrats have done a decidedly poorer job.
... why the other side has been able to work that system in a way you haven’t.
Can't find the quote online, but I recall a Benjamin Franklin biography had him giving the Constitution 300 years at best(?)
What Franklin thought of the Constitution
September 17, 2010 by Hilary Parkinson
... I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other. I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another’s throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best...
>35 margd: Republicans have positioned themselves politically to take advantage of this; Democrats have done a decidedly poorer job.
I don't buy it. If the US is divided into two parties relatively equally, one of them is going to represent more strongly the desires of New York and California (the "coastal elites") and one of them is going to represent more strongly the desires of the South and the center (the "fly-over states") We're currently quite polarized (it was weird to go back to 1980 and earlier Presidential elections and see New York and California vote Republican or on different sides), but the way the country is split up, one party is going to suffer from this problem.
Think Trump and GOP minority rule is bad now? Here’s how it could get much worse.
Greg Sargent | October 9, 2018
...In the midterms, it is possible Democrats could win the national popular vote in the House by up to five or six percentage points, but still fall short of winning control of the lower chamber. That is, in part, because of the geographically inefficient sorting of Democratic voters, but it is also very much because of Republican gerrymandering of House districts.
The political theorist Jacob Levy points out that if all this were to happen, then the political aspirations and values of a minority of Americans will dominate or have gone a long way towards shaping the White House, the Supreme Court, and both houses of Congress. Levy posits that one can still fundamentally accept many countermajoritarian aspects of our system while also finding such an across-the-board outcome deeply troubling. As Levy notes: “It’s a problem for democratic government if a majority can’t gain entry anywhere.”...
Georgia Republican candidate blocks 53,000 voter registrations, mostly of black people
Igor Derysh | October 11, 2018
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is also the Republican nominee for governor this year, is blocking 53,000 voter registrations ahead of his election.
According to records obtained by the Associated Press, 70 percent of the applications blocked were from African-Americans, even though the state's population is only 32 percent black.
The registration purge was the result of the controversial “exact match” program, which requires the voter registration application to have identical information as the person's information in the state's Department of Driver Services database or the Social Security Administration’s records. This means that any minor discrepancy, such as a missing hyphen or middle initial, could result in a rejection. The program has a long history of disproportionately affecting minority voters...
Campaign Worker Arrested After IDing His Candidate As Democrat
Josh Marshall | October 10, 2018 11:04 pm
...Democrat Mike Siegel is running against Rep. Michael T. McCaul (R) in Texas’s 10th district. This evening I saw a tweet from Siegel which said: “Just learned that my field director was arrested while delivering our letter. He told police he was working for me and the officer asked, “what party is he?” Now Jacob is under 48 hour investigatory detention in Waller County.”
In the 10th district, there’s a historically black university called Prairie View A&M University. There’s a long history of the local county government (Waller County) trying to prevent the students there from voting. There was even a big Supreme Court case about it in 1979. This year local officials have put a new set of obstacles in the way of the students voting.
As Siegel explained to me, Siegel’s campaign wrote a letter proposing a solution to the problem and sent a campaign staffer, Jacob Aronowitz, to deliver it to the County Courthouse in Waller County. In Texas, the County Judge (in this case Waller County Judge Carbett “Trey” J. Duhon III) is actually the county executive, not a judge as we usually use the term. In any case, Aronowitz presented the letter to a member of the County Clerk’s staff and then took a picture of himself submitting the letter as a sort of proof of service. It’s not clear whether this was County Clerk Debbie Hollan or another member of the clerk’s office. Whoever it was got upset that he’d taken a picture and called over a bailiff – she apparently thought her privacy had been violated by taking the photograph...
Jim Crow 2.0
Republicans Have a Secret Weapon in the Midterms: Voter Suppression
Jay Michaelson | 10.12.18
After losing in 2012, the GOP enacted the harshest limits on voting since Jim Crow. It could make the difference this year from Florida to North Dakota.
...A review by The Daily Beast found at least five voter-suppression practices in active use today. All are led by Republicans, all have disproportionate effects on non-white populations, and all are rationalized by bogus claims of voter fraud. They include:
Closing polling places in communities of color
Purging eligible voters from the rolls without their knowledge
Barring felons from voting
Voter ID laws
Eliminating early voting
Each one of these alone is troubling. In the aggregate, though, they paint an unmistakable picture of Republican efforts to hold on to power in an increasingly non-white nation by making it harder for non-white people to vote...
...Ultimately, the Republican voter-suppression scam is just about math. There are too many black and brown people in the country for the Republican Party to retain power with a narrow base of white support. If there weren’t systemic voter suppression, the states of Texas, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia would likely be Democrat-led today or in the very near future. So what choice to Republicans have but to forestall the inevitable and prevent people of color from voting for as long as they can?...
The Supreme Court Just Made It Harder for Native Americans to Vote in North Dakota
Natasha Bach | October 10th, 2018
The Supreme Court...decision Tuesday...refused to intervene in a challenge to a North Dakota voter ID law.
The law requires that North Dakota residents provide identification that includes a residential street address in order to vote. But the state is home to thousands of Native Americans and others who do not have standard addresses, which the challengers argued would effectively disenfranchise them.
All of these attempts to dissuade/disable voters are totally pathetic. Can't win on merit? Then let's cheat!
A Group Of Black Senior Citizens Was Told To Get Off A Bus That Was Taking Them To Vote
Talal Ansari | October 17, 2018
...A group of black senior citizens was ordered off a bus that was taking them to vote after the county clerk called the senior (county-run) center from where they were departing, prompting claims of voter intimidation.
"Voter suppression is real, y'all, and it happened to us today in Louisville, Georgia, in Jefferson County," Black Voters Matter Fund, the nonprofit that organized the bus ride, wrote on Facebook on Monday.
Dozens of elderly black voters in Jefferson County boarded the bus, ready to go cast ballots during early voting, only to be told by the director of the senior center that they had to disembark.
...According to County Administrator Adam Brett, the event was a "political activity" because a Jefferson County Democratic Party member helped organize the event.
"Jefferson County administration felt uncomfortable with allowing senior center patrons to leave the facility in a bus with an unknown third party," Brett said in a statement to the paper. "No seniors at the Jefferson County senior center were denied their right to vote" ...
...The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the senior citizens were told they could still go vote in a van provided by the senior center, but the center's administration eventually concluded it was close to lunch time and the group could vote another day.
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