June 30, 2020

Editor’s Choice: Current Voter Issues and Questions

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation

–Thank you President Lyndon Johnson!–
  1. Which Amendment to the Constitution relates to the Voting Rights Act of 1965?
  2. Why did President Lyndon Johnson feel it was necessary to add the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to the Amendment which already said everybody could vote?
  3. Why did the Supreme Court modify the Voting Rights Act in 1913?

BONUS QUESTION: What has happened since the Supreme Court’s modification ruling of 1913?

Mighty Pokey on the Eel River near Legget, California — Photo courtesy P. S. Smith

May 15, 2020

Editor’s Choice: Current Voter Issues and Questions

“Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world.”

Sharon Salzberg
  1. Will voting over the Internet be better than mail-in?
  2. Can you request a mail-in ballot from your local Registrar in every state in America?
  3. What is the difference between mail-in and absentee ballots?

BONUS QUESTION: Will it be possible to vote-by-audio (in the near future) speaking into the telephone and have your voice identified i.e. verified with voice recognition software?

Rainbow Bridge — Photo courtesy Dave Redden

April 28, 2020

Editor’s Choice: Current Voter Issues and Questions

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. There have been stories about voting systems being connected to the Internet and if so, votes can be hacked. True or False?
  2. If everybody in America voted, what would be the result?
  3. Is it possible to develop a voting system that is honest?

BONUS: Would it be best to vote three different ways, mail, go to the polls, internet, and see if the results all match up the same?

Canon Fodder — Photo courtesy Dave Redden

April 24, 2020

Editor’s Choice: Current Voter Issues and Questions

““The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”

–Abraham Lincoln
  1. Is Voter Suppression true or false?
  2. Is there proof a lot of people vote more than once?
  3. What method of voting is best? Mail in ballots, Voter I.D.’s at the polls, voting by proxy, men only, women only, raise the voting age to 30 years old, charging a poll tax if you want to vote, and/or vote on-line with user name and password?

*BONUS: Should America wait to vote until the Pandemic vacine is given to everyone in America?

VOTE! Heart of America logo/trademark — courtesy B.L. Smith

April 9, 2020

Editor’s Choice: Current Voter Issues and Questions

“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.

–President Lyndon Johnson
  1. What does the original Constitution say about the right to vote?
  2. What are the 5 Amendments that deal directly with voting rights?
  3. What are the so called “Voting Wars” taking place in America?

*BONUS: Does the right to vote allow one political party to control who votes and who cannot vote?

Port Orford — At Twilight — Oregon — Photo courtesy B. L. Smith

  • Fact-checking tools: Snopes — VoteSmart — 
  • 10 additional options for fact-checkers
  • We offer the above fact-checking tools to aid your investigation of these topics.We also recommend you use any other fact checking resources you can find that are supported by facts that can proven. *Note: Facts are what is said, done or happened. Opinion is the interpretation of events that may or may not be true based on the facts.

March 31, 2020

Editor’s Choice: Current Voter Issues and Questions

“A man without a vote is a man without protection.””

–President Lyndon Johnson
  1. Is Health Care the #1 issue for 2020?
  2. Are mail-in ballots for all registered voters a good idea?
  3. Will a majority of voters take the Pandemic into account when they go to the polls in November 2020, and if so, will voters demand a Pandemic Agency be formed?


Port Orford, Oregon in Early Spring — Photo courtesy Paula Smith

AllSides. While not a fact-checking site, AllSides curates stories from right, center and left-leaning media so that readers can easily compare how bias influences reporting on each topic. 

Fact Check. This nonpartisan, nonprofit project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by U.S. political players, including politicians, TV ads, debates, interviews and news releases.

Media Matters. This nonprofit and self-described liberal-leaning research center monitors and corrects conservative misinformation in the media.

NewsBusters. A project of the conservative Media Research Center, NewsBusters is focused on “documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.”

Open Secrets. This nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit website run by the Center for Responsive Politics tracks how much and where candidates get their money.

Politifact. This Pulitzer Prize winning website rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials. Run by editors and reporters from the independent newspaper Tampa Bay Times, Politicfact features the Truth-O-Meter that rates statements as “True,” “Mostly True,” “Half True,” “False,” and “Pants on Fire.”

ProPublica. This independent, nonprofit newsroom has won several Pulitzer Prizes, including the 2016 Prize for Explanatory Reporting. ProPublica produces investigative journalism in the public interest.

Snopes. This independent, nonpartisan website run by professional researcher and writer David Mikkelson researches urban legends and other rumors. It is often the first to set the facts straight on wild fake news claims.

The Sunlight Foundation. This nonpartisan, nonprofit organization uses public policy data-based journalism to make politics more transparent and accountable.

Washington Post Fact Checker. Although the Washington Post has a left-center bias, its checks are excellent and sourced. The bias shows up because they fact check conservative claims more than liberal ones

  • We offer the above fact-checking tools to aid your investigation of these topics.We also recommend you utilize any further resources you typically use.

March 24, 2020

Editor’s Choice: Current Voter Issues and Questions

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”

–John Kennedy

  1. What state has closed the most polling places leading up to the Presidential primary of March 3, 2020?
  2. Why are states closing polling places? *Are there fewer voters today than yesterday?
  3. What is the demographic (race) breakdown of communities where polling places have been closed?

Photo courtesy B.L. Smith

March 14, 2020

Editor’s Choice: Current Voter Issues and Questions

“As I have done in every election since I started voting so many years ago, I always like to take my time and examine the two candidates, see not only the two candidates but the policies they will bring, the people they will bring in, who they might appoint to the Supreme Court, and look at the whole range of issues before making a decision.”

–Colin Powell

  1. How many states have engaged in passing laws to make it more difficult to vote since 2014?
  2. If a polling place opens late or has other problems such as voting machine problems, should there be an alternative way to vote like a paper ballot?
  3. What is the percentage of voters who favor getting rid of the Electoral College and use a nationwide vote total to determine the President?

BONUS QUESTION: How does the Electoral College actually work?

Lumber City, Georgia — Early 20th Century cabin — Photo courtesy B. L. Smith

March 2, 2020

Editor’s Choice: Current Voter Issues and Questions

“Too many people fought too hard to make sure all citizens of all colors, races, ethnicities, genders, and abilities can vote to think that not voting somehow sends a message.”

 Luis Gutierrez

  1. Can ex-felons vote if they have completed their sentence?
  2. Is voter suppression legal?
  3. How does gerrymandering happen? For that matter, what is gerrymandering all about?
  4. Bonus: Is gerrymandering legal under the law. In other words, did the Constitution anticipate or allow for gerrymandering to happen in state and federal elections”

Photo courtesy Dave Redden

February 17, 2020

Editor’s Choice: Current Voter Issues and Questions

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

–John Quincy Adams–
  1. What are three reasons Electoral College should be dropped?
  2. What are three reasons Electoral College should be kept?
  3. Should Voter Registration be automatic at age 18 in all states?
  4. Should all States have a paper ballot either 1st or backup?
  5. BONUS QUESTION: What year was the Voting Act passed?

Photo courtesy Ruby Jaxen