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(Salon)   Should churches be used as polling places? Probably not if they have banners hanging outside the entrance that read, "Strengthen Marriage, Don't Redefine It," in states voting on same-sex marriage laws   (salon.com) divider line 49
    More: Obvious, United Methodist Church, polling places, North Carolina, state board of elections, Daily Camera, Humanist associations, Minnesota Public Radio, voter intimidation  
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1343 clicks; posted to Politics » on 26 Nov 2012 at 11:50 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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Archived thread
2012-11-26 01:41:55 PM  
2 votes:

crazyeddie: You are kidding/trolling, right? The GOP stands to lose big if people can vote early. They have worked pretty hard to suppress early voting, and quite frankly do not likely appreciate your position on the matter.


Understood but "I don't like early voting because people will vote against me" is anti-democracy. Why hold the election at all?

If turnout is 100% and I lose, either I won't make a good representative or I promoted my candidacy poorly. The OP's point stands: what kind of anti-American nutjob would stifle democracy? They need to take the country back from the people? That's farked up. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the basic rules of our society.
2012-11-26 12:17:26 PM  
2 votes:
We brought this up with the ACLU in Anchorage many years ago.

There was a gay rights initiative that was supposed to appear on the ballot. All the right-wing churches marched all over town with their crosses and other religious symbolism to fight it. First Amendment groups (of which I was a part) argued that the use of religion to argue laws made all of those symbols into electioneering, and that for this issue, all similar symbols had to be removed from polling places.

It was removed from the ballot before the election for some reason I don't recall -- but the ACLU worked to set up poll watching at the churches and they carried it out anyway (I was a volunteer).

Inside of the churches, all the right-wing ones had literature racks and fund-raisers for people standing in line. They used the elections to proselytize and make money. Church elders (again, only the right-wing ones, the "happy" churches were all cool about it) yelled and screamed and told us we had to leave the property, even after we showed them our credentials. We didn't leave until we were ready to.

It was an educational day.
2012-11-26 09:33:26 AM  
2 votes:

Cythraul: I guess I'm one of the few who has a problem with Churches being used as polling places. But it's done all over the place in the South East, and no one else seems to have a problem with it.


Probably because churches tend to be one of the few buildings in those areas large enough to handle voter crowds, and not in much use on Tuesdays.

But yeah. Not a fan. (Hereabouts, most polling places are at local schools.)
2012-11-26 08:49:08 AM  
2 votes:
I guess I'm one of the few who has a problem with Churches being used as polling places. But it's done all over the place in the South East, and no one else seems to have a problem with it.
2012-11-26 08:48:56 AM  
2 votes:
Unless doing so costs them their tax-exempt status and leads to their immediately having to pony up 30% of their income in direct taxation, plus having to complete an obscene amount of paperwork in triplicate. Then I'm all for it.

/ you act like a political organization, you need to be taxed like a political organization
2012-11-26 04:33:41 PM  
1 votes:
If you're not "Open and Affirming" you're not a church, you're a collection of bigots.

You wouldn't allow Christ into your churches.

Pay taxes, shut down, go to Iran, drop dead; I don't care. Just stop pretending to be holy.
2012-11-26 03:47:07 PM  
1 votes:
I wouldn't care in the slightest - just as I don't care that I have to go to a godless den of socialist indoctrination currently

I assume you're trolling, since I've never heard of public school indoctrinating kids to be atheists. They just don't talk about religion, or at least they're not supposed to. Except for the Pledge of Allegiance, where I was forced to mouth "Under God" every day in junior high. That was very uncomfortable for a kid who didn't want to lie, but didn't want to get picked on for being different either.

And I presume you never went to school in the South or know anybody who has, because some Southern teachers let religious comments slip in with other inane junk. My World History teacher sang the praises of Jesus in between comments on the ancient Pyramids and their amazing measurements that matched this or that astronomical measurement times a random number.

Another teacher, I think she was Social Studies, was talking about forms of abuse and added that spiritual abuse was another form. "If you don't take your kids to church, you're abusing them." Soooo full of shiat. Hey my atheist parents didn't take me to church but at least they didn't abuse me. Which is more than you can say for a lot of church-going families, where sexual abuse and drunken beatings are rampant.
2012-11-26 03:28:15 PM  
1 votes:

kid_icarus: Pretty much this. In a rural area, you pretty much have to pick between a church or the local elementary school.


And the local elementary schools tend to be in use on Tuesdays.
Of course, you can close the schools, but then you have the kids out of school, meaning parents have to take care of them, adding to the hassles for the parent voting.

serial_crusher: I'd greatly prefer it if they kept schools open on election day. Stop short changing our kids out of a day of education just because people were too lazy to go vote during the 2 week long early voting period prior to "election day".


The local school system rigs the school calendar to have one of the "teacher work days" (which they periodically have anyway) fall on election day.

stevenrushing: My problem comes with using schools as polling places. Midland Texas passed the largest school bond (property tax increase) in city history by plastering "Vote for better Schools, Vote for a better Midland" all over our schools as they were being used as polling places.


Yeah, that's also pretty sketchy.
2012-11-26 03:22:23 PM  
1 votes:
"If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads"

Seems pretty clear to me. If you believe in the bible then you must believe in death to people who commit homosexual acts while lying down. It's OK to fish for brown trout doggy style or while standing up, but you really don't want to lie down and take it missionary because well-meaning people might need to kill you if you do that.

The other parts of Leviticus are to be taken as being just as relevant:

And the swine, because he parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, but cheweth not the cud, he is unclean unto you.

If a man goes to bed with her, and her menstrual flow touches him, he will be unclean seven days; and every bed he lies on will be unclean.

Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. 10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales-whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water-you are to regard as unclean. 11 And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean.

However, of those that chew the cud or that have a divided hoof you may not eat the camel, the rabbit or the hyrax. Although they chew the cud, they do not have a divided hoof; they are ceremonially unclean for you.


You sick Hyrax eating mother farkers make me wanna puke. Die and go to hell immediately if not sooner.
2012-11-26 02:32:46 PM  
1 votes:

Mija: You can't punish religious people for their right to have an opinion. They have just as much right as you do.


I agree. However, when a church applies for tax exempt status they agree to abide by certain rules. If they later choose to break those rules, they should lose their tax exempt status. If they don't like the rules they shouldn't agree to abide by them.
2012-11-26 02:21:43 PM  
1 votes:

The Evil That Lies In The Hearts Of Men: The Stealth Hippopotamus: Diogenes: I don't think churches are the best option but I can live with it. Never had a problem when I had to vote at one.

In Oklahoma it's the best option. There is at least one on every street corner and they arnt doing anything during the week. Well maybe Wednesday night.

AA meetings?


Some protestant churches have become fond of midweek services.

\In my denomination it just seems to be the default choir rehearsal evening.
2012-11-26 02:20:31 PM  
1 votes:
Vote by mail biatches. No more polling place nonsense to deal with.
2012-11-26 02:19:19 PM  
1 votes:

Cythraul: I guess I'm one of the few who has a problem with Churches being used as polling places. But it's done all over the place in the South East, and no one else seems to have a problem with it.


With the size of some of the churches we have around here, it's possible the banner could have been 100 feet above the entrance of the polling location.
2012-11-26 02:09:16 PM  
1 votes:

wxboy: Do churches (and everywhere else) get paid for being a voting precinct?


Not where I live. It's just a public service, which is why your choices are limited to public buildings and churches.

\My new polling place was actually in a private school because there's no public buildings or even churches in the precinct. Both their facilities staff and the faculty whose building we were taking up were incredibly accommodating, and I suppose the kids got to see that the school values voting.
2012-11-26 02:07:01 PM  
1 votes:
I'd have a bigger problem with this if the Christian church wasn't #1 in redefining marriage in the world, which in turn led to ever-increasing and historically-high rates of marriage dissolution. In light of that, signs like that aren't so much political statements as tacit admissions that church people are, in fact, complete assholes.

Churches still need to have tax exempt status universally revoked, though.
2012-11-26 01:45:37 PM  
1 votes:
Most of the places I've voted at were churches, but I've never seen any of the issues that seem to happen elsewhere. It's usually just booths set up in the fellowship hall or gymnasium and it might as well be a school gym--nothing visibly religious. The church I grew up in has always been a polling place and they use the sanctuary, but we were the sort of Presbyterians who don't believe in religious imagery of any kind, so there isn't even a cross on the wall. They'd just stack up the chairs along the walls and stick booths in.

I have a problem though, with voting in churches when there's religious iconography staring down at you while you're in the booth. Particularly with gay rights votes, where all the anti-gay rhetoric is religiously charged, that strikes me as electioneering. To have Mary and Joseph and the Baby Jesus staring down on you disapprovingly when you cast a vote for equality doesn't seem right.
2012-11-26 01:44:30 PM  
1 votes:

mongbiohazard: Well, there is an active lawsuit right now by the Freedom From Religion Foundation on that exact subject. Basically, they're suing the feds for dicriminatory application of the law. In essence, the FFRF has to abide by the IRS' laws regarding electioneering so they're suing because the IRS doesn't seem interested in applying those laws to christians religious groups/entities.


It's not like synagogues and mosques (and temples and meeting places and forests and...) are being taxed up the wazoo. It's most noticeable with the religion that 80% of US believers subscribe to, but it's endemic to the IRS' application of tax law to religious establishments.
2012-11-26 01:35:10 PM  
1 votes:

BronyMedic: So these places willfully commited federal crimes by breaking election laws, and they have admitted to doing such on national media as an "oversight?"

So, why hasn't anyone been charged with election tampering yet for this?

/I think we know the answer...



Well, there is an active lawsuit right now by the Freedom From Religion Foundation on that exact subject. Basically, they're suing the feds for dicriminatory application of the law. In essence, the FFRF has to abide by the IRS' laws regarding electioneering so they're suing because the IRS doesn't seem interested in applying those laws to christians.

It'll be interesting to see how that's resolved. So many evangelical churches have been openly and intentionally violating the rules (seriously, many even participated in a day that was explicitly described as an attempt to flout the law) that I think the IRS should have a hard time explaining their lack of enforcement.


MFL: Self proclaimed "Progressives" have promoted Motor Voter laws and same day registration, and month-long election days to help them mobilize the votes of people who are so unconnected to the political process and so uninterested in the country's future, and perhaps so incompetent to understand what voting entails that they require keepers to see that they get to the polls and then vote the "right" way.....are getting all worked up stupid shiat like this. Remarkable.....

We've got 47 million people (and counting) on food stamps that are going to always vote for you. The next generation has more "education" than any generation before it and they are still remarkably the most useless generation this country has ever produced. This is great news for the DNC.



I find your frustration hilarious and heartening.
2012-11-26 01:31:46 PM  
1 votes:
Separation of church and state. Poll at schools, major businesses, and other "secular" places. It's been proven time and time again that religion can't keep its nose out of politics.
2012-11-26 01:17:39 PM  
1 votes:

Zalan: There are very good reasons for early voting in the south, In years past here in Floriduh for example, the rich parts of the state have lots and lots of voting machines on election day and no lines, but the poorer parts of town have lines out the building and around the block due to only having a few voting machines available. Always so strange to see that happen. This year, I was hearing reports of people still in line hours after the polls closed in Miami-Dade county waiting to cast their ballots due to lack of machines and high voter turnout.


In MD, by law, polling places must have 5 machines for every 200 voters (maybe that's only MoCo? IIRC it's the whole state). Lines were pretty manageable here. (CSB: I was in-and-out of a fairly busy polling place in 45 minutes, and that's including some time I spent BSing with a friend I ran into there).

In VA, where that number is something like 2 machines for 1,000 voters, and there is actually a LAW LIMITING THE NUMBER OF MACHINES PER POLLING PLACE, there were 5, 6, 7 hour waits to vote. Apparently, VA couldn't be bothered to make sure their elections were non-clusterfarky, so they didn't allow any funding to improve things from 2010 (when things were all clusterfarky). Some people might note the relative party affiliations of the Governor/SecState and their constituencies, but surely our elected officials would not play politics with an election.
2012-11-26 01:13:47 PM  
1 votes:

Zalan: There are very good reasons for early voting in the south, In years past here in Floriduh for example, the rich parts of the state have lots and lots of voting machines on election day and no lines, but the poorer parts of town have lines out the building and around the block due to only having a few voting machines available. Always so strange to see that happen. This year, I was hearing reports of people still in line hours after the polls closed in Miami-Dade county waiting to cast their ballots due to lack of machines and high voter turnout.


Seems to me that if you had lines for hours and hundreds or thousands of people who were not properly accommodated, that could be fixed the next time around by obtaining more machines/ballots, opening more polling places, moving machines from less frequented areas to more frequented areas. You almost make it sound as if someone (who could it be?) doesn't want low-income or minority voters to have their say... sigh.
2012-11-26 01:11:20 PM  
1 votes:

serpent_sky: serial_crusher: I'd greatly prefer it if they kept schools open on election day. Stop short changing our kids out of a day of education just because people were too lazy to go vote during the 2 week long early voting period prior to "election day".

CT has no early voting, so I'm sort of fascinated by the whole early voting thing. It was such a huge deal this year (for the first time I can really remember) and its sort of defeats the purpose of election day, doesn't it? I have always been aware of absentee ballots, but I did not know there were actual polling places open for weeks at a time before election day. I thought you had to have a very good reason (military, college in another state, etc.) to vote anywhere but your designated polling place, on election day.

When I was a kid, they had voting in our school cafeteria. We had lunch in our classrooms and got something special, like pizza from a local place on that day. I suppose it worked out for everyone. We certainly liked the treat.


There are very good reasons for early voting in the south, In years past here in Floriduh for example, the rich parts of the state have lots and lots of voting machines on election day and no lines, but the poorer parts of town have lines out the building and around the block due to only having a few voting machines available. Always so strange to see that happen. This year, I was hearing reports of people still in line hours after the polls closed in Miami-Dade county waiting to cast their ballots due to lack of machines and high voter turnout.
2012-11-26 12:50:52 PM  
1 votes:
NO!


next?

/DNRTFA
2012-11-26 12:47:09 PM  
1 votes:
Churches should not be within 100 feet of a polling place.
2012-11-26 12:39:49 PM  
1 votes:

DarnoKonrad: thurstonxhowell: DarnoKonrad: The NFL is non-profit. Wrap your head around that one. The truth is our laws on the subject are incredibly lax.

It makes perfect sense for the NFL to be non-profit. It just sounds ridiculous.

it is ridiculous.The NFL exists to make money, and they're quite good at it.


Maybe it's like a professional association. I used to work for a large Realtor association, and the association itself was considered a non-profit. The members of that association were NOT considered to be non-profit, however. So, I guess that whereas the entity of the NFL doesn't pay taxes, the teams probably do. Seems like that would be the distinction.
2012-11-26 12:38:38 PM  
1 votes:

k1j2b3: qorkfiend:

I have no problem with the church's physical facilities being used as a polling place. However, the church should be subject to the same bans on electioneering as anyplace else.

Just a reminder about the huge Obama mural at one school polling place in PA. They didn't cover that up until the court forced them to. So, if the churches need to cover up messages, then all polling places should be devoid of this. Yes?


Sure, I'll copy what I said the first time into another comment for you:

the church should be subject to the same bans on electioneering as anyplace else.
2012-11-26 12:38:14 PM  
1 votes:

BarkingUnicorn: Sometimes, hyper-sensitive atheists remind me of people who are allergic to WiFi.


Because you have to be a "hyper-sensitive atheist" to have a problem with reactionary assholes electioneering at a polling place in the name of God, right?
2012-11-26 12:36:15 PM  
1 votes:

BarkingUnicorn: Sometimes, hyper-sensitive atheists remind me of people who are allergic to WiFi.


I get the same feeling from false equivalences.
2012-11-26 12:29:44 PM  
1 votes:

crazyeddie: (As a side note, why shouldn't churches be subject to the same rights and restrictions as any other non-profit, viz: Prove it with tax paperwork, and pay taxes on your land. Why do you want free rides for magic believers?)



The NFL is non-profit. Wrap your head around that one. The truth is our laws on the subject are incredibly lax.
2012-11-26 12:29:02 PM  
1 votes:
Not if they want to keep their tax exempt status.
2012-11-26 12:27:31 PM  
1 votes:

serial_crusher: Don't really get why anybody would oppose early voting.


You are kidding/trolling, right? The GOP stands to lose big if people can vote early. They have worked pretty hard to suppress early voting, and quite frankly do not likely appreciate your position on the matter. (source)

Hell, they even acknowledge that voter suppression is the goal of early voting restrictions. (source)

Regarding churches, voting should not take place in them for the same reason that voting should not take place in a campaign headquarters. It doesn't matter if the walls are stripped of 'obvious' partisanship: Everyone knows what the building is and what it stands for. Clearly, you have not been to a church in the South.

(As a side note, why shouldn't churches be subject to the same rights and restrictions as any other non-profit, viz: Prove it with tax paperwork, and pay taxes on your land. Why do you want free rides for magic believers?)
2012-11-26 12:22:35 PM  
1 votes:
There are sects of believers who will not enter a church. Wouldn't that make this a potential problem of disenfranchisement? And in the Voting Rights Act-South, no less.

// I suspect there may be a reason we haven't heard of a case like this before
2012-11-26 12:22:13 PM  
1 votes:

someonelse: Jon iz teh kewl: aren't all churches portals to HELL?

Yeah, but make sure you stop by for coffee and sweet rolls in the narthex first.


How many churches have one now? It's all strip mall glass-and-steel these days, isn't it?
2012-11-26 12:21:12 PM  
1 votes:
2012-11-26 12:15:38 PM  
1 votes:

Insatiable Jesus: How about we just give them all the rope they want for now, eh?


Because they have already had more than enough and it's not enough to hang them because they scream persecution the second anyone says anything.

I really would love to see all the churches lose their tax-exempt status, since they're not staying out of politics either way, and the country could use the money. But see above: persecution.
2012-11-26 12:03:51 PM  
1 votes:
"Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state,' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society." ― Thomas Jefferson

/Churches should not be used as polling places.
2012-11-26 11:59:27 AM  
1 votes:
That's electioneering, isn't it? I mean, I am not an expert, but if a school has to cover up an Obama mural, one would think they'd have to remove those banners.
2012-11-26 11:58:57 AM  
1 votes:
You kids should really try this Vote By Mail thing. All the cool states are doing it.
2012-11-26 11:57:22 AM  
1 votes:
aren't all churches portals to HELL?
2012-11-26 11:56:31 AM  
1 votes:
Did anything happen to that group of evangelicals who gave the finger to the IRS by videotaping themselves endorsing candidates in front of their congregations?
2012-11-26 10:32:37 AM  
1 votes:

serpent_sky: serial_crusher: I'd greatly prefer it if they kept schools open on election day. Stop short changing our kids out of a day of education just because people were too lazy to go vote during the 2 week long early voting period prior to "election day".

CT has no early voting, so I'm sort of fascinated by the whole early voting thing. It was such a huge deal this year (for the first time I can really remember) and its sort of defeats the purpose of election day, doesn't it? I have always been aware of absentee ballots, but I did not know there were actual polling places open for weeks at a time before election day. I thought you had to have a very good reason (military, college in another state, etc.) to vote anywhere but your designated polling place, on election day.


Yeah, I think the idea of tethering people to a certain polling place was an artifact of the fact that local ballots looked different and with physical sheets of paper you couldn't represent multiple ballots in the same location without it turning into a madhouse. But, with electronic voting, it doesn't matter. I check in at the front desk and they give me a code that I enter into the machine and it shows the applicable ballot for my area.

I don't get the existence of "voting day" either. Here they actually have like a week off between "early voting" and "voting day". I kind of just feel like polls should be open the whole month of October, and leave it at that.

Don't really get why anybody would oppose early voting.
2012-11-26 10:23:51 AM  
1 votes:

serial_crusher: I'd greatly prefer it if they kept schools open on election day. Stop short changing our kids out of a day of education just because people were too lazy to go vote during the 2 week long early voting period prior to "election day".


CT has no early voting, so I'm sort of fascinated by the whole early voting thing. It was such a huge deal this year (for the first time I can really remember) and its sort of defeats the purpose of election day, doesn't it? I have always been aware of absentee ballots, but I did not know there were actual polling places open for weeks at a time before election day. I thought you had to have a very good reason (military, college in another state, etc.) to vote anywhere but your designated polling place, on election day.

When I was a kid, they had voting in our school cafeteria. We had lunch in our classrooms and got something special, like pizza from a local place on that day. I suppose it worked out for everyone. We certainly liked the treat.
2012-11-26 10:21:34 AM  
1 votes:
So these places willfully commited federal crimes by breaking election laws, and they have admitted to doing such on national media as an "oversight?"

So, why hasn't anyone been charged with election tampering yet for this?

/I think we know the answer...
2012-11-26 10:16:47 AM  
1 votes:

serial_crusher: Here in Austin they set up trailers with early voting booths in grocery store parking lots, among other places. Pro-vegetable propaganda was everywhere!


Yeah, my early voting location in N Austin was always the Randall's grocery store. About the only time their parking lot ever got close to full...
2012-11-26 09:50:04 AM  
1 votes:
I don't think churches are the best option but I can live with it. Never had a problem when I had to vote at one.

Except the time we lost power. I was biting my tongue so hard it bled, resisting the urge to yell, "Where is your God now?!"

I blame you, Fark.
2012-11-26 09:44:58 AM  
1 votes:
Yeah, taking down anything deemed "political" seems like a no brainer, but you're bound to get crazies claiming that a cross on the wall is political; or even holding it in a school, as if to say "look at what these tax and spend liberals spent your hard earned money on". So, I can see where the situation gets needlessly complicated if you start going down that slope.

The display was outside the 100-foot buffer zone required by Colorado law, but even if the display was legal, Boulder County officials have decided to no longer use the church as a polling place, according to the Daily Camera.

Sounds like a fair resolution to this isolated incident.
2012-11-26 09:41:43 AM  
1 votes:

abb3w: Cythraul: I guess I'm one of the few who has a problem with Churches being used as polling places. But it's done all over the place in the South East, and no one else seems to have a problem with it.

Probably because churches tend to be one of the few buildings in those areas large enough to handle voter crowds, and not in much use on Tuesdays.

But yeah. Not a fan. (Hereabouts, most polling places are at local schools.)


Pretty much this. In a rural area, you pretty much have to pick between a church or the local elementary school. My polling place is a church...or rather, the little 1-room block fellowship hall beside the church that smelled vaguely of old carpet, old ladies, and many a pot-luck dinners from Sundays past.
2012-11-26 09:37:35 AM  
1 votes:
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis called the incidents an oversight, and the signs came down by midday on Election Day.

Willful acts that take thought, planning, and execution are now "oversights". Got it.
2012-11-26 09:25:06 AM  
1 votes:
in this area, we didn't have any issues with using local churches as polling places. some of the poll workers might have been snippy but the churches themselves were pretty accommodating when it came to making the whole process as neutral as possible. election day went rather smoothly in Pennsylvania.
 
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