Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Inconsistency: Obama OK with voter ID in Kenya, but not in U.S.

Posted by on Jul. 9, 2013 at 8:26 AM
  • 14 Replies


The White House

Office of the Press Secretary


FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for Strengthening Democratic Institutions, Rule of Law, and Human Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa

The United States strongly supports the great strides many African countries have made to ensure good governance, rule of law, and respect for human rights.  We commend the progress they have made to broaden political participation and improve governance, and will remain a steady partner as they continue to work to strengthen electoral processes, ensure transparency and accountability in government, and provide security while respecting and protecting universal rights and fundamental freedoms.

In addition to our ongoing diplomacy and our efforts in multilateral institutions, in 2012 the United States – through the U.S. Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – provided more than $292 million in support for these efforts, including in the following priority areas:

Supporting Civil Society and Independent Media

Civil society and independent media play a critical role in any vibrant democracy.  Across sub-Saharan Africa, the United States supports efforts to ensure civil society organizations and independent media can organize, advocate, and raise awareness with governments and the private sector to improve political processes, transparency, and government performance.  Examples include:

  • In Kenya, the $53 million Yes Youth Can program empowers nearly one million Kenyan youth to use their voices for advocacy in national and local policy-making, while also creating economic opportunities.  In advance of Kenya’s March 2013 general elections, Yes Youth Can’s “My ID My Life” campaign helped 500,000 youth obtain National identification cards, a prerequisite to voter registration, and carried out a successful nationwide campaign with Kenyan civic organizations to elicit peace pledges from all presidential aspirants.
  • In Tanzania, the United States has dedicated $14 million to strengthening government accountability institutions and linking them with Tanzanian civil society watchdog groups and civic activists in a constructive partnership to further government transparency.  The program focuses on improving access to information for Tanzanian citizens in four key development sectors:  health, education, natural resource management, and food security. 
  • The United States will soon launch a program in West Africa to build the capacity of civil society organizations to responsibly advocate on land tenure issues, including land rights, working closely with governments and the private sector to improve responsible natural resource utilization and the protection and advancement of human rights and economic development.

Assisting Credible Elections and Democratic Processes

Elections provide citizens with the opportunity to build strong, peaceful democratic systems and give citizens a stake in the future of their countries.  The United States supports efforts across the continent to promote credible, transparent and effective democratic processes through civic and voter education, building the capacity of African election commissions, strengthening political parties, training and supporting election observers, and facilitating the inclusion of women, youth, and people with disabilities.  We also partner with regional centers of excellence to share best practices in electoral management and build capacity for improved elections implementation.  Examples include:

  • The United States and the University of South Africa are partners in developing a network of alumni from the university’s Democratic Elections in Africa Certificate Program for African election officials and other administrators, leading to more professional, independent, and effective electoral commissions across the continent.
  • This summer, the United States will launch an initiative to strengthen African efforts to ensure electoral integrity by supporting a network of activists across the continent to share best practices for elections preparation, engage in cross-border elections monitoring, and track adherence to campaign commitments using the latest technological and mobile platforms.  This investment lays the groundwork for a larger multi-donor, multi-implementer fund focused on improving the standards and best practices for electoral monitoring and civic engagement.

Consolidating the Rule of Law and Protecting Human Rights

Many countries in Africa have made good progress on strengthening the rule of law, but much work remains.   In some parts of the continent weak, ineffective, and partisan judiciaries contribute to – or fail to provide justice in the face of – a range of societal scourges, including gender-based violence, organized crime, impunity and corruption, labor abuses, and human and narcotics trafficking.  The United States supports efforts to improve the ability of governments to strengthen the rule of law, particularly in transitional and fragile states.  Our programs also assist governments to investigate and prosecute corruption, organized crime, and narcotics and human traffickers.  Examples include:

  • In West Africa, the United States has established the Africa Regional Anti-Corruption Training Program, a two-year initiative to support the establishment of stable judicial and law enforcement institutions that combat organized crime and drug cartels and support rule of law.
  • With U.S. support, the West Africa Regional Training Center (RTC) brings together justice sector and security officials from across the region, creating relationships and boosting knowledge and skills on topics ranging from investigative analysis to combating corruption.  By September, the RTC will have conducted 12 courses and trained approximately 400 officials from ten West African countries to combat government corruption, organized crime and drug cartels, and support rule of law.
  • In Southern Africa, the 5-year Justice as a Right in Southern Africa (JARSA) program partners more than a dozen Southern African legal aid and human rights NGOs to increase judicial independence, improve the capacity of human rights lawyers and the legal community to enforce the rule of law, and encourage active civic participation in domestic and regional judicial processes.

Partnering to Promote Open Government and Transparency

The United States is committed to promoting open and accountable governance in Africa and around the world.  As a founding member of the Open Government Partnership, we are working to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies.  South Africa was a founding member of the Open Government Partnership when it was launched in 2011.  Since then, four more African nations –Tanzania, Ghana, Liberia, and Kenya – have joined, and four more — Cape Verde, Malawi, Senegal, and Sierra Leone – have committed to join by the end of 2014. 

Leveraging Technology to Revolutionize Governance and Civic Participation

The United States continues to expand support for cutting-edge technological innovations that improve government performance and accountability, open new frontiers for advocacy and civic engagement, and link Africa’s tech-savvy citizens and leaders across the continent.  Examples include:

  • The United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Omidyar Network Making created All Voices Count: A Grand Challenge for Development,  a $45 million fund to support innovation and research to harness and disseminate new technologies to enable greater citizen engagement and government responsiveness.
  • The Freedom of Information Act App, a mobile phone application supported by the United States, provides Nigerians with a detailed explanation on the newly-implemented Nigerian freedom of information law and allows users to get information on how to request public information.
  • Kenya, Malawi, and Senegal have partnered with the United States to join the Better Than Cash Alliance, through which they can accelerate the transition from cash to electronic payments made by governments, the development community, and the private sector.  The electronic distribution of payments increases transparency and efficiency, reduces corruption, and ensures accountability – while facilitating access to formal financial services.  The Better than Cash Alliance was launched in 2012 by the U.S. Agency for International Development in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, Visa, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund.
  • source
by on Jul. 9, 2013 at 8:26 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
idunno1234
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Its kind of odd that you post an article about something that I think it a good thing....a necessary thing, then point out a contradiction that you say nothing more about. But here's why its important to understand the resistance to the voter id act, the way it is now (cut and paste and obviously slightly out of date but the reasoning is the same):

Why Voter-ID Laws Are Bad for Women, the Elderly, and Everyone

September 04, 2012

On Thursday, a federal court blocked a Texas voter-identification law that the three-judge panel said would unnecessarily burden poor, minority citizens from exercising their right to vote. The court cited the fact that many Texans would have to travel up to 250 miles round-trip to get a free “election-ID certificate” and that the $22 cost to obtain an ID without a birth certificate was too much of a burden. The judges said, “A law that forces poorer citizens to choose between their wages and their franchise unquestionably denies or abridges their right to vote. … Simply put, many Hispanics and African Americans who voted in the last election will, because of the burdens imposed by [the voter-ID law], likely be unable to vote in the next election.”

Image courtesy of f_shields,used via Flickr Creative CommonsThe Texas law is one of a handful of such voter-ID laws that have been passed or proposed throughout the country in the last two years. But the upcoming presidential election will mark the first time that many of these measures will be exercised, which means lots more voters will face the new rules for the first time.

Voter-ID laws are written and passed on the premise that voter fraud is a widespread problem. But it isn’t. A recent study showed that you’re more likely to get hit by lightning than to commit voter fraud. Even after a five-year U.S. Justice Department survey and the slew of new laws, “the number of prosecutions [for voter fraud] have been practically nonexistent,” says Elisabeth Genn, counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program.

These laws don’t demonstrably protect against fraud and certainly don’t provide the legal basis for significant prosecution of fraudulent voters, yet the laws have the potential to disenfranchise many voters this November. An Associated Press study found that in Indiana and Georgia — which have some of the most stringent voter-ID laws — more than 1,200 legitimate votes weren’t counted in the 2008 presidential election, and hundreds more ballots were blocked in this year’s primaries in those states and Tennessee.

And though having ID might seem like a simple requirement, 11 percent of voting-age Americans don’t have ID. That’s 21 million people. The numbers are scarier for the elderly and women: 18 percent of people over the age of 65 don’t have a current ID, and only 66 percent of women voters have proof of citizenship that reflects their current name. The vast majority of women change their names if they get married, and most voter-ID rules require that your registration name match your photo ID name exactly. Genn says that while some women do have access to the entire chain of documents that connects their current name with birth name — including birth certificates and marriage licenses — that’s not always the case.

candlegal
by Judy on Jul. 9, 2013 at 8:41 AM


I am pointing out the inconsistency.    He is giving them millions of dollars to pay for their voter ID and refuses to hear of it here.

Quoting idunno1234:

Its kind of odd that you post an article about something that I think it a good thing....a necessary thing, then point out a contradiction that you say nothing more about. But here's why its important to understand the resistance to the voter id act, the way it is now (cut and paste and obviously slightly out of date but the reasoning is the same):

Why Voter-ID Laws Are Bad for Women, the Elderly, and Everyone

September 04, 2012

On Thursday, a federal court blocked a Texas voter-identification law that the three-judge panel said would unnecessarily burden poor, minority citizens from exercising their right to vote. The court cited the fact that many Texans would have to travel up to 250 miles round-trip to get a free “election-ID certificate” and that the $22 cost to obtain an ID without a birth certificate was too much of a burden. The judges said, “A law that forces poorer citizens to choose between their wages and their franchise unquestionably denies or abridges their right to vote. … Simply put, many Hispanics and African Americans who voted in the last election will, because of the burdens imposed by [the voter-ID law], likely be unable to vote in the next election.”

Image courtesy of f_shields,used via Flickr Creative CommonsThe Texas law is one of a handful of such voter-ID laws that have been passed or proposed throughout the country in the last two years. But the upcoming presidential election will mark the first time that many of these measures will be exercised, which means lots more voters will face the new rules for the first time.

Voter-ID laws are written and passed on the premise that voter fraud is a widespread problem. But it isn’t. A recent study showed that you’re more likely to get hit by lightning than to commit voter fraud. Even after a five-year U.S. Justice Department survey and the slew of new laws, “the number of prosecutions [for voter fraud] have been practically nonexistent,” says Elisabeth Genn, counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program.

These laws don’t demonstrably protect against fraud and certainly don’t provide the legal basis for significant prosecution of fraudulent voters, yet the laws have the potential to disenfranchise many voters this November. An Associated Press study found that in Indiana and Georgia — which have some of the most stringent voter-ID laws — more than 1,200 legitimate votes weren’t counted in the 2008 presidential election, and hundreds more ballots were blocked in this year’s primaries in those states and Tennessee.

And though having ID might seem like a simple requirement, 11 percent of voting-age Americans don’t have ID. That’s 21 million people. The numbers are scarier for the elderly and women: 18 percent of people over the age of 65 don’t have a current ID, and only 66 percent of women voters have proof of citizenship that reflects their current name. The vast majority of women change their names if they get married, and most voter-ID rules require that your registration name match your photo ID name exactly. Genn says that while some women do have access to the entire chain of documents that connects their current name with birth name — including birth certificates and marriage licenses — that’s not always the case.


julainepw
by Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 8:51 AM
3 moms liked this
How about we just stop giving our money away? We can't fix our own financial and social problems. Let's focus on getting it right here and then worry about everyone else. Emergency aid during disasters is one thing but just sending copious amounts of financial aid is irresponsible. I always read news stories about how aid is used in inappropriate ways. If you want to send personal money overseas to support a cause I totally support that. Taking our tax money and spending it to people outside of the US and then requiring us to pay even more is not fair to the tax payers.
Raintree
by Ruby Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 9:01 AM
3 moms liked this
Candle: what is the difference between the US and Kenya?
prommy
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 9:02 AM

 

Quoting julainepw:

How about we just stop giving our money away? We can't fix our own financial and social problems. Let's focus on getting it right here and then worry about everyone else. Emergency aid during disasters is one thing but just sending copious amounts of financial aid is irresponsible. I always read news stories about how aid is used in inappropriate ways. If you want to send personal money overseas to support a cause I totally support that. Taking our tax money and spending it to people outside of the US and then requiring us to pay even more is not fair to the tax payers.

 I wish I could "like" this more than once!

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM

 What the heck are you talking about? 29 states have voter ID laws.

Refuses to hear it...smh.


Quoting candlegal:


I am pointing out the inconsistency.    He is giving them millions of dollars to pay for their voter ID and refuses to hear of it here.

Quoting idunno1234:

Its kind of odd that you post an article about something that I think it a good thing....a necessary thing, then point out a contradiction that you say nothing more about. But here's why its important to understand the resistance to the voter id act, the way it is now (cut and paste and obviously slightly out of date but the reasoning is the same):

Why Voter-ID Laws Are Bad for Women, the Elderly, and Everyone

September 04, 2012

On Thursday, a federal court blocked a Texas voter-identification law that the three-judge panel said would unnecessarily burden poor, minority citizens from exercising their right to vote. The court cited the fact that many Texans would have to travel up to 250 miles round-trip to get a free “election-ID certificate” and that the $22 cost to obtain an ID without a birth certificate was too much of a burden. The judges said, “A law that forces poorer citizens to choose between their wages and their franchise unquestionably denies or abridges their right to vote. … Simply put, many Hispanics and African Americans who voted in the last election will, because of the burdens imposed by [the voter-ID law], likely be unable to vote in the next election.”

Image courtesy of f_shields,used via Flickr Creative CommonsThe Texas law is one of a handful of such voter-ID laws that have been passed or proposed throughout the country in the last two years. But the upcoming presidential election will mark the first time that many of these measures will be exercised, which means lots more voters will face the new rules for the first time.

Voter-ID laws are written and passed on the premise that voter fraud is a widespread problem. But it isn’t. A recent study showed that you’re more likely to get hit by lightning than to commit voter fraud. Even after a five-year U.S. Justice Department surveyand the slew of new laws, “the number of prosecutions [for voter fraud] have been practically nonexistent,” says Elisabeth Genn, counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program.

These laws don’t demonstrably protect against fraud and certainly don’t provide the legal basis for significant prosecution of fraudulent voters, yet the laws have the potential to disenfranchise many voters this November. An Associated Press study found that in Indiana and Georgia — which have some of the most stringent voter-ID laws — more than 1,200 legitimate votes weren’t counted in the 2008 presidential election, and hundreds more ballots were blocked in this year’s primaries in those states and Tennessee.

And though having ID might seem like a simple requirement, 11 percent of voting-age Americans don’t have ID. That’s 21 million people. The numbers are scarier for the elderly and women: 18 percent of people over the age of 65 don’t have a current ID, and only 66 percent of women votershave proof of citizenship that reflects their current name. The vast majority of women change their names if they get married, and most voter-ID rules require that your registration name match your photo ID name exactly. Genn says that while some women do have access to the entire chain of documents that connects their current name with birth name — including birth certificates and marriage licenses — that’s not always the case.



 

candlegal
by Judy on Jul. 9, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Well, for one, they can't vote for him there.

Quoting Raintree:

Candle: what is the difference between the US and Kenya?


NWP
by guerrilla girl on Jul. 9, 2013 at 9:15 AM
1 mom liked this
I read the words Obama and Kenya together in a post title and know without opening it that its a bunch of biased BS. LOL.

Quoting Raintree:

Candle: what is the difference between the US and Kenya?
idunno1234
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 9:22 AM

 Which is why I posted the article I did.  There is a reason why voter ID seemingly makes sense but is inherently unfair against seniors, women, the poor and disabled.  The people backing the politicans fighting the most over this law are very, very aware of this.


Quoting candlegal:


I am pointing out the inconsistency.    He is giving them millions of dollars to pay for their voter ID and refuses to hear of it here.

Quoting idunno1234:

Its kind of odd that you post an article about something that I think it a good thing....a necessary thing, then point out a contradiction that you say nothing more about. But here's why its important to understand the resistance to the voter id act, the way it is now (cut and paste and obviously slightly out of date but the reasoning is the same):

Why Voter-ID Laws Are Bad for Women, the Elderly, and Everyone

September 04, 2012

On Thursday, a federal court blocked a Texas voter-identification law that the three-judge panel said would unnecessarily burden poor, minority citizens from exercising their right to vote. The court cited the fact that many Texans would have to travel up to 250 miles round-trip to get a free “election-ID certificate” and that the $22 cost to obtain an ID without a birth certificate was too much of a burden. The judges said, “A law that forces poorer citizens to choose between their wages and their franchise unquestionably denies or abridges their right to vote. … Simply put, many Hispanics and African Americans who voted in the last election will, because of the burdens imposed by [the voter-ID law], likely be unable to vote in the next election.”

Image courtesy of f_shields,used via Flickr Creative CommonsThe Texas law is one of a handful of such voter-ID laws that have been passed or proposed throughout the country in the last two years. But the upcoming presidential election will mark the first time that many of these measures will be exercised, which means lots more voters will face the new rules for the first time.

Voter-ID laws are written and passed on the premise that voter fraud is a widespread problem. But it isn’t. A recent study showed that you’re more likely to get hit by lightning than to commit voter fraud. Even after a five-year U.S. Justice Department survey and the slew of new laws, “the number of prosecutions [for voter fraud] have been practically nonexistent,” says Elisabeth Genn, counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program.

These laws don’t demonstrably protect against fraud and certainly don’t provide the legal basis for significant prosecution of fraudulent voters, yet the laws have the potential to disenfranchise many voters this November. An Associated Press study found that in Indiana and Georgia — which have some of the most stringent voter-ID laws — more than 1,200 legitimate votes weren’t counted in the 2008 presidential election, and hundreds more ballots were blocked in this year’s primaries in those states and Tennessee.

And though having ID might seem like a simple requirement, 11 percent of voting-age Americans don’t have ID. That’s 21 million people. The numbers are scarier for the elderly and women: 18 percent of people over the age of 65 don’t have a current ID, and only 66 percent of women voters have proof of citizenship that reflects their current name. The vast majority of women change their names if they get married, and most voter-ID rules require that your registration name match your photo ID name exactly. Genn says that while some women do have access to the entire chain of documents that connects their current name with birth name — including birth certificates and marriage licenses — that’s not always the case.



 

Kate_Momof3
by Silver Member on Jul. 9, 2013 at 9:29 AM
1 mom liked this

 Considering that people are getting "elected" in that region by a "majority" greater than the entire population, voter ID laws make sense in that system.

When that kind of corruption is comparable in the US, I'll bother trying to going after Obama for being inconsistent on this issue.

How about we discuss the lobbying that goes into how our foreign aid is distributed, how it really functions and who benefits from it?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)



Featured