What’s the BIG HOOPLA on VOTER ID? Military Families this is good to know…

CHECK OUT THIS STORY THAT I READ from Southern Studies, on voter ID..

Well let me say this being a Carolina GAL you have to get smart on voting laws and how this COULD possibly affect you. Up to 12% of U.S. citizens don’t have the kind of government-issued photo ID that most voter ID laws require. Even if state Republicans are able to muster the votes needed to override the governor’s veto, voter ID would still face another obstacle: a newly-emboldened Department of Justice, which has successfully tied up a similar measure in South Carolina on the grounds that it may unfairly impact African-American and Latino voters.

In 2010 the midterm victories, Republican lawmakers across the country (NOT just in NC but across the Nation) pledged to push for strict laws requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Voter ID laws were the first to be pre-filed by GOP legislators in Texas and South Carolina, and others states will likely follow suit.

With the struggling economy still the number one issue on most people’s minds, why the fixation on voter ID?  The reasons have to do more with politics than any real threat facing the integrity of elections. First, pushing for voter ID gives Republicans a reason to talk about the alleged crisis of widespread voter fraud. It’s all like a SMOKE SCREEN (POOF let’s talk about this and get everyone all distracted, and ignore the REAL reason), the economy, or jobs or issues at hand.

There’s little evidence such fraud actually exists: A five-year investigation by President Bush’s Department of Justice earlier this decade famously netted only 86 convictions out of thousands of cases. But since the 1960s, the mere accusation of fraud has been effective in rallying GOP voters.

Yet the prospect of a voter ID law should give little comfort to even the most die-hard believer in the anti-voter fraud crusade. As Adam Skaggs of the Brennan Center, a non-profit legal advocacy center, noted in testimony to the Texas legislature in 2009, voter ID laws only address one type — and one type alone — of alleged fraud: in-person impersonation of another registered voter.

All the other types of fraud — people voting twice, Mickey Mouse trying to register, non-citizens voting, irregular absentee ballots — would be completely unaffected by a voter ID law. And there’s no evidence that in-person voter impersonation is a widespread problem.

In 2007, North Carolina’s Republican state auditor similarly claimed to have found evidence of thousands of such suspicious voter records, which were publicized on the eve of the legislature’s vote on a voter registration bill. When the state board of elections issued a 10-page rejoinder questioning the report’s methodology and findings, the auditor retracted his concerns.

There may be little evidence that voter ID laws solve any real election problems. But they may bring a heavy cost: lower voter participation. Up to 12% of U.S. citizens don’t have the kind of government-issued photo ID that most voter ID laws require.

At least three studies (here, here and here) have concluded that voter ID laws, by throwing up an extra barrier to casting a ballot, lower voter turnout. One study found no effect; zero studies have shown a positive effect on voting.

Blue Star Families Event at Cross Creek Mall

Operation Appreciation Event in the Ft Bragg Area!

So OK it was a BEAUTIFUL day, the wind wasn’t that bad at my house. I had everything in the car ready to go and my girls dressed. So excited to get to hold this event at the mall, and meet Jordan from Cherry Point. She is my sister, (from another mother) she is exactly like me, I mean we even talk the same like sailors, hahah! I was so impressed she drove all the way here to help me out!  Jordan let me know I will come to Cherry Point to help you out!

Melissa P came and brought her daugther and helped me out. I was so excited that I had so much support, it just floored me, she even saved the day with a few things from her car to make the tablescape better. She is really helping the chapter get off the ground, she is such a good net-worker with people and getting things going, I get nervous when talking to people and asking for things, maybe I need to just get over that fear!

The day started at noon, and the Pledge was read and the Star Spangled Banner was sang, and then they announced me as the Blue Star Chapter Director and as Army Spouse of the Year 2011 by Military Spouse Magazine! So excited I got to walk in front, and people clapped! OMG WOW! They are clapping for me…ok so I am grinning really hard now, hard to contain my smile!

So we started, then my youngest daugther wanted to climb the rock wall, so she did and she LOVED it! So between her climbing everyone came and got a picture with ME, with me! I was like OMG you want to take a picture with me, so I had like four radio personalities take their photos with me, I even got a cute Rock 103 shirt, and great Q98 calendars to hand out! Man are you talking about me feeling like a super star! I had my picture taken with the Mayor of Fayetteville and wow I just felt so honored. People coming up to shake my hand and thank me for my hard work! Just amazing so I felt really honored people wanted to meet me, so it was easy for me to ask for their support in writing letters to family members. They asked how did I do it as a Army wife, and how did I get nominated for the Army Spouse of the Year and how is the process. I told them that Military Spouse Magazine is a great magazine for spouses who want to know or need to connect with other spouses. I tell you what staying busy and volunteering helps pass the time away.

I was even asked to be on a local radio show! So the event was wonderful! We got tons of letters for Operation Appreciation, and everyone who stopped by the table had a wonderful time.We were also mention on News Channel 14, I even got to mention my award as Army Spouse of 2011 by Military Spouse Magazine.

Then Pauline one of my volunteers drove from Raleigh to help out! I was so excited that she came to help out, it is amazing to see the support from people, I love it, and I love my volunteers!

See the wonderful team! Blue Star Families ROCK! I want to thank Cross Creek Mall for having the event, News Channel 14, Rock 103 and Q98 for talking about us on the TV and radio. I want to send a special thank you to Melissa, Jordan and Pauline and their kids for helping me out! With out you I couldn’t have done this!

I will post a few of the letters what we got later!

Deployment and Communication between a Sea of Oceans…

You know communication with your spouse is very important, especially in the beginning. I remember that I would always have to just talk to my husband, hear his voice or smell his smell. Over the course of 10 years, I love him so much, it took me a while to get comfortable. The first few years of our marriage, I felt like we were just dating, we were young and just silly, the second few years were our trials and tribulations stages my husband has been dealing with PTSD on his own, and that has been stressful. However we are dealing with it, and Communication is so key in everything you do in a relationship. When you talk to someone every day you run out of things to say and then you start taking things for granted.

So as I sit here thinking back to my first deployment with my husband it was 2001, and cell phones were around but they cost so much with plans, and texting that we could only afford one, and after he deployed I didn’t keep it. SO he left only for like 8 months to Kosovo. Well it wasn’t so bad (as I sit here now) but during that time I was just sick with grief, as to why he wasn’t calling me much. He was stationed at Fort Stewart GA and we had a house on base, but I left and moved home to NC. I wanted to finish my Bachelor’s degree and it was so much easier for my mom to watch the baby when I was at school. Well my hubby could get on the computer more than he could call home, or rather wanted too. He said the lines were too long. So I went and got a job at a Home Medical Store to keep my time busy. I remember he called me twice while he was deployed to Kosovo.

The second deployment he was gone to Iraq, and let me tell you what we didn’t have any verbal communication until August 2003 he left in March 2003. He would write me letters but they would come maybe every 3 weeks, so I would read and re-read them to just understand what he was going though, and maybe he would tell me something I didn’t know. When he did call me it was mainly for 5 minutes, because they had to share the phone. The one time he did call me he had to hang up there was firefight that broke out and he had to engage. He wasn’t able to call much or get on the computer, he was doing missions like every three days.

The third deployment back to Iraq was better, he left in Jan 2005, and came home on R&R in May. He got a laptop and we were able to yahoo IM back and forth, he didn’t write me as many letters as he did in the first Iraq deployment. He did call more because he got free calling cards from the USO and other Veterans Organizations.

The fourth deployment was totally electronic no letters, postcards or cards sent home at all! I didn’t like using skype or instant messenger, it is really easy misunderstand the context and meaning of some phrases. It was easier to use video chat, you can read facial expressions and body language. I think this was the worst deployment of all especially for communications. He did call home once or twice a month but the lines were a lot longer and there was no privacy.

I know each deployment I would find something to occupy my time, the first two deployments it was just my daughter and I. The third deployment I was putting my oldest into ballet and pre-school, and I had a newborn to deal with, so I wasn’t as lonely. The 4th deployment, I had a two toddlers and a 7 year old, so I was not lonely at all, and I always kept myself busy with doing stuff like volunteering, school work, or doing stuff with the kids, at night I was to tired to be sad. My advice to you is to just find something you like or want to do, keep yourself busy. I think the less time we spent together it made us grow fonder of each other.