2006/08/15

Voters - Six States a' Screwing

What are the trouble spots voting-wise in 2006? Where are we likely to see Republicans twisting election law to suppress, disenfranchise, or deny voters? Salon has a great piece this morning on six states where voting irregularities are reaching a fevered pitch. And though I can't really do justice to the article, I'll summarize for those of you without a Salon membership:

Arizona - This state has a long history of disenfranchising voters, especially Native Americans, and state elections officials are doing their level best to live up it. For example, Arizona is the only state in the nation to require proof of citizenship for voter registration. They require Native Americans to produce forms of ID that don't exist, and in Maricopa County (Phoenix) they dumped 70 percent of new voter registrations for lack of photo identification.

Indiana - With the large number of competitive House races, Indiana officials are busy purging voters from the registration rolls as fast as they can. In fact, they're doing it without due process, and estimates are that between 8 and 23 percent of all registered Indiana residents are in danger for lack the "proper" kind of photo ID. And how hard is it get that state approved ID? HARD! Residents are being dumped into a requirements minefield, while being given false and misleading information by state departments.

Ohio - You've all heard of OH Sec. of State Kenneth Blackwell's "80 lb." rule for voter registration card stock? "If it's not submitted on a paper type that doesn't exist, we dump your registration." Well, the shenanigans in Ohio don't stop there. Blackwell has made the penalties for minor infractions of registration procedures so onerous (12 months in prison and $2500 in fines for turning registration cards late, for example) that registration drives in Ohio have practically ceased.

California - Ahhh...land of the never ending Diebold controversy. Voting machine slumber parties (officials taking the machines home for weeks before elections); Hacker contests to see who can most effectively compromise the infernal devices; Report coverups; Illegal certifications; Decertifications; Illegal recertifications; Voters being dumped from registration rolls for mismatches in state internal databases. The fun never ends.

Florida - The only state that is likely to go from abysmally bad to worse. Like Ohio, Florida now has fines that are so stiff, that registration drives have ceased. But as if that weren't enough, Florida state law now endorses the concept of arbitrary challenges to the right to vote. In other words, any bozo (or hired Republican thug) can challenge your right to cast a ballot and state officials must toss it in favor of a "provisional ballot" that will likely never be counted.

Missouri - This is one of the few states that tolerates different registration standards in different parts of the state. In other words, black and Democratic St. Louis gets a much more rigid standard than white, Republican St. Louis County thanks to former Gov. Ashcroft. And what are they doing about it? Nothing! In fact, they're going to make it worse with a new photo ID law derisively called the "Jim Talent Protection Act" (after Senator Talent R-MO). Knock 200,000 Democrats off the voter rolls and Senator Talent, in a close battle this year, wins.

Read this article if you can. It's an eye opener.

19 Comments:

“Florida state law now endorses the concept of arbitrary challenges to the right to vote.”

so all we have to do is out-thug the republicans, and the election is ours! (insert evil laughter and ominous rubbing-together of bony hands here)
You can read everything on Salon.com by getting a "site pass." Click on the link at the top of the homepage; all you have to do is watch a flash advertisement and you can view the whole site.
That's the spirit Stacy! But do the Dems really have the stomach for it? That's my question.

Uh...Mr. (NOT) Ishmael, right you are. Just thought that some readers might not like having even to look at the annoying Flash ad, but thanks for the reminder.
And this my friends... IS fascism.
I think, I could be wrong, but in Fl, there are judges of election from each party at each voting site and those judges must agree before someone is not allowed to vote. I still say, we need a paper trail for recount purposes.
Ah, the land of the great democracy. It makes the simple thuggery and grave yard rolls of Australia look like kinder stuff.
One man, one vote! But which man?
Funny how the Republicans talk about bringing democracy to the Mid East while simultaneously destroying it in America. Keep them flags wavin'!
Here in Michigan the Secretary of State (Repub) is up to tricks too. She mailed millions of postcards to people at taxpayers expense (without using bulk mail rates) reminding them to vote in the primary. It turns out this was a ploy to see how many got returned for lack of a forwarding address. People are worried the Republican's will try to show up in Democratic areas on election day and challenge people's votes. In Michigan local voting officials are responsible for keeping voters registration information update, not the state officials, but apparently that isn't stopping the Rethuglicans from trying to discredit votes and get them tossed out. They want our incumbent Democratic governor to lose and they'll stop at nothing to help get her out.
I'm in Ohio and as of a couple of Sundays ago, bush-lover Blackwell was behind Strickland by 20 points in the polls. He'll have to pull some real shit out to steal this one. It looks like he's working on it.
It's just a ridiculous, shameful situation.
TPM, well we're not there yet, but soon...

Mary, I thought that recent legislation relaxed the requriement for judges to agree to a challenge?

Cartledge, Lew "...the land that was a great democracy." Republicans are fixing that for us.

Kathy, that is a really Machivellian trick.

Chuck, at least that's something. I'm not really up on this race, but I had thought that it was much closer. Has Strickland widened the gap a lot recently?

Betty, no argument here.
Hard to follow Lew Scannon's point blank remark but here goes...the one that struck me was Arizona requiring Native Americans to produce some ridiculous form of ID in order to vote...totally disgusting.
They're morons!
PT...an ID that doesn't exist, no less!

Sumo...what you said.
It was a clusterfeck in St. Louis city during the 2000 elections. We're county dwellers, and we don't even have to lift a finger. The county makes sure we get our voter registration cards and we know where to vote. That's service!
Speaking on behalf of the 42% of Hoosiers who aren't aren't brain-dead neo-nazis, "We're SORRY, and we're working on the rest of them".
"Chuck, at least that's something. I'm not really up on this race, but I had thought that it was much closer. Has Strickland widened the gap a lot recently?"

Kvatch-

Yeah. Sort of. The poll that I was talking about was in the Sunday 7/31 Columbus Dispatch. Previously (about mid-June) Strickland was ahead by about 14 points, so he's apparently gaining even more ground.

Of course Blackwell, as Secretary Of State is going to be counting the votes. Counting the votes in the race he's running in! How ridiculous is that???

That, added to the blatant voter registration suppression and DIEBOLD will make anything close suspect.
'Speaking on behalf of the 42% of Hoosiers who aren't aren't brain-dead neo-nazis, "We're SORRY, and we're working on the rest of them".'

John-

Ditto for Ohio my friend!
Of course Blackwell, as Secretary Of State is going to be counting the votes. Counting the votes in the race he's running in!

This I did know about, and it stinks. The dude should resign, or recuse himself, or something!

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