Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Voter Fraud v. Voter Intimidation

Lately, GOPers have been whining about the huge potential for voter fraud with the advent of Help America Vote Act (HAVA)'s provisional voting and with all the Democratic 527s that have registered millions and millions of voters, some of whom have questionable eligibility; bad stuff will happen in 2004 if they don't act.

Their "actions" are mostly a) creating procedural hoops and hurdles for new and/or uneducated voters to navigate through (see OH Sec of State and GOP Blackwell and all the suits over his various rules) b) tricking voters into going to the wrong place and/or the wrong time to vote (via phone calls or pamphleteering) c) tricking voters into thinking they need certain things (like two forms of ID) that they don't e) jamming phone lines of Democratic GOTV to prevent the other side from turning out its vote (NH GOP head is now in jail because of his actions in 2002) d)challenging every possible likely democratic voter (aka Black people)'s eligibility to scare them into not voting and indirectly stall other would-be voters enough to turn time-sensitive voters away. In 2000, FL police, at Gov. Jeb Bush's direction, set up trap zones to stall and harass blacks about their forms of ID and keep them from voting.

I am all for keeping illegal immigrants, dogs, and dead people from voting, but I still would rather see 10 phony votes be cast than have 1 real voter be denied or scared out of voting.

The BBC has just posted a story that Bush's FL team is planning a quasi-legal voter suppression effort in 7 days: e-mails between Bush's FL director and his national "research" director found a 15-page so-called "caging list."

It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.

Obstinately, the idea is to challenge each of these folks and hope they don't vote. Given the fact that Bush won by 526 votes in FL last time, this is nearly 400% more than his margin last time and could mean the difference.

Remember, Al Gore didn't challenge so called "Red Counties" in FL because he thought he could get by with just the Blue ones and that Red ones would hurt him more than help. Turned out, he did really well in Jacksonville and would have won had he asked for a recount of the whole state from the outset.

More importantly, US federal law prohibits targeting challenges to voters, even if there is a basis for the challenge, if race is a factor in targeting the voters. Sounds pretty bad on its face. I wonder if the national media or local FL papers will cover this.

It gets worse:

we filmed a private detective filming every "early voter" - the majority of whom are black - from behind a vehicle with blacked-out windows.

The private detective claimed not to know who was paying for his all-day services.

Gee, I wonder who hired him?

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