Voter Disenfranchisement Shifts Into Overdrive

Now that the Political Conventions are over and the Presidential / Vice Presidential nominees for each party hit the campaign trail, the tradition of disenfranchising and purging voters who are perceived as a threat to the Republican party is switching into overdrive. Democrats have an estimated 11 million more registered voters than Republicans.

A few times in the past I’ve detailed how the 2000 Presidential election was rife with fraud and how it was illicitly decided by five U.S. Supreme Court ‘Justices’ — who are ultimately responsible for the destruction of the United States these past seven and a half plus years — who appointed George W. Bush to the Presidency. The 2004 Presidential election was ‘won’ by massive election fraud. Attempts are being made for a threepeat.

Voting machines — many of which have major flaws that can be easily exploited to compromise the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of the voting process — will be used in numerous states. A video showing how easily voting machines can be rigged and manipulated is available from YouTube. Some states, such as Arizona, are intent on making sure the election can be rigged. So intent that an election observer was wrongfully arrested.

Below are examples of many states attempting to disenfranchise voters, primarily African American and Hispanic, who have a tendency to vote Democrat. The ongoing fraud is deemed necessary by Republicans who know their party has no legitimate chance to win a Presidential election, especially when their candidates have proven repeatedly that they intend to continue the illegal actions of the Bush administration. The blatant lies Republicans continue repeating are more than ample evidence of that.

Ohio Challenges Registration Law

Republicans in Ohio reportedly passed an unconstitutional law when they allowed Ohio counties to cancel a voter’s registration simply because some election notices mailed to a home address come back as undeliverable.

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner issued a directive to county boards of election saying that voters must be given a chance to respond before the Nov. 4 elections to avoid potentially disenfranchising them since the problem could be as simple as a typo on the home address or a mail delivery error. Challenging voters based on address singles out the homeless, soldiers and college students.

Brunner’s lawyers found that the Ohio state law violates federal voting rights laws and the U.S. Constitution, meaning Ohio counties could be vulnerable to lawsuits if canceling voter registration is based solely on returned mail. Vote caging is a voter suppression tactic, which is often highly popular in precincts where the opposite party has a majority.

Under current Ohio law, something as simple as placing a hold on your mail while you’re away on vacation would end up causing your name to be purged from the voter registration list since the law specifically says that the election notice must not be forwardable mail. Brunner has asked the leaders of the Ohio legislature to amend the law so voters are given notice when their registrations are challenged.

Ohio is offering instant gratification to voters, reportedly allowing residents to register and vote for president on the same day, potentially allowing thousands of first-time voters the chance to register one minute and vote the next. To register to vote in Ohio, a person must be a resident of the state for at least 30 days immediately before an election, which gives more than 470,000 (2006 figures) students enrolled in Ohio’s public colleges and universities a chance to vote.

Election officials in Ohio are currently working out potential kinks and addressing potential fears of massive voting fraud. The directive issued by Brunner advised county election boards that they must have procedures in place to allow voters who register to be immediately issued an absentee ballot. So far, the voting window is only being implemented in some counties. Ohio Republicans are not happy with same-day registration and voting. Brunner should be commended for her actions.

States Accused of Illegally Purging Voter Lists

AlterNet recently reported on three states — Kansas, Louisiana and Michigan — that have been accused of illegally purging voter lists. The states are swapping data files to find duplicate names, but, according to civil rights attorneys, are not following federal law to remove them.

Kansas, Louisiana and Michigan appear to be purging registered voters after election officials found duplicate names and birthdays of people on their voter lists and in out-of-state databases, such as driver’s license records.

The states apparently assume that a more recent driver’s license or voter registration in another state indicates that the voter has relocated, so the voter registration tied to their prior address is no longer valid. The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 — the federal law that governs purges — requires 44 States to keep voter registration lists accurate and current, such as identifying persons who have become ineligible due to having died or moved outside the jurisdiction and lays out the process of trying to contact voters to confirm a change of address before deleting them from voter rolls.

State election officials in Kansas, Louisiana and Michigan are suggesting that existing state laws or election management practices pre-empt the NVRA. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in many people being purged from Louisiana’s polls without their knowledge when they acquired an ID from another state after losing everything. Acquiring an ID from a different state resulted in them being registered to vote without their knowledge.

Issues in Michigan are more complex since there has been an overall lack of transparency regarding several aspects of the state’s voter purge process. In 2006 Michigan election officials did a statewide mailing to all voters that failed to mention the fact that the mailing would be used to verify voter registration information. 230,000 registered voters were removed from voter rolls within 90 days of that year’s general election in violation of the NVRA. Since the 2006 purge, Michigan has used driver’s license databases from other states to identify another 280,000 names as what’s claimed to appear as duplicate voter registrations.

As noted by AlterNet, the purge issue is only going to rise in the coming weeks. More information can be found in the article from AlterNet.

Virginia Issues Warning To College Students

Montgomery County Virginia, home to Virginia Tech, reportedly issued a press release regarding proper protocol for college students registering to vote — a protocol described as unsubstantiated, chilling and not incredibly encouraging or friendly.

From Inside Higher Ed News:

It reads, in part: “The Code of Virginia states that a student must declare a legal residence in order to register. A legal residence can be either a student’s permanent address from home or their current college residence. By making Montgomery County your permanent residence, you have declared your independence from your parents and can no longer be claimed as a dependent on their income tax filings – check with your tax professional. If you have a scholarship attached to your former residence, you could lose this funding. And, if you change your registration to Montgomery County, Virginia Code requires you to change your driver’s license and car registration to your present address within 30 days.”

According the the county registrar of elections, the memo was intended to counteract the absense of cautionary information given to students signed up through the ubiquitous get-out-the-vote registration drives. Many of those interviewed for the Higher Ed article said the warnings are farfetched and misleading, overstated and not typically supported in reality.

In an election year in which historic youth voter turnout is expected, the case is not an isolated incident. The ability of young people to vote is questioned in many other states too. The warnings issued by Virginia to college students are bogus and appear to be illegal. More information can be found from Inside Higher Ed and Crooks and Liars.

Florida Is Up To Its Old Tricks

During Florida’s 2000 election — then governed by Jeb Bush who did everything in and out of his power to make sure his brother George W. won — opened the door for the U.S. Supreme Court to illicitly appoint George W. Bush to the presidency. Florida is once again up to their old tricks of trying to make sure voters, especially Democrats, get disenfranchised during the 2008 Presidential elections.

A controversial ‘No match, no vote’ voter registration law that reportedly requires Floridians to have their identification match up with a state or federal database will be enforced.

Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning wants the 2006 law, a law that was on hold for the last year pending court rulings, to take effect again on Sept. 8. The law was passed by the Republican-led Florida legislature in 2005, requiring Floridians who register to vote to supply a drivers license number or the last four digits of their social security number.

Not providing that information will result in voters receiving a provisional ballot, and will give the voter two days to prove their identity in order for the ballot to count. The law disproportionately excluded Latino and African American voters who often had double last names that often didn’t register accurately in the data files. The law took effect when Florida Democratic Party registration began to swell as Florida’s Republican Party lost voters.

The law was changed this year, requiring county elections officials to scan all voter registration applications. Applications that don’t match will be quickly reviewed by the Bureau of Voter Registration. If no typographical errors or other obvious problems are found, voters will be required to provide more information. Attorneys will be available at polling stations on election day to fight for voters whose names don’t appear on the registration rolls.

Disenfranchisement Shifting Into Overdrive

According to Investigative reporter Greg Palast, Colorado’s Republican Secretary of State purged a fifth of all registrations, primarily African American. Florida refuses to accept about 85,000 new registrations from voter drives, again, primarily African American. Approximately half of the Hispanic Democrats in Mora, New Mexico found that their registrations had disappeared, courtesy of a Republican voting contractor. Tens of thousands of voters in Ohio and Nevada may be purged because they lost their homes to foreclosure. Newsweek reported that the GOP is working hard to keep eligible African-Americans from voting in several states.  It goes on and on.

While America has idly sat by and done nothing about it, the Bush administration has been steering the United States toward Police State Status. No better evidence of that can be found than the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention. The GOP has completed the job of turning the U.S. into a police state. Most of the major networks have remained silent about what happened, especially the atrocity in St. Paul Minnesota.

Opposing political views often result in threats because our public officials don’t like what’s being said about them — primarily because it shows their dishonesty and the truth makes them look like the thieves and liars they are — oftentimes ending up with the recipient of the hate letters acquiescing and looking bad. You won’t get relevant political coverage from any of the corporately owned networks. Too many important issues are being avoided while trivial BS like lipstick on a pig is being overplayed. Blatant lies being repeated over and over are ignored or downplayed.

Don’t put much faith in polls suddenly showing large gains for John McCain and Sarah Palin — Gallup, CBS, USA Today and a few others were busted using illicit tactics to get their results. It appears that the media is trying to make this closer than it really is and has a hard time getting relevent information the public needs to know from our two major party presidential candidates. The U.S. Congress could fix major loopholes in their Help America Vote Act of 2002 that would allow all U.S. citizens to vote, but they’re too busy covering up their complicity in all the crimes committed by the Bush administration.

A free tool from the Obama campaign that claims to help you find out if you’re registered to vote is available at VoteForChange.com. If you’re not, the tool claims to help you get registered to vote, apply to vote absentee, and find your early vote location. It’s time for the destruction of Democracy and human rights to stop and it’s time for the accountability to begin. This country has already suffered enough these past seven and a half years.

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