McCain’s Mailers And Other Election Issues

As Senator John McCain continues to implode, revelations that the McCain campaign is mailing apparently fraudulent absentee ballot applications — applications designed to disenfranchise primarily Democratic voters — in at least ten states are being reported. Actions are being taken in some states to fight attempts at voter disenfranchisement and fraud, but the desperation by the Republican Party is becoming more and more evident as election day approaches.

Despite being caught in a blizzard of lies, the McCain / Palin campaign has vowed to continue blatantly lying, since apparently, McCain has no issues to run his campaign on and wants to win regardless of the cost, even if it means committing more fraud. McCain can’t run an honest campaign, partially because he reportedly has 83 Wall Street lobbyists — which obviously shows how much he’s lying about attacking Wall Street greed — helping him campaign.

While attempted election fraud, committed primarily by the Republican Party, continues running rampant, the recent rash of major bank and financial institutions failing due to fraud, greed and political ineptitude necessitate the need for the American public to take a closer look at McCain’s Keating Five scandal, the largest scandal of his political career.

Sarah Palin is shaping up to be a completely fraudulent, lying politician — basically George W. Bush in a dress. She continues pushing the same lies repeatedly, making her the perfect partner for John McCain.

Massive McCain Campaign Mailer Causing Controversy

Wisconsin’s State Elections agency is reportedly investigating complaints about a massive campaign mailing from Republican Senator John McCain’s campaign directed toward Wisconsin Democrats and other non-Republican voters. The mailing was directed to hundreds of thousands of voters.

Each mailing included at least one copy of the state application for an absentee ballot containing the address of a local clerk and a box for postage printed on the other side. In some cases, the incorrect clerk’s address is printed on the application, raising questions as to whether the McCain campaign is deliberately trying to get them to apply for absentee ballots in locations where they’re not eligible to vote.

Democrat Beverly Jambosis is upset that the McCain is trying to disenfranchise voters. The flier, mailed from the McCain campaign, arrived in the mail addressed to her husband. The couple are registered to vote in Middleton, but the absentee ballot application was addressed to the city clerk’s office in Madison.

A spokeswoman from the McCain campaign issued a statement saying the mistakes are “certainly not intentional” and that the mailing went to “potential supporters across the spectrum,” but she wouldn’t answer any questions. Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin GOP, said the mailing is not intended to keep people from the polls and that the wrong absentee ballot applications were a result of incorrect information in databases used for the mailing.

A top federal election official said Wisconsin voters should be prepared to register at the polls on Election day in light of a lawsuit asking state election workers to verify thousands of voters’ identities.

Wisconsin voters are being advised to bring IDs to the polls so they can register on the spot if they’ve been flagged as ineligible and to be ready to endure long lines so they don’t get frustrated and leave without voting. More information can be found in the article from The Wisconsin State Journal. Wisconsin voters can check this voter public access site to see if they are registered to vote.

Apparently Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Missouri, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and possibly California are having the same problems, so it’s not an isolated accidental occurence. Happening once could be considered accidental. Happening in multiple states makes it appear as fraudulent and criminal. If you receive a mailing from the McCain Campaign containing an absentee ballot, DO NOT fill it out and send it in.

Voter Database Glitches Could Disenfranchise Thousands

The 2008 elections — for the first time since being mandated by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) requiring all election districts in a state or U.S. territory to consolidate their lists into a single database electronically accessible to every election office in the state or territory — will reportedly be used in a number of states.

Apparently Electronic Voting Machines don’t cause enough controversy, so using a database created by the same companies that make the Electronic Voting Machines — a database that hasn’t been federally tested or certified, was plagued by missed deadlines, rushed production schedules, cost overrun, security problems and design and reliability issues, and has received little if any scrutiny — will be thrown into the mix. Election experts say it could create numerous problems and disenfranchise thousands of voters.

From ABC News:

“This year, during primaries in several states, longtime voters phoned a national voter hotline complaining their party affiliation had changed from Democrat or Republican to unaffiliated, preventing some from casting ballots in states without open primaries. Others complained they weren’t on the voter roll, though they’d lived and voted at the same location for years. One Maryland woman said the birth date in her voter record was several decades off her real age. Others were listed as “inactive,” although they’d voted in the previous federal election. And one woman who said she voted in 2006 was told she wasn’t registered and couldn’t cast a ballot. Election officials told her the voter ID number she had belonged to a man.”

But election experts say the real concern is how states are conducting database matches of new voters under HAVA.

The law requires each voter to have a unique identifier. Since 2004, new registration applicants have had to provide a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number to register (voters who don’t have them are assigned a unique number by the state). States are required to try to authenticate the numbers with motor vehicle records and the Social Security Administration database.

But databases are prone to errors such as misspellings and transposed numbers, and applicants are prone to make mistakes or write illegibly on applications. The Social Security Administration has acknowledged that matches between its database and voter-registration records have yielded a 28.5 percent error rate.”

The article from ABC News has a lot more details of the potential quagmires awaiting many Americans on election day, as well as deficiencies in the HAVA that need to be addressed and is well worth the read. Voters are being encouraged to bring their ID to the polls in case questions arise about their eligibility and to call (866)-MYVOTE1 (866-698-6831) to report any problems.

GOP Voter Suppression in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Republican Attorney General (AG) reportedly filed a politically timed lawsuit that local election officials say will interfere with turnout for the upcoming Presidential election and will create a bureaucratic nightmare — a lawsuit that is attempting to force election officials to use a tactic that involves removing people from voter rolls if the addresses on their voter registration forms don’t match the address on their state driver’s licenses, effectively purging voters based on the assumption that if the addresses don’t match, the voter registration would be incorrect and therefore invalid — despite the fact that Wisconsin voters can register to vote on Election day and clear up or correct any registration information errors at that time.

The lawsuit’s goal is voter suppression, and would cause delays in voting when people show up on Election day and are told their names are not on the voter rolls. If they’re not on the rolls, they have to go through the registration process which will delay them and hold up other voters in line behind them.

The Wisconsin AG is using long-established GOP delay tactics, justifying “ballot security” concerns under the guise of preventing voter fraud, allegedly from elections going back to 2006. Imposing stricter voter ID laws has been the Republican response to so-called Democratic voter fraud in recent years — a form of institutional racism since many of the likely Democratic voters targeted are people of color, students and other under-represented sectors of the public.

If a court approves the suit, thousands of voter registrations will most likely be affected. As noted by AlterNet, selective enforcement of voting rights laws is all about shaping election rules to one party’s benefit. If the Wisconsin AG was so concerned about accurate voter registration rolls dating back to January 2006, one would think he would have acted sooner than 60 days before a Presidential election. A court hearing is scheduled for this week.

GA Facing Heightened Risk of Voter Fraud

Georgia’s Voter Registration application reportedly has a critical error which may discourage citizens from registering to vote. An orange, highlighted field in the middle of the form claims first time applicants are required to submit a photocopy of one of six approved forms of ID to be registered. The problem is, Georgia law requires no such thing.

Section 21-2-220 (PDF), the Official Code of GA, says that first time voters registering by mail must present identification either when registering or when they’re voting for the first time — meaning that people who are unable to send a photocopy with their registration form can vote as long as they show a valid ID when they show up at the polls.

Georgia residents may decide the registration process is too burdensome and may be discouraged from voting. New applicants who have already registered but failed to enclose the photocopy, under the statute, should be able to vote as long as they show their ID at the polls. According to a Clarke County election worker, applications that come in without the “required” photocopy are deleted from the system. A second inquiry from the local board of elections produced a supervisor who corrected the election worker and said the applications would be processed. Calls from The Daily Kos to the Secretary of State’s office for more clarification have thus far gone unanswered.

Obviously, clarification is needed. The forms should be corrected and it should be made clear that applications are being accepted from voters who do not enclose a photocopy of their identification.

Voter Disenfranchisement In Mississippi

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit in Mississippi challenging voter disenfranchisement. Mississippi is denying voting rights to citizens with felony convictions.

According to the ACLU, despite the fact that the Mississippi Constitution permits people who have been convicted of a crime to vote for President and Vice President, election administrators are denying convicted felons of that right. Refusing to allow eligible citizens to register and vote undermines the integrity of the state’s election system.

Mississippi’s Constitution allows people with certain felony convictions to vote for President and Vice President, but not other political offices. Because the state’s voter registration application does not allow all prospective voters to register for Presidential and Vice Presidential elections only, many voters are wrongly disqualified.

In 2004, Mississippi’s Secretary of State unlawfully circumvented the State Constitution by amending the voter registration form and adding a number of felonies to the list of crimes that disqualify an individual from voting.

Significant problems in 10 swing states that have not been addressed since the last election are being reported by CNN. CBS published a Washington Post article about officials bracing for an election day mess. It’s time for accountability. If you have problems voting, or would like to find out more about voter suppression or report voter suppression problems, visit the Voter Suppression Wiki.

With elections six weeks away and so much at stake, repeats of the 2000 and the 2004 elections would be a disaster to this country. Voter Registration information for 50 states can be found from The Daily Kos.

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