Entry for October 09, 2006

AP photo by Phil Coale.

Received an email  from the election protection project at  People for the American Way about its efforts to counteract some 2004’s dirty tricks, such as Wisconsin’s “Milwaukee Black Voters League.”  Decided to look up the original news coverage, which is still available from the Washington Post, such as October 31, 2004’s story, “Now They’re Registered, Now They’re Not: Election Officials Express Dismay at Extent of Misinformation, Variety of Tricks Targeting Voters”  by staff writers Jo Becker and David Finkel. (It was buried on page A22.)

As if things weren’t complicated enough, here comes the dirt.

Registered voters who have been somehow unregistered. Democrats who suddenly find they’ve been re-registered as Republicans. A flier announcing that Election Day has been extended through Wednesday.

Dirty tricks are a staple of campaigns, but election officials say this year’s could achieve new highs in numbers and new lows in scope, especially in key battleground states such as Florida and Ohio, where special-interest groups have poured in to influence the neck-and-neck race between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry.

In reaction to the flyer (I’ll update with wording next time I’m online)Chris Lato, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Republican Party, called the fliers “appalling” but blamed Democrats. voters.

First of all, the claim was false, and it seems a little obvious. We have a lot of these shadowy Democratic groups here in Wisconsin, and I wouldn’t put it past ’em to do something like this to muck up the works.

Some folks like my mom, say all this is  just more buisness as usual.  But consider this comment in the story  by  Ion Sancho, supervisor of elections in Leon County, FL, pictured above.

In my 16 years as an election administrator, I’ve never seen anything like this. I see it as an expression of a political culture that has evolved in the United States of win at any cost. It’s not partisan, but it’s just lie, cheat and steal, and ethics be damned.

In Leon County students at Florida State and Florida A&M universities, some of whom signed petitions to legalize medical marijuana or impose stiffer penalties for child molesters, unknowingly had their party registration switched to Republican and their addresses changed. Students at the University of Florida in Alachua County made similar complaints.  4,000 potential voters in all were affected.  Changing addresses meant that if voters showed up at their proper polling places, they would not be registered there. Local papers traced some problems to a group hired by the Florida Republican Party.  Meanshile the party got to profit, while still denouncing the tricks.  So how is this not partisan, Mr. Sancho?

The same college scam occurred in Pennsylvania.  Also electin officials in Allegheny County received a flurry of phone calls about fliers handed out at a Pittsburgh area mall and mailed to an unknown number of homes. The flier, distributed on bogus but official-looking stationery with a county letterhead, told voters that “due to immense voter turnout expected on Tuesday,” the election had been extended. Republicans should vote Tuesday, Nov. 2, it said — and Democrats on Wednesday. A cursory look today did not reveal the results of the criminal investigation mentioned in the Post story.

Voters Unite maintains a listing of voting irregularities with links to news coverage.  The non-partisan national non-profit was started by a technical writer, who retired when she decided to design a non-computerized device to assist disabled voters vote on paper ballots. There is also a searchable database, the Election Incident Reporting System. EIRS is a project of the Verified Voting Foundation, in cooperation with other Election Protection Coalition member organizations, including the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and People for the American Way Foundation.




The latest on Foley.  (will abstract later)





Found out today, my blog is being read in Germany.

Hi! I like your blog very much….. Til now I have had it in my vafourite.  



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