December 4, 2009

Hard data about politicization of the DOJ under Bush

Posted in DOJ, Elections, politics, voter suppression, voting, Voting Rights, Voting Rights Act tagged , , , , at 11:01 pm by bluebanshee

There was  no  mention of the GOP’s favorite boogeymen, ACORN and the Black Panthers in a recently released report on the Bush Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.  Instead, the report focused on the Bush administration’s disinclination to actively pursue the recommendations of career DOJ  attorneys.  Take a look at this one egregious example:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/03/us/politics/03rights.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

When the Bush administration ran the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, career lawyers wanted to look into accusations that officials in one state had illegally intimidated blacks during a voter-fraud investigation.

But division supervisors refused to “approve further contact with state authorities on this matter,” according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office auditing the activities of the division from 2001 to 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

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August 28, 2009

Ted Kennedy: Champion of Voting Rights

Posted in Access for Disabled Voters, Election reform, Elections, FEC, Senator Ted Kennedy, voter registration, Voting Rights, Voting Rights Act tagged , , , , , , at 1:50 pm by bluebanshee

Amidst all the eulogies for the “liberal lion” of the Senate — Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts — one important part of his legacy is often mentioned in passing, if it gets mentioned at all.  That legacy is Senator Kennedy’s role in expanding and protecting voting rights for all Americans.

Because of Ted Kennedy’s work, millions of American voters are able to participate in the most basic function of a citizen in a democracy:  they are able to make their voices heard at the ballot box and vote  for the candidate of their choosing. Read the rest of this entry »

August 25, 2009

Worse than the fox guarding the chicken coop

Posted in Diane Feinstein, DOJ, Elections, FEC, politics, Von Spakovsky, Voter ID, voting, Voting Rights, Voting Rights Act tagged , , at 10:25 pm by bluebanshee

Instead of hiring the fox to guard the chicken coop, why not hire him to give advice on chicken coop security?   That seems to be the attitude behind the appointment of voter suppression guru Hans Von Spakovsky to an advisory position in Virginia.      http://www.virginiafreepress.org/2009/07/11/vote-suppression-expert-spakovsky-about-to-be-confirmed-in-volunteer-civil-rights-post/

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission apparently couldn’t find another way to keep Von Spakovsky involved in his favorite pastime — finding ingenious new ways to keep minority voters (especially Democratic-leaning ones) from exercising their rights at the ballot box. Read the rest of this entry »

May 24, 2009

Welcoming Texas to the 21st century?

Posted in Elections, Voter ID, voting, Voting Rights tagged , , , at 8:24 pm by bluebanshee

With the  speed of a Texas drawl, the Texas legislature finally got around to ratifying the 24th Amendment.  Footdraggingly they acted 45 years after the amendment was ratified by sufficient states to become the law of the land. Read the rest of this entry »

May 13, 2009

Will the VRA survive the Supremes?

Posted in Elections, Uncategorized, Voting Rights, Voting Rights Act tagged , , at 9:55 pm by bluebanshee

There are members of the current U.S. Supreme who have an almost visceral dislike of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This antipathy became clear during recent oral arguments  about a Texas case (Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District Number One v. Holder (“NAMUDNO“).  Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito were the most vocal in questioning whether the landmark legislation is still needed. Read the rest of this entry »

November 3, 2008

Obama Camp Video Warns Against GOP Voter Suppression (VIDEO)

Posted in 2008 election, Barack Obama, Democrats, Elections, Uncategorized, voter suppression, voting, Voting Rights tagged , , , at 3:46 pm by bluebanshee

This is must-see TV.

September 14, 2008

Massive voter caging by McCain campaign?

Posted in 2008 election, bogus absentee ballot mailings, Elections, politics, voter caging, voter registration, voter suppression, voting, Voting Rights tagged , , , , at 5:45 pm by bluebanshee

From state after state come reports of massive mailings by the McCain campaign of absentee ballot requests that contain confusing, misleading or simply wrong information.  Is the McCain campaign merely incompetent?  Or is it engaged in a massive effort to create a database of voters to challenge at the polls?  Is the McCain campaign orchestrating a voter caging campaign on a grand scale?

Given the track record of the GOP in Florida in 2000 there is no reason to give McCain and the Republicans the benefit of the doubt this time around.  Greg Palast has  provided extensive documentation of their success in denying the right to vote to thousands of legitimate voters.  Go to http://www.gregpalast.com and read all about it if you have any doubts.  So let’s assume that the mailings of absentee ballot requests to voters in swing states who did not request them is simply a new weapon in the Republican voter suppression arsenal.

How widespread is this?  So far reports have come in from VA, OH, CO, NC, PA, FL, NM, WI, OR, CA and MN.  Here’s a sampling of the info available so far. Read the rest of this entry »

Jim Crow rises from the grave as ‘Jim Crawford’

Posted in 2008 election, Crawford v Marion County Board of Elections, Elections, politics, Voter ID, voter registration, voter suppression, voting, Voting Rights tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:08 am by bluebanshee

We all thought/hoped that Jim Crow was buried once and for all with the passage of the 1965 Voting RIghts Act and subsequent court decisions affirming the right to vote without undue burdens being placed on voter.  But it looks like there is a new incarnation of the Southern voter suppression known as Jim Crow.  This time around it is being tagged ‘Jim Crawford’ after a notorious U.S. Supreme Court decision in Crawford v. Marion County (Indiana) Election Board.

In a recent Newsweek article Jonathan Alter describes the persistent effort by Republicans to keep blocs of likely Democratic voters from casting a ballot.   http://www.newsweek.com/id/158392

…white Republicans in some areas will keep eligible blacks from voting by requiring driver’s licenses. Not only is this new-fangled discrimination constitutional, it’s spreading.

GOP proponents of the move say they are merely trying to reduce voter fraud. But while occasional efforts to stuff ballot boxes through phony absentee voting still surface, the incidence of individual vote fraud—voting when you aren’t eligible—is virtually non-existent, as “The Truth About Vote Fraud,” a study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, clearly shows. In other words, the problem Republicans claim they want to combat with increased ID requirements doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, those ID hurdles facing individuals do nothing to stop the organized insiders who still try to game the system.

The motive here is political, not racial. Republicans aren’t bigots like the Jim Crow segregationists. But they know that increased turnout in poor, black neighborhoods is good for Democrats. In that sense, the effort to suppress voting still amounts to the practical equivalent of racism. Read the rest of this entry »

September 1, 2008

Operation chaos for voters — registration drive runs amok in 23 states

Posted in 2008 election, Elections, politics, voter registration, voter suppression, voting, Voting Rights tagged , , , at 11:06 am by bluebanshee

Courtesy of my colleague and friend in North Carolina, Joyce McCloy, comes this dire warning about a voter registration drive by a group called Women’s Voices Women’s Vote (WVWV) that is wreaking havoc in every state that they are targeting.  So far 23 states have borne the brunt of WVWV’s efforts.  One state  election calls their mailings “purposefully deceptive” and vows to pursue legal means to stop them in that state.

Where does WVWV get their mailing list that they send registration forms to people who have been dead for over 4 years, or to elementary school age children, or to EAC Chair Rosemary Rodriguez? Will WVWV make robo calls again in KY, NC and other states?

There’s no word yet on the NC Atty Gen’s investigation into the April robo calls in NC.  Will WVWV confuse voters during North Carolina’s early voting/same day registration period?

They’re back -Women’s Voices Women Vote registration drive sows confusion

The DC non profit “Women’s Voices Women Vote” is at it again confusing voters & burying election officials in unneccesary paperwork. WVWV has even mailed voter registration forms to 6 & 14 yr olds, dead persons, registered voters, even the Chairman of the EAC – the federal agency that overseas elections. One way to disenfranchise voters is to “gum up” the system that enfranchises them. Read the rest of this entry »

July 28, 2008

What impact will displaced voters have on the 2008 election?

Posted in 2008 election, displaced voters, Elections, Voter ID, voter registration, voter suppression, voting, Voting Rights tagged , , , , , , , at 10:07 pm by bluebanshee

Overlooked in the discussions of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the bursting of the housing bubble is the plight of these formerly stable homeowners when it comes to being able to vote in the upcoming Presidential election.

The numbers of those who have lost their homes just this year is staggering.  Almost a million homes lost in the first six months of this year:

Foreclosures are up 120%. Some 220,000 homes were lost to repossession in the last quarter, and another 739,714 entered foreclosure in the first quarter. That’s one in every 171 American homes involved in what Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson euphemistically calls the “housing correction”….    http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2008/7/28/142127/083 Read the rest of this entry »

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