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 »

August 31, 2008

You can make elections better: Sign up for Pollworkers for Democracy

Posted in 2008 election, Election reform, Elections, voting tagged , , , , at 3:06 pm by bluebanshee

You can make a difference!  Pollworkers for Democracy is a program designed to involve ordinary citizens in the elections process this November.  Here’s the description from the Pollworkers for Democracy website:

Pollworkers for Democracy is an effort to recruit, train, and network 5,000 citizen pollworkers for the November 4, 2008 election and beyond. Official pollworkers have a vital role in running fair, accountable elections in which all eligible voters are able to cast their ballots and have them counted.

Join us as a pollworker on the front lines of democracy this November 4, or learn more about the program herehttp://act.credoaction.com/pollworkers/index.html

Take a look at the opinions about the important role played by citizens working at the polls during elections.  There is a pressing need for more and better workers  in election offices across the country.

[Poll workers are] the foundation upon which democracy rests…the cornerstone of democracy is the right to vote, but to be able to exercise that right there must be polling places and poll workers.

— Victor Salazar, Fresno County Clerk, quoted in the Fresno Bee, April 21, 2006

If the criminal justice system didn’t have access to jurors, the criminal justice system wouldn’t exist. Poll workers are just as important as jurors.

–DeForest Soaries, chairman of the Election Assistance Commission, quoted by the Associated Press

Where’s the next generation of poll workers? We need passion about this whole process and civic participation.

— Kay J. Maxwell, president of the U.S. League of Women Voters, quoted in a 2004 Associated Press article

As long as they’re breathing and they can walk in, we have to take them. The people we hire for the most part are elderly, uneducated, and frequently unemployed.

— Barbara Jackson, Baltimore’s director of elections, quoted in USA Today

POLLWORKERS FOR DEMOCRACY NEEDS YOU!

SIGN UP TODAY!

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 »

June 18, 2008

The votes not counted

Posted in Barack Obama, Elections, paper ballots, politics, voter fraud, Voter ID, voter suppression, voting, voting machines, Voting Rights tagged , , , , , at 10:13 pm by bluebanshee

Every election cycle in the U.S. there are votes that never get counted –but not because of computer glitches on paperless voting machines, as if often assumed. The computer glitches happen and no paper trail is there to give silent evidence of the missing votes. Much energy has been devoted to replacing paperless voting machines with systems that have a voter verified paper record without also considering the other source of missing votes.

What am I talking about? What other type of missing vote is there besides the ones lost inside the electronic world of computerized voting machines? The answer, of course is that the other type of votes that never get counted are the ones that never get cast. Tragically millions of votes are never cast in jurisdictions across America each election cycle for a wide variety of reasons –partisan dirty tricks, voter suppression, voter intimidation, purged voting rolls, misinformation campaigns targeted at certain groups of voters, or simply voting machine shortages in inner city precincts. It is these uncounted votes that never show up in the winning (or losing) margin but in close races can mean the difference between victory or defeat. Read the rest of this entry »