Here we go again.

Hey folks, just wanted to put something out there because, though I haven't been on top of things for the last couple of years, I've been doing my best to keep up with the blogosphere via my trusty RSS aggregator, and I'm extremely disappointed that the Dems appear to have taken their eyes off the ball yet again, and going into the fourth election cycle since the 2000 swindle, it seems that, once again, nobody's talking about vote suppression. At least, nobody on the blogs I'm following.

I know, I know, everybody's sick and tired of hearing about how past elections were stolen. Fine, I'll just pretend that GWB actually won the last two Presidential elections fair and square, and speak hypothetically about what desperate and corrupt state party operatives might resort to rather than submit to the will of the people.

I'm just going to rattle off a few possibilities, and encourage people to start thinking about them now, rather than waiting until November 5th.

Purging

Illegally kicking people off the voter rolls, pure and simple. Where Reeps are in control of the election apparatus, they have the capacity to remove legitimate voters from the lists, and make the notification and reinstatement processes frustrating and obscure -- all to suppress turnout. By the time the crime is discovered, the election is done, and there's no do-over.

Caging

Even where Reeps don't have the capacity to just delete voters, they can create problems by mounting challenges to individual voter registrations: sending postcards to registered voters, and challenging the registration of any postcard that bounces back for any reason.

Tossing

Running "GOtV" drives, but conveniently "losing" the registration forms of people who register as Dems, so they think they're signed up when they're really not.

Delaying

There are all manner of tactics to hold up the voting process and create long lines at selected precincts, causing people to give up and leave, either out of simple frustration or a need to, y'know, get to work. This can be done at any level: election officials not alloting enough machines, poll workers dragging feet, individual or organized activists creating disruptions of any sort to hold up the process.

Deterring

Suppression by misinformation or intimidation, i.e. spreading false information about polling places, times, and dates, or suggesting to voters that they may be subject to arrest, harassment, or other problems as a consequence of turning out to vote.

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I certainly realize that none of this $#!+ is new to anybody here, but my heart sinks when I see everybody all caught up in polls and the media and other such nonsense, and the basics are so neglected. Anybody who doesn't realize that suppression is going to be central to the Reep ground game is in for a severe shock. This needs to be addressed in advance, not after the fact, not on November 4th.

If you're counting on a surge of voter turnout, you damn well better be inoculating the voting public against suppression. People need to go to the polls prepared to fight for their right to vote, and they also need to make sure before the fact (as in, now) that they're on the rolls, that they know where to go, that they'll have time to wait, and that they know their rights.

Yes, July is the time to talk about this. And August, and September, and October. The Reeps have given 8 years' notice of what to expect this time around, and somehow it still hasn't registered.

Okay, vented. You can go back to dreaming about a Senate supermajority now.

Tags: poll access (all tags)

Comments

10 Comments

Re: Here we go again.
Excellent diary.  Thank you for posting something substantive.
Rec'd.
by ChitownDenny 2008-07-13 11:41AM | 0 recs
Well, perhaps you should look closer...

...at MyDD before you talk down to us!

My diary, on the rec list for most of the past 24 hours...which followed two other diaries I posted here related to this diary...in the past week.

But, I must say, your diary goes into great detail and provides excellent clarity with regard to the variety of ways that voter suppression tactics are implemented nowadays! A veritable reference which I intend to bookmark in my browser! Thank you!

Consider yourself rec'd...even if you were a little presumptuous (negatively speaking) about us folks here on MyDD!

by bobswern 2008-07-13 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Well, perhaps you should look closer...

Word.

Great diary but a little to much attitude.

Still rec. worthy though.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-13 12:02PM | 0 recs
Sorry,

as I said, it's been a while since I've had time to really follow this site. I only see the front page stuff, and I'm not even talking about MyDD in particular -- it seems like every site I'm subscribed to has more or less completely forgotten about this issue.

This is just the site where I was the most active, a couple years ago, so I came here to complain, as it were.

by catastrophile 2008-07-13 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Here we go again.


No one's talking about ex-felon disenfranchisement laws and any of that either.

Now that we're The Obama Party we don't bother with trivia like 14th Amendment rights violations anymore.

by killjoy 2008-07-13 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Here we go again.

Never seen a more appropriate username.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-13 12:06PM | 0 recs
And don't forget push for the ever popular

Voter id card, beloved of Republicans everywhere.  Now they want to require proof of citizenship to vote.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/12/us/pol itics/12vote.html?partner=rssnyt&pag ewanted=all

The measure would allow far more rigorous demands than the voter ID requirement recently upheld by the Supreme Court, in which voters had to prove their identity with a government-issued card.

Sponsors of the amendment -- which requires the approval of voters to go into effect, possibly in an August referendum -- say it is part of an effort to prevent illegal immigrants from affecting the political process. Critics say the measure could lead to the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of legal residents who would find it difficult to prove their citizenship.

Voting experts say the Missouri amendment represents the next logical step for those who have supported stronger voter ID requirements and the next battleground in how elections are conducted. Similar measures requiring proof of citizenship are being considered in at least 19 state legislatures. Bills in Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma and South Carolina have strong support. But only in Missouri does the requirement have a chance of taking effect before the presidential election.

by LIsoundview 2008-07-13 12:23PM | 0 recs
BTW, Thanks for this important diary

There was one method in there that I hadn't heard of. Thanks for lesson!

by LIsoundview 2008-07-13 12:24PM | 0 recs
On this, mr concern troll is confident - -

I know I can be a concern troll, but Obama's campaign has been brilliant at learning the rules, playing the game, lawyering up when needed, etc.  I can't imagine they would allow a repeat of "2004 in Ohio"-type situations.  They'll be ready on the ground.

by kosnomore 2008-07-13 01:30PM | 0 recs
Part of the beauty

of voter suppression schemes is that there's often little that can be done to remedy the damage, after the fact. A judge can order a polling place to remain open late, but he can't order a voter who's given up and gone home to come back and cast a ballot. Fraud and sabotage can be punished, but they can't truly be undone, no matter how many lawyers you have.

Ohio in 2004 is a fantastic example of this. When Kerry said "the votes aren't there" he was absolutely right -- that's the point. Votes never cast can't be recounted. That's why duping, frustrating, or scaring people out of their vote is a favored tactic.

I certainly hope the Obama campaign makes a concerted effort to educate voters about their rights and what to be ready for, but the thing I find frustrating is that this is one of those rare problems which can be largely solved simply by talking about it -- by making people aware -- and it seems that people are (once again) getting too swept up in the campaign to bother. We get really interested in these problems every two years -- just after the elections, but by the time the next cycle rolls around, history just repeats itself.

by catastrophile 2008-07-13 03:17PM | 0 recs

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