Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Saturday, October 23, 2004

You Have Been Charged With...

posted by Jazz at 10/23/2004 09:27:00 AM

NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.

... "voting while black." Not literally, but it looks like a large number of people in Ohio may wind up feeling that way on November 2. Or you might find such a long wait to vote that it won't be worth your time. Better yet? Somebody may stop by to pick up your absentee ballot at your home and then simply throw it away.

According to this report, Republicans in Ohio have registered 3600 new "election observers" who will be stationed inside of polling places. The purpose of these "observers" will be to challenge potential voters who might be voting fraudulently. It hardly seems coincidental that the majority of these will be stationed in urban areas with high percentages of minorities.

Two problems with this immediately come to mind. First, the theory behind such challenges is that they must be based on "whether the voter is a citizen, is at least 18, is a resident of the county and has lived in Ohio for the previous 30 days." Aside from people who might not look old enough, how are these observers to tell, by appearance only, where the voters live, how long they have lived there, or their citizenship status? There is an obvious concern that such observers might be making observations more along the lines of, "Hmmm... that guy looks a little too black to be a Republican."

The second concern is a delay in the process. Each challenge will take time, slowing down the processing of voters and potentially creating long lines. Forcing people to wait too long will likely result in some of them becoming disgusted and going home without voting. From that perspective, it doesn't matter which voters are challenged in heavily Democratic precincts. Slowing down the voting process sufficiently for all voters will drive down the Democrat's numbers.

An Ohio GOP rep, James Trakas, sounding very much like Snidely Whiplash, commented, "The organized left's efforts to, quote unquote, register voters - I call them ringers - have created these problems."

Magpie, at Pacific Views, observes "[M]ake sure that balloting is so slow that people give up and go home without voting. If we'd had any doubts at all about whether the Republicans think Dubya would lose in a fair election, this gets rid of them."

Sterling Newberry describes it as "turning the walk to the voting booth into a march down the gamut."

Dave Johnson predicted this before it was even announced.

In a second, related story, down in Florida people have been going door to door and "collecting" people's absentee ballots and then not turning them in. Atrios asks, "When is the media going to start caring that there is clearly a well-organized nationwide effort to throw votes in the garbage?"

Indeed.