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August 16, 2004 2:45 PM   Subscribe

Is the GOP tampering with Florida elections? The New York Times reports that State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd "investigation" that has frightened many voters, intimidated elderly volunteers and thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November. Also, see here and here. Why do we even put up with this?
posted by black8 (61 comments total)

 
Thank you. Now watch this drive.
posted by the fire you left me at 3:05 PM on August 16, 2004


"Is the GOP tampering with Florida elections?"

Does a bear shit in the woods?
posted by troutfishing at 3:05 PM on August 16, 2004


Icky.

That settles it. I'm voting for Chavez as a write-in candidate. ;-)
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:07 PM on August 16, 2004


But Kerry man, his hair, I dunno...
posted by digaman at 3:08 PM on August 16, 2004


I don't mean to trivialize this -- just a little gallows humor. This should be a lead story.
posted by digaman at 3:09 PM on August 16, 2004


The big story out of Florida over the weekend was the tragic devastation caused by Hurricane Charley. But there's another story from Florida that deserves our attention.

my god! rove controls the weather!
posted by quonsar at 3:26 PM on August 16, 2004


I'm waiting for American's to snap, grab their guns, and start blowing shit up -- but in America for a change. Unfortunately, it seems like people will put up with a lot.
posted by chunking express at 3:28 PM on August 16, 2004


Well, maybe Timothy McVeigh can come back from the dead and pull his same stupid stunt again.
posted by scody at 3:30 PM on August 16, 2004


Why is such a story so short on details? If the cops are intimidating voters or scaring old black people, that's a pretty big deal, but the author of this story - who must've talked to some of the people who were "interrogated" in their homes by the police - has nothing to say about what the cops talked about or what they asked.

How can he say "The vile smell of voter suppression is all over this so-called investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement." and have no quotes to back it up?

If a "vile smell" is all he has, then how can he end the article with, "The long and ugly tradition of suppressing the black vote is alive and thriving in the Sunshine State." And if the black vote is without-a-doubt being suppressed, why are the details so vague? And why does the title of the article end with a question mark?
posted by techgnollogic at 3:32 PM on August 16, 2004


Why do we even put up with this?

Because in our current state of affairs, opinion columnists, not reporters, are the ones exposing injustice. Reporters simply don't have access to all the facts, leaving opinion columnists to their own conjectures. This is not laziness or evidence of journalistic cheating, but the byproduct of an institutional, one-way information flow.

Despite the NYT's and WP's recent introspective looks at their failures to report critically on U.S. claims of WMDs in Iraq (see Howard Kurtz's piece from last week), the newsmedia is still not independent. In fact, as long as the White House has full power over who gets the press credentials and access to senior officials, nobody will have anything critical to offer. By way of criticism, they will only report things that the Kerry campaign says - if that.
posted by PrinceValium at 3:36 PM on August 16, 2004


Why is such a story so short on details?

Because it's an op-ed piece. Sure, writers like Herbert and Krugman will jump on all kinds of hot-button issues that deserve pages of investigative reporting, but that's not their job. They have a limited amount of weekly space. They use this space to stand up and point at issues they believe worth noting. They're the ones that stand up and point and yell. Now, will some investigative journalist(s) listen and follow-up? Will you?
posted by grabbingsand at 3:37 PM on August 16, 2004


i agree with techgnollogic that this story is a bit short on details...i'd like to see some more reporting on this. let's go media!
posted by jacobsee at 3:39 PM on August 16, 2004


the repeated phrase "going into the homes of..." makes me suspicious.
posted by quonsar at 3:49 PM on August 16, 2004


I've emailed Herbert. (Three minutes later, I received a "I cannot respond individually to each email" form response. Poop.) I can't imagine Herbert would leave a solid quote from an intimidated black Florida voter out of his Op-Ed on black voter suppression if he had one.

I did find this:

FDLE is also investigating one of Mayor Buddy Dyer's political consultants, who is a longtime League of Voters volunteer. Dyer's paid consultant, Ezzie Thomas, helps deliver voters' absentee ballots. But FDLE is investigating whether he actually cast their votes.

Dyer and Thomas deny it.

posted by techgnollogic at 3:51 PM on August 16, 2004


Herbert can sometimes drown in minutia, but he does do some brilliant work. His op-ed pieces on the outrageous miscarrages of justice in Tulia, Texas were Pulitzer-quality. I would link to them, but they are in the nytimes pay-for-view archives.

Basically, one deputized yahoo arrested almost fifty people in a red-neck town in Texas and had them convicted by predominantly white juries for dealing coke. Nobody in the governor's mansion seemed to care that the agent was a delusional lunatic, that there was no evidence of drugs or drug money. Herbert brought the issue to the forefront. I think a couple of dozen poor black Texans would still be in jail if it weren't for him.

Maybe someone in Texas has a more accurate account. When the convictions were over-turned, 60 minutes was all over it. Nice timing.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 3:57 PM on August 16, 2004


Ho hum. Sounds like Business as Usual for Republicans....

In 2000, a firm with GOP connections was hired by then Secretary of State Katherine Harris (also chair of the state Bush-for-Prez campaign) to scan felon records nationwide and then purge Florida voters with similar — or almost similar — names. Bush officially carried Florida by 537 votes that year. Florida newspapers later found 8,000 of the blacklisted voters had been convicted of misdemeanors, not felonies.

This year, same song, second verse. Gov. Bush tried to purge 47,000 supposed ex-felons. A Miami Herald investigation of the new list found it named Democrats by a three-to-one margin and wrongly listed 2,100 people whose citizenship had already been restored through a clemency process.

The Tampa Tribune produced an even more startling discovery: While half of those on this year’s list are black, the list contains the names of fewer than 100 Hispanics. Hispanics in Florida tend to be Republican-leaning Cuban-Americans. Gosh, Gov. Bush was just astonished about the no-Hispanics thing — except the state had been repeatedly warned about it. He finally withdrew the list on July 11. Then, on July 14, the First District U.S. Court of Appeals in Tallahassee ruled the state must help felons fill out the form they need to win back the right to vote after serving their time. Instead, Gov. Bush eliminated the form.

One tries not to be alarmist, one tries not to be paranoid, but this doth smelleth. Is there any Republican who would be happy if the role of the parties were reversed here and only Hispanic felons had been on Jebbie Bush’s little list, but no blacks? Come on.

posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:07 PM on August 16, 2004


I agrew with techngologic that we need a follow-up to this story with more details and testimony. I also agree with techno's implication that something ought to be done about it, if it turns out to be true. It is a big deal, indeed.
posted by cell divide at 4:14 PM on August 16, 2004


Why do we even put up with this?

Because polarizing your views on MetaFilter and making sure everyone knows which views are yours and how much you just totally disagree every contrary view is duty enough to yourself and your country.

what else can we do? micheal moore's gonna save us dont worry.
posted by Satapher at 4:17 PM on August 16, 2004


why are we short on details? ... because our supposed public servants aren't talking to reporters and explaining themselves? ... you want details from these people, you'll have to get a supoena ... don't hold your breath
posted by pyramid termite at 4:20 PM on August 16, 2004


there's another connection between what's happened/happening in Florida and Venezuela.

ChoicePoint
posted by mrgrimm at 4:31 PM on August 16, 2004


If you're interested in the disenfranchisement of Florida voters, you may want to rent the documentary Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election.
posted by jca at 4:43 PM on August 16, 2004


Business as Usual for Republicans.

So why isn't intercepting this kind of cheating and neutralizing it Job #1 for the Democrats?

Something in me suspects that some people in the DNC are just taking notes on the RNC's methods so they can use them themselves. Of course, they could only do that if they get into the positions of power that they'll never get close to if they don't stop the Republicans... And they say Bush is dumb.
posted by wendell at 5:43 PM on August 16, 2004


We don't have to scare people out of voting, wendell--why would we possibly ever even try? We know that the majority support Democratic causes--it was proven in 2000, and 1996, and 1992. It's the losers that do this shit, to try to keep the voting numbers down. And the fact that they're doing it to the elderly who remember getting beaten for even trying to vote is especially disgusting.

And Human Rights Watch has a solution to all the felon list shit in Florida.
posted by amberglow at 5:59 PM on August 16, 2004


Waitasec here. Let me re-write that NYT op-ed, using the same facts: "Florida Police investigate fraud using absentee ballots".

How is this different from any other *police investigation* in which the alleged perpetrators proclaim racist intent?

Are you aware that absentee ballot fraud is currently one of the biggest means to *illegally* influence a vote?

In South Dakota:
http://www.papillonsartpalace.com/massive.htm

In Florida:
http://www.democrats.com/view.cfm?id=3632

In Illinois:
http://www.suntimes.com/output/elect/cst-nws-vote20.html

In Connecticut:
http://www.wfsb.com/Global/story.asp?S=1430578
posted by kablam at 6:14 PM on August 16, 2004


you know, you could take the time to actually "hyperlink" those state names, and you'd probably get twice as many people to visit those URLs ...

all those stories are about complaints and/or suspicions because of a higher number of absentee-ballot requests (as if the Diebold memos never happened ...)

i didn't see a whole lot of evidence of voter fraud (except for the woman who illegally registered her cat), nor any information about in-home investigations of those who cast or requested absentee ballots.

great source, though. your post was worth it for that site alone.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:33 PM on August 16, 2004


I've spend a lot of time in Chicago, and although I truly love that city, voter fraud is pretty significant in Cook county, both historically and today. I am definitely willing to point the finger at either side. I think vote stealing is on the extreme fringes of both parties, and relatively rare. Yet I have not been satisfied with either party's reaction to the 2000 election.

There is something particularly cynical about disqualifying African American voters en-mass. I am going to play the race card here, though I'm from one of the whitest States in the Union. This just wouldn't happen to Anglo-Americans, nor could fifty whites be jailed on the whim of a crazy-ass sheriff. There would be out-rage.

We talk a lot about the monster of political correctness, but can anyone here image thousands of white voters being purged from election rosters in DC, or 50 white people from Crawford Texas being jailed on no evidence?
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:40 PM on August 16, 2004


gesamtkunstwerk: (on a general level) everything is relative. For example, if a corrupt sherriff rounds up 50 black people in a small town in Texas, it tends to get noticed. But could you say the same thing in Chicago? Just another 50 out of 500 people arrested every day. Much easier to conceal. Hardly noticeable. Conversely, election fraud in a small town is usually small scale. Big city fraud takes a lot of organization and effort.

Just for a second assuming that there is a legitimate law enforcement activity going on in Florida, what exactly would be going on right now? If the "suspicious activity" is going on in private homes, say more absentee ballots being requested at a house than there are residents, then I would imagine the police would visit that house.

Do twelve people live in this house? What are their names? A very simple inquiry, and not threatening, unless you are doing something illegal.

The assumption of a racist plot requires several things: that someone in the elections office has selected one or more absentee ballots that *they* can identify as being in a "black neighborhood". And *then* they must assert to a willing police department that there is a specific allegation of voter fraud for the police to investigate. Otherwise, the officers show up and do what?

Occam's razor would suggest that it wasn't race that made these absentee ballots stick out, and officers were dispatched to ask specific questions which would determine if a crime had been committed.
posted by kablam at 7:14 PM on August 16, 2004


dispatched to ask specific questions

"Y'all niggahs ain't fixin' to do no votin' now, is yuh?"
posted by quonsar at 7:23 PM on August 16, 2004


Many African Americans are voting absentee precisely because they don't trust the new touch screen polling booths.

I appreciate your skepticism, kablam, but really. There was absolutely no evidence in the Tulia trials-- not a gram of coke, not a rich bank account, not even a new car. Just a jury after jury of white people willing to convict their neighbors without a shred of evidence.

I have yet to hear of any in depth election coverage that didn't break down into demographics, be they partisan or ethnic. Census information is detailed -- country of origin, race, language spoken, and is available to all Americans, as are the breakdowns of registered voters.

Do you know of a Anglo American turned away from the polls?
Were any voters turned away in Coral Gables? Sarasota? Bush is a good 5-7% behind in Florida (or was last week). I'll be interested to compare the polls with the actual election results.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:48 PM on August 16, 2004


funny tho, kablam, isn't it? They only went to the homes of elderly black people known for driving their neighbors to the polls, and not to the homes of people actually convicted or suspected of crimes or fraud in the past or the present. hmmm....
posted by amberglow at 7:50 PM on August 16, 2004


If Dyer's was a Republican, this thread would be about how that Unlce Tom race traitor Ezzie Thomas manipulated a bunch of elderly black people and stole their votes.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:09 PM on August 16, 2004


i didn't see a whole lot of evidence of voter fraud

Voting-rights activist convicted of fraud
Milwaukee voting-rights activist Vincent Knox was convicted Wednesday on three felony counts stemming from irregularities in an absentee-balloting drive he ran during a county recall election last March.

A Milwaukee County Circuit Court jury deliberated five hours before agreeing with the state's contention that Knox, a 25-year veteran of voting-rights causes, had criminally mismanaged aspects of the absentee drive.

The absentee drive was run by Knox for an organization known as the African-American Coalition for Empowerment (ACE). The move surfaced just days before the recall campaign won by Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway. Holloway hired ACE to help with his campaign, but he testified that the group's absentee drive was separate from his own campaign work and that he was unaware of it. He has not been charged. The drive, which election officials discouraged Knox from undertaking, put absentee ballots in ACE's hands.

Knox's crew went door to door in Holloway's district getting people to apply to vote absentee and agree to have the ballot sent to ACE, which then returned to the would-be voters' homes, witnessed their votes and turned in the ballots at City Hall. The unusual process - which Knox calls "vote by mail" - is legal under state law if performed correctly.

District Attorney E. Michael McCann responded aggressively when the alleged ballot problems became public. His investigators were at polling places for the March 4 election on Milwaukee's north side and challenged and sealed 10% of the votes cast. A police handwriting expert had labeled as suspicious the signatures on dozens of absentee ballot envelopes.

In all, Knox and eight other ACE workers were charged. One pleaded guilty to a reduced charge last month. The others are standing trial separately in the weeks ahead. For Knox's trial, prosecutors argued that ACE's motive was to get absentee votes for Holloway, an allegation they tried to back up through testimony about absentee ballots cast for Holloway by fictitious voters at non-existent addresses.

Although evidence suggested forgery and other mischief plagued the absentee effort, Knox's case turned on one voter registration card bearing his signature as a deputized voter registrar. The purported voter, Willie Dawson, had his name forged on the card by a girlfriend, testimony showed. And Knox's explanation of how he could have witnessed Dawson sign the card apparently held little weight with jurors.

Knox was convicted of perjury, misconduct as a voter registrar and election fraud, which carry a combined penalty of up to 13 years in prison.
This is just one example of the constant scandals and investigations around absentee voting in Milwaukee. In 2002 the now Governor of Wisconsin, Jim Doyle (D) was forced to return absentee ballots collected by his staffers from a mental home. The staffers threw a bingo party for the residents, where they were given food and monetary gifts (25¢ for winning Bingo) and then "helped" the residents fill out their ballots. Not shockingly all of the residents voted in lockstep for Doyle. If it wasn't for an employee of the home video taping the event, and turning the video tape over to the local NBC affiliate, the ballots would have been cast.

Furthermore, double voting is plague in the city of Milwaukee as well. In Wisconsin, no ID Is required to vote, and the voter rolls are available to groups like ACE. Groups like ACE then are able to direct people to wards and tell them what name to use. Since no ID is needed, anyone can claim to be any registered voter. The State Legislative sought to solve this problem by requiring valid state photo ID to vote at the poll. It is such a problem in fact, that students from UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University students were bragging about voting five and six times during the 2000 election. Democrats opposed this, as they said that it amounted to a poll tax, since a Wisconsin State ID is grand total of $4. Regardless that you can not function in life with out some form of ID, and that it only $4, the GOP controlled Senate added an amendment to the bill that gave away Wisconsin State ID's away for free. The bill passed both the Senate and Assembly, and was vetoed by Doyle. Democrats (many who voted for the bill knowing it would be vetoed) refused to override the Governor on the grounds that requiring people to have a freely issued photo ID to vote was "racist."

Add on top of that the fact that volunteers for the Gore 2000 campaign were caught distributing cigarettes to homeless voters after the volunteers had recruited the homeless specifically for their vote.
A Milwaukee Rescue Mission employee said that he had to ask democratic campaign volunteers to leave the property after he caught them trying to bribe potential voters with packs of cigarettes.

After viewing WISN 12's video tape, a local representative of the Gore campaign issued a response to the democratic campaigners who distributed the cigarettes.

"This kind of activity described by Channel 12 is not the kind of help we ask for and it's the kind of help we flat-out reject. These volunteers were from out of state, acting on their own and this was not part of any official Democratic 'get out the vote' activity in Wisconsin. They have left the state and we will not invite them to return," wrote Susan Lagana, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Coordinated Campaign.

Many African Americans are voting absentee precisely because they don't trust the new touch screen polling booths.

Bull crap. Many African Americans are voting via absentee ballot due to groups like ACE going door to door.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:11 PM on August 16, 2004


Steve, I'm not sure if you're from or have ever voted in Wisconsin, but a state issued ID and proof of residence (a utility bill is the most commonly used) are required to vote and register to vote in Wisconsin on election day.

As for:
The staffers threw a bingo party for the residents, where they were given food and monetary gifts (25¢ for winning Bingo) and then "helped" the residents fill out their ballots. Not shockingly all of the residents voted in lockstep for Doyle.

That's not true. The soda and $0.25 were provided by the facility, not the campaign manager, as they were for every bingo event. The campaign manager happened to be the one handing out the quarters to the winners because he had volunteered to help with the event.

Of the 33 absente ballots provided that night -- which were also provided by the center for every election before the 2002 race -- only 8 were actually filled out, so I don't see where you get the 'lockstep' voting for Doyle from.
posted by djc at 9:12 PM on August 16, 2004


If they were using that touch screen crap in my district, I'd vote absentee.
posted by Slagman at 9:39 PM on August 16, 2004


DJC:

I lived in Wisconsin until last month, and have voted in every election since I was 18. A photo ID is not required, although you are correct about the utility bill for registering. In fact when I moved to the east side of Milwaukee while attending UWM, and went to vote at Riverside High School, I pulled out a ID assuming it was needed, and was told to "put that way" by the poll worker.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 8, 2001:
Assembly again backs ID cards for voters. Democrats say measure would hurt minorities, poor, seniors

The soda and $0.25 were provided by the facility, not the campaign manager, as they were for every bingo event.

Again, incorrect. And regardless, it was an attempt to take advantage of the mentally disabled.

only 8 were actually filled out, so I don't see where you get the 'lockstep' voting for Doyle from

Not one of those eight were filled out for McCallum.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:45 PM on August 16, 2004


Should be "away"
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:46 PM on August 16, 2004


Well, here's the link for voting requirements in WI that state an ID is required. (page 6 of pdf) You are required to have a photo ID to vote on election day if you aren't registered, and voter registration requires a photo ID. If registered, the utility bill is to verify the address you're registered to vote at, and if they don't match, you're required to show a photo ID and basically re-register.

Source for the soda and $0.25: jsonline.com

If you can provide a source detailing how (these particular 8) individual voters cast their vote, I'd like to see that, because it would be interesting (and unlawful) to see how individual voters cast their votes unless they give that information freely.

Even if the 8 did vote for a particular candidate, thats a far cry from implying "all of the residents voted in lockstep for Doyle. " because of pressure from the person in question.
posted by djc at 10:09 PM on August 16, 2004


Not one of those eight were filled out for McCallum.

Eight? EIGHT?

I'll not condone voter fraud, at any scale or whoever the beneficiary, but I find it funny that while we point to what may be GOP supported efforts that purged literally thousands of eligible (likely Democratic) voters from a critical swing state during a presidential election, S@L's rebuttal consists of a some county-recall election, a BINGO game, and some Gore volunteers handing out smokes.

Yea, that's pretty much a wash.
posted by jalexei at 10:27 PM on August 16, 2004


...I find it funny that while we point to what may be GOP supported efforts that purged literally thousands of eligible (likely Democratic) voters from a critical swing state during a presidential election, S@L's rebuttal consists of a some county-recall election, a BINGO game, and some Gore volunteers handing out smokes.

Yea, that's pretty much a wash.


It reminds me of a story I read long ago in the New Yorker about the willful ignorance and denial of Serb intellectuals in Belgrade concerning war crimes in Bosnia. To trump an acount of mass killing in the thousands in, say, Sebrenica, they'd bring up some anecdote about an elderly Serb couple who got supposedly got stabbed to death in Sarajevo after Bosnia declared independence.
posted by y2karl at 10:44 PM on August 16, 2004


I'm waiting for American's to snap, grab their guns, and start blowing shit up -- but in America for a change.

There was a man by the name of McVeigh who tried this, I recall.
posted by weston at 10:45 PM on August 16, 2004


djc: Steve can fight his own battles... but you're missing the point: needing ID to REGISTER is not the same thing as needing an ID to VOTE... and the only time you need an ID to vote is if you didn't register before election day.

amberglow: If the investigation of fraud is legitimate (and I can't say one way or the other), then targeting folks who are currently active in get-out-the-vote activities wouldn't seem out of the ordinary, as I would assume that it would be from this pool that one would have the highest likelihood of drawing one's suspects: die-hard political hounds.

Just a thought.

Anyway, it would be nice to see more details on the investigation... but something smells awfully fishy.
posted by silusGROK at 10:49 PM on August 16, 2004


Dammit weston... you're everywhere!
posted by silusGROK at 10:50 PM on August 16, 2004


You are required to have a photo ID to vote on election day if you aren't registered, and voter registration requires a photo ID. If registered, the utility bill is to verify the address you're registered to vote at, and if they don't match, you're required to show a photo ID and basically re-register.

I say this again: You do not need a photo ID to vote or to register to vote in Wisconsin.
  • This is part of the problem with the absentee ballots, as groups like ACE can come around the neighborhood, going door-to-door registering people to vote. This is how ballots got sent to nonexistent people who live at nonexistent addresses.


  • If you need an ID to register, then it would be illogical for people to fight the requirement of having an ID to vote, as they had to have had an ID to register in the first place. (Poll Tax and all)


  • I have registered and voted in Milwaukee, and have never once been asked for a photo ID.

  • Eight? EIGHT?

    Gore won Wisconsin by ~5,000 votes. So take eight here, and eight there, etc... they add up.

    S@L's rebuttal consists of a some county-recall election, a BINGO game, and some Gore volunteers handing out smokes.

    Yeah, so the voting fraud conviction of a major democratic political player in the largest city in the state, absentee ballot corruption in a gubernatorial election, and video tape evidence of voting fraud in one of most closely contested presidential election in recent history... none of those are a big deal? So lets see pattern here:

    2000 Election: Voting fraud

    2002 Election: Voting fraud

    2004 Election: Voting fraud leading to a conviction

    Yeah, nothing to see here... move along.


    y2karl: Yeah, it is exactly like that.
    posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:08 AM on August 17, 2004


    Well, with all taht election fraud going on perhaps s@l would be in favour of bringing in UN monitors?

    The 'but they do it too' line only serves to strengthen the argument for real, proper, nation-wide election reform. Are the Republicans in favour of this?
    posted by Space Coyote at 12:21 AM on August 17, 2004


    Sorry I missed all this. I was away.
    You know, growing up in this country I was constantly told how free America is, how great our democracy is and how this is the greatest country on earth. I want(ed) to believe it.

    So I wanted to start discussion about voter fraud, which undermines our Great Democracy and should be a serious concern to everyone, regardless of your political persuasion and it quickly turns into a typical partisan snipefest.

    This country is doomed.
    posted by black8 at 12:36 AM on August 17, 2004


    If they were using that touch screen crap in my district, I'd vote absentee.

    ...or if you couldn't get a ride to the polls to vote.
    posted by jca at 12:41 AM on August 17, 2004


    Tangent:
    Although it's kablam's link, I'm blaming mrgrimm for my burned retinas. Keeripes!
    "[Freedom Page] IS NOT INTENDED TO OFFEND THE CASUAL READER."
    No? Then what's with the colour choice, huh?

    DO NOT follow mrgrimm's hyperlink if you value your eyesight.
    posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:00 AM on August 17, 2004


    Sorry I missed all this. I was away.
    You know, growing up in this country I was constantly told how free America is, how great our democracy is and how this is the greatest country on earth. I want(ed) to believe it.

    So I wanted to start discussion about voter fraud, which undermines our Great Democracy and should be a serious concern to everyone, regardless of your political persuasion and it quickly turns into a typical partisan snipefest.

    This country is doomed.


    Yeah, its the shits ain't it?

    The only reason I can imagine that the supression of voter rights could become a partisan snipefest is that one party depends on voter disenfranchisement while another depends on voter empowerment. Isn't that correct?

    I heard that if the voters are given a chance to vote on issues instead of "character" that a particular party wins almost every time. Anyone else heard that?

    Seems to me the real gist of this article and the entire Florida voter disenfranchisement debacle is about the fact that Jim Crow is alive and well in the South. All other arguments about Milwaukee or Chicago or whatever are simply diversions from the real problem that needs addressed.
    posted by nofundy at 5:20 AM on August 17, 2004


    This country is doomed.

    No, that country is doomed. But the gist is correct.
    posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:42 AM on August 17, 2004


    dude. Florida is not "The South". It's it's own region.
    posted by glenwood at 5:43 AM on August 17, 2004


    So we are, then, to believe that the criminal masterminds of the RNC are not only revisiting the scene of their crime, but are doing so under full public scrutiny?

    It's a wonder they ever get anyone elected with plans like that.
    posted by darukaru at 8:28 AM on August 17, 2004


    Ooooohhhh, you've just lost a lot of credibility steve. The bingo game was investigated and it turned out no fraud had occurred.
    Why would you want to film someone voting?
    posted by drezdn at 8:48 AM on August 17, 2004


    I have registered and voted in Milwaukee, and have never once been asked for a photo ID.


    And every time I've voted in Milwaukee I've had to show I.D.. Ancedotal evidence doesn't get you anywhere.
    posted by drezdn at 8:51 AM on August 17, 2004


    video tape evidence of voting fraud in one of most closely contested presidential election in recent history.

    Umm. There were never any charges filed in this matter, so it's not voting fraud. As for the evidence, "after the bingo, they (Channel 4 employees) told me to ask if anybody wanted to vote. Then they were going to ask if they could film them" - jsonline
    Channel 4 tried to make it more of a story than it was by trying to get people who didn't plan on voting, to vote for them on camera to spice up the story.

    Eight? EIGHT?

    Again, there's not an ounce of proof that those eight
    people did vote for Gov. Doyle, or that their vote was influenced by the campaign staffer at the bingo game.
    No one except the municipal clerk and poll worker who tallyed the absentee ballot would know who those people voted for. It's pure conjecture for you to say that you know how those people voted, even more so that the 32 voted 'lockstep' with Doyle.

    Finally, you brought up the Marquette students who bragged about voting more than once. One of those students later retracted that claim (source)
    and further investigation didn't turn up any such double voting.
    posted by djc at 9:06 AM on August 17, 2004


    Jim Crow is alive and well in the South.

    i say we dispense with cutesy 19th century sidelong references and say what's so: how about SOUTHERN REPUBLICAN LEADERS ARE GLUTTONOUS GREED FILLED SOCIOPATHS DETERMINED TO BULLY, RAPE AND ROB MINORITIES. works for me.
    posted by quonsar at 10:05 AM on August 17, 2004


    Works for me too quonsar.
    Power for power's sake.
    A boot on the neck for everyone else.
    posted by nofundy at 11:17 AM on August 17, 2004


    How Bush Took Florida: Mining the Overseas Absentee Vote
    2001 NYT article saved by Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

    Conclusion: voter fraud gets Democrats convicted and Republicans elected.

    To repeat my previous comment: And they say Bush is dumb.
    posted by wendell at 12:12 PM on August 17, 2004


    Hey, man. Survival of the fittest. That's just what happens when you're genetically inferior.
    posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:23 PM on August 17, 2004


    Well, nofundy - I have to say I agree with you based on what I've seen so far. But racism aside, why could any honest person (and there are honest folks on boths sides) settle for this. Do all ethics go out of the window?
    I've often said that there are a few conservative positions I agree with, but when either party goes this far, we aren't arguing about ideas anymore...I'm trying to understand why good people let this shit happen.
    posted by black8 at 12:53 PM on August 17, 2004


    I'm trying to understand why good people let this shit happen.

    They look away, look away....
    posted by y2karl at 2:33 PM on August 17, 2004


    Bull crap. Many African Americans are voting via absentee ballot due to groups like ACE going door to door.

    Bull Crap? Steve, that wasn't very Christian of you. Many African Americans (and others) really are voting absentee because they don't trust electronic voting. I have not followed the Milwaukee scandal, but I agree that any fraud should be prosecuted. I don't think you can attribute misstrust to attempted fraud for all African Americans.

    I don't see how you can condemn one side and not the other. Why is Jeb Bush stonewalling any attempt to secure the voting machines in Florida? Shouldn't the concerns of all Americans about election security be taken seriously?
    posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 3:12 PM on August 17, 2004


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