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just disgusting
October 12, 2004 7:20 PM   Subscribe

Illegal RNC trashing Democratic registrations in Vegas -- Employees of a private voter registration company allege that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash. ... The out-of-state firm has been in Las Vegas for the past few months, registering voters. It employed up to 300 part-time workers and collected hundreds of registrations per day, but former employees of the company say that Voters Outreach of America only wanted Republican registrations. Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats. ... The company has been largely, if not entirely funded, by the Republican National Committee. Similar complaints have been received in Reno where the registrar has asked the FBI to investigate.
posted by amberglow (165 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
damn
you beat me too it, amber.

thia was going to be my first post in like, three years...
ok..enough whining
fucked, isn't it?
posted by das_2099 at 7:22 PM on October 12, 2004


i should clarify
--first FPP in the three years i have been here


i better get some reciprical [good]ness
heh
ok, so really, what if everyone here sends this to their local station? would that get national attention?
maybe?
i am at a loss, and feel like something should be done
posted by das_2099 at 7:24 PM on October 12, 2004


Call the Clark County Election Department at 455-VOTE or click here  to see if you are registered.

Is there a way for people in other cities to check to see if they are registered? What about other states?
posted by Stuart_R at 7:25 PM on October 12, 2004


sorry, das.

If you live in Clark County, you can check to see if you're registered here.

Voters Outreach of America is apparently all over the country registering people. Please recheck that you are registered with your local election board, (add in your state or county), if you signed up in front of a supermarket, or with people/orgs you don't know. They are also involved with Nader's campaign.
posted by amberglow at 7:28 PM on October 12, 2004


somebody find out who this is: ...Aaron "AJ" James, who directs Voters' Outreach of America... (from the indymedia link)
posted by amberglow at 7:29 PM on October 12, 2004


This highlights the total difference between the parties, IMO.

Sorry but that's just how I see it.
posted by Peter H at 7:30 PM on October 12, 2004


Man, your country is fucked.

I hope they catch these people and string them up by their balls/breasts.

What kind of time would someone do for such a crime?
posted by dobbs at 7:31 PM on October 12, 2004


Funded by the RNC? Is this real? I can't quite believe it.

...because if it is, I want to see *any* republican defend this sort of behavior. And after that, I want to see heads roll at the RNC. I'm not entirely sure that I'm speaking metaphorically.
posted by aramaic at 7:33 PM on October 12, 2004


I know Michiganders can check to see if they're registered, where to go to vote, what the ballot's going to be and all other sorts of electoral goodness at http://www.sospublius.org/.

Don't leave anything to chance this year.
posted by snarkywench at 7:33 PM on October 12, 2004


Isn't there a provisional ballot you can use in the event something does go wrong? I don't think the RNC itself is behind the ballot trashing incidently, I doubt even they could be that brazen.
posted by substrate at 7:36 PM on October 12, 2004


Unfortunately if you registered as a Dem using that particular institution it appears that you're fucked, since the registration deadline for Nevada is already past.
posted by clevershark at 7:37 PM on October 12, 2004


Career Builder job listing for Voter Outreach of America. Paid for by the Republican National Committee.
posted by punishinglemur at 7:39 PM on October 12, 2004


The biggest thing about this is that voter registration is now closed in Nevada. more at Daily Kos
posted by amberglow at 7:39 PM on October 12, 2004


Kerry better bring this up at the debates--i have no faith that either Schiefer or the media will cover it.

I bet a million dollars they're doing this in every single state they've set up shop in.
posted by amberglow at 7:41 PM on October 12, 2004


There is a very powerful and quiet account of a black woman spending her entire day trying (and not being able) to vote in Florida during the 2000 election in the Bush Junta book.
posted by Peter H at 7:43 PM on October 12, 2004


Any Missouri people better spread the word too--punishinglemur's ad was for there.
posted by amberglow at 7:45 PM on October 12, 2004


Why on earth did that volunteer wait until the registration time had passed before shedding light?
posted by dobbs at 7:47 PM on October 12, 2004


You have got to be joking. What is wrong with the US? Seriously now. These election posts are so surreal.

I imagine this must be a very serious offence? Anyone know for sure?
posted by chunking express at 7:48 PM on October 12, 2004


I wonder what Ed Gillespie and Marc Racicot have to say that would excuse this. "Nothing" is my guess.
posted by clevershark at 7:50 PM on October 12, 2004


Assuming that the RNC is really behind this, it is unfair and reprehensible. On the other hand, just so no one is confused, the DNC, local Democrats and Pro-Democrat organizations including the NAACP, ACT and others have been accused of involvement in electoral fraud in Iowa, Florida, California and most notably Ohio, where the FBI is also investigating. Just google for highlights (even skipping over free republic links).

Both parties are crooked. Both parties cheat and lie. Both will do everything they can, legal or otherwise to ensure that they win this and just about any election. This should not come as shock to anyone in the year 2004. If you want to highlight this as some sort of benchmark of evil, fine, but don't kid yourselves, your guys do it too.
posted by loquax at 7:52 PM on October 12, 2004


Excuse me, but WTF is " a private voter registration company?" Isn't registration a government function?
posted by majick at 7:53 PM on October 12, 2004


This should not come as shock to anyone in the year 2004. If you want to highlight this as some sort of benchmark of evil, fine, but don't kid yourselves, your guys do it too.
Prove it! Show us one instance of Democrats throwing out new voter registrations. The dailykos link i posted has numerous examples of Democrats registering Republicans.
posted by amberglow at 7:57 PM on October 12, 2004


Screenshot of Voter Outreach of America ad. I'm pretty sure that the DNC haven't ripped up voter registration loquax - I think the threashold for your comment shouldn't be, "Just google for highlights."
posted by plemeljr at 7:57 PM on October 12, 2004


loquax -- what is your point exactly, that there is an acceptable level of corruption in the voter registration system?

A link has been provided to you to back up the story behind this thread. How about you provide support for your own accusations as well?
posted by clevershark at 8:00 PM on October 12, 2004


To be fair to loquax, the Democratic approach to voter fraud is to register people that aren't eligible. Good ol' Mayor Daley Senior, and all that. I mean, just check Google news for a variety of RNC accusations on the issue.
posted by aramaic at 8:05 PM on October 12, 2004


Can I say this is the only time I've ever been both impressed and thankful for local television news reporting?
posted by Peter H at 8:05 PM on October 12, 2004


Both parties are crooked. Both parties cheat and lie. Both will do everything they can, legal or otherwise to ensure that they win this and just about any election.

This is a widespread republican tactic - suppress the vote by making people discouraged about the process overall. The lower the turnout, the higher the percentage of evangelicals etc.

If you "google for highlights", as far as I can tell you get a bunch of right-wing websites talking about efforts by democrats to get out the vote, with some vague shouting about invalid signatures on voter registration cards. Any relevant links Loquax?
posted by spacehug at 8:06 PM on October 12, 2004


Excuse me, but WTF is " a private voter registration company?" Isn't registration a government function?

Well, yes and no. Many people and groups have authority to help people fill out voter reg forms and offer to submit them on behalf (see Music For America - who I did some work with this summer). Whether or not the forms are filled out correctly/sent in/verified, etc. is kind of up in the air though. If true, this is pitiful, and frankly, I'm glad that in TX (among other states) you don't get the option of registering with a particular party. I even had people at MfA events ask me "what if I want to register to vote for Bush?". My reply was *always* "Well, in TX it makes no difference, but regardless, that's cool man, you can do it here. It'll get sent in all the same"
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:08 PM on October 12, 2004


Excuse me, but WTF is " a private voter registration company?" Isn't registration a government function?

You must be some kind of socialist if you think that there's anything done by government that can't be improved upon by free enterprise.
posted by Slothrup at 8:11 PM on October 12, 2004


ha, well improve it they have, huh!
posted by Peter H at 8:13 PM on October 12, 2004


more Republican shit: Republicans Resign Over Questionable Absentee Ballot Applications: Tonight six people connected with the South Dakota republican party have resigned over questions surrounding absentee ballot applications. ...


loquax? we're waiting.
posted by amberglow at 8:16 PM on October 12, 2004


Ya'll still think this is a democracy. Fools. One way or another, the neocons will have this country for their own. They won't let democracy, law or morals get in the way.
posted by fleener at 8:20 PM on October 12, 2004


Sorry, but the link provided does not prove anything, it alleges that a company has ripped up Democrat registration forms, and alleges that the RNC is behind it. Even the title says "possibly trashed". I have no idea if either of those claims are true, certainly no more so than any of the claims made against Democrats.

I accuse no-one of anything in particular, all I say is that there are also many allegations claiming the Democrats and supporters of the Democratic party are attempting to fiddle with the election. I have no idea if those are true either.

If you want to believe that only Republicans lie and cheat, fine. I tend to believe that's a little naive though. And please, relax - for such a normally cynical and distrustful audience (which I wholeheartedly approve of), many people here are very anxious to accept as truth any anti-repub morsel that comes up, critical thought and skepticism be damned!

On preview: If it's that important, Here are a couple of links - I have no idea if they're true or not - they're accusations and allegations, just like the posted article.
posted by loquax at 8:20 PM on October 12, 2004


Both Democrats and Republicans have, er, registered people from beyond the grave. Mayor Daley was the most famous exemplar, but it's not confined to Democrats.

As a lifelong independent, this is the kind of skullduggery I expect from political parties, especially the US Big Two.

However, if this allegation is true, and if the Republican National Committee is involved, I must say I have never heard of anything comparable which involved the Democratic National Committee during my lifetime (1964-present).

Loquax, I'm willing to believe that there has been voter fraud by both parties, but "just Google for links" isn't going to convince me.

Also, frankly, I think that registering people who aren't eligible to vote is nowhere near as bad than throwing away the registrations of people who are eligible to vote, who are registering in good faith, and whose registrations you have been paid by a state to collect.

The first defrauds the electoral system, which is bad. The second defrauds the electoral system, the voter, and the state, which is three times as bad in my book.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:21 PM on October 12, 2004


Loquax, none of the links you gave implicates the Democratic Party as an organization in any way.

Have there been any accusations against the Democratic National Committee to date?
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:23 PM on October 12, 2004


more shit from Nevada, and what a surprise--it's a Republican activist: Clark County has rebuffed efforts of a local Republican activist to revoke the voter registrations of about 17,100 inactive Democratic voters.

Good thing at least this shit was stopped.

btw, Vegas has been one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas these past few years, so there's must be tons and tons and tons of new voters since 2000.
posted by amberglow at 8:25 PM on October 12, 2004


loquax - None of those links are to cases of destroyed registrations, just questionably registered ones. There's a difference.
posted by Peter H at 8:26 PM on October 12, 2004


No, wait, I did find one.

I still think registering people to vote without their knowledge is not as bad as pretending to register people to vote, then throwing the registration away. Even though both are bad.

Loquax, you make a good point that nobody knows which, if any, of these allegations are true.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:27 PM on October 12, 2004


Obviously, the solution for the state of Nevada is to re-open voter registration so people who know that they filled out registration paperwork, but whose registration doesn't appear, can register.

The state legislature could do this with a special proclamation. Obviously, the special registration period should be relatively limited in duration, and people who registered during it should have to sign an affidavit saying that they filled out registration with a private provider, but their registration does not appear on the rolls.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:29 PM on October 12, 2004


To the people who do this sort of shit, it bears reminding: unless you're a multimillionaire you're doing harm to your own livlihood, not just the lives of people you hate.
posted by Peter H at 8:31 PM on October 12, 2004


Nevada's Democratic party page, with an Alert
posted by amberglow at 8:32 PM on October 12, 2004


Sidhedevil, I'm not trying to convince you of anything - I am not trying to prove anything either, for one simple reason - It is impossible to *prove* anything by throwing up local news links citing unproven (in a court of law) allegations, or by googling for whatever it is you happen to be looking for.

The links that amberglow provides also do not "prove" anything. In fact, the latest one shows the proper, democratic process at work, rejecting a legal challenge of voters, yet he labels it as "shit" from republicans. This kind of simplistic faith in the evil that republicans do just gets me sometimes. At the very least, put all your links in the initial post, one link to klas-tv does not a good post make.
posted by loquax at 8:39 PM on October 12, 2004


> I can't quite believe it.

Did you believe Florida 2000? Or is that just crazy conspiracy theory?

loquax is quick with the "two wrong make a right, dammit! The GOP is still a respectable organization!" reply.

Voters Outreach of America helped get Nader on the ballot when the GOP and Nader realized this might not happen because very few people support Nader this time around.

Yeah, its all just big coincidences and conspiracy theories. And when caught just yell "everyone does it!"

sigh
posted by skallas at 8:39 PM on October 12, 2004


Well, for Baal's sake, instead of putting up a too-late alert on their damned intarweb page, they should be getting the legislature to DO something about this.

< razzle-frazzle political party bullshit>>>
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:41 PM on October 12, 2004


This is despotism. Possibly avoided if there was no party affiliation recorded at the time of a voter's registration.
posted by four panels at 8:41 PM on October 12, 2004


> also do not "prove" anything

Relax and let the story develop, buddy. Its still early.
posted by skallas at 8:41 PM on October 12, 2004


Relax and let the story develop, buddy. Its still early.

See, that's what you should be saying to amberglow.
posted by loquax at 8:42 PM on October 12, 2004


Well, I wrote the GOP chairman and asked for a straight-up official response. Anyone wanna give me odds on the response, or lack thereof?
posted by aramaic at 8:45 PM on October 12, 2004


Yes, Loquax, but I Googled for allegations that the Democratic Party was involved in the destruction of voter registrations. There are no such allegations.

In fact, the only coherent allegation that I found was alleging Democratic Party involvement in any voter fraud was the one about the South Dakota state Democratic Party subcontractor whose registrations of South Dakota voters were found to contain irregularities, and were being investigated.

You said in your first post that "the DNC has been accused...of involvement in electoral fraud." Unless you are much, much better at Google than I am, and I doubt it, you were incorrect.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:46 PM on October 12, 2004


Relax and let the story develop, buddy. Its still early.

See, that's what you should be saying to amberglow.

Actually, it's too late, unless they reopen voter registration. Early voting begins on Saturday there.

You're some piece of work, loquax.
posted by amberglow at 8:49 PM on October 12, 2004


The links that amberglow provides also do not "prove" anything.

I'd say the last one about the voter alert from Nevada's Dem party is pretty legit.
posted by Peter H at 8:49 PM on October 12, 2004


Just to point out Nevada and South Dakota are strong Republican states - not swing states that I am aware. MAP (anyone know of another map than this?)

If this is true, I would think every state should be looking hard at their voter registrations.
posted by fluffycreature at 8:50 PM on October 12, 2004


In response to Amberglow's comment that Kerry should bring this up at the debates... I just e-mailed the Kerry campaign (via their web site), and hope that someone reads the "suggestion" category of e-mails.

http://www.johnkerry.com/contact/

It couldn't hurt for them to hear it from folks scattered across the country.
posted by silusGROK at 8:50 PM on October 12, 2004


Sorry, sidhedevil, I could have been more clear - there are tons of links accusing the DNC of voter fraud, but most of them come from free republic, which I would not consider to be a bastion of truth when it comes to accusing democrats of things, sort of like DU et al. That's why I didn't bother posting them. Allegations abound, I think it's just dishonest to only pick and chose the ones you'd like to disseminate as truth. And frankly, I would hope that everyone here would be just as disgusted if they ever found out conclusively that any republican, no matter how backwards, war-lovin' or pollutin', was disenfranchised.

Amberglow, please - I state my opinion and you jump all over me? And now you call me a piece of work? While I'm complimented, you really do need to relax a little with your rhetoric.

Pete: I was referring to the one before that.
posted by loquax at 8:56 PM on October 12, 2004


So, Loquax, it's certainly possible that the allegations that Voter Outreach of America, an organization paid by the Republican National Committee, destroyed official government documents relating to voter registration if they showed that a voter was registering as a Democrat, are false.

I couldn't agree with you more that a rush to judgment on this particular matter would be premature, even though Voter Outreach of America has already showed itself, in my mind, to be at least somewhat sketchy on ethics during their campaign to get Ralph Nader on state ballots.

However, your statement that similar allegations have been made regarding the Democratic National Committee seems unfounded.

Similarly, everyone who is sure that this "must be true" is exactly as credulous as the people who believed the Swift Boat allegations because "Democrats are all liars".

And so let me, once again, remind everyone that EVERYONE IN THE US SHOULD REGISTER AS 'UNAFFILIATED' OR 'INDEPENDENT' VOTERS AND VOTE FOR WHICHEVER CANDIDATES YOU RESPECT AND/OR SUPPORT ON THE ISSUES, NOT ON WHOEVER YOUR PARTICULAR 'TEAM' OF OLD RICH GUYS TELLS YOU TO SUPPORT.

< sorry for shouting, but i really mean it>>>>

On preview: Fluffy, South Dakota is a battleground in the Senatorial elections; Senate minority leader Tom Daschle is up for re-election. I don't know why people in Nevada are concerned that their registrations might be jiggered, though.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:56 PM on October 12, 2004


Kerry should bring this up at the debates

Couldn't Bush just dig up his own handful of stories like this one? Would either really be proving that fraud is a partisan trait? Neither of the Big 2 parties has a leg to stand on in the realm of fraud & vote-meddling.

Not to mention:

The AFL-CIO took credit on its Web site for similar demonstrations--apparently all coordinated--in Independence, Mo., Kansas City, Mo., Dearborn, Mich., St. Paul, Minn., and West Allis, Wis. In what could be a related incident, the Bush-Cheney office in Knoxville, Tenn., had its plate-glass windows shattered by gunfire on Tuesday morning before volunteers showed up for work. Another Republican office, in Seattle, was broken into and had computer files stolen.
posted by dhoyt at 8:58 PM on October 12, 2004


In what could be a related incident, I fell down this morning.
posted by aramaic at 9:00 PM on October 12, 2004


Sidhedevil, I think that in principle, I am quite in agreement with you.
posted by loquax at 9:00 PM on October 12, 2004


I did too, silus...i hope they read them. I think many Democrats from all over are doing the same tonight.

Gore won Clark County in 2000: Breaking down the vote, Gore lost 16 of Nevada's 17 counties. But he carried Clark County (better known as Las Vegas) by some 20,000 votes. Home to roughly two-thirds of the state's residents, Clark County has a hefty and expanding Democratic registration of 248,799, compared with 213,104 registered Republicans — while the rest of the state still tilts Republican.

The problem for Republicans, and everyone else in Nevada, is that metastasizing Las Vegas will have 85 percent of the state's population by the end of this decade. By that time, Clark County could own three congressional seats while the rest of the state shares one.
(from 2002)
posted by amberglow at 9:01 PM on October 12, 2004


Whoops, loquax, our posts crossed in the ether. Again. On preview, then, all I have to say is I looked at the stuff that turned up from WorldNetDaily, freerepublic, and newsmax, and though I actually don't automatically discount everything on those sites*, I read through a dozen or so of those allegations and they all seemed to be made by habitues of the tinfoil milliners.

*because even the stopped clock is right twice a day! No, seriously, because sometimes someone posts something there with an actual link to the real media.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:02 PM on October 12, 2004


Nevada is considered a swing state because of the population shift from rural (conservative) areas to a more liberal Las Vegas has been dramatic... From the recently posted Newsweek site: Nevada went for Bush fils in 2000, but for Clinton the two previous elections...
posted by silusGROK at 9:06 PM on October 12, 2004


EVERYONE IN THE US SHOULD REGISTER AS 'UNAFFILIATED' OR 'INDEPENDENT' VOTERS

Here in Utah I registered republican for the first time in my life. I've remained unaffiliated until now, but I changed this summer because I want to try to make a difference in republican primaries (and no, I don't go for "poison the well" tactics -- it's dishonest and the repub candidate wins 9/10 times here anyway). Unless one lives in an area with open primaries, it's probably a good strategy to register with the dominant party and vote in their primaries.

Amberglow, please - I state my opinion and you jump all over me? And now you call me a piece of work? While I'm complimented, you really do need to relax a little with your rhetoric.

I agree. I'm as ready to head down to the gun shop and make sure I'm ready for the revolution as the next guy, but expanding the discussion to include the idea that vote fraud is a bipartisan problem is probably even a contribution to the thread. loquax and everybody else has been reminded that two wrongs don't make a right... and now we ought to be talking about what will.

Indictment on criminal charges for the participants would be a good start. But also... how come there are no "receipts" for voter registration?
posted by weston at 9:10 PM on October 12, 2004


Gee, dhoyt, nice link. I liked it when I posted it way up in the thread, too.

South Dakota is a cavalcade of accusations of voter registration irregularities, actually. Interestingly, one Republican National Committee charge of voter registration fraud committed by Democrats backfired when it was found that affidavits swearing to fraudulent registration were themselves fraudulent, according to the [Republican] state Attorney General.

And, delightfully enough, the nephew of John Thune, the candidate opposing Daschle (and don't forget that Thune was one of the leaders of the somewhat-counterproductive-for-the-Republican Party voter fraud allegations in 2002) is being investigated for fraudulent voter registration himself.

Who says it's dull in South Dakota?
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:10 PM on October 12, 2004


Pete: I was referring to the one before that.

Ah, but timestamps reveal otherwise, flipflopper! [/snark]
oh, and heh, if I'm Pete are you Loq? Sounds biker.
posted by Peter H at 9:11 PM on October 12, 2004


Oh, but Weston, every state should have open primaries. If I lived in a state that didn't have 'em, I'd be on the horn with the State House constantly about it. Closed primaries are an offense against God and mankind.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:12 PM on October 12, 2004


I'll concur that the "ground game," as I believe it's called, hosts offenses from both sides. That's just a fact. Both parties have gamed the system for years. Hell, in the old days they would just pay people for votes.

i would venture, though, that there is a threshold of corruption that the system can tolerate. By and large, it works itself out. Is it acceptable to a democracy? Perhaps not, but that's just human nature. I am reasonably sure the citizens of Athens were also susceptible to similar shenanigans.

The difference comes in that the Democrats, concerned Republicans, career civil-service people and others all recognize that democracy is a tenuous thing, and there is a boundary at which "winning at all costs" becomes detrimental to democracy as a whole. If you go too far, you invalidate the core beliefs of the system. This is the assumption I believe Gore made in 2000 during the Florida recount: if you push too hard, the entire structure crashes down.

Ever since Clinton's impeachment, the GOP heads have shown that they simply do not care about democracy. And when they realized in 2000 that their candidate was a vegetable, they had to push even harder just to get him through. Remember how they swerved hard right and threw everyone off, who assumed a president who lost the popular vote would have to move delicately?

They have trashed the gravity of impeachment, the electoral process, the perceived impartiality of the Supreme Court, the American military, the treasury, the Constitution, any notion of bipartisanship...and if they get Bush back into office, they will have trashed any notion of accountability. If Bush is reelected, by hook or by crook, what does that say? That a president can fuck up THIS BADLY and still continue governing. Ever since 9/11 and its bullshit "librull = traitor" fallout, they have made the Big Push. The movement knows it's time, that they will never get another chance like this again to completely lock themselves in. Their pet President and policies have been exposed for the total failures they always were, and they will go to any lengths to avoid paying the price for their abject failure.

The people driving the GOP car just do not care. I don't want to paint Republicans as "evil," because they're not. Little Green Footballs and Free Republic do not, I believe, represent the main constituency of the Republican Party. However, if Bush is reelected, the entire system will collapse. It can't take any more abuse. Whether this is a good or bad thing I leave to your individual inclinations towards anarchy.

</bloviate>
posted by solistrato at 9:15 PM on October 12, 2004


Hey Weston: here in Utah, there are receipts. They give you a voter registration card for you wallet.

Sidhedevil: I dunno... in principle, I agree with closed primaries — it is, afterall, a party choosing its candidate. The problem is that in practice, it's pretty damn iffy in the democratic process department.
posted by silusGROK at 9:16 PM on October 12, 2004


Sorry Peter H, I actually meant to write Peter - a typo, I swear!
You can call me Loq - but please, no Tone.
posted by loquax at 9:18 PM on October 12, 2004


Gee, dhoyt, nice link. I liked it when I posted it way up in the thread, too.

Oy. Retract your claws, Sidhedevil. I didn't get the link from your post (which I just noticed), I got it from the poe-news link here.
posted by dhoyt at 9:18 PM on October 12, 2004


from atrios' comments:Nevada law Chapter 293.800.2 Acts concerning registration of voters;

A public officer or other person, upon whom any duty is imposed by this title, who willfully neglects his duty, or willfully performs it in such a way as to hinder the objects and purposes of the election laws of this state, except where another penalty is provided, is guilty of a category E felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.

NRS 193.130 provides for 1-5 years jail time, and a fine not to exceed $5k for a class E felony.

posted by amberglow at 9:23 PM on October 12, 2004


loquax, ha, given your reference, Pete is fine.

posted by Peter H at 9:25 PM on October 12, 2004


Well, I did a little sleuthing and got some mildly relevant info.

I called the number from the careerbuilder.com ad for Voter Outreach of America; I spoke with a very patient man who works for the staffing agency hired by VOA (Temp Force 2000 Inc., I think this is a subsidiary of some other company, he mentioned an east coast corporate office) to do the registration footwork. He was getting lots of calls while I was on the phone with him.

Some notes from our conversation:

He claims his agency has no connection with VOA other than the staffing contract.

VOA moved to Pheonix, AZ as of Oct. 2. VOA moved into their building in Vegas in August. He says they are a private organization, under contract w/ the GOP.

He commented that they were "very organized". However, in the next breath he mentioned that they were not organized enough to handle the volume of employees they had. Appx. 250 employees in total, about 50 per week, typical employee would stick around for appx. one week.
He mentioned frequent problems with "late registrations" (i.e. a worker was due to turn in reg. cards on Friday at the end of work, instead brought them in on Monday).

This guy seems like a decent guy, "If they (VOA) tampered with the registration cards, I hope they are brought to justice."

I should be writing my thesis.
posted by funkbrain at 9:25 PM on October 12, 2004


from the Nevada Appeal 10/3. I wonder if it's the same company? RENO - Washoe County Voter Registrar Dan Burk says he'll ask the FBI to investigate complaints that out-of-state groups submitted bogus voter registration forms and refused to register anyone but Republicans.

Yier Shi, an RNC spokesman, said the Republican Party typically relies on volunteers to conduct voter registration drives. But with the Nov. 2 election nearing, the party has decided to hire a network of temporary employees for stepped-up efforts.

"We have legal training for all those hired, and we also establish mechanisms to check for fraud," Shi said. "And if we find any inappropriate behavior, we hold the individual responsible and terminate their services immediately."

posted by amberglow at 9:30 PM on October 12, 2004


ah! forgot: workers hired by the staffing agency for VOA go through appx. 2 weeks of training (according to "the guy").
posted by funkbrain at 9:33 PM on October 12, 2004


It's a shame that Shi didn't say "And if we find any inappropriate behavior, we report them to the authorities and assist in their prosecution to the fullest extent permitted under law." ... now _that_ would be assuring.
posted by silusGROK at 9:34 PM on October 12, 2004


Hey Weston: here in Utah, there are receipts. They give you a voter registration card for you wallet.

Hmmmm. I've long since lost mine if that's the case. :) Should I be worried? (And would I have gotten a new one when I registered with the red side this summer?)

Weston, every state should have open primaries. If I lived in a state that didn't have 'em, I'd be on the horn with the State House constantly about it. Closed primaries are an offense against God and mankind.

Well, perhaps I'll try to make the case to the local God fearing republicans. But in the meanwhile, I want some say in who they choose for office.
posted by weston at 9:37 PM on October 12, 2004


This bit from the article (which may or may not have been read by those commenting here) is particularly interesting:

Eric Russell managed to retrieve a pile of shredded paperwork including signed voter registration forms, all from Democrats. We took them to the Clark County Election Department and confirmed that they had not, in fact, been filed with the county as required by law.

So, there seems to be physical evidence of what was going on in this particular instance. It'll be interesting to follow this story as it progresses, but one may well be tempted to wonder if this isn't one of those "surprises" Karl Rove was promising for October.
posted by clevershark at 9:41 PM on October 12, 2004


Nevada's Democratic Party is on the case: Speaker of the Nevada State Assembly (House) Richard Perkins and State Committee Chair Adrianna Martinez held a press conference at 8:00 PST outlining the case much as it was earlier stated in the earlier KLAS Report which I posted. Tomorrow the Democrats will be launching a new NEVADA VOTER PROTECTION PROJECT, the specifics of which will be outlined tomorrow. Speaker Perkins noted that every effort will be undertaken to assure that all Nevadan who have registered have the right to vote on Election Day. ...

If you read down the comments there, you find the company is now in Oregon.
posted by amberglow at 9:43 PM on October 12, 2004


This keeps getting uglier and uglier.

From the Moonie times, October 10
    Signaling the possibility that many newly registered voters may be challenged on Election Day, an RNC official Friday said there were numerous reports of independent Democratic groups who were registering voters using bogus names.

    "The Democrats have played differently this year. They are trying to keep people out of the process by blocking Ralph Nader's efforts to get on the ballot, while at the same time they've outsourced their voter registration effort and have flooded the process with potentially bogus registration forms," RNC spokesman Terry Holt said.

    Mr. Holt said there were reports from Nevada's Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, "saying many of the registrations have Freddy Krueger's name on them," the fictitious slasher in the horror movie, "Nightmare on Elm Street."
posted by funkbrain at 9:43 PM on October 12, 2004


Looks like TalkingPointsMemo has picked up the story... it will be interesting to see what his sources bring to the board.

Weston: I wouldn't sweat the card. I was a ballot judge for several years, and you can make a sworn statement as to your having registered and you'll be allowed to vote.
posted by silusGROK at 9:46 PM on October 12, 2004


many of the registrations have Freddy Krueger's name on them

So I guess the question becomes if this is a cover story for the alleged action, or if the action was a counter to a real bogus set of registration.

you can make a sworn statement as to your having registered

I think they'd believe me, too. I now live where I grew up, and the judges are my neighbors, and some of the nicest and sharpest folks in the neighborhood. Sometimes roots are a very comforting thing.
posted by weston at 10:03 PM on October 12, 2004


Just to point out Nevada and South Dakota are strong Republican states - not swing states

As stated above, NV went for Clinton in both of his elections and has been considered up for grabs in this election, though it seems to have swung toward Bush over the past two months, as have many battleground states (pre-debates). Both candidates have visited the state more than once already. According to the propaganda the Kerry people have been emailing me, many more Democrats have been newly registered for this election than Republicans, which would explain their "concern." Bush gets beat up badly on the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository issue here, since almost everyone is against it and it represents one of his most blatant breakings of a 2000 campaign promise. Kerry has unequivocably said that if he is elected, there will be no Yucca Mountain, period. That alone puts him in contention here.
posted by rushmc at 10:12 PM on October 12, 2004


"The movement knows it's time, that they will never get another chance like this again to completely lock themselves in. Their pet President and policies have been exposed for the total failures they always were, and they will go to any lengths to avoid paying the price for their abject failure."

Thanks for wholly articulating my feelings Solistrato. I keep thinking it can't get much worse, I mean this is America after all. But then surprise surprise it does. It's sickening. My hope is that they go too far and and that once and for all they're at the receiving end of a national paroxism of long overdue disgust.
posted by Skygazer at 10:12 PM on October 12, 2004


They haven't posted it online yet, but a local Portland tv network just reported that people have been going around registering Republicans to vote and refusing to even give the registration forms to non-Republicans.

The secretary of state (Bill Bradbury) came on the screen, saying that Oregon law prohibits people involved in registering voters from refusing to register people based on party.

Of course Bradbury, a strident Democrat, has made a number of questionable pro-Dem decisions in the months leading up to the election. But so far the courts have backed him.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:30 PM on October 12, 2004


In what could be a related incident, the Bush-Cheney office in Knoxville, Tenn., had its plate-glass windows shattered by gunfire on Tuesday morning before volunteers showed up for work.

Holy shit. I leave the country for two fucking seconds and my town goes batshit insane!
posted by ruddhist at 12:47 AM on October 13, 2004


WEST VIRGINIA- Local republicans get a slap on the wrist after they are accused of trying to persuade democrats not to vote.

I am intrigued by this, how you say, "democratic process"...
posted by dinsdale at 12:52 AM on October 13, 2004


Why do republicans hate America?
[/shrill]

If these charges pan out, I fully expect the GOP to formally issue a statement condemning this sort of Saddam Hussein like behavior.
posted by LimePi at 1:08 AM on October 13, 2004


loquax is playing the ref. The Democrats have done nothing comparable to this appauling action. Just ignore him/her.
posted by krisjohn at 1:19 AM on October 13, 2004


Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.

Please excuse my complete lack of knowledge about the American voting system, but how did they pick the Democrats from the pile in the first place?

Do you guys specify your political preferences when you register for voting?
posted by cip at 3:01 AM on October 13, 2004


>Do you guys specify your political preferences when you register for voting?

Yep. You specify your party for primary reasons. I guess you can refuse but I've never heard of anyone doing that.
posted by skallas at 3:05 AM on October 13, 2004


Yep. You specify your party for primary reasons. I guess you can refuse but I've never heard of anyone doing that.

But... apart the nasty stuff that could result of this, doesn't the fact of putting your name, address and SSN on the same form as your political affiliation sort of spoil the secrecy of the ballot?
posted by cip at 3:15 AM on October 13, 2004


But... apart the nasty stuff that could result of this, doesn't the fact of putting your name, address and SSN on the same form as your political affiliation sort of spoil the secrecy of the ballot?

Not really, you're free to vote for whomever you want in the election.
posted by TungstenChef at 3:37 AM on October 13, 2004


loquax is playing the ref. The Democrats have done nothing comparable to this appauling action. Just ignore him/her.

That's right. The most important thing we can do now is not listen to people who don't agree 100% with us. That's the solution. It's worked so well up 'til now.
posted by yerfatma at 4:04 AM on October 13, 2004


more from kos: Searching for information on the voter registration fraud stories breaking tonight in Nevada and Oregon, I kept coming across the same name: Nathan Sproul of Sproul & Associates in Phoenix, Arizona.

Nathan Sproul is the former head of the Arizona Republican Party and of the Arizona Christian Coalition (ah, the irony... a Christian).

Sproul is connected with the Republican National Committee-funded voter registration organization, Voter Outreach, Inc., a group that used paid registrars to register voters in a number of states including Nevada, Oregon, Arizona and perhaps more, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maine and Missouri. (Others states pending, particularly swing states.) Sproul's organization also recruited registrars by fraudulently telling recruits that they would be working for America Votes, a legitimate nonpartisan GOTV operation! ... So here we have Sproul involved in three (swing) states, using a bogus GOTV name to disguise his organization's own name, and using fictitious names (Harry Miller) as "contacts" for those with questions.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg with Mr. Sproul and the RNC. Keep in mind that in the recruitment ads for Voter Outreach, Inc, run on careerbuilder.com in targeted states (including Missouri and Arizona), the bottom of the ads included this statement:

Paid for by the Republican National Committee. www.gop.com. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
...

posted by amberglow at 4:55 AM on October 13, 2004


I call this one, rob's law of contemporary american politics: all liberal offenses, real or imagined, are to be duplicated by the GOP two or three fold. you know, for balance.
posted by mcsweetie at 5:36 AM on October 13, 2004


once again, it makes me wonder: how many pardons will george be handing out as he leaves office? i imagine it will be lots, certainly lots more than we ever expected.

fuck. that's about all i have to say. just.... christ. i really will move to canada if this election goes bad.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:54 AM on October 13, 2004


When we finally privatize the entire US Government, will my dream of a Disney park in DC come true? Capitol Hill-o-rama. Hall of Presidents indeed.
posted by Dick Paris at 6:49 AM on October 13, 2004


Wow between this and the TV station scandal, desperation turns ugly. And these "people" have children? ugh.
posted by omidius at 6:53 AM on October 13, 2004


That's right. The most important thing we can do now is not listen to people who don't agree 100% with us. That's the solution. It's worked so well up 'til now.


The time for being sensible is past.
posted by jpoulos at 6:53 AM on October 13, 2004


Some good links about this story from TopDog04.com

Voters Outreach of America AKA America Votes tears up Democratic voter registration forms in Nevada.

Company claiming affiliation with non-partisan ‘America Votes’ to register voters in Oregon is actually GOP consulting firm Sproul & Associates, Inc.

Sproul & Associates AKA America Votes workers in WV and PA refuse to register Kerry voters.

Democrats in Oregon have complained that canvassers for Arizona based Sproul & Associates have been pressuring residents to register as Republicans so that they can get paid.

Arizona Nader campaign was assisted in its petition drive by an unlikely figure: the ultra-conservative former executive director of the Arizona Republican Party, Nathan Sproul.

Good background story on Sproul and his political track record, cached on Google.

Here is the direct link between Sproul and Voters Outreach of America:
According to several sources, two of the contractors Sproul hired to oversee petition gathering for No Taxpayer Money For Politicians -- Aaron "A.J." James, who directs Voters' Outreach of America, and Diane Burns -- were also paid by Sproul to get as many signatures as possible for Nader.

Now the real question. Who is paying Sproul and funding his national voter fraud efforts?

According to KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, "The company has been largely, if not entirely funded, by the Republican National Committee."

This help wanted ad for Voters Outreach of America says "Paid for by the Republican National Committee" too.

They've also received almost a half a million dollars from the RNC:


SPROUL & ASSOCIATES,INC $160,001 8/25/2004 POLITICAL CONSULTING

SPROUL & ASSOCIATES,INC $27,916 8/13/2004 POLITICAL CONSULTING

SPROUL & ASSOCIATES,INC $99,135 8/11/2004 POLITICAL CONSULTING

SPROUL & ASSOCIATES,INC $181,905 8/4/2004 POLITICAL CONSULTING

SPROUL & ASSOCIATES,INC $20,000 7/14/2004 POLITICAL CONSULTING


posted by Stuart_R at 7:33 AM on October 13, 2004


The time for being sensible is past.

Agreed. The time for posting allegations and witty one-liners on the internets is at hand.
posted by loquax at 7:35 AM on October 13, 2004


Put your money where your mouths are: buy guns.

...and not handguns -- you want something that can kill at a reasonable distance, possibly with a shotgun as backup for more close-in work (I'd personally go for an "entry" shotgun, as they'll be shorter than a sporting arm, with better grips. Yes, you can legally buy short shotguns if you fill out the paperwork).

Avoid the temptation to just buy the biggest most bad-ass gun you can find. Controllability is important and you don't need your bullets to go through anybody; it's more important that you hit what you're aiming at.
posted by aramaic at 8:10 AM on October 13, 2004


Janklow criticizes GOP vote effort

Former U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow broke his months-long silence Tuesday and broke - or at least bent - Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment not to speak ill of fellow Republicans.

The former South Dakota attorney general, governor and congressman criticized the GOP's Victory operation, saying it has introduced scandal into an otherwise honest voting system by breaking election rules.

"These people are cheating," he said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

"When you tamper with it, you cheat the system. And cheating in elections is the worst form of cancer because it's uncontrollable."

The Victory program is funded in part by the national Republican Party and run by the state party to help candidates.

posted by Stuart_R at 8:13 AM on October 13, 2004


The time for posting allegations and witty one-liners on the internets is at hand.

It is? Great...

Oy. Retract your claws, Sidhedevil. I didn't get the link from your post (which I just noticed)

Not a huge thing, but... how about reading the thread before posting your additional links?

posted by soyjoy at 8:16 AM on October 13, 2004


Wow. This all makes me love living in Canada even more.
posted by dazed_one at 8:45 AM on October 13, 2004


Oh how I wish that at that Town Hall meeting someone had asked, "President Bush, you've mentioned the "free elections" in Iraq many times in recent months. Why do you feel Iraqis deserve to live in a true democracy while ignoring the fact that elections in America are a joke and a fraud? What are you doing to ensure that no voter is left behind?"
posted by dobbs at 8:48 AM on October 13, 2004


i wonder if this is s.o.p. for the republicans in the karl rove-tom delay era of mainstream republicanism: a dear friend of mine from south carolina told me that she'd heard reports of bush-backing republicans who were working at the polls tearing up votes for mccain during the vile 2000 republican primary in that state.

before loquax has a conniption, let me point out that i was never able to get that substantiated.

still, it makes one wonder.

but since i'm trying to be a bush supporter for one day, just to see what it's like, let me say this: the story reported here is probably untrue, and, even if it is true, it doesn't matter b/c a democrat once did or might have done or could possibly one day do something just as bad, and pres. george w. bush is the only person who can keep america safe, so we have to do whatever it takes to get him elected.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:07 AM on October 13, 2004


If you can't beat 'em, enjoin 'em.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:13 AM on October 13, 2004


Republicans overtake Democrats in Nevada voter registrations.
posted by Espoo2 at 9:19 AM on October 13, 2004


The thread title sums it up perfectly, just disgusting. It's often said that one effect of this game playing is to turn off voters who won't vote because they believe the system is fixed. For me, it only reinforces the feeling that we must get out the vote. The more people that vote, the less effect these partisan games will have in the election result.

Meanwhile, where is Kerry. If he passes up the opportunity tonight to comment on this crime, if he and the party don't do everything possible to undo this, it will be 2000 all over again. And it will keep happening every 4 years. This has to be stopped now.
posted by Outlawyr at 9:33 AM on October 13, 2004


Thanks, soyjoy. I was going to tell dhoyt that the point of my post wasn't "hey, dude, you poached my link" but rather "hey, dude, you didn't read my comment at all."

That especially annoyed me given dhoyt's recent magisterial pronouncements about how "nobody says" x and "everybody says" y in MeFi comments. How would you know what people say if you don't read the comments? And how can you have any pudding if you don't read the comments?

As for the "open primaries" thing--closed primaries exemplify everything I hate about the current US political system. The argument in their favor--"It's a party picking its nominee"--doesn't count for a hill of beans as far as I'm concerned.

Although I suppose there would be, and are, people who would "game" open primaries by registering as unaffiliated or independent voters in spite of a strong party loyalty and then voting for the "weaker" candidate of the party they oppose, I think that every legitimately unaffiliated or independent voter should be entitled to take part in the entire electoral process. And since we can't determine who's legitimately unaffiliated and who's a secret freep or DU plant, we'd just have to accept that degree of noise in the system.

One of the favorite votes I ever cast in my life was my vote for John McCain in the 2000 Republican primary. Though I don't agree with McCain on many issues, he seemed like the candidate with the most personal integrity in the race for either party nomination.

A system that would have insisted that I swear to a false allegiance to a "us v. them" mentality with which I disagree profoundly in order to cast a vote in which I believed so strongly would have struck me as profoundly corrupt. I'm glad we don't have that in Massachusetts, where almost half of all voters register as unaffiliated. (And this is why we have Democratic senators and a Republican governor--because the people who actually decide the elections here are people who vote for candidates on their merits.)

The thing that scared me the most about that Michigan ballot wasn't the hideously poor design, which seemed bound and determined to thwart people's right to vote for the candidate of their choice, but the "vote for all the candidates of my party, as represented by this cute logo" section. How is that "voting" in any meaningful sense of the word? It's the intellectual equivalent of choosing to shout "tastes great" or "less filling" as far as I'm concerned.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:57 AM on October 13, 2004


I registered for my first election at college, at a table in front of the student union. The registration drive was being run by a student organization that was strongly identified with the left, and with Democratic causes. I remember telling the person at the table that it was pretty cool they were registering voters who might disagree with them.

It was a friendly conversation, but when I got to the voting booth I found that my registration had not been submitted. The Democratic and Republican observers for the precinct were present, though, and after talking with me and checking my ID, they conferred and allowed me to vote anyway.

I'm just saying: there has never been a perfect election -- never -- in the history of this country. Human actors make mistakes and commit crimes, and sometimes human actors fix things, too. I think this is a serious issue that should be investigated and, if possible, prosecuted. But it doesn't mean that democracy has collapsed.
posted by coelecanth at 10:15 AM on October 13, 2004


Coelecanth: I hope to god you laid the smack down on those bastards afterwards.
posted by aramaic at 10:20 AM on October 13, 2004


Nah. I couldn't have proved anything and in the end I got to vote. I learned one lesson about a very low kind of partisanship, and another lesson about the highest form of it: I had no idea that the precinct observers could do anything like that, but it was as if they were jointly running the process.
posted by coelecanth at 10:28 AM on October 13, 2004


I was going to tell dhoyt that the point of my post wasn't "hey, dude, you poached my link" but rather "hey, dude, you didn't read my comment at all."

Look, the thread is/was massive and I'm not going to catch every link therein, so relax. I may have glanced your comment but not clicked the link. I don't think that's uncommon practice in a particularly "busy" thread. You can put the sanctimony away.

In any case, here's a bit on the Democratic effort to keep Nader from the ballot, and the systematic effort to disqualify military absentee voters in 2000.

It happens across the board folks. You're living a fantasy if you see the world as one party good/other party bad.
posted by dhoyt at 11:08 AM on October 13, 2004


Coelecanth, did the Democrats who registered at that table have their registrations submitted? I ask because student "get out the vote" groups have been notoriously disorganized in the past, and may have been simply lame, rather than partisan.

dhoyt, you've got a heck of a nerve castigating anyone else for sanctimony at the moment, given your pious preaching about how terrible and awful the "groupthink" around here is.

Also, both of your links, despite what the text says, lead to the same unfounded allegation by a Congressman who reported some hearsay about a purported memo and the contents that might be in it.

I've got no brief for the Democrats--I don't believe in either flavor of this shit. But the scrambling to "find something bad the other side might have done" instead of confronting the issue seems lame in the extreme.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:34 AM on October 13, 2004


dhoyt - your links come from Chairman Bob Stump (R-AZ) - hardly a non-partisan person. If Nader doesn't have the minimum number of signatures to qualify to be on the ballot, why bend the rules for him? As for the military votes, the system was messed up, and the rules were convoluted. But we play by the rules here in the US, and if you didn't mail the ballot in on time, sorry, no dice. Just like if I showed up one day after to vote, my vote wouldn't be legal. Luckily, the overseas and military voting systems have been improved for this go-around. Not to get all "daily kos-ed" here, but there is a Voter Registration Fraud Clearinghouse set up on the wiki.
posted by plemeljr at 11:37 AM on October 13, 2004


Of course, I should have said that if somebody destroyed Coelecanth's voter registration paperwork because they were rooting for the other team, that is an outrage.

And if, as happened at my very expensive college, somebody lost a big ol' stack of voter registrations in the dining hall or somewhere, that's also an outrage. But not the same outrage.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:38 AM on October 13, 2004


But the scrambling to "find something bad the other side might have done" instead of confronting

Confronting?
In what way am I supposed to be "confronting the issue"? By typing my outrage on an internet message board? The issue is wrong and it sucks. In response to the predicably dopey "Dude your country is fux0red" and "Dude, neo-cons are evil" comments, I posted links of similar occurrences on both sides of the aisle. And I need not "scramble" to find examples--the entire 20th century had plenty of examples of voter intimidation and fraud on behalf of Democrats. This isn't news.

Funny how when someone makes a post criticizing Islamic terrorists, people are quick to riposte about the evils of American military. Guess they don't want to "confront" the problem of MidEast terror because they're too busy "finding something bad our side might have done". Etc.
posted by dhoyt at 11:57 AM on October 13, 2004


The second link was supposed to be here.

Nader: This summer, swarms of Democratic Party lawyers, propagandists, harassers and assorted operatives have been conducting an unsavory war against my campaign's effort to secure a spot on the presidential ballots in various states.
posted by dhoyt at 12:06 PM on October 13, 2004


Sidhedevil, I couldn't possibly say whether it was mistake or malice. I wasn't trying to make a point about moral equivalence, really; I was just trying to say that the system isn't perfect, and that <rumsfeld>an increasing awareness of systemic flaws, is not the same as an awareness that the system is increasingly flawed</rumsfeld> -- which I do not believe to be the case.
posted by coelecanth at 12:12 PM on October 13, 2004


It's only fair to post equally appalling allegations about Dems.

The U.S. Justice Department and state police are investigating widespread allegations of criminal vote fraud in Florida, days before the state closes registration for the presidential election.

...

A field director for one of the many national partisan organizations trying to drum up votes in Florida admits to routine efforts to rig the outcome. They include submitting thousands of invalid voter registration cards, as well as failing to turn in boxes of cards filled out to register Republicans.

posted by odin53 at 12:27 PM on October 13, 2004


our country is coming apart at the seams.
posted by Espoo2 at 12:29 PM on October 13, 2004


That's because the religious right has kidnapped God and put him in a secret soundproofed room somewhere in the deepest bowels of Lynchburg, Virginia.
posted by troutfishing at 12:33 PM on October 13, 2004


If Bush wins, and there's ANY serious question about the legality, I want revolution in the streets. Will you guys promise?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:08 PM on October 13, 2004


the entire 20th century had plenty of examples of voter intimidation and fraud on behalf of Democrats. This isn't news.

actually, i'd love to see some examples of voter intimidation by the democrats. i'm guessing that if there is any, it was committed by the dixiecrats before and during the civil rights movement. in any event, i'd be most appreciative if you could find examples of voter intimidation on the part of the modern democratic party that match modern-day republican efforts: e.g. police "checkpoints", mass mailings to minority communities warning of possible arrests, sending a mob to disrupt vote counting, etc.

It's only fair to post equally appalling allegations

i couldn't find anything in your article that ties acorn to the dnc; the article linked to in this post ties the nevada group to the rnc, albeit with just one unsubstantiated sentence.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:14 PM on October 13, 2004


Some voter registration application forms are completely bogus. Others belong to legitimate voters, who have had one or two facts changed that could affect their registration when they show up at the polls November 2nd. Tom Stanislawski registered to vote six years ago. But this summer, someone signed him up again and changed his party affiliation. "My concern would be I'd walk in November 2nd and be unable to vote," he said.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:24 PM on October 13, 2004


My link was from Denver, don't see any party behind it. Just thought it was scary that folks' Party affiliations were being changed.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:26 PM on October 13, 2004


This election just keeps getting more interesting, Milwaukee mayor (D) requests more ballots for the county, while County Exec (R) balks at the request
posted by drezdn at 1:31 PM on October 13, 2004


Just thought it was scary that folks' Party affiliations were being changed.

there are allegations of that in the story odin linked to also: black voters being re-registered as republicans. i don't understand how that helps accomplish anything for whichever group is behind the unauthorized change.

In what way am I supposed to be "confronting the issue"?

looking back, this is probably the most depressing thing in this thread. because part of me agrees with what i think is the sentiment behind it (please correct me if i'm wrong, dhoyt): what can we do to confront this issue? i have enough trouble living from paycheck to paycheck, let alone confronting huge issues like this.

i believe sidhedevil once linked to a site for an organization that helps monitor the election and voter registration process. but can the few dollars i kick their way really make a difference?

i don't know about others, but i'm starting to get truly and intensely scared about what's going to happen in the u.s. this november. i'm no gun nut or survivalist, but i'm starting to think seriously about stockpiling canned goods, water, candles, matches, and batteries.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:47 PM on October 13, 2004


God. I posted a few weeks back that I wasn't sure whether to settle in with a bag of popcorn or a bottle of cyanide. I'm leaning towards the cyanide at this point.

I don't want to hear one single American Mefite, not one, say after this unholy election 'I didn't bother to vote, what's the point.'

And I hate to say it, but all this makes me love the Canadian system more and more. You vote for your local representative to Parliament-- no voter affiliation crap-- and you make your mark with a pencil on a piece of paper. These are then counted quickly and efficiently by real human beings. I know I'm not the first to say it, but it all seems real logical and usable to me.

All I want for Christmas and my birthday this year is to see Kerry's inaugural address, mmmkay? I know he's not perfect, but Jesus. The thought of four more years of Bush puts knots in my stomach.
posted by jokeefe at 1:57 PM on October 13, 2004


Odin, your link accuses the private organization ACORN of pro-Democrat voter fraud, and unknown persons or persons of pro-Republican voter fraud.

Interesting, but not exactly relevant to the original post, which talks about allegations against an organization employed and paid by the Republican National Committee itself.

I am willing to believe that there are lots of private organizations who screw up voter registrations, either out of incompetence or malice. And I am willing to believe that it's posssible that the Democratic National Committee might have employed and paid an organization now being accused of systematic voter fraud.

However, right now, the only national Party committee being accused of having employed and paid an organization now being accused of systematic voter fraud is the Republican National Committee.

Just sayin'.

And dhoyt, there are lots of ways to confront the issue, from calling your local Election Commission to making contributions to organizations supporting election reform to just plain ignoring it. Digging up random allegations against "the other guy" seems like a particularly childish way to confront the issue, though.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:01 PM on October 13, 2004


If anyone wants some additional information, why not look at some recent links from Daily Kos:

RNC funds voter supression efforts

The smoking gun on voter registration fraud: Nathan Sproul

Thousands of Nevada Dem Voter Registrations Destroyed by Repugs

Oregon Secretary of State Reveals Repug Fraud there in News Conference Tonight
posted by mooncrow at 2:07 PM on October 13, 2004


company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.

Bush-Cheney '04 has created a hotline for victims of voter intimidation to report what happened. The hotline, 1-888-303-7125, will begin operation

i don't understand how that helps accomplish anything for whichever group is behind the unauthorized change.
It could have changed their vote in the Primary Elections since they are done by Party.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:09 PM on October 13, 2004


no voter affiliation crap
fyi:) - One can have no Party affiliation to vote in the US. When signing up, not quite sure because I have not seen the form for some time.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:18 PM on October 13, 2004


In any case, here's a bit on the Democratic effort to keep Nader from the ballot, and the systematic effort to disqualify military absentee voters in 2000.

weak sauce. both links go to the veterans.house.gov press release from Bob Stump, which is very misleading.


Florida election officials, facing intense GOP pressure to accept military votes, counted hundreds of such ballots that failed to comply with state laws.


Bush picked up 176 net votes in the stuffing, mainly when boards agreed to ignore missing postmarks or missing absentee applications, which are required by Florida law ... Without his Thanksgiving stuffing, Bush would have fallen behind for the first time in the deadlock. Gore would have had a lead of 22 votes – a lead that could have changed the entire public relations dynamic.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:24 PM on October 13, 2004


lord wolf: what can we do to confront this issue?

Hm. Big rocks and RNC plateglass come together in my mind... Only takes a second. Hell, it's way faster than the voter registration process!
posted by kaibutsu at 2:24 PM on October 13, 2004


Can we please not get into a thing where we start posting links from Daily Kos or DU or LGF or freep or any of these other admittedly partisan sites as though they were effective tools of argument?

Please.

Re: party affiliations and US voter registration: Every state allows voters to register without specifying a party affiliation. However, some states have "closed primaries"--if you want to vote in, for example, the Libertarian Party primary, you have to be a registered Libertarian.

Does this clear up the confusion about this for the folks who haven't grown up with the admittedly arcane US electoral system? If not, I recommend this link.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:29 PM on October 13, 2004


Funny, I thought this was the United States of America I lived in, not a totalitarian Soviet Union or WWII Germany.

What in the fuck is happening to our country? Thugs are trying to subvert our democratic process by hook or by crook. It looks like Iraq will have a more legitimate election than we will (so long as the right man "wins" there and here.

What the GOP needs is a serious wake up call. A landslide defeat, a frigging stomping by everyone not being paid to be a GOP stooge.

Vote! Get everyone you know to vote. Take part or they win without even a fight.
posted by fenriq at 2:59 PM on October 13, 2004


Vote! Get everyone you know to vote. Take part or they win without even a fight.

What he said. But remind everyone you know who's a new voter to check with their local elections board to make sure they're all set--get them the url or phone number if you have to. Many new voters signed up this year, and they must be allowed and encouraged to vote, or we've lost them forever to the process, no matter who they vote for.
posted by amberglow at 3:04 PM on October 13, 2004


WHY on earth, WHY should one write his/her affilitation (rep/dem/lib,whatever) on the registration module ? It's evident even to the most stupid person on earth that vote MUST be secret, otherwise the oppositor will do anything to prevent you from voting. That's a valid consideration also for registration, as we are seeing right now before our eyes.

This reason alone is enough to forget about electronic voting as it relatively easier to track down who voted who with computers .

Just writing that you're indipendant doesn't assure that the voting registration will not be shredded, as indipendent=potential enemy.

Question for U.S. voting expert: is indicating the affilitation _always_ mandatory by law ? If it is, you live in a country that needs to be much less naive about politics and get some serious voting system. If it is not mandatory by law, then just don't write the affilitation !
posted by elpapacito at 3:06 PM on October 13, 2004


It's on MSNBC right now--Olberman's show. I'll post a transcript later.
posted by amberglow at 3:16 PM on October 13, 2004


Elpapacito, you need to read the link I posted above. It will answer your questions.

Voters who choose to specify a party affiliation have that affiliation included in their listing on their community's electoral rolls.

There's no way, as far as I know, to track down which individual voted for which candidate with existing electronic voting systems. People enter the polling place and give their names; the poll workers determine that the person appears on the list of eligible registered voters; then the person goes over to the voting machines and casts his or her vote.

Unless one lived in a community so small that only one person at a time was using the voting machine (which would be a very small community indeed--smaller than the town of 2,000 in which I grew up) there would be no way of tracking which person had cast which vote.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:19 PM on October 13, 2004


aramaic - I was talking with a friend about the remote chance of isolated pockets of violence immediately after the election due to voting fraud and she said that a civil war in the U.S. is no longer possible - the one in 1860 was divided along geographic lines whereas now we're divided evenly everywhere. At whom would you point your guns?
posted by stevis at 3:28 PM on October 13, 2004


Besides the criminal aspect here, the worse mistake was guessing one's vote by a Party affiliation. Damn the folks walking around with a crystal ball in their pocket - they never have the correct lotto #s for me.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:43 PM on October 13, 2004


aramaic - I was talking with a friend about the remote chance of isolated pockets of violence immediately after the election due to voting fraud and she said that a civil war in the U.S. is no longer possible - the one in 1860 was divided along geographic lines whereas now we're divided evenly everywhere. At whom would you point your guns?

I think it would be those willing to accept the vast government corruption versus those who do not. Or those who do not versus the VAST GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION.

If there were to be a civil war, I don't think it would be dems v. repubs. I think it would be the people v. the police state.... what some would argue is the real reason for 'homeland security'.... to quell the uprisings when we tire of all the crap.
posted by Espoo2 at 4:02 PM on October 13, 2004


Interesting piece on Sproul and Associates from earlier this month in Oregon.

The last paragraph points out that if someone can be shown not to have turned in voter registration paperwork, fines beginning at $75 per item could be levied.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:16 PM on October 13, 2004


elpapacito, the thing you're probably having trouble figuring out is how party nominations work in the US.

In most places in the world, party nominations are up to the party membership or the party leadership. That is, the name that appears by a party name or party label on the ballot is decided by the formal party membership, or the party leadership, or some combination of both.

This is not true in the US.

Party nominations in (most of) the US are, as a matter of law, determined by mass elections. Everyone who says "I am a Republican" gets to vote for who the Republican nominee for any given office will be. This is a "primary election."

You do not need to be a formal or dues-paying member of the party. You do not need to be a party leader. You are free to hold any set of political views you desire, including views diametrically opposed to those espoused by the party organization.

You need merely declare that you are a Republican. In some states, you don't even have to do that.

The party organization has no say in the outcome, beyond having votes in the primary like anyone else.

Party leaders have no say in the outcome, beyond having votes in the primary like anyone else.

Neither the party organization nor party leaders have any meaningful power to overturn the decision of the primary. So long as I win the primary, I am the official nominee of the party, and there's not a fuckin' thing the party can do about it. Even if I'm running on a platform of mass nationalization of property, ruthless atheism, and forced gay sez, so long as I won the primary, I *am* the Republican nominee. Occasionally this process throws out really repulsive candidates like David Duke or James Hart.

In this environment, all that party registration does is decide which party primary you vote in. That's it. It's only there to be sure that you vote in only one primary and are handed the correct ballot.

You're entirely free to register with no affiliation. Then you wouldn't get to vote in any primary, if your state had closed primaries.

Personally, I'd prefer to ditch the whole primary(/caucus) scheme and let parties nominate people however they see fit. If the Democrats want to nominate the winner of the set of gladiatorial games or a hollerin' contest or the girl with the biggest tits, that should be their business.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:25 PM on October 13, 2004


At whom would you point your guns?

It will happen in the form of riots; violence will be directed at neighbors, at local businesses, basically at everyone who isn't the problem. Sad, but this is what will happen. People take to the streets when all other methods of persuasion have failed. It's the gesture of those who have nowhere else to turn.

The people most directly responsible for this country going to hell will be so insulated and protected that we'll never get to them. And this doesn't address the systemic nature of the true problem: greed & selfishness, mass consumerism, ignorance, laziness, disassociation, anger... these things won't be solved by "taking out" the big guys. Like a terrorist regime, there will be plenty of others to take Ken Lay or G. Bush's place just for the chance of becoming so fabulously wealthy that they can finally let themselves be "happy".
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:31 PM on October 13, 2004


It will happen in the form of riots...
There will be big trouble at many polling places, if people aren't allowed to cast their votes, and then enormous court trouble when all those provisional ballots are fought over.
posted by amberglow at 4:39 PM on October 13, 2004


ROU_Xenophobe, good overview, but you left out the issue of signatures.

In many state primaries and elections, all candidates wanting to be represented on the ballot has to present a certain number of signatures from registered voters to the state's Election Commission before he or she can be certified as an eligible candidate.

In some states, all that is necessary for candidates to be included on the ballot is the formal nomination of a political party that is registered with the state's Election Commission.

Every state has different laws that govern who is included on a ballot. These laws have bedeviled the Nader campaign this year; in some states, he is appearing on the ballot as the Reform Party candidate, while in other states, the Reform Party refused to endorse him; in some states he submitted enough signatures to qualify as an independent candidate, while in other states, his signature drives fell short.

It's quite a mess.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:49 PM on October 13, 2004


Sorry, I got here as quick as I could...

Hey, lay off loquax, you guys.
posted by jaronson at 4:59 PM on October 13, 2004


Sidhedevil: thanks for posting that interesting faq.

So I downloaded National Voting Registration Form [PDF] and started examining it. Two things made my jaw drop in astonishment

1. the mere presence of an an "affiliation" field, which is a kind of request "who are you going to vote" ? While it's not a literal request to disclose the party you're going to vote to, it's quite evident that (chances are) you're going to vote for your affiliated party ; which leads to the possibility somebody will shred your request to prevent you from voting.

Further reading shows that one does NOT need to disclose party affiliation for National Presidential Election (or to say the least, it is NOT explicitly written that one must), but more then a few States requires disclosure of affiliation if one wants to vote in X party's Primary Election, caucus or convention. I don't really understand why..

2. the ethnicity field: if one is citizen of U.S. who cares about his ethnical backgroud ?

Further reading shows that one is NOT required by every state to indicate it, but some do. Again, I don't get why..

On preview: Rou_xeno:

Thanks for the additional explanation. Unfortunately it seems the presence of party indication on registration paper may trigger extreme reactions in extremists, which is despicable, but more then a simple inconvenience ; I guess a separate registration form could prevent the problem in next elections.

As for the ditching of last-hour-party-supporters vote and letting each party choose the candidates by internal process (by individual vote or acclamation or whatever) ..I generally agree with the concept, but I see a danger in the formation of strong internal currents or a nomenklatura as they may as well decide to present only their candidates, regardless of any factual dissent in the party. I think that an external entity should keep track of party internal voting rights. Quite a problem as giving this tracking job to a private entity could be as dangerous as giving it to a govt entity.
posted by elpapacito at 5:16 PM on October 13, 2004


Elpapacito, US polls can't, by law, be staffed with volunteer workers from only one political party. The political parties (at least the "big two" Democratic and Republican) are entitled by law to various points of oversight in the electoral process.

The reason some states have what are called "closed primaries" is that the idea in those cases is that the political party only wants the opinions of its party loyalists, not every random passerby, on whom its nominees should be. I don't agree with it either, but it is logically consistent.

The state I live in doesn't ask for one's ethnic affiliation. However, some states do so in order to have a broad sense of whether members of certain ethnic groups are being discouraged from registering to vote. This has been a big problem in the United States in the past.

My assumption, based on what is on the form, is that the Federal Elections Commission monitors whether or not the demographics of registered voters corresponds roughly with the demographics of a state's residents, and if not, they investigate.

The only thing I can tell you about your conviction that someone might destroy voter registrations for those of an opposing party is that it doesn't usually happen, and when it appears to have happened, there's an enormous outcry. Tampering with voter registrations is also a crime, and anyone shown to have tampered is subject to criminal and civil consequences.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:35 PM on October 13, 2004


"The people most directly responsible for this country going to hell will be so insulated and protected that we'll never get to them."

This is precisely why pretty much any "revolution" against an entrenched state requires the rebellion and participation of some part of the military, usually a group of pretty highly-placed officers - a top level or "palace" coup - who have troops under their command who have loyalty to them personally to provide some muscle where it's needed. A solid chunk of the military must turn against the rulers to get past that insulation. Remember that George Washington was an officer in His Majesty's Royal Army for many years before he led the American Army of the Revolution, for instance!

I don't think such a think would happen all at once... but it definitely would start with riots. There won't be a chance of the military rebelling until enough bad things happen to change their minds.

Anyway I'm getting off topic, sorry to derail a bit. I think the situation is a lousy mess, and I hope things don't get out of hand come election day.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:38 PM on October 13, 2004


it's quite evident that (chances are) you're going to vote for your affiliated party

You'd be surprised. A significant fraction of people won't, at least for one office or another. I'd have to go look it up, but it should be around a third.

Ya gotta remember that in US elections, there's no one vote. You're voting on somewhere between 30 and 100+ offices. Lots of people vote for one party for one office, and another party for another.

more then a few States requires disclosure of affiliation if one wants to vote in X party's Primary Election, caucus or convention. I don't really understand why

The idea is that Republicans shouldn't be voting for the Democratic nominee for a given election.

they may as well decide to present only their candidates, regardless of any factual dissent in the party

Let them. The people they're screwing are free to leave and form their own party.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:53 PM on October 13, 2004


It was just on CNN (8am). This isn't going away.
posted by amberglow at 5:07 AM on October 14, 2004


La Times today: GOP Consulting Firm Investigated for Voter Fraud Claims
 
Oregon's attorney general opened a criminal investigation Wednesday into allegations that Democratic voter registration forms were destroyed or discarded by a political consulting firm working for the Republican National Committee.

The allegations involve a voter registration drive conducted by Sproul & Associates, a Phoenix-based consulting organization that was hired by the RNC earlier this year and is headed up by the former executive director of the Arizona Republican Committee, Nathan Sproul.

Sproul has become entangled in controversial allegations in at least three states where his company was conducting registration drives paid for by the RNC.

RNC officials acknowledged Wednesday that Sproul was paid to conduct the registrations.
But they characterized the controversy as a Democratic "ploy" and charged that supporters of Sen. John F. Kerry had engaged in rampant voter fraud that had gained less attention.

posted by amberglow at 10:54 AM on October 14, 2004


Well, how 'bout some good news for a change. Ohio Secretary of State, Ken "Paper Stock Police" Blackwell has just had his provisional balloting restrictions overthrown by a federal judge.
posted by Otis at 12:58 PM on October 14, 2004


more from Kos NEVADA DEMOCRATIC PARTY FILES LAWSUIT
Nevada State Democratic Party files lawsuit. NSDP filed a lawsuit near the close of business on Wednesday, October 13.

The suit filed by the Party seeks to allow Larry Lomax, the Clark Counter Registrar of Voters, to re-open voter registration to victims of Voters Outreach of America.

The suit alleges the company violated four Nevada laws:
NRS 293.5045 (b) whichprohibits anyone engaging in the registration of voters from taking anyaction to discourage an applicant from registering to vote.
NRS 293.805 which prohibitscompanies from paying individuals based on the number of forms theysubmit. Voters Outreach of America deducted employee pay if theyregistered Democrats to vote.
NRS 293.505 (12) whichprecludes the alteration or defacing of a voter registration applicationthat has been signed by a registrant.
NRS 293.710 (d) because the actof destroying completed Democratic voter registration forms constitutesvoter intimidation and voter fraud.

It is difficult to know how many people may have been victimized by this company. Voters Outreach of America was in business for at least 50 days, and it is unknown how many Democratic voter registrations were destroyed during that period. It is also unknown how many people were turned away in malls and other public venues where the company registered voters.

We are waiting for a hearing.

Additionally, in Washoe County the voter Registrar has called for an investigation into alleged widespread voter registration fraud by Republican front groups.


and from SF Gate: The Nevada Democratic Party has sued to extend the state's voter registration deadline, charging that a Republican-funded group destroyed Democratic registration forms in the presidential battleground state.

The lawsuit, due for a hearing Friday morning in Clark County District Court, asks county Registrar Larry Lomax to reopen registration for people who say they filled out voter registration forms that were not submitted before Tuesday's deadline.

posted by amberglow at 4:54 PM on October 14, 2004


Krugman today in the NYT: ... The accusations are backed by physical evidence and appear credible. Officials have begun a criminal investigation into reports of similar actions by Sproul in Oregon.

Republicans claim, of course, that they did nothing wrong - and that besides, Democrats do it, too. But there haven't been any comparably credible accusations against Democratic voter-registration organizations. And there is a pattern of Republican efforts to disenfranchise Democrats, by any means possible.

Some of these, like the actions reported in Nevada, involve dirty tricks. ...

posted by amberglow at 5:16 AM on October 15, 2004


DENIED: District Judge Valerie Adair denied a request by the Democratic Party that she order Clark County officials to reopen voter registration. Democrats contend a company linked to the Republican Party trashed voter registration documents completed by potential Democratic voters. The judge said there is no way to ensure those voters affected by the allegations would be the only ones to register if she granted the Democrats' request to reopen voter registration.

Bastards.
posted by amberglow at 9:55 PM on October 15, 2004


In the morning hearing on Friday, she acknowledged the evidence of widespread fraud and ordered the parties to come up with a procedure to allow those affected to reregister.

When they reconvened in the afternoon, however, she changed her tune and said that only two cases were conclusively proven so the allegations of a widespread problem were unsubstantiated. She then dismissed the case saying individual voters could bring their own suits (which would never be resolved by Nov. 2).

posted by amberglow at 6:06 AM on October 19, 2004


And now in Pennsylvania: An ostensibly nonpartisan voter registration drive in Western Pennsylvania has triggered accusations that workers were cheated out of wages and given instructions to avoid adding anyone to the voter rolls who might support the Democratic presidential nominee.
Sproul & Associates, a consulting firm based in Chandler, Ariz., hired to conduct the drive by the Republican National Committee, employed several hundred canvassers throughout the state to register new voters.

posted by amberglow at 8:14 PM on October 20, 2004


more shit in Ohio: Damschroder said there are two scams: The caller tells voters their precincts have changed or the caller offers to pick up an absentee-ballot application, deliver the ballot to the voter and return the completed ballot to the elections office.
posted by amberglow at 5:09 PM on October 22, 2004


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