Wisconsin Attorney General sues Elections Agency
September 11, 2008 12:49 PM   Subscribe

The Attorney General of Wisconsin, JB Van Hollen, is suing the state Elections Board to remove from voting rolls all voters whose registered names & addresses don't match the records at the Department of Transportation.

The Elections Board is required by law to check the information filed by new registrants against the information in the DOT database. The law does not specify what should be done when a mismatch is found. Van Hollen wants the Board to require all voters, both new and previously registered to cast a provisional ballot if there is a mismatch. Read the Elections Board's reponse (PDF).

The Elections Board had decided not to force existing voters to cast provisional ballots after finding that 20% of voter registrations had mismatching information, mostly due to typographical errors and variations in spelling. Some are saying this suit could turn Wisconsin into "the new Florida" in the upcoming election.

Other Wisconsin folks may remember Van Hollen from his instance during his campaign that there are active terrorist training camps in Wisconsin.
posted by echo target (103 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 


Remember when Kyle goes to see "The Passion of the Christ" at South Park Cinema and pukes all over himself in disgust and just sort of sits there in a numbed and catatonic state? Yeah, that's how I feel lately and that's how I expect to feel indefinitely. This decade is really turning out to be major bummer.
posted by milarepa at 1:06 PM on September 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


Just shoot me now.
posted by nax at 1:10 PM on September 11, 2008


A problem also too be noted. In a number of southern states, where republicans are getting rid of black voters, the only recourse for those former voters is to go to court. The problem is that the judges are all long-time Republican appointees so that the attempt for people to at last vote Democrat is a difficult task. We will have Florida etc all over again and if the race is close.....
posted by Postroad at 1:15 PM on September 11, 2008


This only occurs to this asshole 60 days before a close election?
posted by orthogonality at 1:16 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


When highly corrupt banana republics attempt to have a democratic election, monitors are sent to these countries to verify that it was conducted fairly. Have we finally reached a point where elections in the USA require that kind of oversight?
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:17 PM on September 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


America clearly needs help running its elections. I suggest you outsource to India.
posted by chunking express at 1:17 PM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Here's your September surprise. It'll be interesting to see what they come up with in October.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:18 PM on September 11, 2008


Wow, that's craven. Wow.

...and we all know how well database comparisons work, right? I'm known in MO by my full first name, the common shortened version, and a misspelling of my last name. My street address, despite being the name of a famous poet and only six letters long, is misspelled at least three different ways.

'Sfunny, rethuglicans always complain about how government doesn't do anything right, but they want to use those very errors to disenfranchise voters. Classy, you shitbags.
posted by notsnot at 1:18 PM on September 11, 2008


Sounds like a winning campaign strategy to me. The Republicans can't win if just anybody gets to vote. And winning is the only thing that counts, right?
posted by wendell at 1:19 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Republicans have pretty much been admitting that they can't win without cheating for some time now. See:

Haley Barbour, governor of Mississippi (and a Republican, naturally), is trying to hide a Senate race where a Democrat has a pretty good chance of winning at the bottom of the ballot. This is a violation of Mississippi state law (which requires all federal races to be above local races), and the Secretary of State has sent the governor a notice that the proposed ballot is illegal.

Michigan is planning on a similar purge.

What it comes down to is that more people voting is terrible for Republicans, so their primary tactic is voter suppression. They usually coach this in terms of "fighting voter fraud", but occasionally get as blatant as Gov Barbour.

Since Obama's plan centers around an active GotV effort, as well as expanding the number of people voting, we're seeing a more active attempt at vote suppression by the Republicans.

This is not limited to actual illegal activities, but includes the constant Republican talking point that political participation is a form of fascism. Obama is popular and gave his speech at a packed stadium? ZOMG, he's just like Hitler! People think Obama may be a good president and they're enthusiastic about him? ZOMG, they're new-wave cultist/brownshirts! Note that the essential message is that political participation is evil.
posted by sotonohito at 1:20 PM on September 11, 2008 [11 favorites]


Seems likely this will be attempted in Ohio as well as Michigan. "In Ohio, Doug Preisse, director of elections in Franklin County (around the city of Columbus) and the chair of the local GOP, told The Columbus Dispatch that he has not ruled out challenging voters before the election due to foreclosure-related address issues."
posted by well_balanced at 1:22 PM on September 11, 2008


Zamboni, we had reached that point in 2000.

But I raise the question again, if after all this, Senator Obama still wins, do you REALLY think Bush will hand him the keys to the White House in January? Do you REALLY think there is anyone left who'd want to make him and can do ir?
posted by wendell at 1:25 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Other Wisconsin folks may remember Van Hollen from his instance during his campaign that there are active terrorist training camps in Wisconsin.

And they're still operating, free from raids or arrest? Fire the Attorney General!
posted by rokusan at 1:26 PM on September 11, 2008


Have we finally At some point during the past 10 years, we reached a point where elections in the USA require that kind of oversight.

FTFY
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 1:26 PM on September 11, 2008


Perhaps Wisconsin, Michigan and Mississippi saw all the attention given to Florida and Ohio in the last two elections and thought "Hey, gimme a piece of that there pie!"
posted by mannequito at 1:26 PM on September 11, 2008


They are now doing openly what they were only able to accomplish in 2000 secretly. What do you think things will be like 10 years from now?
posted by euphorb at 1:26 PM on September 11, 2008


They can only steal. Grab, grab, grab. I love when they check my name when I'm voting. I just look at them and smile. I guess we, the people, the community organizers and middle-class, just have to make it as hard for them as possible by making sure our papers are correct and voting these crooks out off office. While we can still vote.
posted by Flex1970 at 1:26 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


It amazes me that there's never a political penalty to be paid for something as un-American as voter suppression.
posted by grouse at 1:27 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh cry me a river. You'd all be up in arms if the State's AG did not sue the election board because of some slap happy jury rigged electronic hanging chad thingee didn't go your way.
posted by Gungho at 1:28 PM on September 11, 2008


This is the second thing that Van Hollen has done that pissed me off. The first being issuing a legal opinion that absolves state and county jail workers from honoring DNR orders on an inmate's Living Will. Because, "they're not certified first responders." Yeah, thanks for trampling all over our rights jerk.

I certainly didn't vote for the guy.
posted by Sam.Burdick at 1:34 PM on September 11, 2008


At what point to do we say enough and resort to physical violence? It seems like these Republican bullies only understand violence so why not give them some?
posted by photoslob at 1:35 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh cry me a river.

Yeah, because fuck you know American voter turnout keeps dropping and who gives a shit anyway amirite? The only people who raise an objection to tactics like the AG's are clearly a bunch of Commie bastards because REAL Americans don't vote at all, and could give a flying fuck about voter disenfranchisement less than 60 days before a presidential election.

Rite? Amirite?
posted by rtha at 1:36 PM on September 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


It seems like these Republican bullies only understand violence so why not give them some?

Given the scope of Obama's registration drive and the (obviously) un-Republican demographic, I'm beginning to wonder if we're going to see some ugly scenes on election day.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 1:39 PM on September 11, 2008


Hah, this isn't even the wost yet. Check it out: Republicans are going though forclosure rolls, looking to remove anyone who lives at a home that's been foreclosed on, even though people often stay in homes for months after the foreclosure process starts (and some work out deals with the banks)
posted by delmoi at 1:40 PM on September 11, 2008


The best part is that the A.G. hasn't provided any evidence that using the larger list is a problem.

In Wisconsin, it's nice that we can register at the polls (having moved, I'm going to make a point of registering early though), but the poll workers always seem to make a mistake with the info they take down (for me, my middle initial).
posted by drezdn at 1:41 PM on September 11, 2008


Just out of interest, is there any statistical evidence that database errors occur disproportionately to Democrat voters? I agree that any attempt to disenfranchise is shameful, but this one seems a bit scattershot.
posted by athenian at 1:41 PM on September 11, 2008


Republicans are going though forclosure rolls, looking to remove anyone who lives at a home that's been foreclosed on.

How can they be sure those people aren't Republicans?
posted by drezdn at 1:44 PM on September 11, 2008


When highly corrupt banana republics attempt to have a democratic election, monitors are sent to these countries to verify that it was conducted fairly. Have we finally reached a point where elections in the USA require that kind of oversight?

We're past the point: International observers tried to get in to oversee elections in Ohio last time but they weren't allowed.

Oh cry me a river. You'd all be up in arms if the State's AG did not sue the election board because of some slap happy jury rigged electronic hanging chad thingee didn't go your way.

That's an extremely un-American sentiment there, comrade. Go spew your freedom-hating bile on the Rush Limp-baugh show, with all the other closet cases.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:44 PM on September 11, 2008


How can they be sure those people aren't Republicans?

Republicans would never get caught living in a house that was foreclosed on. (Well, unless they just forgot which house they happened to be living in at the time.)
posted by saulgoodman at 1:45 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just out of interest, is there any statistical evidence that database errors occur disproportionately to Democrat voters?

I think the thinking is something along the lines of Democrats tend to poor/younger/tend to move around more so their records are less likely to match the ones on file at the DMV (I know mine is now out of date).
posted by drezdn at 1:45 PM on September 11, 2008


don't know about wisconsin or ohio, but here in illinois, we just have to give the voter's name, not his address. kinda hard to check if they only have the voter's names.
posted by lester at 1:47 PM on September 11, 2008


Does anyone have examples of actual vote fraud done with false names or addresses? Recently, I mean. Maybe at some point in the past it made sense to fill up the rolls with names from the local cemetery, but if you really wanted to defraud a vote in the modern era, wouldn't you go for the vote-counting machines or some other technological weakness?
posted by echo target at 1:48 PM on September 11, 2008


I'm with you photoslob, all the way. Lets get the pipe swinging motherfuckers to bring the medieval ... that way lies madness. Everywhere is madness. Why not be in the front row?
posted by Jeremy at 1:48 PM on September 11, 2008


When highly corrupt banana republics attempt to have a democratic election, monitors are sent to these countries to verify that it was conducted fairly. Have we finally reached a point where elections in the USA require that kind of oversight?

We've been at that point for a while now, but no one would disrespect the American government in such a fashion to step in and save us from ourselves. Plus, most of the world is laughing at us as we languish because of the persona our government has created for us.

Ladies, Gentlemen, allow me to be the first to declare: We're fucked, we've been fucked, and we'll continue to be fucked barring some major re-alignment of almost every level of Global society.
posted by smackwich at 1:50 PM on September 11, 2008


What if you don't have a license?
posted by elle.jeezy at 1:50 PM on September 11, 2008


Perhaps a votesuppression or votersuppression tag? Sad to say, but this probably isn't the last of this sort of thing. Man we really need to enact some kind of "related" article thing, so that the related voter suppression stories in other states show up.
posted by cashman at 1:51 PM on September 11, 2008


At what point to do we say enough and resort to physical violence? It seems like these Republican bullies only understand violence so why not give them some?

Sounds good. If a revolt like this occurs, the first to suffer are people of color, then women, then children, then elderly, then white men, and then, last but not least, the rich. Look around the world. Look at Palestine. Then, if you want to serve the establishment a cold plate destruction, be my guest. Personally, I don't think we're even close to that point. I also think that we're so programmed in the states that we're probably going to die laughing, and while the bombs are dropping, someone, somewhere in Utah's going to be ordering Pizza Hut and watching a Lil Wayne video. And the pizza will come in under 30minutes! Get your papers right and vote.
posted by Flex1970 at 1:51 PM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is at least the third overtly, blatantly republican-engineered election in a row and, for the most part, everyone's pretty much ok with it. Stories like these could make the top headlines around the country, on TV, etc., and I still don't think many people would really care.
posted by treepour at 1:51 PM on September 11, 2008


It amazes me that there's never a political penalty to be paid for something as un-American as voter suppression.

The Republicans involved in these schemes are not much better than terrorists. Actually, they do a better job than terrorists, because they have the RNC machine behind them, and the false pretext of law to defend their actions. Seriously: These individuals are agents for the destruction of the country as a democracy, by gaming the system this way.

If people can't trust that their vote will be counted, there is no democracy. Democracy operates on trust and the sanctity of an individual's voice. Republicans responsible for these schemes are destroying America in the most literal and figurative senses.

Perhaps the consequences of deliberately undermining a democratic system in this way should be death. There are perhaps few, if any, crimes deserving of the death penalty, but this level of treason against the United States might be worth pursuing charges over.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:51 PM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


But I raise the question again, if after all this, Senator Obama still wins, do you REALLY think Bush will hand him the keys to the White House in January?

Not the W keys anyway.
posted by srboisvert at 1:55 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


As a student, I'm registered to vote where I live on campus (which is completely legal in Ohio at least, and I assumed in most other places) but that address doesn't match the one on my driver's license. I assume the same thing applies to a lot of Wisconsin students.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:59 PM on September 11, 2008


(... also, you don't need a driver's license to vote. So what's the deal?)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:01 PM on September 11, 2008


Just out of interest, is there any statistical evidence that database errors occur disproportionately to Democrat voters?
If your implying corruption, anyone who knows sql would manipulate it so that know one would know or find out its an 'error', its not hard to make it look real afterwards if you can get on a computer with access.
(unless there are secret backups of database).
Paule
posted by uni verse at 2:02 PM on September 11, 2008


I think the thinking is something along the lines of Democrats tend to poor/younger/tend to move around more so their records are less likely to match the ones on file at the DMV (I know mine is now out of date).

Actually, I'm betting the thinking here in Wisconsin is urban vs. rural. In Madison and Milwaukee, you're not likely to profess being a Republican for fear of being the only guy in the room with those views. Likewise, 10 miles out of town, the Pro-Life billboards are all over the place, and they apparently shoot anyone that looks foreign.

I can easily see voter registrations having a higher rate of error in highly populated areas versus having to register, say, the 200 people that live in the county and have lived there their entire lives. Particularly here in Madison, where a large proportion of our population belongs to the University, and it's anyone's guess how accurate that information is going to be.

If I had the time, and I could keep up the anger, I'd follow Van Hollen around yelling "Coward" whenever he showed up in public. *waves at FBI reading this post in the future*
posted by thanotopsis at 2:05 PM on September 11, 2008


Might as well jump.
posted by uncleozzy at 2:06 PM on September 11, 2008


As a student, I'm registered to vote where I live on campus (which is completely legal in Ohio at least, and I assumed in most other places)

It's legal everywhere. Doesn't stop republicans from putting out false stories that it's not, though.
posted by delmoi at 2:11 PM on September 11, 2008


Speaking of students:
Late last month, as a voter-registration drive by supporters of Senator Barack Obama was signing up thousands of students at Virginia Tech, the local registrar of elections issued two releases incorrectly suggesting a range of dire possibilities for students who registered to vote at their college.

The releases warned that such students could no longer be claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns, a statement the Internal Revenue Service says is incorrect, and could lose scholarships or coverage under their parents’ car and health insurance.

After some inquiries from students and parents, and more pointed questions from civil rights lawyers, the state board of elections said Friday that it was “modifying and clarifying” the state guidelines on which the county registrar had based his releases.
posted by rtha at 2:11 PM on September 11, 2008


I love that there are douchebags OK with this. Bet a Venn diagram showing, say, Cadillac Escalade ownership and getting a hard-on about voter intimidation would be a perfect circle.
posted by maxwelton at 2:12 PM on September 11, 2008


One of my favorite parts if the fact that "Even information from four of six Accountability Board members in the voter database failed to match DOT records." THE BOARD can't even pass this test he's proposing.
posted by inigo2 at 2:20 PM on September 11, 2008


Err... is the fact...
posted by inigo2 at 2:20 PM on September 11, 2008


At this point voting Republican is a severe and possibly irrevocable moral failing.
posted by plexi at 2:28 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Solon and Thanks writes "As a student, I'm registered to vote where I live on campus (which is completely legal in Ohio at least, and I assumed in most other places) but that address doesn't match the one on my driver's license. I assume the same thing applies to a lot of Wisconsin students."

Which is precisely the point of this: it necessarily targets younger or poorer or more transient voters, the very voters more likely to vote for Democrats. The long-established suburban home owner isn't being touched by this, and even if he is, he has more opportunity to correct it.

It's a cynical political ploy that targets Democrats demographically, quite similar to the way that supposedly "race-neutral" attacks on welfare and Head Start and universal health care and tough-on-crime legislation are racist "dog-whistles" that disproportionately target blacks and Hispanics.

And it's evidence of at least two more things: 1) that the Republican Party's hold on power is so tenuous that to keep it, they need to resort to voter suppression, and 2) that the Republicans are more than willing to resort to criminality to keep their power.

Which in a way, is good news: it means we're close to breaking their power, and it will become increasngly clear what kind of people the Republicans are.


sotonohito writes "Haley Barbour, governor of Mississippi (and a Republican, naturally), is trying to hide a Senate race where a Democrat has a pretty good chance of winning at the bottom of the ballot. This is a violation of Mississippi state law (which requires all federal races to be above local races), and the Secretary of State has sent the governor a notice that the proposed ballot is illegal."

Barbour isn't just any Republican, he's the former chair of the RNC. I've voted for Republicans before. And up until now, I hadn't ruled out voting for some down-ticket Republicans. But Haley Barbour's blatant ballot manipulation is the end for me. From here on out, I'll not vote for a Republican for any position if he or she won't condemn in writing what Barbour's trying to do.

In fact, I urge any American: write your local Republican office-holders, and ask them what they think of Barbour's crime. Get them on record either condemning Barbour, or overlooking a crime, or weaseling out.
posted by orthogonality at 2:29 PM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Why do you have to make it so damn complicated? Voting is a right, not a privilege. The default position should be to allow people to vote, and check for discrepancies afterwards.

The rest of the civilized world has figured this out. I've moved house and state as often as we've had elections here in Australia the last few years, and every time I've moved the government has sent me a form to change my electoral enrollment. The form even has a space for if you don't have</i an address - you can draw a diagram of the bridge you're camping under, or where you're boat is floating if you want.
posted by Jimbob at 2:31 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


We need poll watchers, most especially in areas with a large minority population and areas where the race is tight. Not only poll watchers, but poll watchers armed with cameras streaming live so that when, not if but when, their cameras are seized or destroyed the evidence is safe.

I'm hoping Obama is planning on getting watchers out there, because as Combustible Edison Lighthouse observed, its going to be ugly on election day.

athenian Well, you can make it less scattershot quite easily. Target primarily black zip codes, for example. During the Florida purges that's one of the approaches they took.

Also, the richer and whiter a person is the less likely they are to be harassed at the polls even if they are purged. A rich, old, white guy will get a provisional ballot, and it'll get counted, a poor black woman will be told that she can't vote and likely won't be offered even a provisional ballot; and that's assuming she bothers to show up after getting a letter from the AG telling her that she's improperly registered, emphasizing that voter fraud is a felony and if she's committing fraud she'll be arrested if she shows up to vote, etc. Even if she gets a provisional ballot the ones cast in "suspect" districts can be subjected to more scrutiny and flushed, while those cast in solid Republican districts can get fast tracked.

More to the point, Diebold is still, in the words of its CEO "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the [Republicans]." [1] Anywhere that Diebold voting machines are in use you can simply assume that they'll cheat in ways that benefit Republicans.

[1] The original quote ended "to the President next year", but as he was referring to Bush and the 2004 election, I think my generalization is fair.
posted by sotonohito at 2:32 PM on September 11, 2008


OK, this is bad. I don't want the upcoming election to hinge on voter suppression. I wanna do something about it. What can I do? I can double-check my own registration, sure, but that's a drop in the bucket, especially since I don't live in a swing state. "Bitch on the Internet and wait for the revolution" seems like a singularly ineffective strategy.

Are there groups fighting this that I can support financially or otherwise, particularly in the states likely to be most affected?
posted by doift at 2:37 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


What I can't get over is that election stations and voting rules are apparently operated by partisan officials with little oversight. Hello people! Is that common to every state and electoral area or does each jurisdiction make it up as they go along? As a non-American i'd really like to know what are the laws on these matters, they seem so disparate.
posted by binturong at 2:52 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


sotonohito writes "I'm hoping Obama is planning on getting watchers out there, because as Combustible Edison Lighthouse observed, its going to be ugly on election day."

He'll have lawyers (somewhere I have a white windbreaker with "Voter Protection" written across the back, that I snagged from the Kerry campaign). But almost all of those lawyers will be volunteers, many from out of state. They'll be assigned to polling places to help make sure voters can vote.

But there are lots of polling places. If you're a lawyer, consider taking four or five days off, to go to Ohio or Virginia or Colorado to volunteer for Obama as a Voter Protection lawyer.
posted by orthogonality at 2:52 PM on September 11, 2008


Meanwhile, in my little backwater...
posted by Thorzdad at 3:02 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


My sister reports from Chapel Hill that some of her friends who are legal citizens received pamphlets from some Republican-leaning organization telling them they cannot vote because they were not always citizens. Insane stuff going on.
posted by odinsdream at 3:04 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


She's informed the local Obama campaign office and they're looking into it, by the way.
posted by odinsdream at 3:08 PM on September 11, 2008


But I raise the question again, if after all this, Senator Obama still wins, do you REALLY think Bush will hand him the keys to the White House in January? Do you REALLY think there is anyone left who'd want to make him and can do ir?

I doubt that Bush is in the position to put up much resistance. In the last two years, the key players in his rise to power have ditched the sinking ship. He has only token support from congress, who have neither the will or the numbers to block certification of votes by the EC. The Supreme Court has repeatedly slapped his wrist in regards to his overreaching on executive power and is not going to support something as blatantly unconstitutional as extending his term. And while rank and file military may prefer McCain, they are stretched way too thin to actually do much more than gripe. And the guy looks tired, defeated, pathetic, and wishing he could escape back to his ranch at the first opportunity.

The stability of our government hinges on the basic fact that assholes like Rove, Abrams, and Carville are in it for the career. At worst, they spend 8 years sucking a celebrity salary from a think-tank or university in exchange for showing up weekly as a talking head to say, "I told you so." They may grumble, grumble and growl their eliminationist rhetoric but an actual revolution or civil war would jeopardize their nice fat and secure quality of life.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:11 PM on September 11, 2008


I doubt this action is based on any "Democrats are more likely to foreclose" scheme. I would guess it has something more to do with purging voter rolls where Democratic registration is strong and Republican registration is weak. It has also always been my understanding that Republicans fare better when voter turnout is low.
posted by Brocktoon at 3:13 PM on September 11, 2008


Bush doesn't want to stay in office any more than a dine-and-dash con-man wants to stay in a restaurant after dessert's been eaten.

The plate is cleaned, the marrow bones sucked dry, the table-cloth is ripped and covered in grease, and the silverware and candlesticks are in Bush's pockets. Last thing he wants to do is be sitting at the table when the check comes.
posted by orthogonality at 3:17 PM on September 11, 2008


Greg Palast has a large discussion of the various voter caging efforts all over the country here.
posted by benzenedream at 3:18 PM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


odinsdream - it should also be reported to her state's Secretary of State office, her Congressional representatives, and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. (Even in these post Al Gonzales times, there are still good, honorable people at the DoJ.
posted by rtha at 3:50 PM on September 11, 2008


Car ownership is the new land ownership, then?
posted by enn at 4:00 PM on September 11, 2008


orthogonality: The thing is, I think the waiter has left the check. The problem is, his friends managed to sneak out while he was at the cash register, leaving Bush with a red face and a worthless credit card.

It just remains to be seen if the restaurant of America eats the loss, or makes Bush wash dishes for the rest of the evening.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:24 PM on September 11, 2008


After some inquiries from students and parents, and more pointed questions from civil rights lawyers, the state board of elections said Friday that it was “modifying and clarifying” the state guidelines on which the county registrar had based his releases.
Why just "pointed questions"? Why not prosecution? Removal for malfeasance? Dereliction of duty?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:08 PM on September 11, 2008


In terms of targeting what's to stop the Michigan Republicans from taking their list and simply applying it selectively to whoever they want based on clothing, race, or gender? Or price of the house?

The whole system of having someone there who can point to people and say "harass them" is sickening and seemed designed for abuse.
posted by Wood at 5:11 PM on September 11, 2008


doift: OK, this is bad. I don't want the upcoming election to hinge on voter suppression. I wanna do something about it. What can I do? I can double-check my own registration, sure, but that's a drop in the bucket, especially since I don't live in a swing state. "Bitch on the Internet and wait for the revolution" seems like a singularly ineffective strategy.

Are there groups fighting this that I can support financially or otherwise, particularly in the states likely to be most affected?


I don't know any specifics, but I suppose Black Box Voting is a good general starting point for voter activism.
posted by PsychoKick at 5:14 PM on September 11, 2008



Another depressing thread on metafilter that I have studiously waded through. It is abundantly clear that I am a masochist.
posted by notreally at 6:21 PM on September 11, 2008


Leave it to the Republicans to find a political silver lining in chaos that is our current housing crisis, instigated or enabled, of course, but that old GOP stalwart Phil Gramm.
posted by hwestiii at 6:31 PM on September 11, 2008


If you're a lawyer, consider taking four or five days off, to go to Ohio or Virginia or Colorado to volunteer for Obama as a Voter Protection lawyer.
posted by orthogonality at 5:52 PM on September 11


Here. In any state, as far as I can tell. It also outlines state laws on early voting, absentee and provisional ballots, etc.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:35 PM on September 11, 2008


JB Van Hollen is a man with good honest values, what with being a Mason and all.

JB as Grand Master of Masons in Masonry in Wisconsin
posted by rough ashlar at 6:48 PM on September 11, 2008


orthogonality: The thing is, I think the waiter has left the check. The problem is, his friends managed to sneak out while he was at the cash register, leaving Bush with a red face and a worthless credit card.

No, he told them all to go home, and that he'd take care of the bill, but what he didn't mention is that he's broke and maxed out his credit cards, so he's planning a dine-and-dash.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:50 PM on September 11, 2008


I would just like to thank Kathleen Falk again for foisting this jackass on the state. For fuck's sake, what an egomaniac.
posted by aaronetc at 8:18 PM on September 11, 2008


I am registered to vote here in WI, but am a student from out of state. I have an out-of-state driver's license. Thus, the WI DOT will not have my name on record. What can I do to absolutely ensure that I will be able to vote? I do NOT want to miss out on this election.
posted by andythebean at 11:25 PM on September 11, 2008


So.. they're basically not even pretending anymore, are they?

JB Van Hollen is a man with good honest values, what with being a Mason and all.

How depressing.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:50 PM on September 11, 2008


(I should clarify. Depressing because all Masons I have ever met--my grandfather included--have indeed been fine, upstanding men who were interested in silly things like equality and social justice.)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:13 AM on September 12, 2008


For future reference, this is why you should always pay attention to downticket races in off years. We did in Minnesota just next door, and we replaced our lunatic fringe Secretary of State with a proper, professional one in 2006. Otherwise, we'd probably be seeing the same kind of shenanigans over here this year.
posted by gimonca at 5:33 AM on September 12, 2008


Mason, eh? Invite him to the basement for a lesson in masonry. Have plenty of mortar and bricks laying out, ready.
posted by Goofyy at 5:51 AM on September 12, 2008


Many Banana Republics seem to do a better job of running fair elections than the US. I love news reports about long lines at the polls, like having to wait hours to vote is somehow a great sign your democracy is working. I wasn't joking up thread. India -- corrupt as fuck India! -- does a better job at running elections. They can help you.
posted by chunking express at 6:03 AM on September 12, 2008


When was the last time one couldn't vote without owning property? One house, one vote.
posted by ersatz at 8:11 AM on September 12, 2008


Meanwhile, The McCain campaign is eliminating voters in Ohio.
posted by rocket88 at 8:14 AM on September 12, 2008


However, McCain/Palin seem to have an... interesting... plan to boost their vote numbers, they've apparently decided to court the rapist/pedophile vote.

John McCain's most recent attack ad on Obama brags that McCain isn't the sort of person who wants to prevent child molestation.

Meanwhile, in one of touching moments where a presidential candidate and his sideshow vice-presidential candidate find themselves in perfect harmony, both John McCain and Sarah Palin strongly support charging rape victims $500 to investigate the crime.

Rapists/Pedophiles for McCain!
posted by sotonohito at 8:50 AM on September 12, 2008


Sotonohito, How do you know that Sarah Palin was aware of the police practice of charging the accuser's insurance company for tests? The article only quotes the Wasilla police. People on this site believe far too much of what they read. Spouting previous Diggs, or Buzz or whatever is not good journalisms.
posted by Gungho at 12:00 PM on September 12, 2008


Well, considering that her successor [1] implemented the change to not fining rape victims $500 quite quickly, I don't think it is at all unreasonable to assume that then Mayor Palin was perfectly aware of the situation. She does, you may recall, think that rape victims should be punished by forcing them to bear any pregnancy resulting from the rape to term.

As for McCain, its much more cut and dried, he voted against legislation that would have required the government to pay for rape kits the same as it pays for all other crime investigation tools. Remember, if your house is broken into the police won't be asking you for $500 for a B&E kit, the $500 fine charged to rape victims is unique among all other police investigations.

The pedophile aspect is also quite cut and dried when it comes to Palin, she is on record (multiple times) as being opposed to medically accurate sex education.

Rapists/Pedophiles for McCain!

[1] From the not-quite-so-evil party
posted by sotonohito at 12:21 PM on September 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I should also mention that, at this point, my statements regarding McCain/Palin's position on rape and child molestation are more accurate than:

1) Palin's own statements regarding her tenure as governor.
2) McCain's campaign commercials.
3) McCain's statements regarding criticism of Palin.

And, much more important, I'm not a journalist I'm a partisan fighter trying to make a valid point. You don't win elections by being all nicey nicey, you go for the throat. I'm tired of losing, and frankly America likely won't be able to survive a McCain/Plain presidency with its honor, ideals, or economy intact.

If that means I have to tell the truth about McCain/Palin, and I reiterate I've been more honest here than either of them have been about their own records or their opponents, in a non-wishy washy whimpocrat manner then so be it.

Unlike McCain/Palin I won't lie, and I haven't lied. I *will* pull no punches, and I will continue to show their actions in the worst possible light. If you think that's wrong, quite frankly I don't give a damn. I'm out to do whatever I can to defeat McCain, and I really don't care about playing the part of the nice whimpocrat.
posted by sotonohito at 12:54 PM on September 12, 2008


Soto nohito, Let me quote a journalist on your last point: "Palin only supports abstinence to be taught in sex-ed!"

This claim is usually followed by a super classy comment about her daughter and the use of contraception, but the premise is false. Palin hasn't said she doesn't want condoms discussed in sex-ed, calling their discussion "relatively benign."

"I'm pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don't have a problem with that," Palin said. Hers is hardly an extreme point of view in America today.- Glenn Beck
posted by Gungho at 12:57 PM on September 12, 2008


Glenn Beck is not a journalist.

And if that's a quote it merely shows that Palin is either a) a liar, or b) shifting her position to look better.

In 2006 Eagle Forum Alaska asked her the following question when she was running for governor:
Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?
Palin answered:
Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.
cite

Governor Palin, proudly helping pedophiles keep their victims silent since 2006!
posted by sotonohito at 1:14 PM on September 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


What exactly are "explicit" sex ed programs? Hell even I won't support XXX rated sex ed classes. Can you imagine the furor if she did support them? "Hot Gov supports Pron in the Classroom!"
posted by Gungho at 1:46 PM on September 12, 2008


Yes, because obviously that's what people mean when they say explicit. Do the elections make American's stupider?
posted by chunking express at 1:52 PM on September 12, 2008


"explicit sex ed programs" is typical fundie codespeak for anything but abstinence ed. Your profile doesn't give a location, are you American? If so then you're either so out of touch that its staggering, or you're trolling.
posted by sotonohito at 1:53 PM on September 12, 2008


Do the elections make American's stupider?

*must resist desire to snark*

*must....resist....*

*faints*
posted by rtha at 3:15 PM on September 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Sure would help if there were million man marches on the State capitols, demanding election reform.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:28 PM on September 12, 2008


No troll here, but you shouldn't stop looking under bridges.
Explicit Sex ed may be codespeak, but it may also not be exclusive of Absitnence, condoms, contraceptive, the rhythm method, etc. I'm saying that we have all heard stories about condoms and cukes in the classroom. Most people may not want that kind of explicit demonstration in their child's school. I think her saying that she did not want explicit lessons means that she is OK with teaching all methods, just not having the kids have to read the kama sutra.
posted by Gungho at 5:02 PM on September 12, 2008


Putting a condom on a cucumber is explicit now?
posted by joannemerriam at 6:34 PM on September 12, 2008


I'm saying that we have all heard stories about condoms and cukes in the classroom.

Does the data show that doing such a thing reduces abortion rates significantly?

If it does, then in order for our society to provide the best possible life outcomes for our children as they become adults, they must be taught how to have responsible sex if they make the decision to have sex.

I believe they should also be made aware that deciding not to have sex is a good decision. I believe that particular message has been mistakenly confused with the message that God Hates Sex.

God does not enter into the picture. The data shows that it is good to decide to not have sex. If you decide to ignore the data, the data show it is good to use a condom and spermicide to minimize the significantly high chance of catching a sexual disease. And if you are so foolish as to catch a disease, the that data shows it is good good to decide to not have sex until you have eliminated the disease vector, or at least make the effort to find disease-compatible partners.

You see? A healthy sex education message is not one of black and white: it is one of consistently messaging the likely best decision in terms of the public health and personal welfare as the positive message. The data supports a comprehensive sex education that messages both abstinance and protection.

There is, however, no particular need to go into technique. There needs only be a consistent message of making the best decision based on the factual data.

When viewed along the moral axis, it turns turn out to be a perfect match for what the religionists want. Deciding to teach based on the facts leads to behaviours that are statistically likely to match the “more moral” decision. Everybody wins.

This is a religious-compatible issue. It matters not whether the good decision is described as god-mandated or self-interest mandated: they are one and the same. Religionists, atheists, and state-church separationists should all be able to agree.

Let the school and the church agree to teach the statistics in school, and the morals in church. That's their purpose as instruments of social order.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:39 PM on September 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sorry Fresh fish, rational thought is not allowed into this discussion.
posted by Gungho at 8:27 PM on September 12, 2008


Anyhoo, this is about how only landowners have the right to vote.

With a quarter of your population supposedly being illegal immigrants, and another quarter supposedly being hardened lifetime prisoners, that's probably a good thing. Gotta fear the people.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 PM on September 12, 2008


We have another thread for discussing Sara Palin, I will say though that Palin fired the police cheif of Wasilla after she got elected mayor, and hired a crony of hers. When the state law was passed to require rape victims to get free rape kids, There was only one city charging, Wasilla.

That's right, the entire state had to pass a law in order to get Wasilla to stop charging rape vicitms for their kits.

I'm not really sure how Palin could not know about it, and if she didn't she certainly wasn't doing her job.
posted by delmoi at 8:27 PM on September 13, 2008


Making things more difficult (and costly) for rape victims is a proven way to reduce the number of reported cases of rape, which was a problem Wasilla was facing. That's the thinking of a true political maverick.
posted by wendell at 3:42 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


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