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Neighborhood Watch
October 3, 2008 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Project Vote 2008 aims to repair "vote caging" [discussed previously] by compiling Google spreadsheets of affected households. Check your own status, and alert friends or neighbors you find there that their voter registration status is at risk for "alleged or actual deficiencies."

(Our own asavage calls it "cool and important")
posted by jayCampbell (27 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why do these efforts always seem to arise a couple of months before a big election, when it's far far far too late to matter?

Caging, purges, rigged machines... if there was a concerted and funded effort behind this right now, maybe it could be fixed by 2012, you know? Maybe.
posted by rokusan at 1:37 PM on October 3, 2008


(And, I meant to say, why do they seem to vanish a few months after each election. Do they really fade away, or does the spotlight just dim?)
posted by rokusan at 1:38 PM on October 3, 2008


does this site load for anyone else?
posted by Lizc at 1:42 PM on October 3, 2008


Lizc writes "does this site load for anyone else?"

Down for everyone, or just me?
posted by mullingitover at 1:46 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Seems like sending a postcard to each address would be a pretty simple process for someone with the equipment, with a cost of ~10000 * $0.40 = roughly $4000? Has anyone done this?
posted by alexei at 1:58 PM on October 3, 2008


Hey, looks like every vote in Iowa will count, since none are on the list!
posted by cjorgensen at 2:01 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why do these efforts always seem to arise a couple of months before a big election, when it's far far far too late to matter?

Because they are often done in secret, by stupid, incompetent, or evil registrars. It's not easy to find out about them in advance, which is part of the reason why the Obama campaign has put up voteforchange.com. Not only does it help inform people about how and where they should be voting, but people can find out before they go to the polls if they are not on the rolls for some reason. It buys a little time.

Caging, purges, rigged machines... if there was a concerted and funded effort behind this right now, maybe it could be fixed by 2012, you know? Maybe.

There's actually a federal law that makes it illegal to do voter purges within 90 days of an election. But you're right, in reality the effort to combat this is hardly concerted. The fact that voting rules are so different state to state is a weird thing. However, I'm not really ready to give up the liberal voting laws here in California in order to push through some compromised bill at the federal level. I suspect that's why national voting registration hasn't happened yet.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:05 PM on October 3, 2008


I'm utterly discombobulated to find that Florida, that bastion of voter rights, has the most rejected registrations.
posted by stavrogin at 2:11 PM on October 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Down for me too, even though mullingitover's link says it is up. Do they just not like IE, perhaps?
posted by yhbc at 2:12 PM on October 3, 2008


It's a bummer some of the states don't have data up and the registration deadline is Monday, and here we are on Friday wanting to see some data (I want to call friends in Indiana if they're on the list, but the list doesn't seem to exist).
posted by mathowie at 2:26 PM on October 3, 2008


"A Republican official in Michigan has filed a defamation suit against an independent news site, over a story in which he is quoted as stating his party plans to challenge voters whose names and addresses appear on foreclosure lists.

"We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses," James Carabelli, the chairman of the Macomb County Republican Party is quoted as saying in the Michigan Messenger in an article published September 10.

Just a few days after the article was published, Carabelli back-tracked on his statement, telling the Macomb Daily that the party has "no plans to do anything." Later, he issued a full-throated denial, calling the original article "not true.""
posted by rtha at 2:28 PM on October 3, 2008


Seems like sending a postcard to each address would be a pretty simple process for someone with the equipment, with a cost of ~10000 * $0.40 = roughly $4000? Has anyone done this?

Direct-to-mail marketers?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:30 PM on October 3, 2008


It's a bummer some of the states don't have data up and the registration deadline is Monday, and here we are on Friday wanting to see some data (I want to call friends in Indiana if they're on the list, but the list doesn't seem to exist).

You can have them double check their registration on Vote for Change.

Info on Indiana from Black Box voting:

"HERE'S WHERE THE HEAVIEST PURGES ARE:

Lake 137,164 48% (Gary)
Porter 124,958 115% (Valparaiso)
Marion 68,120 10% (Indianapolis)
Monroe 66,009 85% (Bloomington)
Tippecanoe 53,456 58%
Madison 42,952 47% (Anderson)
Hamilton 42,325 26%

The percentage represents the ratio of the number of purges to the current voter list. Example: If a location currently has 100,000 voters on its rolls, and purged 53,000 along the way, we assign a ratio of 53% to the purge vs. current list."
posted by oneirodynia at 2:47 PM on October 3, 2008


Surely local newspapers, churches, etc in those areas could stand to get a short letter explaining this.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:30 PM on October 3, 2008


How can you purge 115% of the voter list (as in Valparaiso)?
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:26 PM on October 3, 2008


How can you purge 115% of the voter list (as in Valparaiso)?

They purged 143701 voters. Now they have 124,958, so by the calculation as described above, that's 115% of their current voter roll.

(IOW, the confusing part is they looked at the current number of voters, and then did the calculation of % based off the number of purged voters compared to the number of current voters).
posted by wildcrdj at 4:44 PM on October 3, 2008


oneirodynia's numbers are from a May 2008 blog post referencing April data. It's not new information and possibly not a malicious Republican maneuver in anticipation of the upcoming presidential election.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:16 PM on October 3, 2008


Hey, that is pretty cool. I do not appear to be on a list, which is a bit of a pity as I enjoy a good fight.
posted by Mister_A at 7:12 PM on October 3, 2008


"Columbus County (list #1)
Columbus County (list #2)
"

There's no Columbus County in Ohio - maybe they meant Franklin? It's not a downloadable spreadsheet yet, though.
posted by HopperFan at 7:19 PM on October 3, 2008


oneirodynia's numbers are from a May 2008 blog post referencing April data.

I wonder how many of the million found out and re-registered, and how many will be surprised on Election Day. It's not like they send a note.

It's not new information and possibly not a malicious Republican maneuver in anticipation of the upcoming presidential election.

The April before a November presidential election seems as good a time as any to purge voters, if that's when you have the opportunity to do so. I'm not sure what being Republican has to do with anything- do they hibernate until late May, or something?
posted by oneirodynia at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2008


rokusan, I think it's the latter. People simply don't pay as much attention when there isn't a major vote coming up. Maybe in May people just assume that there's plenty of time for shenanigans to be rectified before November.
posted by hattifattener at 9:45 PM on October 3, 2008


On Vote for Change, I tried using it to update my registration but it stays jammed up on the registration address page.

At one point when I tried to go back to see if it was a lack of info elsewhere, it opened the "you're almost ready to absentee vote" screen...other than that, it just hangs out on the other page and mocks me :(
posted by batmonkey at 10:02 PM on October 3, 2008


batmonkey, you can't use voteforchange.com to update your info in any official capacity. If you have moved to a new address, you need to update your information with your local/state Board of Elections.
posted by halcyon_daze at 8:40 AM on October 4, 2008


I understand that, halcyon_daze; thank you. I was using the tool as intended to get a pre-completed registration form printed off. It's one of the several features of the tool.

Also probably should have updated that I did get it to work and now have my convenient form with full instructions ready to take in tomorrow morning. Woo-hoo!
posted by batmonkey at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2008


Good site. I may have missed where it's explained, but how'd they get these?
posted by cashman at 7:12 AM on October 6, 2008


An op-ed by Montana's Republican lieutenant governor: Republicans crossed line with voter purge attempt
posted by homunculus at 5:26 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


States’ Actions to Block Voters Appear Illegal
posted by homunculus at 10:28 AM on October 9, 2008


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