It is currently Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:56 am

All times are UTC




Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 386 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 20  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:10 am
Posts: 5920
I decided to start a new thread to keep track of the various concerns with voting -- voter suppression, voting machine irregularities, etc. -- this time around. There is trouble anticipated on a number of fronts, due to new machines and onerous new registration laws bolstered by the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the Indiana law.

Here's an article about Republican efforts to suppress voting, this time in the guise of a lawsuit in Wisconsin. The Atty. Gen, who is the state co-chair of the McCain campaign, is attempting to make it a requirement that a newly established computerized voter registration record in Wisconsin must exactly match existing information on already registered voters. Since the new record was just compiled in August, it would be physically impossible to complete such a verification by election day. Here is an excerpt:

link

Quote:
In Wisconsin, Atty. Gen. J.B. Van Hollen – a Republican and the state co-chair of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign — has sued the state’s Government Accountability Board, a non-partisan group of former state judges responsible for implementing the election laws. Van Hollen insists that the board’s failure to require that the identifying information which voters used to register matches the information contained in a new statewide voter database is a violation of the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.

<snip>

The federal law requires states to create a computerized statewide voter registration list that contains the name and identifying information of every legally registered voter. It does not, however, require that information on already-registered voters match the information in the new database.

For good reason. Personal data often doesn’t match — not due to any voter fraud, but because voters used a married or hyphenated name or nickname; or because of typographical errors by state workers entering the information into the database.

As a result, the handful of states that have mandated matching have found themselves facing a logistical nightmare. In Washington state, between 16 percent and 30 percent of registered voters in each county did not match the state database. In Florida, some 20,000 voters were denied or delayed in voting on that basis in 2006. Both ended up getting sued for making the match mandatory and so disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters.

In Wisconsin, after 22 percent of voters’ registration information did not match the state’s database – including data on three of the six judges on the accountability board — the board decided that trying to match everyone to the database by November would be impossible. The database wasn’t even completed until Aug. 1.

“To immediately require that every voter registered since January 2006 be matched against the state database,” Kevin Kennedy, the board’s director and general counsel wrote to Van Hollen in August, “could lead to mass confusion at the polls.”

Van Hollen has continued to pursue the suit, however, insisting it’s necessary to prevent voter fraud. “When unlawful votes are cast and counted,” he said when he filed the case, “the power of a lawful vote is diminished.”

THE EXTENT OF FRAUD

But voting experts say voter fraud of this type is extremely rare. “It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls,” the Brennan Center for Justice concluded, after conducting a comprehensive study last year.

Meanwhile, the Brennan Center’s studies show that rules like the one Wisconsin’s attorney general is advocating disenfranchise thousands of people – most often the poor, elderly and minorities.

In Florida, for example, where the Brennan Center sued the state on behalf of the state’s NAACP, studies showed that black voters made up 13 percent of all registration applicants, but were 26 percent of all matching problems. Similarly, Latinos were 15 percent of the total voting population, and 39 percent of those blocked; while white voters were 66 percent of the voter applicant pool, but only 17 percent of those whose applications didn’t match.

“The law inevitably leads to higher and heavier burdens being placed on less affluent voters and voters of color,” said Adam Skaggs, counsel for the Brennan Center. “So more of those voters will have their votes not counted in November. And as we saw in 2000, it can take only a couple hundred voters to make the difference in the election.”

_________________
Avatar photo by Richard Lykes, used with permission.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:41 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:25 am
Posts: 3507
Cerin - I share your concerns on this matter. One basic problem here is that we do not have an election for president, we have 51 individual elections for president. Each state (and DC) is free to run their own election using their own procedures. The end result is some of the problems you have cited and we have been getting.

At some point we are going to have to decide as a people if we are one country under one set of laws or do we still want to cling to the 18th century ideal of differing state and national powers.

Hopefully, lots of people will be out on Election Day to monitor the polls and safegaurd the right of each and every American citizen to cast their vote as they see fit.

_________________
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


Last edited by sauronsfinger on Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:20 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:48 pm
Posts: 2013
Location: River trippin'
Cerin,

I went to one of the 30 "Women for Obama" parties last night, in Boulder, Colorado. We heard from somebody high up in the Colorado campaign (sorry, forgot her name and exact position) that they were acutely aware of voting irregularities and had teams of lawyers specializing in this issue working in Colorado. She also described the get out the vote operation on our side and it's impressive. There is an early voting station that runs from Oct. 20-31 right on campus so students can vote inbetween classes. Eva Longoria is going to be in Colorado this weekend signing up new voters (our deadline is Oct. 6). Michelle Obama was at CU yesterday, gave a speech and helped register new voters.

All in all, this is an impressivly intelligent team and they're all over Colorado, a key swing state. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:49 pm 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 39529
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
If the momentum keeps going as it is, election irregularities are going to be irrelevant. They matter very much in close elections, but this one may not be close. The projection sites at this point are showing Obama landslides. That's very unlikely to hold until the election, but it's a good place to be with less than five weeks left and the chances of a momentum-changing event diminishing every day.

But I'm glad to hear the Obama team is taking nothing for granted. That's really how they've gotten this far.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:07 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:25 am
Posts: 3507
What about all this talk of an Obama landslide hurting actual Election Day turnout? If too many people start buying into this talk about a landslide, there is then less incentive for people to think that their individual vote is important. That type of thinking could hurt turnout. Knock turnout down a few points, make up a few points here and there with the unexpected upturn for McCain in a few states such as COlorado or Pennsylvania and then work the magic of Florida and Ohio again.... well, thats a whole different possible result.

_________________
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:17 pm 
Offline
bioalchemist
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:08 am
Posts: 10206
Location: the dry land
Ellie, the voter registration people are all over the campus. It's past the point of annoying and verging into insane. There's a USPS mailbox down by the physics tower, about a block away from the chem building. I walked down there Tuesday to drop something in the mail and TWO people with clipboards, two people in one block, asked me if I was registered.

Going into the student union is a gauntlet coming and going. They're camped out at various points going from campus to The Hill as well. I'm utterly shocked I didn't get asked to register yesterday while marching my sample over to sequencing, but maybe the piece of paper with a test tube taped to it scared them away.

I missed Michelle Obama yesterday, sadly. THey announced it in the campus wide e-mail newsletter. Except I don't read the campus spam. But those that went said she gave a good speech. Our technician was wishing she could vote for Obama afterward, but she's got that whole J1 visa thing standing in the way.

_________________
When you can do nothing what can you do?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:32 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:48 pm
Posts: 2013
Location: River trippin'
Wait til they start calling you, River. :D According to my friends, a couple that are both professors in the history department, who are Obama volunteers, someone is going to call students each and every day until they cry Uncle! and go vote. :)

Me, I'm doing mail in. The person last night was predicting 90% turnout and multihour waits on voting day.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:01 pm
Posts: 1076
I'd mention the possible interference of Diebold, but I don't want to be accused of being a conspiracy theorist.

_________________
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
-- Samuel Adams


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:38 pm 
Offline
Living in hope
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 am
Posts: 39529
Location: Sailing the luminiferous aether
I've been called and emailed incessantly about volunteering to work in the four days leading up to the election and on election day itself. I will probably sign up once I have more time. And Oregon's not close. The Obama campaign is taking nothing for granted. Look at their efforts to encourage early voting—I'll be dropping off my ballot within 24 hours of getting it just so they can check me off their list and move on to someone who might not vote at all.

But we need to be concerned about voter suppression whether or not it affects the outcome, because it's wrong.

Incidentally, ballot supply in Democratic areas will probably not be an issue in Ohio this time around; the Secretary of State is a Democrat this time.

_________________
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:39 pm 
Offline
bioalchemist
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:08 am
Posts: 10206
Location: the dry land
You're not the first person I've heard that from CG. Makes me glad we use paper ballots in Boulder.

If they've got early voting on campus I might just spring for it, though there is something fun about going in on Election Day.

Ellie, I have caller id. I don't pick up the phone unless I recognize the number. The local Dems did call me about canvassing. I thought about it, but I'm writing my thesis. :help:

_________________
When you can do nothing what can you do?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:48 pm
Posts: 2013
Location: River trippin'
CG, I have been hearing over time without paying really close attention to the problems with Colorado and it's Diebold voting machines (decertified, then recertified). Our secretary of state is Republican, although our governor is a Democrat.

Scary stuff.

Our friends were talking about a 10,000 vote majority for Obama from CU alone. This would help if there was fraud on teh fringes. I know I have had some reservations on vote by mail, seems like it's all too easy for somebody in the chain handling my ballot to discreetly throw it in the trash. :(


Last edited by Ellienor on Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:06 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:01 pm
Posts: 1076
Well, what I've read tells me a lot.

Precincts where Bush was already in the lead became more favorable to Bush by a strong margin. Since it was already a Bush area most people didn't notice, but the differences between the exit polls and the results raised more than a few eyebrows among statisticians and other mathmaticians.

But since the state's total is determined by adding up all the precincts, those additional votes have a direct and relevant impact of shifting the balance compared to the unadulterated pro-Kerry areas.

But that's all considered conspiracy theory. Either way I'm glad California also has paper ballots.

_________________
"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
-- Samuel Adams


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:48 pm
Posts: 2013
Location: River trippin'
A friend of mine directed me to this link which is RFK Jr.s article in the Rolling Stone about 2004 vote fraud.

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/ ... olen/print


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:24 pm 
Offline
Meanwhile...
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 14116
Location: Out on the banks
One article that struck me most strongly concerned a voting machine that gave the Republican candidate more votes than there were registered voters in precinct (can't find the link anymore), while counting the reasonable number of votes for the Democrat. As a programmer, I've spent hours trying to figure out the logic that would allow such an error occur innocently, and I just can't.

_________________
Image
“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 2:10 am
Posts: 5920
Gosh, I hope those Obama campus workers don't annoy people so much that they decide not to vote!

It's good to know they have it covered, though.


What's crazy about the Diebold business is that they are responsible for tallying and reporting the totals, if I'm not mistaken, and without oversight (because they own the machines). How can we allow this sort of thing?

I'd like to see some uniformity brought to our voting system state-to-state, and I'd like to see the electoral college done away with or modified. It's so discouraging knowing one's vote just won't count.

_________________
Avatar photo by Richard Lykes, used with permission.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:23 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:25 am
Posts: 3507
Cerin - I fully agree with you. Even with the Gore 2000 debacle there is little public interest in the subject. Bread and circuses are what interest most of the people. They have reality TV and they can afford fast food so what else is there?

It could take several 2000 debacles for any momentum to build up to get rid of the Electoral College. But now it favors the small states and they are never going to give up that power and ratify any Constitutional amendment.

_________________
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:34 pm 
Offline
Hobbit
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 5245
Location: Missouri
It's worse than we thought! See this Homer Simpson clip....

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ss ... hbama.html


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:42 pm 
Offline
Creature of the night
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:36 pm
Posts: 8419
Location: Where least expected
:rofl:

_________________
Take my hand, my friend. We are here to walk one another home.


Avatar from Fractal_OpenArtGroup


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:47 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:34 pm
Posts: 1578
Political Wire has this news item with some background information. It seems the student vote is still under attack in some places.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/10/ ... cs_4501531

Several questions arise in my mind reading these stories. Should there be some Federal standard? I mean if a State had totally undemocratic voting regulations it could be challenged by some Federal law (I presume). Where is the threshold? There seem to be a number of ways that citizens can be deprived of their vote.

_________________
<a><img></a>


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:10 pm 
Offline
Pleasantly Twisted
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 8996
Location: Black Creek Bottoms
States are given broad latitude in controlling the logistics of voting, so long as they don't violate the federally guaranteed civil rights of the states' citizens. This puts the bar fairly high, but if it's egregious enough to get press coverage at the national level, a functional US Department of Justice would normally be on it.

Note the key word "functional" there.

In the absence of such, it's down to people filing suit if they think their civil rights are being denied.

_________________

Resentment is no excuse for baldface stupidity.
-- Garrison Keillor

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 386 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 20  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group