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Voter Disenfranchisement

Ohio Court Rejects GOP Bid to Disenfranchise Thousands of Minority Voters
29-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

AP: "Republicans lost an attempt Friday to restart hearings on thousands of voter registrations the party has contested, and the court's decision could mean the hearings will never be held. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati turned down several Republican appeals, clearing the way for a lower-court judge to decide whether to extend her temporary order stopping the hearings. The GOP originally challenged about 35,000 voters but few registrations have been rejected. Democrats had argued the effort singles out the poor and minorities, who move more often, and that it could keep legitimate votes from being counted."

Michael Moore Protests Broward County's 58,000 'Mysteriously Missing' Absentee Ballots
28-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Miami Herald: "Michael Moore is expected to deliver a protest speech outside the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office at 7 tonight. Moore plans to discuss news reports that 58,000 absentee ballots are missing in Broward." For months voters in Broward, Miami-Dade and 13 other counties have been urged to use absentee ballots to avoid electronic ballots, which have been proven unreliable. "That led to a surge of absentee requests, topping more than 300,000. Broward's elections office is resending about 76,000 absentee ballots to voters who say they asked but still haven't received them. The elections office is still trying to discover why so many people haven't received the absentee ballots." C/MON! As if anyone could 'lose' 58,000 mailings! At 1 oz per mailing, that translates into a 3,600-pound pile of mail!

FLA Official Says RNC Has 'Blacklist' of Minority Voters, Will Abuse Obscure 'Voter Challenge' Law
28-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Common Dreams: "The Supervisor of Elections for Leon County in FLA said 'The possibility of a statewide program to 'challenge' African-American voters in FlA Election Day raises the specter of obstruction, chaos, and ultimately, voter disenfranchisement... Greg Palast showed me a list of hundreds of African-American citizens registered to vote in Jacksonville. He told me the list came from the Republican Party....FLA has a seldom-used voter challenge provision in its elections laws, allowing partisan poll watchers to challenge voters coming in to vote. In the 16 years I have been conducting elections in Leon Cty this provision has never been used. My fear is that [the] provision may not be properly applied and [will] prevent legal voters from voting.' " I.e., the RNC's "poll watchers" will be used to intimidate voters - the way the KKK hovered at minority polling places in the old South.

RNC's 'KKK Lite' Efforts to Suppress Minority Vote Violates 1981 Federal Injunction against Party
28-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Turns out the RNC used its 'KKK-lite' schemes to keep blacks from voting back in 1980. The DNC brought a lawsuit against the RNC that resulted in a Federal court issuing an injunction against the party for its practices. But now, reports the Advancement Project, the RNC is in blatant violation of that court order: " 'The RNC has consistently sought to cloak its discriminatory efforts to suppress the minority vote in a law enforcement guise,' says Judith Browne. RNC and Republican candidates have already designated an unprecedented number of poll watchers for the Nov election. Moreover, Republicans have detailed these poll watchers disproportionately to predominantly African American counties." This is just a subtler version of what the KKK did in the old South!

Federal Judge Rules Against 10,000 Floridians Barred From Voting
27-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

NYT: "A federal district judge here dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday that was filed on behalf of more than 10,000 new voters whose registration forms had been rejected as incomplete... 'No federal or state statute,' he wrote, 'prescribes a time period within which a supervisor must notify an applicant that her application is incomplete.'... The suit, brought against elections supervisors in Broward, Miami-Dade and several other counties, charged that the rejected registration forms had come disproportionately from blacks and Hispanics. In some cases, the applicants did not check a box indicating that they were American citizens, though they signed an oath on the form affirming that they were."

Repugs Acting Guilty already - Have Tens of Thousands of Lawyers on Standby at Polls to Plead their Case
20-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Ya know in the movies when the accused gets that sulky look and just says "I wanna lawyer?" and how you just KNOW it's 'cause they're guilty as hell? Well, that's how the Repugs are already acting, with Nov. 2 still two weeks away. Although the Dems have recruited at least 10,000 lawyers to try to avert a repeat of the anti-Dem poll fraud that was so rampant in 2000, the Repugs have gone overboard. They have hired a veritable army of lawyers, deploying them to 30,000 voting sites. Considering the fact that the cases of Repug voter disenfranchisement have been very far and few between, this mobilization by Repugs sure as heck isn't likely to be to defend them from disenfranchisement!

The Outrageous Assaults on Voter Rights in FLA Voters the US Media Isn't Telling You About
19-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

The UK Guardian reports how Florida residents are being routinely subjected to election fraud. Gordon Sasser, for example reports receiving an automated voice phone call that "had some surprising news: did he know that he could now cast his presidential vote by phone, and could do so right now, using the keypad?" - thereby tricking him into thinking he was casting a vote. In another example, "a young woman who phoned him at home, insistently offering to collect his absentee ballot to ensure its safe delivery. Then there was the elderly woman who called the local elections office last week to register her husband for an absentee vote." Turns out the woman had received a call the night before by someone who had taken her voter registration info and assured her she was now registered and would receive a ballot. Of course, if she hadn't followed up to the real office, no ballot would ever have arrived.

NATIONAL DISGRACE: Millions of Voters May be Wrongly Barred from Voting this Year
18-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

One of primary points of Bush's multi-faceted scheme to steal election 2000 by stealing Florida was having brother Jeb and his minions make sure the maximum number of voters were purged from the rolls by fraudulently using "felon laws" as the pretext. Thousands of Floridian voters were illegally barred from voting this way. But they are hardly alone: the Bush crime cartel is exploiting this same weakness in the system ACROSS THE NATION. It is estimated by the ACLU and other groups that MILLIONS of voters will be illegally purged this year. This week, the ACLU and two other groups will be releasing their findings on this national scandal and helping patriotic citizens across the nation learn what they can do to prevent this crime against American democracy.

Florida Judge Hears Case Involving Destruction of 10,000 Mostly Black and Hispanic Voter Forms
15-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

AFP: "A US federal judge started hearing a lawsuit calling for the inclusion on Florida's voter rolls of about 10,000 people whose registration forms were rejected because they were not properly filled out. Judge James Lawrence King told the parties he was putting the case on a fast track as the US elections are just over two weeks away. The AFL-CIO trade union and others have filed the lawsuit claiming that keeping people off the voter rolls because they did not properly fill out registration forms was a violation of electoral legislation. They claimed a disproportionate number of blacks and Hispanics were among those kept off voter rolls. King asked electoral officials to rapidly deliver a list of people whose registrations were rejected. "

Evidence Shows Direct Ties Between RNC and Pro-GOP Dirty Tricksters Sproul & Associates
15-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Progress Report: "This week, explosive new evidence emerged of direct ties between the RNC and a Republican consulting firm being investigated by Oregon and Nevada for perpetrating widespread voter fraud. (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-sproul14oct14,1,7860167,print.story) Sproul & Associates, paid $500,000 by the Republican National Committee (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/world/9915462.htm), created a voter registration front group in several states. Some of the canvassers the company hired say they were told they wouldn't be paid (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1014reporter14.html) for registering Democrats."

Nathan Sproul is the Smoking Gun on Voter Registration Fraud
15-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Bob Johnson posted at the Daily 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!"

Republicans Destroy Democratic Voters' Registration Forms
15-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

"Democrats in Nevada charged in a lawsuit Wednesday that a company paid by the Republican National Committee destroyed voter-registration forms they had collected from Democratic voters. Similar allegations have surfaced in Oregon and West Virginia... The Nevada allegations were reported Tuesday night by KLAS-TV in Las Vegas about Eric Russell, a former employee of the Republican-funded group, Voters Outreach of America, which also goes by the names America Votes and Project America Votes. In an affidavit filed with the lawsuit, Russell said he was told to ask prospective voters, 'Who would you vote for in the next election?' He said he was told to register only those who supported President Bush. 'I personally witnessed my supervisor at VOA, together with her personal assistant, destroy completed registration forms that VOA employees had collected,' said Russell. "All of the destroyed registration forms were for registrants who indicated their party preference as 'Democrat.' "

Problems Old and New Lurk in the Voting Booth
15-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Congressional Quarterly: "Three weeks from now, Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell will preside over the voting in one of the most famous 'battleground states' in one of the most closely watched presidential elections this nation has had. His rule: Any voter whose eligibility is questioned Nov. 2 may cast a 'provisional ballot,' to be counted if he or she later turns out to be eligible. It just has to be cast in the right precinct, or it will not count." (link requires "free trial" or membership)

Republicans Resign Over Questionable Absentee Ballot Applications
12-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

"Tonight six people connected with the South Dakota republican party have resigned over questions surrounding absentee ballot applications. The state director of the Republican Victory Program, Larry Russell is one of them, along with state republican party employee Eric Fahrendorf. Four independent contractors involved with the absentee ballot applications also resigned. They are Joe Alick, Nathan Mertz, Todd Schlekeway and Rachel Hoff. Hoff was the notary whose signature and seal appeared on many applications from KELOLAND college students. But several students say only men were there when they filled out the forms. Mount Marty student Cassandra Herout says, 'All I know is they were gonna have the form notarized or audited or something before they sent it in. She was never present at all.' Now the party has a lot of paperwork to sort out. Many absentee ballot applications are what led to a half dozen resignations."

MEDIA FRAUD: CNN Deletes Poll Favoring Edwards 3-1, Replaces it with Freeped Poll
06-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Blue Lemur reports: "CNN abruptly yanked a poll from the front page of their website Tuesday which was favoring John Edwards by more than a 3 to 1. They then replaced in the 12 p.m. EDT hour today, completely eliminating all previous results. The original poll, which asked simply, 'Who do you think won the VP debate?' was replaced with 'Did the VP debate help you decide which way you will vote?' " Later, the original question was reposted, but the -200,000 responses to the first poll- were deleted. The new poll (no doubt given the Freep treatment) mysteriously showed Cheney with TWICE as much support as the original, honest poll. MSNBC is playing a similar game - making Kerry-favoring polls mysteriously disappear, or using their TV talking heads to alert Freepers to polls where Bush is taking a pounding. CONTACT CNN! http://www.fair.org/media-contact-list.html#Network television.

NAACP Says Election Board Officials are Throwing out THOUSANDS of New Voter Registrations
06-Oct-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

NAACP: "Election officials across the country should honor any voter registration form submitted in good faith, even if individuals have made minor errors, urged the head of the non-partisan NAACP National Voter Fund (NVF). NVF Exec Dir Greg Moore says NVF had registered 225,000 new voters as part of its Empowerment 2004 campaign. The voter registration period ended in 13 states across the country Monday and by Friday, 31 states will have closed their voter rolls. Moore said while he is encouraged with the incredible efforts people have made to fill out registration forms in order to vote, he is discouraged with word from across the nation that thousands of forms are being thrown out by election boards finding excuses to disenfranchise people." We say SUE THE SOCKS OFF any election board official that throws out a good-faith registration form. Better yet - let's get their names and make them PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE.

The KKK Rides Again through GOP in US Voting Manipulation and Intimidation
30-Sep-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Think that headline's an exaggeration? "In the 2000 Florida elections, thousands of black voters were unlawfully denied the right to vote; Postcards were mailed to minority voters in Passaic County, NJ, threatening fines up to $1000 and imprisonment of up to five years...and warning of 'armed law enforcement officers' at the polls; In Wharton County, TX, a white woman had her home vandalized, received phone threats, and was victim to a cross burning that lit her home on fire for her support of an African American candidate... John Pappageorge, a GOP state Representative from Troy, MI was quoted in the Detroit Free Press on July 16, 2004 saying, 'If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election cycle.' During a special election in South Dakota on June 1, 2004 many Native Americans were sent to the wrong polling places or given incorrect information about new laws." All these offenses were perpetrated in the interests of the GOP.

Jimmy Carter Says Honest Voting System Still Does Not Exist in Florida
27-Sep-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Sacbee.com: "Former President Jimmy Carter says that despite changes designed to eliminate voting problems in Florida - where the disputed 2000 presidential election was decided by only a few hundred votes - conditions for a fair election in that state still don't exist. 'The disturbing fact is that a repetition of the problems of 2000 now seems likely,' says Carter...citing the experience of his Carter Center in monitoring international elections. 'Some basic international requirements for a fair election are missing in Florida.' Most significant: requirements that a nonpartisan electoral commission or official organize and conduct the electoral process and that voting procedures be uniform for all citizens." Florida's top election official in 2000, Secretary of State Katherine Harris was a Bush toady, while her successor, Glenda Hood, is said to be just as bad if not worse. Meanwhile, Bush's brother Jeb Bush has allowed the situation to continue.

Every State but Pennsylvania Is Taking Steps to Avoid Uncounted Votes
19-Sep-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

"All states but Pennsylvania plan to count how many voters go to the polls on Nov. 2, the largest effort ever made to uncover miscounted ballots. To avoid repeating the messy Florida results of 2000 - when 178,145 ballots did not register a vote for president - election-reform advocates have urged states to compare the number of ballots cast to the number of votes counted in 2004's major political races. If there are large differences between the two numbers, that will alert officials to the possibility of voting irregularities. 'This is a very important statistic because it would throw up a red flag if something is amiss,' said Alabama Secretary of State Nancy Worley. 'Then we might need to go back and re-examine the whole counting process. Did something malfunction? Was there some glitch somewhere?' " PA voters had better start raising a ruckus! Call your governor, reps, and local lawmakers and COMPLAIN LOUD AND CLEAR!

GOP Tries to Suppress Native American Vote
29-Aug-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

"A plastic sign outside a polling place in Andes Central High School on the Yankton Sioux reservation was clear and concise. 'Photo ID required,' it read. The only problem, said Charon Asetoyer of the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center in Lake Andes, SD, was that the sign was illegal. Sitting in a conference room decorated with a buffalo skull, hand-sewn medicine bags, and a poster that says 'Prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome,' Asetoyer explains how the law doesn't, in fact, require voters to have a photo ID. If you don't have one, you can sign a personal-identification affidavit. 'The whole issue around denying Indian people the right to vote because they don't have a photo ID puts in people's minds, 'They're not going to let me vote, anyway, so why should I even go to vote?' she said, describing what happened at the city election and at a June 1 special congressional election. 'It's an intentional act to disenfranchise the Native American vote.'"

Latest Bogus 'Terrorist Threat' Targets VA Hospitals to Keep Vets from Voting
28-Aug-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

We find it more than a little suspicious that WITHIN 48 HOURS of the news hitting that the Bush administration has been trying to find ways to suppresses voter registration in VA hospitals that the lastest "terrorist threat" for which "there is no credible evidence" claims Al Qaeda plans to target VA hospitals! How very convenient. Now anyone trying to get into the hospitals to register voters can be blockd - Homeland Security, ya know! In the past year or two, the Bush admin. has also tried to block DAV reps from getting into VA hospitals to advise vets of their benefits. A high percentage of newly returned wounded vets in VA hospitals are determined to vote for John Kerry. So does it come as any surprise that extreme measures are being taken to block the vote? See also http://www.votingrightsfund.org

CA Dems Fight Ban on Voter Registration at Veterans Administration Hospitals
26-Aug-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Scott Rafferty registered voters at V.A. centers in CA, but "On April 15, 2004, Rafferty returned to the Menlo Park campus, accompanied by Steve Preminger, Chairman of the Santa Clara County Democrats. After Preminger asked permission to register patients, VA officials ordered Preminger to leave, but then two armed policemen detained him charging that official county voter registration forms Preminger carried were 'handbills' and that carrying them constituted a 'misdemeanor.' Bill Ball, VA Press Officer, claimed Preminger's 'Kerry button,' justified detention. Preminger denies wearing any button or having made any statements to patients. The VA admits Preminger's detention was based on his status as Democratic Party Chairman; he remains banned for VA facilities solely for this reason. 'The stakes are tremendous' says Preminger, 'If the federal government can deny the potential to vote to certain citizens, then our very constitutional framework as a nation is undermined.'"

ONE IN EVERY 43 AMERICANS is Barred from Voting Due to Repug-favoring Unconstitutional Felon Purge System
13-Aug-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

If your name is Ken Lay or G. Gordon Liddy or you were any white, upper-class criminal (with which the US abounds), chances are you did your time and now can vote again for the white collar criminal-favoring Repug of your choice. But if you are poor, especially black and poor and committed a crime, chances are you will never vote again. Why? Because the Jim Crowe-style felon laws in 48 states and DC purge felons from the voter lists, even decades after a relatively minor crime unless the "felon" pays substantial - often impossible to obtain - resititution. As a result a staggering ONE IN 43 AMERICANS is unable to vote. And guess what party this ban on the largely poor and disenfranchised benefits? You guessed it: the Repugs. This is an unconstitutional situation: once a sentence is served, the debt to society has been paid. Adding loss of suffrage AFTERWARD is indeed cruel and unusual punishment.

Is it Unconstitutional to Disenfranchise Ex-Felons?
08-Aug-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

"In 2000, Florida denied the vote to 6% of its voting age citizens, 16% of its black voting age citizens, and 31% of its black citizen voting age men. John R. Cosgrove argues in a new article in the Thomas Jefferson Law Review that the disenfranchisement of ex-felons in many states violates the Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment carves out an exception to the Equal Protection Clause for men who have committed a crime. Cosgrove maintains that this provision only excludes from voting those men who have committed crimes that were felonies at common law. Drug crimes, for example, are not common law crimes. He also notes there is no legal basis to disenfranchise female ex-felons. The 'Protect American Voters Act of 2004, 'with 29 co-sponsors, is pending in the House of Representatives. It would require States to provide notice and an opportunity for review prior to removing any individual from the official list of eligible voters by reason of criminal conviction or mental incapacity."

Florida Felon Trial is Delayed Past Election Day
21-Jul-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

"A federal appeals court on Tuesday delayed indefinitely a long-awaited Miami trial to decide whether more than 600,000 former felons in Florida could have their voting rights automatically restored. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta agreed to reconsider an earlier appellate panel's order to hold the trial on Florida's 136-year-old law that bars felons from voting. The ruling disappointed advocates for ex-felons who say the law is racially discriminatory because blacks comprise a disproportionate number of the former convicts. The decision marked another turning point in the class-action case, which was filed weeks before Florida's divisive 2000 presidential election ended with George W. Bush [stealing] the state -- and the White House -- by only 537 votes over Al Gore. The ruling also means many ex-felons, who could make the difference in a tight race, will miss out on a chance to vote in another presidential election."

Florida Felon Purge List Made Public
02-Jul-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

From People for the American Way: "In a victory for Florida voters, Circuit Court Judge Nikki Clark ruled today that the list of 47,000 'potential felon matches' who the state claims may be purged from the voter polls must be made available to the public. This is a huge step forward in heading off potentially massive voter disenfranchisement the likes of which occurred in 2000. 'This is great news for democracy and for the state of Florida,' said Ralph G. Neas, president of People For the American Way Foundation. 'We encourage the state to accept Judge Clark's order, forgo an appeal, and make the list public immediately. An appeal will only delay justice for voters who have been wrongly placed on the list.' "

Secrecy surrounds voter eligibility
21-May-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

The state (Florida) has identified 47,687 Florida voters - 1,671 in the Big Bend alone - as suspected felons possibly ineligible to vote. Who's on the list? It's hard to know, thanks to an unusual veil of secrecy. The state, while acknowledging the list is a public record, refuses to allow more than quick inspections of it, with no note-taking or photocopying allowed. Civil-liberties groups and open-records advocates are questioning the secrecy, especially in light of the black eye the state suffered in the 2000 presidential election, when perhaps thousands of legitimate voters were erroneously struck from the rolls. As the 2004 election nears, state, national and even international groups are monitoring the state's progress.

Prison Inmates Counted as 'Residents' for Redistricting
20-May-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Prison inmates are counted as "residents" to determine the boundaries of Congressional districts and the allocation of House members by state. Counting inmates among a district's population skews both the allocation of federal funds and the apportionment of representation toward rural areas that are mostly Republican and away from urban areas where mostly minorities and Democrats live. Those same prison inmates who are counted to determine Congressional representation aren't allowed to vote after they're released and return home. This is different from the Constitutional compromise that declared slaves to be 3/5 of a human being, in order to give slave-owning states greater representation in Congress, exactly how?

Greg Palast Events - C-SPAN Interview; Press Conference on 1 Million 'Missing' Black Votes!
03-May-04
Voter Disenfranchisement

Greg Palast writes: "This Wednesday I'll be on C-Span Washington Journal (7AM-10AM EST) then at Congressman Rush Holt's press conference on computer vote fixing. Chris Edley, Dean of the Univ. of California Berkeley Law School, former US Civil Rights Commissioner, will join us to discuss our findings on 1 million 'missing' Black Votes." Greg will appear in LA for a Pacifica Radio/KPFK fundraiser (5/7) and PSR Debate (5/8); on May 9 for a Speech & Book Signing in San Diego; and in DC May 12 for a Pacifica/WPFW Radio - NAACP National Voter Fund benefit. Visit Greg's website at http://gregpalast.com. Write to C-Span, CNN, MSNBC, Charlie Rose, Larry King, etc. (even Faux) and demand to hear and see Greg!

Federal Appeals Court Orders Trial on Unconstitutionality of Florida's Ban of Voting by Felons
21-Dec-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

"A federal appeals court on Friday ordered a trial in a lawsuit that says Florida's law barring felons from voting is unconstitutional because it discriminates against blacks... Roughly 600,000 Floridians are banned from voting for the rest of their lives because of felony convictions, according to the Florida Equal Rights Voting Project. More than a third of those are black, according the ACLU... Under Florida law, the governor and cabinet serving as the state's Clemency Board have the discretion to restore voting rights to ex-felons who apply after finishing their prison time and parole. But civil rights groups said the process was too difficult and burdensome because it required the felons to bring character witnesses at their own expense for a full hearing before the cabinet... The plaintiffs' lawyers argued in the appeal that the law was enacted in the 19th century to discriminate against blacks, and the 1968 constitution just adopted the old law and its intent to discriminate."

We Need a Constitutional Amendment Guaranteeing the Right to Vote!
12-Dec-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. writes, "The U.S. Constitution contains no explicit affirmative individual right to vote! Even though the 'vote of the people' is perceived as supreme in our democracy - because voting rights are protective of all other rights - the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore constantly reminded lawyers that there is no explicit or fundamental right to suffrage in the Constitution - 'the individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States.' (Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 104 (2000)... If candidate George Bush had lost in the Supreme Court in 2000, Florida's Republican-controlled legislature was prepared to ignore the six million popular votes cast in Florida... That's why I have proposed legislation to add a voting rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution based on the INDIVIDUAL RIGHT of all Americans to vote." Urge your Representatives and Senators to co-sponsor H.J. Res. 28.

'Hundreds and Hundreds' of Complaints of Racist Voter Intimidation Reported in Mississippi
05-Nov-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

"A heavy turnout of voters Tuesday also brought more complaints than in years past about illegal tactics being used to intimidate voters. David Blount, spokesman for the secretary of state's office, said the number of complaints increased Tuesday over previous elections as 'hundreds and hundreds' of telephone calls from at least 17 counties were received by the secretary of state's office. Numerous illegal activities reportedly occurred at state polling places, according to Blount, including improper activity by poll watchers, videotaping voters at the polls and pollwatchers walking into voting booths with voters and watching how they voted... Madison, Copiah and Lafayette all reported problems with Republican Party representatives interfering with poll workers, Blount said." Josh Marshall (talkingpointsmemo.com) added that the "reports of voting irregularities" were "in predominantly black neighborhoods."

Kentucky GOP Caught LYING about their Racist Voter Suppression Strategies
27-Oct-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

Josh Marshall: "On Thursday, Jefferson County GOP Chairman Jack Richardson IV told the Louisville Courier-Journal that the precincts in question weren't chosen on the basis of racial make-up or voting patterns. But a flyer sent out in July advertising a meeting to recruit poll watchers tells a different story... Under the headline 'Gubernatorial Election Integrity Call to Arms' it asks a rhetorical question: 'What do a series of close-fought races in Kentucky and Louisiana in recent years have in common?' It then answers the question: 'All were adversely impacted by the presence and influence of the Democratic National Committee and the A. Phillip Randolph Institute (the black militant division of the AFL-CIO and funded in part by the DNC), and the NAACP and their efforts to marshal the Get Out To Vote (sic) efforts targeted toward the black, poor voters in selected communities and selected targeted races of national impact.' More, I suspect much more, to come on this."

Stolen Election 2004: Jeb Locks Up Thousands of Drug Users to Disenfranchise More Voters
20-Aug-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

Whatever tiny gains were achieved from Florida's clemency lawsuit were completely eclipsed by the wholesale roundup of drug users by Jeb Bush. "Nearly 3,000 people were locked up in June, the largest number of new inmates in any single month in Florida in more than a decade. The bulge in the state prison population, which caught officials by surprise, was largely driven by a big jump in the number of people being imprisoned for drug crimes, according to state Department of Corrections figures. The immediate problem -- a looming lack of bed space -- may have been resolved last week when Gov. Jeb Bush signed an emergency measure shifting more than $65 million from reserves into a flurry of new prison construction. But officials are starting to question what is causing such a large and unexpected spike in prison admissions while, as politicians are quick to point out, the crime rate has dropped to record lows." Jeb is DELIBERATELY locking up drug users to DISENFRANCHISE poor voters!

Florida Felon Disenfranchisement Lawsuit Nets Tiny Gain in New Voters
20-Aug-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

In 2000, Gov. Jeb Bush defied 2 court orders by refusing to process clemency applications from thousands of ex-felons. (This is different from the false felon purge - these ex-felons never even made it on to the voter list). "The recent court order could make 20,000 to 30,000 felons eligible to vote without a hearing, says attorney Randy Berg of the Florida Justice Project, which advocates liberalizing clemency laws. Florida Parole Commission Chairwoman Monica David estimates the number at 15,000 to 17,500. The speedier clemency is available to those who did not commit crimes such as murder, robbery or drug trafficking, do not have multiple felony convictions and who meet other criteria." But this is a drop in the bucket: "More than 827,000 Floridians were ineligible to vote in 2000 because they were incarcerated, on probation or parole or had felony convictions." Florida is one of only six states where ex-felons cannot vote unless they are granted clemency. Defeat ALL Republicans!

Katherine Harris Promised to Restore Voting Rights to 90,000 Non-Felons, But Some STILL Can't Vote!
07-Aug-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

Greg Palast writes, "In July 2002, Choicepoint's DBT signed off with People for the American Way... and confessed to the whole mess. They provided the court with list of 94,000 names, far more than I expected, who were targeted for the purge. Until then, I had estimated that the list had at best one in ten verifiable names. I was too kind. The DBT records show that one in thirty names on its list positively matched name, age, social security number race and other identifiers with the 'felons' they were purported to be. In other words, over 90,000 citizens, half of them non-white, were wrongly named. Harris... agreed to return the voters to the voter rolls. Sadly, they explained, they could not return the voters their rights until after Governor Bush's reelection. [Note: Last month, in July 2003, I returned to Florida [and met] Willie Steen, a veteran and hospital worker whom Florida agrees was wrongly tagged a felon. Steen to this day remains barred from registering to vote.]"

Jeb Bush Agrees to 'Help' Ex-Felons Apply for Voting Rights - Just a 'Drop in the Bucket'
25-Jul-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

ACLU reports, "As many as 30,000 ex-felons are likely to regain their voting and civil rights within the next year, the ACLU of Florida announced today. The organization released a proposed final judgment in a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Corrections that mandates assistance to ex-felons who did not receive help in the application process from the state -- as required by law... During the course of the lawsuit, the Department of Corrections acknowledged that 124,769 offenders who were released between 1992 and 2001 did not receive assistance pursuant to Florida Statute sec. 944.293... 'Whatever good results that came from this case are only a drop in the bucket,' said Randy Berg, lead counsel in this lawsuit. 'Many of these people should have had their rights restored nine years ago -- further evidence that this entire process needs to be changed'... Florida is one of only six states that impose a lifetime civil and voting rights ban upon a felony conviction. "

The Blame Show: 'Before You Don't Vote'
17-Jul-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

Colleen Dougher writes, "'I would never encourage someone to vote for the lesser of two evils, because I don't think you should vote for an evil.' '[Not voting] is a political statement, and the statement is, 'I'm a moron.' Um, that's a little strong. What I meant to say was, 'I'm an idiot.' 'It takes money to get into the White House. The question is how much do you owe to the people who put you there financially once you get there?' These are some of the frustrations expressed by South Florida and New York residents in The Blame Show - Before You Don't Vote, a video by Larry Litt... Litt says he created the video to get people talking about politics, current affairs and the election process in the United States and to encourage 'the angry, the alienated, the apolitical, the apathetic to have some faith in the democratic process.'"

Florida Leads the Nation - In Preventing Democrats from Voting
22-Jun-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

Daryl Jones and Robert Moore write, "According to Human Rights Watch, [Florida] has more citizens deprived of their voting rights than any other. The bulk of those without voting rights in Florida are former felons. These are people who have committed a crime, served their time in prison and are off probation. Forty states automatically restore the right to vote to former felons who have exited the penal system. Florida is one of only 10 states that do not. Out of a national total of 1.391 million disenfranchised former felons, Florida, with 436,900, is the home of almost one-third of these. In fact, no other state has even half of Florida's total in this category. Almost all of those stripped of the right to vote in Florida are citizens of modest means who tend to vote Democratic. Because poor people are less able to afford an adequate defense in court, the net effect is that more than nine out of 10 felony convictions result in a likely Democratic vote being taken off the rolls."

Voting Rights for Felons
14-Jan-03
Voter Disenfranchisement

There were many crimes committed in stealing the 2000 Florida election, but the most heinous was the phony felon purge. This purge was only possible because Florida prohibits ex-felons from voting. But Florida is hardly alone - Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming all have the same law, and most states have restrictions of some kind. This is a racist legacy of the South's segregationist past - exactly what the Trent Lott furor was about. Yet no one in Congress or the media is raising this issue. Get involved in changing the law in your state!

FL Voter Study: Too Many Inaccuracies; Racially Biased; Unsystematic Purging Was Partisan
19-Nov-02
Voter Disenfranchisement

Guy Stuart of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard writes in "Databases, Felons and Voting: Errors and Bias in the Florida Felons Exclusion List": "The three major findings of the analysis are: a) the 2000 felons' exclusion list had a considerable number of errors in it, somewhere between 20% and 30% of the names on the list were on there in error; b) these errors were racially biased, such that more African-American registered voters were on the list in error than either Whites or Latinos; and c) that the decentralized process by which the felons' list was used to purge the voter rolls resulted in a sometimes judicious and sometimes partisan purging process...The 2000 elections most likely disabused most Americans of the idea that the electoral process...is a clean, technocratic one. This paper provides further evidence of that, showing how the decentralized system of managing elections contributed to the level of partisan activity, with unexpected consequences."

League of Women Voters Will Monitor and Report on Treatment of Voters at Polls across Nation
04-Nov-02
Voter Disenfranchisement

"For a snapshot of how elections are going across the nation on election day 2002, turn to the League of Women Voters of the United States. The League will be releasing early analysis of a survey assessing how things are going at the polls nationwide. State and local League representatives across the country will be gathering basic information about what voters are experiencing as they cast their ballots. The League will release early data the afternoon of election day to provide media organizations and the public a snapshot of this first federal general election following the problem-plagued election 2000. The information will be posted on the League's website at www.lwv.org."

PFAW Offers Voters' Bill of Rights for AL, CA, FL, GA, IL, LA, MD, MI, MS, MO, NV, NJ, NC, OH, SC, TN, TX, VA, and WI
02-Nov-02
Voter Disenfranchisement

"Voter empowerment begins with voter education. In 20 states, People For the American Way Foundation, along with our state and national allies, analyzed election laws, consulted with election officials, and produced a 'Voters' Bill of Rights' that tells voters in plain language precisely what their rights are at the polls. We encourage you to download, copy, and distribute these to as many voters as you can leading up to and on Election Day. Our Voters' Bills of Rights for all 20 states are bilingual, in English and Spanish. In 2000, it is estimated that over 6 million votes were lost due to problems with voter registration, problems at the polls, and problems with ballots. We hope that by educating voters about their rights, we can keep this national disaster from occurring again. Call our voter hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE if you have any questions or problems voting!'

Voting Rights in America are on Life Support -- But There are Signs of Hope
23-Aug-02
Voter Disenfranchisement

The 2000 election gave Americans "an unpleasant reminder that the ghosts of our national past still haunt us. That November, as the nation's voting scandals were exposed, we squirmed under what we learned about African-Americans and the vote... An untold number of votes were never counted in that election. An unknown number more could never be cast as ex-felons were purged from voter rolls, police blockades kept African-Americans from voting and Departments of Motor Vehicles mysteriously lost and mishandled voter records and applications... In Florida alone, ballots cast by blacks were rejected at a rate almost eight times higher than those cast by whites. And similar [things occurred in 22 other] states. Now the 2002 election is coming... Will we ever have justice in voting in America? The signs to date are mixed to say the least, but some beacons of hope are visible."

South Carolina Purges 300,000 Voters in Secret
19-May-02
Voter Disenfranchisement

According to the Greenville SC News, "More than 300,000 South Carolina voters -- nearly 29,000 of them in Greenville County -- have been removed from the state's list of active voters, alarming some local residents who question the timing. It's been eight years since the state's voter rolls have been purged of inactive voters, even though federal law requires it every two years. 'The timing, in a critical election year; the size of the purge, which is unprecedented; and the secrecy under which it was conducted all raise concerns and questions,' said Roger Owens, a Greenville community activist. Owens wondered whether it was a veiled attempt to discourage the African-American vote in a year in which Republicans are trying to unseat an incumbent Democratic governor and in which there is no incumbent candidate for a U.S. Senate seat. He urged a detailed demographic analysis before any conclusions are drawn." Why the SECRECY? What are they hiding? We demand an investigation!

Florida Republicans Are STILL Preventing At Least 41,000 Ex-Felons from Voting!
19-May-02
Voter Disenfranchisement

Florida's Republican "State lawmakers have slammed the brakes on an effort to get rid of the backlog of convicted felons seeking to have their civil rights restored. That could leave thousands of would-be voters unable to register in time for fall elections... What was at least a 25,000-person logjam at the start of the year is now, at minimum, an avalanche of 41,000 would-be voters. There are 3,000 new cases each month. 'The League is disheartened, especially in light of the embarrassment of the 2000 election from voter disenfranchisement,' said Lynda Russell, a spokeswoman for the League of Women Voters Florida. Florida is one of 13 states that do not automatically restore inmates' right to vote after they serve their sentences. Of the 600,000 felons who have not had their rights restored, up to 49 percent are blacks who typically register as Democrats, according to the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based criminal justice advocacy group." We demand Senate hearings!

 


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