Legends Times

“News The Way You Want It! The Way It Should Be!”

Steal Back Your Vote

BY MARY MANCINI

In June 2006, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., wrote “Was the 2004 Election Stolen?” for Rolling Stone, and followed it up in September 2006 with, “Will The Next Election Be Hacked?.” He’s back, this time with investigative journalist Greg Palast (author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy), with another chapter in his bid to save our democracy, “Block the Vote (Will the GOP’s campaign to deter new voters and discard Democratic ballots determine the next president?).Here are the highlights:

“On Super Tuesday [2008], one in nine Democrats who tried to cast ballots in New Mexico found their names missing from the registration lists…[In] Las Vegas…nearly 20 percent of the county’s voters were absent from the rolls…In state after state, Republican operatives…are wielding new federal legislation to systematically disenfranchise Democrats….”All these new rules and games are turning voting into an obstacle course that could flip the vote to the GOP in half a dozen states.”…Paul Weyrich: “I don’t want everybody to vote. . . . As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”…Republican election officials at the local and state level have used the rules to give GOP candidates an edge on Election Day by creating new barriers to registration, purging legitimate names from voter rolls, challenging voters at the polls and discarding valid ballots….To justify this battery of new voting impediments, Republicans cite an alleged upsurge in voting fraud….federal courts found only 24 voters guilty of fraud from 2002 to 2005, out of hundreds of millions of votes cast…The recently enacted barriers thrown up to deter voters include: 1. Obstructing Voter-Registration Drives… 2. Demanding “Perfect Matches”…3. Purging Legitimate Voters From the Rolls…4. Requiring Unnecessary Voter ID’s…5. Rejecting “Spoiled” Ballots…6. Challenging “Provisional” Ballots…Add up all the modern-day barriers to voting erected since the 2004 election…and what you have is millions of voters, more than enough to swing the presidential election, quietly being detached from the electorate by subterfuge….If Democrats are to win the 2008 election, they must not simply beat John McCain at the polls — they must beat him by a margin that exceeds the level of GOP vote tampering.”

For those of you who think this an unfair attack on one political party, I ask you to read the article and think of the news you’ve been hearing the last couple of weeks. News aboutACORN (1. Obstructing Voter-Registration Drives?), the use of contested voter registration lists (2. Demanding “Perfect Matches), and voter roll purges (3. Purging Legitimate Voters From the Rolls). What makes you believe that stories about 4. Requiring Unnecessary Voter ID’s, 5. Rejecting “Spoiled” Ballots, and 6. Challenging “Provisional” Ballots aren’t just around the corner? As Kennedy and Palast remind us (and as you can see by watching Uncounted), we’ve already seen instances of these in 2004, 2006 and this year’s primaries.

It’s simple really – one of the few things that’s black and white in this very nuanced world. Voter registration and encouraging participation in the our country’s greatest tradition is good. Fighting hard to suppress this participation is very, very bad. If you’re still not buying it, then replace “Republican” with “Democrat” and vice versa, and reevaluate.

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November 3, 2008 - Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , , ,

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