Tuesday, September 28, 2004

 

Democrats share blame for growing ballot fears

As we have noted on these pages, there is every reason to fear major efforts to tamper with the voting process in Ohio.
Again, the obvious problems are in the areas of :
- blocking the record number of new registrants
- blocking provisional voting
- absentee ballot stuffing.

Although the Ohio Democratic Party, the labor unions and the Kerry campaign, itself, have bragged about having voting protection team that numbers in the thousands of attorneys and other experts, it is increasingly looking like this is more smoke 'n' mirrors than substance.

A well-known national blog, MyDD, has also stepped up their reporting on the impending voting debacle. But the fact that people OUTSIDE the state can identify more problems and are raising more hell than those within the state speaks volumes about the state of "voter protection" in Ohio.

MyDD targets, in particular, the fact that Sect. of State Ken Blackwell has arbitrarily required that all voter registration forms be printed on 80-pound paper (this kind of paper is close to cardstock), supposedly to facilitate scanning & copying. Montgomery Co. election officials have said they are concerned that Blackwell will refuse to honor applications not on the proper papers. (MyDD readers also do a great job in suggesting ways to apply pressure and to respond (including organizing the county election boards to simply ignore Blackwell's edicts - please read the whole string of replies under the original post.)

The Ohio Democratic Party and the unions have known about this issue for months if not years. They ignored it - and now those chickens are coming home to roost. I got the sense when this "paper" issue was raised earlier this year in those circles that they were so used to unquestioningly following the rules from the SOS office that they couldn't even fathom the concept of tackling this "technical issue." So punch-drunk from years of taking beatings by the Rs that they lost the ability to swing back. As a matter of fact, the Party and the unions seemed to be the main ones propogating the "scanning" excuse for this neo-Jim Crow effort. I am not expert on the federal Voting Rights Act, but this seems to at least violate the spirit of it.

Pro-Kerry forces must gain the offensive with a comprehensive, aggressive no-rock-unturned effort to protect the vote - one that also mobilizes supporters to also speak out and take action instead of soley relying on the lawyers. Unions - you are supposed to be "organizers," aren't you?

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