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Required Reading

Block the Vote
Will the GOP's campaign to deter new voters and discard Democratic ballots determine the next president?
ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. & GREG PALAST


These days, the old west rail hub of Las Vegas, New Mexico, is little more than a dusty economic dead zone amid a boneyard of bare mesas. In national elections, the town overwhelmingly votes Democratic: More than 80 percent of all residents are Hispanic, and one in four lives below the poverty line. On February 5th, the day of the Super Tuesday caucus, a school-bus driver named Paul Maez arrived at his local polling station to cast his ballot. To his surprise, Maez found that his name had vanished from the list of registered voters, thanks to a statewide effort to deter fraudulent voting. For Maez, the shock was especially acute: He is the supervisor of elections in Las Vegas.

Maez was not alone in being denied his right to vote. On Super Tuesday, one in nine Democrats who tried to cast ballots in New Mexico found their names missing from the registration lists. The numbers were even higher in precincts like Las Vegas, where nearly 20 percent of the county's voters were absent from the rolls. With their status in limbo, the voters were forced to cast "provisional" ballots, which can be reviewed and discarded by election officials without explanation. On Super Tuesday, more than half of all provisional ballots cast were thrown out statewide.

This November, what happened to Maez will happen to hundreds of thousands of voters across the country. In state after state, Republican operatives — the party's elite commandos of bare-knuckle politics — are wielding new federal legislation to systematically disenfranchise Democrats. If this year's race is as close as the past two elections, the GOP's nationwide campaign could be large enough to determine the presidency in November. "I don't think the Democrats get it," says John Boyd, a voting-rights attorney in Albuquerque who has taken on the Republican Party for impeding access to the ballot. "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."

Read On...

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
mordath
Oct. 22nd, 2008 08:11 am (UTC)
This makes me sick. Physically, profoundly, massively sick. And they have the fucking balls to accuse ACORN of "destroying the fabric of democracy?" Excuse my language, but fuck that noise. Obama's fighting this campaign a hundred times harder than any other candidate possibly could, with a ground campaign that's like nothing anybody's ever seen before. And despite this, his margin isn't anywhere near where it should be, because of shenanigans like this, and because so many close-minded racist jackholes don't want to vote for someone who "isn't like them." Guess what, fuckwits? Neither Bush is like you. Reagan isn't like you. They've just discovered that if they pretend they're like you, they can play you for the fools you are.

Um. I think I need to step away from the keyboard now.
vampyrwithin
Oct. 22nd, 2008 09:05 am (UTC)
What mordath said.

Can we sue McPalin for emotional distress?
My head hurts.
maystone
Oct. 22nd, 2008 11:13 am (UTC)
RFK JR was on Rachel Maddow's show last night talking about this. Scared the crap out of me. They really could steal the election again, and I don't know what we could do about it.
charleeg
Oct. 22nd, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
I saw him on Maddow too. WTF?!? We're being assimilated by the Republiborg which scares the eternal living shit out of me. My MIL sure is a bitch but moving to New Zealand is looking better and better.
obsidienne
Oct. 22nd, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
That is so criminal. How is that even possible in a so-called democracy?
alicia_stardust
Oct. 22nd, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
The anger I feel when I read about blocking the vote and Republican operatives completely shreds my stomach.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )