Ohio Countdown 2004

2004 Presidential battleground analyzed by a grizzled campaign veteran and Ohio's Top Targeted Undecided Perfectly Predictive Swing Voter - His Mom.

10/18/2004

Jeb Bush & Ohio's Blackwell On Same Page

Republican voter suppression is a national strategy. There has to be a memo somewhere to prove it.

Exhibit A. Jeb Bush's appearance on This Week with George Stephanopolous tipped the Republicans' hand on their national voter suppression strategy. Stephanopolous pressed Jeb on the impression that Florida's vote will be flawed, and in the classic Bush petulance we all know and hate, he alleged all sorts of things have been done to insure a fair vote. Including, (he said this almost under his breath) allowing "provisional voting for voters not on the list but in the right precinct."

It just so happens that Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell has hung his voter suppression hat on exactly the same thing...allowing only provisional voting for voters who aren't on the list and can prove they live in the precinct covered by the polling place.

Most people don't know which House district they live in, let alone which precinct. New voters showing up and not being on the list (i.e. without having been sent a voter registration card confirming their polling place and precinct...a regular occurance) are highly unlikely to be turning up in their correct precicnt. Under Jeb's and Blackwell's strategy, they don't get to vote.

This strategy was struck down by a federal court in Toledo. Blackwell is appealling to federal circuit court.

Also, people forget....Ken Blackwell was the black face of Florida 2000. He was on the air constantly as the only black person willing to defend the inevitable march of electoral fraud in Florida in 2000. He is not some innocent attempting to enforce fair election law.

2 Comments:

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Michael said...

The 2000 election exposed the giant gaping whole in American democracy which is that our elections are full of innacuracies, incompetencies, and interpretations. They also made clear some ways that the political parties can try and exploit the process to their advantage. Do Republicans have a strategy of suppressing voters or do Democrats have a strategy introducing questionable votes into the election? Shouldn't we be most concerned with resolving the shortcomings in our election system so that our elections produce accurate results?

The battle over provisional ballots is growing to comical proportions due to a simple requirement that people show up in the right precinct to vote. Think about it -- can you check out a library book from a library you don't have a card with? Can you mail your city taxes to the wrong city and expect they get to the right place? Can you make a dinner reservation then show up at the wrong establishment and expect to get a table? No. Why is what is reasonable to expect in every other part of life is considered voter suppression when it comes to the presidential election?

Also consider that we are not talking about a sudden, newly changed policy that is disenfrancising voters. No, this "vote in your precint" rule is pretty much the only limitation on a new policy that will allow many, many more voters to cast ballots and potentially resolve many cases where local election boards errored. This seems less like voter suppresion as much as it seems like a prudent policy to enable provisional balloting without mass chaos ensuing.

Finally, it should be noted (and in every newspaper) that it is not difficult to find out what precinct you belong to. The vast majority of voters get a registration card in the mail, and there are web sites and 800 numbers that will tell you where to vote. One might also consider asking other people in the neighborhood where they vote. Voting locations and precints are public information and it takes minimal effort for a voter to determine theirs.

On this particular issue, charges of voter suppression are quite a stretch, and throwing such a charge around says more about which side of the fence you sit than anything else.

 
At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you really believe what you wrote, why aren't you helping us with the Fitrakis movement for governor. He is the one that began the fight against Voter Suppression, in Ohio?

 

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