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October 15, 2004

Trashing the Vote: Can We Stop Them?

Yesterday I read that Nader's been thrown off the ballot in Pennsylvania, because the petition seeking to add him contained bogus names and addresses, leaving the number of valid signatures well below the required amount. It's possible Nader has better ideas. But I don't like him and I think he's a shit. No matter what he says, he's a spoiler. Of course if Kerry were a better candidate, someone who could appeal to progressives and moderates, the election wouldn't be so close. Of course, who knows how accurate the numbers are going to be anyway, given that there are organized efforts all over the country to fix the vote. It's not just the issues with electronic voting machines. It's tampering with voter registration through whatever means possible.

My first awareness today was in Paul Krugman's column, which outlines voter registration issues going on all over the country, but especially in swing states:

Earlier this week former employees of Sproul & Associates (operating under the name Voters Outreach of America), a firm hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters, told a Nevada TV station that their supervisors systematically tore up Democratic registrations.

The accusations are backed by physical evidence and appear credible. Officials have begun a criminal investigation into reports of similar actions by Sproul in Oregon.

Republicans claim, of course, that they did nothing wrong - and that besides, Democrats do it, too. But there haven't been any comparably credible accusations against Democratic voter-registration organizations. And there is a pattern of Republican efforts to disenfranchise Democrats, by any means possible.

Block the Vote [NYT] [Bugmenot]

Here's the story from KLAS-TV, the Nevada local news outlet that's investigating the story. You can read the story and also see it presented as a news segment. There is footage of ripped-up voter registration applications and the reporter even goes so far as to contact one of the people who thought he had registered and was shocked to find out his application had been trashed. And guess what? KLAS has another story that connects Voters Outreach of America to Ralph Nader; apparently the group obtained petition signatures to get Nader on the ballot in Arizona, and perhaps elsewhere.

At Daily Kos [via Zeebah], I read more about Nathan Sproul of Sproul & Associates. He was a former head of the Arizona Republican Party. Of particular note is how Sproul & Associates, operates as Voters Outreach of America but posed as America Votes - a real, Democratic voter registration outreach organization - during voter registration drives. And they're doing this in public libraries! Leave it to librarians to compare notes and figure out some of what's going on.

The more I find out about stuff like this, the more I fear that there will be riots.

Yours, &c., LC | 01:39 PM | Librariana , Politics | TrackBack (0)

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