THE BIRTHER MOVEMENT (AND OTHER FOLLIES) IN THE AGE OF BARACK OBAMA                          

Oh, For Goodness Sake

Nov 052012
 

New York Times Editorial

This year, voting is more than just the core responsibility of citizenship; it is an act of defiance against malicious political forces determined to reduce access to democracy. Millions of ballots on Tuesday — along with those already turned in — will be cast despite the best efforts of Republican officials around the country to prevent them from playing a role in the 2012 election.

Even now, many Republicans are assembling teams to intimidate voters at polling places, to demand photo ID where none is required, and to cast doubt on voting machines or counting systems whose results do not go their way. The good news is that the assault on voting will not affect the election nearly as much as some had hoped. Courts have either rejected or postponed many of the worst laws. Predictions that up to five million people might be disenfranchised turned out to be unfounded.

But a great deal of damage has already been done, and the clearest example is that on Sunday in Florida, people will not be allowed to vote early. Four years ago, on the Sunday before Election Day, tens of thousands of Floridians cast their ballots, many of them black churchgoers who traveled directly from services to their polling places. Because most of them voted for Barack Obama, helping him win the state, Republicans eliminated early voting on that day. No legitimate reason was given; the action was entirely partisan in nature.

But a great deal of damage has already been done, and the clearest example is that on Sunday in Florida, people will not be allowed to vote early. Four years ago, on the Sunday before Election Day, tens of thousands of Floridians cast their ballots, many of them black churchgoers who traveled directly from services to their polling places. Because most of them voted for Barack Obama, helping him win the state, Republicans eliminated early voting on that day. No legitimate reason was given; the action was entirely partisan in nature.

The author of that law, as The Palm Beach Post revealed last week, was Emmett Mitchell IV, the general counsel for the state Republican Party. Under his guidance, party officials in Florida got thousands of perfectly eligible black voters purged from the rolls in 2000, and got a law passed last year that limited registration drives and early voting days. A federal judge struck down the registration limits, but not before they drove down the numbers of new registrants.

 Posted by at 12:26 am
Nov 052012
 

New York Times

3:02 p.m. | Updated MIAMI – In a state where legal action often goes hand in hand with presidential elections, the Florida Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit early Sunday to force the state government to extend early voting hours in South Florida.

The lawsuit followed a stream of complaints from voters who sometimes waited nearly seven hours to vote or who did not vote at all because they could not wait for hours to do so.

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, local election supervisors in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, where queues sometimes snaked out the door and around buildings, said they would allow voters to request and cast absentee ballots on Sunday. Voters in three other Florida counties also will be able to pick up and drop off absentee ballots. State election law permits election offices to receive absentee ballots through Tuesday so long as they are cast in person.

But later on Sunday, Miami-Dade’s county election supervisor closed down the line for absentee ballots at its Doral office after two hours because too many people showed up.

Last year, Mr. Scott and the Republican-controlled State Legislature pushed through a measure to cut early voting from 14 to 8 days and do away with voting on the final Sunday before Election Day. Because more Democrats cast their ballots early than Republicans, the move was viewed by Democrats as an effort to blunt Democratic turnout.

 Posted by at 12:25 am
Nov 042012
 

Do not hesitate.

Complaints about ballot access problems or discrimination can be made directly to the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section in Washington, D.C., at 1-800-253-3931 or (202) 307-2767.

Also: Obama Campaign Voter Hotline 1-800-311-VOTE; or Election Protection 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

hialeahFL

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Read this:

Voter Suppression, Explained: A Brief Guide to Voter Suppression Tactics

 Posted by at 3:02 pm
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