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September 28, 2004

Comments

MikeS

Michael – great post. I’m with you in that it continually amazes me that folks are not getting angry with this. The right to vote was hard won for many segments in our society. The suspicion, alone, that people are being disenfranchised should result in some kind of investigation into these allegations that citizens are being barred from voting based on ethnic or partisan lines. Instead, pundits, conservatives mostly, are dodging this issue. I caught Rush’s diatribe on Carter’s comments yesterday. Rather than discuss the substance of the argument, Rush derided Carter’s statements, sarcastically noting that Carter was “to busy” to help in our own election, and that when he does help in election monitoring in other countries he succeeds in electing “thugs and strongmen.” Not only is that not addressing the claims Carter is making, it approaches slander.

Betcha’ d has something to say about this.

here's what's left

yeah, ya know, i was actually considering posting some of rush's diatribe, which i found on his website, but the post got so long... maybe i still will

it's really a remarkable piece of work. and not a single fact in their to refute anything that carter said. amazing that people pay attention to that guy.

Cheryl

The real zinger here is that, 4 years later, the alleged 'felons' who were purged from the Florida voter rolls in the 2000 election STILL have not had their right to vote restored.

They have to petition the state. In the case where the list is just wrong, they may be re-instated but likely not without suing since the Governor (another Bush) is stonewalling. In the case where they were convicted in a different state, then had their voting rights restored before moving to Florida, they are being told to obtain evidence from the convicting state that they are eligible to vote. Anybody know how you would do that?

This is disgraceful. If I were a registered Repubican, I would be hiding in shame and mad as hell at my own party. I wonder just how many lifelong Republicans are so thoroughly disgusted with the criminal takeover of their leadership that they are converting to Democrats.

MoveOn seems to have touched a nerve with their latest ads featuring disaffected Republicans. "I don't think George Bush is a Republican," says one of them. Well, according to my understanding of what the GOP originally stood for, I don't think Bush is a Republican either. I consider him a radical fascist and a credit junkie, not a conservative. Most un-American.

d meyers

who the hell cares what a washed up partisan hack like Carter says???

"Several thousand ballots of African Americans were thrown out on technicalities in 2000" I must have missed the spot on the ballot that said "Identify your race".

I am wondering if these included all of the military ballots that were thrown out by Al Gores lawyers because of "technicalities".

elections in Florida are run by county commissioners, not the secretary of state of Florida. Why is it that all of these problems with ballots being thrown out are happening in counties run by Democrat election officials?

Why is it that 22 of 23 counties with the highest "spoilage" rate of votes are run by Democrats??

Why was it that the 3 counties that were at the center of the 2000 election controversy all were run by Democrat election officials? How is it that all these Democrat election officials are helping the Republicans so much??

A nonpartisan electoral commission or a trusted and nonpartisan official who will be responsible for organizing and conducting the electoral process before, during and after the actual voting takes place.

• Uniformity in voting procedures, so that all citizens, regardless of their social or financial status, have equal assurance that their votes are cast in the same way and will be tabulated with equal accuracy.

Can someone please tell me which state has non-partisan county election officias or uniform voting methods. I would like to know.

d meyers

Gee, which party do you think is going to be sending their lawyers into the courts on Nov 2 and 3 across the nation? The Dems of course. This election will be called "The Invasion of the Election Lawyers", a Terry McAwful production...

I will bet anyone a six pack of your favorite beer that the Dems are going to be the ones that flood the courts with their lawyers trying to get votes thrown out and/or tossed out.

MikeS

d:

Gee, the reality of the situation is that BOTH parties have an army of lawyers waiting for election problems because they are expected. Republicans and Democrats alike are planning for more voter irregularities. There were news reports yesterday and today that reflect that. My question remains: why can’t Republicans speak to the issues of the voter irregularities, the coincidence that African Americans ( who happen to vote Democrat) are way over represented on the felons list while Hispanics (who happen to vote Republican) are under represented? Why do you answer that question with statements about counties in Florida being “controlled” by democrats? The entire administration of Florida is Republican with ties to Bush. You don’t see any problem with state voting officials overseeing elections involving candidates for whom they occupy key campaign posts? And don’t try to word-smith or parse the question down because it is documented that several powerful election officials in Florida worked for the Bush campaign. Not just donated money, actually worked for the campaign! I think it’s also important to note that recommendations for the election process were presented to Congress AND passed but were not funded or were held up by our Republican Congress. The bottom line is that we are at risk of having the same problems with the upcoming election as we had in 2000. Don’t you want to have an honest election? Or is it “win at all costs?” Why not strive for an election with no problems?

d meyers

Mike,

you do not seem to realize who runs the elections in florida. The state oversees the entire process but the county commissions count the votes. It was the Democrat controlled counties in 2000 that were responsible for the hanging chad fiascos, it was the democrat controlled election commissions that designed the butterfly ballot, it is the counties that determine what voting mechanisms are used, it is the counties that staff polling places.

If the felon list is wrong then the individuals affected should sue to correct it, I have no problem with it. The fact is felons are not allowed to vote in Florida so voter roles should reflect an accurate felon list.

the NY Post reported over 60,000 voters are registered in both New York and Florida, well over 60% of these are Dems, less than 20% are repulicans. Why is nothing being done about that??


With regards to both sides having lawyers you are living in a fantasy land. Tell me, which party sent lawyers into court to get certain vote counted and others thrown out in Florida??? Very easy, it was the Dems. You seem to forget the assault on military absentee ballots in Florida, the Dem lawyers were successful in getting many, many MILITARY VOTES TOSSED OUT.

"You don’t see any problem with state voting officials overseeing elections involving candidates for whom they occupy key campaign posts" Well lets see, elected officials actually belong to a party?? Everywhere in this country every level of gov't is held by "partisan" people, does that mean they will not do their job??? Of course not. It seems to me that nobody can be trusted to do an honest job because they belong to a political party.

MikeS

d:

Thank goodness you are such an authority on election procedure in Florida. I understand the state oversees the entire process but the county commissions count the votes. You seem to fault democrats who run those counties in question, and blame them for the election mess. The reality is those county supervisors donot have the ultimate authority in Florida. The Secretary of State approves the elections in Florida. Ms. Harris, a Republican, was instrumental in that process, and I guess from your point of view it was pure coincidence that she acted in the best interests of her party. My point about the upcoming election is not that election officials should not belong to a political party, that would be an asinine statement. However, I am uncomfortable, to say the least, that some of the most powerful election officials in Florida are, or have been, heavyweights in the Bush campaign, not just a member of the party. What bothers me is that they are, or were, directly involved in the process of getting Bush elected, and now they have power over the elections in the state. It strikes me as a conflict of interest. Already, there have been questionable decisions that (surprise!) benefit the Republican party. The current SecState in Florida decided to put Nader on the ballot (a move that CLEARLY favors Bush) although the state court had not yet ruled on the matter. That seems like a partisan decision to me. I’m sure you have a different point of view.

Cheryl

So, 'd', how much were you paid for those latest diatribes?

Maybe you could join the ranks of the rest of the high-school graduates around the world and begin using English correctly?

I suggest you look up the words 'democrat', 'democratic', and 'republican' on dictionary.com. There you will discover that the word 'democrat' is a noun, the word 'democratic' is an adjective, and the word 'republican' is either. Using the word 'democrat' as an adjective makes you sound like a Gingrich moron.

The grammatically correct phrase is 'Democratic election officials', not 'Democrat election officials', Gingrich's attempt to redefine English into a polarized 'Republic' fantasy language notwithstanding ;)

"Why is it that 22 of 23 counties with the highest "spoilage" rate of votes are run by Democrats?? " -d-

Well, let's see if we can jump-start that imagination of yours. You are aware, of course, that Democrats typically protect the interests of a broad swath of average people i.e. civil rights, fair wages, environmental protection, and Republicans typically protect the interests of corporate aristocrats i.e. tax breaks that favor the rich, deregulation, privatization, no-bid contracts and corporate welfare?

You are aware, of course, that the economic fortunes of average people fare poorly under the Republican party, whereas millionaires and billionaires make out like bandits? You are aware, of course, that Florida has struggled under entrenched Republican classist oppression for decades?

You are aware, of course, that people with more money tend to have newer, cleaner, better-maintained houses, cars, and voting machines?

You are aware, of course, that the primary cause of hanging and dimpled chads in the Democratic counties of Florida was that, due to underfunding and understaffing, the voting punch boxes had not been emptied, making it virtually impossible to punch out the chads? Or did you sleep through that part of the news coverage?

You are aware, of course, that Republican counties with more money tend to spend it on electronic voting machines (made by wealthy Republican-owned corporations) that include no capacity whatsoever for an independent audit trail and therefore lend a false sense of confidence in their results to anyone who dismisses the importance of being able to VERIFY election results?

The loss of our democracy to a corporate aristocracy might by the way be a good reason for the average person to care about "what a washed up partisan hack like Carter says".

Of course, you are a wealthy Republican, which is why you do not care. Either that or you are just a doltish wannabe and too ignorant to recognize when you are acting against your own best interests. Which is it?

Care to share your net worth with the rest of us so that we can accurately gauge your smarts?

"I will bet anyone a six pack of your favorite beer that the Dems are going to be the ones that flood the courts with their lawyers trying to get votes thrown out and/or tossed out." - d

It was the Republicans who sent legions of supporters from DC down to Florida for the photo op where so many 'Floridians' were beating down the doors demanding that the recount be stopped. You can thank your good friend DeLay for orchestrating that one. Sure wish I could take a few days off work for a political vacation like that just to ensure that Republican votes are not counted, or better yet, skip out on a full year's worth of National Guard duty. Unfortunately, I am just an average Independent, and as such I do not qualify for such cushy treatment.

It was also the Republicans who sued in federal court to stop the recount.

It was the Republican-dominated supreme court that ultimately halted the recount.

This action ultimately resulted in many more Democratic votes not being counted than Republican.

You are aware, also, that many of the absentee votes were cast on defective absentee forms, and that it was the Republican, Katherine Harris, who allowed only the Republican absentee ballots with that particular printing defect to be counted while the Democratic votes cast on that same defective form were thrown in the trash?

You are aware that Katherine Harris also allowed unsupervised Republican party operatives into the computer room while the election was in process, and that the audit log file of Diebold voting machines can be altered with a simple text editor, requiring no password?

Despite evidence of tampering across the state, Gore only asked for 3 counties to be recounted. He could have demanded that the whole state be recounted.

Can't have it both ways, 'd'. If these legal machinations on the part of the Republicans do not count, I do not know what does. In contrast, the Democrats got walked all over. They are not likely to let that happen again.

The problems in Florida run even deeper.

"One by one, African Americans from the lower chamber, the House of Representatives, approached the dais and explained that, in light of the large number of black voters who were turned away from the polls in Florida, the results were invalid. In order to have their grievance tabled and discussed, they needed one Senator to support them. The motion fell because not one of the 100 Senators, two for each State in the Union, was prepared to back them. Not one Senator was black." -Hindu International-

So we also have a strong undercurrent of racism involved in Florida, and the entire Senate is in collusion. To the best of my recollection, not one wealthy white suburb had police blockades physically restraining or arresting black people on their way to the polls. Prove me wrong, please, d.

My interpretation of your position on the elections in Florida is that you actually want the US to become a banana republic where elections are just a sham. The only reason you could rationally desire that is if you are in a position to benefit from fascist rule. The only way you could possibly benefit from fascist rule is if you are very, very wealthy and well-connected to the corporate world. Otherwise you are just a looney pawn.

Besides helping us gauge your IQ, you might share with us your net worth so that we can also estimate your degree of sanity.

I am betting that you are just another brainwashed dolt. Anyone else care to place a bet? Is 'd' a billionaire or not? Millionaire? Does he know which side of his bread is buttered? Maybe Mike can start a blog betting pool on another thread. After two weeks we can sort it out when 'd' finally releases his pay stubs. I can hardly stand the suspense!

"My question remains: why can’t Republicans speak to the issues..." -Mike-

Mike, this is pathetically obvious.

Republicans cannot speak to the issues because they lose on the issues. They are on the wrong side of every issue. This is why Republicans always resort to fogging issues, deception, and character assasination.

The party is corrupt. It is taken over by corporate criminals, fascists and religious fruitcakes chanting the same idiotic refrain that sank Nazi Germany. It is supported by a broad swath of dolts who are too dense to figure out that they are being duped into slitting their own throats and too greedy to care.

How many hucksters have peddled the same snake oil the Republicans are selling? Let's bankrupt the government. Let's give away everything to the rich. Let's put the church back in charge. Let's launch a world-wide empire. Let's ignore the environment. Let's sneer at everyone who disagrees with us.

Most Republicans would not recognize a patriot if bitten by one. They have substituted pure greed and love of self where their love of country should be.

d meyers

Mike S,

Let's remember florida 2000. The legislature passes the law the dictates when ballots must be certified by the Sec of State (Harris). Sec Harris did not count any votes, she had a time frame when she had to certify the election and she did what the law said. It was the Florida judges that threw out the election law passed by the legislation and decided that the date requirement meant nothing. Harris did not add or take away one vote, she applied the law and said all counties had to have the vote tally by the date identified in the law.

Cheryl

"Sec Harris did not count any votes, she had a time frame when she had to certify the election and she did what the law said." -d-

Wrong again.

Here is a summary of all the illegal activities that Secretary of State Katherine Harris is ultimately responsible for (occurred in her chain of command):

Voting Rights Act Section 5 (Bucky Mitchell, Michael Cochran, Elaine Baxter)
Misrepresentation of the felons list statute, failure to provide available documents directly relevant to the pre-clearance review

Voting Rights Act Section 5 (Clay Roberts, Bucky Mitchell)
Knowing failure to obtain pre-clearance for significant changes in policies and procedures pursuant to the implementation of the felons list law which resulted in the removal of legal voters from the registration rolls in at least one of 5 pre-clearance counties in Florida

Disenfranchisement of Legal Voters
Knowingly purged felons from states where voting rights were automatically restored upon release, contrary to clear court rulings. Knowingly included non-felons in its purge through its "wide net" policy (accepting a 90% name-match in 1999, and an 80% match in 2000).

Ballot Design Law
Sent out a sample ballot design to county elections supervisors that split the 10 Presidential candidates on the ballots onto 2 pages

Uniform Administration of Election Law: Assistance to Voters
Failure to oversee training of poll workers to ensure proper assistance to voters

Americans with Disabilities Act (Jeb Bush, Counties)
Failure to make voting machines fully accessible to the handicapped

Mandatory Machine Recount Law
20 counties never did the mandatory machine recount as required by state election law.

Overseas Absentee Ballot Law
Allowed illegal overseas absentee ballots to be counted and included in the certified total

Uniform Administration of Election Law
Coordination (conspiracy) between Harris lawyers and Bush/GOP lawyers; Deliberate misinterpretation of the law for partisan purposes

Uniform Administration of Elections: Hand Recount Law
Inconsistent application of hand count law: accepted manual recounts from some counties, but denied Palm Beach permission to conduct hand count

Use of Government Office for Politics
Allowed Republican operatives Andrew Goodman and J.M. Stipanovich to use her state computers and offices during the recount; Communications Director Donald Tighe admitted writing partisan speeches during the campaign.

These political activities were found on Harris' computer. 1) On 1/29/00, a speech written for a Republican meeting that declared: "We are READY TO LEAD!" 2) On 3/14/00, a set of campaign talking points for George W. Bush. 3) On 11/14/00, an examination of the campaign finances of FL Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente - who was reviewing important election cases. 4) A list of contributors to Harris' 1998 Democratic opponent, Karen Gievers (undated).

Harris claims Stipanovich and Goodman were "volunteers," but Goodman billed Harris $12,000 for his work, and Harris initially approved the bill (Palm Beach Post, 8/23/01)

Abuse of Discretion in Violation of Florida Supreme Court Order
The Florida Supreme Court ordered Harris to accept the Palm Beach recount until 9 a.m. on 11/27; she refused to accept them after 5 p.m. on 11/26

Conflict of Interest; Use of Office for Political Gain
While overseeing the recount, Harris expressed interest in appointment as Ambassador under Bush

Public Records
Reinstalled Windows and erased files on state computers used by Republican operatives Andrew Goodman and J.M Stipanovich

If ever there was more reason to throw someone in jail for election fraud, I'd like to see it.

Pat Rogers

Folks might be interested in these other recent reports to flash out the electoral suppression in America issue.

Editorial Observer: How Denying the Vote to Ex-Offenders Undermines Democracy
The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/17/opinion/17fri3.html?8br

By BRENT STAPLES
Published: September 17, 2004

Pundits blame apathy for the decline in voter turnout that has become a fact of life in the United States in the last several decades. But not everyone who skips the polls on Election Day does so by choice. This November, for example, an estimated five million people - roughly 2.3 percent of the number of people eligible to vote - will be barred from voting by state laws that strip convicted felons of the franchise, often temporarily but sometimes for life.

These laws cast a permanent shadow over the poor minority communities where disenfranchised people typically live. Children grow up with the unfortunate example of neighbors, parents and grandparents who never vote and never engage in the political process, even superficially.

-------------
http://www.justicepolicy.org/article.php?list=type&type=101
Swing States: Crime, Prisons and the Future of the Nation

By Eric Lotke, Deborah Stromberg & Vincent Schiraldi
August 25, 2004

-------------

http://mysite.verizon.net/aahpat/jc/jccover.htm
The Long Shadow of Jim Crow: Voter Intimidation and Suppression in America Today

d meyers

Pat,

Wheter convicted felons are allowed to vote is a public policy issue that each state handles. What should the policy be? It is up to each state legislation and electorate to decide.

Should convicted rapists, child molestors and murderers be allowed to vote?? I don't think so. Should certain non-violent felons get their right to vote back?? Possibly. Should the convicted white collar felons of World Com, Enron, Adelphia, get their right to vote back?? It is up to each state to make those judgements.

Saying felons not being allowed to vote is disenfranchisement is just silly. The states made public policy that laid out who loses their right to vote.

If you think child rapists, child molestors, rapists and murderers deserve to vote then go ahead and argue that in each state and try and get the laws changed. You have every right to fight for the right of rapists, molestors and murderers to vote... I have a feeling that not to many people would support you on this though.

d meyers

You know Pat, I guess it comes down to if you want to vote don't commit a felony.

You know, many states have laws that felons cannot own guns. Is that right? If you lose your right to own a gun just because your a felon how is that any worse/better than losing your right to vote if you are a felon?

The fact is if you commit a felony bad things will happen and their will be consequences so don't commit a felony.

here's what's left

You know Pat, I guess it comes down to if you want to vote don't commit a felony.

You know, many states have laws that felons cannot own guns. Is that right? If you lose your right to own a gun just because your a felon how is that any worse/better than losing your right to vote if you are a felon?

that's got to be the most falacious logic i've ever heard. are you suggesting that gun ownership and voting are somehow equivalent? seriously, are you doing that?

if it does, in fact, come down to "don't commit a felony if you want to vote," that seems to belie the very principle of the american penal system. you commit a crime and are punished, you pay your debt to society, then you become part of it again. unless having your voting privileges revoked somehow is part of the sentence.

why is it that loss of liberty as punishment for a crime is something that is subject to sentencing guidelines and limitations, but loss of voting privileges, according to your logic is not? you don't have to petition to get out of jail. that right is automatically restored to you. why shouldn't the other?

oh, i get it. the states decide those things. that's a great answer.

d meyers

There is some good stuff from Kerry regarding voting:

""In battleground states across the country, we're hearing stories of how people are trying to make it harder to file for additional time, or how they're making it harder to even register," Kerry told an enthusiastic congregation at East Mt. Zion Baptist Church. "

Why is it then that Kerry's lawyers across the country are doing everything in their power to get Ralph Nader off the ballot? Why are they making it so difficult for Nader to file petitions?

"At a stop in Ohio earlier Sunday, Kerry told a voter concerned about ballots cast by military personnel overseas that Democrats are aware of voting problems and are concerned. " LOL LOL.. Remember 2000 when Algore lawyer's actively had hundreds and hundreds of military absentee ballots tossed out

""Like so much of his campaign, John Kerry's false charges of voter intimidation are baseless," said spokesman Steve Schmidt. He said Democrats rejected a GOP offer to put a lawyer from each party in every voting district across the nation on Election Day. " LOL LOL. If they are so concerned why not have one Dem and one Repub lawyer at each polling place?? HMMM, me thinks the Dem lawyers don't want people watching them so they can pull fast ones

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