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Monday · November 01 2004

What to do on Election Day
I don't expect any problems voting in my precinct, but I have it easy. I'm (1) white, (2) not voting in a battleground state, and (3) voting in an area where Kerry/Edwards signs outnumber Bush/Cheney signs by 100 to 1. Not so everywhere…

Days of Shame

Also mind-boggling is the attempt by Republican Party elements to return the U.S. to the wretched days of the mid-20th century when many black Americans faced harassment, intimidation and worse for daring to exercise their fundamental right to vote. A flier circulating extensively in black neighborhoods in Wisconsin carries the heading “Milwaukee Black Voters League.” It asserts that people are not eligible to vote if they have voted in any previous election this year; if they have ever been found guilty of anything, even a traffic violation; or if anyone in their family has ever been found guilty of anything.

“If you violate any of these laws,” the flier says, “you can get ten years in prison and your children will get taken away from you.”

In Philadelphia, where a large black vote is essential to a Kerry victory in the crucial state of Pennsylvania, the Republican speaker of the Pennsylvania House, John Perzel, is hard at work challenging Democratic voters. He makes no bones about his intent, telling U.S. News & World Report:

“The Kerry campaign needs to come out with humongous numbers here in Philadelphia. It's important for me to keep that number down.”

That's called voter suppression, folks, and the G.O.P. concentrates its voter-suppression efforts in the precincts where there are large numbers of African-Americans. And that's called racism.

I've been slow to accept voter suppression as more than a tiny sideshow issue. Wrong.

Archived: Political » November 2004
What you had to say:
November 01 2004

This also surprised me- I guess I knew in the back of my mind it was going on- but also never wanted to accept it- disgusting in my opinion. C'mon people- let's not forget we're supposed to be living in a democracy here

November 01 2004

I can vouch for the fact that it's everywhere. A friend is knocking doors in Cincinnati today. He's had three people tell him they're bringing guns to the poll on election day. No joke. It's everywhere. I've seen a half-dozen more things like Jason posted.

November 01 2004

Just, yikes.

November 01 2004

guns to the polls? are you serious? that's crazy.

November 01 2004

As terrible as that is, I suspect that most of the people this is aimed at deterring are shrewd enough to know when somebody is trying to con them. It may even backfire and get more people in those targeted neighborhoods pissed-off and that much more committed to making it to the polls before they close.

November 01 2004

I hope you're right, but the GOP is targeting mainly first-time registrants with its scare tactics.

November 01 2004

Michelle and I waited over 2 hours to vote on Friday -- we did the "early vote" thing at our local Safeway. It's a program called "shop & vote" and you could vote from mid-October to October 29th at any area Safeway, no matter what precinct you live in.

The line was slow, but not b/c they only had 3 booths...but rather b/c the people manning the polls were old and inattentive. The guy that checked my ID and plugged my name into their computer prior to voting (to figure out the precinct I was from and mark me off the "master list") was looking around and seemed distracted while filling in blanks on my form. No joke: he took 2 minutes for what should have taken 20 seconds. Both guys seemed distracted and slow. However, I didn't see too many people leave b/c of the line length, I guess many of us expected it due to the news reports during the week. One of my buddies voted much earlier in October, and he waited for only 2 minutes.

I have friends that will be showing up at the polls tomorrow to make sure that no one gets turned away...they're going to oversee the octagenarians that may not be as attentive as we need. That's another reason why I like being in school: election-time passion. We've had several events sponsored by the law school republicans and democrats, including a senate debate with the actual candidates (coors & salazar); a mock debate for the pres. election; and debate-watch parties for all 3 of the presidential debates. Fun stuff.

"It Is On!"
(good tune too)

© 2004 Jason Keglovitz