Who Really Won?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Perfect Election Day Crime

TomPaine.com reminds us that suspicious vote counts weren't the only problem in Ohio. The lack of voting machines in heavily Democratic areas:

"There were widespread anecdotal reports that inner city voters were leaving the polls because of 2-hour plus wait times, " Clark said. "Granted, there were also waits in suburban areas. But the impact on final voter turnout was clearly very different—a lawyer can be late and keep her job, a grocery store clerk can't."

And then there’s the question of how and where voting machines were distributed. Even though Franklin County election officials have their ready defense to deflect charges of intentional voting rights violations, Democratic field organizers said the placement of too-few voting machines at inner city precincts came amid a broader campaign of voter intimidation aimed at Democrats.

Protecting the right to vote is the heart of the federal Voting Rights Act. If fewer voting machines were put in African-American precincts, on a per capita basis, than were placed in the county’s whiter suburbs—and that prevented African-Americans from voting—that would violate the Voting Rights Act.

"If this was planned and systematic and not accidental, it would be a violation," Gerety said. "If this was a means of disenfranchising African-American voters, it’s a clear violation."