Who Really Won?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Is There An American Way Any More?

People for the American Way shatters the rose colored glasses:

Among the most disturbing reports were the more than a thousand reports of voter suppression or intimidation at the polls, including:
Police stationed outside a Cook County, Illinois polling place requesting photo ID and telling voters if they had been convicted of a felony that they could not vote.

In Arizona voters at multiple polls were confronted by an individual wearing a black tee shirt with “US Constitution Enforcer” and a military-style belt that gave the appearance he was armed. He asked voters if they were citizens, accompanied by a cameraman who filmed the encounters.

Numerous incidents of intimidation by partisan challengers at predominately low-income and minority precincts.

Misinformation campaigns delivered through anonymous flyers or phone calls with a variety of intimidating or vote-suppressing messages, advising voters to go to the polls on November 3rd rather than November 2, or giving other false information on voting rights. A few of the most outrageous examples include:
"If you already voted in any election this year, you can’t vote in the Presidential Election."

"If anybody in your family has ever been found guilty of anything you can’t vote in the Presidential Election."

"If you violate any of these laws, you can get 10 years in prison and your children will be taken away from you."

While workers are still entering voter complaints into the Election Incident Reporting System, the 39,000 reports already entered include a wide range of problems surrounding voter registration, absentee ballots, voting machines, and provisional ballots.

“Since we targeted 3,500 vulnerable precincts, we saw only the tip of the iceberg. We found human error, equipment problems, bureaucratic snafus and outright attempts to deceive and misinform the voters everywhere. Extrapolate our findings to the rest of the country, and you see a picture of a flawed election system, badly in need of reform,” said Neas.