Terry Karney (pecunium) wrote,
Terry Karney

How "voter fraud" becomes voter supression

The Republicans have a long history of voter supression. Operation Eagle Eye (where Rhenquist made his bones in the party) had most of the things we see today, and that was forty years ago. Rick Perlstein saved me a lot of hassle trying to recover things seen here and there on the net four years ago. This is from a 1964 report about the Johnson/Goldwater election:

"'In one state, Minnesota, 'Operation Ballot Security' issued a seven-page single-space private memorandum detailing a variety of methods for challenging voters at the polls, with instructions to discourage helpful judges in Democratic precincts, to cut off waiting lines in Democratic precincts but not in Republican precincts, and to encourage stalling in Democratic precincts while preventing stalling in Republican precincts.

"'The Minnesota document goes so far as to state its purpose, not as encouraging each American to exercise his right to vote freely but 'to safeguard the investment of time, money, and effort that the Republican Party, its volunteers, its candidates, and their volunteers have made in this election.'

"As for specific instructions, the Republican memorandum says:

"'If any questions or dispute arises, refer to the pertinent authority cited below and (when it is to your party's interest) insist that the law be followed.'

"'Stalling in booths is a common trick when lines are long in order to discourage those waiting. In GOP precincts, keep lines moving.'

Away from Minnesota we discover:

"How else will 'Operation Eagle Eye' work? A Wall Street Journal article of October 22 by Stanley Penn told how.

"Penn quoted one 'ballot security' official as saying he planned to equip his poll watchers with cameras to frighten people into believing that voting irregularities can be photographed. He wrote: 'The official notes that even if poll watchers don't now how to use the cameras, potential Democratic wrong-doers may be frightened off.'

"'Another example used by Penn was a booklet written by Louisiana Republican 'ballot security' chief James A. Reeder, who urged his party to make all efforts to enlist the help of sheriffs and local police on eleciton day. The booklet explained why: 'We are advised that all sheriffs in the State of Louisiana, except one, are sympathetic with Senator Goldwater's election. We should take full advantage of this situation.'

There are recent reports of wanting to have deputies show up at,"intimidating" polling stations. For that read in black and hispanic neighborhoods.

Then there are the jokes about sending out flyers telling people that, because of so many newly registered voters the election would take place over two days. Republicans were to vote on Tuesday, Democrats on Wednsday.

The McCain campaign just paid money to Nathan Sproul, who was engaged in voter prevention at a more basic level four years ago... he just had non-repub/non-nader registrations shredded. It's a great trick. Someone who registers is most likely to vote in the election closest to when the register. A person is almost certain to cast their first ballot for the party they affiliate with when they fill the form.

So they show up at the polls and... they aren't registered. They thought they were, but they aren't. And one can be pretty sure they aren't going to go and fill out the form again. It's as good as it gets in keeping people from voting.

Why does this matter? One... there is evidence (and I can't judge it, but as presented it looks pretty good) the vote was rigged last time out.

Two... The Pennsyvania GOP is saying the vote there can't be trusted.

HARRISBURG -- The state Republican Party filed an injunction Friday against Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes and ACORN, alleging a fair vote on Nov. 4 is impossible because of rampant voter fraud..

Which might explain part of McCain's rolling out the ACORN nonsense. Unlike Sproul, ACORN seems to believe the same things the Dem spokeman was saying in 1964:

"I deeply resent 'Operation Eagle Eye' and these other programs that seek to deprive our citizens of their Constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.

"'Operation Eagle Eye' is not even founded on the principles of fredom of choice and freedom to vote. It speaks only of alleged frauds, alleged wrongdoings. Even the press release announcing its formation did not seek to encourage voters. It sought to frighten them with this headline: 'GOP Launches Nation Wide Campaign To Prevent "Any Repetition of 1960 Voting Fraud Scandals."'

"I believe the only way to have a fair election in this country is to encourage vvoters of both parties--not just of one party--to come forward, along with independent voters. This has been the basis on which the Democratic National Committee has conducted the entire 1964 campaign.

When ACORN accepts a registration form, it guarantees it will be delivered (in Calif there is a a reciept one has to give to someone whom you are accepting a form on behalf of, so they can come back to find you, if it doesn't get turned in. My high school gov't teacher had a stack of them. I sort of wish I'd kept the one I got from him, Don't worry Rex, I've been voting)

So they've been doing what they are supposed to. Less than half the population votes. That's pathetic. The Republicans are, by all apparent evidence, terrified of more people voting.

We can't let them keep pulling this shit.
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