It's Election Day today, but a 90-year-old Republican will not be voting after the ID nightmare she faced when moving to Virginia. As it turns out, her birth certificate did not match her married name (ya think?), but even though she also brought a driver's license, proof of her new residence, a Medicaid card and a bank card, she still had problems getting the state-issued ID she'd need to vote today in VA.
After several trips to the DMV, --- luckily she's able to get there, several times apparently, unlike many other 90-year-olds --- Jean Earley was finally able to get that ID. But this story has twist ending. Go read it.
Americans finally stand up against the phony, democracy-hating town hall disrupting bullies. VelvetRevolution.us (of whom The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder) was there to document it last night...
Will this event receive as much coverage in the corporate media as those where the wingnuts weren't outnumbered and shouted down?
And...as we've asked before...how long will this keep escalating before someone ends up dead? (And I'm not referring to those thousands of Americans already dead because a bureaucrat from the corporate healthcare industry was allowed to come between them and a doctor to help deny them healthcare.)
While out on the stump for VA's Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, former Gov. Mike Huckabee made an hysterical joke to the laughing assembled crowd of Republicans, instructing them to "Do the lord's work" by not letting voters to the polls if they don't plan to vote for McDonnell.
HUCKABEE: You have two jobs. One - get all those people who are gonna vote for Bob out to the polls and vote. If they're not gonna vote for Bob, you have another job. Let the air out of their tires and do not let them out of their driveway on Election Day. Keep 'em home. Do the lord's work, my friend. I'm giving you an opportunity...yes, do the right thing.
Of course, it was just a joke. Who in the Republican Party would ever do such a thing in this country?!
Well, other than the guy in the video on the right, Paul Weyrich, one of the founding fathers of the modern Republican vote suppression movement, who, until he recently died, was a regular, legendary consultant to the nation's top Republicans, and also another hysterically funny Republican Baptist just like Huckabee.
WEYRICH: Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome - good government. They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."
McDonnell's Democratic opponent in the VA race, former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe, wasn't laughing. He sent a letter to supporters describing Huckabee's comment as "no joking matter," noting: "People died for the right to vote in this country, and we have to protect it." Rachel Weiner has the full letter tonight at HuffPo.
Beyond that, we'll spare you the photographs of the who-knows-how-many African-Americans who not only were kept from voting in this nation by others just "doing the right thing" and "the lord's work," but who were strung up in trees by their necks in order to keep them from voting and to send the hilarious message to others that they'd best not be let out of their "driveways" come Election Day. We'd go on, but it's all just so funny, we can't even keep typing.
Yet another touch-screen voting machine broke down, in yet another "hotly contested" election, in yet another Democratic-leaning district yesterday. Due to the failure, the actual results are completely unknown, unreliable, and unverifiable, and yet, one candidate (the Republican, as coincidence would have it) has been named the "winner" by 89-votes out of 12,000 cast in the Fairfax County, VA, Board of Supervisors special election.
We are as completely sick of writing these stories by now, as we're sure you are of reading about them, so we'll bury the details below the fold, for those who want the skinny on what happened...You're welcome...
The electronic voting problems in the 2008 election are broader than recently-publicized snafus such as machines not turning on, voter databases omitting names, or touch screens not properly recording votes, according to an analysis of 1,700 incident reports from the nation's largest voter hotline.
Moreover, the voting machine issues and the confusion they caused among poll workers appear to have compounded the delays faced by untold thousands of voters this fall, a preliminary analysis of 1-800-OUR-VOTE reports by Joseph Lorenzo Hall, a researcher at Princeton University and the University of California, has found...
Dozens of polling places are experiencing varying degrees of machine malfunction. Some polling places are either completely closed or have been closed for hours. Thousands of voters may have been turned away illegally by polling workers.
Voters have illegally been issued with provisional ballets where machines have been broken.
Students at Virginia Tech, previously the victims of misinformation, have seen their polling place suddenly and unexpectedly moved six miles to a location with little parking.
UPDATE:RAW STORY has more on "massive voting machine failures and voters being turned away from polls," and a call to extend polling hours in VA. VA uses 100% unverifiable DRE (usually touch-screen) systems across virtually the entire state. When machines of that sort break down, voters can't vote, unless there are emergency paper ballots on hand, and officials bother to give them out to voters.
More than 5,600 people, mainly Virginia Tech students, are registered to vote at precinct E1 in Blacksburg, Virginia (Montgomery County). That number is nearly double what the state law allows for polling stations and the lack of an additional polling station is causing substantial delays. In addition, the polling place is 6.5 miles away from campus at a tiny church located off the main road. There is no street sign marking the turn off to the one lane road. There are 30 parking spots for the thousands of voters expected to turn up at precinct E1.
Note: This is the same county in VA (Richmond) where the registrar had purposely distributed incorrect information to Virginia Tech students, as we reported back in early September, to warn them they might lose scholarships and ability to be declared dependents on their parents tax forms if they registered to vote there.
As long promised, The BRAD BLOG has covered your electoral system 2008, fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going. If you like, we'll send you some great election integrity documentary films in return. Details on that right here...
Minutes ago, on CNN, they reported that "mechanical problems" are their quickest growing category of problems coming in to their hotline. "They hadn't even registered on our ticker previously," said the host. Perhaps because the Obama/DNC campaigns didn't tell them about all of the problems they've been finding?
A press release issued from 866-MYVOTE1 and CNN...at 9:30am PT reports on an alarming number of calls coming from "key states, like Pennsylvania, Virgian and Florida," And yes, as predicted, problems in Philadelphia where "there are extensive reports of machines simply not working." A perfectly predictable issue, that this horrifying chief of Philly elections didn't seem to care about just days ago.
This week, Broward County, Florida, Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes said, with a straight face, "No one could have anticipated that this election would be so historic and draw as much attention as it has," and defended her choice to oppose expanding early voting hours next week due to "logistical problems."
In addition to the problems in Florida, there are now reports that longtime GOP "voter fraud" hoaxster Pat Rogers (also known for his involvement in the U.S., Attorney Purge Scandal for the bogus "voter fraud" allegations he filed in 2004, and as a board member of the now-defunct and fully-debunked GOP astro-turf group, "American Center for Voting Rights," or ACVR), is apparently using private investigators to intimidate voters in New Mexico.
Details on those stories and many more --- pre-election litigation over polling place photo I.D. restrictions in Georgia and Ohio, absentee military ballots in Virginia, GOP efforts to close early voting polling places in Indiana, GOP calls for the Dept. of Justice to investigate ACORN just days before a federal election --- from across the country, all follow in the detailed round-up below...
See below for a rather breathtaking "Round-up of Problems Facing Voters Nationwide", such as registration backlogs, illegal voting roll purges, deceptive practices and dirty tricks, etc., now plaguing American voters across the country with just 17 days left before our country's biggest election ever.
All of that, while Fox "News" (whose asked me to come on live tomorrow, Sunday, at 2:40pm PT, btw, along with my old friend John Fund "for balance") continues to misreport, alarm and deceive their viewers in regard to the GOP's phony ACORN "voter fraud" fraud. Unfortunately, it's not just Fox who is irresponsibly and dangerously misreporting that scam --- though they seem to have made a small cottage industry out of it of late --- CNN and MSNBC have been filed loads of equally inaccurate and misleading reports on it as well.
After being asked a question about keeping Obama supporters from also voting for Democrats down the ticket at a press conference in D.C., Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), a former chair of the National Republican Congressional Commitee (NRCC) said: "Well you're talking about voter suppression and we would never, ever do anything along that line, for the record."
The room broke into laughter during his comment! (video 1:14 mins)...
Ari at the Oxdown Gazette covered it also and notes that nearly one-quarter of John McCain's laughably and insultingly named "Honest and Open Election Committee," "chaired by Warren Rudman and John Danforth, has been involved in GOP voter suppression efforts or unfounded partisan claims of voter fraud. Of the 21 members of the committee, five have been engaging in these shady efforts."
See his report for the details on those liars, hooligans, and anti-democracy champions. Transcript of the above video follows below...
Last week we reported that voters in one New York county were receiving absentee ballots with "Barack OSAMA" listed as the Democratic Presidential candidate running against John McCain. This week, the beat goes on in Virginia, but in this case, it's not a typo (as the officials in NY claimed about their "Osama" ballots.)
The Republican Party of Virginia has sent absentee ballot request mailers to voters in the state, seeming to compare Barack Obama to Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinijead, North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, Russia's Vladimir Putin, and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
"In today's dangerous world, appeasement is not a foreign policy," declares the outside of the mailer from the Republican Party of Virginia, followed by photographs of the four leaders and the text "America must face the threat of terror head-on" on the inside.
On the back of the envelope used to send in the voter's absentee ballot request is a photo of what some Virginia voters, understandably, believe to be Obama's eyes, with the words "America must look evil in the eye and never flinch."
Decide for yourself, and note the additional graphic, now added as an update, comparing Osama to Obama (and calling for the latter to be waterboarded) as found on the Sacramento County, CA Republican Party's website...
As you'll note by the increase in items in John Gideon's Daily Voting News, coverage of election concerns is again reaching a fevered pitch. When it comes to election machines, most of those reports come far too late to effect any real change (other than perhaps to help encourage election officials to ensure there will be plenty of paper ballots on hand, to make sure they tell voters and poll workers about them, and then to finally count those damned ballots!)
It's clear, however, that while most election officials likely do their job honestly, there are a great number of them around the country who have little interest in voters --- certain voters --- being allowed to excercise their franchise at all.
While there is little time to do much about the machines, as they prepare to melt down, there is still time do something on the front-end voter suppression issues. Yet sadly, despite a few spotty efforts around the country, it seems those parties that do have an interest in voters actually voting (such as Obama and the DNC) have little clue about what they are facing. At least from what I've been able to learn about coordinated plans --- or lack thereof --- to combat the Republican assault on voting.
And, all the while, as Democrats dither, the well-coordinated Republican War on Democracy continues apace around the country, with new and disturbing reports coming out almost by the hour, revealing the national extent of the GOP's anti-democracy campaign.
The effort, by a number of election officials in so-called "swing states" around the country, meant to keep Democratic-leaning voters, such as students and minorities, from casting votes this year, is remarkable and growing. It is, of course, also appalling...
As the youth and minority vote alone this year could make the difference in this year's Presidential election, the following chilling edict issued recently by the Registrar of Montgomery County, Virginia (home to Virginia Tech University), unfortunately comes as little surprise...and likely an omen as to what we'll be seeing much more of between her and November 4th...
The Code of Virginia states that a student must declare a legal residence in order to register. A legal residence can be either a student's permanent address from home or their current college residence. By making Montgomery County your permanent residence, you have declared your independence from your parents and can no longer be claimed as a dependent on their income tax filings --- check with your tax professional. If you have a scholarship attached to your former residence, you could lose this funding. And, if you change your registration to Montgomery County, Virginia Code requires you to change your driver's license and car registration to your present address within 30 days.
UPDATE 9/8/08:New York Times jumps into the furor on "the local registrar of elections [who] issued two releases incorrectly suggesting a range of dire possibilities for students who registered to vote at their college" and many other similar instances around the country.
In advance of an upcoming screening of the new documentary film, UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections (Feb. 21 at Sojourner’s Church in Charlottesville, VA), David Swanson covers the problems with the electronic Hart Intercivic DRE voting systems in his own home town for the Charlottesville Weekly, and unearths the following gem...
Q: How do I know that my vote has been cast and counted?
A: Whenever a voter presses the CAST BALLOT button and the waving American flag appears, the vote is cast and counted.
Ah, well. Glad that's settled. God bless American faith-based democracy. Long may she wave. You folks in Charlottesville can now rest easy.
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The BRAD BLOG still calls on Allen to not concede!... (Seriously, we won't call him a whining, sore-loser, tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist! Go for it, George! Make 'em prove those numbers if they can! See if you can verify that vote count!)