Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Myth Of Election Integrity, Part II

Republicans and Conservatives say that they want to make sure that there are fair elections and that voter fraud is suppressed.  Not until Barack Obama got in the White House was there such a furor for this...

According to a report by People For The American Way, These dirty tricks didn't just start with this President...They've been in effect for quite some time.

As this report details, voter intimidation and suppression is not a problem that is just  limited to the South and Bible Belt areas of the United States.Nooooooo, It takes place from California to New York, Texas to Illinois.

It is not the province of a single political party, although patterns of intimidation have changed as the party allegiances of minority communities have changed over the years.
In recent years, many minority communities have tended to align with the Democratic Party.

Over the past two decades, the Republican Party has launched a series of “ballot security” and “voter integrity” initiatives which have targeted minority communities. At least three times, these initiatives were successfully challenged in federal courts as illegal attempts to suppress voter participation based on race.

The first was a 1981 case in New Jersey which protested the use of armed guards to challenge Hispanic and African-American voters, and exposed a scheme to disqualify voters using mass mailings of outdated voter lists. The case resulted in a consent decree prohibiting efforts to target voters by race.

Then, six years later, similar “ballot security” efforts were launched against minority voters in Louisiana, Georgia, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana. Republican National Committee documents said the Louisiana program alone would “eliminate at least 60- 80,000 folks from the rolls,” again drawing a court settlement.
And just three years later in North Carolina, the state Republican Party, the Helms for Senate Committee and others sent postcards to 125,000 voters, 97 percent of whom were African American, giving them false information about voter eligibility and warning of criminal penalties for voter fraud again resulting in a decree against the use of race to target voters.


This report includes detailed accounts of the recent incidents listed above, and additional incidents from the past few decades. The report also lays out a historical review of more than a hundred years of efforts to suppress and intimidate minority voters following emancipation, through Reconstruction and the “Second Reconstruction,” the years immediately following the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act was among the crowning achievements of the civil rights era, and a defining moment for social justice and equality. The stories of the men and women who were willing to lay down their lives for the full rights of citizenship, including first and foremost the right to vote, are the stuff of history.

The accomplishments of these people, these giants whose shoulders I stand on can never be erased. Yet as this report details, attempts to erode and undermine those victories have never ceased.

Voter intimidation and suppression is not a relic of the past, but a pervasive strategy used with disturbing frequency in recent years. Sustaining the bright promise of the civil rights era, and maintaining the dream of equal voting rights for every citizen requires constant vigilance, courageous leadership, and an active, committed and well-informed citizenry.


The election problems in Florida and elsewhere that led to the disenfranchisement of some four million American voters in 2000 elections cast a harsh spotlight on flaws in our voting system, problems that involved both illegal actions and incompetence by public officials, as well as outdated machines and inadequate voter education.

As election officials nationwide struggle to put new voting technology into place, redesign confusing ballots and educate voters, the opportunities for voter intimidation and suppression have proliferated along with opportunities for disenfranchisement caused by voter confusion and technical problems.

With widespread predictions of a close national election this fall, and an unprecedented wave of new voter registration, unscrupulous political operatives will look for any advantage, including suppression and intimidation efforts. As in the past, African-American and Hispanic voters and low-income populations will be the most likely targets of dirty tricks at the polls.

I suggest to everyone....We have 99 days until the election...Yes...99 days....Find out what you need...ID or what have you...Make sure your registration is up to date and current and get out there and vote...Some people are  doing everything they can to make sure that you don't vote and are not prepared, you see that!
You may not think your vote matters....but they would disagree!

1 comment:

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