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RNC and Voter Suppression 182

Indomitus writes "Slashdot recently listed the story about a voter registration company tearing up registration forms from Democrats but the story is quickly becoming much more than just that one story. Daily Kos is keeping track of the many folks digging up more and more information on this scandal-in-the-making. This is not only an important story to get out to voters, it's a great example of power of the internet to facilitate participatory journalism."
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RNC and Voter Suppression

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  • initial thoughts? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Friday October 15, 2004 @10:56AM (#10535321) Journal

    I predict a deluge of posts saying that /. is biased towards the left and pointing out that the Democrats haven't been above using dirty tricks in the past (and may very well be doing so now). Of course this ignores the obvious fact that no matter who is committing such fraud it's ultimately a travesty of justice and the biggest danger our Republic currently faces.

    Of course the bigger question (that nobody is asking) is are these actions being coordinated by the RNC in any way shape or form? Is it a "wink, smile and nod" system or was the RNC truly caught off guard by this (as they will no doubt claim)? It also begs the question of why would you hire such clearly biased people and trust them with such an important responsibility?

    Much more importantly how exactly does voter registration work in Nevada? Why should the system be setup in such a way as to even allow this to happen? In my state the only way to register to vote is to do it yourself in person or mail it to your local board of elections. Why the hell are third-party people (with either party) being allowed to do anything more substantial then hand out registration forms and encourage people to actually register? In a smart system they would be allowed to drive them to the Board of Elections if need-be but they should have no business handling these forms after they are filled out.

    • Indeed! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Rayonic ( 462789 ) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:23AM (#10535616) Homepage Journal
      Whereas the Democrats are so anti-voter-suppression that they even encourage dead people to vote.

      Wait, I'm sorry, I should have said "living-impaired people". ;-)
      • Whereas the Democrats are so anti-voter-suppression that they even encourage dead people to vote.

        Ah yes . . . and our current Attourney General was such a piss-poor republican he lost a Senate race to a dead man [cnn.com]. Interesting political times . . .

    • I think the problem is that most everyone interested enough to get involved in politics is blindingly biased to begin with.

      I am biased, but I try very hard to look at things objectively. I can see plenty of shenanigans starting that look like they're coming from both sides, but no indication that the parties themselves are behind it.

      There are similar stories of intimidation from numerous Republican campaign office being vandalized or stolen from. There are insinuations that the unions are involved, and
    • Why the hell are third-party people (with either party) being allowed to do anything more substantial then hand out registration forms and encourage people to actually register?

      I don't know about NV, but I recently registered to vote in Florida at Chik-Fil-A. They had a booth going with both parties represented (with signs/banners, not humans). My wife brought me the form and I handed the completed form to the cashier. My wife got to eat the ice-cream brownie they were using to bribe registrants with.

    • Is it a "wink, smile and nod" system or was the RNC truly caught off guard by this (as they will no doubt claim)?

      Well, three people who resigned [keloland.com] from the South Dakota GOP over the voter fraud scandal, have now been hired to work for the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio [argusleader.com]. I think that's more than just a "wink, smile and nod" system. They are actively being encouraged to maintain these tactics.

      If the DNC is involved in this sort of thing, lets see some evidence. And no, the Colorado election day manual is
  • Oh well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:04AM (#10535412) Journal
    Maybe the UN should send in troops to help restore democracy :).

  • by Brown Eggs ( 650559 ) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:08AM (#10535457)
    While I am certainly no Republican or Republican supporter (I am voting Libertarian), I just wanted to point everyone to this [rockymountainnews.com]. It is things like this that led me to believe that both parties are corrupt (and EQUALLY corrupt) and that looking elsewhere is in the best interest of all rational people. Now let's hope that such heresy does not catch the ire of the moderators and get me modded down
    • If they're equally corrupt, the corruption balances out and it should be ok.

      There's news like that all over. Not sure what the right answer is except to maybe classify voter fraud (of any stripe) as a capital offense.

    • The link you provided shows Democrats -- sometimes without reason -- denouncing alleged Republican voter suppression techniques. While unsavory, such tactics are not in the same ballpark as having a registration company shred your opponents' right to cast a ballot -- or, for example, having Florida arbitrarily purge its voter rolls of large amounts of non-felons listed as "black", but no non-felons listed as "Hispanic," as it did under Republican leadership. Dems levy such slanders because they stick; they
    • if they're corrupt, how the hell you suppose you even CAN 'look' elsewhere?

      their corruption NEEDS to be pointed out again and again, and fought, not just letting it happen.

    • It sounds to me like "pre-emptive strike" means "warn people about past intimidation efforts and warn those who would consider using such tactics." It doesn't mean "make up evidence of intimidation that doesn't exist."
    • (I also posted this in another thread, but since that has been modded down as a troll (rather unfairly I might add) I'll repost it here:)

      Well, I looked at that site, which seems to be a rather vague interpretation of an election handbook. Not willing to trust the clearly partisan tone of the article, I tried to look at the original source, which is stated as drudgereport.com.

      drudgereport.com has a link to the story on its front page... which links back to the story you linked to!

      Looking at drudgereport.c
  • by GOD_ALMIGHTY ( 17678 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nosnhoj.truc.> on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:19AM (#10535562) Homepage
    Continuing on this thread and another highlight over at DailyKos:
    Rock the Vote versus the RNC [dailykos.com], Ed Gillespie told MTV to stop talking about the draft. MTV responded very succinctly, IMNSHO:
    Dear Chairman Gillespie,

    The letter I received from you yesterday was quite a surprise. It struck us as just the sort of "malicious political deception" that is likely to increase voter cynicism and decrease the youth vote. In fact, it is a textbook case of attempted censorship, very much in line with those that triggered our organization's founding some fifteen years ago.

    I am stunned that you would say that the issue of the military draft is an "urban myth"that has been "thoroughly debunked by no less than the President of the United States."

    I have some news for you. Just because President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary Rumsfeld, and for that matter Senator Kerry, say that there is not going to be a draft does not make it so. Just because Congress holds a transparently phony vote against the draft does not mean there isn't going to be one. Anyone who thinks that the youth of America are going to take a politician's word on this topic is living on another planet.

    By your logic, there should be no debate about anything that you disagree with. There's a place for that kind of sentiment (and your threats), but its not here in our country.

    There are questions that the politicians are running away from. How long can we keep 138,000 U.S. troops or more on the ground in Iraq? What if full-scale civil war erupts there, as the CIA has warned is a realistic possibility? Would the next President be faced with a choice of pulling out of Iraq rather than institute a draft? Would women be drafted? What exactly would the draft-age be?

    According to the Pentagon's own internal assessment, there are "inadequate total numbers" of troops to meet U.S. security interests. The current issue of Time magazine reports that, "General John Keane, who retired last year as the Army's No. 2 officer, says the continued success of the all-volunteer military is not guaranteed" Keane has told Congress that adding more than 50,000 troops to the Army would require thinking about a return to the draft."

    But you want young people to believe that the draft is just an "urban myth." I was expecting that you were going to present some facts to back up your assertion. But, instead, you have demanded that we stop talking about it.
    Now this is probably flamebait, but I think it's poignant given this thread:
    Conservatives: Still trying to enforce the 3/5ths compromise!
    • So, now, along with their campaign about the bogus threat of a draft, they've added the equally bogus accusation of "a textbook case of attempted censorship". Perhaps they should open up that textbook and see what "censorship" really means. Those imprisoned bloggers in Iran might be able to elaborate.
      • Oh please. Stop with the logical fallacies, it's killing me.

        It's not bogus. There's a very real possibility that the MTV generation could bear the majority of human costs of our current series of military operations. This could be through a draft or through a volunteer army, but it doesn't change the probability of the age group most likely to get killed. Without political power, these people will not be able to make that decision. Did you read Gillespie's letter? He's claiming that they are violating the
        • Unfortunately, the MTV generation (specifically the hip-hop and gangsta rap crowd) will vote the NY democrat Rangel back into office. You know, the author of our latest draft bill, the sponsor, and contradictorially, the guy screaming loudest that Dubya would institute a draft.

          Mind you, Dubya is just as bad. Anyone ever stop to consider that both sides want this, and that they're doing a little theater show for us just so we don't realize what's going on?
    • Yeah ... just 'cause the military doesn't want it, the civilian DoD administration doesn't want it, it's illegal, and the law to make it legal -- which was submitted by the Democrats -- went town to defeat 402-2 including votes against even from the dolt who sponsored the bill in the first place -- that doesn't prove the Republicans aren't trying to re-establish the draft.

      And you take this letter seriously.

      Look -- if you're stupid enough to buy this argument, you're too fucking stupid to vote.
      • What a lot of people busy reciting the crap they read on their favorite biased "news" sites don't seen to understand is that the democrats submitted this bill in an attempt to draw attention to the fact that rich kids don't go to war. If you actually *read* the bill, it was so over the top as to be obvious. It was a lame attempt at attention getting, and decidedly anti-draft and anti-war. I understand that this doesn't mesh well with attack-dog style forum wrangling, but it is the truth. As a former "poor k
        • Yeah.

          The truth is, "soldier" is increasingly a high-tech, high-training sort of job. You can't learn it sufficiently quickly to do it in a two year draft, and you really want people to be motivated and enthusiastic anyway.

          The biggest need, in any case, is special operations (Special Forces, Air Commandos, etc) people, and you just don't draft those people.

          Now, Kerry has suiggested an obligatory "national service" requirement, but that wouldn't be useful for the military.
      • Yeah ... just 'cause the military doesn't want it

        The military has little say in it. They take their orders from Congress and the Executive Branch.

        the civilian DoD administration doesn't want it

        Who do you mean, specifically? Rumsfeld? People with connections to the current regime^H^H^H^H^H^H administration aren't going to come out in favor of a draft in an election year.

        it's illegal

        It's illegal to reinstate the draft? According to who? Why are we bothering with Selective Service?

        It's "illeg

        • The "dolt" was actually being very clever. Crassly political, but clever

          Okay, he wasn't being a dolt. He was maliciously raising fears of the Republicans doing something they don't want, in order to use his lies against them in an election.

          Yes, I feel so much better about it now.
          • Okay, it's obvious that you're not interested in actually debating this. If you were, you wouldn't have latched onto the one correction I made that wasn't relevant to the discussion.

            To get you back on topic: Your original post implied that it was ludicrous to think that our congresscritters were even considering reinstating the draft. You offered four points of evidence, and I refuted them in turn.

            Rather than discuss the merits of my refutation, you decided the best response was to castigate the gu
            • All right, let's take them in turn then:

              (1) the military doesn't want a draft. Your response: the military can't turn down a draft if one is established by law.

              You neglect to ask the essential questino: if the military can't use draftees, why would one be instituted?

              (2) DoD doesn't want a draft either. Your response: they wouldn't propose such a thing in an election year.

              True. But then, since there is no reason to imagine that the military wants one -- it doesn't fit with the way a US military works
              • Even with the gratuitous "stupid or liar" comment at the end, this is a commendable improvement in both quality of evidence and quality of argumentation. I'm far less inclined to believe that a draft is possible than I was before reading your post. Well done.

                The biggest question still lingering in my mind is, what happens if Bush stays in office, and throws a couple more potential quagmires into the mix. Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria? Unless Bush gets better at alliance-building and diplomacy (
    • Though that was unusually well worded, he really should be looking at what many, many people are saying on all sides of the political spectrum. There is not going to be a draft. It would be political suicide for the congress (even if a lame-duck is president). More importantly, there are very believable claims by military experts (including doves) that it is unnecessary or may even be counter-productive.

      I'm voting for Kerry, but I agree their tactics are pretty questionable.
      • You should go read Gillespie's letter to MTV then. That should clear things up for you. The draft issue has been used by the Rock the Vote campaign to bring home the fact that their target groups are the ones who are directly impacted by our current foreign policy. If they don't pay attention and make decisions now, decisions may be made for them. A draft may be the most extreme outcome, but it is possible. Just because the DoD, Administration and Congress are saying there's not going to be a draft, doesn't
    • But the draft crap is fearmongoring plain and simple. Some guy telling an organization to stop lying isn't exactly censorship. There is absolutly no factual basis for saying that Bush is going to reinstate the draft. It is in fact an urban myth because blatantly false information is passed on as fact. Like the "pending legislation." A transparently phony vote? What a load of crap. The bills were written by Democrats to make a political point (one I didn't disagree with) but never had any intention of
      • Did you read Gillespie's letter? He was threatening them with legal action if they didn't stop talking about the possibility of a draft. Your argument over the draft bill is confusing the issue. The vote was an obvious act of political theatre. Rangel wanted to make a point about the differences in sacrifice between the have and have-nots, while the GOP saw a chance to visibly vote down a draft bill. That's not a serious discussion of the issue, since it is mere political theatre, by definition, you cannot
  • Flawed elections (Score:5, Interesting)

    by karnat10 ( 607738 ) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:23AM (#10535613)
    ... the story about a voter registration company ...

    That's were I start to worry already. Why do obscure private companies carry out tasks that important to build trust in an election's result?

    Where I live (in the old world), my administration knows I'm a citizen and when there's elections, they send me all necessary stuff automatically. That's what a public administration is for, after all.

    It's still before the elections, and I already know I'm not gonna trust the result.

    But we'll have to live with it anyway, so please, dear Americans, take a wise decision.
    • Re:Flawed elections (Score:2, Interesting)

      by fenris_23 ( 634852 )
      The U.S. does not have a national registry of citizens like other countries making that unfeasible. It probably won't happen because of problems like illegal immigrants and the lack of consensus on what rights they actually have.

      Therefore, the government would have to surmount a lot of bullshit in order to determine who can vote and who cannot. Whenever the government does make a determination about who can vote and who cannot, there is invariably a huge battle. Furthermore, it would worry me that our cur

  • Once again, we have an abysmal editorial decision on Slashdot.

    A submission from Indomitus [mattorama.net], a left-leaning reader (nothing wrong with that) comes in citing the dailyKOS as a source of news, and the editor doesn't even explain that that site is so unbelievably slanted as to be unreadable.

    Just as a test, I've submitted the following story just to see what response I get. I'll be FLOORED if it gets through, although it is at least as accurate as the post Michael approved.


    The DNC has now conf [rockymountainnews.com]

    • A submission from Indomitus, a left-leaning reader (nothing wrong with that) comes in citing the dailyKOS as a source of news, and the editor doesn't even explain that that site is so unbelievably slanted as to be unreadable.

      If you have a problem with the facts, say so. Otherwise please stop with the incessant whining about "bias." The facts as they stand are that the RNC is encouraging if not sponsoring massive vote fraud, the DNC is NOT, and all the movement conservatives seem to be able to offer up in

      • The only validated fact is that the Sproul ran a Republican leaning get out the vote drive with standing orders to only offer registration forms to those who claimed to be Republican. That's shady, but not illegal and certainly not vote "fraud".

        The rest of the accusations of registration destruction is all hearsay and could very well be a counter campaign by the DNC to smear the Republicans. Not true you say? Well what does page 66 of the DNC manual say? "pre-emptive" strikes on vote intimidation and f
    • Just to prove that they are persons of CHARACTER, why don't the RNC and state committees publish their training manuals and playbooks after the election?

      If you read the DNC training manual, it asked the staff to review local DNC tractic and remind the media of past RNC practices. So what's wrong or fraudulant about that? It's certainly a far cry from destroying voter registraion cards.
  • by chatooya ( 718043 ) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:28AM (#10535656)
    There's also been a huge amount of participation built up around this Sinclair Broadcasting scandal. People have been deluging advertisers with calls, mostly driven by interest on blogs. It seems to be working. [talkingpointsmemo.com] (via The Regular [theregular.org])
  • I'm not american and I usually follow foreign politics with the detachment of someone who believes that the rest of the world is a "far away place", so most of my opinions of american politics come from the media.

    What I'm reading on news sites (mostly left leaning) is that this particular election is quickly becoming the farces that you only see/hear about from third world countries (I should know, I live in one), where the stories of election theft are so fantastic people would feel like laughing out loud
  • It may be a good time to contact your local newspapers. Phone and personal appearances speak louder than email.
  • I have a solution to the matter of the US elections.

    If everyone campaigns and elects a single person in each state to vote, only one person does that, and there is an easy way of counting the electoral college votes.

    So really, the democrats need to convince the republicans that they have it won so easily that they all sit at home and don't bother voting while secretly all the democrats go and vote mwahahahahahha. Or is that what the Republicans are doing to the democrats

  • by crmartin ( 98227 ) on Friday October 15, 2004 @11:36AM (#10535755)
    Have a look at the running log of voter fraud stories [billhobbs.com].
  • As a non-american I haven't been able to get an indication of how 'normal' it is to register through these sort of channels. In other words, I don't know how valid is the response which says "If you register through some stranger rather than the official way, then you deserve what you get".
    • Actually, this can vary depending your citizenship. Citizens of Some states can only register by going to the local courthouse, some states permit and encourage private groups to do registration drives, and citizens of North Dakota do not need to register at all. (They just have to bring some proof that they live in the precinct, or sign a statement to that effect at the polls.)
  • A question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by antizeus ( 47491 )
    It looks like the standard right wing talking point response to this story is to mention a DNC document (usually citing the same Rocky Mountain News story) in which it is said:

    If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a pre-emptive strike.

    It's well known that the right wing is really good about distributing these talking points and hammering away on them in a consistent fashion. My question is: where is this particular point being coordinated from? Is it though a web site like Fr

  • Political Zealotry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jazman_777 ( 44742 )
    The heated election environment (not just here) shows that politics is becoming our Holy War. There is a long-running streak of "America-as-Messiah" in our history but now there seems to be that extra dash of religious fervor about Running The State that makes this election a real zinger.

    Whoever loses is going to have legions of bitter hardened zealots available to rally four years later.

  • Honestly. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by scootr1 ( 159749 )
    Is it *that* hard to get off your ass and go to your official voter registration area to vote?

    If you're too lazy to go a little out of your way to register to vote, should you really even be trusted with making an educated decision on who you are going to vote for?
    • I am a pittsburgh resident. Unexpectedly, i have had to temporarily live in new york, i did not expect to still be in new york now, and therefore i did not apply for an absentee ballot. (i still pay PA taxes and maintain a primary residence in PA), however, i have to fly back to pittsburgh in order to vote. I would've been much easier for me to simply drive to philadelphia (from new york) and vote.

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