Monday, August 23, 2004

People for the American Way and the NAACP have published a disturbing report on voter intimdation and suppression. Among its findings:
In 2004 in Texas, students at a majority black college were challenged by a local district attorney’s absurd claim that they were not eligible to vote in the county where the school was located. It happened in Waller County – the same county where 26 years earlier, a federal court order was required to prevent the local registrar from discriminating against the students.

In 2003 in Philadelphia, voters in African American areas were systematically challenged by men carrying clipboards, driving a fleet of some 300 sedans with magnetic signs designed to look like law enforcement insignia.

In 2002 in Louisiana, flyers were distributed in African American communities telling voters they could go to the polls on Tuesday, December 10th – two days after a special Senate election was held.

In 2000 in Florida, thousands of voters whose names mistakenly appeared on a flawed list of felons were purged from the state’s voter rolls. Despite the ensuing outcry and litigation, the state has not yet restored the rights of many of those voters -- and in fact has begun a new purge of an additional 40,000 names for the 2004 election.

In 1998 in North Carolina, GOP officials openly planned to videotape voters in heavily Democratic districts in a partisan attempt to avoid alleged “voter fraud,” until the Justice Department stepped in to warn that taping minority voters at or near the polls would violate federal election laws.

I was one of those who have been saying about Florida in 2000, "Get over it!" Howver, with documented evidence of denying the franchise to a large number of voters, based on an unforgivable mistake, "I think I'd better think it out again!"

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