BushCo and the Republicans are doing their best to make the New World into the Third World. I once saw an interview with Jimmy Carter in which he said that he was able to do the kind of work he does with elections around the world because he had seen every kind of electoral manipulation when he started out in politics in Georgia. There was nothing he saw in the third world he had not already seen here. The New England town meeting is vaunted as being a fine example of the democratic process, where you can stand up and say what you think. Of course you are saying this in front of the banker who holds your mortgage, the people who teach your children, your pastor, the business where you may need credit, etc. There has always been voter fraud and voter suppression, and as long as people want to win elections, they will try foul means as well as fair to get elected. In the US, this has mostly been localized.
Currently we have an unprecedented national effort to suppress the vote and defraud the voters, coordinated by the RNC, and using the manipulative techniques that were the pride and signature of the College Republicans. In Arlington Virginia there are active voter suppression efforts going on right now. There has been nothing like this occurring in Arlington, in the last four or five decades.
Tim Daly from Clarendon got a call saying that if he votes Tuesday, he will be arrested. A recording of his voicemail can be found online at: http://www.webbforsenate.com/media/phone_message.wav
The transcript from his voicemail reads:
“This message is for Timothy Daly. This is the Virginia Elections Commission. We’ve determined you are registered in New York to vote. Therefore, you will not be allowed to cast your vote on Tuesday. If you do show up, you will be charged criminally.”
Daly has been registered to vote in Virginia since 1998, and he has voted for the last several cycles with no problem. He has filed a criminal complaint with the Commonwealth’s attorney in Arlington.
. . .
Widespread Calls (throughout Virginia), Allegedly from “Webb Volunteers,” Telling Voters that their Polling Location has Changed.
Norman Cox has been registered to vote in the same location in Arlington since 1972. Someone from a 406 number (in Montana) called to tell him that his polling place has changed. [Note: The Webb Campaign is NOT making any such phone calls.] Cox said he believed that he was being mislead and the caller hung up.
And the problem is not just in Arlington, but throughout Virginia.
Peter Baumann in Cape Charles, VA (North Hampton) got a similar call from a “Webb volunteer” saying his polling location had changed. He said: No, I’m a poll worker and I know where I vote. The girl–who was calling from California–hung up.
The Secretary of the State Board of Elections Jean Jensen has logged dozens of similar calls, finding heavy trends in Accomack County (middle peninsula) and Essex County (outer peninsula) [as reported by the counties’ registrars].
Fliers in Buckingham County Say “SKIP THIS ELECTION” (paid for by the RNC) have caused many in the African American community to call the Board of Elections to see if the election is still on. The full tag line says: “SKIP THIS ELECTION… (and then in smaller print): Don’t Let the Tax and Spend Liberals Win.”
Add to this the unreliability of the easily manipulated electronic voting machines, and you have all the tools you need to completely override and deny the will of the electorate. All of this coordinated national effort to suppress and manipulate the vote is a huge threat to our democracy. BushCo has attacked democracy on so many levels, but the attacks on the Constitution, and the attacks on the legitimacy of the vote are far more terrifying than anything an outside terrorist could do. We need to address this in Congress, with a Congress that actually does oversight. And everyone needs to be vigilant where they vote.