So a Republican judge refuses to enjoin the PA voter ID law. Big Surprise! The Republicans across the country: governors, legislators, congress people and judges are united in their determination to defeat President Obama and the Democrats seeking re-election. Since the 1994 Contract for America Newt Gingrich triumph the Republican Party has become a monolithic group of political power seekers now masquerading behind the false image of deficit hawks to appeal to and co-opt the Tea party. They are social issue right wing religious radicals whose economic policies seek to protect the very wealthy.
Joseph Stalin is reported to have said it doesn't matter who votes what matters is who counts the votes. And the Republican party in 1876 and 2000 proved that true by controlling the vote counting in Florida and the “re-counting” by Congress and even using the Supreme Court as they had (often overlooked) in 1876 to give the imprimatur of legitimacy to their stolen elections.
Now the Republicans are concerned that stealing the election through Election Day shenanigans, like machine tampering or false counting, won’t do the job. So in 2012 they seek to steal the election by suppressing the vote of Democratic voters and in effect stealing the election at the polls.
There are a number of ways to suppress the vote and steal an election and the Republicans are using all of them although not all in all states.
1. The unnecessary voter photo ID laws (replacing the more rational simple id) is the most widespread and will probably be the most effective. Many senior citizens do not have birth certificates and if they no longer drive they do not have drivers' licenses. Without their birth certificates they can’t get non-driver ID cards. Before Paul Ryan the suppression of senior citizens was seen as a gamble by Republicans; now it may seem a necessity. Seniors students and the poor don’t have the type of photo id the states are requiring (only certain types of state issued photo id with expiration dates). A photo id from your employer or your church not good enough People with the best voting records in their precincts are going to find their identity questioned. Many states have various laws and procedure to prevent identity stealing on Election Day and those methods have worked so well that no one can find the abuse that this so called needed photo id prevents.
2. Changing polling place locations as close to the election has possible is known to reduce the turnout at those polls. This was done extensively in Ohio in ‘08 and can be expected to be used focusing on heavily Democratic voting polls in the last week in October.
3. Combining polling place locations and reducing the number of polling places. In the name of fiscal efficiency will also suppress the vote as the further the poll is form a voters house the less likely the voter is travel to o vote.
4. Those states that enacted early voting to increase the voter turnout are now restricting early voting in ways to suppress Democrat and minority vote. Ending early voting a week before the election, the week with the greatest voter interest, will reduce the turnout of those least likely to
vote. In Ohio they blatantly reduced the number of hours of early voting in heavily Democratic counties and increased them in Republican
counties - then responding to public outrage they decided to reduce them in all counties - the Republican version of being fair.
5. Purging voters from the rolls based on unchecked assumptions and sometimes incomplete data will also lower the voter turnout. Florida has done that by claiming they can identify probable non- citizens on the voter rolls and they purge them unless they re-register. The evidence
shows that a large majority of these purged voters are citizens duly registered and past voters. The time to prevent a false registration is before
that registration is accepted and the registrant is allowed to vote. After that purging should be done on a case by case basis. The federally
allowed (under the Bush HAVA law) purge of those who fail to vote in two Presidential elections thus leaving the presumption that they had
moved - is usually checked by a mailing.
6 Making the use of provisional ballots more complicated so the counting of those ballots will be minimal. A provisional ballot was to be given to voters who were not on the voter lists. You will see some states printing voter lists as early as they can so the newest voters will not be on them and then in voter ID states the provisional ballot voters will have a few days to get photo id into the county courthouse in order to have their paper ballot counted. Of course if he election officials print only a minimal number of provisional ballots not all those eligible to use them will be able to do so.
7. The catch-all way to steal an election is to change as many of the particular details of how the election is conducted from the last election so as to confuse and discourage voters from participating. In Pennsylvania, for example, online application for voter registration and for absentee ballots has been stopped and new voters and absentee voters need to go back to the old way of filling out applications with ink and paper and mailing or bringing them in to county election board offices. These steps had been allowed online. Other changes that could be imposed with varying excuses are to change precinct boundary lines which move some voters to new polling places without changing the polling place. Also
by merging precincts and precinct election boards and shifting personnel around you can confuse voters who have voted often before. Voters
who vote are creatures of habit any change will throw them and all surveys show that Democrats for some reason are less cognizant of changes
before Election Day and therefore more thrown.
So we have reached a point in America where parties in control of enough of the election machinery can now blatantly seek to steal elections not by rigging the voting equipment nor fixing the count but, as occurred in the South after Reconstruction, by preventing large numbers of voters from voting. So we face a plutocracy of super rich oligarchs in power by preventing the people from defeating them. Only the outrage of those who still can vote and whatever sense of justice they have can end this by defeating these anti-democracy forces in this election and making their efforts futile.
18 August 2012