May 30 2006
12:18 pm

The New York Times has a good article on how elected officials around the country are trying to Block the Vote.

Florida, Washington, and our U.S. Congress are devizing a myriad of methods to make it harder to register to vote, or "suppress the vote".

In this current age when such a small percentage of eligible voters are voting, why do some want to make it harder to get the people's voices heard? Oh, yeah. I forgot. It's that fear thing. Maybe the new voters won't be anti-choice, pro-gun, pro-war, pro-death penalty, pro-corporate tax abatement, yadda yadda yadda.

Andy Axel's picture

Not News in TN

All I gotta say is REMEMBER 2000.

...there were three areas of evidence that are more disturbing than any other.

The first was what NAACP officers generally refer to as "the Motor Voter disaster." This was the first election year in which Tennessee's Motor Voter bill took effect. Citizens could register to vote at Department of Motor Vehicle offices statewide. The problem is, an unknown number of those applications never went through. There have been nearly 2,000 complaints to date. Allegedly, this occurred because the department failed to deliver completed forms to county election commissions. It's worth noting that there is no standard of delivery, nor supervision of any kind, when the applications are delivered from the Department of Safety to the counties -- and that the DMV blames the voters.

The second was the disenfranchisement of former felons. In the town of Bolivar, former felons illegally lost their voting rights. Clifton Polk, head of the local Black Chamber of Commerce, was so infuriated that he filed an official complaint with the EEOC. Since felons don't automatically lose their voting rights in Tennessee the same way that they do in Florida, this issue remains a murky mess. However, this was the first year it had happened in the state.

The third -- and maybe the strangest -- is the way that certain voting precincts all over the state had a small fraction of the voting machines they should have had, causing mile-long lines in predominantly Black, Hispanic and poor districts. According to election commissions, they simply didn't know there'd be such a large turnout. However, according to Tennessee State Election Commissioner Brook Thompson, each county sends a list of registered voters to the polling places. (The precinct list actually kept by volunteers often didn't match the voting list. Weird, huh?) Also, as state NAACP president Gloria Jean Sweetlove points out, the election commission knew about the NAACP Voter Empowerment Project, whose goal was to register new Black voters. Also, the commission knew that there'd been a record turnout for early voting. So, once again, this remains a mystery.

Only 80,000 votes separated Al Gore and George Bush in TN-04.


Wasabi peas are people! They're people!

Rachel's picture

I don't know about the

I don't know about the Washington legislature, but most of these efforts are put forth and supported by Republicans.

If you're looking for a difference between the two parties - this is it.  Democrats want to make it easy for as many people as possible to vote.  Republicans want to make it harder.

It doesn't matter that more folks voting probably favors the Democrats.  On this issue, they're just plain right.

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