Six Hour Lines and Voter Suppression in Florida and Ohio

My Monday column. Voter suppression and Voting Rights Act violations in Florida and Ohio:

For the last year or so, I’ve been tracking the Republican effort to suppress voting rights by passing various Jim Crow style “Voter ID” laws. The latest round of laws in Pennsylvania, Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and so forth is a direct consequence of the 2010 tea party ascension to various state-level positions and practically every governor who was elected in that pivotal midterm campaign has in some way attempted to disenfranchise Democratic voters under the false flag excuse of “voter fraud.”

No such fraud exists, of course, and various studies from the Bush Justice Department to conservative reviews of election law violations found that there were as many as 80 successful prosecutions of voter fraud cases out of hundreds of millions of votes cast since 2000, and as few as zero. This isn’t news to us. If there’s no voter fraud, why are the Republicans so feverishly attempting to pass laws that make it more difficult to vote? It has nothing to do with upholding the law and everything to do with making sure poor people, young people and a considerable portion of seniors can’t vote.

Yesterday, there was chaos in Miami-Dade County, Florida where Governor Rick Scott suspended in-person absentee voting because too many people were waiting to vote. And that was only after early voting lines lasted upwards of six hours and were shut down at the designated 1 p.m. closing time. A six hour long line in the hot Miami sun just to cast a ballot. After social media exploded in protest, Scott allowed the in-person absentee vote to continue. But this only a cursory victory for voting rights because absentee ballots, unlike the early votes during normal polling hours, are too often rejected for errors.

And here’s a shocker. The Miami Herald reported on Saturday that 187,000 more Democrats than Republicans had voted. If you’re Rick Scott, there’s a clear political motivation to block that progress. [continued]

Continue reading here.

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  • GrafZeppelin127

    GOP fans are always talking about how overwhelming majorities of The American People™ “agree with” them, how there are far more “conservatives” than liberals, how Republican policy and governance are, and always have been, self-evidently superior in every way to Democratic policy and governance, and how “no one” other than a few far-left liberal extremists like Obama or the Democrats, or believe anything they say.

    If any of that was true, they would be knocking on doors, turning over rocks and trying to get as many people to vote as they could possibly find. They would want more people to vote, not fewer.

    Then they tell us that people only vote Democratic if and because they’ve been deceived and brainwashed by The Liberal Media™. But they also tell us that Fox News is the most popular, most watched and most trusted news outlet, that “no one” watches MSNBC or listens to liberal talk radio, and again, because “conservatives” have the better argument, have the “facts” on their side, and are self-evidently right about everything.

    Is it any wonder they’ve gone plumb loco?

    • Draxiar

      I continue to be baffled at how otherwise intelligent people can vote for today’s Republican Party.

      • The_Dork_Knight

        Agreed

      • Brutlyhonest

        Unfortunately, they respond to the message of greed and selfishness.

      • pgeorge

        I think the answer lies in Daniel Ellsberg’s story about a friend who wouldn’t put his name to ending the Vietnam War because he had “committed” to getting his kid into Groton – unbelievable short-term greed and worry about status taking precedence over billions of lives and the future of the only planet we have to live on. But I still don’t know how they can compartmentalize enough to sleep at night.

    • agrazingmoose

      Let’s face it, Republicans are lazy. Romney is a lazy candidate, and up and down the ticket they would rather lie, cheat, and sidle up to wealthy ideologues than do the hard work of convincing people that their ideas are agreeable.

      • bphoon

        …than do the hard work of convincing people that their ideas are agreeable.

        That would, indeed, be very hard work. I think–and I think they think–that if that’s the field they have to play on they lose every time.

  • bphoon

    Suffice to say, Rick Scott and Jon Husted ought to be sanctioned by the Justice Department for civil rights violations under the Voting Rights Act.

    And Kris Kobach, John Kasich, Scott Gessler, Ken Detzner, Scott Walker, Sam Brownback, …and on and on and on.

    By the way: Cosign, emphatically.

    • pgeorge

      Sanctioned? I don’t know why this doesn’t quality for direct action by the US Attorney General and federal troops. Perhaps someone could explain? It’s the most outrageous disenfranchisement I’ve seen since the early 1960s.

  • muselet

    From the Columbus Dispatch’s “Daily Briefing” blog on Saturday:

    Ohio voters have unfairly been given the responsibility of putting information on their provisional ballots, when that task should be up to poll workers, says an emergency motion filed in federal court.

    “The bottom line is that (Secretary of State Jon Husted) designed a form that violates Ohio law by improperly shifting to voters the poll workers’ information-recording responsibilities regarding ID to voters, and then he wants to trash votes where there is a problem with the form on the section he misassigned to voters,” said Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra, who filed the motion.

    “And he’s issuing this edict at the 11th hour on the Friday before the election, having represented to the court through his counsel that he understood that the poll workers were responsible for recording the ID information.”

    I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on television, so I’m not qualified to comment authoritatively on Ohio election law. But from what I’ve read, Subodh Chandra is correct: confirming and recording ID information is legally the responsibility of poll workers, not voters.

    At the very least, Jon Husted should be held in contempt by Judge Algenon Marbley.

    –alopecia

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      ” Jon Husted should be held in contempt”

      He, along with the rest of the recently elected R governors, should have their asses kicked to the fascist country of their choice because that’s sure as hell how they roll!!