Thursday, November 08, 2012

Jim Crow GOP Voter Suppression : Virginia 2012: Polling Place Ordeal Aimed At African American Voters & Obama Must Take Action

Jim Crow alive and well in some states in the USA as officials do whatever they can to prevent or make voting into an ordeal by making people wait unnecessarily in lines from three hours to nine hours . There have been operatives who claimed individuals or non-partisan groups handing out water to people in the long lines was considered illegal .

Virginia 2012: Polling place ordeal at the most African American precinct...

and from Democracy Now!

"In Key Florida Battleground, Tea Party-Linked "True the Vote" Challenges Voters at the Polls- Nov. 6, 2012"

"Election Day 2012 has arrived, and the battle over voter suppression has reached a fever pitch in battleground states. We go to Virginia, where volunteers with the tea party-linked group True the Vote are challenging voters at the polls. We speak with Brentin Mock, the lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Mock also describes voter suppression efforts in Florida, where True the Vote has also targeted alleged felon voters who will be asked to submit a provisional ballot if they attempt to vote today."

And here's my rant for the day:

The Republicans had coordinated thousands of operatives to try to prevent American citizens whom they believed were more more likely to vote for Obama and Democrats from exercising their God given right to vote.

The Republicans make a big to do about their faith in God and Country and the sanctity of the American Constitution and yet they brazenly use dirty tricks tactics to make the election go their way. So no wonder Karl Rove had a meltdown when informed Obama had won re-election even after Karl Rove spent some 300 million $ and pulled out all the stops to make sure the election would be in Romney's favor.  Their dirty tricks did not prevent Obama from being re-elected but given their attempts we wonder how many more votes would Obama have received if Rove and the GOP hadn't illegally and unethically interfered in the election process.

So though re-elected to office Obama should take steps to investigate the vote rigging and dirty tricks and to take action so that in the future no political party would even think about trying to rob average American citizens of their right to vote.

 If Obama does not take action then we can assume that like the Republicans he sees such underhanded schemes to change the outcome of an election as "business as usual " like the corruption in the Congress and their selling out to lobbyist for the right amount of money.

This is a serious issue even if Fox News claims that there has been little or no organized attempts to prevent people from voting at least not by the Republicans.

Such on going voter suppression during this election and past elections is damaging to America's reputation around the world. If Americans can not hold fair and just elections than they can not expect the same from other nations . This time the outcome of the election was not what the GOP election machine had hoped for but that was a matter of getting out the vote despite the shenanigans of GOP operatives such as "true the Vote' and others.

But it does leave open the very real possibility that the GOP may have been successful in some cases in getting their candidates elected when in fact they should have lost.

If Democrats were doing this the GOP would be up in arms and ready to storm the Capitol otherwise pro-Republican pundits and media talking heads ignore the issue as just more whining from liberals.

This could easily be resolved in other democratic countries by making it easier first to register to vote and then expanding the opportunities to vote by having more early voting days and having more polling stations in any given area and making it easier for someone having an issue ie not being on the voters list to resolve it by having government officials standing by to help who are doing so on a non-partisan basis and the polling stations need more voting machines to accommodate a bigger than expected turn out .

There should either be non-partisan observers at each polling station and law enforcement personnel at each polling station who have been given some training about voter's rights when trying to vote to prevent intimidation etc.

If local police can not be trusted like the characters working for Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona then you bring in for instance FBI agents and soldiers if necessary as the government had to do when they were trying to protect the rights of African American voters in the 1960s.

But first president Obama and the Attorney General's office and other relevant departments have to be mobilized to investigate and take action and not just treat it as if voter suppression is just part of the American democratic system. This action should also be taken so America is not seen as some sort of backwater tin pot dictatorship and a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

The USA claims to be a free democracy and a nation of laws but in this instance (and many others it is not) American citizens trying to exercise their "right to vote" are treated as somehow suspects or would be criminals because they might vote the wrong way depending on what officials affiliated with whichever party control voting in a specific area.

The GOP and the Fox News channel have become in this election the enemy of the American people that is of average voters . According to these mean-spirited wealthy conservatives if they had their way fewer Americans would be allowed to vote and of course as they have been doing for decades going back to Jim Crow in the south to now in 2012 creating onerous regulations to especially prevent those voters who might vote for a democrat from voting. This is odd since when it comes to businesses and corporations the conservative want no regulations period whether for protecting worker's rights and health and safety or regulations on quality control or for protecting the environment but for voting they are always dreaming up new schemes to suppress voter's rights.

They would like to return to an earlier time when only property owners, business people and those of certain professions would be permitted to vote or they would like to re-institute onerous poll taxes use literacy test to keep certain people from voting as they did in the 1960s. As we saw in this past election in some ways America has not changed much in the last forty years or so when it comes to voting .

And we know there is little chance that the Obama administration or government agencies will be willing to investigate the most egregious forms of voter suppression in America primarily in this election by the Republican party vote rigging machine and their tens or possibly hundreds of thousands of operatives who were breaking the law on a daily bases all through the campaign .

It would have been an improvement if the USA had allowed United Nations or some international or even national NGO human rights organization to monitor elections in the USA.

This is something that the American people should be demanding. The voter lines look those we have seen in countries such as Honduras after the Military coup/Junta or the phony purple thumb elections in Afghanistan or Iraq etc. Casting a vote and having it counted is just one part of the democratic process.

What bothers Karl Rove , Bill O'Reilly and Donald Trump and other anti-democracy conservative Republicans is that in their view too many American citizens didn't allow the GOP's attempts at voter suppression to stop them from trying to vote. In other words too many Americans who favored the Democrats and Obama were permitted to vote.

Across the USA one state after another did what they could not to help people to exercise their "Right to Vote" but to prevent them from voting. The Republicans and their oafish thugs at Fox News were upset that all of their fear mongering propaganda and dirty tricks were not enough to clinch the election of Mitt Romney .
Now they are scrambling around trying to generate excuses for why Obama won such as because he's black or because his supporters as O'Reilly said just want more free stuff . It of course in their view had nothing to do with the draconian austerity economic program they wanted to force upon the nation while eliminating even more taxes on the richest Americans.

also see : Voter Intimidation and Suppression Reported in California, Virginia, and Colorado by Lakshmi Sarah at policymic Nov. 7, 2012
" When asked to make a prediction about the elections, Robert Entman, Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, said it would be close. He also remarked that in the past, polling places with predominantly black voters have had fewer polling machines which have caused longer lines.

Though Entman's talk at Aarhus University on Monday focused on "Political Scandals in the USA and Scandinavia" the real scandal may be occuring as I write — with cases of voter suppression and intimidation across the nation.

One example occured in a Redwood City, Calif. polling place on Tuesday. Two men stood in front of a polling place and asked voters to present identification, even though the state does not require ID to vote. Redwood City-Woodside Patch reports:

"The two men, described as "thug-looking," tall and Caucasian with shaved heads, were wearing all black with dark sunglasses and standing in front of the polling place at 134 Hemlock Avenue with their arms crossed.

They carried a binder which they claimed had names and addresses of eligible voters, [voting supervisor Marilyn] Tinderholt said. They were also asking voters to show their IDs, which is not a requirement to vote in the state of California, said volunteer Debra Prime."

In Virginia, volunteers with a tea party-linked group "True the Vote" are also challenging voters at the polls. Democracy Now spoke with Brentin Mock, a lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, collaborating with The Nation magazine and Mock also describes voter suppression efforts in Florida, where "True the Vote" focuses on alleged felon voters.

Colorlines has also reported voter suppression in Colorado.

As one of my European classmates said, "Really? In America?"
America deserves, and expects, so much more."

also see: Sheriff Deputies, Poll Worker Harass Latinos in Swing State by Aura Bogado at Colorado Colorlines, Nov. 6, 2012
Although both presidential candidates stopped their visits to Colorado days ago, it remains a crucial swing state in this election. With just nine electoral votes, and its distance from the eastern part of the country, the Centennial State has lost its spot in the national media, but may prove important in this tight race.

That’s why canvassers have been busy encouraging people to vote here. But it hasn’t necessarily been easy to either canvas or show up to the polling station for some Latinos. One canvasser, who works with a coalition of groups leading a get out the vote initiative told me that, during her training, she was told, “And watch out for police. They don’t always think people who look like us should be out in the street.”

Not many job descriptions include a warning that the work may entail police harassment, but this is Colorado, where demographics are changing. In 2010, the Latino population hit one million—accounting for every one in five Coloradans. As more and more Latinos turn 18, it’s that younger generation that may hold the key to sway this election. The Latino vote here is expected to increase 15 percent over the last presidential election, accounting for nearly 9 percent of the state’s electorate.
The quiet, rural town of Pueblo West, just a two hour drive from Denver, is a mixed neighborhood that’s part of the greater city of Pueblo, which makes up more than 40 percent of the state’s entire Latino population. And canvassers there are eager to encourage all voters to get out to the polls. One canvasser, who declined to have his name for publication, was doing just that last week when he ran in to trouble. He and his canvassing partner, who are both Latino, noticed local Sheriffs were sometimes tailing them, but they continued their work.
and so it goes, GORD.

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