Tuesday, November 07, 2006


UPDATE (3:15pm): And so it continues, this time in Maryland. From Washington Post courtesy of Americablog:
Inaccurate sample ballots describing Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Senate candidate Michael S. Steele as Democrats were handed out to voters in at least four polling sites in Prince George's County this morning.

The ballots were handed out by people who said they arrived by buses this morning from Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Erik Markle, one of the people handing out literature for Ehrlich, who is seeking reelection, and Steele, the current lieutenant governor who is campaigning to replace retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D), said he was recruited at a homeless shelter in Philadelphia.

After a two-hour bus ride to Maryland, Markle said the workers were greeted early this morning by first lady Kendel Ehrlich, who thanked them as they were outfitted in T-shirts and hats with the logo for Ehrlich's reelection campaign. Nearly all of those recruited, Markle said, are poor and black. Workers traveled to Maryland in at least seven large buses.


The Ehrlich and Steele campaigns yesterday acknowledged sending out an election-eve flier, sporting pictures of Johnson, his predecessor Wayne K. Curry and former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume. The mailer, declaring itself an "official voter guide" and criticized by Democrats, suggested the three Democrats backed Ehrlich and Steele. Curry has endorsed Steele; none has endorsed Ehrlich.

If you can't beat the Dems on your merits, then try to win with underhanded tactics meant to confuse voters. The Republicans - the anti-democracy party.

UPDATE (2:45pm): Christy Hardin Smith at FDL has some thoughts on Ingraham:
UPDATE: Laura Ingraham has asked her listeners to call the Dem Voter protection hotline — and they are now being flooded with calls from crank callers. Please call Laura and tell her what you think about this: 800.876.4123. You can e-mail her here. Apparently, voter intimidation and fraud are a joke to Laura Ingraham. Let's let her know that it is no joke.

UPDATE #2: More on Laura Ingraham: "caller indicated she is running a tape of Bill Clinton over and over saying "call 1-888 Dem Vote to report problems" — and then making fun of him, thus producing a spike in crank calls to the number" Protecting voter integrity is no joke. And I am not laughing. If anyone has audio of this, I'd love it.

UPDATE (2:20pm): Laura Ingraham hates democracy. That's the only conclusion I can draw as she instructed her audience to jam phone lines to a national number for reporting irregularities in voting. Via Think Progress/, Ingraham feels that it'd be a hoot to call up 888-DEM-VOTE in order to keep legitimate voting complaints from actually getting through.

The GOP in action - suppress the vote in order to subvert the will of the voters.

UPDATE (1:15pm): Computer-related issues this update as voters in Missouri seem to be having problems actually casting votes for their candidate of choice. From TPM Election Central:
TPM reader PW writes: My wife just came home from voting here in Webster Groves MO. She used the electronic touch-screen voting system. . . She touched Claire McCaskill's picture and the machine recorded a vote for Jim Talent. She then called one of the people running the polling center who helped her correct the problem. My wife then had to call the person over another time after it recorded her vote a Republican again. In her frustration she asked the person who was responsible for the design of this system. The polling person leaned in very close to my wife and whispered, "We're f----d."

So, we're looking at computer "glitches" (and to actually call them glitches is to be highly generous on my part) among other problems listed below. I'll keep them coming.

UPDATE (12:15pm): So the robocalls continue, but this time with a twist. From Americablog:
Just because it's Scott Kleeb's prerecorded voice on the other line, doesn't mean his campaign is behind the phone call, according to his communications director.

Prerecorded telephone messages supposedly from Kleeb, a Third Congressional District candidate, have been repeatedly calling people in Central Nebraska, and
Ben Lumpkin, Kleeb's communications director, is concerned about the effects.

The messages, known as robocalls, are designed to inform voters about certain candidates. However, Lumpkin said he has received numerous complaints about the prerecorded messages calling repeatedly -- as many as six times an hour....

"We've had a couple of people who said they were tired of the harassing phone calls and wanted us to stop calling," she said. Some of them said they weren't going to vote for Kleeb, or at all, as a result, she said. "It's creating a bad environment for our volunteers," she said. "The point is to depress voter turnout."

Quirk said Kleeb's campaign isn't behind the repeated calls and she worries about the robocalls' impact. "They'll probably find out who's doing this, but it won't be today or tomorrow, and by then it will be too late," she said Monday.

If you want a party that advocating lying, cheating and stealing elections, by all means vote Republican. Me, I think it's time for a change. America is better than this and it's time to prove it.

UPDATE (11am): This one is great, thought not necessarily a voter suppression story. It comes from a voter in Connecticut who says he received a robocall. From TPM Muckraker:
The poll identified itself pretty quickly as being from a republican group, and then it went on to promise that if you vote republicans then they would stop the robocalls.

Well, that would make sense since the GOP is one group that's harrassing voters in the first place. Of course, Rethugs have no intention of stopping their misleading and possibly illegal robocalls, but it was nice of them to offer.


Ugh, of all the times for my internet to go down, last night's outage was definitely not a good thing. It rained for hours around here and basically left me without a connection for the rest of the night, so I feel like I'm totally behind what's been going on.

Anyway, it seems like the story of the day is going to be GOP efforts at voter suppression. I thought that I'd start making a list for my own edification and I'd add to it as the day progressed. So far, we've got:

GOP robocalls, where the call attempts to sound like it's from the local Dem candidate. If the person hangs up, the robocall with call back many times to the point where the victim of the attack feels that they are being harrassed by the Dem candidate and refuses to vote for him/her.
So states have required that the GOP stop such deceptive practices, but the criminals seem undaunted. I'd post a link to verify all this, but seriously, just type "robocall" into Google and you'll be inundated with material.

Next, I saw all manner of voter suppression tactics in Virginia (courtesy Daily Kos and American Chronicle). My absolute favorite has got to be the story of Timothy Daly. This is a voicemail he received, allegedly from the Virginia Elections Commission:
“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

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.

We also have the always popular "change of voting place" notice:

Widespread Calls, Allegedly from “Webb Volunteers,” Telling Voters that their Polling Location has Changed.

A couple of examples:

a. 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.

b. 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

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].

Then we have the old standby - "skip the election":

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.”

“Intimidation of voters has no place in this or any election. The blatant attempts by Republicans to suppress the African American vote by saying: ‘SKIP THIS ELECTION’ is contrary to the democratic principles that govern our Commonwealth and we hope the world,” said Jack Young, the co-chair of Virginia Promote the Vote and a national voting rights expert.

And, of course, no election chicanery can be complete without voting machine problems:

a. On many ballots in heavily Democratic neighborhoods, Jim’s name is cut off. The ballots say: “James H. (Jim)” with no Webb.

b. New reports that ballots in Essex County have Jim’s name split on 2 pages. The “James H (Jim)” on one page, “Webb” on the next.

c. Reports of voting machines in Isle of White that do not provide a clear image of the ballot, making voting a challenge.

It's offensive to me as a human being that the Republican Party is incapable of running on the merits of their work (or lack thereof) and would rather do everything, legal or otherwise, to suppress voter turnout. I'll update this throughout the day as I hear of more chicanery. Til then, go out and vote. If you experience problems call one or all of these numbers:

1-866-OUR VOTE (1-866-687-8683) (website here)
1-888-DEM VOTE (1-888-336-8683) (DNC hotline)
1-888-SAV-VOTE (1-888-728-8683) (voting machine problems)

Good luck.

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