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October 23, 2003

Keep them down. The Louisville, Kentucky Courier-Journal reports on the party of Lincoln:
Jefferson County Republicans intend to place Election Day challengers at 59 voting precincts in predominantly black neighborhoods, a move that NAACP leaders yesterday called blatant intimidation.

The GOP election workers, most of whom live outside the targeted precincts in western and central Louisville, Portland and Newburg, will be on hand to challenge voters who they suspect aren’t eligible.

Jefferson County GOP Chairman Jack Richardson IV said the precincts were chosen at random or because the Republican Party has had trouble finding registered voters in those areas to serve as election workers. […] Richardson said the precincts weren’t chosen because of their racial makeup or voting patterns.

In further comments, Richardson detailed his ownership of the Brooklyn Bridge and his membership in the Rumanian royal family. [07:52 PM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Keep them down.:

Norbizness ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2003, 08:18 PM:

What a bunch of lo-fi doofuses in Kentucky. Can't they just get them purged off the rolls before the election starts?

the talking dog ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2003, 09:59 PM:

Who knew Kentucky was going to have so many convicted felons?

There's nothing stopping Democrats from doing the same thing back, to the extent there are going to be improper voting in GOP strongholds, go ahead and set up the challenges.

Yeah, as to this GOP move, its distasteful, its racist, and its clearly INTENDED as intimidation. But as far as I can tell, its not illegal (unlike what Katherine Harris pulled off in Florida-- disenfranchising people BY COMPUTER PROGRAM-- for which Ms. Harris should be in jail, instead of in that great prep school for jail, the House of Representatives).

Elections are going to be close and hard fought. Its time we all realized that, and just took the gloves off. Leo Durocher gave the best advice to Democrats I can think of: nice guys are gonna finish last.

sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: October 23, 2003, 10:30 PM:

nice guys are gonna finish last.

I am not sure I agree. It's not necessary to fight as dirty as the GOP, because the Dems have one big advantage: facts. They (OK, we, I'm a pinko lefty) can tell the truth and prove it is on their (our) side in a majority of issues. What really is needed is a concerted effort to get this information to the public, in a format designed to effectively counter the Oft-Repeated Soundbite Lie, which has been a right wing votewinner as long as I can remember.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2003, 09:43 AM:

Sennoma, Getting The Information To The Public is a good thing. But sometimes, what you need are restraining orders. Or more election workers.

A general remark:

When an organized group of out-of-state rioters in the pay of the Republican Party, some of whom were regular Congressional staffers or otherwise full-time employees --

Attacked a federal office building for the express purpose of stopping a ballot count that might well have shown that their candidate hadn't won the election --

(Pause here for a moment to count the number of offenses for which they could have been charged -- )

And it quickly became clear that the Republican organization hadn't particularly bothered to cover up the money trail running from those rioters well up into its central organization --

It then became obvious that these people don't think they're ever going to fall out of power.

I don't mean they're stupid or deluded. I mean that powerful, successful members of their faction believe they have a reasonable expectation of never falling out of power. That was clear at the time. I've been scared ever since.

There are only two ways to guarantee you're not going to lose an election. One is to not have an election. The other is to rig the elections. It's just a question of mechanisms.

If people don't start making noise now, not just reporting and deploring, it's going to work.

sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2003, 11:43 AM:

There are only two ways to guarantee you're not going to lose an election. One is to not have an election. The other is to rig the elections.

You're scaring me. I won't be a citizen by 11/04 -- I wonder if I'll be eligible to volunteer at a polling station?

Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: October 25, 2003, 01:05 PM:

t-dog:

Whaddaya mean prep school? I believe it was the 1980's where the felony arrest (and conviction) rate for the House of Representatives made it the most dangerous place in the country, at least on paper. Of course, on paper is where legislators are always the most dangerous . . .

Martial ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2003, 02:17 PM:

Transparency can intimidate these people right back.

Local residents can walk right up to the poll-watchers and engage them in conversation about who they are, where they're from, how they're registered, etc and write it all down. Have a well-respected local (preferably an old lady; preferably a team of old ladies) shadow them the whole day, writing down everything they say. Ask them to repeat themselves frequently. Have someone, with a loud voice, periodically announce that there isn't anything to worry about because "George here, of 1010 Jefferson Lane, from over in Lincoln, is just doing his part to make sure this election is fair. Let's all give him a big hand!" Then snap some polaroids of voters posing with the poll-watcher. Invite them to a post-election party.

Do all of that sweetly and without a hint of aggression and cocoon the bastards in good will.

Make sure the neighborhood knows before Election Day that this strategy is in place.

That's how my grandparents used to do it in Kentucky.

James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2003, 05:12 PM:

Letters to the editor. Op-ed pieces. Now is the time to do 'em.

Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2003, 05:54 PM:

To be honest: would these people show any qualms about beating up little old ladies?

Loof eht ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2003, 09:24 AM:

There is an an answer to this problem. Transparency. What we need to do is organize hords of people who are angry about this, who own video cameras to go to each of the polling places listed and video tape absolutely everthing that goes on. If several people are constantly watching each and every one of these GOP thugs, like hawks, with cameras in hand the GOP thugs are going to be less likely to use fascist tactics.

Now go read David Brins _The Transparent Society._

Kris Hasson-Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2003, 11:15 AM:

No, not video cameras--unless you have a live feed going somewhere else. They can just take the camera away, if they want. What might work is mobloging by camera phone.

sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2003, 11:40 AM:

would these people show any qualms about beating up little old ladies?

<voice class="fake" style="tough guy">They will if I'm there.</voice>

Seriously though, I love the "teams of little old ladies" idea. Most of the little old ladies I know are as tough as nails anyway, but you could add a few strapping lads to keep an eye on things if you thought violence was likely.

Martial ::: (view all by) ::: October 28, 2003, 02:37 PM:

I'm not sure people are allowed to have video cameras in polling places. In any case, it would set a very bad precedent, one that could be abused by the poll-watchers.

In a district where there has been police intimidation, people with video cameras roaming the streets and riding in cars taking voters to the polling places might be an excellent deterrent.

As for the safety of our little old ladies: No outsider is going to touch an old woman. There doesn't even need to be any sort of implied threat.

James Macdonald also offers the excellent suggestion of voicing our concerns through traditional media. Let's encourage them to put the pressure on too. Go, C-J, go!