October 27, 2004

LNS Countdown to Electoral Uprising -- 6 Days to Go -- They are trying to steal it, but they will not succeed...

There are only 6 days to go until the national
referendum on the CHARACTER, COMPETENCE and
CREDIBILITY of the _resident and the VICE
_resident...At least one more US soldier has died in
Iraq for what? The neo-con wet dream of a Three
Stooges Reich...And yes, they are trying to steal it,
as you know, but if enough of us vote they cannot get
away with it...Lean into the fire...There is an
Electoral Uprising coming...Please read these FIVE
pieces and share them with others. Please vote and
encourage others to vote...Remember Duval County!

Harold Meyerson, Washington Post: With Election Day
almost upon us, it's not clear whether President Bush
is running a campaign or plotting a coup d'etat. By
all accounts, Republicans are spending these last
precious days devoting nearly as much energy to
suppressing the Democratic vote as they are to
mobilizing their own.
Time was when Republicans were at least embarrassed by
their efforts to keep African Americans from the
polls. Republican consultant Ed Rollins was all but
drummed out of the profession after his efforts to pay
black ministers to keep their congregants from voting
in a 1993 New Jersey election came to light.
For George W. Bush, Karl Rove and their legion of
genteel thugs, however, universal suffrage is just one
more musty liberal ideal that threatens conservative
rule. Today's Republicans have elevated vote
suppression from a dirty secret to a public norm.

Greg Palast, BBC: A secret document obtained from
inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests
a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt
voting in the state's African-American voting
districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.
Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of
the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's
national research director in Washington DC, contain a
15-page so-called "caging list".
It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in
predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas
of Jacksonville, Florida.
An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown
the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason
why they would keep such a thing is to challenge
voters on election day."

Abby Goodnough, NY Times: A federal district judge
here dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday that was filed on
behalf of more than 10,000 new voters whose
registration forms had been rejected as incomplete.
The judge, James Lawrence King, said the labor unions
that brought the case had no standing because they had
not proved that any of their members were affected.
Judge King also said several other plaintiffs, people
who had turned in incomplete registration forms, could
not blame their local elections supervisors, who were
named as defendants.
"No federal or state statute,'' he wrote, "prescribes
a time period within which a supervisor must notify an
applicant that her application is incomplete.''

Local110: Local 10 has received many phone calls from
viewers in Broward County who say they have not
received the absentee ballots - and the news from the
elections office doesn't sound good.
Local 10 has learned that many as many as 58,000
ballots that were supposed to mailed out on Oct. 7 and
8 could be missing.
The Broward County Supervisor of Elections office is
saying only that the situation is "unusual," and they
are looking into it.
Gisela Salas, Broward Deputy Elections Supervisor,
said, "I hate to say 'missing' at this time because
that has not yet be substantiated. Some ballots are
starting to arrive. But there is an extraordinary
delay."
An elections office representative told Local 10 that
the office has investigated with the U.S. Post Office
what might have happened to the ballots, but so far,
no one has been able to figure it out.
"It is unusual. It's a puzzle on the part of our
office and the postal service," Salas said. "Our
office did make the delivery and the post office
assures us they were processed. What happened is in
question."

NY Times Editorial: The Republican Party has announced
plans to place thousands of election challengers in
Ohio polling places next week. It says it is only
trying to prevent fraud. But there is a real danger
that these challengers could be used to block eligible
voters from casting their ballots or, just as bad, to
drastically slow down voting in some parts of the
state. Election officials must be vigilant about
ensuring that partisan challengers do not disrupt the
voting.
Republicans have been raising a lot of charges of
fraud lately. Fraud is a danger in any election, and
neither party has a monopoly on it. But the
Republicans have come up with little in the way of
specifics...
Ohio law gives election officials broad authority to
keep order at the polls and to make sure that voting
is "unobstructed." Poll workers should be quick to
dismiss baseless challenges, and if they see
challengers acting in bad faith, they should not
hesitate to have them removed from the polling place.
Election Day voting is far more fragile than most
people realize. A small number of challengers,
strategically placed and up to no good, could
disenfranchise thousands of voters, and even change
the outcome of a presidential election. Having been
put on notice, election officials in Ohio - and around
the country - must make sure that this does not
happen.

Support Our Troops, Save the US Constitution,
Repudiate the 9/11 Cover-Up and the Iraq War Lies,
Restore Fiscal Responsibility in the White House,
Thwart the Theft of a Second Presidential Election,
Save the Environment, Break the Corporatist
Stranglehold on the US Mainstream News Media, Rescue
the US Supreme Court from Right-Wing Radicals, Cleanse
the White House of the Chicken Hawk Coup and Its
War-Profiteering Cronies, Show Up for Democracy in
2004: Defeat the Triad, Defeat Bush (again!)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A707-2004Oct26.html

The GOP's Shameful Vote Strategy

By Harold Meyerson
Wednesday, October 27, 2004; Page A25

With Election Day almost upon us, it's not clear
whether President Bush is running a campaign or
plotting a coup d'etat. By all accounts, Republicans
are spending these last precious days devoting nearly
as much energy to suppressing the Democratic vote as
they are to mobilizing their own.

Time was when Republicans were at least embarrassed by
their efforts to keep African Americans from the
polls. Republican consultant Ed Rollins was all but
drummed out of the profession after his efforts to pay
black ministers to keep their congregants from voting
in a 1993 New Jersey election came to light.

For George W. Bush, Karl Rove and their legion of
genteel thugs, however, universal suffrage is just one
more musty liberal ideal that threatens conservative
rule. Today's Republicans have elevated vote
suppression from a dirty secret to a public norm.

In Ohio, Republicans have recruited 3,600 poll
monitors and assigned them disproportionately to such
heavily black areas as inner-city Cleveland, where
Democratic "527" groups have registered many tens of
thousands of new voters. "The organized left's efforts
to, quote unquote, register voters -- I call them
ringers -- have created these problems" of potential
massive vote fraud, Cuyahoga County Republican
Chairman James P. Trakas recently told the New York
Times.

Let's pass over the implication that a registration
drive waged by a liberal group is inherently
fraud-ridden, and look instead at that word "ringers."


Registration in Ohio is nonpartisan, but independent
analysts estimate that roughly 400,000 new Democrats
have been added to the rolls this year. Who does
Trakas think they are? Have tens of thousands of
African Americans been sneaking over the state lines
from Pittsburgh and Detroit to vote in Cleveland --
thus putting their own battleground states more at
risk of a Republican victory? Is Shaker Heights
suddenly filled with Parisians affecting American
argot? Or are the Republicans simply terrified that a
record number of minority voters will go to the polls
next Tuesday? Have they decided to do anything to stop
them -- up to and including threatening to criminalize
Voting While Black in a Battleground State?

This is civic life in the age of George W. Bush, in
which politics has become a continuation of civil war
by other means. In Bush's America, there's a war on --
against a foreign enemy so evil that we can ignore the
Geneva Conventions, against domestic liberals so
insidious that we can ignore democratic norms. Only
bleeding hearts with a pre-Sept. 11 mind-set still
believe in voting rights.

For Bush and Rove, the domestic war predates the war
on terrorism. From the first day of his presidency,
Bush opted to govern from the right, to fan the flames
of cultural resentment, to divide the American house
against itself in the hope that cultural conservatism
would create a stable Republican majority. The Sept.
11 attacks unified us, but Bush exploited those
attacks to relentlessly partisan ends. As his foreign
and domestic policies abjectly failed, Bush's reliance
on identity politics only grew stronger. He anointed
himself the standard-bearer for provincials and
portrayed Kerry and his backers as arrogant
cosmopolitans.

And so here we are, improbably enmeshed in a
latter-day version of the election of 1928, when the
Catholicism of Democratic presidential nominee Al
Smith bitterly divided the nation along
Protestant-Catholic and nativist-immigrant lines. To
his credit, Smith's opponent (and eventual victor),
Herbert Hoover, did not exploit this rift himself.
Bush, by contrast, has not merely exploited the
modernist-traditionalist tensions in America but
helped create new ones and summoned old ones we could
be forgiven for thinking were permanently interred.
(Kerry will ban the Bible?)

Indeed, it's hard to think of another president more
deliberately divisive than the current one. I can come
up with only one other president who sought so
assiduously to undermine the basic arrangements of
American policy (as Bush has undermined the New Deal
at home and the systems of post-World War II alliances
abroad) with so little concern for the effect this
would have on the comity and viability of the nation.
And Jefferson Davis wasn't really a president of the
United States.

After four years in the White House, George W. Bush's
most significant contribution to American life is this
pervasive bitterness, this division of the house into
raging, feuding halves. We are two nations now, each
with a culture that attacks the other. And politics,
as the Republicans are openly playing it, need no
longer concern itself with the most fundamental
democratic norm: the universal right to vote.

As the campaign ends, Bush is playing to the right and
Kerry to the center.

That foretells the course of the administrations that
each would head. The essential difference between them
is simply that, as a matter of strategy and
temperament, Bush seeks to exploit our rifts and Kerry
to narrow them. That, finally, is the choice before us
next Tuesday: between one candidate who wants to pry
this nation apart to his own advantage, and another
who seeks to make it whole.

meyersonh@washpost.com

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/102804Z.shtml

New Florida Vote Scandal Feared
By Greg Palast
BBC

Wednesday 27 October 2004

A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign
headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in
violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's
African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight
investigation reveals.

Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of
the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's
national research director in Washington DC, contain a
15-page so-called "caging list".

It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in
predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas
of Jacksonville, Florida.

An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown
the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason
why they would keep such a thing is to challenge
voters on election day."

Ion Sancho, a Democrat, noted that Florida law
allows political party operatives inside polling
stations to stop voters from obtaining a ballot.

Mass challenges

They may then only vote "provisionally" after
signing an affidavit attesting to their legal voting
status.

Mass challenges have never occurred in Florida.
Indeed, says Mr Sancho, not one challenge has been
made to a voter "in the 16 years I've been supervisor
of elections."

"Quite frankly, this process can be used to slow
down the voting process and cause chaos on election
day; and discourage voters from voting."

Sancho calls it "intimidation." And it may be
illegal.

In Washington, well-known civil rights attorney,
Ralph Neas, noted that US federal law prohibits
targeting challenges to voters, even if there is a
basis for the challenge, if race is a factor in
targeting the voters.

The list of Jacksonville voters covers an area with
a majority of black residents.

When asked by Newsnight for an explanation of the
list, Republican spokespersons claim the list merely
records returned mail from either fundraising
solicitations or returned letters sent to newly
registered voters to verify their addresses for
purposes of mailing campaign literature.

Republican state campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker
Fletcher stated the list was not put together "in
order to create" a challenge list, but refused to say
it would not be used in that manner.

Rather, she did acknowledge that the party's poll
workers will be instructed to challenge voters, "Where
it's stated in the law."

There was no explanation as to why such clerical
matters would be sent to top officials of the Bush
campaign in Florida and Washington.

Private detective

In Jacksonville, to determine if Republicans were
using the lists or other means of intimidating voters,
we filmed a private detective filming every "early
voter" - the majority of whom are black - from behind
a vehicle with blacked-out windows.

The private detective claimed not to know who was
paying for his all-day services.

On the scene, Democratic Congresswoman Corinne Brown
said the surveillance operation was part of a campaign
of intimidation tactics used by the Republican Party
to intimate and scare off African American voters,
almost all of whom are registered Democrats.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/27/politics/campaign/27felon.html?oref=login

October 27, 2004
FLORIDA
Judge Rules Against 10,000 Floridians Barred From
Voting
By ABBY GOODNOUGH

IAMI, Oct. 26 - A federal district judge here
dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday that was filed on behalf
of more than 10,000 new voters whose registration
forms had been rejected as incomplete.

The judge, James Lawrence King, said the labor unions
that brought the case had no standing because they had
not proved that any of their members were affected.
Judge King also said several other plaintiffs, people
who had turned in incomplete registration forms, could
not blame their local elections supervisors, who were
named as defendants.

"No federal or state statute,'' he wrote, "prescribes
a time period within which a supervisor must notify an
applicant that her application is incomplete.''

Sheila Thomas, a lawyer for the Advancement Project, a
rights group that represented the plaintiffs, said,
"We think the ruling is incorrect as a matter of law,
and we are considering appealing it."

The suit, brought against elections supervisors in
Broward, Miami-Dade and several other counties,
charged that the rejected registration forms had come
disproportionately from blacks and Hispanics. In some
cases, the applicants did not check a box indicating
that they were American citizens, though they signed
an oath on the form affirming that they were. Some
registrants corrected their incomplete forms before
the Oct. 4 registration deadline, the suit said, but
elections officials did not always process them in
time, and did not let other registrants know that
their forms were flawed.

The suit is among several charging voter
disenfranchisement that are being fought by the
administration of Gov. Jeb Bush.

In another case, the federal appeals court in Atlanta
heard new arguments on Tuesday in a class-action suit
seeking to end Florida's policy stripping all felons
of the right to vote. That court is not expected to
rule before Election Day.

The suit, filed just before the 2000 election by the
Brennan Center for Justice at New York University,
charges that the state's ban on felons' voting is
racially discriminatory. It estimates that the law
strips blacks of voting rights at more than twice the
rate of whites. The plaintiffs are the 600,000 people
with felony convictions who the Brennan Center
estimates have finished serving their time in Florida
yet still cannot vote.

The ban has been in effect since 1868, when Florida
gave blacks the right to vote as a condition of the
state's being readmitted to the Union after the Civil
War. A new State Constitution drafted that year
expanded the number of crimes that required
disenfranchisement, a change that the plaintiffs say
was intended to affect blacks disproportionately.

They also charge that the discriminatory intent
persists, even though the provision was re-enacted in
1968 as part of a new Constitution.

A federal judge in Miami dismissed the suit in 2002.
But in December a three-judge panel of the appeals
court reversed the decision and ordered a trial,
saying the state had to prove that it had re-enacted
the provision for a "nondiscriminatory purpose" and
not just for the sake of continuity.

Lawyers for Governor Bush, the defendant, asked for a
rehearing, which is what took place before the full
appeals court on Tuesday.

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http://www.local10.com/politics/3854230/detail.html

Local10.com
Local 10 Uncovers Big Ballot Mystery
Elections Office Says Situation Is 'Odd'
POSTED: 4:10 PM EDT October 26, 2004
UPDATED: 6:14 PM EDT October 26, 2004

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. -- Local 10 has received many
phone calls from viewers in Broward County who say
they have not received the absentee ballots - and the
news from the elections office doesn't sound good.

Local 10 has learned that many as many as 58,000
ballots that were supposed to mailed out on Oct. 7 and
8 could be missing.

The Broward County Supervisor of Elections office is
saying only that the situation is "unusual," and they
are looking into it.

Gisela Salas, Broward Deputy Elections Supervisor,
said, "I hate to say 'missing' at this time because
that has not yet be substantiated. Some ballots are
starting to arrive. But there is an extraordinary
delay."

An elections office representative told Local 10 that
the office has investigated with the U.S. Post Office
what might have happened to the ballots, but so far,
no one has been able to figure it out.

"It is unusual. It's a puzzle on the part of our
office and the postal service," Salas said. "Our
office did make the delivery and the post office
assures us they were processed. What happened is in
question."

The postal service told Local 10 late Tuesday that
they don't have 58,000 ballots floating around. They
did say that they have several employees assigned to
deal only with ballots and they are being delivered in
one to two days -- once they get them.

How Will You Vote?

As far as the voters go that haven't received their
ballots, the elections office is now suggesting that
they take the opportunity to vote early.

Since many who request absentee ballots cannot
physically vote in their county, there are likely to
be some angry voters.

If you are able to and would like to vote early in
Broward County, click here to find a voting location.

Watch Local 10 News for more coverage of this missing
ballot controversy.

Copyright 2004 by Local10.com. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/26/opinion/26edt1.html?ei=1&en=b41d16beb8f45e7e&ex=1099804536&pagewanted=print&position=

October 26, 2004
MAKING VOTES COUNT
Election Day Misdeeds

he Republican Party has announced plans to place
thousands of election challengers in Ohio polling
places next week. It says it is only trying to prevent
fraud. But there is a real danger that these
challengers could be used to block eligible voters
from casting their ballots or, just as bad, to
drastically slow down voting in some parts of the
state. Election officials must be vigilant about
ensuring that partisan challengers do not disrupt the
voting.

Republicans have been raising a lot of charges of
fraud lately. Fraud is a danger in any election, and
neither party has a monopoly on it. But the
Republicans have come up with little in the way of
specifics. They have pointed to a few instances in
which paid canvassers apparently submitted
registrations with phony names. But it is highly
unlikely that anyone will show up on Election Day
claiming to be Mary Poppins or Dick Tracy. The
Republicans have made much of the fact that some
jurisdictions have more names on their rolls than they
have eligible voters. But that is generally because
election offices are slow to remove the names of
people who move away or die.

In the name of fraud prevention, the Republicans plan
to use 3,600 challengers in Ohio, a pivotal state
where the race is dead even and there has been a big
surge in first-time registrations for Democratic
voters. There is no telling how many partisan
challengers there will be nationwide next week because
many states do not require them to be identified in
advance. If challengers behave properly, they can help
make elections better. But partisan challengers acting
in bad faith can do considerable damage. Aggressive
challengers have been known to bully poll workers,
many of whom are elderly and have only limited
knowledge of election law.

It is likely that some voters will be challenged next
week not because they appear to be ineligible, but
because partisan challengers think that they will vote
for the other side. There is a long history of
challengers' targeting minority precincts and minority
voters. It is troubling that in Ohio this year, the
Republicans appear to be focusing much of their effort
on Cleveland, Dayton and other cities with large
African-American and Latino populations.

One of the gravest dangers is that partisan teams will
challenge many, if not all, voters in selected
precincts, with the goal of slowing voting to a
standstill. In Ohio, every challenge will require a
deliberation over whether the person in question
should be allowed to vote. In presidential elections,
lines in urban polling places are often hours long
under normal conditions. If the challengers can add 10
minutes per voter, waiting times may become so long
that thousands of voters will simply give up.

Ohio law gives election officials broad authority to
keep order at the polls and to make sure that voting
is "unobstructed." Poll workers should be quick to
dismiss baseless challenges, and if they see
challengers acting in bad faith, they should not
hesitate to have them removed from the polling place.
Election Day voting is far more fragile than most
people realize. A small number of challengers,
strategically placed and up to no good, could
disenfranchise thousands of voters, and even change
the outcome of a presidential election. Having been
put on notice, election officials in Ohio - and around
the country - must make sure that this does not
happen.


Posted by richard at October 27, 2004 03:34 PM