It looks our old friends are up to their old games again.
- In Michigan: “The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.”
- In Virginia: “Election officials in the county that is home to Virginia Tech were wrong when they issued a news release saying college students who register to vote there cannot be claimed as dependents on their parents’ income tax returns, a civil liberties group said Monday.”
- In MIssissippi, that traditional bastion of progressive voting rights: “Mississippi’s governor, Haley Barbour, and its secretary of state have come up with a particularly cynical dirty trick for the November election. Let’s call it: Where’s the Senate race?’ Defying state law, they have decided to hide a hard-fought race for the United States Senate at the bottom of the ballot, where they clearly are hoping some voters will overlook it. Their proposed design is not only illegal. It shows a deep contempt for Mississippi’s voters.”
One hates to speculate, but we won’t be surprised to hear about similar (or even more innovative) shenanigans in other states, will we? Not that the neo-Jim Crow crowd is going unchallenged. The stories above indicate that a bright light is being cast on these kinds of unAmerican activities, and Obama is getting involved in Michigan.
The Obama Campaign and the Democratic National Committee are joining with three Michigan residents in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to defend the lawful right of families facing foreclosure or who have lost their homes to vote in the November election.
“Senator McCain said last week that he was ‘divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have,’ and he certainly has proven that to Michigan families,” said Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe. “Senator McCain has no real plan to turn Michigan’s economy around or help families faced with losing their homes – so his party has decided the only way to save his campaign is to deny the right to vote to families most affected by his disastrous economic policies.”
This won’t be enough, though. We know dirty tricks are being plotted (or at least, if we don’t know it for a demonstrable fact, we probably have enough evidence before us that we’d be comfortable betting our life savings on it), and we saw in 2000 what happens when we’re too willing to trust the system to act in good faith. Therefore, you’re advised to be vigilant and vocal when you encounter voter suppression of any sort. Call your Congressweasel. Write an e-mail to everyone you know with links to the stories. Tell your friends, your neighbors, your family, your co-workers. Even better, call your local newspaper and demand that they do their damned jobs, because as thick as the average voter can be, he or she probably doesn’t like being confronted with this kind of anti-democratic behavior. Meanwhile, here are a couple other things you can do:
- Sign the petition for pushback in Michigan
- You can also verify your registration and polling place here.
- Stay in touch with the latest at Election Protection.
- And of course, pay close attention to BradBlog, one of the most aggressive election fraud watchdogs on the Net.
This ain’t Zimbabwe – not yet, anyway. If the integrity of our election system matters to you, then talk it and walk it. You don’t need a national platform to make a dent. Speak up. Viral is your friend, folks.