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October 27, 2003

Keeping Them Down?

Electrolite comes out for election fraud. They charge that the Louisville Republican Party's decision (full Louisville Courier-Journal story here) to send poll watchers to polls in precincts where there are not Republican judges is nothing more than racism. The NAACP in Kentucky is complaining too, calling it blatant intimidation. How it can be intimidation for someone to make sure those coming to vote are qualified in the absence of local qualified members from the other party? Did the NAACP complain about intimidation when poll watchers from other countries were sent to Third World countries to keep and eye on things? If they did I never heard a word about it.

What the Republicans are doing is legal under Kentucky law. Both Republicans and Democrats (and any other parties) are allowed to appoint challengers who can question voters they have "a reason to believe" aren't qualified to cast ballots. Poll watchers receive the same training as poll workers. The precincts in question have had voting irregularities in the past. Kentucky has had poll watchers in the past to mainly check to see who has or has not voted and get their supporters to the polls. The voters can't be indiscriminately challenged and the challengers must have a valid reason to believe that a voter's qualifications are questionable. Challenged voters must sign an oath swearing they are bona fide before they will receive a ballot. Those who refuse won't be allowed to vote unless an election officer verifies that they meet voting requirements or that the challenge is unwarranted.

If there are no irregularities the Democrats have nothing to fear from some folks acting as poll watchers. Why would someone be afraid of someone asking them for a picture ID? That doesn't make sense. This is not keeping anyone down. Of course, there are those who never shrink from the opportunity to yell "racism".

One of the comments on Electrolite (by the wife of the blogs owner) says in a rant about how the Republicans stole the 2000 Presidential election:

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.

She evidently overlooked another way to lose an election: have an idiot or criminal for a candidate. Although that is not always a sure thing.

Then in another post on Electrolite the blog owner posts this:

The thing is, that's not the problem. The actual problem--the actual task at hand--is maintaining an open and accountable democracy which provides as few opportunities to cheat as possible.

In other words only the Democrats can take actions to insure that elections aren't rigged or denying people the opportunity to cheat. If Republicans do it, it is racism.

- posted by Mad Jayhawk and Seven @ 10/27/2003 11:06:00 AM    |

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