Dirty Tricks For The Election

moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva.Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
in my home state
http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2004/09/28/ohio/

QUOTE
Jimmy Carter has already given up on the possibility of a fair election in Florida this time around, writing in the Washington Post yesterday that the best we can probably do at this point is to "focus maximum public scrutiny on the suspicious process" there. Carter may want to turn his election monitoring eye now to Ohio, another critical swing state, where election officials are also engaging in some questionable tactics designed to limit some voters' ability to cast ballots on Nov. 2. A cynic is left to wonder whether this has anything to do with massive voter registration drives in Ohio -- especially in heavily-Democratic areas -- as the New York Times reported on Sunday.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell -- a Republican who's been called the state's very own Katherine Harris by one voting rights group -- is requiring county boards of elections to strictly adhere to a dated Ohio law that requires voter registration cards to be printed on thick, 80-pound stock paper.

From the Daily News: "The paper-stock issue is frustrating Montgomery County Board of Elections officials, who have a backlog of registrations to complete. If they get an Ohio voter registration card on paper thinner than required, they are mailing a new card out to the voter. But if they still have the backlog by the registration deadline, Oct. 4, voters will not have another chance to get their correct paperwork in, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the Montgomery County board. 'There is just no reason to use 80-pound paper,' Harsman said. In Montgomery County there is a backlog of around 4,000 registrations, Harsman said. A few hundred could be affected by this provision, he said."

The Cleveland newspaper apparently printed within its pages registration forms that readers and would-be voters could fill out and mail in -- a worthy and noble public service on the newspaper's part. But these applications on newsprint would not be accepted by the state under Blackwell's directive because they weren't printed on postcard-thick paper. The Daily News says Cuyahoga County board of elections officials are "ignoring the edict" from the state because they "have already had an avalanche of new registrations submitted on forms printed on newsprint in The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer."

"'We don't have a micrometer at each desk to check the weight of the paper,' said Michael Vu, director of the Cuyahoga County Board. Blackwell's office has given the Cuyahoga board a special dispensation to accept the newsprint registration forms."

Blackwell's office claims, according to the Daily News, the requirement is necessary because the registration forms are "designed to be mailed like post-cards and must be thick enough to survive mechanical sorters at the U.S. Post Office." But how many Ohioans are so unfamiliar with the concept of postcards that they are sending flimsy little squares of thin paper through the mail with postcard stamps on them thinking they'll make it through in one piece? We'd guess most people stuck their regular paper, or newsprint, into envelopes. The Daily News piece doesn't say.

"Confusing the matter further," the News says, "is a national registration form available off the Internet at the federal Elections Assistance Agency. That form must be accepted by Ohio boards regardless of what it is printed on, Blackwell has said."

"The heavy-weight paper was a requirement when the cards were kept for years, were used to keep track of when a person voted, and were the main way to check signatures to combat voter fraud and verify petitions. But many boards, including both Montgomery and Cuyahoga, scan the signatures into a computer database and no longer record voting history on the cards."

"The League of Women Voters of Ohio on Thursday called on Blackwell to clarify his position. League national president Kay Maxwell said she knows of no other states that are requiring the 80-pound paper stock for voter registration cards. 'This is the first I've heard of it,' she said on Thursday in Columbus."

Comments

  • SpoogeSpooge Thunderbolt missile in your cheerios Members Join Date: 2002-01-25 Member: 67Posts: 1,531 Fully active user
    I'm not sure how this qualifies as "Dirty Tricks"? From this article I see a massively wasted buearucracy (*spit*) that has limited it's own functionality by implementing (or not revising/removing) rediculous registration laws.

    They are, however, still laws. Until those laws are changed or removed by the Ohio legislature, they must be followed. I'd suggest that Ohioans get on the phone with their representatives asap.

    And I must be missing something but what was the intent of this phrase in the article?
    QUOTE
    ...a Republican who's been called the state's very own Katherine Harris by one voting rights group...
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    QUOTE (Spooge @ Sep 30 2004, 09:12 AM)
    And I must be missing something but what was the intent of this phrase in the article?
    QUOTE
    ...a Republican who's been called the state's very own Katherine Harris by one voting rights group...

    It's from Salon. They do things like that.

    In other news, after sending an angry email to Kenneth Blackwell, I found this article http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/09/2...register29.html

    QUOTE
    COLUMBUS - A reminder that state voter registration cards must be printed only on heavy cardboard-like paper has created confusion for some county elections boards.

    Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell issued the order after questions were raised about the proper weight of the paper. Registration cards are permanent records under state law. Blackwell's office requires the cards to be printed on 80-pound card stock.

    Blackwell's office says the order is meant to prevent lightweight cards from being shredded by postal equipment. Blackwell, a Republican, says boards should accept all forms and register voters, then send voters the proper card - printed by the county board - to fill out for the permanent record.

    On Tuesday, Ohio Democratic Chairman Denny White called the paper reminder an "antiquated rule" and an unnecessary barrier to voter registration.


    I just sent an email to the editorial staff at Salon asking for clarification on this possible inaccuracy.
  • HandmanHandman Members Join Date: 2003-04-05 Member: 15224Posts: 277
    QUOTE
    Blackwell's office says the order is meant to prevent lightweight cards from being shredded by postal equipment. Blackwell, a Republican, says boards should accept all forms and register voters, then send voters the proper card - printed by the county board - to fill out for the permanent record.


    How is this a dirty trick? Sounds like they are accepting the registrations then mailing out correct forms to replace the old ones, once they are filled out. Sounds like the author at Salon was looking for something that is not there and didn't bother to call Blackwell's office to clarify, or he just wanted to mislead us . Its nice to see that objectional investigative journalists no longer exist.
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    "To crush your enemy, see them driven befor you, and to hear the lamentations of their women" -Conan
  • TheWizardTheWizard Members, Constellation Join Date: 2002-12-11 Member: 10553Posts: 1,646 Advanced user
    QUOTE (Handman @ Sep 30 2004, 09:46 AM)
    Sounds like the author at Salon was looking for something that is not there and didn't bother to call Blackwell's office to clarify, or he just wanted to mislead us . Its nice to see that objectional investigative journalists no longer exist.

    Using the terms: Objective, Investigative, and Journalist when referring to Salon.com is something I don't think I will ever see.


    I used to enjoy reading Salon just to see what the other side was saying. However they have become so rabid that I cannot bear to read some of their articles. This one is just an example. Here they are trying to scare Ohio votes into thinking there is some conspiracy to deny them votes. When "Mr. Katherine Harris" has stated that they will accept the forms first and then ask for a more permanent replacement.

    Nonstory.


    To be honest, if you haven't registered to vote by now, and need to rely on an ad printed in the newspaper to give you a form to fill out. Not only would I not blame the elections board of Ohio for not accepting something printed on newsprint, I would go even further and suggest that it probably would be a good idea if you didn't vote.
    Sig de-borkified. -- Nem

    I had a sig? --TheWizard
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    QUOTE (Handman @ Sep 30 2004, 09:46 AM)
    QUOTE
    Blackwell's office says the order is meant to prevent lightweight cards from being shredded by postal equipment. Blackwell, a Republican, says boards should accept all forms and register voters, then send voters the proper card - printed by the county board - to fill out for the permanent record.


    How is this a dirty trick? Sounds like they are accepting the registrations then mailing out correct forms to replace the old ones, once they are filled out. Sounds like the author at Salon was looking for something that is not there and didn't bother to call Blackwell's office to clarify, or he just wanted to mislead us . Its nice to see that objectional investigative journalists no longer exist.

    I don't know which of the two articles is inaccurate. That's why I sent them an email. I suspect the Salon article is inaccurate, but I don't know anything more than what I've read.
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