Friday, October 5, 2012

Voter Suppression 101

These reports out of New Mexico seem familiar to trends in Massachusetts elections the past few years. 

Partisan training of poll workers and observers to enforce a non-existent Voter ID law? Check.

Harassing Hispanic voters while trying to enforce non-existent English only laws?  Check.

Unfounded accusations of the trained election officials rigging the elections?  Check.

Overstepping their role as observers and interfering with voters?  Check.

Widespread and highly inaccurate purging of the voter rolls?  Check.

Looks like Activate Worcester is merely taking a page from the True the Vote playbook without any actual proof of wrongdoing in Massachusetts.

Despite glowing paeans to the brilliance of Activate Worcester in GoLocalWorcester, the only thing Activate Worcester has been able to accomplish to date is 'poll worker training,' a small amount of fundraising, and robocalls/mailings in an attempt to suppress the vote of "welfare recipients and disenfranchised people" because of the presence of "extreme left candidates" in this year's elections.

Sounds like this group doesn't understand democracy and voting rights, just like the GOP in New Mexico.

1 comment:

WiseFather said...

Great find. Keep up the good work exposing these folks that are trying to undermine what's left of our American democracy.

It could be worse than you think. The pretextual "hunt for voter fraud" goes beyond registration purging and poll watchers. In states where poll watchers are more heavily regulated, True the Vote and their affiliates/allies are recruiting and training people to be actual election judges. One organizer went so far as to say "Being an election judge is even better than being a poll watcher as you are actually running the election."

So do you think that driver's license makes your vote safe?

Any liquor store clerk knows how easy it is to get a fake. Do we expect TTV not to be aware of this fact in their training? Does the state provide adequate guidance for election judges in determining whether an ID's picture sufficiently matches the person staning before them? What about the signature matching requirements?

These subjective judgment calls concerning a person's right to vote a regular ballot may end up in the hands of someone trained to be paranoid rather than reasonably vigilant. See for some of the flaws in Ohio's laws protecting voters on election day, and here for Florida which has a horrific defect in its voter challenge law that is not getting enough attention.