Friday, September 21, 2012

Let My People Vote — get a gun while you're at it

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Thanks to Norma Bates. This by Sarah Silverman is funny. Also dead serious. A message of doing what you can to combat Republican efforts to suppress votes, particularly by poor, elderly, minority and student voters. (Get it?)

In many states a photo college ID isn't good enough to vote, but a concealed carry permit is.

ALSO: New York Times editorializes today on even more heavy-handed Tea Party tactics to suppress votes. The heavy hand of the Koch billionaires again surfaces. Ask Teresa Oelke and the Cheers barfly about this if you see them in your town trying to buy America for the Koch boys.

True the Vote grew out of a Tea Party group in Texas, the King Street Patriots, with the assistance of Americans for Prosperity, a group founded by the Koch brothers that works to elect conservative Republicans. It has developed its own software to check voter registration lists against driver’s license and property records. Those kinds of database matches are notoriously unreliable because names and addresses are often slightly different in various databases, but the group uses this technique to challenge more voters.

In 2009 and 2010, for example, the group focused on the Houston Congressional district represented by Sheila Jackson Lee, a black Democrat. After poring over the records for five months, True the Vote came up with a list of 500 names it considered suspicious and challenged them with election authorities. Officials put these voters on “suspense,” requiring additional proof of address, but in most cases voters had simply changed addresses. That didn’t stop the group from sending dozens of white “poll watchers” to precincts in the district during the 2010 elections, deliberately creating friction with black voters.

On the day of the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, the group used inaccurate lists to slow down student voting at Lawrence University in Appleton with intrusive identity checks. Three election “observers,” including one from True the Vote, were so disruptive that a clerk gave them two warnings, but the ploy was effective: many students gave up waiting in line and didn’t vote.

True the Vote, now active in 30 states, hopes to train hundreds of thousands of poll watchers to make the experience of voting like “driving and seeing the police following you,” as one of the group’s leaders put it.

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