Tag Archives: Vote

Still Waiting for Sarah Palin Emails – One Year Later

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Public records requests made more than a year ago for Sarah Palin’s e-mails still haven’t been filled by the state, and the Alaska Democratic Party chairwoman alleges it’s an attempt to bury the past.

I think they’re hiding something, I think this is a travesty of justice,” state Democratic Party Chairwoman Patti Higgins said Wednesday. “The law says they have 10 days to do it.”

Public records in Alaska are generally supposed to be provided within 10 days, although the state can extend the deadline for more complicated requests.

State officials say this is no cover-up, but rather a case of massive requests that have overwhelmed the state’s resources. Assistant Attorney General David Jones said the 11 largest public-records requests from last year remain unfilled; most of them, he said, require the review of between 2,900 and 30,000 documents.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Actor Tim Robbins Turned Away from the Polls!! Many Provisional Ballots are NEVER Counted!! Go to Your Election Board!! Be the Squeaky Wheel!!

Here was a great comment I saw on another blog … “Provisional ballots are useless. Most never get authenticated or counted. Don’t accept a substitute today. Be the squeaky wheel until you get the vote millions died to protect!”

Checkout below the voting experience of actor Tim Robbins, whose name had been removed from the voter register in New York and was then told he would have to vote a “provisional” ballot.  Provisional ballots are rarely counted or if counted, it’s days after the election is over and the results have been announced.  This is happening ALL over the country!!  Don’t let this happen to you!!  Call the nationwide hotline for assistance and/or go to your local election board BEFORE the polls close!!

Voters who experience problems voting are advised to not leave your polling station but to call a hotline 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) instead to get advice. The hotline will be staffed with legal experts who can help you determine your voting rights. The Election Protection group running the hotline will also have legal experts in the field monitoring situations at the polls. If you don’t have a legal question but simply want to report a problem you had, you can call a separate hotline 866-MYVOTE1 (866-698-6831) and leave a recorded message. Be sure to leave your name and phone number on the recording if you want someone to investigate your problem.]

Tim Robbins’ Polling Place Nightmare: He’s Turned Away! (VIDEO)

Politically active actor Tim Robbins almost didn’t get to vote in New York.

TMZ reports Robbins was turned away at his polling place.

There was some kind of ruckus and the cops were called.

Apparently Robbins has been voting at that polling place for more than a decade, but today his name wasn’t on the register. They told Robbins he had to fill out a provisional ballot but he didn’t want to do it. An argument erupted between Robbins and the poll worker. Robbins allegedly got loud and the poll worker said he was calling the cops.

Robbins accused the poll worker of trying to intimidate him so he wouldn’t vote.

Robbins went downtown to the City Board of Elections to get proof he was good to vote.

That’s where a TMZ camera caught up with him. Robbins held up his papers and told the camera:

“This is what you have to do to vote… I had to go down to see a judge… My name was not on the roll, and I’m not the only one. According to workers, 30 people in 5 hours had been taking off the rolls. You can do the math on that. 6 per hour, per district across America…”

Video of Tim Robbins speaking with TMZ reporter

Georgia’s Secretary of State Karen Handel Promotes Voter Challenges and Refuses to Extend Early Voting Hours

Karen Handel was elected in November 2006 and sworn into office on January 8, 2007, as Georgia’s first Republican Secretary of State. One of Secretary Handels duties include overseeing elections.

Georgia’s first Republican Secretary of State Karen Handel was elected in November 2006 and sworn into office on January 8, 2007. One of Secretary Handel's duties include overseeing elections.

TPM Muckraker has reported disturbing attempts by Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Karen Handel to suppress Democratic votes by her refusal to extend polling hours during the early voting period, although she could have requested the Department of Justice grant an emergency extension.  Other means Ms. Handel is using to supress votes was to ‘remind’ Georgian citizens this past Wednesday they can actively “challenge” a voter’s qualifications at polling places, therby requiring that voter to cast a “challenged” ballot and  appear before the election board to prove citizenship.

Add Georgia to the list of states where Republican officials are actively engaged in voter suppression efforts.

In the midst of a record turnout for early voting in Georgia, that has led to long lines, discouraged voters and exhausted poll workers, Secretary of State Karen Handel, a Republican, has claimed federal law ties her hands, preventing her from extending early voting hours.

With just days to go to the election, Democratic politicians demanded yesterday that Handel step in and extend early voting hours — as has been done in both North Carolina and Florida.

But in an opinion piece published in the AJC on Thursday, Handel blamed her inaction on the issue on federal law which requires Justice Department approval to change voting law.

Ironically, it is Georgia’s history of discriminatory voting practices that puts it on a federal “pre-clearance” list, mentioned in Section 5 of the Voter Rights Act of 1965.

While the DOJ can take up to 60 days to review any change that is submitted, it has the power to grant expedited review in emergency situations — and Georgia’s situation would certainly seem to qualify, Gerry Hebert, a former acting head of DOJ’s voting-rights section, told TPMmuckraker.

“Georgia has asked and been granted expedited review by the DOJ in the past, so to say because of the voting act, we can’t do this — that’s not really accurate,” Hebert said. “The DOJ has done this in as little as 24 hours. . . so to use Section 5 as an excuse that this isn’t possible, that’s someone that really doesn’t want to make the change.”

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat, issued a statement yesterday that he was writing Attorney General Michael Mukasey urging him to grant expedited review, when — or if — it was asked for by Handel.

This isn’t Handel’s first brush with voter suppression charges. Early last month, voter rights groups brought a suit against Handel after she threatened to purge over 4,500 voters from the rolls because their citizenship had been questioned.

This Tuesday, a panel of federal judges said the 4,500 plus flagged voters must be given ballots — and that Handel must “make diligent and immediate efforts” to inform those voters that had been challenged.

In compliance with the decision, Handel sent out letters to flagged voters yesterday, telling them they could still vote on election day but with a “challenged” paper ballot.

Handel, however, has reacted to the judges’ decision by turning to ordinary Georgians to continue her voter suppression campaign by proxy.

As first noted by the blog, Facing South, in an interview Wednesday with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Handel took pains to remind voters that any voter can challenge another’s qualifications to cast a ballot by notifying a precinct poll manager. According to Handel, that voter then would be given a challenge ballot and would have to go before the election board.

Georgia’s Secretary of State Promotes Voter Challenges and Refuses to Extend Early Voting Hours

2008 Early Voting Statistics by States

Early Voting Statistics by States*

State Mainpage Early Voting Stats 2008 Total Early Vote Selected
Stats
2008 Early Vote / 2004 Total Vote 2004 Total Votes Cast 2004
% Early
(Ass.Press)
Last Updated
United States  
23,438,889
  19.0% 123,535,883 22.5%  
Alabama         1,890,317 3.5%  
Alaska         314,502 21.4%  
Arizona         2,038,069 40.8%  
Scottsdale City html 31,562   28.8% 109,469   10/24
Arkansas   340,964
Ballot  
Absentee 7.7%
In-Person 92.3%
31.8% 1,070,573 33.4% 10/31
California
(58 of 58 counties reporting, thnx to Joe Holland)
  3,293,617   25.8% 12,589,367 33.2% 10/24-11/1
Colorado html 1,477,836
Party  
Dem 37.7%
Rep 35.9%
No/Oth 26.4%
Ballot  
Absentee 75.3%
In-person 24.7%
68.8% 2,148,036 47.9% 10/31
(Party
stats
current through 10/30)
Connecticut         1,607,808 8.9%  
Delaware         377,407 4.9%  
District of Columbia         230,105 8.1%  
Florida^
(in-person & absentee returned)
html Election Code 9250 3,787,414
  2008 2004
Party    
Dem 45.6% 40.7%
Rep 37.8% 43.5%
No/Oth 16.6% 15.8%
Ballot    
Absentee 39.4%  
In-person 60.6%  
46.9% 7,640,319 36.1% 11/1
Georgia html
1,994,990
Race  
White 60.2%
Black 35.1%
Other/Unk 2.2%
Sex  
Men 40.4%
Women 56.2%
Unk 0.9%
Ballot  
Absentee 11.1%
In-person 88.9%
60.1% 3,317,336 20.2% 11/1
Hawaii         431,662 31.0%  
Idaho         612,786 15.9%  
Illinois         5,350,493 5.6%  
Champaign Cnty html 7,685   9.1% 84,153 4.9% 10/30
Cook Cnty html 226,090   22.1% 1,024,876   10/31
Chicago City html 260,703   24.7% 1,056,830   10/30
Indiana html 455,035   18.1% 2,512,142 10.4% 10/30
Marion Cnty   57,249 In-person only 19.3% 296,243 8.0% 10/31
Iowa   454,274
Party  
Dem 47.3%
 
Rep 28.8%
No/Oth 23.9%
29.8% 1,521,966 30.8% 10/31
Kansas         1,213,108 20.4%  
Johnson Cnty html 109,190   42.1% 259,599 37.8% 10/30
Kentucky         1,816,867 5.4%  
Louisiana html 266,880
Party  
Dem 58.5%
Rep 28.4%
No/Oth 13.1%
Race  
White 60.8%
Black 36.3%
Other 2.9%
Sex  
Men 43.5%
Women 56.5%
Ballot  
Absentee 5.1%
In-Person 94.9%
13.6% 1,956,590 6.5% 10/29
(In-person early voting period ended 10/28)
Maine html 163,981
Party  
Dem 42.9%
Rep 28.2%
No/Oth 28.9%
21.8% 751,519 21.4% 10/31
Maryland         2,395,791 5.8%  
Massachusetts         2,927,455 6.0%  
Michigan         4,875,692 17.9%  
Minnesota         2,842,912 8.2%  
Mississippi         1,152,365 6.1%  
Missouri         2,764,635 7.6%  
Montana   184,632   40.5% 456,096 21.7% 10/29
Nebraska   147,992   18.7% 792,906 13.9% 10/30
Nevada# html 500,339   60.2% 831,563 53.1% 10/30
Clark Cnty html 347,491
Party  
Dem 52.5%
Rep 30.4%
No/Oth 17.2%
63.5% 546,858 59.4% 10/30
Washoe Cnty html 90,638
Party  
Dem 47.8%
Rep 35.0%
No/Oth 17.2%
56.8% 159,511 33.0% 10/30
New Hampshire         683,672 9.0%  
New Jersey         3,638,153 5.4%  
New Mexico         775,301 50.6%  
Bernalillo Cnty html 162,452
Party  
Dem 53.4%
Rep 32.9%
No/Oth 13.7%
Ballot  
Absentee 37.6%
In-person 62.4%
61.9% 262,617   10/30
New York         7,448,266 5.1%  
North Carolina zip 2,350,712
  2008 2004
Party    
Dem 51.8% 48.6%
Rep 30.0% 37.4%
None 18.2% 14.1%
Age    
18-29 13.9%  
30-44 22.7%  
45-64 40.7%  
65+ 22.7%  
Race    
White 69.5%  
Black 26.3%  
Other 4.1%  
Sex    
Men 42.7% 42.9%
Women 56.4% 56.6%
Unk 0.2% 0.4%
Ballot    
Absentee 8.0% 13.1%
One-Stop 92.0% 86.9%
66.2% 3,552,449 30.8% 11/1 5:26am
North Dakota         316,049 17.8%  
Ohio*         5,722,443 10.7%  
Champaign Cnty html 3,666   19.2% 19,080 8.4% 10/31
Cuyahoga Cnty Pdf 228,003
Ballot  
Absentee 81.0%
In-person 19.0%
33.2% 687,255 12.4% 10/31
Franklin Cnty html 178,260   33.4% 533,575 8.8% 10/30
Gallia Cnty html 2,168   15.1% 14,391 11.1% 10/28
Greene Cnty html 5,736   7.1% 80,602 10.5% 10/28
Knox Cnty html 7,336   26.9% 27,302 13.2% 10/30
Montgomery Cnty html 50,577   17.6% 287,635 10.2% 10/30
Muskingum Cnty html 6,629   16.8% 39,565 12.6% 10/28
Ross Cnty html 8,086   25.3% 31,979 12.3% 10/30
Seneca Cnty html 4,156   15.1% 27,607 10.8% 10/30
Summit Cnty html 73,920   26.2% 281,735 10.1% 10/31
Tuscarawas Cnty html 9,339   21.3% 43,760 11.1% 10/31
Union Cnty html 3,324   14.5% 22,911 7.7% 10/28
Oklahoma         1,463,758 10.1%  
Oregon Pdf 931,310   50.3% 1,851,671 100.0% 10/30
Pennsylvania         5,769,590 5.5%  
Rhode Island         440,228 4.4%  
South Carolina         1,626,720 9.5%  
South Dakota         394,930 24.0%  
Tennessee Pdf 1,550,939   63.1% 2,456,610 47.3% 10/30
(Early voting ended 10/30)
Texas
(15 largest counties)
html 3,117,005
Ballot  
Absentee 6.4%
In-person 93.6%
42.1% 7,410,765 51.1% 10/30
Utah         942,010 7.2%  
Vermont         314,220 19.1%  
Virginia         3,223,156 7.0%  
Fairfax Cnty   78,425   17.0% 426,126 10.5% 10/30
Washington         2,883,499 68.2%  
Clark Cnty html 106,053   61.6% 172,277 62.8% 10/31
King Cnty html 316,995   35.3% 899,199 62.8% 10/31
Pierce Cnty Pdf 125,330   39.5% 317,012 80.3% 10/31
Snohomish Cnty Pdf 126,709   42.6% 297,187 65.3% 10/30
Spokane Cnty Pdf 132,172   64.8% 203,886 64.3% 10/31
Whatcom Cnty html 60,165   65.7% 91,515 72.8% 10/31
West Virginia   96,239
Party  
Dem 59.4%
Rep 31.5%
No/Oth 9.2%
Ballot  
Absentee 9.5%
In-Person 90.5%
12.5% 769,645 19.1% 10/29
Wisconsin         3,016,288 12.1%  
Wyoming         245,789 19.6%

* Link below for full spreadsheet of complete statistics

2008 Early Voting Statistics

New Ad Campaign Features Republicans & Independents Supporting Barack Obama (Video)

Academy Award winning documentarian Errol Morris has released a new ad campaign featuring republicans and independents who are voting for Obama.

From the MiddleForObama YouTube page:

“Between the far right and extreme left are people in the ‘middle’
common-sense Americans, of all political affiliations, who are more concerned with the issues facing our Country than strict partisan ideology. In this election, like most others, it’s these people who will ultimately choose our next leader.

Please share their stories with those you know that are still undecided. We don’t have much time!”

Commentary: Republicans Making Sure Every American Vote Isn’t Counted

US Politics Today has published an excellent op-ed by national political strategist and editor Joe Rothstein in which he examines the widespread suppression of American voters’ right to participate in the presidential election this November 4th.

Despite all of the public interest in and enthusiasm for the 2008 campaign, despite all the new voter registrations, on November 4 the number of votes cast may be considerably fewer than 120 million votes counted for Bush and Kerry in 2004. Maybe as much as 10% fewer.

Why?

Start with the fact that 39 states already have purged 13 million voters off the voters’ rolls since 2004.

Yes, you heard that right. At least 13 million voters have been purged from the rolls since 2004. That’s 10% of the 120 million votes cast in 2004 and twice as many voters than have just been added through massive registration drives.

In many states, the number of names dropped from the voters’ lists has been breathtaking: 17% in Colorado, 15% in Washington State, 14% in New York, 13% in Nevada, 10% in Missouri.

These purges are the cynical byproduct of 2000’s voting debacle. After 2000 the public demanded election reform. What the Republican Congress enacted in response was legalized vote suppression. Their idea of election reform was to set up a system that required states to match voter registrations against other computerized files such as drivers’ license and to disenfranchise those whose files don’t match—even if the mismatch is the result of a simple clerical recording error, or because of a missing middle initial or the absence of a Jr. or Sr.

Wisconsin refused to play along with this game when a test run showed one in four voters would have been eliminated because of typos and other minor problems.

In Ohio, 200,000 newly registered voters fell into the mismatch trap, and the Republicans are waging a ferocious legal battle to get their hands on those names so they can challenge them when they vote. Even a unanimous rejection by the U.S. Supreme Court hasn’t stopped the Republicans from continuing this fight. They know that the state’s electoral votes may hang in the balance.

In the first few days of early voting in Florida this week, 5,000 voters already had been rejected, mostly because of typos and variations in the spelling of peoples’ names.

The “matching” requirement is a highly effective legacy of Republican voter “reform.” Voter ID is another.

In 7 states, voters won’t be permitted to vote without valid picture ID cards. This requirement alone may change the outcome of elections in Indiana, Florida and Michigan by essentially disenfranchising those without driver’s licenses or employment ID cards.

In 17 other states some form of ID will be required to get a ballot. Just having your name on the official voter roll will not be enough.

The Republicans are also mounting their most ambitious effort ever to challenge ballots in predominantly Democratic voting precincts over any pretext. More than 1.5 million votes were thrown out in 2004 after they were classified as “spoiled” because of such minor errors as blank spaces, stray marks or tears. The losses hit hardest among minorities in low-income precincts, who are often forced to vote on antiquated machines. In 2004, the number of spoiled ballots in New Mexico—19,000—was three times George Bush’s margin of victory there.

Reporter Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. have an article in the current Rolling Stone magazine that outlines many of ways Republicans are trying to suppress the 2008 vote. Ever heard of “vote caging?” Here’s how Palast and Kennedy say it works:

“Many voters are given provisional ballots under an insidious tactic known as “vote caging,” which uses targeted mailings to disenfranchise black voters whose addresses have changed. In 2004, despite a federal consent order forbidding Republicans from engaging in the practice, the GOP sent out tens of thousands of letters to “confirm” the addresses of voters in minority precincts. If a letter was returned (unopened) for any reason–because the voter was away at school or serving in the military–the GOP challenged the voter for giving a false address.”

Bill Moyers interviewed professor Mark Crispin Miller about all this on last week’s Bill Moyers Journal and got an earful about vote suppression tactics. Crispin details them in his new book, Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy 2000-2008. For anyone who wants more detail, check out Moyers’ web site http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/ or read Miller’s book.

….Or, just pay attention to all of the mischief occurring in these last days before November 4. It’s hard to find, since the mainstream media seems to have an aversion to touching vote suppression as a real and important factor in this election.

But many bloggers are paying attention to the mysterious absentee ballots that are showing up in Democrats’ mailboxes in Nevada, trying to lure Democratic voters into sending their absentee votes to an erroneous address. Others have pointed toward the anonymous pamphlets in Philadelphia’s black precincts, warning people that police will be watching the polls to catch those delinquent in paying parking tickets. And so on.

According to the public opinion surveys, if the usual 55-60% of registered voters turn out November 4, Barack Obama will be elected President and Democrats will claim a sweeping victory in both houses of Congress. But given how close some contests are, a change of just a few percentage points can make a world a difference.

Below the surface of the daily photo ops, the TV spots and the regular news coverage, there’s a subterranean campaign in progress to discourage voting in Democratic areas, to challenge Democratic voters and ballots, and to reduce the Democratic vote count. If it works, even by a little, its impact could be literally world changing.

Making Sure Every Vote Isn’t Counted

You Vote (Video)

YOUVOTE reminds us that the democratic process is not about liberal or conservative, it is about everyone participating to make their voices heard as one nation.

You Vote