Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oh Michigan Michigan State.

Courtesy of HelsBells:

You've got to be fucking kidding me.

You will be unable to VOTE in this county in Michigan State if your home has been foreclosed? Excuse me?

I have to say, I've taken the allegations of voter fraud in the last two elections with a pinch of salt. I mean, I know that some fucked-up shit went on in Ohio, particularly now that I've heard it firsthand from an Ohio acquaintance, and obviously the hanging chads were what they were, but I have generally believed that the allegations of fraud came from those of us who would simply be too pained to believe that 51% of their fellowcountrymen actually wanted Bush in office.

Now, I'm not so sure.

Mind distributing the above link really widely? And keeping those cards and letters comin' to the state of Michigan? Thanks. I appreciate it.

EDIT, one day later:

Detroit Free Press says the above link may have been a lie.

What do we think? I don't know what I think.

Except that I think we ought to be doing some reeeeeeal careful poll-watching in Michigan, one way and another. I might consider making that a priority.


At 9:01 PM, Blogger Connor said...

Hi Gemma,

Not to abduct your blog, but just in case people don't actually follow the link, I wanted to stress a couple things about this dilemma:

- Macomb County includes many of the Detroit suburbs and with 800,000 people is one of the most populous counties in Michigan.
- It also has a very high African American population which has been disproportionately affected by house foreclosures.
- Here's the real kicker: almost all of those voting would be Michigan residents because 1) arrangements can be made given foreclosure to remain living at a residence and 2) most people who are being booted out of their homes at the dead end of autumn cannot afford to make a major move to another state... most will be relocating to elsewhere around Detroit.

This strategy is based on the flimsiest and nastiest of circumstances.

In fact, it isn't just a below-board attempt to swing the state red. It is only a breath and a couple syllables from Jim Crow.

Well done, Macomb Republicans. Thanks for making my state dirtier than the dirty south.

At 11:42 PM, Blogger Ammegg said...

I am Gemma, and I approve this blog abduction. :>)


At 12:19 PM, Blogger Connor said...

Now the Macomb County GOP is denying it... neither side can furnish proof. I'm skeptical.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Ammegg said...

You know the area, right? Wanna check out the possibility of our poll-watching there? I signed up for a possible trip to Cleveland on the Obama website, but if we could be useful I'd rather do this . . .

At 7:55 PM, Blogger tyromaven said...

Election day disenfranchisement is a serious strategy for the GOP. With record new voter registration (300,000 new voters in GA alone!), the Obama campaign is depending on those voters to win key swing states. Enfranchisement has been the central strategy for the Obama campaign in winning primaries and the coming election, and they are bleeding good at it.

I'm very concerned about election day disenfranchisement, using legal/bureaucratic/logistic hurdles or misinformation campaigns. In 2004, many people I talked to on election day canvassing in Milwaukee had been told/seen advertisements that the election was on a different day, that they needed different ID, etc.

In the Ohio Dem. primary, there weren't enough ballots and polling hours had to be extended. In Texas, more people voted in the 2008 Dem. primary than in the 2004 general election. More states and counties are switching back to paper ballots given concerns about electronic voting. Many states are experiencing shortages of voter registration forms and long turn-around to process all the new registrations.

All this points to: our system isn't equipped to handle full enfranchisement. Don't for a minute think that the party machine that will do anything to win won't look for any opening to disenfranchise voters, all under the language of legality and all within plausible deniability.

The upshot: I'm applying to work at the polls here in GA.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger tyromaven said...

The Republican chair's quotes in the DFP article don't clearly rule out voter disenfranchisement, they just clarify the criteria: checking current address against registered address.

If voters in foreclosure have changed addresses, they could still face intimidation. My good experience with the Obama campaign in the Ohio primary was that they had volunteers all over the place with accurate information about what voters needed to do to guarantee their ability to vote.

If you do go to work at polls, make sure you get well-briefed on the local and state laws about voter reqs, and that you have the hotline for the Sec. of State's office, the Federal elections office, and the national Obama campaign.

At 12:38 AM, Blogger tyromaven said...

Not to beat this to death, but some very heartening voter registration statistics are contained herein:

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Connor said...

I'm considering it officially serious now:

At 3:54 PM, Blogger tyromaven said...

looming voter problems in CO, GA, FL, MI, MS, NM, OH, PA, WI, VA

Hmm, that's an interesting collection of states.


who's doing something about it:


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