Monday, April 28, 2008

Ohio Redux?

Damien Cave's scary article in the New York Times today underscores the fact that voting in Florida in the general election of 2008--if we ever get candidates for said election, that is--is going to be a hit-or-miss proposition for many people, especially Democrats. The Republican-controlled state legislature has passed laws which are akin to those on the books in Ohio in their severity. The League of Women Voters may have to pay penalties of fines of up to $1,000 if they turn in forms late. Republican Bureaucrats will scan driver's licences and compare Social Security numbers. The Times article quotes Joe Pickens, a Republican who served on the Florida House’s Ethics and Elections Committee in 2005 and 2006, as saying, with great pomposity: "Some say we err on the side of caution. I would say that’s the place we should be.”
Democrats are saying that all of this is just a way to exclude new voters, Democrats in the main, from poorer neighborhoods, who tend not to have correct ID. The same types of bureaucratic snares were set for Democratic votes in Ohio in 2004, and many people think that, because of this, John Kerry lost the election. That is debatable. What is not debatable is that Republicans have yet to actually come up with any statistics which show that fraudulent voter registration is a real issue in this country anymore.
As I have said in the past, this election will not be decided by "floaters," who travel from state to state voting numerous times for the same candidate. But, if it's down to a close one on election eve, it may be decided by Republican officials whose main goal is to keep poorer Democrats from voting.

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