Election 2008 | News

A Few Words on Voter Suppression

The Obama campaign put out a video yesterday on voter suppression called "Making it Count: How to Protect Your Vote & Spot Dirty Tricks." This is sure to be an issue over the next 48 hours. Also, MSNBC spoke to Election Protect's Barbara Arnwire about voter suppression issues.

Via the Huffington Post, some early trends emerged yesterday from the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline:

· Broward County leads Florida in voter requests for assistance.

· Registration-related problems rank #1 in nearly every battleground state - hundreds of calls focus on that problem, most often in Texas, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Colorado, and California

· Georgia voters are reporting more incidents of voter intimidation than any other state. Other reports of voter intimidation, scams or misinformation are also emerging in Ohio and Missouri.

· Florida voters rank #1 in requests related to criminal status and voting.

· Early voting problems are also being noticed particularly in Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, Florida and California.

And MSNBC's Rachel Maddow offered her thoughts on what she calls "The New Poll Tax" - namely, long voting lines. Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. It is absurd that Federal Election days are not national holidays. It is a clear disadvantage to those who earn less and have to work longer hours and report to a boss. I showed up to vote here in Atlanta at 7:00 am when polls opened and was already behind ~1500 people. I waited 2 hours to vote and thankfully have an understanding boss who didn't mind that I was late to work.

    Posted by: Dan B | Nov 4, 2008 11:28:14 AM


  2. Rachel was spot on, and I agree with Dan B, election day should be a holiday to make it easier for some people to vote. That still doesn't solve the problem of people who are unable to stand in line for hours, but perhaps greater attention to early voting and absentee ballots (my elderly mother voted from home) will help. It's not democracy if a great number of people are disenfranchised.

    Hearing these horror stories makes me appreciate my small town voting situation all the more: no lines on election day, no hassles, no ID required, friendly old ladies checking off your name. I wish everyone had it so easy.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 4, 2008 12:12:40 PM


  3. I voted in Chicago at 630 AM and was done voting at 750. It was thinking that election day should be moved to Friday and made a national holiday. Therefore we would not be exhausted when we get to work Wednesday.

    Posted by: James | Nov 4, 2008 12:22:17 PM


  4. Here in WA state we're almost all vote-by-mail and next election it will be. So is Oregon. It works really well, though I miss the patriotic pride of going to the poll in person to vote.

    A national holiday is fine, but don't make it a Monday or Friday as then people will use it for vacation and not bother to show up to vote (yes, distressing). Could be Sunday, but that's a problem for retail folks who usually work and a few christians who hold a traditional sabbath. I think vote-by-mail (with free postage for jiminny's sake!) would be best. Perhaps that would be problematic in places with higher concentrations of population, but I doubt it.

    Posted by: David R. | Nov 4, 2008 1:40:56 PM


  5. And of course only Republicans use these tactics.

    Posted by: James | Nov 4, 2008 2:14:56 PM


  6. We should allow voting on the weekends like they do in Europe. However, I think we should add a basic test on American Civics and history before you can vote. Or, just bring back the requirement of property ownership(stocks, bonds or real estate).

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 4, 2008 3:43:02 PM


  7. We should allow voting on the weekends like they do in Europe. However, I think we should add a basic test on American Civics and history before you can vote. Or, just bring back the requirement of property ownership(stocks, bonds or real estate).

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 4, 2008 3:44:51 PM


  8. I had NO line when I voted today at 11:30. I was told that 75% of my precinct did early/mail in voting (mail in ballots can be dropped off to avoid the risk of it being lost). I have yet to wait long at any vote I've done. I'm in Arapahoe County, Colorado.

    We seem to hold voting in higher regard in most places. El Paso County has too many evil people (voter suppression as cited above). Focus on [your own] Family is located in El Paso County.

    Posted by: Pecos Bill | Nov 4, 2008 3:47:19 PM


  9. Jason:

    You're an idiot. Every citizen should have the right to vote whether they own property or not. What you're suggesting is an oligarchy not a republic.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Nov 4, 2008 5:21:43 PM


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