Categories: Featured News

Don’t Be Scammed: Surviving Republican Election Tricks

As a key state in this year’s Election, Colorado has the potential to become 2012’s Florida.

Yesterday, just two weeks before the election, Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced the result of a second round voter purges. As a result of the purge, 300 people will receive letters from the state questioning their citizenship status. They will be required to either prove their citizenship or voluntarily withdraw their registrations.

To put this in context, Gessler’s original list in August contained 3993 names of suspected non-citizens . During the first round of purging, Gessler identified 141 suspected non-Citizens. This was based on a Federal Immigration database.

Of the 141 suspected non-Citizens 14 were removed from the rolls Denver Westword reports. It’s worth noting that none of them appear to have voted. As noted in a report by the Huffington Post,the majority are unaffiliated or are Democrats.Gessler has also sent their names to county clerks, in case of possible challenges at the polls.

The Maddow Blog reports on another aspect of Colorado’s registration problems. There are would be voters whose registrations disappeared as a the result of a glitch in the state’s system for online registration. There are 779 in total – double the number of suspected non-citizens.

Colorado’s election related problems don’t end with the purge lists and the state’s glitch on line registration.

According to a study conducted by the Verified Voting Foundation, the Rutgers Law School Constitutional Litigation Clinic and Common Cause, Colorado is among the states least prepared to address Election Day Problems. The study gave Colorado (and fifteen other states) a rating of “inadequate” because it uses paperless voting machines in some or all counties.

It received a rating of “needs improvement” in the following categories.
1. Creating a contingency plan in case the voting equipment fails.
2. Post election audits because of its “paperless” voting system.
3. Protecting Military and Absentee voters because the state allows electronic voting, making these ballots vulnerable to corruption.

Colorado received a rating of “generally good” for ballot reconciliation and tabulation practices.

As one of the states that received a high rating in the study, New Hampshire is not without its problems. Seacoast Online reports some voters in the state received voter application forms that are not recognized by the state. In addition, voters received information about early voting – which isn’t allowed in New Hampshire.According to the report, the worst offender is a right wing voting advocacy group, Commit2Vote2012.

Commit2Vote2012, a Christian-based voter advocacy group, is purportedly responsible for a lump sum of the mailings, which contain a voter registration form and a request to share it with “your pro-life family and friends.
We’ve been receiving them since late September, so we’ve had a few,” said Valerie French, deputy city clerk in Portsmouth. “We get phone calls and inquiries about early voting, but we don’t have early voting in N.H., we have absentee and voters must meet the criteria.

According to Stratham Town Clerk/Tax Collector Joyce Charbonneau, Stratham town offices became aware of similar mailings from another right wing group called RX NH. Their information is reported to include the following:

The symptoms: higher taxes, more wasteful spending, big cuts to benefits, fewer New Hampshire jobs… The diagnosis: the Democrats health care takeover… The cure: apply to vote by mail today and help Republicans repeal Obamacare.

There are also reports of misleading information directed at identifiable groups of people. Arizona’s Maricopa County is reported to be telling Hispanic voters to vote on November 8th, 2 days after the General Election.

In Pennsylvania, PECO’s “energy@HOME” newsletter is reported to be telling voters they must bring ID to the polls. This is after the State’s voter ID law was struck down.

Concerns have been raised about the accuracy of voting machines, in part, because of history and the special instance this year of the Romney family’s investments in machines that will be used in battleground states like Ohio.

If early voting is an indicator, if the Romneys are up to something in Ohio, it isn’t doing them any good.
As Jason Easley reported earlier this week:

In a conference call with reporters Obama campaign manager Jim Messina dropped some devastating numbers on Romney. Messina pointed out that more people are early voting for Obama in 2012 than did in 2008.

Regardless of where you live, there are five key voting scams to watch out for.

As noted by Think Progress, there are reports that Voters in Florida, Virginia and Indiana are getting misleading information that they can vote by phone.

Floridians also have to contend with fake Voter Purge Letters on which I reported previously.

Predominantly African American neighborhoods are being subjected to intimidating billboards in Ohio. These billboards were courtesy of Clear Channel Outdoor. While the billboards will be pulled down, they may have already had the desired effect of scaring voters away from the polls.

Aside from the misleading mailers about voter ID in Pennsyvlania, there are state sponsored ads and billboards with the same misleading information.

Then there is intimidation by employers, with Mitt Romney’s encouragement that Jason Easley wrote about.

Don’t let any of these scams steal your vote, but most importantly don’t let them intimidate you. Stay alert, but vote.

Image from Indianapolis Times

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