Voter's Digest

The latest election fraud warnings

Up to the Challenge (site registration required)
The balloting is still days away, but in Ohio the lawyers already had their day in court
CINCINNATI — The Democrats say they have 10,000 lawyers coast-to-coast to guarantee access to the polls, and here are three of them right now, thumbing their BlackBerrys, jabbing at cell phones, pacing the hallway outside Room 829 of the U.S. District Court.
—Ann Gerhart The Washington Post, October 29, 2004

Ballots Cast in Wrong Place Won't Be Counted
DES MOINES — Iowa election officials will not count ballots cast in the wrong precincts on election night, but will set them aside in the event of a lawsuit seeking to determine their legality, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said Thursday.
—Associated Press, as reported in The Iowa City Press-Citizen, October 29, 2004

Counties Check Eligibility of Inmates to Vote
Some election officials are scrambling to make sure people serving misdemeanor sentences in county jails do not vote by absentee ballot before Tuesday. State law prohibits people who are serving a sentence in prison or jail or who are on parole from registering or voting, and elections officials are working with state corrections and Denver County Jail officials to determine who is and is not eligible.
—Arthur Kane The Denver Post, October 29, 2004

Election Day Uncertainty (site registration required)
One of the most disturbing, even destabilizing, aspects of the presidential election is the prospect that partisans on either side will deem the outcome invalid if their candidate doesn't win. Republicans are warning of massive fraud by new registrants not entitled to vote, while Democrats complain of an organized program to intimidate and disenfranchise eligible voters. The tension between preventing fraud and ensuring access is inherent in every election. But the expected closeness of this one, combined with the lingering bruises of the 2000 race, the record number of newly enrolled voters and the added uncertainties posed by a new federal law, have ratcheted that inevitable conflict to a new level.
The Washington Post, October 29, 2004

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Early Balloting Means Early Problems (site registration required)
A record number of people are voting in advance, putting a strain on election officials, who doubt their work will be done Tuesday.
A record wave of early voting promises to cut crowding on election day, but the trend has also front-loaded this year's election with problems—long lines at early-voting stations, missing absentee ballots and controversy over retooled rules for early balloting.
—Maria L. La Ganga & James Rainey The Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2004

New Florida Vote Scandal Feared
A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan—possibly in violation of US law—to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.
Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".
—Greg Palast BBC Night News, October 26, 2004

Missing Ballots to Be Remailed (site registration required)
Broward County's election office is resending about 76,000 absentee ballots to voters who say they asked for but still haven't received them, an ominous sign of voting problems just days before the nation again sets its eyes on Florida.
—Ericka Bolstad, Gary Fineout & Amy Sherman The Miami Herald, October 28, 2004

Advocates Fear Voting Glitches, So Be Prepared (site registration required)
Despite new laws and millions of dollars in upgrades, voting rights advocates fear that small errors could plague Tuesday's election. Here is a guide for those headed to the polls.
The goal: Make the vote foolproof. Kill off bad chads and butterflies. Add 14 more days to vote. Give voters just one thing they absolutely must get right: finding their precinct, where they can cast a ballot even if they forget an ID and registration card. And if they stumble to the wrong place, poll workers have orders to steer them right.
—Curtis Morgan & Gary Fineout The Miami Herald, October 28, 2004

Gov. Bush: Poll Watchers Can, Should Challenge Voters
His remarks come amid concerns that excessive scrutiny may put a damper on the election.
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Jeb Bush said Wednesday he would have no problem if Republican poll watchers challenge the eligibility of voters before they cast ballots on Election Day, despite growing concern that it could create gridlock and scare away qualified voters.
—Joni James & Tamara Lush The St. Petersberg Times, October 28, 2004

Passion and Election Disputes on Rise in Florida as Vote Nears (site registration required)
KENDALL, Fla., Oct. 27 — It is as if the presidential election of 2000 never ended here. Six days before Election Day, Florida is again struggling with questions about potential voting irregularities, from complaints about missing absentee ballots in Broward County and accusations of voter suppression in minority neighborhoods to concerns about new touch-screen voting machines. Floridians have been standing for as long as three hours to cast early votes in the presidential race, testimony to the unresolved passions of the election of 2000. Interest is so intense that analysts predict that a staggering 75 percent of Florida voters will cast ballots by the time polls close Tuesday evening.
—Adam Nagourney & Abby Goodnough The New York Times, October 28, 2004

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