Saturday, October 18, 2008

Kennedy & Palast in Rolling Stone: It's already stolen (maybe)

Up on the Rolling Stone website: "Block the Vote," an investigative report by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast that reveals "a systemic program of 'GOP vote tampering' on a massive scale.

Among the finds:
  • Republican Secretaries of State in Colorado have purged one out of six names from the voter rolls--ten times the state's average rate of removal.
  • 2.7 million new voters have had their registrations rejected under new registration provisions--which Kennedy sees as a return to Jim Crow-era tactics designed to block African-American and Latino/a voters.
  • A fired US prosecutor has accused Republican of criminal acts in their attempts to label bona fide voters as fraudulent.
  • In 2004, caging blocked 1.1 million voters from voting. Three weeks from now, says Palast and Kennedy, the numbers will be much higher.
Palast and Kennedy have found more voters scrubbed from the rolls than a recent investigative report in the New York Times. Their conclusion: "If Democrats are to win the 2008 election, they must not simply beat McCain at the polls--they must beat him by a margin that exceeds the level of GOP vote tampering."

And don't miss Steal Back Your Vote, a 24-page comic detailing who's threatening election integrity, why, and what we can do about it, written by Palast and Kennedy with art by Lukas Ketner, Lloyd Dangle and Ted Rall, available for download for a donation of any amount, from 1 cent up. 

Historically, stealing elections has been a non-partisan activity: both Democrats and Republicans were happy to disenfranchise voters and mess with the rolls and the ballots. But this new wave of GOP anti-voter activity has been part and parcel of the party's 1990s resurgence, according to Kennedy and Palast:
Suppressing the vote has long been a cornerstone of the GOP's electoral strategy. Shortly before the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, Paul Weyrich — a principal architect of today's Republican Party — scolded evangelicals who believed in democracy. "Many of our Christians have what I call the 'goo goo' syndrome — good government," said Weyrich, who co-founded Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell. "They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. . . . As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

The Rolling Stone report details six areas where the GOP, empowered--ironically--by reforms created by the Help America Vote Act--has been eagerly blocking citizens from voting.

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