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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

 
The New Battleground

by dday

With an uninspiring candidate, an enthusiasm gap and a host of fundamentals against them, obstruction and suppression is really all the Republicans have left. You can see exactly where they're worried from this story:

As Barack Obama tries to draw hundreds of thousands of new voters to the polls, Republicans are beginning to scrutinize registrants' eligibility as both sides draw a major battle line over voting rights.

Republicans are moving to examine surges in voter registrations in some states. A Republican lawyers group held a national training session on election law over the weekend that included campaign attorneys for Sen. John McCain and other Republican leaders. One session discussed how party operatives can identify and respond to instances of voter fraud.

Republicans said they are particularly worried about prospects for fraud in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and are beginning to comb thousands of new registrations in those states for ineligible applicants. In some cases the huge numbers threaten to swamp their efforts -- and those of state and local governments to verify and process applications.


Read: we're going to lose Virginia and Pennsylvania unless we invalidate hundreds of thousands of legal votes through bogus voter fraud claims. Both of the Secretaries of State in these commonwealths are Democrats, but of course the county boards of elections have more local control, as we've seen. And be prepared for this meme that the stress of all these new voters may break the system.

The nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, which monitors elections, projects registrations this year will surpass the total from any previous single election year, building on momentum from the record 20 million registrations for the combined election cycles of 2004 and 2006. Newcomers helped drive turnouts for the Democratic primaries, which drew roughly 19.5 million more voters than in 2004, according to the Democratic National Committee.

"State elections systems have shown signs of stress, and there's a serious concern that they won't be able to handle the number of voters," said Wendy Weiser at the Brennan Center.

In Pennsylvania, where improper registrations have been a problem in past elections, state officials say rolls have increased by about 230,000, to 8.4 million, since the 2006 midterm elections. Some observers believe the large increase could invite more potential for voter-fraud problems, said Lawrence Tabas, general counsel of the state Republican Party. "When you get so many new registrations like that at record numbers...it's very difficult for people to monitor the validity of it," he said.


The roar of voter fraud will reach its loudest din in the next few months. The RNC has been laying the groundwork for this for over a year, and the power players on the right for longer than that. And we have a candidate whose entire strategy is predicated on inviting more people into the political process.

The McCain campaign is trying to let this happen without their imprint on it. Yet at that little St. Louis get-together which Digby wrote about last week included McCain's Election Day coordinator, Michael Roman.

Check out this bit of narrative setting from a member of the voter fraud brigade:

Ms. Mitchell warned about what she regards as a long pattern of abuses in registration by groups such as Acorn and their Democratic allies. "We're all for getting people involved in the process...and getting them to the polls," she said in an interview later. "What we're not for is registering fake people at fake addresses, and creating barriers to trying to identify voter fraud where it exists, which is everywhere. It's a growing problem, because of the professional vote-fraud denier industry."

She urged lawyers working on behalf of state and local party groups and campaigns to monitor new registrations. She also pointed out that Sen. Obama himself -- in his past life as a community organizer -- was "involved" with some of the groups that have been responsible for abuses in recent years.


That's right. Obama himself is personally stealing the election by writing "Mickey Mouse" on voter registration cards and then showing up at the polls in that hat with ears you get at Disneyland.

Interesting, too, that they're throwing the "denier" meme back in Democrats' faces.

There's no limit to my amount of worry about this. And as Digby has said, whether they can suppress enough votes to steal the election or not, they can delegitimize the results and run back every statement made about Bush v. Gore in reverse. They're very good at things like that. It comes with the lack of shame.


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