Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


by digby

I mentioned the other day that I had to cast a provisional ballot in 2006 and I got a number of emails from readers telling me about their problems with voter registration and voting. It pays to check it out ahead of time and make sure you haven't been caged or purged.

Here's an excerpt from a helpful post from Steve Rosenfeld at Firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette:

What Should Voters Do?
Voters need to be sure they are properly registered. They can do this by calling their county election office and verifying their voter registration information is in their county database and is current.

Anyone who registered with the help of a voter drive this year should check to see that their form has been processed, as those applications have to be entered by local officials. If there are data-entry errors, many states still allow voters to fix those, so their right to vote is not jeopardized. In some locales, officials are still processing voter registration applications turned in weeks ago.

While on the phone, voters should ask where their polling place is located and what form of ID is required. First-time voters must show more specific forms ID when checking in to vote.

Voters can also ask about early voting options. There generally are two choices, although every state has its own laws. The first is called in-person early voting, where a voter will go to a county office or designated site and fill out a ballot. If there are any questions or mistakes made when voting, election officials can correct those. The second option is to get an absentee ballot, which is taken home and mailed. The downside of voting absentee is any mistakes in filling it out the ballot cannot always be corrected. In every election, a number of absentee ballots are disqualified for errors that could otherwise be fixed.

Here are charts that describe each state's early voting options and absentee ballot options. (This is voting by mail with an absentee ballot, which is not the same as in-person absentee voting, where voters fill-out and submit an absentee ballot at a county office before Election Day.

Voter Challenges
One of the big unanswered questions about the 2008 election is will the GOP try to contest the credentials of new voters as they show up at polling places.

Voter challenges are a deliberate tactic to discourage voting. In most cases, these involve a party representative challenging an individual's registration as that voter checks in at their polling place. A typical partisan challenger would claim that voter lives at a different address than what is in their voter registration record. The challenged voter then must produce an ID or a utility bill proving otherwise to vote. This tactic could not only delay that person from voting, but would also slow down others in line. The goal of voter challenges is both to victimize new voters and to prompt others to leave without voting.

The solution to voter challenges is to call your local election office now to ensure that your registration is current. If your information is correct, you cannot be successfully challenged and you will vote. If a problem arises while voting, the challenged voter should call the nation's largest election protection hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE, where they will reach an election lawyer or law specialist to help them solve the problem. That hotline is now being staffed during East Coast business hours.

The prospect of partisan challenges in 2008 has been enhanced by a bureaucratic snafu that is not the fault of most voters. Government databases that are now being used for the first time in some states to verify voter registrations have had numerous "no matches" due to data-entry problems. The GOP is using this problem to suggest that Democrats are illegally padding voter rolls with fabricated voter registrations.

Republicans have said, in lawsuits and public statements, that the only response to these mismatches is to recertify all new voters -- which they know is not going to happen before Election Day. Secondarily, the GOP has argued that these voters should get a provisional ballot, which must be verified after Election Day before it is counted.

Virtually all of the Republican-filed litigation -- notably in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania -- has sought to invalidate voter registrations where a 'no match' has occurred. So far, the GOP has lost every case in court on this issue, including one at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Ohio Supreme Court dismissed a similar suit late on Tuesday.

The Democratic National Committee, which is coordinating election protection efforts for the Obama campaign, also said that voters should not be intimidated by GOP voter suppression efforts.

I would imagine that most people who read blogs think they are up on all of this. But yours truly had to vote provisionally last time out --- and I have voted in every election at the same precinct for over a decade. If you haven't voted recently or have moved or have changed your name or just aren't sure, check anyway. It can't hurt.

And if you have relatives who might find this information helpful, send it to them too. It's quite a shock to discover that you aren't registered. I can't even imagine what it would be like to be challenged. (They wouldn't dare here in the People's Republic of Santa Monica.) It's best to make sure everything's in order ahead of time.

H/T to SB