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View Diary: Armando's Challenge, Or The Informed Citizen's Guide To The 2004 Election (389 comments)

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  •  Some suggestions (4.00)
    Great work, Georgia!

    Here are some things I suggest as possible additions, and I'd be happy to help in tracking down links, etc., for them.

    --Include Blackwell's order that registrations had to be on 80 lb. paper. The courts overturned this one shortly before election day, but I still think it's important because it (a) further shows the pattern of Blackwell attempting to suppress the vote through ridiculous technicalities, and (b) there are some reports that local elections officials were not aware of the court's overturning.

    --Expand on the implications of Blackwell's rule that provisionals must be cast in the right precinct. In particular, I think it's worth noting that in urban areas (that of course favored Kerry), multiple precincts voted in the same exact room of the same exact building. So, even if a voter was in the right room of the right building, if they made the simple mistake of getting in the wrong line, their vote may not have been counted. This is how it would happen: since they were in the wrong line, their name wouldn't be on the registration list. Election officials therefore had them fill out a provisional ballot. But because of Blackwell's rule, that provisional would've technically been submitted at the wrong "precinct"--though really just at the wrong table in the right room of the right building--and wouldn't be counted! One report says this amounted to 400 lost votes in just one voting location. And it differentially hurt Kerry voters since this scenario only came into play in urban areas where multiple precincts voted in the same place.

    --I'd also mention the clear screw up in vote counts that occurred in Cuyahoga County, where third party candidates received nearly as many votes as Kerry. This likely happened because ballots cast in the right precinct were counted by machines set up to count ballots for a precinct that voted in the very same room. This again differentially hurt Kerry voters, since it happened where there were multiple precincts in the same place. And note that this very obvious problem was not allowed to be fixed in the recount.

    --There were also ballot issues, where the arrows on the ballots didn't line up with the candidates. Again, there are reports that this problem was selective to urban areas like Cleveland.

    --There's also the Warren County lockdown and the lack of a subsequent investigation into what went on there.

    I might have more, those are just the ones that first came to mind. Hope this is helpful!

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