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(From the diaries -- kos)

When voter registration applications were maintained for years and used to verify signatures for petitions a requirement that the cards be on 80 lb. stock paper was adopted in Ohio, that law remains on the books. Since the applications are now scanned for preservation, there is no current need to continue that requirement. Today the only time that the heavy weight paper becomes an issue is when the new voter uses the application as a postcard. If heavy paper isn't used for postcards the machinery jams at the Post Office.

In the final days before the registration deadline Ken Blackwell, Ohio Secretary of State, has ordered the local election boards to send out new applications to applicants who have submitted registrations on the wrong paper. The ostensible reason for this order is to insure that the applications can make it through the postal system without being damaged. The Secretary didn't point to any examples of voters who were stupid enough to mail regular weight paper as a postcard, nor did he cite examples of complaints from the Postal Service that this has been a problem.  Never mind also that the applications he wants thrown out have already been delivered to the election boards safely.

The local boards have been bombarded with applications and will be unable to comply with Blackwell's order before the deadline to register to vote for this November's election. In one county common sense has prevailed:

In Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) the board of elections officials are ignoring the edict because they have already had an avalanche of new registrations submitted on forms printed on the newsprint in The Plain Dealer.

"We don't have a micrometer at each desk to check the weight of the paper," said Michael Vu, director of the Cuyahoga County election Board.

https://www.daytondailynews.com

Ironically, if an applicant downloaded the federal form onto paper that is not regulation, that application will be accepted in compliance with federal law. So in reality there is no substantive issue with the weight of the paper, the Secretary's order is simply to create a roadblock to limit new registration.

Katherine Harris should have been so cunning.

http://www.daytonforkerry.com/Blackwell.pdf

or Dayton Daily News (subscription only)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:48 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  ARRRGHHH (4.00)
    This guy clearly read the NYTimes article and got scared.  This is unbelievable.
    •  I just called (4.00)
      After getting bounced around a bit, I figured out this number goes right to a person in the correct office, as opposed to voice-mail hell:

      614-466-2585

      That's the number to call.  Ask them if, when they were children, they wanted to grow and disenfranchise voters.

      Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

      by pontificator on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:57:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if it's not clear in my post above (none)
        that number is for the Ohio Secretary of State: 614-466-2585

        Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

        by pontificator on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:02:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I just called (none)
        the secretary bumped me to a LA's voicemail and there was an automated message which said "message mailbox is full." Dont know how many it contained but without me gettin through it contained one less. Argh!
        •  call back (none)
          You should call back and demand to be heard.  Remember what they say about squeaky wheels.  It's time to be the biggest pain in the ass you've ever been in your life.  They're disenfranchising voters, for god's sakes!

          Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

          by pontificator on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:28:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i did (none)
            Same treatment: hold for a minute, then a transfer and an automated hangup because of a full mailbox. I think they are being innundated by calls and are trying to slough as many off as possible.
      •  Ken Blackwell is an Uncle Tom (none)
        Ken Blackwell makes it difficult for those that argue that Black Republicans aren't Uncle Toms.

        If this guy ever runs for governor or senator, we should bombard black communites with ads pointing to this specific case as an example of who Ken looks out for.  He wouldn't even make it to 15% of the black vote.

        "If they don't do their duty by the Democratic Party, they are the most ungrateful people in the world!" -Harry Truman

        by DWCG on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 11:48:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Time to write a letter (none)
      Write to any Ohio news outlet you can find. A lot of them are really podunk backwoods FOX, ABC and CBS affiliates that, because of the lack of actual news happening there, will investigate a good story so long as it isn't another one on squirrels water skiing or a man who can eat a hundred hotdogs for the thousandth time.
    •  forearmed is forewarned (4.00)
      The registration form paper controversy has been an ongoing battle in Ohio since it was implemented in Jan. 2004. Please know that the PD's original article (and a subsequent follow-up) that included the clip-and-save 2004 Ohio voter registration form was imbedded in a story by columnist Connie Schultz, fiancee to U.S. Rep Sherrod Brown. They may have already gotten married, I wasn't on the invite list <sniff, sniff>.

      The Rethugs will undoubtedly bring this up to deflect Blackwell's idiotic attempt at denying new voters' Constitutional Rights as a personal agenda by "an abortion-lovin', dope smokin', gay-friendly, feminazi Democrat." Just sayin'.

      Also, Mark Naymik at the PD is a good guy. Be nice to him.

      Let's Party! Let's Win! KosDozen National House Party October 2, 7-9pm local time.

      by em dash on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:11:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Case Western Reserve Law School Faculty (none)
      I am posting an email list of the Case Western Reserve Law School Faculty. Someone needs to file a claim seeking an injunction to stop Blackwell ASAP.

      jha5@case.edu, oba1@case.edu,jwb14@case.edu, cmb43@case.edu,  djc5@case.edu,  kxc4@case.edu, wmc@case.edu, lbc@case.edu,  hxc22@case.edu,  rjc4@case.edu,  jdd12@case.edu, mrd@case.edu,  jle@case.edu,  pbf2@case.edu,  pcg@case.edu,  jcg4@case.edu,  bkg2@case.edu, tih2@case.edu,  kmh25@case.edu, sxh90@case.edu,  emj@case.edu, drj5@case.edu,  lrk@case.edu, slb11@case.edu, jpk3@case.edu,  rsk14@case.edu, rpl2@case.edu, wcl@case.edu, egl4@case.edu,  jdl14@case.edu,  jpl@case.edu, krm@case.edu,  lem4@case.edu,  kcm4@case.edu, mjm10@case.edu, klm7@case.edu,  apm5@case.edu,  dan10@case.edu, can8@case.edu,  sxn6@case.edu,  mps17@case.edu,  cws2@case.edu,  axs76@case.edu, txs18@case.edu, rns3@case.edu
       

    •  Make an economical case against the Repukes.... (none)
      Isn't this a monumental waist of taxpayer time and money? How much is this political manuevering of a non-partisan or bi-partisan issue costing taxpayers?
  •  Ken Blackwell deserves to have his world turned (4.00)
    upside down right now. We need to put on the pressure and raise holy hell. The Secretary of State of Ohio has no decency. He's un American. When will people have enough of politicans in the highest reaches doing everything they can to destroy democracy in America? Where is the media? George Will sits around pontificating every Sunday while only Bob Herbert is doing the real work, protecting the US constitution from the racists who want to send us back to 1850.

    I wrote a letter to the Plain Dealer, but I'm not sure where else to start on this.

    "One fundamental principle must be borne in mind constantly... propaganda must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over." Josef Goebbels

    by upstate NY on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:28:13 AM PDT

  •  Email This Story.... (none)
    ...To The DNC & The Kerry Campaign.
    •  And add this: (none)
      AP wire story:

      Democrats signing up more new voters: report

      Sun Sep 26, 6:57 PM ET

          Add U.S. National - AFP to My Yahoo!

      NEW YORK (AFP) - Democrats have far outpaced Republicans in efforts to register new voters in two key US states, according to the New York Times, which conducted a county-by-county analysis of registration data in Ohio and Florida.

  •  Definitely (none)
    I recommended this diary - more need to see it to increase pressure.
  •  Good lord! (none)
    If it's all about preventing damage to applications, what is to keep people from putting the application in <gasp> an ENVELOPE!  

    This is absolutely absurd!  Thanks for sharing it and I hope it gets some severe local outrage.

  •  Nice try, Ken (none)
    But I think this is practically impossible.  First of all the registration deadline is in a couple of days - there's not going to be that many registrations affected by it.  And as far as past registrations go, nobody's going back through those.  Cuyohoga is on the record for ignoring it, and other counties are going to follow suit.

    Simply put, no election office has the manpower to go back through thousands of old registrations to weigh the paper.

    http://csliberals.blogspot.com - member of the Democratic Signal Machine

    by Mikey on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:36:38 AM PDT

    •  Agreed, but (4.00)
      what if some of the election offices are staffed by Ken Mini-Me clones who follow his marching orders? They could just toss out the 'lightweight' regis. forms and claim there wasn't time to send out replacements. By then, it'll be too late for affected voters to re-register. The voters this affects may not even find out until election day when it'll be far too late to do anything about it.

      Is there a way to track how many are kicked off of the voting rolls for these supposedly lightweight forms?
       

    •  when did it start? (none)
      I agree - I would think that the vast majority of registrations have been processed already. A lot of us here in Ohio have been registering voters all summer long, or even earlier.

      But I wonder when Blackwell did this. The article only says "a recent directive". That's awfully vague... it could be two days ago, a week ago, two months ago, or more. And were all counties given this shamelessly un-American directive at the same time, or have some been doing it for longer?

    •  I'm surprised (none)
      he didn't wait until 11:59 p.m. on the last day of registration to discover this.

      George W. Bush -- Disaster Accomplished

      by Unstable Isotope on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:51:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Blackwell (4.00)
    He's been threatening to do this since last year when people were registering for the primaries.

    No doubt he's the Katherine Harris of 04.

    A liberal knows that the only certainty in this life is change but believes that the change can be directed toward a constructive end.--Henry Wallace

    by 54cermak on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:37:22 AM PDT

    •  Someone check Karl Rove's phone bill (none)
      This has his finger prints all over it.  What an absolute outrage.

      The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

      by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:31:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Blackwell needs to resign (none)
        And while we're at it a civil rights investigation to find out whether Blackwell's office is coordinating with Karl Rove on this one.

        "I don't want to try to put our troops in all places at all times. " George W. Bush, 2000

        by markymarx on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:17:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (4.00)
          it's funny. i was watching the food channel last night, and they were doing a show on the white house kitchen, and how luxurious and spectacular the dishes and service is, how if you worked in the white house you could order anything and have it prepared and ready for you to pick up within half an hour.  and the only thing that struck me as i watched all these chefs and people talk about how great the food was that they made, and how classy the whole operation happened to be, was how outraged i was that karl rove had access to all this, and that the american taxpayer is footing the bill.  i just wanted to scream at these people, "You're cooking karl rove's breakfast!!!  WAKE UP!!  He's the ANTI-CHRIST!!"

          But it's no use, these people get away with it, and this is the country we get.

          sorry for being kinda off topic

          •  Meals at the WH (none)
            It was off-topic but so what.  But you need to know that Rove is not being served his meals by the WH chefs.  Unless he is in a business meeting with the President for lunch or breakfast or dinner, he is not served a meal.  He and all the other members of the staff get their meals either at the White House Mess or go out to a restaurant.  Strict Federal laws govern matters on meals (gratuities) for Fed. employees.  And who can eat in the WH Mess is strictly controlled as well -- e.g., in late 1963 there was a bit of a brouhaha over whether Jackie Kennedy's private secretary could continue to use the WH Mess since technically Kennedy was no longer President and Mrs. Kennedy had moved out.  The secretary, even though she was working in office space assigned by President Johnson in the Old Executive Office Building next to the WH, stopped eating at the WH Mess.  

             The President and his family and his guests are the recipients of the meals from the Chefs.  

            "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Lewis Carroll

            by kathyp on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:21:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thought my fiance and I were the only ones (none)
              watching this special. He is a foodie and I love politics, so there you go.

              They actually showed both the WH kitchen and the Mess, so we did indeed see the people who prepare Karl Rove's food. Yech.

              Really, if the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?

              by Georgernon on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:30:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  All you need to know about the 2 parties (4.00)
    One party wants you to vote.

    One party doesn't want you to vote.

    Which party supports Democracy?

    •  Unfortunately Not True (2.76)
      Though the GOP is certainly worse in practice, neither party supports democracy for democracy's sake.

      The Democratic Party has actively worked to prevent voters from being able to vote for Ralph Nader this year (please note: I think Nader's campaign this year is empty and destructive.  But that should lead Democrats, Greens, and others to try to persuade people not to vote for him, not to force him off the ballot.)

      As Greg Palast, who's led the way in reporting about disenfranchisement in recent elections, points out, the largely white Chicago Democratic machine has consistently disenfranchised African Americans in order to stay in power.  Palast says that Cook County is second only to Florida in the extent of its disenfranchisement.

      In 2000, Gore only asked for recounts in counties that he thought would help him win the election.  All his calls for every vote to be counted were hot air. Ironically, had the votes Gore asked to be counted been counted, he would have lost. Had all the votes been counted he would have won.

      Fact is, both GOP and Democratic policies on ballot access, electoral reform, and voter rights are designed for one thing only: to win. Two things do distinguish the two major parties:  first, it's usually to the advantage of the Dems to have more people vote, and to the advantage of the Republicans to have fewer people vote, so the GOP does a lot more voter supression; second, the GOP is a bit more amoral in its behavior than the Democrats, who retain some sense of political scruples.

      In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

      by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:33:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Democrats may not be perfect (none)
        but as a Democrat who really wanted to have the choice of a third party in some previous elections, I learned something in 2000. I'm not going waste precious presidential election time worrying about a 3rd party, IMO the time to work towards expanding our options is in between big elections, and I think the best way to grow 3rd and 4th (etc.) parties is on the local level.

        I had a discussion last week with some Repubs who are seriously endorsing the idea that only property owners should be allowed to vote. Do you think there is a movement within the Democratic party to figure out how we can exclude people from voting?

        As far as Nader goes, I think he has revealed himself to be a dishonest actor. He's heading towards LaRouche land.

        •  The Issue Is Not Whether You Should... (none)
          ...vote 3rd party.

          The issue is whether you should be able to do so or not.

          I totally agree with you about Nader.  But people in a democracy should be able to vote for the candidate of their choice, even if you or I find that candidate despicable.

          In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

          by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:10:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not disagreeing! (none)
            I think people should be able to vote for a 3rd party candidate.

            But we are up against a party that does not want just to win, it wants to reduce their major opposition party to an endangered species, if not actually eliminate us entirely. They aren't trying to govern a democratic republic, they are trying to keep the power in their hands. Strategically speaking, a liberal 3rd party candidate for president is more useful to the Republicans than to the voters.

            I love the idea of 3rd parties, but right here, right now, it is not the best battle to choose to fight.

            •  Um, they can (none)
              Have you ever heard of the write-in slot?
              •  write-ins (none)
                I never "heard" of a write-in slot for President in Virginia until 1997, when a bill in the State Senate passed that basically said, uh, yeah you can write-in now even though it's been in the state constitution all along. Oops.

                Virginia. Mother of presidents, son of a *.

                At the time Virginia wasn't the only state not allowing write-ins. I don't know the status today. One would sure hope that everyone who has heard of write-in can take advantage of it if they choose.

                "You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow." - Pirsig

                by conceptual continuity on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:00:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Nader is such a victim, boo hoo (4.00)
            Maybe if Nader turned in legal ballots with legal signatures he wouldn't be having such problems. Maybe if he quit trying to run with three or four different parties (including the defunct Pat Buchanan Reform Party) and instead gathered his own signatures he wouldn't have such problems. We have a rule of law in this country, and there's no reason Dems need to sit back and let Nader break the law by getting onto ballots with fraudulent signatures and fraudulent party endorsements. As a proud Green you should be sickened by Nader, who insulted the Greens this year and did NOTHING over the past four years to advocate for their goals. Where was Ralph when Bush was destroying our country, destroying our environmental laws? Nowhere. And now Nader's trying to get on state ballots with fake signatures gathered by GOP goons and you lament that Democrats are trying to stop him.

            Al Gore was not trying to disenfranchise by asking for certain counties to be recounted. Legally he was allowed to ask for that. He offered to recount the entire state, but he needed Bush to agree since the deadline for recounting more counties had passed. Bush did not agree because he's the one who wanted no votes to be recounted. Remember that Al Gore's lawyer asked the Supreme Court to order ALL votes in Florida to be counted, while Bush's lawyers prevailed in their attempts to recount NO votes. Gore had the clear moral high ground even if his initial strategy wasn't ambitious enough. Please don't tell me that Democrats are only a "bit" better than the Republicans. It's night and day here.

            I can't testify to disenfranchisement in the Chicago area because I don't live there. But if there are white guys preventing blacks and Latinos from registering or going to the polls or having their votes counted, they should take their grievances to the US Commission on Civil Rights. If there is proof of such illegal disenfranchisement that happens year in and year out, it can be dealt with rather than just complained about.

            •  Thanks for posting this (none)

              I remembered something along those lines (Gore only being legally allowed to ask for three counties to be recounted) but you saved me having to look up the facts.  :)

              See what happened here.  Gore did the maximum he was legally allowed to do to get votes recounted and that got spun by the right wing as him cherry picking recounts to suit himself because he was a sneaky, voter hating, un-American slimeball.  It's important to not only kill spin like that, but also, if you can prove to someone that they have the facts wrong about this, to get them to think about where else the right wing propaganda machine might be misleading them where it can't be, or hasn't yet been, proven.

          •  OK (none)
            But if you're going to allow voting by parties, as opposed to non-partisan voting, then you must have rules as to what constitutes a "party", and how that party may choose its candidate. I don't see anything undemocratic about requiring that Nader follows the rules. It isn't about not letting people vote, it's about following the law on how candidates get on the ballot.

            The best intentions in the world, placed on a shelf, are worthless.

            by chuco35 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:09:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Um ... What Decade Are You (and GP) Living In? (none)
        The Chicago DP machine consistently disenfranchising AAs? Not in the last umpteen years. Look around ... Emil Jones, Jesse White, John Stroger ... AAs do vote in Chicago. They vote for Richie Daley. Is it so hard for GP (and yourself, apparently) to wrap your mind around the notion that AA voters in Chicago for the most part like Mr. Daley? He may be caucasian, but take this news flash - that doesn't make him the same as Eddie Burke, Eddie Vrdolyak, or Jane Byrne. Palast should keep his focus on what's real.

        In a "safe state"? Don't waste your vote for a political movement going nowhere ...

        Meanwhile, some folks ought to pay a little more  attention to Oklahoma ...

        vote early - vote often

        by wystler on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:05:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How Do You Explain Cook's Spoilage Rate (none)
          Palast reports that Cook County has one of the highest spoilage rates in the country.  His explanation: the need to keep down the black vote to assure that the machine stays in power.  I'm not saying that Daley = Byrne = Vrdolyak.  I am saying that there's apparently a problem, and listing AAs who support Daley doesn't really address the allegation, any more than pointing out that Ohio's Secretary of State is himself African American means that he can't be disenfranchising blacks.

          I can assure you that we Sooners pay an awful lot of attention to Oklahoma.

          As for where the Green Party is going, as a prominent Democrat used to say, you have the power.  If we want a multiparty democracy, if we want a truly progressive alternative to the two major parties, we can build one.  If we're willing to settle, well then it will go nowhere.

          In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

          by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:18:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  point me to the details (none)
            does this spoilage rate include precinct-by-precinct anaylsis? and what election is GP referring to? Cook County votes on a stylus/hole-punch system similar to that in florida ... these do produce a high spoilage volume ... some, if not all, can be attributed to training the election personnel on proper machine usage ... but all Cook County polling places have a verification system which checks for overvotes and undervotes before the ballot hits the box ...

            I am saying that you don't know much of what you posit - there is no vote suppression in Chicago or Cook County. The Dems would have to be fools - in statewide elections, the AA community is their strongest constituency.

            If we wanted a multiparty democracy, we'd be building one ... but we don't, and we're not. We're out to elect Democrats. Then, when our folks hold the reins to government, we'll be out to trim the dead wood.

            vote early - vote often

            by wystler on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:40:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We're Veering Off Topic But... (none)
              I am saying that you don't know much of what you posit

              I'm just reporting what I've read and heard. The source, as I said from the start, is Greg Palast.  Although I generally trust GP, everyone's wrong sometimes.  I'll be the first to admit that I haven't done any independent research on this issue.  If it's just your word vs. GP's, I'm afraid I'll have to go with GP's. No offence, but he's a credible investigative reporter who's spent a lot of time on this issue.  But I'm willing to believe that he may be wrong about this.  Since neither you nor I have his evidence in front of us, we're really not in a position to evaluate his claims (I'm really not tring to be coy here, I just honestly don't know where else to take this particular disagreement).

              If we wanted a multiparty democracy, we'd be building one ... but we don't, and we're not. We're out to elect Democrats.

              Speak for yourself.  You're probably describing the views of a large majority of Kossites, but, last I checked, this site described itself as "political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation."  There's no "Democrats Only" rule at dKos. I'll tell you what I'm here to do. I'm here to redefeat George W. Bush and move American in a more progressive direction. In the short run, that probably involves electing a bunch of Democrats. In the long run, I believe that also involves building a truly progressive party and making our 18th-century democracy into a 21st-century one.  

              So to get back to my signature line, and your reposte to it:  how you vote in this, and future, elections largely depends on what you want to accomplish.  And you and I are simply out to accomplish slightly different things.

              In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

              by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:25:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Since you've already veered... (none)
                I'd like to say that I admire your dedication to your cause as well as your ability to avoid the mudslinging that inevitably goes with these types of disagreements. I've joked around about both the greens and the libs here and at other sites but in reality I can understand your wanting something better.

                I do have a question though. In your posts that I've read you often speak of the virtues of a 3rd party which I agree with. Have you chosen the Green Party because of their platform, or because you think it has the best chance of becoming that 3rd party? I'm not asking to offend you. I'm just curious.

                Also do you know if the Cobb/Badnarik debate on Thursday, and their rebuttals to the Bush/Kerry debate will be televised or if there will be video available?

                I solemnly swear that I, Jim Riggs: am not trying to change your vote, will never belong to any political party, and will vote for John Kerry in 2004.

                by Jim Riggs on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:53:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  GP is Where? (none)
                I'm on the ground here in Cook County, Illinois. No skin off my nose that you've believed him. Bashing the Chicago Democratic Party machine has been popular with progressives for quite a long time. But it's not that popular anymore. My representative in Congress considers herself a Democrat through and through. Her name is Jan Schakowsky. I'd challenge anyone to find a more progressive officeholder (including Bernie Sanders) in DC.

                You also make an assumption - that you and I wish to accomplish different things. Though there's an outstanding chance we could find some truth in your final point if we looked, the truth of the matter is that we haven't. Already you're defining difference, while the only difference I see is you clinging to a notion that the Green Party can enjoy any more success than other 3rd parties here. (btw, they've got an awful lot of catching up to do if they would supplant the Socialist Party's mark on American politics)

                The reason the Democratic Party may not be what you want it to appear has far more to do with the lack of good, intelligent, progressive folks getting involved, than it does with an inherent evil within. Likewise, any party - even a minor player like the Greens - can be influenced inordinately by fringe elements of one faction or another.

                The foremost key, though, is one of convincing the voting public, and there's been no successful political introduction of a 3rd party under the government formed by the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Code (as measured in electoral success on the federal or statewide level). It's not a new development: the Republicans arose from the ashes of the Whigs, who were founded by the remnants of the Federalists.

                Parties do evolve - a comparison of the early 20th century Republican party of Teddy Roosevelt to today's corporatist/neocon creeps should make it abundantly clear. Hell, the changes that ushered the Rockefellerians out, and the Reaganites in, should be clear enough and recent enough to understand how rebuilding a party can be done and has been done.

                But third-party candidacies can be costly. Bill Clinton's victory was due, in no small part, to Ross Perot's candidacy. People who think that the Perot votes would all have been Clinton's weren't really paying attention - it would have been extremely close, and if the mad Texan had withdrawn, might have gotten us that new spelling of potato in Webster's. Progressives were all too fond of believing that Bill Clinton left them behind, when, in fact, BigDog did not have a progressive mandate. The progressive intellectual base had been in full retreat for most of the Reagan and Bush-I years, with many of their recognized national voices straying toward the center and the right. (TNR, anyone?) They (we?)themselves were part of the ceding of the debate.

                To find out why the progressive voice had faded, we really need to look into the mirror. By and large, politicians only go as far as the voters let them. The lack of effective left-wing activism, starting in during the McGovern debacle, continued through the Carter years (how many folks do you hear referring to him as a liberal?), the Reagan years, Bush-I.

                Effective progressivism can happen. It likely matters little what political label it wears, as far as single-issue activism goes, but electoral politics is still, and will continue to be, Dem vs. GOP. Take that to the bank.

                vote early - vote often

                by wystler on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:56:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  sooner or later (none)
            This is the wrong thread for this conversation, but the fact is you're hurting the cause of electoral reform by alienating your potential allies (progressive democrats) in a time of crisis (i.e., Bush). If Bush is re-elected in a tight contest, I would expect the cause of electoral reform to be set back by a generation or so. You might say you refuse to think about such practical political consequences, but if so then you don't take the cause of electoral reform seriously.

            "I don't want to try to put our troops in all places at all times. " George W. Bush, 2000

            by markymarx on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:47:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Democratic Party Hasn't Led on Electoral Reform (none)
              They made no major steps in the direction of real electoral reform at the federal when they controlled the Senate for most of 2000-2001.  And the many states with Democratic controlled state legislatures and/or governorships have also done little in this area, even after the tocsin of the 2000 elections.

              To my knowledge, there've been few improvements in felony disfranchisement laws.

              Despite all the complaints about Nader as a spoiler, no state has adopted IRV (though AK had a referendum on it which failed, and I believe WA has a referendum this November).

              Nobody's challenged the Electoral College system in a serious way.

              I am all on board the idea of getting rid of George W. Bush. That's one of the main reasons I hang out here.  But doing so won't bring serious electoral reform much closer.  And getting allies to the cause electoral reform on the basis of the false belief that it will doesn't really accomplish much.

              Smart progressive Democrats understand that their party isn't perfect.  Plenty of Democrats around here criticize the party and its candidates.  The Democratic Party simply does not have a strong commitment to serious electoral reform. The 2004 Democratic Platform has only three short paragraphs on elections:

              Voting is the foundation of democracy, a central act of civic engagement, and an expression of equal citizenship. Voting rights are important precisely because they are protective of all other rights. We will call for legislative action that will fully protect and enforce the fundamental Constitutional right of every American to vote -- to ensure that the Constitution's promise is fully realized and that, in disputed elections, every vote is counted fully and fairly.

              To advance these goals, and to guarantee the integrity of our elections and to increase voter
              confidence, we will seek action to ensure that voting systems are accessible, independently auditable, accurate, and secure. We will support the full funding of programs to realize this goal. Finally, it is the priority of the Democratic Party to fulfill the promise of election reform, reauthorize the expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act, and vigorously enforce all our voting rights laws.

              Our voting procedures are observed by people and nations around the world. Every vote must count
              and every vote must be counted, including absentee ballots. To achieve all of our goals, we support
              moving toward a census that duly counts every American. And we support the election of candidates who express the many voices of America.

              This looks like a commitment to enforce current laws, to make reapportionment at the federal level more fair (the platform is silent on the way states reapportion), and to move toward better voting technology.  All that's important (and better than the GOP), but it's not a commitment to fundamental reform.  There's no mention of creating more competitive congressional races (though non-partisan reapportionment, or through p.r.), of Electoral College reform, of modern voting systems (e.g. IRV or p.r.), of making voter registration less burdensome, nor of ballot access reform.  

              In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

              by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:48:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  huh? (none)
                Who said anything about the Democrats embracing electoral reform? Not me.

                I said the third party movement this year will likely set back the cause you support --all on its own.  It's a practical political cost of rejecting the united front to defeat Bush in 2004.

                Note that many progressive democrats won't vote for a third party candidate this year even in "safe" states as a matter of principle.  I expect this mood to persist for years to come out of the widespread sense of betrayal.  Whether this is justified or not is beside the point.

                "I don't want to try to put our troops in all places at all times. " George W. Bush, 2000

                by markymarx on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:58:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So (none)
                  Entrenched unresponsive politicians are a huge problem...when its the other guys. But my entrenched perma-incumbent is just fab?

                  Ugh.

                  •  fab schmab hypocrisy shmocracy (none)
                    there seems to be an echo in here.  who defends the policies of "entrenched unresponsive" poiticians?   Not I.  But I won't be cutting off my nose to spite my face either.

                    "I don't want to try to put our troops in all places at all times. " George W. Bush, 2000

                    by markymarx on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:12:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Effect social change, not political tricks (none)
            [ If we want a multiparty democracy, if we want a truly progressive alternative to the two major parties, we can build one.  If we're willing to settle, well then it will go nowhere.]

            I'm not disputing your intentions - I, for one, am "left" of the mainstream Democratic party.  However, our political system ill-suports a multi-party approach (unlike, say, a parliamentary system), and fracturing the American public between progressives and moderate-progressives is a sure recipe for further Republican electoral coups.

            Besides, as Goldwater learned to his chagrin, it's impossible to change American values from a campaign.  You need some heavy financial hitters (Scaife, Coors, etc) and a disciplined 40-year media campaign to change America.

            The Democrats are America's "progressive" party.  They'll run as far left as they can get away with while staying politically viable.  What needs to change is society, not the party.

            -Fe Wm.

      •  Forida Recount (none)
        IIRC, under Florida law a candidate cannot request a statewide manual recount. The candidate must request a recount in each county, and cannot do so without cause.
      •  good point (none)
        You're right, reforms are needed.  And these sorts of shenanigans are nothing new.

         that doesn't mean democrats should let the GOP steal this election too.

        Also, instead of keeping Nader off the ballot, Democrats might try asking third party voters this year to be voluntarily institutionalized. After all, the body politic needs to be protected from the criminally insane.

        snark

        "I don't want to try to put our troops in all places at all times. " George W. Bush, 2000

        by markymarx on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:23:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  really? (none)
        I admit I haven't been paying super close attention, but it looks to me like Democrats have been mainly trying to make sure Nader has to play by the same rules as everyone else.

        But I'm sure all those Republicans out there getting sigs for Nader were just doing it in the name of democracy.

        I sleep fine at night knowing that Democrats are way closer to "support(ing) democracy for democracy's sake" than Republicans. I know that I would fight just as hard (OK, almost as hard) for a Republican's legal vote to count as I would for anyone else.

        Republicans need a divided country; we don't.

        by azale on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:32:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I Don't Usually ... (none)
        complain about ratings, but why the hell did AdmiralNaismith give my original post (the one I'm replying to here) a Super Troll rating?  My post has content.  My point is stated calmly using no foul language and insulting no members of this community personally.  I can well understand why you might not agree with it, but low ratings (especially 0's) are not designed to register your level of disagreement with a post. If you don't agree with a post, argue against it.  A bunch of folks have, and though the conversation kind of went off topic, it was respectful and dealt with significant issues.  I'd think conversations like this are the kind of things we want on this site.  Troll rating (let alone SuperTroll rating) posts like mine will simply eliminate conversations like this.

        Let's be clear about what a SuperTroll rating is for.  Here's Kos's description:

        Please use your "zero" rating with care! It is only for use on comments that are wholly content-free. If you think the poster is clueless, or an idiot, or you just don't agree with them, that is not grounds for a zero rating. Zero is for comments that are offensive, script-generated, or otherwise content-free and intended solely to annoy and/or abuse other readers.

        Not only does my post not warrant a "Super Troll" or even a "Troll" rating, AdmiralNaismith did not even bother to explain his rating in the thread.  

        This kind of hit-and-run opinion bashing is what a lot of folks have been complaining about lately.  It's why Theoria (and a lot of other old-time Kossacks) have left.  Whenever discussions of this come up, people ask for examples of the so-called "Heathers" (not a term I particularly like, but it seems to be the one everyone is using).  Well, I'm callin' out AdmiralNaismith. Look at his ratings page.  It's full of SuperTroll ratings, mostly for posts that simply do not deserve that rating by the dKos's trusted-user rules.  This is the kind of nonsense that drives good folks (and meaningful disagreement) off this site.

        In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

        by GreenSooner on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 06:15:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Third-party issues notwithstanding (none)
      I think the material point is that one major party is more successful when voter turnout is high; the other when turnout is low.  So the proper question is, which party better exemplifies the principles of representative democracy and universal suffrage?  And the corollary question is what does a party that makes every effort to depress voter turnout actually represent?
      •  The Problem With That (none)
        ...is that a real commitment to democracy cannot be so consequentialist.  Democrats really don't think twice about trying to keep perceived "spoilers" off the ballot. I really have nothing good to say about this year's Nader campaign, including its ballot access drives.  But the doggedness of Democratic opposition to his getting on the ballot, and the glee with which his failures are greeted speak for themselves.

        As I think I've already suggested, the GOP and Democratic Party need to be evaluated on their own merits in regards to their attitudes toward democracy. And concerning the GOP, I agree with everything that folks have posted here: the current GOP leadership harbors a fundamental hostility to democracy.

        In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

        by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:08:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, (none)
          what you're saying is Democrats should let Nader break ballot access laws?

          What so wrong in acting in one's own interest?  Give me a break, nobody expects any political party to emasculate itself just so the other guy can win all while feeling good because some fuzzy idal was purportedly achieved.

          IMHO, we're better off if parties are honest and actually duke it out so voters know what they're actually getting instead of all of this "pursuit of ideals" drivel.

          There's a HUGE difference between being a stickler for the law, and being a stickler for the law (but in the way that makes it look like its a dirty trick).

          If the Democrats can challenge Nader's bogus signatures, more power to them.

          If the Republicans can challenge voter registration based on irrelevant details like the weight of the paper, more power to them.  If they can get away if it.

          But if the Democrats can nail the Republicans to the wall as dirty tricksters for using irrelevant details to disenfranchise voters, then more power to them too.  Hell, more power to Ralph Nader if he can convince people the Democrats are at fault for his ballot woes.

          But, I don't know about you, but if I was crafting a PR campaign, I'd rather my slighted brethren be a disenfranchised group of Ohio voters than an ego-bruised Ralph Nader.

          Politics today is, unfortunately, an ugly no-hold-barred system.  You use every advantage you can get.  And when your opponent uses a perceived advantage in a stupid way you use THAT to your advantage too.  

          So play the game and quit yer whining.  Sheesh, you third party people would be taken more seriously if you didn't do the whole "woe is us" whining thing so much.

          Convince people you're right -- don't alienate them with the persecution bullshit.  The only time the persecution stuff works is when you have a persecutee who's actually a sympathetic victim.

          And that, Ralph Nader ain't.

          Bush Business Plan: 1) Steal the Presidency, 2) ???, 3) PROFIT!

          by emjaycue on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:18:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Whine, whine, whine (none)
            So play the game and quit yer whining.  Sheesh, you third party people would be taken more seriously if you didn't do the whole "woe is us" whining thing so much.

            Seems to me that it has been the Dems who have been whining for the past four years that it was Nader voters who cost Gore the election.  You always want to ignore the Democrats who voted for Bush and only blame us lefty's.

            If YOU did not want that to happen again, then YOU would have been pushing for election reform and IRV these past four years.  Seeing as how that might have been the only way to prevent the death of the Democratic Party.

            I'd vote for Kerry if it would make a difference - but I am in South Dakota so I, luckily, don't have to make that choice - I get to cast a vote for a progressive.  

            Sure hope you (and all the world) won't be whining on November 3rd - all because the Dems refused to fight for election reform.

            "She paid for who she is with her life, but don't we all?" Alice Walker

            by SarahLee on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 12:23:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please explain something to me (none)
              Your candidate is funded by the right. His ballot petitions come more and more from right wing petitioners and in at least one case were flat out fraudulent petitions that were actually collected for something else. Your candidates appearing on the ballot will only have the consequence of costing votes to the more left of the candidates. Your candidate favors authoritarianism rather than democracy and always has.

              Please explain to me under what definition of "left" Nader fits?

              "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

              by cdreid on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 12:44:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Choice (none)
                Neither I nore Nader can control the Republicans desire to try and mess with Dem votes.  Anymore than Republicans could stop the registration of voters for Perot by Democrats.  

                First, I would prefer to vote for Cobb, but he isn't  on my ballot - so far.  If I was in a swing state, I would probably vote for Kerry, but I am in a red state where the Democrats rely on Lakota votes to win anything and then ignore the tribes except when they want their water - then they just help steal that.  

                What you don't understand is that most Nader voters are not going to vote for Kerry now - they will just stay home or vote for Cobb if possible.  Keeping Nader off ballots is backfiring, I know a lot of Nader people who were going to vote for Kerry, but won't vote at all now or will vote for Cobb if possible.  What is it that keeps you from seeing that?  

                And if you want to stop this from being an issue in future elections, start working for IRV on November 3rd.  It becomes a non-issue then.

                Until the Democrats realize that, they are going to keep loosing ground.  I would have been happy to make Kerry a second choice.  Before the Democrats started doing everything they could to keep him off the ballot.

                I'm an Independent progressive.  I am going to work for the most progressive candidate running.  We may still be a minority block, but we effect elections.  

                I am a voter you should be courting, but instead you constantly slap me in the face.

                I am trying to explain it so you might step back and think about the possibility that maybe another strategy might be worth examining.  IMHO Building bridges is a better strategy.  

                "She paid for who she is with her life, but don't we all?" Alice Walker

                by SarahLee on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 10:35:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A lot of us (none)
                  Supported Nader's right to be on the ballot at first. We supported many of his issues.

                  But Nader struck out on all these counts:

                  1. By running as a spoiler Nader in effect gave and gives the right a huge advantage. Which is his right. And is fine. However he then began to be funded and staffed by the far right. The people he claimed to be fighting against.

                  2. Nader doesnt think the law should apply to him. You can nitpick if you wish but the facts are glaring. He's using fraudulent documents to provided by far right wing gatherers to try to get on the ballots. In one case he used petitions collected for another candidate. That is fraud and deciet. It is lying. It is breaking the law. The rule of law is more important to me than any politician from either party.

                  3. Naders is being funded by the people he claims to be fighting. Big business. The right wing multinationals. Even in these days of righty doublethink it is hard, as a Leftist, to endure the cognitive dissonance that would require.

                  4. There is no chance in hell he was ever going to endorse Kerry. Just as there was no chance he was going to endorse gore. And just some information for you : Gore has actually WORKED on environmental issues, written a Book about it and is one of environmentalisms major leaders. While Nader snipes from hiding and demands from the left  acknowledgement of his self-importance.

                  5. Nader is all about Nader. If he were not he could have Easily spent the last few years working to unite the Perot people the greens and the other small parties behind him. He didnt. Instead he spurned all those groups because he would not have been able to have his authoritarian wishes (Nader is nothing if not authoritarian to the extreme). Nader could have put together a coalition that gave us a permanent three party system.

                  Now there is something you should understand of people who share my viewpoint. Though i dont speak for anyone i think it is a shared one. We are tired of this little tyrant playing spoiler for the republicans and though we want and Need the Naderites, the Greens, the Libertarians to help us take our party back.. we're willing to pay that price to take out a man whom we can only see as an enemy of everything we stand for. The master of pyrrhic losses. So while people of my mindset.. that is jeffersonian leftists.. social libertarians if you will.. the old democratic party, regret and worry at losing the Naderites because we know they are exactly the true believers and idealists  we need. We are simply not willing to pay that price anymore. At this moment the price is over a thousand american lives, a lot of our individual liberty, the futures of millions of americans and tens of millions of their children, the death of the american dream.. and counting...

                  "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

                  by cdreid on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 10:17:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I dislike Nader (none)
          but that doesn't mean I object to him being on the ballot in principle.  I mean, the guy's a walking ego, but everyone should have a chance to try for the presidency, just like those of the major parties.

          There are two reasons I can think of for recent Dem opposition to Nader:

          The shenanigans with unpaid petition-gatherers, invalid signatures, and the attempts in the Nader camp to circumvent state laws; there have been a few instances of each, and overall when the whiny lawyering is added in it speaks of people trying to cheat their way in and crying if they fail.  Nobody likes a line-cutter in gradeschool, who yells when people shove him.

          More importantly to many of us, there is a perception (however accurate) that the Republicans are trying to assist Nader solely to have a spoiler.  There was the flyer distributed a few months ago telling the R's of some state to help Nader get on the ballot, for example.  However widespread this may be, it's catapulted Nader's efforts into the realm of "Republican dirty tricks", which is certain to galvanize Dem opposition.

          I doubt most of the people opposing Nader's candidacy would be doing so if 1) he played by the rules, as the Green Party always seems to do well, and 2) the Republicans hadn't given us reason to think that they're using him as a spoiler.  I know I would be cheering on, say, a normal Green candidate if that were the case, and I'm a partisan Dem.  (I just can't bring myself to cheer for Nader's ego after the backstabbing of the Greens earlier).

          What's the matter, kiddie? Afraid of a little... bug?

          by Torquill on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:40:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  contact info (4.00)
    J. Kenneth Blackwell (R)
    180 E. Broad St., 15th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43215
    (614) 446-4980
    E-Mail: blackwell@sos.state.oh.us

    "The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous"

    by jethropalerobber on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:38:38 AM PDT

    •  disconneted (none)
      the phone number listed above is apparently no longer opperative.

      "The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous"

      by jethropalerobber on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:51:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let's Blast his office with calls! (4.00)
      Everyone we MUST take action on this ASAP! Let's call his office and start spreading the word on this. He is doing this to lower the black vote - no question about it!!!

      I am calling now...

      (614) 446-4980

    •  email to Blackwell (4.00)
      "Since this email is written on something lighter than card stock, I'm sure you'll ignore it. The US Constitution also has difficulty making through the post office scanner. Reason enough to chuck it?

      You're UnAmerican."

      "One fundamental principle must be borne in mind constantly... propaganda must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over." Josef Goebbels

      by upstate NY on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:54:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My e-mail (4.00)
        Mr. Blackwell:

        re:  http://www.daytonforkerry.com/Blackwell.pdf  and http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/27/112229/106

        I am writing to protest in the most vehement terms your decision to disenfranchise thousands of residents of the State of Ohio.  On the day after the New York Times published a story that suggested voter registration in Democratic communities is up 250% over what it was at this time in 2000, the Republican Secretary of State of Ohio issues an absurd ruling that would invalidate many of those registrations and without sufficient opportunity for the disenfranchised voters to reregister.  This attempt to manipulate Ohio's vote in the presidential election seems reminiscent of the activities of other members of your party in the 2000 elections.  

        I am writing to express my deepest concern and urge you to do the right thing, reversing today's decision and allowing thousands of duly registered Democrats to vote in November.

        Sincerely, Michael G. Meyer

        (I have cc'd it to reports at the NY Times, Washington Post, and Daily Show.)

        The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

        by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:36:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  e-howling (none)
        Dear Mr. Secretary:

        I would think the primary directive of any Secretary of State would be to ensure the right to vote of as many constituents as possible.  Your preposterous decision to limit voter registration by paper stock is an international embarrassment, and should be rescinded immediately.

      •  My letter (none)
        Dear Mr. Blackwell,

        I am concerned that you may be compromising the voting rights of citizens in violation of the Federal Voting Rights Act, Sec. 1971.2.B - specifically:

        (2)

        No person acting under color of law shall -

        (B)

        deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election;

        I had no idea that the quality of paper used for a voter's application was that important in determining the qualification of a potential voter.

        [my name]
        Winchester, Kentucky

    •  New numbers (4.00)
      I just called and got some other numbers:

      SOS Press and media office: 614-752-8110

      SOS Elections division: 614-466-2585

      Ken Blackwell's administrative assistant: 614-466-2655

      Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!

      by eoglesby on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:43:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My letter (4.00)
      At a time when most sources are crying that Americans simply don't vote anymore, you have the audacity to put roadblocks in the way of people wishing to exercise their most sacred American duty.  You and your office should be doing everything possible to encourage people to register and to vote, instead you use some archaic nonsense that would prevent people from doing the same.  

      What kind of American are you?

      Here in Chicago, we have been writing to friends and relatives in Ohio stressing the importance of voting.  It is a shame that we are thwarted by their elected officials.

      Please reconsider your Communist edict.

      Sincerely,

    •  I've also called or emailed (4.00)
      CBS
      PBS Newshour
      ABC etc.

      and you should do so too...get them to cover this story and feel the heat.

      The woman at NewsHour has not heard this yet and sounded incredulous....she told me to fill out the online form as a "better" way to get in touch with them....

      well, I did...and maybe you should too.

      newshour@pbs.org

      2004's the election, 2005's the prize...let'sTCB!

      by kid oakland on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:11:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rookie question here (none)
    In Ohio here, and a newly registered voter (thanks to ACT dropping by my house two months ago or so - Was going to register and vote no matter what, but ACT made it hella easier).

    The ACT kid punched my name in his handheld, filled out a form, I signed, he moved on.  Is there a way to determine if I was actually registered or not?  I did get a card in the mail a couple weeks later telling me my voting location, so I assumed that meant I was registered and good to go.  I guess I'm wondering if there is any possible way that I would have got that notice and then end up not being registered when I show up to vote.

    I guess in general, what can we tell people to do to make sure they are registered, that their application didn't fall into the hands of an election board that would oney this inane order?

  •  Recommended (4.00)
    This should be the project of a separate "Project Shame on You."  Write letters to the editor about this, and ask people to call Ken Blackwell and ask him to stop trying to steal the election.
    Use his own words against him:
    Why should I register to vote?
    No right we possess as American citizens is as dear as that of the secret ballot. Voting allows each citizen to have his or her voice heard. Voting preserves the freedom we Americans cherish.

    Blackwell's office number is 614-466-3910.  (He won't answer, but presumably someone can take a message.  Be polite.)
    I doubt this e-mail will be as influential, but his web site lists it: guide@sos.state.oh.us

    [Also, his campaign contact info is as follows:
    Ohioans for Blackwell
    211 S. Fifth St.
    Columbus, OH 43215
    p/614.221.8552
    f/614.224.3983
    e/info@kenblackwell.com
    ]

    LTEs can be sent to:

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

    E-mail the Toledo Blade at letters@theblade.com

    or the Colombus Dispatch at letters@dispatch.com

    Links to several other papers found here.

    •  I called him a Commie. (4.00)
      Felt awfully good.
    •  Plain Dealer Reporter (4.00)
      I just had an exchange on this with a Plain Dealer reporter, he seems like he's on the case (although he was mainly interested in the PD newsprint forms angle) ...

      If anyone can come up with some more points to make to him in a simple, polite email, then go for it.

      Here's our exchange (his reply is bracketed by my original email and my reply):


      Thanks, glad to hear of your interest. Attachment was just Jim Bebbington's Dayton Daily News story on registration today; I've pasted it in below (at the very bottom of this email), and also attached it as an html file.

      Is it reasonable to begin enforcing the "paper weight" provision the last weekend of voter registration? When apparently the Federal Gov't has all along been providing online forms that would have to be printed on paper?

      Was the PD case the only official exception that was made? Is it really the case that the Sec of State would deny citizens the vote because they filled out a form printed on the wrong paper?

      If so, all I can say is, wow.

      On 9/27/04 12:36 PM, "MARK NAYMIK" <MNAYMIK@plaind.com> wrote:

      > I can't open your attached file. But if you are referring to the printing of
      > cards in our paper and dispute over "paper weight" - Boards of Elections and
      > Secretary of State ruled at that time that all cut-out forms from the PD WOULD
      > be accepted. In our follow-up, we inserted actual registration form. Try
      > sending your attachment again and I'll read it.
      >
      >>Is the story in this attached article true? If so, it's quite scandalous ... Didn't
      >>the Plain Dealer print registration forms in the paper? Can any of those forms,
      >>filled out, be  voided now?
      >>
      >>I'm looking forward to the Plain Dealer's take on this ... In the news sections, and,
      >>I imagine, on the editorial pages.

      Note that his email is there in the middle of the grey text box.

      •  Done. (4.00)
        Dear Mr. Naymik,

        There are some important points which you may wish to confirm about the Secretary of State's decision to require applications that are not on 80 lb. stock to be resubmitted.

        First, the state sends applications out on 36 lb. stock.  Does this mean they reject even the applications they printed?

        Second, it couldn't be that the reason for enforcement of this policy is to protect applications from damage at the post office since those rejected had arrived safely at the local boards of election.

        Third, the policy doesn't exist to insure the permanence of the records since the applications are scanned for future reference.

        Fourth, if any of the supposed reasons for the Secretary to enforce this policy were true, they why hasn't the policy been in place all along?  Why wait until the local boards are at their busiest to start a new cumbersome rule.

        Fifth, the Daily News article said that in Dayton a few hundred applications would be affected, this means thousands could be lost state wide.

        Sixth, if the federal forms on regular stock are acceptable, how can the others be inadequate?

        Thank you for your consideration of this important story.

  •  Clearly an effort to foster chaos (none)
    Registration apparently has been so intense that voting offices were already overwhelmed.  In this context, the guy is clearly trying to maximize chaos.  It's going to be Florida all over again.  
  •  I think it's a reaction... (none)
    To the fact that ACT has registered a lot more Dems than Repugs in that state, per the NYTimes article.
  •  My Letter to the Plain Dealer (none)
    "Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's shameless effort to reduce the minority vote in Ohio by trumping up a "Paper Weight" requirement for new voter forms is a disgrace! Leave it to the GOP to keep true to form to try and lock people out of the voting process. Mr. Blackwell you should be ashamed of yourself. Katherine Harris trained you well!"
  •  I don't know about you... (none)
    but I'm a big fan of democracy.  Why do we keep electing people who aren't?  Or is it just that the ones we elect are appointing people who aren't?  Guess it makes sense that an appointee wouldn't be into democracy.
  •  Why can't I find this article? (none)
    I've downloaded the .pdf file from DaytonforKerry.com, but I can't find the original anywhere online.  It's not on the Dayton Daily News archive, nor Lexis Nexis.

    Does anyone the date of this article, at least?

  •  Please main page this Kos... (4.00)
    It's truly important.  There must be mobilization around this.

    Respectfully yours,
    Dave

  •  Ohio is truly becoming the ... (none)
    ...Florida of 2004.

    Don't let it happen again!!!

    "The identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." Bush v. Gore

    by DeanorBust on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:31:43 AM PDT

  •  National voter reg form is still valid (none)
    I just got off the phone with someone in Blackwell's office.  She said that the only exception for the paper-stock rule will be the national voter registraton forms that folks download and print themselves.  Those are supposed to remain valid even if they're just on regular paper.

    Small consolation, of course...

    •  Does Bush v. Gore apply? <snark> (none)
      I guess not...

      equal protection

      and the right to vote have been erased on this VERY terrain by this court.  Who knows what the legality of this will be...

      bastards.

      Remember, stick to the principle:

      EVERY VOTE COUNTS
      LET EVERY VOTER VOTE
      COUNT ALL THE VOTES

      That is the position of our party and anyone who supports democracy.

      Florida passivity = Never Again.

      2004's the election, 2005's the prize...let'sTCB!

      by kid oakland on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:00:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did they seem defensive about this? (none)
      Did they have a rational explanation?
  •  This is it folks (2.50)
    This is the last straw.  I give the Democrats 72 hours to make a huge fucking stink about this...then fuck them.  Really.

    If the Democrats can't be bothered to get off their soft little tushies in the face of blatant voter fraud...If they can't stand up for their constituents and protect democracy...If they can't even use this for personal partisan advantage then they truly deserve to lose.

    If John Kerry can't protect his ass in the single most critical state then the Republicans are right, he probably can't protect America.

    I will reserve judgment for 72 hours.

    •  When I e-mailed the Secretary of State of Ohio (4.00)
      I cc:ed David Broder and Richard Cohen at The Washington Post.  We need to get this story everywhere into print and on the airwaves.  Google ain't good enough for something this nefarious.

      The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

      by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:11:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but I'm not wasting my time (none)
        What this needs is someone like Terry McAulliffe to openly accuse the Ohio officials of trying to steal the elections.  This paperweight b.s. should be the equivilent of the hanging chads.  Most Americans don't follow what is going on, but if you tell them that registrations are being tossed out because the paper is too heavy, they will know exactly what is going on.

        I'm sick of SBV after SBV and Rathergate after Rathergate.  And then when actual electoral theft is happening the Democrats just roll over.  

        I am not going to waste my time.  BTW, Richard Cohen and David Broder are useless tools who do not give a rats ass about this.

        •  What this needs in addition (none)
          to everything you wrote is a whole lot of coverage by the mainstream media.  There is no time wasting involved in this at all.  This is a huge story with national implications, and we need to flood the media with e-mails letting them know about it.  It's the only way to alert enough Democrats to cause national outrage.

          Does anyone know about whether minorities are being adversely affected.  The ACLU might be interested in this.  We should contact them.

          The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

          by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:25:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I thought the paper was *too light*? (none)
          80lb paper is light-weight card-stock, i.e. suitable for postcards.

          Your typical laser printer/copier paper is only 20lb.

          It sounded like this guy was trying to muddy the waters on forms people print out themselves (or forms printed by "activist groups"), since, obviously, any forms printed by the government of Ohio would have to be on the "regulation" paper.

          When only the govemment lacks virtue, there remains a resource in the people's virtue; but when the people itself is corrupted, liberty is already lost.

          by Robespierrette on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:05:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Whatever (none)
            Who cares?  The GOP would come out with some spin about "Paperweight-gate" and Instafascist and Drudge would spew it to the minions.
          •  This is BS (none)
            The law should be thrown out by the court because it isn't specific enough (or so it sounds like, since I haven't seen the actual law): there's 80 lb book and 80 lb cover. 80 lb cover is heavier.

            It's amazing what happens when you listen to the other person's opinion --- GWB, 12/18/00

            by Doug in SF on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 04:04:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No (none)
          The forms are being tossed because they're too thin, not to heavy.
    •  lawyers (none)
      Hasn't Kerry hired thousands of lawyers to ensure a fair election?  Seems like some of those lawyers would be chomping at the bit to take care of this...
  •  Just Had An Interesting Conversation (4.00)
    ...with a woman in Blackwell's office.

    She claimed that they need the 80 lb stock to make a permanent record.  She had no answer when I brought up the federal forms.  She seemed very pleasant, and said (sincerely I believe) that she shared my concerns.

    Conversations like this are a great example of the bureaucratic mindset, which is what makes disenfranchisement schemes like this work.  All you need is a few evil folks at the top, and if their scheme can be stated in terms of laws and regulations, you have an instant army of folks who feel duty bound to carry it out, even if -- at some now distant level -- it offends their sense of what is right.  Though I risk violating Godwin's Law in saying so, it's what made the Holocaust work.  With bureaucracy, everything is possible (and, yes, private bureaucracies work just the same way...I'm not government bashing here).

    Our only hope is to raise such unholy hell that this becomes an embarassment for the elected officials of the state of Ohio.  To quote Grover Norquist, they should be taken out and horsewhipped.

    And that's our advantage.  In 2000, most folks hadn't even heard of Katherine Harris until all the votes were cast.  This time we have the jump on those who'd further erode our democracy.

    In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

    by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:05:42 AM PDT

    •  It's (none)
      sort of the equivalent of "I was only following orders."

      It could have been much worse, and there is no limit to how much better. Gershom Sholem

      by rx scabin on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:24:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They're making this stuff up as they go along. (none)
      In the original article the Secretary's office explained,

      The requirement is because the forms are designed to be mailed like post-cards and must be thick enough to survive mechanical sorters  at the U.S. Post Office, according to Blackwell's spokesman Carlo LoParo.

      "Our directive stands and it is specifically in place to protect new registrants to make sure the forms are not destroyed," LoParo said.

      Since that explanation makes absolutely no sense considering the disqualified ballots have survived the mechanical sorters, they needed something new.  Now it is to preserve them, although they are scanned when they are processed.

      A final point, why now?  The registration drive has been going on for months, but he waits until the final hour?

      Lies.

      •  The Women I Spoke To... (none)
        ...kept emphasizing that she was only repeating what she was told.  They really are just following orders (in the banal, non-cynical, but hideously amoral meaning of that phrase).

        In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

        by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:40:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Banality of Evil (none)
          Remember that part of Hannah Arendt's critique of the defendants at the World War II war crimes trials was that they were totally without interest in what they were doing ("Build Autobahn, check, mass execution of undesirables, check") and how uninteresting they were as human beings. At least Hitler was a man with a real, larger than life, if totally evil, personality. You don't have to like him or speak German to see how captivating he could be in Triumph of the Will.

          George Bush is suffering chronic mendacity syndrome.

          by freelunch on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:13:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The USPS isn't the problem here (none)
        The magnitude of the progressive GOTV/registration efforts are starting to show up in their state-level analysis and the repugs are getting really worried. That RV versus LV poll dynamic has them panicking, in my opinion, because they don't think they're keeping up with the volume of new registrations completed by progressive groups here. New registrations in Ohio are not just being sent in one by one through the mail, they're being dragged into the county boards of election on hand-trucks, by the thousands. I suspect (just my own idea here) that some groups may have waited until late in the season to turn these in, to further throw off the opposition and game them into letting up on their own registration efforts.

        If some volunteer doing voter registration in Ohio ran out of the official forms, there's no reason why they wouldn't have thought they could just run off some copies to keep going. However, many people working to GOTV in Ohio did know about this state law and about the voter registration purge since 2000 in places like Hamilton County (Cincinnati). It's the law- you deal with it for now and remember to fix it later if you can. We just don't have time for a lawsuit or to ram changes in state election law through a repug controlled statehouse under Bob "famous last name" Taft.  

        It's great that people are in the process of handing the Secretary of State some public shame to force him into recommending that counties accept the improper forms. Get ready though, because, some counties may still refuse them with impunity, knowing that there's probably not enough time for legal action before they have influenced the outcome of the election. The best we can hope for is that other democratic strongholds like Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) will accept the forms and that the policy elsewhere is at least applied consistently, knocking the efforts of both parties in relatively equal proportion. That, and that county officials don't take the next 30 days to go through recent registrations and disqualify them after the fact, only for us all to find out the bad news when people show up to vote.

        I will also mention here, just to be bitchy, that at the Ohio State Fair, the Secretary of State's office was the first booth inside the door as people came in. They had the right cardstock forms, but only put out a few at a time. The Bush table was on the center aisle, but right next to a booth with something that smelled tasty. The Kerry table was in the far back corner by the bathroom, right by the door that led to the shit end of the sheep barn.

        •  again, (none)
          and I'm sorry to mention this again, but does the law specify 80 lb book or 80 lb cover? There's a difference, and if the law doesn't specify it could probably be legally tossed.

          It's amazing what happens when you listen to the other person's opinion --- GWB, 12/18/00

          by Doug in SF on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 04:06:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  phoned in to SOS also (none)
      Just got off the pohne with a woman in SOS office. She repeated the claim that the rule was longstanding. I asked when the directive went out and after checking with "her director," she told me it was Sept. 7. (If true, that was not in reponse to yesterday's NYT article on registration jumps; but it also indicates that the last three weeks or so of registrations might be affected.) T.J.
    •  Tarred and feathered is better than horsewhipping (none)
      More old-skool

      "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

      by LionelEHutz on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:31:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Blackwell's resume (none)
    You all realize that Blackwell was a council member (and I think one-time mayor) of the Republican stronghold, Cincinnati, don't you?  That says it all, in my book.  I think all he can really do here is cause confusion and maybe the more timid voters to stay home because they think they may not be registered.

    Bastard.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

    by BigOkie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:14:55 AM PDT

    •  uh oh (none)
      Holy Jesus on a pogo stick, it's worse than I thought.  I just barely remember his election in Cincinnati before I moved away.  His page paints a grim picture.  This guy is totally in the wingnut column.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

      by BigOkie on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:20:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do they notify the voters? (none)
    This may seem like a really simple question but I am wondering if those who have had their registration rejected have been notified. Would also like to know that if they have not been notified if the Ohio Dems can get info about who was rejected and help then get registered"properly" This is just TOO unbelievable. Amazing that R's call us unpatiotic for not supporting their war and yet they do not want to allow Americans to VOTE! They are more worried about Iraqi's being ablt to vote than those in Ohio!
  •  Kos,Put this on the main page (none)
    This deserves top billing.

    The most merciful thing in the world . . . is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. H. P. Lovecraft

    by Cheez Whiz on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:23:03 AM PDT

  •  Call Kerry Campaign HQ! (none)
    Look folks, we have to contact the Kerry campaign HQ about this and make a HUGE stink - mega huge! They have the lawyers and money to stop this kind of crap. I don't have the number but if anyone can post?

    We need to be on this like flies on shit!

  •  More About Blackwell (4.00)
    Following Florida's lead in disenfranchising felons:

    State broke deal, voting group says
    Notifying felons of rights is at center of dispute
    Friday, September 24, 2004
    Scott Hiaasen
    Plain Dealer Reporter

    Voting-rights groups say state officials have backed out of an agreement to notify felons around the state that they can register to vote if they are on parole.

    State officials, however, say they didn't have a deal in the first place.

    The dispute means that many felons in Ohio may not learn that they have the right to vote, the key goal of a lawsuit filed last month against the secretary of state and 21 county elections boards.

    The lawsuit claimed that county elections workers were giving out misleading information about the voting rights of felons. Felons can vote in Ohio as long as they are not in prison.

    Blackwell Bars Provisional Voting


    The Help America Vote Act paid for improvements in states' voting systems, mandated statewide voter lists by 2006, set new standards for registering voters, and required states to offer a "provisional ballot" when a voter's registration is in question.

    ......

    Maxwell criticized Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's ruling that a voter who shows up at the wrong precinct cannot cast a provisional ballot. But that's the law. The Ohio Revised Code, which has allowed provisional balloting for many years, prohibits a person from voting in a precinct he or she does not live in.

    There is a concerted effort in Ohio to disenfranchise new voters or those who have had a felony conviction.  Blackwell is a tool.

    I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth.

    by lapin on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:28:12 AM PDT

  •  I've already taken action (none)
    I emailed the story to the ACLU, ACT, NAACP, People for the American Way and the Kerry Campaign. I'm waiting to find out the right email address for the DNC.
  •  It's just for show (none)
    To make it look like the Repugs are worried about the new registrations in Ohio.

    The Ohio vote is going to be "fixed" in the voting machines and there will be no paper trail, so there will be no way to call them on it.

    I suppose our one hope would be if Kerry is so far ahead in the polls before election day that they dare not try.  But then, in 2002, the Democratic governor of Georgia was up 13 points in the last poll, and no one made a peep when the Diebold machines -- with a last-minute software "patch" -- gave the election to the Republican.

    God, I hope I'm wrong! :-(

    "No President has ever done more for human rights than I have." --George W. Bush (quoted in The New Yorker, January 19, 2004)

    by Jim in Chicago on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:52:57 AM PDT

    •  We didn't go to Diebold (none)
      Actually I think that Blackwell decided not to certify their machines.  Many of the poorer counties, like the one I live in, are still using punchcards.  That's fine by me.
  •  Blackwell's office sent me a stack on ~40lb paper (4.00)
    Okay. Here's something that's awfully damning.

    I've been doing voter registration here in Ohio for months. And in my office, right in front of me, I have a big stack of forms that I received directly from the Secretary of State's office, after requesting them here.

    It's been a long, long time since I paid much attention to the weight of paper; we're probably talking about back when I was in high school yearbook class. But during my geeky youth I used to be able to make a pretty good guess about the weight of paper by sight. Although it's now been way too long and I couldn't identify it on sight any more, I do know that 80lb paper is very heavy. For example, business cards tend to be 65lb to 80lb stock; so think about heavier business cards that you've seen.

    So I decided to see if I have any way of empirically testing the forms that I have. Well, it turns out that I also have a stack of clearly labeled 36lb HP matte paper. If the registration forms are 80lb weight, they will be obviously thicker than that, right?

    Actually, these two sets of paper are just about the same weight. They have identical flexibility characteristics when you hold them in your hand. And most damningly, a stack of 20 of each are the same height down to less than a millimeter.

    I can completely guarantee that the registration forms that I got from the Secretary of State's office are not 80lb stock. Believe me, you'd be able to tell the difference between 80lb stock and my 36lb stock.

    They are, indisputably, around 40lb weight.

    So what's the deal? Did the Secretary of State's office send me illegal forms that cannot be used for voter registration?

    This is utterly scandalous and ridiculous. If Blackwell really gave a directive disqualifying all but 80lb stock, after sending me forms on 40lb stock, he should be forced to step down.

    •  Contact the Kerry campaign (4.00)
      and a local new organization...and I would hope a lawyer from the Democratic Party.

      If it were me, I would have the forms notarized that you are in possession of them now, and how you got them and that they are not, in fact 80lb.  It couldn't hurt.  

      Good luck.  What you have might be really significant.

      2004's the election, 2005's the prize...let'sTCB!

      by kid oakland on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 11:27:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks (none)
      This is such an obvious last minute excuse to steal votes that I had a feeling there would be a paper trail somewhere to hang him out to dry.  

      Write LTEs to Ohio papers and tell them exactly what you told us, along with a reference to the NYT "tens of thousands" of registrations, along with a reference to Blackwell's flowery prose on the importance of voting.

    •  Let This Guy Know (none)

      If you really think the Sec of State sent you forms on underweight paper, let this guy know:

      MARK NAYMIK at the Plain Dealer

      MNAYMIK@plaind.com

      He seems interested in the story. Keep it simple and polite. See my comment above for my exchange with him.

    •  Follow up (none)
      This is exactly the kind of follow-up that reporters love.

      Either the Dayton reporter can use it to hang a second day story on, or the Plain-Dealer reporter mentioned upthread can use it to advance the story (and thus not be simply reporting somebody else's scoop).   Either way, it would behoove you to follow up with the press.

    •  I just (none)
      sent this link to the Chicago Tribune. Don't know if anything will come of it, but this is truly frightning, and I hope the press picks this up. Everyone deserves to know what is going on. Sickening.

      My dissent ensures your democracy.

      by Worship Your Toaster on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:40:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Basis size and paper "weight". (none)
      Well, it turns out that I also have a stack of clearly labeled 36lb HP matte paper. If the registration forms are 80lb weight, they will be obviously thicker than that, right?

      Actually, these two sets of paper are just about the same weight. They have identical flexibility characteristics when you hold them in your hand. And most damningly, a stack of 20 of each are the same height down to less than a millimeter.

      I can completely guarantee that the registration forms that I got from the Secretary of State's office are not 80lb stock. Believe me, you'd be able to tell the difference between 80lb stock and my 36lb stock.

      They are, indisputably, around 40lb weight.

      Uh, no. Your comparison is invalid. I used to be a printer, ya gotta know this stuff when you're in the business.

      In the U.S. the "weight" is that of 1000 sheets of the "basis size". So without knowing the basis size of the two different kinds of paper you can not compare the "weights".

      The 80# "business card" stock is cover stock ie: 20" x 26" basis size

      It's hard to know what the basis size is for your HP matte paper, most likely 25" by 38".

      The European system is much simpler, GSM or grams per square meter.

      http://www.sizes.com/materls/paperPrintingUS.htm

      •  I was waiting (none)
        for someone else to point this out.  This is true.  But even a layman can compare cardstock, which the law is calling for from standard laser printer paper.

        If the paper is really questionable any paper supply house can do a quick test for you with just a page sample.   Well any should, you might have to try a couple before you find someone that is more than just a clerk.  Basically you want someplace that deals with offset press houses or foil stamping outfits.  I've had this done myself in the past for my work.

        The one big thing about this is that in the US, the standards are rotten.  Some shops are metric, others are imperial.  The weights for 'normal' printers are not in correspondence with those in use in professional houses.  Etc.  Don't make this is a study, it will make fonts and kerning seem like learning to count to 5.  

        My end opinion.  Could the SOS have sent out technically illegal registration forms?  Yes.  Should we worry about it?  No.  It clouds the field.  Our argument is that they are violating peoples right to vote by federal code.

        •  yes, but (none)
          But Blackwell has done a number of crazy things this election. As Secretary of State he's supposed to be unbiased, but lately he's been about as flagrantly biased as he can get away with.

          The Libertarian Party's lawsuit to get on the ballot is a fair example - they would probably draw votes from Blackwell's party, so they were unjustly screwed by a tiny technical change in the petition they circulated to get their party on the ballot. This change had in fact been approved by the previous SoS, but Blackwell rejected it for purely political reasons.

          A lot of people want him out, and after paying attention to what he's been doing I'm shocked too. I'm all in favor of naming and shaming him for abusing his position to play dirty politics.

          •  I agree with you (none)
            Blackwell is trying to set it up, so that he can just walk into the governors mansion.  We need to bring fire to bear on him.  My only point was that the possibility of him sending out bad forms should not be the issue.   The fundamental violation of federal regulations for voter rights is the more salient point and doesn't lend itself to being made fun of as easily.
      •  okay (none)
        First of all, I fully admit that I'm a layman. :-) So let me fill you in on some more details and see if you can conclusively contradict me.

        In both samples the paper is 8.5" by 11". The 36lb HP paper is definitely bond grade, since the package is labeled as such.

        The VRF paper has no identifying watermarks that I can see, but it's the same size and feels identical in texture and flexibility. All of these lead me to think it's also bond grade. The only differences that I can see are the color -- the HP matte paper is a more pristine white, the VRFs a more typical off-white -- and the grain, which is along the long axis in the matte paper vs along the short axis in the VRFs (since it was meant to be folded over and mailed).

        Previously I mentioned that I stacked 20 together. Just for kicks I stacked a total of 50, and they were still the same height as closely as I can tell - down to much less than a millimeter. Which would seem to imply that the two samples are nearly the same thickness, to within about a 2-3% tolerance.

        So that's thickness. What about weight?

        Following the table that you linked to, the 36lb bond paper is 135.4 GSM. In order to get within even 10% of that, my math says that the supposed 80lb forms would have to be either 80lb tag stock (118.4 GSM) or 80lb index stock (144.6 GSM).

        Neither of those is particularly close to the known quantity of 135.4 GSM for the other paper. Given that they are the same thickness, it seems like this could only be accounted for by a change in density. Please do correct me if I'm wrong, but my guess is that if you varied the density of the paper by 10% it would feel noticeably different.

        And remember, they are both 8.5"x11". Would the paper only come in the basis size and be cut later, or do you commonly find tag or index stock at 8.5"x11" and used for forms? Would tag or index stock in fact ever be used to print that size sheet?

        •  More on paper than anyone needs to know (none)
          And remember, they are both 8.5"x11". Would the paper only come in the basis size and be cut later, or do you commonly find tag or index stock at 8.5"x11" and used for forms? Would tag or index stock in fact ever be used to print that size sheet?

          Basis size is the size of the parent (or mill) sheet. Think about it, paper mills don't churn out teeny little sheets of paper, they make big sheets. Sizes like 8.5" x 11", 8.5" x 14" and 11" x 17" are always cut sheets, cut from larger sheets.

          Different processes to make different types of paper have evolved so that the parent sizes are tuned for the most likely final use. 17" x 22" = 4 of 8.5" x 11" and so on.

          Also, to confuse the issue even more, coated paper (which your HP matte paper almost certainly is) is much heavier than uncoated paper. The coating is usually a form of clay. 80# coated text is actually quite thin paper, about the thickness of a sheet of 24# bond paper.

        •  Speculating (none)
          Would the paper only come in the basis size and be cut later, or do you commonly find tag or index stock at 8.5"x11" and used for forms? Would tag or index stock in fact ever be used to print that size sheet?

          When I worked at a small commercial printer we printed on 8.5x11 stock for business cards all the time. I can't say for sure whether we got it in 17x22 sheets and then cut it down before we ran it through the small presses, but I would guess that it would be offered at 8.5x11 simply because it would be convenient to order stock that size for those small 500 qty busness card runs on those small presses.

          "You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow." - Pirsig

          by conceptual continuity on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:50:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Election protection (none)
    I contacted the people at ElectionProtection2004 which is closely associated with People for the American Way Foundation.  They were not aware of this and seemed interested.  I sent them the link to the Dayton Daily News pdf as well as to the Kos diary on the topic.  

    Their numbers are:
    1-866-OUR-VOTE (this asks for a zip code and presumably links to a local ElectionProtection representative.

    1-202-223-6607 (This is the number for their main office).

    •  DON'T SEND LINKS (none)
      Access the story and email it.
      •  I contacted a long term friend of mine (none)
        with extensive contacts in the ACLU and NAACP.  He wrote back that he had not heard about the story.  He also said he was involved in a coalition of groups who were working to address these kinds of "underhanded tactics."  He was non-committal, but the use of the term "underhanded" suggested to me he would pursue this.

        The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

        by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:07:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm compiling emails and phone numbers (none)
    I'm putting together a contact list, will post in a few moments, if you have suggestions post them.
  •  Glad I don't have to deal with Registration... (none)
    Stories like this make me glad that I don't have to register to vote.  We here in North Dakota still haven't gotten around to adopting such a system.  We just show up, show proof of residence, and vote. Things like this make me wonder if same day registration at the polls (such as in Minnesota) or no registration at all, make more sense, in enfranchising more folks to vote.  Unfortunately, the political reality is, the Republicans would probably resist such common sense, for exactly that reason, while making arguments that registration at some point before the election cuts down on fraud.  Hopefully people will be so angered by this, it will force them to accept the already submitted registration applications.
  •  Update (none)
    This isn't Blackwell's only effort to suppress votes.

    More hurdles from Katherine Blackwell:

    Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell recently issued a directive to county election officials saying they are allowed to count provisional ballots only from voters who go to the correct polling location.

    Provisional voting allows properly registered voters to cast ballots even when their names don't appear on registration rolls. This could happen if they moved or were somehow else left off.

  •  Contact Information (4.00)
    (Summarized from posts above mostly)

    * Blackwell contact numbers *

     J. Kenneth Blackwell (R)
     180 E. Broad St., 15th Floor
     Columbus, OH 43215

     E-Mail: blackwell@sos.state.oh.us

    General Office: 614-466-3910
    Ken Blackwell's administrative assistant: 614-466-2655

    Blackwell campaign contact info:
    Ohioans for Blackwell
    211 S. Fifth St.
    Columbus, OH 43215
    p/614.221.8552
    f/614.224.3983
    e/info@kenblackwell.com]

    * National News Media - general feedback *

    ABC
    http://www.abcnews.go.com/service/Help/abcmail_news.html

    CNN
    http://www.cnn.com/feedback/cnntv/

    CBS
    http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/feedback/fb_news_form.shtml

    NBC
    email to: World@MSNBC.com

    PBS
    newshour@pbs.org

    New York Times: Bob Herbert
    bobherb@nytimes.com

    * Ohio Secretary of State (SOS) *

    web:
    http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/extra/contacts.htm

    Elections questions or comments:
    email: election@sos.state.oh.us
    call: 614-466-2585

    SOS Press and media office: 614-752-8110
    SOS Elections division: 614-466-2585

    * Ohio Press Contacts *

    Links to many Ohio papers
     http://www.usnpl.com/ohnews.html

    Cleveland Plain Dealer
     http://www.cleveland.com/plaindealer/lettertoeditor.ssf

     

    •  More email addresses of the media (none)
      to send your complaints to, as I have done, together with a link to this discussion:

      talk@talkingpointsmemo.com>, <altercationmsnbc@aol.com>, <woodwardb@washpost.com>, <abramowitz@washpost.com>, <hadarm@washpost.com>, <kingc@washpost.com>, <leenj@washpost.com>, <marcusr@washpost.com>, <letters@washpost.com>,<weismanj@washpost.com>, <waxmans@washpost.com>, <leducd@washpost.com>, <morses@washpost.com>, <balzd@washpost.com>, <ombudsman@washpost.com>, <howardfineman@aol.com>, <mtp@nbc.com>, <neal.shapiro@nbc.com>, <mark.effron@msnbc.com>, <Erik.Sorenson@msnbc.com>, <world@msnbc.com>, <letters@MSNBC.com>, <TWIP@msnbc.com>, <steve.johnson@msnbc.com>, <gary.sheffer@corporate.ge.com>, <louise.binns@corporate.ge.com>, <alex.constantinople@corporate.ge.com>, <Editors@newsweek.com>, <pr@ap.org>, <chaswell@ap.org>, <jp.editorial@reuters.com>, <hiroshi.nakanishi@reuters.com>, <koichi.nakasaki@reuters.com>, <morning@npr.org>, <moneyline@cnn.com>, <CNN@cnn.com>, <cnnmoney@money.com>, <WBlitzer.Reports@turner.com>, <2020@abcnews.com>, <newshour@pbs.org>, <oreilly@foxnews.com>, <project@newamericancentury.org>, <nswezey@weeklystandard.com>, <dhastert@mail.house.gov>, <bill.schneider@turner.com>, <Kudlow-Cramer@CNBC.com>, <pincusw@washpost.com>, <ted.koppel@abc.com>, <fsbaker@ap.org>, <rfournier@ap.org>, <dsecrest@ajc.com>, <dkeil@bloomberg.net>, <rmeszoly@bloomberg.net>, <jacoby@globe.com>, <john_carey@businessweek.com>, <evening@cbsnews.com>, <charlierose@pbs.org>, <wolf@cnn.com>, <crossfire@cnn.com>, <drudge@drudgereport.com>, <brit.hume@foxnews.com>, <dabrahms@gns.gannett.com>, <cragg.hines@chron.com>, <dgoldstein@krwashington.com>,
       <hardball@msnbc.com> , <countdown@msnbc.com>,
       <politicalunit@abcnews.com>,
       <FirstRead@msnbc.com>

      The dubiety principle
      Even though the freepers are dubious about Dubya, they applaud him

      by sersan on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:38:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for this list (none)
        thanks for posting this list. If people use this, make sure you send it BCC so it isn't quite so obvious that it's a bulk email.

        (for that matter it's good policy generally to send group emails bcc so email harvesting programs can't snarf all the emails if your email gets posted somewhere).

  •  Voting Rights Act of 1971 (4.00)
    No person acting under color of law shall . . . deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election.
  •  Background info summary (none)
    (summarized from posts above)

    * News stories and background reference info *

    dailyKOS thread
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/27/112229/106

    Dayton Daily News Story - 2 sources:
    http://www.daytonforkerry.com/Blackwell.pdf

    https://www.daytondailynews.com/localnews/userreg/ursignup/login_signup_init.jsp?UrUsecase=800100&am p;am p;SendBackURL=%2Flocalnews%2Fcontent%2Flocalnews%2Fdaily%2F0924registration.html

    Ohio News Now Story about revoking provisional voting
    http://www.onnnews.com/Global/story.asp?S=2351070&nav=LQlCRKYK

    Blackwell Office FAQ about voting where he shows himself to be a hypocrite:
    http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/voter/index.html

    * Sample Letters *
    See  DCDemocrat and ultrageek above

    ** More Ohio papers *
    Plain Dealer Reporter
    MARK NAYMIK" <MNAYMIK@plaind.com> (NOTE: See Ottoe post for background info)

  •  Is anyone getting feedback... (none)
    from anybody on this?  The Kerry campaign?  The media?

    The most merciful thing in the world . . . is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. H. P. Lovecraft

    by Cheez Whiz on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:03:28 PM PDT

  •  Comment Letter to News Orgs (none)
    There's a major scandal developing on how the Republican Ohio Secretary of State is trying to disenfranchise voters by suddenly insisting on enforcing a rule on the paper weight of the reg forms (no kidding!)

    dailyKos thread:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/27/112229/106

    Dayton Daily News Story:
    http://www.daytonforkerry.com/Blackwell.pdf

    There's a pattern developing here: Republican's trying to corrupt the voting process: first in Florida and now we discover, in many states.

  •  Contact the Boards of Election (none)
    Tell them to follow Cuyahoga County's lead and ingore Blackwell's partisan, antidemocratic actions:

    FRANKLIN  COUNTY
    280 E. Broad St., 1st floor
    Columbus, OH 43215-4572
    Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
    Telephone: (614) 462-3100 / Fax: (614) 462-3489
    Email: boe@co.franklin.oh.us
    Web site: www.co.franklin.oh.us/boe
    DIRECTOR
    Matthew Damschroder   REP    
    DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    Michael R. Hackett   DEM

    MONTGOMERY COUNTY
    451 W. Third St.
    PO Box 8705
    Dayton, OH 45481-8705
    Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
    Telephone: (937) 225-5656 / Fax: (937) 496-7798
    Email: mcboe@montcnty.org
    Web site: www.mcboe.org/
    DIRECTOR
    Christopher Heizer   REP    
    DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    Steven P. Harsman   DEM

    SUMMIT COUNTY
    470 Grant St.
    Akron, OH 44311-1157
    Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
    Telephone: (330) 643-5200 / Fax: (330) 643-5422
    Email: summit@sos.state.oh.us
    Web site: www.electionsonthe.net/oh/summit/
    DIRECTOR
    Bryan C. Williams   REP    
    DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    John N. Schmidt   DEM

    LUCAS COUNTY
    One Government Center, Suite 300
    Toledo, OH 43604-2250
    Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
    Telephone: (419) 213-4001 / Fax: (419) 213-4069 or (419) 213-4092
    Email: lucas@sos.state.oh.us
    Web site: co.lucas.oh.us/
    DIRECTOR
    Paula Hicks-Hudson   DEM    
    DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    Jill B. Kelly REP

    MAHONING COUNTY
    2801 Market St.
    Youngstown, OH 44507
    Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
    Telephone: (330) 783-2474 / Fax: (330) 783-2801
    Email: sciortino@cboss.com
    Web site: www.electionohio.com/mahoning/
    DIRECTOR
    Michael V. Sciortino    DEM    
    DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    Thomas P. McCabe   REP

    LORAIN COUNTY
    (Main Office)
    115 Cedar St., Elyria, OH 44035
    Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
    Telephone: (440) 326-5900 or 5901 / Fax: (440) 326-5931
    and
    2158 Broadway, Lorain, OH 44052
    Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)
    Telephone: (440) 244-3186 / Fax: (440) 244-5609
    Email: lorain@sos.state.oh.us
    Web site: lorainboe.erienet.net
    DIRECTOR
    Marilyn A. Jacobcik   REP
    DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    Kenneth D. Kelleher   DEM

    Other Ohio Boards of Election.  The above were the most populous and most pro-Gore in 2000.  The others deserve to be contacted as well, but these especially, since they probably represent the Kerry's base in 2004.

    •  Boards of Election are resisting (none)
      According to this post at MyDD, Franklin County is "resisting" the order from the Secretary of State.

      That makes two of the state's most Democratic counties.  Email the rest.

      •  Second that.... (none)
        That was my post; I'm glad someone over here is taking an interest, considering how much bigger this community is than MyDD.  I've sent the following form letter to every county BoE in Ohio (nine of the addresses were invalid, though):

        Dear [director and deputy director, e.g. Mss. Prots and Shook in Williams County],
            I am writing to request that you resist the unlawful and un-American effort by Secretary of State Blackwell to suppress voter turnout by strictly enforcing a requirement that Ohio voter registration cards be printed on thick, 80-pound stock paper.  This is a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1971 (42 U.S.C. 1971), which states, "No person acting under color of law shall . . . deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election."  Blackwell's action is strongly reminiscent of the Jim Crow laws Southern segregationist Democrats used to deter blacks from voting, such as poll taxes and literacy tests -- the very laws that the Voting Rights Act was specifically designed to strike down.  Ohio, and especially the Ohio Republican Party, are better than this; Senator Robert Taft Jr. was one of the strongest backers of the Voting Rights Act.  I hope that you will not allow the stain of such antidemocratic practices to tarnish your state's proud legacy.
        Sincerely,
        J. Alexander Harman

        I think we need more people hitting the BoEs; if they know that what Blackwell's doing is illegal, and that the nation is watching, they may be more likely to ignore his directive.
        Later,
        Alex

      •  Add Summit and Stark (none)
        Notes from each.  From Stark:

        Thank you for your email regarding paperweight of voter registration forms.  Please be advised that the Stark County Board of Elections does not reject any registration form based on the weight of the paper.

        From Summit:

        All weights of paper registrations are being processed by Summit County.

        So, that's Cuyahoga, Franklin, Summit, and Stark.

  •  For what it's worth (none)
    I forwarded the story to the US Department of Justice along with the Code and text of the law being violated. I'm not holding my breath.
  •  Another Ohio Screw-up (none)
    CINCINNATI - A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Gov. Bob Taft should have ordered a special election to fill the vacancy created when James A. Traficant Jr. was kicked out of Congress for a bribery and racketeering conviction.

    The Constitution requires special elections when a seat becomes open during a congressional term, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) said in a 2-1 ruling.

    Traficant was expelled from Congress in July 2002 after his conviction, but his seat was left empty until after the November election. He is serving an eight-year prison sentence.

    Taft decided it was not worth the expense or possible voter confusion to hold a special election for a new lawmaker who could end up serving just a few weeks. He was challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites).

    The decision sends the case back to U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus Jr. to calculate attorneys' fees due to the ACLU.

    Traficant tried to regain his seat from prison as an independent; Democrat Tim Ryan won the election.

  •  i spoke with some folks working around this... (none)
    and they say that the bigger deal is the provisional ballots issue.

    this means that Blackwell is going to try to throw away provisional ballots not cast in the right polling place.

    this is a gigantic threat. please make sure folks are aware of this.

  •  I had a feeling (none)
    I've had a feeling that Ohio would be this year's Florida, because we've all been focused on Florida and because Ohio is probably going to be closer this time that Fla. This confirms my suspicion.

    We haven't heard the last of the fun and games from that state.

  •  Is tarring and feathering still an acceptable way (none)
    to deal with corrupt fascist scum like Ken Blackwell?  Just asking.  

    And, where are Kerry's lawyers?

    "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

    by LionelEHutz on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:54:09 PM PDT

  •  Looks like (none)
    The Dayton Daily News site is down. Possibly due to all the traffic, ya think?

    My dissent ensures your democracy.

    by Worship Your Toaster on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:57:18 PM PDT

    •  my e-mail to Blackwell in Ohio..... (none)
      Re:  80-lb. paper stock, voter registration

      Mr. Blackwell,

      I notice your efforts to exclude some voters on the basis of an obscure rule relating to 80 lb. paper weight in your state of Ohio.  It is my observation that Democrats are doing everything they can to maximize voter participation in the coming election, while Republicans in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere are doing all they can to minimize voter participation.   You might give some consideration to what that says about your party.

      Regards,

      Peter Jung

  •  This is a very frustrating thread (none)
    This is an outrageous attempt by the Ohio SOS to disenfranchise thousands, and it makes me sick to my stomach.  Dozens of people here at dKos have sent this information off to the Kerry campaign, the DNC, the media, DOJ, various advocacy groups, and that is great, but has anyone received or heard of any feedback?  What happens next?  Whose court is this ball in?
    •  My guess is that this story is mammoth, (none)
      a really important bombshell.  We need to be as all over this as the Freepers were all over CBS.  They will pick it up because we will contact every media source and civil right group in the country till this is rectified.

      The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

      by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:33:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Could Jimmy Carter look into Ohio? (none)
    Jimmy Carter wrote a great op-ed in the Washington Post on the election problems in Florida. Maybe he could look into the problems in Ohio as well.

    Geek Girl
    •  I wonder if anyone knows (none)
      how to write President Carter about this story.

      The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

      by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:35:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Carter center (none)
        Maybe we should contact the Carter Center.  I don't have much tme to check out contact information right now, but was able to get this FAX # from their website: 404-420-5145.
        •  I just wrote and faxed this (none)
          Dear Mr. President:

          The web blog, http://www.dailykos.com, today features a very disturbing story that one blogger uncovered in a local Ohio paper concerning the Secretary of State of Ohio having disenfranchised thousands of Ohio voters because they used a voter registration form that was not sufficiently heavy to meet the state's requirement that forms be printed on 80 lb. paper.  The story, take from the Dayton Daily News, may be found at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/27/112229/106.  As the result of this technicality, many thousands of Ohioans may be denied an opportunity to vote in November.

          42 U.S.C. 1971 states, "No person acting under color of law shall . . . deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election."  Your prestige in this country is nonpareil.  I am pleading for your wise and true voice to come to the aid of these powerless Americans.  

          I have attached the first page of the blog.  Thank you for considering this appeal.

          The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

          by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:04:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Other Ohio Voter Registration Fraud (none)
    Ohio Voter Registration Fraud Case Largest In Recent Years

    Reported by: A.P.
    Web produced by: Neil Relyea
    Photographed by: 9News
    9/23/04 11:02:06 PM

    Ohio's election enforcement agency says today it's investigating what could be one of the largest voter registration frauds in recent years.

    The Summit County elections board has received 803 voter-registration cards, many with phony addresses, over the past two months.

    A spokesman for Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell says fraud involving such a large number of registration cards occurs from time to time, but is very rare.

    Officials say there have been "maybe one or two" felony prosecutions for such fraud in Ohio in recent years.

    Elections officials in Lake County are also investigating possible fraud after some registrations submitted by advocacy groups were questioned.

    http://www.wcpo.com/news/2004/local/09/23/voterfraud.html

    It is an American value to care for each other.
    Vote Kerry/Edwards on November 2nd, to bring our soldiers home safely.

    by Daemmern on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:34:47 PM PDT

    •  You know what this story smells like to me (none)
      It smells like the way Republicans like to deflect attention from their own bad behavior by cooking up some dirty story that throws mud at the Democrats.  Don't let 'em do it.  We need to be as focused on this as they would be.

      The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

      by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:39:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't bother writing to Blackwell (none)
    Focus on the US Attorney, media, blogs and voting rights groups.
  •  What else can you expect... (none)
    ...from a party that counts as a member Donald Rumsfeld, who recently said that it was just dandy with him if only 3/4 or 4/5 of Iraqis voted in their (supposedly) upcoming election.
  •  Dirty tricks. (none)
    As soon as I read this, I called the Summit County Board of elections to make sure I was registered (I registered a few weeks ago and have yet to recieve anything in the mail).

    Fortunately, I am registered and they let me know where to vote at. But I fear for those who have been screwed over.

    The republicans are so desperate to hold onto power, they are fighting tooth and nail against the population's resistance to oust them from government. Pathetic and frightening at the same time.

    Just remember: "Bush Is A Miserable Failure and John Kerry Has An Optimistic Plan For a Better America." We will win. K: 281, B: 257

    by gonzo on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:40:24 PM PDT

    •  Ohio, Voting, Blackwell (none)
      The more I think about this, it looks like another case of GOP shortsightedness and stupidity.  First, Blackwell's directive is likely to piss off a lot of voters both inside and outside of Ohio, and may in fact provoke an even more vigorous registration/voting drive from the Democrats.  Second, his action allows the D's to position themselves as the party of maximum inclusiveness, and leaves the R's looking like mean-spirited partisans.  

      It's quite likely that there will be multiple lawsuits in various states after this hotly-contested election is over, and the R's may find themselves in a situation where THEY are the ones arguing for the broadest and most inclusive application of the voting laws in some cases.

      •  From your keyboard to God's monitor. (none)
        You are a born optimist aren't you? Maybe what you're saying will happen, but not without tons of publicity, which hasn't happened yet.  

        So far this story has been in the blogs (today) and in a small newspaper where no one paid any attention.

        •  Keep on it. (none)
          The Freepers wouldn't let go of CBS, and we sure the hell won't let go of the disenfrashisement of thousands of Americans in a transparent power grab by the Republicans.

          The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

          by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:03:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  MORE OHIO PROBLEMS - provisional ballots (none)
    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/09/26/loc_provisional26.html

    Sunday, September 26, 2004
    Training key part of valid balloting
    Provisional voting problem to some

    The Associated Press

    COLUMBUS - Provisional ballots could be the hanging chads of the 2004 presidential election, say critics of Ohio's guidelines for handling those votes.

    Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell recently issued a directive to county election officials saying they are allowed to count provisional ballots only from voters who go to the correct polling location for their home address.

    Blackwell has ordered that if residents go to the wrong precinct, poll workers must find their correct precinct and tell them where to go, Blackwell's spokesman Carlo LoParo said. They also may cast provisional ballots at their county election board.

    Provisional voting allows properly registered voters to cast ballots even when their names don't appear on registration rolls because they moved or they were left off.

    "It has a potential of being a very big issue, and how we train and how we prepare for it will dictate how we handle the situation," said Michael Sciortino, president of the Ohio Association of Election Officials and director of the Mahoning County elections board.

    The key will be educating poll workers and voters before the election about the process, Sciortino said.

    The Ohio Voter Protection Project, a coalition of voting-rights groups, is considering a lawsuit to challenge Blackwell's directive before the Nov. 2 election, project attorney Sean Grayson said.

    Similar lawsuits have been filed in Colorado and Missouri. A lawsuit in Florida was rejected this week.

    Ohio is one of 29 states that will not count provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, said Dan Seligson, editor of electionline.org, a nonpartisan Web site covering voting procedures.

    Ohio has had provisional balloting for more than a decade, mostly to accommodate residents who moved but did not update their voter registration. Such ballots are not counted for 10 days while election workers verify voter eligibility.

    But after election problems were magnified by the close 2000 presidential race - including eligible voters wrongly being turned away from the polls - Congress passed the Help America Vote Act in 2002.

    Part of that act requires states that did not have provisional voting to adopt it for voters who believe they are properly registered. That allows their vote to be counted if eligibility is confirmed later.

    Critics argue that on a busy Election Day with potentially long lines, harried poll workers may not follow through or voters may not have the time or transportation to go elsewhere.

    It is an American value to care for each other.
    Vote Kerry/Edwards on November 2nd, to bring our soldiers home safely.

    by Daemmern on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 01:46:56 PM PDT

    •  this is the problem, gang. (none)
      the weight issue is terrible, agreed, but this , the provisional ballot problem, is gigantic.

      anyone have any ideas about how best to help the folks working to make sure provisional ballots count?

    •  JFK -- Declare Nov. 2 a National Voting Holiday (none)
      "Critics argue that on a busy Election Day with potentially long lines, harried poll workers may not follow through or voters may not have the time or transportation to go elsewhere."

      Kerry's site should print up a pdf which says:

      "I hereby grant ___ permission to take November 2 off from work for the purposes of voting, monitoring and administering a proper and legal vote, and assisting those otherwise unable to do so to get to their polling stations and cast their votes.

      Sincerely,
      John Kerry

  •  goose and gander (1.25)
    If Democrats insist that Ralph Nader be held to "the letter of the law," however antidemocratic that law may be, then why not everyone else? See http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2004/9/27/05714/7007/16#16 .
    •  There's a big difference between the situations. (none)
      Weren't Nader's signature gatherers violating then law by getting fraudulent signatures?  

      Here, people registered to vote based on one set of rules, then, the rules are changed a few days before the registration deadline.

      Nader knew what the rules were going in, they were not changed, and he just decided that the rules didn't apply to him.  

      "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

      by LionelEHutz on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:41:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, but, (none)
      They aren't the same thing. Blackwell's office is, according to one blogger from Ohio, sending out registration forms that don't meet its own criteria, thus fooling people into thinking they're registered to vote, when their forms are in fact being thrown out. This is in direct violation of the law.

      Nader had fraudulent signatures and didn't meet filing deadlines.

      I see a big difference between the two.

      My dissent ensures your democracy.

      by Worship Your Toaster on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 05:21:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  goose and gander (none)
        The similarity is that both problems are caused by an electoral system in which both ballot and voter access are controlled by the very people whose interest is to discourage challengers.

        If you believe your quote that "my dissent ensures your democracy," then you must see the antidemocratic urge behind making sure unjust laws are enforced against Nader (but not against the Republicans who filed a day late in Florida).

  •  Under Help Americans Vote Act (none)
    don't they have to accept these people as registered ? In CA there's a ballot receipt people should retain, and bring it with them to show if their right to vote is challenged.

    Don't they have to be allowed to vote a provisional ballot, at least ?

    Where are our Dem lawyers who should be in place to deal with this mess ?

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:02:16 PM PDT

  •  the actual directive (none)
    I'm not sure that this is such a major issue.  It says that FEC forms downloaded can be printed on regular paper.  Besides downloading and printing and the PD thing, can someone give examples of what kind of registrations forms would be at issue?

    DIRECTIVE NO. 2004-31
    September 7, 2004

    TO: ALL COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS
    Members, Directors and Deputy Directors

    I. VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS - LINE 1 AND 2
    In accordance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the Ohio voter registration form was revised to meet the new federal requirements, which included adding the following questions that the applicant must answer affirmatively in order for the form to be processed:

    1. Are you a U.S. citizen? Yes No
    2. Will you be 18 years of age on or before the next general election? Yes No

    The prescribed form also contains the following affirmation:
    "I declare under penalty of election falsification I am a citizen of the United States, will have lived in this state for 30 days immediately preceding the next election, and I will be at least 18 years of age at the time of the general election."

    The Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) recently issued an opinion that a state may choose to honor the affirmation of citizenship and age, even if the applicant did not check the "yes" boxes for questions 1 and 2. Therefore, I am instructing county boards of elections to accept otherwise valid voter registration applications even if the applicants did not check the "yes" boxes. Please inform all staff processing voter registrations of this important change of instructions.

    II. VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS - PAPERWEIGHT

    We have received numerous questions concerning the paperweight of the Ohio voter registration form. The form prescribed by the Secretary of State must be printed on white, uncoated paper of not less than 80 lb. text weight. Any Ohio form not printed on this minimum paperweight is considered to be an application for a registration form. Your board should mail the appropriate form to the person listed on the application.

    However, this office cannot dictate the paperweight of the federally prescribed voter registrations forms: the on-line Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and the "national" form prescribed by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). Both of those forms may be printed on regular weight (e.g. 20 lb) white paper.

    If you have any questions on this directive, please call my Elections Division at 614-466-2585.

    Sincerely,

    J. Kenneth Blackwell

    •  Yes, but it also says that (none)
      the Ohio forms have to be a certain weight, and that is the problem this diary addresses.  Other posts acknowledge that FEC registrations do not require the state weight.  This comment suggests the special irony of this directive.

      The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

      by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:14:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Plus, the directive comes (none)
        just a few short days before the end of voter registration, so the county offices do not have time to comply with the order in time for the November election.

        The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

        by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:15:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  paper weight (none)
          I understand that there is the appearance of a problem here.. but I haven't seen anyone post about actual registration forms that may be on underweight paper.. (the post you cited is also discounted in the replies as to his assumption's about paper weight.) The state office has already made an exception for the Plain Dealer newsprint registrations, and any forms downloaded from the FEC should be ok too.  I'm just trying to find out from what source would people obtain registrations forms that do not meet the requirements.   I've been doing some registations down here in NC and the Demo Party hands out forms printed on cardstock.
        •  not quite (none)
          Blackwell's directive was originally sent out in mid-December 2003 for all new voter registrations commencing January 1, 2004.

          I know this information is new to lots of folks here but many Ohio activists have been fighting this fight for the past 9 months.

          Just adding a little perspective and context. Not trying to rain on anybody's parade. Thanks for caring enough to bolster the voting rights patriots back home in Ohio.

          Let's Party! Let's Win! KosDozen National House Party October 2, 7-9pm local time.

          by em dash on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:03:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What happened on Sept. 7? (none)
            How did that order change things?
            •  not sure (none)
              I'm not in Ohio anymore and haven't kept up. Perhaps the memo was a 30-day reminder to the County BOEs before the registration deadline.

              This issue has been pretty well dealt with by ACT and others conducting voter reg by simply conforming to the paper weight requirement. IIRC, when Blackwell was first called on it back in December when the original memo was circulated that his office completely blamed it on obscure HAVA regs from the Feds. This was when the Cuyahoga County BOE was attempting to get clarification about the validity of the new voters registering on the clip-out form printed in the Plain Dealer. I was doing a lot of hanging around the BOEs during the primary and heard a lot of dirt from the elections staff.

              Let's Party! Let's Win! KosDozen National House Party October 2, 7-9pm local time.

              by em dash on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:03:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If it has been "pretty well delt with." (none)
                How come hundreds in Dayton will be disqualified?
                •  dunno (none)
                  Frankly, it sounds like the article is unknowingly advancing some agendas.

                  Dayton is not exactly the hotbed of Democratic activism, though God love 'em they're trying. That the LOWV chair claims to have not known about the paper requirement is ludicrous. Blackwell's original directive was sent out in mid-December and was there was plenty of teeth-gnashing and hand-wringing about it in the political activist community.

                  The piece in the story about the Cuyahoga County BOE ignoring the memo is patently false. CCBOE Director Michael Vu was on the phone asking for clarification from the get-go. I personally talked to the elections board staffers who were freaking out that they would have to return thousands of voter reg forms that were clipped out of the newspaper to request duplicates on the "SOS-approved" weighted stock forms. As I understand it, Cuyahoga Co struck a deal with the SOS to accept the newsprint version.

                  Keep in mind that the proof of residency and identity requirements were also newly instituted at the same time so there was quite a bit of discussion about adapting previous voter reg strategies to the new reqs. And, NO self respecting Dem trusts Ken Blackwell. So there was a lots of discussion about HAVA.

                  That this story is breaking 9 months after the fact is really, really suspect. My 5-cent analysis, take it for what it's worth, is some voter reg group in Dayton screwed up and didn't follow the original directive. They now risk having their new voters decertified by the Montgomery Co BOE so they're raising a stink.

                  Just so I'm clear, I am not in any way defending the vile Ken Blackwell. He's an absolute snake and doesn't deserve the privilege of representing the voters of the great state of Ohio. But I'm smelling something awfully fishy here and it ain't necessary emanating solely from the SOS office.

                  Let's Party! Let's Win! KosDozen National House Party October 2, 7-9pm local time.

                  by em dash on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 05:31:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The reason I posted this morning is that (none)
                    it was news to me, awareness has kept this story down.

                    As for your point that the activist groups having addressed this issue already, not everyone is connected to that network.  Countless people are working on their own, or in unknown groups to get things done.  

                    There is no reason for the rule, so there should be no reason for its enforcement. The sole reason for enforcement is to limit the number of new registrants, that does not serve legitimate public policy in a democracy.  We know that because the stated reasons for enforcement are laughable.

                    •  you are absolutely right (none)
                      As for your point that the activist groups having addressed this issue already, not everyone is connected to that network.  Countless people are working on their own, or in unknown groups to get things done.

                      However, in an election this crucial, ignorance of the law (that hopefully, but not as of yet, will be proven unconstitutional in a court) is no excuse.

                      I hope this problem gets resolved and the folks who believe they are registered are afforded their full voting rights and privileges.

                      Trust me, there are actually bigger county BOE issues brewing right now in Ohio. I am not at liberty to discuss it but the information is in the right hands and it will be explosive.

                      Let's Party! Let's Win! KosDozen National House Party October 2, 7-9pm local time.

                      by em dash on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:51:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, for one thing they're not really white (none)
      At least the ones I've got for Franklin County aren't. They're more of an ivory/bone color, and they're not that heavy- much closer to the feel of archival weight cotton bond than card-stock.

      You must use the HAVA compliant, official (right kind of paper) form with either the SOS office's mailing address or your own county's mailing address pre-printed on it. It's a full sheet with printing on both sides that you fold over and seal before mailing.  

      Yes, you can download a standard HAVA compliant federal form online to use instead, but many people who register don't know this and still have no access to the internet. I've also been worried about this right form stuff coming back to haunt us, so I've been urging people to use the official, heavy paper forms instead of anything else. What's to stop a county BOE from rejecting ANY form on the wrong paper under this rule, with no real way to tell until voters get to the polls? The SOS office issues the guidance, but BOEs can be petty fiefdoms, making their own decisions (like the one that Cuyahoga County has made).  

      Anybody can do voter registration here, so long as the right form is filled out correctly and it gets to the Board of Elections. There are so many people out trying to help others get registered, I suspect it's been a challenge to keep the forms available to all the canvassers all the time. Any overworked, enthusiastic volunteer would be tempted to run off copies, especially if they're distributing them en masse at an event for later use, instead of doing the registration on the spot. Copies made of any official county or SOS form on standard copy paper would not be valid under a strict construction of state law.  

  •  a way to help (none)
    i am setting up a simple site ( http://www.stopblackwell.com ) , specifically around getting the word out / raising money for this. if you are interested in getting active around this issue, please email me at sharif@anattempt.org . ( make sure to put "stop blackwell" in the subject header )
  •  This kind of BS (none)
    is worthy of Vladimir Putin.  But after all, GWB claimed to look into Putin's soul, so maybe he picked up a few tricks during their bonding session.
  •  Blackwell and the Libertarians (none)
    The Ohio LP is already in court against Blackwell over his denial of the Party's petitions for Ballot Status, presumably because he doesn;t want to face them in his '06 Governor's bid.

    LP Pres Candidate Michael Badnarik qualified seperately thru the "Independent" route, but will not appear on a seperate Libertarian Party line.

    I imagine they'd be happy to be coplaintiffs in a Paperstock Weightgate action.

    Your Blunder War is showing.

    by ben masel on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:16:41 PM PDT

  •  NJ (1.20)
    Anybody have any idea why friggin NJ is neck and neck? If Kerry can't win NJ he's toast.
      •  Enough with the PC bull-crap.... (none)
        You all have already chased Theoria, and Paper Tigress, how many other free-thinkers do you want to ostracize?

        You haven't done a minutes research here. Blutodog has been here longer than you, and if he expresses some frustrations at the prospect of losing, well so be it!

        So tired of the mindless GroupThink. Go to DU, BFA, or LGF for that matter. To Super-Troll someone for a goddamn opinion is so un-Kossian as not to be believed.

        CT-4 and CT-2! Two New England House races that Dems must win. www.farrellforcongress.com & www.sullivanforcongress.com

        by edwardbanderson on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:26:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Supertroll this guy. (none)
      His posting history makes it clear who and what he is.

      The most merciful thing in the world . . . is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. H. P. Lovecraft

      by Cheez Whiz on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 09:27:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This posting history?? (none)
        "The 1st rule of the schoolyard we all learn is you never back down to a Bully. You stand in their face. Bu$h et al. are all classic schoolyard bullies. No more Mr. Nice guy. We can't run to the teacher or Mommy and cry for help because the cruel bully won't leave us be. We have find the courage to stand up to these thugs or lose our country forever. They (the right) won't be happy till they have some kind of permanent lock on the system. The truth is they HATE democracy."

        CT-4 and CT-2! Two New England House races that Dems must win. www.farrellforcongress.com & www.sullivanforcongress.com

        by edwardbanderson on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:21:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Or this??? (none)
        * [new] Diebold and beyond (none / 1)

        With the GOP push for an all digital voting system the end of the democratic era is at hand. Does anyone think these thugs won't rig elections with the perfect ballot box in their hand? No way to recount no way to detect tampering. In the end we'll see "virtual" elections where like in the old Soviet system those in power pick the winners before the election . You can vote for whomever you want the winner has already been selected. The question in 2004 is how far are we already down this slippery slope? In how many states is a vote for Kerry already a vote for Bush?

        CT-4 and CT-2! Two New England House races that Dems must win. www.farrellforcongress.com & www.sullivanforcongress.com

        by edwardbanderson on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 10:22:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let's Get this organized (none)
    Look -

    We all are upset over this but rather than shooting in the dark at various people, we should have a coordinated effort. Here is who we need to email.

    John Kerry 2004
    ACLU
    NAACP
    AP
    REUTERS

    Someone said they were building a website? It does not have to be fancy for now but we need to get going on this soon. Time is running out!


    •  Absolutely (none)
      I think that the GOoPers are doing this at the end of September means their internals in Ohio show something trending toward bad for Chimp.  They are playing hardball, and the game has innings to go.  This is the foreshadowing of big problems down the road.  Very scary by my lights.

      The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

      by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 02:28:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My contribution: (none)
      I emailed Dennis Kucinich, Mark Dewine of Ohio, Ken Blackwell's office, as well as all the Ohio Board of Elections reps with the following email
      "I am totally shocked by this story - can you please do something to stop preventing newly registered Ohioans from participating in this election.
      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/27/183248/535
      We spill the blood of 1000 American soldiers, squander $200 Billion in military spending to support a quagmire in Iraq supposedly to bring democracy to that country while quashing the voice of democracy in our own - the BLOODY GALL!!!"

      Got back one reply so far from Jeffrey Matthews <JAMatthews@co.stark.oh.us> wrote:
      Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2004 09:33:39 -0400
      From: "Jeffrey Matthews"
      To:
      Subject: RE: Your Blackest of Black Deeds - Kenneth Blackwell

      Thank you for your email regarding paperweight of voter registration
      forms. Please be advised that the Stark County Board of Elections does
      not reject any registration form based on the weight of the paper.

      Jeff Matthews, Director
      Stark County, Ohio Board of Elections"

  •  an appeal for calm (none)
    Before getting too out of hand here, I'd recommend you read the directive I posted above.  I think it a little odd that on the one hand, Blackwell says they will accept forms without the age and citizenship boxes checked.  If he truly wanted to "legally" eliminate valid registrations, like this diary is implying throughout, why not exclude those too?

    I still would like to hear from someone who actually has forms that would not meet the criteria and if so, where they got them from.  

    •  The question really comes down to this (none)
      I think, did the Secretary of State prevent or intend to prevent a voter from voting.  The statement seems clear that he intended a certain class of registrations not to count (whether or not the decision indeed affects any voters.)  The question then is whether this was a careless and thoughtless decision without malevolence, or whether it was a decision intended to disenfranchise people who had expressed a desire to vote.  That remains to be seen.  In any case, by showing this decision the light of day, we may have prevented something, or we may be in a position to prevent something through our knowledge of it.

      The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all--John F. Kennedy

      by DCDemocrat on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:54:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  don't know id someone suggested (none)
    But I have in front of me the editorial in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the registration form included in the paper.(the form itself is of fairly heavy stock, and meant to be filled out, folded over, stamped and mailed like a 'postcard'.

    The editorial and form was provided by Barbra Sones, president of the League Of Women Voters of the Cleveland Area. It would seem to me that they would not have provided an application that wasn't legit, and I'm sure that the Cleveland Plain Dealer- even tho they are rupublican shills- don't want to be used/abused by this Blackwell bullshit.

    I'd recommend contacting the Plain Dealer and the LOWV- Cleveland at 216-781-8376.

  •  Dems need to go to court on this NOW! n/t (none)
  •  Chaos has been legislated (none)
    Problem is, the ballots can be challenged no matter how things turn out. If Bush wins, Democrats can charge that Kerry ballots were illegally discarded because they were on the wrong paper. If Bush loses, Republicans can charge that Kerry ballots were illegally counted even though they were on the wrong paper. Also, you can invert both arguments and they're still legally plausible. It's hard to believe that American democracy has been reduced to such a sad, petty spectacle of legal disenfranchisement. But such is the power of the Supreme Court to do wrong.

    No matter which party wins in 2004, the odds are hot that the election will be thrown to the Supreme Court. (See today's excellent article in The New Republic on this subject, if you're a subscriber.) We're going to get a front-row view of just how badly American democracy was damaged by the Supreme Court's adventurism in 2000, and the country will be riven with conspiracy theories and resentment regardless of the outcome.

    The mere fact that some Ohio election boards are complying with the order and some aren't makes the problem hopelessly intractable, since the Supreme Court invented a mystical right for all ballots to be counted in the same way in 2000. It's a ludicrous proposition, since states and counties are allowed to manage most aspects of their own elections. Constitutionally, it amounts to, "You can make up any rules you want, but if you make up different rules from the other people, the ballots you collect may or not be counted, maybe in accordance with the rules you made up, or maybe not." Thanks for clearing that up, Justice Scalia!

    Now that the legislative branch has been allowed to decide one election, it will never be allowed by either party to remain neutral again. It will take congressional legislation to sort the mess out -- and with both parties holding a massive stake in the outcome, gridlock is likely to delay the process indefinitely. The sad truth is that neither Democrats nor Republicans currently support fair democracy if they feel like it'll cause them to lose. Republicans just don't care about integrity anymore, and Democrats feel that they're forced to fight at the Republican level in order to survive and reverse this crazy course towards fascism. And they may be right.

    Why can't Bush Republicans be satisfied with raping America in the present? Why must they strive to rape our past and future as well?

    We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. - Anaïs Nin

    by Valentine on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:18:46 PM PDT

    •  Correction... (none)
      Make that "Kerry voters were illegally disenfranchised because their registration applications were on the wrong paper," etc. I'm careless and tired. :)

      But I'm pretty sure the central point still stands.

      We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. - Anaïs Nin

      by Valentine on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 03:20:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  AIR AMERICA IS ON IT NOW !!!! (none)
    Sam Seder is giving the phone # & the email address for Blackwell now.

    They are giving all the details, which they doubtless got from dKos, and it's on their blog, too.

    They are in real trouble now !

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 04:36:15 PM PDT

  •  I have several friends in Ohio... (none)
    ...who have just recently registered to vote. Should they send in new registration forms to make sure they are properly registered?
    •  have them call the BOE (none)
      in the county they reside in to confirm their registration. Remind them to bring ID to their assigned polling location on election day and brush up on the provisional ballot rules, just in case.

      As I understand it, Election Protection is organizing a strong presence at targeted polls throughout Ohio to assist disenfranchised voters.

      Let's Party! Let's Win! KosDozen National House Party October 2, 7-9pm local time.

      by em dash on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 07:51:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Call their county BOE (none)
      to see if they are registered. If not I think the deadline is Oct 4. Best to go to the BOE in that case and fill out their form at the counter.

      Bush should get creamed in Cuyahoga county & some of the nearby 'burbs, what with all the new registered voters, assuming turnout. Hopefully we'll make up for any shenanigans in Dayton. But I am suddenly seeing a lot more BC04 signs and stickers...a last desperate push in this area? BC04 just opened an office in University Heights, just next door to reliably liberal Cleveland Heights. I decided to take a different route to work so I don't have to drive past it....

      I still think Ohio is Kerry's to lose.

      "You mean the movie lied?!"

      by pilgrim99 on Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 08:06:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Done and done. (none)
        Thank you, pilgrim and em dash.

        Having just left the area you're talking about in June, I'm really interested in seeing how Ohio goes. I wish I was still there to continue registering voters and whatnot (there's not as much need for GOTV efforts in NYC).

        I'll just keep pumping my Ohio friends full of information, imagine that I can turn my Republican father onto Kerry, and write my letters to New Mexico voters, I suppose.

      •  BC'04? - Didn't get it (none)
        Now just educate me on this - "BC'04" as in 'Before Christ 04'? when Herod still ruled with his sword, before the steam engine and electricity and the Internet and this glorious blog? or "BC" as in "Being Creamed"?
  •  My posts (none)
    U have a problem with them? I'm as the 1 poster said a free thinker and I don't give a damn if I'm called a troll or whatever. I've proved my bonafides by voting for every Dem. Pres. candidate since G. McGovern and I'll do my part to try and get Kerry elected this Nov. Group think is for Stalinist and Rethugs not free people. We can't beat the fascists by emulating them.
  •  Don't take a knife to a gunfight (none)
    After reading the Atlantic article on Karl Rove, I think its time to fight fire with fire. We've all had a good laugh about the hurricanes only hitting Republican districts. But we need to use this, I suggest by cranking rumours in rural Florida linked to Kitty Kelly's book. Of course, God is punishing Florida. They voted to put an abortion procurer (baby killer) in the White House. If you know anyone in Florida, float this idea.
    •  it's not a rumor (none)
      it's true.  the Lord is giving his take.

      if the people of FLA haven't figured it
      out, we need to be delivering the Almighty's
      message.

      People in Florida need to be writing their
      editors.

      I tried after the 3rd Hurricanne, but the
      editors want your address.

  •  Just contacted the Boston Globe (none)
    Called the ombudswoman and told her about the story. She asked me to send it to the political news editor with a note that said that she thought it would interest him. I sent him a note with links to the Dayton News and the Dayton for Kerry PDF page to which it was scanned. As the ombudswoman said, "Good luck!"

    Looking for Kerry fun south or west of Boston?

    by AlanF on Tue Sep 28, 2004 at 07:31:17 AM PDT

  •  if this election is like 2000 (none)
    I anticipate civil war
  •  We win-Blackwell backpedals (none)
    Clarification today: the counties are to register people with whatever comes in, then send out the 80# card stock for the permanent record.  (Pointedly silly, since the "permanent" record is now a scanning of the card.)  We called his bluff.  But keep the pressure on.
    •  How does this make sense? (none)
      Applications that were received undamaged cause them to send out reminders to voters to fill out new cards so that the new cards can be recieved again undamaged.

      This story seems to say that all registrations were accepted regardless of the weight, and that is not what the original order required. Neither is it what Dayton was doing according to the original story.

      It is Orwellian.

      .

      •  It's simple, he's backpeddling (none)
      •  I agree that it doesn't make sense (none)
        Perhaps em dash can shed some further light on it, but I suspect this is what happened.

        Last December Blackwell first issues this insane policy directive.
        Plain Dealer runs an issue with a voter registration card included on newsprint.  Hundreds if not thousands of Cuyahoga County voters mail in the newsprint card.  To avoid truly nasty publicity, Blackwell agrees that Cuyahoga County can accept those cards.  To avoid a possible federal pre-emption argument, Blackwell also concedes that the national voter registration form, which is available on the Internet, can be used on paper other than 80# stock.
        Other than activists like em dash, no one pays much attention.

        This September Blackwell issues a "reminder" to the counties.  Again, no one really notices, until Montgomery County complains.  Did they get a batch of registrations on thin paper?  Or did someone finally read it and say "That's ridiculous."?  Unclear, though last week one of the Ohio TV stations reported allegations of thousands of "fraudulent" registrations in Ohio for "false addresses."  (Gee, wonder who their source was on that?)

        Yesterday the Dayton Daily News article appears, citing complaints from Montgomery County staffers about the Blackwell memo.  After various blogs pick up on it, e-mails pour out across the state.  Someone realizes how nasty this issue can be for the Republican party.  Blackwell "clarifies" that he just wants to protect the permanent record.  (A ludicrous explanation, because (1) cards are now electronically scanned and (2) if the counties can mail cardstock registration forms out to people, they obviously can read the forms that have been mailed in, and they don't need a "replacement form").

        There's another possibility, which is that the report I linked to is just wrong.  That alone is enough reason to keep the pressure on.

        •  Wow, you're good. (none)
          The only thing I'd like to add is that in other blogs there is a rumor going around that a suit has been filed by the Democratic Party about this.  The suit filed today is unrelated to this issue, apparently the Democratic Party is unconcerned about this problem

          The suit rumor and this article may be a diversion, who would think?

          •  No (none)
            the Lawsuit is in regards to provisional ballots having to be cast in the correct polling station, rather than allowing folk to cast them in any polling station in their county. thats what ODP are suing about. Seperate issue to this card stock BS.
      •  maybe it's a trick (none)
        Let's suppose that the Ohio Republicans know full well that they can't deny people the right to vote over this card stock issue.

        Maybe not, but perhaps they thought they could fool people into thinking that they can't vote, by telling them the law requires them to send in another form on the appropriate card stock, but not explicitly telling them that they aren't registered.

        There may be people in Ohio right now who recently registered but think that they can't vote; some public education may be needed.

        •  Good point -- (none)
          Unless the mailing back to the voter tells them explicitly that they are registered and free to vote in the election -- they may think otherwise.  Especially if they receive the mailing after the deadline to register.
  •  The link seems to say... (none)
    ...that the registration printed on thin paper will be valid (for this election only?), but for the permanent record, they need to fill one out on the thicker paper (of course, that reason no longer applies with the computer scanning of the things).  It's a mess, probably just to confuse things (and maybe to provide a bullshit reason to invalidate those votes if the election is really really really close, or maybe to discourage those who get the request to send it in on a thicker sheet of paper from voting).
  •  Thanks for the tip (none)
    I'll be sending commentaries using the BCC to bypass spam filters, as you said.

    The dubiety principle
    Even though the freepers are dubious about Dubya, they applaud him

    by sersan on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 09:53:53 AM PDT

pontificator, CynicalBastid, cdalygo, Chris Bowers, thirdparty, emptywheel, fakane, Kimberley, Lavoisier1794, reef the dog, wetzel, Eric in Dublin, ClaudeB, slappy1218, bink, IrishAlum, Thumb, anna, dan s, XyloMax, Rob Humenik, MichaelPH, cdreid, Mary Mary, Drew, 537 votes, Dissento, jg, KeithH, Mercurial, dajafi, kid oakland, George, VJMeagher, LFinMN, ihlin, Nathan in MD, Bill in Portland Maine, Jsea, harveythechainsaw, Cowalker, TVOR, Cheez Whiz, jfern, ryeland, Asak, Lipo, Jeff Boatright, lapin, smithbm, JoelK in AZ, RW, Ben P, Maura in VA, wystler, dansac, dopies, assyrian64, primate on the left, Dogma, JenAtlanta, PoliticGeek Pro, AlanF, 54cermak, Windowdog, Wagster, Fro, Margot, timber, Dave in Woburn, Steven R, Sedge, David in NY, jdavidson2, cecil vortex, Downriver Gal, Doctor RJ, DelRPCV, theknife, sarahzb, RHunter, DWCG, GreenSooner, Renee in Ohio, DeanorBust, queerbklynboy, lamcgil2, Raybin, brahn, kimg, flatiron, pHunbalanced, pq, Tuffy, GussieFN, existenz, BigOkie, its simple IF you ignore the complexity, janinsanfran, etagloh, lumpy gravy, Winger, Maryscott OConnor, maineiac, John Carter, dday, RNinNC, Diane Chambers, mad cowan, Elizabeth D, Coldblue Steele, KumarP, badpolitiks, ImeldaBlahnik, Del C, Schmuck, rambis, ARingMD2B, ChrisLaughlin, Astral, CaptUnderpants, slapshot57, Jim in Chicago, DCDemocrat, citygirl, annac1aire, eoglesby, TustonDAZ, loopster, JavaTenor, watt, weathercoins, scorinaldi, wastelandusa, John Campanelli, Charley on the MTA, geekynerd, Raven Brooks, bigassbrando, lostian1, Karl the Idiot, upstate NY, expriest, ashke, Page van der Linden, Mizez Slocombe, zknower, gonzo, chicagoprogressive, bcb, treehugger, cosmicrob, Voodoo, TarheelDem, Jugwine, frisco, drlemur, ilona, delver rootnose, airron, dqw5644, object16, pollyusa, zgveritas, CN, jmscher, storme, twistandshout, musicsleuth, mej, VickiStein, dj1s, benNYC78, MikeRayinBerkeley, mraker, zeitshabba, seer23, CatNC, kerry2004, TexasDemocrat, Daddy Warbucks, Ruth in OR, Bogleg, Arlingtonian, neosocialism, HansNYC, unterhausen, Scott in NAZ, Worship Your Toaster, BartBoris, peace of mind, Iraesol, txindy, randym77, blueka, hiddenfall, wunderwood, peregrino, Hamumu, Slacker Gal, Ted W

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