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It's time to use the power of the organic WAN that is the Daily Kos, to personally take up the fight against illegal voter intimidation and suppression.

The stories are flying by, as always, at a rapid clip. Let's collect the relevant information and make it the starting point for one more blog-based push for truth, justice, and the American way.

Here's your chance to pitch in and personally nail a GOP dirty trickster.

The folks at the Ohio Voter Suppression News have been good enough to get us started and give us a base of operations. I'd like to see us build on that base by culling and reposting any information we find that's directly relevant to actually tracking down and nailing individual GOP operatives who are behind illegal voter suppression efforts.

We can start with Ohio, but of course there's much more going on across the country.

For my part, I've already made some progress in tracking down and acting on information about Jim Simon, the attorney named in the Summit County elections board hearings as the individual who provided the list of names to be challenged.

I know I've seen diaries and stories fly by today that purported to name even more names, identifying individuals involved in vote suppression in Ohio. I can recall off the top of my head that in Toledo, efforts appear to have been headed up by one Megan Harrington, a local college sophomore. But I'm sure there were more names brought out today.

Who are they? Let's get those names and start Googling.

Bring them to the Ohio Voter Suppression News, or post them here.

We've all learned our lessons here together during this past election. We no longer wait around for the media to get the key stories and cover them right -- we push them to it or cover them ourselves. We no longer wait around for our elected officials to grow a spine, we inject one into them. What makes you think this problem will just take care of itself?

One other note: I am not advocating, do not advocate, will not advocate, can not advocate violence here. These voter suppression tactics work best under cover of darkness. I advocate only shining a light on it. Each of these people has a real life -- one which would likely be much more difficult to conduct normally if everyone around them knew what they'd been up to when they thought no one was looking.

We need to isolate these people, and make it impossible for them to melt back into the crowd, so that when and if the proper authorities do take up an investigation, they know where to find the perpetrators.

Find these people. Find their pressure points. Let their friends, neighbors, local papers, professional associations, etc. know what they've been doing. You know what they say: if not you, then who?

This is easy. Do what you can. Find one name. Ask your Aunt Harriet if she's still in the Cuyahoga County Master Gardeners with so-and-so. Whatever. With resources like we have, we're gonna get some results.

Originally posted to David Waldman on Mon Nov 01, 2004 at 10:55 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Justice System does it job (none)
    Since I can post diaries yet, I figure this would be the best place to post this:

    Judge Bars Party Challengers at Polling Places in Ohio

    Money quote:

    "Two federal judges on Monday barred political party representatives from challenging voters at polling places throughout Ohio, saying poll workers, not outsiders, should determine voter eligibility."

    The GOP is having a fit over this.

    •  Yeah? (none)
      Who's in jail? Name 'em.

      Right. Nobody. But hey, it takes time, right? Well, what's been the punishment for illegal voter suppression schemes of the past? Nothing, that's what.

      It's all well and good that the courts have barred challengers are polling places in Ohio, but untold thousands of other voters are being targeted in other ways that the courts will never touch, unless we root it out and give them names.

      And even those who go to court will warrant no more mention in their community than a blurb in the local weekly that everyone will ignore, and then these cheaters will go back to selling your kids baseball cards in the corner shop, smiling at you as you pass by.

      And when 2008 comes around, do you think they'll think twice about doing this again?

      I'm glad we got this little victory in court, but do you realize why it was so easy to win? Because what the Republicans are doing has been illegal since forever and a day. And still, the fact that it was an open and shut case didn't stop a single one of them. Didn't give them a moment's pause.

      The fact that the law is on the books means nothing if you only suffer the "consequences," such as they are, after the polls close -- when it's too late.

      You think these people won't risk a little bad press to win the election?

  •  OH anecdote from the VRWC (none)
    I saw an old friend from college the other day.

    He's a lawyer in Ohio, and he's one of the lawyers the GOP has mobilized to deal with voter challenges.  He jokingly refers to himself as part of the VRWC.

    I argued with him about what was going on in Ohio, and he explained what he's been doing.  He works in a small-population county, and what he's been doing is strictly on the up-and-up.  They've even helped some Democrats get their registration cleared up.

    After arguing for some time, he got quiet and confessed that he feared that the straight up activities of the smaller county GOP legal teams were being used as cover for crooked activities in urban areas.

    I won't share his name.  He's a good guy.

    •  That's not the name we need. (none)
      Although it's probably worth pointing out that some of the point of this activity is that everyone in the neighborhoods where the people I'm interested in live and work thinks these are good guys.

      That's how they get away with it.

      Of course, we do know that there are genuinely nice guys out there working honestly for the Republicans. But the larger problem is that even the rotten bastards are working hard to make sure that they remain pretty much anonymous, so that their neighbors and associates and coworkers never find out what they do after dark.

      You don't think someone, somewhere in Ohio is right now saying to themselves, "Wow, I really thought that Megan was a nice girl. I'm shocked"?

      Or at least, they would be saying it if we could shine enough light on the people and their stories to generate serious and sustained coverage.

      There are plenty of pressure points out there. For instance, does the University of Toledo have an Honor Code? Would Megan's activities be in violation of such a code? Why not find out?

      Your friend is no doubt a fine fellow. But even he expresses serious concerns about GOP efforts in urban areas. So, you know how this story goes, right? After the election, when Kerry wins and people decide they'd like to get to the bottom of these shenanigans, there are going to be people who want to know why your friend didn't do anything about it.

      Hopefully, we'll all be understanding. It's tough enough just to keep your own nose clean, much less stand up to the urban powerbrokers and call bullshit on them. And so while I won't think it's fair to hang your friend out to dry for not speaking up (though that'd be nice, as it always is when something good comes at no risk whatsoever to us), I will say I do hope that exposing the really seriously dirty tricksters to the shame, scrutiny and suspicion they deserve will make him think twice about providing cover for anyone ever again.

  •  Jefferson County, OH (none)
    Steubenville resident Edward (Ed Pankus) filed 171 voter registration challenges in Jefferson County, OH.  The names of the challengees was printed in the legal section of the Steubenville Herald-Star on October 25th.  Last Thursday the county election board held a hearing on the challenges but Mr. Pankus didn't show up and the challenges were dropped.  He later sent a statement to the local newspaper but didn't address why he did not appear at the hearing. Mr. Pankus works for a company called Cercorp, based in Steubenville OH and at one time was apparently affiliated with Christians United for the Faith, also based in Steubenville OH.  Pertinent information is in my last two diary entries.
  •  Can we make a permanent directory? (none)
    There are a lot of 2 bit political operatives that pull similar tricks every 2 to 4 years.  It's their livelihood.  

    I would love to see a widely publicized nonpartisan directory of past election fraud or dishonesty.  It would need to be well researched and well documented.  We could start with people that have gotten fines from the FEC and state or local election boards.  We could strongly encourage candidates to have no association with them.

    There are many repeat offenders.  Wouldn't you love to know who is hiring Sproul in 2008?  I know a few small time political operatives in California I'd love to publicize.  

  •  Post their PICTURES! (none)
    We're all taking cameras to the polling places, right? So let's post photos of the challengers, harassers, and off-duty uniformed cops. That way we can ascertain their names later if necessary, and our database will have a photo field that adds to its usefulness on the ground.
  •  If this makes they're lives a living hell... (none)
    I'm for it! They deserve jail time in my opinion.

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