With millions of new voters registering nationwide, the GOP has gone on the offensive to prevent as many of these new voters from making it to the polls as possible. And as of today, they've scored a massive victory in Ohio...
More below the fold...
Talking Points Memo has the story:
The full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld a lower court ruling that Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner must use other government records to check thousands of new voters for registration fraud.
A three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit had disagreed last week, but the full court's ruling overturns that decision.
Ohio Republicans had sued Brunner, a Democrat. Her spokesman had no immediate comment Tuesday.
About 666,000 Ohioans have registered to vote since January, with many doing so before the contested Democratic primary election last March between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Since then, Ohio Republicans have filed a series of challenges to the registrations and Brunner's administration of election rules. They have helped voters file lawsuits against local boards of election over registration rules, absentee ballot requests and a weeklong period that allowed registration and voting on the same day.
Brunner previously said there was no way to set up the system with such speed.
Last week, a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit had sided with Brunner, but after hearing an appeal the full panel sided with the GOP and U.S. District Judge George C. Smith in Columbus. Smith had ordered Brunner to develop a way to verify voter registration information and make it available to local election boards.
So basically, now we have to trust the always reliable DMV and Social Security Adminstration to have accurate information on all the newly registered voters. Hmm... who here thinks that citizens are more likely to know how to spell their names and where they live than the DMV is?
We need to promote this story and fight it tooth and nail. The GOP is intentionally undermining voter confidence in the electoral system despite having not a shred of evidence to prove any conspiracy to commit voter fraud. In fact, a five year investigation by the Bush Adminstration revealed only 120 prosecutable offenses of voter fraud in a nation where 100 million people turn out for presidential elections.
And now 600,000 people in Ohio could possibly lose their right to vote just so the GOP can "insure the integrity of the voting system." Just like the Clear Skies Act (which reduced air pollution controls) and the Patriot Act (which undermined the Constitution), we can always be sure that whatever Republicans are claiming to do, they are really doing the exact opposite.
UPDATE: Let me add something here in response to some of the comments that we shouldn't worry about this, or that this is hyperbole. I agree that the GOP won't succeed at dumping all 600,000 voters off the rolls, but they may very well succeed in dumping several tens of thousands. There was a story in last week's New York Times that dealt with the issue of voter purges and how tens of thousands were being denied the right to vote because something didn't match up in their Social Security information.
The time to worry about these actions is not after the election, it's right now. One eligible voter deprived of the right to vote is one too many.
UPDATE II: HungryCoyote asks a good question. If Social Security files are accurate, then why has the Social Security Administration asked states not to use them to verify voters (unless they simply don't have a valid driver's license)?
UPDATE III: All right, we made the rec list. Thanks guys, and those who come here, please keep recommending the story so that it will still be available for readers tomorrow.
UPDATE IV: HungryCoyote points out a good excerpt from that New York Times article:
The six swing states seem to be in violation of federal law in two ways. Michigan and Colorado are removing voters from the rolls within 90 days of a federal election, which is not allowed except when voters die, notify the authorities that they have moved out of state, or have been declared unfit to vote.
So, this seems top to bottom to be a pretty scummy thing for the GOP to be doing.
UPDATE V: On a related note, I covered some of this topic in a blog post the other day dealing with ACORN and the GOP's misleading claims of voter fraud. I suppose we all have a good bead on that story by now, but if not, you can read more on that here.
UPDATE VI: Some in the comments have wondered just what they can do. At first I had posted the contact info for a couple of SoS offices so that we could voice our support for Sec. Brunner standing up for voting rights, but some think that this might be counter productive, so I've deleted that and am now simply recommending writing to Ohio newspapers.
If you live in Ohio, then I suggest you take the time to write a letter to the editor of a major Ohio newspaper:
UPDATE VII: Apparently this diary was mentioned on MSNBC Wednesday morning. I guess that's about as cool as it gets for an amateur blogger.