Yesterday were two big developments in the Republican attempts to suppress the 2008 vote. A federal court ordered the Ohio Secretary of State to turn over potentially bad registrations to the county boards of election and a Republican think tank is suing ACORN for racketeering.
A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered Ohio’s top elections official to set up a system by Friday to verify the eligibility of new voters and make the information available to the state’s 88 county election boards.
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.
Brunner argued that it would take two to three days to create the necessary computer programs, and said nothing in the federal Help America Vote Act required her to do what the district court ordered.
Tuesday’s order directs Brunner to verify new registrations by comparing that information with data from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration.
Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett accused Brunner of pursuing a partisan agenda and said “her delay in providing this matching system leaves little time for election officials to act on questionable registrations.”
Federal court: Ohio must check voter registrations
The key here is the Ohio GOP talking about “questionable” registrations.
You can see their plan of attack coming a mile away. They get hold of the list of questionable registrations and challenge each one. It doesn’t matter how many are actually messed up since they are just doing a mass dump and seeing what comes up. The challenged voter then has to appear in person for a hearing and prove their info on the form is correct. If they can’t or don’t show up then they can’t vote.
The suspect voter can also be forced to cast a “Provisional ballot” which is then counted or not depending if the voter’s eligibility is confirmed. That is done in the same way as a challenge before the election. The person in question would have to show at a hearing in person or the vote isn’t counted. If it is even counted.
In 2004, provisional ballots were used to prevent hundred of thousands of votes from counting.
Unlike the real thing, these ballots are counted only by the whimsy and rules of a state’s top elections official; and in Ohio, that gives a virtually ballot veto to Bush-Cheney campaign co-chair, Blackwell.
Mr. Blackwell has a few rules to make sure a large proportion of provisional ballots won’t be counted. For the first time in memory, the Secretary of State has banned counting ballots cast in the “wrong” precinct, though all neighborhoods share the same President.
Over 155,000 Ohio voters were shunted to these second-class ballots. The election-shifting bulge in provisional ballots (more than 3% of the electorate) was the direct result of the national Republican strategy that targeted African-American precincts for mass challenges on election day.
Kerry Won Ohio: Just Count The Ballots at The Back of The Bus
The only good news on this part is since the SOS is a Democrat, provisional ballots are more likely to be counted. Still it is a legally easy and cheap way to cage voters.
The other “news” concerned a Republican think tank suing ACORN as if it were an organized crime group:
COLUMBUS — A conservative think tank in Columbus has sued the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, over voter registration.
The Buckeye Institute alleges that ACORN engages in a pattern of corrupt activity that amounts to organized crime.
The lawsuit filed today in Warren County Common Pleas Court uses a civil provision in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as RICO.
The suit seeks the dissolution of ACORN, which has been accused of registering potential voters multiple times in Ohio and other states.
A message seeking comment from a spokesman for ACORN was not immediately returned.
The RICO statute most commonly is used to prosecute alleged members of organized crime.
Buckeye Institute sues ACORN under racketeering law
The Buckeye Institute includes the former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell – ironic isn’t it. The suit is another attempt to call into question “false” voter registrations, The GOP falsely equates false registrations with illegal voting. The suit also ignores the fact that ACORN is required to turn in all forms it receives even ones they know are false.
I don’t know too many crime groups who would knowingly incriminate itself by following the law. I mean if they are in fact trying to “deprive voters of the right to participate in an honest and effective elections process….. fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN dilute the votes of legally registered voters” why would they provide the evidence of their “crime” to authorities.
It seems to me that federal law is forcing ACORN to commit the “crime” that the Buckeye Institute is accusing them of doing.
How is ACORN responsible for that?
Again false voter registrations don’t equal illegal votes and except in isolated cases, no illegal votes have occurred from a false registration.