Gonna be a rough election…

12 09 2008

Regardless of who you think the candidate should be, this election is going to be rough for voters. I predict an especially high rate of reported voter intimidation. We’re already seeing some pretty gross stuff. Students and minorities are being specifically targeted, which is unnerving.

Inside Higher Ed reports that Montgomery County, home of Virginia Tech, put out a vaguely threatening press release claiming that among other things,

“… by making Montgomery County your permanent residence, you have declared your independence from your parents and can no longer be claimed as a dependent on their income tax filings — check with your tax professional. If you have a scholarship attached to your former residence, you could lose this funding”

Sounds ridiculous. You don’t lose dependence by living in a separate home from your parents or registering to live in a different state. You don’t lose scholarships. It’s a downright lie, and it’s meant to scare off a whole demographic that will overwhelmingly vote a certain way. According to the article, this sort of thing is happening to students elsewhere.

In Michigan, the Michigan Messenger reports that the Republican party plans to challenge voters who have had their homes foreclosed.

The Michigan Republicans’ planned use of foreclosure lists is apparently an attempt to challenge ineligible voters as not being “true residents.”

One expert questioned the legality of the tactic.

“You can’t challenge people without a factual basis for doing so,” said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. “I don’t think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance.”

As for the practice of challenging the right to vote of foreclosed property owners, Hebert called it, “mean-spirited.”

Who is this targeting? According to the article, the majority of subprime loans in Michigan were issued to black voters, a demographic that is mostly Democratic in this election. A local foreclosure firm has raised some hundred thousand dollars for the McCain campaign. Gee… it’s not like they’re even trying to disguise their intent.

It’s like something out of America’s dystopian future. Keep your eyes open, support your fellow voters, and don’t let anyone get in your way when you go to the polls this year.

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2 responses

13 09 2008
TK

You know what will make this election a little more bearable? PunditKitchen: http://punditkitchen.com/

14 09 2008
victoriatravels

Eugh. I wonder if there’s ever hope for ‘good’ politics. Ones where the bashing, affairs, sexism and threats are left at the door. Request for absentee ballot: sent.
One of the weirdest things I saw was a car here with an Obama sticker. … yeah. Not quite sure who that’s supposed to be advertising to. All the Australians that are voting in the election? Huh. I mean, obviously I agree with that person, but I feel like they’ve got entirely the wrong demographic.

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