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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Right Wing Nut Jobs bothered by ACORN


How McCain Will Steal the Election from Obama (Sort Of)
Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post


Imagine an election where one of the participants calls foul. Investigations are launched or at least called for. Prosecutors raise the specter of charges, the U.S. attorney and FBI get involved. No voter fraud is ever actually found. But by the time that conclusion is reached, the myth has been solidified both to soothe the loser's supporters and condemn the winner.

Sound familiar? Sound like the recent ACORN scandal?

Well, actually I'm talking about the 1960 election between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. That Nixon was cheated out of a win is the stuff of legend on the Right. The allegations say that Kennedy loyalists fixed the vote counts in Illinois and Texas--swinging 51 electoral votes and a majority in the Electoral College to Kennedy. In more hyperbolic versions there is alleged involvement by the mob, the Teamsters Union or legendary Chicago mayor Richard Daley.

The story goes on that Nixon, "for the good of the country," conceded honorably and exited the scene. No matter that Nixon was later chased out of the White House for cheating in an election. The myth endures.

This whole story--maybe to be replayed with Obama playing Kennedy and McCain playing Nixon--is a canard. It is a fable. A lie made up by the conservative movement to hold together their fraying coalition.

In 2008 the stakes are bigger than they've ever been before for conservatives and the canard is that much more important to them.

In the case of Obama the conservative movement is lining up a serious of story elements. They are:


• Obama was a community organizer.
• ACORN, a group that does community organizing, has committed voter fraud.
• Obama is from Chicago.
• You know what happens in elections in Chicago. Remember the 1960 election.


The story is half true and half lies. As we all know, Barack Obama is from Chicago and was a community organizer. Those are the only true parts of the conservative story. But the other two facts are myths: the 1960 election wasn't stolen (says the conclusion of recounts and investigations in 1960 and numerous academic studies since). And, ACORN has not committed voter fraud. Not one bit.

The facts about ACORN are worth getting out. ACORN is an organization that, among other things, registers low-income people to vote. One of the ways they do this is to hire door-to-door canvassers from the neighborhoods they are working in. This sort of work is tightly regulated. So, when one of the thousands of people they give jobs to doesn't do their work right and brings back bogus or phony voter registration cards, the law REQUIRES that ACORN turn the forms in to the voter registration office. The law, rightly, doesn't want anybody throwing out voter registration forms for any reason.

But ACORN goes a step farther. They have people assigned to do quality control on all the cards--calling people on the forms after they fill them out. When they find bad information on the cards they attach a cover sheet to the card but, as mentioned above, they turn in the cards as required by law. The effect is that a few bad canvassers or a poorly run office will mean that bad cards are submitted as part of the normal process. But ACORN has done everything possible to make sure voting officials know to check the forms.

The sad fact is that in at least one state--Nevada--the voting officials disregarded ACORN's cover sheets flagging the voter registration forms. That should have never happened. The resulting blowup was a scandal in search of a scandal.

The stunning con of this whole thing is the assumption that bad voter registration cards being submitted will lead to vote fraud. If somebody submits a card for Mickey Mouse it isn't like Mr. Mouse is going to show up to vote. There is no voter fraud if nobody votes.

But the big story here is what the Right is doing. Their attacks on ACORN open up the door for two things.

First, the ACORN myth allows the Republicans to do more purging of the voter rolls--the process of removing people from the voter rolls because of arbitrary anomalies in the voter registration databases. Richard L Hasen, author of the Election Law Blog and a distinguished law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles recently wrote, "Careless purging--driven by unsubstantiated fears about voter fraud--can lead to many eligible voters being incorrectly removed from the polls." Already in Ohio the Republican Party is pushing for more purging and they found a federal judge who agreed citing ACORN's activities.

Second, in the event that campaigning, purging and intimidating voters doesn't work, the Right is creating a myth like they did in 1960. They are creating the myth of a stolen election. Conservatives plan to claim that ACORN and Barack Obama stole the election. Their hope is to steal the legitimacy of what is looking like a massive repudiation of Bush, conservatives and the Republican Party. The Right plans to steal the election by trying to steal the legitimate defeat of them by progressive forces.

And why wouldn't they? The entire Republican coalition could be shattered with this election. White suburban voters who once voted Republican on tax issues are running away from Republicans on a host of issues--including taxes. Independent are looking more and more like Democratic voters. Barack Obama may even win a majority of male voters. All of them are joining with urban votes, voters of color, young people, working class union members and others to form a long-term governing majority for progressives--a progressive majority.

Conservatives are scared of a progressive majority. And they're going to lie, cheat and steal to prevent it from happening. But they can only be successful if we let them.

The best way to deflate the conservative fable is to win with an overwhelming landslide that guarantees there won't be a dispute of the results.

We also need to confront the Republican vote purging and suppression. Already big efforts by the Obama campaign, the DNC and independent groups are working on this. Progressives and Democrats are united in this effort.

But we also need to make sure the ACORN canard doesn't get to live in daylight. It is time to circle the wagons and make sure John McCain and the Right can't steal the election...even if we win.

For progressives, the ball is in our court.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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The Acorn Story


NY Times Editorial

Published: October 16, 2008
In Wednesday night’s debate, John McCain warned that a group called Acorn is “on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history” and “may be destroying the fabric of democracy.” Viewers may have been wondering what Mr. McCain was talking about. So were we.

Acorn is a nonprofit group that advocates for low- and moderate-income people and has mounted a major voter-registration drive this year. Acorn says that it has paid more than 8,000 canvassers who have registered about 1.3 million new voters, many of them poor people and members of racial minorities.

In recent weeks, the McCain campaign has accused the group of perpetrating voter fraud by intentionally submitting invalid registration forms, including some with fictional names like Mickey Mouse and others for voters who are already registered.

Based on the information that has come to light so far, the charges appear to be wildly overblown — and intended to hobble Acorn’s efforts.

The group concedes that some of its hired canvassers have turned in tainted forms, although they say the ones with phony names constitute no more than 1 percent of the total turned in. The group also says it reviews all of the registration forms that come in. Before delivering the forms to elections offices, its supervisors flag any that appear to have problems.

According to Acorn, most of the forms that are now causing controversy are ones that it flagged and that unsympathetic election officials then publicized.

Acorn’s critics charge that it is creating phony registrations that ineligible voters could use to cast ballots or that a single voter could use to vote multiple times.

Acorn needs to provide more precise figures about problem forms and needs to do a better job of choosing its canvassers.

But for all of the McCain campaign’s manufactured fury about vote theft (and similar claims from the Republican Party over the years) there is virtually no evidence — anywhere in the country, going back many elections — of people showing up at the polls and voting when they are not entitled to.

Meanwhile, Republicans aren’t saying anything about another more serious voter-registration scandal: the fact that about one-third of eligible voters are not registered. The racial gaps are significant and particularly disturbing. According to a study by Project Vote, a voting-rights group, in 2006, 71 percent of eligible whites were registered, compared with 61 percent of blacks, 54 percent of Latinos and 49 percent of Asian-Americans.

Much of the blame for this lies with overly restrictive registration rules. Earlier this year, the League of Women Voters halted its registration drive in Florida after the state imposed onerous new requirements.

The answer is for government to a better job of registering people to vote. That way there would be less need to rely on private registration drives, largely being conducted by well-meaning private organizations that use low-paid workers. Federal and state governments should do their own large-scale registration drives staffed by experienced election officials. Even better, Congress and the states should adopt election-day registration, which would make such drives unnecessary.

The real threats to the fabric of democracy are the unreasonable barriers that stand in the way of eligible voters casting ballots.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 09:13 AM
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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It is ugly racism, a blatant attempt to scare off minority voters with fear of arrest if they happened to have registered through ACORN. We've had weeks of the right wing media machine blowing this phony bullshit all out of proportion. Fascism at it's ugliest, with Fox News and the AM Gruppenfurhers taking the place of Nazi stormtroopers. Fuck all those lying bitches.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 09:28 AM
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Do you think CLK Operator will be with his buddies at some poor neighborhood polling station? Which company makes white sheets, I am in the mood for buying stocks
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Connect the dots to the US Attorney scandal:

Iglesias: "I'm Astounded" By DOJ's ACORN Probe
By Zachary Roth - October 16, 2008, 6:50PM
TPMMuckraker.com


David Iglesias says he's shocked by the news, leaked today to the Associated Press, that the FBI is pursuing a voter-fraud investigation into ACORN just weeks before the election.

"I'm astounded that this issue is being trotted out again," Iglesias told TPMmuckraker. "Based on what I saw in 2004 and 2006, it's a scare tactic." In 2006, Iglesias was fired as U.S. attorney thanks partly to his reluctance to pursue voter-fraud cases as aggressively as DOJ wanted -- one of several U.S. attorneys fired for inappropriate political reasons, according to a recently released report by DOJ's Office of the Inspector General.

Iglesias, who has been the most outspoken of the fired U.S. attorneys, went on to say that the FBI's investigation seemed designed to inappropriately create a "boogeyman" out of voter fraud.

And he added that it "stands to reason" that the investigation was launched in response to GOP complaints. In recent weeks, national Republican figures -- including John McCain at last night's debate -- have sought to make an issue out of ACORN's voter-registration activities.

As we noted earlier, last year, Sen. Dianne Feinstein publicly highlighted changes made to DOJ's election crimes manual, which lowered the bar for voter-fraud prosecutions, and made it easier to bring vote-fraud cases close to the election.

Speaking today to TPMmuckraker, Iglesias called such changes "extremely problematic."

The way in which the news was revealed today -- Associated Press sourced its report to two "senior law enforcement officials" who "spoke on condition of anonymity because Justice Department regulations forbid discussing ongoing investigations particularly so close to an election" -- is also raising eyebrows.

Both Iglesias and Bud Cummins -- another of the U.S. attorneys who, according to the IG report, was also fired for political reasons -- told TPMmuckraker that DOJ guidelines do allow US attorneys to speak publicly about an investigation, even before bringing an indictment, if it's to allay public concern over an issue.

But that certainly wouldn't cover anonymous leaks. "If you can't say it with your name on it, it's fair to say you should not be saying it," Cummins told TPMmuckraker.

Earlier this afternoon, House Judiciary Chair John Conyers (D-MI) released a letter he sent to Attorney General Michael Mukasey and FBI director Robert Mueller, which connected today's news to the U.S. attorney firings, and to recent GOP efforts to stoke fears over voter fraud.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelTheLove View Post

The Acorn Story


NY Times Editorial

Published: October 16, 2008
In Wednesday night’s debate, John McCain warned that a group called Acorn is “on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history” and “may be destroying the fabric of democracy.” Viewers may have been wondering what Mr. McCain was talking about. So were we.

Acorn is a nonprofit group that advocates for low- and moderate-income people and has mounted a major voter-registration drive this year. Acorn says that it has paid more than 8,000 canvassers who have registered about 1.3 million new voters, many of them poor people and members of racial minorities.

In recent weeks, the McCain campaign has accused the group of perpetrating voter fraud by intentionally submitting invalid registration forms, including some with fictional names like Mickey Mouse and others for voters who are already registered.

Based on the information that has come to light so far, the charges appear to be wildly overblown — and intended to hobble Acorn’s efforts.

The group concedes that some of its hired canvassers have turned in tainted forms, although they say the ones with phony names constitute no more than 1 percent of the total turned in. The group also says it reviews all of the registration forms that come in. Before delivering the forms to elections offices, its supervisors flag any that appear to have problems.

According to Acorn, most of the forms that are now causing controversy are ones that it flagged and that unsympathetic election officials then publicized.

Acorn’s critics charge that it is creating phony registrations that ineligible voters could use to cast ballots or that a single voter could use to vote multiple times.

Acorn needs to provide more precise figures about problem forms and needs to do a better job of choosing its canvassers.

But for all of the McCain campaign’s manufactured fury about vote theft (and similar claims from the Republican Party over the years) there is virtually no evidence — anywhere in the country, going back many elections — of people showing up at the polls and voting when they are not entitled to.

Meanwhile, Republicans aren’t saying anything about another more serious voter-registration scandal: the fact that about one-third of eligible voters are not registered. The racial gaps are significant and particularly disturbing. According to a study by Project Vote, a voting-rights group, in 2006, 71 percent of eligible whites were registered, compared with 61 percent of blacks, 54 percent of Latinos and 49 percent of Asian-Americans.

Much of the blame for this lies with overly restrictive registration rules. Earlier this year, the League of Women Voters halted its registration drive in Florida after the state imposed onerous new requirements.

The answer is for government to a better job of registering people to vote. That way there would be less need to rely on private registration drives, largely being conducted by well-meaning private organizations that use low-paid workers. Federal and state governments should do their own large-scale registration drives staffed by experienced election officials. Even better, Congress and the states should adopt election-day registration, which would make such drives unnecessary.

The real threats to the fabric of democracy are the unreasonable barriers that stand in the way of eligible voters casting ballots.
Yes it is VERY onerous to register to vote in Florida. Here is what it takes.

Who Can Register to Vote

In order to register to vote in Florida, you must:

1. Be a citizen of the United States of America;
2. Be a Florida resident;
3. Be 18 years old (you may pre-register to vote if you are 17 years old or have received a valid Florida driver’s license, whichever occurs earlier);
4. Not now be adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting in Florida or any other state;
5. Not have been convicted of a felony without your civil rights having been restored; and
6. Provide your current and valid Florida driver’s license number or Florida identification card number. You must provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number if you do not have a Florida driver’s license number or a Florida identification card number. If you do not have any of these items, you must mark the box indicated on the Voter Registration Application as “NONE.”

How to Apply to Register to Vote

1. Fill in the Voter Registration Application online. If you wish, you can print the application and write your information in with a black ballpoint pen.
2. Print the application out.
3. Verify that all of the information on your application is complete. The office where you register, your decision not to register, your Social Security Number, Florida driver’s license number and your Florida identification card number will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes.
4. Sign your application. The application requires an original signature because you are swearing or affirming to an oath.
5. Place the application in an envelope with a first class stamp.
6. Mail the application to your county Supervisor of Elections. You may also opt to mail or hand deliver the application to any Supervisor of Elections' office in the state, a driver’s license office, a voter registration agency, an armed forces recruitment office, or the Division of Elections.
7. If your application is complete and you qualify as a voter, the Supervisor of Elections will mail you a voter information card as official notification that you are registered to vote. Make sure all of the information on your card is correct. If you do not receive your card within 8 weeks, or if you have any questions, call your Supervisor of Elections.
8. You must be registered for at least 29 days before you can vote in an election.

If the information on the application is not true, the applicant can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 5 years.

Straight from the Florida Division of Elections. Those Damn Racists...

http://election.dos.state.fl.us/vote...oter-reg.shtml

Who's John Galt.

"Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes" - Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 2

If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel. --Benjamin Netayahu
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 07:32 PM
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Florida Voter Registration Law Challenged As Unconstitutional

MIAMI---A new Florida law that imposes crippling fines on voter registration groups is being challenged in a lawsuit filed in federal court. The plaintiffs, civic organizations and voting rights groups that have been working in Florida through many election cycles without government interference, say that the law has shut down or dramatically curtailed their efforts to help eligible voters get on the rolls.

In filing the lawsuit on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Florida, Miami-based People Acting for Community Together (PACT) and other public interest and labor groups, attorneys at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and the Advancement Project, voting rights advocates representing the plaintiffs along with pro bono counsel, have asked the U.S. District Court in Miami to immediately suspend the fines imposed under the challenged law (Fla. Laws 2005-277, Secs. 2 and 7), which went into effect on Jan. 1.

"I'm not sure what our representatives in Tallahassee were thinking when they voted for this law," said Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. The Florida League, a plaintiff in the suit, is a nonpartisan, largely volunteer organization that has been helping to register Florida voters since 1939. By a unanimous vote of its Board, the Florida League for the first time has suspended all voter registration operations with its 27 local Leagues across Florida.

"In Iraq, the U.S. Army spent six weeks helping citizens register to vote. We're not seeking special assistance, only asking that the government get out of our way, and let the League and other civic organizations continue to help each voter exercise the most basic civil right," Wheatley-Giliotti said. "We've been dedicated to this work for 67 years, and we don't want to stop now."

The challenged law creates a punishing and complicated tiered regime of deadlines and fines. For each and every voter registration form submitted more than ten days after the form was collected from a prospective voter, the government will impose a fine of $250, while for each registration form submitted after the passing of a registration deadline, the fine is $500.

If a registration form is not submitted, for any reason, the fine per form jumps to $5,000. Most chilling to plaintiffs' activities is the law's adoption of a "strict liability" legal standard, meaning that no extenuating circumstance -- not even destruction of an office by a hurricane -- will excuse the failure to submit a registration form. Plaintiffs say the impact of multiple fines would devastate the budgets of many non-partisan voter registration groups. For example, the entire annual budget for the Florida League of Women Voters is $80,000, or the equivalent of just 16 lost registration forms. At the same time, virtually everyone associated with an organization -- from a volunteer canvasser to the organization's Board chair -- can be held personally responsible for paying the fines.

"There's no mistaking the impact of these fines," said Wendy Weiser, co-counsel for the plaintiffs and deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. "Anyone who is a leader of an organization has good reason to be scared of the consequences of authorizing a voter registration drive in Florida today."

"What the State has done is radically raise the cost of doing business for voter registration groups," said Mrs. Wheatley-Giliotti of the Florida League. "In effect, this is a tax on democracy and a tax on democratic participation that makes voter registration work prohibitively expensive for many of the state's leading civic organizations."

"The specific targeting of non-partisan voter registration groups with these onerous fines gives another 'black eye' to Florida, a state already plagued in recent years with a less-than-pristine track record on voter registration and election issues," said Gary Rosen, pro bono co-counsel and a shareholder at Ft. Lauderdale law firm Becker & Poliakoff.

The complaint explains that another constitutional failing of the challenged law is its unequal treatment of political parties and non-partisan groups. The law exempts political parties from the fines to be assessed against non-partisan organizations. Plaintiffs claim there is no evidence whatsoever in the legislative record to suggest that late or lost voter registration forms have been more prevalent among Florida's non-partisan groups than among Florida's political parties - in fact, they say, there is no evidence in the record of any serious problem of late or lost voter registration forms.

"These fines will quickly erase from the state some of the most basic sights of American democracy: the non-partisan voter registration table at the mall or bus stop; the unaffiliated registration advocate at a school or workplace; and the encouragement to participate in elections often found in churches and synagogues," said Elizabeth S. Westfall of the Advancement Project, co-counsel for the plaintiffs. Joining the Florida League of Women Voters in completely suspending Florida voter registration efforts in the face of the new law are PACT and the AFL-CIO, while the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 79 (AFSCME) has substantially scaled back its voter registration activity.

Should plaintiffs succeed in their lawsuit and the federal court agree that the First Amendment protects voter registration activities from the fines and other burdens Florida has established, the legal outcome will help to head off comparable voter-suppression statutes in other states, such as Ohio, New Mexico, and Colorado.

"More that 50 million Americans are not registered to vote," said Craig L. Siegel of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, pro bono co-counsel for plaintiffs. Florida and other states should applaud civic groups like the League of Women Voters - not penalize them - for tirelessly working to strengthen our democracy."

Plaintiffs joining the suit include: League of Women Voters of Florida; People Acting for Community Together (PACT), a coalition of community organizations, churches, synagogues and schools based in Miami-Dade County; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 79 (AFSCME); Service Employees International Union, Florida Healthcare Union (SEIU-FHU); Marilyn Wills, president of the Tallahassee League of Women Voters; and unnamed individuals who are eligible to and want to vote this year but will be denied by the challenged law.

Plaintiffs are represented by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and the Advancement Project, and by pro bono counsel Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, and Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. 5-18-06



Florida Voter Registration Law Challenged As Unconstitutional






Judge rejects 'chilling' voter registration law

Groups plan to resume their efforts after an injunction erases fears.

By ALISA ULFERTS
Published August 28, 2006

A Florida law that imposes crippling fines on civic groups that mishandle voter registration cards is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The law, which calls for fines of up to $5,000 per incident and holds volunteers liable if their organizations can’t pay, has a “chilling’’ effect on the constitutional rights of speech and assembly, U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Seitz wrote in her order granting a preliminary injunction.

Seitz noted that voter advocacy groups such as the League of Women Voters of Florida halted all voter registration drives because they feared the fines could bankrupt them.

The judge added that the law unfairly exempts political parties.

“While the Court is extremely reluctant to set aside an enactment of the Legislature, given the magnitude of Plaintiff’s First Amendment freedoms at stake in this case, the Third-Party Voter Registration Law’s civil penalties scheme and exclusion of political parties is unconstitutional,” Seitz ruled.

A full trial is scheduled for later this year, but a spokesman for the Division of Elections said the state won’t wait that long to challenge Monday’s ruling.

“We respectfully disagree with the decision and will appeal the injunction,” said spokesman Sterling Ivey.
Meanwhile, third-party groups are free to conduct registration drives without worrying about the fines. Cindy Hall, president of the Florida chapter of the labor union AFL-CIO, a plaintiff in the case, said she has sent a memo to all her branch organizers to crank up voter registration efforts.

“I’m encouraging them because we only have a month to go” before the Oct. 9 deadline to register for the November general election, she said.

The League of Women Voters of Florida, which typically registers thousands of voters every election year, suspended its registration drive for the first time in its 67-year history, said president Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti.

“This is a win for Florida voters and a reaffirmation of the critical role civic groups play in helping tens of thousands of unregistered citizens come into the process and become voters every year,” Wheatley-Giliotti said.

Under the law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, the state would have imposed a mandatory fine of $250 for every voter registration form submitted more than 10 days after the form was collected from a prospective voter, $500 for each registration form submitted after the passing of a registration deadline, and $5,000 for each registration form not submitted at all.

The circumstances didn’t matter — the groups could be fined if a fire or hurricane destroyed the applications. And if the organization couldn’t pay, the volunteer who collected the application could be on the hook.

Lawyers for the state say that the law is needed to rein in groups that mishandle applications voters entrusted to them and that the law doesn’t prohibit anyone from conducting registration drives. They said the law protects voters from showing up at the polls and discovering too late that their application was never filed.

Voter advocacy groups, including the League of Women Voters of Florida, said there is no evidence suggesting that third-party groups are likelier to mishandle voter applications than the political parties that lawmakers exempted from the fines.

In fact, they point to a letter by Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Pat Hollarn saying that the only late applications she received during the 2004 election cycle came from the Republican Party. Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho testified that Democrats were the only violators in his county.
Judge Seitz took note.


“The evidence in this case does not demonstrate a significant problem with voter registration applications from third party voter registration organizations,” she wrote.


The state also argued that fears of the fines are unnecessary because Secretary of State Sue Cobb has the discretion to apply or waive the fees on a case-by-case basis.


But that didn’t calm the fears of third-party groups. Worried that the strict liability clause would scare away volunteers, groups including the League of Women Voters and the labor union ordered their members to stop registration drives — and then they sued.

Seitz ruled that the state failed to prove the fines were necessary, because the state already imposes criminal penalties on those who “knowingly destroy, mutilate, or deface a voter registration form or an election ballot or delay the delivery of a voter registration form or election ballot.”

She also rejected the state’s claim that third-party handling of voter registration forms was a problem. Rather than blame third parties for hoarding and then dumping voter forms on elections officials as part of a political strategy, Seitz blamed “a lack of preparation on the part of the supervisors of elections offices” for confusion surrounding the last-minute rush of forms before the 2004 presidential election.

Ivey, the spokesman for the Division of Elections, said the state hasn’t decided whether to ask for a stay of the injunction while it appeals.



State: Judge rejects 'chilling' voter registration law
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 09:59 PM
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So it boils down to this. Wednesday, November, 5, 2008, the odds are very high that the Republicans will be filing lawsuits in all 50 states questionings the validity of the votes. Well that is not exactly true. They will conveniently determine, through divine inspiration that those states that voted for McCain were 100% pure and need no further scrutineering.

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