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Republican want to shut off voter registration

After weeks of attacking the democratic outcome of elections in Spain
the Republicans have turned their guns on voter education and
registration projects in the United States.
From: Frank Llewellyn < fllewellyn@dsausa.org>
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2004 17:36:08 +0000
To:  DSANews@topica.com
Subject: [DSA News] New Republican threats to Democracy

After weeks of attacking the democratic outcome of elections in Spain
the Republicans have turned their guns on voter education and
registration projects in the United States.

The first shoe dropped on March 4when the Federal Election Commission
began to consider the regulation of the voter registration and education
efforts of non-profit organizations. Under a rule proposed by the FEC
and under active consideration nearly all such activity could end after
rules are adopted in mid May.

The proposed new rules that would have the effect of redefining many
nonprofit groups as political committees, thereby forcing these groups
to meet vastly more stringent financial and reporting requirements or to
forego many of the advocacy and civic engagement activities at the core
of their missions. Non-profit advocacy would be severely limited and
many voter registration efforts would be proscribed as prohibited
partisan activity.

The proposed rule will be the subject of a public hearing April 14 and
15th by the FEC. Over 500 non-profit organizations led by the Federal
Election Commission (FEC) Working Group (Alliance for Justice,
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, League of Conservation Voters,
NAACP National Voter Fund, NARAL-Pro-Choice America, People For the
American Way, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Sierra Club)
have banded together to try and prevent the rule from being adopted. The
opponents argue, correctly, that the rule exceeds the authority of the
FEC and prohibits activity that Congress authorized in the
McCain-Feingold legislation, limits the free speech of non-profits and
in any event should not be adopted in the middle of an election cycle.

The other shoe dropped yesterday when the Republican National Committee
filed a formal complaint with the FEC against twenty-seven non-profit
527 committees alleging a criminal conspiracy in violation of the
election law. The RNC formally urged the FEC to consider and reject
their complaint quickly so that they could get into the friendlier
confines of the Federal court system as soon as possible. Of course
after Florida it is no surprise that the Republicans want to find ways
to let the Supreme Court decide election disputes instead of voters.

Activists can still affect the rules fight by urging progressive elected
officials to complain to the FEC. Non-profits can sign on to the
Coalition to Protect Non-Profits Advocacy comments to be submitted to
the FEC on behalf of more than 500 non profits by sending an email by
noon on Monday, April 5, 2004, to  takeaction@afj.org.

Visit our Web Site:  http://WWW.DSAUSA.ORG

homepage: homepage: http://dsaoregon.org/

More dirty tricks 01.Apr.2004 13:14


Some years ago, back in North Carolina, I was a fresh-faced college grad looking to make a difference. When a strong candidate decided to face off against crypto-nazi/racist posterjerk Jesse Helms, I got right behind him and joined the fight. The candidate was Harvey Gantt, a black man with an illustrious (and clean) political career already behind him.

Naturally, it was a very dirty campaign. I could rail on about the lies and invective that spewed from the Helms camp during the campaign, but hey, it was a political race.

What really got to me (and ultimately led to my leaving NC and the Southeast) was the behavior of Helms' people on election night, and the troubling breakdowns of polling machines in NC's heavily Afro-American voting districts.

On election night, we were all running around headquarters like crazy. The evening news had come and gone, but reports of malfunctioning voting machines were still pouring in from all over the state. Meanwhile, thousands of voters were waiting in lines for hours only to find the machines broken. Thousands of voters left in disgust. In the waning hours of that election day, we volunteers organized a taxi service to go to voter's homes, pick them up and bring them to their polling places, and make sure that they voted. Judges even extended the voting hours to account for the mysterious breakdowns.

Here is where it got really dirty. We discovered that a very loud and obnoxious group of Helms supporters had set up in a vacant lot across from Gantt headquarters. Every time we sent out a car to pick up voters, the Helms camp sent out a car or two to chase us through the streets of Durham, NC. When we arrived at a voter's home and rang the bell, the Helms supporters would come running up to the house, telling the people that we were lying, the voting machines were still broken, and their votes wouldn't count. On the occasions when we were able to get a voter to take our shuttle to their polling place, the Helms cars would drive erratically, attempting to cut us off, slowing down when they got in front of us, even coming close to running us off the roads. At the polling place, they would continue to hound the voters right up to the door.

As you may guess, Helms won that race, and turned this optimistic liberal into a much more cynical person.

'tsalagi red' 01.Apr.2004 18:27

don't forget

electronic voting machines: