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When And Where Does The Post Election Uprising Begin?

All right, like, what am I supposed to do after the Bush junta steals this election? Where and when do I join my revolutionary comrades in puttting down this bottle of rye and taking to the streets to protest another stolen election?
Poll Watchers to Crowd Voting Venues

Associated Press Writer

October 28, 2004, 4:31 PM EDT

Tens of thousands of poll monitors, challengers, lawyers and other activist observers are expected to clog voting precincts in battleground states Tuesday in what will probably be the most scrutinized U.S. election in at least 40 years.

Few federal laws govern these largely self-appointed guardians of the voting process, many of whom are brazenly partisan and who range from civil rights activists to amateur videographers. Many are first-time volunteers, hastily trained by new advocacy coalitions. Others have had no training whatsoever.

Several election directors -- including those in swing states -- are still drafting ground rules on where monitors can stand, to whom they can talk and how they should report problems. Some guidelines have already been challenged in court.

The confusing rules and lack of federal oversight alarms officials, especially given the intensity of this presidential contest. Particularly in jurisdictions where partisan politics and race have already cleaved deep social divisions, they fear a worst-case scenario where boorish or clueless observers spark a riot.

"People who are doing this care about the election -- they're passionate, and I'd hate to see passion rise to the level of confusion or confrontation," said DeForest Soaries Jr., chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the newly created federal agency in charge of election reform. "They have to remember that one flare-up anywhere in the country could trigger an intense response in multiple places."

Swarms of watchers -- as well as pollsters, journalists and political operatives -- could overwhelm and discourage voters from casting the very ballots they're trying to protect. Some compare it to a jam-packed Wal-Mart parking lot dissuading would-be shoppers from even entering the store.

"Poll monitoring is one of these institutions that's right at the tension point between security and access," said Alex Keyssar, professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. "There's nothing wrong with watchers making sure everything is on the up and up. On the other hand ... they could intimidate voters and slow down the lines. There's definitely potential for some chaos here."

The mobilization may be the single largest election drive since 1964's "Freedom Summer," when thousands of college students traveled to the South to help black voters protect their civil rights.

The Election Protection Coalition, created by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, People for the American Way Foundation, and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, has registered nearly 15,000 watchers. They'll focus on 3,500 predominantly African-American and Latino precincts in 17 states.

Political parties have also recruited heavily nationwide, even in no-contest states such as Democratic-leaning California.

In Republican-leaning Texas, an Austin-based activist group is launching a "Video Vote Vigil" to protect voter rights in low-income precincts. Members plan to interview willing voters as they enter and leave polling places and publish the clips online.

Other less partisan groups have also mobilized, and several worry about the integrity of newly introduced electronic voting machines that lack a paper record.

More than 1,300 computer scientists and other technology professionals have signed up to monitor hardware and software on touch-screen voting terminals through VerifiedVoting.org, a group started by a Stanford University e-voting critic.

The Justice Department is mobilizing, too. It's dispatching more than 1,000 observers -- nearly twice the 516 who monitored the 2000 election. They'll help secure ballot boxes, set up emergency communications systems and locate backup polling places in case of a terrorist attack or other catastrophe.

In some swing-state jurisdictions, watchers may outnumber voters. Some polling places Florida's Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and Ohio's Cuyahoga County are bracing for two or three dozen monitors each.

Although state regulations differ widely, monitors typically must follow the same rules journalists and candidates face -- they can't enter a polling place unless asked, and must stay at least 50 feet from the entrance.

In Ohio, monitors had to register with election officials by Oct. 22. More than 2,000 Ohio Democrats will watch for voter intimidation and disenfranchisement, while Republicans recruited about 3,600 people, many in the Democratic strongholds of Cleveland, Toledo and Dayton, who will look for fraudulent voting.

Already, Ohio's Republican challengers are questioning the eligibility of 35,000 newly registered voters, and in Florida, Republicans have compiled a list of 2,663 newly registered voters in the heavily minority Jacksonville area with apparently incorrect addresses, based on returned mail from a letter the GOP sent out.

Colorado, where the race between Democrat Ken Salazar and Republican Peter Coors could determine control of the U.S. Senate, issued guidelines for monitors just last week. Secretary of State Donetta Davidson limited each party to one person per station and banned outside groups from sending teams of lawyers to polling places. She's considering another rule that would ban monitors' use of cell phones.

Some Californians are traveling to swing state Nevada, where election officials are trying to minimize disruptions and prepare for record turnout.

"We just want to ensure that voters can vote without being interfered with," said Registrar Larry Lomax of Nevada's Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. He says his staff has been trained to deal with partisan poll watchers who don't "stand there and keep their mouths shut."

The EAC may issue recommendations for monitors -- but not until late November, after researchers analyze the 2004 election. If watchers incite havoc Tuesday, Soaries said he may ask federal legislators to adopt amendments governing their behavior.

"I believe in the integrity of the people who do this type of work, but there's no coordination, there are a whole bunch of different kinds of groups, and you run the risk of people masquerading as helpers but whose goal is to be a hindrance," Soaries said. "In the absence of a system, it's hard to express confidence."

Brendan Riley in Carson City, Nev., Curt Anderson in Washington, D.C., and Steven K. Paulson in Denver were among AP reporters contributing to this story.

homepage: homepage: http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-poll-watchers,0,7901580.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines

Torchlight Parade 28.Oct.2004 16:09


I think a torchlight parade will get people's attention in a big hurry. When it is time to get rid of a monster nothing is quite as effective as a mob at night with torches.

And pitchforks 28.Oct.2004 17:00


Torches are no good without pitchforks - and a tar wagon.

November 3rd 5pm 28.Oct.2004 17:24

fight back

November 3rd.
Pioneer Courthouse Square
5 o'clock pm

On November 2nd the election campaigns will finally be over. We may be faced with homophobic legislation and either four more years of George Bush or four years of John Kerry. Either way we will be ruled by a pro-war candidate who does not represent our interests. No matter what happens on November 2nd the need remains for an independent anti-war movement that pressures this government to bring the troops home and end all imperialist interventions and occupations: from Iraq to Haiti, to the Philippines and to the streets of Portland. Neither Kerry nor Bush will fix the deep-rooted problems we face. Our best hope for peace and justice lies in building politically independent movements to demand real change. On November 3rd join us in the streets to let our government know that we're still here and that they need to deal with us. Bring yourself, your friends, banners, and your passion for a better world!

No Banners! 28.Oct.2004 20:44

Boris Karloff

Banners will just accidentally be ignited by the torches. Fire is needed to fight the demons. Fire. Pitchforks. Fire.

..."That Their Impure Blood Should Water Our Fields"... 28.Oct.2004 20:56

la Marseillaise

A two wheeled, high sided, stake-walled, horse-drawn hay cart, running over the cobblestones, occupants in chains, on the way to the guillotine!
...Aux armes, citoyens!
...Aux armes, citoyens!

and peter feldman 28.Oct.2004 22:59

buldging eyes

or is is don feldman.

that'd be MARTY 29.Oct.2004 00:00


"you take the blonde, I'll take the one in the turban."

"Igor" 29.Oct.2004 00:01

marty feldman

...in "Young Frankensteen"
"yes, mah-stahh!

thanks 29.Oct.2004 13:27

I needed a laugh

I'm going out to find a pitchfork, now.

Let the uprising begin in your heart 03.Nov.2004 09:50

Dearly beloved ...

" ... avenge not yourselves yourself ..."
"If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink, for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
Romans, 12:19-21

"Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law."

Put on the armor of light, my good people. Our salvation (our very life) is through Love.