Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

50,000 voters purged in Georgia

Posted in politics by allisonkilkenny on October 27, 2008

 

From MCM
Here’s an item from CNN, on the GOP’s purge of 50,000 voters in Georgia–“some voters,” as the network puts it delicately.
I preface it with Ken Anderson’s email about the wording.
MCM
Mark,

This is an amazing display of media obfuscation of a large story coming out of Georgia.  Headlined as,

“Some voters ‘purged’ from voter rolls” a few paragraphs down, the reader learns what CNN means by “some”:
____________

From CNN:
Berry is one of more than 50,000 registered Georgia voters who have been “flagged” because of a computer mismatch in their personal identification information. At least 4,500 of those people are having their citizenship questioned and the burden is on them to prove eligibility to vote.

“What most people don’t know is that every year, elections officials strike millions of names from the voter rolls using processes that are secret, prone to error and vulnerable to manipulation,” said Wendy Weiser, an elections expert with New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.

“That means that lots and lots of eligible voters could get knocked off the voter rolls without any notice and, in many cases, without any opportunity to correct it before Election Day.”

____________

I now know that the word “some” has a numerical value of 50,000.

Two weeks prior to the election, huge numbers of mismatches are of course occurring and citizens are now being told, not that they need to correct their registration, but that they are not actually US citizens and must prove citizenship.

Now, imagine how many are not receiving any notice at all.

Eight days until electoral meltdown, when the media will gloss over the national debacle and paint it all as a smooth day for the world’s greatest democracy.

Ken

BREAKING (CNN) – GA: 50,000 voters purged in early Oct (w/update)

by Verbalobe
Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 08:44:26 AM PDT
If I’m late to this party just let me know and I’ll delete.  CNN.com has a story up now about up to 50,000 new voters in Georgia having been been purged (even after being informed they were registered, and almost certainly most of them erroneously), with insufficient time to correct the mistake.  This is apparently in violation of Federal law.
There’s apparently a lawsuit on the books over this:

A lawsuit has been filed over Georgia’s mismatch system, and the state is also under fire for requestingSocial Security records for verification checks on about 2 million voters — more requests than any other state.

One of the lawyers involved in the lawsuit says Georgia is violating a federal law that prohibits widespread voter purges within 90 days of the election, arguing that the letters were sent out too close to the election date.

But the article isn’t clear on the status of the case.
This diary summarizes other states, actions taken, and recommendations, but doesn’t explicitly address Georgia.
More from CNN:

Georgia’s Secretary of State Karen Handel, a Republican who began working on purging voter rolls since she was elected in 2006, said that won’t happen. If there are errors, she said, there is still plenty of time to resolve the problems. iReport.com: Are you voting early?

Handel says she is not worried the verification process will prevent eligible voters from casting a ballot.

“In this state and all states, there’s a process to ensure that a voter who comes in — even if there’s a question about their status — that they will vote either provisional or challenge ballot, which is a paper ballot,” she said.

“So then the voter has ample opportunity to clarify any issues or address them,” Handel added. “And I think that’s a really important process.”

“This is about ensuring the integrity of our elections,” she said.

Interesting that these Republicans — whether they are outside the Secretary of State office (as in Ohio) or in charge of it (as in Georgia) all use the same talking points.
Meanwhile citizens like Kyla Berry mentioned in the story may not even GO to the polls, having been told they were purged.
An illegal purge, based on data (Social Security data) that is not supposed to be matched against except in extremis, performed during an illegal timeframe, targeting new voters which are overwhelmingly Democratic, resulting in a letter that tells them they are not registered to vote, arriving past the time provided for dispute or correction…
What can this possibly be other than…

Handel denied the efforts to verify the vote are suppression.

UPDATE 1:  To help calm those with exploding heads, hair torn out, tears of rage, etc., this from gchaucer2

All of these voter suppression tactics are being challenged vigorously right now.  Courts are addressing the suits on an expedited basis.  Lawyers from the private sector are stripping the reins from the DOJ which is doing nothing other than abetting supression.

It is impossible prior to the next Congress and Administration to pressure the DOJ to do its mandated duty.  There will be a purge at Justice and concerted effort to standardize registration requirements.

It is not too little too late.

And this from chimpy:

Maybe we can’t fix every case, but we can help fix a lot of them by funding and volunteering for Election Protection.

We can publicize every case of vote fraud (actual), and vote suppression. Spread the news, to let this year’s failed power-grab forever stain the Republican party’s character the same way Katrina, Iraq and overleveraged Wall St speculation have stained their philosophy.

And, we can push so hard this week that McCain and his party lose way beyond the margin of theft next Tuesday. Your co-worker will get his registration fixed sometime. What we do this week could determine whether or not there’s a Republic still functioning to use it in.

Also, CNN has updated the original article (linked above) with more national context (Wisconsin, Ohio) and more comment from anti-suppression voices.

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