Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

October 21, 2012

Don’t wait to see if your vote will count

Perhaps you’ll remember that Strategic Allied Consulting was hired by Republicans in more than eight battleground states to register citizens to vote. Once their muddying tactics (false signatures, shredding Democratic registrations, etc.) were discovered, they were fired.

According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (www.BallotBandits.org), in the 2008 election, no fewer than 767,023 provisional ballots were cast and not counted, 1,451,116 ballots were “spoiled,” not counted, and 488,136 absentee ballots were mailed but not counted.

Added up, 2,706,276 ballots were cast and never counted. In addition, 251,936 provisional ballots were counted only in part (that is, for some offices).

Also, 2,383,587 would-be voters had their registrations rejected; 491,952 voters already registered were wrongly purged from the rolls and 320,000 properly registered voters were simply turned away from the polls when they tried to vote, mostly for not having IDs acceptable to a poll worker.

Add it up again and the total grows to no fewer than 5,901,814 legitimate votes and voters tossed out of the count.

Why is this important? According to Karl Rove, in the Wall Street Journal (June 2011), “Even a small drop in the share of black voters would wipe out (Obama’s) winning margin in North Carolina.”

Obama won North Carolina by 14,000 votes. It should be noted that his field offices have registered 250,000 North Carolinians for 2012.

Voter suppression tactics have a cheating purpose. The most common voter suppression tactic is a photo ID requirement, which can disenfranchise so many “citizens.” The Brennan Center breakdown of those without government photo ID is 6 million seniors, 5.5 million African Americans, 8.1 million Hispanics, 4.5 million 18 to 24-year-olds, and 15 percent voters with household income under $35,000 a year.

Democratic registrations are down in Iowa by 29,000, Arizona by 58,000 and Pennsylvania by 176,000, all since 2011. Other states have similarities. This national plan can beat Obama.

How can this be prevented? Don’t go postal! In the last election half a million absentee ballots were never counted, on the flimsiest of technical excuses.

Vote early! Don’t wait till Election Day to find out your ID is invalid or you’re on some creep’s challenge list. Demand a paper ballot! Check with your county board of elections to verify your registration.

See www.gottavote.com or RocktheVote.com.

Vote unconditionally, not provisionally. Demand adjudication immediately of your right to a real ballot from poll judges, or demand a call to the supervisor of elections.

Bill Arnold

Romney, W.Va.

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