Tuesday, June 5, 2012

GOP Voter Suppression Attempts Start to Backfire

(right: Cartoon depicting the state of Florida's unpopular governor, Rick Scott, and his napalm approach to voter registration irregularities.) 


 As some have no doubt heard, the states of Florida, Texas, Wisconsin and several other states dominated by freshly-minted GOP hard liners have recently undertaken attempts to strike voters from the rolls to stay in office or throw the upcoming November election to folks they want to see in office. 

In Florida there were attempts to disenfranchise a couple thousands voters, over eighty percent of which were non-white. One particular instance of attempted disenfranchisement has caught the attention of the regular media.  According to a recent editorial by the Miami Herald's Pulitzer-Prize Winning editorialist, Leonard Pitts,Jr:      

"Bill Internicola had to show his papers.

"He received a letter last month from the Broward County, Fla., Supervisor of Elections informing him the office had "information from the state of Florida that you are not a United States citizen; however, you are registered to vote." So Internicola had to prove he is an American. He sent the county a copy of his Army discharge papers.

"Internicola is 91. He was born in Brooklyn. He is a veteran of the Second World War. He earned a Bronze Star for his part in the Battle of the Bulge. Yet he was required to prove to a county functionary that he is entitled to vote in a U.S. election.

"We learn from a story in last week's Miami Herald that this is part of a campaign by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, to weed non-citizens off the rolls of the state's voters. Initially, Florida claimed 180,000 were possible non-citizens. That number was eventually whittled way down to about 2,600 people. In Miami-Dade County, where the largest number of them live, 385 have been verified as citizens. Ten -- 10! -- have admitted they are ineligible or asked to be removed from the rolls.



So out of 2,600 voters there was 10 voters. This,  out of millions registered  in the "Sunshine State", who needed to be weeded out.  Clearly this was not a major problem in the first place and is more of a scare tactic to suppress ethnic votes that would be unfavorable to the party in power (the Republicans) during a major election. This flies in the face of the spirit of the Voting Rights Act  of 1965 and shows how  desperate some politicos are  of the changing demographics of the southern, southwestern and midwest states where these tactics are the most often applied.


Currently the Attorney General's office and parts of our judicial court system  have done a pretty good job keeping this sort of disenfranchisement from getting out of hand. But of course that could change starting this November.  It's clear with enough money and enough fear of "the other" (mainly Hispanics, it seems) these campaigns are so brazen they will not be stalled without plenty of public interest.


Even this very day,  there are attempts at voter intimidation and misinformation going on right now in the Governor Scott Walker recall election in Wisconsin.  


These tactics are not new, as African-American voters who are aware of long fight over Jim Crow Laws are aware, with the long history of "poll taxes" and outright violent suppression of voting rights know about, as women who recall the Suffergate Movement are aware, as Hispanic Americans who face being asked for their citizenship papers thanks to draconian laws in Arizona are well aware. 


 What is new in the modern American political scene is the fervor of it all. White conservatives know the demographics of this nation are changing and not to their betterment.  The America of Richard Nixon's white and worried  "Silent Majority" and Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" crowd is seeing their ranks thinning and time marching on.  But they will try to keep the clock back, and try all they can to enforce an internal colonization over the new voting blocs that are more open-minded about issues from economic empathy and marriage rights than they ever were.


 it's a strong indication that, as Thomas Jefferson said, "the price of liberty is, [indeed], eternal vigilance!" 



  1. that last statement is sure saying it like it is....eternal vigilance is the only way to be. Yup, the white conservatives are scared the blacks in this country will be taking over....what a shame that they cant see past the color of their skin and see the human individual inside.

  2. This whole thing is quite disgusting.

  3. This country has always been composed of many different races and cultures and that has not proved our down fall yet.

  4. GOP are mean by nature, but what makes them even more dangerous is they are backed by so many obscenely rich leaders who would stop at nothing just so they don't have to pay the same tax bracket as ordinary citizens. Sad.

  5. I tend to agree here yet while living within New York as my former wife was that of a American - Columbian but was very immersed with society at large. I found Doug that the Black American's were less inclined if they were less educated. To an extent segregation still seemed to be the means and ways.

    Yet I find that all cultures are taken back within this process as perhaps they feel that prejudism still exists when
    there have been all these slanders on Obama. If you recall when Obama came into office he represented America's
    liberties. Therefore I would think that there is a predominant base which let down. I could be wrong.

  6. Yes, Iri Ani. It's an old trick. The results ofthe 2008 election scared the right sill over here and the Republicans know there wil be a lot more voters out there in 2012 trying to reverse the "tea party" gains in 2010.

  7. Exactly Tinh. To me, this is all about grabbing a bigger slice of a pie the rich feel is diminshing now that teh EU is hobbled and China and India are "in the game" so to speak.

  8. The have backfired a bit but if you look at this as if it's a sport and there and the match is just began. I believe that win it comes down to it Doug - the President will win. Sure Romney edges in on the polls now and then yet Obama will obtain those which by choice do vote.

  9. I do think a lot of people expected the economy to rebound much faster, Jack, and thus expected Obama was going to be able to pull the Congress along to do what he wanted. There is no magic button on the Oval Office desk, as you know, to create jobs. Obama was given about eighteen months to make the worst recession iin seventy years magically go away.

    Now the Congress that was elected in 2010 is a diametric bloc against anything the President proposes.

  10. The polls still favor Obama slightly and he has more more of a personal favorability rate. Obama will win, Jack, if he reminds people over and over howwe got into this mess in the first place (Reagan, Bush and Bush II) and how going backwards isn't the answer.


  11. They did Doug, one year after he was in. Yet I have been reading some news of recent within Gallop and I believe those which Do vote - the majority by default shall be what we already know.

  12. Yes there is only a small percentage who are undecided this time.

  13. And as of today Obama averages out at 47% which shall go up and down before this is all over. It's interesting to say the least.

  14. Yes it is. I think Gallup is a pretty respected outfit.

  15. After what happened in Wisconsin, I don't think we have to worry about voter suppression. I firmly believe there was widespread fraud in that election. Something just wasn't right.

  16. With all the money in there, who knows? Be interesting to see if anything in the media comes out about it, Stephen.

  17. I agree, there was fraud going on in this election, and I hope when and if it comes out...those responsible go to prison...things have to change and the only way those doing the fraud get it in there heads is prison time and maybe it will stop the spread of crap like that anywhere else in the country.

  18. I hope you're right Marty.

    It's clear that just fining corporations for their excesses, for instance, doesn't seem ot have any effect.

  19. I wonder how much it cost to track down those 10 ineligible voters and to eliminate the other 179, 990 from the initial figure Doug? Soon the Miami Cubans will be knocking up rafts and heading back to Havana where democratic participation is so much better than it is in Florida it seems.

    Elections in Cuba have two phases (Hispanics are famously welcome to take part):

    1. election of delegates to the Municipal Assembly, and
    2. election of deputies to the Provincial and National Assemblies.

    Candidates for municipal assemblies are nominated on an individual basis at local levels by the local population at nomination assemblies.
    Candidates for provincial assemblies and the National Assembly are nominated by the municipal assemblies from lists compiled by national, provincial and municipal candidacy commissions.

    Unlike the US or the UK Cuba is a multi-party state which alongside the Communist Party are the Christian Democratic Party of Cuba, the Cuban Democratic Socialist Current, the Democratic Social-Revolutionary Party of Cuba, the Democratic Solidarity Party, the Liberal Party of Cuba and the Social Democratic Co-ordination of Cuba.
    Members of all of those political groups are free to put themselves forward at open and public candidate selection ("Town Hall") meetings and, if they command a simple majority of those present, will be entered onto the ballot paper and have their election materials posted.

  20. The "town hall" system sounds a lot like what they already do in dour and wintry old New Hampshire, AA, only I'll bet the tropical drinks are better in Cuba. ;-)

    From what I see and read the Communist Party is still very much in charge down there.


    If they have some municipal figures from other parties holding office I wonder how much effect there is on Communist Party hold on the national government?

    I realize the two-party system is prone to defects as well, AA, as all the gun-crazy Republican white guys in the state of Texas reminds us, but yet us not lose focus.

    I think I would be a member of the Anti-Hurricane Party were I to move to the Caribbean's largest island.

    I am also against high humidity.

  21. The only difference between Cuba and the US (or the UK) is that Cuba admits it is a one-party state (even if actually it isn't) .... whereas the so-called representative democracies with FPTP voting systems are one party states in reality as well.... but they would never, ever admit it.

  22. Fair enough, AA.

    As I said, the FPTP two-party system definately has its defects.