Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The bottomless bag of Republican dirty election tricks

The GOP has 2 basic election day strategies: get out their own vote and suppress the democrats' vote. They're experts at getting out the vote: in 2004, they got out an extra 6 million evangelicals who made the difference between winning and losing. But suppressing the opposing vote, by intimidation, misinformation and outright denial of voting rights is where their odious true colours glisten like maggots teeming and boiling on a garbage heap in July.

Looking at early reports on voter suppression experiences today, if I didn't know better I'd think I was reading about some South American banana republic run by a tinpot dictator and his gang of thugs. The FBI is already investigating voter intimidation in Virginia, where the senate race is extremely tight. Some voters have reported getting calls telling them their polling station's changed. And how's this for intimidation: voters report getting calls telling them that they're registered out of state and if they vote in Virginia they'll be arrested.

Problems with voting machines started as soon as the polls opened. Poll clerks either couldn't get them started, didn't know how to use them, or the software was incorrectly installed. (I wonder if having to call someone in to install the software correctly might be a hacking opportunity, given that hacking a Diebold machine is as easy as snapping in a stick of RAM. Because who's supervising the people doing the re-installing -- the same poll clerks who didn't know their ass from an acorn squash about the machines to begin with. Ya think?)

It's the Law Of Club and Fang out there in the american electoral wild. I hope voters have the fortitude to say "fuck you!" to the suppression tactics, shove all the GOP-generated obstacles aside and insistently cast their votes. It's the only way to give the american electoral process the power-washing it so desperately needs.