mercredi 24 septembre 2008

Protect your right to vote, NOW! Pass this on

Update: Further emailing with the Registrar's office of the Town of Greenwich and Christine Houben, Regional Field Director, Americans Abroad for Obama, and a telephone call to the Town Clerk's Office provided the following clarifications of language. I knew that in the case of those US citizens living abroad, you can register to vote in the Federal Election, but not in the local or state election because one no longer owns property or physically lives in CT, for example, but your registration is on an election by election basis. We are not on the voter rolls in all states. "This applies," according to Ms. Houben, "in some states, not in others." To ensure that my ballot is counted, I need to send in the FPCA, which registers you for this election and requests a ballot, and "just vote in the Federal (Presidential) election, not any state or local elections (Dog Catcher, Sheriff, etc.)."

This does not change the substance or diminish the importance of the rest of the post for hundreds of thousands of others!

PS: If you make it through to the bottom of this, there's a disillusioned, sad, tired, yet daring to hope American treat!

ttp://my.barackobama.com/page/content/vrachome/


Votes are being stolen, now, by the hundreds of thousands -- and the Democrats aren't doing anything about it. RFK, Jr.

"There are about 30 scams the Republicans are deliberately using, particularly in the swing states to get Democratic voters off the rolls. These scams originate in the so-called Help America Vote Act, which was passed after the Florida debacle in the year 2000."
-- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., September 24, 2008

ARE YOU LISTENING EVERYONE?


Sorry to shout. I am a little upset about this bit of news, even in the midst of the joy FiveThirtyEight.com creates in this Obama supporter. You see, even if we support Obama and intend to vote for him, we can't if we think we are registered, but aren't actually, anymore.


'The perfect match'

"One of these requirements under HAVA is called 'the perfect match,' and what that does is little known but it is devastating. A quarter of the voters in Colorado have just been removed from the rolls because of this... they use a computer system to compare your registration application to all [your] other government records in the state... your Social Security records, your Motor Vehicle records, and any time you've had any interaction with the government, and if there is any information on your voter registration that is different than the information on another government record that they found, they remove you from the voting rolls."


Are you a student? First time voter?


Make absolutely certain to read the Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. piece, if you want you vote to be counted and not end up in the trash bin:

"If you're a newly registered voter... you MUST include your license or some other state I.D. when you come to vote. What that means is that if you're a college kid... if [you] send in the absentee ballot, and [you] don't include a copy of [your driver's] license, [you] vote is going to be thrown into a trash can. And none of these people know this, because you had to have to read the law in order to know it. There is no notification [of this requirement] when you fill out your registration form, so all of those 12 million people that the Democrats have regstered -- those ballot are going to be just thrown out."


What happened to me,
a veteran voter

About three weeks ago, I tried the tool to check your voter registration that the Obama campaign sent out. The tool was unable to find my voter registration. It tried several times, with different information, and it could not find me listed where I have been registered to vote since at least 1992: Greenwich, Connecticut.

I voted in all state, local and presidential elections in Greenwich, cast my last presidential ballot in 2000 for Gore before moving to France in 2002. In 2002, I received an absentee ballot and cast my vote for Kerry, sending it off certified receipt requested. I recall receiving the signed card, and feeling relief. It worked, now if it would only be certain to be counted.

This year, I assumed all was well, until the Obama campaign voter registration check tool failed to find me in the Connecticut state voter rolls.

I was wrong to assume anything, since Republican Assistant Registrar of Voters, Ruby J. Durant, of the Town of Greenwich replied to my telephone call, in which I left my email address, with the following email:

According to our records you are not registered to vote here in Greenwich, Connecticut. If you voted in the 2004 Presidential election by Absentee Ballot, you probably voted on a Federal Ballot, which you are entitled to do as an American Citizen living out of the country. This office (Registrars of Voters) does not handle absentee ballots, so if you have any other questions please contact our Town Clerks Office (who handles Absentee ballot questions) @ 203-622-7897. I hope that this helps.

I am in no way suggesting that Ms. Durant is responsible for any wrong-doing. There is also a Democratic Assistant Registrar of Voters in the Town of Greenwich. I find this comforting, nonetheless.

I will say in all truthfulness that I do not recall how I received my absentee ballot in 2004, but I do not remember requesting it. I could not swear by that. It was not, to the best of my knowledge, a Federal Ballot.

I was, however, absolutely and positively registered to vote and have voted in the Town of Greenwich.

So, where is my registration?

They do not require renewal, to the best of my knowledge.

I contacted www.votefromabroad.org immediately, and received the forms needed to register and obtain my absentee ballot. I have returned the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). These are the critical dates and actions to take to vote absentee from abroad:
  • October 4: If I do not receive my state ballot by October 4, I mail in my vote by Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot. This a back-up in case one does not receive one's state ballot. If the state ballot arrives subsequently, I fill it in and mail it, too. It does not count as a double vote. The local election official only counts one.
  • Between September 20 and Election Day (November 4): if I have not sent the FPCA (I have), then I should send it together with the FWAB. From Vote From Abroad, "Every voter who submits a valid ballot request 30 days before the election is legally entitled to use the FWAB. In addition, some states have later deadlines. You may send in the FPCA + FWAB right up until Election Day, but it will depend upon your state whether your ballot is deemed valid."

Dissuasion and exhaustion from the Registrars' offices

An Obama campaign volunteer in Virginia sent me the following copy of an email she received from the Registrar's Office in Martinsville, VA:

We are working twelve hours a day here in the office, and coming in on Saturday and Sunday, and we can't do anymore. Please leave our telephone number off of your letter. A voter does not get a new voter card if he is already in the system and most of them are. I wish you wouldn't send this letter to the bulletin [local newspaper]. We are trying to put this election together, and it must be done on time or we go to jail. This election is getting enough advertisement!!!

The rest of Melody's email to fellow Obama volunteers reads as follows:

Is this voter fraud or voter repression - either way something stinks. She claimed that she is overwhelmed, working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and can not keep up with demand. This is GREAT NEWS for Obama!!! People who have not voted for decades or never are coming out to register, in droves!

The bad news and question of the hour is, is there an emergency plan to get extra people in to help with registration efforts NOW? Apparently, this registrar is ill prepared to handle the amount of people coming forward. Will we loose registrations this way? Will she not be able to lift up the phone to answer crucial questions? Can any of you guys call or write to your registrars and see how its going in your area? ALERT the media, call out the troops. We need attention called to this right NOW!!! The deadline to register is fast approaching. And it looks like it will be a fight to the finish.

I am telling you guys, the people who are not registered are not being counted in the polls. This could be the real difference in winning or loosing. No kidding!



Worried? You ought to be

Now, here's what you can and must do: It's important to spread the word of what Melody experienced and of my "disappeared" voter registration to see if these problems are widespread.

Consider taking the following steps:
  • Call or visit your local Registrar's or Town Clerk's office to see if there is anything that private citizens can do to help them answer the demand and get voters registered officially. Try to volunteer to help process paperwork.
  • Is there a watchdog organization for voter registration activity? Just Google watchdog voter registration organization to get going. Try your state.
  • Call your Democratic US congressional representative's office to discuss this and report any problems you have.
  • Contact your state DNC office to do the same.
  • Send a letter to the editor of your local paper and call your media outlets to talk to reporters.
  • Finally, contact friends and family in other areas who could do what you did to test the waters elsewhere.
  • Finally (for now), read the the Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. article Votes being stolen, now, by hundreds of thousands; Dems doing nothing that appears in its entirety below. It is shocking.
  • Feel free to add your own.

Election volunteering for lawyers, law students, paralegals
and you

There are two sites for lawyers, law students and paralegals to which to go to sign up to volunteer:

Some things need to change big time before America gets so tripped up in her own knickers that she falls down. How can these things happen in a great and free nation?

Guys, Democracy ain't free and easy anymore. We already are fighting for it at home in The USA now. Forget Iraq. You can't just make up your mind which candidate you prefer and head over to vote on election day because thousands or millions like you will be in for a nasty surprise come November 4.

Thanks for reading, now, watch the video of Barack in Charlotte on Sunday, make a donation (please... pretty please... all you need is a credit card and a couple bucks, and you get the credit), a call and send this on to everyone you know.


Barack Obama
Charlotte, North Carolina - September 21

....

Here's the RFK, Jr. article:

Votes are being stolen, now, by hundreds of thousands--and the Democrats aren't doing anything about it. RFK, Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: There are about 30 scams the Republicans are deliberately using, particularly in the swing states to get Democratic voters off the rolls. These scams originate in the so-called Help America Vote Act, which was passed after the Florida debacle in the year 2000. It was originally suggested by Democrats and Republicans, but it was passed by a Republican Congress with a Republican senate and a Republican president. And instead of reforming what happened in Florida it basically institutionalized all the problems that happened in Florida. And institutionalized a series of impediments that make it very difficult for Democrats to register, for Democrats to vote and then for Democrats to have their votes counted.

One of these requirements under HAVA is called 'the perfect match,' and what that does is little known but it is devastating. A quarter of the voters in Colorado have just been removed from the rolls because of this--[and] just this one scam. And what it does is, they use a computer system to compare your registration application to all [your] other government records in the state. So they'll look at your Social Security records, your Motor Vehicle records, and any time you've had any interaction with the government, and if there is any information on your voter registration that is different than the information on another government record that they find, they remove you from the voting rolls.

For example, if I registered as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and yet my motor vehicle license said Robert Frances Kennedy Jr., I'd be removed from the rolls. If your initial is different, if you leave an initial out, if you leave a "Jr." out, if you leave a hyphen out in your name. And what they've done is a study in New York that said 80% of the errors are errors by state clerks taking down this information. And particularly [in] immigrant communities, [where] people tend to vote Democratic, people have namesŠspell Muhammad with an "o" instead of a "u"

(Crosstalk)

Papantonio: Are the Democrats suing to stop this?

RFK, Jr.: No, the Democrats are doing nothing to stop it. In New Jersey, which is a swing state, 300,000 voters in New Jersey were just sent letters saying that they are now ineligible to vote. New Jersey is nice enough to actually notify them--most states will not even notify them. And New Jersey intends to send out 870,000 letters so that is three quarters of a million people off the voting rolls in a state that could decide this vote by 50,000 votes. And these are Democrats that are being pushed off the rolls.

Let me tell you about one of other scams people should know about. If you're a newly registered voter--and of course the Democrats have done these gigantic registration drives--12 million people on registration--if you're a new voter, you MUST include your license or some other state I.D. when you come to vote. What that means is that if you're a college kid--and college kids now, they're sending in absentee ballots, they're not going to the voting place, they do everything online or they do everything remotely. They don't dream of going to the precinct house voting on election day and waiting in a long line. So if they send in the absentee ballot, and they don't include a color copy of their [driver's] license, their vote is going to be thrown into a trash can. And none of these people know this, because you had to have to read the law in order to know it. There is no notification [of this requirement] when you fill out your registration form, so all of those 12 million people that the Democrats have registered--those ballots are going to be just thrown out.

Papantonio: And if Democrats won't talk about this, how the hell's anybody gonna know about it? I'm involved with this kind of thing every day--I didn't know that until you just told me. The media is not talking about it. How in the hell is somebody gonna find this out? It's just incredible.

RFK, Jr.: Hopefully--Obama is getting $66 million a month--hopefully somebody in the Democratic organization is going to pay some attention to this before Election Day.

more at:

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is an environmental lawyer and activist in New York. He is one of the few who has also covered election fraud and voter suppression.

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