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08.15 RIDE FOR THE OVERRIDE

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08.26 Diane Ravitch to Readers: Don't Let Charter Industry Silence John Oliver

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08.26 Fatigue, Migraines Linked to Fracking as Case Builds for National Ban

08.26 In Effort to Kill Pipeline, Groups Call Directly on Obama to Oppose Permits

08.26 NHS plans closures and radical cuts to combat growing deficit in health budget

08.25 EpiPen Uproar Highlights Company’s Family Ties to Congress [punish price-gougers by canceling patent rights, allow generic production]

08.25 Global warming is melting the Greenland Ice Sheet, fast

08.25 High birth rates and poverty undermine a generation of African children – report

08.25 Nigeria cannot overcome its gathering humanitarian crisis alone

08.25 Delhi schools offer safe space for children to speak up about sexual abuse

08.25 Liberian nurses learn to spot danger signs in babies as healthcare gets shot in arm

08.25 Climate change is thawing deadly diseases. Maybe now we'll address it?

08.24 HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED AFTER PORTUGAL DECRIMINALIZED ALL DRUGS, FROM POT TO COCAINE

08.24 Air pollution threat hidden as research 'presumes people are at home': study

08.24 Politics is killing mothers in Texas

08.24 Zika damage to brain goes well beyond microcephaly, research shows

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08.26 The newspaper ad collapse: Bad news for readers

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08.25 Could urban farming provide a much-needed oasis in the Tulsa food desert?

08.25 A sense that white identity is under attack’: making sense of the alt-right

08.24 Ties to Clinton Foundation are a knotty problem for Hillary’s campaign [more bad judgement]

08.24 BREAKING: ARMED WHITE SUPREMACISTS STORM NAACP OFFICE IN HOUSTON

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08.26 Mississippi Parents Demand an Answer: Are Charter Schools Constitutional?

08.26 Democracy Wins as 'Biggest Gerrymandering Case in Generation' Moves Forward

08.22 Mapping 'Pre-Crime' in Rio

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08.23 UK in denial over Saudi arms sales being used in Yemen, claims Oxfam [US too...]

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08.26 Stiglitz Blasts 'Outrageous' TPP as Obama Campaigns for Corporate-Friendly Deal

08.24 PHARMA CEO GAVE HERSELF AN $18 MILLION RAISE AFTER HIKING EPIPEN PRICES

08.22 As Resistance Mounts, TPP Becoming 2016 Election's Third Rail

08.21 The death of neoliberalism and the crisis in western politics

08.21 Trump and Clinton's free trade retreat: a pivotal moment for the world's economic future

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08.26 The Guardian view on Turkey’s incursion into Syria: Ankara’s biggest concern is containing the Kurds

08.25 Italy in shock after Amatrice earthquake: 'This used to be my home'

08.25 US warns Europe over plan to demand billions in unpaid taxes from Apple

08.24 Acceptable Losses

08.24 Turkish troops enter Syria in major operation against Isis

08.23 Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia

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  Flawed Voting in our Democracy ">
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COMMENTARY:

Flawed Voting in our Democracy

by J. RUSSELL TYLDESLEY
Why does the Republican Party want the Voting Rights Act to expire?
The history of America can be written as an attempt to realize the dream of democracy—but in 2006 America it may still remain only a dream. Republican efforts to suppress the votes of poor minorities is becoming ever more creative and determined—we need only look at the details of the 2000 Florida vote and the 2004 Ohio vote for confirmation.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast pointed out in a report prior to the 2000 election (not widely reported in America, but readily available in Europe) that Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush had succeeded in making tens of thousands of Florida voters disappear from the voting roles by a wrongful determination that they were ineligible to vote as ex-felons, although their voting rights had been restored in other states and federal law required that they not be denied the right to vote in any other state.

Mr. Palast’s most recent book, Armed Madhouse, details how votes of African Americans can be challenged in a process referred to as “caging.” Independent analysis of so-called “spoiled” votes in the 2004 election showed that the chances of a black vote being spoiled and not counted (blacks vote 90% democratic) was 500 times more likely than the spoilage of a Latino vote (Latinos vote about 40% Republican). Even the votes of black soldiers serving in Iraq were successfully challenged when they returned to the states. Not having enough voting machines or functioning machines in predominantly black districts and poor neighborhoods, or at liberal colleges; stopping and searching cars with black occupants on the way to the polls; searching the households of blacks for potential voting fraud; not allowing election day to be a holiday or not extending the time for voting or having voting on weekends; not allowing D.C. to have representation in the Senate: all are ways of suppressing the black democratic vote. Gerrymandering and voter picture I.D.s, (many poor blacks don’t drive and may not have picture I.D.s) or some other test of voter eligibility, are more traditional tactics.

If the poor and black do manage to vote, their votes are likelier than not to be recorded on machinery designed to provide such ambiguous results as to be subject to challenge.
The GOP elites have never trusted democracy and are luxuriating in their present one-party rule. They will continue to find ways to assure that only “qualified” people vote, just as new loopholes will be created to allow the wealthy to buy votes through bogus campaign finance “reform.” And, if the poor and black do manage to vote, their votes are likelier than not to be recorded on machinery designed to provide such ambiguous results as to be subject to challenge. In 2004, 3 million votes were challenged in the 50 state elections. This is the sorry state of voting patterns in America.

In 2004, 3 million votes were challenged in the 50 state elections
All these activities mentioned are prohibited under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and that is why the Republican Congress would like to see the Act expire. Mr. Palast put it this way: When I look over the caging lists and the scrub sheets, it’s clear to me that the GOP has traded in white sheets for spreadsheets.”
J. Russell Tyldesley, an insurance executive, writes from Catonsville, Md.


Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on June 29, 2006.
 

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