Newspaper logo  
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

10.09 The Ongoing Destruction of Public Education

Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

10.10 Sulfur pollution in Denmark's air dropped by 60% thanks to cleaner ship fuel regulations

10.10 Briquettes are the hot new thing for your wood-burning stove, so cut out the logs

10.10 World Bank pledges extra $29bn to poorer nations for climate change fight [Pollution activities should be outlawed to stimulate renewable energy spending]

10.10 Food, tech and divestment: the students fighting for a sustainable future

10.10 Shell and Exxon's €5bn problem: gas drilling that sets off earthquakes and wrecks homes

10.10 House votes to lift crude oil export ban despite opposition from White House

10.10 Texas pipeline plans rouse protest and pride from residents of lush Big Bend

10.10 Koch Brothers + 11 Other Special Interest Groups Wage War on Solar

10.10 Mark Ruffalo: Entire GOP Has ‘Turned Their Back on Science’

10.10 California Governor Signs Ambitious Climate Change Bill Forcing Public Pensions to Divest From Coal

10.09 Climate Change “Tipping Points” and the Fate of the Earth

10.09 End of Life Care: 'We're Reluctant to Talk About Death'

10.09 Jane Goodall Interview: 'Even Chimps Understand Sustainability'

10.09 One in three young Chinese men will die from smoking, study says

10.09 Four more carmakers join diesel emissions row

10.09 Poland’s second city to ban coal use after anti-smog law approved

10.08 Cars, aviation, steel ... the stranded assets risk spreads far beyond fossil fuel firms

10.08 How a Manmade Tidal Lagoon Could Change the Future of Clean Energy

10.08 L.A.'s New 'Energy Atlas' Maps Who Sucks the Most Off the Grid

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

10.09 It took me two hours to get my hands on an AK-47. Welcome to America

10.08 Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards: 'In this election, Roe v Wade is on the ballot'

10.08 'The goal is to be the winner': Donald Trump's campaign is for real

10.08 The Future of U.S. Voting May Be U.K. Technology

10.07 The Counted: 'Forced to fire'

10.07 Gun demanding: the psychology of why people want firearms

10.07 Bill Ackman's latest wager: Bloomberg for president

10.07 The Populist Prophet

Justice Matters

10.10 Monsanto Fights Back Against Cancer Lawsuits as Company Eliminates 12% of Workforce

10.08 Donald Trump takes campaign against windfarms to UK supreme court

10.08 Can California Prevent Wage Discrimination Against Women?

High Crimes?

10.10 Poachers poison 14 elephants in Zimbabwe national parks

Economics, Crony Capitalism

10.09 My Plan to Prevent the Next Crash

10.08 Hillary Clinton Abandons Obama on Trade

10.07 The Corporate-Friendly World of the T.P.P.

10.07 The Good (and Bad) News About Poverty and Global Trade

10.06 Obama faces TPP deal balancing act as Congress considers approval


10.10 Oil Found In Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights Could Spark New War In Region

10.10 Cubans risking their lives en route to US as thaw triggers immigration policy fears

10.10 Turkey terror attack: scores killed in twin Ankara blasts

10.09 Living in a steel box: are shipping containers really the future of housing?

10.08 In the Montréal Area, 82 Municipalities Begin to Think and Act As One

10.08 All You Need Is Love [An old, true story with a timeless, powerful lesson]

10.08 Ready or Not, the Third Intifada May Be Here [Dear Netanyahu, read the story, above and ponder]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
This site Web
  Flawed Voting in our Democracy ">
Newspaper logo


Flawed Voting in our Democracy

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.

Public Service Ads: