Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

05.29 How fossil fuel burning nearly wiped out life on Earth – 250m years ago

05.28 ExxonMobil CEO mocks renewable energy in shareholder speech

05.28 Congressional Republicans are outraged that the EPA wants to protect our drinking water

05.28 Fossil industry faces a perfect political and technological storm [graphs]

05.27 Desalination: the quest to quench the world's thirst for water

05.27 Memo to Jeb Bush: denying human-caused global warming is ignorant

05.27 Growth at all costs: climate change, fossil fuel subsidies and the Treasury

05.27 Peru planning to dam Amazon’s main source and displace 1000s

05.26 Suicide By Pesticide

05.26 ‘Climate Change Deniers Are Like Alcoholics’ | Ed Begley, Jr. [9:50 video]

05.26 Companies aren't doing enough to prevent catastrophic climate change, new report finds

05.26 Dow Chemical aims to 'redefine the role of business in society'

News Media

05.29 Bill Moyers: The Challenge of Journalism Is to Survive in the Pressure Cooker of Plutocracy

05.26 Glenn Greenwald, I’m sorry: Why I changed my mind on Edward Snowden

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

05.29 The GOP and ALEC’s War on Cities

05.28 Polluted Political Games

05.28 Fox News Eats Its Own

05.28 Mapping the Density of Baltimore's Vacant-Housing Crisis

05.28 Why the GOP primary debates will be an absolute disaster (again)

05.28 20 Common Sense Goals From Bernie Sanders to Reverse Inequality, Expand Safety Nets and Stop America's Plutocrats

05.28 What Incarceration Costs Cities

05.28 Mapping the Hourly Wage Needed to Rent a 2-Bedroom Apartment in Every U.S. State

Justice Matters

05.26 The Fraud of War

High Crimes?

05.29 Asian refugee crisis: trafficked migrants held off Thailand in vast 'camp boats'

05.28 Malaysian police arrest own officers over involvement in migrant death camps

Economics, Crony Capitalism

05.29 Stop Calling the TPP a Trade Agreement – It Isn’t.

05.28 How the Money Primary Is Undermining Voting Rights

05.28 Fossil industry faces a perfect political and technological storm

05.26 Robert Reich: Corporate Collusion Is Rampant and We All Pay the Steep Price

International

05.27 Steve Wozniak: Edward Snowden is 'a hero to me'

05.26 In Paris, Plans for a Seine Reinvention

05.26 Interview with Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei: 'The State Is Scared'

05.26 Refugee Abuse: Torture Scandal Rocks German Police

05.26 Cyber-Attack Warning: Could Hackers Bring Down a Plane?

05.26 They’re all still lying about Iraq: The real story about the biggest blunder in American history — and the right wing’s obsessive need to cover it up

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
Google
This site Web
  Flawed Voting in our Democracy ">
Newspaper logo

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.
 


Public Service Ads: