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Comments by YACCS
Saturday, September 23, 2006

The headfake


Here's a question: if you had a foolproof, invisible way of changing elections, why would you risk the ire of most Americans to impose new restrictions on voting?

Why bother? You can shift votes in swing districts and win without anyone noticing.

It's not that Diebold isn't deeply flawed, but even if you could shift votes, you can only change a few votes in a few districts.

The GOP has launched an offensive of vote suppression which has gotten only some notice on the blogs, but it has been ongoing and intense. While Robert Kennedy was going on about Diebold in Ohio, he downplayed how Ken Blackwell shifted the vote. Long lines and fewer machines in Democratic districts, more machines in the suburbs. You wouldn't have to do that with Diebold under your control.

Most people who comment on elections have never worked one. It slipped past people that the average age of an election worker is 72 years old. Who you then ask to work14-16 hour days and expect friction free elections. Election workers are party employees. They have a vested interest in the outcome of elections. They are hired by the local party workers.

The GOP loves the distraction of Diebold because people fill Kos diaries with it, it demoralizes people, and they can get about the real business of voter suppression. You think they're gonna rely on a machine to control voting? Please. Diebold is the first step in automating elections. More of a test bed than anything else, and unlikely to be used for more than a few years.

No. We're talking long term discouragement of voting, not shifting a few votes here and there and risk discovery, but to discourage whole blocks of people from voting by making it so difficult
that they would not bother.

In the segregation-era south, they created poll taxes to make sure whites would dominate politics. Blacks had an under 10 percent participation rate.

When the immigration issue is settled, and people gain citizenship, you can't Diebold away new Congressional districts and voting blocks. But you can taint their vote by claiming voter fraud, implying that Hispanics are letting illegal immigrants vote. You can diminish their claim to citizenship by implying dual loyalty. In short, you can discourage them from voting by forcing them to prove their identity.

So while liberals have been wringing their hands over Diebold, Republicans, led by Red State Erik, have been passing laws demanding voter ID's. First in Georgia, then Missouri, then in the House.

Why do this, if they have Diebold?

Because Diebold is a head fake. They don't care about Diebold. They care about the declining number of white voters and the need to erect barriers to prevent minorities from having more political power. It's only a matter of time that Hispanics are voting blocks in Southern and Midwestern states. Voter ID laws discourage elderly black voters, who have a high participation rate, as well as non-English speakers.

The GOP is perfectly content to ignore Diebold, because they're looking to shrink the voting pool.

posted by Steve @ 8:23:00 PM

8:23:00 PM

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