The open thread is here. If you want to converse with other voters, head over there. I’ll be in the comments there all day until Christina and I do our live blog tonight. I’m constantly updating that post with what I’m finding around the web today surrounding the election. This bit was important enough to get its own post.
Today “watch” groups like True the Vote will be bullying voters.
In an ostensible hunt for voter fraud, a Tea Party group, True the Vote, descends on a largely minority precinct and combs the registration records for the slightest misspelling or address error. It uses this information to challenge voters at the polls, and though almost every challenge is baseless, the arguments and delays frustrate those in line and reduce turnout. . . .
In 2009 and 2010, for example, the group focused on the Houston Congressional district represented by Sheila Jackson Lee, a black Democrat. After poring over the records for five months, True the Vote came up with a list of 500 names it considered suspicious and challenged them with election authorities. Officials put these voters on “suspense,” requiring additional proof of address, but in most cases voters had simply changed addresses. That didn’t stop the group from sending dozens of white “poll watchers” to precincts in the district during the 2010 elections, deliberately creating friction with black voters.
The group also “used inaccurate lists to slow down student voting” in Wisconsin. This is part of a much larger strategy, as Elizabeth Drew explains:
[T]he current voting rights issue is . . . a coordinated attempt by a political party to fix the result of a presidential election by restricting the opportunities of members of the opposition party’s constituency—most notably blacks—to exercise a Constitutional right. . . . In the aftermath of the 2004 election, which was characterized in Ohio by lines at voting places in black districts so long as to discourage voters, Ohio Democratic officials made voting times more flexible; after the Republicans took over the state they set out to reverse that.
Iowa, Florida, and Colorado tried to purge the voting rolls of suspected unqualified voters, but their lists turned out to be wildly inaccurate. Florida officials compiled a list of 180,000 people whose qualifications were questioned, but after voting registrars checked (some protesting the unfairness of the purge) only 207, or .0002 percent of the state’s registered voters, were found to be unqualified to vote.
If you are being pestered by these people, notify the DoJ by calling 1-800-253-3931. Spread the word.
Also, if you are voting today, or if you have voted, report in on the open thread and let others know about lines and turnout if you have a second.