November 02, 2004

Suppressing the vote in Florida.

Given how important Florida's electoral votes are likely to be in today's elections, it's no surprise that we're hearing a lot of reports of bad behavior on the part of Dubya's supporters.

For example, Democratic voters in two Florida counties are receiving supposedly official phone calls telling them that their polling place has moved. Of course, the call isn't official and the polling place hasn't gone anywhere.

"Itís criminal," said Lake County Supervisor of Elections Emogene Stegall. "Itís the most terrible thing. I have never seen anything like this happen here."

Stegallís office received calls Monday afternoon from four concerned residents, all receiving the same automated message on their answering machines. The message told the voters their precincts had changed and they should go to a different location, one which Stegall said does not exist.

All of the calls, said Stegall, were made to registered Democrats. The complaints came from all over the county.

While the four complaints came in rapid succession, calls from confused voters were coming in all morning. It wasnít until a certain number of voters asked questions about a precinct being moved that election officials realized this was an attempt to suppress turnout, Stegall said.

Sumter County Supervisor of Elections Karen Krauss got one similar complaint Monday. A Lindon voter, also a registered Democrat, had someone call her in person and tell her that the Lindon location was closed. The voter called Krauss to check, and Krauss informed her the Lindon location would remain open and that the voter should go there.

"The various groups are out there starting to do things, and itís really sad," Krauss said. "We have no way to know how much of this is organized efforts and how much is done by lone rangers."

Posted by Magpie at November 2, 2004 10:13 AM | Elections | Technorati links |