Voter Supression and Intimidation?

Today's Oregonian reported that the Republicans have issued instructions to their volunteers to videotape voters turning in ballots. The Democrats say it's voter intimidation. The state elections director agrees.

Discuss.

Comments

  • iggir (unverified)
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    The Tammany Society was formed in 1789 to resist aristocratic political organization. By the 1860s, New York's Tammany Hall had become the most notorious political machine in America. Led by Mayor William Marcy "Boss" Tweed from 1867 to 1871, Tammany based its power on patronage, payoffs, and the predictable outcome of elections in which violence and intimidation were the norm. In this 1887 election scene from Leslie's, two Tammany operatives attempt to reclaim their street booth from a surprise attack.

    http://americanhistory.si.edu/vote/reform.html

  • (Show?)

    Seems like a non-issue--if this were happening in other states at polling places, that would be different (many Americans don't trust their government, and would consider not voting if cameras were at polling places). But elections volunteers?

    (It'll be the last we hear of it, of course, because there will be no issues, and therefore, no reason to have filmed in the first place. What do you expect to hear--"Bush really beaten here!" Kevin Mannix declares. "We were there to capture his win on camera. Turns out Oregon has a very secure voting system, and by golly, you can rest assured that GW's butt was indeed kicked in the state of Oregon.")

  • iggir (unverified)
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    sorry, a bit off-topic...what i meant to say was, voter intimidation has happened before. besides, the Repubs have turned into such hellish, criminal Nazis that nothing surprises me anymore.

  • Mikey (unverified)
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    I'm as liberal as the next guy, but "hellish, criminal Nazis"? Heh heh, c'mon now, we can do better than that.

  • Randy (unverified)
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    "...the Republicans have issued instructions to their volunteers to videotape voters turning in ballots."

    Maybe they're getting raw footage for Sinclair's next infomercial??

    Don't local news stations do that all the time?

    C'mon, people, there are far graver voter fraud stories out there. Anyone have an update on the Spraul/RNC campaign of securing and destroying Democratic registrations?

  • PP (unverified)
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    Sorry, but I have disagree with those who think this is no big deal. The Republicans have put it all in writing, according to this story. Read carefully: they are telling their folks that if a voter is in line at 8:00 PM, their vote won't count. That's not true - if you're in line at 8:00, your vote will count - and it doesn't take much of a stretch of the imagination to see that this is a ploy to trick last-minute voters in Multnomah County to go home. That's Multnomah County: Democratic Base. Are they planning to do this in Jackson County? Very unlikely. Why should they? There they want every vote to count. In Multnomah, not so much.

    And what's this about videotaping people? What possible purpose is there of that except to intimidate people?

    They are also clearly planning to challenge ballots again, IN MULTNOMAH COUNTY.

    And KGW reported tonight that the Republicans are sending out teams of red-shirted workers to collect ballots. In the same story, they interviewed a woman who said that two men wearing red shirts came to her door claiming to be "official" ballot collectors. There are no official door to door ballot collectors. They lied in order to get her ballots. Happily, she had the presence of mind to say no. The story didn't say if she was a Republican or a Democrat, but if they are going to lie about who they are, there is no telling what these red-shirted people will do.

    This is just the beginning.

  • shampton (unverified)
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    As a Democratic canvasser, I am able to collect ballots for voters. The voter needs to fill out a form saying that they turned it over to me and keeps a copy. So I suppose Repubs can do it too. Sad and shameful commentary on the Repubs that they DON'T want the vote out.

  • (Show?)

    I have no problem showing up anywhere in Multnomah County on Election Night with MY videocamera, either, not to mention my nice heavy 5-iron with the carbon-fiber shaft to protect it, and would be more than happy to press charges and provide video evidence against anyone attempting to intimidate or suppress the turning in of ballots, Republican OR Democratic.

    That the Republicans still pull this stuff in 2004 disgusts me to no end.

  • (Show?)

    The thing that irritates me is that I really think that elections are incredibly fair if you just let people vote and elections volunteers do their jobs.

    Yeah, in Oregon - we're weird, we vote by mail. Still very proud of that, lol. But there's no way that by looking at a signature that someone can tell to which party someone belongs or for whom or what they voted. OK, OK - the drive up drops will have the help of bumpterstickers, but other than that. I don't think that, unless there's an issue, that any non-county volunteers should be allowed anywhere near the drop sites. Well, except 100 yards away which is the distance allowable by law for any person handing out lit or doing visibility. Remember when we voted at polling places that stickers, buttons, etc. weren't allowed w/in 100 yards of the door. The same should be true for party workers. lol.

    Speaking of bumper stickers, I saw a funny one today:

    Any worker who votes for George W. Bush is like a chicken eating at Colonel Sanders.

    I think that's what it said, it was blocked by something in a truck bed. But it's only the verb between "chicken" and "at" that I couldn't see. I think "eating" works better than any other present progressive verb I could think of. lol. No matter what it said, though, it was funny!

    Anyway - I saw that in Salem of all places. There is hope!

  • pat hayes (unverified)
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    Hi Folks...have we ever had a conversation on the subject of our "politeness" and how it's used against. While we fulminate here on line the reactionaries continue on their merry way.

    Dating myself somewhat I recall that our voter reg drives in the South in the 60's were often attended by the local sheriff, a gaggle of armed depities, dogs and, quite often, the guys with hoods. Nowadays they dress up in cheap blue suits or INS style jackets and have replaced the dogs and hoods with video cameras, official looking badges and expensive sunglasses.

    Perhaps, like Abbie H. and the Yips, we could attend polling places in heavily blue blood R precincts with some gentlemen from the Black Panther Party or Banditos MC to "verify" signature matches or "check" identification.

    I'm tired of being tolerant.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  • Amadeus (unverified)
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    Jeff wrote: "Seems like a non-issue--if this were happening in other states at polling places, that would be different...."

    Seems like a non-issue? What? Any amount of voter intimidation or suppression that happens in this state is an issue. The type of lax attitude by "Jeff" and others is what allows this garbage to continue year after year.

    You need to ask yourself why the GOP is so focused on suppressing ballots in Multnomah Co. as pp pointed out. Realize this, Kevin Mannix was on Lars Larson's talk show last week saying that the Oregon GOP had a team devoted to scrutinizing ballots and practices. Still a "non-issue"?

    If you want to talk about other states, well there are several incidents of Hispanic voters being video taped and threatened by supposed "poll watchers", that they may be questioned by INS and deported. What is the purpose of that? Why all of a sudden is the GOP trolling for “illegals” at the polls? You think they won’t try and do that here in Oregon?

    Take a story that appeared in the New York Times about Ohio GOP:

    "With so many new voters, Republicans plan to scrutinize the use of "provisional ballots," which are given to voters whose names do not appear on the rolls, and to challenge people whose registrations seem suspect or who have not voted in recent elections."

    You think this won’t happen in Multnomah Co.? I know, “non-issue” you say. It is interesting; people always think intimidation is a non-issue until it happens to them.

    Some of you folks need to wake-up and realize VOTER INTIMIDATION IS AN ISSUE. The Oregon GOP has a batch of dirty tricks cooked up for voters in this state the likes unimaginable. They are scared and are willing to risk democracy to stay in power. Intimidation and suppression will be an issue in this state, if we do nothing. We can’t as Oregonians let this corrupt lot take democracy away. Not now…Not ever….NOT IN OREGON!.

  • mitch (unverified)
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    The "Republicans" have been chipping away at the bedrock of our country for a long time, but never with more fervor then during the last election, during the last four years, and during this campagne.

    What about the "Free Elections" that Bush was so ecstatic about? Are Free Elections not a corner stone of our Republic? Dirty Tricks to steal an election. There is no place for this in our most valued and hard won right: the right to vote. This is despicable. Even more so since this twisted ethic is not only sanctioned by, but is coming from, the highest office in the land.

    The Bush administration will be judged in the true light of history as the most inept, openly corrupt and repressive in our country's history.

  • Mike D (unverified)
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    Was it voter intimidation when the Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and the Democratic Supreme Court threw Ralph Nader's name off the Oregon ballot?

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...

  • Amadeus (unverified)
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    MikeD wrote: "Was it voter intimidation when the Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and the Democratic Supreme Court threw Ralph Nader's name off the Oregon ballot?"

    Maybe you need to go back and read a little about why Nader is not off the ballot. He had enough time to gather signatures in Oregon, but the Oregon GOP and Citizens For A Sound Economy failed to gather enough legitamate ones.

    Anyways, The U.S. Supreme Court are the ones that ruled that Bradbury was in the right. Take it up with them. If not, maybe you should tell your buddies over at CSE and Oregon GOP to do a better and legal job next time at gathering signatures.

    Now lets get back to the issue at hand: GOP backed, voter suppression and intimidation tactics in Oregon.....

  • Amadeus (unverified)
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    Correction for (Amadeus') above post:

    Should read:

    <hr/>

    Maybe you need to go back and read a little about why Nader is not on the ballot. He had enough time to gather signatures in Oregon, but the Oregon GOP and Citizens For A Sound Economy failed to gather enough legitamate ones.

    <hr/>

    Sorry, about that.

  • Mike D (unverified)
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    Amadeus: maybe you should read more...it was the Oregon Supreme Court that overturned the Salem's judge decision that put him on the ballot.

    http://news.statesmanjournal.com/article.cfm?i=87234

  • The Pieman (unverified)
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    I really don't see the point in videotaping ballots being returned. What do they really expect to prove? I could understand the theoretical point of videotaping conduct at a polling location where people actually vote -- to look for irregularities in conduct by volunteers (perhaps steering people to vote one way or another or providing instruction which misleads voters trying to figure out ballots) or to look for difficulties people had in utilizing the ballots or the balloting boxes -- but I would agree that the theoretical justification for that sort of action would be outweighed by the practical implications that recording voters may have, which is to chill them from exercising their rights.

    But, beyond the possible theoretical benefits of recording actual voting locations, what is the benefit of recording Oregon voters' ballots being returned? The ballots in Oregon are marked away from the turn-in locations, so what irregularity would they hope to discover? What benefit to a Democrat, Republican, or any other party to "lose" a whole bunch of ballots from a return location, when there's no way for the worker to know how many of what party's ballots they're getting rid of?

    On Randy's point, it is horrible that anybody would secure registrations from the other party, then destroy them to keep someone from voting. That, I agree, is a much bigger question than the one presented here about recording ballots being returned, and where those people who engaged in such activity can be located, they should be strung up. To actively work to disenfranchise another person just to protect, or enhance, your personal preference's chances of prevailing is un-American. The right to vote is the most fundamental right Americans have.

  • The Pieman (unverified)
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    Apologies, failed to consider that one reason to record ballot returns is to track the time that the return takes place. Despite what people have to say about the left-leaningness of Multnomah County, and similar to my earlier discussion, all sorts of people live in Multnomah County (including a few Republicans). If Multnomah County elections officials were really pulling for a candidate (and I would say, as a whole, they are trustworthy public servants who merely want to do their jobs on election night), allowing late ballots in may hurt their personal cause as much as help it (the extra people in line at 8pm could all be Republicans, for all the ballot-takers know). I have no reason to believe that election officials on November 2nd won't be doing their best to follow the rules and regulations governing the election. As a Republican, I don't see any good justification for this activity.

  • Amadeus (unverified)
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    No Mike D, YOU NEED TO READ. See, if you were a real Nader supporter, you would have known this fact. Nice try anyways.

    Excerpt from article below:

    The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday rejected a last-ditch bid to put Ralph Nader on Oregon’s election ballot.

    <hr/>

    Supreme Court turns away effort to get Nader on Oregon ballot

    By The Associated Press 09.29.04

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday rejected a last-ditch bid to put Ralph Nader on Oregon’s election ballot.

    Nader supporters had asked the Court last week to block Oregon from printing ballots without his name. The Court declined, although Justice Stephen Breyer noted he supported the stay.

    The Court’s action was good news for supporters of presidential candidate John Kerry, who feared Nader would draw votes from the Democrat. His campaign had argued that the petition rules were unclear.

    Last week, the Oregon Supreme Court sided with state election officials who found flawed petitions left Nader short of the 15,306 signatures needed to put him on the Nov. 2 ballot.

    The independent presidential received more bad news from two states yesterday. In Ohio, the secretary of state ruled Nader could not be on the ballot because thousands of the petition signatures were deemed invalid. In Wisconsin, a judge kicked Nader off that state’s ballot, prompting an immediate appeal by Nader to the state Supreme Court.

    Nader fared better in New Mexico, where the state Supreme Court ordered his name placed on the ballot, and in Maine, where a state judge ruled he could remain on the ballot there.

    Nader is on the ballot in more than 30 states and is suing for ballot access in several others.

    Four years ago, Nader received 5% of the vote in Oregon and 3% of the vote in Ohio as the Green Party nominee. This year, he has had the support of fewer than 2% of voters from those states in recent polls.

    Oregon residents vote by mail, and counties already have started printing 1.9 million ballots.

    Mary Williams, Oregon’s solicitor general, said Nader can still get write-in votes. “Oregon’s election process will be severely disrupted if a stay is ordered,” she wrote in papers filed with the court last weekend.

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s action is not expected to affect his other challenges.

    <hr/>

    Now back to that GOP funded voter intimidation.....

  • Mike D (unverified)
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    Amadeus: Read your own damn article:

    "Last week, the Oregon Supreme Court sided with state election officials who found flawed petitions left Nader short of the 15,306 signatures needed to put him on the Nov. 2 ballot."

    Then the U.S. Supreme Court refused to put him on the ballot when Nader appealed to them. But all that's neither here nor there.

    My main point was that the Democrats are hypocrites when they run around screaming "voter intimidation! voter intimdation!" when all one has to do is look at how they handled the Nader candidacy thru-out the country. They pulled every dirty trick in the book to keep him off the ballot--including signing petitions with fake names and using party-hacks in high places (secretary of state offices).

    As for being a "real Nader supporter"...well I voted for him in 2000.. how's that, tough guy?

  • Amadeus (unverified)
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    Mike wrote: "Then the U.S. Supreme Court refused to put him on the ballot when Nader appealed to them. But all that's neither here nor there."

    Your point was then what? The system is corrupt because Bradbury and the Oregon Supreme Court made a legal ruling. I know, neither here nor there.

    Mike Wrote: "They pulled every dirty trick in the book to keep him off the ballot--including signing petitions with fake names and using party-hacks in high places (secretary of state offices)."

    As for signing with fake names, who are these people? Do you really know that Dems signed with fake names...or is it too hard to admit that Nader's paid signature gathers from ARNO were the ones that forged sigs to get extra bucks?

    Maybe your buddies over at CSE and the OR GOP were just too inept to get the necessary signatures for Nader. I mean, in all seriousness, if Nader was even half a candidate, worth putting on the ballot, you guys should have been able to at least get 30,000 legitamate signatures with no problem.

    Look, instead of blaming the Secretary of State and the Oregon Supreme Court for following the law, why don't you blame the Oregonians that didn't sign the Nader petition.

    Mike wrote: "As for being a "real Nader supporter"...well I voted for him in 2000.. how's that, tough guy?"

    Sounds great....now quit blaming everyone else for Nader not getting on the ballot. Take responsibility and focus on getting your candidate elected or I should say focus on getting Bush elected.

    Now I'll get back to the task at hand: Busting GOP backed Voter intimidation.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    <h1/>

    When the Gang Of Psychos (GOP) can afford video surveillance of public streets around elections offices, it might seem the GOP already had cleaned up their own backyard with video surveillance of their own offices -- to be secure from terrorist attacks, of course, as history has shown the GOP is a terror magnet. (Maybe it is some of that 'equal and opposite reaction' energy which Sir Isaac Newton talked about.)

    Liars Larson's report today, (that the GOP's glass windows were broken last night ), did not mention the video surveillances at their headquarters -- certainly they have them, don't they? If not, how are they going to have them to aim at elections offices?

    Maybe the GOP did video tape themselves but then erased the tape after they saw who broke their windows. However the windows got broken -- and the local Head Psycho told Liars the broken glass, at noon, is still on the floor, unswept -- the incident sure has been a p.r. bonanza of free news coverage and other "We are victims" advertisings.

    --

    Comic relief dept.: I am so enjoying the Air America Radio promo for the Randi Rhodes program which has the sound bites when Liars Larson called Randi -- on the air! (her air, not his. Liars called KBOO 90.7 FM, too, on-air some months ago, despite that Liars never contributed money or become a member to pay to share in that listener-funded air.) So in the current Randi Rhodes promo(s) flight, Liars says "what do you want?," or something like that, and she stabs through his heart with, "It's Portland. It's over, kiss it good-bye. It's simple: I'm here. You (Liars) are gone. Bye, bye." And she dumps! his! call! as you can hear a last gurgle of him [blip]....

    Further goings-on: Today's newspaper's letter to the editor quoting Don McIntire, (very tiring), arguing for a school system "that requires parents with the means to [to] pay for their children's schooling." That argument could work just as well for the most costly government waste, which gets the biggest chunk (50%) of every federal taxpayer's dollar, like this: 'Require those heads-of-households who are keeping their children cowering at home from invisible terrorists "out there somewhere", and who have the means to, to pay for the military kill-machinery they think protects them.'

    <h1/>
  • Mnemos (unverified)
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    Just to fair, most of the verifiable voter-fraud and voter intimidation is on the record as being from the Democrats. Instead of villifying the Republicans, why not just protest all cases of voter intimidation, irregularities, etc.? Here's something I just spotted on powerline while tracking the opposition:

    The Sun-Sentinel reports on the efforts of Democrat Party thugs to indtimidate Republicans voting in Florida:

    One woman who voted early in Boca Raton, at the Southwest County Regional Library, complained that as she stood in line, two men behind her were "trashing our president," Fletcher said, declining to identify the woman. She tried to ignore them. Then the man touched her arm and said, "Who are you voting for?" "I said, 'I don't think that's an appropriate question,'" the woman said she responded. "Uh oh! We have a Bush supporter here," screamed the man behind her.

    For the 2 1/2 hours she had to wait in line, she was heckled by the man. As they neared the voting room, someone in the rear of the line yelled, "I sure hope everyone here is voting for Kerry!" she reported.

    That's when the man behind her held his hand over her head and screamed, "We have a Republican right here!" There were "boos and jeers" from the crowd.

    Elaine Fandino complained to the Republican Party that she took her mother to vote on South Military Trail in Palm Beach County and was confronted by 25 people supporting John Kerry for president. The crowd was "very angry and used foul language," she reported. She said the man next to her said, "Where's my shotgun?"

    In Broward County, at the regional library in Pembroke Pines, a voter complained that Kerry supporters used abusive language about President Bush and had signs and banners within 50 feet of the entrance.

    Kerry supporters were "shoving anti-Bush propaganda at us," complained the voter, who said he shouted back "Vote President Bush!"

    A woman who voted in Plantation at the West Regional Courthouse said she was offended to see five or six people with "huge stick on badges" for Kerry/Edwards, standing near the voting machines.

    "Never in all the years of voting do we remember being allowed to show a badge or poster or literature while inside the area where the voters are standing ready to cast their vote," she wrote.

    Juan D'Arce of Miami complained to the Republicans that he tried early voting in downtown Miami. He was wearing a Bush pin, but he couldn't stand the taunting, so he turned away and did not vote.

    Howard Sherman complained about his voting experience at North Shore Branch Library in Miami-Dade County. He found a crowd of Kerry supporters blocking the door.

    "They were positioned directly in front of the entrance to the library in such a manner that it would be impossible to avoid them while entering the polling place," he reported.

    Sherman said he tried to slip through the thinnest part of the crowd, but a woman in a Kerry T-shirt grabbed his arm and asked if he was voting for Kerry.

    "I seem to recall from civics class that this sort of electioneering is illegal," Sherman complained to the Republicans.

    I don't think it is alarmist to say that the future of our democracy is threatened by the Democrats' thuggish tactics.

  • Mnemos (unverified)
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    Just to fair, most of the verifiable voter-fraud and voter intimidation is on the record as being from the Democrats. Instead of villifying the Republicans, why not just protest all cases of voter intimidation, irregularities, etc.? Here's something I just spotted on powerline while tracking the opposition:

    The Sun-Sentinel reports on the efforts of Democrat Party thugs to indtimidate Republicans voting in Florida:

    One woman who voted early in Boca Raton, at the Southwest County Regional Library, complained that as she stood in line, two men behind her were "trashing our president," Fletcher said, declining to identify the woman. She tried to ignore them. Then the man touched her arm and said, "Who are you voting for?" "I said, 'I don't think that's an appropriate question,'" the woman said she responded. "Uh oh! We have a Bush supporter here," screamed the man behind her.

    For the 2 1/2 hours she had to wait in line, she was heckled by the man. As they neared the voting room, someone in the rear of the line yelled, "I sure hope everyone here is voting for Kerry!" she reported.

    That's when the man behind her held his hand over her head and screamed, "We have a Republican right here!" There were "boos and jeers" from the crowd.

    Elaine Fandino complained to the Republican Party that she took her mother to vote on South Military Trail in Palm Beach County and was confronted by 25 people supporting John Kerry for president. The crowd was "very angry and used foul language," she reported. She said the man next to her said, "Where's my shotgun?"

    In Broward County, at the regional library in Pembroke Pines, a voter complained that Kerry supporters used abusive language about President Bush and had signs and banners within 50 feet of the entrance.

    Kerry supporters were "shoving anti-Bush propaganda at us," complained the voter, who said he shouted back "Vote President Bush!"

    A woman who voted in Plantation at the West Regional Courthouse said she was offended to see five or six people with "huge stick on badges" for Kerry/Edwards, standing near the voting machines.

    "Never in all the years of voting do we remember being allowed to show a badge or poster or literature while inside the area where the voters are standing ready to cast their vote," she wrote.

    Juan D'Arce of Miami complained to the Republicans that he tried early voting in downtown Miami. He was wearing a Bush pin, but he couldn't stand the taunting, so he turned away and did not vote.

    Howard Sherman complained about his voting experience at North Shore Branch Library in Miami-Dade County. He found a crowd of Kerry supporters blocking the door.

    "They were positioned directly in front of the entrance to the library in such a manner that it would be impossible to avoid them while entering the polling place," he reported.

    Sherman said he tried to slip through the thinnest part of the crowd, but a woman in a Kerry T-shirt grabbed his arm and asked if he was voting for Kerry.

    "I seem to recall from civics class that this sort of electioneering is illegal," Sherman complained to the Republicans.

    I don't think it is alarmist to say that the future of our democracy is threatened by the Democrats' thuggish tactics.

  • Mnemos (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Just to fair, most of the verifiable voter-fraud and voter intimidation is on the record as being from the Democrats. Instead of villifying the Republicans, why not just protest all cases of voter intimidation, irregularities, etc.? Here's something I just spotted on powerline while tracking the opposition:

    The Sun-Sentinel reports on the efforts of Democrat Party thugs to indtimidate Republicans voting in Florida:

    One woman who voted early in Boca Raton, at the Southwest County Regional Library, complained that as she stood in line, two men behind her were "trashing our president," Fletcher said, declining to identify the woman. She tried to ignore them. Then the man touched her arm and said, "Who are you voting for?" "I said, 'I don't think that's an appropriate question,'" the woman said she responded. "Uh oh! We have a Bush supporter here," screamed the man behind her.

    For the 2 1/2 hours she had to wait in line, she was heckled by the man. As they neared the voting room, someone in the rear of the line yelled, "I sure hope everyone here is voting for Kerry!" she reported.

    That's when the man behind her held his hand over her head and screamed, "We have a Republican right here!" There were "boos and jeers" from the crowd.

    Elaine Fandino complained to the Republican Party that she took her mother to vote on South Military Trail in Palm Beach County and was confronted by 25 people supporting John Kerry for president. The crowd was "very angry and used foul language," she reported. She said the man next to her said, "Where's my shotgun?"

    In Broward County, at the regional library in Pembroke Pines, a voter complained that Kerry supporters used abusive language about President Bush and had signs and banners within 50 feet of the entrance.

    Kerry supporters were "shoving anti-Bush propaganda at us," complained the voter, who said he shouted back "Vote President Bush!"

    A woman who voted in Plantation at the West Regional Courthouse said she was offended to see five or six people with "huge stick on badges" for Kerry/Edwards, standing near the voting machines.

    <hr/>

    Etc. Let's put the law down on everyone.

  • BarryOregon (unverified)
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    Uh Oh. We seem to be getting some of our own stuff now.

    Campaign Violence in Oregon

    The Democrats' campaign of violence and intimidation has spread from coast to coast. Now it's hit Oregon:

    Someone smashed the windows of the Multnomah County Republican office in Southeast Portland on Thursday, perhaps the latest sign some Oregonians have tossed out civility in their zeal to put their man in the White House. Patrick Donaldson, volunteer chairman of the Bush campaign in Multnomah County, said the broken windows, discovered early in the morning, follow weeks of harassment, including threatening phone calls and people walking into the office and ripping up signs.

    In Oregon, as elsewhere, responsible Democratic officials refuse to condemn the spreading violence:

    Oregon Democratic Party officials said they do not condone smashing the windows of Republican offices and discourage such acts. "But the fact is that the reason the Republican Party is feigning righteous indignation is because they don't want to talk about the 30,000 jobs lost and the 180,000 Oregonians who have lost health care," said Neel Pender, executive director of the state Democratic Party.

    In other words: We're Democrats, so violence is OK. That is the attitude that has swept across America, leaving our democracy more threatened than at any time since 1861.

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