So this happened. Yesterday I got an email from David Mills of DPVA telling us about how Bob McDonnell is trying to suppress the vote. I am happy Mills is doing something about this, but I am not so happy it took so long for the DPVA to fight vote suppression. While it is true that the new Virginia policy was announced just this week, there is nothing new about the GOP doing anything it can get away with to keep voters from either voting or having their vote counted. Here’s the email:
If you were one of the half-a-million Virginians to vote by absentee ballot in 2008 then you know that the right to cast a ballot, either in person or absentee, and have a say in who runs our government is central to what it means to be an American and a Virginian. That’s what makes the nationwide right-wing attack on voting rights so disturbing. Instead of trying to win with the best candidates and the best ideas, they want to rig the game before it starts and rob otherwise-qualified voters of their rights in the process.
This week the latest front in the war on voters opened here in Virginia. As the The Virginian-Pilot reported, Governor Bob McDonnell’s Republican-controlled State Board of Elections is trying to make it easier for election officials to disqualify absentee ballots over something as silly as a sloppy signature. That’s right, if the regulations that the State Board of Elections devised go through, the way you cross your “T’s” and dot your “I’s” could cost you your voice in our government.
Instead of making it easier for qualified voters to cast a ballot and make their voices heard, the State Board is going out of its way to make it harder. Extreme right-wing Republicans across the country are resorting to similar measures, which is why we need you to lend your voice to the fight. If Bob McDonnell and Republicans on the State Board of Elections believed in protecting the right of every Virginian to vote, why would they disqualify ballots over sloppy penmanship?
More of the Mills email and my comment below.
This has already gone too far, but there is still time to influence the outcome of this issue. Between now and October 12th the State Board of
Elections will be taking public comment on their plan to make it easier to throw away absentee ballots over poor handwriting. Will you click here and take just a moment to make your voice heard on this critical issue?
Virginia’s elections should be about choosing leaders who will make life better for our families, not finding new ways to limit the number of people who have a say in their government. Please stand with the Democratic Party of Virginia today and fight back against these outrageous new regulations by clicking here and explaining that we need more protections for voting rights, not less.
Duh! For many years, this has been the MO of the GOP governors and secretaries of state. After years (and years) state Democratic Party officials ignoring vote suppression, finally they are engaged? During the Webb for Senate campaign, many of us complained about a long list of efforts by the Republicans to keep registered Democrats from voting. In desperation, five years ago, on the eve of the election, I finally sent all the links with supporting information/material I could find to Keith Olbermann (who further researched and covered the outrageous and undemocratic efforts by the Party of No and the Party of “No Vote for You!”) THE SAME DAY. What does it take? If a small team of down-the dial TV researchers can have a turnaround time of less than one day, why has it taken five years since the Webb campaign and 11 years since SCOTUS appropriated our vote in 2000? For more than a decade the DNC and DPVA have pretended we do not have a problem. And now less than four weeks before the election, we get an email from our DPVA, led so competently by the lobbyist for Penta-/Kaplan Post and other offerers of ‘education’ for profit.
Previously, as far back as when he was governor, I and several people I know have tried to get Mark Warner engaged on the subject of election reform, including protecting the franchise and having an audit-able paper trail. [Warner: Obligatory head nod. Onto the next person, quick. Can’t wait to get away from people who actually want to protect the vote.] Do you see why I am fed up with him? His non-responsiveness on anything that truly matters is staggering. Instead he and his rich buddies are engineering ways to squeeze the 99% even more to pay for the profligacy of the their sorry wealthy selves. He won’t give up trying to screw you and me. But he won’t give more than a head nod to protect the vote, the fundamental concern of our pretend democracy.
From Florida, to Ohio to Arizona and all around the country, GOP governors and secretaries of state are working to undermine our most precious rights, the right to vote and to have our vote counted. They can’t win the legal, just and fair way. So they take an oath to uphold the law and then figure out how to cheat their way through office-holding. How long until our side and the American people say ENOUGH! And then how long until they do something about it (#occupywallst)?
BTW, if YOU want to do something about the latest McDonnell outrage, here is the link David Mills wants us to use to make our views known.