The pace of GOP voter suppression stories and scams is now cascading in faster than we're able to fully check out or report in detail. So, for now, here are a few very important stories that are likely to become even more relevant in the coming days, even as we've only time for quick coverage here at the moment...
• Another reason why pre-election poll numbers in GA may be meaningless
This morning, Ernie Canning briefly recounted the, um, storied history of Georgia's 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting system and how it has a habit of reporting results that defy pre-election polls. At the same time, the front-end gaming of the state's system through voter suppression remains a serious concern in the Peach State.
Georgia's peach of a Sec. of State Brian Kemp (R), a far-right political hack, has been attempting to block the unprecedented progressive voter registration push in the state, first by using an apparently bogus criminal investigation to shut down one of the progressive groups leading the effort, and now, the group charges in court filings, by failing to add some 50,000 new registrants to the voting rolls.
If true, that's a lot of soon-to-be disenfranchised voters and a lot of what should be described as election fraud.
Kemp calls charges "ridiculous", because, of course he does. He says all registrations turned in have been properly processed.
Last month, Kemp, the state's chief election official charged with overseeing free and fair elections in the state (during which he himself is also on the ballot this year) was heard on audio tape recorded over the summer warning fellow GOP activists: "Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November."
We've been keeping our eyes on this story, in particular, for a while --- though still not sure what to make of it. Suspect it may grown in relevance in the days ahead.
• Palast: Millions of legal voters at risk via RW 'Crosscheck' scheme
Our friend Greg Palast exposes the dark Rightwing effort led by GOP "voter fraud" fraudster and Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach to create and use a 20-state database to challenge the voting rights of millions of legal and legally registered voters based on faulty comparisons of registration records in different states.
Palast details how millions of voters are flagged in Kobach's database as being registered in more than one state --- and may be either removed from the rolls or challenged at the polls on Election Day on that basis --- even though the records often feature voters with the same first and last name, but totally different middle-names and social security numbers, etc.
• Faulty 'non-citizen' voter study makes it into 'WaPo' and wingnut websitery
In case you've yet to see it, this is the "evidence" from a pair of Old Dominion University academics that wingnuts are now citing high and low to support their faith-based belief that non-citizens are somehow affecting the results of elections in large numbers. Though that article was posted by guest bloggers on the non-edited "Monkey Cage" blog at WaPo, the wingnuts are using it to claim "Washington Post is reporting...!", etc. all over the place over the past few days.
The article itself, and the study its based on, is weak, to say the least. The very same WaPo blog largely debunked the piece, destroyed it actually, in two separate posts (here and here) almost immediately after the first faulty report.
Lots of folks, largely fellow academics, have debunked it, in fact, as its based on an Internet poll with a tiny sample that includes just 5 unverified self-reported non-citizen voters. Then, it takes the unverified tiny sample and extrapolates like crazy to charge that "non-citizen" votes "could have" stolen the 2008 election for Minnesota's Sen. Al Franken! And it's "possible" they were responsible for Obama's 2008 victory in North Carolina, too!
But, when one is grasping for straws, everything looks like a straw. And the original post (as opposed to the debunkings) are now playing on Rightwing "voter fraud" fraud sites and "news" outlets everywhere.
The most fun part: RWers are citing that article in support of the need for polling place Photo ID restrictions. Of course, two problems with that assertion, even if the data used in the study wasn't already known to be faulty: a) Many non-citizens have Photo IDs, such as drivers licenses. b) The authors of the original blog item even write within it that Photo ID restrictions are "strikingly ineffective" at deterring the type of "voter fraud" they are writing about in the piece! For some reason, the wingers fail to notice that paragraph (along with all the articles now published that debunk the original).
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)