Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Americans fighting back

It appears that all across this nation, Americans in every state are actively fighting back against voter suppression propagated by the GOP.

Great news out of Ohio: in spite of George W. Bush's request, the DOJ will not intervene in Ohio's election process:

The Department of Justice will not require Ohio to disclose the names of voters whose registration applications did not match other government databases, according to two people familiar with discussions between state and federal lawyers.

The decision comes about a week after an unusual request from President Bush asking the department to investigate the matter and roughly two weeks after the Supreme Court dismissed a case involving the flagged registration applications.

More good news from Ohio:

(AP) — A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that counties must allow homeless voters to list park benches and other locations that aren't buildings as their addresses.

U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus also ruled that provisional ballots can't be invalidated because of poll worker errors.

And of course, the governor of Florida has increased the early voting hours in Florida to accommodate everyone who wants to vote ahead of election day! It appears that Florida is fighting to shake off the same 'voting irregularity' stigma that has haunted Ohio for the last four years.

In Florida, there is a huge resistance to handing out provisional ballots (which many believe go largely uncounted.) In an article entitled "Election revolt over provisional ballots," county election officials are rebelling against Republican Secretary of State Kurt Browning and seem determined to let people clear up registration discrepancies at the polls - anything to avoid a provisional ballot:

The two sides disagree over how to interpret the controversial Florida Voter Verification Law, better known as the "no match, no vote" law that applies to anyone who registered to vote after Sept. 8. The law requires that the driver's license or Social Security number provided on a voter registration application match the number in the state's database.

Roughly 12,000 would-be voters have been snagged by the new requirement and should have received letters telling them to contact their local election supervisors to clear up the discrepancies.

If they don't, Browning says elections officials should give provisional ballots to no-match voters who show up at the polls and tell them they have 48 hours to deliver, e-mail or fax any identification documents to the elections office. The documents will then be reviewed by the county canvassing board, which decides if the vote counts.

But Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark announced this month that she'll give no-match voters a chance to correct any problems while they're at the polls on Election Day. If they do, she'll hand them a regular ballot. About 30 other county elections supervisors have announced policies similar to Clark's, to Browning's chagrin.

Browning and his staff contend that all 67 counties should follow the same approach, or the state could face a lawsuit over the lack of uniform vote-counting methods.

Ohio and Florida, both fighting back. Maybe we can overcome the bit-flipping thievery this time.

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