USA 2012 Elections Voter Suppression

Democracy Now talks to Ari Berman from the Nation Magazine on various moves by the Republicans to suppress the vote.

Early voting in Ohio was characterized by long lines and waited for hours to vote. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, Republican, issued a last minute directive which would disqualify ballots not accompanied by forms specifying which forms of identification were used. Also, provisional ballots won’t be counted until 10 days after the election.

In Iowa and other states Romney poll watchers are trained in watching for voters who don’t use photo IDs even though the particular state’s laws don’t require photo IDs.

“ARI BERMAN: Yeah, this is something we’ve seen not only in Iowa, but also in Wisconsin. You also have the group True the Vote, the tea party group, urging their members to challenge voters in states like New Mexico, saying they need an ID when they don’t need an ID. They’re also urging their members to become GOP poll workers, so they could actually be inside the polling place on Election Day. They’re urging, for example, in Columbus, that their members be allowed inside the polling place, which create a lot of chaos on Election Day.” (quote from the Democracy Now broadcast transcript)

Discussing Florida, Berman says:
“. Well, Florida in 2012 is looking a lot like Florida in 2000. What Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Republicans did after the 2010 election is they cut early voting hours and days from 14 days to eight days, including banning it on the Sunday before the election, when black churches historically mobilize their constituents. Voting rights advocates said, this is going to cause a lot of very long lines and confusion”

Berman also brings up the 7 hour waiting lines to vote. He says, “And people are saying it’s being run like a third-world country in Florida. Then some people are saying, “Well, it’s even worse than that, because we don’t even know if these votes are going to even be cast, if people are going to walk away from the polls.””

Berman, in a Nation article writes about voter suppression in Ohio.

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