Voter Suppression! Voter Suppression!

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There is one candidate for President who won an election by challenging the legitimacy of minority voters who supported minority candidates by using purges of the voter rolls. But despite the cries of racism from the Democrats when similar tactics are used by Republicans today -- making sure that voters are actually legitimate -- the "guilty" party here is Barack Obama, not Mitt Romney.

In his first election for public office in 1996, Obama was up against four candidates for a state senate seat in Illinois. Through a supporter, Obama challenged the petitions of all four of his opponents. All four came up short in the challenges, and Obama won the seat unopposed.

And it's not just that these signatures were from fake people, or non-citizens, or even people who weren't registered voters at the time they signed: some of the signatures were eliminated simply because these were legal voters, but were part of a purge of the voter rolls, and so they were effectively un-registered by the time the petitions were being verified.

I have no big problem with any of this, except that the voters apparently weren't properly notified their registrations were purged, so they could take action to fix it. That aside, these candidates did not have enough legitimate voter signatures on their petitions. Case closed.

The problem is that Republicans are being attacked as racist and anti-democratic for engaging in purges of the voter rolls, even though a. this is how Obama won his first election for office, b. the Republican voter reforms are a far more open and careful process, with several levels of checks and ways to fix your registration (even on election day).

So what's the difference? Is it because Obama is black, or a Democrat? I don't know, but I can't think it's about the time that's passed, because I can't see how if Romney did this, the press wouldn't be all over it.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on July 13, 2012 6:47 AM.

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