use the definition of Swing States by the Swing State Project.
select your state of interest to proceed. (If there is no link, that
means there is no content for that state yet).
Pennsylvania precincts had as low as 12 provisional ballots, leading
to many voters unable to vote
reader radtimes, this report
from the Election Protection Coalition:
Many voters in
Allegheny county, PA have called in with problems with provisional
ballots not being available, provsiional ballots being denied to
registered votesr, and uncooperative poll workers. At least a dozen
Allegheny County precincts ran out of provisional ballots
altogether. Due to these problems, one precinct in the county has
annouced that it is holding polls open for an extra 1 1/2 hours so
that people can cast provisional ballots.
A representative from the Coalition also
said this in an interview:
What they were able to do is to help us train 320 poll monitors that
were at 60 different polling locations. We chose those polling
locations based on their vulnerability. We had poll monitors at the
University of Pittsburgh as well as minority and low income polling
AMY GOODMAN: And
what did you find?
CELESTE TAYLOR: We
found that the provisional ballot, which was supposed to be a way
that all citizens who were registered properly would be able to cast
their vote. What we found out is it actually helped citizens not
vote. That was the case because there weren't enough of them, and
the people that are to be trained inside, the people that are hired
by the county election bureau were grossly just incompetent in terms
of their information, and that's why we found it necessary to pass
out thousands and thousands of voters' bill of rights, so that
people could demand that they get this provisional ballot. So we
have a stack of complaints. That’s what this is, many affidavits.
Time after time, people would go to vote at their polling site and
they would be told that they were not on the poll book. These are
people that had their voter registration cards. Then they were
denied a provisional ballot.
AMY GOODMAN: How
were they denied?
CELESTE TAYLOR: They
were told that we didn't -- we don't have them. Some polling
locations didn't have them first thing in the morning, 8:00 a.m.,
when the polls opened -- 7:00 a.m., rather. And some polling
locations ran out very quickly, because there were only 25
provisional ballots provided per site. And actually, that number
decreased. The decision was made the day before to decrease it to
12. So, I have --
AMY GOODMAN: So
there’s 12 provisional ballots at a site. So if you are the 13th
person who is contested, you have no ballot that you can cast.
CELESTE TAYLOR: You
are out of luck. For many locations where we were at, where we knew
that this was a population that had registered to vote in record
numbers, new first-time voters, we already knew that their names
were not on the voter files, because we had looked at 10,000
applications and followed the process through the county election
malfunctions in several precincts in Pennsylvania forced voters to
reader radtimes, a column
The [Ohio] Vindicator
also reported that Mercer County's (Pennsylvania) director of
elections and director of technology said a computer software
problem (not voters incorrectly touching the screen) caused
touch-screen voting machines to malfunction in about a dozen
precincts. They said repeated calls to the manufacturer failed to
resolve the problem. On some machines, voters were required to vote
backwards, starting on the last page of the touch-screen system and
working back to the front page, in order for their votes to be
circulated in a flyer in Pennsylvania falsely claims that students
registering in PA will lose grant money from their home state
WATCH: ILLADELPHIA EDITION.
Fearing the record number of UPenn Students who registered
to vote in this election [read: likely Democrats], nefarious
agents of voter supression have circulated a flyer around UPenn’s
Philadelphia campus warning students that voting might jeapordize
their financial aid.
Tip to reader KB who alerted us to this Daily Pennyslvanian report:
A flyer with a
doctored Chicago Sun-Times news story is circulating on campus
telling students that if they vote in Pennsylvania they will lose
any grant money from their home state.
The document cites
an altered Associated Press story about a student from
Pennsylvania, which was changed to say that the student registered
to vote in the state. The story asserts that students from out of
state lose grant money if they vote in Pennsylvania.
In fact, students
who register and vote in Pennsylvania will not lose state grant
money, regardless of where they are originally from.
The first paragraph
of the actual AP story reads as follows: "Some college
students from Pennsylvania who plan to vote Nov. 2 will do
so at their own financial peril. That is because students who go
to school out of state and register to vote on campus lose their
eligibility for Pennsylvania state grant money."
The doctored flyer
changes the first paragraph to read: "College students in Pennsylvania
who plan to vote on Nov. 2 will do so at their own financial
peril. That is because students who go to school out of state and
register to vote on campus lose their eligibility for home state
grant money." (emphasis added)
The actual Sun
Times article is here.
Republicans push BOGUS claim over
"pre-existing" votes in polling machines in Pennsylvania,
via Matt Drudge (who runs the well known gossip- and lie-factory
Extra (via Atrios)
has this update:
From the Daily News
reporter Theresa Conroy:
Commissioner Ed Schlugen stood up just now and announced that there
were NOT votes on the machines. The poll workers were looking at a
counter on the back which tallies the total number of votes cast --
ever -- on the machine. It's called a "protective
counter." He said there were no votes on the machines when they
Josh Marshall is printing a statement from Marge Tartaglione:
reports have stated that machines in at least one precinct were not
properly calibrated to ensure an accurate accounting of the number
of votes cast."
allegations are completely unsubstantiated and have no factual basis
The bottom line is
this: The GOP is falling all over itself looking for something wrong
in Philly, even if it's not there. If the past is any guide, Bush
will carry the rest of the state by a small margin, and sink here in
the city. So they're trying to cast doubt on the process -- from the
very minute the polls opened.
Abookire, spokeswoman for DA Lynne Abraham, said poll workers
misinterpreted numbers they found on voting machines before the
polls opened. Abookire said the city's new electronic voting
machines have two windows that display voting numbers - one that
shows the total number of votes ever cast on the machine, the other
that shows the number of votes cast today.
Some poll workers saw
the number of prior votes from past elections on the machines and
thought that meant votes had been planted.
the machines," Abookire said. "There were no planted votes
Marshall has a snippet from the AP wire story:
off the AP
wire, the real story on Drudge's bogus Philly voter fraud story ...
An army of zealous,
partisan political operatives descended on polling locations
around the state Tuesday, looking for any signs of voting
irregularities, and election officials planned to spend the day
investigating fraud allegations.
observers in Philadelphia lodged some of the earliest complaints,
claiming that voting machines in the city already had thousands of
votes recorded on them when the polls opened at 7 a.m.
officials and the district attorney rushed to some of the
precincts in question, and quickly said the GOP poll watchers had
gotten it wrong.
Commissioner Ed Schulgen and Cathie Abookire, a spokeswoman for
District Attorney Lynne Abraham, said the observers had pulled the
numbers from an odometer that records every vote ever cast on the
machine in every election - and not the counter that records how
many votes will be counted for this election.
absolutely ridiculous," Schulgen said.
Ridiculous or not,
rumors of widespread fraud quickly made their way on to the
Internet and circulated nationally.
Of course, it didn't
'make its way' onto the Internet. It was planted there as part of
the Republicans' battle plan today. And how surprising that these
good souls just happened to misread the machines in the heavily
African-American neighborhoods in Philly. Imagine that.
Democracy starts at
GOP vote suppression efforts spread to
Pennsylvania with massive, last minute vote challenges using the same
failed, error-prone strategy used in Ohio and elsewhere. GOP refuses
to release detailed list to the Press and attempts to directly and
wrongly influence poll workers going around Election Board. They also
claimed that some Republican voters got fraudulent calls.
Blues, here is a report in the Philadelphia
Inquirer (bold text is my emphasis):
Just hours before
the polls were to open, officials and lawyers from both major
parties clashed again and again yesterday over who would be allowed
to vote in Pennsylvania and who would be allowed to challenge those
election administrator, Bob Lee, a Democrat, accused state
Republicans of sending a letter to poll workers that he contended
was meant to "suppress the vote in Philadelphia." Lee said
he would take them to court.
officials vowed to question the eligibility of thousands of
Philadelphians whose addresses the party said are suspect, based on
returned mail. The GOP also said some of its voters in Western
Pennsylvania were receiving phone calls meant to scare them out of
presidential candidate John Kerry's campaign said last night that a
Delaware County judge had restored to the voting rolls about 600
names of voters whose registrations had been rejected by the county
for failure to designate a party affiliation on their registration
Earlier in the day,
Gov. Rendell's administration had warned the county's officials that
those rejections could result in a loss of election funding.
On the Democratic
side, accusers ranged from the famous - the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who
told a Philadelphia audience that President Bush's administration
was "focused on voter intimidation" - to the relatively
obscure: Lee, Philadelphia's voter-registration administrator,
who cried foul last night over a letter sent from the state GOP to
judges of elections, the men and women who run the city's 1,681
Lee said the
letter had wrongly instructed those poll workers to check and
compare voters' various signatures "at will." He pointed
to state law, which limits such checks to prevent long voting
Lee also said it
was the first time in his 22 years of running city elections that
one of the parties had tried to send instructions to workers who get
their marching orders from the city Board of Elections.
A spokesman for
Republicans, asked to react to Lee's comments, accused him of
"obstruction" for not giving the party the list of
"After all of
Mr. Lee's obstruction during this election process, his complaining
about a line in a Republican letter is like Ashlee Simpson
complaining about people lip-synching," said Mark Pfeifle,
spokesman for the state Republican Party.
released additional details yesterday from their list of 10,000
letters to Philadelphia voters that they said were returned as
undeliverable. They said they would use this list to challenge
voters at the polls today - a type of challenge similar to one that
federal judges have barred Republicans from using today in Ohio.
The GOP said its list
of questionable Philadelphia voters included 310 letters that were
returned because the house was vacant or abandoned; five because the
person was in jail; 3,329 stamped "attempted not known";
1,172 as "not deliverable to address"; 130 as
"moved"; 35 with forwarding addresses; and 15 whose
recipients were dead.
have declined to release information on all 10,000 letters or allow
access to them despite repeated requests from The Inquirer.
Department of State warned Delaware County officials yesterday that
they would risk losing federal funding by turning away about 600
voters who had not marked their party affiliation on
Officials in the
Republican-controlled county were warned that they would be breaking
state and federal election laws by doing so. But last night, a Kerry
campaign spokesman said a third party had taken this issue before a
county judge and gotten it "resolved," with names restored
to the voting rolls. Details were unavailable.
general counsel for the Bush-Cheney campaign in Pennsylvania, and
Christian Marrone, counsel for the state Republican committee, had a
conference call yesterday to go over what they called new instances
of voter fraud and intimidation by Democrats.
Marrone said there
were multiple reports yesterday that elderly voters in Lancaster and
York Counties in Central Pennsylvania - an area the Bush campaign
has been heavily courting - got phone calls telling them they would
not be allowed to vote and urging them not to show up at the polls.
should be fair and honest and that every person that is registered
should be allowed to vote," said Buchholtz, who participated in
the 2000 Florida election recount.
Also yesterday, a
federal judge refused an emergency request from U.S. Rep. Curt
Weldon and state Rep. Stephen Barrar, both Delaware County
Republicans, to impound any absentee ballots received from prison
inmates, and scheduled a hearing for next week.
Philadelphia's top prosecutor warned yesterday that anyone engaging
in Election Day intimidation faced prosecution. But District
Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, a Democrat, also said that the best
way for people to ensure a trouble-free Election Day was to wait
patiently in line and ignore polling-place directions from anyone
other than official election observers.
"Nobody wants an
election to be stolen from them by sharp dealing and mean dirty
tricks," said Abraham, who was joined at a news conference by
Frederick L. Voigt, executive director of the Committee of Seventy,
a watchdog group.
long lines and said that most voters were expecting trouble. But,
she said, reports of efforts to turn voters away from the polls or
to lodge challenges for the sole purpose of holding up lines and
discouraging voters would be treated as potential crimes.
"If any such
intimidation, threat or other misconduct is made known to us, we
will be on the case," she said.
Jackson held a news conference outside White Rock Baptist Church in
West Philadelphia to denounce what he described as Republican
efforts to disenfranchise African American voters.
Asked why he was in
Philadelphia on the day before the election, Jackson - noting that
Pennsylvania is a critical state for both parties - said: "It's
the right place to be."
Abraham's office will
have about 70 lawyers and 60 detectives on the job today to
investigate claims of improper activities, said Assistant District
Attorney Peter Berson, who is leading the effort. The Committee of
Seventy will have 400 volunteer lawyers on duty, Voigt said.
Officials say they
expect that new rules will add to confusion at the polls.
Under new election
laws, voters casting ballots for the first time at a polling place
must show approved identification, which includes a driver's license
or other Pennsylvania government-issued card, a voter-registration
card, a passport, an employee-identification card, a bank statement,
a utility bill, or a paycheck that includes the voter's name and
For voters not listed
as new in a division, the law allows challenges against a person's
right to vote if someone suspects that the voter is not properly on
the rolls. In that case, the voter may be required to fill out an
affidavit and find another resident of the district to fill out a
second affidavit attesting to his or her identity.
campaign has one observer per polling place to launch challenges and
watch polls. But, Voigt said, anyone who engages in "serial
challenges," aimed at causing delays, can be removed from the
Department of State released yesterday a set of guidelines for local
election officials that reminded them not to let observers challenge
voters "frivolously or without a good faith basis."
Although Abraham and
Voigt called the news conference in an effort to calm voters' fears
and dispel confusion, the event wound up sowing at least a bit of
the latter. A handout of frequently asked questions - dating from
past elections - said that voters who were not listed in the poll
register could not vote unless a judge in Election Court gives
wrong," said Lee, Philadelphia's voter-registration
administrator. The new procedure, he said, calls for those voters to
get a provisional ballot. Later, election administrators will decide
whether the person is properly registered and whether the vote
ballots, along with absentee ballots, could delay the results if the
election is close. As of last Friday, 11,855 absentee ballots had
later that the information on unlisted voters was outdated. "We
probably should have taken it out," he said.
Dirty Tricks in
Pennsylvania: fake leaflets mimicking County stationery asks
Republicans to vote on 11/2 and Democrats to vote on 11/3. Leaflets
provoking numerous calls to county offices and criminal investigation
initiated. Additionally, calls claiming to be from Bill Clinton and
ACT ask some voters to vote on 11/3.
Jamisen at Dailykos, here's a report from the conservative Pittsburgh
Somebody is campaigning
hard to confuse Allegheny County voters ahead of Election Day.
At the Ross Park
Mall, for example, people are distributing leaflets printed on
bogus, but official-looking, county stationery telling Republicans
to vote Tuesday, Nov. 2, and Democrats to wait a day.
The election will be
over on Nov. 3.
The fliers have
succeeded in spreading confusion, and county officials spent parts
of Wednesday fielding phone calls from residents.
We don't know who is
behind it," said Elections Division Manager Mark Wolosik, who
received a copy yesterday afternoon.
referred the case to the county police, who have launched an
investigation to determine who is behind the disinformation
campaign. Officials say the fliers also turned up in mailboxes of
homes in the North Hills.
The letter reads in
part: "Due to the immense voter turnout that is expected on
Tuesday November 2 the state of Pennsylvania has requested and
extended the voting period ... Voters will be able to vote on both
November 2 and November 3."
The letter is signed
by "Anne Ryan," and a phone number on the flier rings in
Tampa, Fla. Workers there reached by telephone denied any knowledge
of the flier.
County officials say
the flier is part of the political shenanigans that accompany a
hotly contested presidential race.
Still, Wolosik said,
"The matter is now a criminal investigation."
also have launched an investigation into a scam in which University
of Pittsburgh and Community College of Allegheny County students
believed they were signing petitions to legalize marijuana for
medical use, only to find themselves registered as Republicans.
"I can't believe
it happened to me," said CCAC student Denise Jones, a North
Side Democrat who signed what she believed to be a legitimate
petition and received a note from the Republican Party thanking her
for switching her registration.
Election Protection has
Our hotline has
received a report from individuals who claim to have received
recorded telephone message coming from Bill Clinton and ACT and
reminding them to vote on Nov. 3rd.
(November 2, 2004 12:13
Most powerful Republican
in Philadelphia, in a moment of candor, expresses an intent to
suppress the Democratic vote
Really Happened, here's another story from Campaign
The most powerful
Republican in Philadelphia (how's that for an oxymoron) is now
caught up in the GOP Block the Vote scandal here, all because of a
comment he made to U.S. News & World Report.
The official in
question is Pennsylvania House Speaker John Perzel, who represents a
rowhouse neighborhood in Northeast Philly and is considered the most
powerful GOP figure in Harrisburg. He's also very active in local
politics. Here's what he told the magazine:
campaign needs to come out with humongous numbers here in
Philadelphia. It's important for me to keep that number down."
Perzel's remark comes
just a week after Republicans launched an unsuccessful effort to
move -- at the last possible minute -- 63 polling places in
Philadelphia, 53 of them in overwhelmingly black neighborhoods.
reached Perzel on his cell phone last night, and while he refused to
respond directly to Democratic allegations that he wanted to
suppress urban votes, he insisted he was only talking about boosting
the GOP tally from 2000, when Bush received just 100,000 votes here.
“Our goal is to get more Republians out this time than last
OK. But as the
article also notes: “Perzel is challenging many of the more than
100,000 registered Democrats in Philadelphia. His campaign office
sifts through city databases for double registrations, people with
the same names and same birthdates--but maybe different
addresses--who are registered twice. He's finding plenty and filing
challenges to them all. "
Democrats say urban
vote suppression is exactly what Perzel is talking about.
"Surely Perzel cannot be proud to belong to a party whose
success depends on people not voting," said Rebecca Kirszner of
the Democratic get-out-the-vote drive, America Coming Together.
Another case of students
being fraudulently registered as Republican - this time in
we have this
report in the Times Herald:
Students, who last
month signed a petition that was being circulated on the Blue Bell
campus to legalize marijuana for primarily medicinal purposes, now
are finding out that they are registered Republicans.
"This is just very disheartening," said Plymouth resident
Jennifer Fugo, a 24-year-old continuing education student who
describes herself as a "victim of voter registration
"Everyone is encouraging young people to register and vote and
then they experience something like this," Fugo said Monday.
"This is just outrageous."
Fugo, who had been living in New York, this summer returned to the
area and, in August, had her voter registration transferred to
Plymouth. Her new registration card at that time correctly listed
her party affiliation as a Democrat.
Imagine her surprise last week, said Fugo, when she received a new
registration card from the county that listed her as a registered
"It is disgraceful and detestable, not to mention illegal, to
alter anyone's voter registration without that person's
consent," Fugo said. "The thought that there is a special
interest group in my area that is knowingly defrauding citizens
voting records is outrageous, no matter what party or interest group
is perpetrating this act."
When she contacted the county's voter registration office, she was
advised that she was not the only MCCC student who was a victim of
County voter services Director Joseph R. Passarella said that his
office has received "less than a handful" of complaints
from MCCC students complaining that they have been registered as
Republicans and all were tied into the same petition drive.
His office has not been able to pin down the group that submitted
Passarella speculated that there are various organizations this year
who are paying people to register new voters in specific parties and
that this was the work of someone trying to cash in on the
The good news is that it does not make any difference in what party
a person is registered in the upcoming election because a registered
voter can vote for any candidate on the ticket regardless of party,
However, if a person wants to vote in next spring's Democratic or
Republican primary elections and is not registered in the party of
his or her choice, he or she can change the registration after the
Nov. 2 general election, he said.
"I think these kids learned the hard way to make sure they read
things before signing them and not sign anything that is
questionable," Passarella said.
Fugo said she had questioned the signing of the registration form,
telling the petition circulator that she already was registered to
vote. He told her they were just using the form for information
purposes and that she could not sign the petition unless she also
signed the form.
More from the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette via reader radtimes:
Scores of college
students in Pennsylvania and Oregon have had their voting
registrations switched by teams of canvassers circulating bogus
petitions and, in some cases, partially concealed voter registration
forms students were requested to sign.
The canvassers have
visited campuses asking students to sign petitions advocating lower
auto insurance rates, medical marijuana or stricter rape laws,
according to elections officials.
After signing their
names, the students were pressured into registering with the
Republican Party by being told that their signatures otherwise would
be invalid, or they were asked to fill out the signature and address
portions of blank voter registration forms as proof of citizenship.
In multiple instances, students already registered to vote have had
their registrations changed without their consent, elections
officials said yesterday.
in Pennsylvania apparently did not identify themselves, although one
told a University of Pittsburgh student that he was being paid by
the Republican Party.
Students at Indiana
University of Pennsylvania and a branch campus of Montgomery County
Community College told officials they were tricked into filling out
blank voter registration forms, listing their names and addresses
when they signed a petition advocating the legalization of marijuana
for medicinal purposes.
"I'm pretty sure
that they weren't students," said Erik Strobl, an IUP student
who said he signed the petition. Strobl said the canvasser then
asked him to put his signature and address on a voter registration
card. Although Strobl had already registered to vote as a Democat,
he did so when he was told his signature was needed to verify his
status as a voter.
Several days later,
Strobl received a mailed notification that his party registration
had been switched to Republican.
IUP appeared to have
been hardest hit by the scam. County voter registration director
Donna Hoover said as many as 400 registration suspect forms have
arrived in her office. Most of them, she said, changed the
registered party of students who had signed up to vote just days
earlier during a registration drive by two other groups, America
Coming Together and VIP.
"Most of the
students had registered Democrat the day before," Hoover said.
"I've talked to the sheriff."
Markings on many of
the forms appeared to be in the same handwriting, she said.
"I kind of
thought there was something odd. I don't even know which party would
have done it," Hoover said. "These people circled the
different spots [on the form] for the people to fill in."
In Allegheny County,
elections director Mark Wolosik referred another case, involving a
Squirrel Hill college student, to county detectives. Ruairi
McDonnell said his registration was switched from Independent to
Republican by someone who circulated a petition to lower auto
insurance rates for young drivers on the campus of the University of
Pittsburgh last month.
McDonnell said the
man instructed him to fill out portions of a voter registration
form, although McDonnell told the man he already had registered to
"He then told me
I would have to register as a Republican because 'that's how we get
our funding.' I said I would not. He kept the form which contained
only my name and address and certainly did not indicate I was a
Republican," McDonnell said in a letter to the Allegheny County
Department of Elections.
Several days later,
McDonnell received notice from the elections department that he had
changed his registration from Independent to Republican.
In Montgomery, an
identical scam took place in September, when students at the Blue
Bell campus of Montgomery County Community College were handed the
trying to get numbers," said Joseph Passarella, director of
elections for Montgomery, who said he has so far received a handful
of complaints from students who said their party affiliation had
been changed without their consent.
Susan Adams, a
spokeswoman for the college, said the petition canvassers did not
have permission from the school to work on the campus.
GOP and Bush operatives attempt to move 63 polling places (majority in
minority districts) at the last minute, in an attempt to suppress
minority voting; Lackawanna county Republicans move 15 polling places
in Democrat-heavy precincts
Extra has this report:
Philly: Block the Vote
predominantly, 100 percent black. I'm just not going in there to get
a knife in my back."
-- Matt Robb,
Republican ward leader in South Philadelphia, on his last-minute
request to move five Philly polling places in African-American
Pennsylvania and its
21 electoral votes are the second-biggest "battleground"
prize after Florida. John Kerry can't win here without a huge
turnout in Philadelphia, especially in black neighborhoods that vote
90 percent Democratic. As a result, it's the first place you'd
expect a GOP voter suppression effort.
now it's here.
Chris Brennan (with a
big assist from Dave Davies) has the scoop in today's Philadelphia
Daily News. They learned that high-ranking state GOP and Bush
operatives asked local Republicans to try to move 63 polling places
at the last minute. Some 53 of the 63 polling places are in
districts less than 10 percent white.
against the polling places vary -- the bulk are for alleged
handicapped accessibility problems, but 17 charge that the polling
places are in homes or businesses where voters might feel
Deborah Williams, a
Republican candidate for Congress, who is black, said the Republican
state committee asked to use her name on 28 of the complaints.
Nevertheless, she defended the move, saying that "this is not
about creating some stir in the election or denying anyone the right
otherwise. If the polling places were moved at the last minute, it
could lead to massive confusion on Election Day -- and thwart some
people in mostly black, heavily Democratic neighborhoods from
Philadelphia's voter registration administrator who's normally not
given to partisan statements, said flatly: "They're trying to
suppress the vote."
The move is almost
certain to fail -- especially now that it's been exposed. Lee said
it appears that the applications came into his office too late to
allow for a hearing before Election Day.
In addition to Robb,
the GOP ward leader who acknowledged that race played a role in the
request, another Republican ward leader behind the effort was North
Philadelphia's Listervelt Ritter, who is black. He said the move
isn't aimed at suppression, but he adds:
neighborhoods are the ones that do the funny stuff. What are you
supposed to do?"
Stay tuned. There's
still 15 days between now and the election.
Progress Report caught this part that I missed earlier.
on the transparent attempt to make it more difficult for 37,000 –
mostly minority – Philadelphians to vote, Republican Alderman Matt
Robb pleaded discomfort with African-Americans. Robb said he allowed
his name to be used on the request "because those polling places
are in neighborhoods
he doesn't wish to visit. "'It's predominantly, 100 percent
black,' he said. 'I'm just not going in there to get a knife in my
MazeDancer at Dailykos, here's an
article on this:
If you live in
Lackawanna County you better check where you're voting next month.
The county is moving nearly two dozen polling places to different
locations. The fact that it's happening three weeks before the
election has people crying foul.
vote! don't let them move the polling places!" That was the
message outside the county annex building in Scranton Thursday.
Protestors were hoping to stop the move of nearly 30 polling places
just weeks before voters head to the polls and just minutes before
commissioners were scheduled to vote on the move.
"I feel that it
might confuse the voters, disenfranchise some and might not allow
full vote to be counted," said Paul Pierre of Clarks Summit.
Joe Vender of Dunmore
was there because he has no idea where he is supposed to go November
2nd. "Some people I've been speaking with are as confused as I
am. I'm trying to find out what's going on," said Vender. He
made his way inside to get some answers.
What he found was a
packed room and a lot of differing opinions, even from the
"Two weeks away
from the presidential election and moving 30 polling places, the
timing is wrong!" said Commissioner Randy Castellani.
"Let's get out
of the garages and make them (polling places) accessible," said
Commissioner Robert Cordaro.
The plan is to
evaluate all polling places and consolidate locations in 2005. The
move is for accessibility, convenience and efficiency. Petitions
with thousands of signatures ask commissioners to wait until after
In the end, they
found some middle ground, voting to keep six polling locations the
same and moving 21. It's a decision. Still many in the crowd call it
"too many and too late".
GOP operative Roger Stone
(former aide to Richard Nixon, who led part of the GOP-organized
lawlessness in Florida in 2000 for Bush-Cheney '00), discovered to be
behind fraudulent "Kerry-Specter" yard signs in Pennsylvania
- Yard signs were an attempt to deceive voters into thinking the Kerry
campaign was aligned with GOP Senator Arlen Specter in the latter's
campaign against Democratic challenger Joe Hoeffel
we have this
report (extract) in Campaign Extra!:
This is running in
Daily News. It is a joint effort of Campaign
Extra! and ace Daily News reporter Dave Davies (who's also the
substitute host of NPR's "Fresh Air.") We wanted to get
this online before the weekend officially starts:
Lurking behind those
mysterious John Kerry-Arlen Specter yard signs in Northeast
Philadelphia is yet another spectre: Notorious national GOP
A political operative
with some ties to Stone told the Daily News last night that the
consultant — who chaired Pennsylvania
GOP senator Specter’s abortive 1996 presidential bid — had
been actively recruiting people to join a group called the Philadelphia
The group’s lawyer
- who contacted the Daily News yesterday — is another political
operative named Paul
Rolf Jensen, who has worked with Stone on several campaigns.
Jensen is also known for his efforts to file lawsuits against gay
and gay-friendly Presbyterian ministers.
The treasurer and
assistant treasurer of the committee — a so-called 527 advocacy
group — both have connections to candidates also closely linked to
the Florida-based Stone.
Efforts to contact
Stone, whose phone numbers are not listed, were not successful last
night. The 52-year-old GOP stalwart was in the headlines most
recently to deny
widespread rumors that he was behind the likely forged memos
about President Bush’s National Guard service aired by CBS News.
Stone, who started in
politics as a youthful aide to Richard Nixon, has also been tied to
melee in Miami that disrupted the Florida recount. (Web only: Stone
also has a somewhat interesting personal history.)
The yard signs have
been slammed by the campaign of Specter’s Democratic rival, Joe
Hoeffel, as a trick aimed at the city’s overwhelmingly
Democratic ticket. Kerry has campaigned with Hoeffel in his visits
again insisted last night it had no knowledge of either the
Kerry-Specter yard signs or any campaign role for Stone. In 1995, Stone
chaired a presidential bid by Specter, who dropped out before
the 1996 primary season.
“Everything I know
is from you guys [reporters],” said Specter campaign manager
GOP funded group
(connected to Nathan Sproul) fraudulently poses as non-partisan to selectively register people as
Republicans in PA (while push-polling sometimes). Members were told to not offer registration cards to Kerry
In an apparent repeat of what
was seen in Oregon, a voter registration firm hired by a
Republican firm/funded by the RNC misleads would-be registrants into
thinking they are registering via a non-partisan firm. The name Nathan
Sproul is involved in this as well. It appears this may be going on in
Johnson at Dailykos has this post:
for information on the voter registration fraud stories breaking
tonight in Nevada and Oregon, I kept coming across the same name: Nathan
Sproul of Sproul & Associates in Phoenix, Arizona.
Nathan Sproul is the
former head of the Arizona Republican Party and of the Arizona
Christian Coalition (ah, the irony... a Christian).
Sproul is connected
with the Republican National Committee-funded voter registration
organization, Voter Outreach, Inc., a group that used paid
registrars to register voters in a number of states including
Nevada, Oregon, Arizona and perhaps more, including Pennsylvania,
Virginia, Maine and Missouri. (Others states pending,
particularly swing states.) Sproul's organization also
recruited registrars by fraudulently telling recruits that they
would be working for America Votes, a legitimate nonpartisan GOTV
How about this newsgroup
posting to a forum for librarians warning them of a possible
fraud perpetrated by Sproul. It includes a description of the
scam in Pennsylvania, an article from a West Virginia newspaper
reporting the same scam, and a comment from a librarian in Medford,
Oregon outlining the same scam in her library... all fraudulently
misrepresenting the organization doing the hiring as America Votes:
Date: Fri Sep 17, 2004 5:49:58 AM US/Eastern
Subject: Re: SCAM ALERT: Voter Registration
We had the same
thing happen here in PA. Sproul and Associates hires
Kelly temp services to do voter registration. At one library
where they were suppose to be only doing voter registration they
also asking people how they were going to vote. I did some
and found out that they were doing the same thing in WV (see the
article below) and one temp worker claims that they were trained
ask people how they were going to vote. If the person said
they were given a voter registration form. If they said
were just told thank you and no form was given. When we
found out we
asked them to leave immediately. One explanation from Sproul
Associates was that they were doing "market surveys" at
Later they claimed that it was just a problem with a few temp
Sproul and Associates is headed by Nathan Sproul the former head
the GOP and Christian Coalition in Arizona.
They also always
said they represented America Votes. When I finally
asked them to give me the contact information for America Votes
told me that "America Votes is a non-partisan voter
project of Sproul & Associates. Everything originates
office. There is a partisan organization with that same
Clearly they know that when they say they represent America Votes
are misleading people.
Here is the article
from the WV paper for more info.
Headline: VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE 'MISLEADING'
Byline: TOM SEARLS
For a mother of two
teens trying to finish up college, $9 an hour as a
temporary customer service representative sounded good.
"I wanted to
find something that would work around my schedule and be
flexible," said St. Albans resident Lisa Bragg.
After spending more
than an hour with Charleston personnel agency
Kelly Services last week, Bragg was hired. "They wouldn't
tell us at
first what this job was," the 37-year-old Bragg said
Then she found out
it was registering Republican voters at One Stop
convenience stores throughout the Charleston region.
But she won't be
there today, the first day she was scheduled to be on
"I'm giving up
a job that I need," she said. "It's the only decent job
While the job was
to last six weeks, the $9 an hour was far above the
minimum wage of $5.15 Bragg was offered for most other temporary
Bragg feels her
employers were misleading the public, even if it's not
illegal. Employees were to approach One Stop customers and ask if
favor George Bush or John Kerry for president. If Bush was their
answer, they were then to inquire if the person was registered to
and offer them a voter registration card.
If the person
supported Democrat Kerry, they were only to say thank
you and give them a registration card only if asked.
If asked questions,
employees were instructed, "Only state you are
there to conduct a simple field poll to see what neighborhood
is ... a nonpartisan registration drive."
They were told to
quietly listen to any person who becomes angry and
to remember, "The goal is to register Republicans and to
"Is this the
way it has to be? People have to be sneaky to make $9 an
hour?" Bragg said.
Employees were also
given the number of a Kelly Services employee to
contact if there are problems. Contacted Wednesday, two different
employees said they would have someone from Sproul &
firm paying for the survey, answer any questions.
Later, a Kelly
Services employee who would identify himself only as
"Rob" initially said a message had been left with Ben
Sproul's office. He said he had no contact number for Decker, then
agreed to release a Michigan number.
A message left with
Decker was not returned.
Services] said the less you know about the company, the better
off you are, especially if the media would come asking
said Bragg, an admitted Democrat. "That made me more curious
as to who's behind this and what's going on."
Associates appears to be operated by Nathan Sproul, former
head of the Arizona Republican Party and a wealthy GOP activist
has been involved in petition drives. An Internet search shows
has received some financing from national Republican groups,
was not clear who is paying for the West Virginia work.
Bragg, and another
person working for the group, said they were told
the owners of the One Stop stores had agreed to allow them to
the work on the stores' lots. Patrick C. Graney III and Michael R.
Graney are listed as the principal owners of 42 One Stop stores,
according to the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration.
Messages left at One Stop's headquarters in Belle were not
For Bragg it's an
economic loss, but one she carries with pride. She
asked about registering voters with another organization - a group
that treats those of all political persuasions the same - and
pays only $5.50 an hour.
"I just don't
want to be in my hometown and mislead people," she said.
To contact staff
writer Tom Searls, use e-mail or call 348-5192.
Date: September 16, 2004 3:29:16 PM PDT
Cc: Subject: [LIBS-OR] SCAM ALERT: Voter Registration
Jackson County Library has been contacted by persons
purporting to represent America Votes. Our director was
a Harry Miller and asked to call an 800 number to give permission
America Votes to conduct a non-partisan voter registration project
our libraries. I received a letter from Sproul and
consulting firm in Arizona,also saying they represented America
with the same request. I contacted the Kevin Looper, the
Coordinator for America Votes, to verify the information and
this reply from him:
"Here is what
I know: We do not have a Harry Miller in our employ.
This organization is absolutely not representing America Votes,
National leadership is initiating action to get them to cease and
desist representations that infringe upon our rights and mislead
Further, Sproul and
Associates is a partisan political consulting firm
Based in Arizona that works for very conservative causes and has
worked to oppose campaign finance reform. Their use of our
name to cover their political leanings makes me question the
overall intregrity of the voter registation that they seek to
conduct. I will be forwarding this information to the
Secretary of State's office for further investigation."
Headquarters Library Manager
Jackson County Library Services
205 South Central Ave.
Medford, OR 97501
So here we have
Sproul involved in three (swing) states, using a bogus GOTV name to
disguise his organization's own name, and using fictitious names
(Harry Miller) as "contacts" for those with questions.
But that's just the
tip of the iceberg with Mr. Sproul and the RNC. Keep in mind
that in the recruitment ads for Voter Outreach, Inc, run on
careerbuilder.com in targeted states (including Missouri and
Arizona), the bottom of the ads included this statement:
Paid for by the
Republican National Committee. www.gop.com. Not authorized by any
candidate or candidate's committee.
we have this article in the Pittsburgh
nonpartisan voter registration drive in Western Pennsylvania has
triggered accusations that workers were cheated out of wages and
given instructions to avoid adding anyone to the voter rolls who
might support the Democratic presidential nominee.
Sproul & Associates, a consulting firm based in Chandler, Ariz.,
hired to conduct the drive by the Republican National Committee,
employed several hundred canvassers throughout the state to register
new voters. Some workers yesterday said they were told to avoid
registering Democrats or anyone who indicated support for Democratic
nominee John F. Kerry.
"We were told
that if they wanted to register Democrat, there was no way we were
to register them to vote," said Michele Tharp, of Meadville,
who said she was sent out to canvass door-to-door and outside
businesses in Meadville, Crawford County. "We were only to
Tharp said volunteers
were sent door-to-door to seek registrants but were instructed to
first ask prospective new voters which candidate they planned to
"If they said
Kerry, we were just supposed to say thank you and walk away,"
Brenda Snyder, a
volunteer with the Republican Victory Center in Erie said workers
"absolutely never" were told not to register Democrats.
She said some workers were not paid "because of discrepancies
in their paychecks" and said the party was attempting to
correct the problem. Tharp, for instance, said she was paid only $14
for 15 hours of work after being hired at a rate of $11 per hour.
Heather Layman, a
spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, confirmed
Sproul's role in the effort and said that complaints by 45 to 50
workers who had not been paid had been straightened out. Layman
denied that the canvassers avoided registering Democrats and
suggested that Democrats were orchestrating the charges.
"I do smell
politics here if that's what they're saying," Layman said.
Much of the
controversy yesterday centered on the registration drive in Crawford
County, where canvassers claimed to be owed thousands of dollars
after hunting out Bush supporters.
"If they were a
Kerry voter, we were just supposed to walk away," said Michael
Twilla, of Meadville, who said he has been paid for only eight of 72
hours he worked.
Twilla provided the
Post-Gazette with a copy of the script he said he had been given.
It instructs the
canvassers to hand unregistered Bush supporters a clipboard with a
registration form, and to advise them the canvassers will personally
deliver the forms to the local courthouse.
A lower portion of
the form also advises the canvassers to ask undecided voters two
questions: "Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro
life?" and "Are you worried about the Democrats raising
taxes?" If voters say they are pro-life, the form says,
"Ask if they are registered to vote. If they are pro-choice,
say thank you and walk away."
The form also tells
canvassers, "If anyone asks who you are working for, it's
'Project America Vote.' "
America Votes, whose
name is similar, is a self-described nonpartisan voter registration
organization sponsored by generally liberal-leaning groups.
said they had been instructed to skip the lower portion of the form
and others said they were told to say they were working for a local
Twilla said the
canvassers were told to say they worked for Career Concepts, a local
employment agency. Career Concepts was contracted by a Florida firm,
Apple One, to assist them in locating temporary employees. A
spokeswomen for Career Concepts last night said her firm did not
employ the canvassers.
Sproul's role in
voter registration drives this month triggered official
investigations in several other states, with canvassers alleging
they had been told to discard Democratic registration forms, leaving
voters who thought they had registered off the rolls.
The firm has a
contract with the Republican National Committee to register new
voters and has operated using the name Voters Outreach of America.
Sproul's chairman, Nathan Sproul, is a former executive director of
the Arizona Republican Party.
The firm attracted
attention in Pittsburgh last month when Sproul employees called a
Carnegie Library official to request space outside the buildings to
special assistant to the library director, said a woman from the
firm said they were working for America Votes, the nonpartisan but
liberal leaning organization.
McCullough said she
agreed to allow the group to set up at the libraries.
"I said there
has to be no issue advocacy. It has to do nonpartisan voter
registration and they said that was right," McCullough said.
Instead, several days later, McCullough received a call from Ryan
Hughes, director of the Woods Run library branch, saying patrons had
complained about the behavior of the canvassers.
Hughes said a patron
came in the library Sept. 7 "and said 'There's this person out
there asking me who I was voting for.' "But McCullough said she
also became concerned because she discovered that Sproul was not
working for America Votes, and that the registration drive was being
organized by the Republican Party.