Skip to comments.Millions Blocked from Voting in U.S. Election
Posted on 09/22/2004 9:28:39 AM PDT by Hi Heels
Millions Blocked from Voting in U.S. Election
48 minutes ago Add Politics to My Yahoo!
By Alan Elsner
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Millions of U.S. citizens, including a disproportionate number of black voters, will be blocked from voting in the Nov. 2 presidential election because of legal barriers, faulty procedures or dirty tricks, according to civil rights and legal experts.
The largest category of those legally disenfranchised consists of almost 5 million former felons who have served prison sentences and been deprived of the right to vote under laws that have roots in the post-Civil War 19th century and were aimed at preventing black Americans from voting.
But millions of other votes in the 2000 presidential election were lost due to clerical and administrative errors while civil rights organizations have cataloged numerous tactics aimed at suppressing black voter turnout. Polls consistently find that black Americans overwhelmingly vote for Democrats.
"There are individuals and officials who are actively trying to stop people from voting who they think will vote against their party and that nearly always means stopping black people from voting Democratic," said Mary Frances Berry, head of the U.S. Commission on Human Rights.
Vicky Beasley, a field officer for People for the American Way, listed some of the ways voters have been "discouraged" from voting.
"In elections in Baltimore in 2002 and in Georgia last year, black voters were sent fliers saying anyone who hadn't paid utility bills or had outstanding parking tickets or were behind on their rent would be arrested at polling stations. It happens in every election cycle," she said.
In a mayoral election in Philadelphia last year, people pretending to be plainclothes police officers stood outside some polling stations asking people to identify themselves. There have also been reports of mysterious people videotaping people waiting in line to vote in black neighborhoods.
Minority voters may be deterred from voting simply by election officials demanding to see drivers' licenses before handing them a ballot, according to Spencer Overton, who teaches law at George Washington University. The federal government does not require people to produce a photo identification unless they are first-time voters who registered by mail.
"African Americans are four to five times less likely than whites to have a photo ID," Overton said at a recent briefing on minority disenfranchisement.
Courtenay Strickland of the Americans Civil Liberties Union testified to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights last week that at a primary election in Florida last month, many people were wrongly turned away when they could not produce identification.
BLACKS' BALLOTS REJECTED
The commission, in a report earlier this year, said that in Florida, where President Bush (news - web sites) won a bitterly disputed election in 2000 by 537 votes, black voters had been 10 times more likely than non-black voters to have their ballots rejected and were often prevented from voting because their names were erroneously purged from registration lists.
Additionally, Florida is one of 14 states that prohibit ex-felons from voting. Seven percent of the electorate but 16 percent of black voters in that state are disenfranchised.
In other swing states, 4.6 percent of voters in Iowa, but 25 percent of blacks, were disenfranchised in 2000 as ex-felons. In Nevada, it was 4.8 percent of all voters but 17 percent of blacks; in New Mexico, 6.2 percent of all voters but 25 percent of blacks.
In total, 13 percent of all black men are disenfranchised due to a felony conviction, according to the Commission on Civil Rights.
"This has a huge effect on elections but also on black communities which see their political clout diluted. No one has yet explained to me how letting ex-felons who have served their sentences into polling booths hurts anyone," said Jessie Allen of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
Penda Hair, co-director of the Advancement Project, which seeks to ensure fair multiracial elections, recently reported that registrars across the country often claimed not to have received voter registration forms or rejected them for technical reasons that could have been corrected easily before voting day if the applicant had known there was a problem.
Beasley said that many voters who had registered recently in swing states were likely to find their names would not be on the rolls when they showed up on Election Day.
"There is very widespread delay in the swing states because there have been massive registration drives among minorities and those applications are not being processed quickly enough," she said.
So Democrats feel they can only win elections if felons are allowed to vote? LMAO!
Yeah I'm tired of the shifty lies being reported.
What about the disenfranchised voters in the Panhandle of Florida. Oh ya. They were white republicans. They dont count.
Where's your link to the source of this story?
Whoa! This is awful.
>>Additionally, Florida is one of 14 states that prohibit ex-felons from voting.<<
Does anyone know the other 13?
Hmmm...no mention of military ballots.
you are not alone
dannyboy has no idea of what he started...
Aside from convicted felons, who has been disenfranchised? This article sounds like phoney baloney.
Such biased reporting.
Polling areas are usually run by the state or county, not by the federal government, and most states require ID to prevent fraud.
I am a white guy who votes in a mostly white, Republican-governed township and I have to present photo ID every time I vote.
Am I being disenfranchised?
and yet the Dems tried to block Military absentee ballots directly in 2000.... I swear the Military Hate Kerry and the Democratic party and if Kerry does get elected the Military will get out at their EAOS in droves causing Kerry to institute a draft and that will be the begining of the end for the US.
I see they failed to mention all the dead people voting for Dems, or any illegals possibly voting, or all the Dems registered in 2 states, etc etc.
More BS from the media wing of the democratic party. Expect these screeds to ratchet up before the election.
They're called laws. Like dead people can't vote, you cannot be registered to vote in two states, and other nasty rules.
Why just the other day me and 2 other white middle aged economists took a ride up to Harlem and told people on the street that if they voted in this election we're going to understate their purchasing power.
If that doesn't intimidate them I don't know what will....
How about the military votes that were not counted?
Is this a "vanity or do you have a link?
Back in the middle ages, in HS Government class we were taught, that in the State of Texas if you were convicted of a felony (and not pardoned) you were stripped of the right(s) to:
1. Serve in the Military.
2. Keep and arm bears.
If you were deceased you also forfeit these rights.
I guess times-be-a-changin though.
BS, pure and simple from the liberal leftist communist demoncRATS.
Not to worry.
Once we get socialism, no one will be left out, as the state will vote for us all, for the greater good.
If you thought AP, CBS, and the New York Slimes were biased, think again. Reuters makes them look like conservative news organizations.
Awww ain't it a cryin' shame?
PAW is one of the most hardline leftwing pressure groups around. They ignore an even larger group of U.S. citizens who are denied the right to vote...because, for no fault of their own, they haven't passed their 18th birthday. Many of them are black or members of other minorities. More racism.
If the democrats had their way, "disenfrancised" would vote based on their "constituency". Based on census and sampling data, there is X number of blacks in this or that city. If they had all voted, they would have voted for Democrats A & B and not Republican or Independent C & D.
This is what the Florida recount was about. It was to lay the groundwork for future elections that could be contested based on low voter turn-out. IOW, if the voters are unhappy with the choices, the Dems could go to court and have them vote "their conscience" by dictate.
Not much different than Putkin selecting the candidate to be approved!
Florida doesn't prohibit felons from voting. Jeb Bush eliminated this exclusion because an accurate list could not be drawn up.
Perhaps this rule applies only to this election, but it's the only one we've got at the moment.
Shoulda thought about that before committing a crime...
Comes from Reuters doesn't it? Naturally it is a RATmedia lie.
Ohio is one.
Actually, I think a reformed felon that can prove that he/she is truly a better person and doesn't get convicted of anything again should be considered to have voting rights restored after say 10 years.
Rules....the things law breakers just don't seem to understand.....
Rule #1 You must have a valid ID in order to vote...this is to protect your vote from vote fraud canceling it out...
Believe it or not, there are some people who are not supposed to vote...dead people,illegal aliens,felons and other non-U.S. citizens for example...
If someone does not have a valid picture ID....or is unwilling to apply and obtain one...that person might be one of these involved in vote fraud.
Protect your right to vote...
go get a photo ID
And thanks to Bush's signing of CFR, conservative options to respond have been limited.
Alot of people want to avoid discussing the military vote. Lots of clerks actually admitted during the last election that they don't normally count the military absentee votes unless the vote is close in county elections. My guess is that 10 percent of the military vote is never counted. Personally, it ought to be a federal crime, with at least 12 months in prison if any election clerk fails to count a miltary absentee vote.
I also have a problem with mentally impaired people voting. If Grandma is nuts and out of it...she shouldn't have the right to vote. Its kinda simple....either of sound mind...or else not. And I have a problem with all these absentee votes too. If you are in the hospital...then fine...if in the miltary or living outside of the US...then fine...but thats it. We have way too many people voting absentee in 3 or 4 elections...and getting away with it. Its illegal but we haven't been able to catch them. We need congress to put claws into voting fraud.
Did you say this was from Yahoo! or the DNC?
Maybe the author also thinks convicted felons that have served their sentence ought to be able to buy firearms, too
This "reporter" failed to mention the voter fraud that goes on among the Democrats. The voter "drives" where they submit voter registration cards through a 3rd party, then have them all sent back to the 3rd party. The 3rd party group uses these to pick people up on buses, hands them a card and tells them how to vote.
Don't forget the "for a pack of cigarettes" voter last time around.
Voting cannot be done on the honor system. Rules have to be followed...and we all know how liberals feel about following any rules of any kind.
They do if they're dead.
Gosh, tens of millions age 0-17 are also unable to vote.
As are illegals.
As are non-citizens.
Oh, the humanity.
It's what the democrats under Clinton were demanding be done with the census: "approximate and add (blacks) democrat voters until you get the number of democratic politicians you want.
Don't bother counting, or looking at voter id's, or registering live citizens: that's only for for white suburban voters!
Notice the other lies in this story:
Blacks getting letters about overdue utility bills?
About "strange people taking photo's at polling places?
About (utterly false) intimidation at the polls?
Pure, blatant racism and hatred. By the black democrats.
Were these people screaming about black vote disenfranchisement when Clinton won his elections?
While we look at how fair a reporter Alan Elsners is ....
Abuse of Iraqi Detainees Is an Echo of The Cruelties Inflicted on U.S. Inmates
By Alan Elsner
Americans from President Bush down have been shocked by reports of abuse of detainees in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and many would agree with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that such treatment is "un-American." But U.S. human rights activists say there is much evidence that similar abuse regularly occurs in our own prisons, without drawing nearly as much public outrage.
"Wanton violence and malicious assaults are far from unknown in U.S. prisons. Just look at local newspapers around the nation and you will often see reports of lawsuits, settlements and internal investigations documenting the unacceptable use of force by prison staff. The problem is, they don't get much national attention," said Jamie Fellner, U.S. program director for Human Rights Watch.
One problem, Fellner said, is that no central body collects data on how many inmates are assaulted by staff in U.S. prisons and jails. Additionally, prisons are closed institutions that operate without public oversight by the media or independent monitors. Still, she said, the amount of anecdotal evidence of abuse is enormous.
For example, in September 1996, guards at the Brazoria County jail in Texas staged a drug raid on inmates that was videotaped for training purposes. The tape showed inmates forced to strip and lie on the ground. A police dog attacked several prisoners; the tape clearly showed one being bitten on the leg. Guards prodded prisoners with stun guns and forced them to crawl along the ground. Then they dragged injured inmates face down back to their cells. The county and other defendants eventually settled a lawsuit for $2.2 million.
Michele Deitch, who teaches criminal justice at the University of Texas's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, said there are many similarities between the situation in U.S. prisons and the excesses that have been revealed in Iraq.
"I see parallels in the levels of abuse, the humiliation and degradation, the lack of oversight and accountability, the balance between human rights and security interests, overcrowding issues. I ask myself, how can we get people equally concerned about what goes on here," she said.
Most correctional officers are not abusive and just want to get through their shifts safely. But few people involved in corrections would deny that those who do abuse inmates constitute a serious problem.
Two of those allegedly involved in the abuse of Iraqi detainees, Spec. Charles A. Graner Jr. and Staff Sgt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick, worked as correctional officers. Graner, whose grinning face appears in some of the most lurid Iraqi photographs, was a guard at Greene County State Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania. Two years after he arrived at Greene, the prison was at the center of an abuse scandal after guards routinely beat and humiliated prisoners. Prison officials, citing privacy concerns, have declined to say whether Graner was implicated in that case.
Frederick was an officer at Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, Va., west of Richmond. In a handwritten statement published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch
on Thursday, Frederick compared his role at Abu Ghraib in Iraq with his job as a guard in Buckingham, where he said he had "very strict policies and procedures as to how to handle any given situation." In Iraq, he said, there were no such policies.
Senior officers in Iraq have said there was a serious breakdown of discipline that allowed abuse to flourish. This sometimes happens at home as well.
In Cook County Jail in Chicago, the elite Special Operations Response Team has been implicated in scores of incidents of violence and brutality in recent years. One of the most dramatic took place on Feb. 24, 1999, when members ordered 400 prisoners out of their cells three days after a stabbing. According to a 50-page report by the Sheriff's Internal Affairs Division, the guards, accompanied by four guard dogs without muzzles, forced the inmates to strip and face the wall. They were forced to keep their hands behind their heads and were struck with a baton if they looked away from the wall. Other prisoners were ordered to lie down and were kicked by guards. One said he was beaten, until he
urinated and went into convulsions, because he did not leave a cell fast enough.
According to the sheriff's report, at least 49 inmates were beaten. One, Leroy
Orange, told the Chicago Tribune, "Everybody who had a tattoo got their ass
whipped. It was scary. The dogs were barking and the guards were just beating
the [expletive] out of everybody. I've never seen anything like it."
Around the same time, the sheriff's department in Suffolk County, Mass., which includes Boston, was also in upheaval. A former jail officer, Bruce Baron, said he witnessed more than 20 beatings of inmates during his years as a guard, from 1995 to 1998.
In one incident at the Suffolk County jail, a pretrial detainee locked in a cell on suicide watch was stripped and left without a blanket. According to a Department of Justice press release, after several hours of the detainee's yelling for a blanket, officers decided to enter the cell and "slap him around" to get him to shut up, administering a vicious beating.
In another, Leonard Gibson, an 18-year-old detainee awaiting trial on car theft charges, was assigned to a cell in the medical unit because he suffered from Tourette's syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary tics and uncontrollable outbursts. His outbursts annoyed officers so much they decided, in the words of the Justice Department, to "slap the Tourette's out of him." A witness testified: "He was screaming. He was pleading, 'Please don't hit me! Stop! I can't help it!' But all you could hear was the pounding. The pounding. He was really hurt."
How can such things happen? Prison experts say the chances of abuse rise when officers' rules of behavior are not clearly stated, rigorously enforced and backed up by proper training. The danger is greatly increased when captors and captives belong to groups with little in common, as is increasingly the case in our prison system in the United States as well as in Iraq.
In the 1980s and 1990s, a majority of the hundreds of new prisons this country built to accommodate a massive increase in the prison population were put in remote, rural regions. So a situation has developed, in California, Virginia and other states, where a majority of the correctional officers are white and a majority of the inmates are black. Without proper training, it is easy for guards to regard those under their control as alien, threatening and inferior.
In 1999, nearly 500 prisoners from Connecticut, many of them black, were sent to Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap, Va., to ease overcrowding in their home state. According to a report by the Connecticut Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities, they were immediately subjected to racial slurs and harassment. Guards routinely used words like "spic," "nigger," "porch monkey" and "boy" when addressing them. Black and Hispanic prisoners were allegedly subject to more cell searches and pat-downs than whites, and guards fired rubber bullets at them for walking too fast or not walking in a straight line. In one instance, black and Hispanic inmates were ordered to crawl toward a correctional officer in the recreation yard. One officer asked an inmate, "You ever been shot by a white man, you ever been stunned by a white man?" Another said, "Yo, black boy, you in the wrong place. This is white man's country."
In both this case and Iraq, officers appeared to regard inmates as less than human.
"Americans are right to be shocked by what happened in Iraq but they need to know that responsibility for abuse, at home as well as abroad, ultimately lies with the public and the leaders they elect," Fellner said.
Alan Elsner is author of the recently published "Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons.""
I guess the Managed Socialist Media is again lending credibility to fellow scumbag liberal lawyers and activists.
We surely haven't seen that before, now have we?
While we're at it, maybe we should allow al-Qaida members and all of socialist Europe to vote as well.
Can this get any more asinine?
Law says you commit a felony, you loose your right to vote.
I can live with that. Why can't the dumbocrats?
Felons don't "vote" because of one simple fact. If we let felons vote, the country will end up being "felonious".
A "felony" is serious stuff. If you rise to that level of crime, you have shot your life long trust completely. You can walk the streets again maybe, but your character is such that you can never be trusted to vote in the government YOU like.
Wow. That would do it for me. I sure don't want to have to walk past a plained clothed policeman or have someone try to put me on TEEVEE.