Friday, October 29, 2004

Florida election volunteer reports early scamming 

Florida is allowing early voting this year. So Laura Shannon, an American dancer living in Scotland, returned to the US for a few weeks of volunteer election work in Florida. She is working in Palm Beach County, Ground Zero of the 2000 presidential election theft. An email she wrote to an activist friend has made its way to me.

Laura has been handing out free bottles of cold water, compliments of the Kerry campaign, to voters waiting in long lines in hot South Florida. She says that many of the elderly voters are Holocaust survivors, some with the tattooed numbers from Nazi concentration camps on their arms.

Laura reports that “[e]arly voting seems to be working fine in the heavily Republican districts of the county, with plenty of voting machines, plenty of parking, and waiting times of no more than 20 minutes. In the mainly Democratic town of Delray Beach, however, people are squeezed into a small county office building with seriously inadequate parking, and are made to wait three to
four hours, since . . . everyone must be processed through one of only two laptop computers before being allowed to vote. Needless to say, lots of people get discouraged and go home, which some say is the not-so-secret intent behind the obstacles.”

Laura is also getting an earful from people in line about the absentee ballots that were never delivered:

“Rumours are flying thick and fast, to the effect that absentee ballots got mailed out in plenty of time to Republican districts but not to Democratic ones. I've heard from postal workers reporting piles of ballots lying around in post offices not being delivered; [and] from a couple who requested their ballots at the same time and place, yet the Republican wife received hers immediately while the Democratic husband is still waiting for his, ten weeks later; and from another couple who deliberately registered as 'independent' voters rather than Democratic, specifically in order to avoid 'accidental' disenfranchisement of this kind.”

Laura also describes some Bush supporters at the polls as being rude, antagonistic and obscene. She attributes this behavior to a playground-bully mentality characteristic of the Bush regime.

But she also says that voters, including the elderly Holocaust survivors, are willing to wait three or four hours in line to cast their ballots. Could it be that, at long last, voters who have been pushed around by bully Bush and his thuggish cohorts are starting to push back?

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