I think it’s safe to say we’re past that phase of the election where the candidates meet in reasoned debate and seek to persuade a deliberate electorate. We’re into the contest mode now, where energizing the vote and motivating the base, getting out the vote, is the focus —and, as it is in any game, sometimes the best offense is —well, just a wee bit offensive.


In this game the offense is called voter suppression.


If you’re not cheating you’re not trying. This seems to be the mindset among certain political operatives as we come down to the wire. Polls seem to indicate the two major candidates for the presidency in a virtual tie such that a stiff breeze in either direction (and a few scattered votes) could decide the election.


Reuters reports it:


In Florida, Virginia and Indiana, elderly voters have received phone calls that wrongly told them there was no need to cast a ballot in person on Election Day because they could vote by phone.


In Ohio and Wisconsin, billboards in mostly low-income and minority neighborhoods showed prisoners behind bars and warned of criminal penalties for voter fraud – an effort that voting rights groups say was designed to intimidate minority voters…


Two weeks before what could be one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history, efforts to mislead, intimidate or pressure voters are an increasingly prominent part of the political landscape. Analysts say tactics typically seen in the last few days before an election are already in play.


The report goes on to describe Republican operatives in New Mexico exhorting their “vote checking volunteers” to demand photo ID’s and block spanish speaking voters from requesting interpreters —both of which just happen to be counter to the provisions of federal election law. Voter registration forms thrown in the dumpster, (dis)information going out to Latino neighborhoods listing the election as November 8th, a pattern seems to emerge.


And with all eyes on Ohio as a crucial swing state, we get the news that H.I.G. Capital, a private equity company whose directors have collectively given so much money to the Romney Campaign that their company is the sixth biggest contributor to all Romney committees, as calculated by opensecrets.org, just happens to have purchased Hart InterCivic, the third-largest voting machine company in the country last July. One of the jurisdictions with Hart Intercivic equipment is Hamilton County —which includes Cincinnati, the third-largest city in Ohio.


Well, however this election contest turns out, you can’t blame the Grand Old Party for not trying



I think it’s safe to say we’re past that phase of the election where the candidates meet in reasoned debate and seek to persuade a deliberate electorate. We’re into the contest mode now, where energizing the vote and motivating the base, getting out the vote, is the focus —and, as it is in any game, sometimes the best offense is —well, just a wee bit offensive.

In this game the offense is called voter suppression.

If you’re not cheating you’re not trying. This seems to be the mindset among certain political operatives as we come down to the wire. Polls seem to indicate the two major candidates for the presidency in a virtual tie such that a stiff breeze in either direction (and a few scattered votes) could decide the election.

Reuters reports it:

In Florida, Virginia and Indiana, elderly voters have received phone calls that wrongly told them there was no need to cast a ballot in person on Election Day because they could vote by phone.

In Ohio and Wisconsin, billboards in mostly low-income and minority neighborhoods showed prisoners behind bars and warned of criminal penalties for voter fraud – an effort that voting rights groups say was designed to intimidate minority voters…

Two weeks before what could be one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history, efforts to mislead, intimidate or pressure voters are an increasingly prominent part of the political landscape. Analysts say tactics typically seen in the last few days before an election are already in play.

The report goes on to describe Republican operatives in New Mexico exhorting their “vote checking volunteers” to demand photo ID’s and block spanish speaking voters from requesting interpreters —both of which just happen to be counter to the provisions of federal election law. Voter registration forms thrown in the dumpster, (dis)information going out to Latino neighborhoods listing the election as November 8th, a pattern seems to emerge.

And with all eyes on Ohio as a crucial swing state, we get the news that H.I.G. Capital, a private equity company whose directors have collectively given so much money to the Romney Campaign that their company is the sixth biggest contributor to all Romney committees, as calculated by opensecrets.org, just happens to have purchased Hart InterCivic, the third-largest voting machine company in the country last July. One of the jurisdictions with Hart Intercivic equipment is Hamilton County —which includes Cincinnati, the third-largest city in Ohio.

Well, however this election contest turns out, you can’t blame the Grand Old Party for not trying