Sunday, October 31
Now They're Registered, Now They're Not
Election Officials Express Dismay at Extent of Misinformation, Variety of Tricks Targeting Voters
Jo Becker and David Finkel, Washington Post, October 31, 2004;
As if things weren't complicated enough, here comes the dirt.
Registered voters who have been somehow unregistered. Democrats who suddenly find they've been re-registered as Republicans. A flier announcing that Election Day has been extended through Wednesday.
Dirty tricks are a staple of campaigns, but election officials say this year's could achieve new highs in numbers and new lows in scope, especially in key battleground states such as Florida and Ohio, where special-interest groups have poured in to influence the neck-and-neck race between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry.
"In my 16 years as an election administrator, I've never seen anything like this," said Ion Sancho, supervisor of elections in Leon County, Fla. "I see it as an expression of a political culture that has evolved in the United States of win at any cost. It's not partisan, but it's just lie, cheat and steal, and ethics be damned."
The problem in Leon County: Students at Florida State and Florida A&M universities, some of whom signed petitions to legalize medical marijuana or impose stiffer penalties for child molesters, unknowingly had their party registration switched to Republican and their addresses changed. ... [...more]