A Few Things You Might Not Know about Early Voter Registration

castaballot2We all know that the right to vote in elections is one of the most cherished and unique freedoms available to United States citizens. Americans of all political stripes recognize that the right to vote is the cornerstone of our freely-elected democracy and a crucial tenet that sets us apart from many other nations.

But too often, eligible voters face barriers such as work, childcare, transportation issues or lack of evening or weekend hours at registration sites that keep them from registering to vote. And among those who do register to vote, a significant portion don’t subsequently make it to the polls. These are eligible voters, representing all political parties, who for various reasons find it difficult to complete the two-step process of registering and then, at least one month later, getting to the polls to cast their vote. Continue reading

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Two Roads to 2008: Miguel and the Boogie Man

Millions of words are being written about the significance of Barack Obama’s victory last week – the emergence of a new majority coalition, the fundamental redrawing of the electoral map, the transcending of America’s historic racial divide.

The 2008 election is one for the ages.

A look back always helps to put things in context. I see where PBS’s Frontline will broadcast “Boogie Man – The Lee Atwater Story.” Appropriate.

Twenty years ago – November 1988: Lee Atwater was the master of American politics, having just managed the successful presidential campaign of George H. W. Bush. That was the campaign that sharpened racial divisions, making “Willie Horton” and “wedge issues” household words. Lee pioneered the art of push polling and voter suppression. Continue reading

Intimidation

Folks, this is as dirty and shameful as it gets.

The Republican Party of Macomb County, Michigan announced this week that it is embarking on a concerted, coordinated effort to prevent people with home foreclosures from exercising their Constitutional right to vote.

Lovely.

Poll taxes. Literacy tests. Home foreclosure lists. What a legacy!

Like no other state, Michigan has felt the full brunt of the national economic recession. There are hundreds of home foreclosures every day – every day – throughout Michigan and the unemployment rate is the absolute highest in the country. In a state reeling from recession, Macomb County is the worst of the worst.

Talk about kicking people when they are down. The actions of the Macomb County Republican Party are simply deplorable.

Voting Rights?

Ridiculous.

Mississippi’s Ballot Trick