With the polls predictably tightening and the media now filled with negative ads furiously flying back and forth, you had to know that the Republican party would gather its minions to lay out the groundwork for an 11th hour attack on the Democrats vulnerable flank - southside voters. For the longest, southsiders have been a loyal voting bloc for the Democratic party and in this election cycle they have proven decisive in helpin' Smooth Barack garner the party's presidential nomination.
It's no surprise then that Smooth's campaign is counting on high southside voter turnout to help tilt the electoral table his way in states that are considered 'Toss Ups'. With that strategy in mind, the GOP is counting on two underhanded technicalities to blunt the effect of the southside vote in Michigan and Indiana...
In Michigan, the GOP plan is to use lists of foreclosed homes to block southsiders from voting. In this devious approach, the GOP plans to use those lists as the basis of voter challenges claiming that voters on the foreclosed list will not be 'true residents' since their current residence may not match the residence under which they registered to vote. It goes without saying that those lists will be filled with people who tried to take advantage of disingenuous sub-prime loans and those people are primarily lower income minorities.
In Indiana, the fix has been in since April when the Supreme Court (I'll get back to them shortly) upheld Indiana's requirement that all voters have a state or federally issued photo ID in order to vote. Here too, the impact of this rule will primarily effect lower income minorities. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont broke it down this way, "Denying a fundamental right -- the right to vote -- because a person is indigent, lacks a birth certificate or has no access to a vehicle goes against America's better values". Yep. The Supreme Court vote was 6-3 mostly down party lines with Supreme Siamese Twins Justices Scalia and Thomas down for the cause.
A few weeks ago, I finally watched the excellent HBO docu-drama 'Recount' that took an inside look at the Florida vote recount that occurred during the 2000 presidential election. As you all remember, that recount, which would have undoubtedly gone in Al Gore's favor and thereby given him the presidency, was famously short-circuited by the Supreme Court that ultimately ruled that the basis of the recount was fair but that since there was no time to complete it before a previously established deadline, it could not continue. The ironic twist being that had the Supreme Court not injected itself into the case, there would have been sufficient time to complete the recount. The laughable ruling also applied to the fact that the Court limited the precedent of their ruling to just that one specific incident. However, what also came to light in the movie was the fact that the Republican led Florida Secretary of State office manipulated their convicted felons list (in almost all cases, a convicted felon has no right to vote) to also include the names of law-abiding citizens whose names were similar to those on the list. When those folks appeared at the polls to vote (in largely democratic counties), they were also turned away.
In a race this close, where the margin is razor thin, every vote truly does count. The fact that GOP has to resort to such disingenuous trickeration to cling to power can be described in a single word: sad. What ever happened to the will of the people?
So now you know the rest of the story, y'all. It's more important than ever to make sure the folks in your 'Five' are registered and have all the necessary documents to make their votes count on election day. It's no different than the old days in the south when trickeration was the rule of the day in southern polling places. Be aware and plan ahead. Don't let them game the system and kick you to the curb on November 4th.