Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ohio's Ballot Woes Could Delay Election Results for Weeks

According to the folks at, Pollsters and pundits have trained their eyes on Ohio, where President Obama maintains a narrow lead over Mitt Romney just days before the election. According to exit polls, Obama’s lead is even stronger among early voters. But several recent developments threaten to disenfranchise many of these voters and plunge Ohio into a bureaucratic nightmare on election night.

The Columbus Dispatch reported on Thursday that a data-sharing glitch and mistakes by election officials have caused thousands of absentee ballot requests to be rejected. While Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted maintains that this was a computer error, the Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates found an abnormally high rate of rejected absentee ballot requests in Cuyahoga County, a Democratic stronghold that includes Cleveland. The Cuyahoga Board of Elections determined that 865 ballot requests had been erroneously thrown out.

If these voters try to cast their vote in person, they will likely be forced to use a provisional ballot, as the absentee ballot error has thrown their registration status into question. At least 4,500 registered voters across the state will be left waiting for their absentee ballots, while as many as 6,000 provisional ballots cast by registered voters could be tossed out. The provisional ballots that do not get thrown out won’t be counted until November 17, according to state law, further dragging out the confusion.

This absentee ballot fiasco is just the latest in Ohio’s dysfunctional election saga. On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Husted to discount ballots cast by people directed to the wrong polling station by a pollworker — one of the most common errors that led to thousands of votes getting thrown out in Ohio’s dysfunctional 2004 presidential election.
Husted became a national symbol of voter suppression after he banned early voting on nights and weekends, and attempted to defy a court order that restored early voting on the last three days before the election. Read more at

Justice Department to Monitor Polls in 23 States on Election Day

The Justice Department announced today that its Civil Rights Division plans to deploy more than 780federal observers and department personnel to 51 jurisdictions in 23 states for the Nov. 6, 2012, general election.

Although state and local governments have primary responsibility for administering elections, the Civil Rights Division is charged with enforcing the federal voting rights laws that protect the rights of all citizens to access the ballot on Election Day. 
In the days leading up to and throughout Election Day, Civil Rights Division staff members will be available by telephone to receive complaints related to possible violations of the federal voting rights laws (toll free 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767 or TTY 1-877-267-8971). In addition, individuals may also report such complaints by fax to 202-307-3961, by email to and by a complaint form on the department’s website: 
Allegations of election fraud are handled by the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country and the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. Complaints may be directed to any of the local U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the local FBI offices or the Public Integrity Section at 202-514-1412.

Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the department has regularly sent observers and monitors around the country to protect the rights of voters. The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group. In addition, theact requires certain covered jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election process. Under the Voting Rights Act, the department is authorized to ask the Office of Personnel Management to send federal observers to areas that have been certified for coverage by a federal court or the attorney general. The department also may send its own staff to monitor elections in other jurisdictions.

On Election Day, federal observers will monitor polling place activities in 17 jurisdictions:
  • Russell County, Ala.;
  • Maricopa County, Ariz.;
  • Alameda County, Calif.;
  • Riverside County, Calif.;
  • Randolph County , G a.;
  • East Carroll Parish, La.;
  • Panola County, Miss.;
  • Colfax County, Neb.;
  • Sandoval County, N.M.;
  • Orange County, N.Y.;
  • Cuyahoga County, Ohio;
  • Lorain County, Ohio;
  • Williamsburg County, S.C.;
  • Shannon County ; S.D.;
  • Dallas County, Texas;
  • Fort Bend County, Texas; and
  • Jefferson County, Texas.
Justice Department personnel will monitor the election in an additional 34 jurisdictions:
  • Mobile County, Ala. ;
  • Pima County, Ariz.;
  • Arapahoe County, Colo.;
  • Denver;
  • Duval County, Fla.;
  • Hendry County , Fl a.;
  • Hillsborough County, Fla.;
  • Lee County, Fla.;
  • Miami-Dade County, Fla.;
  • Orange County, Fla.;
  • Osceola County, Fla.;
  • Chicago & Cook County, Ill.;
  • LaPorte County, Ind.;
  • Finney County, Kan.;
  • Detroit & Hamtramck, Mich.;
  • Alamance County, N.C.;
  • Wake County, N.C.;
  • Bernalillo County, N.M.;
  • Cibola County, N.M.;
  • Queens County, N.Y.;
  • Franklin County, Ohio;
  • Hamilton County, Ohio;
  • Allegheny County, Pa.;
  • Chester County, Pa.;
  • Delaware County, Pa.;
  • Lehigh County, Pa.;
  • Philadelphia ;
  • Richland County, S.C.;
  • Davidson County, Tenn.;
  • Shelby County , Tenn. ;
  • Harris County, Texas; and
  • Milwaukee
The observers and department personnel will gather information on, among other things, whether voters are subject to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group; whether jurisdictions are complying with the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act; whether jurisdictions permit voters to receive assistance by a person of his or her choice if the voter is blind, has a disability, or is unable to read or write; whether jurisdictions allow voters with disabilities to cast a private and independent ballot; whether jurisdictions comply with the voter registration list requirements of the National Voter Registration Act; and whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act. Toassist in these inquiries, the department has deployed observers and monitors who speak Spanish and a variety of Asian and Native American languages. Both the federal observers and department personnel will coordinate monitoring activities, and department attorneys maintain contact with local election officials.

Last month, the Justice Department announced efforts to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation or fraud in the election process. More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting and election-related laws is available on the Civil Rights Division’s website at

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Have You Seen These Billboards?

Ordinarily when you turn on the lights the roaches in the room begin to run for the exists. That isn't the case with the folks trying to steal the 2012 presidential election. This week the roaches responsible for an outrageous voter suppression scheme in communities of color in Ohio and Wisconsin. The roaches this time around are trying to say anonymous as they have paid for devious billboards designed to scare Black and Hispanic people away from voting.

Melissa Harris-Perry and Ohio state Senator Nina Turner were on the case about this issue yesterday.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
With less than a month to go ... an anonymous advertiser tries to create an atmosphere of fear around voting just as the early voting period begins in Ohio and Wisconsin. I encourage all 'villagers' to sign an online petition demanding that demanding that Clear Channel immediately take down these offensive and dangerous billboards:

These billboards are clearly designed to intimidate voters, and they're part of a coordinated right-wing attack on the voting rights of people of color. The billboards are hosted by Clear Channel, a media conglomerate owned by Bain Capital — the same company that Mitt Romney co-founded. Clear Channel has tried to avoid any responsibility for the ads, saying that the group who paid for them is responsible for the content. But Clear Channel has rejected billboard ads at least three times in the past.

The myth of widespread "voter fraud" has been used to justify voter suppression efforts again and again. As a result, we've seen new restrictions on voting and voter registration, including discriminatory voter ID laws and voter roll purges. The fact is that voter fraud rarely occurs. In fact, voter fraud happens as infrequently as death by lightning.

Clear Channel syndicates some of our country’s most conservative commentators like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and now it is allowing the myth of voter fraud to intimidate Black and Latino voters. Please join us in demanding that Clear Channel immediately remove the billboards, it only takes a moment.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Registration and Early Voting in Tennessee

In Tennesse the voter registration deadline is 30 days before the election, which is November 6 this years, so you have about two weeks to get registered if you have not. There are new Voter ID laws, and new voting precincts due to redistricting so check for requirements, as well as getting your voter registration application at the Secretary of State's website. You can also learn about early voting which starts October 17 in Tennessee.

Even though it's pretty much gauranteed which way the presidential race is going to go in Tennessee, there are a lot of state house and local elections which are very important, and probably will have more effect on your day to day life that you need to show up for.

Since I live in Nashville and I was looking it up, here's the schedule for Nashville early voting:

Location Address
Belle Meade City Hall 4705 Harding Pike
Bellevue Community Center 656 Colice Jeanne Road
Bordeaux Library 4000 Clarksville Pike
Coleman Park Community Center 384 Thompson Lane
Crossings Event Center 5380 Hickory Hollow Parkway
Davidson County Election Commission 800 2nd Avenue South, 1st Floor
Edmondson Pike Library 5501 Edmondson Pike
Friendship Baptist Church 1109 32nd Avenue North
Goodlettsville City Hall 105 South Main Street
Green Hills Library 3701 Benham Avenue
Hermitage Library 3700 James Kay Lane
Madison Library 610 Gallatin Pike South


October 17, 2012 through November 1, 2012
Day / Date Open Close
Wednesday, October 17 8:00 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
Thursday, October 18 8:00 A.M. 7:00 P.M.
Friday, October 19 8:00 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
Saturday, October 20 8:00 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
Monday, October 22 8:00 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
Tuesday, October 23 8:00 A.M. 7:00 P.M.
Wednesday, October 24 8:00 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
Thursday, October 25 8:00 A.M. 7:00 P.M.
Friday, October 26 8:00 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
Saturday, October 27 8:00 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
Monday, October 29 8:00 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
Tuesday, October 30 8:00 A.M. 7:00 P.M.
Wednesday, October 31 8:00 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
Thursday, November 01 8:00 A.M. 4:30 P.M.

Davidson County Election Commission

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bogus Premise for Voter Suppression Laws in 33 States

1 in 2.3 million. Those are the infinitesimal chances voter fraud will occur in a federal election. That's less likely than being struck by lightning or attacked by a swarm of bees. Right now, 33 states have proposed laws making it harder to vote. That means 23 million Americans will have a much more difficult time voting, and communities of color will by hit hardest by these new laws

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Speech by Mia Love, Mayor of Saratoga Springs, UT to the Republican National Convention (Text / Video)

Let me tell you about the America I know. My parents immigrated to the U.S. with ten dollars in their pocket, believing that the America they had heard about really did exist. When times got tough they didn’t look to Washington, they looked within.

So the America I came to know was centered in personal responsibility and filled with the American dream.

The America I know is grounded in the determination found in patriots and pioneers, in small business owners with big ideas, in the farmers who work in the beauty of our landscape, in our heroic military and Olympians.

It’s in every child who looks at the seemingly impossible and says, “I can do that.” That is the America I know!

President Obama’s version of America is a divided one — pitting us against each other based on our income level, gender, and social status. His policies have failed! We are not better off than we were 4 years ago, and no rhetoric, bumper sticker, or campaign ad can change that.

Mr. President I am here to tell you that the American people are awake and we are not buying what you are selling in 2012.

The American Dream is our story. It is a story of human struggle, standing up and striving for more. Our story has been told for over 200 years with small steps and giant leaps; from a woman on a bus to a man with a dream; from the bravery of the greatest generation, to the entrepreneurs and the innovators of today.

This is our story. This is the America we know because we built it.

With Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan we can restore the America we know and love. The world will know it, our children will tell it and our grandchildren will possess it for years to come!

God bless America.