Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Voter Suppression: Scare tactics?

Currently, both parties McCain and Obama, have been knee deep accusing the other of voter fraud according to some sources like CSPAN and other networks like Fox News. Voter supression is in the same category apparently with Voter Fraud. Voter fraud defined by wikipedia is "a form of electoral fraud and refers to the use of governmental power, political campaign strategy, and private resources aimed at suppressing (i.e. reducing) the total vote of opposition candidacies instead of attempting to change likely voting behavior by changing the opinions of potential voters. This method is particularly effective if a significant amount of voters are intimidated individually because the voter might not consider his or her single vote important".

Even though voter supression may be considered political hoopla, voter fraud sounds familiar to our last election between Bush and Kerry. From a New York Times Ad online dated August 16th 2004, the author of this article, Bob Herb, stated that in our past election Florida was under criminal investigation of the organization of Orlando League of Voters by state officials. The only reason that I could find for this investigation during the 2004 elections was that the Orlando League of Voters must have commited a crime to convince black voters for whom they should vote for. The goal of this association which was made up of older, black volunteers, was to encourage black voters to vote by transporting voters to voting destination for those that do not have the capacity to do so ( ie. lacking income to support gas or other means of transportation). From these criminal investigations many of the blacks that were recieving assitance getting to the polls may have lost their vote because the Orlando League (that was under investigation)may have influenced their vote. The larger problem with this situation is that perhaps removing votes because of such associations helped a particular political candidate (Bush) in recieving less votes for John Kerry because blacks were thought to have voted for Kerry if their votes had counted.

Besides allegations of voter fraud during the last election of Bush and Kerry and the current election of democrat and Republican there is also speculation about the processes of voting that may also misrepresent a person's vote. Some have pointed out potential problems with the voting machines and perhaps even the people that count the votes ( even mail in ballots). The ES &S voting machines (made by John Waveright) was reported to have some issues with their touch screens. When an individual dragged their finger to their candidate it typically selected the first candidate on the list which was McCain. People in the news also had speculated about the accuracy or assurance that those that aided the voting process could intentionally or intentionally misrepresent one's vote.From all these stories of votes being misrepresented why the scare tactic(Florida in the last election?)?

More questions: Can anyone disenfranshise or suppress an individual's vote?

If a vote is considered to be part of capitalism that shouldn't voter fraud occur? Or should voting be simply considered democratic?

And is voter persuasion equal to some voters who believe that celebrity opinions are more important than their own as voter fraud?

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