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Vote Early!

Posted by Michelle Moquin on October 26th, 2016

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Good morning!

From the Huff Po:

This Is What Actual Voter Suppression Looks Like, And It’s Appalling

In one county, a reduction in polling places has helped cut early voting by 85 percent.


Donald Trump regularly tells his supporters that the election has been rigged against him, and on Monday he accused Hillary Clinton’s campaign of utilizing a “voter suppression technique” that involved manipulating polls. (Politifact rated his claim “pants on fire” false.)

But with early voting now underway in several states, the real-world effects of actual (and very consequential) voter suppression have begun to bubble up.

Exhibit A is North Carolina, where in recent months reporters discovered that state Republican leaders had sent emails directing GOP appointees on local elections boards to “make party line changes” to limit early voting.

In one message, titled “CRITICAL and CONFIDENTIAL,” a Republican district chairman urged election officials to offer only one early voting site for the minimum hours allowed by law, so as not to give Democrats an advantage.

Early in-person voting began in North Carolina on Oct. 20, and Professor Michael McDonald, an elections expert at the University of Florida, said the impact of reduced voting sites is already evident in early returns:

Not all local boards listened, but some did, and the effect is obvious. The volume of early voting is generally down in the counties that reduced the number of polling locations and is up where the number increased.


Perhaps the most egregious county is Guilford, a county of 517,600 people, of which 57.9 percent is White, and gave Obama 58 percent of the vote in 2012. The county opened 16 in-person early voting locations in 2012, but has only their central election office open in 2016. The number of in-person voters on the first Thursday and Friday was 21,560 in 2012, but was only 3,305 in 2016, a decrease of 18,255 or 85 percent.

A similar story emerged on Tuesday, when The Nation’s Ari Berman reported that Green Bay, Wisconsin, had denied a request for a second early voting site because, as the city’s clerk wrote in a private email, additional voting locations would be “more of a benefit to the [D]emocrats.

Green Bay is the third-largest city in the state, and during the primary election in April, students at its University of Wisconsin campus reported waiting up to two hours to vote.

Afterwards, eight UWGB student groups (including the campus Republicans and Democrats) asked for an early voting site to be located on campus. The city said no, and its Republican-appointed clerk Kris Teske explained why.

“UWGB is a polling location for students and residents on Election Day but I feel by asking for this to be the site for early voting is encouraging the students to vote more than benefiting the city as a whole,” Teske wrote privately to a state ethics commission official in an email obtained through an open-records request.

I have heard it said that students lean more toward the [D]emocrats,” she continued. “I have spoken with our Chief of Staff and others at City Hall and they agree that budget wise this isn’t going to happen. Do I have an argument about it being more of a benefit to the [D]emocrats?”

In the end, the city’s only early voting site is a 15-minute drive from campus and is only open during work hours.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, the state’s Democratic Party and two groups representing the homeless petitioned the Supreme Court on Tuesday to help stop enforcement of a restrictive election law passed in 2014.

Under the law, Ohio voters can have their ballots thrown out if they make a single clerical error on their ballot forms, even if election officials can accurately identify the voter despite the error.

Local media reports have featured stories of unsuspecting voters whose ballots were tossed in 2014, like a husband and wife couple who inadvertently mailed their ballots using each others’ envelopes.

Tuesday’s petition to the Supreme Court included other examples. Ronald Gilbert, who is 86 and legally blind, had his ballot discarded because he mistakenly wrote that day’s date in the birthdate field. Kadar Hiir, an immigrant from Somalia, lost his vote after accidentally flipping the date and month in the birthdate field.


Readers: Election day is less than 2 weeks away. If you’re living in a state that offers early voting, please go vote NOW. If you don’t know if your state offers it, click here.  Let’s do this! Be sure to take your time in filling out your ballot. We don’t want any mistakes to make your vote not count. Thank you for voting early!

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37 Responses to “Vote Early!”

  1. Zen Lill Says:

    Apparently the pipeline won’t open for commenters in recent few days/week, Mischa
    …usually they flood in all at once around midnight HK-Shenzhen time, not sure why that is…aliens playing with your algorithms maybe?

    After the election they need to come back, luv politics, luv aliens more : )

    Luv, Zen Lill

  2. Lois Says:

    The only reason we even have a competitive republican party is because of voter suppression. Most white people know this and accept it because it allows them to keep their place of privilege at the table.

    I live in Georgia and many of my relatives work in the office that makes the rules for voters. They are constantly talking about what their friends tell them that “works.”

    What they mean is what they do in their states that suppress the OTW or those areas of their state that traditionally votes dem.

    They pass on things they do that pass the courts and even judges that will wink at their suppression tactics and rule for them. The list of federal judges is quite formidable.

  3. Flo Says:

    I wish you would fix your blog Michelle. I’m tired of posting only to have it not post.

  4. Cora Says:

    Lois#2, I have relatives who work for the “poll Police” in my state of NC. They look for black people (and other minorities) voting.

    Seriously…that’s it. They just try to scare non-whites into staying away from the polls.

  5. Conchita Says:

    The Trump campaign thinks they are being so sneaky; yelling for weeks before the election that it is going to be rigged, so that they can unleash the real rigging in the form of voter suppression. When challenged on this they will of course resort to screaming about the election being fixed.

    The only place for them to go after this is actual physical intimidation. Maybe not this election, but if they don’t change course from the shores of fascism, maybe in the next.

  6. Dorothy Says:

    Jesus, the irony is so thick I almost choked on it. These fuckers are going to protect our votes from fraud by committing fraud themselves.

  7. Gary Says:

    I just ask that nobody mess with me when I go vote. Fair warning, I will slice you like a can of cranberry sauce.

  8. Sonja Says:

    Trump has suggested…that his supporters should absolutely show up to their polling booths and watch for voter fraud.
    Translation: “Trump has suggested that his supporters should show up to their polling booths and beat the living shit out of anyone who does not vote for him.”

  9. Cherry Says:

    I’m early voting tomorrow, with some of my neighbors. We are carrying canes, pepper spray, and some spike heels. lol

  10. Marsha Says:

    This shit happens in the elections of third-world countries and, if these fuknuts were in power, that’s exactly where this country would be heading.

  11. Danielle Says:

    I suggest everyone wear a Trump sticker to shorten your line and get you through to the voting booth. (lots of KKK cops will be out in full) Once you have voted, toss that sticker in the nearest garbage bin where it belongs. You gotta do what you gotta do to get to those polls. VOTE VOTE

  12. Bobby Says:

    Sonja#8, Hopefully, they will get a judge and jury who will make an example out of them by throwing the maximum. Then make sure the media reports it so if anyone else gets this idea, they’ll remember what happened to these people.

  13. Alycedale Says:

    Here’s an app from the ACLU that will allow you to send phone video directly to a secure server to document illegal police or voter suppression activities.

  14. Kriszta Says:

    This is one of those times when I truly wish I were American and could give my middle finger to Trump and his brownshirts with my vote. Go give these disgusting POS hell, my liberal American friends! Rooting for you from the other side of the pond.

  15. Janet Says:

    Don’t call 911. The ACLU recommends that you contact
    Election Protection Hotline, 866-OUR-VOTE; or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español) and/or
    U.S. Department of Justice Voting Rights Hotline (800-253-3931); TTY line 877-267-8971

  16. Rachel Says:

    Janet#15, Thank you for posting this phone number. I have a nearby polling place that might be inhabiited by some of these “red hats”. I may want to watch them watching my fellow POC, and have the FBI on speed dial to report anything.

  17. Janet Says:

    Whoops, forgot to include this:

    Local and state officials, including poll workers; your county clerk,
    elections commissioner, elections supervisor; or your state board of elections.

  18. Norma Says:

    I love how they pretend to be concerned about voter fraud when what they’re doing–voter intimidation–is not only illegal but also constitutes voter fraud by proxy.

  19. Freda Says:

    Throw those fucking weasels in jail!

  20. Gloria Says:

    My husband works for Jan Chafetz and they are planning to impeach Clinton if she is elected.

    I used to be a republican Michelle before your blog, but now I see the light. They are nothing but political gangsters. They will do anything to get their way.

  21. Anna Says:

    I cannot begin to describe how much these illegal tactics anger me. Every state ought to have mail-in voting instituted voters can also walk ballots right in to the County clerk’s office.

    We are so very grateful our D down*the*ticket ballots are in and secured. Goddamn, I despise Trump and his zombie followers.

  22. Jean-Marc Says:

    As someone watching from outside the U.S., I find this entire election cycle to be both worrisome and tragic.

    Worrisome, in that Trump has made it this far and the GOP has proven itself to be ineffectual lap dogs who happily allow an authoritarian fascist to wag them.

    Tragic, in that a nation that was once seen as a strong democracy is slowly devolving into a Banana Republic, with remarkable ease might add.

    And yes, that’s exactly how the U.S. looks to the rest of the world at the moment. So, if I may offer an American style rejoinder regarding this mess: Get a fucking grip and save your country.

  23. Bert Says:

    I’m white from the bigoted state of Wisconsin, the state ruled by the American Nazi Party.

  24. Kerri Says:

    Jean#22, for me Trump is disturbing enough, but realizing the percentage of Americans who are just as perverse and disgusting as is he has been very depressing for me.

  25. Renee Says:

    Jean-Marc#22, I’m afraid that the ‘noncerebral’ population in this country is on fire that a black man has been the POTUS these last eight years (and are madder than hell that they have to pretend otherwise or be seen as the ‘DNA challenged’ racists that they are) and they’re now perfectly happy to cut off ALL OF OUR NOSES to spite their own faces.

    There will be no ‘getting a grip’ and we are devolving as human beings at an ever increasing rate here. This is just the tip of the iceberg, it will get much uglier because this is Murika dangit!

  26. Emily Says:

    Republican city clerks are committing a crime against Americans. There must be some way to keep incompetent assholes like them away from any positions of authority.

  27. Maury Says:

    Well, just like with Benghazi and the email “scandals” it is now coming out that the REAL VOTING FRAUD is being done by REPUBLICANS. Which is what they did when they rammed Bush down our throats.

    There are already reports of votes being flipped to Donald Trump when someone tries to vote for Hillary. I hope the FBI gets enough reports to start throwing some Republicans in jail.

  28. Cathy Says:

    We all have the right to vote. It is UNETHICAL to try to restrict anyone from exercising that right. Unfortunately, it seems like Republicans really like to pull this crap.

    That is the only way most of them get elected.

  29. Dan Says:

    You just fucking attacked Trump for saying elections are rigged. Now you post this shit.

    Get it the fuck together, Michelle. I read your blog because you’re honest. Now you’re becoming much more politically biased.

    Fix your shit.

  30. Edward Says:

    This thinking sounds so close to what we are experiencing in North Carolina after the “Voter ID” law got cancelled by the court that I have to suspect ALEC is somewhere in the roots of it.

  31. Andrew Says:

    Dan#29, Trump claims elections are rigged against Republicans with no evidence….

    Evidence turns up that Republicans are trying to rig elections…

    I guess you’d prefer that people didn’t take those pulling all that crap to task. So much for keeping the system honest, eh?

  32. Thelma Says:

    Dan#29, Please say this is some high sarcasm. Because you kind of proved the point the rest of us have been making for years.

  33. Bill Says:

    Dan#29, WTF, dude. What’s your beef? What’s the point of that stupid outrage.
    There. Fixed it for ya.

  34. Vickie Says:

    Confederate strategy used on Black/brown voters is being used on White voters that don’t “vote right”

    Trump supporters are worse than any riot that burned down their own community.. they seek to punish govt ELECTED by burning the Constitution.

  35. Katie Says:

    They can’t win fair elections, so they resort to gerrymandering, ID laws, limiting access, and intimidation. Republican values in action.

    I hope Trump’s aftershocks leave their party in shambles.

  36. Zen Lill Says:

    11 Danielle, that’s brilliant simplicity at its best. Luv it. Easy fix. Full garbage cans of trump stickers, perfect.

    29 Dan, Trump thinks the media is against him and SNL, too, what the….?!
    no all the media is doing is reporting ridiculous statements that come out of his mouth (and should be biting him in the ass but no we’ve got people actually agreeing with the buffoon) and SNL just amplifies what’s so obvious to thinking people to make it laughable (in the face of a major election) bc if you cannot identify a dangerous shit show for yourself, maybe you’ll understand through humor.
    & What’s trump want to do about it? Sue SNL! (along with all the ‘lying women’ he groped)…if that isn’t beyond pathetic … SMH …
    The media isn’t against him, he just shows us repeatedly that he’s not at all fit fr the job. Period.

    ~ ZL … So glad the door opened for comments, it was getting lonely in here : )

  37. Michelle Moquin's "A day in the life of…" » Blog Archive » How Many Trumps Have You Had To Deal With In Your Life? Says:

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