Maybe I am just bitter about the 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections. But I am a little bearish on the predicted Democratic sweep. The poll numbers are strong but they are also very close in many races. Close enough for voter suppression and intimidation tactics to have an effect. Like they have in the last 3 elections. Progressives have done an outstanding job on GOTV. Yet how much progress has been made to push back on the Rove system of dirty poll booth tricks. From Greg Palast for the Guardian U.K.:

Two million legitimate voters will be turned away because of wrongly rejected or purged registrations.

Add another one million voters challenged and turned away for “improper ID.”

Then add yet another million for Democratic votes “spoiled” by busted black boxes and by bad ballots.

And let’s not forget to include the one million “provisional” ballots which will never get counted. Based on the experience of 2004, we know that, overwhelmingly, minority voters are the ones shunted to these baloney ballots.

And there’s one more group of votes that won’t be counted: absentee ballots challenged and discarded. Elections Assistance Agency data tell us a half million of these absentee votes will go down the drain.

Palast tells us the mid-term election has already been stolen. Stolen from whom? That’s right — the black and the brown mostly. How does this work. Here’s an example:

California’s Republican Secretary of State Bruce McPherson figured out how to block 40% of registrants, mostly Hispanics. In a rare counter-move, Los Angeles, with a Hispanic mayor, contacted these citizens, “verified” them and got almost every single one back on the rolls. But throughout the rest of the West, new Hispanics remain victims of the “Jose Crow” treatment.

There will also be GOP goon squads unleashed to help “protect the vote”:

A legion of pimple-faced Republicans with Blackberries loaded with lists of new voters is assigned to challenge citizens in heavily Black and Hispanic (i.e. Democratic) precincts to demand photo ID that perfectly matches registration data.

Nice, huh? It makes me nostalgic for the Ballot Security Task Force in NJ. In 1981, the RNC enlisted off-duty armed cops to patrol mostly black and latino polling stations in Newark and Trenton to challenge voters. It worked. The Republican candidate for governor Thomas Kean won by less than 1800 votes. Rove’s “brilliance” lies in reviving tactics like these. A lost art, if you will, from 20-30 years ago.

James Hoffa at HuffPo

Concerning this year’s mid-term elections, it seems that little has changed. An report warns of potentially severe trouble in at least 10 states. Inaccurate voting machines, poorly trained poll workers, flawed voter registration rolls and new and more stringent identification requirements could be issues again. When will our nation get serious about fixing our elections?

The Teamsters led by Hoffa have joined something called the MyVote1 Consortium. That’s nice. Whatever. Look the Republicans would have one (1) central phone number, one (1) central website and one (1) central organization for fighting back against voter suppression, if the shoe were on the other foot. And you know what — after losing several elections — they would all be household names. My mama would be able to sing me the jingle because it would be catchy and she would have seen or heard it everywhere before the election.

I hope that there is a revolution tomorrow. I really do. But apparently one more round of GOP voter tricks may be needed for progressives to crack their own denial of race-based Jim-Crow style vote stealing. Encouraging people to vote is important no doubt. Protecting their right to vote — that’s just American.

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