Thursday, October 23, 2008

'Vote From Home' Volunteers Won't Be Prosecuted

That's the good news. The bad news is that their votes and registrations are being tossed out, although Prosecutor O'Brien is hinting that this will not be the case for presidential campaign staffers. I don't have details yet, but the upshot seems to be that the registrations are deemed to have been illegal, but there was no intent to commit voter fraud, so charges won't be pressed. Why were their registrations illegal? It's really not clear. It appears that you are legally a resident of Ohio for voting purposes if you have been in the state for more than thirty days, and if you have powerful friends defending you.

The college students were obviously scared spitless of prosecution, and I can't really blame them. But what we just saw happen is a right wing group came in, made a complaint, got 5 Ohio votes for Obama (I'm guessing) thrown out, quite possibly disenfranchised 8 others who will probably not be able to validly vote anywhere now, and all without ever creating any sort of standard for what sort of intent is required beyond thirty days of physical presence in the state (I take that back. The standard is now 'something more than nothing, but also something less than what would commonly be thought of as "residence." Guess right or face jail time. '). How many more people will voluntarily let their ballots be destroyed rather than argue with the prosecutor the GOP referred them to?


Anonymous said...

As a Florida vote (at least I think I am), I say it's up to each of us now to get out the vote.

Tune in, turn on, turn out.


Anonymous said...

How is O'Brien hinting that the McCain staffers won't be treated likewise? I thought he said yesterday he would treat them the same.

Paul said...

Come on Bonobo - this was gaming the system, regardless of which side did it (apparently both did). After all, by registering in Ohio these students were giving up their opportunity to vote in all the local and Congressional races back in the places where they REALLY live (at least I hope they didn't vote in both places - I don't think we can catch it they did).

I would like just once to get to vote for a party that rises above this petty bullshit and does the honorable thing. Unfortunately, neither side trusts the other to be honorable, so both feel justified in doing things that make a mockery of our democracy.