Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Shenanigans at the Polls...

By the Obama Campaign, in both OH and TX. In Ohio, the Obama campaign has been sending poll workers who have not been certified to polling stations. There are reports of voter intimidation as a result. The Ohio Secretary of State has warned the Obama campaign about these poll workers.

In TX, primarily Obama supporters have been passing out caucus sign-in sheets for tonight's caucus to voters after they vote, getting them to sign up (though I saw one report that mentioned a couple of Clinton volunteers passing around a similar sheet. It seemed that their's may have been to remind people about the caucus - the reporting was a bit unclear). The problem is, only people PRESENT at the caucus, beginning after 7:15 p.m. (or the last voter) can sign these caucus sheets. It is unclear how they obtained them for this purpose. The Texas Democratic Party has issued a warning to both parties regarding the caucus sheets, as well as made clear that caucus convenors MUST be registered TEXAS voters, as supporters from outside the state who are not registered to vote are trying to get control of some causes (Obama's camp, I should add).

Additionally, there have been instances of voter fraud and intimidation by Obama supproters against Clinton supporters in Texas. At this point, people have been hesitant to attribute these acts as sanctioned, but rather the result of overzealous young people who do not know any better. So, until more data has been obtained, it is considered isilated.

There have also been discussions of bullying tactics used by Obama supporters, primarily men (as well as some male McCain supporters) in other caucus states in which they have intimidated women who supported Clinton. As a result the women left the caucus without making their voices heard. I should add, people are not as concerned about the women of Texas being intimidated, a la Ann Richards! :-)

There are A LOT of problems with the caucus system. States like Washington and Texas that have BOTH should go with the actual vote to try and minimize these shenanigans. As someone said, that would require Dean to actually stand up and do that, ESPECIALLY with Texas, which he most likely will not do. The way in which the DNC has conducted itself this campaign would certainly support that (cynical) conclusion.

I have not attached any links to the above content regarding TX and OH as MANY sites have the information available (talkleft.com, taylormarsh.com, and unbelievably, it is being reported on MSNBC). You can go to the first two sites for further information and discussion.

Suffice it to say, this is incredibly disturbing. It is disturbing that more information about the caucus process in NV and WI was not more widely reported. It is disturbing that people from outside states are coming in to try and take over the caucuses. It is disturbing that there is evidence of Obama's campaign trying to "game the system." It is all very disturbing. This election is remindng MANY of us of 2000...Again, the DNC SHOULD step in to make sure votes are cast without fear or intimidation, and should reconsider the use of caucuses period. Oh, and not picking the preferred nominee before states have voted wouldn't be bad either. Regardless, SOMETHING has to change. And now. The DNC is losing more and more members as a result of how poorly this entire process has been handled (or not). Shocking.

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