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October 26, 2004

Bush-Cheney Suppressing Vote in FL

By Andrew Dobbs

I don't know if you've seen georgewbush.org, but it is an anti-Bush site with almost the same domain and the same layout as the real Bush site and is really quite funny. Something even funnier is that a lot of Bush-Cheney employees and other GOP types accidently sent things to their friends with "@georgewbush.com" email domains to "@georgewbush.org" thus sending them to the "catch-all" account for this website. The site's creator then felt compelled to post all of these emails online at their Dead Letter Office. Really funny, right?

Excpet when it is scary. A BBC reporter found two emails referencing a "caging list." The list can be found here and here. I saw these and didn't think anything of it before I read a story on Kos that explained what "caging" is: keeping Black folks from voting. From the BBC:

A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals. Election supervisor Ion Sancho believes some voters are being intimidated

Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".

It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.

An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day." [...]

In Jacksonville, to determine if Republicans were using the lists or other means of intimidating voters, we filmed a private detective filming every "early voter" - the majority of whom are black - from behind a vehicle with blacked-out windows.

The private detective claimed not to know who was paying for his all-day services.

On the scene, Democratic Congresswoman Corinne Brown said the surveillance operation was part of a campaign of intimidation tactics used by the Republican Party to intimate and scare off African American voters, almost all of whom are registered Democrats.

Around these parts I'm starting to drift closer and closer to the tin foil hat crowd. I covered the phones here at the TDP Headquarters for about an hour today while our receptionist was out to lunch. In that time I answered 3 calls with serious voting irregularities/campaign suppression. At other times I have answered to hear tales of election judges wearing GOP buttons and GOP candidates standing behind the clerks' table shaking hands, computers marking Republican boxes when the voter attempted to vote Democratic, ballots being put into cardboard boxes and on and on. Something shady is going on.

I am starting to worry that traditional voter suppression is giving way to outright election fraud. I think I am probably just a little worried about things in general but we definitely need to make sure the light is shed on everything we read/hear about. If the light is on their activities it will infinitely harder for them to get away with it, so let's keep up the heat.

Posted by Andrew Dobbs at October 26, 2004 04:45 PM | TrackBack


Somehow none of this surprises me. I've also written about this particular story and one that was in today's Waco Tribune-Herald with n 82-year-old woman who has not gotten her ballot yet. She thinks it may be because she identified herself as a Democrat in McLennan County, which is supposed to be a big no no.

Short story shorter, something is up.

Posted by: Nate at October 26, 2004 07:12 PM

Check out http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/archive.html?blog=/politics/war_room/2004/10/26/palast_florida/index.html

It has a different explanation of what caging is. Caging - a common term in the jargon of direct marketing, meaning, according to one online source, "the process of receiving, processing, and reporting the mailing results."

Those Excel spreadsheets may just be part of a direct marketing campaign.

Posted by: texprodigy at October 27, 2004 07:49 AM

I know some shady stuff happens on election day all over the place, on both sides of the aisle. Still, voter irregularities are mostly hot air. In every case that someone charged voter fraud or intimidation, nothing illegal had happened, and the person in question voted legally. On top of that, it's impossible to "see" a computer record a Democratic vote for a Republican. That's the point of secret ballots. I'm not saying funny things don't happen, but most of it is hysteria promoted by Democrats who don't like it when GOP wins. Damn Lawyers.

Posted by: Adam at October 27, 2004 08:51 AM

What?! GOP suppressing the black vote?! Surely you jest!!

BTW, Adam--Dems don't like it when Repubs *steal elections*, thus appearing to win. There is a difference.

Posted by: Andrea M. at October 27, 2004 09:48 AM

emphasis on the quotation marks in "steal elections." Translation...Dems hate losing fair and square. If they lose, they cry foul. Victim mentality permeates that party from the ground up. If Bush wins, I predict plenty of Dems crying foul...some legitimately, most of it illegitimately. Still, no one stole any election. That damn Constitution got in the way of Democrats plans. Boo hoo.

Posted by: Adam at October 27, 2004 02:09 PM

I've run into several progressives that ask, ?Why should we bother when it is obvious that the
Republicans are determined to do whatever they can to win this election including
lying,cheating and stealing (i.e. Florida 2000,Nevada Registration scandal,ect.)"
Well here's how I answer. Of the 129,549,000 registered voters in 2000, 110,826,000 actually showed
up to vote. That leaves 18,723,000 that were registered but that did not
bother to vote. Oddly enough, of those registered non-voters, registered
democrats generally outnumbered registered republicans two to one. (that's
66% registered democrats) That comes out to be 12,357,180 registered
democrats who did not feel that there was any reason for them to vote in
the 2000 election, an election that was resolved by less that 400 votes in
By some estimates the republicans were successful in physically
disenfranchising some 1 million votes in the last election. If just half of
those registered dems who didn't vote in 2000 actually get off their butts
and vote this time, the republicans will need to figure out how to
disenfranchise another 6,178,590 votes this time around. A tall order in an
election were many of the highly contested polling places in swing states
will be monitored by at least one of the three volunteer nonpartisan poll
monitor agencies that have sprung up in the last year, that include a host
of volunteer lawyers & computer scientist. Not to mention the Democratic
National Committee, who emboldened by record donations of $100 dollars or
less to their coffers have been able to saturate swing states with teams of
legal support should voting discrepancies arise.
Don't give up yet, there is definitely a reason to bother with this
The Republican National Committee:
Hiring security guards to pose as police and immigration officials at
polling areas in poor neighborhoods
to ward off potential democratic voters:
Contracting an organization sadistically called "Voters Outreach of
America" to register thousands of democrats and
then throw their registration forms away:
Disheartening and demoralizing the democratic base with your dirty tricks
and rigged polls* that showPresident Bush winning, so that 12,357,180
registered democrats don't bother to vote
(sorry for the damn mastercard parody, but it had to be done by somebody)
* http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1309994,00.html


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