The Extent of Voter Suppression in This Election

This article is about the unsustainable business of suppressing the vote, which has spread like wildfires during this election year.

Hopefully, you are aware of the massive efforts Republicans are using across the US, from stringent voter ID laws to curtailing early voting, along with the group hired by the Republican party to register voters, who has been ripping up registrations that say "Democrat."

After being ordered by the courts to halt their voter ID law, the state of Pennsylvania continues to give voters the impression they can’t vote without state-issued ID. If voters call the 800-number to get information, they are greeted by a spokesperson saying they must have an ID, which is also splashed across the website. When asked, the state said they forgot to take it down. 

In Arizona, flyers sent to residents tell them when and where to vote – except those that are in Spanish say election day is November 8.  

Tea Party group, True the Vote, is placing 1 million "poll watchers" at polling places in swing states. Their goal is to intimidate people and make it hard for them to vote. They, along with governors in various states, have also been working hard to purge voters from the rolls.

The Brennan Center for Justice finds that 41 states have introduced 180 restrictive voting laws in 2011. 25 laws and 2 executive actions have passed in 19 states since the beginning of 2011.

Now we hear that even the voting machines may be rigged.  Vote counting company Hart Intercivic, whose machines have famously failed in the past, is tied to Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.

by Judy Molland 

Are you ready for this?

Voting machines in the critical states of Ohio and Colorado are owned by a company that has extensive connections to the Romney family. Oh, and the same machines will also be used in Texas, Oklahoma and Washington.

Truth out reports:

Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States.

In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall’s election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public. But they will help decide who "owns" the White House.

This is terrifying news.

Voter ID, voter fraud and Republican voter suppression have already emerged as controversial issues in the 2012 race. In addition, Romney’s campaign has been accused of using misleading ads, coming up with fake math for his tax plan and of course, suffering from "Romnesia."

Then there are the audio recordings that were made public recently, in which Mitt Romney asks independent business owners to put pressure on the employees to make sure they vote for him, which would be "in their best interest." And of course there are those emails from employers to their employees that imply they might lose their jobs if they don’t vote for Romney.

If all that were not enough, now we have a voting machine scandal. Are we really living in the 21st century?

But there’s more alarming news about those voting machines, from Truth Out:

They are especially crucial in Ohio, without which no Republican candidate has ever won the White House. In 2004, in the dead of election night, an electronic swing of more than 300,000 votes switched Ohio from the John Kerry column to George W. Bush, giving him a second term. A virtual statistical impossibility, the 6-plus% shift occurred between 12:20 and 2am election night as votes were being tallied by a GOP-controlled information technology firm on servers in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In defiance of a federal injunction, 56 of Ohio’s 88 counties destroyed all election records, making a recount impossible. Ohio’s governor and secretary of state in 2004 were both Republicans, as are the governors and secretaries of state in nine key swing states this year.

Whatever happened to free and fair elections? As if Citizens United were not bad enough for a country that calls itself a democracy, now we have the spectacle of Mitt Romney using his family and Bain Capital connections, in fact using whatever means possible, ethical or not, to become President.

If Romney really is such a great and trustworthy leader, why does he need to employ all these extreme measures to try and win this race? This is quite simply corruption, and it makes me very afraid.

Learn more about the attempts at voter suppression:

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