The Florida voting fiasco was a huge blow against democracy, which is why it’s even more important that this election go well. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look like a possibility at this point. Even Jimmy Carter, as honest and decent as man as has ever held elected office, has given up hope that there’s any possibility of a fair election in Florida thanks to the craven partisanship of its officials.
The new glitch in the election process, though, comes from Ohio, home to Diebold electronic voting machines, my birthplace, and my mother’s family. Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell is trying to restrict the ability of newly-registered voters to cast their ballots by demanding all voter registration cards be printed on 80-stock paper, as required by Ohio law. If you submitted your registraton on paper any thinner than 80-stock, the original registration will be tossed and a new form mailed to the voter. Not surprisingly, this bureaucratic stalling tactic is causing a lot of fury not just in Ohio, but across the country. The new voters who are being tossed out are disproportionately Democratic, recruited by organizers against Bush. The message is pretty clear and direct: the Republicans are opposed to democrats, whether with a small d or a big one.