Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Has Anybody Here Seen My Old Friend Jim? 

Crow, that is. From the Washington Post:
In a new report, the NAACP and People for the American Way cite incidents from Florida to Detroit. NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said efforts at intimidation and suppression, once a tool of Democrats in the Jim Crow South, "have increasingly become the province of the Republican Party" as it seeks to counter the overwhelming advantage Democrats enjoy among black voters.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Christine Iverson said that the two nonpartisan groups are attempting to spin unrelated events into a conspiracy and that their motivation is to help Democrat John F. Kerry defeat President Bush . . . .

Among the incidents cited [in yesterday's report]: A Republican state representative in Michigan told the Detroit Free Press that the GOP will have "a tough time" if "we do not suppress the Detroit vote." Detroit is 83 percent black.

In Jefferson County, Ky., the local GOP plans to send poll watchers to Democratic, predominantly black precincts to challenge voters' eligibility. A similar, 2002 plan provoked cries of voter intimidation after a recruitment filer became public. The flier asked for volunteers to protect Ernie Fletcher's gubernatorial campaign against potential fraud by "the black militant division of the AFL-CIO" and the NAACP.

In South Dakota, where Native Americans are a key constituency for Democrats, some said they were turned away from the polls during a special election this summer because they did not have photo-identification The secretary of state has blamed the problems on well-intentioned poll workers who did not understand a new law passed by the GOP-controlled legislature.

In many cases cited it is unclear who is behind the incidents. In Maryland's 2002 gubernatorial election, anonymous fliers were distributed in black neighborhoods in Baltimore gave voters the wrong date for Election Day and told them to be sure to pay parking tickets, overdue rent and outstanding warrants.

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