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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Block That Vote! 

Josh Marshall has some hard figures on "Voters Outreach of America, Inc.," the outfit that's been collecting, and then shredding, Democratic registrations in Nevada and Oregon (and possibly West Virginia). The head man at VOA is Nathan Sproul, former executive director of the Arizona state Republican party.

According to FEC records, Sproul & Associates this year received $125K from the RNC for its voter-registration efforts. An affiliated corporation, SPROUL & ASSOCIATES, INC. (all caps), pocketed roughly half a million for "political consulting."

Our revered colleague Avedon Carol recommends this handy checklist of swing states in which Republicans are trying to suppress the vote, compiled by Chris Bowers of MyDD.

UPDATE (via our indefatigable colleague Rorschach): Are you shocked, shocked to learn that Mr. Ashcroft's Justice Department has not yet devoted its full energies to the prevention of voter fraud?
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) Congress's independent investigative arm, determined in a 106-page report that the US Justice Department has not established procedures for documenting voting irregularities or voter intimidation, and has no clearcut policy for responding to such allegations . . . .

"It is inexcusable that the Justice Department is not fully prepared to protect the right of all Americans to vote," said Representative Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record), a Democrat from California.

"The Justice Department does not have the systems in place that are necessary to respond to reports of voters being turned away from the polls on Election Day," he said.

Another top Democrat, Representative John Conyers (news, bio, voting record) of Michigan, said the lack of preparedness by Justice Department officials could result in a full-blown post-election crisis.

"In what appears to be another razor-thin election, the Justice Department appears woefully unprepared, and once again has left us vulnerable to another crisis in democracy," he said.

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