With the Presidential election less than a week away, it’s clear that GOP operatives are attempting to disenfranchise voters through intimidation, suppression and bureaucratic maneuvers in battleground states coast to coast.
The examples are already legion: Just this week, it was revealed that in Broward County, Florida, 58,000 absentee ballots have not reached voters who requested them. In Ohio, thousands of Republican challengers are being deployed to polling places in heavily Democratic–and minority–areas to contest voters’ eligibility, while the Republican Secretary of State has decided not to count “provisional” ballots filed at the wrong polling place, a judgment that will hit minorities the hardest. In Las Vegas recently, a former employee at the voter registration firm Sproul & Associates in Las Vegas–run by ex-Arizona Christian Coalition head Nathan Sproul–said he witnessed co-workers shredding new applications of registered Democrats. In Jacksonville, Florida, Suzanne Charlé reports, in a new Nation weblog, that GOP officials have resisted calls to process new registrations.
Fortunately, progressive activists nationwide are joining the fray in response. From voter mobilization to election monitoring, an unprecedented volunteer effort is under way to both turn out the vote and to prevent GOP operatives from turning the vote away. New York Newsday reported yesterday that Democratic-leaning groups expect to send 30,000 volunteers into swing states to join tens of thousands of paid grassroots workers and tens of thousands of local volunteers.
A coalition of groups led by People for the American Way has formed Election Protection to organize volunteers to most effectively preserve voting rights in this election. Click here if you want to be a last-minute volunteer, click here to support Election Protection with a donation, and click here to find out where your polling place is located.
The 527 group America Coming Together is also organizing eleventh-hour bus caravans nationwide to battleground states as well as phone banks for those who want to stay at home but answer questions and urge people to vote on Tuesday.