Over the last few weeks, there have been alarming reports of voter registration “irregularities” taking place in swing states in the days leading up to November 4th. Most of these irregularities involve the questionable purging of hundreds of thousands of registered voters from official records in several states, including many voters whose home mortgages were foreclosed. It appears that the Republican party has been behind the push for these voter purges. Here's a short list of purges and of secretaries of state responsible for maintaining voter rolls:
Colorado: Secretary of State – Mike Coffman, Republican. Number of voters purged from Colorado registration rolls within the last six months: 37,000 according to the New York Times. There is also word that state election officials told some college students that they could not vote if their parents claimed them as dependents (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/25/uselections2008.democrats)
Michigan: Secretary of State – Terri Lynn Land, Republican. Number of voters purged from Michigan state rolls in August: 33,000. (In all, over 200,000 names have been removed since January 1. Source: http://www.freep.com/article/20081013/NEWS15/81013077) Michigan also purged voters who lost their homes to foreclosure, and voters who had drivers' licenses from other states. By contrast, only 7,100 people died in Michigan in August, and only 4,400 moved out of state. For additional information, see http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/national/2008/09/18/aclu-sues-michigan-over-voter-purge-program-saying-it-hurts-college-students.html
Louisiana: Secretary of State - John Leigh Dardenne, Jr., Republican. During the five weeks after July 23, at least 18,000 people were dropped from voting rolls. On June 15, 53,000 voters who had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina were threatened with removal from voting rolls unless they could prove that they were not registered in another state. The voters were mostly from poor black parishes. For more information, see http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-08-31-naacp-louisiana_N.htm and http://www.alternet.org/democracy/92695/?page=entire.
Indiana: Secretary of State – Todd Rokita, Republican. According to a recent Guardian article, up to 100,000 people are potentially at risk of losing their opportunity to vote (See http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/20/republicans-voting).
It would be instructive to do a bit of digging to see what states have conducted massive voter purges within the last several months, and especially since August 4. Those states which conducted purges after August 4 are guilty of violating Federal election law. It would also be interesting to see how many of these states have Republican secretaries of state. I'd do the research myself, but I have to get to bed early because I have an early meeting tomorrow at work. One thing I'll say: watch the exit polls – especially from foreign media sources – on Election Day, and see how much of a discrepancy there is between them and the “official” tally.
And for a bit of very ironic news on a completely different subject, Bloomberg ran a story this week with a headline that reads, “Turmoil May Make Americans Savers, Worsening `Nasty' Recession.” It appears that the rich masters of our present economy are worried that Americans might start living within their means, thus gravely endangering the profits of the rich.