Voter Intimidation and Suppression Reported in California, Virginia, and Colorado
When asked to make a prediction about the elections, Robert Entman, Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, said it would be close. He also remarked that in the past, polling places with predominantly black voters have had fewer polling machines which have caused longer lines.
Though Entman's talk at Aarhus University on Monday focused on "Political Scandals in the USA and Scandinavia" the real scandal may be occuring as I write — with cases of voter suppression and intimidation across the nation.
A live blog of the problems occuring across the country can be found here.
One example occured in a Redwood City, Calif. polling place on Tuesday. Two men stood in front of a polling place and asked voters to present identification, even though the state does not require ID to vote. Redwood City-Woodside Patch reports:
"The two men, described as "thug-looking," tall and Caucasian with shaved heads, were wearing all black with dark sunglasses and standing in front of the polling place at 134 Hemlock Avenue with their arms crossed.
They carried a binder which they claimed had names and addresses of eligible voters, [voting supervisor Marilyn] Tinderholt said. They were also asking voters to show their IDs, which is not a requirement to vote in the state of California, said volunteer Debra Prime."
In Virginia, volunteers with a tea party-linked group "True the Vote" are also challenging voters at the polls. Democracy Now spoke with Brentin Mock, a lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, collaborating with The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com. Mock also describes voter suppression efforts in Florida, where "True the Vote" focuses on alleged felon voters.
Colorlines has also reported voter suppression in Colorado.
As one of my European classmates said, "Really? In America?"
America deserves, and expects, so much more.