Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Damnation Game

by Kyle Michaelis
The Secretary of State has issed a report that "defends" Omaha's Republican Election Commissioner from accusations of voter suppression in minority-heavy districts dating from the Nov. 2004 election. His defense - the vote was botched all over the city, not just in North Omaha. The World Herald reports:
Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale's investigation of problems with the November presidential election in Douglas County has found no evidence of discriminatory treatment, deliberate voter suppression or civil rights violations in north Omaha.

Gale released a statement Tuesday about the investigation following the election and its findings. He was responding to criticism by state Democratic leaders of outgoing Douglas County Election Commissioner Carlos Castillo, who, like Gale, is a Republican.

Gale accused the Democrats of making unfounded and unfair statements. "These suggestions unjustly undermine public confidence in the election system in the county," he wrote.

The Democrats have said the complaints they received about the election came from the eastern parts of the city, in particular north Omaha, which has a large black population...

Gale on Tuesday took issue with the Democratic Party's allegation that election problems disproportionately affected north Omaha and other eastern parts of the city.

He wrote in the statement that Douglas County experienced some problems in the election, including long lines and an inadequate number of ballots. But those complaints were from west, not north, Omaha, Gale wrote.

Gale also investigated the large number of provisional ballots cast by Douglas County voters. "But there was no indication that the problem was centered in north Omaha," Gale wrote....

Castillo welcomed Gale's statement Tuesday. He said that when more than 200,000 people turn out to vote, a few are bound to have a bad experience.

Castillo actually seems to be celebrating this report. Huh? Doesn't he understand the gist of the report beyond its partisan posturing? This isn't even "damning with faint praise." No, this is a straight up admission that screw-ups were prevalent, whether or not they disproportionately impacted minority voters (which conveniently remains unproven).

To paraphrase these Republican office-holders: "We're not racist, just incompetent..."

I'll drink to that.


Blogger Cornhead said...

Since when haven't the Rebublicans attempted to decrease minority voter turnout? This game is as old (actually older) than Jim Crow laws themselves. Republicans are a lot of things, but they "ain't stupid". They realize African Americans, Latinos and a significant proportion of other racial minorities disproportionately vote Democrat.

They just seem to come up with more creative mechanisms to systematically exclude our Brothers and Sisters from the democratic process.


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