Harshing the Buzz

If there’s one thing we do fear this fall, it’s not the increasingly whimsical attack ads, but the Rovian ground game. While we remain confident that 51 percent of the American electorate will come to their senses soon enough, we’re not at all confident they’ll actually be allowed to, y’know, vote.

Let’s start with a taste of Andrew Hacker’s article in the latest New York Review, which reminds us of the score to date:

Requiring a driver’s license to vote has a disparate racial impact, a finding that once commanded judicial notice. To apply for the state ID card that Indiana offers as an alternative, moreover, nondrivers must travel to a motor vehicles office, which for many would be a lengthy trip…

The Indiana decision [Crawford v. Marion County Election Board] will not only make it harder to add new people to the rolls; many who had previously voted without photo identification are now required to produce an official photograph. If Marion County (Indianapolis) has the same proportion of unlicensed voters as Milwaukee County, I count it as having more than 44,000 black residents who will be needing transport to motor bureaus to ensure that each item in their nondriver ID application has been properly filled in. Extended nationwide, this means that a lot of on-the-ground assistance is going to be needed.

And if that’s not enough to grab your attention, here’s the breaking news from Wisconsin: state attorney general J.B. Van Hollen has filed a lawsuit against the state’s election board, insisting that it crosscheck driver’s license registrations on voters who registered or changed address since January 1, 2006.

an election official said the lawsuit could force clerks to check data on about 1 million voters. And critics accused Van Hollen — a Republican serving as the state co-chair of John McCain’s presidential campaign — of filing the suit for partisan gain.

We won’t even bother listing suspicions about The Company Formerly Known As Diebold, or the integrity of its equipment in the best of circumstances. It’s enough to note that concerted efforts to Block the Vote are already underway, in states where denying the franchise to significantly large numbers of American citizens would be beneficial to a campaign too desperate to lose.

In other words: It’s the Ballots, stupid.

Obama: The Price of Being Black [NY Review]

Van Hollen’s voter-check lawsuit sets off a tempest [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

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