If they win, this is how they’ll do it

By Amanda Marcotte
Saturday, September 13, 2008 20:23 EDT
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By cheating, of course. Hopefully you’re all familiar by now at how Republicans use the fantasy threat of illegal immigrants voting to purge voter rolls in swing states of naturalized citizens and people who just happen to have Spanish-sounding last names. And how voter registrations from racially mixed neighborhoods are rejected on technicalities. And how voting machines in poor and minority neighborhoods are too few or not working or put in places that are hard to get to. A lot of attention is paid to Diebold machines, but let’s face it, Republicans are still cheating through unsexy, old-fashioned voter suppression techniques.

And now here’s a new one: An attempt to use list of foreclosures to purge voter rolls in Michigan (swing state) of people who are especially inspired to vote for Democrats and a better economy. You read that right. The chairman of the Republican party in Macomb County wants to use these lists to purge the rolls of registered voters on the grounds that homeless people don’t have a right to vote.

Which brings me to an interesting question: How do homeless people vote? Your registration is based on your address, but obviously it’s unconstitutional to hold someone’s residential status against them to disenfranchise them. Is there a system to make sure homeless people have some kind of legal address so they can vote? Requiring someone to have a home to vote echos the original laws that required you to own property, be white, and be male to vote.

Speaking of, how much do I love Whoopi Goldberg for pointing out that the fetish that conservatives have for “originalist” readings of the Constitution smacks of wishing that slavery was legal again?

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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