Not so fast, new voters


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Geraldine Sealey
October 23, 2004 7:46PM (UTC)

Republicans in Ohio have come up with a last-ditch strategy to counteract all of the voter registration drives Democratic-leaning groups undertook this election season -- recruiting workers to challenge new voters at the polls on Nov. 2 and contest whether they are really eligible to vote. From the New York Times:

"Election officials in other swing states, from Arizona to Wisconsin and Florida, say they are bracing for similar efforts by Republicans to challenge new voters at polling places, reflecting months of disputes over voting procedures and the anticipation of an election as close as the one in 2000."

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"Ohio election officials said they had never seen so large a drive to prepare for Election Day challenges. They said they were scrambling yesterday to be ready for disruptions in the voting process as well as alarm and complaints among voters. Some officials said they worried that the challenges could discourage or even frighten others waiting to vote."

"Ohio Democrats were struggling to match the Republicans' move, which had been rumored for weeks. Both parties had until 4 p.m. to register people they had recruited to monitor the election. Republicans said they had enlisted 3,600 by the deadline, many in heavily Democratic urban neighborhoods of Cleveland, Dayton and other cities. Each recruit was to be paid $100."

"The Democrats, who tend to benefit more than Republicans from large turnouts, said they had registered more than 2,000 recruits to try to protect legitimate voters rather than weed out ineligible ones."


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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