Tuesday, October 31, 2006

As Ohio goes, so goes the nation...

Do you want to read a chilling tale on this All Hallow's Eve? Here's one. Wasserman and Fitrakis deliver a frighter about the state of the voting system in Ohio. The bottom line: disaster looms under a cloud of contradictory court orders, confused voter ID requirements and voter roll purges. Six years after 2000, the electoral system has only gotten worse and more contentious under Republican guidance. Do we, any of us, still wonder why this should be so?
Through a complex series of legal maneuvers, and now a shocking new decision from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the GOP has thrown Ohio's entire process of voting and vote counting into serious disarray. The mess is perfectly designed to suppress voter turnout, make election monitoring and a recount impossible, and allow the Republican Party to emerge with a victory despite overwhelming evidence the electorate wants exactly the opposite.

...

Thousands of Ohio citizens may also not know if they are actually registered to vote. All 88 of Ohio's county boards of election are effectively controlled by Secretary of State Blackwell. Since 2000, without official notification, some 170,000 voters have been stripped from the registration rolls in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), 170,000 in Franklin County (Columbus), 105,000 in Hamilton County (Cincinnati) and 28,000 in Lucas County (Toledo).

Overall nearly 500,000 registered voters are known to have been eliminated from the rolls in overwhelmingly Democratic districts in a state where 5.6 million people voted in 2004, and where George W. Bush won with an alleged margin of less than 119,000 ballots. There is no evidence similar eliminations have occurred in Republican areas.
Yes, it is all very terrifying. What happened to land of the free, home of the brave? The effect this seems to be having is, rather than enraging the electorate, it is cowing them into submission. Not believing their votes are even going to be counted let alone matter, they simply seem to be shrugging shoulders and slumping home. Karl Rove must be proud.

4 Comments:

Anonymous robb said...

This is the stuff that causes revolutions. Except when you have a country full of lazy, selfish, citizens who are more worried about iPods, cell phones, car rims and sports teams to be upset about having their country ruined.

10:38 PM  
Blogger The Misanthrope said...

Except when the coutnry is full of ... homeowners with outrageous property taxes that worries one half to death, if there is one economic hiccup.

11:36 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

misanthrope,

We are already beginning to see that "hiccup" and it has little to do with property taxes per se. Recent reports of an economic slowdown this last quarter has been attributed to the slowing housing market. New home prices have been dropped by 10% this past month by home builders. This slowdown has been due to the ratcheing interest rates and all the ARMs and interesting-only mortgages that are now coming due after a few years of no-principle payments. Mortgage lending is down, foreclosures are up and people are not buying.

This bodes quite ill for the large "economy," which for the last five years has been based on the inflating real estate market, as it became the next investment bubble after the dotcom meltdown. Real estate won't pop quite the way that bubble did, but the signs that a slowdown has begun are clear. This slowdown will impact the jobs situation tremendously; since 2001, 55% of all new jobs being created in the US were releated to the housing industry: construction, mortgage business, real estate agents, etc. Of course, this job growth was entirely based upon a fiction, an hallucinated perception that inflated prices were producing "wealth." During those years, job growth has never been good. And with the housing business slowing down, the jobs picture will only become increasingly bleak.

If real estate prices continue the trend that is now seen, property taxes will not be an issue at all. In fact, as prices drop, so will taxes, but the loss of home equity that is about ravaged this country will more than make for that.

12:10 PM  
Blogger The Misanthrope said...

You're right. It's all such a mess.

3:42 PM  

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