Sunday, October 24, 2004

Documenting Voter Intimidation

We have a great advantage over people who fought against political corruption and voting fraud 100 years ago: Virtually every citizen now has access to small, cheap recording devices. We have microcassette recorders, cellphones with cameras, digital cameras with video and audio functions, and so on.

The Republicans, on November 2, propose to "challenge" voters outside polling places, and make them prove that they have the right to cast a ballot. Anyone stopped by one of these goons should have a tape recorder handy. If you're comfortable doing so, pull it out and turn it on in front of him. If not, keep it hidden while you record everything he says.

People with camcorders, in particular, could do worse than bring them to polling places...especially ones in minority neighborhoods.

There's a battle going on here beyond the election itself. The GOP aim is to discredit a Kerry win at all costs, and thus to fuel the Right's sense of aggrieved victimhood (which is already at a toxic level). They may try to circulate phony or apocryphal photos of Democratic voter fraud, which is all the more reason to flood the media with real images and sounds of the Right at its absolute worst. If we surround them with hidden cameras and tape recorders, we stand a very good chance of exposing them once and for all as the un-American bullies and thugs they are.

You can buy a handheld tape recorder for less than twenty dollars at just about any drugstore. It's a small investment that could pay off very nicely, especially if you're in a swing state.


Thers said...

It's a good idea, but unfortunately, I think bringing a recording device (especially any sort of camera) into a polling place will get you thrown out.

Maybe contacting your local elections board and asking about the "challenger" regulations would work. You sould then set up shop right outside the 200 feet or whatever polling perimeter, put up a sign saying "They Might Try to Steal Your Vote!" and give out handouts explaining what to do and say if you get "challenged."
That way, you're first of all making it known that these slimeballs are in there, and second, educating people about their rights.

Local Dems should be doing this outside any polling place they think the goons have targeted.

Phila said...

I don't mean into the polling place itself, though. I mean outside.

I'll check into the legal issues, and repair my rant if I need to...