Residency is the new Hanging Chad.

So I'm hearing from Republican friends (yes I have a few) that the major strategy on the right this year is going to be getting a large number of pollwatchers to go to polling places and just challenge the residency of every identifiable hispanic or african-american they can find. The challenge may or may not be effective, but it will slow voting to a halt in democratic areas, and may cause people to just go home rather than waiting the additional hours.

Not sure whether or not to believe gossip, a quick google search for residency laws is already showing a headache in the making. Random link from Maine:

Two years ago, however, Republicans challenged nearly every voter at the polling place on the University of Maine's Orono campus, creating long, slow-moving lines, according to people who were there.

Orono Republicans say they were just making sure that residency laws were enforced. Democrats charge that it was a deliberate tactic designed to discourage voters.

For people working the polls, it was a headache. "I don't know if it was a delaying tactic, but it definitely held things up," Orono Town Clerk Wanda Thomas said. "They were challenging just about everyone."

Now just replace 'student' with 'hispanic' or 'african-american' and we have a surefire way to create a hostile voting atmosphere. Democracy is on the march!

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2 Responses to “Residency is the new Hanging Chad.”

  1. Ed Says:

    According to the Washington Post, a republican judge in Ohio, Susan Dlott of Cincinnati, has rejected the state Republican party's plan to post 3,400 paid "residency challengers" at polling places in black areas.

    How noble of her.

  2. Valerie Says:

    Check out this link and listen to an NPR report on residency challenges in Ohio.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4131524