Democrats & Liberals Archives

And What About the Poll Tax?

The election isn’t until tomorrow, and already the parties are in court trying to affect the outcome. In hotly constested Ohio, two federal judges have barred party challengers at Ohio polling spots. The GOP wants to send party members to verify voter eligibilty, primarlily in heavily black parts of Hamilton County. However, both U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott of Cincinnati and U.S. District Judge John Adams of Akron ruled against allowing the practice, citing that “Ohio’s statute allowing challengers at polling places was unconstitutional.”

In making his ruling, Judge Adams said:

In light of these extraordinary circumstances, and the contentious nature of the imminent election, the court cannot and must not turn a blind eye to the substantial likelihood that significant harm will result not only to voters, but also to the voting process itself, if appointed challengers are permitted at the polls.

Judge Dlott said,"the presence of challengers inexperienced in the electoral process questioning voters about their eligibility would impede voting." The judges stated that it is the poll workers' resonsibility to determine voter eligibility.

In trying to sway the election in George Bush's favor, the GOP is clearly overstapping a line that was established ostensibly by the Constitution and reaffirmed by the 15th and 25th Amendments. These amendments, stating that voting rights "shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude" and "shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax" were enacted to prevent parties from preventing minority voting.

Clearly, the objective of sending GOP challengers into predominantly minority districts goes against the intent of these constitutional amendments. We don't hear of the GOP wanting to send challengers to check newly registered college students, who are probably more likely to have registration issues due to new registrations and whether permanent residency is at home or school.

If George W. Bush is to win the election, the least he can do is allow for the whole of the American population decide this. Many feel he already stole one election. We cannot allow for him to steal another one. Should he be allowed to do so, are we that far off from a dictatorship or monarchy? Will the process again be short-circuited to allow for Jeb's assumption of the throne in 2008? This process needs to be fair and open and reflective of the will of all registered voters -- not only those voters deemed favorable to those currently in power.

Posted by blipsman at November 1, 2004 11:19 AM