Blogs > Cliopatria > Gedaloadathis ...

Aug 26, 2004 11:19 am

Gedaloadathis ...

While GWB's toadies distract our attention from Iraq, the economy, budget deficits, the trade imbalance, unemployment, the war on terror, bureaucratic failures, and other national disgraces, the New York Post calls our attention to the threat posed to the health of the republic, New York City, and, ah, the Republican National Convention, by ..., ..., (wait, it's coming; I can't stop laughing). There, now, I'm more composed: the Weather Underground!

I don't read the Post, so I depend on Eric Alterman calling my attention to the New York Observer's fisking of the Post article. Are you kidding me? There are a few surviving Weathermen around who didn't blow themselves up 35 years ago. Most of them are nice little old ladies in tennis shoes by now. Really. Google"Weather Underground" and see what incendiary sites you turn up. Weather Underground is, by now, mostly Weathermen Buried.

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Richard Henry Morgan - 8/27/2004

I almost forgot to add:

Cathy Wilkerson, identified by the NY Times as a high school teacher and teacher of adult ed programs in Brooklyn.

Linda S. Evans, who got a fellowship from George Soros (of all people)

Mark Rudd, who teaches mathematics at a community college in Alburquerque

David Lion Salmanson - 8/27/2004

I suspect that most of these folks are snowbird tax-dodgers who are seeking to avoid higher taxes by establishing Florida residency by any means necessary including registering to vote. Florida taxes snowbirds at a higher rate. Anyway, the Atlantic coast may be NE but the Gulf Coast, where I visit my in-laws is firmly mid-western and republican.

Ralph E. Luker - 8/27/2004

Richard, I think you're into beating dead horses. On point #2, did you inform board of registration authorities in your place of former residence when you registered to vote in Florida? If not, I take it you believe that you were vulnerable to charges against you.

Richard Henry Morgan - 8/27/2004

Off the top of my head I can only think of Ayers at UICC and Dohrn at Northwestern -- so yeah, guilty as charged (trying to be funny, and obviously didn't succeed). When I find a right-wing terrorist safely embedded in academia, I'll let you know. What do you think the chances are of that?

BTW, I just checked my Florida voter registration card, and Chapter 97 of the Florida Statutes. Seems the act of registration in Florida involves an affirmation that Florida is one's permanent legal address, so there are legal implications even if one doesn't vote, or even if one votes in just Florida (and one's legal residence is outside Florida). Of course, civil rights implications only obtain in the latter.

Ralph E. Luker - 8/27/2004

Richard, Please give us a complete list of all former members of the Weather Underground with their current academic affiliations. Otherwise, you sound too much like former Senator Joe McCarthy: "I hold in my hand ..." a receipt from the grocery store.

Richard Henry Morgan - 8/27/2004

You're right, Van. As long as they don't vote in both places ... something that there is no mechanism to detect.

BTW, Ralph, I think you are right. This Weather Underground stuff is nutty. Why would the Weather Underground come up out of academia (University of Illinois, CC; Northwestern; etc.) and risk their pensions at TIAA-CREF at this point?

Van L. Hayhow - 8/26/2004

Deter what exactly? I am an attorney but election law is not my area of expertise. I do know something of domicile. If a person has more than one address, the domicile is generally where they want it to be. They generally declare this by registering to vote, filing income taxes (if its a different state), registering the car etc. I do not believe it is illegal to be registered in more than one state at a time. I have moved between states twice since reaching voting age. I never had any trouble registering to vote in the state I moved to. When I no longer showed up on the rolls of the old town and state I would be dropped from the rolls. In this area, there is no requirement that I take any affirmative step to drop myself from the voting rolls of my former location. As long as people don't vote in two places in the same election, I don't see what the problem is.

Ralph E. Luker - 8/26/2004

Would you like to talk about the subject of this post or must you, like GWB's hired hands, distract attention from the issues at stake in the election?

Jonathan Dresner - 8/26/2004

I think it is precisely because there is no formal mechanism for validating that a person is registered in only one jurisdiction that it was a non-issue.

I'm actually curious about your claim that double-registration 'invalidates' votes. I don't know election law, obviously, but if you're right, then the governments state and federal have been clearly remiss in allowing such drift.

When I register to vote, after a move, I put down on the form my previous voting district, and assume that means that my previous registration will be administratively handled, i.e. cancelled. If that's not the case, then I could registered in at least three districts, entirely unintentionally and with no intent or desire to decieve or vote illegally (well, OK, everyone thinks it would be fun to have more than one vote, but that's not my point). So, I could ask, how many of those 46,000 were recent moves, whose paperwork just hadn't been properly processed yet?

And if you're looking for 'snowbird' double registrations, you might well find a similar number, weighted towards Republicans, in Arizona. I suspect, if we take the problem as a whole, rather than in bits and pieces, that it's not as partisan an issue as it looks now.

Richard Henry Morgan - 8/26/2004

Could be. If even one out of twenty of those vote in Florida, that's over two grand from New York alone. Multiply by ten for the other states that provide snowbirds, and that's twenty grand. That swamps the number erroneously purged from voter rolls, which if I remember, was a cause of hair-pulling anxiety. Frankly, I'm amazed, given the number of snowbirds we have, that there is no formal mechanism to detect and deter this.

Ralph E. Luker - 8/26/2004

You think of this as a big civil rights issue?

Richard Henry Morgan - 8/26/2004

Actually,it was the Daily News, and not the Post. And I pose the question for '00, without stating that the 46,000 figure applies to '00. But strangely, though you list all kinds of categories of people who might fall within those 46,000, you have not included snowbirds, who live a good portion of the year in Florida though legal residents of other states. That phenomenon dwarfs the other categories, and the contributing states are not limited to NY. The contributors come disproportionately from northern states, which went disproportionately to Gore. The question is hardly how I should spend my time -- the question is how come the Commission on Civil Rights, which took such a strong if partial interest in the Florida '00 election, hasn't taken any interest in the phenomenon at all.

Ralph E. Luker - 8/26/2004

Assuming that the Post's rolled up sleeves work is accurate, whenever it was done, you've made a leap you wouldn't allow your dialogical opponents to make: you've projected current glitches in registrations in Florida and New York back to 2000. Won't work Richard. You'll need another hobby horse to ride. How many college students in school out of state do you think are double registered? Want to charge all of them with fraud? How many transients from one state to another do you think do not bother to make sure that they are taken off the rolls where they used to live before they register in their new state of residence? Want to charge all of them with fraud? You've got better ways to spend your time and energy.

Richard Henry Morgan - 8/26/2004

Well, since I specifically pointed back to Bush's '00 result, I would think the implications of what I pointed out should be within the reach of your intellectual capacity -- if the figure is 46,000 now, what was it in '00?. The double registration invalidates ANY votes cast by the 46,000 -- they need not vote in both places. The interesting thing about the story is that there is no formal mechanism for comparing voter rolls interstate -- neither Pataki nor Jeb had a clue, nor any other governor for that matter. The Daily News just rolled up their sleeves and did the heavy lifting themselves -- which, needless to say, is something Lichtman and Mary Frances Berry and the US Civil Rights Commission didn't do. Press conferences and press releases requiring much less effort.

Ralph E. Luker - 8/26/2004

Your point is ... ? You think they intend to vote in both places? Are Democrats 7/3 more likely to commit fraud? Will George Pataki and Jeb Bush be likely to allow that to happen?

Richard Henry Morgan - 8/26/2004

Among the news items from the last few days that didn't rise to the level of a distraction -- it didn't make it into HNN, for example -- is the NY Daily News reporting that 46,000 people were registered to vote in both NY and Florida, nearly 70% of whom are Democrats. You didn't find that in Alterman, did you? Imagine my surprise.

Let's do the numbers. Bush "won" by less than 1,000 votes ... Where was Allan Lichtman and the US Commission on Civil Rights on this issue? Taking a powder?

Jonathan Dresner - 8/26/2004

That was quite entertaining, thank you. The first two lines of your post (up to "and other national disgraces") should be automatically tacked onto everything we post from now until November.....

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