who will be allowed to vote and which votes will count

Last week, I think I may have been a bit too quick to feel complacent after having heard that the Democrats are outpacing Republicans by a huge margin in new voter registrations within swing states. It looks now as though things may not be that cut and dry though. A Republican official in Ohio, for instance, is asserting that a number of new voter registrations from more liberal-leaning precincts are not acceptable due to the fact that they aren’t printed on 80-pound paper, a requirement of some obscure Ohio law. And, even though they’ve had four years to work out their problems, the Republican-governed state of Florida is still making it difficult for Democrats to register and vote. On the subject of Florida, here’s a clip from a BBC News story on the outstanding issues as identified by former US President Jimmy Carter, a man who has helped guarantee democratic elections all over the world.

In an article in the Washington Post newspaper, Carter, a Democrat, said that he and ex-President Gerald Ford, a Republican, had been asked to draw up recommendations for changes after the last vote in Florida was marred by arguments over the counting of ballots.

Mr. Carter said the reforms they came up with had still not been implemented.

He accused Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood, a Republican, of trying to get the name of independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader included on the state ballot, knowing he might divert Democrat votes.

He also said: “A fumbling attempt has been made recently to disqualify 22,000 African Americans (likely Democrats), but only 61 Hispanics (likely Republicans), as alleged felons.”

Mr Carter said Florida Governor Jeb Bush – brother of the president – had “taken no steps to correct these departures from principles of fair and equal treatment or to prevent them in the future”.

“It is unconscionable to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation,” he added.

So, I guess the hope is that we can register new voters at a faster rate than they can disqualify them. That’s not democracy, but I guess that’s the game we’re playing now.

*This post was brought to you by Name the October Surprise, a game the whole family can enjoy.

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