I received this on another list. It was written in 1rst person so I believe these events actually heppened recently. I checked some Urban Legends sites (just in case) and came up empty. I would suggest everyone check their voter registration, especially those in traditionally Democratic districts. This could be Florida all over again.
The original poster included phone numbers and other contact information which I have edited out for privacy reasons from this post.
I want to warn you about a new kind of voter fraud we just learned about the hard way yesterday. Most of you know my son Joseph. When my family went to the polls to vote, Ben and I were able to, but Joseph, who had been on the rolls and voted in the last election, was unable to because his name did not appear on the voter registration rolls for our precinct. At the time this happened, only about 5 or 6 people came and went in the polling place (midday), but one other man, a regular all the poll workers recognized, also found he was off the rolls. He left before we finished trying to clear it up and before we could offer him a ride downtown to the Election Commission, where we went next (and spent much of the hottest afternoon this year). We never saw him down there and figure he probably didn't go because of work or transportation. Or maybe just the hassle.
We assumed it was just some computer glitch. At 18th & Walnut, they were swamped, but we waited. It turned out that Joseph had been reregistered by someone who had his birthdate and the last four digits of his SS# at a new address in another precinct. Joseph was concerned about identity theft, naturally, but the director of elections, who had had to take his case, assured him that it was simple voter fraud. She was seeing a lot of it. She said an organization had paid someone to reregister him. When he asked how they could have his personal information, she said it was because organizations could and did buy the rolls and that info was on them. (Incidentally, this is no criticism of the Election Commission. They handled it as well as they could under the circumstances.)
This is a nearly flawless scheme of voter fraud. No one is thrown off the rolls, so no red flags in the system go up. But when you're moved to another precinct on the rolls without your knowledge, the only way you can vote is to go down to the central office and wait to have it taken care of individually. People move and reregister every day, and legitimate organizations like Rock the Vote often send in bundles of registrations from events. You can't even learn the true extent of it since many voters can't take the time from work or haven't the transportation to go downtown and spend hours straightening out so they can vote. And without them doing that, it looks just like a legitimate change-of-address.
We don't think it's any coincidence that we live in a predominantly African American, overwhelmingly Democratic precinct. Last night at an event at the Kerry headquarters in town, I spoke with an African American woman who had three friends at work all suddenly gone from the rolls of their normal polling place. All live in different mostly black, strongly Democratic precincts. None of them went downtown. All had to go on to work. Look at November and see what we're facing.
Joseph has given the state Kerry campaign a written statement about this. After he posted it on his live journal to encourage his friends to check their registration before November or vote absentee, a reporter from the Pitch interviewed him by phone and a representative of the Western Missouri ACLU asked him to send a statement to them, which he's doing. I think we need to get the word out about this as widely as possible and encourage people to check their voter registration address before the elections or vote ahead of time by absentee ballot (where the discrepancy will show up before the election and can be fixed).
You all know how critical this election is. Please pass this information on to everyone you can, and take any opportunity you have to publicize it so people will know about it and protect their right to vote.
Let's get the word out and try to keep a slicker version of what happened in Florida in 2000 from happening here in 2004.