Monday, June 1, 2009

Georgia Republican Voter Verification Scam

Last year the GA Secretary of State, Karen Handel created a voter verification program whereby the State voter lists would be scanned to detect non-citizen voters. Of course it was put in place prior to last fall's election and was also planned to remove eligible voters from the voter lists.

Secretary of State Handel, an announced Republican candidate for governor, last year asked for a quick review of the program by the Bush Justice Department. This was of course designed to put the stamp of approval prior to the election. Unfortunately, for Handel and the Republicans, the Obama Justice Department was left to hand down a decision. Presumably, the Bush Justice Department was too busy hiding its torture approval and federal judge meddling to get to Georgia's program in time.

Now the current Justice Department has stated that the program is discriminatory, stating in part:

We have considered the accuracy of the state’s verification process. Our analysis shows that the state’s process does not produce accurate and reliable information and that thousands of citizens who are in fact eligible to vote under Georgia law have been flagged….

An error as simple as transposition of one digit of a driver[s] license can lead to an erroneous notation of a non-match…..

….Although the state has not provided data on the racial and language minority characteristics of all registrants whose applications went through the verification process, we have been able to compare the composition of those persons whom the state has flagged for further inquiry because of a non-match with both the composition of newly registered voters in the state and the composition of existing registered voters….

[A]pplicants who are Hispanic, Asian or African-American are more likely than white applicants, to statistically significant degrees, to be flagged for additional scrutiny.

Handel, of course, being a running candidate, was quick to say that this is politics and to throw out the old Acorn bait. This will play well with Georgia's racist Republican base, which is a majority at the moment. I am sure that this will become an issue in the next election as Republicans cry voter fraud and bring in Acorn as a whipping boy.

At the moment it appears that most of Georgia's voter fraud is centered in the Secretary of State's office. Whether, Handel is another Katherine Harris remains to be seen. She has been pretty much seen and not heard to this point. I'm sure we will hear more from her over the coming months. Hopefully, she will not be as embarrassing or extreme as Harris, but Georgia Republicans can be embarrassing and extreme.

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