Monday, October 23, 2006

U.S. Asked to Watch Election in Chesterfield

No shenanigans this time around.

The Richmond Tmes-Dispatch reports that the American Civil Liberties Union has asked the U.S. Justice Department to send election observers to Chesterfield County in Virginia.

With justification, the ACLU has accused the county of "actions" explicitly designed to "discourage minority voters."

Kent Willis, director of the ACLU, cited four incidents over the past two years, including a new allegation that the registrar, Lawrence C. Haake III, refused to issue an absentee ballot to a registered voter because the prospective voter would not give his Social Security number.

Cynthia Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, said the department has received the letter from Willis. It does not disclose which localities it will monitor until 24 hours before an election, she said.

Of course, Judge Roy Bean Haake proclaims that his only interest in having gunned sheriffs patrol the precincts in '04 was to ensure there were no disturbances during a heavier than usual voter turnout. But...

Willis also said that in the same presidential election, county election officials misinformed voters that they must show identification to vote. If voters don't have identification, they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot after signing an affidavit that they are who they say they are.
The State Board of Elections has already confirmed that Social Security numbers were not required to vote. Haake, however, "disagrees with the State Board of Election's interpretation of the law on Social Security numbers."

In fact, he's totally defiant. ""The state board deals in abstract concepts, and we deal in realities," Haake is quoted by Times-Dispatch.

Hmm, it looks like the federal government is gonna have do some some serious butt whipping to get the folks in Chesterfield County to obey the laws -- just like the rest of us.

No surprise about Chesterfield, The most Republican county in Virginia
This should tick off those Republicans in Chesterfield.

Active-Duty Troops Launch Campaign to Press Congress to End U.S. Occupation of Iraq

65 Members to Send "Appeals for Redress" Under the Military Whistle-blower Protection Act

News Advisory:

For the first time since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, active- duty members of the military are asking Members of Congress to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and bring American soldiers home.

Sixty-five active-duty members have sent Appeals for Redress to Members of Congress. Three of these people (including two who served in Iraq) and their attorney will speak about this on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 11 a.m. EDT.

Under the Military Whistle-Blower Protection Act (DOD directive 7050.6), active-duty military, National Guard and Reservists can file and send a protected communication to a Member of Congress regarding any subject without reprisal.

What: Three active-duty members of the military and their lawyer, a retired U.S. Marine Corps JAG, make comments and take questions from the media.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 25, 11 a.m. EDT
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