Thursday, May 31, 2012

Liberating Florida

Cartoon courtesy of Ole Olson, G+

When ALEC & the Oligarchs
 Control the Voter Registration List

Florida, just as 15 other states currently under the duress of Republican Governors and Republican State Legislatures, has taken the latest steps toward massive voter disenfranchisement.  Of course, other states with shaky gubernatorial election problems have been passing state law after state law to increase requirements both for registration and for voting.  

This CBS story estimates the number of voters who will be unable to vote due to a lack of suitable identification at 3.2 million -- more than enough to swing the Presidential election.  Republican controlled state legislatures have passed  these voter suppression laws in 39 states.  (Read the entire CBS News article here.)

The study points to GOP-driven voting reform efforts that Republicans say prevent fraud - but which some Democrats suggest are specifically designed to disenfranchise the young, minority and low-income voters who largely vote with their party. 

"Some states require voters to show government-issued photo identification, often of a type that as many as one in ten voters do not have," reads the Brennan Center for Justice report. "Other states have cut back on early voting, a hugely popular innovation used by millions of Americans. Two states reversed earlier reforms and once again disenfranchised millions who have past criminal convictions but who are now taxpaying members of the community. Still others made it much more difficult for citizens to register to vote, a prerequisite for voting."

Once state level anti-democracy forces have passed such laws, the citizens are basically stuck until they have an opportunity to change the legislators who did it.  The Federal Voting Rights Act provides a means for the Justice Department to intervene in some cases, but the Republicans have clearly decided that if enough such transgressions were to be completed at once, even the DOJ would lack the man power to counter the take over.

However, this posting is specifically about Florida where the Medicare fraud Governor, Rick Scott, has unleashed a "voter purge" proclamation which may ultimately include as many as 140,000 registered Florida voters.  The data base the Governor is employing to "sort out" the wheat from the chaff is an out dated Motor Vehicle file which gamed this much credibility from the old, Florida "Motor Voter" Act.  (Read the Tampa Bay Times article here.)

Shaking Hands With the Florida Oligarch Class

The exact way this scheme works may be brazenly adolescent, but it carries the full power of Florida law.  A registered voter receives a letter from the Florida Secretary of State informing him that he is not considered to be a legal voter in the state.  Upon receipt of the letter, the voter has 30 days to schedule a "hearing" with the local election supervisor to refute the claim that he is not a citizen.

If he fails to establish his legal voting status at such a hearing, his name is removed from the active voter registration lists.  This, of course, is little more than a slightly more mature version of the 2000/2004 Rove inspired voter "caging" which finally handed out a conviction to Ohio's then Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell.

At this point it would be easy to launch into a ranting and raving session about voter suppression in Florida, but here, MeanMesa has a slightly larger ambition.  Let's calm down a little and think about some possible means to turn this snake back into Governor Rick Scott's Reich Bunker.

The Tai Chi masters spoke of using one's opponent's weight and motion against him.

Governor Rick may have grossly over estimated both his weight and speed on this one.

If you are a legal Florida voter to whom Governor Rick's ethnic cleansing scheme has sent one of these letters, consider this following legal advice.  The more similar cases you can add to the effort the better.  Governor Rick clearly thought that this voter purge would be "roses, simply roses" once it began.  However, Mullah Nassr Edin would probably have called upon the following aphorism:

"If you want to swat the wasp nest with the broom, go ahead.  
Just remember, only the first swat is free."

Step one is to schedule the hearing.

However, don't just schedule the hearing, be totally prepared to seek remedy at trial in a court with jurisdiction.  During the discovery phase of that trial, you will be able to very reasonably demand an affidavit from the Florida Secretary of State containing all the specific evidence of your "non-citizenship" and  "non-eligibility" which resulted in the letter.

If the evidence deposed by the Secretary of State is not new -- in other words, if it includes the evidence of a similar crime the last time you voted in Florida -- immediately file a criminal complaint naming the Secretary of State and the State of Florida as defendants guilty of allowing illegal voters ( to cast unchallenged ballots in previous elections.

If it's going to be illegal this time, it was illegal last time.

This may sound a little over dramatic, but remember what the Secretary of State did to you to start this process. The goal here is to force the State of Florida to file a criminal complaint against you!  When the complaint is filed, you have a chance to demand a show cause hearing.

Show-cause hearings occur when the alleged victim of a crime or the police file an Application for a Criminal Complaint with the court. After an application has been filed, the court will send the defendant a notice in the mail requesting him or her to appear before a clerk-magistrate in a criminal show-cause hearing.  ... At a show-cause hearing, the complaining party must produce evidence demonstrating "probable cause" that the defendant committed the crime.

(Read about a show cause hearing as explained by the Harvard Law School here.)

The really fun part of this -- aside from tying the State of Florida's judicial system into knots -- is the part which requires the complaining party to produce evidence demonstrating a "probable cause" to believe that the defendant ( committed the crime.  The state's already heavily soiled "judicial system" would just be ramming more kangaroo court decisions -- Trayvon Martin shoot to kill cases, etc. -- through the court's calendar otherwise.

If you need to refresh your idea about the duties of an election supervisor, review the material at this link.  It's from Sarasota, Florida, but the responsibilities of the election supervisor in most other places in Florida will be similar.

Steel yourself, citizen.  Strike back.  Understand that the servants of the oligarchs will try to intimidate you.  Just be prepared to keep going.  They intend to take everything.  Everything.

No comments:

Post a Comment