Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Voter integrity matters.... So why aren't conservatives understanding this?

Hamilton County, Ohio was deemed Ground Zero in last year's 2012 election by many political wonks. The Cincinnati Enquirer has a report out about the voting abnormalities.

One hundred sixty-three polls workers were told they were no longer allowed to serve as polls workers. That represents about 5.6% of the entire county polling staff. A number which seems relatively low, however, that percentage represents the highest number of people told they're not welcome to serve as a poll worker in the future. 

Many, many more have to be retrained if they wish to serve in the future. According to the research done by the Enquirer, fifteen of the sixteen polling precincts that are being re-staffed had Democratic precinct judges, so, you can do that math. The Enquirer tries to skirt this fact by saying that's not indicative of anything nefarious as both Republicans and Democrats work the polls. While that point is true, it's true only in theory. Notice they didn't say the polls had equal representation. They merely stated that polls locations are designed to have representation from each political party. 

With that said, this didn't just happen by happenstance. It happened because there was not enough GOP representation at many of these polls. In 2012, I served as a roaming poll observer. I had eight polling precincts to monitor throughout the day. All eight of my locations were in Democratic strongholds. Four out of the eight locations had no GOP workers. Zero. Zip. Zilch. That was wholly unacceptable. Not one GOP representative was there to serve as a poll observer. And not one GOP representative was there to work as a worker who reviews the books. Every location (as least as far Ohio is concerned) should have those two workers at each polling location. They're both vital rolls. 

The polling workers are necessary to simultaneously review "the books", those being the official roll to indicate whether someone is in the correct precinct and whether someone has voted early. What happens when you have one worker who controls the book? Well in the case of Hamilton County, Ohio, something a little on the shady side if 163 workers were told to stay home come the next election. 

The poll observers are there to serve as someone who watches to ensure both the poll workers as well as the precinct judge are property fulfilling their role. Clearly GOP constituents didn't step up in this capacity either as fifteen of the sixteen polling locations that are being re-staffed were led by a Democratic precinct judges

We're forced to have the absolutely ludicrous debate over voter ID laws as more and more states begin to pass these laws. This issue is apparently a no-brainer according to, well the country it would seem. And conservatives are quick to pounce on the fact this is a common sense issue that Democrats should just accept already. I agree with that premise. It's mind-numblingly stupid we even need the conversation. That said, it's my believe that too many conservatives bitch about voter fraud but don't step up to the plate come election day. I've been working the polls since I was eighteen years old and in every election I've worked I've seen the GOP underrepresented on election day. Every. Single. Time. To say it's disheartening would be an understatement. We don't get to have it both ways on this issue. Too many people say 'Well, it's easier for Democrats to show up to work.... THEY DON'T HAVE JOBS!1!!1!1!!'. Clever. However, snark doesn't ensure voter integrity. Putting your money where your money is and volunteering your time for one day does. 

It's time to step up conservatives. Contact your local GOP office to see how you can get involved on election day. It's one day out of the year. If conservatives can't find the time to protect the privilege we have in this country to vote, they forfeit any and all right to bitch about voter fraud. 

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