Monday, January 24, 2005

Voter Suppression Wrong, Regardless of Party

A disturbing wire service report:

Lawmaker's son charged in tire-slashing

The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The sons of a first-term congresswoman and Milwaukee's former acting mayor were among five Democratic activists charged Monday with slashing the tires of vans rented by Republicans to drive voters and monitors to the polls on Election Day.

Sowande Omokunde, son of Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., and Michael Pratt, the son of former Milwaukee acting mayor Marvin Pratt, were charged with criminal damage to property, a felony that carries a maximum punishment of 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The activists — all employees of the John Kerry campaign — are accused of flattening the tires on 25 vehicles rented by the state Republican Party to get out the vote and deliver poll watchers Nov. 2.


Voter suppression is a serious problem and I deplore such acts, regardless of which candidate they are supporting. The right to vote should not be interfered with.

In surfing the web, I note that the conservative sites are frequently posting this news item. While I agree with them in deploring this action, I cannot help but note that many of these same sites have downplayed the many reports of voter suppression by Republicans.

It appears this act was an isolated act of vandalism by misguided young activists. In contrast, acts of voter suppression by Republicans have been traced back to the President's reelection campaign (even forcing the resignation of his New England campaign chair), and voter suppression appears to be a planned aspect of Republican strategy.

If these Republican sites are really concerned with Democracy, rather than just a chance to bash Democrats, they might also show some concern with the many acts of voter suppression organized by Republicans (as well as any other acts which Democrats might be responsible for). Many lists of voter suppression have been accumulated, such as those at Vote Watch 2004.


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