Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Florida, Florida

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Florida, Florida

Today from The Guardian:

Gordon Sasser first got the feeling that something strange was going on when the telephone pierced the silence of a weekday afternoon at his house on the swampy fringes of Tallahassee, in northern Florida. An automated voice had some surprising news: Did he know that he could now cast his presidential vote by phone, and could do so right now, using the keypad? Sasser's suspicion that somebody was trying to trick him into thinking he was casting a vote -- presumably so that he wouldn't cast a real one -- was far from unique.

James Scruggs, another Tallahassee resident, remembers a similar unease about the young woman who phoned him at home, insistently offering to collect his absentee ballot to ensure its safe delivery.

Then there was the elderly woman who called the local elections office last week to register her husband for an absentee vote. According to office staff, as she hung up she made a point of thanking them: She wouldn't have thought to get in touch about her husband, she said, if it hadn't been for their helpful call the night before, when someone had taken her own details, assuring her that she was now registered and would receive a ballot. But the elections office makes no such calls.

I don't care whether you're conservative or liberal, Democrat, Republican or Independent, the idea of organized voter fraud really just makes my anger at this already corrupt two-party system boil over. Partisan election officials on both sides seem to be doing their best to keep certain groups of people from voting, by adding names to the possible ex-felons list, confusing the elderly, and using untested technology that may not be able to perform a recount if needed.

If the Supreme Court has to decide another Presidential election I don't know what will happen to this country. The overwhelming cynicism (as I raise my hand) will grow exponentially until the powers that be have their wish: an electorate that doesn't give a shit anymore.