September 24, 2008

Those Cagey Cagists are Caging Again

By Mary Mancini

Reports of “Voter Caging” by the McCain campaign are popping up all over the country. Caging is diabolical, anti-democratic, and wholly un-American.

North Carolina Verified Voting has compiled the stories:

Voter caging is a practice of sending mass direct mailings to registered voters by non-forwardable mail, then compiling lists of voters, called “caging lists,” from the returned mail in order to formally challenge their right to vote on that basis alone. Other methods, such as database matching, have been used more recently to compile voter caging lists.

Reports from around the country advise that John McCain’s campaign has sent confusing or incorrect absentee ballot request forms to voters in ten states at least. Affected so far are Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon (reported by blogger, not confirmed) Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin so far. In each state, the mailers have a different error, in any of these cases, the voter could be disenfranchised by the error. In at least one state a voter could disqualify themselves or be vulnerable to election challenges if they mailed these forms in. Mailers sent to Wisconsin voters are encouraging voters to send their applications to clerks in communities where they do not live. If you receive an absentee ballot request form from the McCain campaign ( or any private entity) and you do want to vote absentee, then instead check with your County Board of Elections to get the correct information.

Tennessee.

Tennessee Democrat: why did GOP sent him Florida absentee ballot request?,” The Florida Republican Party mailed an absentee ballot request (for a Sarasota Florida ballot) to a Democrat in Murfreesboro Tennessee. The form has one name, Mr. William R. “X” with the person having two addresses, one in Tennessee, and one in Sarasota Florida. In actuality, these are two different men with the same first and last name. They both use the same middle initial, but upon further research, they have different middle names. The Mr. X in Tennessee is William Randy X . The Mr. X in Florida is William Rob X. Ms. “X” in Tennessee wondered if this was a scheme to somehow void voter registrations for some people. (Last name and street addresses redacted for privacy.).

Florida.

Florida Voter Caging Warning. McCain mailer w/absentee ballot requests: McCain mailers are sending people unsolicited absentee ballot requests.

Iowa.

Fraudulent Absentee Ballot Requests in Iowa? (Fri Sep 12, 2008) (blog, not confirmed independently)
Several days ago, I recieved [sic] an interesting piece of mail from John McCain 2008. It was a vote-by-mail application, which I thought was curious because I have never registered as a Republican or donated money to his campaign…

Michigan.

Rove tricks? McCain absentee ballots raise questions, (9/13/08) “I received my absentee ballot from John McCain just last week (see photo of the mailer) and although I called to verify that unsolicited ballots were legal, I’d never looked at an absentee ballot before in my life, so I had no idea of the problems being caused across the country by McCain’s absentee ballot forms….

Minnesota.

John McCain’s Literature Bundled With Absentee Ballot Request Forms (September 14th, 2008) A friend showed me one that his step-daughter received in Minneapolis from an Arlington, Virginia address containing a Colorado absentee ballot request form. The addressee wasn’t ever registered to vote in Colorado and only lived there briefly to work a seasonal job. It didn’t apply to her whatsoever and she was not clear why she received it.

Missouri and Nationally.

McCain Campaign Accused Of Mailing Incorrect Absentee Ballots To Democratic Voters,” More than a million registered voters in at least a dozen states have received unsolicited absentee ballots from the McCain campaign. The problem? Many of them seem to have wrong info on them, which would in many cases lead to the ballots being thrown out or disallowed by local election officials.

North Carolina.
McCain Confusing NC Republican Voters. ” The Campaign of John McCain has begun sending out misleading information to North Carolina voters about absentee voting. ……The critically missing piece information is the date of birth…

Ohio.

Ballot snafu endangers votes,” (Sept 9, 2008). …In Ohio, the McCain campaign printed and sent out about a million of these. The campaign made a mistake: the form included an unnecessary located the question asking if the voter was eligible to vote at the top of the form where it was missed by many voters. If the voter failed to check the box by the question, he or she is stating that he or she is not eligible and the application has to be rejected by law.

Oregon.

My McCain Absentee Ballots,” by weazley (a DKos blog), (Sep 05, 2008)
…I found it funny they were including my “Vote-by-Mail” application when all Oregon elections are done by mail. Then I looked closer at the instructions: “Request your absentee ballot in 3 simple steps” and the address on the two “Absentee Ballot Request” Cards: “Director of Elections, 420 Holmes St, Bellefonte, PA 16823″. It appears John McCain would like me to register to vote in Pennsylvania, presumably knowing (they had to get my current address somehow) that I’ve registered and voted 3 or 4 times since I last lived in Pennsylvania (2002-ish) in two different states (Washington and Oregon) at four different addresses.

Pennsylvania.

Election fliers confuse some,” BY DAVID SINGLETON STAFF WRITER Sunday, (September 14, 2008)…Some county residents recently received a mailer from Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain with a pair of absentee ballot applications already addressed to Ms. Young’s office attached. The flier includes the appeal, Vote early by mail - it’ s as easy as 1-2-3.

Virginia:

Be careful if you receive unrequested absentee ballot application,” WDBJ7 September 10, 2008
“Why is a Republican, Democrat, anybody sending out an unsolicited request?” wonders Murdock.

Wisconsin.

McCain’s mailer creates controversy,” By MARK PITSCH. The state elections agency is investigating complaints about a massive campaign mailing Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign has directed toward Wisconsin Democrats and other voters…. in some cases, the incorrect clerk’s address is printed on the application, leading some Democrats to wonder if the Arizona senator’s campaign is deliberately trying to get them to apply for absentee ballots in places where they aren’t eligible to vote….The campaign of Republican presidential candidate John McCain has dispatched a mass mailing to Wisconsin voters — including many Democrats and liberals who are not likely to be McCain backers — that encourages eligible voters to send their applications for absentee ballots to clerks in communities where they do not reside.

3 Responses to “Those Cagey Cagists are Caging Again”

  1. C. Contarino Says:
    October 2nd, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Here we go again! How despicable! They must be running scared to have to resort to these same tactics as they did in the last election. They can’t even conceive of running a fair election since the Republican Party doesn’t know the meaning of ‘fair play’.

    Can’t we get the prime time media to address this issue so the entire country is made aware of this god-awful scam?

  2. Mary Mancini Says:
    October 2nd, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    CBS is on it…http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/30/eveningnews/main4490682.shtml

  3. Democrat Says:
    October 6th, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Sounds like the work of democrats to mail those ballots under McCain’s name if they were mailed to Democrats.

Comments