As recently as, um, today, people as highly placed and respectable as John Kerry were making statements such as this regarding the presidential election:
- “thousands of people were suppressed in the effort to vote.”
“Voting machines were distributed in uneven ways. In Democratic districts, it took people four, five, eleven hours to vote, while Republicans (went) through in 10 minutes — same voting machines, same process, our America,” he said.
I wonder if Kerry read this report in today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer:
- When they stood on the floor of Congress recently to protest the results of Ohio’s presidential vote, Democrats told a national audience about their suspicious hunch: People in Democratic strongholds were short-changed on voting machines on Election Day.
Voter groups and activists have lobbed the same accusation for weeks. Long lines in urban areas, such as Cleveland, kept John Kerry supporters from voting, they say.
But a Plain Dealer analysis shows that, in Cuyahoga County at least, the elections board distributed machines equally to city and suburban polling locations.
The long lines at some locations appear to be more the result of timing, new voters and overwhelmed poll workers, not necessarily a shortage of machines.
Before the Nov. 2 election, the elections board allotted each Cleveland precinct one machine for every 117 registered voters within its boundaries – the same ratio of machines that suburban precincts received.
..And in the end, the busiest precincts – when measured by the number of ballots cast per machine – were actually in the suburbs, not Cleveland, according to a Plain Dealer analysis of records from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
Countywide, voters cast an average of nearly 71 ballots on each of the county’s 8,000 machines. In Cleveland alone, voters cast an average of 62 ballots per machine. In the suburbs, the average was 74.
….Long lines did form at some of Cuyahoga’s 584 polling locations. And those on Cleveland’s East Side – where problems were most anticipated – received the most attention from politicians, voter groups and reporters on the lookout for glitches.
The lines formed for a number of reasons: waves of new voters; inexperienced or overwhelmed poll workers; a crush of voters during peak hours; and general confusion at larger polling sites that host multiple precincts.
….One of the moves the board may study is better preparation for peak voting times. Unlike restaurants, which schedule staff size to accommodate their busiest hours, the elections board did not assign additional staff or machines specifically for peak times.
Each precinct had four poll workers, typically two Democrats and two Republicans. The board added a fifth poll worker to precincts it believed would be busy. Also, each polling location had an inspector to help direct voters.
….The board is examining ways to reduce the congestion at some polling places, including reducing the number of precincts at certain locations. But that will take cooperation from public and private institutions that have become increasingly unwilling to host Election Day voting, Vu said.
….Sharon McGraw, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Cleveland Educational Fund, has already done her analysis. She said “logjams” at some locations were partly the result of first-time voters relying on poorly trained or confused poll workers. She recently reviewed the Nov. 2 problems with other representatives of the league.
“It should move smoother, and part of it comes down to human errors, and part of that was confusion created by all the lawyers and everybody involved,” she said.
In Cuyahoga County, the heavily Democratic Cleveland got voting machines at exactly the same rate as the less Democratic suburbs, and the suburbs actually were busier than the city based upon votes per machine. The three main problems were confusion caused by first-time voters and inexperienced poll workers, and peak-time rushes. None of it was political, none of it was intentional, none of it was targeted.
Wake up and smell the kitty litter. I thought you were above such self-serving, paranoid disinformation, John Kerry. I am very much disappointed.