Election Day Live: Obama Called Winner, Big Night for Drug Reform
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The order states: “Individuals outside the polls are prohibited from questioning, obstructing, interrogating or asking about any form of identification and/demanding any form of identification from any prospective voter.”
Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Guido A. DeAngelis, one of two judges overseeing Elections Court, issued the order and said such actions by partisans “could have a chilling effect” on voting.
Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning, who also is overseeing the court this morning, said the only people permitted to ask for ID are the poll workers inside the voting locations.
Poll watchers will ask for photo ID, but voters need not show identification for this year’s election.
Voters who encounter irregularities at the polls can report them by calling 412-350-5466 or 877-868-3772.
11: 27 AM Fox does what it does best: scaring conservative white people with alarming invented tales of urban blacks. This morning they brought back their favorite bogey man from the last election, the Black Panther. From TPM:
Fox News reported on Tuesday morning that a member of the New Black Panther Party showed up at a polling place in Philadelphia at the same location where a member was spotted carrying a nightstick in 2008. Fox's video didn't show the member carrying any weapons this year but did show him opening the door for a voter.
11:07 AM: Reports of egregiously race-based voter intimidation efforts:
We have received information that strongly suggests the Republican Party, under the guise of combating alleged voter fraud, has assigned Election Day poll watchers disproportionately to majority African-American precincts in Allegheny County. We are in receipt of a partial list of targeted precincts that was distributed at a poll watcher training conducted by the Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement. The Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement conducted this training, on behalf of the Republican Party, as part of its program to combat alleged voter fraud in Allegheny County. We understand the Republican Party has targeted approximately 111, out of a total 1,319 precincts, in that county. The partial list, which is attached hereto as Exhibit A, includes 59 of the total 111 precincts targeted by the Republican Party. We are unaware of any history of voter fraud at any of these 59 locations. We are concerned that these locations are being targeted for impermissible, racially-motivated reasons.
(From a letter addressed to Assistant US Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Common Cause, The Advancement Project, The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the ACLU).
10:30 AM: In recent elections Republicans have sounded the alarm over voter fraud, mostly as a cover and justification for voter suppression efforts like draconian ID laws that disproportionately impact minorities. One inconvenient fact of this strategy is that fraud is so rare it's almost non-existant. Also, recent cases have mostly involved Republicans. Yesterday, Clackamas County, Ore, announced that they caught a registered Republican poll worker altering ballots:
Swenson, who is registered as a Republican, also worked previous elections, at least back to 2010, said Scot Sideras, county counsel.
Swenson is accused of filling in the names of Republican candidates on ballots where voters did not make a choice. Tampering with ballots is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $125,000.
10:25 AM: Poll expert Nate Silver gives Obama a 91.6% chance of winning today. "Whether because of Hurricane Sandy, the relatively good economic news of late, or other factors, Mr. Obama appears to have gained ground in the closing days of the race." Silver writes on his NYT blog fivethirtyeight.