So the best prevention on that front is to be prepared as voters, with ID or whatever is needed and to simply ignore their misinterpretations. Should anyone seek to interfere with one's right to vote, then that voter should immediately demand to see the senior polling place official and say 'not so fast.' We must remember that in most states, the voter is given the benefit of the doubt, not the vote challenger. That bias is in law and policy. Also, in most recent elections the threat of voter challenges is not matched by actual experience on Election Day. I think the threat is made to deter people from voting, as much as anything.
If the question is what can be done to counter their poll watching in swing states, then the best answer is to become a poll watcher yourself--or a poll worker. When it comes to their advocacy of purging voter rolls, we must remember that they cannot operate without the cooperation of senior state and county election officials. There are laws on the books, notably the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (Section 8) and state laws that prevent the rapid removal of names from voter lists. So we have to know the rules, and in fact, trust election officials to do their job protecting the right to vote. We progressives may not like various aspects of election administration, such as voting technology, but in this case the election administrators are on our side. They, as opposed to the most partisan of their political bosses, want people to vote and don't want people to interfere with their professional responsibilities, Remember, all the accusations about illegal voting and fraud is an attack on their integrity and professionalism.
It's always a pleasure to talk with you, Steven. I hope we can do this again some time soon.
Steven Rosenfeld is an AlterNet senior fellow covering democracy issues. He is a longtime print and broadcast journalist and has reported for National Public Radio, Monitor Radio, Marketplace, AlterNet, TomPaine.com and many newspapers. He has written and co-authored three books on voting rights since 2004, including Count My Vote (AlterNet Books, 2008).
1 | 2