From: firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Crispin Miller
And this refers only to those who "encounted registration problems or failed to receive absentee ballots."
The former category would include, along with those sidelined by the voter ID laws in Indiana and Georgia, all those who were registered, but showed up at the polls only to find that they'd been stricken from the rolls. And such disenfranchisement was either "legal," as BushCo's DoJ had been conducting quiet voter purges nationwide, or illegal, as partisan free-lancers cleansed the voter rolls of those who would have cast a ballot for the Evil Ones. (Those voter rolls now being electronic, such deletion is a snap for anyone with access to them.)
Now, the number of those disenfranchised certainly was even higher than MIT's report suggests, since it refers exclusively to registration hurdles and missing absentee ballots.
There were also many voters who could not wait on the endless lines that formed in Democratic precincts only, there having been too few machines placed there, and/or machines that didn't work. (The same thing happened in 2004 and 2006.)
And then there were those citizens whose votes were not suppressed, but electronically erased or altered: a type of disenfranchisement not noted by the researchers at MIT, who looked exclusively at vote suppression, not election fraud. But, just as in 2004 and 2006, so in 2008 there were numerous firsthand reports of voters seeing their votes "flipped" right before their eyes--a problem that afflicted many Democrats and just a handful of Republicans. And those reports point only to a fraction of the ballots altered
electronically, since it's quite easy to flip votes without its being perceptible.
It's therefore very likely that the number of those disenfranchised in this last election, by whatever means, was actually far higher than the 4/5 million here reported. We may conservatively estimate that it was more like 7 to 8 million US citizens who couldn't vote; and we may add with confidence that most of those blocked voters would have voted for Obama, and also would have voted Democratic in their local House and Senate races.
What this means is that (a) this president won by a landslide, not merely a "decisive" margin, and that (b) the GOP is, more than ever, a fringe party--and (c) a party that relies on every dirty trick and tactic in the book to "win" in our elections, so as to push their program on the rest of us despite the will of the electorate. And what this means is that (e) our degraded voting system now needs radical reform, or else that undead party will keep "coming back" until they've ruined everything.
Based on a NY Times article, Hurdles to Voting Persisted in 2008 excerpted below.
Four million to five million voters did not cast a ballot in the 2008 presidential election because they encountered registration problems or failed to receive absentee ballots, which is roughly the same number of voters who encountered such problems in the 2000 election, according to an academic study to be presented to the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday.
An additional two million to four million registered voters - or 1 percent to 2 percent of the eligible electorate - were "discouraged" from voting due to administrative hassles, like long lines and voter identification requirements, the study found.
The study, which draws from a survey of about 33,000 eligible voters, was conducted in October and November 2008 by the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, a consortium of more than 150 university researchers, led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who specialize in voting issues.
The study found that the most common registration problems involved clerical errors, like entering voter information incorrectly in statewide databases, or voters who changed their address but failed to inform election officials. At least 4 percent of eligible voters surveyed said they requested absentee ballots but failed to receive them.