Thursday, December 1, 2005

Blog Against Racism Part II: Update on voting

It occured to me while responding to a comment on my post below, that my post earlier in the month about my disconcerting voting experience also suits the theme of "Blog Against Racism Day," especially the idea that racism isn't only about overt expressions of hatred. So I'm linking to that voting post again.

I also wanted to provide a brief post script to the original post. It turns out that my county was the last county in my state to finish counting their votes and didn't finish until the wee hours of Wednesday night, November 7. But even more troubling, and more apropos to my original post and Blog Against Racism Day, is that in my district, which is largely populated by African-Americans (apart from my immediate neighborhood, Rust Belt Historic District, which is racially mixed but still has a significant population of black folks), there were voting machines that had completely blank paper where the hard copy receipts should have been. The elections board, in a meeting held at the NAACP headquarters here in the neighborhood, said that what's important is that the memory chips will have recorded the votes. Um, that's like saying, "Oh, I don't back up the book I'm working on, because what's important is that it's saved to my hard drive." *Virago's head smacks desk.* (Note: I'm not giving links to article about the meeting, though I know I should, if only to preserve my very thin veneer of anonymity. Plus I actually read about it in an old-fashioned hard copy newspaper. Imagine that!)

So, can I prove that Diebold or the elections officials definitely disenfranchised me and my district? No, I don't know that for sure. If our votes weren't counted, can I say that there was malicious intent to disenfranchise a largely African-American neighborhood. Not for certain, no.
But can I say that I'm suspicious of the system, particularly where black voters are concerned and that there may be institutionalized racism at work and that this all deserves a closer look? Yes I can. And I just did.

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