Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Friday, November 04, 2005

King County GOP engaging in voter harassment and intimidation

This is an outrage:
Meet Kathleen Dolan. Kathleen is a soft-spoken woman who has lived at the same address on Queen Anne since she bought her house in 1975. With the exception of six years spent teaching at universities in Tennesee and Pennsylvania, she's lived in this house for thirty years. The last time she lived elsewhere was in the late '80's. In all that time, she has always been registered to vote at one address: the home where she lives. But this week, she received a letter from King County Elections telling her that her right to vote was being challenged by the King County Republican party.

Lori D. Sotelo, Vice Chair of the King County GOP and Chair of the "Voter Registration Integrity Project", claims that she has "personal knowledge or belief" that Ms. Dolan doesn't live at her address. Lori Sotelo and Kathleen Dolan have not met, and do not live near each other (Ms. Sotelo resides peacefully ensconced on Mercer Island with all the other liberal elites). Yet, Ms. Sotelo claims to have personal knowledge of where Ms. Dolan actually lives! Not only that, she apparently has "personal knowledge" that 1,942 other King County voters don't live where they say they live. She's a very industrious and social person, this Lori Sotelo!

Except it isn't true. I spoke with Theresa Bushnell, a resident at the home of Barbara Taylor, both voters who have also been challenged by Ms. Sotelo. Ms. Taylor manages a storage warehouse, and her home is onsite, as many storage facilities require their managers to live on the property. Ms. Taylor has four registered voters in her home including Ms. Bushnell, and has lived and voted at this address for at least eleven years. They have not met, nor do they live near Lori Sotelo, yet again she claims "personal knowledge or belief" that these validly registered voters are not qualified to vote OR don't live where they say they do.
So, according to King County Elections, the King County Republican Party has made last minute challenges to over 1,900 voters. Many, if not most of those voters, are stunned and perplexed that their right to vote is being challenged.

Apparently, all of those people who are having their right to vote challenged will have their ballots set aside. Then they'll have to show up in person for an administrative hearing, likely causing them to miss time from work or other commitments. Many of course, won’t be able to attend the hearing.

Dan Savage of the Stranger put it quite well:
If this is real, this is an outrage. If the Rs of King County are knowingly, falsely challenging legit voter registrations in an effort to suppress Dem votes then they should be PUNISHED.
I am shaking in anger. HOW DARE THEY attempt to disenfranchise voters in Washington State! In King County! The Republicans have shown once again they will stoop to any level to win...even attempting to deny honest, law-abiding citizens their right to vote.

Citizens should be outraged at this underhanded maneuver.

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