s skippy the bush kangaroo: we hope they have the internets in michigan

skippy the bush kangaroo



Thursday, September 11, 2008

we hope they have the internets in michigan

all of blogtopia and yes, we coined that phrase, is agog (but not necessarily surprised) that the michigan state gop is trying to disenfranchise low-income voters in that state by using foreclosure lists. cbsmarketwatch:

the michigan gop has announced plans to use a list of housing foreclosures as the basis for a broad voter-caging operation, as reported yesterday by eartha jane melzer in the michigan messenger. james carabelli, chairman of the republican party in macomb county, michigan, has announced plans to assign "election challengers" to polling places to question the eligibility of home foreclosure victims based on residency. "we will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses," carabelli told the messenger.

today teresa james, attorney for the voting rights organization project vote, and author of the 2007 report caging democracy: a 50-year history of partisan challenges to minority voters, issued the following statement in response:

the macomb county gop's plan is a cynical partisan attempt to suppress the vote of thousands of low-income and african-american voters, a replay of the 2004 threats of mass challenges. just because you're behind on your mortgage doesn't mean you lose the right to vote. all a foreclosure filing tells anyone is that the owners are behind on their mortgage; it does not mean a voter has necessarily moved. foreclosures take time. and even if the plan is to only challenge voters whose homes have actually been sold at auction, the challengers will still achieve nothing but to slow-down voting and create an intimidating atmosphere at strategically chosen polls.
we can't be at every polling place in michigan on voting day, so we hope that the michigan state democratic party can get their act together to spread the word: michigan law allows people to vote from their last known address. michigan messenger:

indeed, even if a person’s home has been foreclosed upon, and they have been evicted from that home, michigan election law 168.507a allows a voter to vote at their last-registered voter address.

“(2) a registered and qualified elector of this state who has moved from the city or township in which he or she is registered to another city or township within the state after the sixtieth day before an election or primary election shall be permitted to vote in the election or primary election at the place of last registration upon the signing of a form containing an affidavit stating that the move has taken place. this subsection shall apply if the county in which the elector is registered has not implemented the county file as the official file pursuant to section 509e.”
additionally, a person’s registration outweighs even the state’s homestead exemption affidavit — signed by a property owner under penalty of perjury — as the true place of residence and eligibility.

how do i know this? in 2001, i brought suit in ingham county circuit court to have dr. olga holden removed from the lansing community college board of trustees because she was not a resident of the district. my evidence was her homestead exemption affidavit signed for a property at gull lake in southwest michigan. but the circuit court and the appeals court both ruled that the voter registration outweighed the affidavit.

as such, even if a person were in the midst of a foreclosure, their voter registration– not the property records and affidavits — is more important for determining voting eligibility.
we need polling challenger challengers!
posted by skippy at 3:44 PM |

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