Tuesday, November 02, 2004

It Looks Like New Voter Registration Is Screwed Up in Allegheny County

NBC has reported that people in Allegheny County have reported more problems voter registration problems than almost anyplace else in the country.

Map of Pennsylvania showing places reporting voter registration problems. (This map was working at about 5:30am, but died at about 5:50am - check back later because Allegheny, Westmorland and one of the Philly-area counties have many more voter registration complaints than anyplace else in the state (yes, I know they're also the highest in population).)

Our County Executive, Don Onorato, doesn't seem to think this is a real problem. He blames it on the intensity of the election.

Unfortunately, the facts will not bear this out (and I hate to say this, because Onorato is a Democrat and Allegheny County is quite Democratic).

I spent some of the summer doing volunteer work for Kerry. People were calling the office complaining that they hadn't received their voter registration receipts even though they had recently registered. We've also heard about some Republican dirty tricks (people thought they were signing a petition but their registrations were changed to Republican), and, to be fair, some Democratic dirty tricks in other parts of the state (older people being called and told that Bush would do away with Social Security).

I'm going to spend a few hours today as a MoveOn poll watcher today. I hope things will not be too screwed up, but, at least for the new voters, I'm not very optimistic. And it sounds like Onorato has his head in the sand just like Bush does with regards to problems on his watch.

If you've been registered to vote before this year, you're probably fine. If you registered to vote for the first time this year, you might not be able to vote, but please try to! If you have any receipt of any kind from when you registered, bring it with you just in case. And help the rest of us fight for a fairer, uniform voter registration system in the future. This is a complete embarrassment for a "modern" country like the US.

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