Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'll go with "Mind Numbingly Incompetent"

No, wait, no one is actually that mind numbingly incompetent. This is as much the product of the dark arts as Martha Stewart's decoupage tricks:

Keystone (cops) Voter Registration

We're continuing to dig into what's going on with Women's Voices, Women Vote, the DC non-profit behind those suspicious robocalls in North Carolina. We've looked into the group's activities in other states and at least outside of North Carolina it's really difficult to figure out whether the group was up to no good or just mind-numbingly incompetent. Purportedly, WVWV's aim was to register unmarried women. But in state after state (Virginia, Arizona, Colorado, Wisconsin, et al.) the group's mailings spurred investigations or rebukes from state election authorities for sending people registration forms after the deadlines, or sending mailings that suggested recipients were legally required to return them signed, to just freaking people out. (For more details, see Facing South, which pulled all this information together.)

Josh Micah Marshall and his happy band of droogs seem awfully calm about this but if Facing South's account is correct (linked above) really, one has to suspect foul play. No one--no one--makes calls to what they think of (however incorrectly) as single female households in a masculine voice. No one does it without identifying their organization. No one launches into an expensive phone campaign without telling the listener to ignore the message if they are already registered to vote. None of this makes the slightest sense, except as a form of voter suppression. Even worse, I'm pretty sure that lots of well meaning people like my own mother have contributed to this group--hell, I would have if I were a little quicker off the mark with my donations. Now, not so much.