Date: Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:11:30 PM US/Central
Subject: Re: Challenges Filed against 931 Lucas County Voters
Fritz Wenzel, political writer
The Toledo Blade
The following was sent to me by a "friend of a friend". If any of this is news to you, I might be able to track down the source.
"This is really just a message to vent and to spread the word that I truly do not believe the election in Ohio will be a fair one. Yesterday, I received a letter from the county board of elections stating that some random woman named Joelle Clink has challenged my right to vote. she filed a petition to the county saying that I am not a real person, that I do not live in Ohio and therefore my name is to be removed from the voter registration list and I will not be allowed to vote on Tuesday. If I
want to contest this, because obviously the burden of proof should be on me to prove that I exist rather than on Joelle actually proving that I don't exist before filing such a petition, I have to attend a court hearing this Saturday at 11am and testify that am eligible to vote. But it is not just me. Two other people in my department alone also got this letter. And so did 928 other individuals in Toledo. Interestingly if you look at the list of people being challenged what you see are academics and people residing in poor areas of town. Draw your own conclusions. I am furious. I can't believe that this person is able to, on no basis whatsoever, just decide that people are not eligible to vote. I registered to vote back in august following all the proper procedures. I should not be required to spend all day Saturday in court trying to get my right to vote back because some woman claims I do not exist. One of the other faculty members in the department has already contacted an attorney. If I can not vote on Tuesday you better believe that all hell will break lose."
According to your article, the list of 931 names was thought perhaps to have been collected from undeliverable mail returned to the elections board. According to the author of the above email, the list of 931 names appears to over-represent 'academics and people residing in poor areas of town.' I have no idea if this is true. Obviously if true, that would add a new dimension to the story. I question how a list generated at the elections board would make its way into the hands of what was obviously an organized effort to mass-produce the challenges which were filed, perhaps being "filtered" for voting behavior predictions along the way. Then there is the claim by the email author that she registered to vote in August. I could understand if a voter hadn't been heard from in several years, but one piece of returned mail in three months doesn't seem like a just cause. Is there anything to prevent me, a random guy in Alabama, from telling Bernadette Noe that you don't exist and perhaps thereby requiring you to attend a hearing to re-establish your voting rights? It seems more than outrageous. Perhaps it is.