Philadelphia Daily News, GOP fails in effort to move polls:
REPUBLICAN OPERATIVES working to re-elect President Bush submitted last-minute requests in Philadelphia on Friday to relocate 63 polling places.
Bush's Pennsylvania campaign staff filed the requests, using the names of two Republicans running for the U.S. Congress and seven Republican ward leaders.
Of the 63 requests for changes, 53 are in political divisions where the population of white voters is less than 10 percent. …
Bob Lee, voter registration administrator for the City Commission, said the requests appear to be “discriminatory” and were filed too late to be eligible for a hearing on Wednesday.
“They're trying to suppress the vote,” Lee said of Republicans. …
Lee, who has worked for the commission for 21 years, said he became suspicious of the requests because of the last-minute timing, the unusually high number and the locations. …
Requests are sent to hearings before the City Commission after public notices are posted for five days at the polling place, the proposed new polling place and three other places in the division.
Lee said the City Commission on Wednesday will hold its last hearing on polling place changes before the Nov. 2 election.
Since the requests came in on Friday afternoon, he said, there is not time for the public notices.
Then, the understatement of the week,
The requests could potentially confuse voters. The city has already ordered postcards mailed to 1.1 million registered voters before Election Day, directing them to polling places.
Which is of course the whole point. Undoubtedly, Philadelphia is not the only place this will happen. And in Florida, if you vote in the wrong place, your vote will not be counted (FWIW, the court reached the only possible conclusion given the wording of the state legislation).
Meanwhile, in Michigan, the Justice Department has just moved to block a Democratic lawsuit challenging a similar rule blocking the counting of 'provisional ballots' when a registered voter appears at the wrong precinct.
Why can't we allow people to vote in Post Offices or something? And why, in this computerized age, is it necessary to force people to vote in a given precinct?