This was a busy day registering voters, and in the afternoon, after I got my labwork done, I went back over to our voter registration table. Our Vice President, Dadly, was there and he mentioned that during lunch, he and his friends noticed strange flyers taped to several of the picnic tables near the quad. As he described them, they sounded very suspicious, so he and I went over there to check them out.
There was still one taped to a table, and I was pretty shocked to read it. It was clearly an attempt at voter intimidation targeted at members of the Drexel community. I took it home and scanned it, and you can click it for a larger picture.
It is written as a friendly letter relaying how an "Obama supporter" explained to the author that at the polls this year, police will be checking IDs and license plates to "catch criminals" in and around the polls, including "traffic ticket offenders." This is a disgusting and offensive attempt to provide false information to citizens to keep them from voting. People aren't arrested in this country for voting, no matter how many traffic tickets they get. In fact, in PA, police officers arne't allowed within 100 feet of a polling place on election day, except when they vote as private citizens, or when required to protect the peace.
The full text of the letter is this:
Recently, at school, an Obama supporter approached me during a rock the vote assembly. He informed that (sic) on the day of the election there will be undercover officers to execute warrants on those who come to vote based on the anticipated turnout. He advised me if I had any outstanding warrants or traffic offenses I should clear them up prior to voting. They assume this to be an opportunity for those who normally go by fake names and addresses, to give their real names and id's. Allowing them to place name and face together and walla (sic), gotcha! Arrested on the spot. So if you have one or the other take care of it.
Due to the electronic genius of wireless technologythis can and will take place all around the nation from L.A. to New York. Why hasn't this been done before? This seems to be a great way to arrest or just be able to identify criminals in the area. I applaud the new efforts of local and state authorities and hope to see a great success rate. I'm sorry to say but I don't think they should be able to vote anyway! Question? Are convicted felons allowed to vote?
He also said that both Obama and McCain support this idea but that he, "Obama", (sic) does not want the public to see any of his supporters get locked up showing their support or illegally voting for him. An incentive to avoid the legal dilemmas, but still participate in the vote is being put in place. This would allow individuals to turn themselves in, prior to voting, without legal penalty. This type of incentive recently took place at a South Philadelphia church with an outstanding turnout. Is this taking away from the true freedom of voting? Is this legal?
He had also learned that at the polling sites local authorities will not only be checking for "scoff law" traffic tickets offenders (sic) inside, but this will also take place outside. There will be vehicles equipped with plate identification computers. Upon identification cars will be locked with an immobilization feature locked to its tire then towed.
I think this November will be a November to remember. I love technology.
If you see anybody taping these ugly yellow letters anywhere on campus, whip out your cellphone cameras! Let's make it clear that we don't put up with voter intimidation at Drexel.