While Democrats in Kentucky are making racist attacks on Senator McConnell’s wife, Democrats in Virginia are making much more subtle prejudicial claims. The Democrat Party of Virginia of the past was one of Jim Crow and intimidation at the polls. While the tragic bigotry of the past Democrats was based on race, today it is best on partisanship and names. That’s right. Your name can make you a figure of Democrat ridicule and prejudicial attacks. MSNBC’s top on air personality Rachel Maddow injected herself in a matter of local Virginia politics:
What just happened to old Hans von Spakovsky (best name in politics) in Fairfax County? -- Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow)
For Fairfax County Democrats for the first time since the days of Jim Crow opposed a pick by either party to be an election official. They accused him of bias. Problem is the record is empty of ANY proof of bias. As RNLA’s Maya Noronha explains in a recent PJMedia piece Mr. Von Spakovsky voted with his fellow Democrat Election Board Member 221 out of 224 times. The other three times, the other board member who is not accused of bias, Secretary Carol Ann Coryell voted with Mr. Von Spakovsky.
The biggest irony of the whole thing is that the Democrats did try to create a situation of potential bias and intimidation. As someone who trains poll watchers and lawyer observers across the country let me just say rule number one is you do not have partisan poll watchers talking to voters inside the polling place. That can be reasonably interpreted as electioneering or worse. Yet that is what these same Fairfax County Democrats tried to do just before the 2012 election. They wanted all of their poll watchers in 273 poll places to be able to talk to voters inside the polling place.
One quick example of why this is a problem: Say a voter is having problems with a machine and is concerned the machine is not registering their vote properly (a relatively common complaint heard from elderly supporters of both parties), under the Fairfax County Democrats scenario you could hear “I am Joe Public from the Democrat party here to help you.” Or worse, “I am Joe Public and I will tell you how to vote” pretending to be an election official and ensure they vote Democrat. And does anyone think most voters know the difference between a partisan poll official and an actual nonpartisan election official?
Think this does not happen? Talk to people in Florida during the 2004 election where during early voting some local election officials allowed just such a thing saying that Florida law on poll watchers and voting did not apply during to the then new “early voting.” Democrat poll watchers went into voting booths to “assist” voters. That’s why there are rules against poll watchers talking to voters.
President Obama formed a commission to look into voting and Friday he mentioned this commission would “help prevent state officials from engaging in ‘new tricks’ that discourage minorities from voting.” Thanks to the Virginia courts and people like Von Spakovsky, the Fairfax County Virginia Democrat Party was prevented from engaging in such a “new trick” in 2012. As Maya’s article points out, the wrong person is being accused of bias.
I wonder if Virginia election official Hans Von Spakovsky and Fairfax County Virginia Chairman Cesar del Aguila switched names if Democrats and liberals would still attack Mr. Von Spakovsky? That is a tough question but I am sure Rachel Maddow would not snark.