I was truly shocked at this story - Voter Registrations Possibly Trashed ( www.klas-tv.com/global/story.asp?s=24215
It does completely make my jaw drop, that people's voting registration can possibly go through an unaccountable & possibly partisan group rather than an independent body of some kind - especially if you actually register as supporting a particular party. That bit has always worried & puzzled me about that system, presumably based on the older English system which didn't have secret voting (an innovation from Australia in the nineteenth century).
Under that system, why have a secret ballot at all? Why bother with elections or voting -- just ask people to change their registration from one party to another when they change their mind, say every year, and move people in & out of Parliament/Congress?
(I gradually came to understand that you could register as something, but vote differently. I read somewhere that it's possible to register as independent, or something non-partisan -- I personally am somewhat neurotic about disclosing who I vote for, after the fight to get a truly secret ballot to help stop some kinds of oppression, so I'd have to do that -- though you might work it out from my expressed opinions, if you cared.)
NOTE: The 'shocked' icon looks happier than I am. That's more of a happy surpise than what I'd describe as 'shocked'.
Extracts from Eyewitness News article
Las Vegas, Nevada
George Knapp, Investigative Reporter
Voter Registrations Possibly Trashed
(Oct. 12, 2004) -- Employees of a private voter registration company allege
that hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are
registered will be rudely surprised on election day ... Anyone who has
recently registered or re-registered to vote outside a mall or grocery
store or even government building may be affected ...
The focus of the story is a private registration company called Voters
Outreach of America, AKA America Votes* (*under discussion).
The out-of-state firm has been in Las Vegas for the past few months,
registering voters. It employed up to 300 part-time workers and collected
hundreds of registrations per day, but former employees of the company say
that Voters Outreach of America only wanted Republican registrations.
Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up
and trash registration forms signed by Democrats ...
[a former employee] managed to retrieve a pile of shredded paperwork
including signed voter registration forms, all from Democrats. We took them
to the Clark County Election Department and confirmed that they had not, in
fact, been filed with the county as required by law ...
We attempted to speak to Voters Outreach but found that its office has been
rented out to someone else.
The landlord says Voters Outreach was evicted for non-payment of rent.
Another source said the company has now moved on to Oregon where it is once
again registering voters. It's unknown how many registrations may have
been tossed out, but another ex-employee told Eyewitness News she had the
same suspicions when she worked there ...
The company has been largely, if not entirely funded, by the Republican
National Committee. Similar complaints have been received in Reno where the
registrar has asked the FBI to investigate.