Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Maybe those votes should just be discarded."

The GOP's war on minority voters has kicked into high gear.

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — A judge weighing whether to close down early voting sites in Lake County’s Democratic strongholds questioned local officials about the absentee voting process during visits to the disputed sites.

Lake County Superior Court Judge Diane Kavadias-Schneider toured the Gary, Hammond and East Chicago satellite voting sites Monday and heard hours of testimony and arguments on whether they are legal and fair.

Republicans want to shut down the centers in the largely Democratic county on the grounds that they will increase the likelihood of vote fraud in the Nov. 4 election.

Kavadias-Schneider, who was appointed a special judge in the case by the Indiana Supreme Court, questioned county elections board director Sally LaSota on Monday about the process of early voting and safeguards against vote fraud.

LaSota assured the judge that the elections board staff ensures voters are registered and don’t vote more than once.

When Kavadias-Schneider asked, “What of those who have already voted?” R. Lawrence Steele, a GOP lawyer, replied, “Maybe those votes should be discarded.”

Yesterday, a judge dismissed the GOP lawsuit. Early voting will continue in Lake County.

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