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In the days before Don't Ask! Don't Tell, the military had a way to marginalize undesirables. Welcome to the Gulag...  
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Sunday, September 14, 2008  12:05:00 PM

by Chris the Abducted Alien

This is a MEDIA ANNOUNCEMENT to ALL Democrat''s
Federal Vote-Counting Accuracy Mandate Is Ignored
Violations abound, but no federal action is being taken

NOTE: Go to as many times as possible to make sure you are in fact registered to vote in the next General Election. On voting day, if the choice is between using a TOUCH SCREEN machine or paper ballot...yep, you got it, use the paper ballot. Or ask for an absentee ballot from your city clerk if your polling place has only TOUCH SCREEN POLLING MACHINES...DO NOT USE THEM IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.


Thousands of calls from registered DEMOCRAT’S are coming in to WCPT 820 AM radio stating they are receiving ABSENTEE BALLOTS from the Republican Party.

This is being done mainly in the RED STATES (Republican states) and mailed to DEMOCRAT’S in those that have not requested these ballots.

Please contact your City Clerk, Office of Election Affairs, or call your Democratic Party committee in your area if you receive one of the Republican Absentee Ballots...

Definition of Vote Caging:

Vote caging is a voter suppression tactic. The term is derived from a direct mail term. In the direct mail industry, when a third party runs a direct mailing campaign on behalf of a client organization, one of the activities undertaken is to compile all of the responses, handle contributions and to deposit received funds into the client's account, and also update the database of names and addresses that were mailed to with the responses or corrected addresses obtained. Since some of the activities were controlled carefully (donations and deposits) and conducted in a manner similar to the activities within a "teller's cage," the process is called "caging" and the end result of the data entry updates and address corrections is called a "caging list." This led to the term "voter caging" for voter registration analysis and challenges conducted via mass mailings.

Caging, as Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) "helpfully pointed out, 'is a term of art in mail houses' – it refers to the place where letters go when they have no address, all batched up in a separate room."[1]

As House Committee on the Judiciary chair John Conyers (D-MI) added, caging "in the context of elections 'is not an issue of the mail at all.' Voter caging, in the context of elections, means blocking voters out – choosing whole lists of voters whose vote will be challenged, chosen by whom and the criteria for challenge enunciated by whom, under this [the Bush] administration, still not fully explained."[2]

How it works

"In 2004, BBC reporter Greg Palast obtained two e-mails -- prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director -- that listed '1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas' of the Jacksonville, FL Naval Air Station. Palast explains:

"Here's how the scheme worked: The RNC mailed these voters letters in envelopes marked, 'Do not forward', to be returned to the sender. These letters were mailed to servicemen and women, some stationed overseas, to their US home addresses. The letters then returned to the Bush-Cheney campaign as 'undeliverable.'

"The lists of soldiers of 'undeliverable' letters were transmitted from state headquarters, in this case Florida, to the RNC in Washington. The [Republican] party could then challenge the voters' registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballots being counted." [3]

Behind the "caging scheme"

Tim Griffin, a former Karl Rove protégé, Republican political strategist and top adviser to President George W. Bush, was "formerly research director of the Republican National Committee. The 2004 BBC News report showed that Griffin led a 'caging' scheme[4] to suppress the votes of African-American servicemembers in Florida."[5]

"African-American leaders denounced the caging scheme as 'another 'shameful' Republican effort to keep blacks from voting.'"[6]

Resources and articles

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Margie Burns, "Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty Testifies to Congress One Last Time," The Brad Blog, June 21, 2007.
  2. Ibid.
  3. tonyroma, "Republicans 'Caged' in DOJ Scandal," Drudge Retort, May 26, 2007.
  4. Amanda Terkel, "Post Reporter: 'So What Is This Caging Thing?'" Think Progress, May 25, 2007.
  5. Amanda Terkel, "Did White House Pull Nomination To Avoid Questions Over 2004 Minority Voter Suppression?" Think Progress, March 2, 2007.
  6. tonyroma, "Republicans 'Caged' in DOJ Scandal," Drudge Retort, May 26, 2007.

External resources

External articles





Blogs that mention this article

More Information:

Voter suppression in the United States of America

According to an article by Dahlia Lithwick in, caging has been used by members of the Republican Party of the USA as a form of voter suppression.[3] The use of direct mail caging techniques to target voters resulted in the application of the name to the political tactic. With one type of caging, a political party sends registered mail to addresses of registered voters. If the mail is returned as undeliverable - because, for example, the voter refuses to sign for it, the voter isn't present for delivery, or the voter is homeless - the party uses that fact to challenge the registration, arguing that because the voter could not be reached at the address, the registration is fraudulent.[4] A political party challenges the validity of a voter's registration; for the voter's ballot to be counted, the voter must prove that their registration is valid.

Voters targeted by caging are often the most vulnerable: soldiers deployed overseas, those who are unfamiliar with their rights under the law, and those who cannot spare the time, effort, and expense of proving that their registration is valid.[5] On the day of the election, when the voter arrives at the poll and requests a ballot, an operative of the party challenges the validity of their registration. Ultimately, caging works by dissuading a voter from casting a ballot, or by ensuring that they cast a provisional ballot, which is less likely to be counted. [6][citation needed]

While the challenge process is prescribed by law, the use of broad, partisan challenges is controversial. For example, in the United States Presidential Election of 2004, the Republican Party employed this process to challenge the validity of tens of thousands of voter registrations in contested states like Florida, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The Republican Party argued that the challenges were necessary to combat widespread voter fraud. The Democratic Party countered that the challenges were tantamount to voter suppression, and further argued that the Republican Party had targeted voter registrations on the basis of the race of the voter, in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act law.[7]

Monica Goodling cited the existence and concern about "vote caging" in her written and oral testimony to the United States House Judiciary Committee on May 23, 2007, mentioning that Tim Griffin, who was appointed as interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, would have allegations of vote caging arise if ever presented to be confirmed by the Senate to the office, and that the Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty "failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote-caging during his work on the president's 2004 campaign."[8][9][10]

Examples of proven or alleged political caging

From the Washington Post: "In 1981, the Republican National Committee sent letters to predominantly black neighborhoods in New Jersey, and when 45,000 letters were returned as undeliverable, the committee compiled a challenge list to remove those voters from the rolls. The RNC sent off-duty law enforcement officials to the polls and hung posters in heavily black neighborhoods warning that violating election laws is a crime." Republicans however, denied that black voters were the target. An attorney for the RNC, Bobby Burchfield, stated that "troubling reports" of fictitious names such as Mary Poppins were appearing on Ohio's rolls and that is what prompted the challenges.

The Washington Post[11]: "In 1986, the RNC tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned. The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to 'compile voter challenge lists.'" The Republican National Committee reportedly stopped the practice following the consent decree in the 1986 case, but allegations of RNC-conducted voter caging arose once again in the 2004 elections.

In October 2004, the BBC Newsnight program reported on an alleged George W. Bush campaign caging list, the existence of which suggested that the campaign might have been planning illegal disruption of African American voting in Jacksonville, Florida. The BBC obtained a document from George W. Bush's Florida campaign headquarters that was inadvertently e-mailed to the parody website The program reported that the e-mail attachment contained a list of 1,886 voter names and addresses in largely African-American and Democratic areas of Jacksonville. Democratic Party officials and a number of journalists allege that the document is a caging list that the Bush campaign was going to use to issue mass challenges to African-American voters, in violation of the court ordered 1982 and 1987 consent decrees. Although Florida statutory law allows the parties to challenge voters at the polls, this practice is not allowed if the challenges appear to be race-based. Court documents produced during limited discovery in a challenge to use of cagings list in Ohio, revealed clear intent to use caging lists to challenge voters. Specifically, in the US District Court, District of New Jersey, Civil Action No. 81-3876, exhibit D, filed 10/29/04 and entitled "Declaration_of_Caroline_Hunter_and_emails_exh_d", emails exchanged between RNC operatives (Blaise Hazlewood, Caroline Hunter, Terry Nelson, and Tim Griffin), Bush-Cheney '04 campaign workers (Christopher Guith, Coddy Johnson, Robert Paduchik, and Dave DenHerder) and the Ohio Republican Party personnel (Mike Magan) revealed involvement of these entities in caging operations and intent to utilize the caging lists to challenge ballots in Ohio and other states[12]. Furthermore, these email exchanges also revealed concern about GOP fingerprints with ballot challenges based on caging lists in states that did not have flagged voter rolls[13]. The concern about GOP involvement in the email sent by Tim Griffin to Christopher Guith and others may have reflected knowledge of the fact that the RNC is prohibited by Consent Decrees from involvement in ballot security measures such as caging, when the measures have racial bias. Regardless of the intent of caging list design, there are no documented voter challenges based on caging lists in the 2004 elections.

The list came to light because of numerous e-mails accidentally addressed by, among others, Republican campaigners to the anti-Bush site instead of the Bush campaign site. Two of these e-mails had the subject line "Re: Caging" and contained Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file attachments called "Caging.xls" and "Caging-1.xls".[14][15].

Investigative reporter Greg Palast initially received the emails from the owner of, and in a recent interview[when?] has drawn a link to the scandal surrounding the Alberto Gonzales U.S. Attorney firings, claiming that the firings are part of a wider effort by Republicans to use caging to "steal the 2008 election."[16]

In December 2007, Kansas GOP Chair Kris Kobach sent an email boasting that "to date, the Kansas GOP has identified and caged more voters in the last 11 months than the previous two years!"[17]


  1. ^ "Eberle Associates: Our Process: Process description". Eberle Associates, Inc. (2006). Retrieved on 2007-06-06.
  2. ^ a b c "Caging definition from Double Tongued Dictionary". Double Tongued Dictinary. Double Tongued Word Wreste (2004-11-03). Retrieved on 2007-06-06.
  3. ^ Lithwick, Dahlia (2007-05-31,). "Raging Caging: What the heck is vote caging and why should we care?", Slate, Retrieved on 2007-06-19. 
  4. ^ Becker, Jo (2004-10-29). "GOP Challenging Voter Registrations: Civil Rights Groups Accuse Republicans Of Trying to Disenfranchise Minorities", Washington Post. Retrieved on 2007-06-19. 
  5. ^ "[Caging & Housing Works]". [[1]]. 2007-07-27. No. 330.
  6. ^ Solution or Problem? Provisional Ballots in 2004, 2005-04-10, <>. Retrieved on 13 August 2007 
  7. ^ Reed, William (2007-05-30). "Caging: how ‘they’ diminished the power of our vote", San Francisco Bay View, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. Retrieved on 2007-06-06. 
  8. ^ Goodling, Monica (2007-05-23). "Remarks of Monica Goodling before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives", Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved on 2007-05-23. 
  9. ^ Transcript of House Judiciary Committee, May 23, 2007 Congressional Quarterly Transcript Service, via Washington Post, May 24, 2007.
  10. ^ Scherer, Michael (2007-05-23). "Goodling's McNulty-bashing", Salon, Retrieved on 2007-05-25. 
    (Goodling cites Deputy Attorney General McNulty's previous testimony to Congressional committee as being "incomplete or inaccurate"
  11. ^ continues
  12. ^ Voter Suppression
  13. ^ Voter Suppression
  14. ^ Palast, Greg (June 2006) African-American Voters Scrubbed by Secret GOP Hit List, Democracy Now!
  15. ^ Emails published on
  16. ^ "Greg Palast, Author of Armed Madhouse, on How Rove May Have Already Stolen the 2008 Election". BuzzFlash. (2007-05-17). Retrieved on 2007-07-31.
  17. ^ Kansas GOP Chair Sends Email Boasting of Voter Caging. December 26, 2007.


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