October Surprise: Goverment Computers To Go Offline During Voter Registration Peak

October Surprise: Goverment Computers To Go Offline During Voter Registration Peak
By Wendy Weiser, Brennan Center for Justice
Posted on September 25, 2008, Printed on September 30, 2008

A recent alert by the Social Security Administration announces that the agency plans to shut down its databases for maintenance from October 11 through October 13. While this might not sound like an election issue, it turns out that this could significantly impede registration of first-time voters as well as the re-registration of eligible citizens.

Here's why. A 2002 federal law, the Help America Vote Act, requires all states to "coordinate" their voter registration databases with the Social Security database (and state motor vehicle databases) for the purpose of processing new voter registration forms. For the millions of voters who do not have current driver's licenses and register using the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, state election officials are required to try to match their voter registration information against Social Security records. But if the Social Security database is down—as it will be for four days—they won't be able to do that. Across the country, the processing of these voter registration forms will grind to a halt for four days.

Normally, a delay of three days would not have a major impact. But this delay is scheduled to take place three weeks before the November 4 election—a time when election officials in every state will be scampering to try to process the millions of new voter registrations they receive. With only 25 days to process millions of new voter registrations, while doing dozens of other things to prepare for what is shaping up to be the highest turnout election in decades, a loss of three days can spell disaster.

Even without this delay, there are already significant concerns that our overworked and under-resourced election officials will not be able to process all the new voter registrations this year in time for the election. Voter registration numbers are skyrocketing. Election officials are already feeling the strain, and it will only get worse. In every election, there is a huge spike in voter registrations in the period right before the voter registration deadline. Florida, for example, typically receives between 13 and 20% of its new voter registrations in the week before the deadline. In short, this shutdown is planned for the worst possible time, a time when every minute counts.

If the shutdown goes as planned, it will seriously impair the ability of states to process new voter registrations before the November 4 election. Who would this impact? New voters, as well as people who re-register because they have moved, who do not have state-issued driver's licenses or non-driver's IDs. Those citizens are disproportionately older, African-American, and low-income, studies show.

Fortunately, the solution to this potential disaster is easy: postpone the shutdown until after the election. And next time, look at the calendar before deciding when to turn off a database relied on by millions.

(Editor's note: On Tuesday, September 23rd, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and chairwoman of the Senate committee overseeing elections, wrote to the Social Security Administration, asking the agency to defer its database maintenance until after the November election.)

Wendy Weiser directs the Brennan Center’s work on voting rights and elections. During the run-up to the 2004 and 2006 elections, she masterminded litigation and advocacy efforts that kept hundreds of thousands of voters from being disenfranchised.
© 2008 Brennan Center for Justice All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/100392/

typo in original article

I got this from a friend who sent this link:

but then I used the original source, AlterNet, who left the "N" out of Government.

I would bet this is not a coincidence.

Election manipulation is a known Republican tactic. They want to impede the registration process because it is a known fact that Republicans fare better in elections when fewer people vote. They will use their voter caging tactics. They will place fewer voting booths in traditionally Democratic precincts. They will manipulate black box touch screen voting machine results. It is documented that they have done this in the past so there is no reason to believe they won't do it this time. I personally don't think Obama is the saviour some believe him to be, but between him and McCain, I think he is the lesser of two evils. I prefer Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul. Obama has already disappointed me with his position on retroactive immunity for the criminal telecoms and FISA. His foreign policy adviser is Zbignew Brezenski, Mr. "New World Order", and he still sells the "War On Terror" with his policy on hunting Al CIAda and a dead man named Osama in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

With Northcom deploying a brigade of battle hardened soldiers here in the US to deal with "public unrest", I wonder if we will even have an election. Bush and company may pull another false flag terror event between now and November 4th so he can declare martial law and make himself a virtual dictator. I see this as a real possibility for several reasons. Once Bush leaves office, he will be exposed to prosecution for murder and war crimes. Several others will be similarly exposed. That alone could be reason enough. Be prepared.

I'm wu most of the way but

"older " people? New voters, ones who have moved, or have no driver's license? Maybe they are most likely poor.....many certainly black, but this can hardly describe even a small minority of older voters.

As someone with a burning desire to only use paper ballots and a big fan of that other Bev's "Black Box Voting" site......I say let's get our facts straight and we will win every debate.

Common sense and truth will ALWAYS prevail, in the longish run. How long and what risks their defenders will take is only question.

Yes, Rob I think Marshall Law is a possibility

I don't talk much about my esoteric beliefs on this site, but many of us believe there is the potential for an unprecedented event to occur this month that will shake up the mass consciousness. They will claim that this is a threat to National Security, so they can declare Marshall Law and postpone the (s)election. They use the seeds of fear as a tactic to control the masses.

There is much is at stake. Change is inevitable and necessary. We need to stay grounded through the chaos. Things will appear to be a lot worse than they are now, before they get better. This is the nature of the death throes of darkness. Don't allow them to use your creative energy for their fear agenda. Guard your thoughts, and choose carefully which energies you align with.

We can create something better. People have the power to create a new paradigm. Conscious intent, grounded into action, will change the world. It is important for us to be prepared and stay informed, so we can collectively hold the intent for positive outcome, as we foster the unfolding of Truth coming to Light.

Never give up.

Who is Marshall Law?

Who is Marshall Law? ;-)
Great minds ... think for themselves.

that is a common mistake which I have made in the past.

It is an understandable mistake that many make. To think of a marshal, who is a law enforcement officer, and deduce that martial law is spelled marshal law, is a common error which many intelligent people make.

Thanks for the post PhoenixFireNectar.