Blind Side

Zengerle, Jason
November 2004
New Republic;11/15/2004, Vol. 231 Issue 20, p16
The article focuses on the 2004 Presidential election process in Cleveland, Ohio. For all the fears about Republican attempts to suppress the black vote in Cleveland, either through dirty tricks--like spreading rumors that people with outstanding warrants or unpaid child support would be arrested if they showed up at the polls--or through an aggressive use of the Ohio law that allows challengers to contest the eligibility of individual voters, the biggest obstacles the Democrats' African American vote efforts faced here were of a more mundane, bureaucratic variety. If Kerry was going to win Ohio, the thinking among Democrats went, he had to turn out an unprecedented number of black voters in Cleveland. News of the Ohio Republican Party's attempts to challenge 23,000 new voter registrations--many of them in predominately black precincts--and to place challengers in the polling places inflamed Cleveland's black voters who, if they weren't initially inclined to vote because of lukewarm feelings about Kerry, were now eager to go to the polls as an exercise of their civil rights.


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