This election has protection


Sunday, November 2nd 2008, 11:21 pm
By: News 9


By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- With such a historic election, one group is keeping an eye on the ballot booth Tuesday. This year, Election Protection, a loose coalition formed after the 2000 presidential election, is monitoring voting irregularities.

"Voter repressions issues with flyers in Virginia and Louisiana telling all Republicans to vote on Tuesday and Democrats to vote on Wednesday. In Colorado, if people try to go vote, they could be arrested on some outstanding warrant," President of the Oklahoma Indian Bar Association Arvo Mikkanen said.

The coalition of 100 lawyers, news organizations and non-partisan groups made it their mission to document this and other incidents on its website 866ourvote.org.

"There were a lot of problems in the 2000 and 2004 elections. With the data collected, you can pinpoint were the problem is and pass that information to local election boards," Mikkanen said.

These problems do not seem to plague Oklahoma voters. Mikkanen credits the rule that keeps campaigners 300 feet from ballot machines from discouraging voter interference. He also said Oklahoma's voting system keeps fairly accurate track of the votes.

"No system is perfect, and as time has passed it has become more complex to exercise your right to vote," Mikkanen said.

The local branch of Election Protection will be out during voting. If voters have problems on Election Day, they can call 405-272-9241 locally, or dial (866) 687-8683.