Talking Points Memo: A sorority at the University of Alabama offered incentives like free drinks and limo rides to the polls for members who cast votes in the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education election, the Birmingham News reported Wednesday."Stretch limousines could be seen shuttling passengers to and from sorority row and the District 4 polling station Tuesday," the report goes on. Both Kirby and Garrisonwon their elections by a hair — which suggests this vote-buying campaign made all the difference.
An email obtained Monday by the newspaper, sent by a member of the sorority chapter’s executive board, urged members residing in the city’s District 4 to vote in exchange for perks. The email also encouraged members to vote for certain candidates.
"In a list that was e-mailed to me this weekend, y’all are the only [members] registered in the specific district that are allowed to vote," the email read, as quoted by the Birmingham News. "Cason Kirby, a past SGA president of the University of Alabama is running for the City Board of Education, and Lee Garrison a UA Alum is also running."
"They would really appreciate/need your vote to win this election. It’s going to be really tight, and it is SO IMPORTANT that they get the Greek Vote," the email continued. "I told both of them that I would do my best to make sure that I got every Chi O that was registered to the polls. There is a big incentive for you going as well!!"
Would voter ID have stopped this? Would restricting voter registration or eliminating early voting? The answers are obvious no, no, and no.
Imagine what the response on the right would be like Latino or African-American voters were being limoed to the polls with free drinks from a community center in an inner city neighborhood. Brietbart.com would run the story from every conceivable angle, making up a few along the way.
So what huge outcry can we expect from Republicans, now that we finally have hard evidence of real voting irregularities that actually managed to swing an election?
Well, considering the voters were likely privileged rich white kids, I’d say the odds are very good that we won’t hear a word about it from the right.
[photo by Gary D]