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‘Dirty tricks’ escalate as US election nears October 30, 2008

Posted by trouble97018 in '08 Election, Democrats, Dirty Tricks, Lies, Obama, Politics, Repiglicans.
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Courtesy AFP:

In the final days of the US presidential election, campaign yard signs are being defaced, fliers advise Democrats to vote a day late, DVDs warning of Islam’s clash with the West flood mailboxes, and allegations of fraud are flying.

In American politics, it’s all part of the late-game frenzy, when what one side considers a dirty trick can be easily hailed by the other side as a pure exercise of the right to free speech.

For example, a phony flyer bearing the state of Virginia’s logo has turned up, saying that “all Republican party supporters and independent voters supporting Republican candidates shall vote on November 4th as prescribed by law.”

Those supporting Democrats in the battleground state “shall vote on November 5th,” it said.

Similar fliers in Philadelphia warn that anyone with unpaid traffic tickets or outstanding arrest warrants could be jailed if they turn up at the polls on election day.

These types of “deceptive practices” commonly target minorities — who this year overwhelmingly support Barack Obama — and while most states prohibit making false statements regarding elections, the laws are difficult to enforce.

“It is an insidious form of vote suppression that often goes unaddressed by authorities, and the perpetrators are virtually never caught,” said a report by the political watchdog group Common Cause.

Vandals in northern Virginia went on a brief escapade this month, pasting a letter “S” on yard signs so they read “Osama-Biden,” in an attempt to link the Democrat and running mate Joe Biden to Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.

Other tricks have verged on absurd, such as the 20-year-old white Ohio woman who claimed she was attacked by assailants who carved a “B” (for Barak) on her cheek in anger at the John McCain sticker on her car.

She later admitted fabricating the story. In addition, the “B” was carved in reverse, as if done with the help of a mirror.

Experts say that when an election approaches, just about anything goes, as Democrats tend to focus on get-out-the-vote efforts while Republicans aim to sway undecided voters and hope that low turnout will bode well for conservatives.

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