Fox hosts imply homeless don't deserve to vote
The hosts of Fox and Friends are concerned that a program in Ohio which allows same-day registration and voting could provide opportunities for voter fraud or manipulation. "Before you could try and actually prove where they actually live," complained Gretchen Carlson, "if they're actually residents, or they're just Mary Poppins."
A one-week overlap in Ohio between the start of early voting and the end of voter registration provides a period during which it is possible to do both at the same time. The Obama campaign has been taking full advantage of this "Golden Week" to get its likely supporters to the polls, while Ohio Republicans have not done so and even sued in September to challenge the practice.
The Fox hosts spoke by phone to Shelby Holliday, a recent college graduate who blogs at Palestra.net, a "video-based college news network" associated with Fox News. Holliday reported on Tuesday that she had witnessed busloads of homeless people being brought in to vote.
Holliday told Fox she had interviewed people who "were telling me that they were with organizations that were picking homeless people off the streets and bringing them to the polls and encouraging them to vote."
"If they're bringing them out of a homeless shelter, what are they telling them is in it for them?" Steve Doocy asked Holliday.
"The organizers are really just trying to help people who don't have ID's or don't have a permanent address to get out there and cast ballots," Holliday replied.
The National Coalition for the Homeless has been pressing for voting rights for homeless people, pointing out that "courts have addressed the ambiguities in state election laws and found that homeless people cannot be denied the right to vote" and citing court cases which have ruled, among other things, that "homeless people may designate a shelter, park, or street corner as their residence."
Recent requirements in some states for official voter ID cards have raised fresh barriers for homeless voters, but in Ohio it is possibly to get around the ID card requirement through early voting, which requires only providing the last four digits of a social security number.
However, Fox's Brian Kilmeade was determined to see the program to help homeless voters as an opportunity for manipulation. "Do you think that some of them on the drive in there are telling them who to vote for?" he asked Holliday.
Holliday's phone signal was breaking up as she answered, but she appeared to be saying that the organizers described themselves as non-partisan but that some of the homeless voters "did not know exactly what was going on."
Holliday's original blog entry on Tuesday was much more negative in its depiction of the homeless voters. "I am skeptical that some volunteers approach the situation from an 'I'll help you if you help me' standpoint, if you know what I mean..." she wrote. "It dawned on me about the time a homeless man stumbled over, reeking of booze and mumbling his words, to ask if he could be on TV. Did these guys even know what was going on?? 'Who are you voting for?' I asked another homeless man. 'Baraaaack,' he replied. 'I want him to do his thang, you know, do his THUG THIZZLE, you know...'"
"As I started interviewing the homeless men, it became clear that some of their 'buddies' who drove them to the polls were pushing quite an agenda. I am not saying all volunteers did this, but there were certainly a few. It appeared as if the homeless guys were being bribed with rides, food, and who-knows-what to go 'vote.' My new THUG-THIZZLE friend told me that he wasn't even from Ohio and that he was getting on a Greyhound to go back to Chicago."
"With Ohio being such a close state, is this right?" concluded Gretchen Carlson.
This video is from Fox's Fox & Friends, broadcast October 2, 2008.
Download video via RawReplay.com