Caging the Vote - 2004
Investigative journalist, Greg Palast, winner of six Project Censored Awards originally brought the "caging lists" from Duval County, Florida to widespread attention in his report for an October 26th, 2004 BBC Newsnight program.
In his book, Armed Madhouse, and in press releases, Palast cites one "Randall Prausa" as an example of an African American Serviceman disenfranchised by caging. On page 204 of this book he reports:
We checked one list that included 50 black soldiers. We called one, Randall Prausa. His wife indicated that his address had changed because he was shipped overseas. Go to Baghdad, lose your vote. Nice. A black soldier's vote gone. Mission Accomplished.
In addition, in a June 2nd, 2006 report, by Palast contains this:
Was it deliberate? Oh, my God, yes. I'd like you to take a look at the "caging" lists the Republican National Committee concocted to challenge voters with "suspect" addresses. It included page after page of African-American soldiers, like one Randall Prausa, shipped overseas. Mission accomplished, Mr. President?
The problem with this choice of Randall Prausa to illustrate disenfranchisement of African American servicemen by caging is that __ Randall Prausa is not black. [see photo above of Seaman Randall Prausa]
Reached by email and telephone, Mr. Prausa confirms that he previously lived at the address listed on the caging list. He also reports that he was deployed as a sailor, but voted by absentee ballot in 2004. Review of the
Palast reported that the names of 1886 voters in Jacksonville, Florida had been found on "caging lists" received by Republican political operative Tim Griffin. According to Palast, "Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called 'caging list'. It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat[ic] areas of Jacksonville, Florida". The claims of caging in 2004 have been repeated by Palast in books and interviews since 2004 and often touted as evidence of voter suppression; however, there were no poll challenges in Duval County in 2004, which would be the most likely way of using the "caging" information.
March 28, 2007: And we dug in, decoding, and mapping the voters on what Griffin called, "Caging" lists, spreadsheets with 70,000 names of voters marked for challenge. Overwhelmingly, these were Black and Hispanic voters from Democratic precincts.
With respect to "Deployed Soldiers" data, how they were identified as "deployed soldiers" is not disclosed. From the published image, the beginning and end of the list is not shown. The source file reveals 50 residents at "Naval Air Station", and again, the address column was sorted independently of the attached data. For example, whereas the image shows five last names beginning with "B" at the Naval Air Station, the source file shows one. The "B" last names listed are present in the unsorted source file, but none are at the Naval Air Station. Again the image is presented without showing beginning or end, which effectively conveys larger number of names than actually present.