Thursday, October 20, 2005

Attempts to Suppress or Rig Voting

Ohio
2004: REPUBLICAN SECRETARY STATE REJECTS NEW VOTER REGISTRATIONS
Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell came under fire in September for instructing county boards of election to reject any voter registration forms not printed on 80-pound text paper, a heavy card-like stock. [Associated Press, 10/6/04]

2004: REPUBLICAN SECRETARY STATE INTENDS TO VIOLATE FEDERAL LAW IN ORDER TO PREVENT NEWLY REGISTERED VOTERS FROM VOTING

"What's happening in Ohio," says Talley, "is that the secretary of state has issued a statement saying that provisional ballots should not be issued if voters are in the wrong polling location." With tens of thousands of newly registered voters, confusion about where to go is likely. Withholding provisional ballots -- which the Help America Vote Act, passed in 2002 in the wake of the 2000 election debacle, specifically mentions as an alternative voting method when valid registration is in doubt -- will result in many people simply not voting.

Ohio's secretary of state was also sued because 21 counties were wrongly informing ex-felons that they had no right to vote. According to Robbins, the secretary of state's office agreed to inform all ex-felons of their voting rights in time for the registration deadline, but then backed out.
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/10/09/ohio_voter_intimidation/index.html

Georgia: 1998: GOP OFFICIALS PLANNED TO VIDEOTAPE VOTERS AT POLLING PLACES
In 1998, local GOP officials in North Carolina and Georgia had plans to videotape voters at polling places. Wade Henderson, director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said videotaping “served no useful purpose other than to discourage people to turn out to vote.” The Justice Department sent out letters making it clear that “videotaping minority voters at or near the polls could constitute a violation of the Voting Rights Act.” [Associated Press, 11/3/98]
www.democrats.org/pdfs/vri_voter_intimidation.pdf

Lousiana:
1986 RNC TRIES TO ILLEGALLY REMOVE BLACKS FROM VOTING ROLES BY FRAUD
In 1986, the RNC hired Precise Data Services, Inc., a direct mail firm, to send anonymous mail to precincts in Louisiana in which Ronald Reagan received less then 20% of the vote in 1986. These precincts were predominantly or exclusively black precincts. The envelopes mailed by Precise Data Services, Inc. were marked “Do Not Forward.” The returned envelopes were then sent to local headquarters of the Republican Party for purging purposes. The local Republican Party officials delivered signed affidavits and the names from the returned envelopes to the local Registrar of Voter headquarters for purging. The affidavit stated that an investigation had occurred and that the investigators were registered voters. As it turns out the investigators were not registered and no investigation had occurred. Judge Lee of the Louisiana District C court determined that, “this was an insidious scheme by the Republican Party to remove blacks from the voting roles.” He found the Republican Party in violation of the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution along with the Louisiana State Constitution. [Louisiana Civil Suit #142,389, Cathy Long vs. James V. Gremillion, 10/14/86]
www.democrats.org/pdfs/vri_voter_intimidation.pdf

After the court blocked the challenges to the voter rolls, the DNC then went back to the New Jersey federal court and charged that the Louisiana program violated the 1982 order. Court proceedings revealed RNC documents stating that the purpose of the program was “to keep the black vote down considerably.” The court made public a memo from Kris Wolfe, the RNC Midwest political director,wrote to Lanny Griffith, RNC southern political director that said, “I know this race is really important to you. I would guess that this program will eliminate at least 60-80,000 folks from the rolls . . . If it's a close race . . . which I'm assuming it is, this could keep the black vote down considerably.” The GOP also planned the use of off-duty police to monitor polling places. [Washington Post, 10/25/86]

2002: White House, GOP “Engineered and Fueled” Louisiana Runoff Campaign.
The New York Times reported, “[Louisiana GOP candidate Suzie Haik] Terrell, whose campaign was engineered and fueled by the White House, had the momentum going into today's runoff election. … the Republicans did their best to suppress the black vote so crucial to Ms. Landrieu's fortunes.” [New York Times, 12/8/02]

2002: Misinformation Fliers Posted in Public Housing Projects Falsified Election Day
The Times-Picayune reported, “One of the most blatant attempts to keep African-Americans from voting was an unsigned pamphlet that the Landrieu campaign said was circulated in New Orleans public housing complexes just before the runoff. The document said: ‘Vote!!! Bad Weather? No problem!!! If the weather is uncomfortable on election day (Saturday December 7th) Remember you can wait and cast your ballot on Tuesday December 10th.” Anyone who waited past Saturday, however, missed the chance to vote.” [Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 12/12/02]

2002: Louisiana GOP For Signs to Discourage African Americans from Voting.
The Louisiana Republican Party admitted to paying for signs aimed at discouraging African-Americans from voting. The signs said: “Mary, if you don't respect us, don't expect us.” According to the New York Times, “The Republicans paid black youths $75 today to hold the signs aloft on street corners in black neighborhoods.” [Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 12/12/02; New York Times, 12/8/02]

2002: Republican Poll Watchers Ejected For Voter Intimidation
The Brownsville Herald reports, “Two poll watchers representing Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Cornyn have been removed from their polling places amid further accusations of voter intimidation in Hidalgo County. The decision to eject the two GOP workers, one watching early voting in McAllen and the other in Edinburg, was initially made by early voting supervisors Thursday and confirmed Friday by Teresa Navarro, Hidalgo County's elections administrator. … In an alleged incident at the Palmer Pavilion in McAllen, a voter reported [ejected GOP poll watcher Joseph] Hopkins to an early voting supervisor for making a ‘racist remark.’ The voter, who knew Hopkins, asked what he was doing there. Hopkins is said to have jokingly replied, ‘I'm just a poll watcher but I do not see many Poles. I just see a lot of Mexicans.’ In the other alleged incident, at an early voting station within the Elections Department office in Edinburg, poll watcher [Laura] Mason was reported for ‘repeatedly talking to and harassing’ voters. An elderly Hispanic voter was said to have been reduced to tears after being ‘confronted’ by Mason.” [Brownsville Herald, 11/3/02]

Arkansas:
2002: ARKANSAS POLL WATCHERS ENGAGE IN AFRICAN AMERICAN VOTER INTIMIDATION

Cadre of Republicans in Democratic Pine Bluff Allegedly Harassed Black Voters Exclusively
.
On October 23, 2002, five Republican poll watchers, including two staff members of Senator Tim Hutchison’s office, were present at the courthouse in Pine Bluff, Arkansas—a heavily Democratic area—for the first day of early voting. They allegedly focused exclusively on African Americans, asking them for identification and taking photographs. They claimed to be “targeting anybody who does not have an ID to prove who they say they are.” Trey Ashcraft, chairperson of the Jefferson County Democratic Party and the Jefferson County Election Commission, said the tactics caused some frustrated black voters to not vote. They are trying to intimidate African-American voters into not voting.” Guy Cecil, a Democrat coordinating national efforts with Arkansas’ campaigns, said, “They were literally going up to them and saying, ‘Before you vote, I want to see your identification.’” Cecil said that under Arkansas law poll watchers could not confront voters. Local law enforcement officials escorted the poll watchers out, but they later returned. [New York Times, 10/23/02; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 10/22/02; Associated Press, 10/22/02]

Kentucky:
"In Kentucky in July 2004, Black Republican officials joined to ask their State GOP party chairman to renounce plans to place “vote challengers” in African-American precincts during the coming elections."
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oId=16368

"In Jefferson County, Ky., the local GOP plans to send poll watchers to Democratic, predominantly black precincts to challenge voters' eligibility. A similar, 2002 plan provoked cries of voter intimidation after a recruitment flier became public. The flier asked for volunteers to protect Ernie Fletcher's gubernatorial campaign against potential fraud by "the black militant division of the AFL-CIO" and the NAACP. " [AP, 7/30/04; Courier-Journal, 8/3/04; Washington Post 8/25/04]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A33798-2004Aug25?language=printer


New Jersey:
1981: RNC TASK FORCE HIRED ARMED BALLOT WATCHERS TO INTIMIDATE MINORITIES
In September 1981, the Republican National Committee and New Jersey Republican Party, through an organization they called the “National Ballot Security Task Force,” sent nearly 34,000 letters to voters in predominantly African American and Hispanic districts. The “Task Force” then used the names on letters that were returned undelivered to compile challenge lists, with more than 7,000 names. The RNC and New Jersey state party then asked that the names be removed from the registration rolls. [Associated Press,11/11/8; 11/8/81]

Election officials refused to remove the names, but on election day, the GOP “Task Force” posted signs warning that read, “Warning: This area is being patrolled by the National Ballot Security Task Force. It is a crime to falsify a ballot or to violate election laws.” The NJ state party and the National RNC collaborated and spent $90,000 to hire off-duty sheriffs and police officers who wore “arm-bands”, some armed, to “monitor” polling places against “irregularities.” [United Press International, 12/23/81; 11/12/81, National Journal, 11/14/81]

The Democratic National Committee and New Jersey Democratic Party sued the RNC and theNew Jersey GOP for $10 million in federal court in N.J. The suit was settled in 1982 with a consent order that forbids the RNC from undertaking any ballot security activities in a pollingplace or election district where race or ethnic composition is a factor in the decision to conductsuch activities, and where a purpose or significant effect is to deter qualified voters from voting.The conduct of activities disproportionately in precincts with substantial minority population isautomatically considered evidence of such a factor and purpose. This order remains in effecttoday, with certain additions and changes. [United Press International, 12/23/81]

Pennsylvania:
2004 THE BUSH CAMPAIGN TRIED TO MOVE POLLING PLACES IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITIES
Republican operatives in Pennsylvania working in support of President Bush failed in a last-minute bid to relocate 63 Philadelphia polling places, most of which are located in African-American neighborhoods. The Republicans argued that they had made the request in the interest of voter "comfort" and to make polls more accessible to disabled voters. However, some of the requests were clearly racially motivated. Matt Robb, the GOP leader in South Philadelphia's 48th ward, said that he pressed for changes because he felt uncomfortable going to a polling place in an African-American neighborhood. "It's predominantly, 100 percent black," said Robb, who is white. "I'm just not going in there to get a knife in my back." The voter registration administrator for Philadelphia's City Commission refused the GOP's request, arguing that it was designed to suppress voter turnout and that it had come too soon before the election to be considered by the Commission. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/19/04; Philadelphia Daily News, 10/18/04]

However, a successful effort by Republicans resulted in the last-minute relocation of 21 polling places in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The move is likely to confuse voters and suppress turnout in an area where citizens typically vote Democratic more that 60 percent of the time. [Philadelphia Daily News, 10/19/04]

2003: MEN WITH CLIPBOARDS POSING AS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICALS
SYSTEMATICALLY TARGETED BLACK VOTERS IN PHILADELPHIA
In Philadelphia, Tom Lindenfeld, who ran a counter intimidation campaign for Democratic candidate John Street, found that voters in predominantly African American communities were systematically challenged by men carrying clipboards. These individuals drove a fleet of 300 sedans with magnetic signs designed to look like law enforcement insignia. ["GOP Deploys," The American Prospect, 2/04]

2002: GOP Congressmen Issued Poll Watcher Packet with Wrong Information.
According to a Lebanon Daily News editorial, “[Rep. George] Gekas, a Harrisburg Republican, has distributed among county officials and volunteers an 18-page manual that includes a section about ‘challenging a voter.’ That's right: Gekas volunteers aren't just going to challenge absentee ballots, but are going to try to block some people who show up at the polls from casting votes. Even more worrisome is the legal advice that ‘challenging a voter’ offers to GOP volunteers. The Gekas pamphlet contains some legal errors that may encourage Republican volunteers to lodge false and misleading protests against voters' rights. … The Gekas poll-watching strategy constitutes an embarrassment for the GOP. Republicans seem determined to frighten voters rather than compete in the arena of ideas. Gekas and his allies should disavow their planned attempt to discourage people from exercising the federal franchise. They would do better to welcome voters to the polls.” [Lebanon Daily News, 11/5/02]

Philadelphia, PA, 2003: Voters in African-American neighborhoods were systematically challenged by men carrying clipboards, driving a fleet ofsome 300 sedans with magnetic signs designed to look like law enforcement insignia. [NAACP/PFAW 2004].
http://www.clnnlc.org/intimidation.html

South Dakota:
NATIVE AMERICANS DENIED RIGHT TO VOTE
"In South Dakota’s June 2004 primary, Native American voters were prevented from voting after they were challenged to provide photo IDs, which they were not required to present under state or federal law."
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oId=16368

"In South Dakota, where Native Americans are a key constituency for Democrats, some said they were turned away from the polls during a special election this summer because they did not have photo-identification "
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A33798-2004Aug25?language=printer

Tennessee:
The Tennessee Democratic Party executive committee and others filed suit before the 1986 elections to stop a GOP program which, the Democrats charged, was aimed at discouraging elderly, rural and African-American citizens from voting.
www.democrats.org/pdfs/vri_voter_intimidation.pdf

South Carolina:
"In 1998 in South Carolina, a state representative mailed 3,000 brochures to African American neighborhoods, claiming that law enforcement agents would be “working” the election, and warning voters that “this election is not worth going to jail.” "
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oId=16368

New Mexico:
REPUBLICAN PARTY SEND FALSE INSTRUCTIONS TO DEMOCRATIC VOTERS
2002: Republican Party of New Mexico Sent False Mailer to Voters
The Republican Party of New Mexico sent mailers targeting Democratic congressional candidate John Arthur Smith and promoting Smiths opponent, Republican Steve Pearce with false information. The mailer said “Notice to Voters. Do not vote using the Straight Party Button on your polling machine. This button cancels out any individual votes you cast. In the past election, this button deprived many candidates of the votes they earned from people like you.” Denise Lamb of the Bureau of Elections said “its despicable that people would try to misinform voters to win an election.” [Las Cruces Sun News, 11/30/02]

Iowa
Nearly 100 voters in Iowa, many of whom were students from a local university, were prevented from voting early after a Republican county auditor instructed the polling places to close as scheduled despite the fact that many people were still waiting in line. State law requires that polling places remain open until all voters who arrived before the scheduled closing time have voted, but County Auditor Mary Mosiman insisted that each precinct only had a “finite number of hours to work with.” Moisman also stated that, at the time the polls closed, poll workers only had four unused ballots left and wouldn’t have had enough supplies to allow everyone on line to vote. Furthermore, she declared that she had no intention of changing her policy and that, in the future, she would work to make sure that people know that voting hours will not be extended, regardless of how many people are still in line. [Des Moines Register, 10/22/04]

North Carolina:
2004: SHERIFF SINGLES OUT LATINO VOTERS
In Alamance County, North Carolina, the sheriff directed his deputies to single out Latino voters in a voter fraud investigation. Sheriff Terry Johnson sent a “sample list” of 125 Latino registered voters to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He said that the agency could only confirm that 38 were in the country legally. He told county commissioners that illegal immigrants used false documents to obtain drivers licenses and, at the same time, registered to vote. The director of a local group serving the Latino community expressed concern: “The sheriff has asked for a list of those who have Hispanic last names and then he is assuming that group is committing fraud. If the people in that list are citizens and they are being investigated, that is worrisome.” [Associated Press, 10/12/04]

1990: REPUBLICAN PARTY THREATENS BLACK VOTES WITH JAIL
In the days before the 1990 general election, the North Carolina Republican Party mailed “Voter Registration Bulletins” to more than 150,000 persons registered to vote in predominantly African- American and Democratic precincts and another 44,000 “Bulletins” exclusively to African-American voters. The “Bulletins” informed voters (falsely) that, upon entering the polls, they would be asked to state their period of residence and that any voter who had not lived in the precinct for 30 days would not be allowed to vote (again false). The “Bulletin” concluded with the warning:
“It is a federal crime, punishable by up to five years in jail, to knowingly give false information about your name, residence, or period of residence to an election official.”
The DNC went back to the New Jersey federal court. The court found that the RNC was not directly involved, but that the RNC had violated the 1982 order by not including, in ballot security materials mailed to state parties, any guidance as to what activity would be considered unlawful under the order. The court ordered the RNC to include such guidance in all of its ballot security materials. [Washington Post, 11/10/90; Associated Press, 11/4/90]

In early 1993, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the North Carolina Republican Party, the Jesse Helms campaign and others, charging that the voter intimidation program violated the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. The case was settled with a consent decree barring the North Carolina Republican Party from engaging in any ballot security program directed at qualified voters in which the racial minority status of such voters is a factor in the decision to target them. [Los Angeles Times, 11/13/93; Sacramento Observer, 12/24/93]

1998: GOP OFFICIALS PLANNED TO VIDEOTAPE VOTERS AT POLLING PLACES
In 1998, local GOP officials in North Carolina and Georgia had plans to videotape voters at polling places. Wade Henderson, director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, said videotaping “served no useful purpose other than to discourage people to turn out to vote.” The Justice Department sent out letters making it clear that “videotaping minority voters at or near the polls could constitute a violation of the Voting Rights Act.” [Associated Press, 11/3/98]

Michigan:
2004: REPUBLICAN PUBLICALLY CALLS FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF BLACK VOTES
"This summer, Michigan state Rep. John Pappageorge (R-Troy) was quoted in the Detroit Free Press as saying, “If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election.” "

"The NAACP and other civil rights leaders yesterday charged that recent events suggest the Republican Party is mounting a campaign to keep African Americans and other minority voters away from the polls this November.

In a new report, the NAACP and People for the American Way cite incidents from Florida to Detroit"

"Among the incidents cited: A Republican state representative in Michigan told the Detroit Free Press that the GOP will have "a tough time" if "we do not suppress the Detroit vote." Detroit is 83 percent black" [Detroit Free Press, 7/16/04; AP, 7/21/04; Washington Post, 8/26/04]http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A33798-2004Aug25?language=printer

2004: REPUBLICAN ELECTED OFFICIALS TELL VOTERS THAT THEY CANNOT VOTE
"newly registered voters in at least two Secretary of State offices were incorrectly informed that they would not be eligible to vote in November's elections, prompting accusations of voter suppression. The notices, which were placed in offices in Ann Arbor and Battle Creek prior to the general election registration deadline, read: "Registering today? Please be advised that you are not eligible to vote in the November 2, 2004 General Election." State Senator Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek) said, "This flier is either intended to suppress voter turnout or is a serious mistake." Michigan's Secretary of State, Republican Terri Lynn Land, said that accusations of suppression were "absolutely ludicrous." While all newly registered voters in these locations will be notified by mail of the mistake, State Senator Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor) worried that some potential voters, having seen the erroneous notice, chose not to register." [Michigan Live, 9/22/04; Associated Press, 9/22/04]

2000: REPUBLICAN POLLWATCHERS PROMPT DOJ INVESTIGATION
Republican Lawyers and Off-Duty Police Officers Dispatched to Intimidate Black Voters. During the November 2000 presidential election, the Michigan Republican Party allegedly sent lawyers and offduty police officers to predominantly African-American communities to repeatedly harass, intimidate and question voters. Michigan Democrats publicized the state GOP’s actions and demanded that the tactics cease. As a result of the outcry, the Department of Justice began an investigation. [Michigan Democratic Party, 11/2/00]

Maryland:
BACK VOTERS GIVEN WRONG DATE FOR ELECTION DAY
In Maryland's 2002 gubernatorial election, anonymous fliers were distributed in black neighborhoods in Baltimore gave voters the wrong date for Election Day and told them to be sure to pay parking tickets, overdue rent and outstanding warrants.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A33798-2004Aug25?language=printer

2002: Mailer Circulated to African-Americans Spread False Voting InformationIn Baltimore, MD.
An unsigned flier circulated in African-American neighborhoods spread false information aimed at suppressing voter turnout. The flier read: “URGENT NOTICE. Come out to vote on November 6th. Before you come to vote make sure you pay your parking tickets, motor vehicle tickets, overdue rent and most important any warrants.” [Baltimore Sun, 11/4/02]



California:
1988: GOP HIRES PEOPLE TO INTIMIDATE HISPANIC VOTERS AT THE POLLS
In 1988 GOP officials in Orange County California hired security guards dressed in police-style uniforms to intimidate Hispanic voters on election day in a closely contested state assembly race. The controversy erupted after uniformed guards showed up at 7 a.m. carrying signs in Spanish and English warning noncitizens not to vote. Guards were present at 20 polling places in heavily Latino areas of the 72nd Assembly District. [Los Angeles Times, 11/22/88]

The California Republican Party admitted to hiring the guards, allegedly to watch for fraud at the ballot box. In 1989, the county registrar agreed to pay a $20,000 settlement to plaintiffs and retrain poll workers. [Los Angeles Times, 12/5/89]

Minnesota:

Secretary of State, Republican Mary Kiffmeyer, came under fire in September for distributing flyers that raise the specter of election-related terrorism. The flyers, which Kiffmeyer asked be displayed in polling places, urged voters to be wary of people appearing at precincts with "shaved head[s] or short hair" who "smell of unusual herbal/flower water or perfume," wear baggy clothing or appear to be whispering to themselves, as they might be "homicide bombers." [Washington Post, 10/04]

Many local election officials refused to distribute the posters, arguing that they could trigger harassment of certain ethnic, racial, or religious groups. One state senator claimed that the warnings were "a Chicken Little attempt" to discourage voting. In addition, some raised concerns that the posters could "unnerve" poll workers. It appears that no other state has produced similar posters. [Star-Tribune, 9/14/04]

Arizona:
FOX NEWS THREATENS STUDENT VOTERS WITH ARREST
"August 31, students in the Women's Studies honorary society at the University of Arizona--in conjunction with the Feminist Majority Foundation--were engaging in a bit of civic participation on the UA lawn: registering voters. They called it "Suffrage 2004." In registering voters, they were engaging in an activity in common with the Young Republicans, the Young Democrats, and student government here in recent weeks.

But this time it was different. The local Fox News affiliate pulled up and, cameras rolling, accused feminist students of engaging in felony voter fraud. The reporters claimed that Arizona law prohibits students from out of state from registering here.

Our students were formidable. They, of course, had consulted with the local registrar of voters on the law before they picked up voter registration forms, and insisted that state law requires only that someone live in Arizona for 29 days before the election. They called the Secretary of State's office, our local state rep, Raul Grijalva, the Feminist Majority Foundation, and others. The Secretary of State'soffice, shamefully, refused to back them up.

They're a little scared they really will be charged with a felony. I find this hard to imagine [but then I find this whole thing hard to imagine], as the law really is on their side--the voter registration law says clearly that you only have to reside here for 29 days before the election. There's even a Supreme Court decision that says students have the right to vote where they live (although, and this may be apocryphal, one of our students reported that when she raised that with the Secretary of State's office, she was told--but that's the Supreme Court. That doesn't apply here. This is Arizona.) "

"But last night, a piece ran on the local Fox affiliate that was quite intimidating--it sounded like students would be arrested if they voted."
http://www.clnnlc.org/intimidation.html
[The Nation, 10/5/04]

Texas:
2003: TEXAS COUNTY TRIES TO BAR BLACK COLLEGE STUDENTS FROM VOTING LOCALLY.
Waller County’s District Attorney, in a November 2003 letter to the county’s elections administrator that contradicts Texas state law, alleged that college students did not have a right to vote from their campuses addresses. Waller County is home to Prairie View A&M University, a predominantly black campus whose 7,000 students represent a politically significant voting-block. Waller County has repeatedly tried to suppress the student vote. Ten years ago black students were accused of voting fraud and twenty-six years ago a federal court ordered Waller County to allow college students to vote. [Houston Chronicle, 12/10/03; 1/19/04]
2000: REPUBLICANS ACCUSED OF VOTER INTIMIDATION IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS
Republicans Intimidate Elderly African-American Voters Casting Mail-In Ballots. In October 2000, Republicans targeted a recorded phone message to older African-American voters in southeast Fort Worth that said they may be violating the law if they are assisted in filling out their mail-in ballot. According to Tarrant County Election Administrator Robert Parten, the law allows elderly voters to ask for assistance. The recording was made by Geoffrey Mitchell, a campaign worker for Republican Congressional candidate Bryndan Wright. U.S. Justice Department officials launched an investigation into alleged voter intimidation in southeast Forth Worth. [Dallas Morning News, 10/18/00; Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10/21/00]

Florida:
2004: BBC UNCOVERS TOP-LEVEL REPUBLICAN PLANS TO DISRUPT VOTING
"A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/3956129.stm

2004: REPUBLICAN SECRETARY OF STATE TOSSES TEN THOUSAND LEGAL REGISTRATIONS
Days after the voting registration deadline had passed, Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood, a Republican political appointee, ordered local election supervisors to discard potentially thousands of voter registration forms. At issue was the failure of voters to check a box declaring that they were American citizens. If this box had been left unfilled, Hood ordered local election officials to consider the registration forms “incomplete” despite the fact that, in signing the form, the voter endorsed an oath that read “I do solemnly swear … I am a U.S. citizen.” As the ACLU of Florida explained, Florida election law “merely requires ‘An indication that the applicant is a citizen of the United States.’ Quite clearly, a sworn oath that includes ‘I am a U.S. citizen’ is ‘an indication that the applicant is a citizen of the United States.’” [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 10/6/04; ACLU Press Release 10/5/04]

This decision mainly effects first-time voters, more than 10,000 of whose applications the Supervisors of Elections have refused to process. [People For the American Way Press Release, 10/13/2004]

An analysis done by the Washington Post found that out of the 1,448 registrations considered “incomplete” in Duval County, nearly 3 times as many had come from Democrats as from Republicans and that blacks had more of their registrations flagged than any other racial group. [Washington Post, 10/13/04]

Iowa has also indicated that it will not accept the registrations of voters who have not checked a box indicating citizenship, despite the fact that the application also requires signing an affidavit to that effect. Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin have similar forms, but have said that failing to check that box will not prevent registration. [Des Moines Register, 10/13/04]
2004: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND STATE OFFICIALS BLOCK REGISTRATION DRIVES
Officials in Miami Beach, Florida, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, blocked a voter registration drive for new citizens, citing crowd control and public safety issues. [The Miami Herald, 9/17/04]

In August, John C. Shewairy, Chief of Staff to the District Director of Homeland Security, informed Mi Familia Vota (MFV), a nonpartisan voter registration project run by the Center for Immigrant Democracy in conjunction with People For the American Way Foundation, that they would no longer be allowed to conduct voter registration drives on the sidewalks just outside the Miami Beach Convention Center at the conclusion of naturalization ceremonies. Mi Familia Vota attempted to solve the issue without resorting to litigation, but when Mr. Shewairy refused to respond to their requests and Miami Beach officials denied MFV access to the public sidewalks in front of the convention center in September, the organization went to federal court seeking an injunction. The judge issued an injunction restraining DHS and Miami Beach officials from prohibiting MFV's registration drive. [People for the American Way press release,9/15/04; CASE NO. 04-22326-CIV -JORDAN, 9/16/04]

2004: STATE POLICE THREATEN ELDERLY BLACK VOTERS
"State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd ''investigation''"
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20F14F7395B0C758DDDA10894DC404482

"armed, plainclothes officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to question elderly black voters in their homes. The incidents were part of a state investigation of voting irregularities"

"This year in Florida, the state ordered the implementation of a “potential felon” purge list to remove voters from the rolls, in a disturbing echo of the infamous 2000 purge, which removed thousands of eligible voters, primarily African-Americans, from the rolls. The state abandoned the plan after news media investigations revealed that the 2004 list also included thousands of people who were eligible to vote, and heavily targeted African-Americans while virtually ignoring Hispanic voters."
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oId=16368

"The cops, armed and dangerous, have questioned voters in their homes, as well as volunteers involved in "get out the vote" activities. Officials refuse to state what criminal activity took place, but acknowledge that they are focusing on elderly blacks who are members of the Orlando League of Voters. This organization has successfully mobilized the black vote through registration, helping the elderly to understand the ballot, and drive people to the polls, all legal activities the last time I checked."
http://blogs.salon.com/0003573/stories/2004/08/23/election2004BushAndBlackVoterIntimidationInFlorida.html

"State troopers have been going to the homes of a get-out-the-vote project volunteers, supposedly investigating "allegations of election fraud." Turns out, that the "fraud" investigation was closed in May for lack of evidence. There isn't even a shred of an excuse for armed men to be showing up at people's door, asking questions."
http://bodyandsoul.typepad.com/blog/2004/08/more_on_jebs_vo.html

"Citing reports in a series of columns by Bob Herbert of The New York Times that Florida state troopers are interrogating elderly black voters on vague charges of 'voter fraud', Greens warn of a repeat of 2000's manipulation and obstruction of votes. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports to Gov. Jeb Bush. "
http://www.gp.org/press/pr_08_25_04.html

"Posted August 23, 2004 – Six Democratic Congressmen from Florida are calling on Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate immediately charges that elderly voters were intimidated by the Florida law enforcement agents."
http://www.bet.com/articles/0,,c1gb10435-11554,00.html

"The disenfranchisement and intimidation of tens of thousands of Florida voters in the 2000 presidential election was an embarrassment to our democracy. Black voters who only a few decades ago had to fight to win the right to vote in many Southern states reported being harassed, turned away from their polling places, or given misleading ballot instructions. Regrettably, this ugly tradition of intimidating black voters has resurfaced this election year in Florida"
https://secure2.convio.net/lccr/site/Advocacy?JServSessionIdr005=d98546wdr1.app6a&id=165

2004: FLORIDA ELECTION OFFICIALS TRIES TO PURGE AFRICAN-AMERICANS FROM VOTER ROLLS.
"Florida election officials used a flawed method to come up with a listing of people believed to beconvicted felons, a list that they are recommending be used to purge voter registration rolls, state officials acknowledged yesterday. As a result, voters identifying themselves as Hispanic are almost completely absent from that list. Of nearly 48,000 Florida residents on the felon list, only 61 are Hispanic. By contrast, more than 22,000 are African-American… Anita Earls, one of the lawyers for plaintiffs in the civil rights suit, said state officials had not given them the kind of access to data that might have uncovered the flaw." [New York Times, 7/10/04]

"ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - State investigators looking into possible ballot fraud in the city's disputed mayoral race have been accused of intimidating elderly black voters"
"Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents revealed their sidearms while contacting people whose absentee ballots are under question, Voter Protection Coalition spokeswoman Alma Gonzalez said Friday.
"You can't do that to old black people who fought hard for the right to vote and, in fact, have seen law enforcement utilized in this kind of intimidating and harassing way through the civil rights movement," Gonzalez said. "
http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0704/159810.html

"The NAACP and other civil rights leaders yesterday charged that recent events suggest the Republican Party is mounting a campaign to keep African Americans and other minority voters away from the polls this November.
In a new report, the NAACP and People for the American Way cite incidents from Florida to Detroit"

"the GOP secretary of state was forced to abandon an effort to remove felons from the state's voting rolls after newspapers discovered that the "purge" list erroneously would have disenfranchised thousands of qualified voters, many of them African Americans. Additionally, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement intimidated black voters in Orlando to scare them away from the polls in November. "

"Studies suggest that as many as 4 million to 6 million voters were disenfranchised in 2000, either because registration problems prevented qualified voters from casting ballots or because of errors caused by faulty, outdated technology. In Florida, the Civil Rights Commission found that black voters were 10 times as likely as whites to have their ballots rejected, a trend also found in other parts of the country."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A33798-2004Aug25?language=printer
[New York Times, 8/16/04, 8/20/04; AP, 7/17/04]

http://www.house.gov/conyers/pr120500.htm
In addition to the hundreds of claims filed by African American voters and The NAACP citing Voting Rights Act Challenges, The Washington Post reported in its December 3rd, 2000 issue that its computer analysis found that the more Black and Democratic a precinct, the more likely it was that a high number of presidential votes were not counted.

An issue that should be of special interest to the Justice Department investigators is the report that Florida's Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, who is a key political operative for Governor George W. Bush, mailed out a list of more than 700,000 convicts and ex-convicts deemed ineligible to vote under a 19th century law which disqualifies felons for life. Independent reviews have confirmed that many Black voters were wrongly added to the list, which included ex-convicts whose rights had been restored. The Washington Post reported that a wrongly disenfranchised include a Black man disqualified from voting because he walked out of a community service job collecting rubbish in 1959. The man, Wallace McDonald, was told he had been excluded from the electoral rolls on the grounds that he was an escaped felon.

Human Rights Watch estimates that 31% of Black voting-age men in Florida have been disenfranchised, and thousands more Black residents lost their votes on November 7th because their names had been purged from voter rolls on the basis of technicalities such as changes of address. Guardian newspapers Limited interviewed Black voters in Florida who reported that they had voted regularly in previous elections, but upon arrival at polling stations on November 7th, 2000, found that their names had been erased.

An analysis by the Miami Herald found that the Florida Division of Elections had improperly included 2,119 voters who were on a list of more than 47,000 felons potentially ineligible to vote in the November 2004 elections. Florida law requires convicted felons to request clemency in order to regain their right to vote. Of the 2,119 people on the list, 62% were registered Democrats, almost half were Black and less than 20% were Republican. Only sixty-one Hispanics were included on the list of over 47,000 felons though they comprise 11% of the prison population, a politically significant fact for the November elections since Hispanics in Florida vote overwhelmingly Republican while Blacks vote Democrat. [Miami Herald, 7/2/04; Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 7/7/04, 7/8/04; New York Times, 7/10/04]

Nevada:

2004: REPUBLICANS ATTEMPT TO REMOVE 17000 DEMOCRATIC VOTERS

a former executive director of the state Republican Party sought to purge an estimated 17,000 “inactive” Democratic voters from the rolls. [Las Vegas Sun, 10/12/04; The Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/12/04]

Burdish admitted to targeting only Democratic “inactive voters” because he is, in his own words, “a partisan guy.” [Las Vegas Sun, 10/12/04]

2004 : RNC-HIRED GROUP DESTROYS DEMOCRATIC REGISTRATION FORMS
hundreds, perhaps thousands of voters who may think they are registered will be rudely surprised on election day. The company claims hundreds of registration forms were thrown in the trash.

"We caught her taking Democrats out of my pile, handed them to her assistant and he ripped them up right in front of us. I grabbed some of them out of the garbage and she tells her assisatnt to get those from me," said Eric Russell, former Voters Outreach employee.
Eric Russell managed to retrieve a pile of shredded paperwork including signed voter registration forms, all from Democrats. We took them to the Clark County Election Department and confirmed that they had not, in fact, been filed with the county as required by law.

The company has been largely, if not entirely funded, by the Republican National Committee. Similar complaints have been received in Reno where the registrar has asked the FBI to investigate. [KLAS Las Vegas Channel 8, 4pm news, Oct. 12, 2004]
http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=2421595&nav=168XRvNe
[The San Jose Mercury News, 10/14/04; The Las Vegas Review Journal, 10/14/04; Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/16/04; The Arizona Republic, 10/15/04]

New Hampshire
the head of the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers vowed to fight students’ efforts to register in that state, arguing that he didn’t want the state to be “stuck with a bunch of left-leaning whack jobs from the colleges.” [Boston Globe, 10/19/04]

Wisconsin
In preparation for the November elections, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett requested 938,000 ballots, arguing that extra were needed in case of spoiled ballots and noting that Wisconsin law allowing same-day voter registration makes turnout unpredictable. However, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker refused Barrett's request, voicing concerns of vote fraud and even going so far as to suggest that unruly voters might try to steal extra ballots from polling places. Walker offered Milwaukee 679,000 ballots, fewer than were distributed in either the 2000 presidential election or the 2002 gubernatorial race. Barrett and civil rights groups charged that Walker was attempting to suppress Milwaukee voters. The controversy was politically charged, as Walker is a state co-chair of President Bush's re-election campaign and Barrett is state co-chair of the John Kerry campaign. [Associated Press, 10/13/04]

Oregon:
2004 : RNC-HIRED GROUP DESTROYS DEMOCRATIC REGISTRATION FORMS http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1097647496301300.xml&storylist=orlocal
Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and Attorney General Hardy Myers plan to investigate allegations that a paid canvasser might have destroyed voter registration forms.

Bradbury learned of the conduct from KGW-TV, which interviewed Mike Johnson, 20, a canvasser who said he was instructed to only accept Republican registration forms. He told the TV reporter that he "might" destroy forms turned in by Democrats.

Sources
The following sources were used for this list :
www.democrats.org/pdfs/vri_voter_intimidation.pdf
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oId=16368
http://www.clnnlc.org/intimidation.html
www.klas-tv.com
www.salon.com
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Associated Press
Baltimore Sun
Brownsville Herald
Dallas Morning News
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Las Cruces Sun News
Los Angeles Times
Miami Herald
National Journal
New York Times
United Press International
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sacramento Observer
Star-Tribune
The Nation
Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
Washington Post

6 Comments:

Blogger GigaColor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHat about William Jefferson?

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Mayor Street? Mayor Nagin? I actually thought this could have been an interesting list but you destroy your credibility with your obvious political bias.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't compile a scandal list for Team Clinton because the site would be WAY TO BIG to host! LMAO!

1:34 AM  
Anonymous bdwolfhound said...

The selections are one-sided. Perhaps you did not notice the blatant voter fraud perpetrated by the ACORN organization?

9:57 AM  
Blogger Carol C said...

Another for your list.
By HEATHER CLARK, Associated Press Mar 17, 2009
Manny Aragon, Albuquerque, NM Democrat, who served in the state Senate for 29 years, was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison Tuesday for his role in a scheme to defraud the state of some $4 million.
I look forward to reading your updated list.

2:43 PM  

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