Thursday, September 11, 2008

Voter Suppression Tactic of the Day

I bet Hans loves this one:
The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

Yes, you read that right. Michigan Republican leaders' response to home foreclosure is to make sure the victims also can't vote (apparently, Ohio Republicans -- always looking for new ways to block the voting booth -- have also considered this tactic).
One expert questioned the legality of the tactic.

“You can’t challenge people without a factual basis for doing so,” said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. “I don’t think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance.”

As for the practice of challenging the right to vote of foreclosed property owners, Hebert called it, “mean-spirited.”

You're damn right it's mean-spirited. But what can you do? Elections are played to win, and Republicans think that the best way they can win is to stop the people who've been screwed over by their rule from voting (they tried to pull this on veterans too). But it's dishonorable, it's an affront to democracy, and it should be stopped in its tracks.

1 comment:

PG said...

Given the difficulty of stopping such tactics, as the courts have been directed by the Supremes that voter fraud should be treated as a significant problem even if it realistically isn't one, I'm afraid the best we can do with this is use it in get-out-the-vote ads in those states.

Announcer: "In the last two years, thousands of homes in Michigan have been foreclosed."

Image of shuttered house and the 2008 version of the Joad family.

Announcer: "What are Michigan Republicans doing about this crisis?"

Image: Republican party chairman James Carabelli says, "We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses."

Announcer: Don't let Republicans take your vote as well as your home. Know your rights and come to the polls on November 4.