Voter Suppression Alert

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    Here we go again. One Wisconsin, as reported in Daily Kos on Monday, 20 September 2010, has authenticated a plot (no other word will do) to suppress minority and college votes in Wisconsin, which should be a red flag to every other state, especially Virginia with its substantial minorities and college voter rolls.  According to the report, One Wisconsin has authenticated an audio recording from a 16 June 2010 meeting between Reince Preibus, the state director of Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin, and the the Chair of the Wisconsin GOP,  Reince Preibus, outlining the detailed plan for voter suppression:  

    1) The GOP will use its “Voter Vault” (state-wide voter file) to compile a list of minority and student voters in “targeted Wisconsin communities”

    2) Americans for Prosperity will use this list to mail these voters a notice that they must call and confirm their registration information, “telling them if the do not call the number provided they could be removed from the voter lists”

    3) The Tea Party will recruit individuals as official poll workers “in selected municipalities in order to be able to make the challenges as official poll workers”

    4) On Election Day, the plan is to “‘make use’ of any postcards that are returned as undeliverable to challenge voters at the polls, utilizing law enforcement, as well as attorneys trained and provided by the Republican Party, to support their challenges.”

    Based on this information, Wisconsin One has filed a request for investigation by the US Attorney’s office and the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Election Integrity Task Force and the Government Accountability Board. As Wisconsin One says,

    “….The voter caging and challenge plans outlined by the Tea Party could result in an apparently illegal effort to deter qualified citizens from voting.  As described, their plan would deter qualified citizens from voting in a manner that is coercive and without sufficient basis.”

    The conservatives understand perfectly well that they can win an election only if there is low turnout. They also are paranoid about what they feel are all those “unproductive” low class minority folks and those naive lefty students sneaking into the polls to vote Democratic, not to mention Acorn-registered illegal aliens—- so this effort is no surprise. What is interesting is the use of Tea Party members as shock troops.  Moreover, such a mailout is not cheap, so here is another case, I suspect, of corporate money pouring in to try to buy an election. Isn’t it amusing that the Republicans, who want to privatize the Post Office because it is, they say, inefficient, trust it to deliver their mailout, designed to winnow the voters?

    HOW TO SHORT CIRCUIT THE REPUBLICAN VOTER SUPPRESSION: As Joan McCarter in Daily Kos suggests, Democrats should immediately work on early voting with these targeted groups of minorities and college students. Get out the early vote, the absentee vote. Are you listening, Democratic Party of Virginia?

    • Mike1987

      The question is not if Democratic Party of Virginia is listening, but rather do they understand.

    • martinlomasney

      State Electoral Board (SBA) is out today with regulations to determine what are material omissions on absentee voter applications and the ballot envelope that absentee voters return.  DPVA has had the draft regulations for 10+ days.  Comments are due back by 9/30 but no draft comments have been circulated within DPVA.

      The P&E committees of each house can object and suspend these restrictive regs.  No meeting of Senate P&E, controlled by Ds, is scheduled to react to the very restrictive regulations proposed by SBE.

      In many precincts both chief and assistant chief are rethugs contrary to State Code as some rethugs pose as Ds.  DPVA does nothing.

      Without aggressive action, Va rethugs voter suppression will be unchallenged.

      This could make the difference in 2nd, 5th & 11th.

      DPVA twiddles its thumbs.

      Consultants only care about the ads and the commissions they earn on those ads.  They don’t make any money on GOTV and voter protection, so those areas get shorted.

      If Perrillo, Nye or Connolly lose by a few thousand, this misallocation of resources will be to blame.

    • libra

      1) Stress the importance of early absentee vote. Periello has mentioned today on Facebook that the early absentee voting (in person) starts this week.

      2) Try to get volunteer lawyers to get themselves up to speed on the voting laws and to oversee the voting process. That ought to be possible especially in cities with Universities/Law schools. Our precinct (the only one in Lexington, lots of W&L and VMI students) had a couple of professors from W&L Law School watching like hawks in ’08. Nobody tried anything, but it was nice to have that reassurance.

    • linda b

      in each district in Va.

    • Teddy Goodson

      I intend to call Senator Saslaw myself and Rex Simmons, head of Fairfax County Democratic Committee. I will also try to reach Dick Cranwell. I am infuriated at the information martinlomasney revealed. I suggest every Democrat reading this do likewise for their jurisdiction. What I will say is that I expect the Democrats to protest effectively before the 30 September deadline. I also expect the Democratic Party from the top to emphasize and facilitate absentee voting.

    • martinlomasney

      In 2008, the Obama campaign had 4000 lawyers at polling places in Va. There were so many we didn’t know how to keep them all busy.

      OFA refused to share that list with the Deeds campaign last year and they’re doing the same thing this year.

      OFA apparently is only about voter protection for ’12 and the mid-term campaigns are left to fend for themselves as in’09.

    • martinlomasney

      Many colleges have an extended weekend on 10/8-10/12. Kids often go home to vote.

      Several localities have in-person absentee voting on 10/9 at their registers office.

      Registration is open until 10/12.

      Thus, college students who are home for fall break can register and vote in-person absentee on the same day on 10/9.

      So far no Congressional campaign has made this a priority that I’ve seen.

      Where are the YDs and why aren’t they making a big effort on this?