Voter Suppression in PWC

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    Prince William Democratic Committee                   

     

    Glendale Plaza Shopping Center

     

    4326 Dale Blvd. Suite 6, Woodbridge, VA 22193

     

    www.pwcdems.com

     

    Chair-Harry W. Wiggins – hwiggins01@yahoo.com 202-255-6714 (C)

     

     

     

    November 9, 2012

     

    Senator Mark Warner                          Congressman Gerry Connolly

     

    US Senate                                           US House of Representatives

     

    475 Russell Building                           424 Cannon HOB

     

    Washington, DC 20510                      Washington, DC 20515

     

    Dear Senator Warner and Congressman Connolly:

     

    Greetings from Prince William County.  I am bringing to your attention one of the most vile, partisan, voting rights violations and voter suppression actions I have seen in my 52 years volunteering in political campaigns.

     

    On Election Day, November 6, 2012 precincts with large minority voter age populations experienced unusually lengthy delays in casting votes, causing many in those precincts to give up and not vote due to the 6 hour wait vote.  One example, and this is only one of about 20 precincts where there were 4-6 hour waits to vote:  River Oaks Precinct, which votes at Potomac Middle School in Dumfries, VA had a 6 hour wait to vote in the early afternoon, the final vote was cast at 10:42PM, with more than 150 voters abandoning the line, due to children at home, work and other reasons.  This Precinct is a majority African American Precinct, which the President carried 83.97% to Romney’s 15.18%.  Turnout at the Precinct was 57% of eligible voters, well below the county wide turnout of 65%.  There were numerous other problems in the precincts with high percentage of minority registered voters, waits in these precincts were double or triple the wait in “white” precincts

     

    There have been problems with either intentional or unintentional voter suppression actions by the Prince William County Electoral Board that started on day one of in-person absentee voting.  After some delays our Committee was able to resolve some of the issues.  I have written to the US Department of Justice, Voter Section on two occasions during this election cycle pointing out the unlawful actions of the PWC Electoral Board.  The violations were numerous, such as the “Vote Here” arrow pointing to a locked door at one of the in-person absentee voting sites where the majority of minorities in PWC cast their in-person absentee votes, once this was discovered by one of our volunteers, the explanation was “…if someone knocks we open the door…” so if the voter didn’t knock the voter didn’t get to cast a vote.

     

    I believe there was an active conspiracy by the Republican dominated PWC Electoral Board and the PWC Board of Supervisors to suppress the minority vote in PWC, starting on the first day of in-person absentee voting on September 21, 2012 and culminating at 10:42PM on November 6, 2012.  I urge your good offices to demand that the US Department of Justice and other applicable agencies begin a serious investigation in to the governance of this election and that you recommend that the US DOJ take actions necessary to place the PWC Electoral Board under a Federal court appointed receiver.

     

    Cordially,

     

    Harry W. Wiggins

     

    Chair, Prince William County Democratic Committee