Friday, September 19, 2008

Targeting Home Foreclosures for Voter Suppression

It has been reported several times in recent days that Republican officials in Michigan have indicated that they will use lists of homes in foreclosure to challenge voters at the polls (citing, I suppose, incorrect residency information). That's right: The Republicans will use financial hardship as a means of keeping people from the polls; people likely, I guess, to vote against those Republicans.

Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), chair of the House Judiciary Committee has now raised this issue and, in his capacity of chair of that Committee, has sent a letter to Sen. McCain requesting that McCain denounce these efforts:

I am extremely concerned by recent media reports that the Chairman of the
Republican Party in Macomb County, James Carabelli, is planning to use a list of
foreclosed homes as a basis to challenge voters and block them from
participating in the November 2008 election. I am writing to request that
you denounce any efforts by the Republican Party, most notably in Michigan and
Ohio, to engage in voter suppression, including challenges based on a voter’s
home foreclosure status, and that you direct your supporters to refrain from
engaging in such behavior. At a time when Americans are losing their homes at
record numbers, it is difficult to imagine that anyone would attempt to
capitalize on such misfortune for political gain. Furthermore, a rejection
of this strategy would be consistent with your recent commitment to "a fair and
transparent election."


As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I ask that you repudiate any efforts by the Republican Party and any of its state affiliates to engage in voter suppression and intimidation tactics, and that you direct your supporters across the country to refrain from engaging in such behavior. I would appreciate hearing from you directly on whatever actions you take in response to this request.

The full text of Rep. Conyers letter (together with some prefatory material) can be found at Rep. Conyers diary on Daily Kos. It is well worth reading as Rep. Conyers includes an interesting discussion about the recent reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act as well as a consent decree prohibiting the Republican National Committee in New Jersey from engaging in "vote caging" tactics.

It will be interesting to see if Sen. McCain even responds to Rep. Conyers' letter. If Sen. McCain does not come out to forcefully denounce these voter suppression efforts, then it will be yet another sign that Sen. McCain is, as I've previously suggested, so desperate to be President, that he doesn't mind cheating to get there.

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At Sunday, October 12, 2008 2:59:00 PM , Blogger Schmedly said...

It looks like McCain gave up in Michigan last week. Wow, what audacity to announce you are not campaigning there. I wonder how his supporters in that state feel.

Really…why announce you are not campaigning there? Why not just keep it quiet?

This action reflects McCain’s callousness and lack of judgment. I think his announcement was intended it to “stick it to” his supporters who did not produce the numbers he wants. He has a nasty reputation.

Who knows what he will do to get even with the Vietnamese if he becomes President. Who knows what he’ll do against the states that he loses if he still wins the Presidency.


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