Wednesday, October 27, 2004

GOP Targets New Voters

October 27, 2004

The emerging facts on voter suppression clearly show that the GOP has a well-coordinated, targeted strategy to block tens of thousands of newly registered voters—many in predominantly African American precincts—from casting their vote.

  • The GOP is specifically targeting African Americans for voting challenges in Ohio and Florida. The Ohio GOP has filed 35,000 challenges against new voters in the state and is sending thousands of poll watchers to directly challenge voters in precincts. A new study by ACORN shows that African Americans were the target of nearly half (46 percent) of the GOP challenges in Cuyahoga County (which includes Cleveland), even though African Americans constitute only 27 percent of the county population. The BBC obtained emails from the Bush campaign showing a 15-page "caging list" in Florida with "1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida."

  • The GOP has used its partisan Secretaries of State in Ohio and Florida to block newly registered voters. Republican officials in Ohio and Florida have done everything in their power to stop the tidal wave of newly registered voters by using narrow technicalities to throw people off the rolls. Thousands of new voters in Florida were removed from the rolls because they didn't check a box affirming their citizenship status, even though their signature on the same form affirms their status as citizens.

  • The GOP is pushing the myth of voter fraud to cover up its very real efforts to suppress new voters. The GOP has tried to equate "voter fraud" with the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters this year and millions in 2000. But there is not one case of a fraudulent vote being cast so far this year and only a handful of prosecuted cases over the past decade. Inflated voter rolls do not equal fraud. Counties frequently have inflated rolls because of the backlog of removing "deadwood" – people who have died, changed address, or moved to another state. The registration process weeds out false registrations as well.

  • Daily Talking Points is a product of the American Progress Action Fund.


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