Voter Suppression Efforts Reportedly Planned in Wisconsin

By PV Admin September 20, 2010

A Wisconsin advocacy group reportedly uncovered “voter suppression plans” to be implemented by the state Republican Party, Americans for Prosperity, and Tea Partiers this November. Targeted groups include Wisconsin minorities and college students.

The Madison-based group, One Wisconsin Now, obtained an audio recording of a meeting between leaders of the state Tea Party movement, detailing plans for coordinated voter suppression efforts via voter caging tactics, or voter challenges on Election Day.

The voter caging plan, as outlined by One Wisconsin Now, essentially targets minority and student voters in certain Wisconsin communities to send mailers, asking them to confirm their registration status or be removed from the voter rolls. In addition to allegedly recruiting Tea Party members to serve as poll workers, the groups plan to use any returned or undeliverable mail as grounds for challenging voters who show up on Election Day.

The plan, One Wisconsin Now asserts, potentially violates federal law. For example, federal law prohibits “racially targeted caging operations,” and stipulates that a voter cannot be challenged solely for returned mail. Furthermore,  the mail program will contain “false and misleading information” as no voter can legally be removed from the statewide database for failing to call the number provided in the mailer.

“The voter caging and challenge plans outlined by the Tea Party could result in an apparently illegal effort to deter qualified citizens from voting…,” said said Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now. “We will be providing all of the evidence we have received on this wrongdoing to federal and state authorities so that they can investigate to ensure justice and democracy prevail.”

Today, the group will be filing formal requests for investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Election Integrity Task Force, and the Government Accountability Board.

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Read more about Voting Caging here.