Monday, September 15, 2008

Project Vote Denounces Plans to Deny the Votes of Foreclosure Victims

excerpt from:
Project Vote Denounces GOP Plans to Foreclose on the Voting Rights of Low-Income Michigan Residents

September 11, 2008

CONTACT: Eleiza Braun 415-420-4059
The Michigan GOP has announced plans to use a list of housing foreclosures as the basis for a broad voter-caging operation, as reported yesterday by Eartha Jane Melzer in The Michigan Messenger. James Carabelli, chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, has announced plans to assign "election challengers" to polling places to question the eligibility of home foreclosure victims based on residency. "We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses," Carabelli told the Messenger.

Today Teresa James, attorney for the voting rights organization Project Vote, and author of the 2007 report Caging Democracy: A 50-Year History of Partisan Challenges to Minority Voters, issued the following statement in response:

The Macomb County GOP's plan is a cynical partisan attempt to suppress the vote of thousands of low-income and African-American voters, a replay of the 2004 threats of mass challenges. Just because you're behind on your mortgage doesn't mean you lose the right to vote. All a foreclosure filing tells anyone is that the owners are behind on their mortgage; it does not mean a voter has necessarily moved. Foreclosures take time. And even if the plan is to only challenge voters whose homes have actually been sold at auction, the challengers will still achieve nothing but to slow-down voting and create an intimidating atmosphere at strategically chosen polls

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