Thursday, October 30, 2008

ACLU Sues GOP Members to Protect Voter Privacy

For those that don't know, as we speak the GOP is orchestrating an unprecedented voter suppression effort throughout the country. While the right wing attack on ACORN has been a useful and slanderous diversion from the real election fraud taking place, it certainly wasn't enough to keep the ACLU from sniffing out the true culprits in New Mexico.

Before I get to the ACLU's suit in New Mexico, here are just a few (of many) examples of what's been taking place across the country:

… In Philadelphia, fliers were distributed in a predominantly African American neighborhood which suggested that people with legal troubles or unpaid traffic violations will be arrested by undercover cops when they show up to vote.

…In Hamilton County, Ohio, Prosecutor Joe Deters - who is also the local chair of the McCain-Palin campaign - requested via subpoena personal information for 40% of voters who participated in same-day registration.

…In Montgomery County, Virginia, a registrar issued a memo giving incorrect and intimidating information to students at Virginia Tech University about the consequences of registering to vote, including possible loss of financial aid and tax dependence status.

…In Ontario, California, the owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters was arrested on suspicion of voter registration fraud after dozens of voters reported that the firm tricked them into registering with the GOP by asking them to sign a petition they believed to be aimed at toughening penalties against child molesters.

Now to the article in the Hudson Valley Press:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico today sued key members of the Republican Party for violating the privacy rights of New Mexico voters and illegally interfering with their right to vote. Filed in state district court, the class action suit alleges that NM Representative Justine Fox-Young and as yet unnamed members of the GOP illegally used private social security numbers to do background checks of legal voters and illegally disseminated confidential voter information to the press. The lawsuit also names private investigator Al Romero, hired by the GOP, for using voter registration information locate voters and question them about the legitimacy of their registrations.


In an October 16 press conference, Representative Fox-Young announced that members of the Republican Party used social security numbers from 92 voter registration forms, which they obtained from an as yet undetermined source, to run credit checks and driver’s license checks. They sent copies of the forms to the press, including 7 unredacted dates of birth.

According to New Mexico state law, “It is unlawful for the qualified elector’s date of birth or any portion of the qualified elector’s social security number required on the certificate of registration to be copied, conveyed, or used by anyone other than the person registering to vote, either before or after it is filed with the county clerk.” A person who violates this law is guilty of a fourth degree felony.

Download the ACLU's legal complaint:

Simultaneously, a group of Democratic Party leaders and election integrity advocates have sent a letter to DNC Chairman Howard Dean urging him to take a stronger stand against these Jim Crow like which the violation of privacy is one of many unconstitutional components.

Unfortunately for voters being discriminated against, and all those who want to live in a democracy, Dean and company have said and done little to address the crisis. How many fraudulent and discriminatory Presidential elections will it take before the Democratic Party will stand up for the rights of their constituents (and all Americans for that matter)?

I will post this letter shortly...


Molly The Dog said...

I just happened upon your blog site. Great info and very disturbing.

ZJK said...

Thanks for the post. Now, let me apologize to everyone. Due to issues with my account, for the past year and a half I was not aware of all the comments that were being submitted!! I'm so sorry. I went back and approved some, but others were so long ago it just didn't make much sense. At any rate, thank you, and I will be aware of comments in the future so comment away...Zack