Tea Party Voter Suppression Group Under Investigation for Possible ‘Criminal Conspiracy’

Aviva Shen
Think Progress / News Analysis
Published: Saturday 6 October 2012
“The most radical voter suppression efforts — including voter ID laws, voter purges, gerrymandered districts and restrictions on voter registration — have been killed in the courts or delayed till after the election.”
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The Tea Party organization launching a multi-pronged voter suppression effort this election is under investigation by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) for a possible “criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.”

Cummings sent a letter to True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht warning her that the Ohio branch of the group, in suing to throw thousands of students, trailer park residents, homeless people and African Americans off the voting rolls, may be violating the law:

At some point, an effort to challenge voter registrations by the thousands without any legitimate basis may be evidence of illegal voter suppression. If these efforts are intentional, politically motivated and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.

True the Vote released a statement affirming their support for the Ohio voter purge advocates on Monday:

True the Vote stands by the well-intentioned efforts of these citizens and is disgusted by the attempts of some within government and media to warp what should have been a simple, legal process into a calculated partisan charade.

The most radical voter suppression efforts — including voter ID laws, voter purges, gerrymandered districts and restrictions on voter registration — have been killed in the courts or delayed till after the election. In many cases, judges concluded that minorities would be disproportionately affected by these efforts. Indeed, an analysis of the failed voter purge in Texas, True the Vote’s home state, found that African American and Latino names were much more likely to be flagged for removal, and African American districts received more letters questioning their eligibility to vote than any other districts.

Rather than rely solely on these initiatives, True the Vote is also mobilizing a national network of volunteer poll watchers to challenge and intimidate voters on Election Day. In light of the misinformation and questionable tactics disseminated in these volunteer trainings, Rep. Cummings is seeking “the data you have been using to challenge voter registrations, the training you have been providing volunteers to conduct these activities, and the manner in which you have been determining where to deploy your resources in select jurisdictions.”



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ABOUT Aviva Shen

 

AVIVA SHEN is a Reporter/Blogger for ThinkProgress. Before joining CAP, Aviva interned and wrote for Smithsonian Magazine, Salon, and New York Magazine. She also worked for the Slate Political Gabfest, a weekly politics podcast from Slate Magazine. Previously, she was part of the new media team in Ohio for the 2008 Obama campaign. Aviva received a B.A. from Barnard College.

 

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16 comments on "Tea Party Voter Suppression Group Under Investigation for Possible ‘Criminal Conspiracy’"

UnderstandingMEdia1

October 07, 2012 3:46pm

Paste this into your browser:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7oDxM_64tg&feature

UnderstandingMEdia1

October 07, 2012 3:45pm

let's try that again:
Follow the dots... It's happening again...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7oDxM_64tg&feature

oldhat

October 07, 2012 2:36pm

according to this adm threatening little old ladies with clubs at voting places is ok but stopping dead people from voting is evil

UnderstandingMEdia1

October 07, 2012 9:40am

Follow the dots....... It's HAPPENING AGAIN:
http://www.youtube..com/watch?v=M7oDxM 64tg&feature

dwdallam

October 06, 2012 4:36pm

The Right Wing has never had a problem with this sort of behavior. Read up on the McCarthy era and the Nixon administration election and its handling of Watergate. Especially read G. Gordon Liddy's book called _Will_. This will give you a very truthful and unbiased look into the conservative mind--written by a personified conservative. It's a very interesting read.

enuf

October 06, 2012 6:03pm

Also David Brock, Blinded by the Right. Goes into the likes of Grover Norquist and the "White water" stratedgy to bring down the Clintons by engineered lies.

pitch1934

October 06, 2012 1:53pm

While the actual aim of the voter suppression groups may be ideological, it is achieved through racism.

Sidney18511

October 06, 2012 1:41pm

I put my name on a tea party mailing list and several conservative think tank site, and quite some time ago I received an email detailing this plan. They were going to have meetings where they could learn what to do.
I like to keep my eyes on the rightwing crazies, but most of the time the ignorance is too much for me to take and I blow my cover by posting a remark that lets them know that i am on the other side of the isle.
But I do remember seeing this coming, I just didn't think that there would be enought nutjobs to pull this off. We can't underestimate this people.

NedLong

October 07, 2012 1:39pm

Sidney,
Great tactic. Too bad about blowing your cover.
Maybe the threat of prison time will slow these criminals down. It sure didn't stop KKKarl Rove from bluffing Eric Holder.

Ted-Zee-Man

October 06, 2012 12:04pm

The reason that the founding fathers are spinning in thier graves is not the Tea-Party. It is the simple FACT that they cannot believe that "WE THE PEOPLE" have allowed this to happen. They are ashamed that WE have lost the WILL and BACKBONE to stand up and fight for what they wrote into the CONSITUTION and guaranteed you and me.

Evil grows in strength and becomes more open when the Morally Strong and Spiritually Strong stop practising thier Doctrine and forget that it is our DUTY to stand up for those who cannot stand up on thier own. We are our Brothers and Sister's Protectors and Benefactors.

BozoAdult

October 06, 2012 1:39pm

The forces of darkness gradually took control of the media. Millions of otherwise decent people have been dumbed down enough to believe right wing propaganda.

The Democratic Party has been infiltrated and has betrayed working America and the unions. I don't think "WE THE PEOPLE" failed in the least. We have been betrayed by the politicians and most especially by the corporations.

Actions should be taken. I will not say what these actions should be because I value my personal freedom.

Rich Nau

October 06, 2012 11:46am

Patriots put country first, tyrants put ideology and party first.

Lightning Joe

October 07, 2012 1:46pm

"Patriots put country first, tyrants put ideology and party first."

... and the mission of the Reich is to confuse the two, putting ideology and party first, and SAYING that they are putting the country first...

What do you not understand, about this?

Ted-Zee-Man

October 06, 2012 11:57am

Excellent comment because it is based on the Truth.

mlane78212

October 06, 2012 9:59am

The Tea Party makes me want to vomit. The founders must be spinning in their graves.

William Bednarz

October 07, 2012 5:58am

mlane78212

. . . The founders must be spinning in their graves. I like that sentiment - BUT......
The Tea Party was founded by the "Republican Party"
The Tea Party was - and IS - funded by the "Republican Party"
ALL the top "Republican Party advisors - ADVISE the Tea Party"
AND LAST I HEARD THEY ARE NOT A REGISTERED INDEPENDENT PARTY ( am I wrong????)
. . ANOTHER SWIFT BOAT ATTACK.......
Listen to Romney ?? no cuts to Social security ?? raising the age requirement isn't a "CUT??"
no cuts to Mediucare ?? Raising the age requirement - 62 to 65 -----isn't a "CUT??"
No Tax Hikes for the Middle class ?? and two billion dollars more in Military spending ???
. . . . . HOW DO YOU BALANCE A SECRET BUDGET ??? TRUTH IS YOU CAN NOT - WITHOUT MAKING IT PUBLIC.....C.I.A. - - - N.S.A. - - - Pentagon ( and we were promished an accounting from them)...
YOU CAN NOT BALANCE A SECRET........IT IS A SECRET - - -ALL YOU AND I ------WE THE PEOPLE WILL GET ARE LIES.......and that is both ??? parties.........
there is no tea party......democrat / republican......look at the ballot