Sunday, October 17, 2010

Teabagger strategy for midterms revealed

It's called voter suppression:
What was once an isolated story of one Republican group trying to suppress the Democratic vote is now turning into a much larger effort on the part of the entire Republican Party. Numerous stories have now emerged of various Republican candidates and conservative groups engaging in practices which they say are designed to stop voter fraud, but liberals claim the real goal is to keep legitimate Democratic voters from going to the polls.

The first evidence of a voter suppression effort came in the form of an audio tape of a Tea Party meeting in Wisconsin. In the meeting, one leader describes a concerted effort on the part of the Tea Party, the Republican Party, and Americans for Prosperity. The plan involved sending mailers to voters the group considered suspect voters. The mailer would warn the individuals that if they did not respond they may not be able to vote. That strategy has been used before as part of what is called the "voter caging" strategy. Under the strategy, many voters are effectively discouraged from voting because they believe (falsely) that they had to return the mailer from the private organization. In addition, the Wisconsin conservative group stated that they were planning to send a "team" of lawyers to districts where the mailers would possibly be used to challenge the votes of some citizens.

Following the Wisconsin story, another story came out concerning Republican senatorial candidate Mark Kirk. In an audio tape leaked to the press, Kirk can be heard telling his audience about his campaign's plan to send teams of lawyer to districts in Illinois which are dominated by African-America, Democratic voters. Kirk referred to these areas as "vulnerable districts" which would need to be monitored closely by his lawyers, but he did not feel the need to monitor areas dominated by white, Republican voters.

From here (h/t jblaque).

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