02 November 2008

A Barrage of Last Minute, Dirty Tricks

Deborah Hastings's article for AP offers the lowdown on last minute attempts to discourage, mislead, or intimidate voters. This example is among the worst:
In New Mexico two Hispanic women filed a lawsuit last week claiming they were harassed by a private investigator working for a Republican lawyer who came to their homes and threatened to call immigration authorities, even though they are U.S. citizens.

"He was questioning her status, saying that he needed to see her papers and documents to show that she was a U.S. citizen and was a legitimate voter," said Guadalupe Bojorquez, speaking on behalf of her mother, Dora Escobedo, a 67-year-old Albuquerque resident who speaks only Spanish. "He totally, totally scared the heck out of her." (AP)

Particularly nasty. Of course, there's also the emails, the robocalls, and the usual fliers that seem to be official, and which aim to limit voter turnout (e.g., "to limit long lines, Republicans vote on Nov 2, Democrats on Nov 3," "anyone with a criminal record and who attempts to vote will be arrested").

These tricks will, most likely, only intensify over the next 48 hours. From Hastings's report:

Oh, there's plenty of time for things to get ugly," said Zachary Stalberg, president of The Committee of Seventy, a Philadelphia-based government watchdog group that is nonpartisan.

So there you go.

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