Election watchdogs on Tuesday accused Republicans — who have been adamant about the need to fight voter fraud — of being the real frauds after a former Republican governor’s aide was found guilty of voter suppression.
Paul E. Schurick was convicted of trying to suppress black voters during Maryland’s 2006 elections. An automated phone message he authorized told voters in the state’s two largest majority-African American jurisdictions that Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley had already won the election.
“This is the real fraud being perpetrated upon the American people, upon voters, by the Republican Party,” commented Will Crossley, the director of Voter Protection, Inc, on MSNBC’s Politics Nation. “This verdict today is evidence that is going on.”
“It is just a continuation of campaign of misinformation that is being put together by the right-wing,” Judith Brown-Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project, added. “They are committing the real fraud against Americans by telling them to go to polls on particular days after an election, or telling them in fact you can’t vote if you have parking tickets or some other issue. Instead of trying to block the vote, why not have real democracy and stop trying to undermine it?”
According to a recent report by the Brennan Center for Justice, changes to voting laws could suppress up to five million votes during the 2012 elections, particularly among young, minority and low-income voters, as well as those with disabilities. Republicans have pushed for the laws, they said, to combat voter fraud.
More than 30 states have changed voter laws since 2008, including requiring voter identification cards, eliminating same-day registration on voting day, prohibiting ex-felons from ballot access, restricting early voting and requiring proof of citizenship.
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