Harris-Perry: ‘Disgusting’ voter-suppression tactics still spreading

By Arturo Garcia
Saturday, October 20, 2012 17:17 EDT
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On her show Saturday, Melissa Harris-Perry addressed some of the newer, more subtle voter-suppression tactics being reported not only in several states, but now in different languages.

Besides billboards in Ohio and Wisconsin threatening enormous fines and prison sentences for “voter fraud,” Harris-Perry noted the appearance of a Spanish-language billboard spotted in Pennsylvania telling voters, “Si Quieres Votar Muéstrala,” or, “If you want to vote, show it,” a reference to the state voter identification law that was largely struck down in court earlier this month.

In reality, she noted, poll workers in Pennsylvania may ask voters to show identification, but voters are under no obligation to provide it, nor can a refusal to do so be used to deny them the right to cast a ballot.

“Whatever the language, the message on all of these billboards translates to confusion and intimidation for voters,” Harris-Perry said.

Harris-Perry also brought up a “vote by phone” scam reported in Virginia, where senior voters reported getting calls by people offering to “take their vote” over the phone, which would negate them physically going to the polls.

“That sounds on one hand, like, ‘who could fall for that?’” Harris-Perry said. “But look, we live in the land of American Idol and everything else. This is, there’s not really another word for it, it’s simply disgusting,” she said.

Harris-Perry’s panel discussion on the tactics being employed against voters, aired Saturday on MSNBC, can be seen below.

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Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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