Credo Action

Tell the Department of Justice: Stop voter suppression in 2016

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Sign the petition to the Department of Justice:

“Take all necessary measures to stop Republican voter suppression in 2016. Investigate the Trump campaign’s ‘Trump Election Observers’ program and do everything in your power to stop Republican voter intimidation and suppression efforts.”

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    Tell the Department of Justice: Stop voter suppression in 2016

    Refusing to say he will accept the results of the election. Repeatedly claiming the election will be rigged. Urging supporters to become vigilante poll watchers to make sure the election isn’t stolen. Donald Trump’s clear commitment to being the sorest loser in the history of presidential politics would be laughable if it were not so dangerous.

    Trump and his surrogates are laying the groundwork for massive voter intimidation and suppression in November’s election. The Trump campaign is actively recruiting “Trump Election Observers” to “Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election.”1 Trump’s notorious advisor Roger Stone is reportedly organizing volunteers to do highly suspicious swing state “exit polling” solely focused on Democratic-leaning precincts with a large number of voters of color.2

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) must investigate the Trump campaign’s “Trump Election Observers” program, Stone’s Citizens for Trump exit polling and crack down on any attempt to intimidate or suppress voters this fall.

    Tell the Department of Justice: Stop Trump's voter intimidation scheme.

    Trump supporters’ tactics are the latest desperate attempts by the extreme right-wing to suppress African-American and Latino votes and steal the election Some of it might just be illegal, under a 1982 consent decree that prohibits the Republican National Committee and its agents from engaging in election observation that intimidates voters or suppresses their right to vote.3

    These plans to recruit “election observers” and “exit pollsters” are just the latest example of Republicans attempting to shrink the electorate for electoral gain. The Republican Party has a long and troubling history of engaging in voter intimidation under the guise of preventing fraud, dating back to Jim Crow-era laws that were paired with poll taxes and literacy tests to suppress African-American votes.4 In fact, efforts to use armed “observers” to intimidate African-American and Latino voters in New Jersey in 1981 led to the consent decree that prohibits the Republican National Committee from deploying election observers to this day. In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, a senior official with the Trump campaign even said outright they have “three major voter suppression operations under way.”5

    The fact is, widespread voter fraud is a myth that Republican politicians invented to justify voter intimidation efforts and make it harder for African-Americans and Latinos to vote.5 The real problem, the one that can affect the outcome of our elections if we're not vigilant, is voter suppression.

    Tell the Department of Justice: Stop Trump's voter intimidation scheme.

    As Trump’s polling numbers collapsed following the conventions, he began warning his supporters that the election would be rigged, telling Fox News on August 1 “they are going to vote 10 times” and “we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged."6

    With Trump now actively recruiting “election observers,” working to stoke fears among the extreme right-wing base about the prospect of widespread voter fraud and refusing to say he’ll respect the election results, the DOJ should be ramping up its efforts to prevent voter intimidation tactics and protect the integrity of the election. But according to a DOJ fact sheet from July, its deployment of federal election observers this year will cover only five states and will be the smallest since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965.7

    With Republican officials in control of the administration of elections in most states, the DOJ is our last line of defense for protecting the right to vote. We need it to remain vigilant, deploy all resources at its disposal and aggressively crack down on any attempt to intimidate voters or otherwise suppress the vote in 2016.

    Tell the Department of Justice: Stop Trump's voter intimidation scheme.

    Thanks for taking a stand for voting rights,

    References:

    1. Ari Berman, "Donald Trump is Encouraging Intimidation and Racial Profiling at the Polls," The Nation, August 15, 2016.
    2. Rick Hasen, "Donald Trump May Be Violating RNC Consent Decree Aimed at Voter Intimidation," Election Law Blog, August 12, 2016.
    3. ibid.
    4. Justin Levitt, "A comprehensive investigation of voter impersonation finds 31 credible incidents out of one billion ballots cast," The Washington Post, August 6, 2014.
    5. Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg, "Inside the Trump Bunker, With 12 Days to Go," Bloomberg, Oct. 27, 2016.
    6. Janell Ross, "How Donald Trump, defender of political incorrectness, is blowing a loud racial dog whistle on voter ID," The Washington Post, August 3, 2016.
    7. Julia Harte, “Exclusive: U.S. curtails federal election observers,” Reuters, July 17, 2016.