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

    Donald Trump is laying the groundwork for massive voter intimidation and suppression in November’s election. After warning against “cheating” in “certain parts of the state” in a recent speech in Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign rolled out a new effort to recruit “Trump Election Observers” to “Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election.”1

    It’s a desperate attempt to suppress African-American and Latino votes and steal the election – and 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.2

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

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

    Donald Trump’s plan to recruit “election observers” is 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.3 In fact, efforts to use armed “observers” to intimidate African-American and Latino voters in New Jersey in 1981 lead to the consent decree that prohibits the Republican National Committee from deploying election observers to this day.

    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.4 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 that “they are going to vote 10 times” and that “we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged."5

    With the Trump campaign now actively recruiting “election observers” and working to stoke fears among the extreme right-wing base about the prospect of widespread voter fraud, 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 1965.6

    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. 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.
    6. Julia Harte, “Exclusive: U.S. curtails federal election observers,” Reuters, July 17, 2016.