Tea Party Voting Purges Might Be Criminal

Battleground state Ohio is shaping up to be the focal point of voter suppression efforts in anticipation of the November election. After an investigation into allegations of unlawful voter purging in Ohio, the anti-voter Tea Party group “True the Vote” is under congressional investigation for trying to remove thousands of voters from registration rolls nationwide.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) initiated the investigation shortly after Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) urged the Justice Department to step up enforcement of federal voting laws. Cummings is the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Cummings sent True the Vote founder Catherine Englebrecht a letter notifying her of the investigation. “At some point, an effort to challenge voter registrations by the thousands without any legitimate basis may be evidence of illegal voter suppression,” Cummings told True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht in the letter. “If these efforts are intentional, politically motivated and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.”

News of the investigation came just before a federal appeals court ruled that the state of Ohio extend early voting hours to all residents. Republicans in the state had tried to eliminate early voting hours as part of their campaign to “end voter fraud.”

Conservatives may have enjoyed early legislative victories in their efforts to disenfranchise Democratic voters, but those victories have largely not been sustained by the courts. True the Vote’s efforts to purge voter rolls, in addition to plans to intimidate voters on election day by asking for ID are undemocratic to their core. It is no coincidence these battles are the most heated in swing states with moderate-to-heavy electoral college votes: Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin.

It’s tragic that these groups have in many ways already called the legitimacy of the November election into question with their thinly veiled attempts to disenfranchise minorities, women, veterans, students and the elderly. And it’s just as tragic that no matter the outcome in November they’ll press on with these campaigns. This is not about “protecting elections” it’s about undoing civil rights gains of the past forty years.


Related Stories:

Think Voter ID Is Bad? Meet The Poll Watchers

Pennsylvania Voters Don’t Need ID To Go To The Polls, For Now

Pennslyvania Supreme Court Throws Voters A Bone


Photo from Keith Allison via flickr.


LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

Jude Hand
Judith Hand4 years ago

Well past the date of this article, I'm just now reading it. My first thought, when I saw the title was, of course! those actions were criminal! One thing that's been on my mind since is the significant difference in definition of what The United States of America is about. What is the "American way"? What is the "Spirit of America"? Because the feeling in the air after the crazy campaign when President Obama spoke of America was one of freedom, courage and the strength to keep going and brought back memories of how I felt as a child: humble pride with a desire that all who could be encompassed be so.

Penny Ranger
Penny Ranger4 years ago

I hope these Tea Party scum are found guilty of not only crimes but jailed for a good long time then deported fanatics like them don't belong in government in any way but let's not forget Sarah Palin started this party's movement now she has backed off from them, however she stared this Tea Party mess!!

Geri Kerwin

Sorry Lynx P, but phoney registration that eliminates democratic voters, voter lists that classifies voters as ex-felons throwing them off the rolls, or voting machines that flip democratic votes to republican candidates are NOT examples of voter fraud. They are examples of ELECTION fraud, something republicans cannot win without. There are not enough millionaires or stupid white men to keep that party in power.

Geri Kerwin

Robert K, don't you get it? Voter fraud doesn't exist as a real problem, it is a false one dreamed up by republicans to get everybody's mind off real problems like voter lists, crooked voting machines for which they are frequently responsible (either they or the banksters, corporations, Wall Street, etc. they represent). Getting together with the rethugs to cooperatively deal with voter fraud would be a joke, which dems don't think is funny. To show you how infrequent voter fraud actually is, there have been about 11 such cases in the 20th Century, 100 years.

Lynx P.
Lynx P4 years ago

Not allowing "undesirables" to vote; forcing employees to vote your way or get fired; voter registration workers screening out dem votes;

That's what "voter fraud" is all about. The cons complain about dems doing that since the cons are the ones always doing it and think everyone acts like they do.

Robert K.
Robert K4 years ago

I wonder why they don't simply WORK WITH conservatives to clean up the voters rolls? Surely that would make sense on both sides?

I wonder?"

Oh Steve, you only wonder because you're an ignorant racist without a single virtue, judging by the stupidity of every single post you've ever contributed here.

Go to NewsMax or Storm Front, they worship ignorance there.
(Apologies to normal ignorant people for
linking you with the king of stupidity)

Lee Witton
4 years ago

Anne H - You get over it and you continue to believe that depriving individuals of their rights by claiming fraud shows your deep ignorance. Again, only three cases of voter fraud have taken place that out country knows of but there is great speculation that Romney has committed voter fraud and nothing is being done about it. Do you believe he should receive the same kind of scrutiny the Republicans are claiming average citizens are deserving of?

Anne H.
Anne H4 years ago

Get over it. Show an ID and be happy they are asking. This is why states should not be allowed to make these decisions. Better yet lets use thumbprint or iris scans. The technology is cheap and it cannot be copied. I'd also like a national ID. I've lived outside the US w/ a national ID card for the host country and it is a great system. Come to think of it this would also solve our problems with welfare fraud, immigration, library cards, multiple ID's for alias'.....