In a December 2002 letter to US Attorney General John Ashcroft, Michigan Congressman John Conyers asked for a Department of Justice investigation into efforts to suppress the minority vote in the 2002 midterm elections. Citing examples of voter intimidation, harassment, and interference from around the country, Conyers wrote "I am particularly concerned that a number of troubling incidents occurred in key Senate races that were under the purview of National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Bill Frist and believe that Senator Frist owes us a full accounting of this matter...I am concerned that these efforts may have been an orchestrated effort on the part of the Republican National Committee ("RNC") to wage a public relations campaign claiming that vote fraud is widespread in order to create a pretext to intimidate voters."
Nothing came of it. No investigation.
So I compiled this list.
GOP DIRTY TRICKS AND VOTER INTIMIDATION SINCE 2000
Numerous instances of discarded votes, discarded ballot boxes, voter intimidation. Civil rights groups sue over widespread voting problems in the 2000 presidential election in Florida.
New York Times, "Quietly Florida Admits 2000 Election Fraud"
Republican poll watchers demand photo IDs from voters, take their pictures, take pictures of computer screens. At least twice, Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies escort "watcher" Diane Jones out of the clerk's office for interference with the voting process.
Pine Bluff Commercial
State election officials contradict Republican Party national database of 3,272 names of people it says voted twice in the 2000 elections, as at least 51 of 54 Connecticut names listed did not vote twice
The Louisiana Republican Party admits paying for signs aimed at discouraging African-Americans from voting.
Bill Walsh, "Dirty Deeds Abounded In Elections," Times-Picayune (New Orleans), Dec. 12, 2002.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley express concern that members of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police plan to serve as GOP poll workers. O'Malley says he has called both the police commissioner and FOP president to warn against intimidation of city voters.
Howard Libit and Tim Craig, "Allegations Fly as Election Day Nears," Baltimore Sun, 10/4/2002
The Republican party stations several hundred spotters at heavily Democratic voting precincts to challenge voters they claimed were improperly registered.
Republican National Committeewoman Sharon Wise acknowledges the spotters
will only be stationed in heavily Democratic precincts, which tend to be in
Chris Christoff, "Casting Ballots: GOP To Have Hundreds of Spotters at
Polling Sites", The Detroit Free Press, Oct. 30, 2002.
The former head of GOP Marketplace, a Republican consulting group, pleads guilty to jamming get-out-the-vote efforts on election day in New Hampshire The company used computer-generated phone calls to flood phone lines set up so voters could call for rides to the polls.
Foster's Online, "Former head of GOP Consulting Group Pleads Guilty to Jamming Democratic Phone Lines in 2002," July 1, 2004
State Bureau of Elections contradicts claims by the Republican Party
of New Mexico that pushing the straight party button will cancel out individual votes for
another party. The claim appears as a notice on Republican mailers targeting
Democratic congressional candidate John Arthur Smith and promoting Smith's opponent,
Republican Steve Pearce, which said: `Notice to Voters. Do not vote using the Straight
Party Button on your polling machine. This button cancels out any individual votes you
Las Cruces Sun-News, November 2, 2002
Former Rep. George Gekas distributes among county officials and volunteers an 18-page manual that includes a section on `challenging a voter.' The Gekas pamphlet contains legal errors that, if followed, could lead officials to misconstrue and Republican volunteers to lodge false and misleading protests against voters' rights.
Lebanon, Pa. Daily News, Editorial, November 5, 2002
Jasper County Republican poll watcher Randy Horton is served with a restraining order directing him not to interfere with voters on election day.
Carolina Morning News, "Poll Watcher Ordered Not to Disrupt Voting Process "
November 2, 2002
Tripp County Republican chairwoman travels through the Rosebud reservation with preworded affidavits, seeking signators. Republican National Committee spokeswoman Mindy Tucker says the affidavits are meant to prompt changes in South Dakota law.
David Kranz, "Preworded Affidavits Used in Republican fraud claim" Argus Leader,
Republican pollwatchers insist that some Indian voters use provisional ballots, which are more likely to be disqualified on challenges.
David Halbfinger, "Kerry Building Legal Network for Vote Fights," New York Times, July 19, 2004
Responding to a lawsuit against the state Republican Party for voter intimidation in last November's election, the Tennessee GOP agreed to not participate in voter intimidation.
"Tennessee GOP Agrees To End Voter Intimidation; Agreement Met In Lawsuit Against State Republican Party".
Tennessee Democratic Party
Two poll watchers representing Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Cornyn are removed from polling places amid further accusations of voter intimidation in Hidalgo County.
The Monitor, "Poll Watchers Discharged," November 1, 2002
Republicans announce plans to challenge voters in 59 predominantly black precincts.
NAACP press release, "NAACP to Send Election Observers to Kentucky, NAACP asks
Justice Department to Send Federal Election Monitors," October 31, 2003.
"Hundreds and hundreds" of telephone calls from at least 17 counties are received by the secretary of state's office. Numerous illegal activities reportedly occur at state polling places, including improper activity by poll watchers, videotaping voters at the polls and pollwatchers walking into voting booths with voters and watching how they voted. Madison, Copiah and Lafayette all report problems with Republican Party representatives interfering with poll workers.
"Intimidating voters is a felony under state law," Blount said. "The secretary of state's long-standing position is that videotaping by pollwatchers is against the law."
Kevin Walters, "High Turnout Draws More Complaints," Hattiesburg American.com, November 5, 2003
5 GOP operatives offer and pay people $25 apiece to vote Republican . Federal grand jury indicts the 5.
Independent Media TV, Associated Press
Republicans get 300 cars driven by men with clipboards bearing insignia resembling federal Drug Enforcement Agency and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The fake officers spend election day driving in Philadelphia's Black neighborhoods, asking prospective voters to show them some identification.
Garance Franke-Ruta and Harold Meyerson, "The GOP Deploys," The American Prospect, V. 15, Issue 2.
State Republican party targets minority wards for "potential voter fraud".
"RWP to Protect Ballot Integrity in Assembly Race Targeted Wards in 21st District Will be Watched for Potential Voter Fraud, Abuse."
Florida Department of Law Enforcement police go into the homes of dozens of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogate them as part of an investigation into absentee ballot vote fraud that frightens many voters, intimidates elderly volunteers and throws a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November. The people investigated include get out the vote organizers and members of the Orlando League of Voters. Floridians who have voted absentee for years now say they are fearful of doing so.
Bob Herbert, "Suppress The Vote?" New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/....
State Rep. John Pappageorge, R-Troy, quoted in July 16 editions of the Detroit Free Press as saying, "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election."
Detroit Free Press, "Democrats Blast GOP Lawmaker's 'Suppress the Detroit Vote' Remark" July 21, 2004
National GOP reps present fraudulent voter affidavits to State Attorney General, claiming attempts to pay money for registering and voting Democratic to Lakota Indians on reservations in South Dakota.
numerous news reports
Texas prosecutor threatens to arrest students at historically black Prairie View A&M if they try to vote from their campus addresses, which the law allows them to do. He backs down when he is sued.
NAACP Legal Defense Fund website