We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again, but, in Michigan — which is shaping up to be a crucial swing state in the presidential contest — we’re already seeing a mounting campaign to scare off potential voters. In this case, as you have probably already heard, it’s potential Democratic voters.
On Sept. 10, the Michigan Messenger reported that state Republicans there were planning to use a list of foreclosed homes “to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day. The party chairman, James Carabelli, even told the reporter that:
We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses.
This is an easy one. The voter challenge, planned for Michigan’s Macomb County, is a not-so-veiled attempt to block black voters who are historically part of the Democratic base. The Messenger story points to a disproportionate effect on black voters saying more the 60 percent of subprime loans granted in the state were made to African Americans.
The Obama campaign Tuesday responded with a suit in federal court over the plan to use foreclosure lists to challenge voters at the polls, or voter caging.
Carabelli, however, has denied making the statement to the Messenger with Republican National Committee lawyers refuted the alleged comment, saying that foreclosure lists would not be used to fend off voters.
This is local stuff, and voter suppression happens all the time, in big and small elections — when a local ballot measure is on the line, or when the color of a key swing state in a presidential election lies in the balance.
What are some examples of caging or voter suppression you might have? And what can we do, as passionate communities, to keep this nonsense from happening?