DOJ Keeps An Eye On Michigan

Following reports out of Michigan earlier this month as outlined on this Rooflines post 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 an effort to challenge some voters on Election Day, the U.S. Department of Justice is now reportedly paying close attention to reports coming out of the the state that is lining up to be one of a handful of crucial swing states that could decide the outcome of the 2008 presidential election.

Wednesday’s edition of the Michigan Messenger, which broke the story earlier this month that a GOP county chair was planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting this year

From the Messenger:

“If those allegations were true, it would be a concern to us in the Civil Rights Division,” Grace Chung Becker, the acting assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, told lawmakers at a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Administration Committees on Wednesday.

Becker also informed lawmakers that criminal prosecutors from the Justice Department would not monitor polling stations.

At that same hearing, Republicans argued that fraud was the issue at hand, and not voter suppression. Election officials from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia also discussed issues pertaining to having the right number of paper ballots, voting machines, and security.

This story needs the disinfectant power of sunshine, to paraphrase Justice Brandeis. Keep an eye on this one, as well as any irregularities in your voting district.

Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


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