U.S. House Judiciary Chair Announces Hearings, Requests 'Full Scale Investigation' by DoJ Into Recent Reports of GOP 'Vote Caging' Schemes...
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2008, 12:30pm PT  

The chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers, is calling on the John McCain campaign to "immediately halt Republican vote suppression efforts," as seen recently in Michigan --- where a county GOP chair announced his intention to use home foreclosure lists to challenge voter eligibility at the polls on Election Day --- and elsewhere.

Conyers has announced hearings on these issues, and is calling on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to launch an immediate "full scale investigation" into these matters. He has sent letters both to McCain [PDF] and to Mukasey [PDF] (the latter signed by 23 members of Congress) to that effect, as well as issuing the following statement today...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Conyers calls on McCain to Immediately Halt
Republican Vote Suppression Efforts

DOJ urged to Investigate as Committee Hearing Scheduled

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), today called on Senator John McCain to direct his supporters to immediately halt voter suppression activities including efforts to prevent people from voting if their homes have been in foreclosure. At the same time, Conyers and all Democratic Members of the House Judiciary Committee called for an investigation by the Department of Justice and scheduled a hearing for next week on federal and state efforts to prepare for the November elections.

Recent media reports detailed the plans of the Macomb County (MI) Republican Party Chairman James Carabelli and others to use lists of residents of foreclosed homes to block their participation at the ballot box. This particular type of voter suppression tactic is called vote caging and the Republican Party has been under a federal consent decree since 1981 to refrain from this practice.

"The Republican Party has had a long record of blocking eligible voters from voting," said Conyers. "In the past two Presidential elections, the country witnessed appalling efforts to limit voter participation in Ohio, Florida and throughout the country. It is beyond disgraceful that the Republican Party now seems to be targeting those who are suffering the most. It appears that individuals who can't recall how many houses they own don't understand how awful it is to lose your home to foreclosure, and don't know that you don't need to own property to vote in the United States of America. It should surprise no one that the people who gave us the worst economy since the Great Depression would now want to prevent those victimized by this economy from voting in the coming elections. Senator McCain needs to step forward now and halt the Republican Party's efforts to profit politically from the economic misery of others."

The letters to Senator McCain and Attorney General Mukasey are attached. The hearing on federal and state efforts to prepare for the November elections will be held on September 24, 2008 at 10 a.m. in Rayburn 2141 and convened by the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties and by the House Administration Committee Subcommittee on Elections.

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