GOP, Republican-Fail — October 16, 2010 at 8:01 am

MI GOP targets minority & student voters w/3K poll challengers


Illinois GOP Senate candidate Mark Kirk isn’t the only Republican setting out to intimidate “vulnerable” voting precincts. Not by a long shot.

The Michigan Republican Party is training as many as 3,000 people to work as poll watchers, targeting mostly the southeastern part of the state:

Michigan Republicans are recruiting and training up to 3,000 people to work as poll challengers, primarily in southeast Michigan, for the Nov. 2 election.

Volunteers will stand behind poll workers on Election Day and make sure that the voters appear on the clerks’ qualified voter files; that they are in the right voting precinct; that their IDs match the person seeking to vote, and that they are in line before polls close at 8 p.m.

Here’s Mark Kirk last week in Illinois, bragging about his voter intimidation squads (sorry, audio only):

“Voter integrity program”. “Key vulnerable precincts”. “The ‘other side’ might jigger the numbers somewhat.” Do you get the underlying message here? It is this: BLACK PEOPLE AND POOR PEOPLE WANT TO CHEAT ON THE ELECTION!!!

Here’s Keith Olbermann’s reporting on this from two days ago:

The same thing is happening in Michigan. However, this is actually being funded by the Michigan Republican Party itself, not a single candidate like Mark Kirk. And they are training THREE THOUSAND INTIMIDATORS for their operation.

Recall that in 2008 the Michigan GOP conducted a similar voter intimidation program, using home foreclosure lists to target voters in specific precincts. Their decision to focus on southeastern Michigan, a predominantly African American and Democratic part of the state is, of course, no particular surprise. Michigan Dems are appropriately unhappy with this.

Democratic Party officials have always questioned why Republicans target predominantly minority areas of the state and will recruit more than 1,000 of their own challengers to keep an eye on the Republican challengers.

“They clearly target Democratic and minority areas, which is discriminatory,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer. “They’re looking to intimidate voters.”

Uh, ya think?

But, don’t worry. The GOP isn’t just targeting minority areas.

[State Republican Party deputy chairman Norm] Shinkle acknowledged that the GOP targets Democratic precincts across the state, but disputed an emphasis on minorities.

“We’re going to be on college campuses, too,” he said.

So, they are targeting Democratic precincts in predominantly minority areas AND college students. Oh. Great. I feel so much better…

I’m just sayin’…