Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Republicans are trying to suppress the black vote.

Why you're right:

1. Republicans are trying to suppress the black vote in Orlando. Officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement – which reports to Gov. Jeb Bush – have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an "investigation" that has frightened many voters. Many of the elderly black voters who were question by state police officers are members of the Orlando League of Voters, which has been effectively in mobilizing the city's black vote. (New York Times)


2. Republicans are trying to suppress the black vote in Detroit. A co-chair of the Bush-Cheney '04 Michigan Veterans Leadership Team, John Pappageorge, called recently for his party to "suppress the vote" in Detroit. Detroit is 80 percent black. (Seattle Times)


3. Republicans are trying to suppress the black vote in Kentucky. The state GOP has made plans to place "vote challengers" in African American precincts. Black Republicans in Kentucky asked the party to shelve the idea. (PFAW)


Why they're wrong
:

Some say that policies labeled "voter suppression" are actually efforts to prevent voter fraud. There are two problems with this argument. First, legitimate efforts to permit voter fraud would focus on all voters, not just black voters or majority black precincts. Second, certain Republicans, including one connected with the Bush campaign, have been explicit about their desire to specifically suppress the black vote.