Indiana officials are trying to block almost 45,000 black citizens from voting

Discussion in 'Politics and Religion' started by SickNasty, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. SickNasty

    SickNasty Now that's a tasty burger.

    Roughly 45,000 newly registered voters in Indiana — almost all of whom are black — may not be allowed to vote next month after state police targeted the state’s largest voter registration drive, forcing it to shut down its operation.

    Police raided the Indiana Voter Registration Project (IVRP) offices on October 4, seizing documents and equipment and forcing the group to cease its get-out-the-vote efforts one week before the end of the state’s registration period. Bill Buck, a spokesperson for the liberal nonprofit Patriot Majority USA which runs the IVRP, told ThinkProgress that IVRP could have registered about 5,000 more voters in that additional week.

    The IVRP is still unsure whether the 45,000 people it registered will be permitted to vote this year, or how the state will handle their applications while the police investigation is ongoing. Bill Bursten, chief public information officer for the Indiana State Police, told ThinkProgress that law enforcement is investigating whether IVRP violating fraud and forgery laws.

    “It will be up to each prosecutor to review the completed investigation and take whatever action they, as the local prosecuting authority, deem appropriate,” Bursten said. “Investigations of this nature are complicated and can take an extended period of time to complete.”

    Secretary of State Connie Lawson (R)’s office declined to comment, and Buck said IVRP is still unclear what law it violated or why it’s being aggressively targeted by election officials and police.

    “They saw that there was a very successful voter registration drive happening, and this was an attempt to shut it down.”
    The IVRP launched in April of this year to improve voter participation in Indiana, particularly in African American neighborhoods in Indianapolis and the Chicago suburbs. In 2014, Indiana had the worst voter turnout rate in the country.

    But Lawson, a Republican secretary of state, decided not to address her state’s abysmal participation levels (as a legislator, she cosponsored the state’s strict voter ID law). Instead, she went after voter registration groups. In September, she sent a letter to state elections officials warning them about groups like IVRP.

    “Unfortunately, it has recently come to my attention that nefarious actors are operating here in Indiana,” she wrote. “A group by the name of the Indiana Voter Registration Project has forged voter registrations… If you receive one of these applications, please contact the Indiana State Police Special Investigations.”

    Buck said that at the time, they had no evidence that IVRP was intentionally submitting forged or fraudulent applications. While Republicans claim otherwise, voter fraud is exceedingly rare.

    Almost three weeks later, as IVRP was planning for one final week of its registration efforts, police entered the group’s offices with a search warrant and seized equipment and paperwork.

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks during a campaign event, Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, in Exeter, N.H. CREDIT: AP Photo/Elise Amendola
    Patriot Majority alleges the investigation and raid were political moves, and that Lawsonworked closely with Gov. Mike Pence (R), who has pushed the “voter fraud” conspiracy on the campaign trail alongside Donald Trump.

    “We’ve seen nothing but partisan activity from the secretary of state, and even from the police,” Buck said. “They saw that there was a very successful voter registration drive happening, and this was an attempt to shut it down.”

    “It’s clear that the governor or the governor’s staff are very aware and involved in what’s happening,” he continued. “It fits into the Trump/Pence narrative that in certain neighborhoods, you have to watch how many times people show up to vote and how things happen.”

    Political police
    State elections officials have also enlisted the help of the Indiana State Police to push the “voter fraud” myth. Superintendent Doug Carter, who was chosen for the position by Pence, has been on television and was interviewed on right-wing radio Tuesday morning about the ongoing investigation.

    On conservative talk radio, Carter said that “the notion that there is voter registration fraud is very real,” but denied that the investigation is “driven by politics.”

    He accused the IVRP of forging signatures and making up people’s names. “To what purpose? We don’t know,” he told radio host Tony Katz. “That’s the purpose of the investigation. Were these acts of gross negligence? Were they acts of intent? That’s what we don’t know, and we don’t want to speculate.”

    He added that police are going through thousands of registrations to make sure that nothing nefarious occurred.

    “While I’ve been blamed by some of intentionally disenfranchising voters, nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

    On TV, Carter also called it “unconscionable” that anyone would imply that Pence ordered the raid, while also indicating his close relationship with the governor.

    “I wish people could know Mike Pence like I do,” he said. “He has never ever tried to influence me with a decision that I had to make within the state police as we protect the citizens of this state.”

    Buck called it “completely bizarre” that the police have become spokespeople for Indiana’s electoral system.

    Aggressive tactics
    Before raiding IVRP’s offices, police were already using aggressive tactics during their investigation of the group.

    According to the New Republic, “police detectives arrived unannounced at the homes of get-out-the-vote activists to interrogate them about their voter registration work.”

    Lydia Garrett, a 57-year-old voter registration worker, told the New Republic that police came to her home and repeatedly asked her if the group illegally sets quotas for canvassers.

    “That’s what they kept on asking me: ‘How many did they tell you to get? How many did they tell you to get?’” she told a reporter. “And I said: ‘Sir, you can come back with two or three [registrations] and you’re still paid. I don’t understand what you’re saying.’”

    Garrett claims that investigators kept questioning her, trying to get her to “say something negative.” She said police even asked her if she would be willing to submit to a polygraph test about her registration work.

    Neither the police nor the secretary of state’s office would not comment on their tactics.

    Local news also reported that police seized at least 250 voter registrations, but state officials only informed IVRP of about ten problematic applications, none of which show a fraudulent intent.

    Under Indiana law, the project is required to submit all voter registration forms, regardless of how they are filled out or if there are imperfections, Buck said.

    Voter registration drives across the country follow similar protocol, without being subject to investigations. A Huffington Post investigation reported that “it seems the extraordinary investigation is likely to find no more than potential technical violations of obscure regulations for third-party voter registration groups.”

    Two days after the police raid, the IVRP asked the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to initiate an investigation.

    “We’ve never had the state police involved in any voter registration project,” Buck said. “It’s pretty unprecedented for this to happen.”

    ATJ-Lucko likes this.
  2. ATJ-Lucko

    ATJ-Lucko MMAtheist Survival Pool Champion

    and the right wingers on this forum wonder why black people vote dem.......
  3. Trodden

    Trodden Aggretsuko is my power animal

    fuck Indiana
  4. chrisc

    chrisc Ninja

    So they're investigating voter fraud? Not trying to block "45,000 black citizens from voting?" Oh okay.
    Hassquatch likes this.
  5. cheeseflosser

    cheeseflosser Well-Known Member

    So, to sum this up in plain, REAL English and not what ThinkProgress uses:

    There are a shitload of voter registrations that are incorrect and have had inaccuracies ranging from mistakes to criminal activity.

    The Secretary of State is responsible for making sure that CHANGES to voter registrations are completed by the VOTER and not some outside group (see clown named Buck above).

    Indiana State Police launched a probe and there is evidence of clear CRIMINAL voter fraud.

    Additionally, the voter registration states that ethnicity should not be provided but the article above otherwise in order to further a narrative.
    sourdough and chrisc like this.
  6. Kano

    Kano My New Challenge Site Donor

    C'mon Cheese. The truth isn't nearly as entertaining as rhetoric. Plus it's a great headline.
    sourdough and Trodden like this.
  7. JonesMadeDCcry

    JonesMadeDCcry SMOKE BOMB!

    If it was up to me we wouldn't be allowing black people to vote....

    ....or women to drive.....

    ....or Mexicans to cook in an Italian restaurant.....

    ....or white people to play basketball.....

    .....or Koreans to enter competitive video game competitions....
    Trodden likes this.
  8. SickNasty

    SickNasty Now that's a tasty burger.

    Unless they're using a handful of incorrectly filled out voter registration forms as a reason to delay the authentication of 45,000 - ish voter registration forms which have no errors or evidence of fraud.
  9. Trodden

    Trodden Aggretsuko is my power animal

    or let people named Bob on a swim team....

    or let fat guys mosh....

    or let the NFL treat QB's like pussies....

    or let anyone besides black women become stewardess....

    or trust a grown man who has a boys name (bobby, timmy, etc)...

    or let it stay illegal to shoot anyone who cuts you off in traffic....
    kanobro likes this.
  10. chrisc

    chrisc Ninja

    I could get behind both lists
  11. Kano

    Kano My New Challenge Site Donor

    or let females work in a pulpmill
    Trodden likes this.
  12. Hassquatch

    Hassquatch Slayer

    That's so racist to investigate fraud, isn't it?
  13. cheeseflosser

    cheeseflosser Well-Known Member

    Let's look at this objectively and try hard not to be naive.

    The group got 45000+ registrations and were said to "target African Americans."

    The registrations are now evidence in a criminal investigation.

    Remember acorn? (Same shit btw)

    Now, because the investigation could result in the suspension of someone's civil rights (voting), there will be one hell of a burden of proof on the state. You can expect swift resolution or restoration of rights to those 45k.
    chrisc likes this.
  14. unforgivn

    unforgivn Nunquam Fidelis

    ACORN reported their own suspicious registrations, and they were due to lazy employees who wanted to fudge work so they could get paid for doing nothing (since they paid their people based on how many registrations they turned in). No evidence was ever discovered that ACORN was trying to fraudulently drive the outcome of an election.
    ATJ-Lucko and kanobro like this.
  15. sourdough

    sourdough Sourdough Site Donor

    Thats fucked up. Those 27000 votes make a big difference.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
  16. cheeseflosser

    cheeseflosser Well-Known Member

    acorn employees were convicted of falsifying registrations to meet goals imposed internally.

    Acorn absolutely did not in each case self disclose and multiple cases showed acorn had deficient and nonexistent oversight.

    Just, as I said above, like the case here.
  17. Peezy

    Peezy Voice of the people

    They should count 3/5 of those votes.
  18. unforgivn

    unforgivn Nunquam Fidelis

    Saving your A-material for later?
  19. Sniggles

    Sniggles ex nihilo

    Democrats love to cheat. How democratic.
  20. Kano

    Kano My New Challenge Site Donor

    if you aint cheatin you aint tryin

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