Thursday, August 11, 2005

Charges Of Voter Intimidation & Suppression Made Against Republicans

On August 2, The American Center for Voting Rights published its findings of voting irregularities in the 2004 election. The following is an excerpt from a section that examines Democrats' charges of voter intimidation by Republicans:

Democrats have traditionally alleged that Republicans engage in voter intimidation and voter suppression campaigns targeting minority voters. The 2004 presidential campaign was no different.

Charges of voter intimidation and suppression against Republicans typically refer back to allegations of such activity in New Jersey in the 1980s. In 1982, the Republican National Committee and New Jersey Republican Party signed a Consent Decree in federal court pledging that they would not condone any tactics that would intimidate Democrat voters. The Consent Decree was part of a settlement in a civil lawsuit brought by Democrats alleging that a Republican “ballot-security task force” frightened some minority voters...The RNC denied these allegations and agreed to a “Consent Decree...”

...The New Jersey consent decree...has provided Democrats with a platform from which to charge Republicans with voter intimidation in elections since 1982. While a review of the consent decree provides historical context to charges of voter intimidation and suppression made against Republicans today, this report evaluates such activity occurring during the 2004 campaign. Of course, allegations mean little if not supported by facts. An internal Kerry-Edwards/DNC manual obtained by the press in October 2004 urged Democrat operatives to launch “pre-emptive strikes” alleging Republican voter intimidation against minority voters, regardless of whether evidence of such intimidation actually existed...

...Any effort to suppress or intimidate any voter from freely participating in our election process is reprehensible. All credible allegations of such activity should be seriously investigated by the appropriate law enforcement authority and, where found to have occurred, prosecuted. It is, however, equally reprehensible to use false charges of voter suppression or harassment to motivate some segment of the electorate...

Lest you conclude that the ACVR is some right-wing front group, I have attached the bio of its Board Chairman:

Brian A. Lunde, Board Chairman

Brian A. Lunde has served at the highest professional levels within the national Democratic Party. Since beginning his political career as a field coordinator for the 1976 Jimmy Carter for President campaign, Mr. Lunde has served as Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), as Campaign Manager for the Presidential bid of Senator Paul Simon, and as Director of two winning campaigns for the DNC Chairmanship (Chuck Manatt in 1981 and Paul Kirk in 1985).
Mr. Lunde currently serves as General Manager at Edelman Public Relations in Washington, D.C., where he leads Edelman Issues Advocacy, the firm's grassroots and issue management division. Mr. Lunde founded Helping Americans Vote (, a nonpartisan group helping corporations and trade associations educate employees about new voting rules such as vote-by-mail and early voting. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Mr. Lunde resides with his wife and two daughters in Arlington, Virginia.

The next post will examine what the ACVR thinks about the way Democrats conducted themselves.


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