[IMC-NYC-Editorial] Fwd: [ActionGreens] Fw: voter registration
d_menzies at prodigy.net
Mon Sep 6 08:01:04 PDT 2004
Alva d'Orgeix <alvadorgeix at theriver.com> wrote: To: "Action Greens"
From: "Alva d'Orgeix"
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2004 19:29:22 -0700
Subject: [ActionGreens] Fw: voter registration harassment
voter registration(Supreme Court decisions don't apply to Arizona) Alva
Sent: Saturday, September 04, 2004 10:54 AM
Subject: Fw: voter registration harassment
Please forward! Tucson voter registration target of harassment..
August 31, students in the Women's Studies honorary society
at the University of Arizona--in conjunction with the Feminist Majority
Foundation--were engaging in a bit of civic participation on the UA
lawn: registering voters. They called it "Suffrage 2004." In registering
voters, they were engaging in an activity in common with the Young
Republicans, the Young Democrats, and student government here in recent
But this time it was different. The local Fox News affiliate
pulled up and, cameras rolling, accused feminist students of engaging in
felony voter fraud. The reporters claimed that Arizona law prohibits
students from out of state from registering here.
Our students were formidable. They, of course, had consulted with the
local registrar of voters on the law before they picked up voter
registration forms, and insisted that state law requires only that
someone live in Arizona for 29 days before the election. They called the
Secretary of State's office, our local state rep, Raul Grijalva, the
Feminist Majority Foundation, and others. The Secretary of State's
office, shamefully, refused to back them up.
They're a little scared they really will be charged with a felony.
I find this hard to imagine [but then I find this whole
thing hard to imagine], as the law really is on their side--the
voter registration law says clearly that you only have to reside here for 29
days before the election. There's even a Supreme Court decision that
says students have the right to vote where they live (although, and this
may be apocryphal, one of our students reported that when she raised that
with the Secretary of State's office, she was told--but that's
the Supreme Court. That doesn't apply here. This is Arizona.) Anyway,
they have lots of lawyers working for them now.
But last night, a piece ran on the local Fox affiliatethat was quite
intimidating--it sounded like students would be arrested if they voted.
Kelly Krauss, UA WS student, held the line in the piece that this wasn't
true, but was contradicted by the secretary of state's office. (I'm
trying to get someone to upload the videotape, and can make copies on
request. Interestingly, Fox News/Channel 11 doesn't have the story
archived on their web site.)
So this is scary as hell. The NAACP/People for the American Way Report
that came out last month argues that intimidating people out of their
voting rights is a Republican Party strategy. So I'm trying to
understand what happened, and my mind reels. A memo? From people in the
Republican Party to Fox News stations in swing states like Arizona?
Telling them to halt voter registration drives by the Feminist Majority
Foundation? I can't even imagine.
Yet we know from a recent NAACP/People for the American Way report that
student voter intimidation has happened on other campuses--most notably,
Prarie View A & M, a predominantly African-American campus that has been
at the center of voting rights controversies before. This year, a
district attorney there, in Waller County, Texas, threatened in a letter
to the local newspaper to arrest any student who tried to vote who did
not have a "legal voting address."
Some other events from that report:
Philadelphia, PA, 2003: Voters in African-American neighborhoods were
systematically challenged by men carrying clipboards, driving a fleet of
some 300 sedans with magnetic signs designed to look like law
enforcement insignia. [NAACP/PFAW 2004].
Michigan, 2004: One of Bush's Michigan advisors, State Rep. John
Pappageorge (R-Troy) was quoted as saying "If we do not suppress the
Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election."
[Detroit Free Press, 7/16/04]
Louisiana, 2003: Flyers were posted in public housing projects which
read "Vote!!! Bad Weather? No problem!!! If the weather is uncomfortable
on Election Day (Saturday December 7th) Remember you can wait and cast
your ballot on Tuesday December 10th." [Times-Picayune (New Orleans),
For the whole report, go to:
So pass it on. Student voting rights are being challenged, as are
African-American, Latino, and working-class voters'. If you advise
student groups that might do voter registration, prepare them. If you
don't, tell the story anyway. This can't go on being how voters get
treated in this country.
University of Arizona
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