Republicans Plot Voter Suppression in Maryland

When the voters don’t want you, the obvious thing to do, if you are a Republican, is to keep the voters from voting. Documents obtained by The Washington Post demonstrate that voter suppression is a major Republican strategy in Maryland:

A recently distributed guide for Republican poll watchers in Maryland spells out how to aggressively challenge the credentials of voters and urges these volunteers to tell election judges they could face jail time if a challenge is ignored.

Democrats said yesterday they consider the handbook, obtained by The Washington Post, evidence of a Republican effort to block people from voting Tuesday.

“The tenor of the material is that they are asking folks, if not directing them, to challenge voters,” said Bruce L. Marcus, an attorney for the state Democratic Party. “It’s really tantamount to a suppression effort.”

Advocacy groups including the National Campaign for Fair Elections, Common Cause and the NAACP, as well as a George Washington University professor who is an expert on voter suppression, agreed with that assessment.

Barbara Burt of Common Cause said the technique, last seen in Ohio in the 2004 presidential election, is an “insidious voter intimidation tactic.”

While many liberals have concentrated on the electronic voting machines, and this is certainly a potential problem which must be watched, the established problems to date have been techniques such as voter suppression which give Republicans an edge as opposed to shenanigans after the votes have been cast.

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