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Letter to Congress: Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007 (S. 453/H.R. 1281)
Dear Senator Obama and Representative Emanuel,
We write to thank you for your leadership efforts to strengthen the integrity of our nation’s elections with the introduction of the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007 (S. 453/H.R. 1281).
In the 2006 congressional elections, voters in cities and districts across the country found themselves the targets of campaigns to actively prevent their participation in the election. Practices such as packaging misinformation about the date, time and place of the election or manufacturing threats to intimidate vulnerable populations have no place in our democracy.
While we need policies which promote participation by easing voter registration, creating early voting opportunities and other changes, we must not tolerate practices that serve only to discourage participation and prevent eligible voters from engaging in the political process.
Voters in approximately 30 states were the victims of efforts to deter them from going to the polls. It is a serious and growing problem that unscrupulous political operatives seek to gain advantage by actively working to suppress voter turnout.
U.S. PIRG has had a long and successful involvement in numerous efforts to engage voters and improve access to the polls. The PIRG’s New Voters Project has registered more than 500,000 young people in the last two election cycles. We undertook this project because we believe that participation is a cornerstone of our democracy. Targeted efforts to dissuade voter engagement are anathema to our nation’s most fundamental principles.
The nation’s history is one of extending the franchise and opening the doors to participation to more Americans. S. 453/H.R. 1281 continues in that tradition. We welcome the legislation and look forward to working with you to see it enacted into law.
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