Stopping Voter Suppression on the Front Lines

ACORN Elections Voting Voting Rights

             Amsterdam      Unbelievably, there are now organized teams of people working to suppress the vote, especially in battleground states, by convincing local election officials to needlessly, and illegally, purge voters from the roles.  ACORN’s Voter Purge Project has monitored an increasing number of states since 2019, largely at the macro-level, looking for anomalies on large scale purges across the country.  A report from the Times indicates that many of the purges are happening at the grassroots, where hardcore election deniers are funded and supported with whack-a-mole type tools and are bullying local election offices to purge voters, by hook or crook.

States control the lists, but the voter lists are compiled at the local level.  Review by outside systems, like the nonpartisan ERIC, have been abandoned in most red-states and our effort, though invaluable, is hardly a match for the resources being put together to push people off the roles.  The Supreme Court decision that rules purges requires nonvoting for two presidential cycles confirmed by a postcard of all things which fails to be returned.  There’s nothing that is unclear about the decision and the perimeters it lays out, but the Supreme Court is not an enforcement agency, and that’s where the problem is engaged, because the Justice Department has been slow to nonexistent in really policing this problem.

It has long been the situation and attitude of many that practices are not illegal until you’re caught, and in voting cases, the frequent reaction to unwarranted purges is a shrug by local or state authorities with an answer that the voter can correct the problem when they go to vote.  Then damage is already done and additional obstacles are put in front of the voters, and as one suppression advocate said to the Times, essentially, the suppressors call that a win.  The Louisiana Secretary of State’s offer to drop more than 20,000 off the roles in Orleans Parish to facilitate a recall effort on the New Orleans mayor is an excellent example of the perfidy that lies beneath many large purges.

ACORN is hustling to try to respond by mobilizing our national network and social media in order to put together something along the lines of an ACORN Voter Purge Protection Team in as many states as possible, but especially battleground states.  We’re still working with organizers, leaders, and allies to put this plan together on the fly, but we have processed the raw voter files and can produce lists of purged voters over the past months.  Pulling the lists and running texting programs where there are phone numbers to warn disenfranchised voters, and getting volunteers to find the phone numbers and other information where the numbers are not collected, so they can be called and reregistered now is the key.  Putting together the same kinds of teams of people wherever possible that can also meet with Secretaries of State and local election officials to insist that the law be followed, and unwarranted purges be stopped will also be critical.

On a federal election, there can’t be purges within months of the election, but that’s why the fight has to be engaged now and over the coming six months when the dirty work will be done.  We need everyone’s help.  Contact us at ACORN or the Voter Purge Project, and we’ll put you to work wherever you live!