I get several emails a day from the Jim Webb campaign, and this one, which just hit the inbox, does not sound like it comes from a candidate who is preparing for victory:
Over the past several days, voters throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia have filed complaints of incidents aimed at suppressing voter turn out in heavily Democratic and African American neighborhoods. Today, the Secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections Jean Jensen concluded that the incidents appear widespread and deliberate.
“There are now credible reports from multiple jurisdictions around the Commonwealth that establish a pattern of dirty tricks being employed to confuse and frustrate Virginia’s voters from exercising their right to vote tomorrow. In addition to reports that have been received by the Democratic Party of Virginia, these local election officials have been receiving reports from concerned voters,” said Jack Young, co-chair of Promote the Vote.
Jay Myerson, General Counsel of the Democratic Party of Virginia noted the irony that our troops are fighting to create democracy in Iraq at a time when those very rights are being tested here at home. Myerson and Young urged voters to recognize that voting precincts are not changed by telephone calls and called upon the U.S. Department of Justice to vigorously investigate these matters.
Documented incidents of suppression incidents include:
1) Calls that Voting will Lead to Arrest. …
2) Widespread Calls, Allegedly from “Webb Volunteers,” Telling Voters that their Polling Location has Changed. …
3) Fliers in Buckingham County Say “SKIP THIS ELECTION” (paid for by the RNC) have caused many in the African American community to call the Board of Elections to see if the election is still on. The full tag line says: “SKIP THIS ELECTION… (and then in smaller print): Don’t Let the Tax and Spend Liberals Win.”
“Intimidation of voters has no place in this or any election. The blatant attempts by Republicans to suppress the African American vote by saying: ‘SKIP THIS ELECTION’ is contrary to the democratic principles that govern our Commonwealth and we hope the world,” said Jack Young, the co-chair of Virginia Promote the Vote and a national voting rights expert.