Voter Intimidation Fears Renewed As Election Day Nears


And there are other instances where simple misinformation has raised concerns about intentional disenfranchisement. On Thursday, 50 voter registration cards mailed to voters in Maricopa County, Arizona, listed the wrong general election date in the Spanish-language translation of the voter polling instructions. A county official later told CNN that "the program has been updated so it reflects the correct dates in both English and Spanish."

Petra Falcon, the Executive Director of Promise Arizona in Action, a non-profit aimed at encouraging Hispanic youth involvement in community-based initiatives, says democracy cannot afford such mistakes. "Imagine going to the polls as a new voter, only to find out they closed two days earlier," she said.

And there are other examples of possible voter intimidation or voter restriction. Below are two keys ones.

May 2012, Florida

In an attempt to purge voter registration rolls of unauthorized voters, the state of Florida questioned thousands of residents about their citizenship. During this process, several eligible voters were purged from the voting rolls. That was the case for Bill Internicola, a 91-year-old World War II veteran, who this year received a letter from county elections officials asking him to show proof he was a U.S. citizen. "To me it's like an insult", the decorated veteran said at a news conference.

As of this past September, of the 2,625 "potential non-citizens" that were registered as voters, the Florida State Department confirmed only 207 were actually non-citizens. The state eventually stopped the voting purge after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against it.

November 2007, Georgia

Student voting rights were challenged by a group called Statesboro Citizens for Good Government. The group sought to challenge the residency of more than 900 Georgia Southern University students prior to the November 6, 2007 municipal election.

The American Civil Liberties Union stated that each challenge used identical language that "the elector has come to Statesboro, Georgia, only for the temporary purpose of attending Georgia Southern University." That the challengers filed identical allegations against more than 900 registered voters demonstrates the challenges were not based on anything other than the challengers' belief that student status was a disqualification.

Emily DeRuy, Cynthia Martinez, Esteban Roman, and Santiago Wills contributed to this report.

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