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Civic Engagement Organizations Oppose Romney Request To Reject Voter Registration Applications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2012
Contact: Anna Scholl, ProgressVA
(540) 460-1269anna@progressva.org

Civic Engagement Organizations Oppose Romney Request To Reject Voter Registration Applications

Letter to the State Board of Elections states changing the rules in the middle of the game will create "confusion and serve to dissuade eligible Virginians from registering to vote." 

Richmond - Civic engagement organizations from across the Commonwealth today sent a letter to Charles Judd, Chairman of the State Board of Elections, strenuously opposing a request from the Romney for President campaign to reject thousands of voter registration applications and review every new registration record for the past two months. The letter states, "Should the State Board of Elections acquiesce to the Romney campaign's attempt to intervene in lawful voter registration efforts, it would be in violation of its legal obligation to timely process voter registration applications and would cast a pall of confusion over new voters in Virginia. Confusion and rumors are already circulating concerning new voter ID requirements and false accusations of infrequent voter purge from the rolls. A refusal by the Board to accept all lawful voter registration applications and an effort to remove newly registered voters from the rolls in a manner not compliant with applicable state and federal law would only further confusion and serve to dissuade eligible Virginians from registering to vote." Organizations signing the letter include ProgressVA, SEIU Local 512, Virginia Organizing, NARAL Pro-Choice VA, Virginia Chapter Sierra Club, The Martin Luther King Jr. Living History and Public Policy Center, Virginia New Majority, Voice of Vietnamese Americans and Tenants and Workers United.

Anna Scholl, Executive Director of ProgressVA said, "The Romney campaign's request amounts to a massive attempt at voter suppression in the Commonwealth. Voting is a fundamental American freedom. Any attempt to reject lawful attempts to register to vote based on trumped up claims of voter fraud only serves to keep eligible Virginians from participating in our democratic process."

Kim Allen, Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Living History and Public Policy Center, commented, "Given Virginia's history of excluding some citizens from the democratic process, efforts to register our communities of color and give them a voice in choosing our leaders are particularly important. I am concerned with attempts to reject voter registration efforts--our communities must be able to trust that no eligible new voters are being denied the opportunity to participate or discouraged from participating in our elections. Such would again risk fostering the impression that some of our citizens are more equal than others."