Morgen on September 24, 2010 at 10:16 am
This is a developing story, but the following comes from prepared testimony provided this morning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Coates to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The Commission is investigating the DOJ’s decision to drop the voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party, but I think this is a far more significant revelation:
In June 2009, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) issued its bi-annual report concerning which states appeared not to be complying with Section 8′s list maintenance requirements. The report identified eight states that appeared to be the worst in terms of their non-compliance with the list maintenance requirements of Section 8 [of the Voting Rights Act]. These were states that reported that no voters had been removed from any of their voters’ list in the last two years. Obviously this is a good indication that something is not right with the list maintenance practice in that state. As Chief of the Voting Section, I assigned attorneys to work on this matter, and in September 2009, I forwarded a memorandum to the CRD Front Office asking for approval to go forward with Section 8 list maintenance investigations in these states.
During the time that I was Chief, no approval was given to this project, and my understanding that approval has never been given for that Section 8 list maintenance project to date. That means that we have entered the 2010 election cycle with eight states appearing to be in major noncompliance with the list maintenance requirements of Section 8 of the NVRA, and yet the Voting Section which has the responsibility to enforce that law has yet to take any action. From these circumstances I believe that Ms. Fernandez’s statement to the Voting Section in November 2009 not, in effect, initiate Section 8 list maintenance enforcement activities has been complied with.
The last statement refers to Julie Fernandez, who is a Deputy Assistant Attorney General appointed by the Obama Administration. According to Coates earlier in his testimony, at a November 2009 meeting:
Ms. Fernandez stated that list maintenance had to do with the administration of elections. She went on to say that the Obama Administration was not interested in that type of issue, but instead interested in issues that pertain to voter access.
Not interested in pursuing an investigation of states which have not purged their roles of any ineligible voters in two years. You know, like dead people, newly convicted felons, or even people who have simply relocated out of state.
What sort of states and localities might do such a thing? No surprise, according to Coates:
Further, not to enforce the list maintenance provisions of Section 8 are likely to have partisan consequences as well. A number of the jurisdictions that have bloated registration lists are where there are sizable minority populations and are Democratic strongholds.
This is a bombshell allegation coming from a current attorney within the DOJ, who is testifying, it should be noted, in direct defiance to orders from his superiors at the DOJ, who have generally obstructed the work of the Commission. Coates’ allegations also corroborate those made earlier by former U.S. Attorney J. Christian Adams, who resigned his post in order to blow the whistle on the Obama DOJ’s reprehensible policy with regards to civil rights cases.
If the Obama Administration does not take immediate action to address these allegations, this is going to blow up into a major issue leading into November. Honestly, I cannot imagine how Attorney General Eric Holder survives this.
Update: As a commenter over at Ace’s points out, National Review (and the Washington Times) ran a story about this on September 7. I suspect many of us were too worked up over the DE primary to catch on to this. Apparently the states in question include Maryland, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Tennessee. Several other states including Indiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Kentucky now have more registered voters than people of voting age. This should not be a partisan issue, but when an Administration institutes a policy of turning a blind eye to these types of violations, it’s a fair bet that they are benefiting politically from the misconduct. Paging Darrell Issa.
Category: Politics |