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Letter to Hon. Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice

Letter

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U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today wrote a letter to Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, the head of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, calling on the agency to enforce voting rights laws following new reports of widespread efforts by Tea Party-linked groups to intimidate voters and suppress the vote, particularly in low-income and minority neighborhoods.

"The right to vote has been the result of a long and difficult struggle in America," Senator Boxer said. "It has taken generations to ensure full voting rights for minorities, women, and young people. No group can be allowed to intimidate or interfere with this fundamental right that is essential for American democracy."

Boxer added, "The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 prohibit persons from knowingly and willfully intimidating or attempting to intimidate, threaten or coerce another person for voting, attempting to vote, or registering to vote."

Senator Boxer highlighted a disturbing account in the Los Angeles Times today of an Ohio woman recovering from cancer who received a letter questioning her residence and right to vote in this election -- even though she had lived at that location for seven years. In the letter, Boxer said, "This type of intimidation must stop. I don't believe this is "True the Vote.' I believe it's "Stop the Vote.' "

You can read the full text of Senator Boxer's letter to the Department of Justice below:

September 27, 2012

Hon. Thomas E. Perez
Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Assistant Attorney General Perez:

I have enclosed a very disturbing article from the Los Angeles Times, which details an organized effort in Ohio to question the voting rights of thousands of Americans.

As you know, an organization called "True the Vote," which is an offshoot of the Tea Party, is leading a voter suppression campaign in many states.

The article highlights a woman recovering from cancer who received a letter questioning her residence and right to vote in this election. She was astounded by this outrageous charge as she had lived in that location for seven years.

This type of intimidation must stop. I don't believe this is "True the Vote." I believe it's "Stop the Vote."

The right to vote has been the result of a long and difficult struggle in America. It has taken generations to ensure full voting rights for minorities, women, and young people. No group can be allowed to intimidate or interfere with this fundamental right that is essential for American democracy.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 prohibit persons from knowingly and willfully intimidating or attempting to intimidate, threaten or coerce another person for voting, attempting to vote, or registering to vote.

Please let me know if you are investigating voter suppression incidents such as the type described in the Los Angeles Times and the steps you are taking to enforcing voting rights laws across the country to ensure free and fair elections.

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your immediate response.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator


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