MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

By:  Elijah Cummings
Date: Oct. 25, 2012
Location: Unknown

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

CUMMINGS: It`s good to be with you.

SCHULTZ: I know you`re passionate about this. You`ve written twice
on it. What information do you want the True the Vote people to bring
forth before the election about what their plans are on election day?

CUMMINGS: Well, first of all, Ed, I believe that voting is a right,
and that it is not just limited to a few selective people. Any effort to
block people from voting is clearly unpatriotic and just offensive.
But here with regard to True the Vote, we`ve got to -- we`ve asked
them to tell us how are they targeting the voting places? In other words,
where are they sending these people to? And what criteria are they using?
What kind of history do they have of any kind of fraudulent activity?
Ed, I am thoroughly convinced that this is an effort to intimidate
voters. And they know it. And basically we have not been able to get any
decent response from them yet. They said they were going to cooperate with
us, but suddenly they`ve gone on silent.

SCHULTZ: How confrontational do you think these poll watchers are
going to get?

CUMMINGS: Oh, I think it will become very confrontational.

Thankfully, in states like Maryland, we`ve put together a cadre of lawyers
and others to make sure that people are protected from these folks. And I
-- you know, the fact is, Ed, that I think that they will do almost
anything to stop people from voting. And it is extremely --

SCHULTZ: What do you mean anything?

CUMMINGS: In other words, you know, what we found in Maryland is
we`ve had, particularly our senior citizens -- they`re going to the polls
and people are harassing them. The other thing that True to Vote does is
they`ll go up to the election officials, like right in the polling place,
and begin to challenge various people. And then what they do is they hold
up the line. And when they hold up the line, it`s just usually already
crowded. So on election day, it gets crowded and people then turn away.
And that`s exactly what they want them to do.

SCHULTZ: And they`re not operating under any official capacity
whatsoever.

CUMMINGS: No. No.

SCHULTZ: So what about people going to vote? Do they need to be
mentally prepared to run into these poll watchers?

CUMMINGS: I think they need to be mentally prepared, Ed. But I want
them to know that all over the country, various states have folks that are
going to be out there to protect them and make sure they`re OK. But people
have to -- I don`t want people to be fearful. As a matter of fact, most of
the people I`ve talked to have told me the more they hear about all of
these efforts of trying to stop them from voting, the more they want to
vote.

SCHULTZ: Are they illegal activities, congressman?

CUMMINGS: With regard to what True to Vote is doing?

SCHULTZ: Absolutely.

CUMMINGS: No doubt about it. They claim that they`re doing legal
things. But the fact is, come on, Ed, if you`re standing around harassing
people, people who want to go out and exercise their right, their very
fundamental right of our democracy, and then you`re going to be bothering
them, that`s wrong.

SCHULTZ: Do you think these workers, these True the Vote workers and
their poll monitoring tactics, do you think they`re being coordinated with
the Republican party?

CUMMINGS: I have -- we have very strong evidence that, in fact, they
are. And, again --

SCHULTZ: They are? The GOP is behind this?

CUMMINGS: I have no doubt about it. And keep in mind, the head of
True to Vote has already made it clear that she absolutely -- those are her
words -- is about the business of making a change in the White House.

SCHULTZ: OK.

CUMMINGS: Come on, now, if you`re really being transparent and trying
to bring, you know, honesty to the election process, you`re not one sided
one way or the other. So clearly that`s her intention. That`s their
intention. And we also have evidence that they put out a person who was a
Democrat who was trying to join them, and they said, no, we don`t want you.
So we`ve seen quite a bit of evidence. Hopefully they`ll come clean.
But I`ve got a feeling they`re not going to come clean until after the
election.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT