While taking hours over the weekend to register 10 voters, I heard on the news that Americans for Prosperity sent out a mailer to hundreds of North Carolinians targeting African-American communities and other Democratic-leaning neighborhoods with false information about voter registration.
Among the misinformation in the mailer: two different deadlines for mailing registration applications; instructions to return applications to the North Carolina secretary of state’s office, with a return envelope addressed to the state Board of Elections — with the wrong ZIP code; directing people to the secretary of state for more information on registering, which that office does not provide; giving the wrong phone number to the secretary of state’s office; telling people their county clerk will inform them of their voting precinct, which county clerks don’t do.
The state Board of Elections works with political groups to avoid this kind of thing; Americans for Prosperity did not contact the state Board of Elections. Considering the vast financial resources of this organization and the depth of the group’s political knowledge, I am left to conclude that the mailer was an act of intentional voter suppression.
It angers me that legal action will likely come well after the election, money will buy the best attorneys and AFP will not suffer any consequences for this outrageous felony.
An investigation is not enough. The AFP mailing list should be confiscated and cards re-sent informing their entire list of the misinformation and how to get their registration completed properly and where to find accurate election information. Fairness demands that North Carolina extend voter registration beyond the current Oct. 10 deadline to Oct. 30, allowing registration during the first seven days of early voting. It is time to demonstrate that voter suppression tactics will not be tolerated.
Idelle S. Packer