Earlier today, One Wisconsin Now issued a press release alleging a coordinated “voter caging” effort on the part of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, Americans For Prosperity, and organizations in the Wisconsin “Tea Party” movement. According to the Brennan Center for Justice voter caging is described thusly:
Voter caging is the practice of sending mail to addresses on the voter rolls, compiling a list of the mail that is returned undelivered, and using that list to purge or challenge voters registrations on the grounds that the voters on the list do not legally reside at their registered addresses. Supporters of voter caging defend the practice as a means of preventing votes cast by ineligible voters. Voter caging, however, is notoriously unreliable. If it is treated (unjustifiably) as the sole basis for determining that a voter is ineligible or does not live at the address at which he or she registered, it can lead to the unwarranted purge or challenge of eligible voters. …Moreover, the practice has often been targeted at minority voters, making the effects even more pernicious.
The coordinated plot to by the RPW, AFP, and the “Tea Party” groups here in Wisconsin was intended to target minority voters and college students, according to audio tapes obtained by One Wisconsin Now.
One Wisconsin Now has filed formal requests for investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as well as the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Election Integrity Task Force and the Government Accountability Board.
It’s worth noting that in a 1982 settlement in the case DNC v. RNC, the RNC admitted wrongdoing after sending out a mailing targeting primarily African-American and Latino neighborhoods.and agreed to “…refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting.”
You can read more about One Wisconsin Now’s complaint at their Save Wisconsin’s Vote 2010 website