Howard Dean: Stop Playing Politics with Voting Rights

Apr 12, 2007, 01:00 ET from Democratic National Committee

    WASHINGTON, April 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Democratic National
 Committee Chairman Howard Dean today demanded an end to Republican efforts
 to play politics with voting rights after two recent New York Times reports
 outlined a persistent campaign by Bush Administration officials to
 undermine fundamental voting rights for countless Americans. Dean's
 comments come as recent reports have highlighted a five-year political
 campaign by Bush Republicans in the Justice Department, the Election
 Assistance Commission (EAC) and the White House to trump up charges of
 voter fraud in order to pursue restrictive voter ID laws that
 disproportionately disenfranchise minority, senior, student and disabled
     Today, the New York Times revealed that "five years after the Bush
 administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has
 turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal
 elections." [New York Times, 4/12/07] This follows yesterday's report
 revealing that political appointees at the EAC downplayed evidence by
 election experts that found little evidence of voter fraud, but found real
 evidence of ongoing voter intimidation and suppression. The Times also
 noted that this issue played a "significant role" in the Bush
 administration's "firing of eight United States attorneys, several of whom,
 documents now indicate, were dismissed for being insufficiently aggressive
 in pursuing voter fraud cases." [New York Times, 4/11/07]
     DNC Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following statement:
     "The Bush administration's campaign to undermine and politicize
 essential federal voter protections while downplaying voter suppression
 tactics is one of the most chilling and cynical examples of the Bush
 administration's consistent use of our government to put partisan politics
 ahead of the American people. In our Democracy, every eligible voter
 deserves the right to cast his or her vote and have that vote counted. But
 for Republicans, nothing is more important than their narrow partisan
     "The list of tools that Republicans have used to enhance their
 electoral prospects at the expense of our right to vote reads like a
 shameful litany from past eras: restricting access to voter registration,
 improper attempts to purge voter lists, the use of voting machines that
 leave no verifiable audit trails, criminal phone jamming schemes,
 discriminatory voter ID laws, and inconsistently administered elections.
 Now, we see the very institutions of our government that are intended to
 protect the right to vote used by Republican political operatives to
 undermine that right. This brand of politics is undemocratic and
 un-American. The time has come for Republicans to stop playing politics
 with our fundamental right to vote."
     Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, This communication is not authorized by any
 candidate or candidate's committee.
     Contact: Luis Miranda - 202-863-8148

SOURCE Democratic National Committee