« Illinois: Feds investigating two Jerseyville aldermen for Hatch Act violations | Main | North Carolina: DOJ will decide today on fate of 6-3 city council plan »

Ohio: DOJ sided with GOP effort to purge 23,000 black voters in 2004

McClatchy Newspapers reports: Four days before the 2004 election, the Justice Department's civil rights chief sent an unusual letter to a federal judge in Ohio who was weighing whether to let Republicans challenge the credentials of 23,000 mostly black voters.

The case was triggered by allegations that Republicans had sent a mass mailing to mostly Democratic-leaning minorities and used undeliverable letters to compile a list of voters potentially vulnerable to eligibility challenges.

In his letter to U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott of Cincinnati, Assistant Attorney General Alex Acosta argued that it would ''undermine'' the enforcement of state and federal election laws if citizens could not challenge voters' credentials.

Former Justice Department civil rights officials and election watchdog groups charge that his letter sided with Republicans engaging in an illegal, racially motivated tactic known as ''vote-caging'' in a state that would be pivotal in delivering President Bush a second term in the White House.

Acosta's letter is among a host of allegedly partisan Justice Department voting rights positions that could draw scrutiny on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks as congressional Democrats expand investigations sparked by the firing of at least nine U.S. attorneys. -- Attorney under fire for Ohio voter letter - 06/25/2007 - MiamiHerald.com

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)