ACLU expresses concern about widespread disenfranchisement

Richmond, VA – In advance of today’s State Board of Elections meeting, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia sent a letter to members of the Board urging them to carefully consider actions they may take in response to the allegations of wrongdoing brought against the Voter Participation Center for letters and voter registration applications it sent to Virginians.
In the ACLU’s letter, Executive Director Claire Gastañaga expresses concern that thousands of qualified voters may be disenfranchised if the Board chooses to review all voter registration applications it received in the past two months.
“The Board’s mission should be to broaden the franchise to the greatest extent possible and not to erect unnecessary barriers to the right to vote,” Gastañaga said.
Gastañaga also suggested that the merits of any criminal probe of the Voter Participation Center would be “dubious,” and reminded members of the Board that the Virginia Code requires that the Commonwealth’s attorney of the locality in which the alleged misconduct occurred investigate allegations of voting misconduct, not the Attorney General.
Media reports of Virginians receiving partially completed voter registration applications for pets, deceased relatives, and other unqualified individuals to register to vote prompted concern about the Voter Participation Center’s mailing practices.
A copy of the ACLU’s letter sent Friday afternoon can be found online at: https://acluva.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/20120806SBEletter.pdf

ACLU of Virginia Contact: Claire Gastañaga, Executive Director, 804-644-8022

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