Action Alert from People for the American Way
Today, Senator Barack Obama from Illinois introduced the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Act to ensure civil and criminal penalties for those who engage in voter suppression through disinformation and dirty tricks.
If passed, Sen. Obama’s bill would do the following for ALL federal elections starting in 2008:
- Make it a federal crime to communicate false information about the time or place of voting, the voting eligibility of any voter, or the party affiliation or endorsements of any candidate
- Allow any person or voter who has been harmed by false statements immediately preceding a federal election to obtain an injunction stopping the deceptive practices
- Require the U.S. Attorney General to investigate every claim of deceptive practices, and submit a public report on all claims to Congress
- Require the Attorney General to ensure the immediate release of corrective information in affected communities
Since its original introduction in 2005, PFAW staff and our allies have worked closely with Sen. Obama’s office to make sure this bill is as effective as possible at stopping voter disenfranchisement though deceptive practices.
Sen. Obama’s bill addresses a top-tier priority of PFAW’s 2007 Democracy Initiative -- an aggressive election reform agenda to put safeguards in place by the 2008 elections that could mean the difference between hundreds of thousands of eligible voters being disenfranchised or being able to vote and have their votes counted.