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Exposed: Republicans in NM Teach Poll Watchers to Break Election Law

Last updated on February 8th, 2013 at 07:05 pm


Thanks to ProgressNowNM, Republicans in New Mexico are busted teaching their “poll challengers” illegal tactics to challenge people at the polls in New Mexico.

According to the press release I received from ProgressNowNM, 1 in 8 New Mexicans could see their voting rights restricted in November. There are several instructions in both the Republicans’ training video and Manual that are both disturbing and illegal.

“Poll challengers”, as they are called, are instructed to tell voters to use provisional ballots even when they are registered correctly in their precinct. Additional instructions that are inconsistent with the law include:

Challengers can demand ID from voters if they get another poll challenger to agree. In fact, New Mexico does not require voters to show ID unless they are a first time voter.

Individuals who received a voter purge mailer from the Secretary of State earlier in the year must use provisional ballots which won’t be counted unless the election is close. Of course, this is false. All legally registered voters will bot by regular ballot and all votes are counted.

Voters who move within their precinct must vote by provisional ballot.

Non-English speaking voters will not be provided with assistance, nor will Spanish Language ballots be available. In fact, ballots are available in Spanish, and voters are allowed assistance, including translation services for the non-English speaking voter.

ProgressNowNM explains:

“The training leader even tells participants that poll workers receive no training in election law so these new challengers will be best informed and positioned to challenge professional election workers.”

Republican Lawmakers appear to endorse the practices. Congressman Steve Pearce told Lee Fang, “We’re simply saying that we’re going to start, we’re going to take it back it into our hands,” said Pearce. “We should check for ID since you have to show an ID to do anything in America.”

Isn’t that charming.

The video and manual exposed by ProgressNowNC is the latest indictment of an election law violations by the Republican Party as it claims to defend election integrity with its voter ID laws, “poll challengers” and other dirty tricks.

This irony is not lost on Pat Davis of ProgressNowNM, “We were shocked when we heard this training and read this guide,” says Pat Davis of ProgressNowNM. “This is a how-to-guide to voter suppression and many of their instructions are in blatant contradiction to state law. People trained by the GOP to “protect” our elections will wreak havoc on our elections and so frustrate voters that many will simply give up and go home. This has to stop.”

This is far from an isolated incident of Republican willingness to skirt the law in this election.
Just last week, a company that RNC and its counterparts in several battleground states hired to register voters and get out the vote was exposed after 106 questionable ballots were submitted to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of elections. As of yesterday, Florida law enforcement announced it is conducting a criminal investigation 7 into the activities of Strategic Allied Consulting in 12 Florida counties.

Image from: Plutocrap

Adalia Woodbury

Former contributor.

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