Earlier this month, I wrote about the Michigan Messenger allegations that Republicans planned to use foreclosure lists to exclude voters, especially in Flint and Detroit.
Ian Urbina of The New York Times reports on the Democratic response:
And as Urbina points out, Michigan isn't the only place where people who've already lost their home, may lose their vote as well:
"Last week, Senator Barack Obama’s campaign filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking to prohibit the Michigan Republican Party from using foreclosure lists to single out and challenge voters. The state Republican Party has denied having any such plans.
"Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, sent a letter last week along with a dozen other Democratic senators to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey asking him to ensure that voters facing foreclosure are not harassed or intimidated at polling places."
"More than a million people have lost their homes through foreclosure in the last two years, and many of them are still registered to vote at the address of the home they lost. Now election officials and voting rights groups are struggling to prevent thousands of them from losing their vote when they go to the polls in November.
"Many of these voters will be disqualified at the polls because, in the tumult of their foreclosure, they neglected to tell their election board of their new address. Some could be forced to vote with a provisional ballot or challenged by partisan poll watchers, a particular concern among Democrats who fear that poor voters will be singled out. That could add confusion and stretch out lines that are already expected to be long because of unprecedented turnout."
Update: The Michigan Messenger has posted the following clarification on their original story:
By Jefferson Morley 9/19/08 5:48 PM
Michigan Messenger received a letter yesterday from Douglas J. Preisse, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party in Columbus Ohio, disputing Eartha Melzer’s summary of remarks he made to a local newspaper about voter challenges.
Citing an article in the Columbus Dispatch, Melzer had reported in her story “Lose your house, lose your vote” that Priesse had said he had not ruled out voter challenges due to “foreclosure related address issues.” In his letter, Priesse said that he had not stated or implied any such thing.
While the ongoing dispute in Franklin County does concern voter challenges that are based, in part, on the eligibility of foreclosed homeowners, Priesse’s comments to the Dispatch did not specifically address the issue of foreclosed homeowners.
We have revised the article accordingly.