Maryland Senator Moves To Criminalize Voter Suppression

Move in response to robocall incident

By WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
|  Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011  |  Updated 5:25 PM EDT
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Cardin Moves to Criminalize Voter Suppression

Getty Images / David McNew

Californian's Vote

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Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin has introduced legislation to criminalize attempts to suppress voter turnout on Election Day.

Recently, Paul Schurick, the 2010 campaign manager for former Maryland Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich, was convicted of voter fraud. But the misleading phone calls prosecutors say Schurick authorized in predominantly African American counties were found to be illegal under state law, not federal.

Cardin says that’s something Congress needs to address. 

"In most cases they’re aimed at the minority voters -- they’re aimed at suppressing minority votes," says Cardin. "That should have no place in American politics. It should be, and we believe it is, illegal."

Cardin’s bill would set stiff criminal penalties for misleading voters 90 days ahead of an election. It prohibits telling voters false voting locations, false election dates and the misrepresentation of endorsements. The legislation also prohibits paying people to sit out an election. 

Complete story at wamu.org

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