It's Election Day, and Georgia Southern University students are getting a crash course in voter suppression.
In Statesboro, GA, 909 registered student voters have been told they can't vote, or their votes might not count, because they might not meet residency requirements. To legitimately challenge a voter, the state requires the challenger to know that a voter is ineligible and to articulate why. 909 identical challenges doesn't sound legitimate, it sounds like targeting.
Something is rotten in Statesboro. Clearly, some people want to stop these students from voting, and they're getting away with it. Challenging voter residency is an effective voter suppression tactic - it's underhanded, it happens all the time, and it's not illegal.
But you can help. In the last 24 hours, members of Congress introduced legislation that would address this exact problem - in Statesboro, and the entire country.
Because of these baseless purges, hundreds of GSU students are being forced to cast paper ballots today. It is not clear how the registrar will determine which votes should be counted. And there's no guarantee their votes will be counted at all. Hundreds of legitimate votes could be tossed out today!
"Voter caging" has gone on for decades. It's a simple tactic that targets inexperienced voters like students, as well as new registrants. Now Congress is finally ready to do something about it.
The Caging Prohibition Act would require any private party who challenges the right of another citizen to vote (or register to vote) to set forth in writing, under penalty of perjury, the specific grounds for the alleged ineligibility.
Sign our petition and support the Caging Prohibition Act TODAY!
The principle here is simple: we must stand up for the fundamental right of all voters to cast a meaningful ballot.
Voter suppression is not just a concern in 2008. It's happening TODAY.
Take action today, and stand up for the voting rights of students in Statesboro and all over the country.
National Campaign for Fair Elections
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law