During her opening statement of her congressional testimony Monica Goodling let slip a little nugget that might go unnoticed but shouldn't.
Tim Griffin was allegedly involved in Voter Caging during the 2004 Elections.
During her questioning Rep Linda Sanchez, who was unfamiliar with the term asked - "What is Voter Caging?"
It has to do with direct mailing...
As a matter of fact, it has to do with far, far more than just sending out a few postcards.
Caging is a term of art in the direct mail industry. After a mailing is sent, caging is when information is processed that can be learned from the returns. A caging list is the compiled information that is transferred to the organization that hired the direct mail firm, in order for them to update their mailing lists and databases.
Ok, so what?
Caging has also been used as a form of voter suppression. A political party challenges the validity of a voter's registration; for the voter's ballot to be counted, the voter must prove that their registration is valid.
Voters targeted by caging are often the most vulnerable: those who are unfamiliar with their rights under the law, and those who cannot spare the time, effort, and expense of proving that their registration is valid. Ultimately, caging works by dissuading a voter from casting a ballot, or by ensuring that they cast a provisional ballot, which is less likely to be counted.
With one type of caging, a political party sends registered mail to addresses of registered voters. If the mail is returned as undeliverable - because, for example, the voter refuses to sign for it, the voter isn't present for delivery, or the voter is homeless - the party uses that fact to challenge the registration, arguing that because the voter could not be reached at the address, the registration is fraudulent. It is this use of direct mail caging techniques to target voters which probably resulted in the application of the name to the political tactic.
And why does this matter? Because it's a direct violation of the Federal Voting Rights Act.
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