Voter suppression campaign is being organized directly from Mitt Romney’s campaign website. From Addicting Info:
It appears that the Romney campaign has decided that it cannot win legitimately at this point. The Romney campaign website now sports an “Election Day Task Force” training page, with the goal to train people in the art of voter suppression through the time-honored tactic of racial profiling by poll challengers.
All across the right-wing blogosphere, the call has gone out to suppress the vote of minorities, of labor unions of anyone who does not believe in their candidate. One such call out has gone like so:
I want to turn as many of you as possible on to a massive task force the Romney campaign is putting together for election day. It’s called project “Orca”, where at least 20,000 (they’d love to get 30-40,000) volunteers camp out at polling places in swing states and feed real-time information to Boston using your smart phone, tablet, or whatever. I’ve been trained on this already, and it’s unreal what the Romney campaign is doing. Extremely sophisticated stuff that has real potential to make a sizable difference on election day. They are looking for even more volunteers, so if you’re interested, check out http://www.mittromney.com/orca.
I’m not giving anything secret away. At this point, the Romney campaign figures it’s too late for the Obama campaign to match this program.
For any Obama supporters that may be tempted to infiltrate the volunteer force, be aware that the Romney campaign will do a background check to make sure you are who you say you are. If you’ve “liked” anything supportive of Obama, for example, you’ll be found out.
The use of poll challengers is well established. The Democratic party uses them to prevent voter suppression in many states. The Republican party, however, has thrown its lot in with True the Vote and their goal of eliminating millions of eligible voters from the rolls through false claims of being dead, joining a long history of Republican voter suppression.
What is new this time, however, is the use of electronic devices to allow real-time analysis and coordination of the poll challengers. For instance, one can hang out in a parking lot, and when they see a car with an Obama sticker on it, they snap a picture of the person, forwarding it to the operative inside the polling station, who then does a direct and focused attack on the voting rights. In addition, the headquarters can find out in real-time how well the efforts are going, and know where to shift their efforts as the election goes on.
A report by the Brennan Center for Justice found that these voting suppression tactics are legal in just under half of the states, including several large states such as Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. And you find the call for poll challengers coming from these states. The Election Day Task Force is a highly coordinated and direct attack on the foundations of Democracy itself.
They begin training their voter suppression task force next week in Michigan.