MI Dems Fight Back Against GOP Attempts to Challenge Voters on Foreclosure Lists

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It’s happened before, and it’s threatening to happen again — obstacles placed in the way of voters in low-income, highly Democratic areas.

The most recent charges come out of the swing county of Macomb in Michigan where late last week, the Michigan Messenger quoted the chairman of the Macomb County Republican Party, James Carabelli as stating that the party would be blocking voters who are registered at foreclosed addresses.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” Carabelli told the Messenger.

Michigan state voting laws allow “election challengers” to monitor the polls for the parties. If those challengers have “good reason to believe” that a person is ineligible — such as not being a resident of the city or township — they can lodge a challenge with the chairperson of the election precinct.

But according to voting rights experts, a foreclosure notice does not mean that a person is no longer a resident — making it an inadequate basis for a challenge.

Just a few days after the article was published, Carabelli back-tracked on his statement, telling the Macomb Daily that the party has “no plans to do anything.” He has now issued a full-throated denial, calling the original article “not true.”

Today, Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer told the AP that he “simply [does] not believe [Carabelli’s] denial. This fits the pattern we’ve seen here in Michigan.”

And just in case, Obama’s Presidential Campaign, the Democratic National Committee and a number of voters filed for an injunction today, in order to prevent any GOP efforts to disenfranchise voters whose homes have been foreclosed on.