Campaign Trackers Turn Poll Watchers As Election Nears

November 2, 2012 1:43 pm

They spent the campaign season stalking Republican candidates and looking for YouTube-worthy gaffes. Now, a group of 19 trackers with a liberal super PAC will have a new target on Election Day: disenfranchised voters.The trackers, who are affiliated with the American Bridge 21st Century super PAC, will be dispatched on Tuesday to key battleground states, including Colorado, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Their plan is to document testimonials from voters who run into problems at the polls.

American Bridge put out a news release on Friday that said trackers will be looking for “unusually long lines, enforcement of non-existent voter ID requirements, excessive use of provisional ballots, limited accessibility to the polling location,” as well as false information form poll workers.

“Under the guise of combating a problem in voter fraud that is virtually non-existent, states have not only overlooked, but actually helped fuel, voter suppression,” the head of American Bridge, Rodell Mollineau, said in the release. “I’m glad that American Bridge is able to lend our resources, experience, and expertise to documenting examples of voter intimidation that deter people from exercising their right to vote on Election Day, but are often forgotten soon after.”

While the trackers have previously been paid by the super PAC, the Election Day project will be funded by organization’s tax exempt 501(c)4 arm, which does not have to reveal its donors. Chris Harris, spokesman for the organizations, declined to provide a breakdown of where the trackers would be deployed.

Harris said American Bridge trackers will be particularly interested in True the Vote, a Tea Party-affiliated organization that set a goal of training a million poll watchers this election cycle. He also said the trackers will be looking at poll monitors in Wisconsin who were reportedly encouraged to go incognito by the Romney campaign.

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