Earlier this evening, a Justice Department spokesman told TPMmuckraker that the department was looking into claims of voter intimidation in New Mexico, stemming from reports last week by us and other outlets that a lawyer tied to the state GOP had hired a private investigator to question Hispanics about their right to vote.
The news site reports:
An attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice met with a staff attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico today regarding reports of voter intimidation here, said a spokesperson for ACLU.
Before flying back to Washington, D.C., the attorney, who works in the voting section of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, picked up copies of the press packet handed out by state Republicans on Oct. 16.
That last sentence refers to a press conference held by the state Republican Party, at which it released the names of 10 voters it claimed had voted illegally in a Democratic primary in June. It was later established that the voters were in fact eligible. But relatives of two of those voters told TPMmuckraker and the New Mexico Independent that they had received intimidating visits from a private investigator apparently hired by Republican lawyer Pat Rogers.
ACLU filed suit on Monday against the state party, alleging that it illegally interfered with the individuals’ right to vote.
And now it looks like the Justice Department is on the case.