THE BLOG
07/25/2012 03:39 pm ET Updated Sep 24, 2012

VPC Fights Suppression Efforts in Virginia

GOP voter suppression efforts escalate in Virginia. But the Voter Participation Center (VPC) is fighting back.

The Voter Participation Center (VPC) said today in a letter to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli that attempts by the Romney for President Campaign to block voter registration efforts in Virginia "may rise to the level of interference with legitimate voter registration efforts contrary to applicable state and federal laws." The VPC today asked the Attorney General to refuse the Romney for President Campaign's request to investigate completely lawful efforts by the VPC to register Virginians. The VPC also asked the Attorney General to deny the Campaign's request that State Board of Elections officials direct registrars to refuse to accept official, state approved voter registration applications submitted by eligible voters in the Commonwealth.

The Voter Participation Center (VPC) today asked Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to refuse the Romney for President Campaign's request for an investigation into completely lawful efforts by the Voter Participation Center to register Virginians. The Romney Campaign asked Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to In a letter to the AG's office, attorneys for the VPC warned that Romney Campaign "actions may rise to the level of interference with legitimate voter registration efforts contrary to applicable state and federal laws."

The Voter Participation Center is a non-profit organization that focuses on registering and turning out the Rising American Electorate - unmarried women, people of color, and young voters - who account for 53 percent of voting eligible citizens but who represent 63 percent of all unregistered Americans .
"The new majority in American frightens some political groups; these are the voters they want to keep from the polls on November 6. It's no surprise that our organization - which is conducting the largest mail registration program in the country - is under attack," explained Page Gardner, founder and president of the VPC.

According to Gardner, "The Romney campaign's request for a probe into over 15 thousand returned legal and state-approved registration application forms is part of a blatant and ongoing partisan effort to keep people from voting."

Especially if they are African-American, Latino, an unmarried women or college student.

Gardner linked the Romney Campaigns actions in Virginia to voter purges and suppression efforts across the country. Efforts like imposing onerous voter ID laws, that in the words of Pennsylvania State GOP House Leader Mike Turzai are "gonna allow Governor Romney to win."

According to Gardner, the VPC - which plans to send out 5.3 million voter registration and vote by mail applications to 30 states in early September - has no intention of backing down.

Just yesterday a Roanoke Times editorial called on Virginia officials to support the efforts of the VPC: "[I]t would be a shame if its work ended. The group sent almost 200,000 forms to Virginians last month. According to its president, 15,000 of them resulted in new registrations so far. Those are people who can now help choose the next president."

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