News Release

* Lawsuit in Response to Long Lines * Black Turnout


A coalition of Pennsylvania voters and civil rights groups, led by the NAACP State Conference of Pennsylvania, yesterday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia seeking to ensure that voters receive emergency paper ballots on Election Day when 50 percent or more voting machines become inoperable at any polling site in the state.

Bonifaz is the legal director for Voter Action and co-counsel for the plaintiffs. He said today: “Voters should not be forced to wait hours in line in order to exercise their fundamental right to vote. While the use of electronic voting machines continues to pose a separate threat to the integrity of the vote-counting process, federal court intervention is necessary to ensure that voters will not be disenfranchised by long lines on Election Day when these machines become inoperable.”

Gray is the author of the forthcoming book Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics. He said today: “ACORN is McCain’s ‘Willie Horton’ of sorts. The aim of the attack is to suppress the vote by raising questions on the ‘legitimacy’ or ‘legality’ of some of those potential Obama voters registered by the non-profit group. And just maybe some of those registered by ACORN will be intimidated into not coming to the polls for fear their registration will be challenged.”

Gray added: “This Election Day, voters should prepare themselves for standing in a line for an hour or more and be prepared to be told they can’t vote because their name was removed from the voting roll. Voter purging has long been a weapon used to blunt black voter turnout. Election officials regularly remove voters’ names from the rolls as they update and improve their lists. According to The Brennan Center, between 2004 and 2006, 39 states and the District of Columbia purged some 13 million voters while cleaning up the rolls.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167