Did Media Foil Michigan GOP “Voter-Foreclosure” Plan?

By Julianne Hing Sep 17, 2008

Looks like things in the GOP’s Michigan no house, no vote plan may be going awry. Last week it was reported that the Republican party there had hatched a perfect voter suppression tactic to use the rolls of the foreclosed as a way of keeping those folks away the polls. Today the Michigan Messenger reported that Barack Obama’s state office has filed a lawsuit against the GOP office.

Bob Bauer, general counsel for the Obama campaign, and Mark Brewer, chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, announced the lawsuit in a conference call with reporters this afternoon. It was filed on behalf of the campaign, the party and three Michigan residents who have had their houses foreclosed upon in recent months.

Bauer noted that using foreclosure lists to challenge a voter’s address is "false and illegal" for several reasons. First, because getting a foreclosure notice is not evidence that the person’s address has changed. In Michigan, homeowners have the opportunity to redeem the foreclosure even after a sheriff’s sale has occurred, which means they can stay in the home for many months after a foreclosure notice has been sent. Second, because under Michigan law a person can vote at their old precinct if they lost their home within 60 days of the election. In the meantime, the Michigan GOP office is planning legal action against the Michigan Messenger alleging libel. tnews site stands by their initial reporting that party spokesman James Carabelli told a reporter over the phone, "We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses," and that GOP operatives in other states made similar statements. The legal battle probably won’t be resolved for some time, but one has to admit the evil, insidious genius of the Republican party’s alleged plan, the perfect alignment of an innocuous strategy designed to prevent "voter fraud" that would by default disenfranchise a bloc of disproportionately poor voters and voters of color. Follow the Michigan fight here: "Obama campaign files suit over "voter-foreclosure" "Macomb County GOP Chairman Says Liberal Blog Libeled Him" "Lose your house, lose your vote"