Kucinich introduces “voter foreclosure” bill

An update from our sister site, Michigan Messenger, on their investigative series on a GOP voter disenfranchisement scheme.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced legislation today to bar political parties from challenging the eligibility of voters whose homes have been foreclosed.

Kucinich, who ran losing presidential bids in 2004 and 2008 and faced a stiff primary challenge earlier this year, drafted the legislation following a report in the Michigan Messenger that a Macomb County Republican Party official said he planned to gather lists of foreclosed homeowners to challenge their eligibility.

The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee have since filed a lawsuit in federal court over the reported plans.

The tactic is a version of a practice known as “caging,” which allows political opponents to identify voters who might not meet the proper residency requirements. Democrats and voting-rights activists argue that victims of foreclosure may still live in their homes, and that the tactic disproportionately affects poor and African-American voters. Republicans argue that the practice preserves the integrity of the ballot.

Kucinich’s bill is unlikely to get a hearing or consideration on the House floor, as Congress races to pass a $700 billion rescue package for Wall Street banks before recessing until after the election.

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Jonathan E. Kaplan

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