The Nation is reporting that Tea Party activists in Florida’s largely black and electorally significant Interstate 4 corridor have worked furiously to hamper the record-setting turnout by targeting black voters in voter suppression effors. The article states, “In one of the most striking examples of voter suppression to emerge, Voting Rights Watch obtained a list of several dozen Hillsborough County voters who will be surprised to learn they cannot vote regular ballots thanks to last-minute challenges filed against them.”
The article continues:
In Hillsborough County, seventy-seven people—forty of them in Tampa—won’t be able to file a regular ballot because the True the Vote–affiliated group Tampa Vote Fair has challenged their voting status. Of those, sixty-eight have been challenged because Tampa Vote Fair asserts they are ineligible due to a felony conviction. These people will not know that their vote has been challenged until they reach the polls and are forced to cast a provisional ballot. (Some of them may have already attempted to vote during the early voting period.)
According to documents provided to Voting Rights Watch by Hillsborough County Attorney’s office, all seventy-seven of the voter challenges were filed by Kimberly Kelley, Tampa Vote Fair’s president, and all are dated October 16, 2012—a full week after voter registration ended in Florida. Earlier this year, Kelley sent to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections multiple lists of people she suspected were ineligible to vote because of felony convictions. One of those lists had 1,375 names on it, which the county supervisor forwarded on to the state to investigate, but which turned up no names yet of people improperly registered.
It is being reported that 40 percent of the voters on this voter suppression list are black despite the fact that only 15 percent of registered voters are black.
Read more at The Nation.