Just days before a special election set for April 12 in Southbridge, Massachusetts, independent groups paid for a billboard that created confusion about the rights and responsibilities of voters.
According to the Associated Press: "the billboard, sponsored by the groups Empower Massachusetts and Show ID to Vote, two groups with connections to the conservative tea party movement, tells voters to 'protect the integrity of the vote' and 'show ID' next to a picture of a white woman holding an identification card."
Here's the problem: in Massachusetts, voters should bring ID. But not every voter needs to show it -- ID is only required by some first-time voters, inactive voters who haven't voted, and voters who are "challenged" (accused of not being who the registered voter they claim to be).
Just say no. Sign our petition to say that no one should deceive voters about their rights and responsibilities.
It gets worse. The billboard went up in a largely Latino neighborhood, with many first-time and infrequent voters. And, on the April 12 Primary Election, there was a very large number of challenges to voters. Voter challenges are acceptable if an observer actually believe the person trying to vote isn't who they say they are. But challenges should never be used to harass or intimidate voters, or to slow down the line of voters. Never in Massachusetts should a voter have such a negative experience at the polls that they feel reluctant to vote again in the future.
It's fine to have a debate about voter ID laws. And there are measures -- like eliminating the exit table, having voters put their signature in the sign-in book, and randomly auditing election machines -- that can boast the real security of our elections. But let's say no to voter fraud hysteria. And let's not confuse voters about laws that don't exist.
Sign our petition here.
Thanks very much,