A New York Times story today about Tea Party’s efforts to prevent voter fraud in the November election cites as one example an effort in St. Paul.
Says the paper:
In St. Paul, organizers from the Tea Party and related groups announced this week that they were offering a $500 reward for anyone who turns in someone who is successfully prosecuted for voter fraud.
The group is also organizing volunteer “surveillance squads” to photograph and videotape suspected irregularities, and in some cases to follow buses that take voters to the polls.
Two weeks ago, a group called Election Integrity Watch — a joint effort of Minnesota Majority, Minnesota Voters Alliance and the North Star Tea Party Patriots — issued a news release in St. Paul, talking about the bounties:
We are putting a price on the heads of anyone who would attempt to organize people with the intent of cheating in our election,” said Jeff Davis, president of Minnesota Majority. “We’ve received reports of organizers enticing people to vote fraudulently with small financial incentives such as gift cards. We’ve also seen evidence of this illegal practice in the official incident logs from the 2008 election. We will now offer individuals a more lucrative incentive for turning-in these organizers of voter fraud.”
The Times story says that liberal groups and voting rights advocates around the country are fighting the efforts, “claiming that such strategies are scare tactics intended to suppress minority and poor voters.”