Media Contact: Vince Rabago • (520) 955-9038 • Vince@VinceRabagoLaw.com
(Tucson, Ariz. – June 14th, 2013)
Today, Arizona attorney Vince Rabago filed a Complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice requesting that the agency investigate apparent efforts to unlawfully suppress and intimidate Latino voters in Arizona during the 2012 election. Rabago included documentation and affidavits supporting the Complaint.
Rabago, a former state prosecutor, submitted two affidavits signed by voters under penalty of perjury who received misleading “robo calls”. These Spanish speaking calls told voters to bring their identification documents in Spanish with them to the polls in order to exercise their right to vote. Both voters receiving these calls are fluent in Spanish and immediately knew the statements were false and misleading. One voter, William Risner, is an election law attorney with extensive experience. The other voter, Dr. Ted Downing, is a former elected state legislator who participated in legislative election law reform efforts in Arizona.
Rabago also provided documentation about incidents in Maricopa and Yuma Counties. This included three signed affidavits from Latino voters in Yuma County, including a former candidate for Yuma Sheriff, Ricardo Sandoval, noting specific incidents of potential voter suppression. These include:
* Latino Democratic voters improperly issued Republican Party ballots.
* Problems at polling locations serving Latino voters resulting in hundreds of voters not being able to cast their vote.
* Election officials refusing to adequately investigate or take action on complaints ranging from improper local election practices to apparent violations of the Arizona and federal Hatch Act, laws which restrict government employees from political activity in the course of their jobs;
* Armed Sheriff employees allegedly asking for Latino voters to sign the petition of the non-Latino GOP candidate for sheriff.
With regard to Maricopa County, Rabago provided news articles documenting specific instances of two different official Maricopa County documents that were provided to the public with incorrect election date information written in Spanish, but the correct information provided in English.
Rabago said that any “discriminatory efforts to suppress and intimidate Latino voters, or any voters, are illegal, despicable and un-American. The Department of Justice must investigate the evidence and reports of apparent voter suppression in order to preserve the lynchpin of our democracy – the right to vote.”
Arizona has a long a documented history of minority voter discrimination and harassment, which resulted in Arizona being required to pre-clear changes in election laws or procedures with the Department of Justice under Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act to protect voting rights of Latinos and other minorities. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide whether the federal Voting Rights Act remains federal law, after hearing arguments in March on a constitutional challenge against the law.
www.VinceRabagoLaw.com • 500 N. Tucson Blvd. Ste. 100, Tucson AZ 85716