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SUCCESS: Justice Department Sends Monitors to Maricopa, AZ, Arpaio Breaks Ties with Extreme Group

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 11/01/2010 at 10:16am

Last Friday we asked for help to make sure that Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his volunteer “army” would not be intimidating Latino voters out of participating in the cornerstone of our democracy: voting. We asked our supporters to send a message to the DOJ to send monitors down to Maricopa County, Arizona. Guess what? The Department of Justice responded swiftly, thanks in part to your concern.

According to Vivir Latino:

On Friday afternoon, the Justice Department announced that its Civil Rights Division plans to deploy more than 400 federal observers and department personnel to 30 jurisdictions in 18 states for the Nov. 2, 2010, general election. One of those jurisdictions is Maricopa County in Arizona.

We’ve posted the full list of jurisdictions they’ll be monitoring after the jump, but it’s important to note that Arpaio is now breaking ties with the very group that sent out the email message in his name, an organization which he co-chaired and which apparently was cozy enough with him to keep his signature on file. 

The email sent out by Arpaio via Ban Amnesty Now last week read:

“STOP ILLEGALS FROM STEALING THE ELECTION! Our grassroots army of VOTER FRAUD PREVENTION VOLUNTEERS will stand vigilant across the nation. We will be the first and strongest line of defense to ensure that only legal citizens vote on November 2nd.”

Now, AP reports in Sheriff Joe Cuts Ties With Anti-Immigration Group:

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he is cutting ties with an anti-immigration organization after the group reportedly piggybacked on his name to make the claim that grassroots volunteers will be at the polls Tuesday stopping illegal immigrants from trying to vote, MyFoxPhoenix reported Friday.

An email sent out by anti-immigration group Ban Amnesty Now had Arpaio’s sig

nature and said that when thousands of illegal immigrants attempt to vote this Election Day, an army of volunteers will be there to stop them

Arpaio denies writing the email and has asked the Tempe, Ariz.-based organization to disassociate itself from him.

Arpaio was once co-chairman on Ban Amnesty Now, but he says he never authorized the email to be sent out under his name.

The article also cites Laura Brown from the Arizona Advocacy Network, who argues that the email was just “another effort to intimidate Hispanics from heading to the polls:”

“We thought ‘Oh my goodness, not again’ — Arizona has such a long history of voter suppression and dirty tricks,” she says. “We’re very concerned that they’re going to go to the polls and harass voters and try to intimidate them. [...]  This wild idea that undocumented people are crossing the desert so they can decide who is going to be our next corporation commissioner… anybody who uses their common sense knows that ridiculous and study after study has shown that voter fraud is extremely rare.” 

What is not extremely rare, according to Brown, are acts of voter intimidation and suppression in Arizona and across the country. 

According to VivirLatino:

Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced last week:
“STOP ILLEGALS FROM STEALING THE ELECTION! Our grassroots army of VOTER FRAUD PREVENTION VOLUNTEERS will stand vigilant across the nation. We will be the first and strongest line of defense to ensure that only legal citizens vote on November 2nd.”

We already know that Sheriff Joe decides who is and isn’t legal by looking at who looks Latino. And while the part of SB1070 that allows for asking for people’s papers based on their ethnicity, alleging voter fraud is just an attempt to make Latinos walk around with their “papers” and to intimidate people who may be voting against Jan Brewer.

If you see anything suspicious at the polls tomorrow, please contact the national voter suppression hotline — click for more info:

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