Montana GOP Tries To Disenfranchise 6,000 Voters, Then Backs Down In Face of Dem. Lawsuit

Last week, the Montana state GOP tried to disenfranchise 6,000 Montana voters in six Democratic-leaning counties based solely on the fact that the voters had filed change of address forms with the U.S. Postal Service within the last 18 months.

Now the Montana GOP has announced that, in the face of a lawsuit filed by the state Democratic Party, they are withdrawing the challenges and would be issuing no more.

We refer you to the excellent and speedy (far too speedy for us to scoop) coverage here and here by our colleagues at The BRAD BLOG.

The GOP voter disenfranchisment effort was widely condemned by many, including Montana's Republican lieutenant governor John Bohlinger. In an editorial in the Montana Standard, Mr. Bohlinger writes, in part:

"[T]he executive director of the Republican Party crossed the line when he attempted to remove 6,000 voters from the rolls in Montana. These voters are law-abiding citizens and are legally registered. Some are veterans. Others are active servicemen, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan or about to be deployed there.

"As a Republican, I was ashamed to hear of this. But as a Marine, I was outraged. Why would the Republican Party, which always claims to care greatly about our troops, do this?

"It appears that Republican operatives looked to gain an advantage by purging as many voters as possible from counties that lean Democrat[ic]. The director of the Republican Party issued a blanket challenge to validly registered voters based on false criteria, trying to persuade election clerks that a mere change of mailing address is grounds for automatic cancellation of voter registration."

Mr. Bohlinger goes on to call the GOP effort "blatantly deceptive."

As we wrote above, the Montana GOP has backed down in the face of a lawsuit filed by the state Democratic Party.

And this brings us back to an issue we covered last week, along with a "call to action," regarding the illegal systematic purges of the voter rolls in 19 states.

In that blog post, we urged everyone to contact the Obama campaign and the DNC and urge them to use some of the money voters have donated to them, along with some of their clout, to fight these illegal voter purges.

What happened in Montana is proof that if those who are aggrevied by these disenfranchisement efforts, and the political party they belong to, will fight these crimes, the crimes can be stopped.

Once again, we urge you to contact the DNC and the Obama campaign and press them to take action against illegal purges of the voter rolls. For more information, talking points and contact info, see our previous blog on this here.

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