Some Question The Tactics Of The Election Integrity Project In San Diego
Monday, September 17, 2012
Aired 9/17/12 on KPBS News.
A citizen's group will watch out for voter fraud at San Diego polling places this November. Whether the group is good influence or not depends on who you ask.
SAN DIEGO Between now and October 6th the Election Integrity Project has scheduled at least nine training seminars in San Diego County. The national organization is known for examining voter rolls, and they were present at many polling places in San Diego during the June primary.
They say they're watching out for voter fraud. But critics say they're trying to intimidate voters.
Linda Paine, president of the group in California, said poll watchers in California found many polls where things went fine.
"On the other hand," she said, "we saw what appeared to be policies and procedures in existence that opened the door to the potential of voter fraud."
Paine said their group is non-partisan, and it does nothing to interfere with voting. But the group has many connections to the Tea Party. And critics say their tactics border on voter intimidation.
Kathay Feng is executive director of California Common Cause. She said Election Integrity Project volunteers call poll workers on small technicalities, and they do things to make voters uncomfortable.
"Talking very loudly about voter I.D. and voter fraud," she said, "and creating a bit of a hostile environment."
Discouraging inexperienced voters can help conservative causes. California does not require a voter I.D.
The San Diego County's assistant registrar of voters, Michael Vu, said some poll workers did complain in June of aggressive action by the Election Integrity Project. But no voters complained of being intimidated.