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Some Question The Tactics Of The Election Integrity Project In San Diego

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.

— 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.

A woman votes at a polling place in California, 2010.
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Above: A woman votes at a polling place in California, 2010.

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.

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Avatar for user 'ANRCHY'

ANRCHY | September 17, 2012 at 7:59 a.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

This organization is backed by the far-right, and its true mission is to discourage voter registration amongst minorities.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | September 17, 2012 at 6:12 p.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

I don't want these kooks lurking around when I go to vote!!!!!!!!!!

Voter fraud has not been found to be prevalent enough to warrant this type of nonsense.

These people don't cre about voting, they are POLITICALLY MOTIVATED.

This angers and disgusts me and if one of these busy-bodies does anything suspect when I go to the polls, I will be filing a formal complaint with the state.

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Avatar for user 'Frankie'

Frankie | September 17, 2012 at 8:27 p.m. ― 4 years, 5 months ago

Good luck, Peking Duck, on getting any action after filing a formal complaint to Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

I wrote to her last May 31 and still have received no response about a new practice by San Diego Registrar of Voters Deborah Seiler who had sold information to a conservative blog called San Diego Rostra concerning the political parties of absentee voters whose ballots are returned to the Registrar prior to the election.

I think publishing such numbers can discourage late voter turnout, much as exit polling does, and that it also breaches voter ballot privacy. Seiler dismisses such concerns, saying, it's all public information available to whomever wants to pay. She said to the U-T, "If a voter stays out there because of something like this, I think it is just an excuse." She refused to answer my follow-up questions, so I wrote to the
Secretary of State Bowen on May 31. No answer from her either, and it's already
September 17.

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