Evidence Suggests PA GOP Poll Watchers Systematically Targeting African American Precincts

WASHINGTON, DC – After receiving information indicating that the Pennsylvania Republican Party and the Pittsburgh Tea Party may be systematically sending poll watchers topredominantly African American precincts in Pittsburgh, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Common Cause, The Advancement Project, The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the ACLU, together with a number of local community groups, sent a letter to Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez, who is responsible for enforcing the Voting Rights Act, asking that the Justice Department “make every effort to ensure that voters at these targeted locations are able to cast their ballots freely and fairly” and also to ask the Pennsylvania Republican Party about the source of its lists and the basis of its targeting.

“We have seen their list and it strongly suggests that the Pennsylvania Republican Party is coordinating with the Pittsburgh Tea Party to target African American voters for intimidation at the polls,” said Nicole Berner, SEIU Associate General Counsel. “The Pennsylvania Republican Party has serious questions to answer about where they are putting their poll watchers and why.”