In response to reports of a scheme to destroy Democratic voter registrations by Voter Outreach of America, a Republican Party-funded group that is registering voters in a number of states, People For the American Way Foundation President Ralph G. Neas issued the following statement:
"According to news reports, a voter registration operation funded by the Republican Party destroyed the registration forms for Nevada voters who registered as Democrats. The same operation has been charged with illegal and deceptive practices in a number of other states, and has falsely portrayed itself as the nonpartisan America Votes project.
"If these operatives are committing this kind of misconduct in state after state, this would be a crime of historic proportions - a naked attempt to steal the election. It must not stand.
"With less than three weeks left until Election Day, there must still be time to stop this assault on democracy, and repair any damage that has been done. We call on the President and Justice Department, as well as state officials, to denounce this effort, bring the guilty to justice, and implement a plan to restore the rights of these voters.
"This transcends partisanship, and goes straight to the integrity of our democratic process, and the faith of the American people in their own government. Our country cannot afford another election tainted by widespread voter disenfranchisement.
"We will join other civil rights advocacy organizations in pursuing every avenue of legal relief, and rallying fair-minded citizens to protest assaults on free and fair elections.
"There are two ways to influence a close election. The first is the right way - get your supporters to vote for you. The other way is to keep your opponents away from the polls. It's wrong, it's un-American, and it's got to stop."
People For the American Way Foundation is one of more than 60 member organizations in the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition. People For the American Way Foundation has also published a recent study of voter intimidation and suppression tactics, "The Long Shadow of Jim Crow ."