People For the American Way Foundation to McPherson: Tell Naturalized Immigrants Their Votes Count


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Amid the mounting scandal surrounding intimidation letters to registered voters with Spanish surnames in Orange County, People For the American Way Foundation is asking Secretary of State Bruce McPherson to further reassure all naturalized citizens in California that their votes will count.

“We encourage McPherson to further emphasize the message right now that immigrant citizens can vote, that their votes will count, and that they will not be discriminated against at the polls. California must take the lead in rejecting dirty tricks that attempt to fan anti-immigrant feelings for partisan gain at the ballot box,” said Melissa Daar, California Policy and Field Director of People For the American Way Foundation.

“We commend Attorney General Bill Lockyer for his courageous and immediate action in pursuing this outrageous matter. Mr. McPherson can add to that effort by immediately reassuring California’s immigrant citizens, and demonstrating respect for voters that transcends party lines,” Daar added.

People For the American Way Foundation signed a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this week urging him to investigate this flagrant violation of election law and its authors’ intention to intimidate voters in a competitive district. This attempt at voter suppression is among an emerging pattern affecting states across the country, as various political groups and candidates initiate campaigns to suppress or intimidate voters. This trend is explored in People For the American Way Foundation’s recent report, The New Face of Jim Crow: Voter Suppression in America.

People For the American Way Foundation represents more than 165,000 Californian activists and supporters. Formed more that 25 years ago by religious, civic, and business leaders who believed in the values of fairness and tolerance, People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF) works to promote the civil rights and liberties of all Americans. PFAWF passionately believes that every American enjoys the same rights and responsibilities in a democratic society, and that every American deserves equal access to the ballot box.