A New Low
Mailed notice told Spanish-speakers that they can't vote
November 5, 2006
A message sent to immigrants-turned-citizens in California that falsely claims it's a crime for them to vote has raised concerns close to home.
The Oregon AFL-CIO is urging voters in the state to report any attempts to interfere with their right to vote.
"A healthy democracy depends on every citizen's vote being counted," said Tom Chamberlain, the president of the Oregon AFL-CIO.
The labor federation's concerns stem from a letter, written in Spanish, sent to Spanish-surnamed naturalized U.S. citizens born in Latin American countries who are registered voters in Orange County, Calif.
The letter purportedly warned people that only U.S. citizens can vote, that voting by immigrants is a crime and a deportable offense, and that immigration-restriction organizations have access to federal databases of properly registered voters.
A California state investigation into who sent the letter has focused on a Republican congressional candidate who was running on an anti-illegal-immigration platform.