Sen. Boxer reminds Tea Party ‘intimidating voters is a federal offense’

Updated
By Quinn Wonderling

The Tea Party’s crusade against voter fraud by way of suppression and intimidation was flipped on its head earlier this week as election officials in six Florida counties launched an investigation into potentially hundreds of cases of suspected voter fraud by a GOP consulting firm that was paid almost $3 million by the RNC to register Republican voters in swing states.

There’s been lots of talk from GOPers about cracking down on voter fraud, and now Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., wants to make sure equal attention is paid to the crime of voter intimidation. Boxer stopped by The Ed Show on Friday to discuss a letter she recently wrote to the State Department inquiring about their handling of voter intimidation. She told Ed Schultz:

“I know everyone’s paying attention, I know the Obama campaign is ready to act on this. But I realized that there are two important federal laws, the Voting Rights Act, passed in the 60s, and Voter Registration Act passed in the 90s, that have criminal and civil penalties for people who try to intimidate a voter. And I wanted to make sure that the Justice Department is moving on these cases. So I did hear from them today, and although they can’t confirm or deny any particular case because I wrote about Ohio, they did say that they had opened up 42 investigations this year, which is good to know.

They are pursuing, enforcing these laws, and they said I could say that anyone within the sound of my voice, anyone in this country who feels they’re being intimidated can call their nearest FBI office because it is a federal offense to harass someone, to intimidate someone. Think about all the people that worked so hard and struggled and went to prison and put their life on the line for the right to vote.”

Schultz asked Boxer to comment on a video that surfaced on Wednesday of a young girl in Colorado registering people to vote – but only if they were voting for Mitt Romney. The girl said she was being paid by the County Clerk’s office.

Boxer said it’s very simple, black and white: “That’s against the law.”

Barbara Boxer

Sen. Boxer reminds Tea Party 'intimidating voters is a federal offense'

Updated