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Virginia Voter Suppression Commences.

October 28, 2008

An official-looking flier that has been manipulated to look like it was written by the Virginia State Board of Elections has been circulated throughout the Hampton Roads area.

In essence, it says that due to the expected high turnout, the election was going to have to be broken up into two days — Republicans vote on November 4th, and the Democrats vote on November 5th.

The somewhat official-looking flier – it features the state board logo and the state seal – is dated Oct. 24 and indicates that “an emergency session of the General Assembly has adopted the follwing (sic) emergency regulations to ease the load on local electorial (sic) precincts and ensure a fair electorial process.”

The four-paragraph flier concludes with: “We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but felt this was the only way to ensure fairness to the complete electorial process.”

No emergency action has been taken by the General Assembly. It is not in session and lacks the authority to change the date of a federal election.

State Police are aware of the complaint and are looking into it, said spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

In 2007, the General Assembly passed a law making it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly communicate false information to registered voters about the date, time and place of the election or voters’ precincts, polling places or voter registration statuses in order to impede their voting. The measure is one of the few such deceptive voting practice laws in the country, according to the watchdog group Common Cause.

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