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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Gansler Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee on S. 453: “Prevention of Deceptive Practices and Voter
Intimidation in Federal Elections”

BALTIMORE, MD (June 7, 2007) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today joined Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson to offer testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on legislation prohibiting the production or distribution of materials designed to intentionally mislead the public during federal elections.

“The health of our democratic system depends on our ability to ensure that all citizens entitled to vote may do so,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Public confidence in the election process cannot be maintained if voters are kept from the polls by intimidation, misinformation or deceit.”

Sponsored by Illinois Senator Barack Obama, S. 453 would prohibit any person from knowingly deceiving any other person regarding the time, location or manner of conducting a federal election. In addition, the bill would also prohibit individuals from knowingly deceiving or misrepresenting to another the qualifications for or restrictions on voter eligibility for any election. The legislation would also assign a criminal penalty to the deceptive acts.

Last month, Attorney General Gansler created a task force chaired by University of Maryland Professor Sherilynn Iffill to examine election irregularities and obstacles to voting experienced by Maryland voters in recent elections and to make proposals for policy changes. The task force will hold hearings across Maryland over the next year to hear from citizens the problems they may have encountered as they tried to cast their vote. The task force will compile a report and make recommendations to resolve those problems. The task force is expected to present its findings to the Attorney General, Governor and legislative leaders by early next year.



 

   

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