General Gansler Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee on
S. 453: “Prevention of Deceptive Practices
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.