GOP admits plan to illegally use foreclosure list to challenge voters
October 20, 2008
The Republican Party admitted to participating in an illegal scheme to use foreclosure lists to challenge predominantly Democratic voters in Michigan on Election Day. The Michigan Democratic Party announced word of the settlement of a suit brought last month by the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign states, "The settlement acknowledges the existence of an illegal scheme by the Republicans to use mortgage foreclosure lists to deny foreclosure victims their right to vote. This settlement has the force of law behind it and ensures that Republicans cannot disenfranchise families facing foreclosure."
Foreclosure Lists and Lawsuit
On September 10, 2008, the website Michigan Messenger reported that the Republican Party in Macomb County (a "key swing county in a key swing state," as the article called it) was planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to prevent the former owners from voting. The plan was seen as likely to affect African-Americans, who receive subprime loans more often than other ethnicities. The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee immediately announced they would file a federal lawsuit to prevent challenges based on foreclosure lists alone. That suit has now been settled. At the same time, Macomb County GOP Chairman James Carabelli threatened to sue the Michigan Messenger over the story, saying they had "made it up." Reporter Eartha Jane Melzer, who wrote the original story for the Michigan Messenger, said she was confident in the veracity of her story. "I spoke with Carabelli myself and I have total confidence in what he told me," she stated. "I have clear notes of our conversation." 
CNN weighs in on the situation
CNN ran their story about the situation on October 20 on American Morning. CNN spoke with Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer prior to the settlement announcement. He told CNN, "They made that political calculation that by and large they don't want those people voting, because they think they're going to vote for Barack Obama." Carabelli did not return CNN's calls, and the state GOP declined to be interviewed.
CNN emphasized that anybody who has lost their house due to foreclosure does have the right to vote wherever they are currently living, or at their former address if the eviction occurred less than 60 days prior to Election Day.