Evidence of Latino Voter Intimidation in California, Colorado, Virginia and Arizona

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 7:04 PM EST

The letter sent to 14,000 voters with Spanish surnames in California's 47th district last month wasn't the only episode of voter intimidation targeting Latino voters this election cycle.

In Colorado, Latino voters received phone calls on Monday (similar to calls in Virginia), where callers told them they that if they voted they would go to jail, prompting Democratic senator Ken Salazar to make a call of his own own telling them that they could.

In Tucson, legal observers with the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund witnessed Latino voters being targeted outside a polling station. Staff attorney Diego Bernal told the Arizona Republic:

"As one man was going up to the voter with the clipboard, another man was videotaping the interaction. At the same time, the third man was walking around with a gun on his waist. They were being provocative. They would have conversations with each other, where they were using mock Spanish accents. It was upsetting."

Clearly things are getting worse for Latinos in Arizona, where voters yesterday overwhelmingly passed four anti-immigration propositions. But in California there was at least some justice yesterday. Tan Nugyen, whose campaign was behind that now infamous letter (and who is also an immigrant, yeah, go figure) got trounced at the polls, losing 62% to 38% to Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

—Amaya Rivera

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.