Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) informed Attorney General Eric Holder of recent reports of voter intimidation in Houston on Thursday and requested that the Department of Justice investigate.
Jackson Lee, who has traded accusations over election violations with a Tea Party group in Harris County, urged Holder to immediately send federal poll monitors to the county to observe the elections. A Justice Department representative said they would be announcing the placement of federal monitors on Friday.
“I was very concerned when I was informed of multiple incidents in which voters in predominately minority neighborhoods of my congressional district were intimidated and harassed,” Jackson Lee said in a statement. “These incidents were documented by both the electronic and print media. Accordingly, I shared my concerns with the Department of Justice and the Harris County Attorney’s office, who are investigating these incidents.”
“I even visited with some of these voters who experienced intimidation and went to polling locations to view firsthand the way voters were being treated,” she added. “The right to vote is a fundamental right enshrined by our Constitution, and my interest is to ensure that every person’s right to vote is protected.”
This week the Texas Democratic Party sent TPMMuckraker a list of additional allegations of voter intimidation in Harris County, which they say have continued but have slowed down. True the Vote, an initiative started by the Tea Party group King Street Patriots started, has come under fire due to accusations that the partisan poll watchers they trained are engaged in intimidating tactics during early voting.
[Ed. note: this post was edited after publication]