During the campaign, Barack Obama said the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act would be an important step toward strengthening civil rights enforcement. The bill would:
* Increase the penalty for voter intimidation from one year in prison to five years.
* Provide a mechanism for people to report false election information or voter intimidation to the U.S. attorney general.
*Direct the attorney general to review all claims of false election information or intimidation, provide correct information to the affected parties and refer the case to appropriate authorities for prosecution.
President Obama"s connection with the proposal goes back to November 2005, when he introduced a bill with a similar title and purpose in the U.S. Senate. The bill never got out of committee. He reintroduced the bill in January 2007. Though the bill came out of committee, a floor vote never took place. Several months earlier, however, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois Democrat who is now Obama"s chief of staff, was able to get a similar version of the bill passed through the House.
On Jan. 6, 2009, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., introduced the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2009. The 2009 bill is similar, though not identical, to Obama"s 2005 bill. The last congressional action took place on June 12, 2009, when the bill was referred to the subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.
The bill is being considered in Congress and we rate this promise In the Works.