Dearborn, MI | www.adcmichigan.org | March 26, 2014 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Michigan Office (ADC-Michigan)
ADC-Michigan Requesting Investigation into Voter Discrimination in Dearborn Heights
Attorney Fatina Abdrabboh, Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)-Michigan Office, is looking into allegations of voter discrimination in the City of Dearborn Heights. The ADC-Michigan received credible complaints from numerous Arab-Americans alleging that the City of Dearborn Heights deliberately prevented many of them from submitting absentee ballots for the upcoming elections while they are vacationing in the Middle East. In some cases, Dearborn Heights residents were told they would be “mailed” absentee ballot applications, despite the fact that the residents informed city officials that “mailed” applications would be useless while they were overseas. The ADC-Michigan reached out to Dearborn Heights officials seeking an explanation as to why many Arab-Americans were deprived of their right to vote via absentee ballots and why many other applications had not been processed.
In addition, the ADC-Michigan demands a thorough investigation into reports of misconduct, intimidation, and bias towards voters by the City of Dearborn Heights. A particularly disturbing complaint was filed that included an eyewitness account by Attorney Robert Hadous, who says, “I heard the City Clerk tell a voter that he, the City Clerk, had lied to him.” It is especially troubling that Council Woman Marge Horvath sent a dismissive response claiming that no violations could have taken place prior to any authority reviewing the evidence. The ADC-Michigan is thus concerned about the circumstances surrounding the announcement of the Dearborn Heights City Clerk’s resignation amidst the ongoing voter suppression allegations.
The ADC-Michigan is seeking the help of the FBI, US Attorney, and/or Attorney General in order to thoroughly investigate these serious allegations, and restore the confidence of its citizens.
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 guarantees all ethnic and racial minorities the right to vote without obstacles. Specifically, Section 2 of the VRA prohibits minority vote dilution or any tactics, circumstances, or rules that impede or weaken the ability of minorities to vote and gain fair representation. Section 5 of the VRA enables Arab-Americans and other minorities to challenge discriminatory voting practices. ADC-Michigan Director Attorney Abdrabboh said, “The fact that voter intimidation and voter bias exists 50 years after the Voting Rights Act was passed is shocking” , she continued, “Voting is a cornerstone of democracy and Arab-Americans will not stand by and allow this fundamental right to be violated by any city government anywhere.” If the concerns of the ADC-Michigan are not addressed appropriately, Attorney Abdrabboh and other Arab American attorneys will pursue all necessary legal action to uphold Section 5 of the VRA.
If you or anyone you know is ever subjected to any form of discrimination, harassment, bigotry, revenge porn, or cyber-bullying contact the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) Michigan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-581-1201.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is the nation’s largest Arab-American civil rights and social advocacy organization. Its’ mission is to protect the civil rights of Arab-Americans and promote their rich cultural heritage. The ADC-Michigan is the largest and most active office outside of Washington, D.C.
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