Two weeks after an intimidating letter went out to Orange County Latinos, California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson urged them to "ignore that letter." "It was unauthorized and inaccurate," McPherson wrote to the 14,000 residents who received the letter.
The ACLU/SC just days before asked McPherson and Orange County election officials to correct the claims that immigrants who voted could face jail time and deportation. The Orange County Board of Supervisors condemned the letter but refused to join McPherson in alerting affected voters.
"We are pleased the secretary of state took this seriously," said ACLU/SC Orange County director Hector Villagra. "Threats to voters undermine our democracy, and those officials entrusted with ensuring fair elections must take strong steps to counter these tactics."
A Santa Ana resident who received the mailer told the Los Angeles Times he disagreed with Orange County leaders' decision. "It needs to come from the person who says, 'You can vote here in this county,' " said Ruben Alvarez.
In a letter to the ACLU/SC, McPherson wrote, "Any attempt to intimidate voters is unacceptable."
McPherson worked with the National Council of La Raza, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials to correct the letter.