(T)he Justice Department has interviewed witnesses about the alleged intimidation and is gathering information about the so-called anti-voter fraud effort.
"We are currently gathering information regarding this matter," Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement confirming the Civil Rights Division's involvement. ...
(First Assistant District Attorney Terry) O'Rourke said (former DOJ Voting Section Chief John) Tanner made a request on Tuesday to have federal election monitors sent to the county. County Attorney Vince Ryan met on Tuesday with the Democratic and Republican chairmen in the county after he received complaints of possible voter intimidation on the first day of early voting as well, the same day the Houston Chronicle printed a story detailing the allegations.
County Attorney Vince Ryan meets with party heads, instructs them to cool off the hotheads:
Responding to complaints that poll watchers were intimidating voters in predominantly minority polling locations, County Attorney Vince Ryan summoned the county chairmen of both major parties to his office Tuesday and reminded them of their responsibility to make sure the observers were obeying the law.
Ryan also announced in the meeting that he has requested a monitor from the Justice Department to observe the voting process in Harris County through Nov. 2.
In a follow-up letter to the county chairmen, Ryan pointed out that poll watchers are entitled to be at a polling location, but cannot be present at the actual polling station when the voter is preparing his ballot and cannot converse with an election officer about the election, except to call attention to an irregularity or violation of the law.
Houston Votes receives threatening e-mails with racist language:
A group trying to register voters in Houston received threats and emails containing racist slurs after being targeted by a local tea party group accusing it of "voter fraud."
In emails obtained by TPM, the group Houston Votes was accused of being "a bunch of white guilt ridden assholes, NIGGERS and greasy mexican spics," "fraudulent Marxist pigs," and "American hating A-holes."
"We received a couple of threats and several harassing e-mails," Maureen Haver of Houston Voters told TPMMuckraker. "There have been several efforts, I think, just trying to race-bait and stir racial tension and part of that I think is just based on what we've received in messaging from them."
"It's really had a chilling effect on our office," said Haver, adding that one of the e-mails was reported to the FBI.
More of the racist e-mails at this link.
Mediaite and this Kos diary have more on how this development -- the inflaming of racial hatred from the Right in this matter -- might shake out in the coming days.
Here's Miya Shay's report from the scene of one of the EV locations. She interviewed a voter who was turned away as well as a True the Vote poll watcher:
Off the Kuff, Dos Centavos, and Bay Area Houston have more.