PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The ACLU of Maine is asking for the Justice Department to step in and prevent Maine Republican Party Chair Charlie Webster from sending out postcards to newly registered voters in some rural Maine towns.
Webster caused a stir November 13 when he told NEWS CENTER's Don Carrigan,"In some parts of the state, for example in some parts of rural Maine, there were dozens of black people who came and voted election day. Everybody has a right to vote. But nobody in town knows anybody who's black. How did it happen, we're going to find out."
Two days later, Webster said he planned to mail out a thousand post cards at his own expense to newly registered voters in unnamed rural towns to see whether any come back as undeliverable.
In their letter to the Justice Department, the ACLU of Maine and the Brennan Center for Justice write that the sending of postcards should be considered "harassment" and a violation of the National Voter Registration Act, particularly because Webster cited the race of the voters as a possible red flag. They're asking the Justice Department to investigate Webster's intentions and stop him from sending any postcards.
The ACLU's Zach Heiden said, "We're concerned about his future plans, not his speech. He says he plans to investigate in a harassing way a number of newly registered voters, including African-American voters. That's clearly not allowed under civil rights laws."
Webster said he did not understand why the ACLU would pursue the issue. "Unless I did something what would be the complaint?" Webster said.
When asked whether he still planned to send the postcards he said, "I have no idea. It's an old story. I don't know why they're pursuing it."
The Republican Party is scheduled to elect a new state chair Saturday.