Escobedo v. Rogers
As part of MALDEF’s national voter protection campaign during the 2008 general elections, MALDEF filed a federal lawsuit in Albuquerque, New Mexico to block threats and voter intimidation directed at eligible Latino voters. MALDEF represents two Latina voters who are properly registered and qualified to vote but were the target of an intimidation campaign that included public accusations of voter fraud and harassment by a private investigator sent to their homes.
Dora Escobedo, a 67-year-old newly naturalized U.S. citizen, and the lead plaintiff in the case, was harassed by a private investigator who claimed he was investigating voter fraud, accused her of being a non-citizen and fraudulent voter and threatened to call federal immigration authorities. In addition, Ms. Escobedo’s personal information, including her address, phone number and birth date were released to the public by Defendants as evidence that her vote was invalid.
U.S. District Court Judge William P. Johnson denied MALDEF’s request for a temporary restraining order on Election Day, November 4, 2008. However, the defendant, private investigator Mr. Romero, testified that in the future he would no longer visit the home of the plaintiffs and both defendants were forced to account for their actions under oath in court. Following the hearing, the plaintiffs learned that their votes had been counted without challenge by the Bernalillo County Clerk.