Ariz. Lawmaker: Vote Watchers Are Partisan

Preventing voter intimidation should transcend politics, but critics say one organization in Arizona may have partisan motives.

Arizona Election Protection (search), which claims no party affiliation, is sending out as many as 200 lawyers and 1,000 volunteers to prevent voter harassment in predominantly black and Latino areas. According to AEP, voter intimidation is anything that makes a person feel scared or nervous at the polls.

"Today, voter intimidation is much more subtle, and a lot of times the majority of the places that it happens are in communities of color," says AEP's John Hartsell (search).

But there are no recent cases of voter intimidation in the Southwestern state, leading critics to wonder if AEP is really trying to promote a political agenda.

"I suppose if they have a single reason that one could speculate about ...  it is to throw this election into the courts and have it decided by lawyers and judges or someone other than voters," says Republican Rep. John Shadegg (search). "And if that's what they're trying to do it's really sad and unfortunate."

Shadegg says AEP has been less than forthcoming about its sponsor, the progressive People for the American Way (search). AEP has also received money from the liberal financier George Soros.

But the group, which will also have volunteers in 14 other states on Election Day, insists it is strictly nonpartisan and that voter intimidation does really exist.

"A lot of folks haven't seen it before, that's true," says Hartsell. "But it's happening and it's happening today."

Click on the box near the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Anita Vogel.