Posts tagged "Voter Fraud"

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures throughout the country, won a big victory last week when a federal court allowed Kansas and Arizona to require extra proof of citizenship from people registering to vote with federal voter registration forms.

Kansas’ strict new documentation requirement – which requires residents to produce a birth certificate, passport, or similar document in order to register to vote – has thrown the voter registrations of 16,000 people into limbo, a problem that Kobach has consistently laughed off.

In an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins on Washington Watch last week, Kobach insisted that voting rights advocates on the “radical left” have “great difficulty demonstrating that it’s actually harder” to register to vote with his arcane new system. In fact, he alleged that voting rights groups “just want the loosey-goosey kind of system that allows fraud to occur because they perhaps feel they can benefit from that fraud.”

To illustrate the urgent importance of blocking tens of thousands of people from the ballot box in order to prevent noncitizens from voting, Kobach produced “a couple of recent examples” of such fraud occurring. One such “recent example” was from 1997 – or 17 years ago. The other – a tale of “50 Somali nationals” voting in a Democratic primary in Kansas city, Missouri in 2010 – never actually happened. When Kobach brought up the same anecdote in an op-ed last year, the Kansas City Star looked into it and found that a court had dismissed charges about the illegal votes, finding that “credible evidence proves that there was no voter misconduct and there was no voter fraud with regard to this election.”

Interestingly, there was proven voter fraud in that 2010 Kansas City election. One candidate’s uncle and aunt pleaded guilty for fraud for voting for their nephew even though they lived outside of his district. That fraud would not have been prevented by Kobach’s proof-of-citizenship law.

Yet, Kobach is so insistent that the “radical left” wants to use noncitizen voters to steal elections that he’s willing to put the voter registrations of tens of thousands of Kansans on hold in the name of preventing it.

Kobach: We’ve got cases going back years in this country of aliens usually being manipulated by someone who’s trying to steal an election or trying to influence an election. They’re told, ‘hey you can vote,’ they may not know that they’re breaking federal and state law, but they go ahead and register to vote.

So, I can give you a couple of recent examples in our neck of the woods. In Kansas City, Missouri, in 2010, in the Democrat primary for the state legislature, about 50 Somali nationals were registered to vote and persuaded, coached, to vote for one candidate, and that guy ended up winning by one vote.

In Kansas, in my state, in 1997, some alien employees of a meat-packing plant across the border in Oklahoma were encouraged to register to vote in Kansas to help sway a country referendum on a hog-farming operation.

PerkinsWhy the opposition? Why are people opposed to this?

KobachWell, as you know, it comes from groups on the radical left, and they make all kinds of claims asserting that it’s going to be harder to vote or harder to register, but they have great difficulty demonstrating that it’s actually harder or statistically showing that it produces reduced turnout when in fact the opposite seems to occur, people have greater confidence in their elections when they know they’re secure.

I don’t know, I think some of these groups just want the loosey-goosey kind of system that allows fraud to occur because they perhaps feel they can benefit from that fraud.

From the 03.22.2014 edition of FRC’s Washington Watch:

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

It’s just, I think, sad when a political party — my political party — has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics. And again, I’m a guy who understands and appreciates what we should be doing in order to make sure every vote counts, every vote is legitimate. But that fact is, it ought to be abundantly clear to everybody in this state that there is no massive voter fraud. The only thing that we do have in this state is we have long lines of people who want to vote. And it seems to me that we should be doing everything we can to make it easier, to help these people get their votes counted. And that we should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future, rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.

Sen. Dale Schultz (R) who called out Wisconsin GOP politician for supporting voter suppression efforts (via Think Progress)

Schultz added that the suppression was “just plain wrong,” adding, “It is all predicated on some belief there is a massive fraud or irregularities, something my colleagues have been hot on the trail for three years and have failed miserably at demonstrating.” The GOP-controlled Assembly has already passed a similar bill.

2011 study by the non-partisan Brennan Center found just seven cases of voter fraud in Wisconsin’s 2004 election, out of three million votes cast — a fraud rate of just 0.0002 percent.

(via occupywatchdog)

This obstruction is national policy by now. Voter suppression couched in voter I.d legislation is invariably a Republican initiave

(via invisiblelad)

(via iammyfather)

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is claiming that he voted for Ronald Reagan, but this is impossible because Walker wasn’t old enough to vote in 1980 or 1984.

During an interview with Right Wing News, Walker said:

It was, I mean, it’s so frustrating. I mean, you think in modern American history we’ve never had someone running for re-election with an unemployment rate so high that ultimately won the election. I believe Mitt Romney is a good man. I think he would have been a good president, but I think he was mis-served by many in his campaign, many of whom believed, I think incorrectly, that Ronald Reagan won under similar circumstances almost exclusively on the idea that the question was making the election an referendum on Jimmy Carter. In fact, I quote the famous line that Reagan used, “You’re better off today than you were four years ago.” The problem is the Romney camp thought that was the entire focus of the campaign.

They failed to see that Reagan’s campaign…… that statement was the closing argument in one of the last debates. It was a way of wrapping things together, but his campaign was much more than just being against Jimmy Carter. It was much more aspirational and Americans could see — and to this day 33 years later — you can still look back and say that and vote for Ronald Reagan. I remember, I was a teenager, had just become a teenager and voted for Ronald Reagan — limited government, you know, smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense. You knew what you were getting. You knew how a Reagan administration, a Reagan presidency was going to be better for you.

The problem is that Scott Walker was 13 years old in 1980, and 17 years old in 1984. The legal voting age is 18. There is no way that Scott Walker could have legally voted for Ronald Reagan unless he committed voter fraud. This is another example of why Scott Walker could be a formidable 2016 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. The man will lie about anything. He has no conscience when it comes to lying.

Walker has taken the strategy that every Republican candidate uses of selling themselves as the next Reagan to a whole new level. He has invented a fictional connection between himself and Ronald Reagan. Scott Walker isn’t the heir apparent to Ronald Reagan. His ability to lie, and bland personality, puts him right in line with Mitt Romney. The difference is that Walker has the credibility with the far right that Romney always lacked.

h/t: Jason Easley at PoliticusUSA

Supreme Court Arizona Inter Tribal Council

The Supreme Court on Monday overturned an Arizona law that required proof of citizenship to register to vote, declaring that state efforts of the sort are trumped by a federal statute commonly known as the “motor voter” law.

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 required states to accept a voter registration form that lets people register to vote with basic identification when renewing their driver’s license or applying for social services. The registration form requires prospective voters to attest that they are U.S. citizens but doesn’t require them to provide proof of citizenship. The Court concluded that Arizona may not require such additional information.

The 7-2 decision in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council was written by Justice Antonin Scalia. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented from the majority.

“We hold that [federal law] precludes Arizona from requiring a Federal Form applicant to submit information beyond hat required by the form itself,” Scalia wrote for the court.

Progressive legal advocates had warned that the Arizona law would place undue burdens on minority groups. They hailed the decision as a victory for voting rights.

Voters scored a huge victory today,” said Wendy Weiser, the director of New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice. “We applaud the Supreme Court for confirming Congress’s power to protect the right to vote in federal elections.”

Arizona’s Proposition 200 was adopted by the voters in 2004. Copycat laws in three other states — Alabama, Georgia and Kansas — may also be in trouble. The three states supported Arizona’s argument that the NVRA form is insufficient to guard against voter fraud.

“Today’s decision means that these laws are preempted by the National Voter Registration Act,” said David Gans, the civil rights director of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a liberal law group. He noted that Alabama’s brief argued that its voter law and laws in other states were “verbatim replicas” of the Arizona statute.

h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPMDC

Following other far-right attacks on comprehensive immigration reform, True the Vote, a Tea Party group purporting to combat voter fraud, is now rallying against the Senate’s immigration bill. In a fundraising email to supporters, True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht warned that the bill presents a “golden opportunity” to allow “millions of newly legalized immigrants” to “undermine our electoral system.”

In reality, immigrants who become legal under the bill would have to wait 14 years to gain citizenship and the accompanying right to vote. However, True the Vote’s unfounded suspicion that minorities voting is inherently illegal is nothing new. Despite the group’s stated intention of fighting in-person voter fraud, an exceedingly rare phenomenon, the legislation they advocate for, such as voter ID, limited voter registration, and voter purges, has been found time and again to target minorities’ voting rights. In the last election cycle alone, the Justice Department blocked 4 supposedly anti-voter fraud laws in 3 states because they would clearly make it harder for minorities to vote. Florida and Colorado also threatened to purge suspected non-citizens — most of whom were Latino — from their voter rolls if the individuals could not prove their citizenship in time. Florida found a single non-citizen voter from Canada, and Colorado ultimately gave up after confirming citizenship for the vast majority of suspected non-citizens.

Even though citizens have the right to vote regardless of origin or language, anti-immigrant lawmakers have also pushed for legislation targeting non-English speaking voters.

h/t: Aviva Shen at Think Progress Immigration


The Family Research Council has caught wind of a new theory percolating in the right-wing blogosphere and in certain circles on Capitol Hill: that the Department of Health and Human Services is using a new Obamacare rule to empower the long-defunct ACORN to commit voter intimidation and fraud.

The new rule in question is HHS’s solution to the problem of signing up 30 million uninsured Americans on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges. Under the rule, HHS will recruit “navigators” to walk uninsured people through the process of finding an insurance policy on their state’s exchange. According to the Washington Post, “Groups such as unions, chambers of commerce, health clinics, immigrant-service organizations, and community- or consumer-focused nonprofits can use the grants to train and employ staff members or volunteers to provide in-person guidance — especially to hard-to-reach populations — and to provide space for them to work.”

Boustany’s fears were then picked up by Breitbart.com, which announced this week, “HHS resurrects ‘ACORN’ through Obamacare.”

Yesterday, the Family Research Council picked up this story and ran with it in its daily email, warning that an “army of ACORN, Planned Parenthood, and union activists” will use their roles as insurance navigators to “influence people’s party affiliation.” The email adds: “With this administration, it isn’t a question of whether they would abuse their power—but when!”

The rule, which is available for public comment for the next few weeks, also includes a “voter registration provision,” leading many—including Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.)—to question how this army of ACORN, Planned Parenthood, and union activists would twist their access to influence people’s party affiliation. With this administration, it isn’t a question of whether they would abuse their power—but when!

ACORN, of course, disbanded in 2010 after a right-wing smear campaign accused it of large-scale voter fraud – accusations that turned out to be completely false. But that hasn’t stopped 49 percent of Republican voters from believing that ACORN stole the 2012 election for President Obama – an illusion gleefully perpetuated by groups like the FRC.

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

(via Voter Fraud Encouraged in the CPAC Straw Poll | Right Wing Watch)

We may never be able to trust the integrity of the annual CPAC straw poll again now that we know that rampant voter fraud is actively promoted by organizers, as this morning’s emcee openly encouraged attendees to just make up user IDs in order to cast as many votes as possible in the poll because the results often make national news and “we need to make sure that people understand the conservative message and where we want to take this movement in the future.”

"Make sure that your voice is heard," the emcee said … by voting dozens and dozens of times in the CPAC straw poll.

Ed Schultz points out that the real voter fraud comes from Republicans (via Raw Story )

On Wednesday night’s episode of “The Ed Show,” host Ed Schultz listed off numerous actual instances of Republican-spun voter fraud schemes, mocking the seemingly perpetual paranoia many conservatives have about the community group ACORN, which doesn’t even exist anymore. He instead recalled…


 

We do not have to guess what the states currently subject to a key provision of the Voting Rights Act will do if the Supreme Court grants their wish to have that provision declared unconstitutional — top Republicans in those states have already told us. In a brief filed last August, Republican attorneys general from six of the states covered, at least in part, by Section 5 of the Voting Right Act complained that this landmark legislation is all that stands between them and implementing a common method of disenfranchising minority voters. Two of those states, South Carolina and Texas, admit that the Voting Rights Act stopped them from implementing a voter suppression law their governors already signed.

Of course, the voter suppression law at issue here are so-called “voter ID” provisions that require voters to present photo ID at the polls. Their supporters clam publicly that these laws are needed to prevent voter fraud at the polls, but this claim is absurd. Voters are more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit in-person voter fraud. A study of Wisconsin voters found that just 0.00023 percent of votes are the product of such fraud.

What these laws do accomplish is disenfranchisement; even conservative estimates suggest that they prevent 2 to 3 percent of registered voters from casting a ballot. This voter disenfranchisement is particularly pronounced among low-income voters, students and — a fact that is particularly salient for any discussion of the Voting Rights Act — racial minorities.

The Voting Rights Act, of course, protects against laws that expose minority voters to greater burdens than other voters. Section 5, the provision that the Supreme Court will consider tomorrow, requires parts of the country that have historically engaged in voter suppression to “pre-clear” any new voting laws with the Justice Department or a federal court in DC to make sure they do not impose racial burdens. Thus, voter suppression laws such as voter ID can be blocked before an election is held, preventing officials from being elected to office by an electorate that has been unlawfully culled of minority voters.

Lest there be any doubt, voter ID laws are just one of many tactics Republican lawmakers have turned to in order to reshape the electorate into something more likely to elect their favored candidates.

As President Lyndon Johnson warned when he originally proposed the Voting Rights Act to Congress, vote suppressors will bring “every device of which human ingenuity is capable” to deny the right to vote. This is why it is so important that Section 5 exist. Advocates of disenfranchisement are smart, nimble and capable of subtlety. The law must have a mechanism to block their efforts from taking effect before an election is held using illegal, vote suppressing procedures.

Indeed, it is deeply distressing that the Supreme Court would consider weakening the Voting Rights Act at the exact moment that Republican lawmakers are engaged in what President Bill Clinton called the most “determined effort to limit the franchise” since Jim Crow. What America needs today is not weaker voting rights. At the very least, we need to keep the protections we already have and expand Section 5′s coverage to include many Republican-controlled states that are not currently subject to its rule — an expansion the Voting Rights Act explicitly contemplates under what is known as the “bail-in” provision of the law. The lawmakers who reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006 could not have anticipated that Republican lawmakers in many states would begin a voter suppression campaign a few years later, but the drafters of the act were wise to include a provision that enables it to adapt to these circumstances.

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress

Rather than continuing to solely play defense, the Center for American Progress has released a report detailing 11 pieces of state legislation that voting rights advocates can use to go on offense in 2013:

1. Online voter registration. Less than 63 percent of Americans aged 18-34 were registered to vote in 2009, yet a Nielsen survey found that these young citizens were by far the most electronically connected, with 88 percent having an Internet connection at home. Modernizing the voter-registration process and allowing people to register online would be a boon for the overall number of voters in our country.

2. Election Day registration. Most states bar their residents from registering in the weeks just before an election—at a time when media coverage is at a fever pitch and less-engaged citizens are just starting to tune in. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, stop allowing people to register 30 days before an election. Election Day registration eliminates that barrier, helping a significant number of Americans vote. In 2008 alone, more than 1 million individuals registered on Election Day in these states. Studies have found that Election Day registration boosts turnout on average by 7-percentage points to 14-percentage points.

3. Require public schools to help register voters. Young Americans continue to vote at far lower rates than the rest of the citizenry. This year, for instance, only half of the voting-eligible population between the ages of 18 and 24 cast a ballot, compared to more than two-thirds of senior citizens. One simple way to encourage students to vote is for states to require that public schools provide voter-registration services.

4. Expand early voting. Early voting is one of the most important realms of voting rights over the past decade. It offers citizens more flexibility to vote at their convenience—not everyone can take off an hour or two from work on the first Tuesday of November—and allows election officials to spread the process of counting ballots over a number of days or weeks, rather than getting inundated all at once. It’s also a major boon for minority turnout. Many African American churches, for instance, participate in a “souls to the polls” voting drive on the Sunday before Election Day helping boost black early voting rates. Currently, 16 states don’t offer early voting.

5. Allow voters to cast a ballot in any county polling location. One of the most exciting new developments in the past couple years is the advent of polling centers. Rather than restricting voters to one assigned precinct where they must cast their ballot, a handful of counties now allow residents to vote at any polling location in their home county. Travis County, Texas, home to Austin, for example, conducted a study of its new policy after it was introduced in 2011 and found that allowing voters to cast a ballot at any of the county’s 207 polling locations led directly to a 1.4 percent increase in turnout. Approximately one in three voters ended up going to a different polling location than their usual one.

6. No-excuse absentee voting. For many Americans taking time off during the work day to vote is not an option. Fortunately for them an increasing number of states are enacting “no-excuse absentee” laws that allow anyone who requests an absentee ballot to receive one, not just individuals who will be out of town or have another reason barring them from voting on Election Day.

7. Strengthen penalties for knowingly deceiving voters. Though voter fraud is largely a myth, one form of actual election hijinks occurs when individuals or groups purposefully deceive certain voters about when or how to vote. These deceptive practices are unfortunately commonplace, such as fliers plastered in urban areas telling Republicans to vote on Tuesday and Democrats to vote on Wednesday. States should not only specifically ban deceptive practices, but classify them as a felony.

8. Outlaw voter caging. Voter caging is when an operative or group sends letters to a “target’s” home and uses any returned mail to challenge that voter’s eligibility on the presumption that they don’t live at the listed residence. For years, political operatives have used voter caging as a tactic to suppress turnout among largely minority populations. Because it’s a process that is riddled with problems, states should affirmatively ban the practice of voter caging. There are dozens of reasons why a piece of mail would be returned that are more plausible than a voter intending to commit voter fraud, including as clerical errors or military deployment, and serves primarily to suppress legitimate voters.

9. Reform the voter-challenge process. Poll watchers became a household term in the 2012 election as campaigns and outside groups like True The Vote trained thousands of volunteers to challenge voters’ eligibility anytime they suspected irregularities. When a poll watcher makes a challenge most states place the burden of proof on the voter to prove he or she is eligible to cast a ballot, a process that does little to disincentivize frivolous challenges. States therefore should pass legislation shifting the burden of proof from the voter to the challenger. In addition, states should impose penalties on individuals and groups who make frivolous challenges.

10. Restore voting rights to ex-felons. Felons in most states aren’t just barred from voting while in prison; a handful of states strip them of their voting rights for the rest of their life, even after completing their sentence. As a result, 3.1 million Americans were disenfranchised in 2008. If we as a society want to reintegrate people with felony convictions back into society after they finish their prison terms, it makes little sense to permanently brand them with a scarlet letter.

11. Enact constitutional language affirming an equal right to vote. When Wisconsin passed voter ID legislation in 2011 the only thing stopping its implementation in the 2012 election was the state constitution’s language affirming Wisconsin residents’ right to vote. Every state constitution has different language regarding the right to vote. Still, the most important thing voting-rights advocates can proactively do to prevent further attacks on voting rights such as voter ID is to strengthen their state’s constitutional language regarding the right to vote.

H/T: Scott Keyes at Think Progress Justice

(via Joyner: ‘I’m Not Convinced That the Election Was Not Stolen’ | Right Wing Watch)

Yesterday, Rick Joyner dedicated his ”Prophetic Perspective on Current Events” program to discussing the re-election of President Obama … which he is pretty sure was stolen. 

Citing a 2006 paper from Princeton University revealing that electronic voting machines could be easily hacked, Joyner declared that he has heard lots of anecdotal evidence about voting machines changing votes cast for Mitt Romney and giving them to Barack Obama. On top of that, Joyner is sure that the implementation of Voter ID laws in Indiana and North Carolina was instrumental in swinging those states away from Obama, who won them in 2008, to Romney this year.  Add to that stories about buses full of non-English speaking voters being driving from precinct to precinct to cast votes for Obama coupled with stories of entire precincts not registering a single vote for Romney and it is pretty obvious that the election was fraudulent, which means that President Obama’s second term is entirely illegitimate.

bankston:

Rocker Ted Nugent apparently still has the keys to an op-ed column over at the Washington Times, which has given him a forum to opine on how to deal with the deficit as lawmakers work to reach an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff.

According to Nugent, the debt and spending problem is so dire that the only way to even begin to address it is to simply engage in the ritual “slaughter” of entitlement programs altogether.

“The three sacred entitlement cows in the room that no politician wants to poke are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,” Nugent wrote. “A blinding statement of the obvious is that we are never going to get our financial house in order until these sacred entitlement cows are not only poked, but slaughtered.”

Nugent argued that instead of raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, as many Democrats including President Barack Obama have supported, Congress should hike taxes on everybody — particularly the poorest 50 percent of Americans, whom Nugent accuses of mooching an “insane free ride.”

The next step, wrote Nugent, was to suspend “the right to vote of any American who is on welfare.”

“Once they get off welfare and are self-sustaining, they get their right to vote restored,” he added.

Nugent ended with an offhand plea to “eliminate voter fraud” by implementing a national voter ID law.

Click over to Nugent’s column for that and more extreme recommendations. If you already feel like your head is about to explode, click here for some better ideas on how Washington can responsibly address the deficit.

Fuck off, Ted Nugent!

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) told a radio host he completely agreed with her assertion that investigations are needed to determine why President Obama lost “every one” of the states with photo identification requirements for voting, yet won re-election. Cuccinelli, who has lost most of the major legal cases he has brought since taking office in 2010, told the host she was “preaching to the choir.”

Studies have shown Americans are more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud. Cuccinelli endorsed the idea of such investigations, but noted that he lacks the statutory authority to do launch an investigation.

Cuccinelli backed Jacobus on her conspiracy theories:

JACOBUS: There needs to be a way for people to be able to report this stuff and have it looked into. I mean, just across the country, we’re hearing so many stories. And people can talk about it, but nothing seems to be done. And, in fact in these states where voter ID is required to vote…

WILSON: Photo ID.

JACOBUS: Photo ID. Voter photo ID. Obama lost every one of those states. He can’t win a state where photo ID is required. So clearly there’s something going on out there and until there’s a way to have something done about it where when you report it, you know it’s going to be looked into, the other side just says “Oh, well, you’re just poor losers,” and that sort of thing.

CUCCINELLI: Your tone suggests you’re a little upset with me. You’re preaching to the choir. I’m with you completely.

Of course, real voter fraud can be reported to local police authorities for investigation. And while just four states had strict photo ID laws in effect in the 2012 election — deep red Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, and Tennessee — seven more had some photo ID laws in effect. Of those, Obama did carry four (Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, and New Hampshire).

Cuccinelli announced in December that he will run for governor in November 2013.

h/t: Josh Israel at Think Progress

TPM: 'Unskewed Polls' Founder Dean Chambers Launches Vote Fraud Website 

Dean Chambers, the founder of UnSkewedPolls.com, launched a new website last week alleging that President Barack Obama did not legitimately carry Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida, but instead won those states thanks to voter fraud.