Missouri Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard said he plans to bring up his priorities — including right-to-work and voter photo ID — before anything else gets done as the Legislature heads into its final week.

Democrats have been delaying the legislative process so this is what the Senate leader had to say:

“There’s priorities on both sides of the aisle, and if mine don’t make it, nobody else’s will either,” Richard said.  Link to more.

Image result for senate majority leader ron richard missouri

Fifteen Georgia counties are now reporting voter registration fraud to the Secretary of State’s Office, including… Effingham, Toombs and Tattnall counties. Secretary of State Brian Kemp said his office continues to investigate the New Georgia Project. The voter registration group is accused of forging signatures and providing false information.

Along with the Secretary of State, the group’s Democrat supporters have questioned the activities of the New Georgia Project, “a nonpartisan voter registration group focused on registering first-time minority voters” that “has come under scrutiny following the 2014 election.“

Launched in late 2013, the voter registration effort led by House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, had a goal of registering at least 120,000 minority voters across the state leading up to the 2014 midterm election. According to multiple sources, donors gave at least $3 million to Abrams’ nonprofit for her voter registration initiative, including a $500,000 check from Democratic financier George Soros.

Following a voter fraud investigation into the group, Abrams last October joined a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp demanding that his office process tens of thousands of allegedly missing voter registrations applications by any means necessary. Kemp’s office said that all of the group’s applications were processed. A Fulton judge dismissed the suit.  No subsequent complaints from NGP registrants were filed on Election Day.

Democratic lawmakers, staffers, and strategists have since raised questions about how Abrams’ initiative spent that cash, asked for proof of the missing applications’ existence, and cast doubt on the legitimacy of a lawsuit filed against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Ten years after the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform issued its report recommending that states require voters to present photo identification at the polls (and “use their best efforts to obtain proof of citizenship before registering voters”),  in Maine and elsewhere the anti-ID crowd continues to oppose any efforts to secure the voting process and “make sure that the person arriving at a polling site is the same one that is named on the registration list.”

I was disappointed to learn that the Maine Legislature had once again voted down requiring the presentation of a photo ID in order to vote.

Opponents of voter ID legislation claim that it’s unnecessary as Maine’s ballots are already secure and there is no voter fraud. I say that this is a fallacy, as there are no measures currently in place to protect the sanctity of the ballot. You cannot claim there is no voter fraud when there are no ways to detect voter fraud.

 

Carter-Baker-ID Recs

Inside the Fight Against Noncitizen Voting

No doubt by now you have seen blaring headlines and email forwards against the Obama Administration’s moves to stifle attempts at preventing noncitizen voting. TTV has found the same articles and found the details somewhat lacking. How do states fight noncitizen voting under current federal law? Election integrity-minded policymakers and administrators must play a game of mother may I? with a relatively obscure Washington commission, unfortunately.

You might recall in early 2014 when True the Vote submitted a public comment in favor of Arizona and Kansas’ request before the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to allow state-specific instructions for completing the federal voter registration form be amended to require citizenship-verifying documents be attached to the executed form. While some organizations questioned the EAC’s ability to rule on such a matter (given that the Commission did not have a quorum of actual commissioners at the time) True the Vote went straight for the merits of the ask. Although the EAC acknowledged TTV’s observations in its response, the answer was a flat ‘no’ to the states.

Who told Arizona and Kansas ‘no’? Our pal J. Christian Adams offers a detailed piece this week highlighting Ms. Alice P. Miller – the unelected, unconfirmed and EAC unapproved Acting Executive Director of the Commission. If ever you wanted to know why federalizing elections is a bad idea, look no further – two states were shut down by a DC bureaucrat that received their position with a job application.

Ms. Miller’s answer to Arizona and Kansas has sparked a federal court fight heading to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, Mississippi Congressman Gregg Harper has filed HR 195, which would liquidate the Commission entirely. Stick with TTV for updates and background as the case continues.

 

We Will Not Be Silenced: IRS Employees Gone Bad

Here’s a depressing sign of the times: the Treasury Inspector General found that from 2004 to 2013, only 39 percent of the almost 1,600 IRS employees found to have broken the agency’s tax laws were fired or forced to resign/retire. This report may have been a national point of conversation for weeks had Lois Lerner and Co. not already shattered the agency’s remaining public credibility. Instead, the American People have yet another reminder that the corrupted culture within the IRS cannot be fixed simply with a shuffling of deck chairs in the upper levels of management. We must always remind bureaucrats whom they work for. You can help by joining our We Will Not Be Silenced initiative.

 

Sign Up for Next Weeks Call: Fighting Noncitizen Voting

Concern for noncitizen voting has been quite widespread lately with a number of moving parts and weaving storylines. The May 2015 National Conference call will cover all the pending issues and get you on track to help out in your community. Space is limited for calling in, don’t delay in signing up!

 

From the True the Vote Blog

Texas Voter ID Opponents Can’t Show Harm, 5th Circ. Told

Alabama Legislation to Require Photo Identification to Request Absentee Ballot

North Carolina Photo ID Regulations Released for Comment Across State

Photo ID Bill Proposed in Ohio

 

The Legislative Working Groups Drawing Board

Email us if there is election reform legislation on the move in your state that you’d like to see passed/defeated.

Florida

HB 1011 / SB 1360 -- Defines "address of legal residence"; requires voter registration application to include applicant's address of legal residence; provides that list of valid addresses maintained by supervisor of elections must include certain additional distinguishing information. The bill needs the support of Floridians to see it through to adoption.

Iowa

HF506 -- A bill relating to deadlines for receiving absentee ballots. Currently, absentee ballots can be counted if they are:  a) received before the polls close on Election Day or b) postmarked before the Election Day and are received by noon of the Monday following the election. This bill would change the deadlines such that an absentee ballot must be received before the polls close on Election Day, except for an absentee ballot completed by a military or overseas voter. In that case, it must be received by noon of the day before the votes are canvassed. This bill was passed by the House. The Senate has amended this bill closer to the original deadlines and placed it on the calendar for unfinished business, which means it can still be considered by the Senate this session. 

Maryland

Election Integrity Maryland has created a section on its website to detail all the work being done for election reform legislation. Click here to access it.

Missouri

HB 30 -- Would require a government-issued photo ID. Provisions are made if an individual is unable to obtain the necessary documentation to obtain such an ID. The bill has been voted on by the House and is now going through the process in the Senate. If approved by the Senate, voters must approve the bill as an amendment to the Missouri Constitution.

HB 67 -- Allows military personnel or other government workers returning from overseas to register to vote until 5pm on the Friday prior to an election, provided he or she can show sufficient documentation showing eligibility to qualify for late registration. The bill is awaiting a vote of the full House.

 

HB 339 -- Would remove a copy of a current utility bill or bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter from the list of acceptable forms of identification to allow a qualified voter to vote. The bill has been referred to the full House for passage.

 

HB 1016 -- Would allow poll challengers/watchers to remain inside the polling station past the closing of the polls and until all counting, verification, breakdown and delivery of the voting material to the designated collection points or the election authority is completed. This bill has now been reported do pass.

 

Nevada

 

AB 209 – Requires county and city clerks to establish and maintain audit trails for each process involved in the conduct of an election.

AB 177 – Relates to candidate eligibility, residency requirements and other matters.

Texas

HB 621 – Relates to the termination of a volunteer deputy voter registrar’s appointment. Under the bill, county election officials would be empowered to revoke deputy status should they engage in any activity considered to be a violation of duties. The bill has been passed by the House.

SB 796 -- Relating to the use of information from the lists of noncitizens excused or disqualified from jury service. The bill would make records of individuals claiming non-citizenship as justification to be excused from jury duty a matter of public record – significantly easing the process for concerned citizens to assist in voter roll cleanup. Contact members of the Senate Committee on State Affairs to share your SUPPORT for this bill.

HB 891 – This bill was sent to calendars on April 15, 2015 and remains under consideration. Relating to establishing an interstate voter registration crosscheck program.

HB 3369 -- Relating to supervision of the conduct of a primary election; creating an offense. The bill reported favorably out of committee without amendments.

Democrats continue to reflexively oppose the bipartisan recommendations of the Carter-Baker Commission endorsing photo ID at the polling place.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted Tuesday to block a bill that would require Maine voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot. The House voted 82-66 to reject L.D. 197, sponsored by Sen. Ronald Collins, R-Wells, and backed by Republican leadership.Tuesday’s vote broke along party lines with Republicans supporting the measure and Democrats opposing it.

Link to story.

Opponents of Texas’ voter ID law have not provided any concrete evidence that black and Hispanic voters were burdened by the controversial requirement that voters present government-issued identification at polling places, Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller told the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday.  During oral argument in front of a three-judge panel Tuesday morning, Keller said the plaintiffs in the case were offered up unprecedented discovery, including emails from legislators, yet failed to find proof that the legislators had discrimination in mind when crafting the bill.

Link to law360.com

Under the proposed legislation, the state would provide, at no charge, a state ID to anyone who cannot afford one. Rep. Brenner told PJ Media that even though there could be 40,000 people a year who qualify for free ID cards, “The most it would cost the state is $150,000, according to the Legislative Service Commission analysis. That’s really a drop in the bucket to secure our elections.”  Brenner said they’re also considering adding a provision that would pay for birth certificates for those who cannot afford them. “If someone needs a birth certificate and they’re indigent, we may also have the state pay for that so there will be absolutely no excuse for anybody not getting a photo ID,” he said.  Link

I wouldn’t hold your breath if you are a Ohioan and hoping for photo ID reforms. The legislature, particularly the Senate, is just not serious about passing it.

The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office is attempting to take its contentious voter ID law – enacted in 2011 – one step further by requiring a photo ID when requesting an absentee ballot.

Link

Concern for Noncitizen Voting Continues to Spread Nationally

As you may have seen in Breitbart News, Townhall and The Daily Signal, True the Vote research demonstrating how admitted noncitizens landed on voter rolls continues to raise awareness for the need to require citizenship verification as part of voter registration. We uncovered this data after the fact, unfortunately. Since vote dilution is unacceptable in any amount, TTV has been working for months to study procedural relationships between federal voter registration mandates and certain states laws allowing the issuance of driver’s licenses to unlawfully-present noncitizens. The added probability of some of these same states adopting Oregon’s delayed universal voter registration model can certainly exacerbate existing flaws. Spotting a few dozen noncitizens on voter rolls is certainly outrageous – but seeing how tens to hundreds of thousands more can automatically be registered would be a disaster. True the Vote recently released preliminary findings related to this project, which can be found here. Stay tuned for the next report coming soon.

 

Thousands More Lois Lerner Emails Identified

News broke this week that of the 30,000 IRS emails miraculously recovered in past months, roughly 6,400 of those have been identified as Lois Lerner’s. And from an investigative standpoint, those communications likely have never seen the light of day. The thousands of emails spanned from 2010 to 2013 -- the key time period for IRS targeting. True the Vote has been working for months to use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get our hands on emails directly related to us. We have gone from “no” answers to “try again later.” With this recent disclosure, it appears that our requests will finally get the green light. As always, we’ll keep you posted on the latest.

Sign up at We Will Not Be Silenced to join the research team today!

 

Sign Up for the May 2015 National Conference Call

Between Supreme Court filings regarding noncitizen voter registration, possible breakthroughs in collecting “lost” IRS emails and Washington’s latest attempt at sweeping the targeting scandals under the rug – there is plenty to talk about this month. Sign up now to join True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht for an update on all things TTV and get your questions answered. Space is limited, don’t delay!

 

Treasury Inspector General & IRS Backslap Each Other

Aside from the Lerner email recovery, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report late this week commending the IRS for reforming itself in the aftermath of its targeting activities. Don’t be fooled; this is not where the scandal ends. The TIGTA report limited findings only to 501(c)(4) applicants and ensures that Be On The Lookout (BOLO) tactics are no longer used, according to polls of active IRS employees. Predictably, senior IRS leadership hailed the report as acknowledgment the agency has turned over a new leaf. To read the report, click here.

Check out the The Washington Times to read Catherine Engelbrecht’s reaction to the matter.

Texas Defends its Voter ID Law Before 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

The Justice Department was not treated to a cake walk when Texas defended its ID law before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this week. The three-judge panel wondered aloud whether the case should be sent back down to the trial court to review evidence based on the 2014 Election. The Court discussed the merits of reviewing the actual effects of the law in the context of the November election – not just ruling on speculation. Further, some justices questioned evidence to claim that the law was written with racially discriminatory intent. You can read more about the case on the True the Vote blog.

 

From the True the Vote Blog

Texas appeals to 5th Circuit to uphold photo voter ID law

Maine Senate OKs photo voter ID bill

Photo voter ID bill returns to Ohio legislature

 

The Legislative Working Groups Drawing Board

Email us if there is election reform legislation on the move in your state that you’d like to see passed/defeated.

Florida

HB 1011 / SB 1360 -- Defines "address of legal residence"; requires voter registration application to include applicant's address of legal residence; provides that list of valid addresses maintained by supervisor of elections must include certain additional distinguishing information. The bill needs the support of Floridians to see it through to adoption.

Iowa

HF506 -- A bill relating to deadlines for receiving absentee ballots. Currently, absentee ballots can be counted if they are:  a) received before the polls close on Election Day or b) postmarked before the Election Day and are received by noon of the Monday following the election. This bill would change the deadlines such that an absentee ballot must be received before the polls close on Election Day, except for an absentee ballot completed by a military or overseas voter. In that case, it must be received by noon of the day before the votes are canvassed. This bill was passed by the House. The Senate has amended this bill closer to the original deadlines and placed it on the calendar for unfinished business, which means it can still be considered by the Senate this session. 

Maryland

Election Integrity Maryland has created a section on its website to detail all the work being done for election reform legislation. Click here to access it.

Missouri

HB 30 -- Would require a government-issued photo ID. Provisions are made if an individual is unable to obtain the necessary documentation to obtain such an ID. The bill has been voted on by the House and is now going through the process in the Senate. If approved by the Senate, voters must approve the bill as an amendment to the Missouri Constitution.

HB 67 -- Allows military personnel or other government workers returning from overseas to register to vote until 5pm on the Friday prior to an election, provided he or she can show sufficient documentation showing eligibility to qualify for late registration. The bill is awaiting a vote of the full House.

 

HB 339 -- Would remove a copy of a current utility bill or bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that contains the name and address of the voter from the list of acceptable forms of identification to allow a qualified voter to vote. The bill has been referred to the full House for passage.

 

HB 1016 -- Would allow poll challengers/watchers to remain inside the polling station past the closing of the polls and until all counting, verification, breakdown and delivery of the voting material to the designated collection points or the election authority is completed. This bill has now been reported do pass.

 

Texas

HB 621 – Relates to the termination of a volunteer deputy voter registrar’s appointment. Under the bill, county election officials would be empowered to revoke deputy status should they engage in any activity considered to be a violation of duties. The bill has been sent to Calendars.

SB 796 -- Relating to the use of information from the lists of noncitizens excused or disqualified from jury service. The bill would make records of individuals claiming non-citizenship as justification to be excused from jury duty a matter of public record – significantly easing the process for concerned citizens to assist in voter roll cleanup. Contact members of the Senate Committee on State Affairs to share your SUPPORT for this bill.

HB 891This bill was sent to calendars on April 15, 2015. Relating to establishing an interstate voter registration crosscheck program.

HB 3369 -- Relating to supervision of the conduct of a primary election; creating an offense. Contact members of the House Committee on Elections to share your SUPPORT for this bill.

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