Certified: A constitutional amendment permitting Missouri’s legislature to enact photo voter identification requirements will be put to Show Me State voters on the November ballot.

Another wasteful anti-election integrity lawsuit is rejected:

A judge has rejected a lawsuit brought by voting rights groups that alleged Ohio’s process for purging election rolls is illegally removing eligible voters… Judge George Smith said Wednesday that Ohio’s procedures for maintaining voter registration rolls ensure the integrity of the election process.

 

Secretary of State Jon Husted responded:

While today’s ruling reaffirms that the process Ohio has used for over two decades is constitutional and in line with state and federal law, the best news is that we can put another wasteful lawsuit behind us and focus on the important work of running elections in Ohio.

Voter Registration Shaming: Canine Edition

If you live in a swing state, you must constantly be vigilant and keep a watchful eye on what tries to pass as ‘official election mail’. Recently, a family in the Raleigh, North Carolina area received an envelope stating, “government documents enclosed” that pertained to their household’s voter registration. So they promptly opened it. Inside, they found a letter from the Voter Participation Center, with a downtown Raleigh address, noting that one family member -- Benicia -- was discovered to not be currently registered to vote. Further, the mailing stated that the entity “will be reviewing the North Carolina voter file in eight weeks to see” if Benicia submitted an application to register. There’s a big problem here (among others): Benicia was a border collie who has since deceased.

This isn’t the first time that the Voter Participation Center has popped up with official-looking mailers trawling for new voters in the pet cemeteries of America. These kinds of groups purchase commercial databases and blend them with voter rolls to spot gaps. Is that fraud? Not really. Can it create opportunities for fraud? You better believe it! Some voter registration agencies develop ‘white lists’ to keep tabs on every residential address that could be used for voter registration; but the same cannot be said for eligible voters.

Whether you live in the swingiest state in the nation or not, data-driven politicking can create issues like the one described above. If you receive any questionable mail posing as official election business, tell True the Vote.

Schedule a TTV speaker today!

Just in time for the height of the 2016 Election, True the Vote has fanned out staff and speakers around the southern and southeastern United States -- with more to come. Do you have a meeting or conference coming up and would like to book a speaker on the subject of election integrity? We’ve streamlined the request process with a form now available on the website, here. We can’t wait to attend your next event!

Congress Considers Docking IRS Chief’s Pay

If you can’t impeach him, just don’t pay him! That’s the latest thinking on Capitol Hill regarding what is to be done with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. This week, Congressmen Ken Buck (R-CO) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) added an amendment to the 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act to zero out the IRS Chief’s salary, effectively removing him from the job. You can help out here. Contact members of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee and show your support for the effort today.

Sign up for the July 12, 2016 TTV National Conference Call

We may be approaching the dog days of summer already, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good time to let our involvement and activism slack off.  Click here to sign up for the July 12, 2016 Conference Call today. The call is scheduled to begin at 6pm Central time. We can’t wait to connect with you!  

Did you know? PEW Research highlighted a study that detailed the total amount it would cost to collect ALL voter files in the country. True the Vote’s national voter roll research databank costs $126,482 -- just for the raw data! If you haven’t yet, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help underwrite our research efforts.

Two rulings, one problem:  Even voter fraud deniers acknowledge that absentee mail ballots are the most susceptible to fraud – in fact, it’s a standard rationale of the anti-voter ID crowd.  But as states liberalize absentee voting rules and more voters utilize mail ballots, the Left fights any effort to balance that expanded ballot access with added ballot security procedures.

In Ohio, those added ballot security procedures included requiring voters to provide their correct name, birthdate, and other information used to verify identity and eligibility – a requirement that one of two federal judges deemed too onerous:

Under two laws passed in 2014, voters are required to accurately provide their names, addresses, birthdates, signatures and forms of ID when casting absentee or provisional ballots, otherwise they risk their votes not being counted…

In a June 7 decision, U.S. District [Judge] Algenon Marbley said the voting rules cause ballots from qualified voters to be rejected because of “mere technical mistakes,” in violation of their equal-protection rights… On May 24, U.S. District Judge Michael Watson came to the opposite conclusion and let the rules stand. Watson said the burden on voters was minimal and plaintiffs’ equal-protection claims failed, as did their attempt to show any discriminatory burden on African American voters.

Absentee mail ballots are more susceptible to voter error as well as fraud. For the increasing number of voters who choose the convenience of voting by mail over in-person voting, correctly filling in one’s own name, address, and birthdate seems a reasonable trade-off. But as “common sense and judicial rulings do not always coincide,” it remains to be seen how appeals on these ballot issues and the state’s “Golden Week” will be decided.

A moral victory over the IRS?

To say it’s frustrating seeing members of Congress promise to protect top officers of the Internal Revenue Service is an understatement, at best. But, that’s where we are. This week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a resolution (along party lines) to censure IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. His supporters on the Committee made the case that he simply misled Congress over what he knew about the IRS targeting scheme at the time he testified -- rather than intentionally falsifying his testimony. Nevertheless, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the Oversight Committee Chairman, said this was the “first step” to impeachment of the Obama appointee. The House Judiciary Committee is still considering full impeachment.

Good news, right? Well, no.  Not really.

If the House of Representatives managed to send an impeachment action to the Senate, it would be DOA. The Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), told The Hill that there’s zero chance any impeachment action would be taken seriously. Yeah. You should tell him how you feel about that. Congress can grandstand and proclaim common cause with True the Vote all it wants. But, getting justice remains our business alone.

Schedule a TTV speaker today!

Just in time for the height of the 2016 Election, True the Vote has fanned out staff and speakers around the southern and southeastern United States -- with more to come. Do you have a meeting or conference coming up and would like to book a speaker on the subject of election integrity? We’ve streamlined the request process with a form now available on the website, here. We can’t wait to attend your next event!

Voter registration fraud ruins lives

New York offers yet another cautionary tale of what can happen when someone becomes so blinded by their politics that they decide to allegedly cheat. Niagara Falls resident Rus Thompson faces criminal prosecution for falsely registering and voting in primary and general elections in 2015. To date, he has rejected plea deals, and now he faces up to four years in prison if convicted. You can read more about the story at the Buffalo News.

Sign up for the July 12, 2016 TTV National Conference Call

We may be approaching the dog days of summer already, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good time to let our involvement and activism slack off.  Click here to sign up for the July 12, 2016 Conference Call today. The call is scheduled to begin at 6pm Central time. We can’t wait to connect with you!  

Did you know? PEW Research highlighted a study that detailed the total amount it would cost to collect ALL voter files in the country. True the Vote’s national voter roll research databank costs $126,482 -- just for the raw data! If you haven’t yet, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help underwrite our research efforts.

Voter ID Updates

ALABAMA

Jim Bennett says his office's mobile ID unit made 93 stops across the state before the primary and runoff elections.
Mobile voter ID unit coming to central Alabama
 
Representatives of the office set up at Priceville Town Hall to provide free photo identification to those in need of voter IDs. It's a year round comprehensive county by county tour. All registered voters can get a free ID. They target places with heavy foot traffic.
Secretary of State’s Office sets up around the state offering free voter IDs
 
KANSAS

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling temporarily upholds a court order that required Kansas to allow those individuals to vote in federal elections even though they didn't provide citizenship documentation when applying or renewing their driver's licenses, as required under Kansas law. The state has said as many as 50,000 people could be affected.
10th Circuit: Kansas Can't Block Voters From Casting Ballots
 
At issue is the fate of more than 18,000 voter registration applications—most submitted by Kansans under the age of 30— that came via motor vehicle offices and that didn’t include documentary proof of citizenship. Citing a 2011 state law he pushed for that requires applicants to submit proof of citizenship, Kobach says the applications should be rejected. Voter registration applicants already must affirm, on penalty of perjury, that they are U.S. citizens.
Kris Kobach won’t say if he’s complying with order to register voters
 
MISSOURI
Missouri photo voter ID legislation will be on the Nov. 8 ballot, but legislation directing how to implement the measure is still on Gov. Jay Nixon’s desk.
Nixon looks at whether to veto, sign photo voter ID implementation plan
 
NEW MEXICO
The Roswell Daily Record reports that Republican Nora Espinoza told a group of GOP women this week that those who assert Hispanics lack the ability to obtain IDs to vote insult all Latinos.
Secretary of State candidates trade barbs over voter ID
 
“Let me tell you what disenfranchisement really is,” Espinoza said. “If a single ineligible voter casts a vote, every single honest voter in New Mexico is disenfranchised. If anyone votes in the place of someone else, whether that person be alive or dead or barks, every honest New Mexican is disenfranchised.”
Espinoza, who is Hispanic, said she supports combating voter fraud with a state voter ID law. Espinoza said she will press the issue in her campaign for secretary of state, the third highest office in state government after governor and lieutenant governor, to ensure the integrity of elections.
Espinoza: New Mexicans support voter IDs
 
NORTH DAKOTA
North Dakota election officials said there were few problems with voter identification Tuesday. Deputy Secretary of State Jim Silrum said about 4:30 p.m. staff members there had no more than 10 calls on voter ID issues over the course of the day.
Primary turnout strong statewide with 24 percent of eligible voters casting ballots
 
WISCONSIN
The state Government Accountability Board asked the Joint Finance Committee in April to release the money. The GAB suspended its voter ID outreach campaign in 2012 after a court challenge blocked the requirement. A federal appellate court ultimately upheld the law in 2014 and it was in effect for this past February’s primary and the April 6 general election.
Finance committee OKs money for voter ID outreach
 
Local cities and villages are prepping for a high-turnout presidential election in November, at the same time many of their most reliable poll workers are aging out of the job. This has left a gap of well over 100 new people needed at polling sites across Brown County to prevent delays for voters, according to area clerks.
Green Bay area needs over 100 new poll workers

Mandatory Voter Registration Updates

OREGON
Roughly 68,500 Oregonians have been automatically registered to vote under the state's new "motor voter" law.
Oregon registers 68,500 voters under "Motor Voter"

Updates are provided by the Lawyers Democracy Fund.

As it stands now, Ohio’s Golden Week will be back for this fall’s presidential election, unless and until the state prevails in its appeal to the 6th Circuit:

“We have to have standards. We can’t have this ‘Golden Week’ out there, where people from other states are coming into Ohio, registering and voting in the same day and essentially creating voter fraud because of the fact that they’re really not Ohioans – they’re voting and they shouldn’t be eligible to vote.”

Are votes being stolen in today’s DC primary?

It’s certainly possible that ineligible people are voting, given that the DC Board of Election’s voter registration file maintenance has been found to be “lacking — seriously lacking — in the accountability department.”

In a report by the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor published just last week, “the auditor cited problems with critical voter data, including inaccurate birth years, failure to remove duplicate voter registrants and failure to remove the names of dead people. Auditor Kathy Patterson also said the names of incarcerated felons were still on voter rolls.”

“Overall, we found that the District’s voter file contained inaccuracies that could have been prevented if the BOE had made additional efforts to comply with federal and local laws designed to ensure proper voter file maintenance.”

“Why Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Council were unaware of these in-house BOE issues is indefensible — politically and ethically. That the BOE is not following local and federal laws and regulations is unconscionable.”  And actionable.

A federal judge has blocked an Ohio law that requires “full and accurate completion of absentee- and provisional-ballot forms before otherwise qualified voters’ ballots could be counted.”

What information does the law require to be fully and accurately completed? Voters’ names, signatures, valid forms of ID, addresses, and birthdates – all used to verify absentee and provisional voters’ identities and registration, to ensure that eligible votes are counted and duplicate and fraudulent votes are not.

In trial and in court documents, the state’s attorneys cited election data that showed acceptance rates for such ballots improved after the laws were put in place in 2014. They said the laws help register unregistered voters and update voter registration information and have made more votes count.

Secretary of State Jon Husted plans to appeal this decision, as well as another federal judge’s decision blocking the state law that eliminated “Golden Week” and trimmed early voting from 35 to 28 days before an election.

“The sad reality is that much of Ohio’s election laws are no longer made by their elected representatives, but rather by unelected federal judges in response to politically-motivated lawsuits,” Husted said in a statement.

California’s and DC’s voter rolls are a hot mess.

California’s problems are bigger than zombie voters in LA

Good things rarely come when treating symptoms is given priority over curing the underlying disease. A few weeks ago, you may recall that TTV was asked to shed some light on how more than 200+ people managed to vote in Los Angeles County years after their deaths. We explained that the Golden State’s decade-long failure to implement a statewide database of registered voters not only created general confusion, but would pave the way for fraudulent activity to occur with near impunity. Well before that, we warned that the State’s wrongheaded move toward automatic voter registration would only intensify these problems. Plus, why try to implement same-day registration when there’s not a centralized registry to put people in? This week, the chickens came home to roost, as they say.

The Los Angeles Times published a blistering (and informative) article detailing the wide variety of challenges voters endured as they tried to participate in the recent primary election. Among the key difficulties experienced were reports of voter registrations missing from precinct poll books. If Californians changed their political party designation shortly before the deadline, they ran a considerable risk of not being able to cast a regular ballot as their name probably didn’t land in the local register. Imagine that: the state that Silicon Valley calls home cannot build a computer database! Until California’s election officials get on the ball, voters playing by the rules will continue to suffer in more ways than one.

Schedule a TTV speaker today!

Just in time for the height of the 2016 Election, True the Vote has fanned out staff and speakers around the southern and southeastern United States -- with more to come. Do you have a meeting or conference coming up and would like to book a speaker on the subject of election integrity? We’ve streamlined the request process with a form now available on the website, here. We can’t wait to attend your next event!

Siskiyou County, CA learns what happens when you dare to investigate fraud

What do some dissenters do when they don’t appreciate the fact that the sheriff, county clerk and district attorney are investigating more than 200 cases of voter registration fraud in their neighborhood? Accuse them of racially motivated voter intimidation tactics, of course. An investigation launched this week over a considerable number of cases questioning claims of residential address for the purpose of voter registration. Local members of law enforcement canvassed neighborhoods and performed physical address verifications, which are common investigative tactics when registration fraud is suspected. Right on cue, local agitators decried the effort as intimidation and sought intervention from California AG Kamala Harris, a candidate for U.S. Senate no less. This story is still developing, but it may prove a case study on what can happen when law enforcement takes a stand for free and fair elections. Pro tip: when a fraud probe is immediately countered with racial allegations, you’re on to something big.

Apparently, DC’s voter rolls have nearly every problem possible

An official District of Columbia audit that was recently released had some startling findings. When it comes to removing dead, duplicate and felon voters from the voter roll, the District just isn’t getting the job done. Here are some sad numbers…

  • 6,543 people had birthdates listed between 1800 and 1899. TTV calls these “placeholder birthdates” because providing birthdate information was largely not required before the 1960s and 1970s (depending on the state). Unfortunately, the report notes that this issue has gone unresolved because voters ignored county outreach efforts to update files.
     
  • 243 dead people were found long after shaking their mortal coils. The audit notes that election officials failed to follow established protocols for confirming death proper to removal and just left them on the voter rolls.
     
  • 468 sets of duplicate voter registrations were found. When auditors asked how this could happen, election officials flat-out stonewalled them.

Did you know? PEW Research highlighted a study that detailed the total amount it would cost to collect ALL voter files in the country. True the Vote’s national voter roll research databank costs $126,482 -- just for the raw data! If you haven’t yet, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help underwrite our research efforts.

Voter ID Updates

KANSAS
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach contends massive voter confusion will occur if an appeals court doesn’t block a lower court’s order to register thousands of state residents for November’s presidential election.
Kris Kobach predicts massive voter confusion in November in seeking stay of voter ID injunction
 
LOUISIANA
Louisiana college students will be able to use their university ID cards to vote in state elections in 2019.
Gov. John Bel Edwards' office announced this week that the governor signed the proposal into law this week.
Edwards signs bill to let students use college IDs to vote
 
MISSOURI
In a few months Missouri voters will have a chance to influence whether photo identification will be required for voting, but local election officials say that the issue is still shrouded in ambiguity.
Amendment would pave way for voter ID laws
 
NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina’s controversial voter identification law will stay in place after a ruling by U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder at the end of April.
The 2013 law calls for North Carolina voters to bring photo identification when casting their ballots, eliminates same-day registration and ends “out-of-precinct” voting.  Supporters—including Republican governor Pat McCrory, who signed the bill into law—claim that it helps protect against voter fraud.
North Carolina voter ID law generates controversy
 
OHIO
Judge Algenon L. Marbley of U.S. District Court in Columbus ruled that state officials violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law and the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Democratic appointee's decision today echoes that of GOP appointed Judge Michael H. Watson late last month on a separate case that restored a "Golden Week" of early voting Republicans had eliminated.
Ohio Loses another Voting Rights Case, This Time Over Absentee Ballots
 
The institutional Left knows that controlling election process rules is the first step to controlling policy. Conservatives and Republicans usually pay more attention to the policy, and not to the process. Ohio was a rare exception, and some sought to clean up the process. But now federal courts are undoing the cleaning and bringing back the mess just in time for November.
The Coming Ohio Election Mess
 
WISCONSIN
Those challenging Wisconsin's voter identification law in federal court say they will soon be asking that people having trouble getting the required ID be allowed to vote in the August primary.
Voter ID law challengers to seek injunction
 
Groups advocating for voting rights said they will soon ask a federal judge to allow people to vote in Wisconsin's August primary election if they are having trouble getting a required ID.
The request comes even as attorneys for the state Department of Justice are trying to put the case on hold.
Groups to ask judge allow some people without IDs to vote
 
A federal judge will not put a lawsuit over Wisconsin’s voter identification law on hold while another similar challenge is pending in a different court.
Judge denies request to put voter ID on hold
 
The Legislature's budget-writing committee was to vote on a request from the state's election board to spend $250,000 on educating voters about the photo identification law.
Legislature's budget committee to consider voter ID money

Mandatory Voter Registration Updates

ILLINOIS
Illinois lawmakers couldn’t agree on a budget, but May 31 they did pass a measure to enable the state to register more people to vote.
Governor Considers Automatic Voter Registration
 
NEW JERSEY
Two bills to drive voter turnout advanced in committee Thursday, and will go on to the Senate floor. The first, originally sponsored by Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16) in the lower house, would allow 17 year-olds to vote in primaries when they are on the cusp of reaching eighteen before the general election. While that bill cleared committee in a unanimous vote, a second to offer automatic voter registration with new and renewed driver’s licenses passed by a narrower 3-2 margin.
Bills to Increase Voter Turnout Clear Senate Committee
 
OREGON
Oregon plans to launch the second phase of the state's automatic voter registration program Friday, signing up people who've done business with the DMV as early as 2014 in a move that could add more than 145,000 voters.
In some counties, that could translate to a 10 percent increase in active registered voters, according to the Oregon Secretary of State's office.
Renew your license in 2014? Not a voter? You might be soon.
 
Starting Friday, the Oregon secretary of state will implement the second of two phases of the state’s pioneering Motor Voter program. It will give roughly 145,000 Oregonians who had qualifying interactions at the DMV in 2014 or 2015 the opportunity to become automatically registered to vote.
145,000 Oregonians to get automatic voter registration letters

Legislative updates are provided by the Lawyers Democracy Fund.

The Columbus Dispatch hopes for common sense from the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals after a District Court judge struck down the law eliminating Ohio’s Golden Week:

In 2014, citing the potential for fraudulent voting and the administrative headaches created by Golden Week, lawmakers shortened the early voting period to 28 days to eliminate simultaneous registration and voting. This resulted in several legal actions by those opposed to the change, and on May 24, Judge Michael H. Watson of U.S. District Court in Columbus ruled that elimination of same-day voting disproportionately burdened black voters, who previously had taken advantage of Golden Week at higher rates than other voters.

And so Ohio, which has one of the most generous voting systems in the nation — 28 days of early voting, in person or via mail-in ballot — finds itself accused of disenfranchising black voters, even though other states, such as New York, do not even allow same-day registration or no-excuse early voting. New Yorkers have one choice of when to vote: Election Day.

Judge Watson’s ruling is “a puzzling conflation of different areas of law,” and Ohio’s 2014 voter turnout belies his conclusion that eliminating Golden Week disadvantages black voters.

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