Should automatic voter registration be enacted in Illinois?  No, not if maintaining election integrity is a priority.

Hans von Spakovsky explains how SB 250, the Illinois bill that proposes automatically registering people to vote from the Driver Services and other state and federal databases, will damage the integrity of the voter registration system by enabling the registration of ineligible voters, including non-citizens, as well as multiple registrations of the same people.

This law would make it even easier for non-citizens to register undetected in the state since they would be automatically registered. According to an Associated Press story, officials on the state election board have complained that regardless of the ineligibility of individuals, their information will be forwarded to election officials.

At the same time, mandatory voter registration fails to “remedy the supposed problem it’s intended to solve – low turnout in elections.”

Those who push to shift responsibility for registering from individuals to government under the guise of increased turnout base their claims “on the false premise that large numbers of American don’t vote because they are not registered or it is too difficult to register.”

Yet surveys of non-voters conducted after federal elections by the U.S. Census Bureau disprove these claims. The vast majority of non-voters say they don’t vote because they aren’t interested in elections, aren’t involved in politics, and/or don’t think their vote will make a difference. In short, most non-voters are sitting elections out by choice…

That’s because the motivation to vote is internal; people register because they plan to vote. People who have no interest in voting don’t register to vote — and automatically registering them isn’t going to change those attitudes.

The Left’s motivation to remove all ballot access eligibility safeguards isn’t going to change either.

An “emergency accommodation” requested by California’s Democrat Secretary of State Alex Padilla enabled double voting in the state’s June 7 primary election, including 113 registered voters in Contra Costa County who voted twice and had both ballots counted.

Contra Costa County’s long standing practice in administering state Election Code 3016 has been to issue provisional ballots to all vote-by-mail voters who surrender their ballots at a polling place. Part of the reason this practice is in place is to prevent voter fraud.

The process of surrendering a ballot as it is currently written does not provide a means of detecting or preventing this type of fraud until it is too late.

How were these fraudulent double votes discovered? By looking for them. “Contra Costa County may be one of the few counties in the state that has tried to track the voter fraud,” says the county’s election administrator Joe Canciamilla.

Canciamilla said that past elections, “a few dozen” vote-by-mail people voted at a polling place, but in June more than 3,800 voters did, and at the state’s request were allowed to vote a regular ballot rather than a provisional ballot, enabling the double votes to be counted.

Santa Clara County also reported a spike in the number of double voters in the June election, with 78 casting two or more ballots.  Both counties are referring the cases to their respective district attorneys.

We just found 36K bad registrations in Florida

True the Vote released one of its largest voter-roll research findings to date this week, flagging more than 36,000 records for cases of duplications, death, double voting, minors registered, illegal addresses and so on. TTV scanned 16 counties -- the ten largest by population, plus those with a history of having more than 100% voter registration. If past experience with this kind of research in other states is indicative of what happens next, we’ll see voter rolls cleaned well before ballots are cast this year. TTV Founder Catherine Engelbrecht explained the importance of the work:

Florida was the epicenter of the Bush  v. Gore election debacle in 2000, when the vulnerabilities of our election process were put on full display, hanging chads and all. The best way to improve voter confidence is to make our election process, specifically voter roll maintenance, a priority in every state. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.”

You can get all of the details by reading our press release here.

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!

Dear Media, get your voter suppression narrative straight

Two high-profile media outlets’ contradictions over voter suppression only underscore the weaknesses of the popular left-wing charge itself. So are voter ID laws supposed to help or hurt presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump? NBC News votes HELP. The broadcaster figures that since minorities hate him so much, anything to keep them at bay is an advantage. Capitol Hill rag Roll Call votes HURT, however. Arguing that voter ID and the like hurt all minorities and “poor, working-class white voters”, Trump could lose a key portion of the electorate – especially in the Rust Belt.

But here’s the rub: how can a “poor, working-class white” person get a job (don’t forget that I-9 Form) without an ID that would also be used to vote? Are minorities biologically hindered from doing the same? #VoterSuppression is based on pure supposition, fueled by the classic soft bigotry of low expectations. The narrative is showing cracks – perhaps it will be a thing of the past by 2020.

Sign up for the July 19, 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 19, 2016 Conference Call today. What do we do now? Can we be confident that 2016 will be fraud-free? We need to talk. Let’s set our sights on November at last. 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 - STATES

 
ALABAMA
Efforts continue to ensure that all registered voters in Alabama will be prepared when they go to the polls. Newscenter 11 caught up with a representative from the Alabama Secretary of State's office as he and members of the Choctaw County Board of Registrars prepared for a Free Mobile Voter ID Drive in Butler Thursday.
Alabama sponsors free mobile photo identification voter drives
 
The Alabama Secretary of State’s office announced today it will hold a drive for voter registration and to issue photo IDs on July 30 in Athens.
Secretary of State to register voters, issue photo IDs in Athens
 
KANSAS

Civil rights groups are calling on Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to rescind instructions telling local election officials to throw out votes in local and state races cast by tens of thousands of people who register at motor vehicle offices without proving U.S. citizenship.
ACLU: Kansas Official ‘Deliberately’ Creating Voter Chaos
 
MISSOURI
A controversial measure that would require a government-issued photo ID to vote was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday, with the Democratic governor arguing it would act as a barrier against citizens’ fundamental right to vote.
Nixon vetoes voter ID bill, Republicans vow to override
 
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced Wednesday his office has certified a joint resolution to put a voter ID amendment on the November ballot.
Voter ID amendment certified for November ballot
 
TEXAS
The deadline for a federal appeals court to rule on the state’s controversial voter ID law is fast approaching. The U.S. Supreme Court gave the court until July 20 to make a decision about whether the law violates federal civil rights law. But, no matter what happens, this likely isn’t the end of this legal battle.
Deadline Approaches for Texas Voter ID Law, But It Likely Won't End the Legal Battle
 
WISCONSIN
Attorneys for the Wisconsin Department of Justice say plaintiffs have no case because they lack evidence that they were harmed. In their final pre-trial brief, DOJ lawyers wrote that the entire lawsuit was built on anecdotes.
"An anecdote is not evidence of a systemic burden on voters,” wrote the DOJ.
Federal Judge Hears Closing Arguments In Voter ID Lawsuit
 
A federal judge said Thursday there are few clear guidelines for how to rule on parts of a challenge to Wisconsin's voting rules, while also questioning how much of an effect the state's voter ID law has had on elections.
Federal judge: Impact of Wisconsin voter ID law unclear
 
The Wisconsin Elections Commission has approved a plan to use $250,000 in funding to raise awareness about the state’s voter ID requirement.
Wisconsin Elections Commission approves voter ID awareness campaign
 

 MANDATORY VOTER REGISTRATION

 
CONNECTICUT
[I]t’s a concern for state Rep. Arthur O’Neill, a Republican, that the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles—which recently misidentified more than 50,000 people for having unpaid taxes on their vehicles—will be in charge of voter registration.
“If you misidentify 30,000 voters, that’s more than enough to swing an election,” O’Neill, deputy minority leader of the Connecticut House, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.
Connecticut to Register Voters at DMV. What Could Go Wrong? Critics Ask
 
NEW JERSEY
Gov. Christie will be asked to sign into law a measure from state legislators that requires the state Motor Vehicle Commission to automatically register or update a person’s voter registration as part of applying for or renewing a driver’s license.
NJ Legislators Approve Law To Make MVC Register Drivers To Vote
 
WASHINGTON
Throughout the nearly hour-long debate — moderated by KIRO-AM host Dave Ross — Podlodowski criticized her opponent’s record over her four years in the position, while Wyman attempted to frame the former Seattle City Councilmember as unprepared for the nuances of the role.  One of the main points of contention on the night surrounded the Washington Voting Rights Act.
Podlodowski voiced her strong support for the measure, along with a bevy of other efforts she believes would increase voter turnout, including postage-free ballots, automatic voter registration, same day registration, and pre-registration for 16-and-17-year-olds.
Secretary of State contenders square off

Updates courtesy of the Lawyer's Defense Fund

The NVRA allows for a voter registration deadline of up to 30 days. An appellate court agreed that a 21-day registration cutoff is not an unreasonable burden. Challenge rejected.

220+ Cases of Potential Double Voting Found in Florida’s Largest Counties

ST. PETERSBURG, FL. -- July 6, 2016: True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today announced new details surrounding a recent study of Florida’s voter rolls ahead of the 2016 Election.

More than 36,000 voter registrations across 16 counties have been flagged and submitted to election supervisors to further investigate the following:

  • 15,400 sets of duplicated voter registrations;
  • 221 potential cases of double voting uncovered among the duplicated registrations;
  • 2,400 cases of voters over the age of 105 displaying recent periods of inactivity;
  • 185 cases of illegal residential addresses claimed at commercial mailbox stores;
  • 500+ cases of incomplete voter registrations entered into the Florida voter roll: missing legal names;
  • 2,500+ cases of incomplete voter registrations entered into the Florida voter roll: missing legal addresses; and
  • More than a dozen cases of minors registered to vote who will not be 18 in time for the 2016 Election.

True the Vote studied the 10 largest counties by population, plus 6 additional counties identified by TTV as being historically problematic, specifically those in which more than 100% of the eligible population has been registered to vote. True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht stressed the timeliness of the research effort.

“As shocking as the findings are, the good news is that there’s still time to correct these problems before early voting kicks off. Several of the counties in our study have already contacted TTV to assure us of their intent to address these issues immediately. This volunteer-supported research effort is a great example of what can happen when engaged voters work together with their local election officials to help ensure free and fair elections for everyone.”

Engelbrecht explained the severity of the findings:

“Florida was the epicenter of the Bush v. Gore election debacle in 2000, when the vulnerabilities of our election process were put on full display, hanging chads and all. The best way to improve voter confidence is to make our election process, specifically voter roll maintenance, a priority in every state. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.”

Types of Flaws Discovered & Remedies

Duplicate Registrations. Voter duplication can occur for a variety benign and malignant reasons. Communication may fail between the DMV and the election officials who already have a name on file. Digits in birthdates may become transposed in an address update. Forgeries have also been discovered upon official investigation in states like Ohio and North Carolina as well. TTV relies on the recipient counties’ access to confidential data to sort between honest mistakes and fraud. Regardless, records are merged or purged as appropriate. The organization suggests that existing duplicate discovery strategies be broadened to spot transposed data entries and other clerical errors. TTV has shared its discovery techniques in other states upon request.

Potential Double Voting. Among duplicate registrations, potential double voting becomes apparent in many cases. Again, election officials can probe between two unique ballots cast by the same person. It is also common to see where the duplication created confusion at the check-in table and mistakenly recorded a person’s presence twice. Only one ballot is actually cast, but that confusion lengthened the queue all the same. Bona fide double voters are expected to be referred to local prosecutors.

Potentially Deceased Voters. Voters aged 105 or greater risk falling through the cracks of a federally-mandated maintenance protocol. Recipient counties are urged to review available death and incapacity data to ensure no record was overlooked.

Illegal Residential Addresses. No prospective Florida voter may claim a PO Box or commercial mail facility (UPS Store, Mailboxes Etc., etc.) as a residential address. To police this, counties are expected to develop exhaustive lists of addresses within the jurisdiction that qualify for voter registration. True the Vote’s discussions with various counties confirm this practice – yet some locales reported greater effectiveness than others at the task. TTV sampled four counties (# registrations): Miami-Dade (87), Broward (25), Palm Beach (61), and Orange (12). The organization urges counties to review blacklisting procedures going forward.

Missing Names/Addresses. Exactly as described, these issues are borne out of incomplete voter registration applications that were mistakenly entered into the statewide roll. Multiple counties told TTV that although these records may be listed as ACTIVE, safeguards are in place to ensure that election mailings do not proceed. TTV urges counties to review data entry procedures, as incomplete applications should never reach the voter file, according to interviewed counties.

Registered Minors. This matter is unique to Florida thus far in TTV’s national research effort. Well-established law allows minors to register to vote if they are 18 in time for the upcoming general election. In these cases, registered minors still will not be of age to participate. Like listed above, TTV suggests that application data entry procedures be reviewed where necessary.

Prior Maintenance Successes

Although True the Vote does not have authority to lay challenges on voter registration files, it is allowed to review maintenance records held by the counties in question, according to public inspection rights under the National Voter Registration Act. As of this release, TTV has successfully spotted and assisted in the cleaning of more than 100,000 voter registrations in North Carolina, Ohio and Colorado. After official review of TTV work, Ohio officials discovered that nearly a third of duplications in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) were intentionally created by ACORN, Organizing for America and other local groups.

For a closer look at TTV findings, contact media@truethevote.org.  

True the Vote (TTV) is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) voters’ rights organization, founded to inspire and equip voters for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit www.truethevote.org.

###

Minnesota’s lax same day registration laws that have allowed ineligible people to register and illegally vote for years, in numbers large enough to affect the outcomes of elections, is being challenged in court:

A new voter fraud case before the Minnesota Supreme Court claims 1,366 ineligible felons have cast at least 1,670 fraudulent votes in recent statewide elections, possibly tipping the outcome of close contests, including the 2008 U.S. Senate race.

The case holds repercussions for the 2016 election with the plaintiffs seeking a court order to prevent state and local election officials from distributing ballots to ineligible voters by implementing new safeguards.

The plaintiffs, Minnesota Voters Alliance, believe the 1,366 ineligible felon voters they found are “only a fraction of the true total,” but Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, a Democrat, refuses to release data on ineligible people that have illegally voted.

MVA was able to independently identify “941 ineligible felons who were allowed to vote in 2008 alone, exceeding the 312 vote margin separating DFL candidate Al Franken and GOP Sen. Norm Coleman after a grueling recount.”  And the problem continues: “more than 200 ineligible felons have voted in two of the last four general elections held in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014.”

Aside from eliminating same day registration altogether, the most obvious safeguard against “felons, wards of the state, immigrants and other ineligible persons” illegally registering and voting on Election Day is to have same day registrants vote provisional ballots, allowing election officials to verify eligibility before the votes are counted.

Hans von Spakovsky on a great win “for election integrity and everyone (other than the Obama administration and its political allies) who wants to make sure non-citizens don’t illegally vote in our elections. Federal district-court judge Richard Leon issued an order Wednesday refusing to grant the injunction sought by the League of Women Voters (and the U.S. Justice Department to its everlasting shame) against the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) in litigation over a state requirement that individuals registering to vote provide proof of citizenship.”

Via The Washington Times:

Kansas, Alabama and Georgia can demand their residents submit proof of citizenship before signing up to vote even if they’re using the federal government’s registration forms, a judge said Wednesday, delivering a win to states concerned about voter fraud.

 

The League of Women Voters and the Obama administration had tried to halt the practice, arguing that federal law doesn’t require an extensive citizenship check when people register to vote, and saying the three states were imposing an extra burden on voters.

 

But Judge Richard J. Leon said that while it may be an inconvenience to require proof of citizenship, and voter registration drives may have to do more work to get folks signed up, it’s not an insurmountable burden — and certainly less so than trying to explain Obamacare.

 

 

“The organizational plaintiffs and their members will undoubtedly have to expend some additional time and effort to help individuals,” Judge Leon wrote. “But let’s be candid: doing so pales in comparison to explaining to the average citizen how the [Affordable Care Act] or tax code works!”

The judge rejected plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction.

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