Could Missouri be the next voter ID state?

Sometimes it pays to not be the first out of the gate. If Missouri’s HB 1631 holds up, we could be seeing a new generation of voter ID laws without the typical aspects the left-wing grievance class loves to hate.

Under the bill, a person wishing to cast a regular ballot in person would have to provide one of the following: a nonexpired MO driver’s license; a MO personal ID card; or a nonexpired photo ID with visible birthdate issued by the U.S. Government, State of Missouri, U.S. Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs. An expired ID could be used only if it expired since the “most recent general election.” If a person cannot comply due to mental or physical handicap, inability to obtain a birth certificate, religious conflict or born before January 1, 1946, they may sign an affidavit to vote.

Missourians: your voice truly can help push this legislation forward. Even though the bill is only days old, you should encourage your state representative to cosponsor and publicly pledge support. You can look up your representative here. And don’t stop there. Contact your Missouri House Leadership to make sure HB 1631 is pushed along. 2016 can be Missouri’s year to finally get this done.

 

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.

 

ACORN shell groups sued North Carolina … again.

There’s nothing like a messaging lawsuit to keep you in the local papers when you want to agitate for “fundamental transformation” in voter registration law. This week, the State of North Carolina was sued by former ACORN affiliates for waning voter registration rates and other allegations of wrongdoing by public agencies. While the Tar Heel State continues to defend its voter ID law in a separate lawsuit, similar plaintiffs allege that the DMV failed to transmit voter registration forms in time for the 2014 election. They also blame other government assistance agencies for not being aggressive enough in offering voter registration opportunities. The federal lawsuit argues that public assistance applications submitted to the NC Department of Health and Human Services (for things like Medicaid, CHIP, TANF, etc.) dropped roughly 13.8 percent from 2011 to 2013, while voter registration applications fell 56 percent during the same period. Expect an expensive court battle that will likely end in a favorable settlement for the ACORN crew – this is their bread and butter, unfortunately.

 

There’s a good chance the IRS heard us on this one…

Want to know how to pierce the echo chamber of IRS regulators?  Send thousands of emails to their inboxes during a period of public comment. After TTV and others took to the media to decry a proposed IRS rule to require Social Security Numbers from donors, we’re seeing signs of retreat. Our critiques have been reported by Fox News, The Christian Post, Financial Advisor magazine and The Wall Street Journal lately. Last week’s newsletter asked that you register a public comment and at that time, there were less than 10,000. The period ended with roughly 35,000.  We’ll keep you posted as the IRS weighs the reviews and renders a decision. Thank you for your help with this one – we the people spoke loudly – let’s see if the IRS chooses to listen.

 

Legislation on the Move

Arizona

Voter Registration bill SB 1007 was prefiled. This bill provides automatic voter registration for citizens who apply for a driver’s license or renewal, unless the applicant declines.

Michigan

Absentee Voting bill HB 4724 was reassigned to Committee on Government Operations. This bill would amend the Michigan Election Law to modify the procedures both for obtaining an application for an absentee ballot, and also for returning that application to the local clerk where the voter was registered to vote.

Missouri

Voter ID bill HB 1631 was prefiled. This bill would require photo identification in order to vote with specified exemptions.

New Jersey

Conduct of Elections bill AJR 104 was scheduled to be heard December 14. This joint resolution permits each county commissioner of registration, in consultation with the respective board of elections, to conduct an “Electronic Poll Book Demonstration Project” in certain election districts during the 2015 election cycle, upon review and approval of each project’s plan by the Secretary of State.

PDN link here.

The rights of those who live in the states can differ from the rights held by residents in the territories.

That’s one argument Guam’s attorney general’s office is making in a case challenging the island’s long-awaited political status vote.

Guam resident Arnold Davis in 2011 challenged the island’s pending plebiscite after he wasn’t allowed to register for it. The plebiscite is a non-binding vote, intended to measure the preferred political status of Guam.

Davis’ legal counsel said the plebiscite violates his fundamental right to vote.

In a response filed Dec. 4, the AG states “even if the right to vote is fundamental in the several states, it does not follow that it is necessarily so in the territories.”

What qualifies as a “fundamental right” for those living in the territories has always been “the subject of enormous controversy in this country,” the office states in its court filing.

In October, the AG’s office said the case shouldn’t have to go to trial and has asked the federal court to rule in favor of the Guam government on the matter.

The plebiscite hasn’t been scheduled, but Gov. Eddie Calvo wants it to happen sometime in 2017, according to his office.

Evidencing that North Carolina’s “current election laws just don’t provide assurance that election outcomes can be trusted,” another Pembroke election flunks the smell test.

In 2013, a new Pembroke Town Council election was ordered when the State Board of Elections found that fraudulent votes were cast by ineligible people who resided outside the town limits, many using same-day registration.

Now the Robeson County Board of Elections has referred Pembroke’s 2015 mayoral election to the state board after Greg Cummings successfully challenged the residency of 11 voters, leaving Allen Dial (the winner-turned loser in the 2013 Town Council do-over) ahead by just 11 votes.

Evidence surfaced during that hearing that some people who claim as their homes commercial buildings owned by Dial had voted… Dial’s daughter notarized affidavits used by some voters to prove their residency… it’s not certain that election laws have been broken, which says something about current election laws, primarily that they invite fraud.

In recent years, laws have been crafted to make it easier and easier to cast ballots, mostly by widening the window to do so through early voting… the wider the voting window, the more potential for abuse…

The Robesonian notes that there are ongoing investigations of all Robeson County’s 2013 municipal elections, including in Pembroke.

More “non-existent” voter fraud, this time in Ventura County, California, where a man cast two absentee ballots in the November 2014 general election, one for himself and one under the name of his deceased father-in-law.

The sentence: three years’ probation and a $1,000 fine.

The Washington Free Beacon reports on the latest effort in a national push to challenge state voter ID laws, this time in Alabama:

“A lawyer who has donated thousands to Hillary Clinton and works alongside former attorney general Eric Holder is part of the newest team to bring a lawsuit forward challenging a state’s voter identification laws, the fourth such suit filed this year.”

Three lawsuits filed earlier in 2015, in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia, “were pushed by Marc Elias, Clinton’s top campaign lawyer and partner at the D.C.-based Perkins Coie, who filed the suits independently of the campaign although Clinton’s campaign publicly backed the efforts.”

“The initial plans to launch a multi-state push challenging voter ID laws dates back to January 2014 when liberal billionaire George Soros got wind of Elias wanting to file numerous lawsuits across the United States. Soros threw his weight behind the effort, vowing to put at least $5 million into the campaign.”

The IRS wants to deny your tax deduction unless you share your Social Security Number

Take our word for it – never trust the IRS to do the right thing. The same politicized agency that “accidentally” revealed the confidential taxpayer information of donors to activists who would later harass them now wants you to share your Social Security number with every charitable organization that you financially support. Under the proposed “Substantiation Requirement for Certain Contributions” regulation, the Obama IRS would deny your tax deduction if you gave more than $250/year and didn’t cough up your SSN.

Look, it’s hard enough for charities to find donors in uncertain economic times. It’s even harder to keep administrative costs low to ensure that the maximum portion of each dollar given can go toward mission advancement. It would essentially be a deal-breaker if faith institutions, and other 501(c)(3) nonprofits like TTV, had to invest ungodly sums into security systems that would still be vulnerable to breaches and identity theft. Don’t believe us? Ask Sony, Target and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management how it worked out for them recently.

The period for public comment on this regulation will remain open until Wednesday, December 16, at 11:59pm ET. Click here to see other comments already registered, and let your concerns be known. Once you’ve done that, demand that your friends and family do the same. Remember, we’re talking about the IRS here.

 

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.

 

Check out TTV’s latest court brief against the IRS

The long road to justice against the IRS continued this week as TTV’s attorneys filed a brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. You can get all the details in the 63-page filing here. You don’t have to be a legal scholar to follow along with this document. In it, you’ll get a procedural walkthrough on how we landed at this stage of the legal system; the factual background of the case is revealed; and the core legal arguments are examined. The briefing schedule and eventual court date are estimated to extend into spring of 2016. No one said this was going to be a sprint.

 

What does 'one person, one vote' even mean?

You might have heard that a Texas court case, Evenwel v. Abbott, was recently heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. What you may not know, however, is that it could completely re-shape American politics. At issue is whether legislative districts in Texas should be drawn to equally reflect total population (which is the status quo) or registered voter population instead. Evenwel is arguing that some Texas Senate districts are drawn with populations of “nearly 50 percent” ineligible voters, particularly in urban areas. In essence, these districts that are composed of a substantial noncitizen population receive a “political subsidy by granting more political power to areas with larger noncitizen populations.” Conversely, then, the voices of those residing in less-populated, citizen-dense areas are diluted, according to our pals over at the American Civil Rights Union. If Evenwel succeeds, states like California, Texas, Florida and New York could see political clout diminish -- while the Midwest would loom even larger in national races, should a domino effect occur. This is definitely a case worth watching. Click here to access an official copy of the transcript for oral arguments heard. 

 

Legislation on the Move

United States

Conduct of Elections bill HR 195 was placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 275. This bill would terminate the Election Assistance Commission.

Florida

Absentee Voting bill HB 361 was reported favorably by Government Operations Subcommittee. This bill would substitute the term "vote-by-mail ballot" for the term "absentee ballot" that is currently used.

Voter Registration bill HB 541 was reported favorably by Government Operations Subcommittee. This bill would require voter registration applicants to provide distinguishing information about their address, like an apartment, suite, or dormitory room number. It also changes the required phrasing on the form from "legal residence address" to "address of legal residence."

Voter ID Expansion bill SB 666 was reported favorably by Ethics and Elections. This bill would expand the list of acceptable forms of identification for certain voter registration applicants to include veteran health identification cards and licenses to carry a concealed weapon or firearm.

Voter Registration bill SB 1016 was filed. This bill would streamline voter registration at DMVs, as applicants for a new or renewed license or ID card would provide eligibility information and an opportunity to decline voter registration. If the applicant does not opt-out, a single signature would be required for the transaction and voter registration application, and the information relevant for voter registration information would be electronically transferred. If deemed eligible, the applicant would be provided additional follow-up information about declining or selecting party affiliation.

Michigan

Absentee Voting bill HB 4724 was referred to second reading. This bill would amend the Michigan Election Law to modify the procedures both for obtaining an application for an absentee ballot, and also for returning that application to the local clerk where the voter was registered to vote. Notably, the bill would permit any eligible voter, without offering a reason, to apply for an absent-voter ballot in person with the local clerk by providing a driver license, an official state identification card, or another generally recognized picture identification card. The bill would take effect January 1, 2016.

Missouri

Conduct of Elections bill HB 1379 was prefiled. This bill would require a voting machine in every location, for federal, state, and local elections, that is accessible for visually impaired voters and compliant with the Help America Vote Act. This bill also provides state funding for use and maintenance of accessible voting machines.

Election Challengers bill HB 1380 was prefiled. This bill would allow challengers to remain in the polling place to observe the completion of forms, sealing of ballots, machine disassembly, and so forth. Previously, each political party on the ballot could assign a challenger to observe election procedures only during voting hours and ballot counting.

Absentee Voting bill HB 1480 was prefiled. This bill would allow for the use of voting machines to process absentee ballots.

Voter ID bill SJR 20 was prefiled. Upon voter approval, this constitutional amendment provides that a voter seeking to vote in person may be required by general law to identify himself or herself as a United States citizen and a resident of the state by providing valid, government-issued photo identification. Exceptions may be provided for by general law.

Ohio

List Maintenance bill HB 402 was introduced. This bill would provide for the cancellation of voters' registrations upon notification of registration in another jurisdiction within the state, or a change in residence outside the state. Residence changes within the state would no longer trigger cancellation. It would prohibit mailing a confirmation card or cancellation unless there is reliable information that the voter changed his voting residence to a location outside of Ohio, when using the National Change of Address registry. If a voter casts a ballot during the time the registration was cancelled, the voter would be considered registered at the time of voting.

Pennsylvania

Voter ID bill HB 1724 was referred to State Government. This bill would require voters to provide a driver's license number or, if they do not have a driver's license, their social security number to vote absentee. If the absentee voter has neither a license nor Social Security number, they may submit a copy of a photo identification issued by a government agency, an institute of higher learning, or a care facility. An in-person voter would have to present valid photo identification, including identification issued by the US or state government or a student or employee identification. If the person does not have photo identification, they may present a non-photo ID issued by the US or state government, or a firearm permit, current utility bill, current bank statement, a paycheck, or a government-issued check.

Virginia

Voter ID bill HB 32 in in the house: Committee Referral Pending. This bill would add student identification bearing a photograph issued by any institute of higher education in the United States to the list of identification required to cast a ballot.

Two Florida Republicans want to shut YOU out of election integrity efforts in their state

Do you think statewide voter rolls should only be accessible by politicians? Neither do we. Do you think exorbitant fees should be charged to access voter roll records that have historically been publicly available for review? Neither do we. But that’s exactly what is being promoted in Florida. 

Two Republican state senators in Florida are trying to rewrite the state’s longstanding open records protocols by creating a “for politicians’ eyes only” barrier that will prevent citizens from reviewing voter files. Apparently, First Amendment rights should only apply to politicians, according to Senators Thad Altman and Charlie Dean, Sr. For years, TTV has been able to access Florida voter files and work with local citizens to review those files and notify appropriate state authorities when problems are found. If Senators Altman and Dean are successful with their bill SB 702, they will effectively suppress your right to hold government accountable for the responsibility of ensuring that error-riddled voter rolls and sloppy maintenance procedures don’t dilute your vote.

NOTE: Florida residents, you can do something to stop this. Contact Senators Thad Altman and Charlie Dean, Sr. to demand they withdraw SB 702. And don’t stop there. Contact members of these committees, who are already reviewing SB 702 for passage: Ethics and Elections; Governmental Oversight and Accountability; and Rules.

 

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.

 

Alabama voter ID law under attack from NAACP

This week the NAACP decided to take its losing streak of labeling voter ID laws intentionally discriminatory to Alabama. According to federal court filings, the group is once again spinning up a case that they hope will sell the court on their skewed view that voter ID laws are racist.

In fact, Alabama’s voter ID program excels in voter support by providing free IDs in both Dept. of Motor Vehicles offices and in the offices of all local election officials, if the DMV isn’t convenient. True the Vote is currently reviewing legal options to determine the best way we can help support the state in its election integrity efforts. Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.

 

Ohio Democrat demands federal voter roll maintenance law be ignored

What is it with swing-state politicians tinkering with election procedures before big elections? Ohio State Rep. Kathleen Clyde’s HB 402 would block election officials from removing documented, outdated voter records from the rolls. The National Voter Registration Act sets a clear standard for election officials to remove a record due to outdated information. Here’s how it works:

  1. Joe Voter does not vote in 2008 or 2010 (for whatever reason).
  2. Election officers note this inactivity and send a series of mailings to the address they have on file for Joe, basically asking, “Hey Joe, are you still out there?”.
  3. If Joe is there and receives the notices, he remains on the voter roll -- even if he trashes the mailings and totally disregards their written request to make contact with his local elections office.
  4. If Joe isn’t there, but the new resident at Joe’s old address receives and trashes the mailings, Joe will STILL stay on the voter roll. ONLY if the mailings bounce back as totally undeliverable will election officials mark Joe as “inactive”.
  5. If “totally undeliverable and inactive Joe Voter” continues his trend of not voting in 2012 and 2014, election officers will then remove him from the voter roll following the 2014 election.

The process required by the NVRA is far from perfect. But the reality is that right now it’s all we have, and it’s better than nothing. Clearly, landing on the inactive list isn’t that easy. For Rep. Clyde to demand that inactive voters be kept on the rolls in perpetuity with the ability to cast a ballot -- whether or not the actual voter exists -- is unabashed political gamesmanship that undermines basic election integrity procedures!

Don’t let this happen.  Ohio could decide the fate of the 2016 Presidential Election.   Contact Rep. Kathleen Clyde’s office and demand that she drop HB 402. While you’re at it, contact the other 15+ representatives listed as cosponsors of HB 402. Please take 5 minutes and email these Ohio reps right now.   If citizens stay silent, America loses.   

 

Legislation on the Move

Florida

Voter ID Expansion bill HB 505 is now in Government Operations Subcommittee. This bill expands the list of acceptable forms of identification for certain voter registration applicants and for identification at polls to include veteran health identification cards and licenses to carry concealed weapon or firearm.

Voter Registration bill HB 541 was added to Government Operations Subcommittee agenda. This bill would require voter registration applicants to provide distinguishing information about their address, like an apartment, suite, or dormitory room number. It also changes the required phrasing on the form from "legal residence address" to "address of legal residence."

Felon Voting Rights bill HJR 729 was filed. This bill would restore felons' right to vote and hold office.

Absentee Voting bill SB 184 was placed on Calendar, on 2nd reading. The task force will study issues that limit the ability of absent military members to timely request and return an absentee ballot. The task force will look at the feasibility, including security issues, of providing online voting to overseas military members.

Voter Registration bill SB 702 was referred to Ethics and Elections; Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Rules. This bill would exempt from public disclosure the address, birthdate, phone number, and email address collected for voter registration purposes. It also exempts all information related to preregistered 16- and 17-year-olds. Candidates, canvassing boards, elections officials and political parties would still be provided access to this information.

List Maintenance bill SB 736 was referred to Ethics and Elections; Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Fiscal Policy. This bill adds to the notice requirements for voters facing removal from the voter roll: if a notice is published in a newspaper, the full notice must also be posted on the election supervisor's website.

Voter Registration bill SB 744 was referred to Ethics and Elections; Community Affairs; Rules. This bill would require voter registration applicants to provide distinguishing information about their address, like an apartment, suite, or dormitory room number. It also changes the required phrasing on the form from "legal residence address" to "address of legal residence."

Absentee Voting bill SB 888 was filed. This bill would require the adoption of rules and security procedures that allow overseas voters to transmit an absentee ballot by fax or other electronic means.

Absentee Voting bill HB 361 was added to Government Operations Subcommittee agenda. This bill would substitute the term "vote-by-mail ballot" for the term "absentee ballot" that is currently used.

Voter Registration bill HB 647 is now in Government Operations Subcommittee. This bill would exempt from public disclosure the address, birthdate, phone number, and email address collected for voter registration purposes. It also exempts all information related to preregistered 16- and 17-year-olds. Candidates, canvassing boards, elections officials and political parties would still be provided access to this information.

Absentee Voting bill SB 112 was scheduled to be heard by the Senate Rules Committee on December 3 at 1 p.m. This bill would replace the term "absentee" ballots with the term "vote-by-mail" ballots.

Voter ID Expansion bio SB 666 was scheduled to be heard by the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee on December 1 at 3:30 p.m. This bill would expand the list of acceptable forms of identification for certain voter registration applicants to include veteran health identification cards and licenses to carry a concealed weapon or firearm.

Ohio

Voter Registration bill SB 222 was scheduled to be heard by the Senate State and Local Government Committee on December 1 at 9:45 a.m. This bill would allow victims of domestic violence, trafficking, sexual assault and related crimes to keep their addresses and personal information confidential, including for the purposes of registering to vote and voting. Voters protected under this law would not have their information listed in the state voter roll or in local poll books; such voters must vote absentee or with a provisional ballot.

Pennsylvania

Voter Registration bill SB 1052 was re-referred to Appropriations. This bill would allow military voters overseas the option of transmitting a ballot electronically, including by email or fax.

Virginia

Voter Registration bill HB 9 was pre-filed. This bill adds required information for the voter registration form, including middle name. It specifies that the application must be denied if an applicant fails to provide all required information such as middle name, gender, previous registration address or fails to indicate "none" or "not applicable."

Wisconsin

Conduct of Elections bill AB 388: Action ordered immediately messaged. This bill replaces the Government Accountability Board with two commissions, the Elections Commission and the Ethics Commission.

Conduct of Elections bill SB 391: Sen. Public hearing held. This bill requires elections officials to attend at least one training session every two years during the period beginning on January 1 of each even-numbered year and ending on December 31 of the following year. Current law requires such training at least once every two years, but indicates neither the beginning nor the end of that period. The bill also changes the two-year term for members of a board of canvassers so that the term begins on January 1 of the even-numbered year rather than January 1 of the odd-numbered year.

Whether they are eligible to vote or not.  In this case, not.

But can a single ineligible vote change the outcome of an election?  This one did: the election ended in a tie.

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