True the Vote This Week 6/10/16

10th of June 2016

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.

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