Category Archives: War on Voting

The GOP’s ongoing disenfranchisement effort.

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Voting Rights Act: It Doesn’t Need Fixing and It Is Not a “Racial Entitlement”

vote, bitchezI was going to try to write a comprehensive post on the issues at stake in Shelby v. Holder, the Voting Rights Act case, but Brentin Mock of Colorlines has already done so, and beautifully, so just read his post:

History will repeat itself in the chambers of the Supreme Court this week. The very state where the fight for voting rights reached its critical peak nearly 50 years ago is once again at the center of the dispute over democracy in America. But oddly, the political and legal odds may now be tilting away from civil rights and back toward an era in which the federal government had limited power to protect voters of color in the South from the machinations of local leaders.

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Lawsuit Filed Today Seeks Injunctive Relief and Removal of “Software Patches” in Ohio Voting Machines

20121103-145727.jpgThe Columbus Free Press is reporting that the chair of the Ohio Green Party has filed a lawsuit seeking injunctive relief and the removal of shady software patches which Secretary of State John Husted ordered installed into voting machines in several Ohio counties (Democratic strongholds like Cleveland and Columbus, obvs.).  The hearing is at 9 am tomorrow.

Talk about cutting it close:

At 9am Election Day, a federal judge will decide whether untested and uncertified secret software will remain on Ohio’s vote tabulation and reporting systems in 39 counties. Bob Fitrakis, in his capacity as the Chair of the Ohio Green Party, filed suit at approximately 12:30pm on Monday, November 5 against Ohio Secretary of State John Husted and Elections Systems and Solutions for their clandestine installation of uncertified and untested software. Judge Frost, U.S. District Court Southern District Court of Ohio, agreed to the hearing to be held Tuesday, November 6.

The suit seeks immediate the injunctive relief of removing the untested, uncertified software from all county tabulators.

Should there be insufficient time or resources to remove said software from the tabulators, those tabulators will not be used and all ballots will be counted by hand if either the state or federal judge grants the injunction.

The Columbus Free Press’ investigation has discovered that the office of the Secretary of State has, at the last minute, contracted for special untested reporting software. Brandi Seske, Elections Council to John Husted, has penned legal memos justifying the skirting of federal and state elections law.

Since this story broke, the spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, Mathew McClellan, has made false and contradictory statements to the press about the nature of the software and its legality.

Husted’s office has made every attempt to circumvent the law in order to suppress and now apparently steal the vote on behalf of the GOP.

If you haven’t been following this story, read this article “Ohio Secretary of State Accused of Installing Suspicious Software on Voting Machines” by Ugonna Okpalaoka at The Grio.

Long story short, John Husted is fucking up Ohio’s program in a desperate effort to hand Romney a Ohio victory.

[via Cleveland Free Press via Daily Kos]

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John Husted Still Trying to Suppress Ohio Votes

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John Husted is a crook:

A last-minute directive issued by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) could invalidate legal provisional ballots. Ohio is widely viewed as the most critical state for both presidential campaigns and — with some polls showing a close race — the 11th-hour move could swing the entire election.

The directive, issued Friday, lays out the requirements for submitting a provisional ballot. The directive includes a form which puts the burden on the voter to correctly record the form of ID provided to election officials. Husted also instructed election officials that if the form is not filled out correctly by a voter, the ballot should not be counted.
~snip~
According to a lawsuit filed late Friday by voting rights advocates, this is “contrary to a court decision on provisional ballots a week ago and contrary to statements made by attorneys for Husted at an Oct. 24 court hearing.”

Indeed, it also appears directly contrary to Ohio law.

(read the rest)

The DOJ is deploying poll watchers. I hope they send an army of them to Ohio.

There seems to be nothing that Husted won’t do in order to swing the election for Romney.
I hope Obama locks this up without Ohio so we don’t have to wait and deal with Husted’s bullshit.

I don’t know if the attempted voter fraud was this bad in previous elections, or if social media is making me more aware of it, but this shit is bananas.

Spell it out.

***If you see voter shenanigans between now and Tuesday, report it!

The public can phone or email complaints about possible voting rights violations through Tuesday.

The phone numbers are 1-800-253-3931 or 202-307-2767 and the number for those who are deaf or hard of hearing is 1-877-267-8971. The fax number is 202-307-3961.

Complaints can be emailed to voting.section(at)usdoj.gov or filed by filing out a complaint form on the department’s website: www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/ .

[via Think Progress]

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Signs Obama Is Winning: “Voter Fraud” Edition

Some Things Never Change

Got an email this morning via Clownhall Townhall (I like to know what the enemy is saying) with the subject line:

Breaking Voter Fraud News

And the content didn’t even have anything to do with “voter fraud.”

Yes, we’ve officially entered the OMG the KenyoMuslimGaySocialist is Stealing the Election phase of the GOP’s Kubler-Ross grieving process.

Voter fraud is a terrible, terrible thing, as long as we imagine it is happening and benefiting a Democrat.

Meanwhile, in the reality-based community, a GOP election worker in Oregon has been caught actually tampering with cast ballots to make them more Republican.

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Republicans So Nervous They’re Dumping Voter Registration Forms

Because they know they can’t win if they play fair, Republicans passed voter ID Laws to suppress minority and low-income vote in. They did it in Texas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida and others.

But now Republicans have a major sad because their voter suppression efforts are failing out loud:

So they’re panicking.  And when people panick, they start doing dumb shit — illegal shit — like throwing away voter registration forms for individuals who register as Democrats.

Third instance of voter registration dumping found in Virginia (via Raw Story )

A third instance of fraudulent voter registration has been uncovered in the important swing state of Virginia, where a Republican consultant has been arrested and thousands of discarded voter registration forms were recovered from a dumpster earlier this week. According to the Not Larry Sabato blog, a law student at James Madison University registered to vote on campus, but found when she tried to verify the change online, found that her form had never been submitted.

On Thursday, Raw Story reported that 31-year-old Colin Small, a Republican operative employed by Pinpoint, a firm contracted by Republican Party of Virginia, was arrested and charged with “four counts of destruction of voter registration applications, eight counts of disclosure of voter registration application, and one count of obstruction of justice” for throwing active voter registration forms into a dumpster.

Not Larry Sabato blogger Ben Trippett wrote that 2 to 3 weeks ago, a woman, identified only by her first name, Lucy, attempted to update her voter registration at a table on the campus of James Madison University.

“She stopped to fill out a voter registration form to change her voting address from her parents house in Fairfax to her dorm address in Harrisonburg so she could vote in person on election day,” wrote Trippett. ”On Wednesday night Lucy went online to check her voter registration status and found out she had not been registered in Harrisonburg- meaning whoever was collecting her form on campus had not turned it in.”

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Are You Working on 11/6 to Protect Voters from Harassment and Intimidation? Read This.

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Steven D. has an excellent post up over at BooMan Tribune for any lawyers (and non-) out there who plan to do election protection activities on November 6.

Here’s a quick and dirty list of the types of shenanigans to look out for:

Republican observers at polling places May Not:

  • Question voters about their credentials
  • Impede or delay voters by asking for identification
  • Videotape, photograph, or otherwise make visual records of voters or their vehicles
  • Handout any literature outlining the fact that voter fraud is a crime or detailing the penalties under any state or federal statute for impermissibly casting a ballot

From a press release — National Organizations Call On State Election Officials to Protect Voters From Intimidation and Harassment — put out by an alliance of civil rights organizations working to prevent voter intimidation and harassment at the polls:

“Voter intimidation is not new to America,” said Gary L. Flowers, Executive Director and CEO, Black Leadership Forum. “Those who wore bib overalls in the twentieth century are no different from those who wear Abercrombie & Fitch clothing today while intimidating voters. Both are un-American examples of domestic terrorism.”


The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 prohibit challenging any citizen’s right to vote based upon race or other characteristics, and prohibit the intimidation of any person for exercising their right to vote
. Although challenges are permitted under various state laws, challenges that are frivolous or based on insufficient evidence of ineligibility are not allowed.
“What we’ve seen too often in recent years is partisan groups casting a wide-net in minority communities, attempting to intimidate eligible voters, create chaos, and slow down voting in targeted precincts,” said Niel Ritchie, Executive Director of the League of Rural Voters. “These illegal challenges undermine the integrity of our elections, and have no place in our democracy.”

PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1pOwr)

Steven D. has much much more, including links and language from the 1982 consent decree banning GOP voter suppression, and the 2009 Third Circuit opinion modifying that consent decree. Steven’s post is well worth reading, even if you’re not a lawyer.

[via BooMan Tribune]

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Pennsylvania Judge Halts Voter ID Law!!!! [updated 2x]

This is four exclamation mark news!!!!

This is fucking fantastic:

10:32AM EST October 2. 2012 – A Pennsylvania judge is putting a halt to the state’s voter identification law, ordering today that it not be enforced for the presidential election just five weeks away.

The ruling by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson could be appealed to the state’s Supreme Court. Simpson’s ruling says the law — requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID — would be fully implemented next year.

This is wonderful, outstanding, marvelous news. I am going to read the ruling and will update this post with the legal deets.

For now, it’s pop champagne time for voters in Pennsylvania.

UPDATE [Not all information in this update is correct.  See Update 2]: There’s been some concern about what exactly this ruling means.  Without getting into the legal weeds, it means that the sections of the voter ID law that might have disenfranchised up to 750,000 voters are enjoined from enforcement for the November 6 election.  Pennsylvanians without voter ID will be able to cast normal — not provisional — ballots.  Poll workers will still be able to ask for voter ID, and that might cause some disenfranchisement (to the extent a voter runs screaming into the street after merely being asked for an ID, a scenario that can’t be entirely ruled out, I suppose), but not nearly as much as the requirement that voters without ID cast provisional ballots and then provide proof of identification within six days after election day.

So here’s how it works: A voter walks up to the table where the poll workers sit with the voter rolls.  The poll worker asks you for ID.  If you have it, you give it to the poll worker, then go into the voting booth and cast a regular ballot.  if you don’t have it, you say, I don’t have one.”  The poll worker says, “OK” and you go into the voting booth and cast a regular ballot.

A status conference has been set for December 13, 2012 at which point the fight becomes about whether or not the voter ID law should be enforced for future elections.

Unless I’m missing something, this is excellent news.  I will update this post further with actual language from the ruling, but if I don’t take my dog out for his morning pee, he’s going to stab me in my sleep.

UPDATE 2: The voter ID law provided for a transition period during which voters could vote normally (without casting a provisional ballot and then having to provide proof of identification within 6 days). During this transition period, voters would be informed of the upcoming voter ID requirements as provided by law.  The transition period was to last from January 2012 to September 17, 2012. With this new preliminary injunction order, the court extended the transition period to include the November 6 election.

The relevant section of the voter ID law provides as follows:

(1)(i) Except as provided under subparagraph (ii) and notwithstanding any law, election officials at the polling place at an election held after January 1, 2012, shall request that every elector show proof of identification.

(ii) Notwithstanding subparagraph (i), prior to September 17, 2012, if the elector does not provide proof of identification and the elector is otherwise qualified, the elector may cast a ballot that shall be counted without the necessity of presenting proof of identification and without the necessity of casting a provisional ballot, except as required by the act.

(2) Beginning January 1, 2012, if any elector votes at a polling place at an election and does not provide proof of identification and will be required to provide proof of identification beginning September 17, 2012, the election official that requested the proof of identification shall provide to the elector written information prescribed by the Secretary of the Commonwealth briefly describing the voter identification requirement created by this act and inform the elector that he or she will be required to comply with that requirement when voting at future elections beginning September 17, 2012, unless an exemption applies.

The court went on to say “[t]he injunction will have the effect of extending the express transition provisions of Act 18 [the voter ID law] through the general election.”

I am amending my language in the first update.  I said the following:

The poll worker asks you for ID.  If you have it, you give it to the poll worker, then go into the voting booth and cast a regular ballot.  if you don’t have it, you say, I don’t have one.”  The poll worker says, “OK” and you go into the voting booth and cast a regular ballot.

What actually happens is: The poll worker asks you for ID.  If you have it, you give it to the poll worker and cast your ballot.  If you don’t have ID and you will be required to provide ID in future elections (after November 6), the poll worker must provide you written information describing the voter ID requirements created by this law, and must inform you that you will be required to comply with the voter ID requirements in future elections after November 6.

If you have questions, drop them in the comments and I’ll try to answer them.

This is really good news, people.

*** Below is my mark-up of the ruling. Scribd is not compatible with the iAnnotate iPad app, so you should download the ruling in order to read behind the highlighted sections and also to read my marginalia. (I’ve always thought that “marginalia” sounds like a venereal disease, but maybe that’s just me.)

PA Voter ID Prelim. Inj. Order

[via USA Today]

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Florida Restarts Voter Purges

Voting is a right not a privilege.

With just 41 days before Election Day, and Romney running around the country with his pants down, the GOP has got to keep suppressing votes if Romney stands a chance at winning this thing. And so, Florida is revving up its voter suppression engine, and they are targeting Latinos:

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Republicans Love Committing Them Some Voter Fraud

Well, looky here.

Republicans busted for voter fraud again?  In Florida! Again?

Shut yo mouf!

The Republican National Committee has fired a controversial consulting firm it was paying millions of dollars to conduct voter registration in five battleground states, NBC News has learned.
The move came after the Palm Beach County, Fla., elections supervisor discovered 108 potentially fraudulent registration forms submitted by the GOP consulting firm, including suspected phony signatures and home addresses that matched those of a gas station, a medical building and a Land Rover dealership.

NBC News has learned that two other Florida counties, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa, have also reported possible fraudulent registration forms submitted by the firm, including apparent dead people being registered as new voters. Prosecutors in two counties are investigating possible voter fraud by the GOP consulting firm, officials said.

I bet ACORN had something to do with it.  When in doubt, always blame ACORN.

(The voter ID laws are about suppressing the votes of minority and low-income voters, most of whom vote Democrat. Period.)

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Zandar’s Morning Read: Wake The F*ck Up!

Nick Fury fights voter apathy in the greatest ad of the cycle.

This.  (Quasi safe for work version, entirely NSFW version here.)

This is the best of all the things of today’s many things.
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