Friday, April 29, 2016

A Third Strike for Obama at the EAC

Yesterday, President Obama nominated Kate Marshall to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). A brief review of his previous nominations seems to be in order. All too often the Democrats consider election administration in a partisan fashion, seeking to advance a political agenda or scare their base.  

President Obama seemingly believed such when he nominated the hyper-partisan liberal extremist Myrna Perez previously.  As we wrote at the time:
It is hard to imagine a person less suited for a commission whose job is to be “independent, bipartisan commission charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements” than Ms. Perez.  Some of the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA’s, requirements were for states to update their voting rolls.  An effort which Ms. Perez has long opposed calling such efforts “list purging” with made up statistics and overheated rhetoric.  An example of the latter is Ms. Perez once said: “purging happens all across the country, probably every day.” 
To election officials of both parties that statement is ridiculous but it is the kind of extremist rhetoric that Ms. Perez has been spouting for years against Republicans and Democrats who try to enforce laws on voting that the far left opposes.  In Ms. Perez’s world such Republicans and Democrats are racists or fear mongers. 
According to Perez, Secretaries of State and other election officials spend their time trying to remove people from the voting rolls.  Such rhetoric and her extreme partisanship resulted in Perez being forced to withdraw her name.  

President Obama replaced Perez's nomination with Matthew Butler. Butler was the former CEO of Media Matters. While Perez was a partisan extremist on election issues, Butler had no experience at all on election issues.  He is now the Chief of Staff for the Democratic National Convention. In other words, he was only a partisan.  

Which brings us to the current nominee, Kate Marshall. She similarly has no election administration background. (Although unlike Butler, at least she "applied" for such a position when she ran unsuccessfully for Nevada Secretary of State.)

And that is how the Democrats view the EAC: a place to reward partisans for their service to the liberal movement. It is sad that the left has so little regard for election administration.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

ICYMI: NY Punishes GOP Election Official For Democrat Errors

It seems like anything goes in New York elections.  New York City's election on April 19 was an election administration disaster with massive problems reported in Democrat precincts.  So how did New York Board of Elections deal with the problem?  (emphasis ours.)

The city’s Board of Elections suspended the top official at its Brooklyn office without pay as they probe the mysterious purge of more than 120,000 Democratic voters from the borough rolls that wreaked havoc on Tuesday presidential primaries.

The solo suspension of Diane Haslett-Rudiano from her $125,000-a-year post over widespread polling problems is raising eyebrows that extend beyond party lines.

Democrat Betty Ann Canizio, the BOE Deputy Clerk for Brooklyn, is the official primarily responsible for overseeing the borough’s Democratic voting rolls while Haslett-Rudiano, a Republican, oversees her party’s rolls, sources said.

“It sounds like they cut a deal to make the Republican the scapegoat and protect Betty Ann,” said an elected Brooklyn official who’s a Democrat.

So a Democrat official makes massive errors in the Democrat primary resulting in disenfranchisement and a Republican official is being suspended.  At least she is not being referred to the District Attorney for prosecution as were the Police Officers who uncovered massive and systematic problems with New York’s voting system:

In fact, the Board thinks investigators who were allowed to cast ballots even though they posed as deceased people and felons should themselves be investigated.

The BOE voted to ask the city’s district attorneys to examine whether the Department of Investigation violated laws in its exhaustive inquiry.

New York remains one of the most corrupt election authorities in the country. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Federal Court Upholds NC Voter ID Law

Yesterday, Judge Thomas Schroeder of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina upheld North Carolina's voter ID law in a 479-page opinion that carefully considered and analyzed all the evidence presented by both sides.  The court also dismissed challenges to other election reforms - more about those in a later post.

The Court held (pages 475-76):
Finally, North Carolina’s voter-ID requirement, now with a reasonable impediment exception, serves legitimate State interests recognized by the Supreme Court in Crawford without imposing a material burden on any group of voters. Plaintiffs’ contention that North Carolina’s requirement is one of the strictest in the country ignores the reasonable impediment exception. If North Carolina is an outlier, it is because it is one of only two States in the Nation to accommodate voters who wish to vote in person but for whatever reason face an impediment to acquiring qualifying ID. The court’s conclusion is fully consistent with the same finding of the three-judge court that approved a virtually identical photo-ID law with reasonable impediment in South Carolina. . . . 
In short, North Carolina has provided legitimate State interests for its voter-ID requirement and electoral system . . . . Plaintiffs oppose this system because they preferred one that they say was even more convenient – which they used disproportionately during certain elections – and point to some fraction of voters who did not vote or register. Plaintiffs’ contention that such voters did not do so because of vestiges of historical official discrimination is rebutted by the facts. There is strong evidence that some other reason is at play for the failure of these persons to register and/or vote. The unprecedented gains by African Americans in registration and turnout, both during and even in 2014 after SL 2013-381, bolster this conclusion. While the consideration is clearly local and practical in nature, based on North Carolina’s unique facts, it would no doubt bear relevance if North Carolina were seeking to return to an electoral system that was not in the mainstream of other States. It is not.
The court considered a vast amount of evidence to reach its conclusions:
In reaching the decision released on Monday, Schroeder conducted a two-part trial that spanned more than 21 days in July and this past January. He considered the testimony of 21 expert witnesses and 112 other witnesses, and more than 25,000 pages that are part of the record.
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory recognized the wisdom of the decision:
This ruling further affirms that requiring a photo ID in order to vote is not only common-sense, it's constitutional . . . . Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and thankfully a federal court has ensured our citizens will have the same protection for their basic right to vote.
The court was right to recognize that the state of North Carolina has a legitimate interest in protecting the integrity of its elections.  The decision has already been appealed to the 4th Circuit, but Judge Schroeder's thoughtful, careful findings of fact will be given deference by any reviewing appellate court and should hold up to scrutiny.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Will McAuliffe’s Fourth Try at Vote Fraud for Virginia Succeed? (Part 1)

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is a former DNC Chair under President Bill Clinton.  As a former DNC Chair, he knows a thing or two about vote fraud and stealing elections for Democrats.  Last Friday, he took the unprecedented step of signing a possibly unconstitutional order (more on that in part II) allowing felons to vote in Virginia, including those convicted of murder, rape, and other violent crimes. 

This is just the latest effort by McAuliffe to win elections by means other than the voters.  To review:

1.  Before he was even elected, McAuliffe’s legal team fought to keep ineligible voters on the rolls in heavily Democrat Fairfax County, Virginia:

Virginia officials counted 7,934 duplicate names on the Fairfax County voter rolls, and the Democratic lawsuit asks that every one of those be allowed to cast a ballot on Nov. 5. We suggest that Mr. McAuliffe court eligible Virginians, and leave be the Virginians who have moved on. Any dead ones, too. They don’t really have much interest now in what goes on in Richmond.

Not only did the courts reject this effort but also, just a few months later, President Obama’s Commission on Election Administration advocated for just this kind of list clean up. 


Matthew Gray was nominated by the Governor despite having no experience that we know of in Election Administration.  He is currently working for the Humane Society.

. . .  Gary seemly “earned” his nomination by being a Democrat who once supported John McCain in 2008.  The later allowed the former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe with a straight face to nominate the Democrat primary voter Gray to the REPUBLICAN position on the Virginia Board of Elections.  (Virginia does not have party ID to vote and both parties generally identify their members by primary voting.)

This is just the latest example of the efforts of Democrats and the left to further politicize elections by appointing unqualified hacks to administer elections.

According to a story we will not link in the Washington Post, Gary withdrew his name under pressure from Republicans.   

3.  Of course, this is not even the first time that Governor McAuliffe tried to “restore” felon rights.  In July of 2015 he tried to make felons eligible by omission of answering questions regarding eligibility to vote:

The board is considering allowing people registering to vote to skip several questions on the application, including those asking whether those registering are U.S. citizens or felons whose voting rights have not been restored. . . . Currently, registrars can reject would-be voters if they do not check boxes to indicate their citizenship and felon status.

The proposal was met Tuesday with nearly universal skepticism — from registrars and elections officials with practical concerns, and from politicians and ordinary Virginians with big-picture worries that play into the nation’s fiercest political debates.

Illegal immigration, voter fraud and the restoration of felons’ right to vote — even the usurpation of legislative power by an overbearing executive branch — all loomed large over an hour-long hearing to discuss a seemingly arcane administrative matter.

In other words, this order he signed is just the latest effort by Governor McAuliffe to steal the election for his close friend Hillary Clinton.  We can only hope for the integrity of the election that this effort fails as well.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

The RNC Rules Meeting - Media Hypes 54-2 as Bitterly Divided

If you skim articles like the one below in Politico, you would think that the RNC rules committee, and the entire Republican Party, was tearing itself apart.  Typical quote is (emphasis added):

The vote bitterly divided the party
, pitting a small group eager to advance the proposal against RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and his allies, who warned that implementing the change would further inflame Donald Trump, who has accused the committee of overseeing a “rigged” process that’s stacked against him.

As a guest attendee and member of the audience, I saw no bitter division either at the Rules Committee or the meeting as a whole.  The Party was in good spirits and saw Governor Kasich, Senator Cruz, and Dr. Carson for Donald Trump with equal respect and interest.  I heard officials for all campaigns and RNC Members from across the country on board with supporting the nominee, whoever that may be. 

As far as what the actual substance of the Rules Committee hearing, it was a debate of whether the convention should run under the rules of the United States House of Representatives or “Roberts Rules.”  In other words, this was not for or against a candidate, nor was it debating any sort of substantive change in the Party’s principles. 

It was a debate discussed respectfully with everyone truly getting along.  Of course, the media loves a fight, so it is only in the last sentence of the Politico article that summed up what the meeting was really like:

“There’s been a little bit written in the press about the work of this committee,” [Committee Chair] Ash said. “Let’s be clear about one thing: This committee has done a good job standing together.”

As far as the substance, the Democrat Convention and every Republican Convention in the Party’s History except 1884 have been run under House rules.  As RNLA Chair Randy Evans and Board Member John Ryder stated:

“We’re basically in the seventh inning of a ballgame, and I don’t think it’s right to change the rules of the game in the middle of the game,” argued Randy Evans, an RNC member from Georgia. “Any change we make would be viewed with a very large degree of cynicism.”

John Ryder, a member from Tennessee who is the RNC’s counsel, warned that it would “subject this committee to enormous political criticism.”

The committee agreed by a voice vote that I was told unofficially was 54-2.  No real controversy.  However, it did provide a lot of media establishment types a chance to hype a fight.  Problem was, there really wasn’t one.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Facts About the RNC Rules Committee


Much is being made about the RNC Rules Committee meeting being held today.  RNLA will be live tweeting from the Rules Committee hearing.  However, it is important to note what the RNC Rules Committee is and is not. 

The RNC’s Standing Committee on Rules exists to administer the rules passed by the previous national convention delegates and to help govern the party between Conventions.  

The RNC’s Rules Committee does NOT write the convention rules.  To clarify how those are written:

1. The rules for the 2016 Convention will be decided and enacted by the delegates to the 2016 Convention.

2. Two delegates, elected from their state delegations, will serve on a Convention Rules Committee that will write the rules for the 2016 convention.

3. Delegates elected by the grassroots are the only people who will write the rules that will govern the 2016 Convention. 


For more on this, follow the RNLA on twitter today starting at 2 p.m. Eastern at: https://twitter.com/TheRepLawyer

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Bigger Role for DMV with Voting Will Only Disenfranchise More People

Automatic voter registration is being discussed in a number of states right now as a solution to election administration problems.  It is a recipe for disaster.  Fortunately two recent op-eds highlight some of the problems.  First, from a non-partisan perspective, Joanne Young focuses on problems with the Department of Motor Vehicles in a recent article entitled “The DMV has a Terrible Track Record of Handling Voter Registration”:

Whether through DMV errors or the organization of an automatic voter registration system, the risk of voter disenfranchisement in closed primaries is substantial. Given that there is no proof that automatic voter registration helps increase voter participation (voter participation actually went down when Canada adopted it), states should focus on fixing the existing system that is supposed to help voters register and update their registrations, instead of rushing into automatic voter registration.

Unlike acquiring an identification card or driver’s license from the DMV, a process that everyone understands, it is much harder to explain needing to register twice: once automatically and once with a party.

J. Christian Adams lays out the case for the more insidious reasons for the left’s support of automatic voter registration in a more politically charged op-ed entitled “Democrats and the New Jim Crow”:

This is the perfect scenario for the disenfranchisement of ordinary Walmart Democrat voters in favor of leftists and the Democratic Party elite. Only insiders and people who understand the system will be able to vote in the primaries. It’s too late if you learn this on election day.

The leftists love mandatory voter registration for another reason. While more mainstream Democrats are disenfranchised in the primaries, it is a different story in November. Republicans, Green Party members, Libertarians, and independents are disenfranchised in the general election when legal votes are cancelled by the lawless voting.

Regardless of your political background, all should agree that automatic voter registration and an increased role for the DMV in voter registration are not solutions to election administration problems.