Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Suspected Double-Voting Referred to Prosecutors in Virginia

Local election officials in Fairfax County, Virginia have referred seventeen cases of suspected double-voting to the Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney. These individuals are suspected of having voted in both Maryland and in Fairfax County, Virginia in the 2012 General Election. Some individuals are suspected of having double-voted in Maryland and Virginia in multiple elections. Click here for the press release from the Fairfax County Electoral Board.

This incident underscores the importance that states share voter registration data on a regular basis. Programs RNLA have endorsed like ERIC and Crosscheck can help both identity and prevent illegal double-voting.  

However, sharing the data is useless if states don't act on it after receiving it. It is essential that officials take decisive action to remove these voters from the rolls once they receive the data from other states. Secondly, it’s important they refer suspected instances of voter fraud to prosecutors. Unfortunately Democrats and their allied liberal groups such as Project Vote and the Brennan Center have repeatedly worked to prevent officials from taking action based on concerns that voters will be mistakenly removed from the voter rolls. They ignore the fact that provisional ballots and other remedial measures can fix any potential mistakes made by officials. Of course, we all know there is no way to retrieve a fraudulently cast ballot by a voter that officials should have removed but did not out of fear that the Democrats would cry "voter suppression". 

There is little that can be done to stop someone from casting ballots in multiple states without states sharing this data and acting on it. It is particularly critical in areas with highly transient populations and in election jurisdictions that border other states. Fairfax County is both highly transient and shares a border with Maryland. It would be relatively easy for a voter to vote in-person in both a Virginia and Maryland polling in the same day, especially since Maryland has few election integrity protections such as voter ID. Based on the news from the Fairfax County Electoral Board, it seems like that very well may have been happening. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Reasonable Democrats are Tiring of Left-Wing Democrat Voter Fraud Antics

Recently, Obama’s Presidential Commission on Election Administration came out in favor of programs such as the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC to help fight vote fraud and improve registration.  While the commission was co-chaired by Obama’s own lawyer, Bob Bauer, many Democrats and liberals in the election field have fought implementation of ERIC despite its wide bipartisan support. 

Examples of this are one of the Democrats nominee for the Election Assistance Commission, Myrna Perez, and another is the current California Secretary of State Debra Bowen.  Bowen’s views are so extreme that even the left-leaning Pew Charitable Trusts is attacking her:

[ERIC’s] goal is to identify voters who have moved between states, and ensure they are re-registered quickly.  Pew, Becker said later, has invited Bowen's office to six Pew-sponsored meetings since January 2011 to discuss ways to improve elections, including ERIC. Pew received no response to most of the invitations, including for a meeting later this month in San Francisco, he said.

"Not having California being part of a really important data exchange...hurts the other states and I think it hurts California, too," Judd Choate, Colorado's director of elections and ERIC's chairman, testified.

The leading California Democrat to replace Bowen who is term-limited, has also refused to support ERIC.  In the very blue state of California, most voters have had enough of these efforts to promote vote fraud and hurt ALL legal voters.  It is part of the reason that Republican Nominee for Secretary of State Pete Peterson is leading in the polls

The views of far left Democrats in the election field and their allies such as the Brennan Center are too extreme for even Democrat voters and President Obama’s own lawyer.  Hopefully, victories by Republicans in states like California will serve to wake up national mainstream Democrats to stop nominating and funding pro-vote fraud candidates and groups.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

More Proof of the Need for Voter ID

To hear the vote fraud deniers like Justin Levitt and Al Sharpton talk Voter ID does nothing to stop vote fraud because it only stops impersonation.  In other words, someone pretending to be you or someone else they are not.  Maybe in their vain worlds that is their biggest concern: someone trying to be them.  The reality is Voter ID does much more than that.

Take the story yesterday that detailed 14,646 duplicate registrations in just one county in Northern Virginia (Fairfax County) and Maryland.  The election official says there is no way they can sort through all the double registrations before the November election and there are serious questions whether election officials can do anything other than put these voters on the “inactive” roles. 

This allows unscrupulous party operatives (and there are many party operatives in the metro DC area) and other political activists to vote in the state of their choice in different elections.  We are not talking double-voting either, rather more of an "a la carte" voting depending on the election.  For example, in the very blue or Democrat state of Maryland you could vote in the Democrat primary and then for the General Election vote in the purple or toss up state of Virginia.  Furthermore, Virginia has off year elections (2013 and 2015) when there are no elections in Maryland. 

While clean election rolls would also stop this, it should be remembered that the law firm of Presidential Commission on Election Administration (PCEA) Co-Chair Democrat Bob Bauer filed in Virginia what a judge called a groundless suit to stop efforts by Virginia election officials to clean up the rolls.  This baseless partisan effort, while typical of Democrats, even runs afoul of the Bauer-led PCEA’s recommendations. 

Which is why Voter ID is part of the solution.  Everyone should be allowed to vote but only where they live.  Thus Voter ID would prevent the Maryland residents from driving 30 minutes and voting in Fairfax County and vice-versa.  Since Virginia law does not allow for a Maryland Driver's License for acceptable ID, these voters would be deterred from voting in Virginia. Voter ID does not disenfranchise anyone and actually prevents the disenfranchisement of legal voters. 

But Sharpton, Levitt and the Democrats who filed the groundless suit in Virginia will have none of that.  And unfortunately it effects elections and not just their vanity.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Indicted NY City Councilman Pushes Criminal Voting Over Needed Election Reforms

The NY Post has an interesting piece today about Ruben Wills, a NY City Councilman who is pushing legislation in the City Council to require the city Department of Corrections to “publicize the right of prisoners — awaiting trial or convicted of misdemeanors — to vote.” This is, at best, a questionable use of limited government resources. More interestingly, the Councilman is under indictment for “allegedly swiping government funds from a nonprofit that he once ran”

There is obvious absurdity and irony in an indicted Councilman pushing legislation to help imprisoned likely criminals to vote. Certainly, those incarcerated, non-convicted prisoners should be able to vote if they are otherwise qualified to vote. We do believe in innocent until proven guilty in the United States. However, we really have to ask if it is appropriate for an indicted Councilman to push this legislation, and secondly, if this is really the best use of taxpayer resources? We know New York City has serious deep-seeded and systematic problems with its elections so it’s perplexing why a City Council member would be focusing on superfluous priorities such as pushing voting for city prisoners.

NYC’s longstanding election administration problems were uncovered in a recent investigation and subsequent audit report from the New York Department of Investigations (DOI). During the course of its audit, the DOI identified a number of individuals who should have been removed from the city’s voter rolls, including ineligible felons, but were not. DOI investigators then appeared at NYC polling places to vote in the name of the ineligible voters. Undercover agents were cleared by poll workers to vote for the ineligible voters 97% of the time. DOI investigators were able to vote for 14 out of the 15 felons they impersonated at the polls. DOI would have had complete success if it weren’t for one amazing coincidence recounted in the audit report: 

In the one instance where an investigator failed to vote as a felon listed in the registration book, the investigator was unable to vote because the poll inspector at the election district 18 table stated that she was the mother of the felon voter for whom the investigator was attempting to vote.

The DOI’s audit report was nothing short of an indictment on New York City’s electoral system. You think the Councilman whose body is responsible for oversight of the city’s Board of Elections would be focusing his attention on holding the BOE accountable for fixing the dozens of problems identified in the report, including the charges of nepotism, inadequate training, and vulnerabilities to fraud. Instead, he is pushing for voting rights for prisoners, a position he may very well find himself if incarcerated for his alleged crime.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Smooth Sailing in Virginia in First Election with New Photo ID Law

Yesterday, Virginia saw its first election with the newly enacted Photo ID requirements implemented as a result of legislation passed in 2013. A Special Town Election held in Farmville in Central Virginia was administered with the Photo ID requirements and we are hearing it went quite smoothly. Virginia State Board of Elections Chairman Charlie Judd was on hand to observe the first election under the new law and commented that things went smoothly and that “voters were aware and came prepared.” Judd described the conduct of the election as “flawless” and even got to see a voter apply for and receive a free photo ID on the spot in the General Registrar’s office. So much for the liberal alarmist claims of disenfranchisement and voter suppression.

While this town election was a small test, Virginia passed it with flying colors. This is a promising sign as we look towards statewide implementation of the law this November. The opponents of Virginia’s commonsense photo ID law, including the Washington Post editorial board who recently lambasted Virginia Republicans for the law, would no doubt have liked to see widespread chaos and dozens of voters showing up ID-less. As we have seen in other states where photo ID laws have been rolled out, they will be disappointed this November when voters arrive prepared for the law change with the added confidence that the election is being run with integrity.

(Due to a technicality, some special elections yesterday in Virginia took place under the non-ID laws.) 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ICYMI: Unprecedented Obstruction of the Administration’s Appointed Inspector Generals

While some media focus has been given to the obstruction and possible\likely willful destruction of materials over at the IRS, the fact that this is a large systematic issue of the Obama administration has been ignored.  Recently 47 Inspectors General from a wide variety of agencies wrote an extraordinary letter to Congress complaining:
The undersigned federal Inspectors General write regarding the serious limitations on access to records that have recently impeded the work of Inspectors General at the Peace Corps, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Justice.  Each of us strongly supports the principle that an Inspector General must have complete, unfiltered, and timely access to all information and materials available to the agency that relate to that Inspector General’s oversight activities, without unreasonable administrative burdens. . . .
We have learned that the Inspectors General for the Peace Corps, the Environmental Protection Agency (in his role as Inspector General for the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board) and the Department of Justice have recently faced restrictions on their access to certain records available to their agencies that were needed to perform their oversight work in critical areas.  In each of these instances, we understand that lawyers in these agencies construed other statutes and law applicable to privilege in a manner that would override the express authorization contained in the IG Act.
Many of these IGs are Obama appointees.  As Hans von Spakovsky writes:
In other words, Attorney General Eric Holder and his political subordinates only gave the IG access to these records because they decided there was nothing in them that would prove embarrassing.
But it goes deeper than that.  The Administration, especially Attorney General Eric Holder, is doing something no President has ever done before.  And as another RNLA Member, Professor Ronald Rotunda, explains there is in no legal justification:
A Justice Department spokesman stated that “because the documents at issue included grand jury material, credit reports, and other information whose dissemination is restricted by law, it was necessary to identify exceptions to the laws to accommodate the inspector general’s request.” However, that is a poor excuse to stonewall or slow-walk the Inspector General’s inquiry.
As Prof. Ronald Rotunda, one of the leading ethics experts in the country, says in his treatise on “Legal Ethics – The Lawyer’s Deskbook on Professional Responsibility,” while a government lawyer does have an attorney-client privilege with his client, that client is the government. Therefore, the government lawyer cannot assert the privilege to refuse to divulge information “when it is the government itself that is seeking the information.”
Thus, any privilege doctrine — whether it be attorney-client, grand jury secrecy, or premised on some other privacy interest — does not generally prevent lawyers within DOJ from providing confidential information to the lawyers working in the IG’s office, who are also DOJ employees.
Unprecedented obstruction.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Governor Perry Indictment. Next Up: Vegans Will Indite a Ham Sandwich

The indictment by a Grand Jury in Texas of Governor Rick Perry should send alarm bells to members of both parties.  This is the worst kind of prosecutorial overreach that even has left leaning political publications describing as “thin at best.”

Perry was indicted Friday on two counts: abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony that could carry from five to 99 years in prison; and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony that could carry a punishment of two to 10 years. But several legal experts said the
indictment itself is thin at best.

RNLA’s Texas Chapter Co-Chair Chris Gober stated:

“The alleged ‘misuse of government property’ and ‘coercion’ actually involved a constitutional exercise of Governor Perry’s veto authority … I am confident there are many Texans who watched that highly damning video of Rosemary Lehmberg’s in jail and believe Governor Perry exercised his veto with that oath in mind,” he said in an email.

The matter under dispute is Perry’s threat to veto.  Which is explained as follows:

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg —  a Democrat who oversees the state’s Public Corruption unit —  was arrested for driving very, very drunk. What followed was a relatively ordinary political dispute. Perry, not unreasonably, urged Lehmberg to resign. Democrats, not unreasonably, resisted out of fear that Perry would replace her with a Republican. Perry, not unreasonably, announced and carried out a threat to veto funding for her agency until Lehmberg resigned.

. . . But that statute [that is being used to indict Perry] also specifically exempts “an official action taken by the member of the governing body.” The prosecutors claim that, while vetoing the bill may be an official action, threatening a veto is not. Of course the threat of the veto is an integral part of its function. The legislature can hardly negotiate with the governor if he won’t tell them in advance what he plans to veto. This is why, when you say the word “veto,” the next word that springs to mind is “threat.” That’s how vetoes work.

The theory behind the indictment is flexible enough that almost any kind of political conflict could be defined as a “misuse” of power or “coercion” of one’s opponents. To describe the indictment as “frivolous” gives it far more credence than it deserves.

The situation is so ridiculous that one or more of President Obama’s top political advisers completely agree with Republicans:

Even some prominent liberals expressed reservations about the strength of the indictment. David Axelrod, a longtime aide to President Barack Obama, tweeted: “Unless he was demonstrably trying to scrap the ethics unit for other than his stated reason, Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy.”

RNLA Board Member Elliot Berke summed it up best:

Elliot Berke, who served as counsel to former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert and also to DeLay, said he believes “any objective judge will see this for what it is — a pretty outrageous attempt to criminalize politics.”