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Tag: Voter Fraud (page 2 of 3)

Virginia’s Faulty Voting Machines in the 2014 Midterm Elections

By Jonathan Gonzalez

The 2014 midterm elections on November 4th culminated in major victories for the Republican Party, which succeeded in wresting control of the United States Senate from the Democrats by slim margins. Among the Republican Party Senate hopefuls, Ed Gillespie made waves in Virginia on election night, and came within a percentage point of ousting popular Democratic incumbent, Mark Warner. Warner, a former governor of Virginia, came about 16,000 votes shy of suffering a major upset. Continue reading

Apple, Android, and Another Way to Register

By Mark Listes

Indiana has turned to the app store to increase its voter turnout in the 2014 election cycle. The Indiana Secretary of State’s office created and released an app in early 2014 called “Indiana Voters.” The app lets Indiana voters “register to vote or confirm their voter registration, find their polling place, look up candidates on their ballot, track their absentee ballot, and contact local elected officials.” Indiana had only 58% of its population turn out to vote in the 2012 election cycle. Indiana’s Secretary of State hopes that the new app will help the other 42% get to the polls. Continue reading

California’s Law Against Fraudulent Accusations of Voter Ineligibility: Valuable Protection or Unnecessary Remedy?

By Geoff Tucker

When it comes to voter protection, California has a unique law in place: California Election Code § 18543(a) provides that, without probable cause, it is a felony to attempt to prevent people from voting by insinuating that they are ineligible to vote. While this type of law has also been considered by Ohio, California remains the only state with this type of voter protection. The question, however, is whether such a law is necessary or practically useful. Continue reading

38,000 Voters Removed from Virginia’s Voter Rolls

By Sarah Wiley, Editor

On Friday October 18, a federal district judge in Virginia’s northern district rejected the Democratic Party’s request for an injunction blocking the removal of 38,000 voters from the Virginia voter rolls. Democrats contended that the lists used to remove voters are inaccurate. Continue reading

Mail-In Ballot Fraud: Harvesting Votes in the Shadow of Texas’ Voter ID Controversy

by Andrew Lindsey

Almost every American realizes that democracies are only as legitimate as their rules for counting the votes. Voter fraud is an unfortunate reality in this country that undermines citizens’ faith in the electoral franchise, but few agree on its pervasiveness. Recently, a number of states have moved to enact stricter voting laws based on a concern that voter fraud is a considerably underrated threat to our electoral system. Opponents of these laws maintain that lawmakers are engaging in partisan exaggeration to disenfranchise minority constituents, and numerous lawsuits have already been filed in both state and federal court. Texas is a salient example, and many predict that the recent ruling against its voter identification (ID) law will make its way to the Supreme Court in the near future. Continue reading

A series of tubes: Transmitting ballots via the Internet

by Anthony Balady

The Internet is a strange and unpredictable place, filled with cats playing keyboard and Rick Astley videos. It’s the kind of place you wouldn’t want your ballot floating around without protection. So, ever since the widespread adoption of electronic voting machines, voters and election administrators alike have feared for the safety of votes traveling through the Internet tubes.

Five voters in Hawaii, concerned about the accuracy and safety of electronically transmitted ballots, filed suit against Chief Election Officer Kevin Cronin to prevent the use of electronic voting machines in the 2010 elections. The suit, Babson v. Cronin, resulted from the Hawaii Office of Election’s decision to use Direct-Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines in the 2010 elections. DRE voting machines eliminate the need for paper ballots by storing the vote electronically. In some DRE machines, the vote is stored on a physical device, like a flash drive, and then physically taken to a central vote tabulation machine.  In other DRE machines, like those used in Hawaii, the vote is transmitted electronically through an Internet style network. Continue reading

Indiana’s confusing record of voter registration

by Shanna Reulbach

Indiana’s recent history with voter registration is somewhat baffling, to say the least.  The state seems to swing like a pendulum between liberal and conservative measures and priorities, and compliance and defiance of federal mandates that extend the availability of registration materials to new populations.  An illustrative juxtaposition would be that the rhetoric of voter fraud is often at the forefront of Indiana election debates, yet the legislature authorized online voter registration in 2009, when many viewed the use of computer technology as enabling fraud.

The first subject that comes to any election law junkie’s mind in discussing Indiana’s election code is the state’s voter ID requirement and the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding of the law in its 2008 decision, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board.  In that case, Indiana asserted a governmental interest in preventing voter fraud at the polls, pointing to its “unusually inflated list of registered voters” as a major source of concern.  While Crawford was not centered on voter registration, the state’s arguments reveal a lack of confidence in the voter registration process’ ability to prevent fraud.

Fast-forwarding to this past year, two other events mark the voter registration debate.  First, in March, a grand jury indicted Secretary of State Charlie White with three counts of voter fraud: “filing [a] fictitious registration,” “voting where not registered,” and “fraudulent registration.”  White was registered at his ex-wife’s home and voted in that district, even though he had moved away.  Ironically, the Secretary of State serves as the chief election officer.  The Indiana Recount Commission determined that White was eligible to run for that office, but he is still awaiting his criminal trial.  This scandal has shined a spotlight on registration issues, but fraud has not been the rallying point.  All of the parties involved with the accusations, White, his Democrat opponents, and the Commission, agree that registration residency requirements have to be liberalized to account for nontraditional living configurations. Continue reading

WI (voter id): Badger ballot blues: early issues with Wisconsin’s voter ID law

by Chris Lewis

Could Wisconsin soon be the center of another political controversy?  A test run of the state’s new voter identification law on Oct. 11 led to long lines and frustrated voters, which could cause state Democrats to amplify their attacks on a law they already claim is costly and intended only to suppress voter turnout. State Republicans have expressed strong support for the law since its passage in May, and have expressed no desire to make any changes before it takes full effect before February’s primary elections.

Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl called for the mock election after noticing irregularities during July’s State Senate recall elections. Poll workers in those elections were instructed to request voters’ identification even though it was not yet required.  Witzel-Behl indicated that the workers were inconsistently following this instruction.  Following Tuesday’s mock election, Witzel-Behl estimated that it took each voter two minutes to present identification and sign the poll book, a standard she found “very alarming.” She also noted that several people left the line due to the long wait. Continue reading

Pennsylvania voters get carded

Pennsylvania voters may find themselves pulling out their wallets and scrounging through their purses for their driver’s licenses in upcoming elections if a recent bill makes it through the State Senate. House Bill 934 (the Pennsylvania Voter Identification Protection Act), sponsored by Republican State Representative Daryl Metcalfe, would require every voter to provide photo identification before voting. It passed the House just last June, and will soon make it to the floor of the Senate. As in many similar efforts across the country, the effort is largely Republican-led; not a single Democrat Representative in Pennsylvania voted for it.

This is Pennsylvania’s second effort at a voter identification bill. The first, which passed in the legislature in 2006, was vetoed by then-Governor Ed Rendell, a Democrat. But on an issue that tends to split down party lines, the effort this time stands a good chance. The Senate has  a Republican majority of 29-20, and the governor is a Republican. Moreover, the bill includes elements, most notably providing free photo identification, that the Supreme Court cited last March when it decided (6-1) to uphold a similar Georgia statute. In short, if the bill passes, it will be there to stay unless a future legislature repeals it.

Continue reading

College students and voter fraud: Charlie Webster’s Maine problem

Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster is “on a mission to make Maine a better place.” The trouble is, the “better place” he envisions lies on the other side of what may be an insurmountable controversy.

Since famously brandishing a list of 206 alleged voter frauds—all college students—a few weeks ago, Webster has been branded the leader of a witch hunt. The chairman maintains that Maine law is very clear that residency must be established before voting. This is true, but Webster’s opponents on this issue are quick to point out that doing so is almost trivially easy, and certainly not beyond students’ ability. Webster insists on implementing several harsher residency requirements, such as paying income taxes. Continue reading

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