New GOP tactic – Disenfranchise Students

Not only are cheap labor conservatives trying to take down labor unions but they are also trying to keep college students from voting.

The New Hampshire House is trying to put those words into law, with two bills designed to disenfranchise young voters — one to disallow them from voting if they or their parents haven’t established residency in that district, the other to disallow same-day voter registration altogether.

NH GOP Seeks To Disenfranchise Students Who ‘Just Vote Their Feelings’ (VIDEO)

I doubt this will be just a New Hampshire thing. Let be clear:


Students get off the pot and protect your voting rights or you might be disenfranchised.

More proof that GOP cries of voter fraud is a fraud

Republicans continue to cry about “voter fraud” especially in states that have close poll numbers like Ohio. Their argument is that the state needs to release the mismatched voter registrations collected since January because they believe such mismatches means the people aren’t eligible to vote and they want to challenge them before they cast a vote. This would force these people to cast a provisional ballot – which is less likely to be counted in the final tally from election night.

This is a legal yet unethical way to “cage” voters.

The Ohio GOP sued the state for the release of the list of names. That case went to the US Supreme Court and the court ruled that the GOP didn’t have standing to sue. Next House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) sent a letter to President Bush to ask the Department of Justice to intervene in the case.

Now there is word that the DOJ won’t intervene.

The Department of Justice will not require Ohio to disclose the names of voters whose registration applications did not match other government databases, according to two people familiar with discussions between state and federal lawyers.

The decision comes about a week after an unusual request from President Bush asking the department to investigate the matter and roughly two weeks after the Supreme Court dismissed a case involving the flagged registration applications.

Ohio Vote-Challenge Effort Hits Another Roadblock

The important point to make again is that just because the data might not match the various databases doesn’t mean there is an attempt commit voter fraud.

But there’s little chance that these errors will result in improper voting on election day, much less affect outcomes. According to researcher Lorraine C. Minnite, of Columbia University, a total of 24 people, across the U.S., were found guilty of voter fraud between 2002 and 2005 — an average of eight per year.

How to Stop the Rigging of Election ’08

For months now, Republicans have been claiming that voter fraud is rampant and that government officials aren’t sufficiently cracking down. Democrats insist that voter fraud is practically nonexistent –- the real problem is intimidation and harassment of voters at the polls, they say.

Voting-rights experts tend to agree with the Democrats. A study by the Brennan Center for Justice, for example, found that, “It’s more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

Another study, by Barnard College political scientist Lori Minnite, similarly concluded that voter fraud is “extremely rare.” The Brennan Center also showed that the sort of strict rules advocated by Republicans in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere would disenfranchise thousands of people -– usually the poor, elderly and minorities.

A Myth of Voter Fraud

The idea of massive fraud by voters continues to be proven as a hyped-up myth. The Cincinnati Enquirer has provided a detailed analysis of Ohio’s more than 8 million registered voters and found that problems involving illegitimate voting are minimal. The Enquirer found only 6567 voters who had duplicate registrations. All are individuals who registered twice at their own address, a common routinely resolved by election officials and poll workers. An investigation by Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips of the 2004 election found that of the nearly 800 duplicate registrations he analyzed, none voted more than once. The Enquirer also flagged 589 registered voters who won’t be 18 on Election Day.

Since 1953, only six Ohioans have been sent to prison for voter fraud, according to the Columbus Dispatch. But Republican sheriffs and prosecutors are in the midst of a partisan witch hunt the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960s in the Deep South. to harass, arrest and prosecute voting rights groups registering new voters. 

Critical US Supreme Court Ruling Against Rovian GOP Vote Meddling May Prove Temporary

So now we know the GOP will stop at nothing to disrupt the election. What do you do?

Check out the website Election Protection and read up on the issue. When voting make sure you have the needed identification and vote early if possible. If you do get challenged and are forced to fill out a provisional ballot – make sure you resolve the issue as soon as possible or your vote will not count.

Ohio GOP still trying to disrupt elections

The Ohio GOP continues to fight Secretary of State Brunner to force her to produce a list of registrations that failed to match data on state and federal databases the state is required to check as part of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). It now has had House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) send a letter to President Bush to ask the Department of Justice to intervene in the case.

The Republicans contend that the state must give the list of registration mismatches to local election boards so that challenges can be made on election day. Jennifer Brunner, the Ohio Secretary of State, contends that HAVA gives no guidance on what to do about mismatches. She also contends that even if the data isn’t a 100% match, it can’t be used to keep someone from voting.

The type of mismatches included missing middle names, someone failed to put in a change of address so the address doesn’t match, their name is misspelled or the different databases hold different information. None of issues would prevent that person from voting – that is even with the data mismatch the voter was eligible to vote.

State Republicans believe these mismatches should be used to keep that person from voting – that the person isn’t eligible to vote. They filed a lawsuit to force Brunner to turn over the mismatches to the local boards. Through appeals, the case was sent to the US Supreme Court. The court didn’t rule on the merits of the case (who was correct) only that private groups couldn’t sue for enforcement of HAVA. So now the GOP wants the Department of Justice involved.

They claim Brunner is attempting to hide voter fraud but the real point is to force those voters to fill out provisional ballots.

In 2006, nationwide, only 60% of provisional ballots were counted. In Ohio, where the poll numbers show a close race for President, keeping 20% of questionable voters from having their votes counted would affect the outcome of the overall vote in the state. In fact the GOP only need to suppress 5 to 6 percent. After they get those voters to cast provisional ballots then they can fight how they are counted.

Late last week Secretary Brunner issued a directive on how to handle and count provisional ballots for this election so hopefully the GOP efforts, if successfully, won’t keep large numbers of people from having their vote counted. Currently there are 200,000 registrations that have mismatched data out of 600,000 new registrations.

The other point of their efforts is to cast a bad light on the election if their candidate loses. They can claim the election was “stolen”.

Another side issue is the efforts of some extremists – either Republicans or sympathetic to Republicans – have now taken to trying to hack the state election website and to mail in or call in death threats to Secretary Brunner. In fact one man has been arrested so far for making threats.

But this is a classic operation from the right – intimidations, threats, and loud protests – used to get their way. It all reminds me of efforts in fascist 3rd world countries where voters are threatened of killed for exercising their duty. The Republicans can’t just let the normal civil court actions take place they have to cause trouble.

Real sad.

Side Note

Election Law Blog has more information on this issue and others around the country.

GOP’s vote fraud scam gets juicer

Yesterday were two big developments in the Republican attempts to suppress the 2008 vote. A federal court ordered the Ohio Secretary of State to turn over potentially bad registrations to the county boards of election and a Republican think tank is suing ACORN for racketeering.

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered Ohio’s top elections official to set up a system by Friday to verify the eligibility of new voters and make the information available to the state’s 88 county election boards.

Last week, a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit had sided with Brunner, but after hearing an appeal the full panel sided with the GOP and U.S. District Judge George C. Smith in Columbus. Smith had ordered Brunner to develop a way to verify voter registration information and make it available to local election boards.

Brunner argued that it would take two to three days to create the necessary computer programs, and said nothing in the federal Help America Vote Act required her to do what the district court ordered.

Tuesday’s order directs Brunner to verify new registrations by comparing that information with data from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration.

Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett accused Brunner of pursuing a partisan agenda and said “her delay in providing this matching system leaves little time for election officials to act on questionable registrations.”

Federal court: Ohio must check voter registrations

The key here is the Ohio GOP talking about “questionable” registrations.

You can see their plan of attack coming a mile away. They get hold of the list of questionable registrations and challenge each one. It doesn’t matter how many are actually messed up since they are just doing a mass dump and seeing what comes up. The challenged voter then has to appear in person for a hearing and prove their info on the form is correct. If they can’t or don’t show up then they can’t vote.

The suspect voter can also be forced to cast a “Provisional ballot” which is then counted or not depending if the voter’s eligibility is confirmed. That is done in the same way as a challenge before the election. The person in question would have to show at a hearing in person or the vote isn’t counted. If it is even counted.

In 2004, provisional ballots were used to prevent hundred of thousands of votes from counting.

Unlike the real thing, these ballots are counted only by the whimsy and rules of a state’s top elections official; and in Ohio, that gives a virtually ballot veto to Bush-Cheney campaign co-chair, Blackwell.

Mr. Blackwell has a few rules to make sure a large proportion of provisional ballots won’t be counted. For the first time in memory, the Secretary of State has banned counting ballots cast in the “wrong” precinct, though all neighborhoods share the same President.

Over 155,000 Ohio voters were shunted to these second-class ballots. The election-shifting bulge in provisional ballots (more than 3% of the electorate) was the direct result of the national Republican strategy that targeted African-American precincts for mass challenges on election day.

Kerry Won Ohio: Just Count The Ballots at The Back of The Bus

The only good news on this part is since the SOS is a Democrat, provisional ballots are more likely to be counted. Still it is a legally easy and cheap way to cage voters.

The other “news” concerned a Republican think tank suing ACORN as if it were an organized crime group:

COLUMBUS — A conservative think tank in Columbus has sued the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, known as ACORN, over voter registration.

The Buckeye Institute alleges that ACORN engages in a pattern of corrupt activity that amounts to organized crime.

The lawsuit filed today in Warren County Common Pleas Court uses a civil provision in the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as RICO.

The suit seeks the dissolution of ACORN, which has been accused of registering potential voters multiple times in Ohio and other states.

A message seeking comment from a spokesman for ACORN was not immediately returned.

The RICO statute most commonly is used to prosecute alleged members of organized crime.

Buckeye Institute sues ACORN under racketeering law

The Buckeye Institute includes the former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell – ironic isn’t it. The suit is another attempt to call into question “false” voter registrations, The GOP falsely equates false registrations with illegal voting. The suit also ignores the fact that ACORN is required to turn in all forms it receives even ones they know are false.

I don’t know too many crime groups who would knowingly incriminate itself by following the law. I mean if they are in fact trying to “deprive voters of the right to participate in an honest and effective elections process….. fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN dilute the votes of legally registered voters” why would they provide the evidence of their “crime” to authorities.

It seems to me that federal law is forcing ACORN to commit the “crime” that the Buckeye Institute is accusing them of doing.

How is ACORN responsible for that?

Again false voter registrations don’t equal illegal votes and except in isolated cases, no illegal votes have occurred from a false registration.