Voting Rights Thu, 23 Apr 2015 17:04:32 -0400 Thu, 23 Apr 2015 17:08:43 -0400 Larry Pratt: Obama Only Nominates 'Ruthless' People Who Will Steal Elections For Democrats <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>Gun Owners of America&rsquo;s Larry Pratt <a href="">joined VCY America&rsquo;s &ldquo;Crosstalk&rdquo; program</a> on Tuesday to discuss the then upcoming vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the U.S. attorney general, telling host Jim Schneider that President Obama nominated Lynch &mdash; who was <a href="">confirmed by the Senate this afternoon</a> &mdash; because she was &ldquo;willing to be as ruthless as he.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p align="center"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p><span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">&ldquo;I&rsquo;ll give President Obama one thing,&rdquo; Pratt said. &ldquo;In all the appointments he&rsquo;s made that I&rsquo;m aware of, unlike Republican presidents who have appointed people because they played golf with them, or because somebody said something nice about them among the elite, President Obama has only appointed, to my knowledge, people who are willing to be as ruthless as is he. That explains Eric Holder. That explains Loretta Lynch, who is an Obama appointee as U.S. attorney in New York.&rdquo;</span></p> <p>When Schneider noted with scorn that &ldquo;Lynch views voter ID laws as being racist,&rdquo; Pratt said that opposition to such voting restrictions is part of Obama&rsquo;s &ldquo;ruthless&rdquo; attempt to steal elections for Democrats, which will eventually lead to the Republican Party dying out.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If they have to deal with photo voter ID, they lose, because it makes it much more difficult to steal elections,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And in all too many cases, the Democrats have been able to win only because of election fraud. And that&rsquo;s why they are so bitterly resisting photo voter ID. That is a very, very key issue. And when I hear Republicans saying that &lsquo;well, you know, it&rsquo;s kind of embarrassing for us to be continually opposing that,&rsquo; I guess they&rsquo;re suggesting it makes us look racist, what they&rsquo;re saying is, they&rsquo;re okay with the demise of the Republican Party in about 10 years.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Miranda Blue C4 Gun Owners of America Jim Schneider Larry Pratt Loretta Lynch Voice of Christian Youth America (VCY America) Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 54391 Thu, 23 Apr 2015 17:04:32 -0400 Voting Rights Obama Supports Mandatory Voting In Order To 'Flood The Nation With Illegal Immigrants' And Destroy The GOP <p>While speaking last week <a href="">in Ohio</a>, President Obama was asked his thoughts on how to control the amount of money in politics and spending on campaigns, to which he responded by noting, among other things, that some nations have mandatory voting.</p> <p>"If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country," Obama said, and that has predictably alarmed conservative activists who <a href="">notoriously</a> <em>do not want</em> everyone to vote, such as Robert Knight of the American Civil Rights Union and Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association.</p> <p>Discussing Obama's statement on the "Today's Issues" radio program <a href="">this morning</a>, Knight and Wildmon both stated that most people who don't vote are uninformed and ignorant and so "we don't want those people voting" in the first place.</p> <p>Knight <a href="">went on to claim</a> that Obama is seeking to "flood the nation with illegal immigrants, get them hooked on welfare and then have them vote for Democrats," which Wildmon said was part of a plan to bring about "the death of the Republican Party as we know it":</p> <p align="center"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> Kyle Mantyla American Civil Rights Union American Family Association Robert Knight Tim Wildmon Voting Rights C3 Fighting the Right 52776 Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:09:48 -0400 Voting Rights Catherine Engelbrecht: Blame Immigrants For Voter Disenfranchisement <p>Catherine Engelbrecht, head of the &ldquo;voter fraud&rdquo; vigilante group True the Vote, <a href=""> testified this morning </a> at a hearing on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be U.S. attorney general. Engelbrecht discussed her claims that she was targeted by the IRS, but also criticized Attorney General Eric Holder for his work protecting voter rights.</p> <p>Engelbrecht said she was &ldquo;extremely disappointed&rdquo; to hear comments from Lynch acknowledging that voter ID laws are meant to suppress minority voter turnout and applauding the Justice Department&rsquo;s work protecting voting rights. (Lynch was merely acknowledging the reality: a&nbsp;<a href="">federal judge in Texas</a>, for instance, found that proponents of one such voter ID law &ldquo;were motivated, at the very least in part, <em>because of</em> and not merely <em>in spite of</em> the voter ID law's detrimental effects on the African-American and Hispanic electorate.&rdquo;)</p> <p>She added that critics of voter suppression laws have it all wrong and that &ldquo;the most significant voter disenfranchisement threat currently facing our country&rdquo; is President Obama&rsquo;s executive actions deferring deportation for some undocumented immigrants, whom she implied would illegally register to vote.</p> <p>Engelbrecht has previously <a href="">criticized</a> a bipartisan effort to restore the Voting Rights Act as a &ldquo;move toward race-based segregation&rdquo; because it ensured federal oversight for areas with a history of disenfranchising minority voters.</p> <p>Engelbrecht left out of her remarks a line in her official prepared testimony alleging that Holder has &ldquo;created a radical, racialist agency that metes out social justice on an as needed basis to promote the advancement of a progressive agenda.&rdquo;</p> <p align="center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> Miranda Blue C4 Catherine Engelbrecht True the Vote Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 49653 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:32:08 -0400 Voting Rights J. Christian Adams Attacks Loretta Lynch For Acknowledging That Structural Racism Exists <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing today on Loretta Lynch&rsquo;s nomination to be U.S. attorney general, which Senate Republicans mostly <a href="">used as an opportunity</a> to attack current Attorney General Eric Holder and to try to extract promises from Lynch that she would break course from Holder on issues like immigration enforcement.</p> <p>But it might be tough for Lynch to completely appease Holder&rsquo;s critics on the Right, who <a href=""> have repeatedly attacked the attorney general </a> for working to fight racially discriminatory voting laws and acknowledging racial disparities in the criminal justice system.</p> <p>In fact, J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department official who has become one of Holder&rsquo;s most prominent critics on the Right, attacked Lynch today for her statements implying that structural racism exists in areas like voting rights and law enforcement.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think that Lynch buys into this same grievance industry about structural racism in the United States, about how minorities cannot get a fair shake ever, that the system is stacked against them, that it&rsquo;s a collectivist, anti-individual approach to things,&rdquo; Adams <a href="">warned</a> the American Family Association&rsquo;s Sandy Rios.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think that Lynch is going to sound a lot like an Eric Holder mini-me when it comes to election issues and voter ID,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p align="center"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Earlier in the interview, Adams discussed an <a href="">article</a> he co-wrote with the Heritage Foundation&rsquo;s Hans von Spakovsky yesterday urging Republicans, as he told Rios, to use the Lynch hearings to &ldquo;extract course corrections out of the Justice Department.&rdquo;</p> <p>In particular, Adams wants the Justice Department to stop hiring attorneys who have previously provided legal representation to terror suspects. (Similar attacks on DOJ attorneys by Liz Chaney in 2010 were <a href="">condemned</a> by a group of Bush administration officials as &ldquo;shameful&rdquo; and &ldquo;unjust.&rdquo;)</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve had an attorney general who has turned toward lawyers who have worked for Al Qaeda terrorists, who were their attorneys, to then work at the Justice Department,&rdquo; Adams said.</p> <p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s how crazy it&rsquo;s gotten in the last six years, where it seems that one of the top qualifications to become a lawyer working for the Justice Department is that you used to work at Al Qaeda, or for Al Qaeda detainees.&rdquo;</p> <p>Adams demanded that Republicans &ldquo;get a commitment out of [Lynch] to stop catering to this far-left-wing legal world that hates U.S. foreign policy, that hates detainee policy, that hates Gitmo, that that hates our war on terror.&rdquo;</p> <p align="center"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> Miranda Blue American Family Association C4 detainees J Christian Adams Sandy Rios Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 49645 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:59:56 -0400 Voting Rights GOP Picks 'Voter Fraud' Conspiracy Theorist, 'Constitutional Sheriff' To Testify In Loretta Lynch Hearing <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>The Senate Judiciary Committee has released a <a href="">list of the witnesses</a> who will testify at this week's hearings on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be attorney general, and two of them signal the GOP&rsquo;s intention to tie Lynch to their criticism of Attorney General Eric Holder&rsquo;s efforts to combat racial discrimination in voting rights and law enforcement.</p> <p>Among them is Catherine Engelbrecht, a Tea Party activist who founded the group True the Vote to promote the myth of widespread voter fraud and who has clashed with Holder over his defense of voting rights, or what <a href="">she calls</a> his &ldquo;radical, racialist assault on voters' rights across America.&rdquo;</p> <p>Also included is David Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee county, who has become a Tea Party hero for his criticism of protests of racial inequality in the justice system following a series of police killings of unarmed black men.</p> <p>Both have become prominent Tea Party figures by voicing the line that racial inequality no longer exists in the U.S. and that the Justice Department&rsquo;s efforts to stop voter suppression laws and combat discrimination in the criminal justice system are themselves racist. The Right <a href="">cast Holder as the primary villain</a> in this narrative, and prominent Holder critics <a href="">such as the Heritage Foundation&rsquo;s Hans von Spakovsky</a> are using some of the same arguments to attack Lynch.</p> <p>Engelbrecht&rsquo;s attitude toward voting rights protections was perhaps most clearly illustrated with her reaction to a&nbsp;<a href="">bipartisan bill</a> meant to restore the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court <a href="">gutted it</a> in 2013.</p> <p>In an <a href="">email to supporters</a>, Engelbrecht claimed that the effort to restore the Voting Rights Act &mdash; one of the great achievements of the Civil Rights Movement &mdash; was in fact a &ldquo;terrible race based bill&rdquo; that would &ldquo;exclude millions of Americans from full protection of the law &mdash; based solely on the color of their skin.&rdquo; She fumed that restoring federal voting rights oversight to areas with a history of racial discrimination in election laws should be called the &ldquo;Voting Rights Segregation Act.&rdquo;</p> <p>Engelbrecht has worked to drum up support for harsh voting restrictions that disproportionately affect racial minorities by hyping fears of widespread &ldquo;voter fraud&rdquo; and <a href="">recruiting armies of volunteers</a> to root out suspected fraud in their communities. These efforts <a href=""> haven&rsquo;t exactly uncovered the evidence </a> they&rsquo;ve been looking for, although they have created hassles for <a href=""> legitimate voters targeted by True the Vote volunteers</a>.</p> <p>Sheriff Clarke, meanwhile, has been a leading conservative voice against protests against police brutality and racial inequalities in the criminal justice system, and has expressed outrage that President Obama and Holder have expressed some support for the protests. Clarke, who is African American, went on Fox News in November to <a href="">accuse the president</a> of fueling &ldquo;racial animosity between people&rdquo; by supporting the protests and even suggested that Obama was encouraging protesters to riot &ldquo;with a wink and a nod."</p> <p>He also <a href="">contended</a> that Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, was a &ldquo;coconspirator in his own demise&rdquo; because he &ldquo;chose thug life.&rdquo;</p> <p align="center"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Clarke has ties to the <a href=""> radical &ldquo;constitutional sheriffs&rdquo; movement </a> who <a href=""> believe that county sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officers in the land </a> and have the power to defy federal laws and arrest federal officials for enforcing laws that they believe are unconstitutional. In 2013, Clarke <a href="">accepted</a> the &ldquo;Constitutional Sheriff of the Year&rdquo; award from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association after he had made headlines by <a href="">running radio ads</a> encouraging his constituents to arm themselves rather than rely on calling 911 in an emergency.</p> <p>Other witnesses signal the intention of Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to focus on what they argue are constitutional oversteps by Holder. Engelbrecht claims that the IRS has targeted her since she started her political activism and fellow witness Sharyl Attkinson <a href="">claims</a> that Holder&rsquo;s Justice Department hacked into her personal computer. (A computer security expert <a href="">reviewing Attkinson&rsquo;s evidence</a> for Media Matters said it looked more like a malfunction caused by a frozen backspace key.)</p> Miranda Blue C4 Catherine Engelbrecht David Clarke Ferguson True the Vote Voting Rights Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 49622 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:17:14 -0400 Voting Rights Kris Kobach: 'Affirmative Action Culture' Made Obama A Narcissist <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the<a href=""> influential architect </a>of anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures throughout the country, <a href="">said on his radio program</a> this week that President Obama was shaped by an &ldquo;affirmative action culture&rdquo; that handed him achievements that &ldquo;he was not winning&hellip;himself.&rdquo;</p> <p>Kobach spent a good part of the Sunday night program discussing President Obama&rsquo;s election night press conference, where he <a href=""> said that he heard the concerns and frustration </a> of the voters who sat the election out, which Kobach took to mean that Obama had made those nonparticipating voters into an imaginary &ldquo;communist&rdquo; voting bloc.</p> <p>In response, a caller shared her theory that the president thinks &ldquo;everything is all about him&rdquo; and &ldquo;is mentally incapable, I think it&rsquo;s rendered him somewhat handicapped in his ability to process things&rdquo; in a logical manner.</p> <p>&ldquo;You know, I wonder if goes all the way back to his upbringing, where, and I&rsquo;m thinking more in terms of college and law school, where the affirmative action culture just lavished praise upon him and he could do no wrong,&rdquo; Kobach responded. &ldquo;And he got into Harvard Law despite not being that impressive a student and once there, he became law review editor because, &lsquo;Oh my goodness, we have this wonderful student.&rsquo; He was not winning it himself, but he was told that he was great from the moment he set foot.&rdquo;</p> <p align="center"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Later in the program, Kobach lashed out at an <a href="">Al Jazeera story exposing the deep flaws</a> in a national program he has coordinated to help states purge their voter rolls of voters who they believe no longer live in the state.</p> <p>&ldquo;Let&rsquo;s get down to bare bones here,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;ultimately, some Americans care enough to vote and some Americans don&rsquo;t.&rdquo;</p> <p>Calling Al Jazeera "a left-wing crackpot network in addition to being apologists for Islamic extremism,&rdquo; he mocked the story&rsquo;s conclusion: &ldquo;Disenfranchising? Give me a break. Photo ID doesn&rsquo;t disenfranchise anyone. Taking someone off the voter rolls because they moved from one state to the other and taking them off the first state doesn&rsquo;t disenfranchise anyone.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;But this is what the left does. Elections don&rsquo;t matter to them because now they have this ridiculous, absurd excuse.&rdquo;</p> <p align="center"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> Miranda Blue C4 Kansas Kris Kobach Voting Rights Fighting the Right 49069 Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:35:56 -0400 Voting Rights How 2014's Elections Will Influence 2016's Voting Rights <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>Voters across the country trying to cast votes in Tuesday&rsquo;s elections ran into hurdles erected by Republican legislatures, governors and secretaries of state. Along with <a href="">mechanical glitches and human error</a> &mdash; which occurred in states with leaders on both sides of the political spectrum &mdash; voters faced new laws and policies that made it harder to vote.</p> <p>In Alabama, a last-minute decision by the attorney general <a href=""> barred people from using public housing IDs to vote</a>. Voter ID laws in North Carolina and Texas <a href=""> sowed confusion</a>. Georgia <a href="">lost 40,000 voter registrations, mostly from minorities</a>. In all, the group Election Protection <a href="">reported receiving 18,000 calls</a> on Election Day, many of them <a href=""> having to do with voter ID laws</a>. The group <a href="">noted</a> that the flurry of calls represented &ldquo;a nearly 40 percent increase from 13,000 calls received in 2010.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the presidential election year of 2016, it looks unlikely that those problems will subside &mdash; especially if Congress fails to <a href=""> restore the Voting Rights Act</a>. The two states that had the closest vote tallies in the last presidential election &mdash; Florida and Ohio &mdash; will go into the presidential election year with Republicans controlling the offices of governor and secretary of state and holding majorities in their state legislatures.</p> <p>In Florida, Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who won reelection yesterday, will be able to&nbsp;<a href="">appoint a secretary of state</a> and will enjoy the support of a <a href="">veto-proof Republican majority in the state House.</a></p> <p>In Ohio, <a href=""> controversial Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted </a> won reelection on Tuesday, along with Gov. John Kasich. They&rsquo;ll be able to work with a <a href="\"> strengthened GOP majority in the state legislature</a>.</p> <p>In North Carolina, where a Republican legislature and governor have&nbsp;<a href="">cracked down on voting rights</a>, the GOP <a href="">held onto its majority</a>. Republican secretary of state candidates in the swing states of <a href="">Colorado</a>, <a href="">Iowa</a> and <a href="">Nevada</a> also won elections yesterday.</p> <p>Two influential elections for voting rights also took place in states unlikely to be presidential swing states. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a <a href="">national ringleader</a> for advocates of restrictive voting laws, <a href="">won reelection</a>. In Arizona, which has been working with Kansas to defend their states' respective tough voting requirements, Republican candidate Michele Reagan also <a href="">won her contest</a>.</p> <p>One exception to the trend is Pennsylvania, where Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, <a href=""> who backed a harsh voter ID law that has since been struck down in the courts</a>, lost to <a href="">voting rights supporter</a> Tom Wolf. Although Wolf will <a href=""> contend with a Republican majority </a> in the state legislature, he will be able to appoint a secretary of the commonwealth.</p> Miranda Blue Alabama Arizona C4 Colorado Election 2014 Election 2016 Florida Georgia Iowa John Kasich Jon Husted Kansas Kris Kobach Michele Reagan North Carolina Ohio Pennsylvania Rick Scott Texas Tom Corbett Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 48939 Thu, 06 Nov 2014 13:02:22 -0400 Voting Rights True The Vote's Election Day App Undercuts Its Own Voter Fraud Conspiracy Theories <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>A week before Election Day, the &ldquo;voter integrity&rdquo; group True the Vote <a href="">released a new smart phone app</a> to empower its <a href=""> army of citizen detectives </a> to report suspected incidents of voter fraud and intimidation across the country, in the hopes of creating, as True the Vote&rsquo;s founder Catherine Engelbrecht put in an <a href="">interview</a> on Monday, &ldquo;an archive that will finally pull the curtain back on the myth that there is no voter fraud.&rdquo;</p> <p>But it seems that the evidence of massive voter fraud that Engelbrecht hoped to expose failed to materialize. In the week that the app was available, users recorded only 18 incidents of election irregularities, the vast majority of which had nothing to do with True the Vote&rsquo;s policy priorities.</p> <p>Eight were incidents of voting machine malfunctions &mdash; a <a href="">serious and persistent problem</a>, but not the product of a voter fraud conspiracy. One was a report of the disorganization that left a number of Hartford, Connecticut, precincts <a href=""> missing their lists of voters. </a></p> <p>Three reports were of suspected &ldquo;voter intimidation&rdquo; &mdash; one, a report of a camera in a polling place, another of an elderly woman who claimed a poll worker snatched her ballot out of her hands when she was done with it, and one from a Houston voter who was very concerned about an &ldquo;African American woman&rdquo; standing nearby while she voted:</p> <p align="center"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 626px;" /></p> <p>Only one app user reported a suspected case of voter impersonation &mdash; the main bugaboo behind restrictive voter ID laws &mdash; an Iowan who reported getting a call about a rejected absentee ballot despite never having submitted one.</p> <p>Ironically, one report to True the Vote&rsquo;s app chronicled a voter&rsquo;s struggle with an overly restrictive voting law that True the Vote supports. An Ohio voter reported casting a provisional ballot because they had moved since last voting. This voter would have been allowed to cast a ballot <a href="">if Ohio permitted same-day voter registration</a>, a <a href="">practice that True the Vote opposes</a>. The voter reported that a number of others in their precinct were experiencing the same problem:</p> <p align="center"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 624px;" /></p> <p>It&rsquo;s this voter&rsquo;s experience that best represents the problems that thousands of Americans had casting votes that count yesterday. Texans <a href="">struggled to present photo IDs</a> acceptable under their state&rsquo;s tough and <a href="">deliberately discriminatory</a> voting law. In North Carolina, a new restricting the precincts in which voters could cast ballots left people <a href="">confused and unable to vote</a>. In Georgia, a failure to process new voter registrations meant that many prospective voters were <a href="">turned away from the polls</a>.</p> <p>Groups like True the Vote have raised the specter of widespread voter impersonation fraud in order to push for restrictive laws that make it harder for large segments of the population to vote. Their own app shows how wrong-headed they are.</p> Miranda Blue C4 Catherine Engelbrecht Election 2014 True the Vote Voting Rights The Right to Vote 48923 Wed, 05 Nov 2014 14:07:17 -0400 Voting Rights Kobach's New Rules Block 20 Percent Of Kansas Voter Registration Applications <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>In the run-up to the first general election in which Kansans have been required to provide one of a narrow set of &ldquo;proof of citizenship&rdquo; documents in order to register to vote, nearly 20 percent of voter registration applications in the state have been rejected or suspended, according to a Kansas political science professor.</p> <p>University of Kansas professor Patrick Miller <a href=""> told Kansas City&rsquo;s NPR affiliate </a> last week that a large percentage of these suspended or rejected registrations are from independents, &ldquo;essentially making the electorate more Republican&rdquo;:</p> <blockquote> <p>An even larger group than those who have had ID problems at the polls are those voters who haven&rsquo;t yet proven U.S. citizenship, another provision of the new law. There are 22,468 voters whose registrations are suspended because they are lacking citizenship documentation, according to the Secretary of State&rsquo;s office. That&rsquo;s larger than the <a href="">population of Prairie Village</a>, a Kansas City suburb.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is a big change for Kansas. In 2010, we only rejected .03 percent of voter registration applications,&rdquo; said Patrick Miller, a University of Kansas assistant political science professor. &ldquo;Whereas in 2014, we&rsquo;ve suspended or rejected almost 20 percent. That&rsquo;s a massive increase.&rdquo;</p> <p>Of the nearly 22,468 suspended registrations, 18 percent are Democrats, nearly 23 percent are Republicans and a whopping 57 percent are independents, or unaffiliated. The new law has effectively made the electorate more partisan, Miller said.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s filtering out independents, the swing voters, making proportionately the electorate more Democratic, more Republican,&rdquo; Miller said. &ldquo;In Kansas, the effect of this is essentially making the electorate more Republican, given that Republicans have a registration advantage here.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>The new Kansas law was championed by Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has also been in charge of implementing it. Kobach is <a href="">facing his own tough reelection battle</a> this year thanks in part to the mess created by his new voting restrictions.</p> Miranda Blue C4 Election 2014 Kansas Kris Kobach Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 48903 Mon, 03 Nov 2014 17:48:20 -0400 Voting Rights Voting For The Future Of Voting: Secretary of State Races To Watch <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>One influential issue at the ballot box this year is the future of how we cast our ballots. In secretary of state races throughout the country, voters will be choosing who runs their elections &mdash; and how open those elections are to all voters.</p> <p>As Republican lawmakers continue to enact news laws aimed at curtailing the rights of voters, secretary of state elections have taken on renewed importance.</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve picked three key secretary of state races that we&rsquo;ll be watching closely Tuesday and added a few more influential races that are also worth keeping an eye on. (And this isn&rsquo;t even counting states like Florida and Pennsylvania, <a href=""> where the secretary of state is picked by the governor</a>, leaving the gubernatorial elections will have even stronger voting rights implications.)</p> <p><strong>Kansas</strong></p> <p>Perhaps the hardest-fought and most-watched secretary of state race this year is taking place in the heavily Republican Kansas. And that&rsquo;s all because of the national profile and extreme agenda of one man: incumbent Secretary of State Kris Kobach.</p> <p>When Kobach won his job in 2010, he was already a national figure. After a stint in the Bush Justice Department, Kobach joined the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) &mdash; the <a href=""> legal arm of the nativist anti-immigrant group FAIR </a> &mdash; where he worked with lawmakers to <a href="">craft harsh anti-immigrant measures throughout the country</a>, including <a href="">Hazleton, Pennsylvania</a>, and Arizona, where he helped write the infamous &ldquo;show me your papers&rdquo; law SB 1070. After a failed run for Congress in 2004, Kobach set his sights on his state&rsquo;s elections office.</p> <p>Kobach has recently gained a prominent place in national Republican politics, serving as an immigration policy <a href="">adviser</a> to Mitt Romney and <a href="">working to insert anti-gay and anti-immigrant language </a>into the 2012 GOP platform.</p> <p>Kobach won his position handily in 2010, but is facing an unexpectedly tough fight to hold onto it. Part of the reason is because he&rsquo;s kept up his out-of-state anti-immigrant work: He still holds a position at IRLI and jets around the country advising states and localities that have agreed to be his policy guinea pigs, prompting his critics to complain that he&rsquo;s not spending enough time in Kansas. And part of it is because he&rsquo;s brought his activism home, using his platform in Kansas to push some of the most extreme voting restrictions in the country by hyping fears that undocumented immigrants are voting en masse in Kansas.</p> <p>In 2011, at Kobach&rsquo;s urging, Kansas passed a restrictive voter ID law that included a requirement that those registering to vote provide a passport, birth certificate, or similar &ldquo;proof of citizenship" to elections authorities. The proof-of-citizenship provision, which took effect this year, has thrown Kansas voter registration into chaos. Less than one week before the election, <a href="">22,394 potential Kansas</a> voters are unable to cast ballots because they had not provided an acceptable form of citizenship documentation. In addition, Kobach has <a href="">placed an estimated 300-400 voters</a> in a special voting rights &ldquo;tier&rdquo; in which they can vote only in federal elections and not in state elections. Kobach has proudly reported that of the 200 people who were placed in this special class of disenfranchised voters in this summer's primary election, <a href="">only one bothered to show up to cast a half vote</a>.</p> <p>Kobach is also at the helm of Interstate Crosscheck, a faulty program that claims to identify people who are voting in two states at once but in reality has <a href="">encouraged states to purge eligible minority voters from their voter rolls</a>.</p> <p>Kansans became even more leery of Kobach&rsquo;s priorities this year when he <a href="">spent $34,000 in taxpayer money</a> trying to keep a Democratic senate candidate, Chad Taylor, on the ballot after he dropped out to make way for the independent challenging Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. Kobach&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">only relented when the state supreme court ordered him to, and even then he tried (unsuccessfully) to find a way around the order.</span></p> <p>A recent poll shows Kobach <a href="">tied</a> with his Democratic challenger, Jean Schodorf.</p> <p><strong>Ohio</strong></p> <p>In the presidential swing state of Ohio, the secretary of state is often in the center of national battles over voting rights. Republican Jon Husted has been no exception.</p> <p>In the lead-up to the 2012 election, Husted stepped in to break tie votes in Democratic-leaning Ohio counties, allowing those counties to eliminate night and weekend early voting hours... <a href=""> even as Republican-leaning counties expanded their early voting hours. </a> In response to a national outcry, Husted enforced &ldquo;uniformity&rdquo; by <a href="">requiring all counties</a> to bring early voting opportunities down to the lowest common denominator, including cutting off night and weekend voting and eliminating early voting in the three days before the election. When a federal judge ordered Husted to reopen voting in the three days before the election, he flatly <a href="">refused to comply</a>, saying it would &ldquo;confuse voters.&rdquo; Eventually he relented, but as the election approached he <a href=""> appealed the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court</a>.</p> <p>Since the 2012 election, Husted has kept up his efforts to restrict early voting in 2014, <a href=""> fighting to eliminate </a> <a href="">the so-called &ldquo;Golden Week&rdquo; of early voting</a> &mdash; in which voters can register and cast their ballots in one visit &mdash; and to <a href="">cut early voting hours</a>, including on Sundays, a time frequently used by African American churches for get-out-the-vote efforts.</p> <p>Husted faces a Democrat state Sen. Nina Turner, a major critic of his record on voting rights. Although the two were <a href="">neck-and-neck in an early poll</a>, a <a href=""> recent poll </a> shows Husted with a significant lead.</p> <p><strong>Arizona</strong></p> <p>Before Kansas ushered in its restrictive &ldquo;proof of citizenship&rdquo; law, Arizona was already fighting for a similar measure. In 2004, Arizona voters passed Proposition 200, a medley of anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures including a requirement that those registering to vote <a href="">present one of a narrow set of documents</a> to prove that they are citizens. The Supreme Court struck down the provision in 2013, saying that it was <a href=""> preempted by federal law </a> &mdash; but <a href="">left a loophole</a>, suggesting that Arizona could sue the federal Election Assistance Commission to require that federal voter registration forms used in the state include the extra &ldquo;proof of citizenship&rdquo; requirement. So <a href="">Arizona did just that</a>, joined by Kansas under Kobach.</p> <p>That case is still working its way through the courts, but it&rsquo;s left a peculiar situation in Kansas and Arizona where Kobach and his Arizona counterpart Secretary of State Ken Bennett have set up dual-track voting systems in their states in which people who register to vote with a federal form but do not provide additional citizenship documents are allowed to vote in federal elections, but not in state elections. As we noted above, of about 200 Kansans on the special limited-rights voting track in this year&rsquo;s primary election, just one voted. In Arizona, <a href="">about 1,500</a> were put on the limited track, and <a href="">21 cast ballots</a>.</p> <p>Bennett isn&rsquo;t up for reelection this year &mdash; he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for governor &mdash; but the race to succeed him will determine the future implementation of Arizona&rsquo;s restrictive requirements. Republican Michele Reagan <a href=""> sought and won Kobach&rsquo;s endorsement</a>, boasting that she <a href=""> voted for the infamous anti-immigrant bill </a> that Kobach helped bring to Arizona. In the state senate, Reagan wrote a bill that, <a href="">among other voting restrictions</a>, would prevent community groups from collecting and delivering mail-in ballots, a method <a href=""> commonly used in voting drives by Latino groups</a>. When an effort to repeal the bill by referendum started to gain steam, Reagan and her fellow Republicans <a href="">worked to repeal it first</a>, thus allowing the state legislature to bring back parts of the bill in a piecemeal fashion.</p> <p>Reagan is facing off against Democrat Terry Goddard, a former state attorney general and mayor of Phoenix. Both candidates have <a href=""> said they want tighter disclosure requirements </a> for &ldquo;dark money&rdquo; spending by outside groups. But when the Koch-backed 60 Plus Association <a href="">bought $304,000 in ads attacking Goddard</a> last week, she <a href=""> refused to distance herself </a> from the dark money effort.</p> <p>Reagan also <a href="">struggled</a> this week to explain her vote for Arizona&rsquo;s so-called &ldquo;birther bill,&rdquo; which would have required presidential candidates to prove to the secretary of state that they are native-born American citizens.</p> <p><strong>Other States To Watch: Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, Iowa</strong></p> <p>In Colorado, Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler &mdash; a <a href="">key Kobach ally</a> and crusader against the supposed scourge of Democratic &ldquo;<a href="">organized voter fraud</a>&rdquo; who last year&nbsp;<a href="">tried to stop county clerks</a> from sending ballots to voters who had not voted in the the last election &mdash; is stepping down this year, having tried and failed to get his party&rsquo;s gubernatorial nomination. In the race to replace him are Republican El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams, <a href="">described by the Denver Post</a> as Gessler&rsquo;s &ldquo;lone public ally&rdquo; among clerks in the ballot controversy, and Democratic attorney Joe Neguse. The two&nbsp;<a href="">differ</a> on the <a href="">sweeping elections overhaul</a> Colorado passed last year, which allows same-day voter registration and requires the state to mail a ballot to every voter.</p> <p>New Mexico&rsquo;s secretary of state race has incumbent Republican Dianna Duran pitted against Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver, a&nbsp;<a href="">rising Democratic star</a>. Toulouse Oliver is <a href="">emphasizing</a> &ldquo;full participation across a wide spectrum of the electorate&rdquo; in her campaign, while Durran is <a href="">accusing her</a> of using &ldquo;community-organizer, consultant-styled rhetoric.&rdquo; In a <a href=""> TV ad that doubles as a promotion for right-wing myths </a> about widespread voter fraud, Durran accuses Toulous Oliver of &ldquo;registering a dog to vote.&rdquo; In reality, a right-wing activist tried to register his dog to try to prove a point; he was caught and Toulouse Oliver <a href=""> referred his case to the proper authorities</a>.</p> <p>Earlier this month, the Arkansas Supreme Court <a href=""> struck down the state&rsquo;s voter ID requirement</a>, a ruling that Secretary of State Mark Martin is <a href="">vowing to fight</a>. As the case worked its way through the courts, Arkansas voters got <a href="">conflicting messages</a> from elections officials under Martin&rsquo;s leadership. He faces a challenge from Democrat Susan Inman.</p> <p>In Iowa, outgoing Secretary of State Matt Schultz spent $150,000 in taxpayer money in a quest to root out voter fraud in Iowa&hellip;<a href="">and found none</a>. He also conducted a voter roll purge that critics called an attempt to &nbsp;<a href="">intimidate Latino voters</a>.&rdquo; The <a href=""> race to succeed him </a> &mdash; between Republican voter ID supporter Paul Pate and Democrat Brad Anderson &mdash; is <a href="">locked in a dead heat</a>.</p> Miranda Blue Arizona Arkansas C4 Colorado Dianna Duran Election 2014 Iowa Jon Husted Kansas Ken Bennett Kris Kobach Matt Schultz Michele Reagan New Mexico Ohio Paul Pate Scott Gessler Voting Rights Wayne Williams Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 48879 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:55:09 -0400 Voting Rights Nothing To See Here: The Alternate Reality Of Voter-Suppression Advocates <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>It&rsquo;s been a rough few days for voter-ID proponents.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">On Thursday, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office </span><a href="" style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">came out with a report</a><span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;"> showing that restrictive photo-ID measures had depressed turnout in Tennessee and Kansas, especially among young people and African Americans. The same day, the Supreme Court </span><a href="" style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">blocked the implementation</a><span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;"> of a photo-ID law in Wisconsin that voting rights advocates said there was not enough time to implement before the election and a </span><a href="" style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;"> federal judge in Texas struck down that state&rsquo;s restrictive law</a><span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">, citing its impact on minority voters and calling it an &ldquo;</span><a href="" style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">unconstitutional poll tax</a><span style="line-height: 20.3999996185303px;">.&rdquo;</span></p> <p>Then, the next day, renowned conservative 7<sup>th</sup> Circuit judge Richard Posner requested a full-court rehearing of the challenge to Wisconsin&rsquo;s law, in the process offering a blistering takedown of the voter-ID crowd&rsquo;s arguments. "There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens,&rdquo; <a href="">he wrote.</a> He added a special dig at the advocacy group True the Vote, calling some of their supposed evidence of voter-impersonation fraud &ldquo;goofy&rdquo; and &ldquo;paranoid.&rdquo;</p> <p>Then, just today, University of Delaware researchers came out with a study showing that support for voter ID laws among whites jumps <a href=""> when they are shown a picture of a black person voting</a>.</p> <p>All of which made <a href="">a Heritage Foundation panel today</a> called &ldquo;Keeping Elections Honest&rdquo; seem like it was taking place in an alternate reality, one in which the extremely rare voter-impersonation fraud is in fact rampant and in which laws making it more difficult to vote do not have negative effects.</p> <p>The Heritage discussion featured&nbsp;some of the nation&rsquo;s top proponents of voter suppression measures, including Heritage&rsquo;s Hans von Spakovsky, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (the brains behind anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures around the country), Kobach&rsquo;s Colorado counterpart Scott Gessler and True the Vote&rsquo;s Catherine Engelbrecht.</p> <p>Kobach spent part of his presentation attempting to <a href="">refute the GAO study</a>, but the court rulings went mostly unmentioned.</p> <p>This alternate reality was perhaps most stark when, during a question-and-answer session, a reporter asked Kobach about the <a href=""> two-tiered voting system he&rsquo;s instituted in Kansas </a> for the coming election. Kobach and Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett are in the process of suing the Election Assistance Commission to include a more restrictive &ldquo;proof of citizenship&rdquo; requirement on the federal voter registration forms it uses in those two states. In the meantime, Kansas and Arizona are allowing people who register using the federal form without providing additional documentation to vote&hellip;but only in federal elections. (Votes those people cast in state-level elections won&rsquo;t be counted.)</p> <p>About <a href="">1,500 Arizonans</a> and 200 Kansans were put in this special federal-only voting tier in the primary.</p> <p>Kobach, far from seeming concerned about this state of affairs, proudly reported that of the 200 Kansans to whom he gave special limited voting rights, <em>only one </em>bothered to show up at the polls.</p> <blockquote> <p>In the primary on August 5, we had fewer than 200 total voters in the state who had registered using the federal form and had not provided photo ID. Using that number, we then created a sort of federal-elections-only voter roll, if you will, so a roll in addition to the main voter roll. And it didn&rsquo;t include all of the 105 counties, it included a minority of the counties. And then those people, when they showed up, they were to be given a provisional ballot and told that they would be &mdash; actually it would occur on the back end, even if the poll worker didn&rsquo;t know that that&rsquo;s why they were being given a provisional ballot, the county canvas would count only the federal elections on the ballot.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>So anyway, to answer your question, we are going to be doing a count, a final count &ndash; our registration actually closes today, this is the final day to register in Kansas &ndash; as soon as it closes, we&rsquo;ll have a final count. My guess is it probably will be in the range of maybe 300-400, we&rsquo;ll know soon what that number is, for the whole state. <strong>And by the way, of those fewer than 200 people&mdash; if memory serves, it was like 186 or something like that &mdash; only one actually showed up to vote out of that entire number.</strong> So, we&rsquo;ll see what the number is. <strong>So the numbers are actually pretty small and pretty manageable right now</strong> and we&rsquo;re hopeful that we&rsquo;ll get a decision that will be a favorable one and then we won&rsquo;t have to maintain a separate, federal-elections-only list.</p> </blockquote> <p>At no point in the discussion did anyone mention the <a href=""> thousands of Kansans who currently have no right to vote in any kind of election </a> because they haven&rsquo;t been able to produce one of the few kinds of citizenship documentation required by the new state voter registration form.</p> Miranda Blue Arizona C4 Catherine Engelbrecht Colorado Hans von Spakovsky Heritage Foundation Kansas Ken Bennett Kris Kobach Scott Gessler True the Vote Voting Rights The Right to Vote 48649 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:17:13 -0400 Voting Rights Kris Kobach Doesn't Like The New GAO Study Showing His Voter ID Law Decreased Turnout <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>Surprise! A <a href=""> new Government Accountability Office study </a> shows that Kansas&rsquo; new voter ID requirement depressed turnout in the 2012 election, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach <a href="">is not happy about it</a>.</p> <p>Kobach was the driving force behind Kansas&rsquo; voter ID law, which he called the &ldquo;<a href="">Cadillac of voter security</a>.&rdquo; The law passed in 2011, and its photo ID requirement kicked in for the 2012 election &mdash; that&rsquo;s the provision that the GAO found decreased turnout, <a href=""> especially among young people and African Americans</a>.</p> <p>But since then, a new provision in the law has taken effect, making it <em>even harder</em> to vote in Kansas. As of last month, <a href="">tens of thousands of Kansans</a> had had their voter registrations suspended because of failure to provide one of a narrow list of &ldquo;proof of citizenship&rdquo; documents required under this new, Kobach-backed provision.</p> <p>The &ldquo;proof of citizenship&rdquo; fiasco has become a main issue in Kobach&rsquo;s tough reelection fight, causing many <a href="">moderate Republicans to break ranks</a> and back his Democratic opponent Jean Schodorf.</p> <p>So, unsurprisingly, Kobach is not thrilled with the GAO study showing that even the first step of his &ldquo;Cadillac&rdquo; plan is driving people from voting, <a href="">telling the Wichita Eagle</a> that the report from the nonpartisan agency is just &ldquo;dead wrong.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p>&ldquo;I think the GAO just got it dead wrong,&rdquo; Kobach told The Eagle Wednesday. &ldquo;This year we have a very competitive U.S. Senate race and lots of get-out-the-vote efforts. It&rsquo;s a huge factor in driving turnout when campaigns spend this kind of money.&rdquo;</p> <p>Kobach also said it would have been more accurate to compare Kansas&rsquo; turnout in 2012 to its turnout in 2000, the last time there were no U.S. Senate or statewide offices on the ballot. In 2000, voter turnout was 66.7 percent, and in 2012, it was 66.8 percent.</p> <p>The report says voter turnout decreased in Kansas and Tennessee from the 2008 to the 2012 general elections to a greater extent than turnout decreased in selected comparison states &ndash; Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware and Maine. Tennessee&rsquo;s secretary of state, Tre Hargett, also called the study flawed.</p> <p>The GAO stood by its study, saying its &ldquo;methodology was robust and valid.&rdquo;</p> <p>Rebecca Gambler, director of homeland security and justice issues for the GAO, said the agency selected Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware and Maine for comparison because they did not have any changes to their state voter ID requirements between 2008 and 2012.</p> <p>&ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t have other contemporaneous changes. They had similar election cycles to Kansas and Tennessee,&rdquo; Gambler said.</p> <p>The GAO reported that its analysis &ldquo;suggests that the turnout decreases in Kansas and Tennessee beyond decreases in comparison states were attributable to changes in the two states&rsquo; voter ID requirements.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> Miranda Blue C4 Kansas Kris Kobach Tennessee Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 48615 Thu, 09 Oct 2014 12:02:16 -0400 Voting Rights The Right Enemies: A Look Back At Right-Wing Attacks On Eric Holder <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>Attorney General Eric Holder, who today announced his plans to resign, has been a<a href=""> leader in addressing systems of racial discrimination</a> and protecting the fundamental rights of every American to be treated equally under the law and participate in our democracy.<br /> <br /> Perhaps it&rsquo;s not surprising, then, that the Right loves to hate him.<br /> <br /> In February of this year, the American Family Association <a href="">demanded Holder&rsquo;s impeachment</a> after he had the <a href="">audacity to treat married same-sex couples like married opposite-sex couples</a> with regard to a host of legal rights and recognitions. Shortly after, both <a href="">Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed</a> and Republican <a href="">Rep. Tim Huelskamp</a> echoed the call for Holder&rsquo;s impeachment because of his support for marriage equality. Televangelist Pat Robertson also <a href="">joined the impeachment parade</a>, alleging that under Holder, &ldquo;sodomy&rdquo; was being &ldquo;elevated above the rights of religious believers.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Holder&rsquo;s commitment to redressing racial injustice was no more warmly received by the Right than his work in support of LGBT equality. After Holder spoke out against voter ID laws, which <a href="">disproportionately harm people of color</a>, Texas Gov. Rick Perry accused him of &ldquo;purposefully&rdquo; &ldquo;<a href="">incit[ing] racial tension</a>.&rdquo; Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt argued that Holder&rsquo;s open discussion of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system means that he is the real &ldquo;<a href="">racist</a>,&rdquo; asserting last year that Holder wants to &ldquo;intimidate the rest of the country so that we don&rsquo;t think about defending ourselves&rdquo; against &ldquo;<a href="">attacks by black mobs on white individuals</a>.&rdquo; Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association went so far as to say that Holder would never &ldquo;prosecute someone <a href="">if the victim is white</a>.&rdquo; And after Holder visited Ferguson, Missouri last month, David Horowitz outrageously commented that the attorney general was leading a black &ldquo;<a href="">lynch mob</a>.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> And those are just a handful of the attacks the Right has leveled against Holder for his work protecting equality under the law.<br /> <br /> The fact that the far Right has reacted with so much vitriol to the attorney general&rsquo;s leadership is a sign not only of how uninterested they are in the civil rights that the Justice Department is meant to protect, but also of how effective Holder&rsquo;s work has been. The next attorney general should share Holder&rsquo;s deep commitment to protecting the rights of all Americans &ndash; and, by extension, make all the &ldquo;right&rdquo; enemies among those hoping to turn back the clock on civil liberties.</p> <p><a href=""><em>This post originally appeared on the PFAW blog.</em></a></p> Layne American Family Association Anti-Gay Bryan Fischer C4 David Horowitz eric holder Gun Owners of America Larry Pratt Marriage Equality Pat Robertson Ralph Reed Rick Perry Tim Huelskamp Voting Rights Faith and Freedom Coalition Fighting the Right 48442 Thu, 25 Sep 2014 14:00:16 -0400 Voting Rights True The Vote Proves What’s Wrong With Its Voter ID Obsession <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>True the Vote is one of the most influential groups working to make it harder to vote by <a href="">pushing for restrictive voter ID laws </a>and <a href="">launching challenges </a>against&nbsp;people it thinks might be ineligible to vote, tactics which are supposedly directed at preventing voter impersonation fraud and double voting &mdash; crimes that in reality are exceedingly rare.</p> <p>In order to cover up the fact that voter ID laws keep many times more people from the polls than the <a href=""> miniscule number of voter impersonation cases that they might prevent</a>, groups like TTV try to conflate in-person voter fraud &mdash; the only thing actually targeted by voter ID laws &mdash; with faulty voter registration and with rare but persistent kinds of small-scale voter fraud by elected officials that they have no intention of actually combating.</p> <p>A great example of this happened yesterday, when <a href="">TTV reprinted</a> a <a href="">short blog post</a> by former Bush Justice Department official and conservative activist J. Christian Adams linking to <a href="">a story</a> about &ldquo;Three PA Elected Officials Charged With Voter Fraud.&rdquo;</p> <p>Adams offers his commentary, implying that this story proves that the numerous studies discrediting the voter ID push are just wrong:</p> <blockquote> <p>I am curious to see if this barely reported case of voter fraud ever makes it onto one of the &lsquo;academic&rsquo; studies purporting to demonstrate very little voter fraud. Those studies are characterized by false negatives.</p> </blockquote> <p>A quick look at the story in question, however, shows that what happened in Pennsylvania has nothing to do with voter ID or any so-called &ldquo;voter integrity&rdquo; laws that Adams and TTV are promoting.</p> <p>Pennsylvania <a href=""> requires that people requesting an absentee ballot </a> provide a reason, which can be &ldquo;illness or physical disability&rdquo; that makes the voter &ldquo;unable to attend his/her polling place or to operate a voting machine.&rdquo; Those voters must also provide a copy of their photo ID.</p> <p>The case that Adams and TTV are touting is that of three township supervisors who were charged with violating election laws in 2011, two for <a href=""> helping 13 elderly voters to apply for and fill out absentee ballots </a> , despite the fact that all were physically able to go to the polls on Election Day and were thus ineligible to obtain absentee ballots in Pennsylvania. One of the supervisors is charged with helping an eligible absentee voter fill out a ballot but failing to report that he had assisted the voter.</p> <p>None of this would have been prevented by a voter ID requirement. Instead, this is an instance of, at best, a misunderstanding and at worst, public officials using their insider influence to tinker with ballots.</p> <p>If it&rsquo;s the latter, all sorts of laws are currently on the books to prevent such instances of election fraud. But it is not something that so-called &ldquo;voter integrity&rdquo; activists have shown any interest in addressing, perhaps because it&rsquo;s already against the law and policed. As the Brennan Center wrote in a <a href="">2007 report</a>, such conduct &ldquo;has been an issue since Senators wore togas&rdquo; and <a href="">is a completely separate issue</a> from the kind of supposed fraud that groups like True The Vote claim to be fixing with suppressive voting restrictions.</p> <blockquote> <p>It is extremely rare for individuals to vote multiple times, vote as someone else, or vote despite knowing that they are ineligible. These rare occurrences, however, are often conflated with other forms of election irregularities or misconduct, under the misleading and overbroad label of &ldquo;voter fraud.&rdquo; Some of these other irregularities result from honest mistakes by election officials or voters, such as confusion as to whether a particular person is actually eligible to vote. Some irregularities result from technological glitches, whether sinister or benign: for example, voting machines may record inaccurate tallies. And some involve fraud or intentional misconduct perpetrated by actors other than individual voters: for example, flyers may spread misinformation about the proper locations or procedures for voting; thugs may be dispatched to intimidate voters at the polls; missing ballot boxes may mysteriously reappear. These more common forms of misconduct are simply not addressed by the supposed &ldquo;anti-fraud&rdquo; measures generally proposed.</p> </blockquote> Miranda Blue C4 J Christian Adams True the Vote Voting Rights The Right to Vote 48368 Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:30:00 -0400 Voting Rights How Catherine Engelbrecht Got Greg Abbott To Shut Down A Houston Voter Registration Drive <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>This weekend, <a href=""> the Dallas Morning News ran a long investigative piece </a> exposing for the first time an armed raid that state Attorney General Greg Abbott's office ordered on a Houston voter registration operation, Houston Votes, back in 2010. The aftermath played out like <a href="">ACORN in miniature</a>: Despite the fact that nobody at Houston Votes was charged with any wrongdoing, the organization folded under the pressure of Abbott&rsquo;s investigation.</p> <p>The story provides an interesting look at the mechanics of the GOP&rsquo;s obsessive search for certain types of extraordinarily rare voter fraud in order to justify extreme measures making it harder to cast a ballot. And it also stars two people who have since become familiar names in the national effort to make it more difficult to vote: Abbott, who is now the GOP nominee for governor of Texas, and Catherine Engelbrecht, who now runs the national group True the Vote, but who got her start running a Texas Tea Party group called King Street Patriots.</p> <p>The raid on Houston Votes was part of <a href=""> a larger campaign by Abbott to uncover what he calls an &ldquo;epidemic&rdquo; of voter fraud</a>, in an apparent effort to build support for <a href="">a restrictive Voter ID law</a> in Texas. Abbott&rsquo;s campaign hasn&rsquo;t exactly been a success: <a href="">According to MSNBC&rsquo;s Zach Roth</a>, &ldquo;over the 13 years of Abbott&rsquo;s tenure, his office can only cite two fraudulent votes that might have been stopped by the ID law.&rdquo; In the meantime, Abbott&rsquo;s effort has resulted in some strangely zealous prosecutions, including those of a group of Tea Party activists who <a href="">tried to cast protest votes in a resident-less utility district</a>.</p> <p>Dallas Morning News reporter James Drew explains <a href="">how a racially charged speech by Engelbrecht led to Abbot&rsquo;s investigation of and raid on Houston Votes</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>On an overcast Monday afternoon, officers in bulletproof vests swept into a house on Houston&rsquo;s north side. The armed deputies and agents served a search warrant. They carted away computers, hard drives and documents.</p> <p>The raid targeted a voter registration group called Houston Votes, which was accused of election fraud. It was initiated by investigators for Attorney General Greg Abbott. His aides say he is duty-bound to preserve the integrity of the ballot box.</p> <p>His critics, however, say that what Abbott has really sought to preserve is the power of the Republican Party in Texas. They accuse him of political partisanship, targeting key Democratic voting blocs, especially minorities and the poor, in ways that make it harder for them to vote, or for their votes to count.</p> <p>A close examination of the Houston Votes case reveals the consequences when an elected official pursues hotly contested allegations of election fraud.</p> <p>The investigation was closed one year after the raid, with no charges filed. But for Houston Votes, the damage was done. Its funding dried up, and its efforts to register more low-income voters ended. Its records and office equipment never were returned. Instead, under a 2013 court order obtained by Abbott&rsquo;s office, they were destroyed.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>Fred Lewis formed Texans Together in 2006.</p> <p>The nonprofit community organizing group used volunteers to register voters in 2008 under the name Houston Votes. It registered only about 6,000 people that year.</p> <p>For the next big election, in 2010, Lewis wanted to register 100,000 new voters in Harris County. He knew he couldn&rsquo;t hit that number with volunteers. Houston Votes decided to use paid workers.</p> <p>By that summer, Houston Votes had come to the attention of the King Street Patriots, a Houston-based tea party group. At the group&rsquo;s regular meeting in Houston, its leader, Catherine Engelbrecht, talked about the New Black Panther Party. She then played a Fox news clip of an unidentified black man saying: &ldquo;We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet.&rdquo;</p> <p>The clip was 5 years old. It came from a forum in Washington about media coverage of Hurricane Katrina. But after the clip ended, Engelbrecht showed a picture of a house in Houston. She said it was the office of the New Black Panthers, at Main and Dowling streets.</p> <p>Dowling Street is infamous for a 1970 gun battle between police officers and African-American militants, one of whom was killed.</p> <p>&ldquo;Houston has a new neighbor,&rdquo; Engelbrecht said. She added that a person outside the house appeared to be an employee of Houston Votes.</p> <p>The house shown on the screen was the office of Houston Votes. It had nothing to do with the New Black Panther Party. And it was about 9 miles from Dowling Street.</p> <p>Two weeks later, the King Street Patriots held another meeting. Paul Bettencourt, the former Harris County tax assessor-collector, was a guest speaker.</p> <p>He said Houston Votes was worse at registering voters than ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Dozens of ACORN employees across the nation were convicted of voter registration fraud.</p> <p>The next day, Bettencourt&rsquo;s successor as tax assessor-collector, fellow Republican Leo Vasquez, held a news conference.</p> <p>&ldquo;The integrity of the voter roll of Harris County, Texas, appears to be under an organized and systematic attack by the group operating under the name &lsquo;Houston Votes,&rsquo;&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Houston Votes had submitted about 25,000 voter registration applications. Vasquez said many were duplicates, or already registered. Only 7,193 were &ldquo;apparently new voters,&rdquo; he said.</p> <p>Houston Votes later pointed to public records showing that at the time of the news conference, about 21,000 of the 25,000 who applied to register were already validated by the county and pending final approval by the secretary of state. Among those 21,000, the state had already given final approval to 7,193.</p> <p>Vasquez announced he was referring the matter for &ldquo;investigation and possible prosecution&rdquo; to the Texas secretary of state and the Harris County district attorney.</p> <p>The secretary of state, who advises local election officials on election laws, forwarded Vasquez&rsquo;s information to the attorney general&rsquo;s office on Sept. 14, 2010.</p> <p>Abbott&rsquo;s office opened a criminal investigation soon after.</p> </blockquote> Miranda Blue C4 Catherine Engelbrecht Greg Abbott King Street Patriots Texas True the Vote Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 48131 Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:07:23 -0400 Voting Rights Conservative Pundit: Kerry Declined Ohio Recount To Hide Rampant 'Voter Fraud In Favor Of Democrats' <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>Mat Staver hosted Valencia College professor Mark Logas on his &ldquo;Faith and Freedom&rdquo; radio program this week to <a href="">hype the issue of voter fraud</a>, the <a href=""> exceedingly rare crime </a> that is being used by conservatives to push <a href=""> wave upon wave of voter suppression measures. </a></p> <p>Logas was full of horror stories supposedly illustrating an epidemic of voter fraud, somehow all favoring Democrats. He even went back in history to argue that John Kerry declined to contest his narrow loss in Ohio in 2004 because a recount would have &ldquo;exposed the voter fraud in favor of Democrats that goes on in Ohio alone.&rdquo;</p> <p>Specifically, he claimed that in 2004, in Franklin County, Ohio, which includes the city of Columbus, &ldquo;there were more people who <em>voted</em> than <em>lived</em> there.&rdquo;</p> <p>Stunningly, this is not true! Although conservative activists <a href="">raised a fuss</a> when the number of voter registrations in the country exceeded the number of eligible voters &mdash; the result of outdated voter rolls &mdash; in the end, <a href=""> 533,000 people cast ballots in Franklin County in 2004 </a> , which was decidedly less than the county&rsquo;s <a href="">estimated 815,000 voting-age population</a> at the time.</p> <p>And in the end, there actually was <a href="">a recount of Ohio&rsquo;s votes in 2004</a>, requested by the Green and Libertarian parties, that did not uncover rampant Democratic voter fraud but in fact showed that Kerry had won a few hundred more votes than originally reported.</p> <p align="center"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Staver:</strong> And you look at the presidential election in Florida in 2000 with George W. Bush and Al Gore. I mean, obviously that was a presidential election that was decided in one state, and that was very, very close. Huge possibility of having complete voter fraud the other way.</p> <p><strong>Logas:</strong> I don&rsquo;t know if you remember in 2004, John Kerry barely lost Ohio and there were a lot of Democrats, liberal Democrats, that said, &lsquo;You&rsquo;ve got to challenge it, you&rsquo;ve got to do a recount in Ohio!&rsquo; and he says, &lsquo;No, no, no, I&rsquo;m not going to do that.&rsquo; Why? Because in Franklin County, Ohio, in 2004, there were more people who voted than lived there. Not registered voters, than lived in the entire Franklin County.</p> <p><strong>Staver:</strong> So 100-plus percent voting.</p> <p><strong>Logas:</strong> Exactly. So for them to have challenged that exposed the voter fraud in favor of Democrats that goes on in Ohio alone.</p> <p><strong>Staver:</strong> Unbelievable.</p> </blockquote> Miranda Blue C4 Liberty Counsel Mark Logas Mat Staver Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 47875 Thu, 07 Aug 2014 12:30:55 -0400 Voting Rights Kris Kobach: Pro-Voting-Rights Religious Leaders Represent 'Churches In Quotation Marks' <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>African American religious leaders in Kansas are <a href="">speaking out against</a> the state&rsquo;s new voter-ID law that has <a href=""> suspended the voting rights of 19,000 Kansans</a>. In response, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach &mdash; the driving force behind Kansas&rsquo; law and similar measures across the country &mdash; is accusing them of representing &ldquo;churches in quotation marks.&rdquo;</p> <p>A group of African American church leaders, primarily from the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church<a href="">, denounced Kansas&rsquo; voter ID law</a> in June as an effort to &ldquo;turn back the clock on our rights.&rdquo;</p> <p>When an interviewer from the Topeka radio station WIBW <a href=""> asked Kobach about religious opposition to his plan </a> yesterday, Kobach responded, &ldquo;Kansans overwhelmingly approve it. I don&rsquo;t know which churches &mdash; and I would put churches in quotation marks, because the vast majority of church leaders that I&rsquo;ve spoken to are fully in favor of our photo ID law.&rdquo;</p> <p>He added that he found it &ldquo;ridiculous to argue that a voter ID is a burden on the right to vote&rdquo; because &ldquo;everybody&rsquo;s got one.&rdquo; He added that the opposition to his law is &ldquo;so funny to me.&rdquo;</p> <p align="center"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> Miranda Blue C4 Kansas Kris Kobach Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 47786 Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:37:04 -0400 Voting Rights Kris Kobach: If People Have Trouble Registering To Vote, It's Their Own Fault <p>Kris Kobach is <a href=""> the brains behind some of the most notorious voter suppression and anti-immigrant measures </a> in the country. He also has a day job as the secretary of state of Kansas. That&rsquo;s why we&rsquo;ve been <a href="">closely following Kobach&rsquo;s attempts</a> to implement one of the nation&rsquo;s strictest voter ID law in his own state &mdash; it offers a glimpse into what voter-suppression advocates would like to see throughout the country, and what voting rights proponents fear.</p> <p>This year, Kobach is implementing for the first time a law that he encouraged the state legislature to pass in 2011 that requires Kansans to present one of a narrow set of proof-of-citizenship documents (such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate) in order to register to vote.</p> <p>So far, it&rsquo;s been an unqualified mess. Two weeks before the state&rsquo;s primary election, <a href=""> 19,000 Kansas voters </a> still have incomplete registrations. On top of that, Kobach has <a href=""> implemented a two-track voting system </a> so that people who fill out a federal voter registration form but don&rsquo;t provide the extra citizenship documents are allowed to vote only in federal elections. Even voters who dig up the correct documentation and follow the instructions laid out by Kobach&rsquo;s office have <a href=""> reported problems with getting that information to elections officials</a>.</p> <p>The debacle has drawn Kobach a Republican primary challenger, Scott Morgan, who has <a href="">criticized the secretary of state for the voter-registration disaster</a> and <a href=""> for the large amount of time he spends working on his pet projects in other states</a>.</p> <p>Last weekend, <a href="">Kobach and Morgan held a debate</a>, at which Kobach once again repeated his philosophy that if 19,000 Kansans aren&rsquo;t finished with his byzantine voter-registration process, it&rsquo;s just because they&rsquo;re procrastinators who don&rsquo;t care enough to vote anyway.</p> <p>&ldquo;They aren&rsquo;t being prevented from anything,&rdquo; he said of the 19,000 people whose voter registrations are on hold. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re simply not yet completing the process.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the three years after Arizona passed a similar law in 2004, <a href=""> 30,000 people were turned away from the polls</a>.</p> <p align="center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> Miranda Blue C4 Kansas Kris Kobach Voting Rights The Right to Vote 47651 Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:54:31 -0400 Voting Rights Janet Mefferd: Border Crisis, Voting Rights All Part Of Effort To 'Collapse The System' <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>On her radio show yesterday, <a href="">Janet Mefferd read extensively</a> from a <a href="">recent article</a> on the conservative site Western Journalism, which argues that the crisis of refugee children on the border and the landmark &ldquo;Motor Voter&rdquo; law are both parts of a concerted liberal plot to &ldquo;collapse the system&rdquo; in America.</p> <p>&ldquo;Is this what&rsquo;s going on?&rdquo; Mefferd asked. &ldquo;Of course this is what&rsquo;s going on. This is what they wanted.&rdquo;</p> <p align="center"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> Miranda Blue C4 Immigration Janet Mefferd Voting Rights Fighting the Right 47593 Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:14:55 -0400 Voting Rights Judicial Watch Claims Voting Rights Suit Is Plot To Legalize Non-Citizen Voting <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>The right-wing group Judicial Watch has <a href=""> filed an amicus brief </a> in support of Kansas and Arizona&rsquo;s effort to add an extra, burdensome proof of citizenship requirement to federal voter registration forms in their states. A new law requiring citizenship documents to register has created a huge mess in Kansas, where <a href="">tens of thousands of residents</a> have been left with incomplete registrations and Secretary of State Kris Kobach <a href=""> has instituted a two-tiered voting system </a> allowing some people to vote in federal elections but not state elections.</p> <p>The Election Assistance Commission has been fighting Kobach&rsquo;s effort to expand his law to federal forms, <a href=""> noting</a> that his extra proof-of-citizenship requirement would deter far more eligible voters than the tiny number of illegal votes it would prevent. (The EAC&rsquo;s filing to the Tenth Circuit notes that Kansas <a href="">claims to have found 21 cases</a> of noncitizens registering or attempting to register to vote in the state, although the EAC implies that the actual number is even lower. Meanwhile, <a href=""> 18,000 citizens have had their registrations suspended </a> thanks to the new law.)</p> <p>In an <a href=""> op-ed for Brietbart News </a> today, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton argues that the Obama administration is fighting Kobach&rsquo;s effort not because they want to protect voting rights, but as part of a sneaky plot to legalize noncitizen voting in all federal elections.</p> <p>Fitton, of course, ties this to the influx of Central American children fleeing to the U.S. border, <a href="">echoing Louie Gohmert&rsquo;s claim</a> that the president will encourage the refugee children to commit voter fraud.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote> <p>One of the many negative downstream consequences of illegal aliens flooding across the border is the increased possibility of voter fraud. Obama and his leftist allies are committed to thwarting any effort by states to protect the integrity of the voting process that would prevent illegal aliens and other ineligible individuals from voting.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>As CIS points out, every single state in the United States legally bars non-citizens from voting in national or state elections. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, signed into law by President Clinton, made it a crime for any non-citizen to vote in a federal election.</p> <p>This is a fact so basic and so well-documented, says CIS, that 94% of fourth graders tested on the question of whether or not non-citizens could vote got the question correct.</p> <p>So why are leftists inside the Obama administration in the bottom 6% of a fourth grade class? It&rsquo;s certainly not because they don&rsquo;t understand the law. They understand it perfectly well. It&rsquo;s because they don&rsquo;t agree with the law, want to change it, and know they would not have a snowball&rsquo;s chance in you-know-where driving that kind of legislation through Congress. So they do what they always do: Ignore the law, go to court, and hope judges allow them to get away with the lawlessness.</p> <p>You also should know that the campaign to allow non-citizens to vote is a national effort that has already borne fruit. <a href="">Per CIS</a>: &ldquo;there are several municipalities in the United States that currently allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. Moreover, legislation to allow non-citizens to vote has been introduced in a number of states and localities including Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York City.&rdquo;</p> <p>Kansas and Arizona, however, were not willing to &ldquo;play ball&rdquo; with leftists who boldly court non-citizen voting. And that&rsquo;s why they (and we) are active in court.</p> </blockquote> Miranda Blue C4 Judicial Watch Kris Kobach Tom Fitton Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 47581 Tue, 15 Jul 2014 14:32:56 -0400 Voting Rights Yes, Kansas's Proof-Of-Citizenship Law Is Disenfranchising People <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>Nearly one month before the state&rsquo;s August 5 primary elections, <a href="">18,000 Kansas voters are still barred from the ballot box</a> because of incomplete paperwork under the state&rsquo;s new law requiring proof of citizenship to vote.</p> <p>Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the major player behind the passage and implementation of the new law, has consistently <a href=""> pushed back on criticism by claiming </a> that &ldquo;nobody&rsquo;s been denied any rights&rdquo; and that the thousands of Kansans with suspended registration are just &ldquo;procrastinators&rdquo; who haven't gotten around to producing<a href=""> the required birth certificate, passport &nbsp;or similar document</a> to election authorites.</p> <p>Now, of course, stories are emerging that show that the thousands of Kansans caught in registration limbo aren&rsquo;t just &ldquo;procrastinators&rdquo; and that the system that he claims is quick and easy to use is in fact leaving people behind.</p> <p>This weekend, the <a href="">Wichita Eagle interviewed one such voter</a>, Michael Nucci, who had his registration suspended despite having shown up at the DMV with his passport, one of the approved proof-of-citizenship documents:</p> <blockquote> <p>Michael Nucci, a voter who was placed in incomplete status, said he found the process difficult.</p> <p>Nucci, 43, moved to Wichita from Florida in 2012 and registered to vote without any problems. But in December 2013, when Nucci moved to a new address, he went to the DMV to update his registration and brought along his passport and phone bill. A week later, he said, he received a letter telling him his registration had been suspended.</p> <p>Nucci contacted the Sedgwick County Election Office and was told to send a copy of his passport.</p> <p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s something involved between DMV and the election office where they are not on the same system. And I think it&rsquo;s ridiculous,&rdquo; Nucci said. &ldquo;And I didn&rsquo;t send them my passport because I already brought it to the DMV both times. Why should I send them a copy of my passport again, a third time?</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had no problem (registering to vote) until I came to Kansas,&rdquo; Nucci said.</p> </blockquote> <p>Today, the Eagle reported that the <a href=""> daughter of Kobach&rsquo;s Republican primary challenger, Scott Morgan, was in a similar position </a> &mdash; she uploaded a picture of her passport to Kobach&rsquo;s website and still was informed that her registration had been suspended. Morgan told the paper that he was afraid that such &ldquo;hurdles&rdquo; to voter registration would discourage young voters:</p> <blockquote> <p>Morgan said his daughter registered online through the secretary of state&rsquo;s website and that he watched her upload a picture of her passport.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s all these things that the average 18-year-old is just going to say, &lsquo;the heck with it,&rsquo; &rdquo; Morgan said. He said that the online system repeatedly froze as she went through the registration process. &ldquo;And it&rsquo;s just phenomenal that we think it&rsquo;s okay to put these kind of hurdles in front of these people who are trying to register to vote.&rdquo;</p> <p>Morgan said such issues could dissuade young people from voting.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s hard enough to get 18-year-olds to get excited about voting anyway. And this is the kind of thing where each one of these steps, whether it&rsquo;s the browser freezing up or the cumbersome form &hellip; each one of those you lose people,&rdquo; Morgan said.</p> <p>Morgan said his family couldn&rsquo;t help but laugh upon receiving the letter, joking that many people would think it was something he made up for the campaign. But he took a photograph of his daughter holding her letter and posted it on Facebook as proof.</p> <p>&ldquo;When you get it, you laugh about it, because it&rsquo;s so absurd. But then the sad thing is the absurdity is the reality of what we&rsquo;ve created here in Kansas to protect ourselves from something that doesn&rsquo;t exist,&rdquo; Morgan said.</p> </blockquote> <p>And this isn&rsquo;t even to mention the hundred or so Kansans who will be able to vote only in federal elections in August, <a href=""> thanks to Kobach&rsquo;s new two-tiered voting system</a>. Or voters who don't have the required proof-of-citizenship documents at all and have to go through a <a href="">time-consuming process with the state elections board</a> in order to have their voting rights restored.</p> <p>But Kobach apparently sees these problems as growing pains: He warned the Eagle that Morgan and his Democratic opponent just want to &ldquo;<a href="">wave the white flag and give up</a>&rdquo; on his voting scheme.</p> Miranda Blue C4 Kansas Kris Kobach voter ID Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 47305 Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:31:39 -0400 Voting Rights True The Vote Claims Voting Rights Act Encourages 'Race-Based Segregation' <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>In a fundraising email today, the <a href="">voter-fraud mavens at True the Vote</a> claim that a proposed bipartisan update to the Voting Rights Act is in fact a &ldquo;move toward race-based segregation&rdquo; that would &ldquo;exclude millions of Americans from the full protection of the law &mdash; based solely on the color of their skin" and &ldquo;turn our elections over to Eric Holder and Barack Obama.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Voting Rights Amendment Act is a bipartisan bill that would <a href=""> replace the formula that determines which areas are subject to Justice Department preclearance </a> for changes in their voting laws. The previous formula was struck down by the Supreme Court last year, although the rest of the law remained.</p> <p>The proposed formula, like its predecessor, would require states and counties with a history of voting restrictions targeting minority voters to obtain preclearance from the Justice Department before changing their voting laws. The preclearance provision, enacted to stop rampant Jim-Crow-era racial discrimination at the polls <a href="">has for decades helped stem attempts to disenfranchise minority voters</a>.</p> <p>But according to True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht, the very fact that the Voting Rights Act and the proposed coverage update are meant to stop racial discrimination at the polls means that they are the product of &ldquo;race baiters&rdquo; who want to &ldquo;divide voters into color blocks for partisan gain&rdquo; and &ldquo;move toward race-based segregation.&rdquo;</p> <blockquote> <p>I'm sending you this message on the most urgent of topics!</p> <p>Congress is considering a bill that could ultimately turn our elections over to Eric Holder and Barack Obama.</p> <p>The bill is HR 3899. Bill sponsors have named it the Voting Rights Amendment Act, but we&rsquo;re calling it what it really is- the Voting Rights Segregation Act. If it is not stopped, HR 3899 will fundamentally and intentionally change American elections into race-reliant battlefields where, for the first time in our history, the United States would EXCLUDE millions of Americans from the full protection of the law &ndash; <u>based solely on the color of their skin</u>.</p> <p>HR 3899 also targets five states that will immediately be put under the authority of Holder&rsquo;s Dept of Justice, requiring that they pre-clear election activities with Holder&rsquo;s DOJ, effective immediately upon passage of the bill! The currently targeted states are Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and North Carolina. <strong> The Bill also gives Eric Holder the exclusive right to target other states for any reason he sees fit, including the passage and implementation of photo Voter ID laws. </strong></p> <p>This Country has gone through too much and come too far to now watch silently as the professional race baiters in Congress, like Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner and Sheila Jackson Lee, divide voters into color blocks for partisan gain.</p> <p><em><u>Will you please help support True the Vote's effort to kill this terrible race based bill? </u> </em></p> <p>Earlier this week True the Vote led a group of pro-liberty election integrity organizations in requesting GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to meet with our organizations to discuss the reasons this bill is an ill advised move toward race-based segregation. Last night, Cantor's constituents let him know what they thought of his position on HR 3899- by voting him out of office. But make no mistake, the battle for HR 3899 is far from won.</p> </blockquote> Miranda Blue C4 Catherine Engelbrecht True the Vote Voting Rights Voting Rights Act Voting Rights Amendments Act Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 47161 Wed, 11 Jun 2014 16:22:14 -0400 Voting Rights Kansas Moves Ahead With Two-Tiered Voting System, Some Voters Allowed To Cast Ballots Only In Federal Elections <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>We reported last year on&nbsp;<a href="">Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach&rsquo;s plan</a> <a href="">to create a two-tiered voting system</a> in his state, in which voters who registered with a federal voter registration form but did not meet the state&rsquo;s <a href="">strict new citizenship documentation requirement</a> would be allowed to cast ballots in federal elections but would be barred from participating state elections.</p> <p>Kobach claimed at the time that the two-tiered system was &ldquo;<a href="">merely a contingency plan</a>&rdquo; in the event that he lost a lawsuit seeking to require the federal form used in Kansas to include the state&rsquo;s proof-of-citizenship requirement. Kobach&nbsp;<a href="">won that suit</a>, but the <a href="">decision has been stayed pending appeal</a>, meaning that Kansas will go ahead with Kobach&rsquo;s<a href=""> two-tiered system</a> in this summer's primaries, <a href="">reports the Associated Press</a>. Arizona, which joined Kansas on the lawsuit, is <a href="">implementing a similar system</a>.</p> <p>The good news is that, according to Kobach, fewer than 100 Kansans who registered with the federal form but didn&rsquo;t provide the correct citizenship documentation will be the inaugural members of the new federal-elections-only voting tier. Those voters, according to the AP, "will be given full provisional ballots during the Aug. 5 primary elections &mdash; but only the votes they cast in federal races will actually be counted."</p> <p>The bad news is that 18,000 Kansans who registered with the <em>state</em> form but couldn&rsquo;t provide the correct documentation still can&rsquo;t vote in <em> either</em> type of election.</p> <p>Kobach, of course, continues to claim that &ldquo;no one is disenfranchised&rdquo; by his policies.</p> <p><a href="">AP:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>WICHITA &mdash; Kansas voters who registered using a national form without providing proof of U.S. citizenship will be given full provisional ballots during the Aug. 5 primary elections &mdash; but only the votes they cast in federal races will actually be counted, the state&rsquo;s top election official said Tuesday.</p> <p>Secretary of State Kris Kobach told The Associated Press that fewer than 100 Kansas voters who used the federal registration form without providing citizenship documents will be affected.</p> <p>&ldquo;No one is disenfranchised &mdash; any person can vote a full ballot by providing proof of citizenship,&rdquo; Kobach said. &ldquo;The notion a person is disenfranchised because they have to provide proof of citizenship is a silly one.&rdquo;</p> <p>As of Tuesday, more than 18,000 Kansans still had their voter registrations suspended pending documentation of citizenship. The vast majority used the state form to register, and they will still not be allowed to vote at all in the primary or general election unless they prove to state election officials that they are U.S. citizens.</p> <p>The exception that allows the federal registrants to still vote in the August primaries for federal races comes because the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a judge&rsquo;s ruling that had forced federal election officials to help Kansas and Arizona enforce their citizenship requirements.</p> </blockquote> Miranda Blue C4 Kansas Kris Kobach Voting Rights Fighting the Right The Right to Vote 47154 Wed, 11 Jun 2014 12:24:58 -0400 Voting Rights Peas In A Pod: Ted Nugent Raising Money For 'Ass Kickin BloodBrother' Kris Kobach <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach&rsquo;s Republican primary opponent is <a href=""> criticizing Kobach for his association with Ted Nugent</a>, the rocker whose <a href="">violent</a> and <a href="">racist</a> rants <a href=""> have landed other politicians who have campaigned with him in hot water</a>.</p> <p>Nugent <a href=""> posted a photo of himself and Kobach on Facebook on Wednesday</a>, accompanied by a plea for his fans to donate to the reelection campaign of his &ldquo;ass kickin BloodBrother&rdquo; Kobach.</p> <p>Nugent, unsurprisingly, praises Kobach for his work pushing anti-immigrant and voter suppression policies throughout the country, including <a href="">helping to write Arizona&rsquo;s infamous SB1070</a> and passing a <a href=""> widely-slammed voter-ID law in Kansas </a> that has left <a href=""> thousands of voters with suspended registrations</a>. Or, in the words of Nugent, Kobach is &ldquo;taking on the America hating ObamaGang at every turn&rdquo; and &ldquo;leading the states&rsquo; rights movement in America.&rdquo;</p> <p>Kobach <a href="">told the Lawrence Journal-World</a> that the photo of him and Nugent was taken in 2011 when he &ldquo; he went to Texas one weekend and participated in a hunt of feral pigs from a helicopter&rdquo; as part of his work with &ldquo;Nugent and Texas officials&rdquo; on &ldquo;legislation that expanded the ability of hunters to kill feral hogs from helicopters.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;The Leftists and commies are working overtime to defeat him in this year&rsquo;s election,&rdquo; Nugent writes. &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s help him reload so he can keep up the fight!&rdquo; He asks his supporters to use a link for their donations that will let Kobach know "which contributions are coming from Uncle Ted's crew."</p> <blockquote> <p>I swear to God we the people damn well better get crackin & support the few brave warriors who stand with us & the US Constitution & Bill of Rights ABSOLUTELY everytime! Kris Kobach is our ass kickin BloodBrother & on the frontlines taking on the America hating ObamaGang at every turn.</p> <p>Please help Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach drop a &ldquo;money bomb&rdquo; on Facebook! We may not live in KS, but Kris takes our fight directly to the enemies of America everyday!<br /> <br /> For those of you who don&rsquo;t already know him, Kris is the patriot who:<br /> <br /> 1. Co-authored the Arizona illegal immigration law.<br /> <br /> 2. Is suing the federal government so that Kansas and Arizona can require newly-registered voters to prove their US citizenship.<br /> <br /> 3. Is representing the 10 ICE agents who are suing the Obama Administration because Obama is ordering them to break the law.<br /> <br /> 4. Co-authored the Kansas law that says the feds can&rsquo;t regulate a gun made in Kansas, as long as that the gun never leaves the state.</p> <p><br /> In other words, Kris is a major thorn in the side of Obama. And he is leading the states&rsquo; rights movement in America. He&rsquo;s also an avid hunter and backstrap BloodBrother who&rsquo;s a dear pig killin friend of mine. Here&rsquo;s a picture of us hunting hogs together in Texas just before we rallied to legalize helicopter pig hunting! Yes, Kris & I did that!!<br /> <br /> The Leftists and commies are working overtime to defeat him in this year&rsquo;s election. Let&rsquo;s help him reload so he can keep up the fight!</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>This is a KILLER op to make a HUGE upgrade for America! HITIT!</p> </blockquote> <p align="center"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 330px; height: 478px;" /></p> Miranda Blue C4 Election 2014 Immigration Kansas Kris Kobach Ted Nugent Voting Rights Fighting the Right 47098 Fri, 06 Jun 2014 12:13:24 -0400 Voting Rights Terrible Republican Secretary Of State Seeks Same <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_teaser_astory" width="390" height="250" alt="" src="" /> <p>A <a href=""> Wall Street Journal story </a> last week on a new set of PACs seeking to influence secretary of state races reported that the new conservative PAC, SOS for SOS, will be led by former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.</p> <p>"We are no longer going to let the left decide the size and dimensions of the playing field," Blackwell told WSJ.</p> <p>It wasn&rsquo;t long ago that Blackwell himself was deciding the size and dimensions of the electoral playing field in Ohio by, among other things, dictating the size and dimensions and paper stock of mail-in voter registration cards.</p> <p>Leading up to the 2004 elections, Blackwell became notorious for administering elections rules that made it a lot harder to vote. The most colorful of these was a last-minute regulation on the size and paper quality of printed voter registration cards. <a href="">Rolling Stone explained</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>To further monkey-wrench the process he was bound by law to safeguard, Blackwell cited an arcane elections regulation to make it harder to register new voters. In a now-infamous decree, Blackwell announced on September 7th -- less than a month before the filing deadline -- that election officials would process registration forms only if they were printed on eighty-pound unwaxed white paper stock, similar to a typical postcard. Justifying his decision to ROLLING STONE, Blackwell portrayed it as an attempt to protect voters: ''The postal service had recommended to us that we establish a heavy enough paper-weight standard that we not disenfranchise voters by having their registration form damaged by postal equipment.'' Yet Blackwell's order also applied to registrations delivered in person to election offices. He further specified that any valid registration cards printed on lesser paper stock that miraculously survived the shredding gauntlet at the post office were not to be processed; instead, they were to be treated as <em>applications</em> for a registration form, requiring election boards to send out a brand-new card.</p> <p>Blackwell's directive clearly violated the Voting Rights Act, which stipulates that no one may be denied the right to vote because of a registration error that ''is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under state law to vote.'' The decision immediately threw registration efforts into chaos. Local newspapers that had printed registration forms in their pages saw their efforts invalidated. Delaware County posted a notice online saying it could no longer accept its own registration forms. Even Blackwell couldn't follow the protocol: <em>The Columbus Dispatch</em> reported that his own staff distributed registration forms on lighter-weight paper that was illegal under his rule. Under the threat of court action, Blackwell ultimately revoked his order on September 28th -- six days before the registration deadline.</p> </blockquote> <p>Other <a href="">Blackwell projects in the lead-up to the 2004 election</a> included making it harder to cast a provisional ballot and keeping urban precincts <a href="">low on electronic voting machines</a>, resulting in long lines. A <a href="">report from Democratic Rep. John Conyers </a>found that &ldquo;actions by Mr. Blackwell, the Republican Party, and elections officials, disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Ohio citizens, predominantly Minority and Democratic voters.&rdquo;</p> <p>Blackwell&rsquo;s partisan bent was never a secret. After losing his campaign to be Ohio&rsquo;s governor in 2006, he moved on to work for the Family Research Council and <a href="">tried to angle himself into the job</a> of chairman of the Republican National Committee.</p> <p>In other words, Blackwell is the perfect person to lead the Right&rsquo;s new effort to elect Republican secretary of state candidates <a href="">in the mold of Kansas&rsquo; Kris Kobach</a>, who see their jobs not as encouraging and facilitating voting, but making it harder...especially for certain Democratic-leaning constituencies.</p> Miranda Blue C4 Ken Blackwell Ohio SOS for SOS Voting Rights The Right to Vote 46899 Mon, 19 May 2014 13:42:13 -0400 Voting Rights