Filed under: Election 2008, Election Fraud, Election law and process, Strategy and Tactics, Technology and Politics
The polls haven’t even opened yet, and yet the litigation continues. The NAACP is still pushing to extend polling hours across the Commonwealth. From WVEC:
The NAACP has asked a federal judge to step in to extend Virginia’s voting time by two hours.
The group also alleges there aren’t enough voting machines, especially in minority-heavy districts. And the group wants paper ballots available in case lines are too long.
Gov. Tim Kaine says it’s not necessary to have the extra time and he says he doesn’t have the authority to do it.
The NAACP had withdrawn its request for a hearing on Thursday after receiving new information from state officials about the placement of election day resources. At the time, NAACP officials said a new hearing before the election was unlikely.
But after assessing the updated information, the NAACP concluded preparations were still insufficient and on Friday requested a new hearing.
“We went back and looked at the numbers, and it’s still the same old bad news. We’re still seeing disparities between black and white precincts,” said Ben Jealous, national NAACP president.
State Elections officials have stated anyone in line at the 7:00 p.m. deadline Tuesday will be able to cast a vote.
Meanwhile, both parties are gearing up for a fight once the votes are counted. From the Washington Post:
Lawyers could be present at almost all of Virginia’s 2,349 precincts to monitor the process, protect voters’ rights and challenge voters suspected of fraud, officials said. They also will be involved in extraordinary attempts to identify party supporters who have already voted so that those who have not can be contacted and urged to do so.
Lawyers have long played a part in the electoral process. But given the heightened intensity of the race and the unprecedented turnout expected, voter protection has taken on added importance, even attracting lawyers to Virginia from out of state, officials said. That is especially true, they say, in the wake of the contested 2000 presidential election in Florida, when Bush vs. Gore moved from the voting booth to the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We’ve never done anything like this before where it’s been this comprehensive,” said Gerry Scimeca, spokesman for the Virginia Republican Party. “With the heightened number of new registrants, Election Day poll watching is taking on an added urgency.”
A training manual that the Virginia Democratic Party distributed to hundreds of lawyer volunteers instructs them on the Obama campaign’s get-out-the-vote effort, called the “Houdini Project.” Lawyers will periodically enter into a database the names of those who have cast ballots so that campaign staff can contact those who have not voted, almost in real time.
It’s going to be a fight folks, and we have to fight in. Join us at our Strasburg Headquarters or at United Country Real Estate in Mt. Jackson tomorrow for phone banking from 10 until 6:45.
Every. Vote. Counts.
Filed under: Election 2009, Election Fraud, Election law and process, State Government and Politics, Strategy and Tactics, Uncategorized, Youth and Politics
I’ve written multiple times about the great potential for fraud in the voting process and several times about the unique challenges college students and campus organizers face in registering to vote. From the Third Congressional District we recieve word that thousands of out-of-state college students have registered to vote in both Virginia and their home state. From Third Congressional District Republican Committee Chair Mike Wade:
An ongoing analysis of data matching voter registration lists in
other states with the list of newly registered voters in Virginia has
confirmed that there are thousands of students who attend college in
Virginia who are registered here as well as in their home state. Even
more alarming, some of these students have applied for absentee
ballots in their home state after having just registered to vote here.
In just eight localities in Pennsylvania, over 350 individuals were
registered to vote both in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and 40 of these
individuals have applied for and/or received absentee ballots. The
analysis is continuing.
“Every Virginian should be concerned about the potential for fraud
on a scale we have not witnessed before in Virginia, said Mike Wade,
Third District GOP Chairman. “I am pleased that Secretary Rodrigues
and the State Board of Elections is taking this seriously and has
turned the names of those applying for ballots in other states over to
the State Police.”
Wade continued, “It is vital this year that every Virginian be
vigilant and aware and report suspected fraud to the proper
This situation is a direct result of the intervention by Governor
Kaine’s office in the policymaking process, supported by pressure
from the Obama campaign directed toward both the State Board of
Elections and local Registrars. In early September, election policy
was changed to shift responsibility from the local Registrar to the
student him/herself for determining whether or not they are a resident
of Virginia. Registrars were further instructed to not inform an
applicant for voter registration about such things as the requirement
under state law for an individual to contact the DMV and obtain a
Virginia Driver’s License within 60 days of becoming a resident of
“The unprecedented involvement of the Governor’s Chief of Staff,
in directing policy and personally editing communications to
Registrars for the sole purpose of benefitting one candidate in one
race, has cast doubts on the entire policymaking process,” Wade
added. “The result is the alarming situation we now find ourselves
Senator Obenshain, who represents Harrisonburg and therefore James Madison University in the State Senate, has been hammering the Democrats on this for weeks. It’s only now that we find out the full extent of this issue.
I believe that it should be easy to vote, and it is all things considered. Absentee voting puts no additional burden on the voter other than remembering which date to have everything done by, which is really no different than remembering when the polls close. If students insist on voting in person, I have my own issues with that, but some of that stems from my views on home and permanence. If you’re ready to face the consequences of fully pulling the rope away and saying you no longer with your parents, fine.
It’s hard for me to believe, though, that thousands of college students have “spaced” on where they are registered and “accidentally” registered twice. I’m not saying that this is a deliberate ploy by the Obama campaign (although I do agree with the analysis that Kaine intentionally lowered the threshold to use Virginia’s substantial non-resident college population to put the state in play). What I am saying is that this policy has the potential to be misused by individuals, and that appears to be the case here.
Every vote counts.
But only once.
Ok, we’ve heard several instances over the last campaign season of educators crossing political boundaries with their students, such as Virginia educators who were encouraged to wear blue during their classes and New York teachers who wore their Obama buttons during class, but we hadn’t seen this frenzy bleeding over into classroom instruction. Until now:
Over atRealDebateWisconsin Fred Dooley was contacted by the mother of a Racine Unified School District 8th grade student in Wisconsin public schools about an outrageous thing she found in her son’s school textbook. Apparently, in this textbook supposedly teaching about literature, one of the books being pushed as a perfect example of that subject is Barack Obama’s memoirDreams from my Father. That’s right, a book by a current political candidate for president is being pushed on our children as “literature.” It also seems probable from campaign donation records that a principle member of the publishing company is a large Obama donor.
One would think that focusing on the ideology of a politician currently running for president would be a bit over-the-top even for our extreme left leaning system of education in this country. But there it is anyway. The book even presents a photo of the Senator at a campaign rally with signs advertising his campaign website address to help better indoctrinate the kids.
On one page, for instance, the kids are urged to discuss what makes them “proud” before they readDreams from my Father. The message here is that an Obama candidacy is supposed to make everyone “proud” apparently. If you stand against Obama, I guess you stand against pride, huh?
A few photos from Obama’s childhood are also included, showing that a simple discussion of the literary worth of Obama’s book is not all the textbook is interested in.
Read the whole article for more. However, the outrage is clear: a line has been crossed when a candidate of the day is being used as an example for great oratory. I would have no objection to allowing students to analyze a particular piece of oratory from a candidate of their choice. However, when a particular candidate is being used, care has to be taken to not offend anyone on either side. Their are examples of great oratory on both sides of the spectrum that have and should be analyzed as great rhetoric, but using a current example in a standardized text is not acceptable.
Filed under: Election 2008, Oddly Enough, Party Politics, POTUS, Strategy and Tactics
More disturbing news regarding voter registration fraud. This time in Pennsylvania:
State Republican leaders are accusing a community-based group it claims has links to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, of deliberately filing fraudulent voter registration forms across the state.
Voter registration officials in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Allegheny County have reported problems with registrations filed on behalf of voters by the Association of Community Organizations, or ACORN. State Republican Party chairman Robert Gleason said the number of fake registrations is in the thousands and said the situation has “the potential for massive fraud.”
A York man employed part-time by ACORN was arrested Saturday and charged with submitting more than 100 bogus registrations over eight days in June. The man was fired when ACORN learned of the discrepancy.
Dauphin County investigators said Luis F. Torres-Serrano, 37, of the 400 block of George St., York, was working part time for ACORN and turned in bogus registration forms, apparently to justify his paycheck, said Chief County Detective John Goshert.
But that’s not the only instance. ACORN and its workers have been connected with suspicious activity in ELEVEN different states this year alone.
…..and some workers face possible criminal charges.
In one Indiana county, officials say 2,000 forms were bogus. In Nevada, workers are accused of using the Dallas Cowboys roster on forms. Officials there raided an ACORN office this week.
A host of other instances have been cited: fake names, bad addresses, dead people.
In Milwaukee, where ACORN turned in at least 33,000 registrations, the group improperly used felons as registration workers. Additionally, its workers are among 49 cases of bad registrations sent to authorities for possible charges, as first reported by the Journal Sentinel.
A city election official said Friday that about 90% of the 49 cases were workers for ACORN, with nearly all of the rest part of the Community Voters Project. The 49 individuals submitted about 300 registration cards, all sent to authorities for review.
So far, two people, both with the voters project, have been charged with felonies.
* In Brevard County, Fla., elections officials discovered up to two-thirds of the 1,320 voter registrations delivered by ACORN workers in the past week contained people already on voter rolls, Florida Today reported.
* In Allegheny County, Pa., the DA said there could be criminal charges stemming from up to 100 phony registrations, many of which were handled by ACORN, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Meanwhile, there’s more than you think to Obama’s relationship with ACORN:
“Barack Obama has made very inconsistent remarks about what his relationship with this organization is,” Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, said in a conference call.
Mr. Davis said Mr. Obama had worked as Acorn’s lawyer and conducted training events for its leaders. He also noted a payment the Obama campaign made in February to an Acorn affiliate, Citizens Services Inc.
Even before Friday’s conference call, Republicans had made much of an $832,598 payment made in February by the Obama campaign to Citizens Services Inc., a consulting firm affiliated with Acorn.
“This organization is not just related to but deeply ingrained in the Acorn organization, a front group for Acorn,” Mr. Davis said.
The Obama campaign initially reported that the payment was for “staging, sound, lighting” and other advance work when it reported its expenditures with the Federal Election Commission. It filed amended reports in August and September to reflect that those payments were for get-out-the-vote efforts.
Mr. Davis contended that the original filing was an effort to “hide the fact” that money was paid to Acorn. But F.E.C. officials have said such amended filings are common.
Citizens Services typically contracts with Acorn and its affiliates for work like that done for the Obama campaign. Mr. Goldberg, the Acorn spokesman, said that less than $80,000 of the Obama campaign’s payment to Citizens Services went to Acorn. Jeff Robinson, executive vice president of Citizens Services, did not return a call inquiring how the rest of the money was spent.
I have to say that it’s exciting to see enthusiasim for a presidential election at record highs (and nearly matching my own love for politics), but it’s sad when our process devolves to this:
RNC Announces New Security Measures Following Violence & Vandalism
WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan released the following statement today in response to attacks against Republican volunteers and supporters, and acts of vandalism against Republican Victory centers.
“There is no place for violence, vandalism, or intimidation in politics. As a result of violence against Republican volunteers and supporters, and acts of vandalism against Republican Victory centers, the RNC has redirected funds previously allocated for get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts – totaling at least two millions dollars – for 24-hour security at volunteer centers across the country. We are making this investment in protective security because our staff and volunteers deserve to know they are safe as they work to elect the next President of the United States.
“I am appalled that the RNC must take this action. The fraudulent activities of ACORN combined with thuggish behavior of intimidation, violence, and vandalism on the part of others are clear signs that our opponents don’t believe in free and fair elections.
“I am confident on Election Day that voters will reject Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes, increase spending, and implement government-run health care, in addition to the violent, intimidation tactics that have been adopted by Democrat activists supporting his candidacy.”
With all that said, I do want to express my equal disgust with those who have crossed the line at some recent McCain-Palin events. I do believe that there are serious questions that need to be asked about Obama’s lifelong associations with groups on the fringe left, and we simply cannot afford to simply conceed this election to a man that, I am convinced, has the farthest left agenda of any presidential candidate since Henry Wallace in 1948. However, to peg Obama himself as a terrorist or to even make the slightest conjecture about his race is inexcusable.
This thing can be won on the issues. Let’s try to conduct ourselves, on both sides, in a manner befitting of our forefathers who saw in America a hope for something that had never been achieved before: the peaceful transition of power between individuals selected by the people themselves.
When I was with the College Republicans at the University of Virginia, I learned a very important lesson about the magic of federalism. The election of 2004 waged all around my freshman year, and the College Republicans were charged with ensuring that Republican leaning students got their absentee ballot applications and registering those who were not registered. Sounded simple enough. However, the trick was that with students from all fifty states, that meant that I had fifty different deadlines to contend with. Talk about headaches.
Well, field organizers on both sides are facing those headaches right now (although the majority only have to deal with one state’s rules and regulations). In the rush to get as many voters registered as possible, we’re beginning to see some suspicious activity.
Yesterday the Secretary of State in Nevada launched an investigation into the voter registration activities of the group ACORN in Las Vegas, going so far as to raid one of the group’s offices.
Nevada authorities seized records Tuesday from a group they accused of submitting fraudulent voter-registration forms — including for the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.”Tony Romo is not registered to vote in the state of Nevada, and anybody trying to pose as Terrell Owens won’t be able to cast a ballot on Nov. 4,” said Secretary of State Ross Miller, referring to star players on the pro football team.
State authorities raided the headquarters of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a group that works to register low-income people.
Miller said the raid was part of a monthslong investigation, and he contended the group had submitted registration forms that used false information or duplicated information on multiple forms. He did not estimate how many.
Miller said no one had been charged or arrested in Nevada.
His spokesman, Bob Walsh, said investigators were using information from various sources, including the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in Nevada.
“You don’t have to read too many cop novels to know that sometimes people will tell you a grain of truth to try to hide the rest of the truth,” Walsh said. “I’m certainly not suggesting that ACORN is that nefarious, but at the same time just because they handed over 50 to you doesn’t mean there aren’t 150 others out there.”
ACORN has stated that they believe that many of the fradulent applications are likely the result of lazy employees who are filling out the applications simply to fill quotas. That may be the case, but what happens when these false names make it onto the books? How are we to ensure the integrity of the vote when their may be hundreds, even thousands of names that a single person could present themselves as, particularly in states that have less lenient rules regarding voter identification. Clearly, this creates issues, and if ACORNS attitude is that that’s the Voter Registrar’s problem to clean up, then there may be some questions as to how much the value fair and open elections.
In our own backyard of Virginia, we have another troubling story of a Young Democrat turned election official who visited the Fairfax County Jail to register inmates to vote:
Inmates at the Fairfax County jail were encouraged to register and vote last week by elections officials making what the county’s sheriff called the first visit of its kind in his 30 years with the county. That voter turnout effort is now being defended by county officials, but blasted by Republicans who called it an attempt to influence what could be a close presidential election in the commonwealth.
Both Fairfax County General Registrar Rokey Suleman and Sheriff Stan Barry deny any wrongdoing in the decision that granted Office of Elections on-site access to the Adult Detention Center in downtown Fairfax. Barry did, however, say it was unprecedented in his 30-year career with the county.
“We’d never run into it before, honestly,” Barry said. “They contacted us last week and we were not willing to take any role in it, but basically they were just asking for access to the prisoners who were eligible to vote, and we gave them that.”
The visit came as presidential campaigns were making feverish attempts to sign up voters ahead of the Oct. 6 deadline. The state is considered critical to the White House aspirations of Barack Obama and John McCain.
Felons are not eligible to vote in Virginia without having their rights restored by the governor. Suleman said his office, at the request of criminal defense attorneys who approached his staff, delivered registration forms and absentee ballots to inmates with misdemeanor convictions and those awaiting felony trials.
Suleman, who is listed as a founder of the Trumbull County (Ohio) Young Democrats, ran for office in the Buckeye State as a Democrat earlier this year. He said the office he holds in Virginia is nonpartisan.
Clearly, these individuals have a right to vote. However, the fact that Suleman made the decision to conduct an on-site visit (rather than leaving it up to the prisoners, as with everyone else) is certainly cause for concern. The big question is where else did Suleman conduct on-site visits? Were high schools, nursing facilities, and hospitals given the same treatment? Certainly these are all places were individuals might be who might have trouble getting access to voter registration applications. Hopefully Fairfax will follow-up on this issue.