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.
For better or worse, there’s a great deal of debate on the ethics of running campaigns. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who are willing to tell outright lies to help their candidate win. Other things are more debatable: some people find robo-calls a bit dishonest and a little bit of a cheat, while others see a great deal of efficacy in using the technique.
However, the clearest line comes in voter registration programs. Most campaign strategies of the last decade have relied heavily on registering new voters. However, registering voters is heavily regulated by law, laws which vary state by state. In Virginia, once a Voter Registration form is handed to you, you have an obligation to turn in that form to the Registrar, even if the individual clearly tells you they are a Democrat. Voting is a sacred right in this country, and if you’re going to help individuals do it in a setting such as a fair or festival, you have to follow your obligation to the law. As someone who helped run registration and absentee ballot operations for the College Republicans at UVA in 2004, I can tell you that the smallest discrepancy will yield a call from the local registrar.
With all of the excitement surrounding the election, groups are paying individuals to canvass. However, there’s a great deal of pressure with this approach, and it can often lead to trouble, particularly when the law is not clearly explained to canvassers. Youthful exuberance can lead to mistakes, which cannot be afforded when doing something as sensitive as voter registration. If I could do it over again, I’m not sure I would have taken on the task of registering voters in 2004 in an environment such as UVA, where students are from all over the country.
More troubling, however, is when someone who is already registered again. Either someone was trying to meet their quota and foolishly took names out of the phone book, or this was a serious attempt at identity fraud. Fortunately, the RPV is paying close attention to events all across the state.
Virginia GOP Chairman calls for criminal investigation into mounting evidence of coordinated voter fraud activities
Richmond, Virginia (July 28, 2008) – Delegate Jeff Frederick, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, this morning called on Governor Kaine and Attorney General McDonnell to open a thorough and rigorous investigation into what appears to be coordinated and widespread voter fraud activities occurring throughout Virginia.Frederick’s request is in response to a report last week of three individuals in Hampton, Virginia being arrested and charged with voter registration fraud, a Class 5 Felony, as well as reports of fraudulent voter registration forms in Richmond. According to a signed affidavit, a Richmond voter had a fraudulent new registration card submitted to the local registrar. When the victim was notified on Thursday afternoon, the registrar informed her that there were other similar applications submitted in Richmond. (see affidavit)
The individuals in Hampton worked for Community Voters Project – a 3rd party group with ties to Fund for Public Interest and the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). PIRG, which seems to be a front group for a number of left wing causes, has a documented history of attempting to add fraudulent, phony or duplicative names to the voter registries across the nation.
“It seems nearly every day, I read or hear of some news report about how many new people are being registered to vote in Virginia in anticipation of the Presidential race this year. Getting more citizens involved in the process is great – that’s what democracy is all about. Yet, nothing undermines democracy more than poisoning the process and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections,” said Frederick.
“This is a very serious and troubling trend that we are seeing in Virginia,” he added. “Laws are being broken and Virginians have to wonder if there is a deliberate effort underway to corrupt and affect the outcome of November’s elections. I urge the Governor and Attorney General to take immediate action to investigate these matters.”
Even more troubling, Frederick said, was the opportunity for identity theft when citizens register to vote with these groups, as people must give a correct social security number on the voter registration form.
“People must exercise extreme caution when putting their private information into the hands of a stranger, for obvious reasons. I encourage voters to contact their local registrars and the major credit bureaus to verify that their voter and financial information has not been tampered with.”
Filed under: Election 2008, Multimedia, Party Politics, Technology and Politics, Youth and Politics
There’s been alot of talk these days about how Democrats are winning both the youth vote and the technology battle. I will grant that Obama is generating alot of energy amongst youth voters and are using blogs and other tech tools in a manner that Republicans had an edge with in 2004, but Republicans are starting to re-think their internet and messaging strategies. Here in the Commonwealth, Jeff Frederick’s election as state chair was seen as a call to not only refocus efforts to rebuild our technology efforts but also to find pragmatic solutions to Virginia’s issues that don’t betray our core conservative principles.
Here are some ways that Republican groups and candidates nationwide are harnessing Web 2.0 to reach out to young, professional, technologically oriented voters:
-John McCain’s campaign has launched McCain Nation, a set of tools to help McCain supporters meet and organizing locally
-The RNC has launched a toolbar that integrates directly into your web browser that will not only keep you up to date on the latest GOP news, but it will also let you raise money simply through searching the web. Very interesting.
-The CRNC has launched an effort tracking four College Republicans as they travel coast to coast traveling only through Republican Districts (although they make a few detours to neighboring competitive districts). They are tracking their journey through blog posts and twittering (a technology through which you can keep a group of friends up-to-date via cell phone texts and web posts).