Voter Restrictions

The steady disenfranchisement of the american people.

What the PA Photo ID Ruling Means for the November 2012 Election – Story and Video

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, a Republican, enjoined just a part of the law, but it effectively strikes down the most onerous provision of it — but only for this November’s Presidential election. There were also a number of troubling caveats with what he left in place, rather than striking down the entire statute as the petitioners had sought.

Tonight, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow also discussed the confusion likely to be brought by the state’s continuing ad campaign along with the other vagueries allowed to continue by Judge Simpson’s ruling today…

She correctly notes that the effect could be that voters are misled into believing that they should stay away from the polls if they do not have the type of ID previously required under the law this year, as advertised in the state’s “education” campaign. In short, she argues, Republicans are likely to get the many “benefits” of the law (disenfranchisement of Democratic-leaning voters), even with the most onerous elements of it barred for now.

Maddow also discussed similar confusion, purposely imposed by Republicans in Mississippi, concerning their Photo ID initiative, as well as some of the latest details in the GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal.

To read the latest about the shortfalls of the judge’s decision in PA, please click here.

To watch the complete Rachel Maddow video GOP war on voting succeeds despite legal failures, please click hereThe section on PA starts at about 4:22.

FL Criminal Probe has been Launched into the GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal

State law enforcement agency says they have ‘found enough evidence to warrant a full-blown investigation’

Dept. of State advises election officials to sequester fraudulent registrations which ‘may become evidence used in court’

As Reuters reports tonight…

Authorities in Florida said they had opened a criminal probe into the activities of Strategic Allied Consulting, the firm hired by the Republican Party to register new voters in the crucial swing state ahead of next month’s presidential election.

A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said the agency had found enough evidence to warrant a full-blown investigation of Strategic Allied, a Virginia-based voter registration company doing work for the Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Florida.

The Florida Division of Elections on Friday forwarded a complaint to FDLE after reports of suspicious voter registration forms linked to the company first surfaced in Palm Beach County.

“After reviewing this complaint, FDLE has decided that a criminal investigation into these allegations is warranted,” said FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger in an email.

To read this entire investigative report–there is a lot more information for you to read–please click here

Presidential race may leave lasting imprint on Supreme Court

Future appointments by Obama or Romney could be pivotal on issues of gay rights, gun laws, abortion and money in politics.

The Supreme Court is not on the ballot in November, but its future direction on issues such as abortion, gay rights, gun rights, voting laws and the role of money in politics depends on who is elected president for the next four years.

Clint Bolick, a lawyer for the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, is not rooting for an Obama victory, but he agrees the election could have a lasting effect on a closely split court. “The average justice remains in office nearly 25 years — more than six presidential terms. Supreme Court nominations are one of most enduring legacies a president has,” he said.

Obama’s two appointees — Justices Sonia Sotomayor, 58, and Elena Kagan, 52 — have generally liberal voting records. Sotomayor was in the minority in the 5-4 decision in the Citizens United case, which freed corporations and unions to independently spend unlimited sums on campaign ads, and Kagan opposed the move when she served as solicitor general.

Given one more liberal vote, the court would likely switch directions on campaign money and uphold laws that limit election spending and require the full disclosure of donors. With an extra conservative vote, however, the justices on the right are likely to go further and free big donors — including corporations — to give money directly to candidates and parties.

The law on abortion could also switch with a change of one justice. With an extra vote on the right, the six Republican appointees would likely uphold strict regulation of abortion, and possibly a criminal ban. With an extra vote on the left, however, the liberal bloc could strike down state or federal regulations that limit abortions or restrict abortion doctors.

To read this incisive report by David Savage in the L.A. Times please click here.

And if you are thinking of not voting or making a symbolic futile vote, just think of what another activist conservative Federalist Supreme Court Justice can do to influence the next 25 years,

Some of Christie’s biggest bills match model legislation from D.C. group called ALEC

From Salvador Rizzo/Statehouse Bureau at

In April, a Star-Ledger investigation found some of Gov. Chris Christie’s biggest legislative proposals and other measures sponsored by lawmakers closely resembled ALEC bills.

“Drawing on bills crafted by the council, on New Jersey legislation and dozens of e-mails by Christie staffers and others, The Star-Ledger found a pattern of similarities between ALEC’s proposals and several measures championed by the Christie administration. At least three bills, one executive order and one agency rule accomplish the same goals set out by ALEC using the same specific policies. In eight passages contained in those documents, New Jersey initiatives and ALEC proposals line up almost word for word. Two other Republican bills not pushed by the governor’s office are nearly identical to ALEC models.”

Read the full article here

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Ruling: Judge Halts Enforcement Of Law For Election

From HuffPost by 

“In a much-anticipated ruling, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. ordered that voters without government-issued photo ID should be allowed to cast regular ballots…

“At the same time, the judge specifically ruled to allow the state to continue its education and advertising campaign, which currently tells voters that IDs are required.

“Walczak said that if the state doesn’t change that message, “we may be back in court.”

“You can’t be telling people you need ID if you’re not actually requiring ID,” he said. “That advertising has to be modified to reflect reality.”

Read the full article here

Volunteer Busted Only Registering Romney Voters – VIDEO

Well, this is one instance of a video being named accurately – short and to the point.

Volunteer Busted Only Registering Romney Voters

Published on Sep 25, 2012 by TheYoungTurks

“A video uploaded to YouTube on Friday depicting a young
woman registering voters in El Paso County, Colorado claiming she works for the clerk’s office, but is only registering voters who support Mitt Romney has gone viral over the weekend…”.* Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur

North Carolina Republican paid voter registration operation linked to fraud

[why is it that those fighting to enact laws to “prevent voter fraud” seem to be the ones always getting caught?]

An effort by Republicans to register voters with paid workers is underway in North Carolina and across the nation. In the past month various ads have appeared on Craigslist, Facebook and other online job listings offering amounts from $11 to $13 per hour (and in some cases internship credit) to help Republicans and Mitt Romney win in North Carolina in November by identifying conservatives and registering them as voters. The operation is linked to an Arizona company with a history of fraud allegations including the destruction of Democratic registration cards.

…There is evidence that similar operations are being conducted in Colorado, Florida and, Virginia on behalf of the Republican Party. There is no evidence of business registration in either North Carolina, Colorado, or Florida (or Arizona).

Strategic Allied Consulting, LLC, has set up a generic one-page web presence. The ambiguous text reveals nothing about the nature of the operation. The domain name is being used for email addresses by voter registration operatives in Florida. The domain name is registered to Sproul & Associates in Tempe, Arizona, a company founded by Nathan Sproul, former director of the Arizona GOP and the state’s Christian Coalition.

Please click here to read the investigative reporting by Greg Finn of BlueNC

Deterrence of Suppression by Inspecting Voter History Databases – A How-To Guide for 2012

By: Randall Holmes in PDA Clean Fair Transparent Elections Team (Files) | 9.22.12

Deterrence of Suppression by Inspecting Voter History Databases – A How-To Guide for 2012

Because Bev Harris of Black Box Voting found a scheme of digital voter suppression in Shelby County, TN, by inspecting the voter history databases compared over several elections, activists are being encouraged to submit public records request for these databases.

In Shelby County, which is in the district of Rep. Steve Cohen, a rare Democratic House member from TN, voter histories were being retroactively erased to allow the voters to be purged as Inactive.  98% of the voters affected were African-American Democrats.

To deter this scheme elsewhere – especially where close races can affect the balance of power in Washington – activists are submitting public records requests to their county election offices, and asking for the jurisdiction’s voter history databases. (“Voter history databases” and “voter rolls” are often used interchangeably, but the “database” word is more accurate for our purpose. We want to see the list of all voters, at each moment in time: Active, Inactive, and Cancelled.)   More →

Dead Voters & Fraudulent Claims – Desperation to Disenfranchise Voters in NC – VIDEO

Veronica Degraffenreid, elections liason for the North
Carolina State Board of Elections, talks with Rachel
Maddow about the burden on the election boards in her state to address the frivolous claims of dead voters on the rolls by a tea party group called the Voter Integrity Project.

To date, neither the state nor any of the county boards have found any instances of anyone voting who should not have.

We have not found any instances of voter fraud” after hundreds of hoursand how much money–of researching the Tea Party claim, instead of preparing for the elections as they are charged to do.

This can be tracked to True The Vote efforts.  The Tea Party movement out to Texas to intimidate and try to scare people for  registering or voting.

VIP is categorized in the media as a non-partisan non-profit organization according to their web site and claims in their actions.

But they are not listed with the state as a non-profit; they are actually registered with the state as a business.  After being challenged, they have removed their claims of being a non-profit.

Veronica Degraffenreid says what VIP is doing is
unprecedented.  They are winding down their research as VIP did not have all of the necessary data required to make a decision if any given person was deceased–as is already done by the state’s HHS Department.

No instances have been found of anyone trying to vote under the name of someone deceased.  It proves that the NC voter rolls are indeed sound.

Please click here to watch the video segment.

TRMS – 9/20/12


Merck Pharmaceutical and Wells Fargo Dump ALEC, While Duke Energy Holds Out

From PRWatch by Rebekah Wilce

Merck, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, and Wells Fargo, one of the largest banks in the United States, have joined 38 other major firms and cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a controversial “bill mill” that brings together right-wing legislators and corporations to draft controversial model bills behind closed doors. The exit of the two firms brings the total to 40 major American firms that have departed ALEC in recent months. Meanwhile, Duke Energy, the largest regulated utility company in the United States, has not responded to recent intensified consumer pressure to dump ALEC. Beyond their membership in ALEC, all three firms have been criticized for dodging taxes from 2008-2010.”

Read the full article at PRWatch here