voter fraud

Like a bad rash, Voter ID bill returns to NC

voter suppressionIt’s ba-aack. The Voter ID bill is on the GOP agenda again.

Last night the Republican leadership held a public hearing on proposed Voter ID legislation. (It happened after press time; check our Triangulator blog for a roundup.)

The bill, which almost 75 percent of North Carolinians support, according to a recent Elon University poll, is being framed as a way to address the issue of voter fraud. Except there have been no notable instances of voter fraud. And there’s another reason former Gov. Bev Perdue put the kibosh on Voter ID when the measure landed on her desk in 2011: “This bill, as written, will unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters,” she stated at the time.

It’s difficult to know what identification will suffice at the polls if Voter ID becomes law, but it’s likely that a driver’s license or a state-issued identification card will be required.

Opponents of the legislation point out that a significant number of North Carolina voters don’t have photo ID and may find obtaining one to be time-consuming and expensive. Numbers from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles and State Board of Elections, compiled by watchdog group Democracy North Carolina, show that 506,000 active registered voters in the state don’t have photo ID: 31 percent are African-American, 66 percent are women, 26 percent are seniors and 53 percent are Democrats, compared to 23 percent who are Republican.

The conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has beenThom Tillis ALEC legislator of the year behind the design of these bills nationwide. (House Speaker Thom Tillis is an ALEC member, and won a State Legislator of the Year award in 2011.) According to data from New York University Law School’s Brennan Center for Justice, at least 34 states have introduced photo ID legislation since 2011, and in eight states, new photo ID bills have become law.

Though Tillis pledged that the bill “will include provisions that make IDs readily available at no cost to residents,” Democracy NC Executive Director Bob Hall says that making IDs free could cost the state millions of dollars and is an democracy ncunlikely scenario.

“There [would be] people having to go get a driver’s license,” says Hall, “and then it turns out they have to go get a birth certificate. Then the birth certificate has their maiden name on it, so then they have to get a marriage license to show that their name has changed. The whole thing starts to add up to a lot of money and it really does amount to a poll tax.”

There’s also the question of the bill’s necessity. According to Veronica Degraffenreid of the state Board of Elections: “There’s no evidence to substantiate any type of widespread or systematic voter fraud in North Carolina. There are various types of voter fraud, so to the extent that any one person or entity has impersonated another voter, then certainly voter ID would help to prevent that specific type of voter fraud. But in the elections world there are other types of fraud that voter ID may not necessarily address.”

The kinds of voter fraud that voter ID laws would potentially address—impersonation and misrepresentation of residency—are rare in North Carolina. An official document from the Board of Elections states that “most allegations prove to be unfounded, lack criminal intent, or cannot be substantiated.”

From 2000–2012, district attorneys investigated just two cases of impersonation and three in which residency was thought to have been misrepresented.

Because of its potential to disenfranchise African-American voters, voter IDI won't live with Jim Crow legislation has been compared to the Jim Crow laws that institutionalized racism in the U.S. for almost a century. “The horror villain we can’t get rid of, essentially the specter of Jim Crow,” says N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller, “returns to the nightmare on Jones Street we’re seeing in this state.”

However, the constitutionality of voter ID legislation has already been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2008 ruled 6–3 that Indiana’s voter ID law is constitutional.

In North Carolina though, legislation faces a major hurdle: 40 counties with histories of discriminatory voting practices are covered by Section 5 of the LBJVoting Rights Act. Any changes to the voting laws in these jurisdictions must be approved by the U.S. Justice Department.

Hall says that Section 5 provides the basis for a challenge. “The Justice Department did step in, in South Carolina, for exactly the same reason,” he said. “They had the numbers that show that a disproportionately high number of African-Americans would be the ones who are registered voters who don’t have a driver’s license. And we’ve got that data here.”

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This article is written by Jane Porter and is published at http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/like-a-bad-rash-voter-id-bill-returns/Content?oid=3394545

IndyWeek

 all highlights and pictures were added by the VLTP editor

Documents shed light on Marlborough voter fraud case

note:  this post combines articles from the MetroWest Daily News.  Photo of Mark Evangealous by Art Illman.

“The prosecution’s statement of the case, filed in superior court, alleges that (Mark) Evangelous dropped off the application — in the name of Anita S. Kasaras — on Oct. 28, four days ahead of the election.

Kasaras, according to an obituary, died on Feb. 20, 2011. A city clerk employee, noticing that Kasaras was listed as deceased, called the police.

Later that day, Marlborough Lt. Robert Jusseaume and Detective John Manning confronted Evangelous with the document and told him that Kasaras was dead.

Evangelous said that he had submitted the document and said that Kasaras was alive. Evangelous took out his cell phone and called Jay Kasaras, who told that he had filled out the application on behalf of his mother, over whom he had power of attorney.

Jay Kasaras, however, is not the son of Anita Kasaras. His mother is Alice Kasaras, who was then living at a rehabilitation center in West Boylston. Anita Kasaras was Jay’s aunt.

The police went to the rehabilitation center, and talked to Jay Kasaras’ wife, Sandra Kasaras, who works there. Sandra Kasaras told them that Anita Kasaras had passed away and that her sister-in-law Alice was staying there, according to court records.

When officers went to Jay Kasaras’ place of work, he said he had lied and that Evangelous had actually asked his permission to fill out the application on his behalf, according to the documents. He said he misunderstood their earlier conversation and thought the officers were referring to Alice Kasaras, according to court records. He said Evangelous had signed the wrong name on the form.

When the officers returned to the station, they found Evangelous there, asking to speak to them, according to the document.

In a written statement, Evangelous said he made a “name mistake” and had filled out the absentee ballot in the name of Anita instead of Alice, records showed.

He said that he had accessed the name from a website called “Voter Vault.”

Voter Vault is a database of voters used by the Republican Party.

He said he called a contact number for Anita Kasaras, which belonged to his friend and distant cousin Jay Kasaras. He told police Jay Kasaras agreed to let him fill out a ballot on his mom’s behalf, according to the document. He said he was lying when he said Jay Kasaras had filled out the document, according to court records.

Police also said in the report that Alice Kasaras has never been a registered voter in Marlborough.”

And that’s the background as reported at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1170540406/Documents-shed-light-on-Marlborough-voter-fraud-case

MetroWest has done two very good follow up articles which you can access at both of these links just click on the blue article titles below)
Former Marlborough candidate arraigned on voter fraud charges             

and at Former Marlborough council candidate indicted for voter fraud

To summarize, DeNeice Kenehan a VLTP Facebook Member said it well:  “In nutshell: ‘The professional politician supposedly didn’t know he wasn’t supposed to forge the signature of his dead relative on an absentee ballot application.’

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).
[note:  link to earlier article – FL GOP FIRES ROMNEY CONSULTANT’S VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM AFTER FRAUDULENT FORMSREPORTED IN PALM BEACH COUNTY]

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


Voter Protection or Voter Suppression? 8min – VIDEO

This video looks at the voter protection bills that have
been proposed in over 40 states. On the surface these
laws seem logical, but as we dig into the reasoning and
people who created them, we see that they are being
pushed in the name of voter suppression.

And “All roads lead to ALEC”.

To watch this very informative video, please click here

The charts shown in this video are shown in our photo gallery.

House Republicans Perpetuate Voter Fraud Myth, Fine With Disenfranchising Voters

“House Republicans criticized the Justice Department for challenging voter ID laws. The critical lawmakers believe that DOJ is acting in a partisan manner and that DOJ’s actions show that the Obama Administration is more concerned with winning in November than protecting against election fraud.”

That’s correct folks, Voter Suppression is just fine with Republicans in Washington.  But, of course it is.  ALEC Alumni Messrs. Boehner and Cantor are in charge.  And what Republican is looking forward to a visit from the “muscle” of the Cabal–a Tea Party challenger in the next primary.

But that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong. Please click here to read the extent to which the radical right will go to win this next Battle of the War for Control of the Government*–disenfranchise those who would stand in their way at the polls.  Prevent the Justice Department from doing it’s job.  What else is a House Republican to do?

*engaging Organized Labor early and get them to spend all of their money fighting for survival in WI, MI, OH, and IN, was the first skirmish of the war.

WI GOP’s Photo ID Law Struck Down Yet Again as Unconstitutional, Unduly Burdensome

ALSO: Court challenges heard on similar restrictions in MN, TX, as new report finds some 10 million eligible voters disadvantaged by the Republican-supported polling place schemes

The paper also notes that, as has been found in every single other state where Republican’s have passed purposely disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restrictions under the guise of needing them to protect against “voter fraud”, “according to Flanagan’s decision, investigations carried out since 2004 by the Milwaukee Police Department and mayor’s office and the state Department of Justice have not produced a prosecution of a voter fraud violation that would have been prevented by the photo ID requirements of the voter ID law.”

To read more about these hopeful rulings about the unconstitutionality of ALEC’s Photo ID legislation as it takes it on the chin in every state, please click here.  Let’s just push to get these laws thrown out while there is still time to register voters, or the radical right’s efforts will have won–for now.

Chris Hayes On How The Republicans Intend To Prevent Millions From Voting

After one of the most powerful and courageous social movements in American history, one which took the lives of at least 40 people, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, LBJ famously signed the voting rights act in 1965 ending these practices.

“Wherever, by clear and objective standards, states and counties are using regulations, or laws, or tests to deny the right to vote, then they will be struck down. If it is clear that State officials still intend to discriminate, then Federal examiners will be sent in to register all eligible voters. When the prospect of discrimination is gone, the examiners will be immediately withdrawn. And, under this act, if any county anywhere in this Nation does not want Federal intervention it need only open its polling places to all of its people.”

It wasn’t until the passage of the Voting Rights Act, and the many amendments to it over the years that black people in the South and in some places outside the South could actually exercise their right to be full participating citizens in American democracy.

To read this entire article, a treatise on voting rights and the efforts to suppress them, please click hereThe article includes an embedded video.  If you prefer to watch the video and not read the entire report, it is posted to the VLTPVideoChannel, which you can access by clicking here

Instead of deafening roars of anger … silence on black vote

 

“I don’t sense that African-Americans are truly aware of what is in the process of happening or could happen to them,” says Rep. John Lewis, Democrat from Georgia. “People should be angry. There should be a sense of righteous indignation. African-Americans and people of good will, Latinos and young people, should be saying, ‘How dare you? The gall of you!’”

Voter ID laws add fresh insult to standing injury. And let no one be fooled by GOP claims that this is not political.

So where are we in all this? Silent, that’s where.
This is systemic injustice.  And yet …Silence.

From the barber shops, silence.
From the beauty parlors, silence.
From the pulpits, silence.

In the face of a naked attempt to steal not just an election, but a right that was purchased for us at a cost of bones and blood, silence. It’s happening now, right under our noses.

“And we’re too quiet,” says Lewis. “We’re just too quiet.”

To read the entire article by national columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., please click here

And please be sure to register to vote and then vote on November 6.  You can’t complain about racial injustice in our laws if you don’t do something to fight this.