Two rulings, one problem: Even voter fraud deniers acknowledge that absentee mail ballots are the most susceptible to fraud – in fact, it’s a standard rationale of the anti-voter ID crowd. But as states liberalize absentee voting rules and more voters utilize mail ballots, the Left fights any effort to balance that expanded ballot access with added ballot security procedures.
In Ohio, those added ballot security procedures included requiring voters to provide their correct name, birthdate, and other information used to verify identity and eligibility – a requirement that one of two federal judges deemed too onerous:
Under two laws passed in 2014, voters are required to accurately provide their names, addresses, birthdates, signatures and forms of ID when casting absentee or provisional ballots, otherwise they risk their votes not being counted…
In a June 7 decision, U.S. District [Judge] Algenon Marbley said the voting rules cause ballots from qualified voters to be rejected because of “mere technical mistakes,” in violation of their equal-protection rights… On May 24, U.S. District Judge Michael Watson came to the opposite conclusion and let the rules stand. Watson said the burden on voters was minimal and plaintiffs’ equal-protection claims failed, as did their attempt to show any discriminatory burden on African American voters.
Absentee mail ballots are more susceptible to voter error as well as fraud. For the increasing number of voters who choose the convenience of voting by mail over in-person voting, correctly filling in one’s own name, address, and birthdate seems a reasonable trade-off. But as “common sense and judicial rulings do not always coincide,” it remains to be seen how appeals on these ballot issues and the state’s “Golden Week” will be decided.
As it stands now, Ohio’s Golden Week will be back for this fall’s presidential election, unless and until the state prevails in its appeal to the 6th Circuit:
“We have to have standards. We can’t have this ‘Golden Week’ out there, where people from other states are coming into Ohio, registering and voting in the same day and essentially creating voter fraud because of the fact that they’re really not Ohioans – they’re voting and they shouldn’t be eligible to vote.”
Are votes being stolen in today’s DC primary?
It’s certainly possible that ineligible people are voting, given that the DC Board of Election’s voter registration file maintenance has been found to be “lacking — seriously lacking — in the accountability department.”
In a report by the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor published just last week, “the auditor cited problems with critical voter data, including inaccurate birth years, failure to remove duplicate voter registrants and failure to remove the names of dead people. Auditor Kathy Patterson also said the names of incarcerated felons were still on voter rolls.”
“Overall, we found that the District’s voter file contained inaccuracies that could have been prevented if the BOE had made additional efforts to comply with federal and local laws designed to ensure proper voter file maintenance.”
“Why Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Council were unaware of these in-house BOE issues is indefensible — politically and ethically. That the BOE is not following local and federal laws and regulations is unconscionable.” And actionable.
A federal judge has blocked an Ohio law that requires “full and accurate completion of absentee- and provisional-ballot forms before otherwise qualified voters’ ballots could be counted.”
What information does the law require to be fully and accurately completed? Voters’ names, signatures, valid forms of ID, addresses, and birthdates – all used to verify absentee and provisional voters’ identities and registration, to ensure that eligible votes are counted and duplicate and fraudulent votes are not.
In trial and in court documents, the state’s attorneys cited election data that showed acceptance rates for such ballots improved after the laws were put in place in 2014. They said the laws help register unregistered voters and update voter registration information and have made more votes count.
Secretary of State Jon Husted plans to appeal this decision, as well as another federal judge’s decision blocking the state law that eliminated “Golden Week” and trimmed early voting from 35 to 28 days before an election.
“The sad reality is that much of Ohio’s election laws are no longer made by their elected representatives, but rather by unelected federal judges in response to politically-motivated lawsuits,” Husted said in a statement.
The Columbus Dispatch hopes for common sense from the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals after a District Court judge struck down the law eliminating Ohio’s Golden Week:
In 2014, citing the potential for fraudulent voting and the administrative headaches created by Golden Week, lawmakers shortened the early voting period to 28 days to eliminate simultaneous registration and voting. This resulted in several legal actions by those opposed to the change, and on May 24, Judge Michael H. Watson of U.S. District Court in Columbus ruled that elimination of same-day voting disproportionately burdened black voters, who previously had taken advantage of Golden Week at higher rates than other voters.
And so Ohio, which has one of the most generous voting systems in the nation — 28 days of early voting, in person or via mail-in ballot — finds itself accused of disenfranchising black voters, even though other states, such as New York, do not even allow same-day registration or no-excuse early voting. New Yorkers have one choice of when to vote: Election Day.
Judge Watson’s ruling is “a puzzling conflation of different areas of law,” and Ohio’s 2014 voter turnout belies his conclusion that eliminating Golden Week disadvantages black voters.
A two-vote margin of victory. At least two fraudulent ballots:
After a three-month investigation, state police have arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of voter fraud in the Española city election that saw an incumbent councilor lose his seat by two votes.
The defendant is Dyon Herrera, who was a campaign volunteer for now-Councilor Robert Seeds. Seeds defeated former Councilor Cory Lewis 238 to 236 in the March election. What stood out was that Seeds received 94 votes by absentee ballot — two times more than the combined total of seven other candidates for City Council seats. Lewis received 10 votes by absentee ballot.
Herrera is charged with two counts of falsifying signatures on two absentee ballots and one count of falsifying a signature on an application for an absentee ballot. All are fourth-degree felonies.
The state police investigation found that “there were absentee ballots which had discrepancies in the signatures,” though investigators did not say how many or whether all the fraudsters could be identified.
Lewis also investigated for a civil suit he filed challenging the election results. After reviewing the absentee ballot envelopes, which voters must sign, Lewis’ lawyer identified 23 voters who may not have signed the envelopes for absentee ballots submitted in their name. “Somebody other than the actual voter signed those,” Lewis said. “I think it’s safe to say one person did several of them.”
Just to recap: Voter fraud does exist, it can and does change the outcome of elections, and people are willing to risk felony charges to commit voter fraud.
“We deserve a Legislature and governor willing to defend the integrity of our elections.”
Under threat of veto by Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan, who’s rejected all previous efforts to address “drive-by voting” in New Hampshire, state senators killed a compromise bill that would have established a minimal 10-day residency requirement for new voters. Via the Union Leader:
You only have a right to vote where you actually live. And lawmakers have a responsibility to legislate how such a “domicile” is defined, and many states require new voters to establish roots for 10 to 30 days before an election…
In February, a pair of Bernie Sanders staffers registered to vote using the campaign’s address. Allowing out-of-state voters to cast ballots in New Hampshire, based solely on their state of mind, steals votes from Granite Staters.
Via The Federalist Society Review:
In a democracy where some may vote and others may not—with various perfectly legitimate restrictions regarding age, citizenship, and domicile, let alone more controversial rules—what does it mean to achieve “equality” in the voting process? That is the profound question that the Supreme Court took up in Evenwel v. Abbott. Alas, the Court did not resolve it.
In Evenwel, the Court decided that it is acceptable for a state to ignore the distinction between voters and nonvoters when drawing legislative district lines. According to the Court, a state may declare that equality is simply providing representatives to equal groups of people, without distinction as to how many of those people will actually choose the representative…
But ignoring the distinction between voters and nonvoters achieves a false picture of equality at the expense of producing far more serious inequalities. Rather than placing nonvoters and voters on anything approaching an equal political footing, it instead gives greater power to those voters who happen to live near more nonvoters, and less power to those who do not.
“The least the city can do is to ensure that we have fair, honest and accountable elections.”
A group called Voters Organized for the Integrity of City Elections on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit against the Baltimore City Board of Elections and the Maryland State Board of Elections. The group includes voters and candidates in Baltimore City. They allege people who voted in Baltimore City “suffered injury” because of “process-based irregularities.”
The state board decertified the election results and then recertified them following a review that found, among other irregularities listed in the complaint, 1,000 more votes counted than the number of verified and qualified voters, 1,188 provisional ballots counted “without verifying whether the voters were in fact authorized to vote,” and 465 uncounted provisional ballots.
Charlie Metz lost his City Council primary by 130 votes… Congressional Republican candidate William Newton lost his primary race by 46 votes.
Plaintiffs want a new election ordered and federal oversight of future city elections.
Southern California appears to have a real life problem with “zombie” voters:
An investigation by CBSLA2 and KCAL9 found that hundreds of deceased persons are still on voter registration rolls in the area, and that many of these names have been voting for years in Los Angeles.
For example, John Cenkner died in 2003, according to Social Security Administration records, yet he voted in the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2010 elections… Another voter, Julita Abutin, died in 2006 but voted in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014.
Last week’s report on votes being cast from the grave in Los Angeles County isn’t the first of its kind out of California.
In 2014 the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on dead people registered and voting in San Diego County, including a woman in whose name 15 fraudulent ballots have been cast since her death in 1998. In both cases, journalists discovered the voter fraud by looking for it – something election officials in San Diego and Los Angeles have apparently been unwilling to do.
Meanwhile, California remains the only state that still doesn’t comply with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 that requires states to maintain updated statewide voter rolls and regularly remove ineligible voters.