Texas asks SCOTUS to reinstate voter ID law

Texas filed a petition on Friday for a writ of certiorari in the U. S. Supreme Court to reinstate its voter ID law, saying the Court needs to resolve the “exceptionally important circuit split” on the appropriate test for Section 2 discriminatory-effect claims.

This Court’s review is necessary because the Fifth Circuit enjoined a law for “denying” or “abridging” the right to vote where plaintiffs presented no evidence that the law resulted in diminished minority political participation or prevented even a single person from voting. That holding turns VRA §2 on its head and creates a split with the Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits over the proper test for determining whether a voting prerequisite violates VRA §2.


Under the Fifth Circuit’s decision below, and a subsequent Fourth Circuit opinion, voting prerequisites can be invalid under VRA §2 even if there is no evidence that they affect voter participation. The Fifth Circuit held that a discriminatory effect can be shown by identifying a statistical racial disparity—other than voter turnout or registration—and then recognizing the uncontested fact, which could be proved in any case, that some degree of statistical correlation exists between racial and socioeconomic classifications.


In contrast, the Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits have correctly required an actual effect on voter participation to establish a discriminatory effect under VRA §2. These Circuits have thus rejected the Fourth and Fifth Circuits’ sweeping test for VRA §2 liability, which would jeopardize numerous legitimate voting provisions such as registration laws, age restrictions, and Tuesday elections…


The Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits correctly require VRA §2 plaintiffs to show that a challenged voting prerequisite causes a measurable effect on minority voting—that is, an actual effect on voter turnout or registration. The Fourth and Fifth Circuits, by contrast, hold that a voting prerequisite can violate VRA §2 even if there is no evidence whatsoever that it negatively affects minority political participation or prevents a single person from voting.


This Court has never decided a “vote-denial” or “vote-abridgement” case under VRA §2’s results prong; its cases have all involved “vote-dilution” claims. As the Fifth Circuit correctly observed, “there is little authority on the proper test to determine whether the right to vote has been denied or abridged on account of race” under §2… This Court’s guidance is therefore needed to resolve this exceptionally important circuit split.

States blocked from enforcing proof-of-citizenship requirements, DC Circuit rules

In a 2-1 decision, the DC Circuit today granted a preliminary injunction in the case of League of Women Voters v. Newby that blocks states from adding proof-of-citizenship requirements to the federal voter registration form, an order one judge calls “unconstitutional.”


From Senior Circuit Judge A. Raymond Randolph’s dissenting opinion:

Far more is at stake here than matters of civil procedure and administrative law. Of utmost importance is that on the eve of a Presidential election, and elections for federal office, a court has issued an injunction forbidding Kansas, Georgia and Alabama from enforcing their election laws, laws requiring those who seek to register to vote to prove that they are citizens of this country.


That order is unconstitutional.


Under Article I, § 2, cl. 1, of the Constitution and the Seventeenth Amendment, it is the States, and the States alone, who have the authority and the power to determine the eligibility of those who wish to vote in federal elections. There is no claim in this case that the laws of these three States violate the Fourteenth Amendment or any other constitutional provision. And so neither the Congress nor the President nor any federal commission and, most certainly, not two federal judges sitting in Washington, D.C. (or even eight or nine) have the authority to prevent Kansas, Georgia and Alabama from enforcing their laws in the upcoming federal elections.

Investigation finds dead voters casting ballots in Colorado

How do you find voter fraud? By looking for it.


CBS4 in Denver investigated and found “multiple cases of dead men and women voting in Colorado months and in some cases years after their deaths, a revelation that calls into question safeguards designed to prevent such occurrences.”


“CBS4 discovered the fraudulent voting by comparing databases of voting histories in Colorado against a federal death database,” something state and local election officials could, and should, have done.

One of the most glaring cases was that of Sara Sosa in Colorado Springs. She died on Oct. 14, 2009. However, CBS4 uncovered voting records that showed ballots cast for Sosa in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Her husband, Miguel, died on Sept. 26, 2008. But CBS4 unearthed records showing that a vote was cast in his name the next year, 2009… after their deaths, the Sosas remained on active voter rolls and mail ballots were still sent to their home because they did not meet the criteria to have their names deleted from eligible voter rolls.

Once again, we see how dirty voter rolls enable voter fraud.

It’s Not Racist to Not Have Straight-Ticket Voting

No, it’s not racist: There is no constitutional right to straight-party voting, and there is no evidence that eliminating the convenience discourages more black voters than white voters simply because voting takes a little longer.


But that didn’t stop a U.S. District Court Judge in Michigan, Gershwin A. Drain, from ruling otherwise and granting a temporary injunction blocking Michigan’s law ending straight-party voting – a ruling the U.S. Supreme Court declined to stay.


As Hans von Spakovsky explains, the plaintiffs in the case “didn’t come close to proving all of the factors needed to show a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

The institute’s arguments and the judge’s conclusion are also based on a very patronizing, almost racist view of the black residents of Michigan: that they are not as capable as other voters of marking a ballot without straight-ticket voting and don’t have the patience to wait 20 minutes to vote.


Only nine states offer straight-ticket voting; the overwhelming majority of states do not… Georgia eliminated straight-ticket voting in 1994 when the state was completely controlled by the Democratic Party. At the time, that change had to be submitted to the U.S. Justice Department to comply with the preclearance requirement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.


In August 1994, the Clinton administration’s Civil Rights Division sent Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers a letter clearing the change, having concluded that it would have no discriminatory effect on black voters… Clearly, straight-party voting is not required for any qualified voter in Michigan to fully exercise his or her right to vote, regardless of race or color.


Drain’s legal reasoning in this case has absurd implications. It means the 41 states that don’t have straight-ticket voting are all apparently violating the Constitution and discriminating against their minority voters under the Voting Rights Act.


Moreover, this case exemplifies how the dubious legal theory of disparate impact is being used (and abused) to make or stop changes in election administration.


These changes have nothing to do with discriminatory conduct or any violation of the fundamental right to vote. They have everything to do with partisan advocacy organizations and judges wanting to use the power of the courts to implement their own policy choices in how elections are administered and what rules govern registration and voting.

Will Your Vote Really Count?

Can Americans trust the integrity of their election processes? How much voter fraud is too much voter fraud? Why on earth would you not want to make sure that only citizens are registered and voting?


Tom Fitton, Hans von Spakovsky, and John Fund addressed these questions in a Heritage Foundation discussion this week on Assuring the Integrity of the American Election Process.


Fitton on why voter roll maintenance matters:

The cutting-edge issue is making sure that only eligible citizens of the United States are registered and voting, and there’s grave concern there… In many states across the nation, the rolls are filthy… If you have dirty rolls, you have dirty elections.

Why is that an opportunity for fraud? Think of it terms of early voting. If you know that there’s a group of people on the list who aren’t around to object or care, you get the absentee ballots in their names and you vote in their names… you can see why dirty rolls are an opportunity for fraud.

Also from Fitton:

So what are big the takeaways here? The Left wants to be able to steal elections if necessary; election integrity laws increase minority turnout, they don’t suppress minority turnout; voter fraud is a real problem; and the perception of voter fraud is a big enough problem that you need to have the laws in place to at least reassure the American people their votes will count. It’s the Right that wants people to vote, it’s the Right that wants people to have their votes counted fully and fairly; it’s the Left that wants to steal votes.

Conservatives File Voter Registration Lawsuits

Maintaining accurate voter rolls isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law. But voter list maintenance as required by the National Voter Registration Act is a low priority for some registration officials, and over 200 counties have more registered voters than eligible residents.


When registrars fail to use available tools to keep voter rolls clean, the NVRA allows individuals to file civil suits for relief. In multiple counties and cities, they have:

“We’re asking states and local officials to comply with the law, to remove people who have died, to look at their citizenship lists, to find out who’s on the rolls that shouldn’t be on the rolls. Who could be against that?”

Results flip in Democratic primary do-over ordered due to absentee ballot fraud

A “paradigm shift in St. Louis politics,” where absentee ballot “irregularities” are a regular feature of some Democrats’ campaigns:

It was a very special election indeed in Missouri House District 78 on Friday, September 16. Challenger Bruce Franks Jr. devastated incumbent Penny Hubbard by more than a 3:1 margin, 2,234 votes to 701 votes, in unofficial election results.


The special election was ordered by District Judge Rex Burlison, who ruled on a suit brought by Franks claiming improper use of absentee votes by the Hubbard campaign. Burlison ruled that election authorities accepted enough improperly recorded absentee votes to call into question the August 2 primary results, when Hubbard beat Franks by 90 votes though Franks received more votes on the actual election day…


As Franks’ lawyer Dave Roland argued in pleadings and court, the Hubbards have a track record of winning hugely lopsided absentee-voter-majority victories

The original voter fraud complaint “contained the serious allegation that evidence exists of illegal activity regarding the absentee ballot process,” including that ballots were “obtained illegally, were tampered with, or both.”


Two former Election Board employees also told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Rodney Hubbard and other Hubbard campaign workers brought “stacks of ballots” to the Election Board offices, even though “Missouri law requires that hand-delivered ballots be brought to the election board by the voter or a second-degree relative.”

House Committee Hearing – Protecting the 2016 Elections from Cyber and Voting Machine Attacks

The House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology held a hearing September 13 on Protecting the 2016 Elections from Cyber and Voting Machine Attacks.


Panelist David Becker, executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, summarized:

“The voting process is highly decentralized, with a very rigorous chain of custody and testing regimens in place for all devices… Given the fact that these devices are never connected to the Internet, it would be exceedingly difficult for any hacker to manipulate the outcome of a national election. You would need physical access to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of machines in order to do that.”

Video and witness statements here.

Indiana State Police investigating voter registration fraud

Indiana State police are investigating fraudulent voter registration forms submitted by a sketchy group called the Indiana Voter Registration Project after officials in Marion and Hendricks counties discovered discrepancies and notified authorities.

“We have determined at least 10 voter registration forms are confirmed to have fraudulent information,” said Dave Bursten, a State Police spokesman.  Bursten said a team of six detectives is working to determine whether other forms are also fraudulent. The FBI has been briefed, he said…


Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Thursday the group had turned in “forged voter registration applications.” She warned voters to check their registration information, saying evidence was found that the group had changed a voter’s address to one not associated with that person.