Ohio can eliminate “Golden Week,” Sixth Circuit rules

“Ohio is a national leader when it comes to early voting opportunities.”

 

Ohio can once again eliminate its controversial “Golden Week,” an early voting period starting 35 days before an election in which people could register and vote early at the same time:

In a 2-1 ruling, a panel for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday reversed a lower court’s decision. It said that the lower court overstepped its authority when it ruled the state could not roll back the early voting period one week – from 35 days to 28 days before the election.

Declining to “become entangled, as overseers and micromanagers, in the minutiae of state election processes,” Judge David McKeague wrote in the majority opinion that Ohio’s 2014 law eliminating Golden Week in no way infringes on the fundamental right to vote and that proper “deference to state legislative authority requires that Ohio’s election process be allowed to proceed unhindered by the federal courts.”

 

McKeague also rejected plaintiffs’ argument that a state voting accommodation once implemented could never be rolled back:

“Adopting plaintiffs’ theory of disenfranchisement would create a ‘one-way ratchet’ that would discourage states from ever increasing early voting opportunities, lest they be prohibited by federal courts from later modifying their election procedures in response to changing circumstances,” McKeague wrote.

The ruling is a big loss for the Ohio Democratic Party and their allies, including Marc Elias, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign general counsel, and anti-election integrity lawsuit bankroller George Soros, and a big victory for voting integrity. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted acknowledged the win:

“Ohio offers a generous number of days, hours and ways to vote – making us one of the easiest states in which to cast a ballot. This issue has been dragged through the courts by political activists twice over the course of several years, and both times, it has ended with the same result: Ohio’s laws are fair and constitutional,” Husted said. “I hope the Democrats will end their wasteful lawsuits so we can all move forward with this election.”

 

80% of Americans Support Photo Voter ID Laws

A new Gallup poll finds an overwhelming majority of Americans support “requiring all voters to provide photo identification at their voting place in order to vote,” including 81% of white and 77% of nonwhite Americans.

Gallup poll 2016

 

Despite the Left’s incessant narrative that voter ID laws are designed for the sole purpose of disenfranchising minority voters, Americans of all colors want their votes protected from theft by common-sense laws.

Why does DHS want to designate election booths ‘critical infrastructure?’

first step towards nationalizing election administration?

DHS officials admitted they had no evidence of any “credible threat” of a cyber-attack. But designating the nation’s election system as “critical infrastructure” under a post 9/11 federal statute may be a way for the administration to get Justice Department lawyers, the FBI, and DHS staff into polling places they would otherwise have no legal right to access, which would enable them to interfere with election administration procedures around the country.

Nudging the federal nose under state and local election administration tents, under the guise of protecting elections from threats DHS admits are nonexistent, exploits concerns over the recent spate of cyber-attacks – all on computer systems that have direct access to the internet, unlike most all of our decentralized election system – and the current paranoia about voting machine “hacking,” while diverting attention from the more subtle ways the integrity of our elections is under attack.

 

And three years later, the administration is still looking for ways around the SCOTUS decision that effectively ended federal preclearance.

DHS’ actions could stem from the administration’s frustration over the 2013 Shelby County decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, about which Attorney General Loretta Lynch has loudly complained, claiming it severely curtailed the ability of DOJ to send official observers recruited by OPM to polling places. Those officials can only go where a court has given them authorization to be present. Otherwise, DOJ is dependent on local jurisdictions giving DOJ permission for its lawyers and staff to be there. Many jurisdictions have wised up and started saying “no” to DOJ. That must be very frustrating to the partisans who inhabit parts of the Justice Department these days and want their staff out there making sure their political friends get elected.

 

The realistic fear is that this is the first step towards nationalizing election administration. Federal officials who have already shown they will not hesitate to use their power to tilt public policy in favor of their own personal political agenda could bring that same bias to decisions that affect the very integrity of our election process.

Oklahoma voter ID challenge dismissed

A state district court judge upheld the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s voter identification law, rejecting a legal challenge to the requirement.

 

Oklahoma’s proof of identity requirement, which was approved in 2010 by 74 percent of the state’s voters, is no barrier to any voter. In addition to government-issued photo IDs, Oklahomans can present non-photo voter identification cards and vote a regular ballot. Voters with no ID can sign an affidavit and vote a provisional ballot that will be verified later by election officials.

Lawyers for the state argued the law allows voters to cast a ballot without placing an undue burden on those who don’t have a valid ID or choose not to show one. The state also pointed out that every registered voter is given a free voter identification card that satisfies the requirements of the law.

 

“Thus, there is no circumstance under which a registered voter will not have the opportunity to vote,” lawyers for the Attorney General’s Office argued in a trial brief.

North Carolina asks U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate voter ID

Governor Pat McCrory’s request to reinstate North Carolina’s voter ID law went to Chief Justice John Roberts on Monday.

“This common sense law was upheld by the U.S. District Court. Our Voter ID law has been cited as a model and other states are using similar laws without challenges. Allowing the Fourth Circuit’s ruling to stand creates confusion among voters and poll workers and it disregards our successful rollout of Voter ID in the 2016 primary elections.”

Three Kentuckians convicted in voter fraud scheme

More “nonexistent” voter fraud in Kentucky: Federal jurors convicted Magoffin County Magistrate Gary “Rooster” Risner, his ex-wife Tami Jo Risner, and Larry Shepherd, a deputy county clerk, for participating in a vote-buying conspiracy in the 2014 primary and general elections.

 

Scott McCarty, who previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of aiding and abetting vote buying in the same case, testified to carrying out vote-fraud schemes in several elections over the course of many years.

In 2008, for instance, Risner wanted him to get extra votes for a man named John Sizemore running for state representative, McCarty said.  McCarty said he put an extra 60 votes on the machine for Sizemore, moving a penny from his left pocket to his right pocket each time to keep track of the number.

 

When the polls closed, he took the precinct log sheet — which voters sign before casting ballots — to Risner’s house, where Risner signed the names of 60 voters who hadn’t showed up that day, covering the extra votes, McCarty said.

 

In 2010, members of the scheme used a system of blue and red tickets to keep track of people who sold their vote for $50, McCarty said.

 

McCarty also said he manipulated the voting machine to alter the votes of some people who had not taken payments.

 

“We used a lot of tactics,” he said.

Clearly no one ever explained to McCarty and his co-conspirators how “irrational” voter fraud is.

Media Are Flat Wrong to Dismiss Voter Fraud Concerns

In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, “The laxity of our locally enforced election laws is an invitation to cheat.”  John Fund via NRO:

Yes, Donald Trump has muddied the issue of possible voter fraud in the November election with his comment that the only way Hillary Clinton can win Pennsylvania is by way of stolen votes. There doesn’t seem to be an issue that Trump can’t handle without hyperbole and exaggeration. But the media pile-on that Trump has experienced over his call for election observers to monitor the polls in Pennsylvania is unfair.

And it’s based on the lie that voter fraud is nonexistent. Pennsylvanians know it’s a lie. Like Chris Matthews, the liberal MSNBC host from Pennsylvania who in 2011 described this common fraud scheme:

People call up, see if you voted or you’re not going to vote. Then all of a sudden somebody does come and vote for you. This is an old strategy in big-city politics. . . . I know all about it in North Philly — it’s what went on, and I believe it still goes on.

Like Jimmy Tayoun, a former Philadelphia city councilman who went to prison in the 1990s for corruption, who knows how easy it is to cheat: “People working the polls don’t ask for ID. You can flood a lot of phony names on phony addresses, and there’s no way they’re going to check.”

 

In fact, Philadelphia is currently being sued over its lax voter roll maintenance. Add that to the list of voting “irregularities” identified by city commissioner Al Schmidt in his investigation of Philadelphia’s 2012 primary election – including people illegally voting who weren’t citizens, weren’t registered, were in the wrong district, voted twice, or impersonated another voter – and Pennsylvanians are right to be concerned about voter fraud.

 

Fund continues, “The way to avoid disputed elections and political turmoil is to make sure as few problems as possible happen while votes are being cast.” How can voters make sure?

 

As in most states, Pennsylvania election law recognizes poll watching as an important component of election transparency and accountability, allowing each candidate and party on the ballot to appoint watchers to observe the voting process inside the polls. (Pro tip: People standing outside polling locations and interacting with voters are not poll watchers or election observers.)

 

Candidates, parties, and voters concerned about honest elections who fail to appoint or serve as poll watchers are leaving a civic duty to their community undone, while members of the media and academia who intentionally conflate appointed law-abiding voters observing the process inside the polls with random angry people harassing voters outside the polls are discouraging legitimate civic participation.

The laxity of our locally enforced election laws is an invitation to cheat. However unartfully expressed, what Donald Trump was warning against in Pennsylvania is a legitimate concern. Rather than dismiss such concerns out of hand, the media might want to visit Philadelphia and other cities and be educated on what really can happen there on Election Day if the integrity of the voting process is put at risk.

Seventh Circuit stays order that struck down parts of Wisconsin voter ID law

Common sense from the Seventh Circuit, and a win for honest elections in Wisconsin:

 

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay Wednesday of U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman’s order that struck down parts of Wisconsin’s Voter ID law last month, also indicating the lower court decision will likely be overturned…

 

“We conclude both that the district court’s decision is likely to be reversed on appeal and that disruption of the state’s electoral system in the interim will cause irreparable injury,” reads the judges’ order.

An appeal of a separate ruling is still pending.