“More votes cast than voters checked in” in decertified Baltimore primary; canvass of results underway

A review of Baltimore’s April 26 primary election results is underway following last week’s decertification by the Maryland State Board of Elections due to “irregularities.”

Maryland state election officials opened their doors Tuesday to the precinct-by-precinct canvass of Baltimore City’s primary election results.  Elections officials acknowledged some votes cast on primary day probably shouldn’t have been allowed, but they won’t be thrown out…

 

One problem was that 80 provisional ballots were discovered after the fact that hadn’t been counted.  A bigger problem in some precincts was there were more votes cast than voter authorization cards, which may mean some people ineligible to vote cast ballots.

State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone said that “the size of the discrepancy, and Baltimore’s inability to resolve it, prompted an unusual state intervention,” noting that the number of ballots cast “was hundreds more than the number of voters who checked in at polling places.”

 

SBE Deputy Administrator Nikki Charlson confirmed that “provisional ballots that should not have been counted cannot be removed from vote totals,” meaning illegal votes would stand.

 

Maryland’s new paper-based voting system may have been a factor, as provisional ballots can now be scanned like regular ballots. “Because people casting those ballots are not found on voter rolls, they would not be counted as having checked in at a polling place.”

 

As one City Council candidate commented, “I don’t think this will help the voters feel confident about the electoral process in Baltimore. I really don’t.”

Voter ID highly popular among voters in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

By margins as high as 57 percentage points, voters in three key swing states strongly favor voter ID laws.

 

A new Quinnipiac Poll shows big majorities of voters support “efforts to require voters to show a photo identification card to vote” in Florida (77% to 20%), Ohio (75% to 22%), and Pennsylvania (64% to 34%).

 

 

 

“The Left’s Assault on Voter ID”

To the anti-integrity Left’s chagrin, recent court rulings have given the upper hand to proponents of voter ID laws.  Alabama’s experiences with its voter ID requirement, implemented in 2014, are a good example of why, as Secretary of State John Merrill explains:

 

“Our goal is and has been and continues to be to ensure every eligible U.S. citizen who is a resident of Alabama is registered to vote and has an ID,” he said. “We want to make it real easy to vote and real hard to cheat.”

 

In February, a federal judge denied a request by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to block enforcement of the law for the March 1 presidential primary election and, Merrill noted, the state saw its highest voter turnout ever for a primary.

 

He said that not a single valid voter was turned away at the polls. He said 88 percent of all eligible black residents are registered to vote, even higher than the 84 percent of eligible white voters who are registered.  Merrill said the state’s free voter ID cards are so rarely used because most people have driver’s licenses. The 3.5 million licensed drivers exceeds the 3.1 million registered voters.

“Election Integrity Is Essential for True Democracy”

Supporting voter-ID laws is common sense for conservatives and all Americans.

 

Forget the left’s nonsense about conservatives’ supposed “gaffes” and “accidental revelations” of nefarious motives. Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint gets right to the unvarnished truth about why Republicans (and honest Democrats) support – and believe they benefit from – voter ID and other election integrity laws: because they keep dishonest Democrats from cheating.

But the truth here is neither inconvenient nor hard to discern: Voter fraud benefits lawbreakers at the expense of the law-abiding, and eliminating voter fraud naturally benefits the people who follow the rules. And the available evidence suggests those who violate election laws are more likely to be liberals rather than conservatives… an extensive database compiled by the Heritage Foundation shows that the majority of such cases involved Democrats stealing votes… such facts explain why those on the left are so opposed to fighting election fraud — precisely because they benefit from it.

 

Likewise, Wisconsin Congressman Glenn Grothman’s comment in April that “photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well” in helping a Republican candidate win the White House against a weak Democrat was no “accidental admission” of some nefarious scheme to “suppress” votes, but a reference to preventing Democrat fraud.

Grothman tells Action 2 News the new law may have encouraged more people to vote knowing there was protection against voter fraud… When asked if photo ID isn’t meant to help any particular political party, how would that serve to help the GOP in November as he said, Grothman answered, “Well, you have to wonder why the Democrats are fighting it? I mean, I’m sure there are plenty of Republicans out there who wonder if the reason the Democrat party fights photo ID so much is that they do want to have something wrong to happen… You certainly hear a lot of things, and I’d tell you I’ll feel better next November when we do have photo ID than I have in the past.”

 

The majority of voters and courts agree that honest elections are worth protecting. As DeMint notes, “Americans recognize that every vote cast illegally — be it by a non-citizen, a felon, or a multiple-voter — negates the vote of a legitimate voter, effectively disenfranchising them,” while multiple Heritage studies “show conclusively that requiring an ID to vote does not keep any legitimate voter out of the polls… The only people deterred by voter-ID laws are ineligible voters or those who cast ballots under false names or in the names of others, living or dead. This is why courts have upheld voter-ID laws in state after state.”

Texas voter ID law backed by 15-state coalition, entire Texas GOP congressional delegation in legal briefs

A coalition of 15 states is supporting Texas’ voter ID law in an amicus brief filed last week aimed at protecting states’ “discretionary legislative authority over elections.”

The amici States have an interest in ensuring that such authority is not undermined by judicial decisions that would grant voter ID opponents repeated opportunities to facially attack election laws that have already been deemed valid.

Led by Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller, the coalition of states joining the amicus includes Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

 

Texas’ entire Republican congressional delegation also filed an amicus brief in support of the state’s voter ID law, known as SB 14, arguing that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act has been misinterpreted.

The panel here adopted a radically different theory of Section 2.  The panel invalidated Texas’s race-neutral regulation of the time, place, and manner of voting through its voter ID law. It found that minorities are less likely to possess qualifying IDs because of underlying socioeconomic inequalities, which the panel predicted could lead to a disparity in minority voter participation… The panel thus concluded that Texas’s race-neutral election process violates Section 2… For several reasons, this novel theory contradicts both Section 2’s plain language and Supreme Court and Circuit precedent identifying the sort of discriminatory “results” proscribed by the statute.

An en banc hearing before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled for May 24.

Federal judge upholds North Carolina voter ID law, dismisses all claims challenging the state’s 2013 election reforms

A federal judge has upheld North Carolina’s voter ID law in a ruling posted Monday evening.

 

“U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder issued a 485-page ruling dismissing all claims in the challenge to the state’s sweeping 2013 election law overhaul.

 

“Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, also upheld portions of the 2013 law that reduced the number of days people could vote early, eliminated same-day registration and voting and prohibited people from casting a ballot outside their precinct.”

Wisconsin’s first presidential primary with Voter ID has highest turnout since 1972

Yet again, the dire “voter ID will suppress turnout” predictions of the anti-integrity left fail to materialize.

 

Wisconsin’s turnout rate in Tuesday’s presidential primary exceeded the state’s own bullish forecast, topped any Wisconsin Primary since 1972, and easily bested that of any state that has voted this year except for New Hampshire.  Nearly 2.1 million Wisconsinites voted, based on unofficial returns. 

 

Essentially, half the people that could vote did vote: roughly 47% of the state’s voting-age population and an estimated 49% of all eligible voting-age citizens.  “That’s unusual,” said turnout expert Michael McDonald, for a contest “this late in the presidential election calendar.”

 

In the wake of primary participation “7 points higher than what state election officials predicted,” Democrats quickly pivoted to complaining about “long lines” – lines caused primarily by the huge turnout, not voter ID, but also in many instances by same-day registration at the polls, particularly at “sites that had a high student population.”

 

Voters could have avoided the inconvenience of that extra wait in line on Election Day simply by registering in advance. Wisconsin primary voters also had ten days to vote early before Election Day, and free IDs have been available since 2012 to any voter who doesn’t already have an accepted photo ID. The University of Wisconsin-Madison even opened a second location for students to get free voter IDs printed in “less than two minutes.” Hardly a concerted effort to “suppress” turnout.

 

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker summed it up on Twitter: “Biggest turnout since 1972 Presidential primary shows that photo ID law works. Easy to vote, hard to cheat.”

Voter ID laws do not suppress voters

“The repeated narrative pushed by critics” that requiring identification to vote ‘suppresses’ voters “is a myth. That claim has been disproven by the turnout results in states such as Georgia and Indiana, whose voter ID laws have been in place for years. In fact, these states experienced almost no problems despite apocalyptic predictions of opponents.”