Wake County settles lawsuit to clean up its voter rolls

Nothing like a lawsuit to get local election officials to agree to do their job.


After nearly a year of litigation, the Wake County Board of Elections signed a settlement with watchdog group Voter Integrity Project NC agreeing to do more to maintain accurate voter rolls and to respond to future requests for list maintenance information as federal law requires.


Public Interest Legal Foundation filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of VIP-NC after the group found Wake County’s voter rolls contained more than the number of residents eligible to vote, including tens of thousands of inactive voters.


North Carolina’s state law requires local elections boards to remove inactive voters from registration rolls if they don’t respond to mailers and fail to participate in four consecutive federal elections.


“Inactive voters are the modern-day ‘dead voter,’ meaning that anybody can walk in and vote in their name simply by reciting the name and address of that voter, with no ID required,” VIP-NC director Jay DeLancy said.


PILF President J. Christian Adams said they were pleased with the results.

“Other counties in North Carolina should take note that requests for public information and obligations to maintain clean rolls must be met.  In the future, election officials across North Carolina should take seriously their obligation to comply with all provisions in the National Voter Registration Act.”

South Texas postal worker sentenced to prison in federal voter fraud case

For a candidate or campaign worker looking to steal votes by illegally harvesting mail ballots, it pays to have someone on the inside – say, in the elections office or the post office. It also pays to be that someone on the inside.


In the south Texas county of Hidalgo, that someone was U.S. Postal Service employee Noe Abdon Olvera. He was paid well for selling mail ballot information to campaign workers – until he got caught.


Olvera and another postal worker were charged with selling lists of voters who received mail-in ballots to candidates running in the November 2014 election.

Olvera, who was arrested at the Postal Service facility in McAllen where he worked in October 2014, was subsequently charged with four counts of bribery of public officials in connection with an investigation into allegations that the mailman took $1,200 in bribes from campaign workers on two separate occasions in exchange for lists of postal customer names and addresses.

In March, Olvera pleaded guilty to one count of bribery of public officials. In exchange, the government dismissed the remaining three counts he was facing, court records show.

Olvera was busted with help from Yolanda Hidrogo, a politiquera who secretly recorded conversations with the postal worker and recounted in an affidavit her activities as a paid vote harvester.


The ballot harvesting schemes Hidrogo describes in the affidavit are common throughout Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and elsewhere in the state.


Olvera was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Hans von Spakovsky on Virginia’s Failure to Cooperate with Election Integrity Commission

What is Terry McAuliffe hiding – and why?


Virginia’s Democrat governor says he won’t comply with a request from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to provide voter registration data for the state.


Hans von Spakovsky, who was just added to the commission, talks with WMAL’s Larry O’Connor about McAuliffe’s bizarre refusal to cooperate with the advisory panel’s efforts to “study the registration and voting processes used in Federal elections.”


Bizarre because federal law gives every member of the public, as well as the U.S. Attorney General, access to the voter registration records of the state.


Bizarre also, says von Spakovsky, because Virginia has an independent state election board that oversees voter registration. The governor doesn’t even have any say-so on whether to turn over the information.


So what is McAuliffe trying to hide?


Could it be the tens of thousands of voters found registered in both Virginia and another state? Or maybe the thousands of non-citizens found to have registered and voted in Virginia?

Rhode Island voter rolls contain 150,000 “inaccuracies”

Nearly 20 percent of people registered to vote in Rhode Island, shouldn’t be.


The state’s voter rolls inaccurately contain 150,000 people that don’t belong there, according to the secretary of state.

The Providence Journalreported Wednesday that Nellie M. Gorbea, Rhode Island’s secretary of state, has found around 150,000 people who are erroneously on the rolls. “It’s not really fraud. It’s really just inaccuracies,” Gorbea said.


Gorbea has already removed 65,000 names since 2015, the Journal says. An additional 30,000 names were deemed inactive.

Dirty voter rolls alone may not be “really fraud,” but they are a surefire stepping stone to voter fraud, creating a perfect environment for cheating. Clean elections require clean voter rolls – and so does federal law.

“Democrats’ sudden concern for election integrity”

Democrats who never cared a bit about genuine fixes to make our electoral processes more secure are now using “Russian hacking” as an argument for more federal control over elections:

For more than a decade, any person who honestly spoke about their sincerely held concerns regarding “election integrity” was summarily branded as a partisan fabulist upset by the fact that non-white voters could turn out in greater numbers.


Now, the left is trying to corner the market.

And they’re not letting a good ginned-up crisis go to waste.

Instead of focusing on the foundational matter of how best to maintain the content of our voter registration systems, we are witnessing the beginning of a leftist regression — where the only solution worthy of discussion is how election powers are better centralized in Washington.


Repeatedly during Jeh Johnson’s House Intelligence Committee testimony, he was asked what Congress could do to intervene. To Mr. Johnson’s credit, he scoffed at the probability of a smooth federalization of voting systems. He must not have gotten the memo, which is understandable considering Mr. Johnson is no veteran of the voting wars.

What the left really wants, four years after the Shelby County decision, is to force states back under federal preclearance requirements.

The real deep-state prize remains: returning states under the thumb of federal bureaucrats when they want to change voter ID laws and even polling place locations. In other words, “fixing the Voting Rights Act,” as the racial interest groups call it.


With election systems still getting front page ink, the remnants of the once-respectable civil rights establishment hope to pivot public attention toward their lust to renew old unconstitutional federal oversight powers. It has the added benefit of getting many of the employees of these groups plum jobs on the Government Service scale to boss state election officials around.


The core concern is getting lost in the rush to standardize and federalize. A state voter registration system with the best cybersecurity that taxpayers can buy is meaningless if the data protected is not properly maintained. For eight years, voter rolls were allowed to fall into disrepair. In response, several experts have taken it upon themselves to assist officials in cleaning up their books.


The question is not whether the Russians attacked our systems. We must instead ask ourselves if we are willing to hold states accountable in combating integrity threats from within with equal zeal as those on the outside. If the day comes when a hacker attacks a dirty voter roll, how will a clerk even know something is amiss?

Will SCOTUS Redistricting Decision ‘Weaponize’ Federal Courts?

Hans von Spakovsky on the “political thicket” of partisan gerrymandering, the import of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Wisconsin redistricting case Gill v. Whitford, and the risk of transforming federal courts “into weapons of political warfare.”


Under the Voting Rights Act, states are also in trouble if race is the predominant factor in their redistricting. But they are allowed to use some race in redistricting to comply with the VRA and protect minority voting rights. How much race they can use is unclear —- it has to be “just right,” which is why I call it the Goldilocks Rule of Redistricting.


Until now, however, the Supreme Court has stayed out of political gerrymandering as opposed to claims over racial gerrymandering or unequal populations in districts. The holding in the Wisconsin case violates prior precedent of the Supreme Court. . . .


Drawing up political districts is, by its very nature, a political exercise by the legislative branch. How could one possibly determine how much or how little politics is acceptable in the redistricting process? The Constitution says nothing about this at all, other than to give state legislatures the authority to draw not only their own state legislative districts, but congressional districts as well. . . .


In Cooper v. Harris, a North Carolina redistricting case that the Supreme Court decided on May 22, dissenting Justice Samuel Alito echoed Justice Frankfurter when he warned the Court against transforming the federal courts “into weapons of political warfare.” Otherwise, they will “invite the losers in the redistricting process to seek to obtain in court what they could not achieve in the political arena.”


That is exactly what is going on this case.

“Student headed to prison for registering dead voters for Democrats”

A student at James Madison University in Virginia who admitted forging 18 voter registration applications while working for Democrat-affiliated HarrisonburgVOTES pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor and will serve 100 to 120 days in prison.


As previously noted, Andrew Spieles would’ve gotten away with his crimes if the Registrar’s office hadn’t recognized the names of dead people he tried to register. “The assistant registrar’s personal knowledge of the names of some of the individuals named in the falsified documents facilitated the detection of the crime.”

“The Left’s Crusade Against Honest Elections”

Open, fair and honest elections should be a common goal for all Americans. Unfortunately, for leftists like Ari Berman, it’s not.

Clean and accurate voter registration rolls are an important election integrity protection with broad, bipartisan support among the public and election officials, which you would never know by listening to the radical liberals who oppose basic election integrity protections. . . .


The Democrats are so scared of losing a fallacious talking point to appeal to their liberal base that they don’t even want to allow a study on issues of wide bipartisan support, such a voter registration list accuracy and maintenance, for fear of what other important issues the commission may investigate.  

The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets are providing a vehicle for the radical liberals now controlling the Democratic Party to disseminate their anti-election integrity message.

“No, Hillary, Voter-ID Laws Don’t ‘Suppress’ Turnout”

Hillary Clinton has suggested any number of lame excuses for her loss to Donald Trump – including voter ID laws.  But the evidence suggests otherwise.


Just last month, she chalked it up to “voter suppression” in Wisconsin. This spurious claim was a reference to the Badger State’s common-sense voter-ID law, which has been upheld by the courts. It followed on the heels of a tweet from Wisconsin’s Democratic senator, Tammy Baldwin, claiming the law had reduced voter turnout by 200,000 statewide.


Both claims relied on a study commissioned by Priorities USA Action and conducted by CIVIS USA, two liberal groups that actively supported Clinton’s presidential bid. Unfortunately for Clinton and Baldwin, though, the study has been roundly debunked. . . .


In short, there is no credible evidence that voter-ID laws have impeded turnout, especially among minorities and Democrats, as their opponents suggest.

Democrat ex-mayor convicted of voter fraud in Florida gets probation

Another Democrat elected official convicted of voter fraud gets a slap on the wrist:


After a jury found him guilty of felony voter fraud, a judge sentenced Eatonville, Florida’s former mayor on Friday to time served – 25 days – plus probation and community service.


Anthony Grant was indicted in March of last year along with two campaign workers on multiple mail ballot fraud charges, including forging signatures on ballots and coercing voters into submitting mail ballots for Grant in the 2015 mayoral election.


Following his indictment, the governor suspended Grant. Grant had formerly served as Eatonville’s mayor from 1994 to 2009 but lost to Bruce Mount, who he faced again in 2015.

Grant defeated Mount despite receiving fewer votes at the polls. Grant received 196 absentee votes to Mount’s 69, which swung the election in Grant’s favor.

Grant was convicted in May of two felonies and one misdemeanor.


“You’ve been found guilty of violating a core and fundamental right in our country to have free and fair elections,” Judge Keith Carsten told Grant before handing down the lenient sentence.