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.

College Democrat will plead guilty to voter fraud in Virginia

“It’s good to see the Justice Department is filing voter fraud cases again.”

 

A Virginia college student and Young Democrat will plead guilty to voter fraud in federal court after admitting he submitted 18 fraudulent voter registration forms to the Harrisonburg Registrar’s office in the names of dead people.

 

Andrew Spieles, a student at James Madison University, submitted the fake registration forms while working for HarrisonburgVOTES – a group affiliated with the Virginia Democrat Party – ahead of the 2016 election, according to a statement of facts filed in federal court on June 8.

 

The fraud was only caught because workers in the Registrar’s office recognized some of the dead applicants’ names.

“Absent the assistants’ personal familiarity with certain names on the fraudulent documents, the fraud would not have been detected because the Registrar’s office does not check the validity of the voter-registration applications. The role of the Registrar’s office was to check the registration forms to ensure they were filled out correctly. . . . There was no procedure or policy in place for the Registrar’s office to verify the content of the registration forms except through felon and death reports. The Registrar’s office did not have the authority to dismiss registration forms based on false content.

The statement adds there is no current entity that verifies the validity of Virginia voter registration forms.”

 

That lack of verification extends to applicants’ citizenship. Recent reports issued by the Public Interest Legal Foundation show thousands of ineligible non-citizens have registered and voted in jurisdictions across Virginia. The state’s Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed several reforms aimed at maintaining accurate voter rolls.

 

Spieles’ plea hearing is set for June 20. He’s agreed to plead guilty to just a single misdemeanor charge and serve a sentence of 100 to 120 days.

Democrat elected official found guilty of voter fraud in Texas

More mail ballot fraud in Texas, where a jury convicted Ellis County constable Tyron Davis of voter fraud for “assisting” nursing home residents – including one with Alzheimer’s – with their mail ballot applications.

Davis, a Democrat, was elected after he was indicted in May 2016. He was convicted of six counts of voter fraud for failing to comply with properly signing a voter application and two counts of false ID as a peace officer.

Mug Shots-TX-Ellis-Davis

“It’s still debatable whether the people at the nursing home knew what they were signing when Davis showed up,” according Ellis County’s district attorney.

 

The DA’s office got involved when county election officials found 18 mail ballot applications and 15 voter registration applications with similar writing but without the signature of an assistant, as state law requires when someone helps a voter fill out their ballot documents.

 

Investigators suspected possible voter fraud after learning Davis falsely identified himself as a police officer in a flier given to the nursing home residents. Several of the residents identified Davis as the person who assisted them and told investigators they didn’t know what they were signing.

 

The violations are all misdemeanors. Davis avoided up to a year of jail time by agreeing to resign his constable position and give up his peace officer’s license.

 

Illegal harvesting of mail ballots is an ongoing problem around the Texas.

 

In Dallas County, prosecutors have already issued one arrest warrant in a criminal investigation into hundreds of allegedly fraudulent mail ballots harvested in the May 2017 local elections. In Tarrant County, thousands of harvested mail ballots are the subject of a voter fraud investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s office.