November 2011 - Posts

Vote Fraud Alert: SEIU Volunteers Vote, Claiming Hotel As Residence
Wed, Nov 30 2011 5:16 AM

If the Milwaukee Police Department Report isn’t enough evidence of vote fraud in the Badger State, look at what Media Trackers has uncovered: SEIU election volunteers from New Jersey, Georgia and Florida registered and voted in Wisconsin on April 5, 2011—courtesy of same day registration—by listing the Glendale Residence Inn hotel as the place where they lived.  The Milwaukee district attorney’s office has launched an investigation

SEIU Senior Organizer in Training Clarence Haynes is actually from Tampa, Florida and cast a ballot on April 5 without even listing a prior address on his same-day registration form.  SEIU Organizer in Training Todd E. Stoner who is actually from Freehold, New Jersey indicated he lived at a hotel.  Stoner presented a New Jersey ID to vote in Wisconsin.  Another person also registered to vote at the hotel was Occupy Milwaukee protester Austin Lee Thompson, who works for SEIU’s Wisconsin Jobs Now! and is from Georgia.

The Left wants to define vote fraud as only voter impersonation, but this is a key example showing how their narrow description fails to describe reality.  These are not people impersonating others.  In at least two of the cases, there were leaders and organizers in charge of get-out-the-vote efforts.  If they are willing to vote illegally themselves, wouldn't they be willing to help or encourage others to vote illegally?

by Maya Noronha | with no comments
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Vote Fraud in South Carolina Leads to Call for New Elections
Mon, Nov 28 2011 9:28 AM

Vote fraud has reared its ugly head yet again, this time in a small town in South Carolina. The Atlantic Beach Election Commission has overturned the results of a November 1 election because of sweeping allegations of vote fraud. Concerned citizens successfully appealed the results because of explicit instances of voter intimidation, voter registration, and vote fraud. The race involved incumbent Mayor Retha Pierce and Council Member Jake Evans. Evans won the race, but because of the decision by the election commission, will have to run again in May of 2012. 

In a town of roughly 400 people, approximately 35 voters have claimed they were the victims of scare tactics at the polls or were threatened with eviction by their landlords if they did not vote for the chosen candidate. One voter even alleged that he did not vote because he was paid not to.  This, of course, has led to calls for independent oversight.

As the Election Law Center has pointed out, this would be a great opportunity for the Department of Justice to step in to deter this type of illegal activity. Unfortunately the DOJ has failed to act in cases like this one. Furthermore, according to former DOJ attorney and RNLA member J. Christian Adams, the DOJ has decided to selectively enforce only those provisions of the National Voter Registration Act that actively encourage more voter participation.  Provisions of the law, such as Section 8’s command to eliminate dead people, illegal felons, and people that have relocated from the voting rolls have been purposefully ignored. Unfortunately, this is just another sad example of both vote fraud and the failure of the administration to enforce the rule of law and ensure the integrity of elections.

by Andrew Swafford | with no comments
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Obomination: The Unconstitutionality of Obamacare
Fri, Nov 25 2011 9:15 AM

Why get rid of Obamacare?  Yes, there are practical arguments that so much federal government control over the health care industry is not efficient or helpful.  Then, there are concerns about whether it was even well-written and had the support of the legislature, when over 2700 pages of the Obamacare bill were read by hardly anyone who voted for it.  But most importantly, Obamacare should be struck down because it is the unconstitutional expansion of the federal government.  Last Monday, the Supreme Court granted cert to the Obamacare case and now the justices have the opportunity to review the constitutionality of this law and potentially strike the whole law down.

The constitutional arguments against Obamacare were first made by Randy Barnett, Nathaniel Stewart and Todd Gaziano.   The Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power “[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.  Read their memorandum here for details, but the basic constitutional argument addressed there has to do with limits.  Like all powers granted to the federal government, the commerce clause should have a limiting principle.  The basic question the court must decide in the Obamacare case is: what is the limiting principle of the commerce clause?  Obamacare’s individual mandate now says that your decision not to engage in commerce can also be regulated.  If Obamacare is constitutional, the extent of the federal government’s power under the commerce clause would be limitless.  This case is really about the fundamental principles of our system of government and whether our individual liberties are protected.

Harvard Law’s Charles Fried testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that if the government can make you buy health insurance, they can also make you consume broccoli.  Even if you don’t have an aversion to the green vegetables, everyone should be concerned about having the kind of government which would intervene so much into the lives of its citizens. 

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Simply Amazing: Kagan Hasn’t Recused Herself from Obamacare
Wed, Nov 23 2011 8:21 AM

Evidence continues to mount that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is not able to impartially decide the constitutionality of Obamacare when it comes before the Court later this year. As the RNLA pointed out last week, two legal watchdog groups have both recently taken positions advocating Justice Kagan’s recusal.

 

Those positions have now grown stronger in the wake of a newly released e-mail exchange between then Solicitor General Kagan and law professor Larry Tribe, then also with the Department of Justice. In their discussion, dated March 21, 2010, General Kagan can barely contain her excitement at the prospect that the months-long political fiasco that preceded Obamacare’s passage is finally at an end. In response to Mr. Tribe’s email with the subject line, “fingers and toes crossed today!” Kagan enthusiastically responds, “I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing.”   

 

This latest belated disclosure of General Kagan’s understandably partisan posture regarding Obamacare has prompted Senator Jeff Sessions, of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to submit a series of follow-up questions to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding General Kagan and Obamacare. In the November 15 letter, he also criticized the Department of Justice’s apparent stonewalling of legitimate information requests and the lack of satisfactory explanations for contradictory testimony. Senator Sessions described Attorney General Holder’s insolence thusly:  

 

I am deeply disturbed by these developments and believe that the Justice Department should have provided these documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee during Justice Kagan’s confirmation hearing. The Department’s failure to provide this information to Congress and to comply with FOIA requests, as well as your apparent inattention to these matters, is unacceptable.

 

There needs to be a complete review of Justice Kagan’s impartiality by the proper congressional committees with the Department of Justice’s complete and prompt cooperation. When the Supreme Court granted cert to the Obamacare case last week, Justice Kagan did not announce that she would recuse herself.  There seems to be more evidence raising concerns about whether she can really be impartial.  Yet she has shown no indication that she will recuse herself.  Now, Larry, that is what is ‘simply amazing.’

 

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DOJ Is Aggressive In Effort to Claim Texas Voter ID Is Unconstitutional
Tue, Nov 22 2011 7:46 AM

The Justice Department has requested data from Texas about the number of drivers’ licenses possessed by minorities, but does not seem to care how skewed the results might be.  This suggests that the Department of Justice is trying to find any justification to not grant preclearance to Texas’ voter ID law, as directed by political elites who have already said that they will be “aggressive” in scrutinizing voter ID laws.

The chief of the voting section in the Department of Justice, T. Christian Herren Jr.,  sent a letter to Texas election officials saying that Texas did not provide “the number of registered voters in Texas by race and Spanish surname within county of residence who current possess a Texas driver’s license or other form of identification issued by [the Department of Public Safety (DPS)] that is current or has expired within 60 days.” 

Rich Parsons, the communications director for the Texas Secretary of State, called the requested data “unreliable.” Parsons explained, “Texans are not required to identify themselves by race or ethnicity when they register to vote, so the data they ask for doesn’t exist.”

State voter ID laws have been found constitutional, both in the 11th Circuit (Georgia’s) and by the United States Supreme Court (Indiana’s).  Despite these rulings, the Department of Justice is under pressure by political elites to find some reason – any reason, not matter how unreliable – to keep them from being enforced.

The American people, who support voter ID in large numbers, should be concerned with the actions of the Department of Justice, which is clearly a politicized agency.  While the DOJ is aggressively going after what is a legal law, the Department is ignoring other problems.  For one, the DOJ refuses to enforce federal law requiring voter rolls maintenance.   And one can only wonder what would have happened if the Department of Justice were as “aggressive” in investigating Fast and Furious as it is in scrutinizing voter ID…

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Smokes for Votes Then… Cigs for Sigs Now?
Mon, Nov 21 2011 10:30 AM

Democratic campaign volunteers were caught giving homeless men in Milwaukee cigarettes in exchange for their votes in the presidential election in 2000.  A disturbing video seems to show that practices like these may be continuing.  It should be investigated whether there is a ‘Cigarettes for Signatures’ scandal going on today.

Check out this Youtube video which shows young children being recruited to sign a petition at a street corner in Milwaukee.  This photo shows the child from the video accepting cigarettes at the street corner while the other child who he is with is signing a petition.

Wisconsin has a long history of electoral fraud.  Consider the Milwaukee Police Department's Special Investigation Unit issued a report in February 2008 which declared that there was “strong possibility” that there was “an illegal organized attempt to influence the outcome of an election in the state of Wisconsin.” 

The Wisconsin Police Department is one nonpartisan, nonpolitical body that reported on what is going on in the Badger State.  Allegations of continuing illegal attempts to influence our political process – whether it be bribing to case votes or sign petitions – should be thoroughly investigated.  Authorities need to be vigilant.  Fraud is a continuing problem in Milwaukee, whether it be smokes for Votes in 2000, what the Milwaukee Police Department found in 2004 election, and what may be occurring today.  We need to make it harder to cheat, because bribery is continuing. Voter ID was implemented in Wisconsin, but there is room for more reform.

As one volunteer told a Wisconsin news agency about his efforts in 2000, "Well, we're pretty busy, going to the local shelters."  If volunteers are busy going to the local playgrounds now, we have a serious problem to confront.

by Maya Noronha | 1 comment(s)
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Obomination: Cherry Picking Election Laws
Fri, Nov 18 2011 7:42 AM

The Department of Justice “can’t just pick and choose which sections to enforce.”    Senator David Vitter made this statement and issued a letter this week to Attorney General Eric Holder calling on the Justice Department to enforce all provisions of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).  Vitter is “deeply concerned” that the DOJ is “allowing some states to keep felons, illegal aliens and dead people on their voter rolls, which is a clear violation of the law.”

Why is Obama’s Justice Department “aggressive” in its scrutiny of voter ID laws?  Despite the fact that Voter ID is legal and has been ruled so by the Supreme Court, the DOJ is investigating a legal activity while ignoring an illegal one.  The ignored provision of the NVRA is Section 8.  Vitter discussed the merits of this provision in his letter: “Section 8 is a key component of the law, because the longer these fraudulent names remain on a registration list, the greater the chances that a fraudulent vote will be cast in their names.” 

In his letter, Vitter outlines specific evidence of the failure of the current Justice Department to enforce the law.  First, a case to clean voter rolls was “dismissed without explanation” in 2009.   Second, DOJ officials have told attorneys that the administration was not interested in enforcement of portions of the NVRA.  Third, there has been inaction by the Department of Justice while reports demonstrate that states are in clear noncompliance with the NVRA.  Fourth, attorneys were assigned by a certain official to work on cleaning voter rolls but were never given approval to proceed with cases.

Vitter quotes approvingly from Chris Coates, former chief of the Voting Rights Section in the DOJ, who said it is an abuse of discretion to “decide not to do any enforcement of a law enacted by Congress, because political appointees determine that they are not interested in enforcing that law.” 

The selective enforcement of voting laws is just one example of a much larger problem: the politicization of the Department of Justice.  If the DOJ is cherry picking which voting laws to enforce, what other laws are not being enforced because politics is influencing what should be nonpolitical?

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DNC Chair Should Retract Comments… Again
Thu, Nov 17 2011 12:47 PM

 

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is back to her inflammatory rhetoric about voter ID. Here’s what she said Wednesday on the House Floor:

State legislatures are attempting to impose voting restrictions that are the modern day equivalent of poll taxes and literacy tests… We cannot allow state legislatures to drag our nation backward in what is nothing more than a political quest to protect their governing majority's interests.

Sound familiar?  Well, previously, Wasserman Schultz said:

[N]ow you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally - and very transparently - block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. And it's nothing short of that blatant.

The DNC Chair ultimately retracted those incendiary comments.  Yet, this week, we find her back to the same old rhetoric.

What is strangely absent from the DNC’s party line rhetoric is that never mentioned are the Democrats who actually support voter ID.  There’s President Jimmy Carter, who supported voter ID as part of the Bipartisan Commission on Election Reform.  There’s the majority of the Democrat Rhode Island legislature who approved the voter ID bill thanks to the efforts of Harold Metts in the state Senate and Speaker Gordon D. Fox and Rep. Jon Brien in the House.    Secretary of State Ralph A. Mollis, also a Democrat, was the first to suggest that a voter ID bill be passed in Rhode Island.

After the RNLA issued a letter responding to requests from Democrats to investigate voter ID laws, The Weekly Standard pointed out the irony in all this:  why would Democrats want to investigate Democrats?  Democrat support for voter ID does not make any sense if voter ID is really about suppressing Democrat voters.

Sounds like another retraction from Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in order.

 

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Voter ID Opponent Hollers
Thu, Nov 17 2011 8:23 AM

At Friday’s Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention, RNLA 2009 Ed Meese Award Winner Hans von Spakovsky and journalist John Fund defended voter ID against the criticism from George Washington University Professor Spencer Overton and Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Professor Daniel P. Tokaji.  While Overton was mostly fair to his fellow panelists and admitted that requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls is inevitable, Tokaji used a slanted study and avoided answering difficult questions.

Tokaji began, as he did at the RNLA’s National Election Law Seminar, with the following quote from Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”  It’s ironic that Tokaji used that quote, because he committed the very crime he criticized Fund and von Spakovsky of committing. Tokaji’s facts (but he’s far from the only one on the left using it) include the Brennan Center’s study, “Citizens without Proof.”  It has been discredited by Hans von Spakovsky and Alex Ingram here.  The Brennan Center publication should really be entitled “Study without Proof.”

Tokaji ignored several other studies done by groups without the extreme liberal bias of the Brennan Center, including those by such scholars as former Carter Center Director and American University Professor Robert Pastor.  Was Tokaji ignoring studies like those of Dr. Pastor for Brennan Center ‘studies’ whose conclusions he agrees with?

 

While I can’t answer that question for sure, I can say that Tokaji simply ignores the statements of Democrat elected officials such as former President Jimmy Carter, Congressional Black Caucus Member and Former Rep. Artur Davis of Selma, Alabama, and last, but not least, African American Senior Citizen Rhode Island Senator Harold Metts. 

 

I can say this with certainty on Metts in particular, because I read to Professor Tokaji and offered him a chance to respond to Senator Metts comments on the Rhode Island ID which incorporate the Indiana law as follows:

The old system was not set up to readily weed out fraud; and it would be very hard to prove. Moreover, winners on election night would soon forget about any fraud, while the losers’ concerns would be dismissed as sour grapes.  

 

Tokaji did not answer my question or even talk about Metts.  Overton and Tokaji did not respond to von Spakovsky or Fund quoting President Carter or Rep. Artur Davis. 

 

Professor Tokaji, instead of opening with a quote from Senator Moynihan, ought to have considered a quote from former Vice President Al Gore to reflect his position on voter ID:

 

When you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. When you have the law on your side, argue the law. When you have neither, holler.

 

Tokaji has neither facts nor law on his side.  So all he did was holler.

 

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Dozens of Sheriff’s Department Employees Commit Vote Fraud
Wed, Nov 16 2011 10:00 AM

 

“Almost two dozen people who wear a badge and enforce the law have broken the law themselves,” Fox News reports.  Over 20 sheriff's department employees live and have homestead exemptions outside of St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana but voted in another location last month.  This is illegal.  Due to some investigating reporting, Fox also discovered that the clerk of court may be conspiring to commit in vote fraud.  Thomas and Jacqueline McConnell are registered at the address of the St. Bernard Clerk of Court Lena Torres and her daughter, Chief Deputy clerk Lena Nunez.  The McConnells do not live there, but Jacqueline McConnell is a deputy clerk under Lena Nunez and Lena Torres. 

Have illegal votes decided races?  Well, take a look at the numbers.   In the Justice of the Peace race, John McElroy defeated Billy Showalter by five votes. In the race for assessor. Reed Henderson defeated Jimmy Licciardi by 43 votes.  If hundreds voting in St. Bernard have mailing addresses in New Orleans, Metairie, Ponchatoula and Prairieville, the question is: who really won those elections?

When an illegal vote cancels out a legitimate vote, there should be some concern over non-residents voting.  Also reported in this story is a comment from the Secretary of State that “no one polices the voting rolls to look at homestead exemptions or even where someone lives.”  So much for cleaning voter rolls in Louisiana, something that one of Lousiana’s Senators is fighting for. 

 

 

 

by Maya Noronha | with no comments
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Should Kagan Recuse Herself from the Obamacare Case?
Tue, Nov 15 2011 5:02 AM

Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted cert in the so-called “Obamacare” case.  Today, the question is: Should any justice recuse herself in that case? Two legal watchdog groups have raised serious questions about Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s ability to impartially decide the constitutionality of Obamacare.

 

On November 9, the Judicial Crisis Network (“JCN”) released a “white paper” that analyzed a series of Department of Justice (“DOJ”) emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), along with the relevant statute and case law on recusal for former government employees.    

 

The e-mails in question, though an incomplete record, reveal then Solicitor General Kagan’s involvement in Obamacare’s legal defense at crucial stages of the process. This involvement spanned months, from her initial assignment of political appointee Neal Katyal as “point man,” to her demand for “coordination” after it became obvious recusal questions would be forthcoming. At the very least, as National Review’s Ed Whelan points out, Mr. Katyal’s assertion that Kagan was “walled off from Day One” is clearly erroneous and demonstrates further scrutiny is needed on this issue.


Carrie Severino, the author of JCN’s white paper, explains some of the more troubling details contained in the emails along with the relevant law:

 

During her confirmation hearings, Kagan stated that she was present at “at least one” meeting in which the challenges to PPACA were discussed. But JCN has obtained documents indicating that her involvement was much more substantial than merely attending a single meeting.

 

We have received multiple documents concerning Kagan’s involvement in the PPACA litigation containing redacted material that is exempted from production under FOIA’s “b(5)” exemption. . . The implications of the numerous b(5) deliberative process exemptions are serious because they show that Kagan, unsurprisingly, received information about the PPACA litigation involving strategy . . .

 

Section 455(b)(3) of Title 28 addresses the specific case at hand: the recusal obligations of former government employees. It requires recusal where the judge “has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy.” 28 U.S.C. §455(b)(3) . . .

 

The statute nowhere defines either “counsel” or “participated,” but case law does give guidance, and that guidance indicates that any personal (as opposed to pro forma) participation in a case is sufficient to trigger recusal. Thus . . . judges must recuse themselves if they have “previously taken a part, albeit small, in the investigation, preparation, or prosecution of a case.” United States v. Gipson, 835 F.2d 1323, 1326 (10th Cir. 1988) (emphasis added).

 

Severino then discusses another section of the statute that also seemingly implicates Kagan:

 

Subsection (a) of Title 28 directs that “[a]ny justice, judge or magistrate of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” 28 U.S.C. § 455(a). This is often referred to as the “catch-all” provision, and “covers situations not addressed by § 455(b) that nonetheless might be appropriate for recusal.” Baker & Hostetler LLP v. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 471 F.3d 1355, 1357 (D.C. Cir. 2006).

 

Kagan’s defenders in the blogosphere have latched on to her claim that she did not have any “substantive discussions” regarding Obamacare’s legal defense.  But as Ms. Severino pointed out in a follow up post neither “substantive discussions” nor Kagan’s alternate “substantial role” formulation articulate the proper legal standards of “personal participation” or “reasonable appearance of partiality” discussed above. 


To ferret out the extent of then Solicitor General Kagan’s involvement in Obamacare’s legal defense, a second legal watchdog, the Judicial Action Group, released a letter dated November 14, that called on the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (“Committee”) to hold appropriate hearings. In addition, the letter noted previous unsuccessful Committee attempts, to question Mr. Katyal and DOJ Public Affairs Officer Tracy Schmaler about Ms. Kagan’s role. Unfortunately, Attorney General Eric Holder has thwarted attempts to question these witnesses and has otherwise sent dilatory and inadequate responses to the Committee. The letter details how his actions have hindered the Committee and prevented it from performing its proper oversight role on this important issue.  

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Obomination: How Obama’s Agencies Are Disenfranchising Military Voters
Fri, Nov 11 2011 5:26 AM

Today we celebrate Veterans Day, which was first proclaimed in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.   Yesterday was the 236th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.  Tuesday was Election Day.   This week, it’s important to ask: “How have we treated our military voters?”  The answer is not something to be happy about. According to the Federal Voting Assistance Program, over 112,000 military voters never received their absentee ballot this year. 

U.S. Navy Commander Eric Eversole, an RNLA member and JAG officer who served on active duty from 1999 until 2001, spoke in Houston on Monday about the horrible way agencies have been treating military voters.  Eversole worked as an attorney in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and is now executive director of the Military Voter Protection Project.  His dedication to protecting military voting rights started when he first served as a unit voting assistance officer. 

In the 2010 elections, 14 states, including New York, Maryland and Illinois, failed to meet the deadline to have absentee ballots to military voters at least 45 days ahead of time.  Eversole noted, “The one provision that was supposed to increase was not implemented by Department of Defense until two weeks after the 2010 election and is still not implemented.”

Eversole called military voting a “second class issue” of the Department of Justice and criticized the Department of Defense for not implementing military voting rights laws consistently.   Unfortunately, Obama has not made military voting a priority for his administration, and thus his agencies do not follow through either.

President Obama issued a proclamation for Veterans Day “[w]ith respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made.”  What better way to show our respect and recognition than by making protecting the rights of military voters a priority?  

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Why should a television studio have more protection than our polls?
Wed, Nov 9 2011 1:47 PM

 

Jon Greenbaum, the legal director Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, walked into C-Span Studios to engage in a televised debate but he needed to present photo identification to get into the building.  His debate partner, Heritage Foundation scholar Hans von Spakovsky, was quick to point out how much we use photo identification for so many things today, and it’s just common sense to add this requirement for the polling place, where we exercise one of our most precious rights as citizens. 

While Greenbaum spouted out the left’s empty rhetoric about “voter suppression,” Hans von Spakovsky presented various facts and figures that showed Greenbaum’s claims did not hold a drop of water.  Indiana and Georgia’s laws have been on the books five years, and the challenges by leftist groups to these laws were both dismissed by the court because the plaintiffs could not produce a single witness that could not get an ID.  Voter ID does not keep minorities from casting their ballot at the polls.  In fact, von Spakovsky pointed out that since voter ID has been instituted in Georgia and Indiana, African American turnout has actually increased.

Like his liberal colleagues, Greenbaum tries to define vote fraud in a limited way.  Hans von Spakovsky pointed out to the contrary that vote fraud that can be combated by voter ID laws includes much more than “voter impersonation”; for example: voting under fraudulent registration forms, double voting and voting by illegal aliens.  He also mentioned U.S. v. Ike Brown case where there was testimony of vote fraud, where a woman was asked to use any name and vote in Mississippi.  (Yesterday, Mississippi passed a voter ID initiative in response to such fraud in the state as this.)

Hans von Spakovsky pointed out that Congressmen like Keith Ellison (D-MN) who have been in opposition to voter ID laws obviously haven’t been listening to his constituents.  A  Rasmussen poll found that across all demographic groups support voter ID.  Debates like this demonstrate how radical the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and others on the left are who oppose voter ID.  We should be grateful we have committed defenders of all votes like Hans von Spakovsky who consistently present the truth.  Every illegal vote automatically cancels out or disenfranchises a legal voter.  

 

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America Wants Voter ID; Attorney General Doesn’t
Wed, Nov 9 2011 6:44 AM

Yesterday’s news provides just one more example of how wide the gulf is between the Obama administration and the American people on the issue of voter ID.  While Mississippians joined many other states in support for voter ID, Attorney General Eric Holder pledged to be “aggressive” in scrutinizing state voter ID laws.

Voter ID laws were passed by state legislatures in Alabama (Ala. Code §17-9-30), South Carolina (S.C. Code §7-13-710) and Texas (Tex. Election Code §63.001 et seq.), but are awaiting preclearance by the Department of Justice.  Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act prohibits voting laws in certain states from serving as a “denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.” 

Mississippi is likely to be the next state under scrutiny by the Department of Justice.  The voters in Mississippi passed an initiative on voter ID.  They approved a state constitutional amendment that would require all voters to show a driver's license or other government-issued photo ID at the polls.

Earlier in the day, the Attorney General gave the Senate Judiciary Committee a strikingly different viewpoint:

With regard to Section 5 and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, this Department of Justice will be aggressive in looking at those jurisdictions that have attempted for whatever reason to restrict the ability of people to get to the polls. 

But let’s take a look at what the Voting Section has been told by its superiors.  In November 2009, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes told the Voting Section of the DOJ that the Department has no interest in enforcing Section 8 of the Motor Voter law that requires that states ensure that no ineligible voters are on the rolls.  There is a serious question about the focus of the DOJ on voting laws: why is the Justice Department aggressively pursuing ID instead of cleaning up voter rolls?  

This regurgitation of the rhetoric of the partisan left and myopic scrutiny of voter ID laws is disturbing coming from the Attorney General, who should be impartially enforcing the law.  Why is Holder investigating laws that have been ruled constitutional?  In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Indiana’s voter ID law did not violate the U.S. Constitution.  Holder is succumbing to cries from the far left to ignore law that must be enforced and scrutinize laws that are legal.

Holder also offered leftist rhetoric about voter ID at the oversight hearing:

I think for those who would consider trying to use methods/ techniques to discourage people from coming to the polls, that’s inconsistent with what we say we are as a nation, and I would hope that those kinds of efforts would not be engaged in.

One of the Senators should have responded to those comments with this question: “Mr. Attorney General, how is having open, fair and honest elections inconsistent with America’s identity?”  Considering that seventy five percent of Americans support voter ID laws, it is concerning that the Attorney General and his cronies in Obama’s Justice Department have no idea who we are as a nation.

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Don't Believe the Brennan Center's Study on Voter ID
Tue, Nov 8 2011 10:49 AM

Studies against voter ID?  One partisan study that has been discredited.

Studies for voter ID?  At least 3, all done by academic institutions.

The only study that has claims to find problems with voter ID laws is one done by the Brennan Center for Justice.  However, this study has been discredited by Hans von Spakovsky and Alex Ingram in a detailed Heritage Foundation paper here.  The paper describes in detail the problems with the Brennan Center study:

The Brennan Center study suffers from sloppy—or perhaps purposefully misrepresented—data collection and biased questions. Based entirely on one survey of only 987 “voting age American citizens,” the report contains no information on how the survey determined whether a respondent was actually an American citizen. The survey could have included illegal and legal aliens, two categories of individuals that are not allowed to vote.

The survey then uses the responses of these 987 individuals to estimate the number of Americans without valid documentation based on the 2000 Census calculations of citizen voting-age population. The Census figures, however, contain millions of U.S. residents who are ineligible to vote, thus contributing to the study’s overestimation of voters without a government-issued identification.

When the Brennan Center repackaged its report, von Spakovsky again refuted it in another Heritage paper available here.

All other studies, even those done by nonpartisan groups and even liberals, have found no problems with voter ID laws.  A study by University of Delaware’s Jason Mycoff and David C. Wilson and University of Nebraska’s Michael W. Wagner found that voter ID laws had no impact on turnout.  A study conducted by the University of Missouri’s Jeffrey Milyo even discovered that after voter ID, turnout increased in Democrat-majority districts.  An American University survey found that 99% have photo ID in states with voter ID laws.  That study was done by Dr. Robert Pastor, who was a senior advisor to Democrat president Jimmy Carter.

Most Americans understand the difference between the Washington elite bubble and the real world.  That’s why Rasmussen reports that 75% of Americans (and 63% of Democrats) support voter ID.

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