More Sunlight on Election Irregularities Needed in Sunshine State
Mon, Nov 19 2012 8:18 AM

 

United States Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”  The Sunshine State could use some of those rays of light on their election administration.  The Republican National Lawyers Association seeks to advance open, fair and honest elections.  Let’s take each of those objectives in turn and list some of the allegations reported in Florida’s 18th district race that are concerning and deserve examination. 

1.  Open

Were poll watchers locked out from polling places during the counting or recounting of ballots? 

2.  Fair

Did a precinct report more votes cast than total registered voters?

Were both candidates informed about recounts and vote tallies in a timely manner?

Are all legal ballots, regardless of whether they entered a write-in-choice or not, being counted?

Was the counting of ballots done in a hasty manner, instead of slowly and carefully?

3. Honest

Were the accurate vote tallies reported publicly?

Did those that supervised the elections assume a certain candidate would win and acted proceeding from that assumption?

America needs experienced election administrators who are open, fair and honest.  Then we can be confident in our elections, in Florida and across the country.

Allen West has emphasized, “This is not about me.”  He’s right.  It’s not about West.  It’s about election integrity.  It’s about every legal voter’s confidence that her vote counts.

It does not matter who the candidate is who asks legitimate questions about the integrity of elections. It’s important to get answers about how we can make elections open, fair and honest.  Let’s find out those answers by shedding sunlight on the Sunshine State.  Then we can discuss whether we need to institute disinfecting reforms.

 

by Maya Noronha | with no comments
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It Seems a Choice Between Fraud or Utter Incompetence (Maybe Both)
Sun, Nov 18 2012 3:44 PM

Presidential years are usually higher turnout elections but no one should believe 12,800 percent turnout:

Edson said other problems arose this morning, when the recount resumed at 8 a.m. The recount showed 900 voters cast ballots in precinct 93, where there are 7 registered voters, Edson said.

It is important to note what the Rep. Allen West is fighting for, according to his campaign manager:

"Once again, Gertrude Walker has proven to be absolutely incapable of executing an accurate and fair election. This election is far from over. We will continue to fight on behalf of all voters in District 18 to ensure a fair and accurate count of their votes."

Rep. West is only asking for a fair count of the ballots. Unfortunately, we have a situation where the Supervisor in her own words said "mistakes were made" and is now in the hospital. The re-tabulation of ballots is being managed by her Deputy who according to the best records we can find has only been on the job for a few months.

On the other side we have a candidate who has been trying to stop the count from day one, as if he has something to hide. The public has a right to confidence in election results. Right now we still don't know what happen in the Rep. West race but with ballots being found and 12800% turnout in precincts all should agree that this election still needs closer examination.

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Rep. West’s Opponent Declares Victory Based On A Deadline Not On Votes
Sun, Nov 18 2012 11:40 AM

The madness continues in St. Lucie County. It boils down to three things.

1. Chaos, shenanigans, and irregularities reign supreme in the recount involving Congressman West. The St. Lucie Supervisor of Elections, Gertrude Walker, is now in the hospital with her deputy in charge. (We wish her a speedy recovery.) Early vote ballots were mixed together and not separated by day. More votes have been found 10 days after the election. Unusual anomalies in the initial vote totals are being alleged and more are being uncovered. All agree that at a minimum "mistakes were made."

2. Democrats do not want to count the votes. Instead of saying they won because they have the most votes, Democrats are saying they won because election officials missed a deadline. Democrat candidate Murphy has fought the effort to count ballots that have not been counted before and is fighting efforts now for an accurate count.

3. Allen West is only asking that all legal votes be counted and that it be done openly and accurately. I am not sure why anyone would oppose Congressman West, unless they have something to hide.

RNLA believes that elections should be decided by legal voters. Elections should not be decided by corrupt and/or incompetent election officials or by bending to the demands of partisan candidates to stop counting votes.

by Michael Thielen | with no comments
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All Eyes on Recount Underway in Allen West Race
Sun, Nov 18 2012 6:02 AM

 

A county canvassing board made a decision yesterday in support of advancing open, fair and honest elections.  The board voted to recount all the early votes cast during the 8-day early voting period in St. Lucie County, Florida because of reported irregularities.  The recount started on the morning of Saturday, November 17 and the deadline to send results to the Florida Division of Elections is Sunday, November 18 at noon.

Concerns about the integrity of the election include:

 

  • At least 306 uncounted ballots, which contained write-in choices that caused tabulating machines to reject them
  • A 35-minute partial recount of select early ballots that led to a change in outcome by 4,000 votes
  • Conflicting accounts of the final vote tally by the county supervisor of elections
  • Locked doors to polling places, preventing the public from witnessing the procedures used to tabulate results

 

David Drury, head of the Division of Elections Bureau of Voting Systems Certifications, was among those who recommended that the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board rerun ballots.   A circuit judge ruled on Friday that he did not have authority to intervene, but the county canvassing board, which did have the authority to order a recount, ultimately ordered a recount of all early votes.  Although initially only 3 days of the votes were recounted, the ballots were not separated by day they were cast, so a recount could only be conducted by all early ballots over the course of the 8-day period. 

Rep. Allen West called the lack of election integrity “unconscionable.”

Patrick Murphy, the other candidate in the 18th Congressional district, is denying that there are irregularities and opposing all efforts to get an accurate count of the votes.  He opposed West’s complaint asking for a recount and then filed a separate complaint once the recount was underway to enjoin the recount.  The Florida judges declined to be involved, leaving it up to the county canvassing board.  

Tim Edson of the West campaign said, “Murphy's efforts bring to mind the dark times in our nation's history when politicians tried to manipulate the law to suppress the votes.”

 

by Maya Noronha | with no comments
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The Votes Deserve to Be Counted in the Allen West Race
Sat, Nov 17 2012 8:50 AM

Rep. Allen West will finally receive a full recount of early voting in St. Lucie County as the canvassing board acknowledged what any sane person would decide, the votes have not even been accurately counted once! Unfortunately lawyers for Rep. Allen West's opponent are threatening to block this effort.

Moreover, Nancy Pelosi and other Democrat Congressmen are treating Rep. West's opponent as if he is an incoming member of the freshman Congressional class. He is not. No one even knows for sure how many votes anyone has received. The mainstream media and liberals are also declaring this race over. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Democrat County Election Supervisor Gertrude Walker is now merely forced to do what she initially said she would, a full recount of all early votes.

No one should say this election is over yet. RNLA will continue to fight to ensure that it is the voters who decide this election.

by Michael Thielen | with no comments
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Florida Voters Deserve to Find Out Who Really Won the 18th District Congressional Race
Fri, Nov 16 2012 9:48 AM

 

This week, Allen West’s campaign filed a complaint with a Florida court requesting recount of all the ballots of St. Lucie County cast during the entire early voting period. 

A number of disturbing irregularities have been reported in the race for the Congressional seat for Florida’s 18th District.  At 1:00 a.m. on election night, St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections conducted a partial recount of approximately 15,000 early ballots cast between November 1 and November 3.  As a result, West, who was originally thought to win by 2,000 votes, now was losing by 2,400 votes.  These ballots were only a subset of the 37,379 ballots during all 8 days of early voting.  The county supervisor said she would do a full recount of early votes on Sunday but then only did the last three days.  The candidates were not informed or notified of this change until 2 a.m. on election night, after the counting was started.

Votes cast by precinct and by times counted do not match up.  Reported irregularities included:

-          Locked doors to polling places, preventing the public from witnessing the procedures used to tabulate results.

-          Double counting of ballots

-          Several hundred pages of uncounted ballots

West is not the only one expressing serious doubts over the way ballots have been counted.  The Florida Secretary of State is sending auditors to the county and expressed concern over 799 votes that were unaccounted for when the county election supervisor retabulated ballots.   “We are concerned whenever there is a question about the accuracy of results,” Chris Cate, a spokesman for the Florida Secretary of State, said.

Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry said, “The supervisor of elections owes it to the people that elected her to count all of their votes that were cast early in the 2012 election cycle…She has already admitted there was a problem with the counting process and announced she would count all the votes. It makes no sense to arbitrarily cut off the counting process before it was finished.”

RNC Chair Reince Priebus supports West’s call for a full recount:

The voters of Florida's 18th Congressional District deserve to have their ballots counted properly. Congressman Allen West has asked election officials in St. Lucie County to count all early voting ballots, and I strongly urge them to do so in order to erase any existing concerns about irregularities in the tabulation process….This is not about any one candidate...It is about preserving and protecting the integrity of our democratic system. Regardless of the outcome, voters have the right to know the process was fair and that the results accurately reflect their will.

The Republican National Lawyers Association supports open, fair and honest elections.  Secret miscounting of select ballots fails this test on every level.  

 

UPDATE: 

306 uncounted ballots were found in a box by a state elections auditor.  Those uncounted ballots contained write-in choices that caused tabulating machines to reject them.  David Drury, head of the Division of Elections Bureau of Voting Systems Certifications, was among those who recommended that the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board rerun ballots.   The county canvassing board ordered a recount of all early votes.  The recount started on the morning of Saturday, November 17 and the deadline to send results to the Florida Division of Elections is Sunday, November 18 at noon.

by Maya Noronha | with no comments
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Obomination: Pretending But Failing To Be Today’s Lincoln
Fri, Nov 16 2012 2:50 AM

MSNBC host Chris Jansing recently compared Obama to Lincoln, saying, "You have a president who is newly elected, who faces a divided Congress and divided country...You must find these parallels fascinating."  This is all part of a master coordinated communications strategy by the Obama team.  But a critical detail has been forgotten: Old Abe was the first Republican Lawyer. Obama is a leftist Democrat, whereas the Republican Party was and continues to rightly be the Party of Lincoln. 

The Obama team and Democrats have strategically tried to assume the Abraham Lincoln mantle.  Both Obama and Lincoln served as the United States Senator from Illinois before becoming President of the United States.  Obama began his presidential campaign in Philadelphia, as Abraham Lincoln did. Obama took the oath of office using the Lincoln Bible.  Quotes by Lincoln are scattered throughout President Obama’s speeches.  If you google Lincoln and Obama, there are photoshopped images of the 44th president with the beard and top hat of the 16th president.

In addition to recognizing this is an orchestrated communications strategy broadcast by a political machine, the American public should seriously question whether Obama can honestly claim to fill Abraham’s large shoes.

Abraham Lincoln lived out the American dream.  Born to a poor family in Kentucky, his persistence and hard work brought him to Springfield, Illinois and Washington, D.C. where he served the people as an elected official.  He was a self-taught lawyer who read voraciously.  He started at the bottom and moved up in society because he worked hard.  His was a story of persistence in the face of failures and difficult times.

Lincoln had the ability to reach American people of all walks of life.  He lifted the American spirit through the words of his speeches.  He proclaimed that those enslaved were now free from being judged by the color of their skin.  In word and deed, he honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

In Lincoln’s last public address, he said, “Let us all join in doing the acts necessary to restoring the proper practical relations between these States and the Union.”  Although Lincoln was referring to the states that seceded from the Union, his words are relevant today. 

America needs a leader who will uphold the principles of federalism and improve the federal government’s relationship with states, especially as there are now thirty Republican governors.  We need a leader who is not waging a war against fellow Americans, particularly against Republican leaders in state houses or the House of Representatives.  We need real change from the president, not more of the same partisan posturing of the last four years.

by Maya Noronha | with no comments
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U.S. Military: "Please Mr. Postman, Look and See If There's A Ballot for Me..."
Thu, Nov 15 2012 3:25 AM

Prior to the election, five U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, citing concerns in the delays of ballots reaching military service members overseas.  Unfortunately, simple changes to enable military voters to receive their ballots on time were never implemented.

The Military Overseas Voter Empowerment or MOVE Act,  requires ballots to be mailed to service members 45 days prior to the election to allow sufficient time for the ballots to be returned.  It is agreed that a 45 day minimum should be sufficient time to allow for a ballot to be mailed and returned stateside.  In the civilian world, the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS can make that happen.  However, the military has a postal service called the Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) which redirects military mail sometimes taking up to 50 days.  

The letter from Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) indicated that "it has come to our attention that DoD has failed to implement the MPSA's top recommendations to modernize the system for redirecting (i.e., forwarding) blank ballots and that, as a result, a large number of service members are unlikely to receive their ballots in time to vote this year."  

The Senators also wrote:

We are perplexed as to why DoD did not do everything in its power to modernize the system … to eliminate this roadblock for military service members. … They deserve to have a voice in choosing their elected leaders. Our men and women in uniform should be able to participate in the very same democratic system of government that they defend, not be relegated to mere spectator status because their ballot never reached them.”  Clearly, MPSA was aware the antiquated system posed problems to the military service members because they made recommendations in 2010 to streamline and drastically reduce delivery time.

It is remarkable that the world's foremost technologically advanced nation can rely upon such an antiquated and broken system.  At a time when a soldier in Afghanistan can sit in his tent and Skype with his family stateside, we should have the tools and resources available to ensure that soldier receives a paper ballot to vote.  While this election has come and gone, hopefully the system will be modernized in time for the next election.  

by Leigh Searl | with no comments
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Beware the Nationalization of Voter Registration
Tue, Nov 13 2012 7:37 AM


Among the “solutions” being proposed to reduce lines at polling places is to nationalize our voter registration system and to automate certain portions of it.  This idea reveals something of the split between liberals and conservatives when it comes to the merits of bigger enterprises.  Liberals tend to believe efficiencies can be created by consolidation.  Conservatives tend to be more skeptical.

When the now defunct Committee to Modernize Voter Registration started such chatter three years ago I wrote extensively about it.

Not much has changed since then.  The federal government is flatly incapable of running a database of this magnitude, especially one that protects a fundamental right of every American citizen.  Last year, the IRS couldn’t deliver refund checks to nearly 100,000 people. 

It happens every year.  Perhaps you were one of the 80,000 people denied Social Security benefits because of an error in their database.  Over the course of months, perhaps they’ll straighten out your tax refund or social security payment.  When they don’t process your voter registration correctly, there’s no waiting for the problem to be resolved.

Beyond that, residence is complicated.  Most readers here are well aware of legal battles over residency when it comes to ballot access and voting.  Fans of automation really don’t have an answer to people who appear in multiple databases with different addresses (students and snow birds, for example).  They also don’t account for the multitude of databases that contain data for people ineligible to vote, such as noncitizens on driver’s license databases.  

In the end, nationalizing and automating registration will bring increased chaos at the polling place, not less.  

To the extent that we have voter registration issues, the best solution is further empowering voters.  Increased use of online voter registration programs such as used by Arizona would increase the accuracy and validity of registrations.  Databases should be designed to allow voters to receive updates on their registration status and to get a specimen ballot prior to the election.

And while liberals have fought the database matching requirements of HAVA, enforcement of those requirements would actually help voters as it would make it easier to keep their registrations up to date and make it less likely that they will be removed improperly.  Any voter whose information doesn’t match, should be notified and allowed to correct the information.

Across America, states and local election officials have been leading the way on improving our voter registration system.  It would be a tragedy to have those advances curtailed by a demonstrably inefficient federal government.

 

N.B. The views expressed herein are of the author and are not necessarily reflective of the RNLA.

 

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Say Thank You Because "Freedom is Never Free"
Mon, Nov 12 2012 5:41 AM

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month of 1918, the opportunity to solemnly honor American Veterans who served fighting for this country was born.  Veterans Day, November 11th, is a day dedicated to honoring and thanking all American veterans for their service and sacrifice.  It is because of the selfless service and patriotism of our veterans that we have a free society.  For that, we are thankful.

The spirit and preservation of the United States is found within our Veterans but was born with Benjamin Franklin when he said, "Where liberty dwells, there is my country."  We owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans because our life here in the United States is attributable in great part to their sacrifice.  Without their commitment and love of country, our future is bleak.  Veterans made a commitment to the United States, that far too often results in the ultimate sacrifice.  However, veterans made their commitment to the United States knowing what was at stake, never asking for anything in return.  It is that dedication, selfless sacrifice, and absolute love of country that pushes us forward today.

In the wake of our recent Presidential election, I am reminded of the importance of our electoral process.  Our elections and our democracy represent freedom and liberty.  We have witnessed people wishing to strip the United States of our freedom and oppress our way of life.  Thanks to our veterans our freedom is preserved and we are continually saved from those wishing to destroy the United States.

If you see a Veteran stop them and say, "Thank You!"  I am reminded of a time when my husband and I were at the Dallas Airport and he was heading back to Afghanistan after R&R.  He was lucky enough to have been home for the birth of our second child but it was time for him to return.  We were having lunch and as we were getting ready to go to the gate, someone came up to us and paid for our lunch.  We thanked him for his generous offer but politely declined.  He insisted saying it was the least he could do for all that had been done for him.  To be honest, it took my husband and I both aback.  It was such a generous, thoughtful, and sincere gesture from a complete stranger.  But in that moment, that thank you, a complete stranger became the face of everyone my husband fights for and I realized how much, "thank you" can really mean and why he does what he does.  

The quiet honor of our veterans should not be dismissed because it is a reflection of their humility and pride.  They do not seek recognition from the populous because their gratification is found elsewhere - through freedom and liberty.  It is up to us to make sure they feel appreciated and know we are grateful for all they are sacrificing.  When you meet a veteran, say, "Thank You!" It means more than you will ever know.  

 

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In Response to Rick Hasen
Fri, Nov 9 2012 3:10 PM

In response to Rick Hasen's 'interpretation' of my piece in the New York Times, I did NOT say there is no voter fraud. The RNLA website documents its existence. What I did say -- and what I'm suggesting -- is that improving election administration in America should not be a partisan issue - and we should stop calling each other names. We need to find ways to stop bickering and make election administration a priority. Denying the very existence of vote fraud only lulls people into a false belief that there is no particular urgency or necessity to improve the system.

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Obomination: No Mandate for Obama’s Four More Years
Fri, Nov 9 2012 4:46 AM

Barack Obama’s victory speech claimed he had a mandate from the American people to take the country “forward” with his progressive agenda.  In 2008, Obama may have claimed that Americans voted for “hope and change,” but in 2012, our future is exactly the opposite of what he promised four years ago.  This election’s theme is really 'despair and stagnation.' 

The divided states of America did not give Barack Obama a mandate.  America elected a Republican House of Representatives,  voted for 30 Republican governors, and in some state legislatures like Tennessee, voted for a Republican supermajority.

There are four more years of the Obama presidency.  What does that really mean?

Four more years of rising unemployment and economic decline.

Four more years of a growing federal bureaucracy that usurps powers from the elected branches of government, infringes on the rightful power of the states, and

Four more years of activist judicial appointments who exercise empathy instead of fair and impartial application of the law.

Four more years of czars who implement radical changes without any oversight.

Four more years of ignoring the United States Constitution by a president who ironically lectured about the topic at one of the nation’s highly ranked law schools.

For more years of a Commander-in-Chief who dangerously reduces military spending and disenfranchises the military.

Is all this something we should really look “forward” to?

There will continue to be Obominations every Friday.  You can look forward (or despair) about that lack of change. 

There are 1533 days left of Barack Obama’s presidency.  January 20, 2017 can’t come soon enough.

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Were there really such long lines at the polls?
Thu, Nov 8 2012 10:27 AM

Someday we’ll hold an election with no administrative snafus, but I’m not likely to live to see it.  Among the perennial criticisms are lines at the polling places.  As County Clerk in Champaign County Illinois, I heard and addressed those criticisms while never seeing them go away.

This election I watched the news on Tuesday and saw a helicopter take some nice film footage of a long line at a polling place in Miami.  I have no doubt that many others existed as well.  But the reality is that most of these stories are anecdotal in nature.  The vast majority of polling places don’t experience lines like this.  The danger is that anecdotes often lead to bad legislative solutions.  Hopefully, policy makers won’t see this election as an invitation to some sort of costly and burdensome solution to the “line problem”.

But people are certainly lining up for the cause.  President Obama went out of his way to say that this was a problem that “We need to fix”.  Slate posted a grossly irresponsible article on Wednesday claiming “Most voters in Florida waited around an hour and a half at the polls, according to data pulled from Twitter late this afternoon.”  Actually, their analysis was based on a mere 320 tweets in a state where 8 million people voted.    Of course, the people tweeting about their experience will generally be the ones with the worst experience.   Many more articles have been written, generally with a few anecdotes, but not much actual data.

I wrote about lines at polling places at my County Clerk blog a number of years ago. That post is still relevant today.  What bears attention more than anything else is that lines at polling places are in most instances caused by election judges who are just not as capable as other judges of handling the time pressures of election day.  For some nice thoughts on this, I’d suggest reading a better article from Slate on Tuesday.

“At my polling place, it took two elderly ladies, in tandem, two to three minutes to find each voter’s name in the rolls, write down the pertinent information, and have each voter sign. The actual voting booths were virtually empty because it took each voter so long to get through the bottleneck at check-in.”

Every election official knows this.  With the difficulties of finding election judges, every jurisdiction has a fairly large number of judges who are slower and less capable than the ideal.

My concern would be a costly mandate from the federal government determining how many booths or machines or registered voters would be required in each polling place.  These are easily quantifiable and therefore easy for policy makers to point to.  But it’s impossible to quantify how long it’s going to take any given judge to find any given name in the voter rolls.

The first order of business before jumping ahead with solutions is to determine what the nature and extent of the problem is.  Some of these are fairly easily accomplished after the election.  If you find a polling place with a long line, see if it had an inordinately low number of machines or booths compared to other precincts.  If not, you’ve probably isolated a personnel issue, which, like the voter’s experience above, wouldn’t get solved with ten more machines.  If a certain type of voting system is more prone to lines, that should be noted.  Counties with few to no lines ought be researched to see if the best practices there can be extended to other jurisdictions.

But we should also realize that as with so many government solutions, there will be unintended consequences.  Like the two lane highway that continues to be crowded when expanded to four lanes, efforts to reduce lines may just end up enticing more people to vote at those busier times.  When I hear people suggest that Election Day should be a holiday I think of the fliers from Kohl’s and Wal-Mart inviting me to their special “Election Day Sale”, staffed, of course, by people who aren’t getting the day off so that they can sell you a new toaster.

I’m very supportive of efforts to reduce lines at polling places.  But let’s make sure that we get our facts straight first and that our solutions actually address the problem. 

 

by Mark Shelden | with no comments
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About Those UN Observers
Thu, Nov 8 2012 8:19 AM

The left has successfully won the public relations war to allow vote fraud to happen by crying racism or suppression to most efforts to fix the problems with our electoral system. But what the left won't talk about is how our election system is not open, fair or honest.  You don't have to take the word of a Republican blog.  Just listen to the rest of the world. Just a couple points from the so-called 'UN Observers' (who were actually representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and international observers from other groups).

1. Are you kidding me no ID? To almost the rest of the world it is unthinkable that there is no requirement for ID in U.S. elections.

A story entitled "UN Observers 'amazed' people vote in US without IDs" reported:

The most often noted difference between American elections among the visitors was that in most U.S. states, voters need no identification.

2. In the United States, the left has alleged that trained poll watchers are intimidating, unless they are Democrats. Of course, all properly trained poll watchers are told not to talk to voters but to observe the process, something the left vehemently objects to crying racism and literally physically assaulting observers in Philadelphia. Again to the rest of the world this is unthinkable:

Many of the visiting international officials noted that there were no observers at the polling places to ensure that proper voting procedures were being followed.

3. In 2004, "UN observers" found no proof of intimidation of minorities and will almost certainly find no such intimidation this time. As John Fund wrote:

In the past, the OSCE observers have issued solid reports that relied neither on hearsay nor on anecdotal evidence. In the report of the group's Election Observation Mission on the 2004 U.S. presidential election it found that:

"The EOM noted concerns, mainly by several African-American voters' advocacy groups but also reported in the national media, regarding the so-called suppression of the vote. This term was used to describe the allegedly intentional effort to decrease minority voter participation through administrative shortcomings, such as inaccurate voter registers, purges of the voter register intended to remove ex-felons but which removed non felons, inaccurate voter information, and cases of voter intimidation. Other than press reports, the EOM was not aware of such instances and was not able to identify any first-hand evidence for alleged vote suppression. . . . While recognizing the seriousness of such allegations, the EOM was not provided with substantial evidence that such practices existed."

. . .Given the hyper-partisan rhetoric of the ACLU, the NAACP, and the Advancement Project in denouncing sensible steps to clean up our election process, I'll take my chances on having foreign observers come in and look at things dispassionately. But if they don't find evidence of "voter suppression," don't expect to hear much about their conclusions in the mainstream media.

Our election system has many problems and, despite some public statements to the contrary, that is exactly the way the left wants it.

by Michael Thielen | with no comments
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The Morning After: Searching for Civility in Politics
Wed, Nov 7 2012 9:49 AM

 

After Governor Romney conceded, President Obama gave a speech encouraging Americans to be civil to each other.  Unfortunately, civility was in short supply in the hours preceding that speech.  In a tragic turn of events, disputes on election day progressed into violence.

  • In Detroit, an Obama campaigner punched in a voter in the face.
  • Also in Detroit, a Republican poll watcher in Detroit was threatened with a gun.
  • 75 Republican election officials in dozens of wards throughout Philadelphia were physically assaulted by Democrat election judges to remove them from polling places.  (So much for the ‘city of brotherly love.’)

 

In those cases, the disputes could not be resolved peaceably between the two parties.  Other avenues had to be pursued, and law enforcement was needed to restore civility. 

The aggressive campaigner was arrested. 

The Republican poll watcher called 911. 

Lawyers went to court to get an order to reinstate election officials with police security to protect them.

Hopefully Americans actually listened to what Obama said later that night.  President Obama thanked those “held an Obama sign or a Romney sign.”  He said he would speak with Romney about how to work together.  In calling for cooperation across the aisle, he did recognize the divisive state of the country by saying:

Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

Those on the left talk a lot about civility as if only those on the right are uncivil.  This is not the first time Obama has called for civility.  In the wake of the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, Obama said, “a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation.”  In August, a Georgetown Law student was invited to the ABA’s Annual Meeting in Chicago to discuss “a Law Student’s Encounter with Incivility” when conversations about the HHS mandate disintegrated into ad hominem attacks.   It soon became Democrat talking points to slam Republicans for not being civil.

As Obama observed last night, politics is passionate.  But being swayed by one’s passions is not how a lawyer, a Supreme Court justice or a president should act.  Judge Michael Mukasey wisely told law school graduates, an attorney must engage in “dispassionate and reasoned analysis.”

During the most divisive time in our nation’s history – The Civil War – Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican lawyer said, “We are not enemies, but friends.  Though passions may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”

On November 6, some let their passions run amok.  Let’s not let November 7 be the start of our next civil war.

 

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