The Voting News

Indiana: State Police chief reports cases of voter fraud | Los Angeles Times

Indiana’s top cop suggested Friday that investigators had uncovered several instances of voter fraud in the state, an allegation that adds fuel to a fiery debate over whether elections are “rigged” and subject to abuse. Indiana State Police Supt. Douglas Carter said in a local TV interview that Gov. Mike Pence “absolutely did not misspeak” this week when he warned supporters of potential voter fraud during a campaign stop in Nevada. Carter said he believed there was voter fraud in “every state,” including Indiana. Carter refused to provide details about how many instances of voter fraud police have found, or the exact nature of the fraud — whether investigators found, for example, cases of people registering to vote multiple times or whether those ineligible to vote tried to register. … Experts have found voter fraud to be extremely rare, with one study from a Loyola Law School professor finding just 31 credible claims of fraud amid more than 1 billion ballots cast since 2000. The head elections officers in most presidential battleground states are Republicans. … Officials for Indiana Voter Registration Project, which is connected to Washington-based nonprofit Patriot Majority USA, have denied the fraud accusations and said Pence and other Republicans are targeting the group to suppress votes. Read More

Venezuela: Electoral Panel Halts Effort to Recall President Nicolás Maduro | The New York Times

Leaders of Venezuela’s opposition on Friday angrily called on citizens to take to the streets after the country’s electoral commission suspended a drive for a referendum to remove President Nicolás Maduro. Speaking to a packed news conference, Henrique Capriles, a two-time presidential candidate, described the commission’s decision as a “coup” intended to keep Mr. Maduro in power. “We warned that this could happen, and this is exactly what we wanted to avoid with the referendum,” Mr. Capriles said. “This only deepens the crisis that Venezuelans are living through.” The battle over the recall movement appeared to escalate the conflict between the opposition and Mr. Maduro’s leftist government. Although the opposition controls the country’s congress, Mr. Maduro and his allies dominate all the other institutions of government, including the courts and the electoral commission. Mr. Maduro, blamed by many Venezuelans for the country’s economic collapse, has described the recall effort as a coup attempt. Read More


National: US election machine technology is out of date, experts say | CNBC

Experts say the chances of hacking at the polls are remote, since voting machines aren’t typically connected to the internet. Still, research shows the technology behind most of these machines is grossly outdated. Forty-three states have voting machines that are at least a decade old, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan policy group at New York University’s Law School. Gregory Miller, co-founder of the Oset Institute, which works with election officials to update infrastructure, said most voting machines are running on outdated software like Windows 2000. “The largest problem here is that the PC-based equipment is based upon technology that is not only antiquated, but it is flat out obsolete,” Miller said. “Innovation in this space has devolved to a discussion of spare parts from Asia, and software patches from Eastern Europe.” Three main companies provide the vast majority of voting machines for U.S. elections — ES&S, Dominion Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic. The challenge facing the companies, according to Miller, is that states don’t have money to buy upgraded equipment, so companies don’t have the incentive to innovate. Read More

National: Disenfranchised by Bad Design | ProPublica

This Nov. 8, even if you manage to be registered in time and have the right identification, there is something else that could stop you from exercising your right to vote. The ballot. Specifically, the ballot’s design. Bad ballot design gained national attention almost 16 years ago when Americans became unwilling experts in butterflies and chads. The now-infamous Palm Beach County butterfly ballot, which interlaced candidate names along a central column of punch holes, was so confusing that many voters accidentally voted for Patrick Buchanan instead of Al Gore. We’ve made some progress since then, but we still likely lose hundreds of thousands of votes every election year due to poor ballot design and instructions. In 2008 and 2010 alone, almost half a million people did not have their votes counted due to mistakes filling out the ballot. Bad ballot design also contributes to long lines on election day. And the effects are not the same for all people: the disenfranchised are disproportionately poor, minority, elderly and disabled. Read More

National: Donald Trump’s refusal to concede an election loss to Hillary Clinton wouldn’t make any legal difference | McClatchy DC

So what really happens if Donald Trump refuses to concede the election if he loses to Hillary Clinton? Probably nothing legally, election experts say. Though considered an essential act to foster a peaceful post-election political transition of power, concessions by losing candidates are a formality – not a legal requirement. “Just saying the words ‘I concede’ have no legal effect,” said Richard Hasen, founding co-editor of the Election Journal and author of the Election Law Blog. “What would have a legal effect is if he filed for a recount or do some sort of election contest. In short, we don’t have a constitutional crisis on our hands if we don’t have a gracious concession on election night, even if the result appears a blowout,” Edward “Ned” Foley, author of “Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States,” wrote on his blog last Friday. Read More

National: GOP braces for Trump loss, roiled by refusal to accept election results | The Washington Post

A wave of apprehension and anguish swept the Republican Party on Thursday, with many GOP leaders alarmed by Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election and concluding that it is probably too late to salvage his flailing presidential campaign. As the Republican nominee reeled from a turbulent performance in the final debate here in Las Vegas, his party’s embattled senators and House members scrambled to protect their seats and preserve the GOP’s congressional majorities against what Republicans privately acknowledge could be a landslide victory for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. With 19 days until the election, the Republican Party is in a state of historic turmoil, encapsulated by Trump’s extraordinary debate declaration that he would leave the nation in “suspense” about whether he would recognize the results from an election he has claimed will be “rigged” or even “stolen.” Read More

National: What would happen if Donald Trump refused to concede the election? | The Guardian

Donald Trump’s refusal to say whether he would accept the outcome of next month’s US presidential election if he were to lose is unprecedented and chilling, legal experts have said. But although the failure by a major party nominee to concede defeat on election night would throw American democracy into uncharted territory, from a legal standpoint, it would hardly make a difference, experts from across the political spectrum said. “Frankly, under our system, it is irrelevant whether the loser concedes or not,” said James Bopp, the conservative constitutional lawyer. “The vote of the electoral college is conclusive.” … Trump’s reticence does not appear to be shared by those closest to him. Just hours before the debate, Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, all insisted that the campaign would accept the result of the election.

Read More

National: Trump loyalists plan own exit poll amid claims of ‘rigged’ election | The Guardian

Donald Trump loyalists will attempt to conduct their own crowd-funded exit polling on election day, ostensibly due to fears that electronic voting machines in certain areas may have been “rigged”, the Guardian has learned. But the effort, led by Trump’s notorious informal adviser Roger Stone, will focus on 600 different precincts in nine Democrat-leaning cities with large minority populations, a tactic branded highly irregular by experts, who suggested that organizers could potentially use the polling as a way to intimidate voters. Stone told the Guardian that around 1,300 volunteers from the controversial Citizens for Trump grassroots coalition would conduct exit polling in Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Fort Lauderdale, Charlotte, Richmond and Fayetteville – all locations in pivotal swing states. Media organizations and political campaigns conduct exit polling for all major elections, but David Paleologos – a polling expert and director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center – said effective exit polling was done in bellwether precincts, not in areas likely to be dominated by a particular political party. “It doesn’t sound like that’s a traditional exit poll,” Paleologos said of Stone’s planned efforts. “It sounds like that’s just gathering data, in heavily Democratic areas for some purpose. It doesn’t sound like exit polling.” Read More

National: The Supreme Court’s Election Day ‘Doomsday scenario’ | CNN

Legal experts call it the worst-case scenario: The day after the election arrives and the outcome turns on a dispute in one state. As things stand now, the suggestion seems remote. But with Donald Trump refusing to promise he will accept the results of next month’s election, eyes naturally turn to the Supreme Court. The problem: there are only eight justices — four nominated by Republicans, four by Democrats. So what happens if they split, 4-4? “That’s the doomsday scenario,” veteran Supreme Court advocate Carter Phillips told an audience this fall, responding to a hypothetical question about a candidate who suspected the election was rigged and went to the courts. Phillips explained that if the court were to deadlock it would mean the justices were left to simply affirm a lower court opinion. Election law expert Joshua Douglas of the University of Kentucky College of Law says that power could end up resting with the lower courts, including even a state supreme court consisting of judges who were elected in a battleground state. Read More

National: For Trump, challenging an election loss would be tough | Reuters

If Donald Trump were to challenge the outcome of next month’s presidential election, as he has hinted he might, he would face a difficult and expensive fight, according to election attorneys and a review of voting laws in key battleground states. Trump has said he is worried the Nov. 8 election might be rigged in favor of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and in Wednesday’s debate he refused to say he would accept the outcome. But before any court challenge, Trump probably would have to ask for a recount, said Donald Brey, a Republican election lawyer in Ohio. If the campaign did not pursue out-of-court options first, he said, a judge likely would dismiss the case. Recount rules vary from state to state. North Carolina, for example, doesn’t allow a presidential candidate to request a recount at all if one candidate has a lead of more than 0.5 percent of the total votes cast. In Wisconsin, the challenging candidate must pay the full expense of a recount if the vote in dispute is more than 0.25 percent, and in Colorado if it is more than 0.5 percent. Read More