The Voting News Daily: Tech Startups Making Millions Off the Presidential Race, Voter ID Laws Bring Challenges in Several State

National: Tech Startups Making Millions Off the Presidential Race | Bloomberg Four years ago, Michael Beach was toiling inside the Republican National Committee, overseeing a voter-turnout operation that was overrun by President Barack Obama’s technology-driven grassroots army. After the election, he and another former RNC aide, then both 28 years old, set out to start a…

National: Tech Startups Making Millions Off the Presidential Race | Bloomberg

Four years ago, Michael Beach was toiling inside the Republican National Committee, overseeing a voter-turnout operation that was overrun by President Barack Obama’s technology-driven grassroots army.
After the election, he and another former RNC aide, then both 28 years old, set out to start a high-tech political consulting company that is now an expanding 50-person operation with offices in Virginia and Boston. One recent morning, 14 job candidates filed into his fourth-floor office in Alexandria, Virginia, where a wiffle ball net is stowed in the lobby and a pirate flag hangs in the conference room. How many might he hire? “Fourteen, if we like them all,” he said. The rapid expansion of Targeted Victory showcases the rise of a new professional, political class: a core group of young technology experts who are shunning traditional campaign titles, starting companies and making millions off the most expensive presidential campaign in history. They are cutting a path similar to the one etched by television ad makers in the 1980s, with a dose of Silicon Valley and the dot-com boom’s edginess.

National: Voter ID Laws Bring Challenges in Several States | Wall Street Journal

Across the country, legal challenges are mounting to voter identification laws in several states, and the outcome of the November election could be hanging in the balance. A lawsuit is underway in Pennsylvania, where voters are challenging the state’s strict ID requirement; the state of Texas is suing the Obama administration over its move to block a voter ID law; a judge in Wisconsin barred enforcement of a voter ID rule this week; and in Florida, officials sued for access to a federal database of noncitizens in hopes of purging them from voter rolls, according to the New York Times.

Iowa: Secretary of State wants to purge voter rolls of non-citizens | Radio Iowa

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz wants to check the state’s voter registration rolls against a federal database to make sure non-citizens aren’t casting votes in Iowa elections. Schultz has already checked the lists of registered Iowa voters against lists of people who are here legally on visas or green cards, but who aren’t U.S. citizens. “I don’t have the exact number off the top of my head, but I can tell you there were more than a thousand hits,” he says. The “hits” came when Schultz compared voter registration rolls with Iowa Department of Transportation records, because legal non-citizens — who have a visa or a green card — can get a drivers license.

Mississippi: Study: Voter ID law would hit Mississippi hard | The Clarion-Ledger

Mississippians could make up 10 percent of all Americans impeded from voting by new voter identification laws. The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that 48,000 low-income Mississippians could have trouble obtaining a government-issued photo identification in order to vote, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports. Overall, the center estimates that 500,000 people across 10 states could face challenges from “restrictive” voter ID laws. The Brennan Center, located at New York University School of Law, focuses on voter participation and similar public policy issues. “Every American citizen should have the opportunity to vote, but these restrictive laws could make it harder for hundreds of thousands to exercise that right,’ said Sundeep Iyer, co-author of the report, which was released Wednesday.

North Carolina: Wake County Elections board reconsiders nixing early voting sites |

A lack of county funding has Wake County elections officials mulling over how to stretch their budget to keep early-voting sites open for this fall’s presidential election. The Board of Elections was considering cutting the number of one-stop polling places for November’s election by 25 percent. But members voted Friday to reconsider after a public hearing at which 27 people spoke against the move. Fifty-seven percent of all registered voters in the county – 235,000 – used early voting in 2008, and officials expect that number to rise to an estimated 272,000 this fall. The board had asked county commissioners for $3 million for early voting, but received only $1.7 million – enough, says election board staff, to keep only 11 of the 15 sites from 2008 open this year. They would also be open fewer days and fewer hours. Overall, the number of hours available for early voting would be cut by half – from 1,456 hours in 2008 to just 725 hours this fall.

Editorials: The fight for early voting in Ohio | Robert F. Bauer/

A decade after enactment of the 2002 Help America Vote Act, many state legislatures under Republican political leadership have chosen a different course for voters: They offer little help, while imposing a host of restrictions under the claim of fighting “fraud.” But these laws do not stop at the enactment of ID requirements; they include limitations on voter registration, on the information that poll workers may supply to voters looking to locate their correct polling places — and on early voting. An example of these attacks on early voting has occurred in the state of Ohio, and it has resulted in the lawsuit brought in federal district court by Obama for America, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party. We are challenging the state legislature’s action denying the vast majority of Ohio voters any access to in-person early voting during the last three days before the election. And this action was taken entirely arbitrarily, without justification, unaccountably shutting down this avenue of participation for thousands of voters. This action would be troubling under any circumstances, but it is all the more so in light of the role that early voting has played in Ohio in solving major problems Ohio voters have experienced in the past, highlighted by electoral breakdown in the 2004 presidential election. In that year, the failure of voting machinery, poorly managed congestion at polling places and other problems contributed to long lines for voters — sometimes leading to waits as long as six or seven hours.

Editorials: Pennsylvania voter ID law will cut turnout, not fraud | Karen Heller/Philadelphia Inquirer

Let us return to the tale of one Joseph Cheeseboro. Or possibly Joseph Cheeseborough. The city resident loves those machines, having voted under both names in eight elections, going so far as to cast ballots twice in the 2007 primary and the general, using a 7-Eleven on South Broad as one address. Perhaps voting so often makes Joe parched for a Slurpee. Last week, he was cited as the prime example of voter fraud by Republican City Commissioner Al Schmidt. Then again, Joe Cheeseboro/borough is the only known example of voter impersonation in Philadelphia. This irregularity, along with the other findings in Schmidt’s study, has been previously reported. At his news conference, Schmidt wanted to make clear – please don’t read this while drinking coffee – this had nothing to do with Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, which is being challenged in Commonwealth Court this week, leaving 9.2 percent of Pennsylvania and 18 percent of Philadelphia voters without proper credentials. The law is as adored by Republicans as it is loathed by Democrats. No, nothing whatsoever to do with the law or politics. Let the games begin! “Philadelphia is, without question, one of our nation’s most infested epicenters for rampant election fraud and corruption,” said Butler County Republican State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who clearly isn’t planning to spend his vacation here. State GOP chair Rob Gleason released an e-mail blast soliciting donations based on Schmidt’s report: “Are you as outraged by this as I am? Enough is enough, and we need to act now! Click to donate $15, $25, $50 or more today to help us combat voter fraud in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania.” He added, “Donate today and stand up to the liberals to help us protect Pennsylvania’s elections.”

Pennsylvania: Secretary of Commonwealth Announces New Voter ID Card |

Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele has announced the creation of a new card that can be issued to voters who need photo identification under Pennsylvania’s voter ID law. The Department of State voter cards, which will be issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, will be available to registered voters who are not able to provide all of the documents they would normally need to obtain a photo ID from PennDOT, such as a birth certificate. “As we work to ensure that Pennsylvanians have the identification they need to vote this fall, this new card will provide another photo ID option for voters,” Aichele said. “We believe these new cards will be a safety net for those who may not currently possess all of the documents they need for a standard photo ID from PennDOT. Our goals are to continue making voters aware of the new voter ID law and helping those who may not have proper identification obtain it,” she added.

Tennessee: Shelby County Candidate Says 1,019 Wrong Ballots Given Out So Far | Memphis Flyer

The much-beleaguered Shelby County Election Commission is about to get another big shock, which will also further shake the already weakened confidence of Shelby County voters in the accuracy of the August 2 election process. If the calculations of Steve Ross are correct, no fewer than 1,019 Shelby County voters have been presented with erroneous ballots so far in the early-voting process. Ross, the Democratic nominee for a District 1 County Commission seat, has been a determined all-purpose political activist for years (somewhere between a gadfly and an ombudsman), and being a candidate for office hasn’t halted his efforts. If anything it’s whetted them.

US Virgin Islands: St. Croix Board of Elections approves paper ballots policy | Virgin Islands Daily News

At its regular meeting on St. Croix on Thursday, the Joint Board of Elections approved a policy about casting paper ballots in the upcoming elections. The eight members in attendance at the meeting all voted to approve the policy that outlines who can vote using a paper ballot; how to record who uses paper ballots; how spoiled ballots will be handled; and how the integrity of the process will be maintained. The board decided that any registered voter can use a paper ballot upon request. Elections officials will write a letter “P” next to the names of voters who request paper ballots. If a paper ballot is spoiled, the voter must write “spoiled” on it and put it into a separate receptacle and then will be issued another paper ballot.

Mexico: New protest at Pena Nieto election victory | BBC News

Thousands of protesters have been marching through the streets of Mexico City to protest against the official result of this month’s presidential election. The march was called by a new student movement, “Yo soy 132” (I am 132) which accuses the winner, Enrique Pena Nieto, of buying votes. They also say he arranged favourable coverage from main television network, Televisa. Mr Pena Nieto has rejected all charges. “No to fraud,” and “Out with Pena”, shouted the protesters in this latest march against the result of the 1 July vote. “Mexico wants a country that is honest and democratic,” protester Marlem Munoz told the AP news agency. The protest also attracted supporters of the runner up in the poll, left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has refused to accept the official result.