The last time we heard from the corporate-funded Washington D.C.-based “free market” candidate seed organization American Majority, it was training candidates to assume local offices like school boards in Wisconsin (and elsewhere) to better implement the “tools” that legislators like Governor Scott Walker have fashioned. Well, it appears American Majority has a new endeavor to help you “take control of your elections.” The American Majority Action Voter Fraud App. Except, on its way to stopping voting fraud, it seems the app may encourage election law violations. As we already know from a video featuring the group’s Director of New Media Strategy, Austin James, instructing seminar attendees how to vote down liberal books on Amazon.com while at the same time voting up conservative books, American Majority likes technology. So it’s no surprise that “Just in time for Election Day,” American Majority started offering “the nation’s first mobile application to help identify, report and track suspected incidents of voter fraud and intimidation” and “help you report violations at the election booth and serve to uphold the democratic process.” (iPhone, Blackberry, Android). And it’s free! Full Article
Alabamians would have to show photo identification at the polls before voting, with some exceptions, under a bill approved Tuesday by the state House of Representatives. The House voted 64-31 for House Bill 19, which now goes to the Senate for debate. A photo ID could include an Alabama driver’s license, a non-driver ID card issued by a state or county agency, a military ID, a U.S. passport or a college or university ID card for a student or employee, among other options. Alabama voters for years have been required to show identification at the polls, but many forms of non-photo IDs are allowed, such as a utility bill, a bank statement that shows a voter’s name and address, a Social Security card or a certified copy of a birth certificate. Read More
Long lines and confusion over where to vote in November’s election prompted some to complain that the Fresno County clerk shouldn’t have slashed the number of polling places — but the county grand jury says it wasn’t entirely his fault. Instead, jurors blamed the county’s administrative officer and Board of Supervisors for cutting the clerk’s budget in June. In a report issued Tuesday, the grand jury said Clerk Victor Salazar had no choice but to eliminate 108 polling sites. County records show that funding for his office is down 40% from what it was five years ago. This caused thousands of voters to wait in long lines at the remaining 114 precincts, which were too small to accommodate the crowds. Many voters left without casting ballots. Others didn’t get a chance to vote because polling places weren’t properly identified and not easily accessible by public transit, the report said. Read More
All 99 of Iowa’s county auditors — a majority of which are Republican — have come out in unprecedented opposition to Secretary of State Matt Schult’z push to require Iowans to show an ID in order to vote, saying it will disenfranchise voters. Currently only Indiana and Georgia require all voters to present photo IDs. Six states request photo IDs but have alternatives for voters lacking identification. The Indiana law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, but only because that state provides free ID cards to all who need one. Schultz has argued that the legislation is needed to prevent voter fraud. But blogger John Deeth points out that Iowans are already identified when they register to vote, and those registering on Election Day have to show an ID, as to those who are considered “inactive” voters. All 99 of Iowa’s county auditors — a majority of which are Republican — have come out in unprecedented opposition to Secretary of State Matt Schult’z push to require Iowans to show an ID in order to vote, saying it will disenfranchise voters. Currently only Indiana and Georgia require all voters to present photo IDs. Six states request photo IDs but have alternatives for voters lacking identification. The Indiana law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008, but only because that state provides free ID cards to all who need one. Schultz has argued that the legislation is needed to prevent voter fraud. But blogger John Deeth points out that Iowans are already identified when they register to vote, and those registering on Election Day have to show an ID, as to those who are considered “inactive” voters. Read More
The Senate voted Tuesday to capture election reforms sought by the House and Gov. Sam Brownback requiring proof of citizenship to register and a picture identification before casting a ballot in Kansas. Final action on the Senate bill is expected Wednesday, but details of the reform measure clash with the House’s version. “This would clarify and guard the voting process,” said Sen. Terrie Huntington, R-Fairway, chairwoman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee. Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, reached the opposite conclusion and declared the picture ID provision an attempt to stifle election turnout and skew results in favor of affluent Kansans. Democrats also fear a proof-of-citizenship law would undermine voter registration drives. Read More
A Raleigh public hearing on Voter ID attracted hundreds from across the state Tuesday and caused tempers to flare. If the law passes, North Carolina will join 27 states that currently require voters to present identification before casting a ballot. While Republicans argue that the law would reduce election fraud, Democrats say the legislation would cause declined voter turnout. “I’m definitely in favor of it,” said Rep. Jonathan Jordan, a co-sponsor of the bill. “When there’s fraud in the system,” Sen. Dan Soucek said, “that’s where you have disenfranchisement.” But outspoken critics, including Chris Kromm of the Institute of Southern Studies, said his nonpartisan group released a study in February that showed Voter ID legislation could cost the state $20 million. “This was one of the first studies to look at the fiscal notes, which are the cost estimates that states use when they are considering a voter ID bill,” he said. ISS looked at legislation in places like Missouri, South Carolina and Wisconsin. “What’s interesting is that most of those fiscal notes estimated costs at much more than what is being discussed for North Carolina, even though we have more voters,” he said. Read More
In 2004, Ohio became infamous for making it difficult to vote and have one’s vote counted. Much of the criticism was directed at then-Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Remember his directive to reject registration forms on less than 80-pound paper weight? Now, Ohio House Republicans are attempting to go further than Blackwell ever dared. In an obvious attempt to gain an advantage in the 2012 presidential election, they are attempting to rush through a bill (HB 159) that would make it more difficult for eligible citizens to have their votes counted. Ohio already has a tough voter ID law, but the proposed bill would make the burden on eligible citizens more onerous, requiring that in-person voters present one of four specified forms of government-issued photo identification. “Disenfranchisement” isn’t a word to be used lightly. But it is necessary to capture this bill’s purpose and impact. Passage of this bill would restore our state’s unfortunate reputation as the nation’s capital of vote suppression. Yet so far, it has gone completely under the radar. This comment provides background on the problem, debunks the arguments in favor of the bill, and anticipates the lawsuits that can be expected to follow if it passes. Read More
If two southwest Ohio Republican lawmakers get their way, state voters soon will have to show photo identification at polls. Under the bill, only four forms of government ID would be sufficient to cast a ballot: a state driver’s license, state or military ID or U.S. passport. Voters currently can show utility bills, pay checks or bank statements if they don’t have an ID. Hearings for House Bill 159, introduced last week by state Reps. Bob Mecklenborg, R-Green Township, and Lou Blessing, R-Colerain Township, started Tuesday in front of the House State Government and Elections Committee. It is expected to continue and hit the House floor for a vote today. Backers say it will curb voter fraud. No one will be disenfranchised, supporters say, because the state will provide a photo ID at no cost to voters who can’t afford one. Neither sponsor returned calls. “It just protects every citizen’s right to vote by assuring their identity,” said Alex Triantafilou, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican party and a member of the county board of elections. Democrats are calling it a “modern poll tax” and effort to “suppress the Democratic vote” as Ohio heads into the 2012 presidential election. Read More
Already adopted by the Texas Senate, the bill that would require Texas voters to have a photo ID was expected to hit the floor for debate in the Texas House on Wednesday.The bill that Gov. Rick Perry has made a priority is expected to pass the Republican-controlled Legislature. However, Kevin Wolff, a staunch Republican who represents Precinct 3 on the Bexar County Commissioners Court, said, “There’s a bunch of foolishness going on up there.”Wolff said although he supports the voter ID proposal, it will come down as an unfunded mandate.”Every time I hear of something that’s going to cost taxpayers money, I’m like, ‘OK, wait a minute,'” Wolff said.He said the Commissioners Court has instructed Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callenan to look at its potential cost at the local level. For instance, Callenan said, overtime and additional staffing may be required on weekends, if provisional voters are given six days to produce a photo ID, such as a driver’s license or a proposed voter ID issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Read More
The EU has reported a “serious” cyber attack on the Commission and External Action Service on the eve of a summit in Brussels, a spokesman told the BBC. Crucial decisions on the future structure of the EU, economic strategy and the ongoing war in Libya are to be discussed at the two-day talks. Details were not given but other sources compared the attack to a recent assault on France’s finance ministry. “We’re often hit by cyber attacks but this is a big one,” one source said. The European Commission has been assessing the scale of the current threat and, in order to prevent the “disclosure of unauthorised information”, has shut down external access to e-mail and the institutions’ intranet. Staff have been asked to change their passwords. Read More
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