Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said he’s received reports from several voting locations where Alabamians who voted in the Aug. 15 Democratic primary were attempting to cast ballots in Tuesday’s GOP runoff. According to Alabama state law, that’s considered voter fraud and is illegal. State residents are prohibited to vote in one party’s primary and later voting in the other party’s runoff election. The process, deemed “crossover voting,” was made illegal earlier this year in an attempt to limit cross-party candidate selection as Alabamians are not required to register to a specific party to vote, but may only vote in one party’s primary.Full Article: Merrill says Dems who illegally vote Tuesday could face jail time.
As President Trump’s voter integrity commission looks under rocks for possible voter malfeasance, its members might want to examine a presidential nominee awaiting confirmation by the Senate Finance Committee. Documents indicate that Jeffrey Gerrish, the president’s pick to be a deputy United States Trade Representative, moved from Virginia to Maryland last year, but opted in November to vote in the more competitive state of Virginia than his bright blue new home. The Senate Finance Committee, which has been considering Mr. Gerrish’s nomination, was briefed on the matter on Tuesday, including the fact that Mr. Gerrish had almost certainly voted illegally, according to three Democratic congressional aides familiar with the briefing. Public records back up that notion.Full Article: Voter Fraud? A Trump Nominee Looks as if He Cast an Illegal Ballot - The New York Times.
During the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump infamously sought to cast doubt on the integrity of voting systems by arguing that if he lost his supporters should interpret the defeat as proof of a rigged election. He even said he wouldn’t concede unless he won. After his surprising victory, Trump argued that as many as 5 million votes cast illegally during the 2016 presidential election cost him the popular vote. Numerous fact checkers have judged the statement to be false, and the country’s secretaries of state have certified their elections and found no evidence of widespread wrongdoing, but questions about voter fraud persist. No doubt, such questions will live on for some time, and they will do so even if Trump’s commission on voter fraud doesn’t find the massive wrongdoing the president is looking for. Against this worrisome backdrop, it’s good news to read that a recent study by Colorado’s secretary of state, Wayne Williams, in conjunction with counterparts in four other states, found scant evidence of fraud.Full Article: Promising news on dearth of voter fraud.
Secretary of State Dennis Richardson announced last week that his office has uncovered 54 instances of what could be voter fraud during Oregon’s November 2016 election. The announcement comes at a time when the nation still is dealing with unproven allegations that millions of people voted illegally during the election, a claim that led to the establishment of a presidential commission on electoral integrity. We still think that commission is pursuing a not-so-secret agenda to impose tighter restrictions on voting, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that it will simply run out of steam.Full Article: Editorial: Voter fraud report needs followup | Editorial | democratherald.com.
The numbers aren’t there. Those who are convinced that widespread voter fraud is affecting the outcome of elections — including the unsubstantiated claim by President Trump that between 3 million and 5 million people voted illegally in last year’s presidential election, costing him the popular vote — will frequently point to anecdotes and hearsay to support their claims. But they can’t come up with the verified statistics to back those allegations. Secretary of State Kim Wyman, the Republican who won her second term in November, announced Friday the results of a five-state review of the 2016 General Election that checked for instances of potential voter fraud, including people who voted in this state and another, those who voted twice in Washington state and those who voted using the registration of a deceased individual.Full Article: States’ report puts voter fraud claims in proper perspective | HeraldNet.com.
Secretary of State Corey Stapleton said in a letter read by his chief of staff to a legislative committee Thursday that he never made any allegations of 360 cases of voter fraud in the May 25 special election and that media reports were incorrect. “I made no such statement,” Stapleton said in the Sept. 14 letter to Sen. Sue Malek, chair of the State Administration and Veterans Affairs Interim Committee. And he added he would “ask you to correct the public record to the extent that you can.” Malek had invited Stapleton to the meeting saying she wanted him to come and provide more information on the “360 cases of voter fraud” that he discussed at SAVA’s July 20 meeting.Full Article: Secretary of state denies voter fraud claims.
Identified cases of voter fraud are rare in North Dakota, but weaknesses in the election system and lack of prosecution does leave room for getting away with it, according to information from the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office. “While some individuals argue that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud, there are others who argue the exact opposite. Regardless, the truth is that under the current forms of election administration, it is not possible to establish whether widespread voter fraud does or does not exist because it is difficult to determine either way when proof is not required of voters when registering or prior to voting,” Secretary of State Al Jaeger wrote to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. When cases are suspected, he wrote, “This office has often been informed the State’s Attorneys have cases of ‘greater consequence’ on which to focus. Unfortunately, there can be no convictions when there is no will to prosecute.”Full Article: Jaeger says no way to know if there is voter fraud now | North Dakota News | bismarcktribune.com.
A newly released report from the New Hampshire Secretary of State and Department of Safety says a majority of people who used out-of-state IDs to register in last November’s elections haven’t registered vehicles in New Hampshire or gotten in-state drivers licenses in the months since. While this data alone doesn’t provide proof of voter fraud, as NHPR has noted before, it’s quickly become fodder in an ongoing debate about New Hampshire’s voting requirements. The data came in response to a request from House Speaker Shawn Jasper, who said he was seeking the statistics in part to inform future voting law changes. Among other things, Jasper asked for information on whether those who register to vote in New Hampshire also obtain driver’s licenses or car registrations here.Full Article: Data on Out-of-State IDs Fuels Cries of 'Fraud' in 2016 Election | New Hampshire Public Radio.
Arizona: Voter fraud in Arizona: How often does it happen, how is it stopped? | The Arizona Republic
President Donald Trump has called voter fraud an issue that may have swayed the outcome of the 2016 popular vote. Without proof, he claimed that millions of people voted illegally in the election. Through an executive order in May, he created a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The commission likely could replicate work done in Arizona since 2008. Since that year, state officials have examined hundreds of thousands of cases where someone might have voted twice in an election. After scrutinizing those cases, 30 were sent to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Twenty resulted in convictions. The path to those convictions started with the work of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, now run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.Full Article: Voter fraud in Arizona: How often does it happen, how is it stopped?.
Secretary of State Corey Stapleton’s allegations of voter fraud in Montana has widened a rift with elections officers across the state, some of whom want the elections chief to dial back his rhetoric. As they prepare to meet for their annual convention Tuesday, elections officials are hoping to rebuild relations with Stapleton, whose combative style has left some put off. “We are hoping for better communications with the secretary of state, and I’m hopeful that will happen in the near future,” said Regina Plettenberg, the election administrator from Ravalli County and president of the Montana Association of Clerk & Recorders and Election Administrators. Tensions have been building for months amid turmoil within Stapleton’s administration. Stapleton has been without a communications director since May. Two weeks ago, Stapleton’s director of elections and voter services, Derek Oestreicher, abruptly departed after a falling out that neither side wants to discuss publicly. And on Monday, a former deputy chief of staff, Stephanie Hess, began working for the state Auditor’s office.Full Article: Voter fraud allegations roil Montana elections officials | The Herald.
North Carolina: Elections rule would make false voter fraud reports a felony | The North State Journal
The North Carolina State Board of Elections held a public comment hearing Monday, soliciting input on a proposed rule that will make falsely reporting voter fraud a felony. The new rule would also require protesters to describe facts, reveal if a lawyer helped them make their claims, and say whether they have any witnesses to the alleged voter fraud. ”We all know laws are written by human beings, and sometimes they’re not very clear.” said Executive Director of the N.C. Republican Party Dallas Woodhouse, who opposes the rule change. “This issue of protest is amazingly clear in the statute. It is written specifically how to do it and what is required of the voter. [The State Board of Elections] does not have the power to rewrite the statute.Full Article: Elections rule would make false voter fraud reports a felony – The North State Journal.
North Carolina: How much proof is needed for a voter fraud allegation? Board of Elections considers stiffer standards | News & Observer
Republicans and voting-rights advocates went head-to-head over a proposal that would have people make fact-based claims when they allege voters have committed fraud. The State Board of Elections has proposed a stiffer standard for elections protests that would have people describe facts, say whether a lawyer helped them make their claims, and say whether they have any witnesses. The rule is being considered in the aftermath of the November election and the close race between Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Democrat Roy Cooper. Republicans filed complaints in more than 50 counties alleging ballots were cast by dead people, felons, and people who voted in other states. Most of those complaints were dismissed, but they helped delay vote counts.Full Article: How much proof is needed for a voter fraud allegation? NC board considers stiffer standards | News & Observer.
Ohio: Voter fraud is rare, Secretary of state tells Trump’s election integrity commission | Cleveland Plain Dealer
Soon after taking office, President Donald Trump assembled an election integrity commission to investigate his theory that millions of people voted illegally in last year’s presidential election. On Monday, Ohio’s top election official wrote in a letter to Trump’s panel that it didn’t happen in Ohio, a swing states crucial to Trump’s victory. … Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted told Trump’s commission his office identified 153 “irregularities” in Ohio during the 2016 election, in which 5.6 million Ohioans cast presidential ballots out of 7.9 million registered voters. His office referred 52 cases for further investigation and prosecution, including 22 individuals who voted in more than one state.Full Article: Voter fraud is rare, Ohio secretary of state tells Trump's election integrity commission | cleveland.com.
Editorials: The Trump election commission exists solely to justify a Trump lie | E.J. Dionne/The Washington Post
President Trump had some remarkable things to say at the inaugural meeting of his Commission to Promote Voter Suppression and Justify Trump’s False Claims, which is formally known as the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. He also asked a question that deserves an answer. Lest anyone believe Vice President Pence’s claim that “this commission has no preconceived notions or preordained results,” Trump was on hand last week to state clearly what its agenda is. With the resignation of Sean Spicer as White House press secretary and the rise of Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications czar (an appropriate word these days), the television cameras are riveted on the latest reality show, “Spicey and The Mooch.” But we dare not lose track of the threat the Trump administration poses to the most basic of democratic rights.Full Article: The Trump election commission exists solely to justify a Trump lie - The Washington Post.
President Donald Trump put the power of the presidency behind one of his favorite theories on Wednesday, convening a panel to investigate voter fraud even though experts have largely dismissed his evidence-free claim that “millions” of illegal votes last year cost him the popular vote. Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity created by executive order in May, said at the group’s first meeting that its findings were not predetermined. But Trump himself has repeatedly declared, without evidence, that mass voter fraud took place during the 2016 election. And by Wednesday afternoon, the fraud theories became even more muddled when Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Trump’s hand-picked vice chair of the commission, indicated he had no way of knowing who actually won the 2016 election.Full Article: Trump stokes voter fraud fears as commission convenes - POLITICO.
A dramatic change planned for California elections next year is morphing into a partisan battle over how the state’s ballots should be cast. When Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB450 in September, it was billed as a new way to boost California’s falling election turnout. Mailing a ballot to every voter in participating counties and replacing the traditional neighborhood polling places with a relative handful of community voting centers would cut costs and make it easier to cast a ballot. “This landmark law will provide voters more options for when, where and how they cast a ballot,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who sponsored what has been dubbed the California Voter’s Choice Act, said in a statement at the time. The bill, he said, “will increase civic participation and make our democracy stronger.” But Padilla was far less jolly last month after Orange County supervisors, worried about what they said was the potential for abuse, unanimously refused to sign on to his plan, dismissing it without discussion.Full Article: Partisan rift opens over vote-by-mail law - San Francisco Chronicle.
An Iowa woman charged with voting twice for Donald Trump last fall has pleaded guilty to election misconduct. Court records show Terri Lynn Rote entered a plea on 27 June to the felony charge and a district court judge in Des Moines accepted the plea. Sentencing is set for 15 August. Rote, who is 56 and lives in Des Moines, told police she turned in two absentee ballots before the November election because she believed Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the election was rigged and that her first ballot would be changed to a vote for Hillary Clinton. She was arrested on 21 October at a satellite voting station in Des Moines attempting to vote the second ballot.
Editorials: I’ve silenced Kris Kobach on the issue of voter fraud | Chad Lawhorn/ Lawrence Journal World
There are some who would say evoking silence from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is akin to a miracle. After all, despite the many criticisms of Kobach, he often isn’t shy to talk. He even has been known to provide information when he didn’t intend to. See a now infamous photo of him with a set of documents and then president-elect Trump. And when the subject is illegal voting, Kobach normally becomes like a “Game of Thrones” fan at a cocktail party. You need an actual wizard to get out of that conversation. But evidently that is not always the case. It has been a little more than four months since I first reported a potential voter fraud case involving Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern and his elderly mother. I’ve asked Kobach’s representatives approximately a half-dozen times for an update on the case. Most times, I haven’t even received a response from his office. I did on June 14. Spokeswoman Samantha Poetter sent me an email saying she expected to have an update for me later that day. That was the last I’ve heard from her, despite checking in several more times. Why is Kobach silent on the matter? I, of course, don’t know. I can only speculate. Fortunately, one of the perks of being an editor is you are allowed to do that.Full Article: I've silenced Kris Kobach on the issue of voter fraud | Town Talk / LJWorld.com.
National: Who is Hans A. von Spakovsky of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity? | The Washington Post
President Trump on Thursday appointed a divisive conservative voting rights expert to spearhead the White House’s search into allegations of widespread fraud in the 2016 presidential election. The appointment of Hans von Spakovsky has reignited debate over the legitimacy of claims that include unsubstantiated accusations from Trump that “millions of people” voted illegally for Hillary Clinton. Von Spakovsky, a former Justice Department official, sparked legal battles over voting laws during the George W. Bush administration. Von Spakovsky, 58, will join the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, though it remains unclear what role he will take. The White House’s Thursday night announcement, which included several other administration posts, did not provide further details. The announcement did not include any biographical information about von Spakovsky, either.Full Article: Who is Hans A. von Spakovsky of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity - The Washington Post.
The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity offered its first public request this week, as Vice Chair and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach requested voter information from every state. That single request has likely done long-lasting damage to the political ability of the federal government to regulate elections. In particular, any chance that meaningful election security issues would be addressed at the federal level before 2020 worsened dramatically this week. The request is sloppy, as Charles Stewart carefully noted, and, at least in some cases, forbidden under state law. The letter was sent to the wrong administrators in some states, it requests data like “publicly-available . . . last four digits of social security number if available” (which should never be permissible), and it fails to follow the proper protocol in each state to request such data. Response from state officials has been swift and generally opposed. It has been bipartisan, ranging from politically-charged outrage, to drier statements about what state disclosure law permits and (more often) forbids. But the opposition reflects a major undercurrent from the states to the federal government: we run elections, not you.Full Article: Derek Muller: The Kobach fallout on election security | Election Law Blog.