voter intimidation

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New Jersey: Here’s what Sean Spicer said in New Jersey voter intimidation case |

Former White House spokesman Sean Spicer testified there were no signs keeping Republican National Committee staff members away from Donald Trump’s vote-counting operations on Election Night, but party officials knew to keep their distance. “It had been abundantly clear for the six years that I worked at the RNC that the RNC and its employees were prohibited from engaging in Election Day activities, including poll watching, so I intentionally stayed away from all of that,” said Spicer, then a top Republican National Committee official. Spicer’s testimony came as the Republican National Committee sought to end limits on its voter activities imposed 35 years ago as a result of GOP activities in the 1981 New Jersey gubernatorial election narrowly won by Thomas H. Kean. That consent decree expired Dec. 1, but Democrats are seeking to extend it. Read More

United Kingdom: Make Facebook liable for content, says report on UK election intimidation | The Guardian

Theresa May should consider the introduction of two new laws to deter the intimidation of MPs during elections and force social media firms to monitor illegal content, an influential committee has said. The independent Committee on Standards in Public Life, which advises the prime minister on ethics, has called for the introduction within a year of a new specific offence in electoral law to halt widespread abuse when voters go to the polls. Read More

National: Court Order Barring RNC From Voter Intimidation Set to Expire Friday | Bloomberg

A 35-year-old federal court order prohibiting the Republican National Committee from engaging in voter verification and other “ballot security” measures is set to expire Friday, something the GOP says is long overdue but voting rights advocates argue is still needed to prevent intimidation at the polls. Lawyers for the Republican National Committee said in court filings that the organization has been in compliance for years, even going beyond what is outlined in the consent decree. It opts against participating in poll-watching activities, for example, even though they are allowed under the order. “The RNC has worked hard to comply with its obligations under the Consent Decree,” lawyers wrote in documents filed with the court. Read More

National: Widespread problems reported to Election Protection hotline | The Louisiana Weekly

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter-protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, provided live assistance to more than 1,000 voters through its 866-OUR-VOTE hotline. Voters reported complaints, some of which impacted systemic problems, or sought assistance with voting. Since 2001, Election Protection has been the go-to source for voters seeking assistance with navigating the voting process. The volume of calls into the hotline suggested increases in voter turnout relative to comparable election periods from years prior and expanded interest in local electoral contests such as district attorney races. The Lawyers’ Committee led-effort identified a number of problems including robo calls imparting false information to voters; poll workers providing false information regarding voter eligibility; police presence outside of polling sites, the proliferation of false information regarding the voting process on social media, and other deceptive and suppressive tactics as reported by voters around the country. Read More

North Carolina: Voting defamation suit seeks to widen net, accuses GOP attorneys of conspiracy | WRAL

The attorneys who brought a defamation lawsuit over voter protests filed in the wake of last November’s election want to add former Gov. Pat McCrory’s legal defense fund and the attorneys who helped file those protests to their suit. They also want to turn the case into a class-action suit on behalf of more than 100 people who they say were unfairly maligned when Republicans falsely accused them of casting fraudulent votes. Attorneys for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice argue there was a coordinated effort by attorneys from a well-connected Republican law firm in Virginia to throw the results of North Carolina’s close gubernatorial race into doubt. Those attorneys, the lawsuit argues, helped North Carolina voters challenge Democratic votes “to delay certification of the election and suggest that voter fraud affected the election results.” Read More

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. Read More

Kansas: Couple complains to Kobach of ‘degrading’ voting experience | The Wichita Eagle

A Wichita couple has written an open letter to Secretary of State Kris Kobach complaining that they were subjected to “degrading, humiliating, demeaning, and unnecessary drama” in casting their votes in Wichita’s District 1 City Council election. Eugene and Mamie Jewel Anderson didn’t get the mail ballots they requested, although they have lived at the same address for 49 years. They had to fill out forms and cast provisional votes when they showed up in person at an advance voting site. In their letter, the Andersons questioned whether where they live – a historically black area of Wichita – may have been part of the difficulties. “Well, we jumped through all of those hoops, and were allowed to cast our Provisional ballots,” the letter said. “However, we are deeply concerned! Will we experience the same degrading, humiliating, demeaning, and unnecessary drama when we request advance ballots for the non-partisan General Election? Or is there a deeper problem of residing in a specific zip code or something else?” Read More

National: Trump’s voter-fraud commission wants to know voting history, party ID and address of every voter in the U.S. | The Washington Post

The chair of President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission has penned a letter to all 50 states requesting their full voter-roll data, including the name, address, date of birth, party affiliation, last four Social Security number digits and voting history back to 2006 of potentially every voter in the state. In the letter, a copy of which was made public by the Connecticut secretary of state, the commission head Kris Kobach said that “any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.” On Wednesday, the office of Vice President Pence released a statement saying “a letter will be sent today to the 50 states and District of Columbia on behalf of the Commission requesting publicly available data from state voter rolls and feedback on how to improve election integrity.” Read More

Georgia: Threats cloud sixth district election security | WXIA

Elections officials say they are taking steps to ensure the security of voting Tuesday in the sixth congressional district race. It’s gotten national attention, and it was the apparent motive behind a dozen threatening letters discovered Thursday. The threats appeared in the mailboxes of residents living near Republican congressional candidate Karen Handel, and the candidate herself.  They also appeared in the mailrooms of two media outlets – WXIA and WAGA-TV. They all contained computer-printed rants against Handel and President Donald Trump. And some contained a powder identified in some of the notes as anthrax – but which authorities believe was actually baking soda. Read More

Lesotho: Officials probe soldiers’ presence near poll stations | AFP

Election officials in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho on Sunday investigated why armed soldiers had been deployed at many polling stations on voting day. The army has often been accused of interfering in politics in Lesotho, a landlocked African country of two million people that has been hit by attempted coups and instability in recent years. “The nation, the voters and even the observers were surprised… they felt that some voters were intimidated,” Independent Electoral Commission spokesperson Tuoe Hantsi told reporters. “The law dictates who should be at the polling stations, and (the soldiers) caused confusion.” Read More