The Elections Commission denied allegations of registration fraud as lots were drawn Saturday to assign candidate numbers for the September 23 election. President Abdulla Yameen will be candidate number one and joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will be number two on the ballot paper. Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer and lawyer Hisaan Hussain drew lots on their behalf. Speaking at the ceremony, EC chief Ahmed Shareef denied fraudulent registration of people who did not seek to vote outside their island of permanent residence. It emerged last week that several people – including at least 87 from Gaaf Alif Villigili and 22 from Kolamaafushi – were re-registered elsewhere despite not applying. Some people were registered to vote in Sri Lanka and England.
Since moving into his White House office months ago, Jared Kushner—senior adviser and son-in-law to the President, savior of the Middle East, and possible person of interest in a federal investigation—has amassed a rather extensive project portfolio. The issues under Kushner’s purview include negotiating peace between Israel and Palestine, fixing the opioid crisis, updating technology across the entire federal government, and spearheading criminal justice reform, to name just a few. It seems like a nearly impossible set of challenges for anyone to tackle, and even more so for Kushner. Because in addition to not having any previous government experience, the former real estate exec has demonstrated repeated difficulty filling out simple, routine forms correctly. This includes his own voter registration form. According to the records held by the New York State Board of Elections, Jared Corey Kushner is a woman. Is Kushner a woman? Did he just accidentally fill out the form incorrectly? Is he the victim of a malicious voter impersonation scheme? Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no way to know for sure, because he has yet to provide WIRED with a comment. But based on his recent history with paperwork, option two seems like a pretty safe bet.
The Indiana Republican Party demanded an apology today from Democrats who criticized a state investigation into possible voter fraud. The press conference comes after 12 people working for a political action committee were arrested in connection with that investigation. Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer says Democrats unfairly criticized Secretary of State Connie Lawson and Indiana State Police last October, during an investigation of a political action committee, the Indiana Voter Registration Project.
Holiday Burke, who is accused of submitting fraudulent voter registration forms in Indiana, has retained a former city-county councilor to fight the charges. Attorney Karen Celestino-Horseman said in a statement late Friday that Burke did nothing wrong. “Holiday Burke executed her duties in accordance with Indiana state election law, and this case has no merit,” Celestino-Horseman said. “State law requires registration efforts turn in every application. Holiday did so while clearly noting to the appropriate authorities which applications had inconsistencies or appeared problematic so that the county clerks could better do their job.”
Indiana: Voter registration group, employees charged with falsifying applications | The Washington Post
Twelve employees of the Indiana Voter Registration Project, which focused on registering black voters in the run up to last year’s presidential election, were charged Friday with submitting falsified voter registration applications. The voter registration group also faces criminal charges. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said officials did not find any evidence that fraudulent ballots were cast in last November’s election or that the group and its employees committed voter fraud. “These allegations pertain to voter registration applications provided to county officials before the November election,” he said in a news release. “Let me be clear that these are not allegations of voter fraud nor is there any evidence to suggest that voter fraud was the alleged motivation.”
Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske told an Assembly panel on Tuesday that there’s no evidence of voter fraud in the last election, but there have been cases of voter registration fraud. Some problems came from third-party voter registration drives, and the secretary of state has requested legislation intended to address some of those shortcomings. Cegavske made her comments during a presentation Tuesday before a joint meeting of the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Committee on Corrections, Parole, and Probation. “We don’t have any evidence that anybody illegally voted,” Cegavske told the panel.
Virginia: Man admits trying to register fake voters for Virginia progressive group | The Washington Post
While working for the group New Virginia Majority, Vafalay Massaquoi invented voters and filed false applications with election officials. Massaquoi, a 30-year-old former Alexandria resident, pleaded guilty Thursday to forging a public record and election fraud. He was sentenced to 500 hours of community service, along with the 90 days he has spent in jail, and a suspended sentence of five years in prison, pending good behavior. Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter noted in a statement that because Massaquoi simply made up the names of voters, the chance that any fraudulent ballots would actually have been cast was extremely low.
The Miami-Dade Office of the State’s Attorney would neither confirm nor deny whether there is an open investigation into alleged voter fraud in Doral during the November general election. NBC 6 reported about 20 people are under investigation for allegedly using an office building in Doral as their voter registration address. County election officials say voters must live at the addresses they list on their registrations. Those who provide addresses for places where they don’t live are in violation of state law. County election officials referred all questions related to the alleged investigation to the state attorney’s office. “We can never confirm or deny the existence of any investigation,” Lissette Valdes-Valle, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney office, told the Florida Record.
With accusations of rigging and voter fraud hanging over this year’s elections, alarms are set off by the mere suggestion of irregularities in the registration and voting process. So when questions were raised in Indiana this year about suspicious registration forms, the matter quickly snowballed, leading to a sweeping investigation, supported by the Republican secretary of state and led by the State Police. The contention was that some voter registration forms submitted by the Indiana Voter Registration Project, which set out this year to sign up thousands of African-Americans to vote in the state, were missing key information or appeared fraudulent. The State Police descended on the group’s headquarters this month, and conservatives have pointed to the case as a possible example of ineligible voters being recruited to sway elections. The Indiana Voter Registration Project insists there was no wrongdoing, pointed out that the state’s governor, Mike Pence, is the Republican vice-presidential candidate and asserted that the investigation was politically motivated. They invited federal authorities to come in and look for themselves. The state investigation is ongoing, with no resolution assured before the Nov. 8 election, when Indiana voters will select a new governor and United States senator; and help choose a new president.
Some Indiana voters have discovered their date of birth or first name is incorrect on their registration, leading the Indiana Secretary of State to believe it’s a case of voter fraud. Secretary of State Connie Lawson said thousands of first names and dates of birth have been changed on paper forms, at the BMV and online. In a release, Lawson said her office isn’t sure why the records were changed, but doesn’t believe the Statewide Voter Registration System was compromised.
Indiana State Police are investigating irregularities in voter registration Tuesday after the secretary of state’s office reported suspicious changes in thousands of voter registration records and suggested the possibility of voter fraud. The investigation was prompted after Indiana voters contacted the Indiana secretary of state’s office to report that their date of birth or first name was incorrect on their voter registration forms. Officials do not believe the database was hacked. “These records were changed on paper forms, at the (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) and online. At this time, my office is not sure why these records were changed, but we have evaluated the Statewide Voter Registration System and have found no indication it has been compromised. We believe this may be a case of voter fraud and have turned our findings over to the state police, who are currently conducting an investigation into alleged voter fraud,” Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said in a statement. Lawson’s office turned their findings over to the Indiana State Police late Monday.
The text came late one night last week, just about the time Indiana State Police expanded an investigation into potential voter registration fraud from nine to 56 of the state’s 92 counties. The question, boiled down, was haunting: Want to see how easy it would be to get into someone’s voter registration and make changes to it? The offer from Steve Klink – a Lafayette-based public consultant who works mainly with Indiana public school districts – was to use my voter registration record as a case study. Only with my permission, of course. “I will not require any information from you,” he texted. “Which is the problem.” Turns out he didn’t need anything from me. He sent screenshots of every step along the way, as he navigated from the “Update My Voter Registration” tab at the Indiana Statewide Voter Registration System maintained since 2010 at www.indianavoters.com to the blank screen that cleared the way for changes to my name, address, age and more. The only magic involved was my driver’s license number, one of two log-in options to make changes online. And that was contained in a copy of every county’s voter database, a public record already in the hands of political parties, campaigns, media and, according to Indiana open access laws, just about anyone who wants the beefy spreadsheet. As promised, Klink made no changes, but he made his point. Let’s just say it was unsettling at best.
Indiana State Police investigators on Tuesday searched a voter registration agency on Indianapolis’ north side as they look into a voter fraud case that spans nine counties. The investigation began in late August when police learned of the filing of fraudulent voter registration forms in Marion and Hendricks counties. The investigation has expanded from Marion and Hendricks counties to include Allen, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson, Lake and Madison counties, according to a statement from State Police. Police said the growing number of involved counties leads investigators to believe that the number of fraudulent records might be in the hundreds. The possible fraudulent information is a combination of fake names, addresses and dates of birth with real information.
Indiana State Police said on Thursday that they have expanded an investigation of possible voter registration fraud to 57 of the state’s 92 counties. The investigation expanded from nine counties state police said they were investigating on Tuesday. Capt. Dave Bursten, state police spokesman, provided no details on the reason for the expansion. The announcement came about an hour after Patriot Majority USA, a group that runs the Indiana Voter Registration Project that is under investigation in the nine counties named Tuesday, said it asked the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to look into whether the investigation is an attempt to suppress black votes.
In Indiana, an investigation into alleged voter registration fraud intensified rapidly Tuesday when state police reportedly raided the Indianapolis office of a voter registration group and confiscated computers, personal cell phones and paperwork, according to a report from the Intercept. The Intercept reported that workers at the site told them that state police stopped one person from recording the incident and that the group’s lawyer said he was unable to enter the building. State police are investigating the Indiana Voter Registration Project’s efforts in nine counties after claims that the group fraudulently registered voters, according to the Indianapolis Star. Indiana’s Secretary of State Connie Lawson, who was a key sponsor of Indiana’s 2005 voter ID law that went all the way to the Supreme Court where it was upheld– announced the investigation in September.
Virginia: He fought in World War II. He died in 2014. And he just registered to vote in Virginia | The Washington Post
The FBI and local police are investigating how at least 19 dead Virginians were recently re-registered to vote in this critical swing state. One case came to light after relatives of a deceased man received a note congratulating him for registering, Rockingham County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst said Thursday. “His family members were very distraught,” said Garst,…
Nevada: Pahrump woman arrested for falsifying party affiliations on voter registrations | Las Vegas Review-Journal
A Pahrump woman was arrested Wednesday on 11 felony charges involving allegations she falsified party affiliations while registering voters before the June 14 Nevada primary, the secretary of state’s office said. An arrest warrant issued for Tina Marie Parks listed bail at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond. The arrest follows an investigation conducted by the state’s Election Integrity Task Force after it received complaints from voters who said Parks, while working for the conservative outreach group Engage Nevada, filled out their applications and listed the wrong party affiliation. In two instances, voters said Parks marked their party as Republican. Another was marked as nonpartisan. All three told investigators they wanted to register as Democrats.
China: ‘Tip of the iceberg’: Warning from pan-democratic parties over 400 suspicious Hong Kong voter records | South China Morning Post
Pan-democratic parties flocked to the election watchdog yesterday to lodge more complaints about the records of over 550 voters with suspicious or false residential addresses, warning they could be “the tip of the iceberg”. A flood of cases reported to the Registration and Electoral Office recently included complaints by residents of unknown people registering their home addresses for voting in the district council elections in November. Among new cases yesterday were voters registering addresses that do not exist, and seven or eight voters registering as living together in flats of 200 to 300 sq ft. In one case a voter claimed to be living in a hospital.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Thursday blasted accusations that his office has failed to help thousands of voters register to vote, saying “we should not have to waste valuable resources on a frivolous lawsuit.” It’s the first time Kemp has commented since the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights filed suit against him and five Georgia counties last week, asking a state judge to make sure more than 55,000 people will be able to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Kemp, however, said his office has now confirmed nearly 40,000 of those voters are active and on the rolls despite accusations to the contrary. He said almost 10,000 more are on the state’s “pending” voter list, meaning those voters have been asked to provide more information to confirm their identities.
Georgia: State says 25 voter applications of 85,000 “confirmed” forgeries | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Investigators backed away Wednesday from allegations a Democratic-backed group may have organized voter registration fraud, saying they can confirm 25 applications of more than 85,000 submitted to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. Chief investigator Chris Harvey, however, said the office needed more information from the New Georgia Project to confirm no more fraudulent forms existed — already, it has identified another 26 applications as suspicious. The state has extended a deadline for the group to get investigations such information through Sept. 26. Harvey spoke after the group’s leaders said Secretary of State Brian Kemp may be ignoring more than 51,000 unprocessed voter registration applications to instead pursue what they called “a witch hunt.” With the state’s Oct. 6 registration deadline quickly approaching, state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta,and more than a dozen civil rights and religious leaders who support the New Georgia Project called on Kemp —the state’s top elections official — to focus on ensuring ballot access to thousands of new voters they and others have signed up this election year.
Secretary of State Connie Lawson has identified 727,000 potentially inaccurate voter registration records across Indiana. A massive May postcard mailing to all 4.4 million registered Hoosier voters saw about 16 percent returned as undeliverable. Starting this week, the state is sending a second, forwardable postcard to those registrants urging them to update their address and voter registration data. “Inaccurate voter information impairs the integrity of our voting process, and it artificially lowers our voter turnout statistics,” Lawson said. Hoosiers who receive a second postcard must update or confirm their voter information by July 24. Those who do not will be placed on “inactive” status. Inactive registrants still can vote this year, in the 2015 municipal elections and 2016 elections. But inactive voters who fail cast a ballot or update their registrations by 2017 will become eligible for removal from the poll lists.
A Senate committee heard legislation Monday that would require voters to present a form of state-issued photo identification at the polls. The bill and accompanying ballot question are being sponsored by House Elections Committee Chairman Tony Dugger and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Stanley Cox, both Republicans. “As long as people aren’t eligible to vote, I don’t want them to vote,” Cox said. Similar bills have been filed in recent years in the state legislature. Still, none of the policy’s supporters said they knew of a case of voter fraud in the state. Crystal Williams, with the ACLU, said the issue has hardly ever been voter impersonation fraud, which supporters of voter ID requirements say the policy aims to prevent. “Most of time what we’ve seen has been voter registration fraud, not voter impersonation fraud,” she said.
Florida: Miami-Dade elections department plans software update to catch phony absentee-ballot requests | Miami Herald
Despite uncovering thousands of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests submitted online last year, Miami-Dade County will not follow recommendations made by a grand jury to make the elections website more secure by requiring user logins and passwords. Instead, the elections department has worked with its software vendor to try to beef up the system on the back end, making it easier for elections staff to review ballot requests to flag suspect submissions. The change, which will take effect next year, will not cost the county any more money. Requiring user logins and passwords would have required an initial investment of about $843,000, with a potential recurring cost of about $743,000 in every major election, Elections Supervisor Penelope Townsley said. Legitimate voters might have been dissuaded to request ballots if the online system was made more cumbersome, she added. “It would have also deterred voters,” she told the Miami Herald on Wednesday.
The looming potential for fraud in the 2012 Presidential Election was how Republicans justified strict measures in Florida that made it tougher to register voters. So nine months after the ballots have been counted, where exactly are the culprits of voter registration fraud? Keep looking because the the Florida Department of Law Enforcement hasn’t found them yet. On Friday, the agency released the results of two more cases involving allegations of voter registration fraud. In a probe of the Florida New Majority Education Fund, which aims to increase voter registration among under-represented groups, the FDLE concluded it could make no arrests. In a second probe, involving Strategic Allied Consulting, a vendor for the Republican Party of Florida, an arrest was made of a man who stole the identity of a former girlfriend’s ex-husband. He admitted to fraudulently filling out two voter registration forms. And that was it. Read report here.
When I saw Rep. Alan Clemmons’ guest column, “Voting problems continue to haunt us” (July 21), I was hoping he’d explain his part in peddling the myth of dead people voting in South Carolina, and apologize to the people he misled. He did neither. Instead, he again claimed an “undeniable presence of election fraud in South Carolina,” and took a cheap shot at the S.C. Progressive Network to make his point. He referenced an instance years ago when bogus forms were turned in by someone the network hired to do voter registration in Florence County. I caught the fraud myself and called SLED and the County Election Board the day the forms were submitted. No fraudulent votes were cast. I testified against the perpetrator, and he went to jail. The system worked.
Is Gov. Rick Scott covering up GOP voter registration fraud? The future leader of the House Democrats thinks perhaps he is and is asking Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford to hold legislative hearings on what he says could be an attempt by Scott to “stifle” a criminal investigation. “I have been following the many news media reports about rampant fraud regarding voter registration drives associated with the company Strategic Allied Consulting and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation that was tasked by Gov. Rick Scott some months ago,” states a letter that Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, sent out Tuesday afternoon.
Three weeks after hearing a challenge to the heart of the Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court will decide another important voting rights case following oral arguments today in Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. In 2004, Arizona voters approved Proposition 200, a stringent anti-immigration law that included provisions requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote and government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot. Last year, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit blocked the proof of citizenship requirement, which it said violated the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Under the NVRA, those using a federal form to register to vote must affirm, under penalty of perjury, that they are US citizens. Twenty-eight million people used that federal form to register to vote in 2008. Arizona’s law, the court concluded, violated the NVRA by requiring additional documentation, such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, passport or tribal forms. According to a 2006 study by the Brennan Center for Justice, at least 7 percent of eligible voters “do not have ready access to the documents needed to prove citizenship.”
Two employees of a company once aligned with the Republican Party of Florida admitted to law-enforcement authorities that they forged voter registration forms. It’s the first result in a far-reaching voter fraud investigation that was launched last fall – and initiated at the urging of the party after election supervisors started flagging questionable applications. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported Tuesday that the two ex-employees were charged with a third degree felony. But prosecutors back in January decided to place both of them on probation because neither has a criminal history. Strategic Allied Consulting was hired by Republicans to do voter registration drives in Florida and other states. But last fall, the state party fired the company and took the additional step of filing an election fraud complaint against the company with state officials.
The investigation into the arrest of a man on charges of dumping voter registration forms last month in Harrisonburg, Va., has widened, with state officials probing whether a company tied to top Republican leaders had engaged in voter registration fraud in the key battleground state, according to two persons close to the case. A former employee of Strategic Allied Consulting, a contractor for the Republican Party of Virginia, had been scheduled to appear last Tuesday before a grand jury after he was charged with tossing completed registration forms into a recycling bin. But state prosecutors canceled Colin Small’s grand jury testimony to gather more information, with their focus expanding to the firm that had employed Small, which is led by longtime GOP operative Nathan Sproul.
A man who was being paid to register voters by the Republican Party of Virginia was arrested Thursday after he was seen dumping eight registration forms into a dumpster. Colin Small, 31, was working as a supervisor as part of a registration operation in eight swing states financed by the Republican National Committee. Small, of Phoenixville, Pa., was first hired by Strategic Allied Consulting, a firm that was fired by the party after suspect voter forms surfaced in Florida and other states. The owner of a store in Harrisonburg, Va., told a local television station that he became suspicious when he saw a car with Pennsylvania plates dump an envelope in back of his store. He recovered the envelope and alerted authorities. “He made a mistake and he’s being charged with it, which we fully support,” said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. The committee paid more than $3 million to state committees to finance the get-out-the-vote operation.