Perhaps the biggest takeaway from President Trump’s unproven allegations about the security of elections is that he’s managed to blur the difference between voting records and the act of voting. Or put another way, it’s a distraction from resolving the challenges in keeping voter registration data accurate and up to date. Trump awkwardly waded into the topic last fall when he insisted millions of fraudulent votes had been cast in California and two other states. No evidence of widespread chicanery existed then, nor has any been brought forward since. At times, it seemed the president was wrongly conflating fraud with a 2012 nonpartisan study that warned of problems with some states’ voter registration lists. Fast forward to last week, when a conservative legal organization insisted that 11 California counties have more registered voters than voting-age citizens. The group refused to share its methodology, and partly based its conclusions on the counties’ lists of “inactive” voters — people who haven’t cast ballots in the past two statewide elections.
California: More voters than eligible adults? Group makes dubious claim about California | McClatchy
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has twice rebuffed demands for voter data from a commission created by President Donald Trump to investigate unproven claims of voter fraud last fall. Now a conservative Washington, D.C.-based legal group has threatened to sue the state over what it contends are California counties’ failure to properly maintain lists of inactive voters. The Aug. 1 letter from Judicial Watch to Padilla alleges that 11 California counties have more registered voters than their estimated populations of citizens eligible to vote. The claim was picked up Breitbart and other news sites and prompted Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, to post on Twitter, “11 counties in California have more total registered voters than citizens over the age of 18. How is this possible?” Short answer: It’s not. California voter registration stood at 19.4 million as of February. No California county is anywhere close to having more voters than its estimated number of citizens deemed eligible to vote.
On Feb. 22, Laura Sue Cates registered to vote in Sullivan County, Tennessee. Previously, she had been registered to vote in Arizona’s Coconino County, so the Sullivan County Election Commission sent Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan a formal notice to ensure that Cates’ voter registration would be removed from Arizona’s rolls. Every day, the thousands of voting jurisdictions in the U.S. share information about current voter registrations to guard against people being registered in multiple places. The Arizona secretary of state receives hundreds each week and forwards them to the appropriate county recorder, as voter rolls in Arizona are maintained at the county level. A sample of a week’s worth of these notices, received between March 1 and March 7, obtained under the state’s public records law, shows 240 voters were identified by out-of-state voting jurisdictions.
Florida: Is Trump’s Fraud Commission to Blame for Rise in Florida Voter Cancellations? | Tampa Bay Times
During a recent 20-day period, 1,715 Florida voters took themselves off the registration rolls. The 117 percent spike in cancellations over the same period last year came as news spread of President Donald Trump’s fraud commission and its request for voter data from all 50 states. Did the request for voter information trigger the cancellations? While the increase suggests a correlation, regular maintenance of the voting rolls, a routine required by state law and unrelated to the federal commission, might also explain the increase. Here’s what we do know: On June 28, Trump’s official request for voter information, made by the commission’s vice chairman, Kris Kobach, sought the names, addresses, birth dates, political parties, electoral participation histories and last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number of every registered voter in the country.
Colorado finally sent its voter roll information over to President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission on Tuesday, a day after the transfer was delayed due to “user error” in the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. The office had been set to send the information over to the controversial commission on Monday, but a spokeswoman for the office said a system lockout stopped the transfer. Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert told the Denver Post Monday night it was due to “user error.” The sending of the information had already been delayed while a lawsuit over the commission and its request was cleared up in federal court.
Colorado: No evidence 5,000 Colorado voters who unregistered were ineligible to vote, secretary of state says |
There is no evidence any of the more than 5,000 Colorado voters who have withdrawn their registrations following the Trump administration’s request for voter information were ineligible to participate in elections, Secretary of State Wayne Williams said Thursday. “It’s my hope that citizens who withdrew their registration will re-register, particularly once they realize that no confidential information will be provided and that the parties and presidential candidates already have the same publicly available information from the 2016 election cycle,” Williams said in a written statement. “Clearly we wouldn’t be asking them to re-register if we didn’t believe they were eligible.” Williams’ remarks come as his office prepares in the coming days to send publicly available voter data — including names, addresses, party affiliations and birth years — to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Julia Sunny, a spokeswoman for Williams, said the information is slated to be submitted by Monday night.
Secretary of State William Galvin plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that abolishes a voter registration deadline of 20 days before an election. Galvin said removing the 20-day cutoff could lead to more work for town clerks. He contends there is little demand for a change. “The 20-day period is something the clerks need to make sure the voting is accurate,” he said. “They made no showing that there were these thousands of people. … The idea that there’s this large group of people out there that’s suffering because of the 20-day period simply isn’t true.” On Monday, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled that the cutoff was unconstitutional because it prevented thousands of voters from making it to the polls on election day. Wilkins used last year’s successful early voting as his main argument against the cutoff.
A Suffolk Superior Court judge on Monday ruled unconstitutional a state law that forbids people from voting in an election unless they have registered 20 days beforehand. The law denies qualified citizens their right to vote, Judge Douglas Wilkins ruled. In a lawsuit filed last year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the Chelsea Collaborative, a social services nonprofit, and MassVOTE, a nonprofit that registers people to vote, argued that the law is “unnecessary and arbitrary” and that it excluded thousands of citizens from voting. Wilkins agreed, rejecting the state’s claim that removing the deadline would impose overly burdensome duties on local election officials.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered state agencies to make voter registration forms available to the public and offer assistance in filling them out in an effort to boost participation in elections. An executive order the governor signed Monday requires agencies to mail or provide electronic voter registration forms to any member of the public whose contact information is on file. Previously, only the state Department of Motor Vehicles and certain social service agencies provided voter registration forms.
Tunisia: In post-revolution Tunisia democracy endangered by low voter registration | Middle East Monitor
In Tunis, municipal elections are on the horizon. However, democracy is at risk. Registration to vote is very weak and there is a clear reluctance among the many Tunisian political parties to participate. The municipal and regional elections are the democratic exercise in post-revolution Tunisia since the last elections took place in 2010. And they are especially significant because these councils used to be appointed by the Head of State. … But according to Nabil Bafoun, a member of the Independent High Electoral Commission, the process suffers from the absence of political parties and a lack of seriousness regarding the involvement of civil society in the process of voter registration. In press statements, Bafoun has said that the number of registered voters in this election has so far reached 167,770 voters, including 30,252 updates for registrants who changed their residence addresses.