A fraudulent registration website, www.registertovote.org, offers a false voter registration form which claims to register citizens to vote in any state.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler and the staff of the Elections Compliance Unit are warning citizens who want to register to vote to do so by visiting www.GeauxVote.com.
The Louisiana voter registration form provided on the website is not the approved Louisiana registration form and requests information from the citizen that the official form does not such as height, weight and employment information. The official online registration system at www.GeauxVote.com is secure and protects the personal information for all citizens who register to vote. Read More
Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz intends to send out 17,687 mail ballots to inactive local voters if given the go-ahead by the state courts, he said Thursday. Secretary of State Scott Gessler filed suit this week against Denver County over its plan to send ballots this year to roughly 38,000 inactive voters. Pueblo County is the only other county in the state where local officials have indicated they also intend to send ballots to inactive voters.
Gessler told Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson this week that state law no longer permits ballots to be sent to inactive voters — meaning those voters who failed to vote in the last general election and have not responded to prompts by local county clerks to confirm their registration.
The crux of the issue is a state law that “sunset” this year, which formerly required clerks to send ballots to active and inactive voters alike. Johnson and Ortiz both took the position this year that the requirement is still in effect. Read More
The Cuyahoga County Elections Board kicked off an absentee voting campaign Thursday by asking more than 400 local organizations to place an application link on their websites. The vote-by-mail campaign is in response to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s directive Aug. 22 forbidding county boards of elections from mailing unsolicited ballot applications. This is a way to broaden the outlets through which voters can access applications.
County election officials said in a news release that they expect to reach thousands of voters by having organizations post application links. Voters who don’t have computer access can call the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections at 216-443-3298 to request a ballot application. Applications are also available at libraries and online.
Jane Platten, executive director of the county Board of Elections, said staff members sent the web link to every mayor, city council member and library in the county, hoping they will post an icon on their home pages. The board is also targeting major employers, such as MetroHealth Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic. Read More
As President Obama visits Ohio, his army of campaign volunteers there is engaged in a “make-or-break” fight to roll back Republican-imposed voting restrictions they say will limit critical support for the president ahead of Election Day 2012.
A new law, signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich in July, would shorten by two weeks the window for early voting by mail and in-person, eliminate early voting the three days before the election, and cease automatic mailing of absentee ballots to all registered voters in the state’s largest counties, among other measures.
Democrats and Obama relied heavily on the extended early voting period to turn out support in 2008 and 2010. They are now fighting to save the system with a statewide petition campaign, driven largely by Obama’s grassroots volunteers. Read More
A legal challenge to Oklahoma’s new voter-identification law survived a venue hurdle Thursday. A lawsuit filed in June in Tulsa County against the state Election Board asserts that the impact of that law, approved by state voters in November, creates “serious interference” with the unrestricted right to vote for voters who “do not have appropriate identifying credentials or who are unwilling to accept any level of this statewide infringement on the right to vote.”
On behalf of the Election Board, the state Attorney General’s Office has maintained that Tulsa County was an improper venue to file suit against the Election Board. Read More
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill known as the “Voter Identification Bill” to change the current Election Code. Before it actually becomes law, this bill must be approved by the state Senate, then signed by the governor.
Legislators must consider that this bill could potentially interfere with the voting rights of minorities, students, poor and the elderly. This Voter ID Bill is not a solution to any problem. It does not protect against, nor prevent, any actual cases of fraud. Fraud surrounding voting includes: voter harassment or intimidation, throwing out proper votes, giving out false information about when or how to vote, stuffing ballot boxes, and tampering with election forms.
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was enacted by the federal government in 2002 to make elections run smoother and to prevent cases of fraud by election officials and campaign workers. The voter does not normally commit fraud. The problems identified with elections are already resolved by Pennsylvania’s current Election Code and by HAVA. Enforce those laws and protect the constitutional rights of registered voters. Read More
Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to eliminate the winner-take-all system for electoral votes, a move that might boost their presidential candidate’s chances in a state that picked the Democrat in the past five races.
With the backing of Republican Governor Tom Corbett, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi has proposed a plan, similar to ones under consideration in four other states, that would apportion 18 of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes according to victory in congressional districts.
This would assure the Republican of some votes because of boundaries drawn to preserve party dominance, said Chris Borick, a political-science professor and director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion in Allentown. The move comes as Republicans across the country are fighting to tighten voting rules. Read More
The Justice Department today accused Texas officials of enacting a new Congressional map that purposefully dilutes minority voting power.
“Based on our preliminary investigation, it appears that the proposed plan may have a prohibited purpose in that it was adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates of choice to Congress,” the Justice Department wrote in its brief. Read More
Texas’ new voter identification law remains in limbo as the U.S. Department of Justice asked on Friday for more details on how the state will implement the stricter voting requirements.
“The information sent is insufficient to enable us to determine that the proposed changes have neither the purpose nor will have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group,” wrote T. Christian Herren Jr. , chief of the Justice Department’s voting section.
Under the federal Voting Rights Act, Texas and some other states with a history of past discrimination are required to get federal government approval, called pre-clearance, before changes to election law can go into effect. Read More
With the 2011 special gubernatorial special election approaching, employees of The Lincoln Journal were somewhat surprised recently when a mailing was received from a group called West Virginia Advocates. The mailing from the organization, based in Charleston and claiming to represent people with disabilities, included, among other things, a duplicated absentee ballot application.
Since absentee ballots and, specifically, absentee ballot applications had become the focal point of a 2010 election controversy in Lincoln County, newspaper reporters were intrigued that the application was reproduced in the mailing. In addition, in sections detailing the process used to cast absentee ballots, the mailing purported to answer questions voters might have about using the applications. The major outcome of last year’s Lincoln County case was a decision by the special circuit judge in the matter that all portions of absentee ballot applications must be completed by the voter who casts an absentee ballot. Read More
Tensions are mounting in Bahrain ahead of planned parliamentary elections next week, with opposition supporters vowing to hold a mass demonstration in the capital, Manama. Next Saturday’s poll will fill 18 seats abandoned by the main opposition al-Wefaq party, who quit in February over the government’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.
Mattar Mattar, one of the legislators who resigned, says the decision to replace all of the opposition parliamentarians is proof that the nation’s leaders are neglecting the grievances of the people. “They are trying to ignore us, but this plan will not succeed. They are going on the wrong track. Without opening a real dialogue and without going for real political reform it’s difficult to reach stability here,” he said. Read More
Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer recently mused about experimenting with internet voting in a by-election, which many believe would result in a higher voter turnout (especially by those in remote locations, or with disabilities).
Besides ameliorating voter turnout, which has sagged badly in recent elections, it is believed that internet voting might reduce costs and provide quicker reporting of results.
But is e-voting a good idea? I’m not so sure. Meaningful observation of the voting process would be difficult. If the system has no paper trail, there’s no external evidence it has operated correctly. Read More