Jeff Flake campaigns with GOP voter suppression group Verify The Vote

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Michael Bryan reported on the misleading robo calls from The Flake campaign to Democratic voters in an attempt to suppress their vote, but over the weekend The Flake campaigned with the GOP voter suppression group Verify The Vote, the Arizona offshoot of True the Vote.

Press release from the Dr. Richard Carmona for U.S. Senate campaign:

Flake Visits Group with History of Latino Voter Suppression 
 Verify the Vote’s training video encourages voter challenges on illegal grounds

Congressman Jeff Flake campaigned in Tempe [Saturday] with "Verify the Vote," a group with a history of utilizing voter suppression and intimidation tactics against Latino voters in Arizona. The visit was reported by the Huffington Post after one of Verify the Vote's poll watchers tweeted a picture with Flake.

Verify the Vote is a local offshoot of "True the Vote," a right-wing group the non-partisan group Common Cause has called “a threat to the fundamental right to vote.”

The group's online training video includes several pieces of misinformation about the role of a poll observer. The video falsely tells poll watchers that:

  • They can challenge a voter just for being on the inactive voting file.  
  • Voters on an inactive list must be given provisional ballots rather than a regular ballot. 
  • A voter on the inactive list must "satisfy the inspector" of their address rather than just "affirm" it to poll workers.

Each of those statements are false

“Jeff Flake visiting a group known for voter suppression only three days from Election Day is troubling,” said Carmona for Arizona communications director Andy Barr. “Verify the Vote has a history of intimidation and suppression of minority and low-income voters. Flake should be ashamed to associate with such a group."

Background
VERIFY THE VOTE CLAIM: Voters on the inactive list must prove to the poll workers satisfaction that they are still living in the address registered, and are registered to vote.

"If you are a challenger, listen for voters showing up to vote that are on the inactive voter list.  The reason they were placed on the list is that their mail was returned at least twice.  The voter needs to satisfy the poll inspector that they are still living in the precinct and are still properly registered to vote before they're given a provisional ballot.” [emphasis added]

[Verify the Vote Poll Observer training video, retrieved 11/3/12]

FACT: According to state law, all the voter has to do is state that they still reside at their registered address to cast their vote.

“If the person is on the inactive voter list, the registrant, on affirmation by the registrant before an election official at the polling place that the registrant continues to reside at the address indicated on the inactive voter list, shall be permitted to vote at that polling place.”

[Arizona Revised Statutes, A.R.S. 16-583]

VERIFY THE VOTE CLAIM: Poll Observers can challenge voters based on their presence on the inactive list.

“If they [a voter on the inactive list] fail to satisfy this requirement [to “satisfy” the poll worker of their current address], a challenge would be appropriate." [Verify the Vote Poll Observer training video, retrieved 11/3/12]

FACT:  Being on the “inactive” list is NOT grounds for a challenge, by state law.

“Any qualified elector of the county may orally challenge a person offering to vote as not qualified under section 16-121.01…”

[ARS: 16-591]

ARS: 16-121.01: “The presumption in subsection A of this section may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence of any of the following:

1.      That the registrant is not the person whose name appears on the register.

2.      That the registrant has not resided in this state for twenty-nine days next preceding the election or other event for which the registrant's status as properly registered is in question.

3.      That the registrant is not properly registered at an address permitted by section 16-121.

4.      That the registrant is not a qualified registrant under section 16-101.

[ARS, 16-121.01(B)]

VERIFY THE VOTE CLAIM: Voters on the inactive list must be provided with a provisional ballot.

"Or, if they are provided with a paper ballot instead of a provisional ballot, a challenge would likewise be appropriate." [Verify the Vote Poll Observer training video, retrieved 11/3/12]

FACT: According to state law, voters on the inactive list are part of the precinct register and are entitled to regular ballots.

 “If the person is on the inactive voter list, the registrant, on affirmation by the registrant before an election official at the polling place that the registrant continues to reside at the address indicated on the inactive voter list, shall be permitted to vote at that polling place.” [emphasis added]

[Arizona Revised Statutes, A.R.S. 16-583]

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One response to “Jeff Flake campaigns with GOP voter suppression group Verify The Vote

  1. This Nazi, Flake, needs to be stopped (and prosecuted for that matter after the election). Thank you, AzBlue.

    A friend of mine here in Ahwatukee just realized he’d been “inactivated” and he called Helen Purcel to find out he should have no trouble getting a regular ballot with current proof of address – recent utility bill, etc.

    Paul T. in PHX