Tag Archives: voter suppression

GOP election fraud in North Carolina 9th congressional district

Republicans purvey the myth of in-person voter fraud at the polls, for which there is no evidence to substantiate their conspiracy theory.

If voter fraud is going to occur, it will occur with early voting mail-in ballots. The hand-full of voters prosecuted for “double voting” in Arizona are snowbird residents who voted in their home state and also voted in Arizona. None served time.

But what happened in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district is not about voter fraud (the media really needs to stop using this term incorrectly). This is an actual case of election fraud — the stealing of an election by the GOP — through voter suppression of minority voters’ early mail-in ballots.

The Washington Post reports, North Carolina election-fraud investigation centers on operative with criminal history who worked for GOP congressional candidate:

[A] local operative named Leslie McCrae Dowless ran his command center for Republican Mark Harris in the 9th Congressional District primary this spring.

Dowless sat at a desk at the back of one of the strip’s vacant storefronts, where he oversaw a crew of workers who collected absentee ballots from voters and updated the Harris campaign on the numbers, according to Jeff Smith, who is the building’s owner and a former Dowless friend.

Smith provided his account about the primary campaign to state investigators, who are examining whether Dowless’s activities then and in the general election violated North Carolina’s election laws, which allow only individual voters or designated close relatives to mail a ballot.

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Arizona Supreme Court sides with GOP voter suppression of citizens initiatives

While you were distracted by the long Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend, the Arizona Supreme Court finally issued its opinion in the “Outlaw Dirty Money” initiative case. Arizona Supreme Court ruling supports legal tactic used to keep initiatives off ballot:

The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of a legal tactic used by those seeking to keep voter-proposed laws off the ballot. [“The only issues we must decide are the constitutionality of §19-118(C) and the propriety of the trial court’s exclusion of the non-appearing subpoenaed circulators’ petition signatures.”]

The Court’s opinion is narrowly tailored. “As our decision does not turn on whether the Committee strictly complied with § 19-118(C), we need not determine the constitutionality of the strict compliance requirement of § 19-102.01(A).” The “strict compliance” constitutional challenge is left to another day.

In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, the justices reaffirmed the right of people to craft initiatives and seek to have them approved.

“And we are reluctant to impede such civic efforts,” they said.

But Justice John Lopez, writing for the court, said there is nothing unduly burdensome about requiring paid circulators to register and provide an address where they can be subpoenaed. Lopez said throwing out the signatures collected by those who don’t show up in court does not impair the constitutional rights of people to propose their own laws.

This is fundamentally anti-democratic, and wrongly decided. The valid signatures of voters who legally signed the petition in good faith are disenfranchised if the circulator cannot be located or fails to appear in court, for any reason. This legal tactic invalidates the otherwise valid signatures of voters given in good faith through no fault of their own.

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Is there a voter crisis in Arizona?

Recently in July 2018  the ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy issued a report  entitled “Arizona’s Voter Crisis”.

Here’s the report funded by the Citizens Clean Election Commission (CCEC) and on their website:

https://storageccec.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/public/docs/312-Voter-Crisis-Report-FINAL3.pdf

I attended a recent Tucson town hall on October 24 hosted by these 2 entities in which Joseph Garcia of ASU (director of communication & impact/co-author of the report) and Tom Collins E.D. of CCEC reported that  2.1 million or 45% of Arizona’s “potential voters” in 2016 (General) didn’t choose to exercise their fundamental right to vote.  They reported on the nationwide trend in erosion of voter participation & on groups which aren’t voting in high numbers:  youth, less educated, and Latinos.  Moreover, Independents have a lower voter turnout due to not voting in primaries (don’t feel that they belong to either party or don’t know they can vote in the primaries by requesting a party ballot), and also don’t feel part of the electoral process.

In August 2018, the voter turnout statewide (of registered voters) for the Arizona Primary was: 33.26%

In the Arizona Mid-term General Election 2018 the voter turnout statewide was:   64.33%.  And higher in Pima County: 70.55%

So the big question in the report was “Why Don’t More People vote?”  (see page 15). There are a myriad of answers including “too busy” “out of town”, etc. but a main reason seems to be lack of information on the candidates and voting process.   So that means better ways to reach voters needs to occur, along with more information.  We here at Blog for Arizona do our best in that regard.
Local reporters after the recent elections were saying that negative campaigning suppresses the vote, or backfires against candidates doing negative campaigning.

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The GOP’s ‘voter fraud’ fraud is illegal voter intimidation

Voter intimidation is a crime. 18 U.S. Code § 594 – Intimidation of voters.

And yet President Donald Trump and his soon-to-be former Confederate Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III are openly engaging in the crime of voter intimidation, for the first time ever in American history. Without evidence, Trump and Sessions warn of voter fraud in Tuesday’s elections:

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday issued strong warnings about the threat of voter fraud in Tuesday’s elections, echoing the president’s baseless claims that massive voter fraud marred his 2016 election and prompting accusations that his administration is trying to intimidate voters.

In a tweet early Monday, Trump said that law enforcement has been “strongly notified” to watch for “ILLEGAL VOTING.” He promised that anyone caught voting improperly would be subjected to “Maximum Criminal Penalties.”

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Sessions, in a statement laying out the Justice Department’s plans to monitor ballot access on Election Day, said “fraud in the voting process will not be tolerated. Fraud also corrupts the integrity of the ballot.”

In remarks to reporters on his way to a campaign rally in Cleveland, Trump also falsely claimed that voter fraud is commonplace.

“Just take a look,” he said. “All you have to do is go around, take a look at what’s happened over the years, and you’ll see. There are a lot of people — a lot of people — my opinion, and based on proof — that try and get in illegally and actually vote illegally. So we just want to let them know that there will be prosecutions at the highest level.”

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the United States. Trump formed a commission to study the issue shortly after he took office that was disbanded without finding evidence of fraud after states refused to turn over voter data.

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Why Oprah votes … and wants you to

Oprah Winfrey delivered an impassioned call to voters Thursday in a fiery stump speech in support of Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Stumping for Abrams, Oprah makes impassioned plea for turnout:

“I’m here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed and oppressed, for the right for the equality at the polls,” Winfrey said. “And I want you to know that their blood has seeped into my DNA, and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain. I refuse.”

Video link.

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Oprah then recounted the story of Otis Moss, Sr., a black man who tried to vote on election day in Georgia but was given the runaround by white poll workers. He walked for 18 hours that day to three different polling places, and at the end of the day he was told “Boy, you’re too late, the polls are closed.” And he never never had a chance to vote. By the time the next election came around he had died.

Oprah then says, “So when I go to the polls and I cast my ballot, I cast it for a man I never knew. I cast it for Otis Moss, Sr. who walked 18 miles one day just for the chance to vote.”

“And when I stand in the polls I do as Maya Angelou says, ‘I come as one but I stand as 10,000.'” “For all those who paved the way that we might have the right to vote.”

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