Archive for the ‘Voter Fraud’ Category

Minnesotans haven’t seen this many political surprise ever. First, Michele Bachmann announced she isn’t running for re-election. Within days, Jim Graves, her announced opponent, announced he isn’t running. Yesterday, Mark Ritchie announced that he isn’t seeking re-election:

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election to a third term in 2014.

“This is the right decision for me and my family right now,” said Ritchie, 61. “When I did the math, if I would be honored by being re-elected, I would be closer to 70 than 65” after completing another term.

The Mark Ritchie Era is thankfully coming to a close. Ritchie fought against voter integrity most of his time in office. He refused to admit reality, which is that Minnesota’s election system isn’t the gold standard anymore. He fought against his own party on election integrity.

There’s sure to be a stampede to replace Ritchie. It’ll be interesting to see who emerges as the parties’ frontrunners.

According to the Secretary of State’s website, 94.25% of registered voters voted in the presidential race. Actually, that isn’t right. With 4046 of 4102 precincts reporting, 94.25% of Minnesota’s registered voters had voted in the presidential election.

That means a voter participation rate of over 96%.

If that seems steep, that’s pathetic compared with the voter participation rate in Hennepin County, where 674,159 of the county’s 678,074 voters voted. That’s a VPR of 99.4%.

Still, that’s nothing compared with the most ‘civic-minded’ county in Minnesota. In Ramsey County, 278,821 of the county’s 279,513 registered voters voted. That’s a VPR of 99.75%.

St. Louis County is relatively apathetic, with ‘only’ 115,620 of their 122,755 voters voting this year. That’s a VPR of 94.19%. Dakota County had a VPR of 96.1%.

Does anyone seriously think that 4 major metro counties had voter participation rates over 94%? Does anyone seriously think that a statewide presidential race would trigger a voter partipation rate of more than 96%?

I’m betting against it.

This editorial by the Pioneer Press’s editorial board took the DFL spinmeisters to the woodshed. Their editorial wasn’t filled with platitudes. It was filled with thoughtful arguments and verified statistics. Here’s one example of the Pi-Press’s logic:

Opponents of the Voter ID amendment raise any number of objections, none more frequent than this sound bite: “It’s a solution in search of a problem.” Clever, but perhaps too clever. Because of the nature of the process, it’s very difficult to assess the current size of the problem, much less how large it might become.

Remember, in Minnesota anybody can simply show up at the polls and vote, whether they have previously registered or not. They “register” on the spot with as little documentation as an old ID and an invoice with an address on it. In 2008, roughly 500,000 people (!) showed up and voted after registering on the spot. That number of same-day registrants represents nearly 20 percent of the votes cast. No one knows how many of these votes may have been ineligible. A recent video from the state of Virginia records the son of a politician explaining how to cast votes by using fake documents such as water bills.

This isn’t advocating for the elimination of EDR (Election Day Registration). I’m just advocating for tightening up the process so that it’s verifiably reliable throughout Minnesota. It’s apparent that a problem exists, which the Pi-Press gets into here:

Without an ID, there is no way to verify even the most elementary things such as citizenship. Post-election, more than 6,000 of the addresses given by these same-day-registrant voters came back as undeliverable in a routine postal check. Even if the legwork was done to determine which if any of those votes were ineligible, the votes themselves could not be un-counted.

There’s no way this can be attributed to sloppiness on the person using EDR or to data entry mistakes. That’s 12 ‘mistakes’ per 1,000 new EDR registrations. I’m betting the error rate on new registrations done before the deadline isn’t anything close to this rate.

After all, why would people registering on Election Day make more mistakes? Certainly, the people should learn their address before voting. Why would data entry operators be more prone to making mistakes on Election Day registrations? Keyboards didn’t suddenly get changed right before entering the EDRs.

This argument is especially effective in a fight against DFL activists:

The other objections to the amendment are less central. Opponents say it will be expensive. To which the supporters note that the opponents are always eager to spend unless and until it comes time to tighten up the voting process. Not to mention that if the state is so backward that it cannot efficiently administer something as ordinary and universal as Photo ID verification, it’s high time it upped its game.

I wrote here that Gov. Dayton complained about this program costing “maybe $100 million.” That figure isn’t anything that people testified to under oath during a hearing. It’s fiction. It’s being used to frighten seniors and college students into voting against the bill.

How many college students don’t drink alcoholic beverages? How many college students don’t drive? How many college students don’t buy Sudafed? How many students stay in the midwest rather than fly to Florida for spring break? There can’t be many that fit into all of those categories. The point is that each of those situations require showing a photo ID.

That isn’t the final clincher on the subject. Let’s assume there’s a major population of people that don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t use Sudafed, don’t fly to spring break and don’t drive. Are we then supposed to assume that this population of people can’t get a photo ID? Simply put, this argument is flimsy at best.

Finally, there’s this red herring argument:

It may be worth remembering, in the fog of the debate, that generally speaking those who oppose the amendment would still oppose it even if it cost the state nothing and exempted absentee ballots. The arguments brought to bear by the opponents are simply tools, incidentals, used to defeat an amendment that they fundamentally oppose in all its forms. Plain and simple, they are against using Photo ID in the election process. Opponents are not saying that they are for it as implemented by some other state, just not as it has been drawn up in this particular amendment. They are against the very concept, regardless of the particulars.

This is fact. Democrats have opposed Photo ID in every state where it’s been implemented.

The tactics don’t vary. The statistics are routinely rejected by judges that require proof of wrongdoing. To this day, no political party has found a person who could testify that they couldn’t get photographic identification.

In Minnesota, the DFL has tried everything in their deception bag of tricks to derail the Photo ID constitutional amendment. Tuesday, the people will pass the photo ID constitutional amendment. After that, the DFL and their allies will file lawsuits to thwart the will of the people.

When the DFL and their allies file those lawsuits, I’ll be waiting to write about how the DFL isn’t interested in doing the will of the people. Then I’ll remind people that the DFL is perfectly willing to ignore the will of the people before the next election.

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The FBI has started an investigation into a voting scam in Florida:

TAMPA, Fla. – The FBI is joining an investigation into bogus letters sent to many Florida residents, including the Republican Party of Florida chairman, that raise questions about their eligibility to vote.

FBI officials said Wednesday the FBI will focus on letters received by voters in 18 counties in central and southwest Florida.

According to the Republican Party of Florida, Chairman Lenny Curry received one of the fake letters on Tuesday.

“This type of activity is not only disgusting, it is criminal, and must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Curry said in a release. “I call on Florida Democrats to join me in condemning this false letter writing campaign that appears to target likely voters in Florida, and help RPOF get the word out about this false campaign.”

Local 6 first reported the bogus letter scam on Monday, which claim to be from county supervisors of elections but are postmarked from Seattle. They raise questions about the voter’s citizenship and appear intended to intimidate people.

The FBI says voters who get a letter should contact their supervisor of elections and then keep the letter for the FBI.

Patrick Moran, the son of Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, needs a lawyer:

At the time this video was taken, Patrick Moran served as the field director for his dad’s campaign. He’s since resigned. In the video, Patrick Moran explained to a Project Veritas investigator how to commit voter fraud in Virginia.

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Kevin Lindsey, Gov. Dayton’s Human Rights Commissioner, visited the SCSU campus to campaign against the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment:

Commissioner Kevin Lindsey, the top human-rights official in Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration, spoke to St. Cloud State University students at a forum sponsored by a host of university groups.

Like Dayton, an outspoken foe of the voter ID amendment, Lindsey urged students to oppose the measure, which would join the state Constitution if endorsed by voters on Nov. 6. In addition to requiring voters to show photo IDs, the amendment would trigger other changes to voting laws such as the elimination of vouching, in which a voter can sign an oath to vouch for another’s residency.

Lindsey told students the amendment is part of a national push to enact new voting requirements that’s “eerily reminiscent” of past efforts to suppress female and nonwhite voters.

“Voter suppression is not new in our country,” Lindsey said. “We know our history. How can we in good faith support this initiative?”

Consider this part of the DFL’s continuing campaign of fearmongering. If you believed Commissioner Lindsey, which group would have their votes suppressed? Here’s the answer:

Lindsey said he’s especially concerned with a provision in the amendment requiring that all voters be subject to “substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification” before a ballot is cast or counted. It’s not clear how military members serving overseas could meet the same standards as those voting at a Minnesota polling place, raising the question of how they could meet that requirement, Lindsey said.

I wrote this article to talk specifically about the military vote. There isn’t a question about how they’d meet this requirement. There’s just the DFL’s fearmongering. The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, aka UOCAVA, governs military voting rights. This isn’t debatable. This isn’t a situation where we’re waiting to see how a new law will affect voting. UOCAVA was signed by President Reagan in August, 1985.

In short, it’s a pretty sturdy bill. It’s a known quantity.

The DFL is intent on lying through their teeth to prevent this proposed constitutional amendment from passing. They know their only hope to defeat the Photo ID amendment is to frighten enough people with lie after lie after lie.

If that doesn’t work, they’ll have to figure out how they’ll ignore the law without paying a big political price.

The DFL’s other tactic is whining:

Lindsey said an overlooked but key element of the amendment is how it would affect rural voters, through a new provisional voting system that would be created under the amendment. Voters who couldn’t provide identification when voting would be required to cast provisional ballots, then prove their identity within a specified time period after the election in order for their ballot to be counted.

That could create hardships for those in rural areas who vote a long distance from where they live or work, Lindsey said.

Here’s a thought. How about expecting people to take responsibility for meeting the requirements? I know that’s a radical thought for the DFL but it’s a practice that’s worked throughout American history.

Notice that Lindsey didn’t say provisional balloting would prevent people from voting. He said that provisional balloting would “create hardships for those in rural areas.” That assumes that people living in rural areas won’t take responsibility to get state-issued photographic identification.

Also, the new task of administering provisional ballots could require Minnesota counties to incur tens of millions in new costs, Lindsey added.

Commissioner Lindsey, what information are you basing that scare tactic on? A provision in the ballot question? Have counties or municipalities said that they’d incur new costs handling provisional ballots? If they have, what are they basing their worries on? Fear of change? Reality? Or are they just fearmongering, too?

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Mark Ritchie’s willingness to do anything to prevent the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment from becoming the governing authority on elections is breathtaking. This video shows what tactics Mr. Ritchie will use to defeat the proposed Photo ID amendment:

Here’s the transcript of Ms. Farrell’s statement:

I am Barbara Farrell, the president of the Minnesota chapter of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. I received a letter from Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. The letter he sent me came from his office using state resources asking me to stand against the voter ID amendment and to also have my group stand against it.

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., as a group does not take political positions. Therefore, our group cannot stand one way or the other on the issue but as a mother of a military person who died while on active duty, I am outraged by the letter because in it, Mark Ritchie says that the new Voter amendment, if passed, would take away the military vote, make it more difficult for our military personnel overseas to vote when that is not the case.

I am also outraged that he would use state resources to campaign against an issue that, as Secretary of State, he should be neutral on.

Mr. Ritchie is lying when he says that the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment would stop military voting. He knows he’s lying because the UOCAVA, aka the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, controls elections for military personnel serving overseas. Since this is a federal issue, UOCAVA is constitutional from a Tenth Amendment standpoint. That means nothing a state does, whether through statutes or through constitutional amendments, affects absentee balloting for military personnel serving overseas.

What’s worse is that Ritchie made this campaign appeal using official Secretary of State stationary, something that’s expressly forbidden:

“There are a lot of subtleties about the line separating official function from campaigns,” Nobles said on Monday. “But this one was not subtle. It was an official document, and a reference to a running mate has no place in it.”

Whether it’s Mike Hatch using official OAG stationary to talk about his runningmate or it’s Mark Ritchie using official SOS stationery to defeat the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment, the same rules apply. The principle is exquisitely simple. Supplies bought with the taxpayers’ money can only be used for the taxpayers’ business.

Campaigns aren’t the taxpayers’ business.

It’s time for Mr. Ritchie to get impeached. He’s committed to not enforcing this proposed constitutional amendment like he’s been committed to not fulfilling his responsibilities mandated by the HAVA of 2002.

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Opponents of Minnesota’s proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment gave away their secret for estimating the cost of elections in a Photo ID environment:

Ritchie has largely relied on a 2011 estimate state Minnesota Management and Budget officials prepared for a voter ID bill that Gov. Dayton later vetoed. It showed roughly $32 million in start up costs for the state, with another $24 million for counties.

Ritchie’s flaw is that S.F. 509 is nothing like the proposed constitutional amendment. S.F. 509 is almost 2,000 lines long. H.F. 2738 is 39 lines long.

Based on H.F. 2738’s language, it’s impossible for Ritchie to know what the cost is. Ritchie’s ‘statistics’ (I use that term exceptionally loosely) are, at best, wild estimates.

In testimony to the House Government Finance Committee, Ritchie admitted that there are probably less than 100,000 people who would be eligible to vote who don’t have state-issued photographic identification. If that’s accurate, then the cost of providing free photographic identification would be less than $2,000,000 initially.

Educating citizens of the requirements of the new constitutional amendment wouldn’t cost the millions of dollars opponents of Photo ID claim it would. Most of the education could be done by civic groups for little or nothing.

The cost to counties allegation is fiction. The only potential cost to a county would be from DFL activists filing lawsuits claiming a voter was disenfranchised because of the Photo ID requirement. That type of lawsuit would likely get tossed because the litigants would have to prove that they couldn’t obtain photographic identification.

Ritchie and other opponents of the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment don’t have many options left in defeating it. That’s why they’re resorting to scare tactics, dishonest statistics and threats of frivolous lawsuits.

Their options are pretty pathetic at this point.

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Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer’s op-ed in the Princeton Union-Eagle is a devastating criticism of Secretary Ritchie’s scare tactics in opposition to the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment.

This criticism is particularly sharp:

He’s said that members of the Armed Forces deployed overseas would be unable to vote if the Voter ID amendment passes. As the chief election officer of the state, Ritchie should be familiar with the MOVE Act and UOCAVA ballots under federal law and thus should be fully aware that military absentee ballots are not affected by state laws. Not even an amendment to the State Constitution can hinder military balloting.

If Mr. Ritchie isn’t aware of these laws, then he isn’t qualified to be Minnesota’s Secretary of State. If Mr. Ritchie is aware of these laws but lies to scare people in an attempt to get them to vote no on the proposed constitutional amendment, he’s too corrupt to be Minnesota’s Secretary of State.

Secretary Ritchie is ignoring the word “substantially” and argues that eligibility verification cannot be accomplished on election day in the polling place. He claims that all 500,000 same-day registrants in Minnesota would therefore have to cast a provisional ballot to be counted later.

Ritchie’s intellectual dishonesty is disgusting. It isn’t reasonable to assume that everyone using EDR doesn’t have a drivers license or state-issued ID card. Still, that’s precisely what Mr. Ritchie does with this thinking.

It’s important to ask Mr. Ritchie why he’d make that assumption. I suspect he doesn’t really think that but that he’s just employing that as a scare tactic. Mr. Ritchie knows that anyone who uses EDR will cast a regular ballot if they present a state-issued Photo ID.

Mr. Ritchie can’t admit that, though, because that’d destroy another of his chanting points. If he admits to the truth, his arguments crumple.

His office claims that almost one million voters would have problems voting. This defies logic.

There are approximately 4,000,000 registered voters in Minnesota. In making that type of claim, Mr. Ritchie’s office is claiming that one-fourth of Minnesota’s registered voters don’t have a state-issued form of photgraphic identification.

It’s time for Mr. Ritchie to stop with the fearmongering. It’s time he started telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

It’s time people recognized Mr. Ritchie’s corruption.

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I attended a Vote Yes on Photo ID get together Monday night. The guest speaker was Rep. Keith Downey. I’ve written a bunch of articles and posts about Photo ID and voter fraud but Rep. Downey stunned me a couple of times.

First, I learned that Rep. Downey worked on implementing HAVA requirements when he was in the private sector. One of the states that he worked in was Indiana, the home of the Crawford v. Marion County Election Board lawsuit that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Crawford made Photo ID laws possible throughout the nation.

Rep. Downey made clear that implementing Photo ID isn’t the complicated procedure opponents of the bill say it is. He said he wasn’t saying that as a GOP legislator. He said that as a result of his private sector experience.

Rep. Downey said that many of the claims now being touted by the DFL as Gospel fact on costs to cities and counties come from the various Photo ID bills that have since been dropped.

Rep. Downey said that many of the DFL statements and allegations “are based on the assumption that the legislature would pass” ridiculous enabling language to the Photo ID amendment if it passes and that “Gov. Dayton would sign that.”

The fact that Gov. Dayton vetoed Photo ID when it was a bill guarantees he won’t sign a bill with ridiculous enabling language.

Rep. Downey said that many lawsuits have been brought trying to reverse the Supreme Court’s Crawford ruling. He said that none of the testimony taken has proven Photo ID disenfranchises voters.

Court after court has ruled that the people who’ve supposedly been harmed by their state’s Photo ID laws weren’t actually disenfranchised.

The ACLU-MN, the League of Women Voters-MN and Common Cause MN aren’t trying to prevent Photo ID from becoming law because Photo ID makes voting difficult.

The Constitution isn’t on their side. The ‘evidence’ isn’t on their side, either. The polls have never been on their side.

That information makes me wonder why they’re fighting this as hard as they’re fighting it.

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Chuck Samuelson, the executive director of the ACLU-MN, is predicting lots of lawsuits being brought in federal court if Minnesotans approve the Photo ID constitutional amendment:

Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, said he thinks there could still be a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Minnesota’s voter ID amendment once an election is held under the new requirements and once a voter gets turned away.

Mr. Samuelson’s explanation of the SCOTUS ruling in the Crawford v. Marion County Election Board is tortured:

“Their argument in the Indiana case was quite simple: ‘If you want to sue, bring us somebody who’s damaged, who’s been injured by this. They can sue. But if you haven’t been injured by this bill, you can’t sue,'” Samuelson said. “That’s the federal position in the Crawford case. So, that’s going to require the election to be held and somebody to be disenfranchised.”

Actually, that isn’t the standard set, though it’s close. Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, in his majority opinion, said that states have a compelling reason for Photo ID because they have the right to protect election integrity.

In the original testimony in District Court, Judge Barker ruled that the Democratic Party of Indiana hadn’t proven that anyone would be unable to get a state-issued photo ID.

That means the burden for the ACLU-MN to overturn Crawford v. Marion County Election Board is to prove that a person isn’t able to get a photo ID. That means proving the DMV was unwilling to supply photographic identification.

The litigant would have to show that they tried obtaining photographic identification and had their application rejected. That isn’t likely to happen.

If Mr. Samuelson wants to file a lawsuit, that’s his right. It’s just that he should prepare to lose. That’s because it’s almost impossible to not get a photo ID.

It’s time to dispel the myth that photo ID disenfranchises legal voters. A lawsuit in federal court will settle this.

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