Right wing gears up for voter intimidation in November

Starting with a salvo of baseless challenges:

Jay DeLaney, executive director of the Voter Integrity Project, submitted 550 official challenges to the status of Wake County registered voters. In a preliminary hearing Tuesday members of the Wake County Board of Elections dismissed the challenges to more than 500 voter registrations while agreeing to further investigate 18 of them.

They actually started with 6,000 names, ending up with 18 "maybes". And now we follow the whitebread crumbs:

We are at a point in history where people will be forced to decide whether or not they want to sit back and let evil triumph or pull up their sleeves and do the hard work of defending our great constitutional freedom.

While there are similar organizations springing up all across our nation, VIP is starting as a North Carolina initiative. It springs from my outrage at the news of how election after election is stolen in some amazingly brazen way. Organizations in other states have started paving the way to turn this problem around. Much of VIP-NC's inspiration comes from King Street Patriots and their True the Vote campaign, that started in Texas. After close coordination through leader meetings and training workshops, they have agreed to support the efforts of VIP-NC.

You may not have heard of the King Street Patriots, but you probably have heard of the outrageous voter intimidation that True The Vote has wrought:

A spin off of the King Street Patriots Texas Tea Party, a group who gained notoriety during the 2008 and 2010 elections for harassing and intimidating Houston voters, True the Vote supports the voter ID laws championed by ALEC and other right-wing groups. But their primary role in the effort to suppress the vote will manifest on Election Day. By then, True the Vote hopes to have trained a million poll watchers around the country to crackdown on cases of voter fraud—people voting on behalf of dead citizens, undocumented immigrants attempting to vote and people voting twice.

Make no mistake: their intent is not to stop voter fraud (which even they know is a non-issue), but to make voting such a hassle that some people just won't go. People of a certain color, that is.

Comments

Voter suppression: This is McCrory's dog whistle

Voter ID is the only fresh idea McCrory has in his entire arsenal, and it is a spectacularly bad idea. Costs millions, does nothing.

It's the Republican Way.

So maybe Dems should be doing the same: Let's identify millions of Republican voters and go after every goddamn one of them as "suspect." File challenges demanding to see their papers.

I don't know

I do know from previous experience that most polling places have some (or at least one) local Dem standing outside greeting voters. But if they can't see what's going on inside, they won't know if these "observers" are targeting voters by race, or how aggressive they are.

I have seriously contemplated taking the steps to be one of these observers, just to make sure nobody gets bullied. But every time I think about it, Evil Steve starts rubbing his hands together. He's...well, let's just say he's not quite as diplomatic as I am. ;)

Both parties are allowed

one poll observer inside the polling place. I've done this many times. If there are Republicans harassing voters, we need to be ready to call them on it. There will be lawyer hotlines (as always) to report irregularities but we need to make sure our observers are well trained.

Progressives are the true conservatives.

There should be an organized effort

I've been fighting within the NCDP to organize such a group since 2008. Haven't had much luck until recently when David Parker became NCDP Chair. I imagine it's hard for consultants and staffers to make money doing that. When you fight to prevent voters from losing their right to vote, you don't gain any numbers that look sexy in a Powerpoint presentation.

Watch out this year for voters being de-registered through Same Day Registration at Early Voting.

Also watch out for denial of service problems due to voting equipment maintenance problems in those counties trying to do their own maintenance under the new legislation. Meaning that properly maintained machines that correctly count votes will go to the Republican precincts, and faulty counting machines will go to Democratic precincts - assuming they work at all.

NC went from being a Floridy-style laughing stock in 2004 to being #1 in accuracy in 2006, and being rated the top 8 states best ready for the 2008 election. One single county BOE election director pushed for the change in voting equipment maintenance - and I have to ask why no other Democrats in her own county have asked why she's pushing for it. If the claim is that it will save money - prove it with side-by-side cost apples to apples cost comparisons. When your main reason for saving money is a long-term employee who used to be a voting machine tech - but then he leaves, your rationale for saving money falls flat on its face.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting
http://noirvnc.blogspot.com
http://statewideirvnc.blogspot.com

How do we stop thse goons....

We stop them by using their own ammunition against them.
Everyone knows the GOP is the dominant source of major vote fraud. Nearly all dead, undocumented immigrants, felons and 'duplicate' voters are notably conservative as statistics bear out over and over. Unchecked, they will cost us this state in the upcoming election. A majority of Democrats demand Photo ID, so what is stopping the Photo ID Bill....our turncoat governor who is giving the baggers what they want, a veto of the photo ID bill. Whose side is she on?

Bring back ACORN; they played hard ball, unlike the wimps we have now.

In liberty

Haters & poll watchers

Hi Gang...
Interesting posts. If you can see past any blind hatred you might have for me, you will realize that we are fighting on the same side (except for perhaps that "Evil Steve" guy?)...anyway the things y'all hate (bullying and intimidation) are the same things we hate. I'll take a chance here and suggest that we all want fair and free elections. My organization wants every citizen to vote once...but only once. Yes, just like Jimmy Carter and the US Supreme Court (on Indiana ID law), we view "real voter ID" as a minimal but reasonable intrusion on the voting process. Besides, would you really want to fly on an airline that didn't bother to check ID? And the cost has been in only in the tens of thousands in Georgia rather than the predicted millions.
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As to the "baseless challenges," we would call them "quick dismissals," in a hearing that was more like a Kangaroo Court than a trial. Someone at the DMV told Election officials that those voters were citizens, but the DMV witness didn't show up at the hearing to explain the validity of their work. Who knew that getting a driver's license is all you need in order to prove citizenship?!
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As to voter suppression, I refer your open-minded readers to that New Black Panthers case in Philly (the one that Holder refused to prosecute) as the type of bullying that we oppose! There is a link to it on my homepage www.VoterIntegrityProject.com in case you missed the story, but it was unsettling to say the least. If any of your readers agree that their behavior was wrong, unlawful or even dangerous to our way of government, then maybe there's hope for our nation!
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Rather than complain about us, maybe you SHOULD become a trained poll watcher. VIP-NC is non-partisan and we offer the training to anybody who wants it. BTW, during the run-up to the May primary, Wake County BOE offered the training to both parties' volunteers who wanted to work as poll watchers. I'm told there were something like 40 people in the audience...all were from the GOP and none from the Democratic party. Don't wait for your party leaders to order it...grow a spine and organize your own team of observers!
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I realize some haters among your audience will parse my words and dig for fault, but I hope the rest of you will take a moment to reflect on your freedom and on where that freedom comes from (hint: "We hold these truths to be self-evident...") before you join an angry mob to attack us. Rather than project onto us the things that Haters might do (or HAVE done) in the name of political expediency, please consider our intent--free and fair elections.

Why there were no Democrats:

I'm told there were something like 40 people in the audience...all were from the GOP and none from the Democratic party.

Because Democrats know that voter fraud is a non-issue. It happens on such a minute scale that it has absolutely no impact on the validity of the process or the results.

But what does have a notable impact is low voter turnout. That can skew an election or a referendum, if one side spends a lot of money organizing. We saw this happen in the Wake School Board election, and it happens on a lot of other local issues.

See, I believe (as do many others) that the more people who vote, the closer we get to self-determination, as a state and a country. And the more people who vote, the more people will feel a certain amount of ownership for our society. And anything that can hinder that, like being accosted by some stranger in the polling place who doesn't like the way you look, flat out pisses me off.

That, my friend, is hating. Questioning somebody's integrity as they're trying to do their duty as a citizen. And I don't care one whit if it is legal or not, it's just plain wrong.

Tell you what, Jay, if you want to do something to help the effectiveness of the voting process, tell the Republicans to give local boards of elections the tools and support they need to operate properly. Training, staffing, machine maintenance. That will true the vote better than anything else.

The real reason there were no Dems?

Because this is a part of the GOTV equation that Dems don't seem to get. Our observers won't be there looking for voter fraud - they'll be looking for voter suppression, voter intimidation, poll workers giving the wrong instructions, machines not working properly, wrong ballot styles, SDR de-registering voters at Early Voting, etc.

This is part of the GOTV equation that we don't seem to pay attention to. This could be because the consultants that are hired for GOTV can't sell voter protection measures like they can phone banking, meetups, canvasing, etc.

This needs to be part of the master plan that each county Party has that gets presented to the County Executive Committee for a vote each year - after tweaking here and here based on lessons learned from previous elections.

But it seems that every time we get a new county Party Chair, no one wants to do "lessons learned" - they seem content to let the Chair run the entire show, even though the Chair needs the Executive Council and Executive Committee - because in theory any member of that body should be able to make a motion to require certain actions be taken by the County Party.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting
http://noirvnc.blogspot.com
http://statewideirvnc.blogspot.com

As the Democratic Party Chair

As the Democratic Party Chair for Wake County, I can tell you that the real reason there were no poll observers for us at the May primaries is that (1) we are more concerned with the outside presence at the polls to inform and influence and (2) we were not as concerned with voter suppression, etc. during a primary election as we are during a general election.

We received some anecdotal reports of voter intimidation and wrong ballots related to Amendment One, but none were substantiated in Wake County. These reports were reported to our Election Day HQ or to one of the legal groups that we work with for voter protection.

We have a different game plan for the general election in November and will train observers, judges and others accordingly.

However, if anyone would like to serve as an observer for the Wake County Democratic Party during the July runoffs, I'm happy to discuss the opportunity with you. In Wake County, Democrats have one and only one runoff race, but there are plenty of GOP runoffs.

Not just this May...

...but the last time we had a serious plan for Polling Place observers was in November 2008! Nothing for 2009, 2010 or 2011! I know this because as Precinct Chair of my precinct, I was told by the polling place judge that there were no polling place observers appointed by the Wake Dems in those years. One has to wonder: "why not?"

We need to have a permanent plan for polling place observers at each and every election. Just like we need to have all 200 of our precincts organized.

I don't want to be caught by surprise by some new GOP challenge scams with no inside observers. I run the outside poll greeter operation. I've got people - including long-time observer Dennis Burns - who would LOVE to be polling place observers. Their names are on file with the County Party. Do they need to contact the county Party to volunteer for each and every election, or is there some way to maintain a list of those previous polling place observers that can be contacted at the appropriate time before each and every election to call them into service again?

These plans cannot and should not change radically based on who is Chair. All these plans should be run before the County Executive Committee for approval per the NCDP Plan of Organization. That will allow enough time to get input from experienced hands so we don't end up making crazy plans at the last minute and then changing them all the time.

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting
http://noirvnc.blogspot.com
http://statewideirvnc.blogspot.com

Not all counties hold

Not all counties hold Executive Committee meetings like the POO calls for. And in some cases, a quorum doesn't come when one is called.

Really?

Does your county Party hold monthly Executive Council meetings? Are they open to the public? Can you raise that issue there? Then perhaps someone from your county needs to file complaints with the state Party about this - because no Chair or Executive Council is just supposed to do their own thing in the name of the Party without running it by the County Executive Committee first. It says so right in the POO!

Can you phone bank CEC members in your county prior to a CEC meeting?

This sort of stuff needs to be part of every county's playbook that doesn't change from year to year or as officers come and go.

I mean we have a NCDP POO that exists as sort of a playbook that remains the same no matter who is Chair unless parts of the POO get changed. Come on people - this is not rocket science!

Chris Telesca
Wake County Verified Voting
http://noirvnc.blogspot.com
http://statewideirvnc.blogspot.com

Poll Watchers, Voter Fraud, etc.

I don't know what goes on in Wake or other counties, but I have been a poll watcher in Union County for several elections, and I can tell you I have never witnessed anything that was even remotely wrong about the way the election was being conducted -- at least inside the polling place. But I have heard of instances of voter intimidation outside the polling place and it was always the Republicans who were doing the intimidating and passing out literature with false information and without the required disclaimer. When our county commissioners followed the dictate of our house member, who is an ALEC member, and voted to ask for a local bill for Voter Picture ID, I sent the county information officer a question: How many cases of voter fraud have there been in Union County? His answer was -- I'm summarizing here -- I have checked with the Board of Elections, current staff and Board Members and former staff and Board Members, and there has never been any instances of voter fraud except in one recent election a voter who voted absentee appeared at the polls on Election Day to vote again because he was afraid his ballot had not been received and he was not allowed to vote. If he had been allowed to vote again, Voter Photo ID would not have prevented it.

The read fraud is that people are claiming voter fraud when there is no fraud.

Not all bad news today:

adamsotak 2:13pm via Web Congrats!! to Rep. L. Hall & all of U who helped stop the Voter Suppression Act of 2011-12, the Voter ID Bill (HB-351) #ncga #respectourvote