voter id

GOP voter fraud hunt is really a lack of electoral confidence

Renewed attacks on voting rights in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and other states are as much about power as about policy and race. The hand wringing over elusive "fraud" is because America's majority ethnic group sees its traditional grip on power eroding with shifting demographics.

In North Carolina last week, Republican lawmakers again raised the alarm over the possibility that hundreds -- maybe thousands -- had criminally cast ballots in two states in the 2012 election. GOP leaders were quick to insist that the numbers justified the draconian voting law they passed in the last legislative session. The U.S. Department of Justice has challenged the law in court.

Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies just as quickly debunked the study by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach whose office, after checking 5 million voter records in 2013, "couldn't provide any evidence of a single instance in which the Interstate Crosscheck's data had led to an actual legal charge of voter fraud." Because the data, Kromm writes, "offers no proof such fraud is occurring." Requiring citizens to present identity cards to vote would have no effect on voting in multiple states.

Interstate Crosscheck not as good as they claim

Like fingerprints, when taken all together, your nine digit social security number is unique to you. But, historically, the three distinct parts of that number are not unique to any one individual; the numbers within each grouping on your card may appear on another’s card in exactly the same sequence. Including the last four digits used to match voter registration names by the Interstate Crosscheck Voter Identification Program. The premise of the matches they claim to have found amongst North Carolina and out of state voters is invalid.

Tillis, Interstate Crosscheck, Big Data, and you

You've no doubt heard and read about the heart palpitations among our Republican state leaders today when Thom Tillis announced evidence massive voter fraud, which seems to have turned out to be about 700 people *alleged to be* voting here in NC and another state in the last election, about .00075% of the total voter turnout in the state 101 million voter records that were claimed to be checked by Interstate Crosscheck, the service being used by the state.

Of course, it was an opportunity for Tillis and Company to defend and promote NC's voter restriction laws, called the "worst" in the nation and being challenged in court by the NAACP and the ACLU. Tillis and McCrory didn't use it as an opportunity to announce any investigations or sharing of what was found with the FBI since what might be going on here besides felony voter fraud is identity theft or other activity.

Who cares about investigating possible felonies when there's a press release to push out, really?

What's more disturbing to me is how this suspected voter fraud was found.

At the heart of Tillis's evidence are some disturbing questions about data the state of North Carolina has about you, how secure that data is, and what might be happening or could happen with it.

NAACP legal defense fund documenting local voter restrictions

The NAACP's legal defense fund has just released a report on how states and local communities have been responding to the court decision in Shelby versus Holder that struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act. The report (pdf file) includes a section on actions in North Carolina by the state legislature and local voting boards in Wautauga and Forsyth.

They're asking for your help - if you know of other examples of changes to voter access in your community that impact people of color, email vote@naacpldf.org. They're using the information to fight voter restrictions in the courts and to pressure Congress to strengthen the Voting Rights Act.

Cock fighting, sex scandals, absentee votes and the NC legislature

The Winston-Salem Journal has a three-part series that tries to sort out the convoluted story of the struggle for control of the town council of Ronda, North Carolina, a small town with just over 400 residents.

The Wautaugawatch posted about the whole affair back in November, summarizing the key players. In short, it involves a Republican involved in cock-fighting, his Tea Bagger girlfriend who was involved with a sex scandal with a Republican now serving in the General Assembly, and a Democratic mayor that was the target of a special law passed by the NC state legislature. The whole mess has wound up in court.

Part 1

NC Council of Churches on NC voting laws

The NC Council of Churches has published a piece at their website, looking closely at changes to NC's voting laws and race. Their conclusion:

When discrimination against members of a certain party becomes discrimination against members of a certain race, it seems fair to conclude that a line has been crossed – a line too reminiscent of times when black Americans could be treated like dirt whenever it suited the whites who wrote the rules.

Tony Tata's DOT goes downhill

As the NCGA proceeds with voter suppression requiring photo ID, Tony Tata's DOT can't even produce drivers licenses that don't fall apart.

Triangle drivers tell the Road Worrier that their North Carolina driver’s licenses are fading, splitting, peeling and breaking. They repair them with tape. They get replacements from DMV. The replacements go bad, too.

Maybe Tony is an ivory tower elitist who whiles away his time in his air-conditioned office in Raleigh, with his latte and his contempt, and chuckles while the good people of North Carolina are fighting hard to get photo IDs, but the IDs fall apart and have to be replaced.

Pat's entire cabinet is composed of incompetent political hacks. Not surprising, when Pat is an incompetent political hack.

Straight ticket voting, say goodbye.

Changes in the North Carolina voting laws came into effect at the beginning of 2014, but there is much more to the issue than voter ID.

The actual bill, House Bill 589 is here. It’s about 50 pages so I hope you’re sitting down and in a comfy chair. So, let’s take the time to look at the real facts and the real issues.

1. Voter ID doesn’t go into effect until 2016. In political years, that’s a lifetime. We need to worry about that later.

2. The law cuts a week off of early voting but counties have to keep the same number of hours in 2014 as they did in 2010.

3. Same day registration is no more. Voters have to be registered at least 25 days prior to any election. Want to vote in the May 6th primary? Make sure you’re registered by April 11, 2014.

Duh

Anyone who's paying attention knew this all along, but it's still troubling to see the truth of what our governor and legislators have done. This is on you, Deputy Assistant Governor McCrory.

What we found was that restrictions on voting derived from both race and class. The more that minorities and lower-income individuals in a state voted, the more likely such restrictions were to be proposed. Where minorities turned out at the polls at higher rates the legislation was more likely enacted.

We see what you're doing here

Let's say, just for the sake of speculation, that you're a political party intent on passing unconstitutional laws that restrict the rights of voters you want to keep away from the polls. And let's say you're loosing the battle in getting these laws to stick.

What does such a political party do?

Well, one way to get what you want is to "monkey wrench" a Justice Department aggressively fighting those laws.

Huffington Post reports that a group of Republicans in Congress are planning to impeach US Attorney General Eric Holder. Their reason is because of the botched "Fast and Furious" sting that left weapons in the hands of Mexican Drug Cartels.

However, we really see what you're up to here, Republicans.

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