Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘voting laws’

How No-Excuse Absentee Voting Allows Special Interests To Manipulate Voters


REPORTED BY: WILLIAM DOYLE | FEBRUARY 15, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/15/how-no-excuse-absentee-voting-allows-special-interests-to-manipulate-voters/

ballots

Signs outside every physical polling place forbid electioneering. Each state has some form of restriction on political activities near polling locations when voting is taking place. These restrictions are usually on the display of signs, handing out campaign literature, attempting to influence voters, or soliciting votes within a predetermined distance (typically 50 to 200 feet) of a polling place. A list of the specific electioneering prohibitions adopted by each state can be found here.

Opposition to electioneering is the main reason election integrity advocates oppose allowing political activists to provide food and water to voters waiting in line at polling places. What has been portrayed as a measure to starve and dehydrate suffering voters is really a commonsense prohibition against electioneering. Allowing such practices would allow anybody with a few water bottles or a bag of sandwiches an opportunity to harangue, harass, or otherwise intimidate voters who are waiting in line to cast their ballots.

But nobody has yet come to terms with a new type of electioneering that goes hand in hand with universal absentee voting. We call it “remote electioneering” and define it as an attempt to influence or solicit votes among absentee voters between the time they receive their absentee ballot and the time they submit it to their election office. Obviously, the opportunities for what in normal circumstances would qualify as illegal electioneering multiply considerably with absentee voting, since there is no way of knowing the extent to which partisan activists attempt to influence the behavior of absentee voters.

CTCL’s Goal Was to Influence Absentee Voters

But we have a glimpse of the attitudes of Democrat election activists toward electioneering with absentee ballots through Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) documents, which outline the actions that the major recipients of their Covid-19 Response Grant Program would have to fulfill as conditions of keeping their grant money. By the admission of the activist election officials in Wisconsin who were funded by CTCL in 2020, absentee ballot electioneering was one of their major goals. Grant recipients were required to “Encourage and Increase Absentee Voting (By Mail and Early, In-Person),” mainly through providing “assistance” in their completion and the installation of ballot drop boxes. They were also to “dramatically expand strategic voter education & outreach efforts, particularly to historically disenfranchised residents” in states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which in 2020 were flooded with no-excuse absentee ballots for the first time ever.

We know that absentee ballot electioneering occurred in areas in these states where CTCL had a substantial presence because it was part and parcel of CTCL’s requirement that absentee voting be promoted, assisted, and increased. Ongoing contact between activist election officials and millions of new absentee voters was not only encouraged in areas that received big CTCL money, it was required.

Wisconsin Illustrates Extravagant Plans

The Wisconsin Safe Voting Plan, which served as the basic template for CTCL’s nationwide efforts during the 2020 election, provides documentation of their extravagant plans to use key election offices to electioneer the absentee vote that they were so intent on promoting.

Election officials in Wisconsin who were “on the street” had enough contact with voters to bemoan the fact that “countless [individuals]” in their municipalities attempted to submit cell phone “selfies” as valid photo ID. Explaining to them that this was not a valid form of photo ID and instructing them on how to properly submit valid ID reportedly “took considerable staff time and resources.”

If election officials had such knowledge, they must have had extensive contact with such low-information absentee voters while they were in the process of completing and submitting their ballots. If this were at the polling booth, it would qualify as illegal electioneering because election officials had “extensive contact” with in-person voters who were completing and submitting their ballots.

A great deal of concern was expressed about “Voters who, understandably, were completely confused about the timeline and rules for voting in the midst of a pandemic and required considerable public outreach and individual hand-holding to ensure their right to vote.” Figuratively “holding someone’s hand” as they cast a vote — whether absentee or in person — seems to be the very definition of electioneering.

The city of Green Bay planned to spend $45,000 to employ bilingual “voter navigators” to help residents properly upload valid photo ID, complete their ballots, comply with certification requirements, and offer witness signatures.  But it would be illegal for poll workers to help voters complete their ballots when voting in person. Why should it not be illegal for partisan activists to help people complete their absentee ballots?

The city of Racine wished to create a corps of “vote ambassadors.” Racine officials said they would recruit, train, and employ such paid ambassadors to set up at the city’s community centers to assist voters with all aspects of absentee ballot requests. But how do we know that the diplomatic efforts of such “ambassadors” would not be exercised exclusively on behalf of their own partisan interests when “assisting” in the completion of absentee ballots?

Violating Voting Booth’s Sanctity

The sanctity of the voting booth used to be considered one of the sacred traditions of American democracy, as it protects the right of individuals to determine who will represent them in government. But the kind of Democracy™ that involves the indiscriminate mass mailing of no-excuse absentee ballots is a top-down endeavor, where most of the power, initiative, and agency is on the side of Democrat politicians and leftist election activists rather than voters.

Their plan is to influence, cajole, and incentivize the least civically engaged, least informed, most apathetic individuals within their jurisdictions to fill out absentee ballots in a way that validates the consolidation of Democratic Party power. Absentee ballot electioneering is the key to a more modern way of “stuffing the ballot box” in an era where activists have convinced a significant number of people that their voting rights have been fatally compromised if they are not permitted to cast a ballot in whatever way is most effortless for them.

The fact that opportunities for electioneering are so few at the polling place, and so plentiful during the time that elapses between the receipt of absentee ballots and their submission, suggests another reason those who wish to find new ways to interfere in legitimate elections are the most strident advocates of universal mail-in voting. It also provides yet another reason why people who believe in free and fair elections should spare no effort to resolutely oppose no-excuse absentee voting in 2022.


William Doyle, Ph.D., is principal researcher at Caesar Rodney Election Research Institute in Irving, Texas. He specializes in economic history and the private funding of American elections. Previously, he was associate professor and chair in the Department of Economics at the University of Dallas. He can be contacted at doyle@rodneyinstitute.org.

Mollie Hemingway Op-ed: GOP’s Old Guard Out of Touch with Their Voters on Election Integrity


Commentary BY: MOLLIE HEMINGWAY | JANUARY 13, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/01/13/gops-old-guard-out-of-touch-with-their-voters-on-election-integrity/

President Trump and Mitch McConnell

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden gave a speech asserting that people who oppose his plan for a federal takeover of elections are domestic enemies and racists.

“Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?” Biden asked in his speech falsely claiming that the “right to vote” was in doubt throughout the country.

Biden is lobbying to end the Senate’s legislative filibuster in order to push through his plan for a radical takeover of elections. The election bill would unconstitutionally empower the federal government to control state election procedures, and help make permanent the decreased election safeguards that caused so many problems throughout the country in 2020.

The response of the old guard of the Republican Party this week has been to wholeheartedly endorse the media narrative that the 2020 election had no significant problems, while also opposing Biden’s plan to run elections. It’s a politically insane approach.

The 2020 election was riddled with problems. Voters know this. Republican voters know this very well. Time Magazine described what happened with the election as “a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information.” They added that it was a “revolution in how people vote.”

The rigging of the election included changes to hundreds of laws and processes in the months prior to election day, flooding the system with tens of millions of mail-in ballots even as scrutiny of those ballots was decreased. Mark Zuckerberg spent $419 million to finance the private takeover of government election offices — primarily focused on the blue areas of swing states — to enable Democrats to run their Get Out The Vote operations from government offices. The funding was significant enough to affect the outcome of races, independent analysts have concluded. And that’s to say nothing of Big Tech’s election meddling in the form of censorship and algorithmic persuasion nor of corporate media’s move into straight-up propaganda.

On Sunday, George Stephanopoulos — formerly President Bill Clinton’s press secretary — asked in his usual biased way for Republican Sen. Mike Rounds to opine against election integrity:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You voted to certify the election last year. You condemned the protest as an insurrection. What do you say to all those Republicans, all those veterans who believe the election was stolen, who have bought the falsehoods coming from former President Trump?

Even the dumbest Republican should have been able to answer this question without accepting the premise of the biased Democrat reporter. Knowing that the filibuster and election integrity are on the line, even a lowly, distracted Republican precinct person should have been able to respond by talking about fighting the federal takeover of elections, fighting the private takeover of government election offices, fighting the unconstitutional changes of voting laws, and fighting the second-class treatment of Republican voters by the media and Big Tech.

Instead, Rounds made bizarre claims about looking at “accusations” in “multiple states,” saying that while there were “some irregularities,” none were significant. Then he claimed — ludicrously — “The election was fair, as fair as we have seen.”

I mean, heck, if the election was as fair as any in history, why not join with Democrats in their push for a federal takeover of elections to make permanent the “revolution in how people vote”? But also, why say something that is not true?

The 2020 election was not the fairest in history, not by a long shot. It was riddled with problems, whether it’s the Zuckerberg funding or the coordinated Democrat campaign to weaken election security. The man who ran that coordinated effort was Marc Elias, the same man who ran the 2016 Russia collusion hoax. His partner was recently indicted by John Durham for just some of his lies associated with that hoax that did so much damage to the country and which itself was an attack on the 2020 election’s fairness.

As soon as Rounds showed himself subservient to Stephanopoulos, the Democrat media went wild. They amplified his comments, knowing how helpful they were to their cause of decreased election security and opposition to Republican victories.

One corrupt media outlet that excitedly amplified Rounds’ comments and used them to advance their political agenda was CNN. Russia hoax co-conspirator Manu Raju, known for pestering Republicans to get them to support Democrat narratives, wrote an article gleefully headlined “Top Republicans stand up for Rounds after Trump’s attack: He ‘told the truth’.” Some lowlights:

  • “I think Sen. Rounds told the truth about what happened in the 2020 election,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN on Tuesday. “And I agree with him.”
  • Sen. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican who contended Democrats took advantage of more voting rules eased during the pandemic. “I’ve moved on a long time ago, and most members of Congress have, including Mike.”
  • Other Republicans said it was time to focus on something other than 2020. “I say to my colleague, welcome to the club,” Sen. John Thune, the senior South Dakota Republican, said of the Trump attack on Rounds — something he has endured himself in the past. “I don’t think re-litigating or rehashing the past is a winning strategy. If we want to be a majority in 2023, we’ve got to get out and articulate what we’re going to do with respect to the future the American people are going to live and the things they’re going to care about when it comes to economic issues, national security issues.”

It is absolutely charming that Cramer has the luxury of “moving on” from the important election integrity battle, but Biden sure hasn’t moved on. Pelosi hasn’t moved on. Chuck Schumer hasn’t moved on. The entire corporate media hasn’t moved on. Why has Cramer moved on?

North Dakota is a state that voted for Trump in 2020 by 33 points. Its senator should probably be able to use some of his political capital to tackle the top issue of the week for American voters.

Thune says the politically wise thing to do is to not relitigate the past but work on issues people are going to “care about.” Someone should tell him that one of the top issues Republican voters care about is … election integrity.

The Washington Post this month reported that at least 69 percent of Republicans are seriously concerned about the 2020 election. Perhaps the worst thing a party could do if it cared about serious political power would be to signal that the issue means so little to them. This pathetic cowardice and incompetent weakness are exactly what Republican voters are sick to death of.

In previous months, Biden has falsely claimed that the country is experiencing “Jim Crow” resistance to the right to vote. He asked corporations to boycott the state of Georgia after Georgia’s legislature passed a bill to mildly improve its election security. Some of them bowed to the pressure. Major League Baseball, for instance, pulled its All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to Biden’s request, causing untold economic damage to the Peach State.

All of this is clearly an effort to keep Republicans from stopping Democrats’ 2020-style assault on election security. It works precisely because too many Republicans are too scared to fight. What if instead of Stephanopoulos easily pressuring Rounds into spouting Democrat talking points, Rounds had instead fought hard against these attacks on election security? What if he knew the facts about what actually happened enough to speak knowledgeably about what Republican voters want their leaders to advocate for?

What if establishment Republican politicians put away literally any thoughts about Trump — much less their anger or petulance about him — for a minute to think about the importance of election integrity and how to obtain it?

What if Republicans stopped running interference for what Democrats did in 2020 at the same moment that Dems are trying to take over the entire country’s election system? This isn’t merely academic. Old-guard Republican cowardice and fecklessness could lead to Pelosi becoming America’s election czar.

In general, Republican voters deserve a far better class of politician than what the old guard of their party has been forcing on them.


Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. She is Senior Journalism Fellow at Hillsdale College. A Fox News contributor, she is a regular member of the Fox News All-Stars panel on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, CNN, National Review, GetReligion, Ricochet, Christianity Today, Federal Times, Radio & Records, and many other publications. Mollie was a 2004 recipient of a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship at The Fund for American Studies and a 2014 Lincoln Fellow of the Claremont Institute. She is the co-author of Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court. She is the author of “Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections.” Reach her at mzhemingway@thefederalist.com

Biden Calls Voting Integrity Bills Greatest Threat ‘Since The Civil War,’ Compares Jan. 6 Rioters To Confederates


Reported by JORDAN LANCASTER, REPORTER | July 13, 2021

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2021/07/13/joe-biden-voting-integrity-bill-threat-civil-war-january-6-confederates/

Biden Philadelphia speech
Screenshot/Washington Post via Grabien

President Joe Biden repeated a talking point that called Republicans’ election reform bills the greatest threat to democracy “since the Civil War” and compared Jan. 6 rioters to Confederate soldiers during a Tuesday speech.

Biden spoke at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia Tuesday afternoon. He called GOP election integrity efforts “an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty” and “an assault on who we are.” The president referred to his oath of office, where he swore to protect the country against both foreign and domestic threats. 

“Bullies and merchants of fear, peddlers of lies, are threatening the very foundation of our country,” Biden told the crowd. “The assault on free and fair elections is not just a threat. Literally – I’ve said it before – we’re facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole.”

He also compared Jan. 6 rioters to Confederate soldiers.

“Confederates, back then, never breached the Capitol, as insurrectionists did on January 6,” the president said.

“Has anyone in the White actually read the Voter Law in Texas?

Biden’s comments echo those of White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who also compared Republican election reform efforts to the Civil War during Monday’s press conference.

After polls revealed that around 75% of Republicans questioned the outcome of the 2020 election, state Republican legislatures and governors introduced legislation attempting to reform voting laws and restore trust in the election process. The process has been politically fraught and, in each state, often garnered national media attention.

Most recently, a group of Democratic lawmakers from Texas — one of the states attempting to pass election reforms — fled the state to prevent Texas Republicans from reaching the two-thirds quorum necessary to pass legislation.

How Pennsylvania Democrats Deliberately Stoked 2020 Election Chaos


Reported By Jennifer Stefano  9, 2020

I can’t tell you how many texts I’ve received this week from friends and acquaintances across the country asking—usually in all-caps and peppered with profanity—what is going on in Pennsylvania? As a native Philadelphian, and from my current vantage in politically coveted Bucks County, I can see why Americans are demanding answers.

Ballots can be counted up to three days after Election Day? Mailed ballots with no postmark still qualify? Unsupervised drop boxes scattered across cities are entrusted to secure tens of thousands of votes?

Sadly, it’s all true. None of these practices inspires confidence that the standard of “one person, one vote” is being upheld. Nor were these practices valid in any prior general election in Pennsylvania.

Scratching your head as to why we chose the most consequential election in our lifetimes to run an experiment? Here’s what I’ve told my friends: the experiment was a wild success—once you understand that the chaos we’re witnessing was the plan all along, carefully orchestrated by Pennsylvania Democrats, including the governor, party activists, and the state Supreme Court. Here’s how it happened.

In Pennsylvania, Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf used the COVID-19 pandemic as cover for hurrying through new voting rules that bypassed reasonable deadlines or restrictions. The result? Many voters now have deep suspicion about wide-scale voter fraud in Philadelphia.

Republicans and Democrats have long understood the problems with mass mail-in ballots. The usual stages of ballot security are lost: unlike absentee ballots, some people are claiming they received unsolicited mail-in ballots, a practice Pennsylvania does not allow. Could it be ballots are being illegally sent or is it simply that voters forgot they signed up to get them?

Worse, it’s impossible to ensure the ballot is filled out by the voter or with her approval. And when the ballot is submitted, the chain of custody observing that ballot is broken. It’s a recipe for contested election results.

The seeds of public distrust were sowed in June, when Wolf decreed by executive order that mail-in ballots in the primary election could trickle in from certain counties for an extra week. The state Democratic Party followed up in July by suing to similarly extend the general election deadline for mail-in ballots. Their suit also sought to allow unprecedented “drop boxes” to collect mail-ins and to limit the number of election observers.

Wolf’s administration then asked the state’s elected Supreme Court, which is 5-2 Democratic-majority and has become notorious for partisan rulings, to grant all the Democrats’ requests—and they did on Sep. 17. The court went further than expected, granting the Democrats’ deadline extension, approving drop boxes and satellite “election offices” for ballot collection, and even ruling that postmarks could not be used to verify when ballots had been mailed.

In addition, the court removed the Green Party presidential candidate’s name from the state ballot over a technicality, a move that may have shifted Green Party votes to Joe Biden’s camp. In their decision, the justices acknowledged that the new deadline violated state law but claimed that “in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic” such laws could be dismissed.

It got worse. Sensing an opportunity, the Wolf administration pronounced that county officials “are prohibited from rejecting absentee or mail-in ballots based on signature comparison.” On Oct. 23, not long before Election Day, the court approved this last nail in the coffin of election integrity.

On Thursday, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey expressed concern about these unprecedented rule changes that fueled this week’s chaos, making clear that free and fair elections aren’t a partisan issue. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court will have to rule.

But on Oct. 28, the Supreme Court postponed any decision with a 4-4 ruling—excluding newly appointed justice Amy Coney Barrett—that returned the case to its court of origin. At the time, Justice Samuel Alito noted that it is likely “that the state Supreme Court decision violates the Federal Constitution,” opening a possibility that the justices will review the case post-election, with the potential outcome of eliminating thousands of illegal ballots.

On Friday, GOP state House Speaker Bryan Cutler, who noted that the election “confusion is a direct result of the court decisions,” called for a full audit before any certification of the results. Cutler also cited Pennsylvania’s 100,000 provisional ballots—cast when a voter’s eligibility is in question—that further indicated problems with the mail-in system.

Elections decided by the courts is a nightmare scenario for either political party. But Wolf refused to reform the state’s election procedures in concert with the legislature. In October, GOP lawmakers proposed compromise legislation, House Bill 2626, that included several, but not all, of the governor’s proposed changes to Pennsylvania voting laws. Wolf threatened to veto their bill in an all-or-nothing negotiation standoff.

To prevent a future election debacle in Pennsylvania, we need election integrity reform through the normal legislative process. Only legal votes should be counted, and controls should be put in place—like polling place verification and absentee ballot chain-of-custody at every stage.

But Democrats have resisted these reforms for years, creating the present chaos. The U.S. Supreme Court must respond accordingly and assure Pennsylvanians that their election was fair—regardless of the presidential outcome.

Jennifer Stefano is chief innovation officer and vice president at the Commonwealth Foundation, Pennsylvania’s free market think tank.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: