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Our Votes are precious.  They should be counted.  They should be protected,

-- even if such protection causes other non-fraudulent votes to be suppressed or blocked, certain right-wing groups would have us believe.


Ballot Security and Voter Suppression

Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law -- Publications

by Wendy Weiser and Vishal Agraharkar -- 10/22/2010

"Ballot security" is an umbrella term for a variety of practices that are carried out by political operatives and private groups with the stated goal of preventing voter fraud.  Far too often, however, ballot security initiatives have the effect of suppressing eligible votes, either inadvertently or through outright interference with voting rights.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with investigating and preventing voter fraud, despite the fact study after study shows that actual voter fraud is extraordinarily rare.[1]  But democracy suffers when anti-fraud initiatives block or create unnecessary hurdles for eligible voters; when they target voters based on race, ethnicity, or other impermissible characteristics; when they cause voter intimidation and confusion; and when they disrupt the voting process.

Unfortunately, historically and in recent elections, "ballot security" operations have too often had these effects.  One federal court recently found that ballot security operations planned or conducted in recent years have largely threatened legitimate voters.[2]  As the court found, not only have such initiatives often targeted eligible voters for disenfranchisement, but they also disrupt polling places, create long lines, and often cause voters to feel intimidated.[3]  These effects are disproportionately felt in areas with large concentrations of minority or low-income voters, where such operations have typically been directed.
[...]


Ballot Security Task Force  (BSTF)
wikipedia
[...]
Armed officers in the task force were drawn from the ranks of off-duty county deputy sheriffs and local police, who prominently displayed revolvers, two-way radios, and BSTF armbands. BSTF patrols challenged and questioned voters at the polls.[4]

A civil lawsuit was filed after the election, charging the RNC with illegal harassment and voter intimidation.[6] The suit was settled in 1982, when the state and national Republican parties signed a pledge in U.S. District Court saying that they would not allow tactics that could intimidate Democratic voters, though they did not admit any wrongdoing.[7]


The sanctity of the Vote must be protected ... no matter the cost disenfranchisement to actual voters ... certain right-wing groups would have us believe.

Too bad the courts don't step in more often, to protect actual citizens from the arm-banded Protectors, like they tried to there with the RNC.


Voter ID laws target a problem scarcer than the proverbial Diamonds that just fell off the truck ...


Policy Brief on the Truth About “Voter Fraud”
Analysis

Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law -- Last Updated September 2006

Summary

  * Fraud by individual voters is both irrational and extremely rare.

  * Many vivid anecdotes of purported voter fraud have been proven false or do not demonstrate fraud.

  * Voter fraud is often conflated with other forms of election misconduct.

  * Raising the unsubstantiated specter of mass voter fraud suits a particular policy agenda.

  * Claims of voter fraud should be carefully tested before they become the basis for action.


Fraud by individual voters is both irrational and extremely rare. Most citizens who take the time to vote offer their legitimate signatures and sworn oaths with the gravitas that this hard-won civic right deserves. Even for the few who view voting merely as a means to an end, however, voter fraud is a singularly foolish way to attempt to win an election. Each act of voter fraud risks five years in prison and a $10,000 fine -- but yields at most one incremental vote. The single vote is simply not worth the price.

Because voter fraud is essentially irrational, it is not surprising that no credible evidence suggests a voter fraud epidemic. There is no documented wave or trend of individuals voting multiple times, voting as someone else, or voting despite knowing that they are ineligible. Indeed, evidence from the microscopically scrutinized 2004 gubernatorial election in Washington State actually reveals just the opposite: though voter fraud does happen, it happens approximately 0.0009% of the time. The similarly closely-analyzed 2004 election in Ohio revealed a voter fraud rate of 0.00004%. National Weather Service data shows that Americans are struck and killed by lightning about as often.
[...]


Here's an updated look at those actual Voter Fraud stats -- be afraid, be very afraid ... or so Fox so-called News keeps telling us, based on their crack-investigators like James O'Keefe.


New Republican Data Shows No Need For Voter ID Laws

by Debbie Hines, Lawyer, Political/Legal Commentator, www.Legalspeaks.com, huffingtonpost.com -- 12/12/2011

The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) in an attempt to discredit a NAACP report this week on the lack of voter fraud evidence has bolstered the view that there is no need for voter ID laws, imposed by many states. The RNLA produced data showing 46 states and various convictions for voter fraud. Presumably by their absence, 4 states and the District of Columbia had no convictions.

Viewing the data for the period 2000-2010, the report by its own account shows there is no link between voter fraud in states and the need for stricter voter ID laws. The data shows that during the entire 10 year period, 21 states had only 1 or 2 convictions for some form of voter irregularity. And some of these 21 states have the strictest form of voter ID laws based on a finding of 2 or less convictions in ten years. Five states had a total of three convictions over a ten year period. Rhode Island had 4 convictions for the same 10 years. Taking a close look at the RNLA data shows 30 states, including the District of Columbia had 3 or less voter fraud convictions for a 10 year period.

Voter ID laws enacted now in over half the states, require voters to present some form of identification as a requirement to vote. Fourteen states require a government issued photo ID when voting in person. At the time of registering to vote, other states like Kansas and Alabama further demand proof of citizenship beyond the federal legal requirement that citizens swear they are citizens. [...]


Recently ALEC said it was going to get out of the Voter protection/suppression game -- due to the citizens movement spurring their Corporate sponsors to drop them like a hot potato.

No worries conservatives though, there is another right-wing group ready to pick up where ALEC has left off.  And they have plenty of experience at this kind of thing ... just ask convicted GOP felon, Jack Abramoff ...


Right-Wing Operatives Take Up ALEC's Voter Suppression Agenda

by Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy, prwatch.org -- April 19, 2012

[...]
In the wake of ALEC's termination of its task force that had advanced "Voter ID" legislation that may thwart and chill citizen voting in this year's elections, NCPPR has jumped into the fray, claiming to take up ALEC's mantle on voter fraud, despite the fact that numerous studies have documented that voter fraud in the U.S. is exceedingly rare.
[...]

Just as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) tried to distance itself from its role pushing parts of the NRA's gun agenda and making it more difficult for American citizens to vote, a controversial right-wing operation has announced that it will step in to help carry forward the "voter ID" agenda. The "National Center for Public Policy Research" (NCPPR) announced Wednesday that it will form a "Voter Identification Task Force."

[...] According to a U.S. Senate investigation of the financial dealings and influence peddling of Abramoff, NCPPR's founder and president, Amy Moritz Ridenour, directed money received by NCPPR at Abramoff's direction, to other "charities," again at his direction.


And from the substitute-ALEC dragon's den itself ...


National Center for Public Policy Research


NCPPR -- Voter Identification Task Force
April 18, 2012

[...]
"According to the Think Progress 'War Room,' the nine corporations and one foundation that pressured ALEC to stop supporting voter identification measures are: Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonalds, Wendys, Kraft, Mars Inc., Reed Elsevier, Intuit, ATS/American Traffic Solutions and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation," said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "The Think Progress 'War Room' adds that Blue Cross/Blue Shield piled on after ALEC capitulated, so that's eleven, most of which sell directly to the public. And there are a lot more conservative consumers in the United States than left-wing ones."

"Corporate CEOs who cower in the face of liberal boycott threats need to understand that the left never gives up," added Ridenour. "By falling in surrender to the 'War Room' and its ilk, all that these corporation chiefs have done is tell the left they are afraid, which means they will be targeted again and again on issue after issue. If these corporations do not reverse course and immediately grow enough of a backbone to say no when the left tells them what to do, conservatives may as well consider them part of the organized left. It doesn't matter if corporate executives have free-market sentiments hidden deep inside them if they continually surrender to the left's Trotskyite strategy of making relentless demand after demand in public."

"Meantime," added Ridenour, "conservatives will kick up our support for voter integrity programs. We're putting the left on notice: you take out a conservative program operating in one area, we'll kick it up a notch somewhere else. You will not win. We outnumber you and we outthink you, and when you kick up a fuss you inspire us to victory."*
[...]


Meanwhile back on the ranch ...


Obama Campaign Grapples With New Voter ID Laws

by Michael D. Shear, NYTimes -- April 29, 2012

[...]
Campaign officials declined to put a price tag on the new efforts to comply with voter identification laws, saying that the extra time and expense is being built into the budgets for each state’s campaign.

Uh oh.  Maybe we can help?

Ask everyone you know if they're are ready to vote, given new Voter ID laws.


Are they sure?  Are they really sure?

Can I vote .org   ... find out.


Checking now is better, than checking later.  You know, when all the deputized forces of Fraud-prevention are out on the street ... busily protecting us -- from ourselves.



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