The Miami Herald reported Friday that Florida and Oregon have dropped out of Interstate Crosscheck, the disputed voter-fraud detection service run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, with Oregon election officials citing "unreliable" data from the program.
Interstate Crosscheck’s reports in 2013 include Florida data based on the 2012 election. However, Florida is absent from the 2014 report.
We asked a spokeswoman for Republican Secretary of State Ken Detzner why Florida dropped out.
“The Department of State and Supervisors of Elections currently work with elections officials in other states to update registrations regarding residency, and we are always exploring options to improve the elections process,” Brittany Lesser said.
Oregon is another state that changed its mind about sharing its voter data with the Kansas project. Its explanation was more blunt than the one we got from Florida.
“We left because the data we received was unreliable and we felt joining the ERIC project would better meet our needs, said Tony Green, spokesman for Oregon Secretary of State.
ERIC is a project of the Pew Charitable Trust to improve the accuracy and efficiency of state voter registration systems. States must pay to participate in ERIC while the Kansas project is free.
Voting rights opponents went into full-blown panic mode last week when North Carolina elections officials, citing data from Kobach's program, announced that 35,000 people who voted in North Carolina could have also voted in another state. That this number turned out to be completely overblown -- and that the state's top elections official urged caution in jumping to conclusions -- did not stop Dick Morris and the Tea Party Nation from claiming that as many as a million Democrats voted twice in the 2012 elections.
via Rick Hasen
Tea Party Nation president Judson Phillips has been hard at work crunching numbers, and today announces a starting conclusion: President Obama won reelection in 2012 because more than a million people cast votes in two states.
How did Phillips reach this number?
Well, he starts with a North Carolina elections board report that it found 35,750 records of people who voted in the state whose names and birthdays matched people who had voted in other states.
North Carolina used a program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, which even Kobach acknowledges produces a “significant number” of “false positives.” Officials using the program in Ohio and Colorado failed to identify a single case of fraudulent voting from the “matches” that the program produced. Even the North Carolina elections board has backtracked from its original blockbuster number, telling ThinkProgress that “we are not jumping to conclusions here.” In other words, North Carolina’s report contains no proof of any voter fraud, much less 35,000 cases of it.
But never mind the facts! Phillips then “extrapolate[s]” the North Carolina figure “out over the entire population” to guess that there “could be over one million double votes in 2012,” thereby winning President Obama the election. (Of course, in Phillips’ reckoning, all of these imaginary cases of voter fraud were perpetrated by Democrats – although they still weren’t enough to win North Carolina for the president).
“Democrats are not winning elections,” he concludes. “ They are taking them the old fashioned way. They are stealing them.”
What is the shocking secret that may explain how Obama got a second term?
A study done in North Carolina showed that 35,750 people who live and voted in North Carolina may have voted in another state in the 2012 Presidential election. The study was based on comparing the first and last names along with date of birth for people who voted in 28 other states. In 765 of those cases, social security numbers matched as well.
This number would have probably been larger but only 28 states participated and the four largest states, California, New York, Texas and Florida did not participate.
If you extrapolate this figure out over the entire population, that could be over one million double votes in 2012.
Democrats are not winning elections. They are taking them the old fashioned way. They are stealing them.
Lest we think that Phillips is just pushing a fringe argument, Kobach himself yesterday made a very similar claim, citing absolutely no evidence to claim that widows are voting “all the time” on behalf of their deceased husbands. Kobach has previously claimed that the “radical left” opposes his suppressive policies because they “feel they can benefit” from massive fraud.
And, to Phillips’ credit, his voter fraud estimate is more conservative than that of former Libertarian vice presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root, who estimates that Democrats “across the country” voted ten times each for President Obama .
UPDATE: It appears that Phillips may have gotten his conclusion from Dick Morris, who wrote an op-ed in The Hill this week making the same claim. Meanwhile, the theory is getting debunked again and again.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach – the mastermind behind anti-immigrant and voter suppression legislation throughout the country – joined radio host Joyce Kaufman yesterday at an event hosted by the anti-immigrant group FAIR, where he currently holds a top legal position.
Kobach has been on a media blitz recently defending Kansas’ strict voter ID law, which requires people registering to vote to present a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship, a requirement that has left tens of thousands of Kansans with incomplete registrations .
Kaufman, who is based in Florida, told Kobach, “I can’t imagine how many widows are voting for their dead husbands.”
“Yeah, it happens all the time,” Kobach replied, going on to explain that people who die or move out of state often stay on a state’s voter rolls.
Kobach’s conflation of out-of-date voter rolls with fraudulent voting is common among advocates of voter suppression laws. While fraudulent voting is extraordinarily rare – including in Kansas – Kobach has used the threat of such fraud to push faulty voter roll purges in states across the country.
Kobach went on to claim that those who cite the disproportionate effect of voter ID laws on people of color are in fact themselves making a “racist argument.” “You’re telling me that because of a person’s skin color, he’s less able to find his birth certificate?” he asked. “That’s just crazy to make that argument.”
In fact, numerous studies have shown that voter ID laws disproportionately affect minority communities and are often passed in response to an increase in minority voting.
Kaufman: I can’t imagine how many widows are voting for their dead husbands in communities like I lived in.
Kobach: Yeah, it happens all the time. There are basically three sources of people on our voter rolls who are not supposed to be there. One is people who die and they stay on the voter rolls. The other is people who have moved out of state, but they’re on the rolls in both states. And the third is aliens, people who were never entitled to vote in the first place. And we’re trying to do something about in Kansas, but you can imagine how the folks on the left complain and say, ‘Well, you can’t do that.’ Well, yeah we can do that and we’re going to do that.
Kaufman: And it’s not bigoted.
Kobach: It’s not at all!
Kaufman: You’re not doing it to close the doors on minorities.
Kobach: Yeah, exactly. And I think it’s outrageous the argument some make that it hurts minorities. It’s almost a racist argument! You’re telling me that because of a person’s skin color, he’s less able to find his birth certificate? That’s just crazy to make that argument.
Wayne Allyn Root, the conservative activist who ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket in 2008, claimed last month that President Obama won reelection because “Democratic voters across this country are voting four times, five times, 10 times each for the Democrats.”
In a video commentary posted in late March, Root insisted that “Democrats are winning elections through what appears to be massive voter fraud.”
Root — who is also a birther — cited the right-wing myth that the fact that a handful of precincts in the heavily Democratic Philadelphia recorded no votes for Mitt Romney means that Democrats were “stuffing the ballot box.” The Philadelphia myth is part of a right-wing trend of blaming Democratic victories on unproven voter fraud in urban areas.
Root also said that President Obama should be impeached over alleged IRS targeting of conservatives, citing the removal of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich. “If you think impeachment can’t happen, it’s a pipe dream,” he said, “I’ve got news for you. Study Ukraine."
A leader of voter suppression group True The Vote apparently believes that a significant percentage of Americans want non-citizens to be able to vote in U.S. federal elections.
On yesterday’s True The Vote conference call, which featured Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and the Heritage Foundation’s Hans Von Spakovsky, True The Vote executive director Jennifer Wright claimed that over 20 percent of Americans want non-citizens to be given voting rights.
Discussing Kobach’s new law in Kansas, which requires people registering to vote to present a birth certificate or similar documentation of citizenship, Wright warned there is a growing push to let non-citizens vote in national elections: “I wonder about those citizens who think that non-citizens should be able to vote. Because I don’t think anyone would argue that we should be able to vote [or] that I should be able to vote in an election in Mexico even though I live in a border state.”
She cited polls “showing that over 70, 78, 80-plus percent of people throughout the United States agree that you should be a citizen to vote.” She appears to be referring to a recent poll from the conservative Rassmussen, which found that 78 percent of respondents agreed that voters should be required to prove their citizenship before registering. It asked no questions about whether or not non-citizens should be allowed to vote.
Of course, the current federal voter registration form does require proof of citizenship in the form of a sworn statement under penalty of perjury. Kansas’ law requires extra proof in the form of a birth certificate or naturalization document, an administrative hurdle that has left the voting rights of tens of thousands of Kansans in limbo .
But in the paranoid universe of True The Vote, people who oppose voter suppression laws actually want foreign nationals to be able to cast votes in American federa; elections, using the federal voter registration form as a “work-around around the proof of citizenship.”
I originally hail from Arizona myself, so I am familiar with how this ruling came down through Arizona and the concerns we had in our state that this federal form would then be a work-around around the proof of citizenship. So to be able to have it now spelled out in black and white, and I think quite confidently it will remain so, is a boon for election integrity.
Because, obviously, the studies are out there showing that over 70, 78, 80-plus percent of people throughout the United States agree that you should be a citizen to vote. I wonder about those citizens who think that non-citizens should be able to vote. Because I don’t think anyone would argue that we should be able to vote, that I should be able to vote in an election in Mexico even though I live in a border state, or whatever arguments we may have.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, following a federal court ruling upholding his strict requirement that people registering to vote must present a birth certificate or comparable proof of citizenship, is now hoping to peddle the law to other states. But in a conference call last night hosted by the group True The Vote, which was founded to support voter suppression laws, Kobach inadvertently explained what is so wrong with his policy, which has left 16,000 Kansans with their voter registrations suspended.
Kobach told True The Vote that he hoped that other states with voter ID laws would adopt his stricter version, and said that he had already discussed the possibility with Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. He also promised to put a generic version of the law on his personal website for activists to present to their own state legislators.
But while defending the law, Kobach made an argument that in fact illustrates what an extraordinary hurdle it may present to some voters.
“We really gave people lots of options” to prove their citizenship, Kobach boasted. He noted that there was even a “special process” for people who don’t have their birth certificate: “We created a process for that person to go before the state elections board and provide affidavit evidence and other evidence to show that they’re a US citizen. And that process has only been used twice.”
Yes, out of 16,000 people who have yet to provide the state with citizenship documentation, just two people without the proper documents have made it through the new bureaucratic hurdles to prove that they are citizens....which Kobach somehow sees as a great victory.
Later in the call, Kobach speculated that voter suppression laws helped increase the turnout in the 2012 elections because the people who are targeted by such laws actually love them. He said that he had talked to a counterpart in a southern state who told him of counties with high minority populations “where election fraud is so ingrained in the experience of voters…so when voter ID came along they had hope.”
“He believes it was the hope of a fairer election among some minority communities that had experienced fraudulent elections that drives the higher turnout,” Kobach said.
In fact, many elections experts say that high turnout among African-American voters in 2012 was driven in part by a backlash to voter suppression laws, not support for them.
Following the bombing at the Boston Marathon last year, Glenn Beck went on a personal crusade to prove that the Obama administration was engaged in a massive cover-up of the role that an al Qaeda operative played in the attack and was doing so for the benefit of the Saudi Arabian government.
Beck infamously gave the US government three days to come clean about the cover-up before he exposed it on his network. When those three days passed, Beck launched into a full-scale campaign to prove that Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, who was injured in the bombing, was actually an al Qaeda "control agent" and the "money man" who financed the operation and recruited the Tsarnaev brothers to carry it out.
Beck's theory rested on the fact that Alharbi had once been considered a "person of interest" during the investigation but was quickly cleared. Beck's network received information during the investigation that Alharbi "was set to be deported under section 212 3B" for "terrorist activities" and it was upon that piece of information that Beck built his entire campaign, as he spent days hammering away, challenging everyone to disprove his theory and warning that they would only discredit themselves if they tried to do so.
Eventually, Beck's crusade came to a grinding halt when he brought a former INS special agent onto his program to bolster his theory but, instead, watched as Bob Trent blew a hole right through it by pointing out that the 212 3B designation and Beck's entire timeline "doesn't make sense."
After that, Beck more or less abandoned the issue, though he continued to personally believe in his original conspiracy and mention it from time to time.
And now, nearly one year later, Beck and his company are being sued by Alharbi for defamation and slander:
Glenn Beck defamed on his radio show a Middle Eastern victim of last year's Boston Marathon bombing as a criminal participant in it, the man claims in Federal Court.
Abdulrahman Alharbi sued Beck, The Blaze Inc., Mercury Radio Arts and Premiere Radio Networks for defamation and slander.
Alharbi describes himself in the 6-page lawsuit as "a 20-year-old student who was a spectator at the Marathon and was injured in the bombing. Mr. Alharbi, like many others, was questioned by federal authorities investigating the events of that day. Those authorities also, with his permission, searched his apartment. The responsible officials quickly concluded that Mr. Alharbi, other then being injured in the attacks, had no involvement in the attacks. Many news outlets reported the facts of the search of an apartment and that authorities had questioned a man of Middle Eastern descent. When the authorities concluded that Mr. Alharbi had no involvement, reports ceased. The defendant Glenn Beck, with the active participation of the distributor defendants, repeatedly and falsely identified Mr. Alharbi as an active participant in the crimes that were committed on April 15, 2013, repeatedly questioned the motives of federal officials in failing to pursue or detain Mr. Alharbi and repeatedly and falsely accused Mr. Alharbi of being a criminal who had funded the attacks that took place at the Boston Marathon. Those statements were made widely and publicly. The statements were false and did grave injury to the plaintiff."
Beck, The Blaze and Mercury Radio all are based in Texas, defendant Premiere in California. Beck's show is owned by Blaze and its corporate parent Mercury, according to the complaint.
The complaint adds: "Beck falsely accused Alharbi of being a criminal who had funded the attacks that took place at the Boston Marathon.
"On or about May 8, 2013, and at repeated and diverse times thereafter, Beck stated that Alharbi was the 'money man' who had funded the attacks at the Boston Marathon.
The statements made by Beck were false."
Alharbi says he has "received numerous messages ... based on Beck's statements accusing him of being a murderer, child killer and terrorist."
He seeks punitive damages for defamation with malice.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, along with his ally Kris Kobach , secretary of state of Kansas, won a big voter suppression victory last week when a federal court ruled that the two states can require their residents to present extra documentation of citizenship to vote in federal elections.
In an interview late last week, Horne and former Arizona congressman J.D. Hayworth (now a NewsMax host) delved into another voter suppression topic: the long-term or permanent disenfranchisement of people who have served time for felonies.
And they found it hilarious:
The two got on the topic when Hayworth’s fellow Newsmax host asked Horne about a recent case in Iowa in which a jury acquitted a woman with a prior felony drug conviction didn’t know she had lost her right to vote.
Horne joked that if voting rights are restored to ex-offenders, “I can just picture politicians appealing to the convicted felons’ vote by saying that they’ll legalize bank robbery or whatever.”
Hayworth agreed: “The politician in me suddenly thinks that in a felon-eligible society, no one can run for attorney general and say, ‘I’m tough on crime,’ because that would be counter-productive with the felon vote.”
Arizona is one of ten states that permanently bars at least some people with felony convictions from voting. Because of harsh penalties for drug crimes and racial sentencing disparities , such laws disproportionately affect African Americans; the Sentencing Project estimates that such laws have made 1 of every 13 African Americans ineligible to vote.
A growing bipartisan movement – including President Obama, Sen. Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, and former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell – has sought to restore voting rights to people who have served their time for felony convictions.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures throughout the country, won a big victory last week when a federal court allowed Kansas and Arizona to require extra proof of citizenship from people registering to vote with federal voter registration forms.
Kansas’ strict new documentation requirement – which requires residents to produce a birth certificate, passport, or similar document in order to register to vote – has thrown the voter registrations of 16,000 people into limbo, a problem that Kobach has consistently laughed off.
In an interview with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins on Washington Watch last week, Kobach insisted that voting rights advocates on the “radical left” have “great difficulty demonstrating that it’s actually harder” to register to vote with his arcane new system. In fact, he alleged that voting rights groups “just want the loosey-goosey kind of system that allows fraud to occur because they perhaps feel they can benefit from that fraud.”
To illustrate the urgent importance of blocking tens of thousands of people from the ballot box in order to prevent noncitizens from voting, Kobach produced “a couple of recent examples” of such fraud occurring. One such “recent example” was from 1997 – or 17 years ago. The other – a tale of “50 Somali nationals” voting in a Democratic primary in Kansas city, Missouri in 2010 – never actually happened. When Kobach brought up the same anecdote in an op-ed last year, the Kansas City Star looked into it and found that a court had dismissed charges about the illegal votes, finding that “credible evidence proves that there was no voter misconduct and there was no voter fraud with regard to this election.”
Interestingly, there was proven voter fraud in that 2010 Kansas City election. One candidate’s uncle and aunt pleaded guilty for fraud for voting for their nephew even though they lived outside of his district. That fraud would not have been prevented by Kobach’s proof-of-citizenship law.
Yet, Kobach is so insistent that the “radical left” wants to use noncitizen voters to steal elections that he’s willing to put the voter registrations of tens of thousands of Kansans on hold in the name of preventing it.
Kobach: We’ve got cases going back years in this country of aliens usually being manipulated by someone who’s trying to steal an election or trying to influence an election. They’re told, ‘hey you can vote,’ they may not know that they’re breaking federal and state law, but they go ahead and register to vote.
So, I can give you a couple of recent examples in our neck of the woods. In Kansas City, Missouri, in 2010, in the Democrat primary for the state legislature, about 50 Somali nationals were registered to vote and persuaded, coached, to vote for one candidate, and that guy ended up winning by one vote.
In Kansas, in my state, in 1997, some alien employees of a meat-packing plant across the border in Oklahoma were encouraged to register to vote in Kansas to help sway a country referendum on a hog-farming operation.
Perkins: Why the opposition? Why are people opposed to this?
Kobach: Well, as you know, it comes from groups on the radical left, and they make all kinds of claims asserting that it’s going to be harder to vote or harder to register, but they have great difficulty demonstrating that it’s actually harder or statistically showing that it produces reduced turnout when in fact the opposite seems to occur, people have greater confidence in their elections when they know they’re secure.
I don’t know, I think some of these groups just want the loosey-goosey kind of system that allows fraud to occur because they perhaps feel they can benefit from that fraud.
Yesterday, Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach and Arizona attorney general Tom Horne scored a big victory in federal court when a Kansas district court judge ruled that federal voter registration forms in both states must require voters to show proof of citizenship.
The proof-of-citizenship requirement, which Kobach shepherded through his state’s legislature, has created a huge mess, leaving the registrations suspended of nearly 16,000 voters who hadn’t or couldn’t provide the necessary documents.
Throughout the process, Kobach has dismissed the concerns of voting rights advocates and the growing chorus of protest from elections officials, newspaper editorial boards and others in Kansas. When 12,000 voters had their registration thrown in limbo, Kobach said it wasn’t a “major problem” because it was “only a tiny percentage” of the total voting population. (By contrast, the supposed reason for the law was to prevent a handful of fraudulent votes cast over a dozen years). When it was announced that only 72 percent of registered voters were able to meet the new requirement, Kobach boasted that “that’s actually an extraordinarily high percentage” and blamed “procrastination” for the 28 percent without complete registrations.
In a speech that Kobach gave in January to the Kansas Sovereignty Coalition, a Tenth Amendment group, Kobach mocked the Kansans – then totalling 19,000 – whose voter registrations were in limbo as "the 28 percent procrastinators," claiming that “nobody’s been denied any rights.”
“Nobody’s rights have been suspended,” he claimed. “Those 19,000 people haven’t completed their registration yet. They can complete it tomorrow and vote tomorrow if they want to. Nobody’s been denied any rights, they just haven’t finished it yet.”
“Oh and by the way, 72 percent of the people who have registered to vote since January 1, 2013, have completed their application and have sent in proof of citizenship. So those are the 28 percent procrastinators.”
“We should not get alarmed at all by the number that the left continually throws around,” he said.
Tellingly, when Kobach first mentions “voting rights,” and audience member loudly corrects him: “privilege, privilege.”
Today, under the banner of the Coalition to Protect Wisconsin Elections, a group of seventeen grassroots nonprofit organizations including People For the American Way gathered in the Wisconsin Senate Parlor to protest a batch of anti-democracy voting rights and campaign finance bills slated for Senate consideration tomorrow. The event included voters with their mouths taped shut to symbolize their voices being silenced by the proposed legislation as well as speakers from a range of progressive organizations, including PFAW regional political coordinator Scott Foval.
Speakers expressed opposition to a legislative package that will restrict access to a free and fair vote, allow unfettered spending on so-called political “issue ads,” and reduce transparency on reporting political activity in Wisconsin, including:
• Senate Bill 324, restricting early voting hours and banning the option of weekend voting like “souls to the polls” drives organized by faith communities.
• Senate Bill 267, making it more difficult for people to register to vote early.
• Senate Bill 655, repealing current law to allow lobbyists to contribute directly to legislators starting April 15 of election years, even while the legislature is in session; lowering the bar for disclosing political contributions; and allowing unlimited Internet political activity without disclosure to the Government Accountability Board.
• Assembly Bill 202, requiring poll observers to be allowed as close as three feet to poll workers, despite numerous complaints of harassing and intimidating behavior in recent elections.
Also under consideration, but not yet added to the official Senate calendar, is Senate Bill 654, which would rewrite the rules for disclosing political “issue ads” ahead of an election. And currently seeking sponsors but not yet introduced is a bill that would eliminate same-day voter registration.
These bills could do serious damage to our democracy. In 2012, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites cast their ballots early. Several municipal clerks, who are responsible for administering elections, offered extended hours for voting to allow working people to participate in their democracy by casting their votes after work or on weekends.
In addition, the proposed new disclosure requirements would allow nearly unlimited, undisclosed political ad spending, both in broadcast and on the Internet, as well as increased allowances for solicitation activity for political bundling by political action committees and political conduits.
But “We, the People” are fighting back. Check out the video of today’s event below:
In response to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s announcement yesterday of early voting cutbacks, Reverend Dr. Tony Minor of Cleveland, a member of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers In Action, said:
“These changes blatantly discriminate against the African American community. Limiting early voting hours by cutting Sundays and weekday evenings is a transparent attempt to block some Ohioans from participating in their democracy.
“It’s no secret that many Ohioans can’t vote during work hours. Our elected officials should ensure that democracy works for everyone, not making cuts to early voting that disproportionately impact African Americans.”
People For the American Way's African American Ministers In Action represents 1,500 African American clergy working toward equality, justice and opportunity for all.