Using fear and intimidation to stop people from voting
Court-appointed Republican poll inspectors are being forcibly removed from voting stations in some Philadelphia wards and replaced in some cases by Democratic inspectors and even members of the Black Panthers, according to GOP officials.
Secrets just received this memo from GOP officials:
The Philadelphia GOP is reporting that court appointed Minority (read GOP) Inspectors are being thrown out of polling locations in several Wards.
These Inspectors are election officials – again, court appointed — and are reportedly being thrown out by the Head Judges of Elections (these Judges are elected Democrats) and being replaced by Democrats.
This has happened at the following locations:
Ward 32, Div 13
Ward 43, Div 14
Ward 56, Div 1
Ward 56, Div 22
Ward 32, Div 28
Ward 32, Div 28
Ward 12, Div 17
Ward 39, Div 1
Ward 24, Div 9
Ward 18, Div 25
Ward 43, Div 14
Ward 29, Div 18
Ward 65, Div 19
Ward 20, Div 1
Ward 6, Div 11
Another official told Secrets: “one of our female inspectors was physically thrown out.” Presidential candidate Mitt Romney decided at the last minute to make stops in Pennsylvania, believing that the race there was close enough that he could win. source – Washington Examiner
Baby, we were born to run (away)
One of the more memorable “gulp” moments for Republicans in ’04 was the Friday before Election Day when John Kerry and Bruce Springsteen brought together a massive crowd of 70,000 to 80,000 in the liberal stronghold of Madison, Wisconsin.
Today, in a last minute push to get the vote out, the combined power of Barack and the Boss drew only 18,000.
Democrats are already worried about the early vote counts in Wisconsin. The fact that Obama is now depressing turnout for free Bruce Springsteen concerts should worry them even more. On his own, Springsteen can attract 84,000 paying customers just a few hours away in Chicago. source – Breitbart
Obama now knows he cannot win on a legit vote, so he must employ a series of dirty tricks to make sure he retains his stranglehold on the Oval Office. His greatest defenders – the liberal news media – are now beginning to forecast myriad grave and perhaps fatal problems with this election. Be prepared for anything tomorrow…
From NBC News (formerly MSNBC):
With more than 90 million Americans expected to cast their ballots on Tuesday, election officials across the country are bracing for what some fear will be a “perfect storm” of election day problems that could result in tense confrontations at polling stations and a rush to the courthouse to file legal challenges.
The list of actual and potential problems is unusually long this year, ranging from concerns about machine failures to confusion over new rules governing voter ID and provisional ballots.
Another big wild card: the impact of groups such as “True the Vote,” a Tea Party off-shoot, that is vowing to swarm polling places with an army of hundreds of thousands of “citizen” poll watchers to look for fraud and challenge ineligible voters.
It’s a threat that civil rights groups are vowing to fight with their own rival armies of poll watchers — to “monitor the monitors,” says one activist.
“Our election system has probably never been under as much strain as it is right now — anything that can go wrong, probably will go wrong,” said Victoria Bassetti, a former Senate Judiciary Committee counsel and the author of the new book, “Electoral Dysfunction: A Survival Manual for American Voters.”
Bassetti notes that the camps backing both President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have “pre-positioned their legal assets” by deploying thousands of volunteer lawyers to battleground states in order to challenge decisions by election supervisors, in court if necessary.
In Florida, the litigation is already heating up. On Sunday, the Florida Democratic Party filed emergency lawsuits to extend early voting — challenging GOP governor Rick Scott’s refusal to do so — after some voters were stuck in lines for up to six hours trying to meet Saturday’s deadline for early ballots. When the Miami Dade election office reopened to allow in-person absentee balloting, and then temporarily shut it down, frustrated voters started shouting, “Let Us Vote! Let Us Vote!”– stirred up by a man wearing an Obama campaign tee shirt.
It could be a preview of what happens Tuesday. “We can expect lots of yelling and screaming- and lawsuits,” said Bassetti.
The upshot is that, if the voting is as close as some (but not all) polls suggest, the winner of the presidential election may not be known for days, if not weeks, after Election Day. “We’re going to be in sudden death overtime,” predicts John Fund, a former Wall Street Journal editorial writer and the co-author of “Who’s Counting: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk.”
To be sure, disputes about voting are hardly new – and some of the potential problems most frequently cited by advocates on both sides of the political fence could prove to be overblown.
But experts interviewed by NBC News identified a number of so-called “nightmare scenarios” that could complicate the counting of returns on Tuesday.
Here’s a look at four of those scenarios:
1) The national vote count for president is thrown into doubt because of the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
The devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast appears likely to hold down vote totals in the region. In New Jersey, hundreds of polling stations may be without power – late last week nearly half of the 240 locations in Hudson County were out of commission and officials are scrambling to find alternatives.
On Saturday, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration announced that it will allow voters to download ballots off a state Website and return them by e-mail – a system that some experts have warned could lead to tampering by hackers. (A voting group called the Verified Voting Foundation has repeatedly warned about the security risks from Internet voting.)
On Thursday, the state’s lieutenant governor, Kim Guardagno, said the state will deploy Defense Department trucks with “Vote Here” signs, protected by National Guard members. But that plan prompted concerns among some Democrats that military trucks could intimidate voters, especially in minority neighborhoods, and there were signs over the weekend that officials may be backing away from it.
“Obviously, this is uncharted water for us — getting hit with this at this late date just before a huge election,” said Michael Harper, the clerk of elections in New Jersey’s Hudson County, during a tour of damaged and flooded polling stations on Saturday.
While the hardest hit states like New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut are all considered reliably Democratic and safely in the Obama column, the aftermath of the hurricane could affect the president’s total national vote counts – and raise questions about his mandate or even legitimacy if he loses the popular vote but wins the Electoral College (just as some Democrats questioned President George W. Bush’s legitimacy after he lost the popular vote in 2000.)
2) A large number of provisional ballots makes the Electoral College winner impossible to determine on election night.
The situation appears most acute in Ohio, a crucial battleground, where some experts have warned about a counting disaster stemming from what are expected to be as many as 200,000 provisional ballots.
The background: in an effort to impose uniformity, GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted over the summer directed that absentee ballot applications be mailed out to all of the state’s 6.9 million registered voters – regardless of whether they had asked for them or not.
About 1.3 million voters filled out those applications and received absentee ballots in the mail. But as of this weekend, 238,678 voters who got absentee ballots had not returned them. If those voters don’t return their ballots by mail by tomorrow and try to go to the polls on Tuesday instead, they along with others whose eligibility could be questioned or who show up at the wrong polling station, will have to cast provisional ballots to make sure they haven’t vote twice. And under Ohio law, those ballots can’t even be counted until Nov. 16, ten days after Election Day.
“There’s a realistic chance that we will not know which candidate won the presidential election in Ohio because of the existence of provisional ballots, that we will be in overtime,” said Edward Foley, an election law expert and professor of law at Ohio State University.
The issue intensified on Friday when Husted issued a new directive that puts the burden on voters, rather than poll workers, to properly fill out a form recording what ID was presented for provisional ballots – and instructing election boards to throw out provisional ballots if the forms are incomplete or contain any mistakes. The directive has triggered a last minute law suit by voting rights groups, increasing the likelihood of disputes over the counting of provisional ballots in a pivotal battleground state.
3) Disputes over ballot printing errors, machine errors, and a lack of paper trail could bog down the counting in other battleground states.
This problem has already arisen in Florida. About 27,000 absentee ballots in Palm Beach County, Florida – famous for its “butterfly” ballots and hanging chads during the 2000 Florida recount – can’t be read by voting machines because of a printing error. This forced election officials last week to begin the arduous process of hand-copying those ballots in order to feed them into the machines – while lawyers from both sides looked on, raising challenges.
An exasperated Susan Bucher, the country’s election supervisor, was caught on camera admonishing lawyers over what she termed “frivolous” objections and threatening to eject them.
But questions about machine failures are far broader than that. Last week, lawyers for the Republican National Committee wrote letters to attorneys general in six states asking for investigations after receiving reports that some voters had complained that machines had recorded their votes for Mitt Romney as being for Obama.
Two voting experts warned on Saturday “we risk catastrophe” if recounts are required in Virginia and Pennsylvania “because most of their votes will be cast on paperless voting machines that are impossible to recount.”
4) Legions of citizen poll watchers on both sides create confusion and even chaos at some polling stations.
“True the Vote,” the Texas-based Tea Party inspired group, has launched an aggressive national effort to root out vote fraud, providing training videos and computer software (that contain data on property records and death indexes) to help volunteers identify ineligible voters who show up at the polls on Tuesday.
Hans Von Spakovsky, a former Federal Election Commissioner who serves as one of the group’s advisers, defends the effort, telling NBC News that in a close election “any bogus vote” needs to be stopped. “Anytime you have a close election, a small amount of fraud could make the difference.”
But voting rights groups say “True the Vote” and its affiliates threaten to intimidate legitimate voters – a prospect they aim to combat with their own battalions of citizen poll watchers on Tuesday.
Judith Browne Dianas, co-director of the “Advancement Project,” a civil rights group, says her organization has lined up thousands of lawyers and poll watchers in 20 key states to look for “suspicious activity” by True the Vote and its affiliates. “We will also be watching the poll watchers making sure they aren’t acting as bullies,” she says. source – NBC News
Nancy Pelosi has spent much of the past two years proclaiming that Democrats had a great shot at reclaiming the House and returning the speaker’s gavel to her hands.
But her drive to regain the majority for Democrats is on the verge of a complete collapse. Democrats are expected to pick up five seats at best — a fraction of the 25 they need. On the eve of the election, some party officials are privately worried that Democrats might even lose ground and drop one or two seats to the Republican majority.
It would mark an epic failure for a party that has a legitimate shot at keeping the presidency and the Senate on Tuesday. The inability of House Democrats to pick off a good number of seats from one of the most unpopular House majorities in modern history will cause a lot of soul-searching in the party come Wednesday.
So Democrats are already doing their postmortems on a House election cycle gone awry. What they’ll find in the political autopsy is Republican dominance in redistricting that created a GOP friendly map, a Medicare argument that didn’t totally pan out and an incumbent president who just wasn’t as popular as when he ran four years ago. They’ll also have to come to terms with the fact that they still can’t overcome the Republican advantage in campaign spending.
POLITICO interviewed nearly two dozen of the top strategists, pollsters, ad makers, outside group operatives and party officials from both sides of the aisle who were intimately involved with the 2012 election, asking them to sketch out why the Democratic majority push fell short. In many cases, sources were granted anonymity in order to speak candidly about their assessments.
Here’s POLITICO’s look at why House Republicans will own the majority for another two years.
The Obama factor
The president may well win reelection, but there’s little question he hasn’t had the same kind of top-of-the-ticket pull demonstrated four years ago.
Unlike in 2008, when Barack Obama’s national numbers helped lift up Democratic congressional candidates across the map, the president has had far less impact this time around. And for the Democrats in conservative districts in the South and Rust Belt, Obama’s presence on the ballot has been more hurt than help.
That dynamic, perhaps more than any other, Democrats say, kept them from stirring up the kind of wave conditions they needed to stage a House takeover this year. Races that would have drifted in the Democrats’ direction four years ago required far more of a push this time.
“There was a wave that was supporting us in many different ways in 2008, and obviously this was a very different election,” said Paul Maslin, a Democratic pollster.
Obama’s poor first debate performance also caused a downdraft for vulnerable House Democrats.
Just days prior to the debate, Democrats held a 48 percent to 45 percent lead over Republicans in a National Public Radio poll of the generic congressional ballot. Now, Republicans are holding a small lead in the RealClearPolitics average of generic ballot polls. One of the biggest post-debate shifts happened in the race pitting smash-mouth tea party Rep. Allen West and Democrat Patrick Murphy in Florida. One Democratic pollster found that Obama and Murphy plummeted 5 points between private surveys conducted before and after the debate. source- Politico
Creating a pauper debtor nation
With the latest jobs report, it is now the case that “Under Obama, Food Stamp Growth Is 75 Times Greater Than Job Creation,” according to statistics compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee. “For Every Person Added to Jobs Rolls Since January 2009, 75 People Added To Food Stamp Rolls.”
Here’s a chart detailing the growth:
Since January 2009, as the chart shows, a net of 194,000 new jobs have been created. During that same time, 14.7 million have been added to the food stamp rolls.
“Simply put, the President’s policies have not produced jobs. During his time in office, 14.7 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Over that same time, only 194,000 jobs were created—thus 76 people went on food stamps for every one that found a job,” says Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. “This is a product of low growth. Post-recession economic growth in 2010 was 2.4%, and dropped in 2011 to 1.8%. This year it has dropped again to 1.77%. Few, if any, net jobs will be created with growth of less than 2%.”
The Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee put the job growth into perspective:
In January 2009, there were 133.56 million Americans with jobs and 31.98 million on food stamps. Today, there are 133.76 million Americans with jobs and 46.68 million on food stamps. The employment rolls have thus grown by 0.15 percent and the food stamp rolls have grown by 46 percent, meaning that for every one American who found a job, 75 Americans signed up for food stamps. Meanwhile, during that time, our nation’s debt has risen $5.63 trillion. Total spending on food stamps is now more than $80 billion annually, a fourfold increase from 2001. Total spending on federal means-tested welfare—food stamps, public housing, social services, cash aid, etc.—is now approximately $1 trillion. That amount is enough, if converted to cash, to send every household beneath the federal poverty line an annual check for $60,000.
Welfare spending is projected to remain permanently elevated; for instance, at no point in the next 10 years will fewer than 1 in 9 Americans be on food stamps. In fact, the Administration has actively sought to boost food stamp spending and enrollment, including through a partnership with the Mexican government to advertise benefits to foreign nationals, as well as materials that teach outreach workers how to “overcome the word ‘No.’” USDA even goes so far as to argue that the program is “the most direct stimulus you can get.”
Overall, in the last four years, the United States’ gross federal debt has increased 53 percent, food stamp enrollment has increased 46 percent, and the number of employed persons has increased just 0.15 percent. This picture, however, is even more ominous than it looks. While only 194,000 net jobs have been created since 2009, the working age population has increased by approximately 5 million—almost 25 times that amount. In other words, a shrinking share of working age adults have or are even looking for a job. The real unemployment number (U-6), therefore, is 14.6 percent.
To put this month’s job creation in historical perspective, in October of 1984, 286,000 jobs were created—67 percent more—at a time when the U.S. working age population was 26 percent smaller than it is today.
Over time, these trends, if not reversed, spell economic disaster for the United States and its citizens. source- Weekly Standard
KETTERING, Ohio — Mitt Romney kicked off an event here in the battleground of Montgomery County, Ohio, on Tuesday morning, one day after Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the East Coast, devastating parts of New Jersey and New York.
The stop was billed as a “storm relief” event, and attendees were asked to bring non-perishable foods and other items for those affected by the storm. Long white tables to one side of the cavernous James S. Trent Arena were piled high with flashlights, batteries, diapers, toothbrushes, mini-deodorants, fleece blankets, cereal, toilet paper and canned goods.
Two large TV screens at the front of the venue bore the logo of the American Red Cross and the message: “Sandy: Support the Relief Effort. Text ’REDCROSS’ to 90999 to make a $10 donation.”
But there remained many trappings of a campaign rally, including the soundtrack and a biographical Romney video.
Romney stood on a chair and spoke for less than five minutes. As throngs of supporters, reporters and TV cameras surrounded him, Romney made note of the items on the tables behind him.
“We’re going to box these things up in just a minute and put them on some trucks, and then we’re going to send them into, I think it’s New Jersey. There’s a site we’ve identified where we can take these goods and distribute them to people who need them,” he said.
He related a story of cleaning up a field after a high school football game, and told the crowd that he remembered when some Katrina evacuees were brought to Cape Cod — a destination that was much colder, he joked, than Houston, where the evacuees thought they were originally headed.
“And you know what? There were cars lined up, people dropping off all sorts of goods of all kinds, some things that were temporary like food, but others that were permanent like TV sets and clothes. It was just amazing to see the turnout. Its part of the American way,” Romney said.
As he wrapped up his remarks, Romney said that “to make this an enjoyable work setting, we’ve asked a great entertainer, Randy Owen, of Alabama, to be here. He’s an extraordinary guy.” Owen was scheduled to be a featured guest at the original rally, scheduled for the same venue, at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
He joked that the canned goods and other donations were a “cover charge” for supporters to hear the band’s performance. And then he hopped down from the trunk and, while the band played, he and Portman helped to put items in bags.
A pool reporter asked Romney nearly half a dozen times whether he would eliminate FEMA as president; each time, Romney ignored the question.
After about half an hour, Romney had exited. Many supporters began streaming out of the venue just after Romney had wrapped up his remarks.
Among them was Mary McGirr, a 63-year-old retired professor and Romney supporter from southern Dayton.
“I thought it was very appropriate,” McGirr said of the event. “I thought it was very presidential — not political. I think it gave people a feeling of helping out.”
Later Tuesday, Romney was expected to head to Tampa, Fla. source – Washington Post
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two volunteer poll workers at an Ohio voting station told Human Events that they observed van loads of Ohio residents born in Somalia — the state is home to the second-largest Somali population in the United States — being driven to the voting station and guided by Democratic interpreters on the voting process. No Republican interpreters were present, according to these volunteers.
A source, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a volunteer outside the Morse Road polling center. She has witnessed Somalis who cannot speak English come to the polling center. They are brought in groups, by van or bus. The Democrats hand them a slate card and say, “vote Brown all the way down.” Given that Sherrod Brown is the incumbent Democrat Senator in Ohio, one can assume that this is the reference.
Non-English speaking voters may use an interpreter. The interpreters are permitted by law to interpret for the individual voting; however, they are forbidden from influencing their vote in any way. Another source who also wishes to remain anonymous has seen Democrat interpreters show the non-English speaking Somalis how to vote the Democrat slate that they were handed outside. According to this second source, there are not any Republican Somali interpreters available.
The logical follow-up question is whether a non-English speaking person is an American citizen. Although Republican leadership in Ohio passed a voting reform law, it was repealed by the legislature itself after the Democrats threatened a referendum. According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s web site, someone wanting to vote early in Ohio must supply one of the following in writing on the absentee ballot form, whether voting early by mail or in person: an Ohio driver’s license number; the last four digits of the social security number; or a copy of a current and valid photo identification, military identification, or a current — within the last 12 months — utility bill, including cell phone bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the person’s name and address in addition to the voter registration acknowledgement.
The voter is not required to show the driver’s license or social security card, but must merely write it on the absentee ballot request form. While the individual would be required to show a utility bill, bank statement or other printed document if he or she chooses that option, this is in lieu of writing the driver’s license or social security number. Therefore, the information cannot be checked against the Bureau of Motor Vehicles or other state databases. Essentially, a person is asked to check a box stating that they are a citizen, and the poll worker is to trust that they are the person who is listed on the item being shown or the information being written. In other words, someone can be an illegal resident of the state of Ohio and the United States, get an apartment, turn on the heat, bring in the Columbia Gas bill, register to vote by the deadline, and vote by showing that same bill. There is then no verification that this individual is a citizen of the United States.
Matt McClellan, the press secretary for Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, explained, “There is a process to challenge a voter’s eligibility. The point in time for a challenge to be brought ended mid October. A poll worker could challenge a voter if they had questions as to whether or not a voter was registered or eligible to vote.” However, if the poll worker does not raise the issue at the time the voting occurs, that person’s vote will otherwise be counted on election day along with everyone else’s vote. McClellan was not aware of any reports of irregularities at the Morse Road voting place in Franklin County.
Two phone calls and a text message to the Public Information Office at the Franklin County Board of Elections were not returned.
According to the Somali Community Association of Ohio’s web site, over 45,000 Somalis live in Ohio. Only 40 percent have become citizens of the United States, and only 25 percent speak English well enough to get a job.
The second source mentioned has seen voter intimidation at this same voting place. A Mitt Romney bus stopped near the voting center, approximately 30 Democrats who were outside handing out the slate cards rushed over to the bus. They yelled at the bus, and swarmed around its door when anyone attempted to exit the bus. This, from the “tolerant left.” source – Human Events