Democrat-controlled Colorado, which has served as Barack Obama's testing ground for a number of extreme legislative proposals, is on to a new election strategy: eliminating the voter category of "inactive" to boost participation.
The Democrats propose simply not listing anyone as inactive and sending ballots to every person. Their plan also would allow people to register to vote as late as the polls are open.
With arm-twisting by Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrat majority in the state previously passed a long list of gun restrictions. They include limits on gun magazines that have prompted a couple of companies to move out of the state.
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Now the Democrats are continuing to flex their political muscle with a plan to push through at the close of this year's legislature an elections bill Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, warns will bring disaster.
It would send out mail-in ballots to every registered voter, whether it's wanted or not, and allow registration on the day of the election. Democrats claim the bill is needed to help increase voter participation.
But Gessler pointed out that in the 2012 election, Colorado was one of the few states that increased its turnout. The state is currently rated third highest in voter turnout nationwide.
Colorado's turnout rate surpasses even states that currently send ballots to every voter and outperforms six of the eight states that allow same-day registration.
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Gessler says that with such strong participation, it makes no sense for Democrats to rush through a series of laws changing how the state does elections. He said the requirements in the bill may not be implemented in time for the 2014 election.
Currently, if a registered voter does not participate in an election, county clerks have the option of not sending the voter a mail-in ballot. However, prior to making the decision, clerks take a series of steps to avoid voter disenfranchisement.
Weld County Clerk and Recorder Steve Moreno explained the process his office takes prior to deciding whether or not to send out a mail-in ballot. First, inactive voters are mailed a card advising them of their status and outlining the steps to reactivate their status. If his office doesn't hear back from the individual, several months later the name is run through the National Change of Address program to find out if the voter has moved.
After running the program, the department sends another letter out advising these voters of the current address the department has on file and again provides instructions on how to reactivate their status.
Prior to mail-in ballots being sent out, the department sends out still another card telling them the county is conducting a mail ballot election and advises them to sign and send the card back to reactivate their status. The county then sends out one final notification.
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Moreno said if after all of this, a person still has not responded, he still has an opportunity to vote until 7 p.m. on Election Day.
A person also can re-register by going to the county or the Colorado secretary of state's website. He can also call the elections department or go directly to the elections department to be placed back on the active list and the department will give them a ballot the same day.
Jenny Flannagan, executive director of Common Cause, said that regardless of how many mailings the county conducts, it should still send out ballots to all eligible voters. When asked about the voter's responsibility, Flannagan said, "I think it's a balance. In a mail ballot election voters who are eligible should receive a ballot."
"Most Americans participate in their democracy. Not all of us are writing letters to the editor or going down to the statehouse to testify," Flannagan said. "In Colorado, when you conduct a mail-in ballot, that right should be given to every eligible voter."
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The proposal would streamline the process, demanding that clerks send out ballots to the addresses on file for all voters, regardless of whether they have voted recently or not.
It would eliminate the concept of inactive voters entirely.
Gessler says that while the idea may sound noble, the system is ripe for abuse by groups wanting to pressure formerly inactive voters.
"During the last election, over 1 million Coloradans discarded their ballots, preferring instead to vote in person. Under the proposed law, voters will get a ballot even if they don't want one or have any intention of voting."
He suggested that policy would open the door to intimidation.
"Independent groups have access to voter information, and there is nothing stopping them from going to people's homes and asking them to vote a certain way and fill out the ballot right then and there," Gessler explained. "In the past the person could simply say they never requested a mail-in ballot and were going to vote in person. Now they cannot say that because the person knows they have gotten a ballot in the mail."
Another Gessler concern is the provision for same-day registration, which can contribute to vote fraud.
"In Colorado simply producing a utility bill, which can be easily forged, is sufficient identification for a person to vote. This would easily enable a person to register in multiple areas around the state under different names," he said.
"Even if we discovered the vote was fraudulently cast, we would have no way to locate and prosecute them if they used a fake address," Gessler said.
"Suppose someone comes in and casts a ballot in another person's name like what happened in Washington when a person came in and requested a ballot in Eric Holder's name," Gessler explained. "Then later, when it is closer to the day of the election the real voter comes in to cast his ballot. The system shows he has already cast a ballot, so he would not be allowed to vote. In effect he has been disenfranchised and prohibited from voting."
If same-day registration is allowed, the requirements should be a minimum of a photo ID for verification, he said.
He notes there already is evidence of vote fraud activities.
"During the last election, El Paso County caught a person who registered five times using false information," Gessler said. "While county officials caught him, it was only because they had 29 days before the election to investigate the registration fraud. Under an election-day registration scheme, this person would have been able to vote several times and it is unlikely he would be caught. Also in 2012, being a battleground state, Colorado saw instances of people from other states trying to illegally vote in the election."
That even small numbers of vote fraud cases can have major impacts already is documented.
WND reported just days ago that two Democrats in Indiana have been found guilty of submitting unauthorized names on the petition that placed then-Sen. Barack Obama on the 2008 presidential election primary ballot, meaning he likely did not qualify.
Fox News reports the case in South Bend found guilty on all counts former longtime St. Joseph County Democratic Party chairman Butch Morgan Jr. and former county Board of Elections worker Dustin Blythe.
The two faced accusations of petition fraud and forgery, as well as falsely making a petition.
The verdicts raise anew questions about election fraud by Democrats, a subject that was analyzed after the 2012 election.
The report found vote fraud occurred in the 2012 presidential election and cumulatively was likely enough to decide the outcome.
"In reality, although no single instance or aspect of vote fraud was likely enough to tip the election for Obama, the aggregate of their [Democrats] corrupt activities – including illegal campaign donations, taking advantage of states without voter ID requirements, military ballots delivered too late … may well have been," the analysis said.
Fox News reported that two former Indiana elections board officials who pleaded guilty said Morgan told Democrat officials and workers to fake the names and signatures that Obama and Hillary Clinton needed to qualify for the presidential race.
Prosecutor Stan Levco told Fox News, "I think this helped uphold the integrity of the electoral system. Their verdict of guilt is not a verdict against Democrats, but for honest and fair elections."
Affidavits citing the testimony of former Board of Registration worker Lucas Burkett said the scheme was created in January 2008. Burkett reportedly was aboard the plan at first but later dropped out. Fox News reported he waited three years to reveal the scheme.
Fox News notes that if revelations about any forgeries were raised during the election, the petitions could have been challenged at that time.
A candidate who did not qualify with enough legitimate signatures at the time could have been removed from the ballot.
State law in Indiana requires candidates to have 500 signatures from each of the nine congressional districts to qualify. But in St. Joseph County, Obama qualified with only 534.
Prosecutors alleged that nine of the Obama petition pages apparently were forged, and each contained up to 10 names, bringing doubt on up to 90 names.
"If faked, [they] could have brought the Obama total below the legal limit required to qualify," Fox News reported.
Fox reported it was told by "numerous voters" they did not sign their names, nor did they authorize their names to be used.
WND's extensive report on fraud in the 2012 race looked at claims that Obama, in some districts nationwide, got 100 percent of the vote, questions about absentee ballots and efforts by Democrats to prevent poll watchers from observing the election.
Some of the issues that were uncovered:
- Seventy-five GOP vote inspectors were ordered to leave Philadelphia poll locations by Democrat poll judges. One judge was caught on audio. A court order sent them back but it's unknown what happened when they were gone. These poll locations were all within the 59 precincts where Romney received no votes.
- In Philadelphia, the Community Voters Project, an ACORN clone that employs some former ACORN workers, shredded Republican voter registrations. It's not the first time they have been in trouble.
- The Florida AFL-CIO threatened True the Vote and Tampa Fair Vote with legal action for submitting voter registration challenges.
- Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings issued a highly publicized threat against True the Vote and Election Integrity Maryland just for checking voter rolls. EIM found 11,000 questionable registrations, including 1,566 dead voters. The Maryland Board of Elections took no action.
- Cummings also attacked the Ohio Voter Integrity Project with the same baseless claims.
- Think Progress falsely claimed True the Vote was "under investigation" by Rep. Cummings, when in fact he has no legal authority to do so.
- Despite overwhelming nonpartisan public support for voter ID laws, Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department and liberal jurists have delayed, emasculated or defeated ID laws in Texas, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
- Holder has vowed to fight voter ID laws as restricting voters' rights.
- The Obama administration "spiked investigations" of eight states that had major voter roll problems.
- The Holder Justice Department conspired with Project Vote on National Voter Registration Act (aka Motor Voter) enforcement lawsuits, which force state and local agencies to become, essentially, low income voter registration drives.
- In 2009 DOJ announced to its attorneys that it would not enforce voter roll maintenance laws because it wouldn't increase voter turnout.
The report also found the election rolls nationwide in shambles. Pew Research Center published a report revealing election rolls in a shambles nationwide. It found:
- 24 million invalid or inaccurate voter registrations
- 1.8 million deceased voters
- 2.75 million registered in multiple states.
The WND report also focused on the mechanics of the election: voting machines.
There were a number of complaints about electronic voting machines that tallied votes for Democrats despite a Republican vote and a few instances of the opposite case.
- Voters in Pueblo County, Colo., complained that their votes were being changed to Obama, reported local NBC affiliate KOAA.
- Maryland congressional candidate and veteran investigative journalist Ken Timmerman reported many voters claiming this happened to them, lodging complaints with vote judges. Timmerman has requested to see voting machine records.
- Maryland Delegate Kathy Afzali and Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild have requested the FBI impound two electronic voting machines suspected of switching votes based on complaints from other voters, including a state official.
- Robert Ashcroft, a Republican poll watcher in Allentown, Pa., reported that about 5 to 10 percent of electronic votes would "change the selection back to default – to Obama."
- EVM problems were also reported to have occurred in Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas.
- A 2008 Fox News report showed how electronic voting machines can be infected with a computer virus to change votes. A Princeton University study in 2006 found the same thing.
And the fraud didn't go unnoticed. A few of the higher-profile cases:
- Patrick Moran, son of longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, was caught on video by James O'Keefe's Veritas Project, telling an undercover journalist how to commit vote fraud.
- Other Veritas videos showed Obama campaign officials in Texas, New Jersey and New York providing multiple forms to journalists posing as voters so that they could vote in two or more states.
- On Election Day, Veritas reporters recorded poll officials on camera telling voters not to vote for Romney.
- The Obama campaign continues to accept illegal donations from other countries. WND's Aaron Klein proved it by donating to the Obama campaign twice under the name "Osama bin Laden" using a Pakistani web address.
- WND has filed a complaint with the FEC demanding an investigation of overseas donations to the Obama campaign.
- In 2008, the Obama campaign accepted almost $30,000 from Palestinian donors.
- A Korean interpreter in Flushing, N.Y., directed Korean voters to vote Democrat. He was expelled from the poll.
- Two cases of forged votes were reported in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., by Republicans who discovered their votes had already been made.
- Non-citizens were charged with voting illegally in Austin, Minn.
- Cases of double voting in Ohio are being investigated.
- Non-citizen allegedly voted in Iowa
- Double voting is being investigated in North Carolina
- NBC reported dead voters voting in California
- Mentally disabled were coaxed to vote for Obama in North Carolina
- Widespread absentee vote fraud is being investigated in South Texas
- A non-English-speaking, under-18 youth reported he was "told he can vote."
- Many other cases