Election Administration

Error May Have Cost Democrats Pivotal Virginia Race

“Last year’s race for state delegate in Newport News went down in Virginia history for its razor-thin margin. Republican David Yancey won on Election Day by 10 votes; Democrat Shelly Simonds beat him by a single vote in a recount. Then, a judicial panel declared a tie, so officials picked a name out of a bowl to determine a winner, and it was Yancey,” the Washington Post reports.

“Now, a review of voter registration records and district maps by The Washington Post has found more than two dozen voters — enough to swing the outcome of that race — cast ballots in the wrong district, because of errors by local elections officials. The misassigned voters lived in a predominantly African American precinct that heavily favored Democrats in the fall.”

Louisiana Elections Chief Quits Amid Misconduct Charges

Secretary of State Tom Schedler (R) announced “that he is leaving his elected position as calls for his resignation increased amid allegations that the state elections chief sexually harassed one of his employees,” the AP reports.

“The woman claims Schedler frequently sent her love letters, sexually propositioned her and showed up at her doorstep with unwanted gifts, including sex tapes.”

Trump Claims Californians Vote Many Times

President Trump “claimed that there is widespread voter fraud in California, suggesting that Democrats are in favor of family-based immigration, so-called chain migration, and the visa lottery program because they believe they are gaining votes,” ABC News reports.

Said Trump: “They’re doing it for that reason. A lot of them aren’t going to be voting. A lot of times it doesn’t matter because in many places like California, the same person votes many times. You probably heard about that. There was like they say oh — not a conspiracy theory, folks. Millions and millions of people. It is very hard because the state guards their records.”

Anchorage’s Vote-By-Mail Shatters Turnout Record

“Turnout in Anchorage’s first vote-by-mail election was the highest in the city’s history, buoyed by a wave of last-minute votes,” the Alaska Dispatch News reports.

“About 80,000 ballots had been received by elections officials at the end of the day Wednesday. More were still on the way. Until now, the most ballots the city had ever received in a local race was 71,099 votes in 2012.”

Thousands of Milwaukee Voters Dropped from Rolls

“Thousands of Milwaukee voters have been dropped from voter rolls — including some erroneously — through the state’s registration system,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

“Some 44,000 voters were removed from city rolls after the state started using a new process in the Electronic Registration Information Center, they said. It’s unclear how many of those were dropped in error.”

Official Focused on Election Security Being Shoved Aside

“The head of a federal agency who has helped U.S. states protect election systems from possible cyber attacks by Russia or others is being removed from his post by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the White House,” Reuters reports.

“Matthew Masterson, currently chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, has been passed over for a second four-year term as one of the agency’s four commissioners… It is up the House speaker to recommend a nominee for the commissioner post that Masterson currently holds, with the president then making a formal nomination.”

Rick Hasen: “Masterson, a Republican appointee has been completely nonpartisan and professional, and willing to work across the aisle on issues… And it suggests he’s being canned because he’s not a party hack.”

Wisconsin Voters Find They Were Removed from Rolls

“Dozens of active Green Bay area voters went to cast their ballot in Tuesday’s primary election only to find they had been removed from voter rolls,” the Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

“Wisconsin Elections Commission spokesman Reid Magney attributed many problems voters experienced on Tuesday to a multistate electronic tracking system the state started using in 2016 to update its statewide voter rolls.  He said the system sent postcards in November to close to 400,000 voters the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, identified as people who moved and would need to either confirm their details or register with updated information.”

State Officials Aren’t Being Told of Election Threats

“More than 15 months after a general election that was stained by covert Russian interference, the chief election officials of some states say they are still not getting the information they need to safeguard the vote,” the New York Times reports.

“They say the federal government is not sharing specifics about threats to registered voter databases, voting machines, communication networks and other systems that could be vulnerable to hacking and manipulation.”

State Officials Are Returning to Paper Ballots

“Hoping to counter waves of Russian Twitter bots, fake social media accounts, and hacking attacks aimed at undermining American democracy, state election officials around the country are seizing on an old-school strategy: paper ballots,” the Boston Globe reports.

“In Virginia, election officials have gone back to a paper ballot system, as a way to prevent any foreign interference. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe this month ordered county officials to ensure new election equipment produces a paper record. Georgia lawmakers are considering legislation to replace a touch-screen voting system with paper.”

Florida Rules for Felons’ Voting Rights Struck Down

A federal judge ruled that the state of Florida “routinely violates the constitutional rights of its citizens by permanently revoking the ‘fundamental right’ to vote for anyone convicted of a felony,” the Tampa Bay Times reports.

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said the Florida “scheme” unfairly relies on the personal support of the governor for citizens to regain the right to vote.

Ex-Colorado GOP Chair Sentenced for Voter Fraud

Former Colorado GOP chairman Steve Curtis “was sentenced to four years of probation and 300 hours of community service for voter fraud,” CBS News reports.

He blamed a “major diabetic episode” for causing him to vote his ex-wife’s absentee ballot in October 2016.

Earlier quote from Curtis: “Virtually every case of voter fraud, that I can remember in my lifetime was committed by Democrats.”

Democratic Group Seeks to Elect Secretaries of State

“The left-leaning ballot access group iVote will spend at least $5 million across swing states to elect Democratic secretaries of state — the latest front in the ‘voting wars’ that Democrats worried they have been losing,” the Washington Post reports.

The states targeted: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio. Only one of those states, New Mexico, has a Democratic secretary of state.

Florida Ballot Measure Could Add 1.5 Million Voters

“Floridians will get to decide in November whether they want to amend the state constitution to automatically restore voting rights to felons once they complete their sentences, a move that could significantly expand the franchise to over 1.5 million people,” the HuffPost reports.

“Florida election officials verified Tuesday that organizers had gathered enough petitions to put the referendum on the ballot this year. Just gathering those signatures was a herculean task for the grassroots effort ― Florida law required the organizers to gather 766,200 signatures, equal to 8 percent of the votes cast in the last presidential election.”