NTF Issue Paper: legwatch141.doc. 10-16.

BACKGROUND. Donald Trump challenged the Republican establishment, Socialist Democrats, and the liberal media by telling supporters that they were fighting against a “rigged” system, rotten with voter fraud and those eager to protect the status quo. The GOP establishment and Socialist Dems, aided by their media allies, continually discount voter fraud. The argument is not if voter fraud actually exists but how widespread it has become. Whichever candidate(s) one supports, one issue that should unite Nebraskans is voter integrity. It is through our constitutional process by which citizen voters select local, state, and federal officeholders. It is crucial that our votes accurately reflect the will of Nebraskans. In the latest poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, most Americans think there is at least some fraud in elections, and 80% approve of laws that require voters to show photo ID. Only 40% of Americans have a high degree of confidence about votes in the 2016 presidential election counted correctly. Only 39% have some confidence about votes counted correctly, and 31% have little or no confidence that the vote counts for president were accurate this year.  A CBS News poll in February, 2015, found that a majority of Americans considered voter fraud widespread. 28% believed it endemic, and 36% believed it happened sometimes.

CHEATING WIDESPREAD. In Philadelphia, nobody apparently voted for Romney in 59 voting divisions of Pennsylvania’s most populous city. Conservative watchdogs in the Nov. 2016 election accused Democrats of systematic cheating in several of the largest U.S. cities. They discovered many dead people on voter rolls, surrogates paid to vote those dead people up to 9 times. Dead people usually vote for Socialist Democrats. Former NYC Mayor Giuliani and former House speaker Newt Gingrich pointed to Philly as a hotbed of cheating, a city controlled by Dems. Candidate Donald Trump was correct in stating that the 2016 election was rigged because of horrendous cheating. Gingrich called it a non-violent coup d’etat. Republican VP candidate Mike Pence called for vigilance against voter fraud as the price of freedom and honest democracy. According to a 2012 Pew Charitable Trust report, 1 in 8 voter registrations are “significantly inaccurate or no longer valid.” As there are 146 million Americans registered to vote, this means an awesome 18 million invalid voter registrations. Plus 1.8 million deceased individuals listed as voters, and approximately 2.75 million people with registrations in more than one state. Someone attempting to commit voter fraud is very unlikely caught, which increases the incentive to commit the crime. Besides the criminal, no one may know a crime has taken place, and there is no direct victim to report the crime. Prosecutors do not prioritize voter fraud, while convictions only garner light sentences. Yet, liberals expect us to believe that, unlike violent crime, voter fraud pertains only to instances actually reported and prosecuted. Increasing enforcement for this crime revealed a much larger number of people committing the crime. No reason to believe that the low number of prosecutions means only that exact amount of voter fraud happens. Rather, it means a lack of enforcement is failing to reveal the larger numbers of violations occurring. The real number of cases is likely significantly higher than the number reported. No rational person would expect a fair vote in Chicago or Philadelphia. Yet, inquiries into voter fraud typically meet with derision from both government and media.

ACTUAL EXAMPLES. A TV expose of voter fraud in Colorado in Sept. 2016 caused an investigation by the secretary of state that found multiple incidents in recent elections when dead Coloradoans cast votes. One woman who died in 2009 cast ballots from 2010 through 2013. A study done by the Public Interest Legal Foundation in 8 Virginia counties discovered that 1,046 illegal aliens had successfully registered to vote. Caught accidentally when renewing their drivers licenses and admitting that they were not citizens. The FBI began an investigation there, after 20 “dead” people mailed in applications to vote. The Pennsylvania secretary of state admitted finding data pointing to over 700 state voters casting 2 ballots in recent elections yet stated that, under state law, she cannot investigate or prosecute these criminals. Over 43,000 Pennsylvania voters have duplicate registrations in either Pennsylvania or other states.1 This Foundation found 86 illegal aliens registered to vote in Philadelphia since 2013, half voting in recent elections. A lawsuit in Tarrant County, TX. alleges, with an independent investigation, that mail-in ballots, which permit people to vote from home with no ID or other verification, allowed criminals to fill out and return others’ ballots without their consent. Texas authorities are investigating crooks who engage in vote harvesting. This subterfuge, to obtain votes for their candidates, is the practice of illegally obtaining the signatures of valid voters in order to vote in their name without their consent. In Indiana, 16 counties had more registered voters than voting-age adults based on U.S. Census Bureau data. Indiana State Police are investigating hundreds of fraudulent voter registration records with different combinations of fake names and addresses. Election officials in one Kentucky county discovered 6 instances where underage voters voted in the presidential primary. In one case, a student showed his high school report card for ID. Poll workers did not closely examine dates of birth. A Tennessee resident admitted to authorities to voting in 3 states during the 2012 general election. He had mailed in early ballots in Florida and North Carolina, then voted personally in Tennessee. Pleading guilty to felony vote fraud and felony voter registration, he went to prison for 6-17 months. One of the more shocking recent examples is Arcan Cetin, the Turkish terrorist accused of fatally shooting 5 at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Vt. He had voted in multiple elections as an illegal alien. The Poughkeepsie Journal in New York conducted an analysis of tombstone voting in 2006 and found that 2,600 individuals cast votes despite being “dead.” Project Veritas released an undercover video of Alan Schulkin, the New York Democratic commissioner of the Board of Elections, confirming there is widespread fraud. In the video, he discloses that organizers use buses to haul people from poll to poll to vote. “Yeah, they should ask for your ID. I think there is a lot of voter fraud,” he said in the video. Non-citizens in key battleground states received mailed registration cards from officials. A 2012 Pew Center on the States study found 24 million voter registrations in the U.S. that are no longer valid or significantly inaccurate, more than 1.8 million deceased individuals listed as voters, and 2.75 million who have registrations in more than one state.

VOTER FRAUD CATEGORIES. The Department of Homeland Security has admitted that hackers have targeted the voter registration systems in more than 20 states. In most hackings, including the Democratic National Committee, the intrusions not discovered until months or more than a year later. If the state and federal governments cannot protect their own systems, online voting is not secure. Another means to fraudulently vote is to vote in the names of legitimate voters, those who moved, and deceased voters. Also, voting under fraudulent voter registrations that use a fake name with real or phony address or claiming residence in a jurisdiction where registered voter does not reside and therefore not eligible to vote. Duplicate voting sees crooks registering in several locations and voting in the same election in each of these locations. Criminals can request and vote with absentee ballots without the knowledge of the actual voter or obtain an absentee ballot from a real voter and forge the voter signature or illegally tell the impaired voter who to vote for on the ballot. Bold criminals use force or intimidation on elderly, disabled, and illiterate voters to vote for a specific candidate under the guise of assisting them. Syndicates pay voters to cast a personal or absentee ballot for a specific candidate. Illegal aliens register and vote; also, felons who are not eligible to vote. Criminals alter vote counts at the precinct level or central location, sometimes with the connivance of election officials.

VOTE FRAUD MAKES A DIFFERENCE. In North St. Louis, a Dem incumbent in the 2016 primary won a state House election by 90 votes. Her challenger contested the results, pointing to a suspicious absentee vote total that heavily favored his opponent. A district judge, also suspicious, ordered a second election, at which the challenger won by 1,553 votes. A 2014 study by Old Dominion University found that 6.4% of all noncitizens voted in 2008, that 2.2% voted in a 2010 midterm election. The study concludes this likely allowed Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat, to win in his race in his 312-vote statewide victory over Republican Norm Coleman in 2008. Those who think their vote stolen, especially in urban areas where Dem political machines control the voting process or with the perception that they control the voting process, may not bother to vote, thus skewing vote totals. The U.S. Supreme Court said that “flagrant examples of voter fraud have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists.” The instances of such fraud uncovered over the years “demonstrate that not only is the risk of voter fraud real but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.” Recall the 2000 presidential election between Bush and Gore, decided in Florida, where Bush prevailed by less than 600 votes out of 6 million cast. Vote fraud can and does tilt elections.

DISCOUNTING EXCUSERS. The media is complicit in debunking the research, personal testimonies, and examples of election fraud in all forms. The Left is unconcerned about voter integrity; they shrug and dismiss vote fraud as phony. Socialist Democrats accuse those alarmed about voter fraud, arguing that an effort to ensure the sanctity of the electoral process is really a shabby attempt and excuse to suppress minority votes. Liberals contend that voter fraud is entirely in the imagination of those who use voter ID laws to deny minorities the right to vote. A big lie perpetrated by liberals is that photo ID laws depress turnout by minority voters. Years of recorded data from many states show the opposite, that minority voting increases. In Georgia, the turnout of both Hispanics and blacks increased greatly in both the 2008 presidential and 2010 midterm congressional elections when compared to the 2004 presidential and 2006 congressional elections when there was no photo ID requirement. The Heritage Foundation proved that black voter turnout actually increased after North Carolina passed its voter ID law. The claimed negative outcome false, the liberal reasoning faulty. The fact that the law disproportionately impacts minorities does not mean that it is discriminatory. It means, unfortunately, that fewer minorities comply with common safeguards to protect the integrity of our elections, having valid ID documents. Nebraska could offer a service that will allow people without valid ID to apply for proper state ID free of charge. The leftist aim is not only to ridicule but to oppose any regulation that would add integrity to the election system or help officials track fraud. They seek to quash evidence, because they realize that facts show the truth. Liberals and their media allies all have labored for years to convince the American public that voter fraud does not exist while working feverishly to thwart state efforts to secure the electoral system with voter identification laws. Leftist activists geared up to try to disallow voter ID laws before the November election in Missouri, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas, and North Dakota. The Hillary Regime will continue to thwart efforts that guarantees the integrity of our electoral system. It opposes states verifying citizenship status of registered voters. Voter fraud is real and spreading. The Heritage Foundation Does Your Vote Count Project recently added 15 new convictions for vote fraud to its fraud database, totaling 430 criminal convictions for election fraud. The Left distorts the concept of rights in order to grant special privileges to protected classes of individuals at the expense of honest voters. Those who deny voter fraud are liars and allow criminal activity. Concerns over voter fraud splits along party lines. 64% of Republicans said they were very concerned about fraudulent votes, compared to 26% of Democrats.  31% of Democrats said they were not concerned at all about fraudulent votes, compared to only 5% of Republicans. A general counsel for the Public Interest Legal Foundation and former Justice Department attorney said voter fraud tends to benefit the Democrats and policy outcomes they desire, so they slight fraud.

TAKE ACTION NOW. Preventing fraud beforehand is much easier than trying to detect, investigate, and prosecute it after it occurs. With no proper procedures in place, detecting voter fraud is a very difficult undertaking. Obtaining convictions for election fraud is difficult, because many states lack the procedural tools needed to detect fraud, either before or after it has occurred. Oftentimes, these cases receive low priority from busy prosecutors. Most prosecutors run for election and want higher office. They seem reluctant to handle voter fraud cases which are highly politicized and anger people in their community on a partisan basis. Judges require incredible standards of proof, and often the sentences for the few people convicted are community service. Therefore, even if discovered, vote fraud often goes lightly punished. Nebraska and other states must pass legislation to make it simpler to identify duplicate voting and other fraud. Voter honesty is essential to our very system of government. We must ensure that every legitimate vote counts, that our elections accurately tabulate the will of citizens. Several measures are necessary. Mail postcards after registration to ensure that the address given by the registered was real. Reserve the right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of questionable results. Volunteer at polling stations to monitor voting. Allow observers to sit at voter check-in tables at precincts. They check each voter ID against a database of registered voters for that precinct to ensure the person attempting to vote is actually legally qualified to vote in that precinct. If a discrepancy, a poll watcher officially challenges the ballot. End same day voter registration/voting, because these votes validated before their registrations validated. Urge NE county officials to more quickly remove deceased voters, as many jurisdictions reluctantly take time to clean voter rolls. Pass a strict voter ID law (see NTF issue paper). People must show ID to get on a plane or cash a check, so they should present valid ID when registering to vote and when voting. With absentee ballots, voters must provide either a photocopy of the ID when mailing in a ballot or ID number of their state drivers license or photo ID card. Pass a law that mirrors the Indiana law requiring showing of a photo ID; 16 states now require it, and the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld these laws. Language would allow people to cast provisional ballots, if they did not produce IDs. Indiana also provided free state identification for people without an ID, to answer charges that the requirement was a poll tax. People registering to vote must provide proof of citizenship such as birth certificate, naturalization papers, or another valid document. Stop convicted felons from voting. Nebraska voter registration databases must run frequent comparisons with Dept. of Homeland Security non-citizen databases to discover illegal aliens registered to vote. Compare NE state voter registration rolls with other states to detect crooks registered in other states and who may have voted in NE illegally. NE should verify the accuracy of voter registration information by comparing it with DMV and SS databases. Our Capitol Hill reps must repeal the Motor Voter, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, that mandates that anyone who applies for a drivers license can receive voter registration. To register, they merely mark a checkbox that they are a citizen and sign the form. Thousands of illegal aliens thus register to vote this way. Socialist Democrats call this ruse “expanding the base.”

CONCLUSION. Election integrity is an essential part of free and fair elections. An eligible citizen must have a guarantee for the right to vote and a guarantee that his vote not stolen or diluted by thieves and fraudsters. The stability of our Republic depends on the faith voters have in the honesty of the electoral process, because in such a system, losers accept the decisions of the electorate regardless of the stakes. Such becomes increasingly difficult, if significant numbers of voters believe the system rigged. It is important that voters can trust the outcome of an election. Otherwise, many Americans will not accept the results. A new POLITICO poll found that 73% of Republicans think the 2016 election stolen from Donald Trump. Currently, we settle our differences at the ballot box instead of reaching for the cartridge box. Voter fraud is a serious problem that deserves serious solutions.

Research, analysis, and documentation for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 10-16. C

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