Oct 2, 2008

Senate Republicans maneuver to disenfranchise voters


LANSING – Senate Republicans used a sneaky procedure to block Senate Bill 12 that will allow people to vote with an absentee ballot for no reason and disenfranchising Michigan voters.

Sen. Liz Brater, D-Ann Arbor, made a motion to have her bill discharged from the Campaign and Election Oversight Committee to the floor Thursday, but the majority floor leader made a motion that was approved along party lines to pass the items for the day. Of course, this is the last session day until the Lame Duck session after next moth's General Election.

Democrats wanted the bill to be approved so voters can take advantage of the new law before the election when massive lines are expected at the polls next month.

"This means that the voters in Michigan will be at a disadvantage compared to the 28 other states that allow no reason absentee voting," Brater said. "We know that long lines at the polls will turn people way from voting, and the interest in the Presidential Election will increase turnout."

Last month the Michigan House passed House Bill 4048 that will allow Michigan voters to vote with an absentee ballot for no reason. Republicans continue to oppose it as part of their strategy to keep voter turnout low.

"The people of Michigan were outmaneuvered by the Senate today, and its' a sad day for voters," said Sen. Gilda Jacobs, D-Huntington Woods, Minority Vice-chair of the Campaign and Election Oversight Committee.

Current Michigan law allows people to vote A/B for only six reasons: age 60 years old or older, unable to vote without assistance at the polls, expecting to be out of town on election day, in jail awaiting arraignment or trial, unable to attend the polls due to religious reasons or are appointed to work as an election inspector in a precinct outside of your precinct of residence. Passage of HB 4048 and SB 12 will do away with that requirement.

The bill has widespread support. Those in support of the bills include the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, the Michigan Association of County Clerks, the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, the Michigan League of Women Voters and the Michigan Townships Association. Only the Republican Secretary of State is neutral on the bill.

4 comments:

the truth really hurts said...

ACORN - Democrats cause voter fraud

September 14, 2008


Bad voter applications found

Clerks see fraudulent, duplicate forms from group

BY L.L. BRASIER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Several municipal clerks across the state are reporting fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications, most of them from a nationwide community activist group working to help low- and moderate-income families.

The majority of the problem applications are coming from the group ACORN, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which has a large voter registration program among its many social service programs. ACORN's Michigan branch, based in Detroit, has enrolled 200,000 voters statewide in recent months, mostly with the use of paid, part-time employees.

"There appears to be a sizeable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications," said Kelly Chesney, spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State's Office. "And it appears to be widespread."

Chesney said her office has had discussions with ACORN officials after local clerks reported the questionable applications to the state. Chesney said some of the applications are duplicates and some appear to be names that have been made up. The Secretary of State's Office has turned over several of the applications to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The U.S. Attorney's Office on Friday declined to confirm whether an investigation was taking place.

In recent years, ACORN's voter registration programs have come under investigation in Ohio, Colorado, Missouri and Washington, with some employees convicted of voter fraud.

ACORN officials said they were looking into the problem.

"We'll do an investigation to see what's happening," said David Lagstein, a spokesman for the Detroit office. "If it's really as many as that, it warrants further investigation."

In Pontiac, where several thousand applications have been submitted by ACORN in the last few weeks for the November election, the clerk's office is finding that numerous applications are sometimes filed under one name.

"What it causes is a slowdown of our operations," said Pontiac City Clerk Yvette Talley. "They're steadily coming in, and we are finding a huge number of duplications."

Talley said she could not provide an exact number.

Clerks are required to check their records against a statewide database of all registered voters within their jurisdiction, so it would be unlikely that duplications would allow voters to cast their votes more than once, Talley said.

"We catch them all, but it's taking up a lot of our time," she said.

In Oak Park, clerk Sandra Gadd said they have been seeing "lots of duplication" from ACORN in recent months but were reassured by ACORN officials that the group was working to correct the problem.

"They've been very cooperative," Gadd said. "I spoke with them this week. They called me, and they're willing to go door-to-door to do whatever they have to do to take care of this."

ACORN is the nation's largest community organization for low- and moderate-income families. Created more than 30 years ago, it has branches in 100 cities and claims 350,000 families as members. It works to help create affordable housing and health care, and to improve job conditions and neighborhood schools.

Lagstein said ACORN's Detroit office has hired dozens of employees for the voter registration program and that any problems likely stem from sloppiness or incompetence -- not an intent to let people vote more than once.

"We're proud of our efforts to increase voter registration, and we have aggressive training for our staff to make sure the cards are filled out appropriately," he said.

ACORN has a method to track the workers who filled out individual registration cards, which will allow investigators to question the workers, Lagstein said.

"We certainly do our best to keep the duplications as low as possible, so we'll have to evaluate what's happening here," he said.

Contact L.L. BRASIER at 248-858-2262 or brasier@freepress.com.

Communications guru said...

Here is the key, “Chesney said some of the applications are duplicates and some appear to be names that have been made up.” ACORN hired non-political people to collect voter registrations, and they were paid by how many they tuned in. Obviously, some were made up to make more money.

It’s not much different from Leon Drolet’s crooked recall campaign against the Speaker of the House, but there’s a few differences. There was real fraud in Drolet’s case, not in the ACORN case. His group paid people to forge signatures and copied them from the phone book. Also, none of those people will vote. Drolet’s fraud was allowed to stand.

By the way, what the hell does this have to do with no reason absentee voting?

the truth really hurts said...

Worse than Drolet

The Democrats are much worse, the proof is in the pudding

Communications guru said...

Not much is worse than Drolet, and where is your proof that “The Democrats are much worse?”

By the way, what the hell does this have to do with no reason absentee voting?