Election Law Live

Are ‘Ballot Taxes’ the Best Way to Improve Voter Turnout?

PILF Communications Director Logan Churchwell reports in Breitbart News today on a bill in the New York Assembly that would levy a fine on anyone who fails to vote:

Manhattan-based Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick (D) filed a “compulsory voting” bill, requiring all eligible New York residents to register and cast ballots, or face a $10 fine unless they can provide “a valid excuse” for not voting. The current bill text does not give guidance on what kind of reasons for failing to vote would be acceptable.

Assemblywoman Glick writes in the bill’s summary memo that “mandatory voting would drastically increase civic participation and transform the political arena by making politicians more reflective of the constituents that elected them.” Her reasoning closely echoed former President Barack Obama’s 2015 pitch for a federal plan, noting “it would be transformative if everybody voted … the people who tend not to vote are young, they’re lower income, they’re skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups,” according to CNN.

Despite claims of hoping to advance civil rights by promoting redistricting reform, automatic voter registration, a national popular vote, or even ballot taxes, the contemporary Democrat Party at all levels simply appear to be still trying to get their collective Cousin Pookie to the polls—or risk a prolonged residence in the political wilderness.

Read the full article, here.

The ‘Dirty Work Behind Clean Elections’

Election Assistance Commission Chairman Matthew Masterson writes in The Washington Times about the tough, but valuable work required to maintain voter rolls according to federal standards.

As the White House prepares to set up a commission focused on potential voting irregularities, election officials from across the nation are busy conducting statutorily required voter list maintenance to ensure their rolls are ready ahead of the next vote. It’s an important part of protecting the integrity of our nation’s elections and saving vital taxpayer dollars.

Voter list maintenance is not a new concept born of recent controversies and allegations. In fact, the sustained list maintenance effort to improve the accuracy of voter registration rolls traces back to the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), commonly referred to as the “motor voter” law. NVRA not only facilitates the ease of voter registration at motor vehicle offices and public assistance offices, but it also prescribes the process for updating and proper removal of outdated voter records via data shared between counties, across states, by departments of health and motor vehicle offices, the United States Postal Service and a variety of other data sources.

Read more, here.

Fracktivist Gets Jail Time for Ohio Voter Registration Fraud

The Daily Caller has the latest on what happens when an anti-fracking activist feels a financial pinch for not meeting voter registration quotas:

An Ohio-based environmentalist whose group once accused energy companies of election fraud was sentenced this week on charges she falsified voter registrations.

Rebecca Hammonds, an activist with Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC), a wealthy anti-fracking grassroots organization, was sentenced to 180 days in jail Monday after pleading guilty to 13 felony counts of election fraud in January. She originally faced 35 counts.


Her legal troubles are ironic considering OOC claimed in 2015 that election fraud stymied the Community Bill of Rights initiative, a ballot proposal that would allow communities to ban fracking in their towns. A hand recount eventually found that their proposal failed on its own merits.

Hammonds apparently believed flubbing the voter registration numbers would convince OOC to continue bankrolling her position.

“I felt like I needed to keep the numbers up because it was stated that if there weren’t very many numbers then they would pull the funding, which would mean not only my job but eight other peoples’ jobs,” Hammonds said.

Read more, here.

Texas Shows What Can Happen When Election Fraud Becomes Entrenched

An article in Breitbart Texas today demonstrates how rampant, illegal actions in elections can corrupt even the most basic government services in the process:

Tuesday morning, 43-year-old Noe Abdon Olvera went before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez and pleaded guilty to one count of bribery of a public official. Olvera is set to be sentenced in May at which time he faces up to 15 years in prison.

The case against Olvera revealed that in October 2014, Olvera took $1,000 in exchange for names and addresses of residents in his postal route that received absentee ballots during the previous 2014 Democratic Primary. According to prosecutors, Olvera’s role was tied to the 2014 Hidalgo County Sheriff’s race.

The mailman was reportedly working with a local “politiquera” who would say or do just about anything to rustle up votes for their candidate-employer:

Noe rode with me a few times to to go talk to people. He was making promises to a lot of people. He told one lady that he was going to help her get her citizenship papers in return for for her vote for Mayor Salinas. Another man we picked up was mentally disabled, and Noe Olvera promised him money for his vote. After taking the man to vote, Noe did not pay him. Noe had given him a card with Mayor Salinas’ name on it so that he would know who to vote for. On several occasions, I would drive behind Noe while he was on his mail route. He would call me and tell me when he would deliver a mail-in ballot at a home. I would write down the addresses or I would stop by and talk to the people. Another day, he called and told me that they had received a lot of mail-in ballots and that he was going to write all the addresses down for me.

PILF President J. Christian Adams noted in the piece that Texas could do more to protect absentee voters from ballot interception and manipulation attempts.

“At a minimum, mail voters should be required to provide identification proofs like seen in Kansas. That added safeguard better protects voters when their ballots are wrongfully intercepted,” Adams added.

Read the full article at Breitbart Texas, here.

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