Friday, 19 April 2013

True the Vote National Summit — 2013

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Election integrity volunteers from 32 states met in Houston, Texas, for True the Vote’s 2013 National Summit on April 12 and 13. Speakers this year included chief elections officers from four states, Mexico’s director of elections, and numerous experts in all aspects of electoral integrity.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach explained to the crowd that photo ID laws do a considerable amount of good, but he cautioned people against thinking of them as cure-alls. Kobach elaborated, “In some states that have a photo ID law that affects what people do when they come to the polling place, it just pushes organizations that want to commit voter fraud into [the] mail-in route.” Kobach added that Kansas also has protections for mail-in ballots, as well as ensuring the voter registration process is legal. In Kansas voters must present proof of citizenship when they register.

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler was asked about one of the constitutional principles of our Republic whereby each state runs its own elections and writes its own election laws:

It is good that different states can have different systems. They’re able to experiment and do things. Kansas has done a lot with respect to photo Identification, proof of citizenship at the time of registration and they’ve shown great success with it. We can, whether it’s Colorado or other states, look at their successes and duplicate those successes.

J. Christian Adams, an attorney specializing in election law and author of Injustice, commented on the recent moves by the Left to make major changes in voting laws. Adams said there was a meeting of many of the major left-wing groups in January of this year, commenting:

They got together and said, “How do we permanently change America?” And they came up with three things, and one of them is elections process, voter integrity issues, how elections are run. They recognize that how you run elections, what the rules of the game are, is essential for their bigger agenda. They get it, and they’re pouring millions of dollars into it because they know if they win on the election process issues, then they win on the pro-life issues, and they win on the tax issues, and they win on the gun issues and they win on everything else.

Adams commented on the 2008 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota where Al Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes:

He won that election in Minnesota by just a few hundred votes. It’s since been shown that over a thousand ineligible felons voted in that election. I don’t know for whom they voted, but I know at least a thousand voted illegally in that election. And what did Al Franken give us? He gave us the sixtieth vote on ObamaCare. So there’s an example where election process issues gave us ObamaCare. Can’t get a better example than that.

Author John Fund was one of a number of speakers who criticized the recently initiated federalization of American elections. Fund also pointed out the security weaknesses of same-day voter registration. According to Fund, in the 2008 election in Minnesota, which included the U.S. Senate contest between Franken and Coleman, approximately 6,000 postcards that were mailed to same-day registrants were returned because they were undeliverable.

The Reverend C.L. Bryant, whose activism led to the movie Runaway Slave, which explains how entitlement programs lead to economic slavery for blacks, received numerous standing ovations during his rousing talk. In an exclusive interview with The New American Bryant discussed his next movie, Red, White and Black. When asked if his new movie will deal with voter fraud, Bryant said, “We will deal with the issue of voter fraud in its true sense then and we will relate that to what they are claiming to be voter fraud now — two totally different issues.” Bryant added, “It’s important that the true history of what has occurred is told because what you are getting now is a distortion of history.”

Numerous volunteers were given awards for accomplishments in the last year. One of them was Jan Loar, who related the incredible obstacles, some from unexpected sources, that she encountered attempting to place impartial observers in voting locations in Franklin County, Ohio. The unnecessarily complex rules for poll observers in Ohio were documented in a previous article in The New American.

When the party leadership of both the Republican and Democrat parties in her county refused to sponsor observers at the polls, she opted for the little-known provision in Ohio law that allows for observers at the polls after getting signatures of five candidates. Jan Loar obtained the necessary signatures by candidates, one from an independent candidate and the other four from Republican and Democratic candidates. According to Loar, the Republican and Democrat candidates who signed the petition were contacted by their party leaders threatening to withdraw campaign funding unless they filed formal withdrawals of their signatures, which they did about a month before voting day. She might have had time to gather replacement signatures had she been notified in a timely manner, but she wasn’t informed until three minutes after the deadline for placing observers. Loar explained:

Three minutes after 4:00 I got the call from the deputy director of board of elections saying “Sorry you can’t place observers in the polls and we don’t want to see you anywhere near the polls.”

Many of the conference attendees were from Texas and were surprised to learn that the Lone Star State is not participating in the interstate cross-referencing of voter rolls. This project, started by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, currently has more than 20 states participating. These database comparisons of voter names and birthdates have identified thousands of possible duplicate voter registrations that cross state lines. The methods developed by Kobach are low cost and use existing databases. Texas attendees were encouraged to contact their state representatives in support of HB 2372 in the Texas Legislature. Attendees from other states that are not participating in this interstate cross-referencing of voter registrations were also encouraged to contact their legislators.

True the Vote’s founder and president Catherine Englebrecht summed up the purpose that brought these people to the National Summit saying, “If our elections are not truly fair, we are not truly free.”

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