Kobach Loses Again—This Time in Tenth Circuit


Exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292, we hold that the district court did not abuse its discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction. Under the facts of this case, section 5 of the NVRA preempts Kansas’s DPOC requirement as applied to motor voter applications. Further, under the circumstances present here, no constitutional doubt arises as to whether the NVRA precludes Kansas from enforcing its voter qualifications under the Qualifications Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, the district court did not err in finding that the Plaintiffs-Appellees had made a strong showing ofirreparable harm, that the balance of equities was strongly in their favor, and that an injunction would serve the public interest. Accordingly, we AFFIRM the district court’s grant of the preliminary injunction against Secretary Kobach for reasons to be more fully explained in a forthcoming opinion.


“Trump’s unusual conflict: Millions in debts to German bank now facing federal fines”


Federal regulators are seeking a $14 billion fine from Deutsche Bank, Trump’s top lender, to settle claims that the bank issued toxic mortgages amid the housing crisis. German media have suggested the bank has sought a state bailout that could lead to partial ownership of the bank by the German government.

A settlement could be reached before a new president takes office, but government-ethics experts say the Deutsche Bank situation is a stark reminder of how Trump could face a conflicting set of interests as the nation’s negotiator in chief.

As head of the executive branch, he’d oversee the Justice Department and the United States’ relations with the rest of the world. But he’d still have a lengthy series of financial relationships with private institutions and countries with business before the United States.

“It’s certainly foreseeable that he could intervene with the DOJ so as to not upset the financing of his companies,” said Trevor Potter, a former Federal Election Commission chairman and general counsel of George H.W. Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

It’s “unthinkable in recent history,” Potter said, that “there’s the possibility of a president being able to affect his own personal financial interests, conceivably to the detriment of the general public.”


Federal Court on Its Own Motion in WI Voter ID Case Orders WI to Say How It is Helping Voters Get IDs

Following a report by Ari Berman in the Nation and then Patrick Marley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the federal district court judge ordered by the 7th Circuit to make sure that Wisconsin is making it easy for voters who start the voter id process at the state’s DMV to get IDs has issued a sua sponte order (an order on its own motion, without a request from one of the sides) for the state to explain what’s going on.

From the order:

These reports, if true, demonstrate that the state is not in compliance with this court’s injunction order, which requires the state to “[p]romptly issue a credential valid as a voting ID to any person who enters the IDPP or who has a petition pending.” Dkt. 234, at 118-19.

Defendants must investigate these allegations and provide a report to the court by October 7, 2016. The report should explain the scope of the investigation, its results, and any corrective action to be taken. Additional reports may be ordered as needed.

Patrick Marley:

The Nation first reported on the recording, which was made by Molly McGrath, the national campaign coordinator with VoteRiders, a group opposed to voter ID laws that also helps people get IDs.

McGrath, who also provided a copy of the recording to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, said her group visited 10 DMV stations around Wisconsin. DMV employees gave the visitors answers “all over the board” regarding how long it would take to get an ID, she said…

Kristina Boardman, the head of the DMV, issued a written statement that did not address what specifically occurred, but said such a practice would violate DMV protocols.

“DMV remains committed to working with all eligible voters to ensure they receive free identification, as required for voting,” her statement said.

Johnny Koremenos, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Schimel’s court filing was accurate. He did not explain why DMV employees gave incorrect information to Moore if they had been trained on the voter ID law.


“So Just Who Are These Undecided Voters?”

Lynn Vavreck for NYT’s The UpShot:

These descriptive differences are negligible compared with differences relating to politics and policy. The YouGov data reveal that undecided voters are much less likely to have positions on issues driving the campaign. On the question of whether the United States should build a wall on its border with Mexico, a position central to Mr. Trump’s campaign for over a year, 28 percent of undecided voters are not sure whether they support or oppose this idea. That’s in contrast to only 7 percent of Mr. Trump’s committed voters (and 11 percent of Mrs. Clinton’s).

Similarly, undecided voters are roughly twice as likely to be unsure whether the minimum wage should be raised or whether college should be free.

The RAND data underscore this indecision. Seventeen percent of undecided registered voters are not sure whether they have a favorable or unfavorable view of the Republican Party (relative to 3 percent of Trump supporters and 13 percent of Clinton supporters). Similarly, 17 percent are unsure about their rating of the Democratic Party. Even on favorability ratings of the president, undecided voters are three times as likely as supporters of either major party candidate to say they “don’t know” how to rate him.


“Here comes the Republican Senate super PAC blitz”

Matea Gold:

The Republicans’ central Senate super PAC is plowing $21 million more into six key races in the coming weeks as the fight for control of the chamber moves to states more hospitable to GOP candidates.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC that is part of the American Crossroads suite of GOP big-money groups, is expanding its television buys in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada and Pennsylvania, officials told The Washington Post. At the same time, the group is cutting back most of its planned spending in Ohio, where incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman has widened his lead over former governor Ted Strickland.


Prawfs Election Symposium

Check it out:

Forr October, we are going to try something different with our guest slate. With the election looming, we decided to do a month-long symposium, with expert guests writing about the election, election law, and related issues, such as what might happen after the election and in the new administration. I am happy to introduce  Josh Douglas (Kentucky), Ned Foley (Ohio State-Moritz), Lisa Manheim (Washington),Michael Morley (Barry), Bertrall Ross (Berkeley)  and Franita Tolson (Florida State). They will be with us for October and perhaps through to the election in early November.


Trump, Piggybacking Off Right Wing Claims that U.S. Rushing Citizenship Applications, Says Clinton Helped Machado

Greg Sargent:

The “sex tape” angle here is sucking up all the attention. (Apparently, sex sells.) That appears to be a reference to reports about a steamy love scene that Machado filmed in 2005, though without further clarification, it’s hard to know for sure. As for her “past,” the Daily Beast recently ran through some of the more lurid allegations from during her days as a Venezuelan celebrity right here.

But all that is less interesting and revealing — no, really — than is Trump’s suggestion that Clinton helped Machado become a U.S. citizen so she could become a prop for Clinton at the debate.

It turns out that Trump is right in one sense. But it isn’t quite how he thinks.

Machado did in fact become a U.S. citizen in order to increase her influence over this presidential contest. She did so apparently to vote against Donald Trump, because she sees this as an an enormously consequential election….

What Trump’s tweet really says is that Machado’s effort to secure the vote for herself is suspect, because Clinton may have helped smooth that process, to Clinton’s own benefit. This is a version of the longtime charge that Democrats only want to create a path to citizenship for Latino immigrants in order to pad the voter rolls in their favor, and surely this will thrill Trumpist voters who are very upset about the ways the country is rigged in favor of various minority groups.

But the merits of that argument aside, it is politically awful for Trump — given his need to expand his appeal — to be questioning this effort at political integration by a former Latina beauty queen who is publicly urging more Latinos to participate in the election and is publicly declaring her pride at becoming a U.S. citizen who can now exercise her right to vote.


“Textualism and Stare Decisis”

New from Anita Krishnakumar:

On the surface, textualism and the doctrine of statutory stare decisis seem to have much in common — both are rule-bound and emphasize predictability and stability in the law, legislative supremacy, the need to limit judicial discretion, and the need to preserve the legitimacy of the Court as an institution. Yet, in practice, textualist jurists — at least at the Supreme Court level — have proved quite willing to abandon statutory stare decisis and to argue in favor of overruling established statutory precedents. Why? This paper advances a twofold thesis. First, it argues that textualism suffers from a “correct answer” mindset, which makes it especially difficult for its proponents to accept the idea that an incorrect statutory interpretation should be left in place simply because it was first in time. While others have noted that this tension between accuracy and stare decisis poses problems for textualists, they have tended to brush it off as a tension that also affects other interpretive theories and to insist that textualism can and does give way to statutory stare decisis as a matter of necessity. Second, and more importantly, this paper argues that textualist jurists tend to view statutory precedents that create a test for implementing a statute as different from more ordinary parsing-the-text statutory interpretation. That is, textualist jurists regard implementation-test precedents as akin to common law decision-making, rather than statutory interpretation—and seem to have created a de facto “implementation test” exception to the heightened stare decisis protection typically afforded to statutory precedents.

The paper begins by providing several examples of cases in which textualist Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have rejected statutory stare decisis and voted to overturn a statutory precedent. The argument is largely descriptive but has significant theoretical and normative implications. In particular, the implementation-test insight suggests a new and previously unexplored explanation for the judicial treatment of congressional overrides and the shadow precedent phenomenon that some scholars have observed. The distinction between implementation tests and text-parsing statutory construction also highlights important and underappreciated differences between textualist and purposivist visions of the judicial role in statutory interpretation. In the end, the paper both supports and critiques the implementation test exception to statutory stare decisis. It argues that the Supreme Court should be free to reexamine implementation tests that have been criticized by lower courts as confusing or unworkable in practice. But for separation of powers reasons, and in order to preserve stability and predictability, the Court should limit this implementation test exception to only those contexts in which substantial lower court criticism is present.


The “Turkish Murderer” That True the Vote is Fundraising Around? A U.S. Citizen

Yesterday I reported that True the Vote was fundraising off the alleged Cascade Mall shooter, claiming that the “Turkish murderer” was not a U.S. citizen but voted in multiple elections.

Well it turns out, contrary to earlier reports, that the shooter WAS a U.S. citizen. King5: “On Thursday, a federal official told KING that further investigation revealed that Cetin is a naturalized U.S. citizen. That means he was legally registered to vote. KING’s initial story on Sept. 28 questioned state officials about how Cetin could register and vote without being a citizen.”

I’m sure True the Vote will issue a correction.


Bipartisan Congressional Front to Protect U.S. Election Systems


Congressional leaders are urging states to do everything they can to insulate their election systems from cyber attacks amid reports that more than a dozen states have already been targeted by hackers.

“We urge the states to take full advantage of the robust public and private sector resources available to them to ensure that their network infrastructure is secure from attack,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wrote Wednesday.

The bipartisan letter follows reports that more than a dozen states’ voter registration rolls have been targeted by hackers, according to CNN, including successful hacks in Illinois and Arizona.

I guess Ohio SOS Husted doesn’t care about the danger.


“How Democrats Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Big Donor Money”


More than two-thirds of the Democrats’ cash went to a dozen presidential battlegrounds critical to any Clinton victory. The biggest beneficiaries were Florida, which has taken in close to $3.5 million, and Pennsylvania and Ohio, which have each received more than $2 million.

In each of those states, the funds from the national party have made a difference, erasing deficits in federal contributions against the respective Republican state parties.

The money followed a legal but circuitous route turbocharged by the 2014 ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down Watergate-era limits on the combined amount one person could donate to all federal candidates and parties in an election cycle.


“What Clinton and Trump Should Do After the Election”

Amy Davidson for the New Yorker:

As with so much of the ugliness during this election season, that line of thinking did not originate with Trump but with the Republican establishment, which has spent years pushing the myth of voter fraud as an excuse for coming up with ways to make it harder for minorities and poor people to cast their ballots—stringent voter-I.D. laws, fewer polling stations, a shorter voting window. As has frequently been observed in this campaign, Trump shouts where others whisper, but the message is the same. The volume accentuates the atmosphere of crisis and alarm; the message is of a country being stolen away. This is one of the many reasons a demagogue is dangerous and a sensible, grounding question like the one Holt posed is so valuable. Trump might not stick to his answer, but, in terms of introducing at least a whiff of sanity to this electoral affair, having it on the record is a start. And it should serve notice to Republican leaders, such as Paul Ryan, about the choices they might have to make after the election. Trump can do a great deal of damage to the polity even if he loses, and the G.O.P. will have to decide whether to abet him.


” He fought in World War II. He died in 2014. And he just registered to vote in Va.”


The FBI and local police are investigating how at least 19 dead Virginians were recently re-registered to vote in this critical swing state.

One case came to light after relatives of a deceased man received a note congratulating him for registering, Rockingham County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst said Thursday….

All 19 were initially registered as voters in the Shenandoah Valley city of Harrisonburg, although a clerk double-checking the entries later raised questions about one. She recognized the name of Richard Allen Claybrook Sr., who died in 2014 at age 87, because his son is a well-known local judge. She happened to recall that the judge’s father had died….

All of the forms had been submitted by a private group that was working to register voters on the campus of James Madison University, according to the Harrisonburg registrar’s office. The group was not identified. No charges have been filed.

My guess is someone was paid to register voters, and took the lazy way out by using death notices to “find” new voters. This generally does not lead to any fraudulently cast ballots. And good that it was caught.


“Did a federal judge accuse his colleagues of letting their ‘racist attitude’ control the outcome of a case?”

Jonathan Adler:

In an interview with Mark Joseph Stern of Slate, Senior Circuit Judge Damon Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit appears to accuse two of his colleagues of having “racist attitude[s].” Specifically, Keith suggests that this attitude explains why a three-judge panel rejected a recent challenge to changes in Ohio election laws in Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Husted, a case in which Keith wrote a lengthy and impassioned dissent….

From my read of this section, it seems that Keith is accusing the panel majority — i.e. Judge John Rogers and Judge Danny Boggs — of harboring a “racist attitude” and that this attitude explains their decision in the case. While it is possible that Keith was making a more generic reference to the majority in the state or the nation, that seems unlikely given the question focused on his dissent in this case and that it was his dissent that apparently prompted the interview in the first place….

The timing of Keith’s remarks are also interesting. Earlier this week, NEOCH filed for en bancreview of the decision and simultaneously moved to recuse one of the court’s judges, Alice Batchelder. Might the state respond with a motion to recuse Keith? Given his comments, such a motion would not surprise.


“California Takes Major Step Toward Citizen-Funded Elections”


Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation to give citizens a greater voice in California’s democracy. With the U.S. Congress gridlocked, California is leading a wave of pro-democratic reforms passed at the state and local level across the country. Senate Bill 1107, by Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, gives local governments and the state the choice to enact citizen-funded election programs. California Common Cause sponsored the bill with the California Clean Money Campaign.


“Wisconsin lawmakers urge investigation of Scott Walker after ‘John Doe’ papers”


Nineteen Wisconsin legislators have called for an official investigation into alleged criminal misconduct by the Republican governor Scott Walker, based on their review of court documents leaked to the Guardian.

The legislators, who represent more than half of the Democratic group within the state assembly, have written to the prosecutor for Dane County, which covers the state capital Madison as well as Walker’s home residence.


WI “DMV gives wrong information on voter ID”

Patrick Marley:

State officials told a judge last week they had trained workers to make sure people could easily get IDs for voting, but an audio recording was released Thursday of Division of Motor Vehicles employees telling a man he couldn’t get one quickly because he didn’t have a birth certificate with him.

“You don’t get anything right away,” one DMV employee said on the recording.

How IDs are handled is “up in the air right now,” said another.

The recordings were made Sept. 22, the same day Attorney General Brad Schimel filed court documents stating DMV “field staff are now trained to ensure that anyone who fills out these forms will receive a photo ID, mailed to them within six days of their application,” even if they don’t have a birth certificate.

The Nation first reported on the recording, which was made by Molly McGrath, the national campaign coordinator with VoteRiders, a group helping people get IDs.


“Tracie Hunter sues for right to vote”

Cincinnati Enquirer:

Suspended Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter can’t run for office this fall, but she’s still fighting for her right to vote.

Hunter asked a federal judge Wednesday to reinstate her voting privileges, which were revoked by the Hamilton County Board of Elections because of her felony conviction for mishandling documents when she was a judge.

Hunter’s lawyers say Ohio law only bars voting by people who have been convicted of a felony and are currently incarcerated. The board of elections, based on a legal opinion from the prosecutor’s office, says Hunter’s felony conviction alone bars her from voting.

Hunter was one of the litigants in a key 6th Circuit case on the meaning of Bush v. Gore.


“Wisconsin Is Systematically Failing to Provide the Photo IDs Required to Vote in November”

Ari Berman:

Nine percent of registered voters in Wisconsin don’t have a valid voter-ID and many are still struggling to get the documents they need to vote in November. It appears that Wisconsin is violating multiple court orders by not promptly giving eligible citizens free IDs or certificates for voting. This is particularly concerning since early voting began this week in cities like Madison and Milwaukee and thousands of Wisconsinites are casting ballots. …

Wisconsin claims they are doing this. In a legal filing on September 22, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel cited a press release from the Department of Transportation stating, “DMV will now be issuing photo identification receipts no later than six business days from receipt of the petition application.” The Wisconsin Election Commissions issued a similar press release saying, “Free Photo ID for Voting Now Available with One Trip to DMV.” The Wisconsin Attorney General said, “DMV is carefully administering the process to ensure that anyone who is eligible for the IDPP will have a valid ID for the November general election.”

But recordings from the DMV clearly show this is not the case. Molly McGrath, the national campaign coordinate for VoteRiders, which helps people get voter-IDs, accompanied Moore to the DMV and recorded the trip. Read this exchange between her and DMV employees:

Molly: If you initiate the petition process do you get an ID for voting?

DMV Employee 1: No, you don’t get anything.

DMV Employee 2: No, you don’t get anything right away.

Molly: Ok, so even if we start the petition process, and it takes 8 weeks, he wouldn’t be able to vote.

DMV Employee 1: Right, right, right.

DMV Employee 2: Well, I don’t know, they’re working on that. It’s kind of up in the air right now.

…Molly: I thought you could get an ID, like the sign says over there: ‘No birth certificate, no problem.’ You can get an ID to vote.

DMV Employee 3: You can. It just takes the time.

Molly: So even if we just start the petition process, he wouldn’t get anything temporarily that says you can vote?

DMV Employee 3: Nope. Nope.

Yup, softening of harsh voter id laws in theory does not mean they are actually softened in practice.


“Dems Seek Reversal on Voter Registration Hurdle”

Zack Roth:

High-ranking congressional Democrats are raising more serious concerns about a move by the director of a federal voting agency that made it easier for several red states to require documentary proof of citizenship from people registering to vote.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Rep. Robert A. Brady and Rep. James E. Clyburn urged the Election Assistance Commission in a letter sent Wednesday to formally rescind a change made in January to the instructions on the federal voter registration form for Kansas, Georgia and Alabama, which allowed those states to require citizenship proof….

In their letter, the Democrats lay out the following findings from the investigation they conducted into Newby’s move:

— They say Newby conducted no written analysis or cost-benefit analysis of the move, to ensure that it would result in more ineligible voters being blocked than eligible ones.

— They say that between them, Kansas, Alabama and Georgia offered just one ineligible voter to support their claim that the change was necessary to protect against illegal voting. (Arizona did not seek to have the form changed).

— They say Newby told investigators in an August hearing that he had been unaware until recently that proof of citizenship laws disproportionately impact minority voters — though there’s mountains of evidence to support that conclusion.

— They say Newby told investigators that he was aware that the EAC had twice denied the states’ requests to change the form, but that he “needed to have a point of view” and did not want to “rubber stamp” past precedent.

— They say Newby told investigators that he believed the move to be legal when he carried it out, but that he’s no longer sure.

— They note that on his personal blog, Newby wrote in 2012: “No election administrator has been more in favor of closing the EAC than me.” The letter then notes that he wrote in 2014, “[T]he EAC is now a ‘was,'” thought it does not note that Newby added, “There are a lot of good people doing good work at the EAC.” The following year, he would accept a job as the agency’s executive director. The posts, the lawmakers appear to suggest, potentially raise questions about Newby’s commitment to running an effective and independent agency.


“How Russia Wants to Undermine the U.S. Election”

TIME reports:

The leaders of the U.S. government, including the President and his top national-security advisers, face an unprecedented dilemma. Since the spring, U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies have seen mounting evidence of an active Russian influence operation targeting the 2016 presidential election. It is very unlikely the Russians could sway the actual vote count, because our election infrastructure is decentralized and voting machines are not accessible from the Internet. But they can sow disruption and instability up to, and on, Election Day, more than a dozen senior U.S. officials tell TIME, undermining faith in the result and in democracy itself.

The question, debated at multiple meetings at the White House, is how aggressively to respond to the Russian operation. Publicly naming and shaming the Russians and describing what the intelligence community knows about their activities would help Americans understand and respond prudently to any disruptions that might take place between now and the close of the polls. Senior Justice Department officials have argued in favor of calling out the Russians, and that position has been echoed forcefully outside of government by lawmakers and former top national-security officials from both political parties….

All of which makes Donald Trump’s repeated insertion of himself into the U.S.-Russia story all the more startling. Trump has praised Putin during the campaign, and at the first presidential debate, on Sept. 26, he said it wasn’t clear the Russians were behind the DNC hack. But the U.S. intelligence community has “high confidence” that Russian intelligence services were in fact responsible, multiple intelligence and national security officials tell TIME. Trump was informed of that assessment during a recent classified intelligence briefing, a U.S. official familiar with the matter tells TIME. “I do not comment on information I receive in intelligence briefings, however, nobody knows with definitive certainty that this was in fact Russia,” Trump told TIME in a statement. “It may be, but it may also be China, another country or individual.”


“Judge dismisses contest of school board election”

A follow up from earlier coverage on the blog:

Former Tuscaloosa City Board of Education member Kelly Horwitz has lost her court battle contesting the 2013 election results.

Horwitz claimed that opponent Cason Kirby was unfairly elected by members of the University of Alabama’s Greek organizations that practice bloc voting in campus and local elections….

Some of the people who cast illegal votes and didn’t testify could face felony charges, he said. Of the dozens of people that her legal team subpoenaed to appear in court Tuesday, 41 showed up to testify. Twenty-two testified that they voted for Kirby and six testified that they probably did, saying that they were “85 or 90 percent sure.” A few said they didn’t remember at all, and some invoked their Fifth Amendment right to not provide incriminating testimony….

One woman said that an executive committee member of her sorority asked members to register to vote and encouraged them to vote for Kirby. She said she can’t remember how she voted.

“I genuinely do not remember,” she said. “We were asked to by our sorority and we were told that we were voting for Cason Kirby. I wouldn’t have known anything about the election if they hadn’t said anything. I know I was fed up with being told what to do, it’s possible that I went and voted for the other person. I honestly can’t remember.”

A man who voted for Kirby testified that he and several friends registered to vote using a friend’s address on University Avenue.
“It was stupid and ignorant, and I regret doing it,” he said. “We all filed from his house, I didn’t know it was against the law, but obviously it was.”


“Big business continues trend toward political transparency”


Monster Energy’s slogan may be “unleash the beast,” but its parent company appears to suffer from scaredy-cat syndrome when it comes to political transparency.

Corona, California-based Monster Beverage Corp. isn’t alone: about one-in-10 of the nation’s largest companies volunteer almost no information about their politicking, according to a new study on corporate political transparencyby the Center for Political Accountability, a nonpartisan transparency advocacy group, and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Well-known companies such as Advance Auto Parts Inc., Expedia Inc., M&T Bank Corp., Netflix Inc., Paychex Inc., Urban Outfitters Inc., United Rentals Inc. and Berkshire Hathaway, billionaire Warren Buffett’s holding company, also received zero points on the annual index’s 70-point scale that measures companies’ political disclosure practices and published accountability policies.


“Investigators may probe Cascade Mall suspect’s citizenship status, voting record”


The Cascade Mall shooting suspect, Arcan Cetin, may face an additional investigation related to his voting record and citizenship status.

Federal sources confirm to KING 5 that Cetin was not a U.S. citizen, meaning legally he cannot vote. However, state records show Cetin registered to vote in 2014 and participated in three election cycles, including the May presidential primary.

Cetin, who immigrated to the United States from Turkey as a child, is considered a permanent resident or green card holder. While a permanent resident can apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period of time, sources tell KING his status had not changed from green card holder to U.S. citizen.

While voters must attest to citizenship upon registering online or registering to vote at the Department of Licensing Office, Washington state doesn’t require proof of citizenship. Therefore elections officials say the state’s elections system operates, more or less, under an honor system.

“We don’t have a provision in state law that allows us either county elections officials or the Secretary of State’s office to verify someone’s citizenship,” explained Secretary of State Kim Wyman. “So, we’re in this place where we want to make sure we’re maintaining people’s confidence in the elections and the integrity of the process, but also that we’re giving this individual, like we would any voter, his due process. We’re moving forward, and that investigation is really coming out of the investigation from the shootings.”

The penalty for voting as a non U.S. citizen could result in five years of prison time or a $10,000, according to Secretary of State’s Office.


“If Trump Disputes the Election, We Have No Good Way Out”

Ned Foley for Politico:

But this is not to say that American democracy is immune to allegations of ill-willed vote rigging. Even if Trump said in Monday’s debate that he would support Hillary Clinton “if she wins,” he and his supporters could very well be convinced in their own minds that she did not. Then what happens? Consider Pennsylvania, a crucial swing state and the one I worry most about this year, since it uses electronic voting machines without paper backup. Suppose that on Election Night, Pennsylvania’s secretary of state announces that Clinton has won the state, and with it the presidency, but Trump says, “Prove it.” The secretary of state responds, “That’s what the machines tell us.” Trump responds, “Well, how do I know that the machines weren’t hacked?” What is the secretary of state supposed to say then?

“Trust me” won’t work. Pennsylvania’s secretary of state is a Democrat, appointed by the Democratic governor. We can’t expect any Republican candidate, not just Trump, to trust a Democrat to administer a state’s elections fairly. Remember Katherine Harris, Florida’s secretary of state in 2000? She was a Republican ally of Jeb and George W. Bush, and Democrats back then would not have trusted her to say what time the sun would rise. It would be the height of hypocrisy, with the shoe on the other foot, for Democrats now to claim that a partisan secretary of state was perfectly trustworthy.



“Donald Trump attacks ‘biased’ Lester Holt and accuses Google of conspiracy”

Ben Jacobs for The Guardian:

Trump also introduced a new conspiracy theory to the campaign on Wednesday night when he accused Google of somehow colluding with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. “Google search engine was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton,” the Republican told a cheering crowd of supporters in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Neither Google nor the Trump campaign responded to requests for comment on this accusation, which seems to stem from a report in Sputnik News, a Russian state propaganda outlet. The reference to Google did not appear to be ad libbed as it was in Trump’s prepared remarks.

Sputnik News is a Kremlin propaganda site.

Add to this the Florida GOP citing to InfoWars on the claim that Hillary Clinton was wearing a secret earpiece during the debate.


“Trump Fundraising Not All It Appears”


Donald Trump’s campaign was desperate to change the subject after his shaky debate performance on Monday, and it found just the story to do it — a record fundraising surge that Trump says was powered by small donors, proving he actually got a boost from the debate.

But a closer examination of the claims around Trump’s fundraising surge — which the campaign says yielded $18 million in the 24 hours after the debate through online donations and a big-donor phone bank — suggests the haul might not be quite as significant to Trump as he and his campaign have made it out to be.



“Ralph Who?”: “Hillary Clinton Struggles to Win Back Young Voters From Third Parties”


The vast majority of millennials were not old enough to vote in 2000, when Ralph Nader ran as the Green Party nominee and, with the strong backing of young voters, helped cost Vice President Al Gore the presidency.

“Ralph who?” said David Frasier, a junior at Charleston Southern University.

“Didn’t he kind of come in at the last minute and kind of alter the votes or something?” Mr. Frasier, 26, asked, his memory barely jogged. “I was too young to remember.”

The Clinton campaign’s biggest problem with young voters could be summed up by Mr. Frasier. He is liberal-minded and voted for Mr. Sanders in the South Carolina primary. But he is not likely to vote for either Mrs. Clinton or Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee, both of whom he called “pawns and puppets.”

See my earlier USA Today piece on the topic of millenials, third parties, and spoilers.