“Meet the Vote Suppressors and Conspiracy Theorists on Trump’s ‘Election Integrity’ Commission”

…Ari Berman: The likes of Kobach, Blackwell, von Spakovsky, and Adams have for years spread debunked lies about voter fraud and have championed efforts to make it harder to vote, often in violation of federal law. Putting them on an “election integrity” commission is as bad of an idea as Trump forming a “cybersecurity unit” with Vladimir Putin….

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Beyond Words: J. Christian Adams Appointed to Pence-Kobach Commission

If you look at this list of people on the Pence-Kobach commission: Kobach Blackwell von Spakovsky and now Christian Adams… it is hard to imagine a list of people less credible on the issue of the extent of voter fraud in the United States, and who have done more to raise the scourge of voter fraud as a means to advocate for laws to make it harder for people to register and to vote. This is not a list meant to inspire bipartisan…

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Kobach Relies on “Bipartisan” Nature of Election Commission for Legitimacy, But It is Hardly Bipartisan

…n is rampant on the Republican side, including vice chair Kobach (who is currently running for governor and could be in Hatch Act trouble, and who was recently fined for misleading a court on voting info), von Spakovsky, and Blackwell. A Republican commissioner (McCormick) from the United States Election Assistance Commission is on the Pence-Kobach) Commission, as is a Republican SOS from Indiana (Lawson). Another apparent Republican (Borunda)…

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President Trump Appoints Country’s Worst Vote Suppressor to His “Election Integrity” Commission

…y commission with the appointment of Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State of Kansas who has trumped up claims of voter fraud to advance his career and to make it harder for people to register and vote, and former Ohio SOS Ken Blackwell, who once rejected voter registration forms based upon the weight of the sheet of paper. But I was wrong. The President has now named Hans von Spakovsky to the Commission. I talk about him in this old Slate piece…

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Why Didn’t Trump Announce All 15 (or 12?) Members of His “Voter Fraud” Commission? And Why Announce Now?

…#8220;voter fraud” commission provides for the VP to chair and up to 15 additional members. Yet the NYT report says it will have “about a dozen” members, and so far we only know the names of Kobach, Lawson, Blackwell, Gardner, Dunlap and McCormick. That’s 6 names. So unusual to announce the formation of a commission without saying who the members are and passing along their bios; without having a research director in…

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Breaking: Trump to Launch a Voting “Commission” with No Credibility, with Pence, Kobach, and the EAC’s McCormick

…onnie Lawson (R), New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner (D), Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D), Christie McCormick, commissioner of the election assistance commission, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R), are among the names under consideration, the administration officials said. Not sure what Democrat or election professional would be on a commission with Kobach or with Ken Blackwell—this is not a…

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“Redistricting challengers used data and emails to piece together signs of conspiracy”

…congressional districts to improve the performance for incumbent candidates, but they had only circumstantial evidence that the maps found on the computers of the political consultants played a role. Using a matrix that reviewed 400,000 precincts covering 27 districts in each map, the lawyers and their experts “were able to trace the evolution of the maps and figure it out,” said David King, of Orlando-based King, Blackwell, Zehnder and…

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“California State Appeals Court Hearing Goes Badly for Minor Parties”

…hat even March petition deadlines for general election ballot access are constitutional, and he cited the only published decision that upholds a March petition deadline for independent candidates or minor parties, Lawrence v Blackwell, a 6th circuit case from Ohio. No attorney told the court that Lawrence v Blackwell is an outlier, and petition deadlines as early as March have been struck down in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine,…

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Breaking: Federal Court Order Rep. Conyers Name on Ballot

…t the law limiting petition circulators to residents was likely unconstitutional. The court agreed today, holding that the case was indistinguishable from earlier Sixth Circuit precedent, binding on the trial court, Nader v. Blackwell.  The arguments that the state made to try to distinguish the Nader case seemed quite weak to me. The big question in my mind was one of the doctrine of laches: did Conyers wait too long to raise this question? The…

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Weigel on Backlash over Republican Voting Laws

…how black voters had been purged unfairly from the rolls. The blood didn’t splatter on the GOP. In Florida the Bush vote among blacks jumped from 7 percent in 2000 to 13 percent in 2004. In Ohio, where Secretary of State Ken Blackwell became infamous for botched voter registration forms and long lines, Bush’s share of the black vote nearly doubled from 9 percent to 16 percent. That was the ways of things, pre-Obama: A Republican candidate who’d…

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“Ohio elections chief Jon Husted restricts methods to notify voters of absentee ballot errors”

…Jon Husted is starting to look a lot more like Ken Blackwell and Jennifer Brunner than I had hoped (h/t Maddowblog). And he’s got more decisions to make as counties start deadlocking on early voting for those last three days, as ordered by the Sixth Circuit. How about some uniformity there too?…

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“Ohio’s Jon Husted, the New Bad Boy on the Voting Rights Block”

…This item appears at The Nation‘s “Voting Rights Watch” blog. My own view of Husted is more complex—and I certainly would not  call him a “new bad boy” or compare him to hard-core partisans, including his two Ohio Secretary of State predecessors, Ken Blackwell (R) and Jennifer Brunner (D).  (I discuss the actions of both in Chapter 4 of The Voting Wars)….

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Minnite: Propaganda and the Voter ID Campaign

…all the fraudulent practices employed by the New York vote-fraud conspiracy,” which isn’t true. Referring to litigation that enjoined Ohio from implementing certain restrictions on voter registration drives (Project Vote v. Blackwell, No. 1:06CV-1628, N.D. Ohio, Feb. 11, 2008), he states, “Even if the court rulings were legally correct (a questionable conclusion), that is all the more reasons for a state to correct for potential fraud by…

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A Happy Ending Over Ohio Absentee Voter Application Flap

…iling, leading Husted to threaten to order counties not to accept such applications. But rather than leveling down, it looks like we have a happy level-up solution:  ALL Ohio voters will get sent such applications. Very nice. SOS Husted so far is proving to be more willing to compromise, and less of a partisan, than his immediate two predecessors, Ken Blackwell and Jennifer Brunner….

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“A Major Ruling on the Meaning of Bush v. Gore”

…ndard”). In this way, the majority opinion treats Bush v. Gore, not as an outlier, but as an integral part of Equal Protection analysis for this kind of ballot-counting case. As Ned notes, it is possible that this precedent is reviewed further by the en banc Sixth Circuit (as happened to what was then the most important post Bush v. Gore case, Stewart v. Blackwell), or through U.S. Supreme Court review….

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Two in Yale Law and Policy Review

…J. Kenneth Blackwell and Kenneth A. Klukowski have written The Other Voting Right: Protecting Every Citizen’s Vote by Safeguarding the Integrity of the Ballot Box. Dan Tokaji has written The Future of Election Reform: From Rules to Institutions. I have not yet had a chance to read the Blackwell/Klukowski piece, but I read the Tokaji piece in draft and recommend it highly….

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The Misguided Effort to Explain Obama to the Court–or–Why Obama Really Matters and What the Court Should Do About It

…ourt to view Obama’s election as proof the requirement is obsolete. The Appellant’s opening brief, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s amicus brief, commentary on the case by Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, Ken Blackwell, George Will and others all present support for Obama among white voters in 2008 as relevant evidence showing that Section 5 is no longer needed. On the other side, supporters of the Act say Obama’s victory…

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The Return of Ken Blackwell?

Politico reports here and the Hill here on former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s quest to become the next RNC chair. You can find Blackwell’s letter to RNC members here. Among the qualifications Blackwell touts are that he “prevented voter fraud from overturning the results of a U.S. presidential election and fought the left in federal court more times than you can imagine.” In terms of future plans, Blackwell

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Foley: Voting Next Time–and in 2020

…o, where Republicans have looked for ways to attack Jennifer Brunner’s every move (and she has regrettably given them some openings), in an apparent payback for the Democratic attacks on her Republican predecessor, Ken Blackwell. But the same dynamic has occurred to a lesser extent in Minnesota, where Republicans have looked for opportunities to trip up Mark Ritchie in a tit-for-tat response to Democratic criticisms of his predecessor,…

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Just in Case It Comes Down to Ohio…

…o Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s motion to consolidate the case of Ohio Republican Party v. Brunner (ORP), filed last month and amended this morning, with the case of Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Blackwell (NEOCH), filed two years ago. In an oral ruling from the bench, Judge Marbley noted that the as yet unresolved claims in each case seek uniformity in the processes for counting ballots, and that the two cases share…

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“Ballot snafu endangers votes”

…ve not been completed properly. If the box stating the person is an eligible elector — or qualified voter – is not checked, Brunner said, the application is no good. This is unfortunate, and occurred through no fault of the voters. I hope that a court reverses Sec. Brunner. If you are a Democrat and you disagree, just imagine that the Secretary’s name was Blackwell and the candidate who made the error was named Kerry….

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Injunction for Libertarian Party of Ohio and Barr

…o Secretary of State place on the general election ballot the names of various Libertarian Party candidates, including Bob Barr. The order is based upon the Sixth Circuit’s 2006 decision in Libertarian Party of Ohio v. Blackwell, which declared Ohio’s ballot access statutes unconstitutional — and the Ohio legislature’s subsequent failure to enact constitutional ballot access requirements. The case raises an intriguing…

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Ohio Election Bill

…es, requiring public review before permanent orders and allowing only temporary directives 90 days before and 40 days after an election. Recall that a series of directives issued by Ohio’s former Secretary of State Ken Blackwell shortly before the November 2004 were at the heart of controversies that wound up in litigation, as I’ve detailed in Part II of this article. The bill doesn’t include Brunner’s proposal to allow…

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ACLU Seeks Injunction to Stop Cuyahoga County’s Voting Machine Switch

…ng its touchscreen voting system with a central-count optical scan system. The ACLU’s press release and papers may be found here, and the AP has this report. Plaintiffs in ACLU of Ohio v. Brunner argue that the planned switch would deny voters notice and the opportunity to correct mistakes, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The claims are similar to those raised in the Stewart v. Blackwell

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Ken Blackwell on Crawford, the Indiana Voter ID Case, and a Brennan Center Response to Fraud Allegations

The former controversial Ohio Secretary of State has penned this oped in the NY Sun. Among the statements made by Sec. Blackwell: “Briefs in the case show that the number of votes cast in Wisconsin in 2004 exceeded the number of registered voters by over 4,600. Since you can’t have more votes than you have voters, there was clearly fraud going on there.” I’d suggest that Mr. Blackwell read this new 75 page release from…

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“Democrats may resist bill to restrict state elections officials’ campaigning”

…ol and prevent chief state elections officials from actively participating in federal campaigns, responding to the involvement of the Florida and Ohio secretaries of state– former Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) and Ken Blackwell, respectively –in the Bush presidential campaigns of 2000 and 2004. However, with Democrats acquiring a majority of statehouses after the recent midterm elections, including those in several battleground…

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“Elections suits may be settled; Brunner, Dann to rethink those with constitutional merit”

The Columbus Dispatch offers this report, which begins: “Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Attorney General Marc Dann want to resolve election-related lawsuits filed against former Secretary J. Kenneth Blackwell, a move Brunner said yesterday could cost the state ‘large sums’ in attorneys’ fees. The 20 pending lawsuits include a sweeping complaint filed in 2005 by a group of advocates led by the League of Women…

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Stewart v. Blackwell Dismissed as Moot

…Via How Appealing comes news of this order from the Sixth Circuit vacating the district court’s decision with instructions to dismiss the case as moot. You can access my earlier posts on this case via this post, “First Major Post-Bush v. Gore Case to Go Out Not with a Bang But a Whimper.” From the point of view of clarity of election law, this development is unfortunate….

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“The Voting Rights Act and the Racial Gap in Lost Votes”

…rsuing voting technology cases under section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. It explores two mutually exclusive approaches to the causation requirement–the dispositive force test and the external factor tes–and concludes that the latter is more consistent with Congress’s goals for section 2. The authors then examine the expert evidence submitted by both sides in several recent voting technology cases, including Stewart v….

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First Major Post-Bush v. Gore Case to Go Out Not with a Bang But a Whimper

Plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Sixth Circuit’s Stewart v. Blackwell case filed this letter in the en banc court asking for the case to be dismissed as moot. The Sixth Circuit responded with this letter asking if the state objects to this dispostion (highly unlikely, since the state has been arguing for some time that the case was moot). (Information via Dan Tokaji, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers). So it looks like this case…

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“And the Winner Is….Me”

…20;Voters in Ohio can be forgiven if they feel they have been beamed out of the Midwest and dropped into a third-world autocracy. The latest news from the state’s governor’s race is that the Republican nominee, Kenneth Blackwell, who is also the Ohio secretary of state, could rule that his opponent is ineligible to run because of a technicality.” Besides the other arguments, such a claim to remove Strickland undoubtedly should fail…

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Continuing Partisan Gap in Views of Fairness of the Election Process

…to this article, “Only 30 percent of Democratic poll respondents said they believed the 2004 vote count was fair and accurate, while 64 percent said it was not. (Many conspiracy-minded Democratic activists accused Mr. Blackwell, who serves as statewide supervisor of elections, of manipulating voting technology to help Mr. Bush win.) Republicans, by 89 percent to 8 percent, said the voting was fair and balanced.” To test my…

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Cert Petition Filed in Wexler Case

…quipment that failed to register their vote will not? I think the chances the Supreme Court will take this case are low. I think if the court takes any Bush v. Gore-type case in the near future, it is likely to be Stewart v. Blackwell, if the en banc court reaches the same decision as the three judge Sixth Circuit panel holding that the selective use of punch card ballots in only part of a jurisdiction violates equal protection under Bush v….

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