Chris Krebs: “Trump fired me for saying this, but I’ll say it again: The election wasn’t rigged”

…dful of others using DREs in multiple jurisdictions. Fortunately, by 2020, Louisiana was the last one with statewide DRE usage. Congress provided grant funding in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to states to help them retire the paperless machines and roll out auditable systems. As the 2020 election season began, Delaware, Georgia, Pennsylvania and South Carolina all swapped over to paper-based systems. Then the emergence of the pandemic prompted a nationwide…

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“Trump’s Firehose of Falsehood”

…onfusion and contradiction, it was little wonder that Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) parroted Kremlin disinformation about whether Russian operatives had hacked and released Democratic emails before the 2016 election. “I don’t know, nor do you, nor do any of us,” he said. I don’t know, nor do you, nor do any of us: That is the outcome Trump and his minions are playing for. Their latest campaign is the most audacious. It began months ago, with Tru…

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“Trump announces intention to nominate two individuals to serve as FEC members”

…d currently serves as counsel to FEC Vice Chair Steven Walter, an independent. Broussard previously served as an attorney-adviser at the Internal Revenue Service and as deputy disciplinary counsel at the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board, along with previously serving as a New Orleans assistant district attorney. Broussard, if confirmed, would be the first Black FEC commissioner….

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“Coronavirus cases are surging again. These states have refused to loosen rules on who can vote by mail.”

…f the roughly 30 million registered voters who live there, and in Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee have no choice but to cast ballots in person this fall, even as the rate of coronavirus in the United States approaches its third peak. The situation underscores how the nation’s decentralized election systems and Republican opposition to mail voting this year are translating into vastly different voting experiences for Americans, depend…

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Federal District Court Rips Louisiana for Rolling Back Voting During Pandemic without a “Scintilla” of Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud

…new the number of voter fraud prosecutions that have proceeded to trial in Louisiana, but stated that such trials are “very, very, very rare.” Likewise, former Secretary of State Tom Schedler in 2017 issued a statement that “Louisiana did not have any widespread irregularities or allegations of fraud” during the 2016 presidential election. Also, as Plaintiffs note, the database on voter fraud maintained by the Heritage Foundation contains only fou…

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“Bring the Masks and Sanitizer: The Surprising Bipartisan Consensus About Safety Measures for In-Person Voting During the Coronavirus Pandemic”

…s for in-person voting does not. As of mid-September, six states (Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) will not allow concerns about COVID-19 to qualify as a valid excuse for absentee voting. These states will therefore likely have a high rate of in-person voting. But the states vary slightly on the safety measures they will employ, with only some requiring poll workers to wear masks and none imposing a mask manda…

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“Trump and allies ratchet up disinformation efforts in late stage of campaign”

…ion interview, complete with a fake TV headline. And Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the second-ranking House Republican, released a video splicing together quotes from activist Ady Barkan — who has Lou Gehrig’s disease and uses computer voice assistance — to falsely make it sound as if he had persuaded Biden to defund police departments. For the president and his top supporters, it was a campaign push brimming with disinformation — disseminating…

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“Twitter changing labeling practices after deceptive videos hit Biden”

…or altered videos, including posts by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, White House social media director Dan Scavino and the reelection campaign for President Donald Trump. On Monday, the Trump campaign tweeted a truncated clip of Biden saying, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.” The clip was in fact from a speech in which Biden said Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were making that argument. The full quote from the speec…

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“Twitter flags GOP video after activist’s computerized voice was manipulated”

…t not my agency or my thoughts,” Ady Barkan wrote to Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House minority whip, in a Sunday tweet. “You and your team have doctored my words for your own political gain. Please remove this video immediately. You owe the entire disability community an apology.” The dispute came down to two words from an interview Biden gave Barkan at the start of July. Barkan, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), speaks with t…

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“Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents May Not Be Able to Vote in November Because of the Pandemic”

…facility in the exercise of” their rights, two states — North Carolina and Louisiana — prohibit staff from actively doing so. While many other states allow voters to appoint a helper of their choice, voting assistance may be a low priority for understaffed institutions struggling with COVID-19 outbreaks. And polling places are being moved from nursing homes and assisted living facilities to sites less affected by the virus. For example, Somerville…

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“Senate GOP Coronavirus Package Omits Additional Elections Funding”

…oviding funding alone does not nationalize elections, as this comment from Louisiana’s Republican SOS notes: Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, a Republican, said that he opposes Democrats’ proposals to attach requirements to the funding such as mandating the option to vote by mail. But, he added, “I am disappointed that much-needed federal funding will not be included in the Senate’s coronavirus bill to help stem the rising tide of pandemi…

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Race-Blind Redistricting and Partisan Representation

…lican districts: a sizable increase. A few other southern states (Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas) exhibit the same pattern. What’s going on here is that the race-blind simulations contain fewer opportunity districts than the race-conscious simulations. These eliminated opportunity districts, which almost always elect Democrats, are being replaced by non-opportunity districts, which usually elect Republicans thanks to these states’ conservative whit…

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“Bostock: Were the liberal justices namudnoed?”

…iction with the Court’s decisions in June Medical Services (invalidating a Louisiana requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges) and Bostock (holding that an employer who fires an individual for being gay or transgender violates Title VII). Justice Gorsuch in Bostock lays some groundwork for a future decision holding sex- and race-based affirmative action in employment and university admissions (and other contexts) ille…

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“Allowing Only Older Americans to Vote by Mail Leads to Severe Racial Disparities”

…use for needing to vote by mail.[1] And in seven states—Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas—older voters are permitted to vote by mail without an excuse, while all other voters must provide an excuse to do so.[2] In Texas, that latter category of access to vote by mail was recently challenged as violating the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, which states that “The right of citizens of the United States, who are e…

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5th Circuit Overturns Finding that Louisiana Judicial Districts Violate Voting Rights Act

…You can find the opinion, authored by Judge Edith Jones, at this link. The court found no liability under Section 2’s result’s test and rejected the district court finding of intentional racial discrimination. Judge Duncan, concurring in the judgment, believed there was no standing to even bring the suit. The NAACP LDF’s statement is here….

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The list of COVID-19 election cases

…20, PI granted in part (10 early voting days, expanded excuse) 9/16/20 LA: Louisiana v. Ctr. for Tech. & Civic Life, No. 89811 (La. Dist. Ct., St. Martin Parish), No. XX (La. Ct. App., 3d Cir.)FundingPetition 10/2/20, dismissed 10/23/20 MA: Goldstein v. Sec’y, No. SJC-12931 (Mass. Sup. Ct.)Signatures (threshold for candidates)Petition 4/8/20, petition granted 4/17/20 (reduced signatures, e-signatures) MA: Campbell v. Galvin, No. SJ-2020-0321 (Mass…

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“Age Discrimination in Voting at Home Report”

…ems. Specifically, Texas, South Carolina, Indiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Kentucky allow older voters to vote at home for any reason, but younger voters need specific excuses. Missouri may soon join this group of states if the Governor signs a pending bill to modify voting procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this novel report, a coalition including Equal Citizens, The Andrew Goodman Foundation, UCLA Voting Rights Project, V…

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“Could the 2020 Election Be Postponed? Only With Great Difficulty. Here’s Why.”

…sruptions on the 2020 presidential campaign by the day, but few compare to Louisiana’s decision on Friday to reschedule its upcoming primary election. It was a highly unusual development in an American political campaign, though not an entirely unprecedented one. So how much disruption can voters expect in the coming months? And how freely can local, state and federal authorities switch up the timing and other details of elections? We took a crack…

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“How to Protect the 2020 Election from Coronavirus”

I have written this piece at Slate. It begins: On Friday, Louisiana became the first state to announce it would be postponing its April 4 presidential primary. Meanwhile, officials in the next four states to hold primaries announced the votes would go forward this coming Tuesday. With the democratic primary contest winding down of its own momentum, how to hold an election during a pandemic may feel at the moment like one of the less urgent quest…

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“Louisiana postpones presidential primary due to coronavirus; It’s the first primary to be postponed since the outbreak of the virus.”

…Politico: Louisiana will postpone its presidential primary, which was originally scheduled for April 4, as part of the state government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The state is the first in the nation to postpone a primary since the outbreak of the virus. Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced the contest will be delayed until June 20….

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“Coronavirus could normalize voting by mail. That will create other problems.”

…se still learning English, vulnerable to disenfranchisement. Across Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, civil rights groups have pursued costly and time-consuming litigation trying to provide access to translators for individual voters in communities where the minority population might be significant, but under the required threshold. Sometimes, localities that are required to provide translation services, to protect minority voting rights, fail to do s…

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“Law Professor Gives Damning Testimony On Trump Soliciting Foreign Election Interference”

…aid to Ukraine was controversial. “To see why, imagine living in a part of Louisiana or Texas that’s prone to devastating hurricanes and flooding,” Karlan said. “What would you think if, when your governor asked the federal government for the disaster assistance that Congress has provided, the President responded, ‘I would like you to do us a favor. I’ll meet with you and send the disaster relief once you brand my opponent a criminal?’” “Wouldn’t…

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“Democrats, citing GOP-imposed voting restrictions, aim to flip secretary of state offices in five states”

…and West Virginia next year and will work to reelect Democratic secretaries in North Carolina and Vermont. Padilla said the group also will support Democrats in races this fall in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi. Republicans currently have a 25-to-22 advantage among secretaries of state. The office does not exist in Alaska, Hawaii and Utah….

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“Election officials want security money, flexible standards”

Roll Call: State officials from Louisiana and Connecticut on Thursday asked for more money and clear standards from the federal government to help secure voting systems before the 2020 elections.But the officials, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, stressed the differences between their election systems and asked for leeway from the federal government in deciding how to spend any future fu…

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“LDF Applauds Federal Court Remedy Ensuring Voting Rights in Louisiana”

…is case in 2014. Black voters in Terrebonne will continue to fight to ensure that the court order is implemented for the next state court election for all five judicial seats in 2020 and push Louisiana state officials to ensure fair electoral opportunity in Louisiana.” Learn more about Terrebonne Parish Branch NAACP, et al. v. Edwards, et al. here….

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“LDF Files Lawsuit to Ensure Black Voters Have Voice in Electing Judges to Highest State Courts in Arkansas”

…eight Black trial level judges. In 2017, LDF won a similar lawsuit against Louisiana state officials, where an at-large voting model has prevented Black voters from having a fair opportunity to elect candidates of their choice to a state court. “The unfortunate reality is that, in Arkansas, Black voters have consistently been blocked from electing their candidates of choice to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals” said Arkie Byrd. “We seek t…

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Report: Russians Trying to Sow Racial Violence in U.S. as Late as 2018, with Plan to “recruit African-Americans and transport them to camps in Africa ‘for combat prep and training in sabotage.'”

…Southern U.S., including South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.There is no indication that the plan — which is light on details — was ever put into action, but it offers a fresh example of the mindset around Russian efforts to sow discord in the U.S.The blueprint, entitled “Development Strategy of a Pan-African State on U.S. Territory,” floated the idea of enlisting poor, formerly incarcerated African-Americans “who have expe…

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“Decades waiting to vote: Louisiana parolees, probationers set to get voting rights back Friday”

…ch 2), he’ll be registered to vote for the first time in his life. Johnston, who is jokingly called “Biggy” because he is such a small guy, is one of approximately 36,000 people on parole and probation in Louisiana expected to get their voting rights restored Friday. After 26 years out of prison and on parole, he said he’s not going to waste any time signing up before the next election….

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Democrats Put Forward Bill to Restore the Preclearance Provisions of the Voting Rights Act (Killed by the Supreme Court in Shelby County) to 11 States, Including California

…ckery – would find themselves back under the beady eye of the US justice department for 10 years. The 11 states are: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia….

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“ACLU sues to block NH voter fraud law deriding it as a ‘poll tax'”

…nd represents a 21st-century “poll tax.” Caroline Casey is originally from Louisiana and Maggie Flaherty is from California. Both women are sophomores at Dartmouth College who voted in the 2018 primaries and general elections in New Hampshire but maintain driver’s licenses from their home states, according to the lawsuit. Under HB 1264, which was signed into law last year but doesn’t take effect until July, anyone who votes in New Hampshire must o…

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“Voting Rights Advocates Sue Pennsylvania to End Disenfranchisement of Absentee Voters”

…y before Election Day. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, Pennsylvania has the earliest deadline in the nation for returning absentee ballots. Other than Louisiana and Mississippi, every other state allows voters to submit their absentee ballots on Election Day or to have them postmarked by that date and delivered later….

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“U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Releases Report: An Assessment of Minority Voting Rights Access in the United States”

…held a public briefing on voting rights, receiving testimony from 23 current and government officials, legal experts, academics, civil society actors, and some 40 members of the public. Twelve Commission state Advisory Committees – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Texas – have carried out their own voting rights investigations, contributing to this Commission report. The C…

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#HimToo: Second Secretary of State Quits Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

…it was Wyoming, now Louisiana: With calls for his resignation increasing, Louisiana’s secretary of state announced Tuesday that he is leaving his position as state elections chief amid allegations he sexually harassed one of his employees. Secretary of State Tom Schedler said in a letter to the governor that he will be stepping down May 8, becoming the highest-level public official in Louisiana to be felled by sexual misconduct accusations since…

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“14 states can’t guarantee accurate election results”

…utcomes in the event of a suspected breach. The big picture: Five states — Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey and Delaware — have no paper trails of votes. The other nine are in better shape, but still do not have all their counties’ machines spitting out a paper record…. Why it matters: Russia is likely hacking again this year, according to intelligence directors. And a hacker who wanted to insert doubt in the outcome of an election w…

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Louisiana, Texas, Michigan, and South Carolina File Supreme Court Brief Supporting North Carolina’s Right to Engage in Unlimited Partisan Gerrymandering

Another amicus brief in connection to the stay request, this one from four Republican states: Fundamentally, partisan gerrymandering is the undeniable and historically permitted consequence of entrusting reapportionment to an inherently political body: state legislatures. Notwithstanding the misgivings that fact arises in this, or any other federal court, the simple truth is that there exists now—and has always existed—a non-judicial remedy to pa…

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Eminent Political Scientists from Across the Political Spectrum Support Tom Brunell as Trump Census Pick

…n Washington University Keith Gaddie, University of Oklahoma James Garand, Louisiana State University Jeff Gill, American University Bernie Grofman, University of California Irvine M.V. (Trey) Hood III, University of Georgia Shannon Jenkins, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Jeffrey Karp, Brunel University London Michael D. McDonald, SUNY Binghamton Eric McGhee Seth Masket, University of Denver Wendy Martinek, SUNY Binghamton Doug Roscoe, Univ…

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“Civil Rights & Criminal Justice Reform Organizations File Amicus Brief in Louisiana Felony Disenfranchisement Case”

…nd explains the present-day impact of such laws, on the Black community in Louisiana, particularly. Louisiana has the country’s highest incarceration rate, imprisoning a greater share of its citizens than any other state. Compounding this reality, from arrest to incarceration, Black Louisianans are disproportionately represented at every level of the state’s criminal justice system. Because of these racial disparities, Black people, who account fo…

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Lots of Amicus Briefs in Gill v. Whitford, the WI Partisan Gerrymandering Case

…17) States of Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia Amicus Brief in Support of Appellants (August 4, 2017) Plaintiffs in Maryland Redistricting Litigation, Benisek v. Lamone, Amicus Brief in Support of Neither Party (August 10, 2017) Eric McGhee Amicus Brief in Support of Neither Party (August 10, 2017) Bernard Grofman and Ronald K…

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