May 20, 2007

"Efforts to stop 'voter fraud' may have curbed legitimate voting"

McClatchy Newspapers offers this report on Hans von Spakovsky and his role at DOJ and at the EAC. The article stays that an email indicates that von Spakovksy was instrumental in seeing to it that Paul Digregorio not get another term on the EAC because he was not sufficiently partisan. Another snippet:

    The House Administration Committee is also inquiring into von Spakovsky's communications with the Election Assistance Commission, a tiny agency that implemented a 2002 election reform law and serves as a national election information clearinghouse.

    The bipartisan, four-member commission stirred a political tempest last year when it delayed the release of voter fraud and voter ID law studies, saying that more research was needed. A House panel revealed last month that the fraud study's central finding - that there was little evidence of widespread voter fraud - had been toned down to say that 'a great deal of debate' surrounded the subject.

    Commissioners rejected as flawed the second study's finding that voter ID laws tend to suppress turnout, especially among Latinos, and ordered more research.

    Rich said that von Spakovsky usurped his seat on a commission advisory panel in 2004, although the law creating the panel allocated that spot for the Voting Rights Section chief 'or his designee.' Rich said he was not consulted.

    After the commission hired both liberal and conservative consultants to work on the studies in 2005, e-mails show that von Spakovsky tried to persuade panel members that the research was flawed.

    In an Aug. 18, 2005, e-mail to Chairman DiGregorio, he objected strenuously to a contract award for the ID study to researchers at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, who were teaming with a group at Rutgers University.

    Von Spakovsky wrote that Daniel Tokaji, the associate director of Moritz' election program, was "an outspoken opponent of voter identification requirements" and that those "pre-existing notions" should disqualify him from federal funding for impartial research.

The article also mentioned von Spakovky's role in writing an anonymous law review article as Publius, something I discovered in 2005 and that was the subject of this Washington Post story.

Posted by Rick Hasen at May 20, 2007 04:32 PM