Posts tagged ‘Voter Suppression’

Meet Dean Chambers, The Virginia Republican Who Is ‘Unskewing’ The Polls


Meet Dean Chambers, The Virginia Republican Who Is ‘Unskewing’ The Polls.

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David Taintor September 28, 2012, 4:38 PM 1870

With Republicans up in arms over poll after poll showing President Obama ahead, conservatives have latched on to a new polling site that promises to “unskew” the data, correcting what the site believes are polling samples with too many darn Democrats. Rick Perry has tweeted his approval of the site — which shows Mitt Romney ahead by 7.4 points — and even Stephen Colbert expressed his faux appreciation.

Here’s what the site’s founder, Dean Chambers, does. He changes the baseline assumption on how much of the electorate is Republican and how much is Democratic. Initially, he used Rasmussen’s real numbers on party identification to re-weight various polls. Rasmussen’s numbers break down to 37.6 percent Republican, 33.3 percent Democrat and 29.2 percent Independent. As of Thursday night, Chambers began using party identification numbers from his own web-based poll.

Chambers’ project started in July after he noticed an ABC News/Washington Post poll that “just didn’t look right.” An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted this month showed Obama up over Romney 49 percent to 48 percent. “Unskewed,” however, after applying Rasmussen’s numbers on party ID, Romney leads Obama 52-45 in the poll. It’s like magic. But Chambers insists he isn’t “changing” or “making up” data. “The only thing I’m doing is weighting.”

But that’s exactly what most pollsters don’t do. “We don’t have any preconceived notions about the party breakdown of a poll before we conduct it. The only things we make any adjustments for are gender, race, and age,” Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling’s Tom Jensen told TPM in an email. “It makes sense that as support for Obama increases, more people also identify themselves as Democrats. I know conservatives want to think it’s more Democrats in the poll causing Obama to do better, but it’s actually Obama doing better causing more Democrats in the poll.”

“The reality is that (Republicans are) losing, they can’t accept it, and they’re going to find some reason to dismiss every poll that makes them unhappy no matter what its composition is,” Jensen added. “This isn’t really about Party ID, it’s about hardcore denial.”

In every poll Chambers has reworked — save for a recent “unskewed” Fox News poll that has Obama up 2 points — Romney leads the incumbent. While Chambers, 45, of Duffield, Va., is a Romney supporter and longtime Republican, he said he is simply reporting the numbers “as they are.”

It doesn’t quite work that way, though. Scott Rasmussen told BuzzFeed this week: “you cannot compare partisan weighting from one polling firm to another.” Different firms ask about party identification differently, he explained. It’s not apples to apples. Rasmussen added:

“Some ask how you are registered. Some ask what you consider yourselves. Some push for leaners, others do not. Some ask it at the beginning of a survey which provides a more stable response while others ask it at the end.”

Missing from Chambers’ model is the fact that party identification is not a static metric. The current PollTracker average of party identification, which tracks the broader samples of American adults, shows 33.3 percent of citizens consider themselves Democrats, 22.1 percent Republicans and 34.3 percent independents. In 2010, when Republicans swept the House of Representatives and made gains in statehouses across the country, Republican party identification was much higher, around 31 percent. Based on a web poll he is currently conducting on his site, Chambers found only a 0.4 point spread between Democrats and Republicans today, with Democrats holding a narrow edge.

Still, Chambers said he believes pollsters aren’t skewing the data with malicious intent. They are just operating under faulty assumptions, he said, believing there are many more self-identified Democrats in the country today than Republicans. But the media, Chamber said, are over-reporting the polls showing Obama ahead. “That’s driving the analysis,” he said. “If one were to believe all these polls, you would think (the election is) over. It’s not over.”

Meanwhile, here’s the PollTracker average of where the presidential race stands today:

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Ohio voters face challenges from tea party groups – latimes.com


Ohio voters face challenges from tea party groups – latimes.com.

CINCINNATI — Lori Monroe, a 40-year-old Democrat who lives in central Ohio, was startled a few weeks ago to open a letter that said a stranger was challenging her right to vote in the presidential election.

Monroe, who was recovering from cancer surgery, called the local election board to protest. A local tea party leader was trying to strike Monroe from the voter rolls for a reason that made no sense: Her apartment building in Lancaster was listed as a commercial property.

“I’m like, really? Seriously?” Monroe said. “I’ve lived here seven years, and now I’m getting challenged?”

Monroe’s is one of at least 2,100 names that tea party groups have sought to remove from Ohio’s voter rosters.

The groups and their allies describe it as a citizen movement to prevent ballot fraud, although the Republican secretary of state said in an interview that he knew of no evidence that any more than a handful of illegal votes had been cast in Ohio in the last few presidential elections.

“We’re all about election integrity — making sure everyone who votes is registered and qualified voters,” said Mary Siegel, one of the leaders of the Ohio effort.

Some Democrats see it as a targeted vote-suppression drive. The names selected for purging include hundreds of college students, trailer park residents, homeless people and African Americans in counties President Obama won in 2008.

The battle over who belongs on the voter rolls in Ohio comes as supporters of Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are making elaborate plans to monitor the polls and mount legal challenges after the Nov. 6 election if necessary.

Obama’s reelection campaign and Romney allies are already fighting in court over Republican efforts to block Ohio voters from casting ballots the weekend before the election. In 2008, Ohio’s final weekend of early voting drew tens of thousands of African Americans to cast ballots, mainly for Obama.

The racial dimension of the 2012 clash over weekend voting burst into the open last month when one of Ohio’s most powerful Republicans, Franklin County GOP Chairman Doug Preisse, told the Columbus Dispatch, “We shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African American — voter-turnout machine.”

Some Democrats see the developments in Ohio as part of a national drive by Obama’s opponents to minimize turnout of his supporters, one that includes efforts elsewhere to impose new voter ID rules.

“Too much of this is going on for this not to be a coordinated effort,” said Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party in the tea party stronghold of southwestern Ohio.

The Rev. Rousseau A. O’Neal, one of a group of black ministers from Cincinnati who provided buses to take African Americans to the polls in 2008 and plan to do so again in November, described the tea party project and the curtailment of weekend voting as “bigotry of the highest order.”

“Who ever thought we’d be fighting for the right to vote in 2012?” he asked.

The tea party groups, scattered around the state, have joined forces under the banner of the Ohio Voter Integrity Project. It is an offshoot of True the Vote, a Texas organization that has recruited volunteers nationwide to challenge voter rosters and work as poll watchers.

True the Vote was founded by Catherine and Bryan Engelbrecht, a couple who run an oil field equipment manufacturing firm in Rosenberg, Texas.

In Ohio, election records show, one of the project’s top priorities has been to remove college students from the voter rolls for failure to specify dorm room numbers. (As a group, college students are strongly in Obama’s camp.)

Voters challenged include 284 students at the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, 110 at Oberlin College, 88 at College of Wooster, 38 at Kent State — and dozens more from the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Lake Erie College, Walsh University, Hiram College, John Carroll University and Telshe Yeshiva, a rabbinical college near Cleveland.

So far, every county election board that has reviewed the dorm challenges found them invalid.

In some cases, the Ohio tea party researchers have correctly identified voters who have died or moved, speeding up the official updating of registration files. They also found voters registered at a Cincinnati trailer park that no longer exists.

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

Are the Koch Brothers Borrowing from the KGB?


The Koch Brothers Are Vultures

Are the Koch Brothers Borrowing from the KGB?.

re the Koch Brothers Borrowing from the KGB?

By: Adalia WoodburySeptember 21st, 2012see more posts by Adalia Woodbury

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In the name of fulfilling their number one priority of making Obama a one term president, Republicans dedicated millions of dollars (2 million in Texas alone) to suppress the vote. Manipulating the vote is nothing new, be it with flawed voting machines or circulating misinformation to deceive Democrats into staying home.

These pale in comparison to the Republican war on the vote through legislative measures that include restricting early and absentee voting, restricting registration drives; and new voter ID requirements . In some cases like Florida, Republicans have gone to the extreme of purging voter registration lists.

Civil Rights Groups and the DOJ have battled these vote suppression laws in the courts and some cases are still working their way through the judicial system. In most cases (exception being Pennsylvania) voter suppression tactics were struck down because they violated the Voting Rights Act.

All voters should confirm that you are registered to vote no matter what state you live in. You should also confirm that the information is accurated. Make sure that the name you are registered under is exactly the same as the name on the ID you present at the polls.

The ALEC designed new rules are meant to make voting harder and in some cases impossible. It is important that you know if there are changes in your state and what those changes are. This is especially true if:

• You’re married and changed your name

• You’re a student and want to vote where you go to school

• You’ve recently moved

• You don’t have a birth certificate and can’t afford to get one

• You’re a working parent, a small business owner, or a young professional who relies on weekend voting

Perhaps the most insidious tactic is the change in voter ID requirements which unsurprisingly adversely affect minorities, people who work for a living and seniors. Generally, states that have enacted these rules require government issued photo ID that is current.

The reasons for this begin with the fact that Republicans don’t like the vote because when people vote, Republicans don’t do very well.

There are other more insidious reasons, like racism, whereby there are some people who believe the vote is a privilege only to be enjoy by old, white men who are ideally rich and own property.

Of course, Republicans won’t come out and say any of these things. Rather they resort to disinformation and propaganda about voter fraud. When it comes down to it, however, voter fraud is statistically non-existent in the United States. When pressed to point to examples of voter fraud in their state or in others under oath, Republicans will finally admit they cannot point to one example in their state or in another state.

Lipstick Liberal http://www.politicususa.com/gop-holds… explains the possible source for the tactics Republicans are using in their war on the vote.

Video:

Transcript

Lipstick Liberal – KOCH Bros. Voter ID ENGLISH Dialogue

Tea-partier, Republican and Conservative American, Russia is very impressed with way your American KGB men, Take control of country!

(Envelope “KGB Tactics for Voter Suppression”)

Mind Control!

Disinformation!

Propaganda!

Smoke Screens!

Censorship!

Just like my KGB man.

Now to suppress Russian voters, he just paid little money to many people, so they knew who to show their love too!

But, I mean…Just look at him.

Your Two KGB Men, they pay many, MANY more money to little people…so they know who to show their hate too!

But, I mean, just look at them?

Now, their comrades scream, “We must…

Interrogate!

Ask for papers!

Limit their freedoms!

Give them a little hope!

Then CRUSH them!

So now mjority who do not want American KBG Men to have such power, become little minority with no power at all.

Yes, very impressed with way KGB men take control of country! Just like my KGB Man!

Lipstick Liberal – KOCH Bros. Voter ID Russian Dialogue

Tea-partier, Republican and Conservative American, Russia is very impressed with way your American KGB men, Take control of country!

End of Transcript

In Memory of Jannan W. Ransom who worked tirelessly throughout her life in the name of protecting our freedoms, including the right to vote.

Fighting Back Against Voter Disenfranchisement:1,000,000 New Voter IDs Or Bust! | Addicting Info


Fighting Back Against Voter Disenfranchisement:1,000,000 New Voter IDs Or Bust! | Addicting Info.

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Fighting Back Against Voter Disenfranchisement:1,000,000 New Voter IDs Or Bust!
September 17, 2012
By Deborah Montesano

Activists in Pennsylvania aren’t waiting for the state Supreme Court to issue a decision on the new voter ID law, which was recently upheld by a lower court. They’re rolling up their sleeves and getting to work to put 1,000,000 new state-issued ID’s into the hands of voters.

Although there has never been a prosecution for voter fraud in Pennsylvania, and though the state estimates that 758,000 people lack the required identification, a Commonwealth Court concluded that no one would be disenfranchised by the law. The requirements of the law are for citizens to produce a social security number, a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship, plus two items showing their name and current address. Those without the latter can bring someone to verify their residence.

The state projects that they will issue only a few thousand IDs before the election, but that doesn’t fit with the plans of the activists. While the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments on the law on Thursday and could still overturn it, activists aren’t willing to waste time waiting for their decision. In Philadelphia alone, an estimated 200,000 citizens lack the necessary ID. An organization called The Pennsylvania Voter ID Coalition is conducting a widespread information and transportation effort in Philadelphia and beyond to help people understand what they need and to get them to a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to get the identification.

Other activists are self-appointed, out of concern for the integrity of the voting process. According to National Public Radio (NPR), one resident of a low-income senior housing complex has helped about 80 residents who no longer drive get their identification. Another woman, Audrey Traynham, provided information to a crowd outside of the DMV. She said, “I wasn’t recruited by anyone. I just feel like it’s my civic duty to make sure … everybody has their chance to vote.” What a pity when the courts don’t feel the same!

I’d be delighted if you joined me on Facebook or checked out my blog.

Pennsylvania Voter Suppress – Is Total Madness


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If 2010 was a political earthquake, the epicenter may well have been the state of Pennsylvania. The Keystone State replaced Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell with Republican Tom Corbett, and elected far-right former Republican Rep. Patrick Toomey to the United States Senate. Worse still: the GOP picked up a gaudy five seats in the House of Representatives, sending Kathy Dahlkemper, Patrick Murphy, Chris Carney, and Paul Kanjorski to the rail, and picking up the seat of Senate candidate Joe Sestak.

The thundering crash of Democratic fortunes in Pennsylvania led many to speculate that the state that John McCain counted on as a desperation firewall in 2008 (and failed to win) would be a key cog in the GOP’s path to 270 electoral votes and Barack Obama’s early retirement.

Now, with little more than seven weeks remaining in the 2012 electoral cycle, it looks like Pennsylvania is nearly certain to remain in the Obama coalition of states, and quite possibly by a healthier margin than the 2008 landslide.

More on that in a bit, but first, on to the numbers:

PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:

NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (49-45)

NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama tied with Romney (48-48)

NEW JERSEY (Philadelphia Inquirer): Obama d. Romney (51-37)

PENNSYLVANIA (Philadephia Inquirer): Obama d. Romney (50-39)

DOWNBALLOT POLLING:

OHIO (Rasmussen): Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) 49, Josh Mandel (R) 41

A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump…

Last Fall, it actually appeared as if Pennsylvania would be a battleground state. SurveyUSA and PPP both had the prospective contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney deadlocked, while Quinnipiac gave Obama the most minuscule of leads (44-43). Given the 20 electoral votes that comes with victory in the Keystone State, it was not uncommon for pundits to talk about Pennsylvania in the same breath as Ohio and Florida as critical states for determining the occupant of the White House in January of 2013.

Perhaps the timing is coincidental, but it sure seems as if the Republican Primary battle turned out to be Barack Obama’s best friend. In the five polls prior to February 15th, the average Obama lead in Pennsylvania was barely discernible (1.2 percentage points). The five polls after the primary season began? Obama’s lead shot out to 7.0 percentage points. This morning’s new poll for the Philadelphia Inquirer gave Obama an 11-point edge, a lead only surpassed in this cycle by a late Spring poll by Franklin and Marshall.

If there is a downside for the Democrats, it is the fact that this palpable shift in Pennsylvania’s political preferences came too late to help downballot. While Democratic recruiting nationally for the House was quite good, their recruiting in Pennsylvania was comparably weak, especially given how many freshman members were facing voters as an incumbent for the first time. Realistically, Democrats only have three targets in the state, and four of those class of 2010 Republicans (Kelly, Meehan, Marino, and Barletta) are almost certainly safe.

That said, Pennsylvania being essentially off the boards (and the relative lack of campaign spending confirms what both campaigns think of their fortunes there) has one huge impact on the presidential race, as it reduces the pathways to victory for Romney.

In other polling news…

One Republican Senate aspirant whose polling has slipped notably in the past few weeks is Ohio’s Josh Mandel. Today’s polling release, showing him eight points behind incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown (with Brown just shy of 50 percent) is the latest blow, especially when one considers that it was the House of Ras levelling that blow at Mandel’s fortunes. NBC/Marist found Brown staked to a similar edge earlier in the week.
Speaking of how states have changed over the course of the cycle, though the polls have wavered little, there was some wishful thinking for GOPers earlier in the cycle that the emergence of blowhard Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey would make the Republican Party more attractive to the residents of the Garden State. And while Christie’s numbers in the state remain pretty decent, he is offering no coattails for his presidential nominee. The Philly Inquirer poll is the second poll in a week (the Fairleigh Dickinson poll was the other) showing Romney down 14 points to Obama in the state.
In a national poll finding that may have implications for several downballot initiatives, yesterday’s new poll by CBS/NYT shows one of the wider spreads in support for same-sex marriage in recent data. According to the survey, support for marriage equality now stands at 51 percent, with opposition down to 41 percent. That was a marked difference from the previous CBS/NYT poll, where a bare plurality (48-46) supported marriage equality. Equality advocates are looking to initiatives on the ballot in four different states.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 05:00 PM PDT.
Also republished by Daily Kos.

Pennsylvania’s Bad Election Law – NYTimes.com


Pennsylvania’s Bad Election Law – NYTimes.com.

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about the state’s strict new photo ID law, which is allegedly intended to prevent voter fraud. A voter must present a government-issued or other approved photo ID at a polling place to vote or can file a provisional ballot, which must be validated later by a submission of a photo ID or proof that the voter is indigent.
Related

A Tight Election May Be Tangled in Legal Battles (September 10, 2012)
Pennsylvania Judge Keeps Voter ID Law Intact on Its Way to Higher Court (August 16, 2012)

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The state has offered no evidence of voter identity fraud to justify this law. There is no legitimate government interest that justifies the burden the law imposes on voters. If the court does not block the law, it will cause irreparable harm. In Philadelphia, for instance, almost one-fifth of the registered voters may not have an acceptable form of identification to vote on Election Day. Statewide, almost one-tenth may not.

When he signed the law in March, Gov. Tom Corbett claimed that it “sets a simple and clear standard to protect the integrity of our elections.” But, at a meeting of the Republican State Committee in June, the House majority leader, Mike Turzai, boasted that it would “allow Governor Romney to win the State of Pennsylvania.”

A state trial judge, Robert Simpson, last month rejected a motion by voters and civic groups to prevent the law from going into effect. They argued that the ID requirement would strip away the fundamental right to vote, particularly for disadvantaged groups.

Judge Simpson, however, said he was obliged to follow a 2008 United States Supreme Court case, which upheld an Indiana voter ID law. But, in that case, the court was applying the United States Constitution to a less stringent Indiana law. In this case, the Pennsylvania law is far more burdensome on voters and the State Constitution is arguably even more protective of voting rights. In fact, this case is more similar to ones in Missouri and Wisconsin where state courts, applying state constitutions, struck down photo ID laws.

The law will result in disproportionate harm to minorities, people with low incomes and senior citizens. The court should enter an injunction against it before the November elections.

TV Host Jim Cramer Says Father Will Not Be Allowed To Vote Because Of Pennsylvania Voter ID Law


TV Host Jim Cramer Says Father Will Not Be Allowed To Vote Because Of Pennsylvania Voter ID Law.

Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s finance program Mad Money, is seeing the effects of voter suppression laws firsthand.

This morning, Cramer tweeted about his father, a Pennsylvania resident who stands to lose his right to vote because of the state’s new restrictive voter ID law. Like thousands of Pennsylvania who could be disenfranchised in November, Cramer’s father lacks a voter ID because he’s a senior citizen and does not drive. Cramer also noted that he doesn’t have access to his citizenship documents.