THE VOTING CRISIS

What we experienced in 2016, 2018, and already in the 2020 primaries is an indication of what is to come. Excessive voter roll purges, polling place closures, limiting mail-in ballots, removing blue mailboxes and reducing early voting periods will significantly impact the number of votes cast and counted. 

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Image: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

1. Voter Supression

2020 Primaries:

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KENTUCKY

Fears of coronavirus spread led "state elections officials to sharply limit the number of in-person polling places - from just under 3,700 polling locations in a typical election, according to the Kentucky secretary of state, to 170 locations" learn more

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image: reuters

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WISCONSIN

Voters were forced to choose between their Health and their civic duty. The state was the first to hold a major election with in-person voting since stay-at-home orders were widely instituted because of the coronavirus. learn more

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image: Washington Post

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MARYLAND

Absentee ballots in these states went missing."They noted that voters had to wait for hours Tuesday to cast ballots at limited polling sites in D.C., in part because many did not receive the absentee ballots they had requested." learn more

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image: Philadelphia Inquirer

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GEORGIA

Georgia's Secretary of State purged 313k voters from the voter rolls in December.  

learn more.  Voters encountered 

equipment malfunctions and hours-long lines. And there were reports of new voting equipment malfunctioning. 

learn more 

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image: Mother Jones

2018 Georgia Gubernatorial Election

 BRIAN KEMP (R) vs. STACEY ABRAMS (D)

Secretary of State Brian Kemp – then the Republican nominee for Georgia governor – enforced a policy of "exact match." Under the policy, the most minor discrepancy, like a typo or missing letter, between a voter's registration

and their drivers license, Social Security or state ID cards was flagged, leading to more than 53,000 voter applications being put on hold. The majority, seven out of 10, belonged to African-Amercans. Abrams lost to Kemp by a mere 68,000 votes. NAACP President Derrick Johnson, released a statement saying, “Kemp’s actions during the election were textbook voter suppression...strategic, careless and aimed at silencing the voting power of communities of color in the state.”

Consider these statistics.

  • In the three months leading up to election day, more than 85,000 voters were purged from rolls under Kemp.

  • During 2017, 340,134 voters were wrongly purged. 

  • From 2012 to 2016, 1.5 million voters were purged – more than 10% of all voters – from records, according to a 2018 report from the Brennan Center for Justice. learn more

2016 Election

Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin - Loss of 46 electoral votes

State      Votes      Lost by %   Electoral Votes

MI          10,704        0.2%            16

PA          46,765        0.7%            20

WI          22,177        0.8%            10

Total      79,646        0.6%            46

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MICHIGAN

Under Michigan's Republican Governor and Secretary of State, voting machines in over 1/3 of Detroit's precincts registered more votes than they should have, according to county records. These voting machine irregularities led to ballots not being counted during a Michigan's recount. learn more  In addition, votes for president were left blank in 75,000 ballots. A suspiciously high number, it could mean that 75,000 votes were not counted. learn more

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image: YouTube.com

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PENNSYLVANIA

The 2016 election was the first presidential election since the gutting  in 2013 of the Voter Rights Act of 1965. Russian hacking operation included U.S. state and local entities, such as state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and county governments and individuals who worked for those entities. The Russian military intelligence unit also targeted private technology firms responsible for manufacturing and administering election-related software and hardware, such as voter registration software and electronic polling stations. learn more

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image: PA Post

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WISCONSIN

Republicans passed a new voter ID law in 2011 requiring a photo ID being shown at the polls. Three years after Wisconsin passed its voter ID law in 2011, a federal judge blocked it, noting that 9 percent of all registered voters did not have the required forms of ID. Black voters were about 50 percent likelier than whites to lack these IDs because they were less likely to drive or to be able to afford the documents required to get a current ID, and more likely to have moved from out of state.

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image: New York Times

 

2. Election Day Challenges

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SHORTAGE OF POLL WORKERS

"The acute shortage of election workers is prompting reductions in the number of in-person polling sites for upcoming primaries, fueling worries that some voters may face significant obstacles to casting their ballots." Learn more

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image: reuters

image: PBS.org

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BALLOT SHORTAGES

Georgia polling stations didn't have enough paper ballots, leading to hours-long lines. Many didn't get to vote at all. Learn More. A higher than anticipated voter turnout for Maine’s first presidential primary in 20 years caused polling places in several communities to run out of Democratic primary ballots during the primary this year. Learn More

image: wunc.org

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MISINFORMATION – MISLEADING ROBOCALLS

Fears of coronavirus spread led "state elections officials to sharply limit the number of in-person polling places - from just under 3,700 polling locations in a typical election, according to the Kentucky secretary of state, to 170 locations" Learn More

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image: reuters

image: CNN.com

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UNTRAINED POLL WORKERS

Many states are using new voting machines for the first time and this resulting in insufficiently trained poll workers. Local reporters and voters stated that in many precincts in the counties in and around Atlanta, undertrained poll workers ran into trouble getting the new voting machines to work. Learn More

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image: reuters

image: Rick Wood, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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VOTING MACHINE MALFUNCTIONS

Georgia's Secretary of State acknowledged that the system had experienced a meltdown on Tuesday as machines were delivered to the wrong place and officials struggled to get them to work. Learn More  Reports circulated after the 2018 midterms that voting machines in Texas were flipping ballots cast for Beto O’Rourke over to Ted Cruz, and machines in Georgia were changing votes for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to those for her Republican opponent. Election-security experts have long indicated that touch-screen voting machines are susceptible to error, as they often rely on outdated and unsupported software. Learn More

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image: reuters

image: Bebeto Matthews, AP

POSSIBLE PRESENCE OF FEDERAL AGENTS TO SUPPRESS VOTING

Intimidation tactics could be utilized to discourage voting. Currently, unmarked federal agents are harassing, attacking, and arresting peaceful protesters in Portland, Oregon with threats from the Trump administration to do the same in other cities across the country. One can anticipate similar tactics of intimidation could be used at polling locations that are in predominantly minority communities. Learn More

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image: Forbes

 

3. Additional Threats

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UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE

With the Trump Presidency, the USPS leadership has been undermined, replaced, weaponized and politicized in the most consequential election of our lifetime. The new Postmaster General, one of Trump's mega donors, is threatening to close post offices across the US and deny overtime to postal workers at a time mail-in ballots are set to hit mailboxes across the country. Delays are already being experienced. Severe delays will impair timely receipt and counting of mail in ballots, suppressing the vote.  learn more

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image: reuters

image: Mike Segar/Reuters

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RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE SEQUEL

The Senate Intel Committee confirmed that in 2016, Russia targeted election systems in all 50 states, breaching one state's voter files. The Mueller Report revealed hacking efforts have since only increased. The Senate's unwillingness to fund replacements of archaic state election systems poses a significant risk to fair elections. learn moreNorth Carolina experienced software glitches with voting software purchased from a company that had been hacked by Russia, one of many voting software companies targeted  by Russia to compromise US elections.  learn more

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image: AP Photo

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ATTACKS ON VOTE BY MAIL

Vote by mail is being criticized despite this method of voting being the norm and optimal solution to keeping voters safe during this pandemic. 46 states now offer access to some form of mail voting. Over the past 20 years, more than 250M mail in ballots have been cast nationwide, with just 143 criminal convictions for election fraud related to mail ballots. Texas and other states are prohibiting or limiting vote by mail.  learn more   In addition, early voting periods and voting locations are being reduced, further suppressing the vote. learn more

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image: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images 

 

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Voting Call to Action Checklist

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Please be forewarned that with the Trump administration's cuts to the USPS, there may be severe delays in receiving your vote-by-mail ballot as well as with sending your completed ballot. Please take the necessary steps to ensure your vote is counted.

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