“Your place for all the information you need about voting rights,
voter suppression, and voting trends to prepare you to fight in the 2022 election.”
August 31, 2021
CO County Clerk Posts Voting Machine Passwords on Far-Right Blog, Endangers All Dominion Voting Systems Machines
The county clerk of Mesa County, Colorado, is under investigation for allegedly copying passwords related to the county’s Dominion Voting Systems machines and posting them on a far-right blog. According to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, the breach was enabled by Peters when she directed her staff to turn off the video surveillance of the voting machines. (https://wapo.st/3Dren8s)
It has now been found that during Peters’ first year as clerk, in 2019, her office forgot to count 574 ballots, instead leaving them unattended in a drop box outside her office for months. Less than a year later, a leaky ballot drop box allowed ballots to be blown across a parking lot. When the Colorado secretary of state installed a former employee of the Mesa County Clerk’s office to oversee preparations for the 2020 election, Peters fired her. (https://bit.ly/3yqEp8i)
Peters appeared in August at the so-called “cyber symposium” put on by Mike Lindell of MyPillow fame, and is said to be hiding in what is being called a safe house owned by Lindell.
According to Harri Hursti, a leader in Black Box Voting hack studies, the release gives hackers a “practice environment” to probe for vulnerabilities and a road map to avoid defenses. “The door is now wide open,” he told The Guardian. “The only question is, how do you sneak in the door?” (https://wapo.st/3Dren8s, https://bit.ly/3yqEp8i)
Democrats Introduce Bill to Protect Election Workers from Violent Threats
Democratic members of the House and Senate have introduced a bill to provide new protections for election workers who are harassed or attacked and to combat efforts to undermine election results.
The bill, entitled the Protecting Election Administration from Interference Act, comes at a time when election officials, including volunteers, have come under increasingly violent verbal and sometimes physical attacks. The bill also calls for strengthened protections for federal election records and election systems to “stop election officials or others from endangering the preservation and security of cast ballots.”
Sponsors of the bill are Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar, Alex Padilla, Jon Ossoff, and Jeff Merkley, and Texas Democratic Representatives Colin Allred, Marc Veasey, and Veronica Escobar. (https://bit.ly/3mzj4Hp)
To get a sense of what these attacks on election officials are like, watch this three-minute video from a recent webinar given by the Brennan Center’s Turquoise Baker on “Election Officials Under Attack:” https://bit.ly/3znRO1Y. Then watch the entire one-hour webinar–it’s a must-see for anyone concerned about this issue. It’s at https://bit.ly/3BfFHod.
The End of Democracy As We Know It?
An op-ed by the Washington Post’s Paul Waldman posits that far-right Republican governors are waging war on their own cities by enacting laws that not only harm predominantly Democratic cities, but even their own constituencies.
The point, he says, is this: “It doesn’t matter if you’re the majority. We have the power, and we’re going to make you live under Republican rules. Forever.” (https://wapo.st/3DgJIdW)
Kansas has now taken this to an extreme level by all but outlawing voter registration drives. They’ve passed a new law that makes it a felony for non-government employees to hold voter registration drives. How? The law considers voter registration groups to be impersonating election officials based on a standard that depends on “impressions.” Just one accusation by someone claiming to be “confused” and thinking you were an election official could result in your arrest and conviction as a felon.
Kansas, it should be pointed out, is among the states where felons lose the right to vote, so trying to register voters could end up stripping someone of their own voting rights.
The result? Even the League of Women Voters has stopped all voter registration efforts despite this being the prime season to register college students, among others.
Voter registration groups are now suing to stop the law. Read more at https://n.pr/3zk0s1F.
Ohio Proposes Ban on Drop Boxes, Elimination of No-Excuse Absentee Voting in Draconian New Bill
A new bill in the Ohio House of Representatives (House Bill 387 ) would require all voters to register to vote in person, eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, limit approved voter IDs, shorten the early voting period, ban mail ballots returned via drop box from being counted. and limit precinct officials to a seven-hour workday.
The reason? “Election Day should be Election Day. It shouldn’t be election month,” said Rep. Tom Brinkman, R-Mount Lookout. “It would eliminate some of that fraud that potentially is happening in the system.” The state’s Republican Secretary of State, Frank LaRose, who oversees elections, has called election fraud “exceedingly rare.” You can read about it here: https://bit.ly/3B09gdk.
Now Some Good News: North Carolina Ordered to Give Voting Rights to Released Felons
In what’s being called the largest expansion of voting rights in North Carolina, the State Superior Court ordered the restoration of voting rights to those with a felony conviction and to automatically restore voting rights as soon as people are released from prison. Currently, convicted felons had to wait until they had completed probation, parole, or a suspended sentence, which usually took years. GOP state lawmakers plan to appeal the ruling. You can read about it at https://wapo.st/3mC4O0z.
Dems Could Lose Next Elections If They Assume All Hispanic Voters Think Alike
Among the most significant findings of the recently released 2020 Census is that half of the country’s overall population increase is due to growth in the number of Hispanic Americans, who now make up nearly 20% of the population. More importantly, Hispanic youth now make up a quarter of the youth demographic, meaning they represent 1 in 4 voters of the future.
Democrats, of course, are jubilant because they assume these voters will naturally vote Democratic. But they’re wrong.
According to analyses of the 2020 election, Trump grew his share of the Hispanic vote, and it wasn’t just the expected Cuban-American vote. Trump also outperformed expectations in Texas, where Mexican-Americans are the dominant Hispanic group. As columnist Eugene Robinson says, “Democratic strategists urgently need to figure out why.” Luckily, Biden carried the Hispanic vote elsewhere, which helped him win the election. In other words, Democrats take the Hispanic vote for granted at their own peril.
Read more about this at https://wapo.st/3kr2Ddo.
Illinois GOP Looking to Run Candidates in Every Possible Race
The Illinois GOP appears to be actively recruiting candidates to fill every slot on the upcoming 2022 ballot.
High on their list of issues, according to Jayme Odom, the executive director of the Illinois House Republicans: Gov. Pritzker’s bypass of the state legislature when he instituted last year’s Covid-19 mitigation rules, passage of police-reform legislation, and signing a law that decriminalizes possession of certain amounts of fentanyl and cocaine.
The state party claims they have no litmus test for running, but in an attempt to have it both ways, they are merely asking whether candidates believe the 2020 election was stolen. Said Odom, “We’re looking for people who are interested in running and who fit the constituency of their district.” (https://bit.ly/2WtCId3)
50,000 Marchers Demand It, So Should You–Call Your Senators Now, Tell Them to Pass the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act!
More than 50,000 people descended on the District of Columbia and thousands more marched in cities across the country last Saturday to demand passage of bills to protect and expand voting rights.
“We are a force of nature,” Martin Luther King III told the rally-goers. “This is a battlefield of morals and you are armed with the truth and the truth is a flame, you cannot extinguish. People have done it before, and we’ll do it again. We will demand federal voting rights until we have them.”
S1, the For the People Act, has been stalled in the Senate for months; the newly passed HR4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, is expected to face the same fate. It’s essential that both bills get passed immediately. If it takes amending or ending the filibuster, so be it.
Now’s the time to call Senators Durbin and Duckworth. Tell them to do what it takes to get these bills passed! The easiest way? Go to this link for an easy way to contact both senators: https://bit.ly/3BnC280. Then call President Biden. Tell him the same thing! Call him at https://bit.ly/3Bh5wnY.
Be sure to visit our Voting Rights Gazette Facebook page!