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My LTTE to Cols Dispatch's "Provoking Doubt-OH SOS Fuels Suspicion about Integrity of OH Elections"

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-12-08 01:40 PM
Original message
My LTTE to Cols Dispatch's "Provoking Doubt-OH SOS Fuels Suspicion about Integrity of OH Elections"
HERE IS A LINK TO THE EDITORIAL IN COLS DISPATCH-Editorial: Provoking doubt
Ohio secretary of state fuels suspicion about integrity of Ohio elections:

Editorial: Provoking doubt
Ohio secretary of state fuels suspicion about integrity of Ohio elections
Sunday, October 12, 2008 3:47 AM

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner made a serious blunder by failing to give county elections boards the names of new voters whose registration records don't match state and federal data. She should comply with a federal court order to release the information within a week instead of appealing the case to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, as she has said she intends to do.

By trying to prevent county boards of elections from investigating discrepancies in new voter registrations, she is putting partisan considerations ahead of the public interest in fair elections. And in doing that, the Democrat is inviting a direct comparison to her Republican predecessor, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who undercut his credibility as an impartial election arbiter because of his partisan decisions leading up to the 2004 presidential election.

In addition to discrediting herself, Brunner's attempt to withhold the data undermines the integrity of the election system.

Ruling in a lawsuit brought by the Ohio Republican Party, Judge George C. Smith of U.S. District Court in Columbus said on Thursday that federal law requires that states verify addresses and other identifying data of new registrants and share with the bipartisan county boards the names of people with mismatched data. Brunner released the number of cases of mismatched data but not the names of registrants. County boards of elections need those names to resolve any discrepancies.

Smith's common-sense order would not have been necessary had the secretary of state simply fulfilled her responsibility to supply these details to local elections officials. Instead, she let partisanship guide her decision to withhold the information. She apparently is afraid that the state GOP will use the list of registration discrepancies for a wholesale challenge of new registrations, many of them from people likely to vote Democratic.

-snip

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/editorials/stories...

MY LTTE:

The Columbus Dispatch ran an editorial on October 12th stating that OH SOS Jennifer Brunner is fueling suspicion about the integrity of Ohio elections by not investigating discrepancies in voter registration before election day. The article failed to mention that on October 11, the 6th Circuit vacated the order stating that "the district court's order, coming so close to Election Day, was unduly disruptive and thus improper." According to the 6th Circuit majority, the Republicans could have challenged the SOS's procedures much earlier and in their opinion, should not be permitted such "late-game litigation". The majority further opined that the Secretary was unlikely in violation of the Help America Vote Act.

A study by The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, demonstrated that data entry errors by election officials and the Social Security Administration show a 28.5% failed match rate nationwide. Voters should not be penalized in exercising their right to vote because of errors committed by others or by late hour political maneuvers.

XXXXX XXXXXXXXX
XXXXXX, OH

related links to the information included in my letter:

Sixth Circuit Panel, 2-1, Vacates Order

October 11

In Ohio Republican Party v. Brunner, the majority ruled that the district court's order, coming so close to Election Day, was unduly disruptive and thus improper. The Republicans could have challenged the Secretary of State's procedures for verifying new voter registrations much earlier in the electoral process and thus, according to the opinion, should not be permitted such late-game litigation. The majority further opined that the Secretary was unlikely in violation of the Help America Vote Act. While it would be nice if the system printed out a list of individuals . . . that did not match, the majority concluded that HAVA does not require that level of user-friendliness. The dissenting judge accused the panel majority of both (1) an astounding and deeply disturbing lack of concern for the integrity of the electoral process and (2) a failure to follow the Sixth Circuits own internal procedures by releasing its decision before the full appeals court could rule on the matter. It is possible that the full Sixth Circuit will still do so, as a request for that action remains pending.



http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw /



The problem is that there are all sorts of reasons why voters' names might not match, despite the fact that they've provided accurate information on their registration form. That can include data entry errors, transposition of first and last names, and the use of middle names and nicknames. It's not very clear from HAVA how the matching should be done, or what should happen if the information in the registration database doesn't match motor vehicle and social security records. As the Brennan Center has documented, a too-stringent matching procedure could result in the exclusion of eligible voters. According to the Brennan Center, which has litigated this issue in the states of Washington and Florida, matching in some states has failed 20-30% of the time.

-snip

http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/blogs/tokaji/2008/07/what-happ...





A 2004 trial run in New York City showed that up to 20% of
eligible new applicants could have been rejected under such a rule solely because of
data entry errors by election officials, and the Social Security Administration is now
showing a 28.5% failed match rate nationwide.

http://brennan.3cdn.net/96ee05284dfb6a6d5d_j4m6b1cjs.pd...
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-12-08 07:40 PM
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1. Excellent LTTE!
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