Report on Voter Suppression in the Elections of November 2012

Updated 03.07.13

the accusation of “voter suppression” still carries with it a visceral sting that inflames all that our nation has worked so hard to correct and heal. 1 Will Election Day be a ‘perfect storm?’ Four nightmare scenarios for what could go wrong.Foreword On February 27. it was expected that through our investigation we would receive and review volumes of complaints submitted to local election officials. Since then. Given the extensive media coverage. any registered. be it legitimate or falsely claimed. 1 With a strong belief that any incident of voter suppression is unacceptable. eligible voter has the right to participate in elections and to cast their vote for whomever they choose. The supplementary section had no impact on our data or resulting conclusions regarding Voter Suppression. even before Election Day. Voter suppression is a serious charge that deserves serious attention. Today. print and television news outlets began filing scores of stories alleging voter suppression. released on February 27. Established in 1965. It should have not been included in the report and has since been removed. threatens freedom . and undermining the advancements in equality that strengthen and stabilize our democratic republic. wedging apart communities. 2013. if elections are not truly fair. long lines. It was very concerning to see that. Even still. NBC Nightly News (11/4/12) . 2013. Though the case centers around the question of Constitutional overreach in the Voting Rights Act. and by whom. This report contains those findings. we are not truly free. included a supplementary section that contained inaccurate methodology.devolving American voters into a cast of victims and oppressors. Eric Holder. particularly for women and minority communities. the Voting Rights Act takes our country back to a time when our elections were not always free or fair. it carries with it the ancilliarly debate over whether or not voting conditions in our country allow all voters equal opportunity to participate in free and fair elections. What we found was just the opposite. Note: Our original report. and general confusion at early voting centers across the country. True the Vote launched an investigation to find out whether or not voter suppression took place in the 2012 elections and if so. Voter suppression. how. election worker malfeasance. the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Shelby County v. Voter suppression was a very real part of our country’s history. where. Though the term “voter suppression” no longer has meaning in the same context it did during the turbulent civil rights battles of the 1960s. the United States has made huge strides in correcting inequities of the past.

Husted’s efforts were fully expected to negatively impact urban community voters. Franklin. States and counties that received national media attention regarding long lines and/or confusion during early voting. Nevada. emergent minority communities. North Carolina and Maryland. 2 3 4 Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted Calls for Uniform Early Voting Hours. Colorado. Husted issued a rule change on November 2nd that allowed poll workers to discard incomplete provisional applications. Cleveland Plain Dealer (7/12/12) U. Florida. Cleveland Plain Dealer (10/16/12) 5 Provisional Ballot Directive Spurs Court Action in Ohio. States with substantial. We requested any and all reports of voter suppression during the 2012 General Election cycle.3 In August. arguing the directive curtailed opportunities to vote shortly before Election Day. Supreme Court Denies Ohio Early Voting Appeal.2 On June 12. The Obama re-election campaign immediately took the issue to court. 2012 Husted announced that he would mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters in Ohio. not a single report of voter suppression was received from Cuyahoga. The Reality Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted made national headlines in a series of controversial directives that drew mixed reactions from nearly all interested parties.Researching Voter Suppression True the Vote filed open records requests in 75 of the most populous counties across Ohio. Hours Set for Weekend Before Election. These six states were chosen based on the following criteria: • • • Political battleground states with high levels of investment from partisan interests. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (11/4/12) . Cleveland Plain Dealer (8/15/12) Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted Eases Restrictions on Absentee Voting. The directive was later reversed in mid-October. Husted issued a directive stating that all 88 county boards of elections had to follow uniform early voting hours of operation as prescribed by the state. What Did We Find? Across 75 counties in 6 states only one case of voter suppression was reported. Hamilton. or fifteen other county boards of elections surveyed (see Addendum for detailed report).4 Finally.S.5 According to mainstream and progressive media outlets. However.

early voting changes.truethevote. 6 7 Voter Purging Resurfaces in Colorado. Florida endeavored to remove non-citizens from its voter rolls and was subsequently sued by the Department of Justice. election officials have a duty to remove 8 9 Florida early voting cuts survive. Pew Research (12/10/12) 10 11 Voter Suppression-Fraud Emails pages 8. True the Vote Press Release (online: http://www.scribd. Denver. Jefferson and Weld Counties reported zero complaints of voter suppression. No voter suppression reports were returned from either Clark or Washoe Counties. Orlando Sentinel (1/29/13) New Data on Lines at the Polls. Like Colorado. ABC News | Univision (10/24/12) True the Vote and Judicial Watch to Defend Florida’s Efforts to Clean Voter Registration Lists in Obama Administration Lawsuit. Florida. 53-54. The Washington Post (9/24/12) Analysis: 201. Yet the empirical data provided by Florida counties clearly showed that the state’s lawful maintenance of voter rolls. All three were from Miami-Dade County.8 Long lines of voters and polling place wait times were repeatedly reported in the media – including public chastisement from President Obama in two national speeches. all three were ruled unjustified by election officials. True the Vote later filed a Motion to Intervene on behalf of Florida’s defense.Colorado. The law was challenged and later upheld in federal court. While some voters did complain of long lines (an estimated 201. Arapahoe. Under the law. Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA or Motor Voter) of 1993 requires that local officials establish “reasonable” efforts to maintain rolls of eligibility. when dead or non-citizen voters are positively identified as registered. after public allegations of intentional voter disenfranchisement and suppression. Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections (online: http://www.000 in Florida Didn’t Vote Because of Long Lines.000 potential voters were alledgedly deterred from casting a ballot9 due to long waits at the polls. the data shows otherwise.903 potential noncitizens registered across the state – subjecting suspected illegal registrants to a verification process that could eventually remove them from the rolls. 26-27.11 Nevada. resulted in any reports of voter doc/125512724/11-06-12-General-Voter-Suppression-Fraud-Emails) .7 The state also attracted public criticism and legal challenges after shortening the early voting period from fourteen days to eight. during the early voting period average wait time was 50 minutes10 ) only three incidents of voter suppression were noted in the reports received by True the Vote.6 Yet again. Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s office in August began investigations into 3. True the Vote studied the two largest counties in Nevada due to the state’s swing status and relatively close election results. nor photo ID requirements.

truethevote. For more information. but assured these actions would not be taken in the future. Maryland. Fourteen counties were queried. True the Vote examined North Carolina records due to its swing state status and changing demographics. The lone complaint offers a clear example of the line election administrators must walk to meet the demands of voters. During the state’s early election period. About True the Vote True the Vote is a nonpartisan. nonprofit organization focused on preserving the integrity of our electoral process by training and supporting citizens and organizations to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters. a Board of Elections official distributed written materials stating all early voting locations and hours of operation to voters waiting to cast their ballot.North Carolina. No voter suppression reports were received from any of North Carolina’s twelve most populated . regardless of their political party affiliation. please visit www. The Board later defended its official’s intentions. Prince George’s County returned one report of voter suppression. then subsequently provided an amended report dimissing the initial filing. One individual in receipt of these materials felt this action was an attempt to “dissuade” others from voting that day. The voter shared concerns with a local attorney and notice was given to the Prince George’s County Board of Elections. True the Vote selected Maryland for further research based on shifting demographics in the District of Columbia suburbs.

Ohio County BUTLER DELAWARE HANCOCK MONTGOMERY HENRY OTTAWA WOOD AUGLAIZE HAMILTON WARREN STARK JEFFERSON LOGAN CUYAHOGA CLERMONT GREENE MIAMI FRANKLIN Incidents None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None* Date Rec’d/ Attempts 1/17/2013 1/17/2013 1/22/2013 1/24/2013 1/17/2013 1/17/2013 1/22/2013 1/17/2013 2/4/2013 2/4/2013 2/4/2013 2/4/2013 2/4/2013 2/4/2013 2/5/2013 2/5/2013 1/18/2013 11/15/12 and 2/4/13 Contact Lynn Edward Kinkaid Traci Shalosky Jody O'Brien Betty Smith Sandy Kurtz Carol Ann Hill Terry L.Addendum 2012 Voter Suppression Reports Lynn Edward Kinkaid 2012 Voter Suppression Reports . Antrican Travis Secrest Diane Gribble Diana Gamble Linda Steimle Judy Miller Nancy Johannes "Pam" elections55@co. Burton Carolyn Campbell Amy Searcy Kimberlie J.Colorado County Arapahoe Denver Jefferson Weld Incidents None None None None Date Rec’d/ Attempts* 1/25/2013 1/23/2013 1/24/2013 1/18/2013 Contact Mary Whitley Jan Kuhnen David Wunderlich Brad Yatabe .miami.

Durham Shirley Anderson Peg Reese Leslie Rossway Swan Emogene W. Snipes Wilma Davio Lou Spacco Nancy Whitlock Melissa Renninger Susan Bucher Carolina D. Lopez Timothy C.Nevada County Clark Washoe Incidents None None* Date Rec’d/ Attempts* 1/29/2013 11/27/12 and 1/29/2013 Contact Larry Lomax 2012 Voter Suppression Reports . Smith Brian E. Stegall Sharon Stief Paul Lux Fred Altensee Amber L. Corley Lori Edwards Barbara Bain Ann McFall Michael Ertel Wesley Wilcox Wayne Fusco Michael Ertel Brenda C. Lopez Timothy C. Durham .2012 Voter Suppression Reports . Lucie Broward Escambia Charlotte Pinellas Brevard Palm Beach Duval Lee Incidents 3 Dismissed None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None None* None* Date Rec’d/ Attempts* 2/14/2013 1/25/2013 1/25/2013 1/28/2013 1/24/2013 1/24/2013 1/24/2013 1/24/2013 1/24/2013 1/24/2013 1/28/2013 1/25/2013 1/24/2013 1/25/2013 1/31/2013 2/1/2013 2/1/2013 1/31/2013 1/29/2013 2/6/2013 2/6/2013 2/6/2013 2/7/2013 12/18/2013 1/24/13 and 2/6/13 1/24/13 and 2/6/13 Contact Carolina D. Johns St.Florida County Miami-Dade Collier Hernando Hillsborough Indian River Lake Manatee Okaloosa Orange Osceola Pasco Polk Sarasota Volusia Seminole Marion St.

Dickerson Steve Fratz Cheemoandia Blake Kevin Karpinski Chris Quade Joanna W. Hatfield . Alexander Daine Loibel Joseph A. Sandra M. Perry Jerry Spruell 2012 Voter Suppression Reports . Torre III Armstead B.2012 Voter Suppression Reports – North Carolina County Cabarrus Cumberland Halifax Orange Durham Edgecombe Wake Buncombe Forsyth Guilford Mecklenburg New Hanover Incidents None None None None None None None* None* None* None None* None* Date Rec’d/ Attempts* 1/30/2013 1/28/2013 2/4/2013 1/29/2013 2/4/2013 1/28/2013 (Phone) 11/29/12 and 1/24/13 11/29/12 and 1/24/13 11/29/12 and 1/24/13 11/29/12 and 1/24/13 11/29/12 and 1/24/13 11/29/12 and 1/24/13 Contact Linda Grist Terri Robertson Kristin Scott Tracy Reams Michael E. Crawley Jones. Mary's Somerset Washington Calvert Howard Incidents None None None None None None None None None None None None None None* Date Rec’d/ Attempts* 2/7/2013 2/1/2013 2/6/2013 2/7/2013 2/11/2013 2/14/2013 2/7/2013 2/11/2013 2/5/2013 1/30/2013 2/6/2013 2/14/2013 2/21/2013 1/28/2013 Contact Alisha L. Emely Kaye Robucci Gail L.Maryland County Prince George's Allegany Anne Arundel Baltimore City Caroline Charles Garrett Kent Montgomery St. Sr. Logan Tracy A.

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