Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Voting’

Republican Hypocrisy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 29, 2020

Surely Republican hypocrisy and lies surprise no one any longer.

Now, about that “swamp” thing…



White House Press Secretary Voted By Mail 12 Times In 12 Years

by Steven Portnoy, CBS News
May 28, 2020

Washington — White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has voted by mail a dozen times in the last 10 years, according to Florida voter records reviewed by CBS News, a revelation that comes amid her own criticisms of efforts to expand mail-in voting ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany

A voting history report from the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections shows that McEnany “voted absentee” in every election, both general and primary, since November 2008. At times during that span, McEnany, a Tampa native, attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Most recently, she voted by mail in Florida’s presidential primary in March.

While the report shows that McEnany voted “absentee,” Hillsborough County election officials said that its system uses the phrase “voted absentee” for any voter who votes by mail, whether they are in the county when they receive a ballot or not. Florida voters can opt to submit ballots by mail for any reason, according to the state Division of Elections.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported McEnany’s voting history.

McEnany defended her record of voting by mail, saying in a statement, “Absentee voting Read the rest of this entry »

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Remember When Hillary Said Russians Are Grooming Tulsi Gabbard As 3rd Party Spoiler?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Ed. note: This entry was written shortly after HRC made her remarks, found transcribed herein, but remained unpublished. As of publication today, Wednesday, 11 March 2020, Tulsi Gabbard remains a candidate to be the Democratic Party’s Presidential Nominee, though her viability as a candidate is practically non-existent, while Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are the two major candidates remaining in the race.

Tulsi Gabbard, Official Portrait

In the recent edition of the podcast “Campaign HQ with David Plouffe,” (Google podcast link) the former 2008 Obama campaign adviser interviewed Hillary Clinton on a wide range of topics, primarily about strategy and tactics that Trump and Republicans will most likely use in an attempt to defeat the 2020 Democratic party presidential nominee.

In the hour-long, often-rambling podcast, guest Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom was the 2016 Democratic nominee for POTUS, a former U.S. Secretary of State, and a former United States Senator from New York, obliquely and surreptitiously accused Tulsi Gabbard, a current Major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, current Hawaii U.S. Representative (D-CD2), and Iraq War Veteran, of being a “Russian asset.”

The shocking incredulity which Hillary accuses a fellow Democrat of being – an open traitor to our nation, not merely a “faithless” candidate – could possibly be taken seriously, if not at face value – but for at least two things:

Tulsi Gabbard, Promotion to Major

1.) Tulsi Gabbard is a Major in the Hawaii National Guard, and as such, has sworn an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”;

2.) Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq War Veteran, and;

3.) Tulsi Gabbard is a current Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, and in that capacity has similarly sworn an oath of fealty – fidelity to and support of the Constitution.

If what Hillary surreptitiously claimed, suggested, or intimated (she did not mention Rep. Gabbard by name) were true (which it is not), Tulsi would be an open traitor – and she is not.

The seriousness of such charges are not to be taken lightly, which is also why, in large part, that they’re incredulous. Hillary’s claims are not even specious, they are fully unjustified, and wholly unwarranted. And so, they should not, and cannot be taken seriously.

Most American journalistic and media outlets have hardly taken notice, save for a nominal categorical mention on Twitter, and a CBS Evening News report by Norah O’Donnell, and one, or two other stories, including Fox News Tucker Carlson’s brief interview with Tulsi Gabbard about the ordeal shortly after it came to light.

Even Chuck Todd, the marshmallow-soft replacement for the late, take-no-prisoners attorney/host Tim Russert on NBC’s once-revered Sunday newsmaker program Meet the Press, only had a passing interaction on the subject with South Bend, Indiana “Mayor Pete” Buttegieg, who is also a Navy Iraq War Veteran and Democratic candidate to be the party’s Presidential Nominee. Their brief exchange follows:

CHUCK TODD: Before I let you go, I was curious if you had any reaction to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton implying that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard might be a Russian asset.

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: What I’ll say is, I’m not going to get into their dispute. What I will say is we know right now –

TODD: Is that appropriate?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, I suppose when you become a private citizen you can say whatever you want. But…

TODD: I understand that, but she’s a sitting member of Congress. She served.

BUTTIGIEG: Well, I certainly honor her service. As we saw in the debate, I also have strong disagreements with her on topics like Syria. But the bigger issue here is Russia is working to interfere with our elections right now. And we know a big part of how they’re going to do it is exploiting divisions among the American people, with their information operations. We’ve got to become a harder target and as president, I will make sure using all of our tools, diplomatic, economic, and security there is enough deterrence that Russia, or any country, would never again calculate that it is in their interest to mess with our democracy.

TODD: I just wonder if you are comfortable at all – I mean, throw a charge out there making her deny it. That’s a Trumpian move.

BUTTIGIEG: Well, we got to focus on the task at hand right now. And that includes making sure that this presidency comes to an end. That is my focus. That, and what happens after this presidency comes to an end.

TODD: So, you’re comfortable with Hillary Clinton’s critique of Tulsi Gabbard and how she went about it?

BUTTIGIEG: No, I’m not. I’m also not getting in the middle of it because we as a party and as a country have to focus on the future.

NBC’s Chuck Todd was asking “Mayor Pete” Buttegieg about the exchange with David Plouffe and Hillary Clinton in which she spoke about the possibility of another unexpected potential outcome like 2016 (in which the Vladimir Putin-run Russian government significantly meddled online using false narratives and “bots” to alter the outcome according to their wants, thereby getting Donald Trump elected), and the likelihood of Trump’s re-election in conjunction with the possible strategy and tactics they’ll use against the Democratic nomine.

The pertinent part comes about 35 minutes into the one-hour interview. After her controversial remarks, the podcast took a break. In context, and in pertinent part, she said the following: Read the rest of this entry »

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How And Why Bernie Will Defeat Trump

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 28, 2020

Crooked Hillary…

Everyone who pays attention to the news – especially political news – has heard the phrase uttered by the Current White House Occupant, sometimes also known as POS45. There’s even a Wikipedia page of the nicknames he gives folks.

Que sera, sera… eh?

Nevertheless, recall the 2016 General Election?

Why, of course you do!

Who could forget it, right?

I mean, it was a choice between “the devil you know, and the devil you don’t know.” Either way, it was a devil. But at least with one, you could half-way predict what that devil might, could, or possibly would do.

Not so with the other devil.

Or, put another way, a known quantity versus an unknown quantity.

And, time has proven it to be the case.

But for all the investigations which have been launched against her, or about her, and her dealings, nothing has stuck. So maybe she’s the “Teflon Don,” rather than her husband “Blowjob Bill,” eh?

Remember Donna Bazile, the twice-former, interim Democratic National Committee Chair? Recall how she’d been discovered having sharing debate questions with Hillary after a WikiLeaks email dump, and during a second such revelation resigned in shame from her position at CNN as political commentator/pundit?

Yeah… THAT Donna Brazile.

And, perhaps you may recall how she later revealed in her book, an excerpt of which was made into a Politico article, what she’d found when she was briefly DNC chair, specifically, how a back-room deal was struck between Hillary and the DNC a year before the 2016 election campaign season began.

So, let’s recap.

Here’s two of the article’s first three paragraphs, which are excerpted from her book Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House:

“I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.

“So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.”

Focus upon that last sentence – “It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.

“…for which she expected to wield control of its operations.

That, my friends, is a classic example of a quid pro quo – giving one thing of value in exchange for another thing of value. Legally defined as a type of valid contract, the quid pro quo is not an illegal act in and of itself, per se, and must be considered within context to determine if it was an illegal act, or not.

There’s little-to-no question that it was unethical, at the very least, and certainly hasn’t reflected positively on the party, nor upon Hillary.

But how did it get to that point?

After the convention, Ms Brazile called Gary Gensler, Chief Financial Officer of Hillary’s campaign, who told her that the Democratic Party was broke and $2 million in debt.

Stewardship of the party’s finances was in shambles, to say the least, and it was due in significant part, or so she claims, from her predecessor Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Representative from Florida’s 20th Congressional District.

Ms. Wasserman-Schultz, as you may recall, also later resigned as DNC Chair after a tranche of WikiLeaks emails showed she had given significant help to Hillary during her Presidential campaign, rather than remain a supportive, yet independent observer. So perhaps it was for the best, anyway.

Not everyone in the party had been happy with her at the helm, either. Lis Smith, a longtime campaign operative, former Communications Director, and former Deputy Campaign Director for candidates like Martin O’Malley, Bill de Blasio, Claire McCaskill, and Barack Obama, said of Wasserman-Schultz’ resignation that, “Her resignation is good news for Democrats, and great news for anyone who believes the DNC needs wholesale reform. Hopefully we can all learn from her little experiment this past primary season and never repeat it as a party.”

Senator Sanders was more diplomatically circumspect in his remarks, saying that, “While she deserves thanks for her years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people. The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.”

But, back to the story at hand.

Ms. Brazile wrote that while she was interim DNC Chair that, “I wanted to believe Hillary, who made campaign finance reform part of her platform, but I had made this pledge to Bernie and did not want to disappoint him.” But in her search for the “smoking gun,” after diligent efforts, speaking with numerous party lawyers and officials who feigned knowledge or responsibility, she continually came up empty-handed… until later. She wrote:

“When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.

“The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook [Hillary’s Campaign Manager] with a copy to Marc Elias [General Counsel for Hillary’s campaign]—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.”

She wrote that while she was the interim DNC Chair, she experienced some unusual events, which at the time, seemed nothing more than purely odd, if not curious, but certainly not suspicious, nor even eyebrow-raising. One of those trifling matters was that, as chair of the party, she was hamstrung from doing anything the party chair would have normally done, such as write press releases, unless Read the rest of this entry »

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To Trump, or Not To Trump: Religion, Politics, and Voting

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 28, 2019

As I pondered how to begin this entry, numerous thoughts occurred to me about the possible pathway it could take. But the bottom line (Already? Yes, already.) is that what I really want to do is talk about politics and religion.

Sure, almost everyone has heard the adage and encouragements to avoid talking about those two subjects, and almost always to avoid them at holiday family get-togethers. And then, there’s “polite company,” in which one doesn’t want to appear controversial, start a quarrel, or possibly offend someone.

But this is none of the above, and you’ve read this far, so here we go.

Globally, within the last 50 years, and more so since the 1990’s in this nation (the United States), there has emerged a politically active religious movement which has innervated the halls of government at the national and state levels. Local politics has some effect, but nowhere is it more seen and felt than at those two levels.

We have seen the emergence of right-wing extremism in almost all religions, and it’s certainly most visible in the Abrahamic monotheistic religions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity – three sects of a common religion from the same family which essentially share the same god.

In recent history, we have seen it demonstrated as a revolt against liberalism (which is properly defined as “freedom”) in Iran in 1979, in which right-wing religious extremists of the Islamic religion, led by the Ayatollah Ruholla Kohmeni (1902-1989) overthrew the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980). Since that time, the nation has remained under the oppressive religious regime of the Islamic Republican Party.

We have also witnessed events such as the rise of radical Islam in the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS, or ISIL), and numerous sects in other Middle Eastern nations, many of which were formerly free from religious influence in government.

While there are many other complicating features of those nations’ internal struggles, such as governmental oppression, totalitarianism, involvement by foreign governments in propping up leaders seen as useful to those same governments, etc., suffice it to say, it is true that the revolutionary forces were almost exclusively religiously motivated by fear of losing their religion at the hand of the existing governmental state.

In the United States, led in large part by the Reverend Jerry Falwell (1933-2007), founder of Liberty University, and supported by Evangelicals such as Pat Robertson (b.1930) and his 700 Club and Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) led by Paul (1924-2013) and Jan Crouch (1939-2016), and a veritable host of other high-profile religious leaders who used television, such as Oral Roberts (1918-2009), Kenneth Hagin (1917-2003), Kenneth Copeland (b.1936), Jerry Savelle (b.1946), Marilyn Hickey (b.1931), Jimmy Swaggart (b.1935), et al., have exercised significant political sway upon a large portion of the American voting public, which in turn, elected officials and politicians who would do their political bidding in Washington, and in states’ capitols nationwide.

Once described as “values voters” who measured candidates on high moral character, Evangelicals now unify behind an unholy trinity of nativism, xenophobia and White grievance. They have exchanged ethics of accountability principles, to thinking “the end justifies the means,” and have stopped searching for personal character and leadership quality in political leaders, and instead have accepted the actions and morality of their chosen candidates if their election objectives are met.

Such actions are problematic not only for religion, but for government as well. Because if religion has become a tool used by government, it has lost its own internal moral compass, and its influence and usefulness as a force for public virtue, private morality, and social unification has become worthless. And even if that is true (and increasingly, it seems so), then America has lost its own unique character of adherence to principles of tolerance, seeking peaceful resolution to problems, and its own commitment to equality under law.

All those groups and people have one thing in common: they constrain freedom in people by using religion to manipulate government. And yet, as evidenced by numerous hind-sight observations in the 2016 General Election, the irony – and disturbingly eerie parallel – of the matter, is that Evangelicals are no longer adherent to orthodoxy, or traditional “old time religion,” which has become as equally a motivating religious fear factor for them, as much as it is for radical Islam.

In Middle Eastern nations, it has been more violent, but the objectives are the same: Wrest control of the existing government away from its leaders, and install religious extremists in power; curtail personal freedoms; subjugate and limit women to child-rearing and housekeeping roles; deny women education – keep them illiterate; deny women access to contraceptives or abortion services, thereby forcing them to become pregnant and give birth; deny women – and others – voting rights; deny women and others freedom of movement by forbidding them to drive automobiles; force everyone to adhere to the state religion, or face harsh punishment or execution for disobeying, or speaking against it.

While in the United States such drastic measures have not all occurred, little by little, led largely by Republicans, states and the Federal government are enacting laws limiting hard-won civil rights, such as 18-year-olds’ Right to Vote; denying women access to contraception, and limiting therapeutic abortion.

While the argument has changed in tenor and is now couched as a “right to life” (a phrase not found in the Constitution, but only in the Declaration of Independence – “…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”), its beginning is unmistakably religious in origin, having first been promulgated by the Catholic Church, and later adopted by Evangelical Protestants as a tenet of their faith, as well.

But, because many don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye on that subject, those who would restrict others’ freedoms, instead, take a circuitous, surreptitious route to force their beliefs upon others, ultimately, by making voting more difficult, and hoping they’ll stay away from polls on Election Day. Because when voters don’t vote, freedom is the ultimate loser. And sadly, that is how some want it – because they think there’s just too much freedom – and wrongly claim that responsibility is absent from freedom.

This Spring, the Republican-dominated Texas State Legislature enacted legislation which forbids any early voting polling place from being open less than the full 12 days of the early voting period. The net effect is that 9 sites on college and university campuses in the state – as well as 6 campus polling locations in Fort Worth, 2 in Brownsville, and others throughout the state – will be forced to close, effectively disenfranchising very nearly 14,000 full-time student voters.

In Wisconsin, despite the fact that there has never been a case of deliberate student voter fraud in state history, the Republican-led state legislature passed legislation that requires poll workers to check signatures ONLY on student IDs, even though many schools have removed signatures from them because it’s a security risk, since the IDs are also used as debit cards, and room keys. As well, that same law mandates that IDs used for voting purposes must expire in 2 years, while most Student IDs are valid for 4 years. Not only that, but students with acceptable IDs must also show proof of enrollment before being allowed to vote. While the state’s colleges and universities have diligently tried to meet all ID requirements for the students to use school IDs to exercise their voting rights, the end result has been statewide student voter chaos.

In New Hampshire, a Republican-led effort which became law now requires newly-registered voters who also drive, to establish “domicile” there by obtaining a New Hampshire Driver License and automobile registration, which can cost hundreds of dollars annually. The catch is, it affects students almost exclusively, because 60% of the state’s students come from outside the state. That too, was a Republican-led effort by the former Republican Speaker of the House, William O’Brien, who in 2011 promised to restrict student voting and said they are “kids voting liberal, voting their feelings, with no life experience.”

In Texas, which ranks dead last in voter turnout, the state’s Republican legislators have restricted student voter pre-registration to 2 months before the student’s 18th birthday, excludes use of college and university-issued ID cards, mandates that state driver licenses be used -and- only if they sign a form swearing that they could not reasonably obtain an “accepted” voter ID, and explain why.

Tennessee isn’t too far behind. That state’s Republican legislators use a convenient loophole in the law requiring election officials to help register high school students to avoid fulfilling their obligation, do not accept student IDs as valid for voting purposes, and have excluded out-of-state Driver Licenses as forms of valid Voter ID. The state’s 4 most populous cities – Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis, and Chattanooga – also have significant student populations, and no on-campus early voting polling locations. However, a recent law requires those who would – for pay – register voters, to take a 30 minute course offered by the Secretary of State, while those who would – not for hire – register voters out of a sense of civil service, are not required to take the course. Although, the state’s General Assembly does allow expired IDs such as United States Passport, military photo ID, TN driver license, and TN handgun carry permit with photo, and photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, to be used as valid forms of Voter ID.

Sunny Florida doesn’t fare so well, either. That state’s Republican Secretary of State outlawed on-campus early voting sites in 2014, but following a Federal court challenge, the decision was overturned and 60,000 votes were cast on campuses statewide in the 2018 election. Not to be outdone, the state’s legislators re-enacted the ban and required all early voting sites to have “sufficient non-permitted parking,” which is often difficult to find.

The Tarheel State hasn’t been very friendly to student voters, either. North Carolina’s Republican legislators passed a Voter ID law in 2018 that accepted student IDs as valid for voting purposes, albeit with caveats so burdensome that even major state universities couldn’t comply. While the law was relaxed somewhat, confusion still exists, and consequently, less than half of the state’s 180 accredited institutions have sought Voter ID certification for their students’ IDs.

Aside from the common denominator of student status, the single greatest factor in all these cases is that students reliably vote for Democratic candidates.

Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government found in a March 2019 poll that Read the rest of this entry »

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History Repeats Itself: How Alabama’s Anti-Crossover Voting Law Violates the Constitution

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 10, 2018

Alabama Political Reporter news writer Brandon Mosely wrote in a story headlined “Alabama secretary of state releases updates on crossover voting,” and published December 7, 2018, that “the Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday that it has discovered 398 violations of Alabama’s new crossover voting rules in the 2018 election cycle.

“At the conclusion of the 2017 United States Senate Special Election Run-off, the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office reviewed a formal, routine election report indicating that 140 individuals had been given credit for voting in the Democrat primary election on August 15th and then voting in the Republican run-off election on September 26. This action, termed crossover voting, is an action which would violate the State’s new crossover voting law (Act No. 2017-340).

“… under Alabama law it is illegal to vote in both a party primary and then vote in another party’s primary runoff. In the general election, voters are allowed to vote for candidates from both parties and/or independent or minor party candidates. 66 percent of Alabamians straight party voted in the 2018 election. Alabama does not have party registration, so any voter is allowed to participate in the party primary of their choice.”

He cited Act No. 2017-340, which as summarized on the state legislature’s website as, “Act 2017-340, SB108, amends Section 17-4-2.1, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to voting, to allow the Secretary of State to use electronic poll books instead of printed lists of qualified voters.  The act also prohibits any voter from voting in a primary runoff election unless the voter voted in the preceding primary election of the party for which the runoff election is being held.”

A PDF image of the actual document, which was signed by the Governor Kay Ivey, May 22, 2017, 1:30PM, may be found here>http://arc-sos.state.al.us/PAC/SOSACPDF.001/A0012111.PDF.

The act, which originated as SB108 (Senate Bill) and was sponsored by Senators Tom Whatley, Cam Ward, Clyde Chambliss, Tripp Pittman, Bill Holtzclaw and Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh – all Republicans – states in part that the law will “prohibit a voter from voting in a primary runoff election unless the voter voted in the preceding primary election of the party for which the runoff election is being held.”

The purpose of the bill (now law as Code of Alabama 1975,17-4-2.1(9)) was ostensibly to Read the rest of this entry »

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Voting Problems Exist Because There’s No National Uniform Voting Standards Law

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 10, 2018

Cindy McCain, widow of late Arizona Republican Senator John McCain (1936-2018)

Cindy McCain, widow of late Republican Arizona Senator John McCain, on Thursday, November 8, 2018 criticized the Arizona GOP about a state GOP-initiated lawsuit over counting mail-in ballots by Tweeting, “ I am one of those mail in ballots. I was under the impression my vote was always counted.

Her Tweet was in response to the Arizona GOP’s efforts to get a judge to issue orders to stop counting mail-in ballots in the race for US Senate to fill the seat being vacated by Jeff Flake, a Republican. The two candidates, Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema find themselves in extremely close competition.

 

 

Both candidates are also Arizona Congressional Representatives. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has represented the 9th Congressional District, while Republican Martha McSally has represented the 2nd Congressional District.

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/415894-cindy-mccain-rips-arizona-gop-for-suing-over-counting-mail-in-ballots-i-am

In court Thursday morning November 8, 2018, state Republican leaders were challenging mail-in ballots in Yuma, Navajo, Apache and Maricopa counties after the GOP parties in those counties filed a lawsuit challenging the way counties verify signatures on mail-in ballots that are dropped off at the polls on Election Day. The lawsuit did NOT allege any type of fraud.

The US Census Bureau estimated the 2017 population of Apache County as 71,606; Navajo County as 108,956; Yuma County as 207,534; and Maricopa County as 4,307,033. Maricopa County is location of the PhoenixMesaGlendale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area. Together, those four counties comprise 66.9% of Arizona’s 7,016,270 estimated 2017 population.

Maricopa County Judge Margaret R. Mahoney

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Margaret Mahoney ruled that the counties should continue doing what they’re doing, and set another hearing for 2 p.m. Friday. And as of Friday morning, Sinema had a 9,000 vote lead over McSally. However, by Friday afternoon, her lead had expanded to over 20,000 votes.

When the two parties met in court, there was little fanfare, no grandstanding, and no contentious sparks flew, so it made for very poor political theatre, though others nationally attempted to inject false explosive allegations and deceptive narratives into the matter by deliberately gross mischaracterization.

The primary point of the suit involved a much more mundane matter, and specifically, the legal challenge was focused upon on a lack of procedural consistency in the time frame that counties allowed voters to correct signature “issues” on mail-in ballots.

And in only a matter of minutes after the AZ GOP held a grandstanding news/press conference in which they made accusation saying, “The Democrats are stealing the election and we’re not going to allow it,” and immediately before the court hearing, all of the counties and the Republican groups had come to an agreement, which Judge Mahoney approved with no fanfare.

The settlement, was that all of Arizona’s 15 counties would allow voters to verify the signatures on their ballots through 5 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Martha McSally, R-AZ

Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ

And the overriding irony of the matter, is that the counties whose election practices they ended up changing, were largely run by Republicans.

As of Saturday, 10 November, the Democrat Kyrsten Sinema still had about a 20,000 vote lead over Republican Martha McSally, according to The Arizona Republic, online as AZCentral, which is the state’s most-widely circulated newspaper.

There were also an estimated 360,000 outstanding ballots still being counted statewide. Of those, an estimated 266,000 are from Maricopa County.

For now, Sinema is leading in Maricopa and Pima counties by a net 83,652 votes. McSally’s lead in the state’s other 13 counties is 65,113.

Arizona’s protracted vote-count is due in large part to the need to verify signatures for those who vote by mail, which represents the bulk of ballots.

So far, the Democrat Sinema is winning the Republican-leaning Maricopa County by 3.3 percentage points.

One reason the race and ballot count is so hotly contested, is because the Republicans are in jeopardy of losing a Senate seat in the state for the first time in 30 years. As well, what also makes this race particularly interesting, is that Maricopa County has traditionally been a GOP stronghold, where Republicans outnumber Democrats by 130,000.

But, in essence, here’s a nut of what’s been happening not only there, but in other states, as well.

In some states, there are so-called “exact match” laws, rules, or regulations concerning the signatures of voters who cast absentee, or mail-in ballots, and in essence, those “exact match” laws, rules, or regulations give broad discretion to anyone counting those ballots to exercise their personal opinion – untrained, non-expert, unscientific independent judgment – about someone’s signature, specifically, whether they believe it was signed by the person who attested to signing it, or not. In other words, no expertise is required.

That is problematic for several reasons, not the least of which is that Read the rest of this entry »

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How To: Increase Voter Access, Voter Participation, Vote Security, Voting Ease

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Today is Election Day!

The 2018 Mid-Term Elections are NOW underway!

Which brings us to another point:
With the proliferation of confusing and contradictory laws varying from state-to-state, often-unnecessary voter purges, voter suppression efforts, disenfranchisement attempts, and often outright intimidation, it makes perfectly good sense for Congress to step up to the plate, and take control of the 50-state hodgepodge patchwork mishmash voting-related varieties to establish National Uniform Voting Standards.

They certainly have the authority, as evidenced by the various laws concerning voting, including the 15th Amendment, 19th Amendment, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (aka Motor Voter), and others.

Now, they should act!

There are MANY excellent examples we could follow, including Read the rest of this entry »

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Russians Hacked Into Election Software

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The ONLY FAILSAFE means to electronically count ballots is by using an Optical Scanning system. Votes can be counted manually, and Voter Intent can be determined by examining ballots. I write from experience as an Election Official in numerous elections. Can any electronic device be hacked? Yes. But physical ballots are the “backup” which can be examined to check against any suspicious machine, or software.

—//—

Russians Hacked Into Election Software, Databases In 39 States

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they complained directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.”

By Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson, Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON – Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step — complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.” In October, two of the people said, the White House contacted the Kremlin on the back channel to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict.

The new details, buttressed by a classified National Security Agency document recently disclosed by the Intercept, show the scope of alleged hacking that federal investigators are scrutinizing as they look into whether Trump campaign officials may have colluded in the efforts. But they also paint a worrisome picture for future elections: The newest portrayal of potentially deep vulnerabilities in the U.S.’s patchwork of voting technologies comes less than a week after former FBI Director James Comey warned Congress that Moscow isn’t done meddling.

“They’re coming after America. They will be back.”

– Former FBI Director James Comey testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington declined to comment on the agency’s probe.

Russian officials have publicly denied any role in cyberattacks connected to the U.S. elections, including a massive “spear phishing” effort that compromised Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, among hundreds of other groups. President Vladimir Putin said in recent comments to reporters that criminals inside the country could have been involved without having been sanctioned by the Russian government.

One of the mysteries about the 2016 presidential election is why Russian intelligence, after gaining access to state and local systems, didn’t try to disrupt the vote. One possibility is that the American warning was effective. Another former senior U.S. official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the classified U.S. probe into pre-election hacking, said a more likely explanation is that several months of hacking failed to give the attackers the access they needed to master America’s disparate voting systems spread across more than 7,000 local jurisdictions.

Such operations need not change votes to be effective. In fact, the Obama administration believed that the Russians were possibly preparing to delete voter registration information or slow vote tallying in order to undermine confidence in the election. That effort went far beyond the carefully timed release of private communications by individuals and parties.

One former senior U.S. official expressed concern that the Russians now have three years to build on their knowledge of U.S. voting systems before the next presidential election, and there is every reason to believe they will use what they have learned in future attacks.

As the first test of a communication system designed to de-escalate cyber conflict between the two countries, the cyber “red phone” — not a phone, in fact, but a secure messaging channel for sending urgent messages and documents — didn’t quite work as the White House had hoped. NBC News first reported that use of the red phone by the White House last December.

The White House provided evidence gathered on Russia’s hacking efforts and reasons why the U.S. considered it dangerously aggressive. Russia responded by asking for more information and providing assurances that it would look into the matter even as the hacking continued, according to the two people familiar with the response.

“Last year, as we detected intrusions into websites managed by election officials around the country, the administration worked relentlessly to protect our election infrastructure,” said Eric Schultz, a spokesman for former President Barack Obama. “Given that our election systems are so decentralized, that effort meant working with Democratic and Republican election administrators from all across the country to bolster their cyber defenses.”

Illinois, which was among the states that gave the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security almost full access to investigate its systems, provides a window into the hackers’ successes and failures.

In early July 2016, a contractor who works two or three days a week at the state board of elections detected unauthorized data leaving the network, according to Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois board of elections. The hackers had gained access to Read the rest of this entry »

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American Poverty: Where is it, and what does it look like? Is it even what we think it is?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 12, 2017

You’ve likely seen a meme floating around referencing how America’s Most Poverty Stricken counties voted Republican.

Yes?

I decided to research the matter to see:
1.) If it was true, and;
2.) Exactly what else I’d find.

While my analysis isn’t fully complete, there are already some early fascinating findings.

Breaking down Poverty into two categories – Per Capita Income (PCI) and Median Household Income (MHI) – has shown “the usual suspects,” but exposed some not-so-usual ones, as well.

For example, we often hear that West Virginia is a very High Poverty state, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Data from the United States Census Bureau (USCB) backs up those claims… yet only to a limited extent.

But, “pockets” of poverty may exist in an otherwise not-so-poor state (and they do), and a state may have a high number of Read the rest of this entry »

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Voting Participation Rates: A Steady Decline… Or Not?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 26, 2017

As of today – Sunday, March 26, 2017 –  we are less than 100 days into President Donald Trump’s term in office, and his approval ratings – so far, a low of 37% –  are practically subterranean. According to Gallup, his highest approval rating thus far has been 46%, which was a three-day average shortly after he was inaugurated, from January 23-25, 2017. An average of all presidents from 1938-2017 at this point in their presidency (first year, first term) is 53%. Two-term Republican Dwight David Eisenhower (previously former Supreme Allied Commander during WWII) was the highest with a 74% approval rating in March 1953. Oft-maligned Democrat President Jimmy Carter had a 72% approval rating March 1977, and JFK had 73% in March 1961. A reminder that JFK was later assassinated November 22, 1963. More recently however, Barack Obama had a 62% approval rating March 2009.

A reminder also that the 2018 Election (aka “Midterm”) is arriving quickly, and for many, it will be one of THE MOST SIGNIFICANT elections in a lifetime, because ALL 435 seats in the House of Representatives and Read the rest of this entry »

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Answering @chrkirk: Electoral College’s Voting Problems Violates Equal Protection Clause

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 19, 2016

New York Times Op-Chart: How Much Is Your Vote Worth? This map shows each state re-sized in proportion to the relative influence of the individual voters who live there. The numbers indicate the total delegates to the Electoral College from each state, and how many eligible voters a single delegate from each state represents. Source: The United States Election Project at George Mason University.

How Much Is Your Vote Worth?
From: New York Times Op-Chart November 2, 2008
This map shows each state re-sized in proportion to the relative influence of the individual voters who live there. The numbers indicate the total delegates to the Electoral College from each state, and how many eligible voters a single delegate from each state represents.
Source: The United States Election Project at George Mason University.

Having read the article How Powerful Is Your Vote? by Chris Kirk several times, I still disagree with it. The article’s premise is that by using the Electoral College (EC) system, the votes cast in less populated states are somehow “more powerful” than those in more populated states. To posit such an assertion is to demonstrate a wholesale lack of understanding of the system. That is not to say the EC system is perfect, nor that changes to it are not needed; rather, it only acknowledges the author’s fundamentally deep misunderstanding of the manner in which the system is established, and a virtually wholesale ignorance of the Constitution.

Apparently, as evidenced by the graphic seen herein, others are similarly misguided. However, one would expect more from George Mason University. Much more, in fact. However, to understand – as I mention later – the bias is strictly and exclusively from including 2 Senators in the number of Electors. Dr. Mark Newman, PhD, who is the Anatol Rapoport Distinguished University Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan correctly writes that “The electors are apportioned among the states roughly according to population, as measured by the census, but with a small but deliberate bias in favor of less populous states.

According to the Constitution in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 & 3, Electoral Votes in each state are equal to Read the rest of this entry »

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How TRUE is “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”? You’d be surprised… or, maybe not.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Remember how ANGRY some folks got when Michael Weisskopf (b.1946) of the Washington Post wrote on February 1, 1993 (link to original article with the WaPo’s editorial addendum) that the simple-minded evangelical groupies of Jerry Falwell (who himself died in 2007), Pat Robertson (b.1930), et al, that:
The gospel lobby evolved with the explosion of satellite and cable television, hitting its national political peak in the presidential election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

“Unlike other powerful interests, it does not lavish campaign funds on candidates for Congress nor does it entertain them. The strength of fundamentalist leaders lies in their flocks. Corporations pay public relations firms millions of dollars to contrive the kind of grass-roots response that Falwell or Pat Robertson can galvanize in a televised sermon. Their followers are largely poor, uneducated and easy to command.

“”The thing that makes them powerful is they’re mobilizable,” said Seymour Martin Lipset (d.2006), professor of public policy at George Mason University. “You can activate them to vote, and that’s particularly important in congressional primaries where the turnout is usually low.”

“Some studies put the number of evangelical Americans as high as 40 million, with the vast majority considered politically conservative.”

[ed. note: The excerpt, which has frequently been distilled to “largely poor, uneducated and easy to command,” is provided here in full proper context with leading and following sentences, not merely excerpted, in order to thoroughly show proper context.]

It’s true.

Folks don’t get mad because of falsehoods.

They get mad because of truth.

It’s true.

According to the United States Census Bureau (USCB), in 2015 (22 years AFTER that was written), 32.5% of the American public aged 25, or older, have a Bachelor’s Degree (Table 1.), which is CLEARLY a minority. Thus, we see automatically the “largely” part of “uneducated.”

The USCB has also performed research on income, which is similarly delineated and categorized by education. For the year 2011 (18 years AFTER the remarks were made), and those aged 25+ with at least a Bachelor’s Degree, the average income was Read the rest of this entry »

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Vote Fraud Explained, and Prevention

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 2, 2016

I write the following as an experienced election official, having participated in various levels and capacities of electioneering, as poll watcher, at polling locations, re-counting ballots in close and contended elections, and counting absentee ballots.

Voter fraud and voting fraud may be two sides of the same vote fraud coin. Allow me to explain.

An Iraqi citizen, turning his head to protect his identity, proudly displays the indelible ink on his finger as proof he has voted in Iraq's first free election in over 50 years on Jan. 30, 2005. Everyone voting in the historic election has to mark their finger with the ink to indicate they have already voted as a means to deter voting fraud. DoD photo by Master Sgt. Dave Ahlschwede, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

An Iraqi citizen, turning his head to protect his identity, proudly displays the indelible ink on his finger as proof he has voted in Iraq’s first free election in over 50 years on Jan. 30, 2005. Everyone voting in the historic election has to mark their finger with the ink to indicate they have already voted as a means to deter voting fraud. DoD photo by Master Sgt. Dave Ahlschwede, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

In some lesser-developed nations, evidence of having voted has been accomplished by having the voter dip their finger in an indelible, semi-permanent ink. The world has seen it used in Read the rest of this entry »

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There’s something to be said for mothers

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 21, 2013


1“Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,a for this is the right thing to do. 2“Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”b

4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.” cf.Ephesians 6:1-4 NLT

Politically, it certainly seems that Southerners have been more often wrong, than correct.

And today, continuing the tradition of Radical Liberal Republicans who endeavor to remove voting rights and foist more atrocities upon the nation, they continue to be “right” about being wrong.

Consider the following:

SUNDAY Aug. 18, 2013

“On this date in 1920, the 19th Amendment Read the rest of this entry »

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Medgar Evers, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift & Scott Beason walk into a voting booth…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 13, 2013

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. After returning from overseas military service in World War II and completing his secondary education, he became active in the civil rights movement. He became a field secretary for the NAACP. Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens' Council. As a veteran, Evers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His murder and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests, as well as numerous works of art, music, and film.

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. After returning from overseas military service in World War II and completing his secondary education, he became active in the civil rights movement. He became a field secretary for the NAACP. Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens’ Council. As a veteran, Evers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His murder and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests, as well as numerous works of art, music, and film.

June 12, 2013, marked the 50th anniversary of Medgar Evers’ death in Jackson, Mississippi.

Bob Dylan’s music on Medgar Evers was recently featured on NPR’ afternoon news program, All Things Considered.

As the guest spoke, it occurred to me that the primary difference between this era, and the era of the late Civil Rights leader is that the exceeding majority of today’s youthful musicians are out for the almighty dollar, rather than speaking their hearts and minds for the causes of truth, justice, and the American way.

It’s all about the money.

And according to some, there is perhaps no better representative of the “me” generation than Taylor Swift.

Historical Racist Promotional Image - Citizen's Council of Greater New Orleans, Inc.

Historical Racist Promotional Image – Citizen’s Council of Greater New Orleans, Inc.

Not being familiar with the body of Miss Swift’s work, I must rely upon interviews with her, and from remarks by those whom are familiar with her work. And it seems that there are many who utterly despise her work, for no other reason than that “practically every song she sings is about herself.”

And in defense of Miss Swift, regarding her work, she has said, “I’ve been very selfish about my songs. I’ve Read the rest of this entry »

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Once, upon a time, FaceBookistan held a vote on their Privacy Policy… and there was 0.04% turnout.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Now let’s be honest about this.

How many people here KNEW that FaceBook was conducting a privacy policy vote?

Raise your hands and wave if you did.

How’d you find out?

Did you tell your friends?

Do these issue even raise the slightest bit of concern with you?

Even if these issues do concern you, why doesn’t FaceBook make greater, more significant efforts to inform their user base & general public?

Slowly but surely FaceBookistan is becoming like the elephant in the tent.

Slowly but surely, your privacy is being eroded.

Does anyone really give a rat’s rip?

Facebook Holds a Vote and Turnout Is Low

By SOMINI SENGUPTA, June 8, 2012, 9:39 pm

It has more than 900 million people. It has its own currency. And this month, for the first time, the digital republic known as Facebook held elections of a sort: it offered users a chance to vote on the way the site is governed, including how the company deploys its users’ data.

Turnout was spectacularly bad in the digital republic that the writer Rebecca Mackinnon has dubbed Facebookistan. Fewer than 350,000 Facebook users voted, or under 0.04 percent.

“Given these efforts and the subsequent turnout,” Elliot Schrage, its vice president of communications and public policy, wrote on the site, “We plan to Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Gov. Bentley OKs Millions in State Executive Salaries during Proration

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 20, 2012

During a time in which Republican Alabama governor Dr. Robert Bentley has declared 10.6% proration statewide, he has simultaneously approved several million dollars in executive salaries & compensation for state employees whom are hand-picked by the governor and his cronies.

The total value of the compensation packages – which includes state taxpayer funded retirement, taxpayer paid health insurance & taxpayer paid Cost Of Living Adjustments – could be well in excess of $2,400,000.

Read on to see how & why. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tiny printing problem on ballots causes small stir in Mobile, Alabama -or- The Benefits of Optical Scanner Ballots

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 15, 2012

{UPDATE 3/15/12: I modified the title of this entry, because I believe it more accurately reflects what I wish to express in sharing this entry, that…} While no balloting system is perfect, Alabama‘s system – the Optech Eagle 2000 optical scanner – is the best I’ve ever seen or used. Having been an election official in numerous elections throughout the state where the system is implemented (and the system is implemented state wide), I have never seen, nor heard of any failures or inability of ballots to be counted.

The beauty of that system is that even if electricity or the machines fail, ballots are able to be securely cast by voters, because they’re deposited in a securely locked box to which the ballot counting machine is attached. And even if there were no machines to function at all, ballots could be counted and voter intent determined by manual examination of the ballots. Voters can even request a new ballot if they cast their ballot in error, or change their mind. The “glitch” described in this story – while exceedingly rare – in no way detracted from the ability of votes to be counted, or voter intent determined.

With electronic balloting however, if a machine fails or electrical power fails, there’s no way for voters to cast their ballots. As well, electronic algorithms and computer code can be hacked. And security breaches of such code continues to be problematic. Further, if a voter casts a ballot in error, voters cannot change their vote with electronic balloting.

Mobile County ballot problems caused by tiny printing error

mobile-county-election-ballot-faultjpg-f7710190644111fd

A small printing error on some Mobile County ballots forced poll workers to count thousands by hand late Tuesday.

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 6:00 PM     Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 6:06 PM

Katherine Sayre, Press-Register By Katherine Sayre, Press-Register
MOBILE, Alabama — A printing mistake on some Mobile County ballots in Tuesday’s election caused electronic voting machines to reject them — forcing poll workers to count roughly 3,000 ballots by hand into the early morning hours, Probate Court officials said today.

“This little white dot,” said Probate Judge Don Davis, pointing to a white, donut-shaped mark barely one-tenth of an inch wide.

The tiny error, though, ended up in an important spot, on the security markings that let the electronic machines know whether to count it. The markings look like a bar code stretching along the side of the ballot.

The faulty marks appeared only on Read the rest of this entry »

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