Early Voting All Over Wisconsin! Grab a Friend and Head for the Early Voting!!

Early voting in Wisconsin began Oct. 22 and wraps up at the close of business Friday. Applications for an absentee ballot sent by mail must arrive at municipal clerks’ offices by the end of the business day Thursday.

More than 225,000 Wisconsin residents had requested absentee ballots as of late Thursday, according to state election officials. Updated numbers are expected today.

During the 2008 presidential election, one in five Wisconsin voters used absentee ballots. Officials expect about the same numbers this year, according to a statement released this week by Kevin Kenned, director of the state Government Accountability Board.

Clerks across Wisconsin say voters appreciate the convenience of early voting — officially known as in-person absentee voting — even though the Legislature this session shortened the period in which to cast votes by two weeks.

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Voters Getting Misleading Calls to Make Their Vote Over the Phone

One Cape Coral, Florida woman says she got a phone call designed to rob her of her vote.

“She told me I didn’t have to go and vote on Election Day, I could vote then and there over the phone,” said Noelle Bishop.

Bishop says the woman calling said she was with the Republican National Committee.

After Bishop questioned her, the conversation stopped and all that was heard was a dial tone.

“I got annoyed,” she said.

Feeling this was a potential scheme in the making, Bishop used the *69 service to get the mystery caller’s number and to call it back to get answers.

She didn’t have any luck.

“Nothing, it doesn’t accept incoming calls,” Bishop explained.

Bishop passed along the information to Cape Coral Police and the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington.

Rest of the article here

Vote Registration Dumper Nathan Sprouls and American Crossroads PAC Located at Same Office for Romney’s Campaign

Since 2004, Mr. Sproul’s companies — he has operated under several corporate names — have collected more than $17.6 million from Republican committees, candidates and the “super PAC” American Crossroads, mostly for voter registration operations, according to campaign finance records…

But questions about Mr. Sproul’s methods first emerged in 2004, when one of his companies, Sproul & Associates, was paid nearly $8 million during the election cycle. The payouts made the company the seventh-biggest recipient of campaign expenditures by the committee, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Mr. Sproul declined to be interviewed.

This is an address:
45 North Hill Drive, Suite 100
Warrenton, VA 20186

This is the address of the law firm HoltzmanVogelJosefiak PLLC
HoltzmanVogelJosefiak PLLC provides counseling and compliance services to individuals, corporations, non-profit organizations, trade associations, PACs, Super PACs and candidates who are engaged in influencing the public policy arena in Washington and across the nation.
They have 10 partners in this firm. It’s not uncommon for a State Representative to use a work address as a constituent address. That State Senator Vogel and her law firm share an office in and of itself is not necessarily scandalous.

This is an address:
45 North Hills Drive
Suite 100
Warrenton, VA 20186

It is the address written on an IRS form declaring the status of a 527. Open secrets explains what a 527 is. The name of this particular 527 is American Crossroads. It’s president, Steven J. Law is named as the contact person at the Warrenton address. He is also the President of it’s sister organization, Crossroads GPS. The former is a Super PAC, the latter is a 501( C )(4) and works in conjunction with American Crossroads. As a 501( c )(4) nonprofit, Crossroads GPS’s primary purpose is the advancement of social welfare including public policy advocacy. See also: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

Nathan Sproul appears to still be working for the GOP. In spite of the party firing Strategic Allied Consultants, LLC., Brad Friedman reports at his blog that the company has morphed into yet another form and is continuing its behavior calling itself “Issue Advocacy Partners”. It should be noted that when the original Florida fraud allegation came to light, the Virginia GOP cut its ties with the Nathan Sproul-led Strategic Allied Consultants, LLC.

Virginia’s Republican Party has cut ties with a firm it paid $500,000 in August for “new voter and absentee ballot registration” services here, as the registration deadline looms, in the wake of a scandal involving the company in Florida.

That firm, suburban Richmond-based Strategic Allied Consulting, has also been dropped in other swing states, including Florida — the state’s Palm Beach Post newspaper initially reported on official concerns about some voter registration forms submitted.

Here is the interesting thing: according to this (page 106), Strategic Allied Consulting LLC has an address listed as 4701 Cox Rd., Glenn Allen, VA 23060. This perhaps is the state office used for billing purposes as it differs from the Address listed in the Florida complaint. Strategic Allied Consulting was the only New Voter and Absentee Ballot registration firm used by the Republican Party of Virginia according to this Itemized Disbursements PDF. It was filed September 17, 2012. It covers the time period of 8/1/12 to 8/31/12. The September disbursement will not be available until the 20th of this month. It will be interesting to see if the GOP hired a new Voter and Absentee Ballot registration firm — and if so, who was hired. As a matter of fact, in September the LA Times reported:

Sproul said he created Strategic Allied Consulting at the RNC’s request because the party wanted to avoid being publicly linked to the past allegations. The firm was set up at a Virginia address, and Sproul does not show up on the corporate paperwork.

“In order to be able to do the job that the state parties were hiring us to do, the [RNC] asked us to do it with a different company’s name, so as to not be a distraction from the false information put out in the Internet,” Sproul said.

The state GOP paid Strategic Alliance for voter inititives in Virginia, but it appears as though the national efforts found a home at 45 North Hills Drive, Suite 100 Warrenton, Virginia

The question I am trying to find out, and I think this is critical: why is a politician, a super PAC and a voter registration firm listed at the SAME office of an address of a law office that specializes in counseling and compliance PACs, Super PACs and candidates right here in Virginia? This election cycle it is clear that the GOP paid Mr. Sproul’s company, but is this firm also coordinating with American Crossroads?

Rest of the article here

Early Voting Has Started in Florida!!

The majority of voters will have access to the maximum possible hours of 96, spread over eight straight 12-hour days. That’s because supervisors of elections in all large counties chose that schedule, seeking to maximize turnout and reduce chances of long lines on Election Day and confusion from the change in early voting days.

The Legislature last year reduced the number of days from 14 to eight, ending on a Saturday three days before the Nov. 6 election. The state had required 96 hours of early voting but the law was changed to allow at least 48 hours and a maximum of 96, while eliminating early voting on the last Sunday before Election Day.

Miami-Dade and Broward counties are offering the maximum 96 hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for eight consecutive days, beginning Saturday.

“Miami-Dade voters are accustomed to the availability of early voting for 96 hours,” said Christina White, the deputy county election supervisor, in a statement. “To minimize the inconvenience to our voters after the change in law, we felt it was in their best interest to continue offering the maximum numbers of hours allowable by law.”

Miami-Dade elections officials are holding a press conference Friday to announce its early voting hours and locations. They are also advising voters to come prepared because of a longer than usual ballot.

Rest of the article here

Atty. General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice Take on Romney Backed Voter Suppression in Several States

These laws, passed by predominately Republican state legislatures, are being broadly challenged, especially in battleground states like Pennsylvania. [1, 2]. Opponents, largely democrats, argue that these laws place a heavy burden on the poor, the elderly, and minority groups, and suggest that it is no coincidence that these targeted groups tend to vote democratic at an exceptionally high rate. [1, 3]. Supporters, however, claim that their only goal is to prevent voter fraud which diminishes the integrity of our electoral process. [1, 2].

…The Department of Justice has challenged the laws in Florida, Texas and South Carolina. [4]. In Maine and Ohio, voters took action to combat these laws. [4]. Additionally, cases have been brought in both state and federal courts by a number of parties in Wisconsin, Missouri, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. [4]. As of October 3, 10 courts have either blocked or limited these voting laws, while the Department of Justice has blocked another. [4].

The most recent action blunting the effects of these laws was handed down on October 2 by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. In Applewhite v. Commonwealth, the court, on remand from the state’s Supreme Court, issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the photo identification requirement of the state’s law upon finding that there had not been sufficient efforts put forth to ensure “liberal access” to such identifying documentation. [1, 7]. However, voters may still be asked to present photo identification. [1, 7]. This has led to concerns of confusing voters, as well as uncertainty about the future of voting rights in the state. [1]. Because the ruling only granted a preliminary injunction, the law has not been invalidated, and interested parties may find themselves in court yet again litigating this same issue. [1].

Similarly, the voter identification law passed in Texas, which had been challenged by the Department of Justice, made its way to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. [3, 4, 8]. On August 30, the court ruled in Texas v. Holder, sustaining the Attorney General and Department of Justice’s denial of preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. [3, 8]. In doing so, the Court found that the state of Texas had not demonstrated that the law would not in effect “lead to a retrogression in the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise,” the legal standard for approval of voting-procedure changes declared by the United States Supreme Court in Beer v. United States, 425 U.S. 130, 141 (1976). [3, 8]. In fact, they found instead that it may do just that. [8]. In the unanimous opinion, Judge Tatel noted that this law placed an undue burden on a number of the state’s poor. [3]. He cited particularly the fact that approximately one third of counties did not have an office for documents to be procured, their cost, and that acquiring documentation could require a 200 mile round trip for people without drivers licenses. [3, 8]. Speaking to the greater Constitutional question, he said “[a] law that forces poorer citizens to choose between their wages and their franchise unquestionably denies or abridges their right to vote.” [9].

Rest of the article here