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Voting Project Manual

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					THE
VOTING
PROJECT
How to Run a Voter                                        laws relating to voter registration. Be certain that
                                                          each person knows the eligibility requirements for
Registration Drive in                                     registration and how important it is for the voter to fill
                                                          in correct and complete information on the card.
your State
In order to maintain the freedoms that we as                1. Who can register to vote?
Americans hold dear, it is important to encourage           In most states, the basic requirements for registering
active citizen participation in the electoral process.      to vote are:
The most important, most basic act that a citizen can         • You must be a U.S. Citizen
perform is voting.                                            • A resident of the state you are registering in
                                                              • At least 18 years of age on Election Day
In anticipation of conducting a registration drive            • Not in prison or on parole for the conviction of
in your state, there are some basic things that all             a felony
groups should know regarding laws, the registration           • And not judged by a court to be mentally
application, and how to gain approval for your drive.           incompetent.

After consulting with the elections office and getting      2. Who can Register Voters?
all the appropriate resources, it’s important to gather     Anyone can assist another person with registering to
some data and targeting your voting population. Large       vote. You do not even have to be a resident of
national groups like ACORN combine Census data
                                                            the area in order to register voters. However, some
to target certain segments of the population, but for
                                                            states require that if you help someone fill out the
small drives, a simple voter list may also be helpful.
                                                            registration card, you do have to fill in and sign
Questions to consider include:
                                                            the form in the spaces provided for that purpose.
                                                            Election laws can give county elections officials the
  • How many persons in your target jurisdiction are        authority to decline to give voter registration cards
    18 years old or older?                                  to anyone who has been convicted of violating voter
  • How many people voted in the last election?             registration laws within the last five years.
  • What was the party ratio?
  • Of the total voting age population, how many            3. Where to get the Cards
    people are actually registered to vote?                 To get county voter registration cards, contact the
  • How many are not registered? Why, in your best          appropriate county elections official or the board of
    judgment, are those people not registered to vote?      elections. The national voter registration form is also
  • Who and where are they? Who do you want to              available online for U.S. citizens who live, or have an
    reach in your registration drive?                       address, within the United States. It is best to use the
                                                            forms provided by the state or county though.
Know the Law                                                4. Returning Completed Cards.
It is critical that everyone working for you, or under      It is extremely important to return all cards in a
your direction, understands the procedures and

NOTES
 timely fashion and some states even impose limits on         conversation as they pass and ask them if they are
 how long a person registering voters can hold a card         registered to vote.
 before returning it. Be sure to check the laws in your     • Be pro-active
 state. Completed cards may be returned either by
 mail or in person.                                       Points to Remember
                                                           • To assure that the person completes the form have
Be Prepared                                                  them fill it out immediately at your table.
                                                           • Forms are sent to the Board of Elections
Promotion
                                                           • Use the voter registration sign-up sheets to get
 • Place an announcement in your local paper                 their names, addresses and phone numbers so
 • Drop off flyers at churches, gun stores and other         we can keep them informed on issues as well as
   high-traffic venues.                                      upcoming elections.
 • Utilize social networking tools like Twitter,           • Make sure to be polite to the Board of Elections
   Facebook and Four Square.                                 staff and to always express your appreciation
 • Partner with other citizen groups to spread the           for their help and the importance of the duty
   word                                                      of voting. This helps you to build a trusting
 • Set up interviews with local radio stations or get        relationship with the BOE for when you plan your
   them to run a PSA regarding your event.                   next drive.

Necessary Materials
 • Voter registration form
                                                          Common Questions
 • A clip board or legal pad so you can copy down the     Regarding Voter
   names and contact information of the people who
   register                                               Registrations
 • Pens                                                   Citizenship
 • Folding table                                          The most basic requirement for registering to vote is
 • Flyers about your group                                United States citizenship. A person who registers to
 • Information regarding issues (Heartland Institute      vote is affirming that they are indeed a citizen eligible
   provides free booklets on matters like Health Care     to vote. Once the voter certifies under penalty of
   and School Choice)                                     perjury that the information on the form is accurate
                                                          they can be charged with perjury for false statements.
How to set up your table                                  Perjury is punishable by imprisonment in state prison
 • After obtaining permission from the site owner         for up to four years.
   make sure to place it in the path of heavy traffic.
 • Hang posters behind your table so that people will     College Students
   know why you are there.                                A college student may register to vote either at his
 • Spread the registration forms and other materials      or her college address, or at his or her hometown or
   on your table.                                         parent’s address, whichever is the address he or she
 • Stand in front of the table and engage people in       considers primary, and to which he or she intends to
                                                          return. Students should be sure to fill out the prior
NOTES
registration part of the form to cancel their previous         to register and vote is restored. For more information
registration no longer in effect when re-registering at        on the rights of people who have been incarcerated,
the college address.                                           please see your Secretary of State’s website.

How many times does a person have to register?                 Partisan Political Activities
If the voter remains an active voter and responds to           Any PERSON (not a tax exempt organization) may
any confirmation mailings from the elections official,         conduct partisan political activity while registering
the registration remains in effect. However, a voter           voter. The law does not restrict your free speech rights
must reregister if he or she moves. It is important to         when conducting a voter registration drive. Common
notify the county elections official in writing of any         courtesy and common sense, however, should be
change of address or name change so that the voter             practiced. If you are representing an organization, keep
will remain properly registered.                               in mind non-profit restrictions.

If a voter does not vote in two federal general elections      Tampering with Voter Registration Forms
in a row, the county elections official will attempt to        The distributor or circulator may not fill in the
contact the voter. If the voter fails to respond to the        blanks on the voter registration card unless the person
confirmation notice, the county elections official may         registering asks for that help. The registrant, or a
place that voter’s record in an inactive file and he or        person who the registrant asks to assist him or her,
she will not be mailed any official election material.         must complete the registration card in its entirety and
                                                               exactly as the registrant requests; the person helping fill
Moving after registration has closed                           out the card must also fill in all required information
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) permits             in the space provided for the purpose. Cards with any
a voter who moves within the same county and the               pre-filled “blanks” may not be used.
same congressional district, and who does NOT re-
register to vote prior to the close of registration, to cast   Offering Incentives for Registering Voters
a ballot in federal elections.                                 Federal Law: 42 U.S.C. §1973i(c) makes it unlawful
                                                               in an election in which a federal candidate is on the
Age                                                            ballot knowingly and willfully pay, offer to pay, or
Anyone 18 years of age or older at the time of an              accept payment for registering to vote or for voting.
election may register and vote. Persons who are 17, but        Violations are punishable by imprisonment for up
will become 18 on or before the next election date, are        to five years. Any type of incentive is considered
also eligible to register to vote while they are still 17      “payment,” even things as seemingly innocent as
years old.                                                     cookies or admission to an entertainment event.

Felons, In Prison or on Parole                                 Voter ID
An individual who is convicted of a felony loses the           Since 2006, federal and state laws have required that
right to register and vote during the term of the prison       every person must provide identification when they
sentence and the parole period. In some states, once           register to vote.
the parole period is completed, the person’s eligibility

NOTES
Military and Overseas Citizens-Registering                  returned by e-mail will not be accepted. Carefully
and Voting Absentee                                         follow the instructions sent to you with your absentee
Members of the United States uniformed services             ballot to ensure that it is counted. You must be sure to
on active duty and the Merchant Marine, their               not only sign, but DATE the absentee ballot envelope
spouses and dependents, and United States citizens          to ensure that your ballot is counted.
residing outside of the United States may apply for
voter registration or request an absentee ballot with a     If an overseas voter’s request for an absentee ballot
Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), which may be          includes an e-mail address, the supervisor of elections
obtained from a Voting Assistance Officer or through        will inform the voter of the names of candidates who
the Internet at www.fvap.gov.                               will be on the ballots via e-mail. The supervisor of
                                                            elections will e-mail to the voter the list of candidates
The Federal Post Card Application request for an            for the primary and general election not later than 30
absentee ballot will be effective for all elections         days before each election.
through the next two regularly scheduled general
elections. If the FPCA is not available, phone or send a    Additional information for military and overseas voters
written request by mail, fax, or e-mail to the supervisor   is available from:
of elections and a voter registration application or             Director, Federal Voting Assistance Program
absentee ballot will be sent to you.                            Office of the Secretary of Defense Washington
                                                                             Headquarters Services
If you are overseas, you may have your absentee ballot                      1155 Defense Pentagon
either faxed or e-mailed to you, in lieu of receiving it               Washington, D.C. 20301-1155
by regular mail. Once your absentee ballot is voted,
                                                                               Fax:703-588-0108
you may either return it by fax or you may mail it
                                                                           Email: vote@fvap.ncr.gov
to the supervisor of elections so that it is received no
later than 7 p.m. on Election Day. Filled out ballots                      Toll-free: 800-438-8683 6




NOTES
Voter Fraud:
  A Primer for the 2010 Elections
With progressive organizations hoping to gain              The voter registration table is the first line of defense in
momentum during the 2010 elections, it’s critical          our own communities. It is a powerful, portable tool
that conservatives and tea party organizations learns      of effective grassroots activism. Well informed citizens
how to recognize voter fraud. Often, voter fraud is        have the potential to cultivate commitment to society
confused with voter registration fraud and allegations     and American values by bringing together individuals
tend to swell as tensions increase. Understanding voter    together who care, who act, who have a voice.
fraud, and the ways some progressive organization          Therefore, it is important to not only register voters,
perceive it, is key to combating real fraud. This course   but to make sure that the process is not corrupted.
will give you the rundown of examples of voter fraud,
election violations as well as ideas to create our own     Voter registration fraud is “the act of registering to
comprehensive voter registration programs. Suggested       vote, or registering someone else to vote, when fraud
Readings                                                   is involved. Voter registration fraud is considered to
                                                           be a type of vote fraud.”2
What is Voter Fraud?                                       Different ways to commit fraud in the voter
                                                           registration process include:
Vote Fraud vs. Voter Registration Fraud
Vote fraud is “illegal interference with the process         • Filling out and submitting a voter registration card
of an election. Acts of fraud are used to change the           for a fictional (made-up) person. The made-up
outcome of an election to be other than it would               name on the card can be recognizable (“Mickey
have been without the fraud.” 1                                Mouse”) or just a random made-up name, like
                                                               “Jessica Random”.
The most common types of vote fraud are:                     • Filling out a voter registration card with the name
 • Voter registration fraud                                    of a real person, but without that person’s consent,
 • Dead people voting                                          and forging his or her signature on the card.
 • Felon vote fraud
 • Absentee ballot vote fraud
 • Voter suppression
                                                           The Partisan Debate
 • Voter caging and purging                                Presently there is a sharp divide between those who
 • Electronic voting fraud                                 claim that vote fraud does not exist and those who
 • Voter impersonation                                     point to a number of incidents around the country.



NOTES
 The Brennan Center for Justice3, a left-of-center            • Become a poll worker
 organization, has filed several suits and released           • Always be prepared (cameras etc.)
 scores of press releases insisting that vote fraud does      • Report, report, report!
 not exist:                                                       -Voter fraud hotlines
                                                                  - Social Networks
 “...Allegations of widespread voter fraud, however,
 often prove greatly exaggerated. It is easy to grab
 headlines with a lurid claim (“Tens of thousands may        Election Protection Laws
 be voting illegally!”); the follow-up - when any exists
 - is not usually deemed newsworthy. Yet on closer
                                                             and Universal Voter
 examination, many of the claims of voter fraud amount       Registration Fraud
 to a great deal of smoke without much fire. The
 allegations simply do not pan out.”                         Help America Vote Act of 20025
                                                               • Provisions of HAVA
 On the other hand, Republican John McCain4 also             Equipment: HAVA mandates that all states and
 raised legitimate questions in 2008 regarding voter         localities upgrade many aspects of their election
 fraud:                                                      procedures, including their voting machines,
                                                             registration processes and poll worker training. The
  “You’ve seen the allegations, the multiple registrations   specifics of implementation have been left up to each
  under the same name, the more registered voters            state, which allows for varying interpretations of the
  than the population. These are serious allegations,        Federal law.
  my friends, and they must be investigated, and they
  must be investigated immediately and they must be          Provisional voting: HAVA requires voters identified as
  stopped before November the fourth, so Americans           ineligible (such as voters not found on the registered
  will not -- will not -- be deprived of a fair process in   list), but who believe themselves to be eligible, to be
  this election.”                                            able to cast a provisional ballot

 As the debate rages on, it is important to remember          • What is Provisional Voting?
 that the best way to combat fraud and allegations              A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when
 of fraud is to ensure that groups registering voters           there is some question in regards to a given voter’s
 in your community are following guidelines and                 eligibility. A provisional ballot would be cast when:
 turning in cards on time.                                               The
                                                                     	 voter refuses to show a photo ID (in
                                                                         states that require one)
 Identifying and                                                         The
                                                                     	 voter’s name does not appear on the
                                                                         electoral roll for the given precinct.
 Documenting Fraud                                                       The
                                                                     	 voter’s registration contains inaccurate
  • Get involved before election day                                     or out-dated information such as the wrong
  • Contact your Board of Elections officials                            address or a misspelled name.
     - know the laws                                                     The
                                                                     	 voter’s ballot has already been recorded

NOTES
    Whether a provisional ballot is counted is                  will tell the states: ‘take everyone on every list of
    contingent upon the verification of that voter’s            welfare that you have, take everyone on every list of
    eligibility. Many voters do not realize that the            unemployed you have, take everyone on every list of
    provisional ballot is not counted until 7-10 days           property owners, take everyone on every list of driver’s
    after election so their vote does not affect the            license holders and register them to vote regardless of
    calling of the states for different candidates.             whether they want to be ...”

National Voter Registration Act                                 ACORN
Congress enacted the National Voter Registration                ACORN and Project Vote8 claim to have:
Act of 1993 (also known as the “NVRA” and the
“Motor Voter Act”), to enhance voting opportunities
for every American. The Act has made it easier for
all Americans to register to vote and to maintain
their registration.6

•   Provisions of the NVRA
    Section 5 of the Act requires states to provide
    individuals with the opportunity to register
    to vote at the same time that they apply for a
    driver’s license or seek to renew a driver’s license,
    and requires the State to forward the completed
    application to the appropriate state of local election
    official. Section 7 of the Act requires states to
    offer voter registration opportunities at all offices
    that provide public assistance and all offices that
    provide state-funded programs primarily engaged
    in providing services to persons with disabilities.
    Each applicant for any of these services, renewal
    of services, or address changes must be provided
    with a voter registration form of a declination               • Registered over 4.6 million voters since its inception in
    form as well as assistance in completing the form               1982.
    and forwarding the completed application to the               • Registered an unmatched 1.67 million voters since
    appropriate state or local election official. (Section 6)       2003: 1.13 million in 2003-04 and 547,539 in
                                                                    2005-06.
Universal Voter Registration7                                     • Registered more voters in 2006 than any other
“… Chuck Schumer and Barney Frank will propose                      single organization in any mid-term election in
universal voter registration. What is universal voter               United States history.
registration? It means all of the state laws on elections
                                                                  • Been the single largest program registering
will be overridden by a federal mandate. The feds

NOTES
                                                            Ohio — The  New York Post reported that a Cleveland
                                                            man said he was given cash and cigarettes by aggressive
                                                            ACORN activists in exchange for registering an
                                                            astonishing 72 times. The complaints have sparked an
                                                            investigation by election officials into the organization,
                                                            whose political wing has supported Barack Obama.
                                                            Witnesses have already been subpoenaed to testify
                                                            against the organization.

                                                            Nevada — Authorities raided the headquarters of the
                                                            Association of Community Organizations for Reform
                                                            Now on Tuesday October 7, 2008, after a month-
                                                            long investigation. The fraudulent voter registrations
                                                            included the Dallas Cowboys starting line-up.
    Young people aged 18-29 with exactly 50% of
                                                            Indiana — More   than 2,000 voter registration forms
    our registrants falling into that demographic.
                                                            filed in northern Indiana’s Lake County filled out
                                                            by ACORN employees turned out to be bogus.
However, this massive voter registration drive was not      Officials also stopped processing a stack of about
without consequences:                                       5,000 applications delivered just before the October
                                                            6 registration deadline after the first 2,100 turned out
In 2007, in Kansas City, Missouri, four ACORN               to be phony.
employees were indicted for fraud. Later, eight
ACORN employees in St. Louis city and county                The list goes on, and on. See the Complete Guide to
pleaded guilty to federal election fraud for submitting     ACORN Voter Fraud9
bogus voter registrations. And, that was just Missouri.
                                                            Absentee Ballots and
This year there have been several accusations of fraud
against ACORN. Over a dozen states are investigating        other types of Fraud
the organization already. Here is a complete list of the
ongoing investigations:                                     The following is a composite of several
                                                            summaries on the reasons that Vote-By Mail
North Carolina — StateBoard of Elections officials          systems are problematic:10
have found at least 100 voter registration forms              1. Absentee ballots are not “secret ballots.”
with the same names over and over again. The forms            2. Absentee ballots are still counted by the same
were turned in by ACORN. Officials sent about 30                 privately owned voting machines that have been
                                                                 in the news, including Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia
applications to the state Board of Elections for possible
                                                                 and all the rest.
fraud investigation.                                          3. In many cases, like King County, WA, the
                                                                 Post Office no longer controls the incoming

NOTES
      mail, instead a private company sorts incoming
      absentee ballots into precincts before giving
                                                            Become A Precinct Chair
      them back to county for counting. This breaks
      down any chain of custody rules that may have
                                                            or Captain             11


      been in place, and privatizes another link in the     What is a Precinct Captain? It is the person who is
      chain.                                                the link between the political party, and the voters
 4.   From beginning to end, the whole system of            in a specific precinct. A precinct captain must meet
      Absentee Ballots is insecure, as ballots are no       certain requirements, which vary by state and party,
      longer strictly controlled by the County and
      citizen poll workers in the individual Precincts.     and will help the party maintain records and get out
 5.   The cost of running an all mail voting system         the vote at election time. Get to know people through
      can actually be greater than a poll based voting      neighborhood, civic, church or other community
      system.                                               activities. As the person who helps organize and elect
 6.   The Signature Verification Process is error prone     people, the Precinct Chair can go to the County
      and routinely disenfranchises thousands of            Commissioner or legislator to help a citizen or
      voters when it is used. Ballots rejected for having   community group to secure appropriate assistance with
      invalid signatures are treated as “Guilty before      a particular problem or concern.
      proven innocent.”
 7.   Voter Suppression, Vote Buying, Vote Stuffing
      become far easier in this system.                     The first step is to learn about your precinct. You can
 8.   Accidental double voting can and does happen.         obtain a precinct map from your County Clerk or
                                                            elections office. Using your precinct map, drive or
                                                            walk around your precinct and learn its geographical
The 2010 Elections: How                                     boundaries, the characteristics of the neighborhoods,
to Get Involved                                             places to have meetings, distribute literature, register
                                                            voters, etc. Then, contact the party that you want to
Know where the Progressive organizations are                represent in your precinct, and find out what you need
registering voters. Possible sites include:                 to do in order to apply or be elected for the position.
    • events, concerts, festivals
    • grocery stores                                        Then, canvass and organize your precinct. This is the
    • bus stops                                             basic and most important job of the Precinct Chair,
    • utility bill pay centers                              and it is a job that is never finished. Voters move, die,
    • WIC, welfare, Section 8 offices, 1st and 15th of
         month                                              or become disillusioned; volunteers get burnt-out or
    • Emissions and car inspection lines                    have other obligations. Keep track of who has moved
    • Public libraries                                      out and who has moved in, so that you will be able to
    • Movie theaters                                        recognize any shady voting patterns going on. Finally,
    • College campuses                                      encourage your neighbors to vote.
    • High school football games/assembly
    • Churches
    • Citizenship and naturalization ceremonies             Additional Resources
    • The Post Office                                       1. Minnite, Lorraine, and Project Vote. The Politics of
    • Day labor sites                                          Voter Fraud http://bit.ly/dlNz9D
    • Big box stores like Wal-Mart

NOTES
 2. Fund, John. How the Obama Administration Threatens                        Poll Workers for Democracy
    to Undermine Our Elections. 2009. (Encounter                              http://act.credoaction.com/pollworkers/index.html
    Broadsides) (Paperback)

 How To Vote & Register Anywhere In The U.S.                                  The Politics of Voter Fraud
 http://www.thekitchencabinet.us/                                              http://projectvote.org/fileadmin/ProjectVote/Publications/
                                                                              Politics_of_Voter_Fraud_Final.pdf
 866-OUR-VOTE
 http://www.866ourvote.org/                                                   Project Vote Smart
                                                                              http://www.votesmart.org/
 Investigator’s Guide to Voter Fraud
 http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/                               Vote Poke - Allows people to instantly find out
 investigators_guide_to_voter_fraud/                                          whether or not they’re registered to vote
                                                                                  https://www.votepoke.org/index.html
 Election Assistance Commission
 http://www.eac.gov/index_html1



 Footnotes
 1.   BallotPedia http://www.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Vote_fraud       6.     NVRA: Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Home Page http://
 2.   BallotPedia http://www.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Voter_                  bit.ly/dlwYnZ
      registration_fraud                                                     7.     American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/what_the_
 3.   Brennan Center for Justice http://www.brennancenter.org/content/              dems_know_universal_v.html
      resource/truthaboutvoterfraud/                                         8.     Project Vote www.projectvote.org
 4.   Republicans raise red flag over voter fraud - Boston.com http://bit.   9.     The Complete Guide to ACORN Voter Fraud http://pajamasmedia.com/
      ly/96d16r                                                                     blog/the-complete-guide-to-acorn-voter-fraud/
 5.   http://www.fec.gov/hava/hava.htm                                       10.    http://novbm.wordpress.com/why-not-vbm/
                                                                             11.    http://www.eagleforum.org/misc/brochures/precinct-committman.shtml




NOTES

				
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