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Republicans Just Changed The Rules AFTER A Virginia Election To Change The Outcome

Already shaping up to be one of the closest races in state history, a last-minute rule change is stirring up the recount to decide who will become Virginia's next attorney general.

The Daily Press of Newport News, Va. reported Friday that Republican candidate Mark Obenshain had an unofficial lead of just under 1,300 votes over Democratic challenger Mark Herring. That tally did not include full provisional ballot totals, and as of Saturday, a fresh rule change was complicating matters.

According to a report by WTOP radio, the Virginia State Board Of Elections decided Friday to change rules relevant to Fairfax County, banning legal representatives from helping count votes, unless the associated voter was actually present. The board changing the rules is dominated by Republicans.

Fairfax County's Electoral Board said Saturday that the modification affects hundreds of voters, and WTOP added that both Secretary Brian Schoeneman and Board Chairman Seth Stark expressed disagreement with the ruling. Provisional ballots are defined by the Virginia Board Of Elections as follows:

When the voter’s name is not on the pollbook, the voter believes he is registered in that precinct, and the registrar’s office cannot be contacted to verify that the voter is registered. Note: If a voter chooses to vote a Provisional Ballot because they are at the wrong polling place and are unable or unwilling to go to the correct polling place, their vote will not be counted.

When a voter who registered by mail on or after January 1, 2003, and did not mail in a copy of their ID at that time, fails to show one of the federally required forms of ID when voting for the first time in a federal election.

When a voter who was sent an absentee ballot has not received or has lost the ballot, and appears at his regular polling place on election day.

When the normal voting hours are extended by court order.

Back on Thursday, the Washington Post explained how the issue first came to fruition. Pre-provisonal-ballot-tallies from the State Board of Elections website showed Obenshain leading Herring by 777 votes. But the team of Rep. Jerry Connolly (D-Va.), who serves the 11th district, flagged a potential issue in Fairfax County -- where portions also fall under Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) in the 8th District, and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) in the 10th District.

From the Post:

According to state numbers, Fairfax reported an unexplainably lower number of absentee ballots cast in the 8th District than in the other two congressional districts. The county keeps track of how many voters request absentee ballots as well as the number who actually turn them in. In the 10th District, 88 percent of voters who requested a ballot actually voted, while 86 percent did so in the 11th District.

But in the 8th District, the state board shows that only 50 percent of those who requested ballots — 4,168 out of 8,363 requests — actually cast ballots, a response rate not only lower than the other portions of Fairfax County, but lower than any other congressional district in the state, according to the Connolly campaign.

The Fairfax County Electoral Board met Saturday morning and released an official statement later in the day on the provisional ballot totals in question. Final results show that tabulation issues led to an error affecting approximately 3,200 votes, the board said.

With Friday's state rule change in place, the board added that final results are expected on Tuesday Nov. 12, with a midnight deadline in place. NBC Washington also notes that any voter who cast a provisional ballot now has to contact or visit their local Board of Election office by then to have their say count.

by Anonymousreply 2111/15/2013


by Anonymousreply 111/09/2013

Ummm how can you make a law retroactively to disqualify votes that have already been cast??

by Anonymousreply 211/09/2013

Disgusting and despicable right wing scum. I wish we could get rid of all of them.

by Anonymousreply 311/09/2013

Let this be an object lesson to us. These people know how to fight. The GOP never thinks of themselves as defeated. They are cold, mean ruthless, unethical, dirty sons of bitches. They really do not give a fuck.

They're fiercely competitive, and will win ugly if they have to. They will do anything they can to either triumph or to make sure you do not advance. Learn from this.

I am dealing with these people on Wall Street. I am dealing with them in court houses, and in state legislatures. They are not to be dismissed or taken lightly. They are relentless. They just keep coming.

So we need to up our game, and toughen up, and kick some asses. We need to not care if we draw blood or get criticized. We need to never apologize for being strong. I've decided. If they want a piece of my ass, they damned sure better be ready to give up some of theirs. Rotten fuckers.

by Anonymousreply 411/09/2013

That is true r4. Liberals look at the gerrymandered mess that the country is in, shake our heads, and say "this is terrible, but according to the rules, there isn't anything we can do about it now, and we have to play by the rules."

Republicans look at an equivalent quagmire (or POTENTIAL one) for themselves and never ever EVER say that. They go straight for the jugular to change the laws for themselves, regardless of rules, and never stop to worry if it's unethical or illegal.

by Anonymousreply 511/09/2013

Exactly, R5. And if they can't change the rules, they ignore them. People can vote on a state referendum and it wins. Then the Republican governor and his Republican legislature just ignore the vote, re-instate the law, and keep chugging along. They don't care about what people say or think.

They've already determined that they can wear the voters down, and as people get more & more discouraged, they just opt out. The GOP doesn't even give a damn about breaking the laws. Do you think for one minute people like Dick Cheney and the Koch brothers ponder the legality of their actions?

We look at Cheney as some kind of Darth Vader monster, and he is. But that arrogance and ruthlessness is acted out all over the damned country. These are bad people and we need to run them out of office.

by Anonymousreply 611/10/2013


by Anonymousreply 711/11/2013

I've been saying that for 20 years -- the problem is that we Democrats are pussies. We're too busy tree-hugging and talking about things like gun control to really fight for what we believe in and know to be true. We throw our hands in the air and say, "Woe is me!" while the Republicans are up to the same "dirty tricks" they've been up to since Dick Nixon.

This is why evil will always prevail.

by Anonymousreply 811/11/2013

Democratic politics are ethical, and Republicans are a vile disease. They will be eradicated eventually, we can't stoop to their level.

by Anonymousreply 911/11/2013

r9 They're all in the mud, it's just a matter of how deep.

by Anonymousreply 1011/11/2013

Thanks to a recanvass in Richmond - which was requested by the GOP - Herring is now officially ahead and doesn't need the Fairfax provisional votes anyway.

by Anonymousreply 1211/11/2013

not just in Va. My town elected a white female who campaigned for two years in a town 85% black. The blacks make up the majority on the city council. They have done everything they can do thwart her proposals for the city. They keep trying to find ways to drag her down or drive her out of office, but no luck. She had a lot of pissed off black females on her side in order to win.

by Anonymousreply 1311/11/2013

The higher ups need to get the liar, cheater, asshat, Cuccinelli out of the situation.

by Anonymousreply 1411/11/2013

That has the distinct smell of bullshit wafting off it r15. I guarantee that no other county in VA has required each provisional voter to be present when his/her vote was counted. EVER.

by Anonymousreply 1611/11/2013

You're correct, r16, Rachel Maddow just did a report on this drama in Virginia.

by Anonymousreply 1711/11/2013

What's interesting R15 is that someone just posted this exact reply on the Huffington Post story. Word for word. So the Freeper liars appear to be out in force tonight

by Anonymousreply 1811/11/2013

I'll never understand trolling, they only reinforce the other side. Truth.

by Anonymousreply 1911/11/2013

OMG have you all seen what the Wisconsin Republicans cooked up after midnight last night?

Voters in Wisconsin would have less time to cast early ballots under a proposed bill that passed the Wisconsin Assembly on Thursday, the latest move in a nationwide string of Republican-led efforts to tighten voting rules.

The measure would require county clerks to limit early voting to 40 hours per week, between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It would end weekend early voting hours, which Democrats have used to turn out the vote in heavily urban areas such as Milwaukee and Madison.

Remember, while Republicans generally rely on the ridiculous “voter fraud” canard to rationalize voter suppression, the argument has no use in cases like these – the only reason to shrink the amount of time voters have to cast a ballot is if you want fewer votes cast.

Of the 54 Republicans in the Assembly, 53 voted for the measure, which was more than enough to pass the bill and send it to the state Senate.

As if that weren’t quite enough, Republican state lawmakers also pushed a voter-ID measure, backed a proposal to make it tougher to launch recall elections, and supported license plates intended to oppose reproductive rights. In a strange twist, there was even a fight over a resolution to honor victims of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Tensions flared after Democrats attempted to take up a bill honoring the children killed last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Republicans rejected taking that up and then advanced the bill on anti-abortion license plates, even though they had said earlier they wouldn’t take it up.

Keep in mind that Republicans in the state Senate had no problem with the bill honoring the Newtown victims, and voted for it unanimously. But in the state Assembly, nearly all Republicans opposed the symbolic resolution, as hard as that may be to believe.

by Anonymousreply 2011/15/2013

Voters in Wisconsin would have less time to cast early ballots under a proposed bill that passed the Wisconsin Assembly on Thursday, the latest move in a nationwide string of Republican-led efforts to tighten voting rules. The measure would require county clerks to limit early voting to 40 hours per week, between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It would end weekend early voting hours, which Democrats have used to turn out the vote in heavily urban areas such as Milwaukee and Madison. Rep. Duey Stroebel (R), one of the bill’s lead sponsors, said standardizing early voting hours would level the playing field for voters in rural counties, where clerks sometimes don’t have the staff to keep polls open over weekends, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. But Democrats say the move is nothing more than an attempt to cut turnout rates in urban areas. More than 256,000 Wisconsin residents voted early in person in 2012 — about 1 in 12 of the 3 million people who cast ballots in the presidential election, according to statistics maintained by the United States Elections Project at George Mason University. About 658,000 voters cast ballots [pdf] before Election Day, most of them by mail. Broadly speaking, Democratic voters are more likely to cast early ballots in person, while Republican voters are more likely to cast ballots by mail. Exit polls conducted in 2012 showed President Obama won early voters by a 58 percent to 41 percent margin in Wisconsin; Obama won voters who cast ballots on Election Day by a 51 percent to 48 percent margin. All but one of the 54 Assembly Republicans voted for the bill, while all 38 Democrats voted against it. The bill must now go through the Republican-led Senate, though it’s unclear when or if the upper chamber would take it up. Cutting early voting hours was just one of the party-line votes that reignited partisan rancor in a legislature that has been mired in squabbling in recent years. Republicans on Thursday also passed a measure that would allow voters to cast a ballot without an identification if they sign a sworn statement saying they were too poor to obtain an identification or that they had a religious objection to being photographed. And the Assembly advanced two bills that would limit recalls on statewide elected officials and legislators. Thursday’s legislative session grew heated after Democrats brought up a resolution honoring the victims of last year’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The resolution failed on a party-line vote, even though it had passed unanimously in the Senate. In response, Republicans brought up and passed a bill to create “Choose Life” license plates, proceeds from which would go to an anti-abortion group.

by Anonymousreply 2111/15/2013
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