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tv   John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky Our Broken Elections  CSPAN  April 19, 2022 6:40am-8:03am EDT

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to the
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heritage foundation those of you who are here in person and those of you who are joining us virtually i'm speaking to you from washington dc where you need to show an identification and a vaccine card to enter a gym or a restaurant, but you do not need to show an id to vote. it is the same in many states across the country last year a 2020 election for a town council a seat in eatonville. florida was overturned by a judge and a new winner was declared because of voter fraud the same thing happened in mississippi were a judge overturned the results of democratic primary for a position as a ward alderman because of voter fraud and voter intimidation. while voter fraud may not make a
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difference in many elections. it certainly can in close ones and we have lots of close elections in this country. another problem is that nobody really knows the full extent of the voter fraud problem since there are many vulnerabilities in our election laws making it easy to commit voter fraud and difficult to catch after the fact that is if you can find a prosecutor who is interested in pursuing voter fraud cases after an election has occurred one absolute truth that i can tell you it is highly unlikely to find voter fraud if you don't bother to look for it members of the mainstream media and many politicians choose to ignore or belittle any discussion about voter fraud and are quick to label any attempt to address it as voter suppression or a threat to our democracy. we are fortunate to have with us
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a very distinguished panel to discuss various facets of this problem. i will introduce them in the order in which they will speak and we should have time for some questions at the end from our in-person and virtual attendees. so i would encourage you to be thinking about those questions and to submit them. we will first hear from john fund. john is a national affairs columnist for national review magazine, and he is also an analyst for fox news. he has previously served as a columnist and a member of the editorial board of the wall street journal. he's written articles that have appeared in dozens of publications. he's also written several books including three books on voter fraud two of which were co-authored with his fellow panelist hans von spakoski. the first was whose counting how fraudsters and bureaucrats put your vote at risk, and the most recent is here our broken elections how the left changed. a you vote. we will then hear from hans hans
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wakowsky. my colleague hans is a senior legal fellow and the manager of the election law reform initiative at the heritage foundation in the meat center like john fund hans has written articles that have appeared in dozens of journals and periodicals and he is a frequent legal and political commentator on various media outlets before joining heritage kant served as a federal election commissioner, which is the agency that enforces campaign finance laws for congressional and presidential elections. he also spent several years working in the civil rights division at the department of justice providing expertise and enforcing the voting rights act and the help america vote act and he also served as a former vice chairman of the electoral board in fairfax county, virginia, and as a member of the fulton county, georgia board of registration and elections and as an advisor to the us election commission, we will then hear from the honorable. brian hughes brian is in his
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second term in the texas senate where he represents 16 counties in east texas. he obtained his undergraduate degree from the university of texas where he's been honored as the outstanding alumnus and his law degree from baylor university where he was honored as the baylor young lawyer of the year. while in the state senate brian has received numerous accolades including the taxpayer champion award the defender of the american dream award and the horizon award from the texas right to life. we will then be joined virtually by the honorable kyle arduin kyle is louisiana's 44th secretary of state and it's the president-elect of the national association of the secretaries of state. he served in that role since 2018 after serving for nearly a decade as the first assistant secretary of state. since his election kyle has championed legislation to strengthen louisiana's election laws and its cybersecurity including laws that ban ballard
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harvesting ballot trafficking and require managerial or managed service providers to register and report to the secretary of state because of these efforts the agency did he oversees has received national recognition by the election assistance commission and various other organizations last but certainly not least. we will hear from jessica anderson. jessica is currently the executive director at heritage action for america where she is responsible for the strategic vision and operations of that organization while working alongside the leadership of the heritage foundation to ensure that both organizations are aligned and working towards common goals jessica previously worked at heritage action as a vice president before taking leave to join the trump administration as an associate director of intergovernmental affairs and strategic. initiatives at the office of management and budget we are certainly glad to have her back. jessica has received numerous awards including most recently
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the buckley award for conservative leadership. and with that john the floor is yours. thank you, john. in 2000 the issue of election integrity in the administration of our elections stopped being so much a local and state issue and becoming became a national issue with the bush vigor race an americans realized that our sloppy backward antiquated election systems in many states could really impact national policy because the presidential race was decided in one state florida by just 537 votes. there was a coming together by both parties that we had to improve our election systems. and that resulted in the help of america vote act of 2002, which was completely bipartisan passed by. democratic senate signed into law by a republican president its lead co-sponsor senator chris dodd a democrat from connecticut said the purpose of
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this bill is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. we're americans we can do both at the same time. the first few years after that election integrity was still into a large extent a bipartisan issue in 2008 the supreme court by a vote of six to three upheld the constitutionality of indiana's voter id law and the opinion was written by the court's most liberal member at the time john paul stevens who recounted a long history of voter fraud and voter regularities and voters sloppiness in america and said the very integrity of our elections was at stake if people and he cited several polls which showed rising cynicism about the accuracy and completeness of our vote counts. he said to the extent that public cynicism was about the reliability of our elections. you're going to see voter turnout go down. you're going to see less public confidence in our elections and
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ultimately less legitimacy in our government and the government officials who serve us unfortunately starting about 10 or 12 years ago that bipartisan makeup of the debate over elections started to break down dramatically under barack obama's justice department and hans and i have written a book about this the issue became thoroughly politicized as soon as barack obama took office one of his top justice officials held a meeting. and announced that a provision of help america vote act which specified that an exchange for the federal government upgrading election systems for states sending the money, they would have to submit to a culling of the roles a cleanup of the voter registration roles. which in most states are notoriously inaccurate the pew research center in 2012 estimated that one out of six
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voter registrations was inaccurate unreliable or outdated and i think that starting with the obama administration when they decided openly to say we are not going to file any cases against states that don't maintain their rotor rolls. we're going to ignore that because that could decrease voter turnout rather than increase voter turnout. that's not what we're interested in. well if you have voter registration roles that are as an accurate as the ones many states have the people who are going to be sometimes voting are people who shouldn't be voting and one of the things our book emphasizes is that there are two civil rights that everyone in this audience has you have the right to vote freely without any undue influence any barriers? no poll taxes. no jim crow laws that we had up until the 1960s. no one should stand in a polling place location in any way shape or form block you from voting. that's a civil rights battle that we fought in the 60s.
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we need to preserve and extend those gains, but everyone in this country also has a second civil right, which is not to have their vote canceled out nullified by someone who shouldn't be voting someone who's dead. look i believe in, you know, honoring our elders and honoring our ancestors, but i don't believe in representation without respiration and someone who's dead someone who's moved out of state someone who doesn't exist someone who's registered from a post office boxer vacant lot or who's a hasn't yet had rights restored when that happens election results are tainted illegitimate and people lose confidence in the election process. i'll just conclude by saying that it's unfortunate that the media in the last. year or so has decided to completely ignore one side of the story. the headlines are full of articles about voters
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suppression alleged racism the big lie. we're not here to discuss that so much. in fact, i'll quote phil klein the former, kansas attorney general many on the left decried the lack of transparency prior to the 2020 election, but now that they've won their silent many on the right have improperly claimed definitive proof of fraud in 2020 instead of recognizing that all investigations and reviews of government performance begin with questions not conclusions. the result is a form of nuclear warfare where both sides engage in the mutual assured destruction, but accusatory sound bite bombs hoping to cancel each other meanwhile responsive government dies unquote. look there are two sides of the story. we just went through a long debate in the united states senate. over the let the people vote act. and the other side on this spent probably a hundred million dollars. they had the 99% of the mainstream media on their side
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yelling racism in a crowded political theater. which led to incendiary charges and the president of the united states accusing opponents of this act of being modern-day supporters of jim crow and adherence to the philosophy of jefferson davis the president of the confederacy. it's time to turn down the temperature and it's time now that the bill has been defeated for us to actually step back and take a calmer look. and i think that that has to begin with recognizing that. there is a real debate. our systems are antiquated and outdated and sometimes you can't tell where the incompetence ends in the fraud begins and i'll give you just three examples from yesterday's newspapers and internet. in compton, california three people who had been accused of stealing votes in a city council election that ultimately ended up being decided by one vote pled guilty the city council member who was the instigator apparently for that fraud has
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not pled guilty, but all of his associates apparently have compton by the way is 99% minority. that's 100,000 people live in compton in next door, hawthorne, california two people have been charged with submitting 8,000 fake voter registrations. this is in a city. that's 64% minority. one of the things that has been completely ignored the mainstream media is sometimes the biggest victims of voter fraud or minorities in areas where government is corrupt government is unresponsive government provides poor services. sometimes reformers try to change that and local political machines will take any action necessary including an up to include voter fraud in order to reform i've seen that happen and reported on it in detroit and milwaukee and saint louis in hawthorne and compton many other places. that's why minorities surprisingly support voter integrity measures like voter id
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by percentages as high or higher. than the white population in fact the washington post survey of a few years ago found that minority populations asians blacks hispanics support election integrity measures and believe that voter fraud is a serious problem in a greater percentage than caucasians do why is that well, i'll give you one example. we have seen over and over again that voter fraud. does affect elections we saw congressional race in north carolina overturned by federal court had to be rerun and we've seen examples at the heritage foundation's website, which has over 1,500 documented cases of voter fraud. lastly there are some signs that in the wake of the for the people act being defeated in the senate. there are some signs that there's perhaps going to be reevaluation in sundays new york times chris caldwell who's a
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contributing writer for the new york times editorial page had a very interesting piece in which he said the various iterations of the for the people act were case in point and how the media has distorted this issue. democrats monopolize the political argument for a year if there were a solid case their bill really was an emergency project to protect democracy. it would have triumphed by now. and he concludes by saying. voters of any background might for example be appalled by what happened on january 6 2021 of the capital, but they also might consider the intervention of infotech billionaires in the 2020 election to be a larger potential threat to our democracy mark zuckerberg's foundation gave upward to 400 million dollars to the nonprofit center for tech and civic life to help local governments organize elections under covid-19 conditions. it is hard to imagine that anyone worried about the role of private wealth and prison
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construction or military contracting or public schools would welcome such a role in elections. whether this says anything about the presidential election of 2024 is unclear but for the time being writes called well in the new york times the republican argument against which the democratic argument is being measured does not include these factors. and i believe that if we are going to discuss this in the wake of the failure of the for the people act we have to have an honest discussion that they're two sides of the story and that the american people rejected the argument that this was only about voter suppression and only about preserving democracy after a hundred million dollars was spent on this. pulls by various organizations including the honest election project which is in this room proof conclusively the needle did not move at all on these issues the american people do believe our elections are imperiled but they don't believe it's a simplistic one-size-fits
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all explanation. they do believe that we have to pay attention not just to the civil right of making sure everyone is able to vote but also that every vote is counted accurately and that people's rights are protected from fraudsters and from and from incompetent bureaucrats. thank you. can't it's hard to follow up with john but since we often write together and get someone to do that. look some years ago the heritage foundation john malcolm and myself. we got the idea that you know, we got reading stories in the washington post and elsewhere say there's no election fraud. we don't need to worry about it. so we started a election fraud database. so it's uniques the only one in the in the country we know of. it only has proven cases of fraud in it. someone's been convicted in a court of law or a judge is ordered a new election like the
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elections that john was talking about. we're up to 1,340 cases. we now have three more cases to add the compton california cases. and you know what's happened is now now what the newspapers and others say as well. there's no widespread election fraud across the country and i'm going well. how widespread does it need to be before you want to do something about it particularly when you have elections close elections that get overturned and there's example after example of that the other problem, of course with and there is example after example of that. the other example is prosecutors unfortunately aren't interested in prosecuting and taking a lot of these cases.
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besides my work at heritage, and criminal referrals in 10 counties, criminal officials, and criminal violations of election law that occur related to the 2020 election. 156 criminal referrals from those counties, 9 of 10 followed up, check court records and everything and the prosecutors, local prosecutors did nothing about criminal referrals. if they had done something about that, our database would jump quite a bit. there are many instances of
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that unfortunately. this website shows, a sampling of cases, it does not include all the potential cases out there that aren't investigated by election officials and aren't prosecuted. they tried ten counties, got information from 9 counties. the 10th county, hillsborough county, election officials, we don't refer to any of the cases we, with potential election crimes. you can click on any state and it will pool up the fraud case and most importantly give you citations to the source documents from newspaper articles to actual court cases,
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before the last section several media outlets assigned 14 reporters to investigate possible problems from the election sphere, and and can't find a single one. the latest thing we have done, this took a lot of work. we started this the year ago, our election integrity score. the heritage foundation we don't just identify problems but recommend solutions. we analyze the election laws that are important to election security which are intended to protect voters, our goal is
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access and security and we compared it to a list of best practices that we recommended to the state on how to do everything from cleanup and maintain the voter registration role to the absentee balloting process, maintaining the security of the process and we compared each state's laws to our best practices. folks need to understand this is not an analysis of the 2,020 election. this is a status of the laws and regulations each state had a month ago. remember a number of states acted like texas to try to fix the vulnerabilities in their system which unfortunately exist. a number of states passed good election reform bills in
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florida, georgia, texas, arizona and other states. we had a perfect score of one hundred. no state in the country got one hundred. the highest score was 83. texas is pretty high. what it shows you, and everything they can to improve the process, to protect their voters, there is room for improvement. the advantage is we put up model laws on issues like voter id for example. this is going to be continually updated. with legislative sessions, one final warning about this scorecard, you have the best laws in the country, but local
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officials and state officials don't comply with these laws, they don't do much good and we are hoping folks at the grassroots, state legislators and others use this to put in good laws and make sure election officials are complying with laws that are constitutionally put in place by the state legislature. each state you can click on and get complete details. we explain what the best practices are, 12 broad categories, 47 criteria and this is a work in progress. if folks think we missed something or something needs to be corrected or there is another standard of criteria to consider, we want to hear about it. we encourage folks to take a look at this, analyze it, look at our standards and methodology and let us know if
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there is anything we should fix. i hate to say it but a number of states at the bottom of the list because their standards are so bad and there election laws are in terrible shape, there's not a lot of room for fraud. if someone wants to commit it and there are no security measures in place to stop it or detect it you can do it and get away with, there are folks who are willing to put them in positions of power. and and prosecuting these election crimes, and rural counties, elected positions are
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positions of power, jobs contract money, some people are willing to make us misbehave to get into those positions. there's a lot more to be said about this. >> great to be here, and important stuff, thank you for the work here and i've gotten to work with each one and learning a lot, how federalism, and and we had a mail ballot
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reform bill, in 2019 we came back for more reforms, it shouldn't be a partisan issue as john said. it has become that. in 2,020 one we came back with more reforms again. in texas we have part time citizen legislature. we were in session 140 days every two years, but if it was two days every 140 years but we are there for 5 months every year and back in our old jobs and we see people at church and football games, we have to give account for what happened and what didn't happen and we hear testimony from folks, when we hear those problems about election integrity or educational transportation, we try to address those problems. that is what this was about. this was an ugly debate this year because about all that is going on but the good news is common sense reforms, many
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abilities are not partisan, many of them, paperback up, a paper trail. one of the fallouts was lurching everyone toward electronic voting and those direct voting systems where there is -- and you floated and not just rednecks like me but a lot of folks would have more confidence if there were a paper record. that was a long flight that finally got down in texas and i know you heard from folks who say i sent my application by mail, i returned my ballot by mail, is it going to make it now in texas, a number to track your mail ballot application and make sure it gets there in time and you can vote in
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person, chain of custody for those ballots, 24 hour live stream video where those ballots are being kept which should not have been a fight, some of those are fight. we did learn this process, so much of what we are doing is scrutinized and such a presumption against everything we were doing, we were trying to do something nefarious when these reforms on their face and we followed through was common sense reforms, expanding access was an important thing. senator god's words about easy to vote, hard to cheat, we thought about ourselves and using that for a long time and we mean that come easy to vote, hard to cheat, we expanded access. in new jersey rather than new york. 0 early voting days until then and fewer than texas.
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we expanded access, how folks could get access to the ballot and we wanted to work on access as well as security. we understand that. if you look at criminal penalties in senate bill one and other measures, they have not so much had individual voters trying to cheat, that happens, the real problem is those election officials or ballot harvesters, paid political operatives, folks have access and allowed it to vote in a way that is going to be counted. in texas if you look at prosecutions the greatest problem is mail ballot fraud. in texas we do not have mail
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ballots for everyone. you need to be 65 or overcome out of the county or disabled. and early voting options, as far as ballots by mail. they get people to sign blank formers and go back and change information, that did not claim to be disabled, you know when the ballots come and force signatures so this bill cracks down on that and makes it a crime. and with the application of ballot by mail or mail by ballot. if your volunteer, if you work for the campaign payroll in texas it is illegal to have any interaction with voter in
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person with application and ballot by mail. it was a hard line to draw but it was important to protect those vulnerable voters and illegal assistance. it sounds awkward but the rest of us know the lingo, and one claim is the way they want to, not the way the voters want to. the das prosecute these cases and there is tangible evidence i will show you in a moment. make sure the system is working right to make sure paul watchers have access to do their jobs but not intimidate, not to interfere with the voting process and making sure machines are working right so we can have confidence. voter id, we had voter id in person since 2011. now we have voter id by mail that we are implementing for this election cycle.
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this never gets talked about in many stories but in texas there's a standardized process for those applications for ballot by mail. you don't know about it unless you chase it down. the voters informed, to cure defects in their application for ballot by mail. we want every voter to vote and make it easy. we do not want people to cheat and as far as enforcement goes john made a great point. with district attorney is not willing to enforce the laws or other state authority to do that it is a problem and we understand the challenge. we are reticent to expand a statewide executive office like attorney general.
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and hope they always will. when we concentrate too much power in one place that can be abused. we know why our founders low concentration of power for a reason so we lack local control. if the attorney doesn't prosecute those cases or afraid of ballot harvesters, there are a plethora of other possibilities. i'm not suggesting any of those but not getting prosecuted. what do we do about that? we added private causes of action so let's stand election is stolen from you in the district attorney won't prosecute and you file civil lawsuits besides those who stole the election and make them disgorge the monies that
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were paid for doing that and get attorneys fees back. those were tight frames. you can hold the wrongdoer account helpful. number 7 of the first 10 is trial by jury in a civil case. do you have to garner jealously? yes. but private citizens holding you accountable just makes it a uniquely american idea and we are using that in texas and in a heartbeat bill, separate issue from today but using that in texas and we believe it will have an effect. as far as assistance, what does that look like. i want to share one example with you before i give you a little time back. you talked about how many times the fraud takes place in minority communities, we found
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that as well, elderly voters, folks who don't speak english so well, first time voters, the ones most often preyed upon by illegal ballot harvesters, paid operatives who just want to cheat and with financial motives. sworn testimony from a trial, sworn testimony given at a trial, the case is an appeal now and a first time voter wanted to vote, was encouraged to vote, she came and when she got to the polling place someone showed up to help her and i will review her words. she says then i go to the polling place, marcella goes up. i should mention marcella later testified she was paid $500 to be at the polling place to help voters. she was being paid by one of the candidates, who knows?
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a candidate at the polling place. i go to the polling pl. marcella goes up. i had the intention, she's going to assist me. and she started punching the machine. i don't remember the language in the paul. i'm going to press here and you're going to press over there. i saw she put it in favor of the team that she was on. i had the idea if she was giving me like a tour of how to do those things and she was going to leave, i didn't touch the pole at any time. by the time i told her let me vote on my own she said no, you already voted. that is what we are cracking down on in texas. voters like that have a right
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to vote however they want to vote and what was alleged to be done in texas, this is happening. the charge used to be there is no evidence of voter fraud and evidence of widespread voter fraud, how much fraud is okay or acceptable? we know the answer how much fraud is acceptable? none. how much suppression is acceptable? none. we have to get this right and we have to make it easier to vote and hard to cheat. i'm learning from everyone on the panel. >> they say it is rare, i will take progress where it comes. they have no idea how rare it happens. are you with us? >> in the 10 years i worked in this office beginning as first assistant and now secretary of state i have never seen the public more focused on election
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integrity as it is now. i relish the opportunity to educate the public on louisiana's election processes and procedures and proud that heritage ranked louisiana as one of the best states in election integrity in the nation. in the time since i've become secretary of state i worked with the legislature to implement sensible election integrity measures that garnered bipartisan support while pushing back against attempts to implement liberal policies and accountability. in 2020 when the nation was gripped with covid, i faced enormous pressure to implement universal vote by mail in louisiana and stood up to that pressure and worked with my legislative colleagues and are eternally general to craft a plan that worked for louisiana that was limited in scope and upheld by a liberal judge not once but twice and in the same year we passed a bill about ballot harvesting in louisiana, one the past with overwhelming
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support by both parties and signed into law by a democrat governor. last year we passed legislation the insured the most accurate information available was supplied by my department to ensure that if these voters were being removed from voter registration lists as an aside this bill passed with unanimous support, every republican and every democrat voted for it and the democrat governor signed into law and the brennan center call this a voter purge and accused us of making voting harder. after we confronted them and gave them the fact they maintain their lie about what the law actually does. we faced some defeats, champion legislation with my republican friends to ban zucker brothers and any attempt to privately fund elections and to institute a second voter converse to
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ensure voter registration list is as accurate as possible, both were vetoed by the governor but we are not giving up in louisiana. this year i am excited about two pieces of legislation i secured sponsors for, what is a bill that would strengthen voter id laws that have been on the books since 1997 and ironically let you know that that was the clinton administration's department of justice that approved our voter id law when we had to be -- to have legislation approved by the department of justice, that was called preclearance. for those registering to vote online we will require them to utilize additional efforts to prove citizenship. i am proud we were among the first states to adopt online voter registration but we are looking for ways to make sure nobody can take advantage of the system. secondly i will be pursuing an
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amendment to the state constitution that will ban any municipality or local governing authority from allowing noncitizens to vote in an election. what happened in new york a few weeks ago is an affront to election integrity and we can't let that happen. the best part of this amendment, it doesn't need to go in our signature. once it passes the legislature it will go straight to the voters of louisiana, i'm proud of our record as we stress election integrity laws, processes and procedures and we've done so since republicans and democrats, proud that we stood our ground against outside liberal groups like brennan center who want to tell louisiana how to run our elections. the strides we made and how to be an example to the rest of the nation and strengthen their elections and as others have said it is not wrong to strengthen laws and election
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integrity efforts. it is hard to cheat and easier to vote and in louisiana it has never been easier to register and vote. it is simple. when you have 90% of eligible registrants, eligible citizens, that is an important part, easy to access the ballot box. we had early voting in louisiana, twee have 7 days, we expanded it during covid for more opportunities and we look for ways to expand it but also make sure on balance integrity efforts are a priority in our great state, thank you for the opportunity and look forward to questions. >> a pleasure to be with everybody this morning and with cleanups after this diverse discussion about the differing
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aspects that go into securing the vote and safeguarding our elections. i run heritage action, this is grassroots organization, 2 million activists across the country and one of the things we realized in the last 12 to 18 months is the fight to secure our elections is the face of any formal grassroots activism on any issue going forward. we don't have a shot at advocating for life issues to cut spending, to engage in a strong national defense, to work on energy and environmental issues in the united states, we don't have a shot at doing any of that with our elected officials if we don't have faith in our vote. that far and some of the grassroots for the last year. a lot of it was spurred by the confusion from the november election, took a while for people to understand what was at stake and what was at play on the ground but to focus on
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moving forward, the goal for the grassroots the last year and a half has been twofold, lots of federal overreach of the election system, to tackle state based reform. i'm proud of the work grassroots activists have been able to do to support great state legislators like senator hughes in texas come alongside them as they passed these incredibly important bills that are nonpartisan. there is nothing enough areas, nothing racist about any of these bills and they were there, they engaged with the lawmakers, they showed up in texas until 4:00 am giving testimony in these committee hearings, this is the power of citizen activists engaging in such an important and comprehensive issue to our republic. that work at the state level what was going on very intentionally in texas and
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florida and georgia and arizona and other places across the country and on top of our mind is what is going on in washington with various bills that leader schumer and nancy pelosi were putting forward on capitol hill. that started with f1 or hr one, different parts of the year, turned into hr 4. into the preclearance things we were talking about. whatever the bill and the package, the goal was the same which was the federal takeover of the election, someone asked me the other day if i thought we needed that, do we need a federal election system. my answer was no, doing a fine good job and they should continue to do a fine good job. there is not a need for those legislative packages. the west try unsuccessfully, the debate about voting rights,
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inequities at the state level. they had a vested interest in seeing states like georgia, florida, they have a vested interest in reframing what these states did and calling it out as racist or vote suppression because they needed to show their fellow lawmakers that there was a need for a federal takeover, the states are crazy, can't do it on our own and the washington bureaucrats must do it for the. the american people saw through that. this is a year and 1/2 into this where so many past these bills, failed, lost the public argument and not just
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conservative grassroots activists, and seen through so much of this narrative and recognizing manipulating the success of the states, and they can't win with the legislative agenda resorting to breaking the filibuster and advancing hr one, that state of play, there is a broad coalition. to save our elections coalition and the goal is to save our elections, but we are glad to take on, the heritage scorecard is the roadmap for what states need to tackle reform and where the gaps on voter integrity
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live. it is so easy to use, to increase my score, there is legislation to download. i can go to my state lawmaker and encourage them to take it on in state legislative chambers so we will see a lot of activity from states in 2022, we see half a dozen states introduced and election integrity provisions, strengthening voter id, making sure this commonsense provision of voter id at the beginning, you have to have a id to get your vaccine to have your vaccine card, to get into restaurants but you don't have to vote, that sort of comparison exists in a lot of states around the country and people are eager to have voter id. in a lot of places if you don't have them they are available
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for free. there will be more excitement around bills like that. we are watching what states are doing, you will see grassroots enthusiasm, people show up and you will see people engage in a substantive way on the merits and principles of this bill. if we learned anything it is that it is not enough to read the soundbites, you have to go in and look. are we limiting people from having water in line? that is not what the bill is doing. a lot of activists learned we have to read the bill first, can't rely on what the mainstream media is characterizing and that will bring a flood of renewed enthusiasm around state bills as they move through state legislative chambers.
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the fight to block this federal overreach is not over. there's a lot of interest from schumer, from pelosi to nuke the filibuster in the senate, to advance these bills. president biden's comments two weeks ago in atlanta articulated where his heart is, he wants to see a version of these bills on his desk before the 2022 midterm elections so conservatives need to stay vigilant not only to preserve the filibuster for many reasons we agree we need it but to recognize this 2-step power grab that could come shortly after with these hrs one package of bills. people getting comfortable and used to talking about and senator hughes illustrated this morning so beautifully, role of a poll worker and a poll watcher volunteering as part of
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election day operations, this is no easy task. what we are asking people to do is give up three, four, five weeks depending how long early voting is, take some time off of work from their family to show up and to do a constitutional duty and constitutional privilege, by the constitution and the election system and polling location place. that is a robot traditionally. there has been a lot of interest from the left in placing activists to do these things. we all love the constitution and want to see our vote protected. we can volunteer as poll workers and poll watchers so heritage action has made a significant push to encourage activists to consider volunteering their time. you have to get trained by the
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state and that training, the placement began this spring not only in the virginia governor's election, you will see the same enthusiasm as boots on the ground to be faithful stewards within our polling location, these are good with conservative activists to ask tough questions and frankly when faced support lawmakers like senator hughes and secretaries of state that worked diligently to manage these election day operations without interference so i am proud of that work and the history and legislative background but i wanted to
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leave you with the grassroots color of what i've been hearing across the country and how real and personal this issue has become to so many of us. >> we are joined in the room by a number of friends and allies in the election integrity fight and i'm grateful for those efforts. in a moment i will open up to questions from people in the audience. i want to make a quick point. hans mentioned, we all know elections have consequences. if you elect the people on your side you get policies that you like, lead to appointments, government contracts, power. i'm always ahead scratcher when i see media outlets on the left when they point out when someone is accused of election flawed -- election fraud was a republican voters if that means this isn't a problem as opposed to pointing out this is a
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universal bipartisan problem. incentives to cheat, and the other point i want to make and the left has been trying to make a number of election changes many of which are in these federal bills for years and they failed at the ballot box and not able to get exchange through the legislature but a number of executive branch officials and judges changed the rules in 2020 without getting ratification from state legislatures on the rules that applied to that election. the department of justice has announced that if states, the pandemic will be over very soon, any state that attempts to revert back to the laws that are on the books in those states may be subject to suits
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by the department of justice and i think that is a danger too. any of you can comment on that and let's take some questions. >> i wanted to point out in the debate for the people act in the senate there was one point that senator schumer, the majority leader declined to answer which was of this. we know among many of the things the bill would do to override state election laws and require same-day voter registration for ballot fraud and of course illuminate any need for an excuse for absentee voting he had no answer for those who brought up the fact that his own home state, new york, does not have same-day voter registration, does not allow unlimited absentee voting and just last november two ballot measures were presented to new york voters to institute
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same-day voter registration and no excuse absentee voting. two -- new york voters overwhelmingly defeated them. senator schumer was pushing on all 50 states, measures his own constituents opposed. hans made the point about human nature being frail. we are all flawed creatures. it can get pretty ugly out there. powers a dangerous drug. we have had two former members of congress in pennsylvania indicted in recent years and what were they doing? former members of congress you would think would have a reputation to protect the would go into all dimers homes where there were patients and assist them at filling out their ballots, they were both indicted. in texas where senator hughes
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is from, houston votes, registering people who didn't exist, who were illegal, aliens, who were ineligible to vote. the county registrar, leah vasquez said this was outrageous, it was polluting garbage into the voter registration system, 20,000 applications filed, 7193 for new voters, fraud on an unprecedented scale. i interviewed sean caddell, who struck me as a shifty and evasive fellow but i had no idea. he was involved in voter fraud schemes all over the country from his home base in new jersey which was a fountain of voter fraud. yesterday afternoon in new
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jersey he finally paid the price for his activities over the years which extend back to texas. he pled guilty to murder for hire. he had murdered a fellow political consultant, paid two individuals to go to his apartment a few years ago, stabbed him to death and torched the place. he is in home detention on $1 million bail. this is serious stuff. there are people out there who will stop at nothing to subvert our elections and for one side to deny this is going on is a dereliction of duty. senator schumer knows better. he knows better for the following reasons. a few years ago the democratic election commissioner from manhattan was caught on tape by james o'keefe admitting voter fraud is rampant in new york that buses go from neighborhood
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to neighborhood for repeat voting and he admitted that and said we need voter id. what was the response from election officials in new york city? mayor deblasio had him fired within 48 hours because he was pulled committing a political gaffe which means you tell the truth inadvertently in politics. secondly one of the last acts of mayor bloomberg before he turned over the mayor's office was to authorize a department of investigation probe into the board of elections which is a notorious sinkhole of political patronage and corruption and the department of investigations did something unusual. they looked to see if the system had integrity. they took 63 investigators had them pose as voters who moved out of state, were dead, were serving time on rikers island and they would go to polling
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places the day mayor deblasio was elected and try to vote and they would mix and match, a puerto rican investigator trying to vote in the name of a 93-year-old polish widow. completely disparate descriptions in terms of age and everything else, 60 one of the 63 times in chuck schumer's new york of those people were allowed to vote because there's no voter id law in new york. only two occasions they were blocked from voting. one of them was the fellow had moved of the alleged fellow had moved from one neighborhood to another nearby so the polling inspector said you can't vote here so walked him out to the street, pointed down the block, gave him directions to go to
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the place he originally voted and the second case was the fellow showed up and appeared before the polling inspector and said i would like to vote and she looked up his name and looked at him with a quizzical expression and said i can't let you vote. he said why not? you are trying to vote in the name of my son and he is dead. you are not my son so that was the only exception, the only time someone was prevented from voting, chuck schumer knows all of this and yet he was trying to foist this bill on all 50 states including louisiana and texas and other states that worked so hard to improve the integrity of their election. this is a travesty and this one hundred million campaign to nationalize our elections into 1-size-fits-all failed miserably, now we have to have a renewed effort to preserve and protect the integrity of our elections. >> local officials, we had that happen in one county, in response to covid, made up some rules so they invented drive-through voting.
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for folks with disabilities we will have curbside voting so election workers will bring the equivalent to the car so folks can go in and vote but harris county invented drive-through voting and we all recognize the importance of the secret ballot and the private ballot, don't know if you and your spouse discuss how you vote or your boss or your coworker but that is important that your vote your vote, they are passing the machine around and in harris county they got to the end of early voting where they tried drive-through voting and the number of voters and there were 1800 off so the election administrator said stop this before election day because we are not sure these votes will count so that made it clear we don't have drive-through voting, also 24 hour voting and
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they had a hard time finding election workers, poll watchers so when we said no drive-through voting we were accused of suppression. we scoured the country for anyone who had done 24 hour voting but then found los angeles, california plummeted 24 hour voting in the primary election but stopped it before the general because it didn't work. haven't seen them accused of jim crow or anything else but we did have a county using it as a reason to make up their own rules and we did block that going forward. in texas when you show up to vote and in line when the polls close you will be allowed to vote no matter how long it takes. we've had that law in place since the 1980s but it was not the law for early voting. what about getting on board? a lot of friends on the other side talked about working
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folks, those were my voters, we care about all voters but what about them? the law said for election day, if your work schedule does not allow you to get off work your employer must let you vote. that was for election day only, now we have that for early voting as well. we put aside those made up ways and putting real ways to help people, we had them try to abuse covid but the same county on the cusp of mailing out millions of applications to voters not eligible to vote by mail. we did have that and put a stop to it in texas. >> let's go to questions. we have people with microphones so if you have a question please raise your hand. do we have any questions virtually? let's take one of those and have the one hand up here in the room, you need a microphone
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over here. >> here's the first question. louisiana is the remaining state with a paperless voting system, they use a machine as opposed to paper ballots to vote. the washington post reports although the state legislature committed to switching back to paper ballots the switch will not be made in time for the 2022 election and might not be ready for the 2024 election. what obstacles are preventing the transition? >> this is were louisiana? over to you. >> thank you very much. because of how we moved to an electronic system we are in the process of trying to move back to paper based. we are trying to implement an automated paper trail system
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since 2018 and we have been blocked in those efforts because of the bidding process and the complications and that process and the competition in the voting system companies. the legislature chose to provide us the opportunity to expand their efforts and create a voting system, wrapping up our vote commissioned by the end of the middle of february and from that we will begin the process of developing a request for proposals. the problem is when you have 2.1 million people voting in person you have to make sure you have the right processes in
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place plus have to implement training not just for our commissioners but local registrars who oversee the early voting system for election day voting and we want to make sure we educate the public so they understand how the system is going to work while waiting for implementation so we saw the problems in georgia, implementation ordered by the courts. we don't want to go through those issues so louisiana will have a paper-based system by 2024 but maybe not 100% implemented. we will see how they do. >> over here. >> what is being done to determine the validity of citizenship on a voter registration card?
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35 billion illegal aliens and 2 million more just this year, how to make sure they don't register to vote or check on the validity of their citizenship? >> that is a real problem. one of the problems is we have gotten bad decisions from federal judges in florida and elsewhere. when states tried to put in provisions that would require election officials to check the citizenship of individuals registering we had some federal judges say you can't do that but that is a real problem. i think one of the things in the election reform bill was to require the secretary of state of texas to check with the dmv because in every state across the country if you are an alien
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and here legally you can get a drivers license. a dozen states provide illegal aliens with a drivers license but texas, past provisions say check the dmv records to see if individuals who got a drivers license and did it as an alien do they get registered to vote? that's one of things states ought to be doing. another thing as part of the election scorecard is states should require and use jury lists and jury summonss, if you are called for jury duty in a state court it is highly likely the jury commission got that information from election officials, they use registration and in many states when someone is excused from jury duty that in formation is
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sent back to election officials, not only that but the federal court, where do folks think the federal courts get their lists of people they go to state election officials and every state should say to federal court you can have our voter registration lists but a condition of you using state voter registration lists is when someone is excused for it, you have to tell us they have been excused because either they are not a us citizen or have moved out of state and those are things states should be doing and are not doing. >> responding to your question briefly. i live in new york city. the system is broken. the last primary election, what is it doing?
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expanding the right of noncitizens. this is a big problem because they want to take it further. there is no enforcement if you're a noncitizen on illegal status. there is no enforcement of that. secondly, a majority of the democratic caucus in the house of representatives last year voted to allow 16-year-olds the right to vote, trying to expand the franchise to 16-year-olds, lots of problems we need to fix first. >> i had two patient people in the room so i will take those questions. back here and come up here, two questions and get the answers briefly. >> great panel. what organize is there to recruit election officials? particularly in the cities where republicans tend to lose elections?
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>> let's take the second question as well that is here. >> thank you. my question is for hans von spakovsky. i'm representative of people who go out weeks and months in advance of any election to secure the right to vote and prevent integrity problems. one of the challenges people like me have is local folks are not willing to intervene when problems are identified. what degree does the scorecard account for the statutory or regulatory environment that allows or requires local election or other officials to intervene and assist when these problems are identified and a subsidiary question would be thinking about amending the scorecard at some point in the
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future and evaluating the effectiveness and willingness of local folks to enforce the law? >> great question. i will take your second question. we are mope open-minded to all of this. one problem with that is there are some states that have 40, 50 counties, so what do you do, let's pick 50. 46 of them follow the law and four of them don't. getting the information to prove that is difficult and how do you evaluate state compliance when most are following the law but the ones that aren't are causing a problem? practical difficulties, now back to the other question. >> we realize that is a problem and why the scorecard has a
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rating on whether or not they give the state legislature and residents of the state the ability to sue in court election officials who are not complying with election laws the state legislature put in place, they should have standing, you have a law on this or comply with it? that is an important part of our classification so -- >> it has to be minted. >> national poll worker recruitment day, this was a nonpartisan push to recruit and identify poll workers to get vetted and trained with that.
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those looking to volunteer to check resources online. a lot of them are available, and there's a deep and cool coalition working outside of washington to recruit and place poll workers where we haven't been in years previously so the capacity on the ground. if you're interested please see me afterward but it is a real effort and some model in virginia for the gubernatorial race up and down the ballot proved this can be done in other states. >> i knew this time would fly by, apologies if we did not get to your question. please take a moment to thank our panelists. [applause]
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