Election Concerns

August 18, 2010

Some readers of this blog have voiced concerns about the upcoming election, suggesting that it may be subject to election fraud.  They expressed concern particularly with the early voting and hand counting of ballots.  Are their concerns valid?

Here are some of the comments:
Anonymous said...
Sorry. Totally off the subject.

Anybody else think it is weird that Joe Camacho the Covenant flag bearer is not heavily campaigning?

Look at MVariety.com and SaipanTribune.com and he is the only one with no banner ads. Run down the main roads and he only has 18"x 11" placards every 2 or 4 miles and he is the only one with no main big boards.

I can only imagine he is either not trying to win or more than likely he believes he has this in the bag already.

How? I believe that they are rigging this election. They have already brought about a bunch of big changes such as manual hand counting not electronic, changing voting polling locations, altering law to allow for absentee ballots without notary, early voting procedures, etc.

I know this is a federal election but will we really have federal oversight? At what level? Will they allow election observers to "observe" from 20 feet away during manual counts while CEC is altering ballots with white stickers and black ones?

Anyone have any more to add?
August 17, 2010 5:40 PM
Anonymous said...
Noni 5:40 The time to ask for federal observers is now. Ask the DoJ to lead you in the right direction.

August 17, 2010 8:39 PM
Anonymous said...
5:40, this "election reform" to allow up to ten day early voting, along with what you have stated got me thinking along your same lines. Especially the early voting and the hand count.
I agree with 8:40.also.

August 18, 2010 10:13 AM
The upcoming CNMI election is a federal election, and federal voting laws apply. The U.S. Department of Justice often sends observers to oversee elections. During the 2008 elections over 800 observers from the DOJ's Civil Rights Division were sent to 23 states to oversee elections.

The Department of Justice website has a Voting Section with questions and answers. Here are some that may interest those who commented here:
What federal law protects me from discrimination in voting?

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 protects every American against racial discrimination in voting. This law also protects the voting rights of many people who have limited English skills. It stands for the principle that everyone's vote is equal, and that neither race nor language should shut any of us out of the political process. You can find the Voting Rights Act in the United States Code at 42 U.S.C. 1973 to 1973aa-6. 
What are federal observers?

Federal observers are authorized by Section 8 of the Voting Rights Act to attend and observe voting and vote-counting procedures during elections. They are non-lawyers, hired and supervised by the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM). They are trained by OPM and by the Justice Department to watch, listen, and take careful notes of everything that happens inside the polling place during an election, and are also trained not to interfere with the election in any way. They prepare reports that may be filed in court, and they can serve as witnesses in court if the need arises.

How do I get federal observers to monitor an election?

You can contact the Voting Section and explain where the need exists, what needs to be observed, and which minority voters are affected. We consider many such requests each year from organizations and individuals. The Attorney General can send federal observers to any jurisdiction covered by Section 5 or by a court order.

What responsibilities does the Justice Department have with regard to voter fraud or intimidation?

The administration of elections is chiefly a function of state government. However, federal authorities may become involved in election fraud matters when a state prosecutor asks for federal assistance. In cases where intimidation, coercion, or threats are made or attempts to intimidate, threaten or coerce are made to any person for voting or attempting to vote, federal civil voting rights claims may be brought by the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division. In such cases where voters are intimidated, coerced, threatened or oppressed or attempts are made to do these acts based on race, color, religion, or national origin, federal criminal charges may be brought by the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division. In addition, the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division can become involved when allegations arise that criminal vote fraud has occurred in a federal election.

In general, if you have information about voter fraud, please contact the nearest office of the FBI or your local U.S. Attorney’s office or the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division. Furthermore, if you have information about voter intimidation, coercion or threats, please contact the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division. If you know of activities that intimidate, coerce, threaten, or oppress voters based on race, color, religion, or national origin, please contact the Criminal Section:

Chief, Criminal Section
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. - PHB
Washington, D.C. 20530

(202) 514-3204
The Constitutional Rights Foundation has a compilation of Examples of Election Fraud:
Voter Fraud (Illegal Voting)

• Giving false identity, citizenship, residency, etc., when registering to vote.
• Voting when not eligible or qualified.
• Voting in the name of another such as someone who has died or moved.
• Voting multiple times in an election.

Other Types of Election Fraud

• Registering fictitious persons or those not eligible to vote; paying persons to register.
• Buying votes.
• Threatening voters to vote in a certain way or not to vote.
• Tampering with voting machines.
• Completing an absentee ballot of a person who did not say how it should be marked.
• Stuffing ballot boxes with invalid ballots.
• Changing or destroying valid ballots.
• Falsely counting or certifying voting results.
Should CNMI voters be concerned? Vote below in the unscientific poll or comment:

Are concerns about election fraud valid?


Anonymous said...

Well, the recent elections give reason to be concerned about fraud right? Absentee ballots only go to "select" supporters? On Guam, absentee ballots are "received" by the liaison office, who is conveniently the notary, to process the voting (just to make sure); and who can forget the shenanigans by BenTan and what deals were made?

Anonymous said...

In his defense, Camacho has been busy ensuring that rapists, child molesters and litter bugs stay on the streets. His campaign is planning on the support of people that emphasize with criminals. Every pardoned criminal is a vote!

Anonymous said...

200 of the ballots on Guam went to the same mailbox. Must be a really big family. Fitial administration also traveled to the US on the taxpayer dime to register select voters.

Anonymous said...

11:05, yes, and I was told by one politician that every person that is "won over" from most families can mean about 70 subsequent votes. So look at how many "pardon's and sentence commutations" along with paroles and other "activities" that are being done by many in office. Stanley is a good example. Nothing done for the people, only for self interest and family and friends.