By Kevin Mooney — Polls show that Gov. Mitt Romney could be competitive against President Obama in Pennsylvania, a must win state for Democrats. So, it should come as no surprise to learn that a coalition of left-wing attorneys have filed a “motor voter” suit against state officials aimed at accelerating highly questionable registration practices.
The suit, filed under Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), commonly known as “motor voter,” claims that Pennsylvania failed to offer registration services as required by law. The plaintiffs include Project Vote, an affiliate of the ACORN network, Demos and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The law calls for government agencies to offer registration services to anyone who applies for new drivers’ licenses or other social services like unemployment benefits. Although public assistance applications have been on the rise recently, voter registration applications “have decreased by a staggering 93% in recent years, from 59,462 in 1995-1996 to just 4,179 in 2009-2010,” according to Project Vote. The suit names Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele, Secretary of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander, and Secretary of Health Dr. Eli N. Avila as defendants.
The action against Pennsylvania did not occur in a vacuum. Instead, it is built around a larger national effort that seeks to utilize “motor voter” as a tool to boost the Democratic turnout with registration efforts interlinked with loose identification requirements. Project Vote, and other allied groups, are also suing Louisiana and Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Georgia have already agreed to legal settlements (consent agreements) that could potentially taint the 2012 elections, according to lawyers and citizen activists who are familiar with NVRA suits.
Liberal pressure groups and Democratic Party operatives are looking to enforce “motor voter” beyond what is even required by law, while ignoring the anti-voter fraud provisions included under the same federal law. They are doing in partnership with President’s Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ). Judicial Watch has obtained documentation through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that highlights the steady stream of communication between DOJ and third party groups like Project Vote.
As part of a compromise with Senate Republicans in 1993, President Clinton agreed to include a separate provision under Section 8 of the NVRA that makes it a requirement for state officials to maintain updated registration records and to purge ineligible voters. Section 7 would not have become law without Section 8 because there were not enough votes in the Senate at that time to prevent a Republican filibuster of “motor voter.”
In a new book entitled: “Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department,” J. Christian Adams, a former DOJ attorney, describes how Obama’s top appointees within the department’s Voting Section scuttled Section 8 investigations. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes made it clear during a “brown bag” meeting in November 2009 that the agency had “no interest in enforcing that provision of the law” since it was not related to boosting voter turnout, Adams wrote.
The testimony Christopher Coates, former chief of the Voting Section within DOJ’s civil rights division, delivered to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in Sept. 2010 backs up this version of events from “Injustice.” Coates also told the commission that eight states appeared to be out of compliance at the time with Section 8 requirements; meaning they had more voter names listed on their registration forms than they had people of eligible voting age
“The lawsuits are coming out of nowhere in multiple states and they are coming fast,” Anita MonCrief, a former Project Vote employee, has observed.
“This is part of a coordinated effort,” said MonCrief is now a Tea Party activist. “These groups are very well-funded, and they have lawyers doing pro-bono work. The objective here is to pressure secretaries of state into accepting consent agreements that will weaken election laws.”
Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government agreed, calling the efforts to subvert the legitimate voting process, “the natural progression of a plan that the left has been implementing since the 2000 presidential election.”
Fortunately, concerned Americans and state lawmakers are beginning to take a principled stand on behalf of ballot integrity. Organizations like “True the Vote” have implemented a sophisticated poll worker training program, while former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell have set up a new campaign in cooperation with the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) the promotes voter identification requirements.
Over the past two years, 11 states have passed new photo ID laws that have been challenged by the DOJ, Project Vote and other self-described “voting rights groups.”
The complicating factor for state officials is the 1965 Federal Voting Rights Act (VRA), which was initially set up as a safeguard against racial discrimination, but has been modified over time to allow for political mischief. Under the VRA, any changes made to voting laws in certain areas of the country must be approved by the DOJ. The jurisdictions covered under the federal law are all of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia and parts of California, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, and South Dakota. The DOJ has already moved to block the voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas; both states are counter-suing
Matthew Vadum, a senior editor with the Capital Research Center (CRC), has extensively researched the ACORN network, and its Project Vote affiliate, which were at the epicenter for vote fraud scandals that came to light in 2008.
“Project Vote has long been in the forefront of filing lawsuits aimed at mucking up America’s voter rolls and the group shows no signs of slowing down,” he said. “Frances Fox Piven, the Marxist academic who helped design the motor voter law in an effort to swamp voter rolls with dead people and cartoon characters, is on Project Vote’s board.”
“All Americans have to get ID to drive, collect public benefits, borrow library books, so why should one segment of the population be exempted? “The only reason to oppose photo ID requirements for voting is to allow voter fraud to take place.”
Kevin Mooney is a contributing editor for NetRightDaily.com. You can follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinMooneyDC.