Election Integrity Roundup 11.10.19
Here’s a look at election integrity news from around Texas and the country.
This week Texans voted in the off-year constitutional amendment election, sprinkled with local, bond and special elections in various jurisdictions.
In Harris County, returns from the election were delayed. The delays were unanticipated by most, predicted by a few and leave much to be desired moving forward in the largest county in the state.
On election night, after the polls closed, Harris county election officials took what amount to memory cards to a central location to be loaded up onto a computer and counted. This is a different process than has been used in the past and different than what was recommended by secretary of state staff.
In the past, results from around the county were gathered into consolidated locations “rally stations” where votes were tallied and then transmitted to the command center. The state advised Harris County not to transmit results over a network ahead of election day.
Harris County has recently moved to countywide polling, a transition fraught with complexity and uses antiquated voting equipment.
New Mexico GOP sues over absentee ballots
This week the New Mexico GOP sued the state to stop the counting of mail-in ballots in a southern county, alleging that local officials were ignoring requirements over ballot qualifications.
Mail-in ballots are the most likely place to find fraud in an election and in the case of New Mexico, the ballots were being mailed to rest homes and retirement communities, prime targets for vote harvesting operations.
In Texas, county election officials have asked the legislature for increased penalties for mail-in ballot fraud to act as a deterrent to future harvesting efforts. Such an update should be part of securing elections in a special session of the legislature as called for by a coalition of conservative groups advancing the Lone Star Agenda.
Errors Flagged in Florida
This week, the Public Interest Legal Foundation released data from an analysis of Florida voter rolls dating back to the 1990s. The group identified almost 24,000 errors, including voters registered in multiple states, dead registrants and voters registered to non-residential addresses among others.
Like Flordia, Texas has systemic issues with voter roll inaccuracies, including non-citizens and ineligible felons being registered to vote and voting.
Trust in Texas elections is flagging. A near majority of Texans recently polled believe that the state isn’t doing a good job of keeping ineligible people from voting in Texas elections.
Algorithm being developed to find voter fraud
Voter fraud happens, a fact that appears to have overcome the left’s talking point that it doesn’t. In fact, analysis of voting patterns has been developed to identify where fraud is likely occurring so that investigation should happen. Now, academics at Caltech are developing an algorithm to aid in this process.
“There are many scenarios, some fraudulent and some administrative, that can negatively influence the quality and integrity of elections.”
Fraud Allegations in Kentucky
Finally, following a thin election margin in Kentucky the gubernatorial campaign of Matt Bevin is looking into allegations of voter fraud and outside groups are aiding in the effort.
A conservative activist launched robocalls asking voters who may have witnessed suspicious behavior on election day to call the authorities. For his part, Bevin is being asked to provide evidence of alleged fraud. A recanvas of the vote is scheduled for November 14.