Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day One of DOJ's Trial Against Texas Anti-Voter Fraud Laws

Last week, Breitbart News reported on the partisan Democratic campaign organization Catalist, headed by Harold Ickes. Catalist was hired by the Department of Justice as its data analysis firm in the trial that just opened over the Texas voter ID law.

As the trial commenced on Monday, the claims made by the Justice Department, based on the supposedly “objective” data analysis of Catalist and DOJ’s “experts,” changed once again. DOJ also presented a bizarre radical professor as a witness on Tuesday on the motives of Texas legislators.

On March 12, Thomas Perez, the Assistant Attorney General of Civil Rights, claimed in a letter to Keith Ingram, the Director of Elections in Texas, that “the total number of registered voters who lack a driver’s license or personal identification card issued by DPS could range from 603,892 to 795,955.” However, on June 1, the report of Stephen D. Ansolabehere, hired by DOJ as another of their experts, claimed that “1,893,143 records on the V[oter] R[egistration] files could not be matched to valid records on the state identification lists provided” to Ansolabehere.

There was a reason that Ansolabehere’s numbers were so large -- apparently, DOJ did everything it could to avoid finding out what types of photo ID were actually held by the almost 13 million registered voters in Texas. According to Ansolabehere’s deposition on June 22, the Justice Department refused to compare the Texas voter registration list to federal databases that would have matched Texas voters to forms of federal identification acceptable under the Texas law -- and that would have identified non-citizens who are illegally registered to vote. Ansolabehere conceded in sworn deposition testimony that he would have preferred to compare the state’s voter registration records to federal passport, military ID, and immigration databases -- but he was denied access by the Justice Department: “It would have been great to know those other [federal] ID forms, but we were not allowed to access those databases.”

Texas has a known problem of non-citizens registering to vote in the state. And as the lawsuit filed by Florida recently against the Department of Homeland Security demonstrates, the Obama administration defiantly refuses to follow federal law and provide citizenship-status information to states to verify voter registration information on suspected non-citizens. Allowing DOJ’s expert access to that information would then have provided Texas with the ability to review the same information and remove non-citizens from the voter rolls.

Paul Bettencourt, the former voter registrar for Harris County, Texas, testified before Congress in 2006 about the continuing problem of illegal voting by foreign citizens in Harris County. In 1997, the Immigration and Naturalization Service headquarters in Washington refused to cooperate in a criminal investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas of voting by non-citizens. An INS official was quoted as saying that the INS bureaucracy did not “want to open a Pandora’s Box…If word got out that this is a substantial problem, it could tie up all sorts of manpower. There might be a few thousand [illegal voters] in Dallas, for example, but there could be tens of thousands in places like New York, Chicago or Miami.”

The Justice Department’s refusal to allow its expert to check state department and Pentagon records deliberately ignores the fact that there are more than 85 million passports issued to Americans. The Veterans Administration reports that there are about 22.7 million veterans age 17 and over in the U.S., each of whom would have an acceptable military ID card. That kind of data could also substantially reduce the number of Texans who supposedly don’t have an ID, particularly given the fact that Texas has a very large number of veterans and current members of the armed forces.

Ansolabehere also said that he was not instructed to determine how many voters actually lacked a photo identification. Instead, he was limited to determining how many voter registration records he could match to the state’s photo-identification database. He acknowledged during sworn testimony that he made no effort whatsoever to clean up the list of voters who were ineligible to vote, and he admitted that more than 50,000 dead voters were included on the DOJ’s no-match list.

No comments: