Ensuring Election Integrity And Preventing Voter Fraud 101: Tune in today as we conclude the two-part series from the Profamily Legislators Conference. Hans Von Spakovsky is our special guest and will be diving into voter fraud tactics and how we can prevent them in the future.
Air Date: 01/04/2018
Guest: Hans Von Spakovsky
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always doing that from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.
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Officials Don’t Always Take Steps to Help End Fraude
So check that out at WallBuilders.com.
We’re going to pick up where we left off yesterday. We’re going to dive right back into the presentation. This is Hans von Spakovsky, with the Heritage Foundation, and he’s going to be continuing his presentation that we shared part of yesterday. This was him speaking at the ProFamily Legislators Conference.
Unfortunately, election officials often don’t take the steps they need to forward information about potential fraud to either state and local law enforcement, or the federal government. Even when prosecutors get these cases, they often don’t prosecute them.
I’ll give you a quick example of that which shows the problem.
During the Obama administration, I was on a county election board in Fairfax County, Virginia. That’s the largest county in the state of Virginia.
We got into a tussle along the election board when I made a motion that we should check our voter registration list against DMV records.
Because in every state, if you’re a noncitizen and you’re here legally, you can get a driver’s license. As you all know, in about a dozen states you can also get a driver’s license if you are here illegally.
But I said, “Why don’t we check to make sure that the people that we have registered, that there aren’t any noncitizens who are registered?”
The lone Democrat on our board voted against that. He didn’t think we should check other state records for this.
The Democrats Are Trying to Block Voter Comparison with DMV
Anyway, we discovered 300 individuals who told the DMV and showed the paperwork that they were not U.S. citizens, but that registered to vote anyway. About half of them had actually voted in our elections. We took them off the voter rolls, sent their files to the local Commonwealth Attorney—that’s the county D.A.—who’s a Democrat, and we sent it to the United States Department of Justice, under Eric Holder.
Now, what do you think happened to all those files? Absolutely nothing. They fell into a black hole and we never heard anything from the local prosecutor, and we never heard a word from the U.S. Justice Department, which again shows you, unfortunately, these cases often don’t get prosecuted.
Now, there’s a variety of things that ought to be done about this. And by the way, I should point out that going back to what I said about the honor system, most people have this mistaken idea that when somebody registers to vote which, as you know, is very easy, you write a one page form.
You could print it out from the internet you fill it out, you send it in, and it’s got your name your address your age. You have to answer a couple of questions like, “Are you a citizen of the U.S?”
People have this mistaken impression that when that form gets to county election officials, that they go through and check all that information to make sure it’s correct. They don’t do that, they just enter the information into their computer and mail you a voter registration form. They don’t take advantage of any of the modern technology we have, and the modern data databases we have, to verify that information. And that’s one of the problems.
It’s Up to the States
Only state legislatures can take care of this, because you guys are the heart of doing something about this. You’re not going to get anything out of Congress, the Democrats or Republicans, are at complete loggerheads there.
There’s no way anything’s going to come out of Congress to help you, so you have to do it at the state level. Now, the most obvious thing everybody talks about all the time is voter I.D. That’s a basic requirement. You need to require an ID, and it should be a government issued ID where people not only appear at your polling place—which is what states like Georgia and Indiana have done—which is a good statute.
You also need to require a photo ID for absentee ballots. Why? Because, I don’t know if you’ll realize this, but in the last 2016 election the Census Bureau reported that 20 percent of Americans voted by absentee ballot. That’s a lot of votes.
There’s a couple of states that have put a requirement like this, Alabama’s one. Kansas is another. It’s an easy requirement. If you are in Kansas, for example, if you’ve got a driver’s license then when you send in your absentee ballot they’ve got a place, same place where you fill out your name and sign your name, where you can put in your driver’s license number.
That’s all you’re going to do. Or you can send a photocopy of whatever I.D. is allowed under the law with your absentee ballot.
Don’t Voter ID Laws Always get Blocked?
So a number of states have done that. Now the left, you all probably think from what you read in the press and the media, that voter ID laws are always defeated in the courts now the left has taken over. In almost all the cases that they have, they’ve filed against voter ID laws.
That’s why today in South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Indiana, they all have voter ID laws in place.
What you have to understand though, as a state legislator, is that if you pass a voter ID law, you’re going to get sued, but you have to be prepared for that. You’ve got to be prepared for the lawsuit, but if you fight it out, you’re going to win. The chances of you losing are slim. Well, there are a few states that have lost this.
North Carolina’s voter ID law was upheld by a federal district court in a 500 page opinion. Five hundred pages of the best opinions I’ve ever read. The judge just demolished all the claims being made against it.
It goes up to the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a three judge panel with two Obama judges and a Clinton judge. They throw the law out. It’s one of the worst and most biased decisions I’ve ever read. Here’s a key thing for you all to keep in mind, as the North Carolina litigation illustrates.
What if I Can’t Trust the A.G?
If you are in a state where you have an attorney general that you cannot trust, then when you pass a voter ID law you ask the Legislature to put a provision in it that gives the legislature the ability to appoint a special assistant attorney general who is designated to defend your law in court. And the North Carolina law illustrates this because what happened in North Carolina, they had a Republican A.G., they appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Fourth Circuit decision. And there’s an election, and in that election a Democratic attorney general was elected.
And what do you think he did? He withdrew the appeal from the U.S. Supreme Court. So if you’re going to pass a law like this, be sure you put in provisions that allow you to keep control of this.
Moment From America’s History
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Federal courts have made several amazing rulings recently. Ordering the removal of a cross from a cemetery, banning religious holiday displays, removing the Ten Commandments from public view, prohibiting student prayers whether verbal or silent, and numerous other similar restrictive rulings.
As one current justices noted, “The Supreme Court has now become quote, a national board of theology.” Our Founding Fathers would be astounded. They designed the first amendment to keep the federal courts completely out of this issue.
As Thomas Jefferson forcefully declared, “I consider the federal government as prohibited by the Constitution from meddling with religious exercises. The first amendment was designed to keep decisions on religious expression out of the federal courts and in the hands of the local communities.” For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.
How Georgia Passed ID Laws
The Georgia legislature, when they passed their voter ID law in 2005, they had a Democratic A.G. at the time.
How did they get their law? They won in the courts, and one of the reasons was that they were able to hire an outside lawyer as a special assistant A.G. In fact, a friend of mine. And she did a fabulous job defending the law. The Georgia voter ID laws have been in place for a decade with no problems. The other big claim that is made by the left is that, “Oh, I.D. laws! This is vote suppression!” Which is a made up term by the left. “OK, it keeps people out of the polls!” Not true.
We’ve now got turnout data from a decade’s worth of an I.D. law in Georgia, a decade’s worth of an I.D. law in Indiana, and not only did the turnout not go down, it went up after the election, nobody knows quite why.
I think part of it is people have more confidence. Public confidence is very important in the election process. But this idea that it keeps people out of the polls is wrong. You all should realize that no matter what you read in the liberal media, and what you hear from the heads of all these liberal or advocacy organizations, voters are on your side with this. The polling on this for the past 10 years, despite all the media attacks on voter ID, are completely consistent.
Voter ID is Supported by Majorities on Both Sides
The vast majority of Americans support voter I.D.. They think it’s an easy requirement to meet. It’s common sense. I’m sure even the Washington Post did a poll on it that came out the same way. I’m sure they didn’t like that result.
By the way, the majority of Americans support voter I.D. runs across political lines. Racial lines does not matter, whether you’re white, Hispanic, or black. A majority of folks support it.
A majority of Democrats support voter ID. So voters are on your side no matter what you hear. I’m almost done, I want time for questions. So let me just quickly go through what all you should do.
Voter ID is one of the first things. The other big problem we have is related to noncitizens registering and voting across the country. Four states have passed a law that says when you register to vote you have to provide proof of citizenship. Now, the problem is those laws have been tied up in the courts. Legislatures should keep passing those laws, and then fight the litigation battle against the left on it. All of you should make sure that your state is a member of what’s called the Interstate Cross-Check Program.
This is a program that was started by Kansas and Missouri some years ago, and the way it works is very simple.
How the Interstate Cross-Check Program Works
Once a year, each state that is a member, and there’s about 28 states now, send their voter registration list to Kansas. Kansas runs a data comparison, and each state gets back a list of all the people. For example, in your state, who also registered in other states. Now you have to be sure that local election officials are directed to take that information and actually do something with it. Virginia joined the interstate crosscheck program when they had a Republican governor. As soon as Democrats came in they said, “You don’t need to do anything with that data.”
But what county election officials need to do with each one of those is investigate, “Is it really the same person? Is it somebody with the same name?”
You investigate, and if somebody is registered in more than one state, they have to pick one state. They can’t be registered in more.
This Precarious Moment Book
This is David Barton. I want to let about a brand new book we have called This Precarious Moment: Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You, Your family, and Our Country. Jim Garlow and I have co-authored this book and we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now.
Issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration, race relations, our relationship with Israel, the rising generation Millennials, and the absence of the church in the culture wars, and where American heritage is, our godly heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both Biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference.
These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved. So you can grab the book This Precarious Moment and find out what you can do to make a difference. This Precarious Moment is available at WallBuilders.com.
Using County Tax Records
The law that I said about Jury Lists, that’s simple and easy.
That’s going to pick up a lot of people who are noncitizens who are registered to vote. Be sure that your election officials are talking to the Department of Homeland Security about doing data comparisons with DHS databases to find noncitizens. Make sure they’re doing something as simple and easy as checking voter registration lists against county tax records.
Now, why would you do that? Because counties are really big on collecting taxes. They know every single address in their county, and whether it’s a commercial address like an office building or a personal residential address. They’re not doing that. Why aren’t they doing that?
If they do that, and somebody registers at a U.P.S. store, well then, you obviously should not allow that person to get registered to vote and investigate. Find out what the problem is.
You do that, and you are not going to have 15,000 individuals registered at improper addresses. But county election officials aren’t doing that. Heck, each time a voter registration list comes in, it could take them three four seconds to pull up Google Earth and see what’s there. Is that a vacant lot? Or if it’s a single family home? You check.
There are 30 people registered there.
Make Sure the Law isn’t being Manipulated
That should be a clue that there is a problem going on, but they’re not doing that. The only way that can get done is if you all force it. I will end by saying: Look, if you want to get elected so that you can apply the kind of solutions to our public problems, you better make darn sure that the rules in your state aren’t being manipulated and the system isn’t vulnerable to these kind of problems. Otherwise you’re not going to get a fair and secure election.
Unfortunately, too many people on our side of the aisle don’t pay attention to it. So thanks. I think I got five minutes left for questions.
In all of the suits that you have made, have the elections overturned?
No. A lot of this work has to be done ahead of time, because after an election you don’t have much time to do this. And I’ll give you the same example of where doing what I was talking about overturned an election.
In 2005, there was a senate, state senate, race in Tennessee that was decided by a very small number of votes. The Democrat was declared the winner, the Republican candidate hired a local county deputy sheriff—which was very smart because he really knew the county well—and the county deputy sheriff just got hold of the voter registration list and people who had voted. He started driving out to those addresses.
I have sitting on my computer in my office, the photos that he took of some of those addresses which were vacant lots.
It Takes Groundwork
He found other people where he’d go to the door and knock on the door, and they would say, “That person doesn’t live here. They moved away years ago.”
That deputy sheriff was able to come up with enough examples of what were clearly ineligible, illegal votes that when the election contest was filed with the state senate, they overturned the election.
But it took groundwork to do that kind of thing. You wouldn’t need that kind of groundwork if election officials were forced, under state law, to do the kind of checks that I’m talking about before the election.
Thank you. I’m really grateful for the work that you’re doing. I wonder, have you delved into—or is anyone delving into—the notion of the voter fraud through the electronic systems? It seems I recall a computer programmer giving testimony in one of the state houses about a computer program he designed that would flip an election from 51 to 49 the other way. That was testimony before one of the state houses, I can’t remember which one. So is there work being done in that area?
Most of the country these days is voting through opti-scan ballots. As you know, those are paper ballots where you fill out the bubble next to names like an SAT test, then it goes through a computer scanner. What a lot of folks who are fearful about voting are talking about is the electronic voting machine.
Now, the thing about electronic voting machines is that, fortunately, they’re not—almost all of the systems that I know of, and I think about a third of the country do this—they’re not tied into the Internet. They’re standalone machines.
Bring A Speaker To Your Area
Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.
And you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”
Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.
How Electronic Voting Works
What happens at the end of Election Day, at the polling place, is the election officials, the manager of the polls, they go to that electronic voting machine and they take a cartridge out of the back of the machine. Those cartridges are then driven down to the county election headquarters, and that’s where they’re inserted at a machine down there that counts up the votes.
So it is very true.
I think that a good hacker, if he could get into an electronic voting machine, could probably insert software that could manipulate the election results, but they can’t do it through the Internet.
To change an election, at least at the polling places, they would have to get physical access to each of the electronic voting machines. That’s kind of tough. Now, you do want to be sure that the computer at the election headquarters that is tabulating all the votes is a standalone machine, that it’s not tied into a network that would allow hackers to get into it.
So as long as you’re taking those precautions, the chances of hackers changing the outcome of an election, I think, are pretty minimal. But if anybody starts tying those machines into a network and into the Internet, then we will have problems.
Additional Information on Legislation
Do you have a place for a recommended legislation to prevent all the various things you kind of talked about that would help us to cut out voter fraud?
There’s a lot. I’ve written a lot about this at the Heritage Foundation on our database. There’s actually a paper, which I actually wrote a few years ago, in your handouts that has recommended legislation I think can help.
You all are welcome to contact me at the Heritage Foundation. I’m happy to not only help you, but I testify. I’ve had a lot of legislators ask me to come testify. I’ve testified in many different places in favor of these kind of bills, including Texas, where I came to testify in favor of their voter ID bill, and the Liberals in the Senate, I think, saw it as an opportunity for a great Texas barbecue, because they started cross examining me like I was a witness being questioned by Perry Mason.
But I’m the only Hans at the Heritage Foundation, so it’s easy to get a hold of me. Thank you very much. Thank you.
Well friends, that was the ProFamily Legislators Conference. We have so many great speakers that come in, and we try to share as many of them as possible with you here as our listeners to WallBuilders Live. The gentleman you were just listening to is a Heritage member of the Heritage Foundation staff.
His name is Hans von Spakovsky. We’ve had him actually on WallBuilders Live many times, so you may recognize his name and maybe have heard him on programs or on WallBuilders.com.
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This is the first time we’ve had him at the Legislators Conference, which was pretty cool. We enjoyed having a fantastic presentation and wanted to share it with you here on the radio program. We all can play a part in ensuring Election Integrity and actually stopping this voter fraud out there, or at least minimizing it, so that the integrity of our election system is strong.
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Ensuring Election Integrity and More with WallBuilders Live
When I say your curriculum, it doesn’t mean you have to go back to school, but there are some good things that can be used in schools. But really, we are all students. We all need to continue to be students of freedom, and study these things. So we’ve put together some really cool programs for you there at WallBuilders.com.
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