Skip to comments.Extra Early Voting Opportunity in Heavily Democratic Area Raises Eyebrows
Posted on 12/03/2012 9:51:42 AM PST by MichCapCon
Some voters in Lansing got an early opportunity to vote that others in the state didn't have, and some Republicans say that bonus day for absentee voting looked suspiciously like a maneuver to boost turnout for Democrats.
The early absentee voting on Sunday, Oct. 28, took place at the South Washington Office Complex, a site located in a Democrat-heavy portion of Lansing. The timing, noon to 4 p.m., coincided with people getting out of church.
Official notice of the Sunday voting opportunity was posted on the city's website. Registered voters in Michigan can get an absentee ballot if they meet one of six requirements. Many local communities across the state, including Lansing, allowed absentee voting on Nov. 3.
But it is believed none set up an earlier day and promoted the opportunity for residents to vote by absentee ballot.
Trevor Pittsley, a Republican poll watcher, said he found out the about extra chance for absentee voting on Facebook. He showed up at the voting site and witnessed what was going on.
"I didn't see any buses, but it sure looked like some people carpooled to get there, Pittsley said. There were signs all around town saying 'Vote Today.' There was a pro-Proposal 2 tent (a union-backed ballot initiative) right there, near the gate. A lady with a UAW emblem on her shirt was directing traffic. The whole thing generally seemed to be a unionized process.
"Inside the room, I heard comments such as 'Why didn't we try this last year?' I also heard people offer to help voters who weren't clear on the proposals. It looked to me like they were very organized."
Pittsley said he did not intervene because he was not acting as a poll watcher that day.
"This was absentee ballot voting on a Sunday," Pittsley said. "I didn't poll watch, because you're not really allowed to poll watch in that situation. I taped what was going on with my iPod."
The photos in this article were taken by Pittsley.
In an interview about the bonus voting day, Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope defended the city's action.
CapCon: Was this an effort to increase voter turnout for Democrats?
Swope: It was an opportunity to get out more voters in Lansing.
CC: But, because Lansing is more of a Democrat-leaning city, isn't it likely most of those voters were Democrats?
Swope: That's true.
CC: Couldn't this lead to a situation where both political parties start adding voting hours in places where more of their base voters are likely to turnout?
Swope: I suppose that's true, but different townships and different municipalities have different hours. I'm not responsible for those. My focus is just on the city of Lansing.
CC: Regarding the hours the polls were open, from noon to 4 p.m., were those chosen to accommodate people who were getting out of church?
Swope: It was to make it convenient for folks. Yeah, that was part of the reason for choosing the time.
CC: Do you see any constitutional problems with doing this regarding equal protection? If you live in most other places in Michigan, you didn't have that opportunity.
Swope: I don't foresee that. Again, different places have different times that people can vote.
CC: Were those on the Democratic side given advanced information about what was happening that the Republicans didnt receive?
Swope: Nope. I think some nonpartisan organizations were told ahead of time that this was something we might do. I had also talked with one of my council members about it. I guess it really wasn't something no one had heard about, but, as far as the notice was concerned, both parties were informed of it at the same time.
Only a couple of hundred voters voted that day.
Republican political strategist Greg McNeilly, said the decision to allow the Sunday voting wasn't nonpartisan.
"It's essentially a situation of injustice," McNeilly said. "One clerk decided the voters of one city would get a voting opportunity those in the rest of the state didn't get. And it was done in a way that was very advantageous for one voting group."
Michigan Secretary of State Spokesman Fred Woodhams said he wasn't aware of anything that would prohibit clerks from offering people the opportunity to cast an in-person absentee ballot ahead of the election as long as the voter had a qualified reason to get an absentee ballot.
“We shouldn’t have ANY early voting here.”
We shouldn’t have ANY early voting anywhere period. It just presents one of many opportunities for voter fraud.
I have no problem with absentee voting as long as the ballots cast are truly scrutinized by member of both parties to avoid any instance of fraud.
“In-person” absentee vote. This right there makes no sense to me.
I’m not here and I need to vote.
The ACLU has a whole list of things they want to do. No excuse absentee voting, 2 weeks of early voting. Same day registration voting. Pick up and drop off ballot voting. Any precinct voting...... Basically they want to create as much chaos as possible.
My fully indoctrinated cousin says they want inhouse voting at union shops.
During the last election poll workers were observed writing in the names on voter rolls, with the explanation that they were entering peoples names of those who voted absentee. No signature should ever be entered by anyone but the person voting. How many votes could be created in this manner for people who have not voted in the past, and/or have been dead for a period of time. Since a Federal election is in fact choosing federal positions, it should be held separately from state and local elections, and held on one day only. A government issued photo id should be required for all federal elections, and proof of citizenship, along with registration of all voters at least a month,prior to the election.
In Mexico they have photos of each voter, along with signatures, so that there can doubt that the vote is legitimate. so this third world country can do a better job of collecting votes than the US? Even the UN observers were floored that many of our states do not require a photo ID, and allow same day registration, without ID.
There are too,too many indicators that voter fraud exists for us not to demand that Congress establish Federal voter parameters, including photo identification, and proof of citizenship, prior to voting.
Most of this can be handled by current Federal entities that have already been put in place (example is the SS Administration Offices).
This is also one of the counties involved in the West Congressional race.
>>Absentee ballots, once received, should remain unopened, and a red stamped entry should be placed in the signature space,on the voter roll books. That way if a voter appears, presents identification, and states that they did not vote absentee,that original ballot can be held as evidence of voter fraud.>>
Ditto to that, and all the rest of your statement.
I'm absolutely sick that my home state of Florida is "evaluating problems" with early voting insomuch as they weren't early enough. These braindead Republicans haven't learned a damn thing in the last few voting cycles, and they just want to continue to hand the Demonrats the ability to defraud the election process in this country.
Early voting is a code word for racism. You watch. It's coming.
The “elections” being held in this country these days make those held by dictators look honest. Amerika has taken banana republic style “elections” to a whole new level.
This is an argument you will never win, because as the official said, he was just giving voters another opportunity to cast their ballot.
You aren’t going to win an argument that starts with the premise that you want to keep democrats from casting their vote, in the hopes that fewer of them will show up.
No matter how ridiculous early voting is, they will always sell it as providing more opportunity for people to cast the votes they are entitled to. And since we wouldn’t object to those same people voting on election day, we lose the argument because we are arguing to make it harder for them to vote.
The alternative is for our side to find the same chances, and to do the same things. There apparently was nothing to prevent a solid republican district from setting up the same after-church absentee ballot opportunity.
Of course, since they only got 200 votes out of it, this isn’t really a cure for the loss we experienced.
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