Fox & Friends Attacks Hispanic Civil Rights Group, Suggests Wash . Post Is "Promoting Voter Fraud"

The hosts of Fox & Friends wondered whether a Washington Post infographic that shows the different levels of documentary identification required to vote in each state promotes voter fraud, and they also cast suspicion on the intentions of the country's leading Hispanic civil rights advocacy group that highlighted the article on Twitter. The Washington Post published an informational piece on October 27 that summarizes which states in the U.S. require or request photo ID, another form of documentary ID, or a non-documentary form of identification to vote. The source The Washington Post relied on, the National Conference of State Legislatures, makes clear that the article and graphic focus on documentary identification, of which strict voter ID -- a photo ID requirement that is selective about which photo IDs are acceptable -- is the most stringent type. As the NCSL explains, not all states require documentary identification. Other states have " 'non-documentary' ID requirements, meaning voters must verify their identity in other ways, such as by signing an affidavit or poll book, or by providing personal information. In addition, all states have procedures for challenging voter eligibility." But on the October 30 edition of Fox & Friends, hosts Steve Doocy, Anna Kooiman, and Brian Kilmeade highlighted the fact that the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a Hispanic advocacy group, retweeted the Post article. Doocy suggested the Post is encouraging voter fraud, and Kooiman cast suspicion on NCLR's promotion of the article: DOOCY: Are they, is The Washington Post promoting voter fraud or just doing a public service? KOOIMAN: Well, I mean, The Washington Post just put it out there, but this immigration group tweeted it, and then La Raza retweeted it, and it wasn't just, you know, nonpartisan. It had the hashtag #TurnOutForWhat, which is the pro-Democrat hashtag. Despite Fox & Friends' attempt to attribute a nefarious intention to the article and NCLR, strict voter ID laws have become a significant obstacle to many Americans attempting to vote, and because of ongoing legal challenges, the requirements to vote in many states are in flux. Eligible voters in Texas have already been turned away because of the state's restrictive voter ID law, which was recently blocked and then reinstated. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that similar laws in Kansas and Tennessee brought voter turnout down 1.9 and 2.2 percentage points, respectively -- which amounted to 122,000 fewer votes. As The Washington Post explained in its summary of the report, "[y]oung people, black people, and newly registered voters were the groups that were more likely to see bigger drops in turnout." Courts and social scientists have repeatedly found strict voter ID laws to be racially discriminatory toward or linked to bias against voters of color. Researchers at the University of Southern California found that when they emailed state legislators posing as a voter asking whether or not he could vote without a driver's license, "legislators who had supported voter ID laws were much more likely to respond to 'Jacob Smith' than to 'Santiago Rodriguez.'" The Washington Post's Wonkblog further summarized the findings: "The fact that legislators supporting voter identification responded so much l[ess] to the Latino name is evidence anti-Latino bias, unrelated to electoral considerations, might be influencing these public policies," they write. A University of Delaware study found that white survey respondents who saw a picture of black voters were more likely to support voter ID laws than those who were shown an image of white voters or no image. And two experts from the University of Massachusetts Boston wrote in The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog that "restrictions on voting derived from both race and class": The more that minorities and lower-income individuals in a state voted, the more likely such restrictions were to be proposed. Where minorities turned out at the polls at higher rates the legislation was more likely enacted. More specifically, restrictive proposals were more likely to be introduced in states with larger African-American and non-citizen populations and with higher minority turnout in the previous presidential election. And the Fox hosts' concern about supposed "voter fraud" is unfounded -- studies and investigations have found that in-person voter impersonation, the kind of fraud that voter ID laws are supposed to prevent, is so rare that it is almost nonexistent.

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 11:48 am

Limbaugh On NYC Street Harassment Video: "Most Of It Was Just Men Being Polite"

From the October 30 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:Previously: Limbaugh: "How Many Of You Guys ... Have Learned That No Means Yes If You Know How To Spot It?" Rush On Rape Culture: "The Reality Is That Boys Chase Girls" The Limbaugh "Slut" Firestorm Related: A Woman Walked Around New York City For 10 hours And Filmed Every Catcall She Received

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 11:36 am

NRA's Ted Nugent Closes TX Gov. Race With Attack On "America-Hating" Wendy Davis Campaign

National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent weighed in on the Texas governor's race in his column for conspiracy website WND, attacking the "America-hating" campaign of Democratic candidate Wendy Davis. In his October 29 column, Nugent wrote, "Thank God there are still way more Texans that stand in defiance of the lying, scamming, America-hating, Texas-hating scammers and scoundrels that infest and steer the Wendy Davis campaign of deception." In February, Nugent set off a lengthy controversy when he appeared at a campaign event with Republican candidate Greg Abbott and called him his "blood brother." Abbott was criticized for appearing with Nugent after the NRA figure had recently called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel" and because of Nugent's history of demeaning attacks on women.

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 10:36 am

Laura Ingraham Suggests Heroic Ebola Volunteers Are Just Political Props

Right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham questioned the authenticity of the health care professionals flanking the president during a press conference on Ebola, suggesting that some may have been political props in "white coats." On October 29, President Obama addressed the United States' on-going response to Ebola outbreaks in West Africa joined by several health care workers recently returned from relief operations overseas as well as others soon to depart for the region. Among the guests was Dr. Kent Brantly, who became infected while volunteering in Liberia and was the first Ebola patient treated on American soil. The president addressed the urgent need to "stop the outbreak at its source," and thanked the "extraordinary American health workers who are on the front lines of the fight." Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham criticized Obama's appearance with the relief workers on the October 30 edition of her radio show, and questioned whether or not some were employees of the pro-Obama political group Organizing for America disguised in "white coats": INGRAHAM: [Obama] was flanked by volunteers who have gone to West Africa to help the victims of Ebola. Are we positive that it was all volunteers, Julia? Could it have been some of the folks from Organizing for America just in the white coats? Listen to the full segment here:

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 10:27 am

Sharyl Attkisson Entertains "End Times" Host's Idea That U.S. Is Headed For "A Full-Blown Totalitarian Dictatorship"

Discredited former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson appeared on an "endtimes newscast" and entertained the host's suggestion that the United States may soon see "a trigger event" that "justifies a full-blown totalitarian dictatorship where no dissent, no questions are asked." In response to whether such a dictatorship could happen, Attkisson replied: "Gosh, it's hard to say. I just think right now the trend is bad."  Attkisson, author of the upcoming book Stonewalled, was a recent guest on the radio program Trunews. The show describes itself as an "Endtimes Newscast" and "the only nightly newscast reporting the countdown to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ." Host Rick Wiles, as documented by Right Wing Watch, regularly peddles bizarre and outlandish conspiracies. Wiles has labeled Obama the "Antichrist" and a "stealth jihadist" and called on the military and God to save us from his "tyranny"; claimed "Ebola could solve America's problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion"; warned that Christians in America could soon be "arrested or possibly killed"; and said "Satan launched a D-Day invasion of the United States of America in 2012." Attkisson herself is no stranger to conspiratorial and false rhetoric, including about Media Matters. On his October 24 program, Wiles asked Attkisson to predict where things are headed in the United States and if the country might become a "full-blown totalitarian dictatorship": 

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 9:52 am

Leading Hispanic Civil Rights Group To Fox News: Encouraging Americans To Vote Is Not "Voter Fraud"

National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a leading Hispanic civil rights group, issued a statement responding to Fox News' baseless claim that the organization had encouraged voter fraud. After NCLR retweeted a link to an October 27 article from the Washington Post which features an infographic of the different levels of identification required to vote in each state, the hosts of Fox & Friends responded by suggesting the organization was promoting voter fraud. On October 30, NCLR responded to Fox's suggestion that the organization may be promoting fraudulent voting in a statement on its blog. Pointing to the "fact-free" Fox & Friends segment, the organization explained that its mission is nonpartisan and "works to promote the civic and political participation of the Hispanic community" by helping qualified voters to perform their civic duty. Countering Fox's claim, NCLR asserted that calling its sharing of the article "fraud" was "not only woefully incorrect" but also "irresponsible and deliberately deceptive": NCLR is a nonpartisan organization that works to promote the civic and political participation of the Hispanic community. Informing eligible Latino voters about whether their state has a voter ID requirement is a way to educate them about what they need to do to vote on Election Day--no different than sharing information about their polling locations. To suggest that sharing basic information about voting requirements is an attempt at fraud is not only woefully incorrect, it is irresponsible and deliberately deceptive. Like the vast majority of Americans, we believe in fair elections, which is why we will continue to work hard to ensure that every eligible Latino voter makes it to the voting booth this November. Fox's claim that NCLR had promoted voter fraud by attempting to explain voting requirements to Latinos ignored the already significant obstacles presented by voter ID laws to this demographic group. According to a 2012 report by the NALEO Educational Fund, although Latino voter turnout has "reach[ed] historic highs," the demographic is still "likely to lag behind comparable participation rates of Americans of other races and ethnicities" due to lack of outreach, language accessibility, and "knowledge of voting procedures and requirements." The organization explained that in particular, "restrictive changes enacted to voting policy" such as requiring government-issued photo identification cards, "will have a worse effect on the Latino electorate than on all voters in the aggregate."

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 9:13 am

Fox's Bill O'Reilly: "The White Republican Power Structure Is Afraid Of Black Americans"

From the October 30 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor: Previously: O'Reilly Denies White Privilege Benefit From Growing Up In Whites-Only Levittown Bill O'Reilly's "Moral Instruction For Black People": Michael Brown Edition Bill O'Reilly's Attacks On Black Culture

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 8:30 am

NPR's Morning Edition Repeats GOP Spin About Cory Gardner's Positions On Reproductive Rights

National Public Radio's Morning Edition presented falsehoods about Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner (CO) as fact, misrepresenting his extreme policy positions on reproductive rights in a discussion on the battle for the women's vote in the midterm elections.On Morning Edition, Mara Liasson Misrepresents Gardner's Extreme Positions On Women's Issues Morning Edition: Liasson Spins Gardner's Record To Paint Him As A Prime Example Of GOP Outreach To Women. On October 30, NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson appeared on Morning Edition to discuss the importance of the women's vote in the 2014 midterms. Liasson claimed that Republicans like Senate candidate Cory Gardner disprove Democrats' narrative that GOP policies hurt women, misrepresenting his policy positions in order to claim the Republican is "affirmatively going after the women's vote this year by changing their positions." [NPR, Morning Edition, 10/30/14] Liasson Hides Gardner's Support For Federal Personhood Amendment Liasson: Gardner "Has Disavowed His Support For A Personhood Amendment." Liasson pointed to Gardner's record on personhood bills as evidence that Republicans are "going after the women's vote by changing their positions": LIASSON: It's not just that Republicans are not making mistakes. They are affirmatively going after the women's vote this year by changing their positions. For instance, in Colorado, Cory Gardner, the Republican, has disavowed his support for a personhood amendment. [NPR, Morning Edition, 10/30/14] FACT: Gardner Still Supports Federal Personhood Bill, Which He Co-Sponsors. Although Gardner changed his original support of Colorado's personhood legislation -- which would grant the rights afforded to people to a human egg at fertilization -- following criticism that the measures could ban some forms of contraception, the candidate "still backs a federal personhood bill," as pointed out, citing the Gardner campaign's own admission (emphasis added): In March, Gardner himself acknowledged that the personhood initiative could lead to a ban or restriction on some forms of birth control. "The past four years as I've learned more about it, I've come to the conclusion it can ban common forms of contraception," Gardner said, according to the Associated Press. [...] Gardner announced his change of position eight months after he had signed on as a co-sponsor to the federal "Life at Conception Act," which would extend "equal protection for the right to life" under the 14th amendment to the "preborn" from the "moment of fertilization." That language -- giving the rights of a person to the fertilized egg -- is exactly what raises the question of what such a measure would mean for some forms of birth control. Yet Gardner's campaign told us he was not withdrawing his support for the federal legislation. Spokesman Alex Siciliano told us by email: "The federal proposal in question simply states that life begins at conception, as most pro-life Americans believe, with no change to contraception laws." [, 8/15/14] FACT: Experts Say Personhood Bills "Erode Women's Basic Rights." In a 2012 statement, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) made clear that it is "unequivocally opposed" to personhood legislation. The ACOG described how these measures "erode women's basic rights" by denying access to "contraception, fertility treatments, pregnancy termination, and other essential medical procedures." [American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2/10/12] Liasson Falsely Claims Gardner And Planned Parenthood Agree On Over-The-Counter Birth Control Liasson: Gardner Agrees With Planned Parenthood On Birth Control. Liasson claimed that another example of Gardner's efforts to reach female voters is that he is now "coming out in favor of over-the-counter birth control, and on that issue he now agrees with Planned Parenthood." [NPR, Morning Edition, 10/30/14] FACT: Planned Parenthood Condemned Gardner's Birth Control Proposal As "Insulting," An "Empty Gesture." In June, Gardner proposed his plan for over-the-counter birth control in an op-ed for The Denver Post. Gardner claimed that repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and making oral contraception available without a prescription will ensure that women have unfettered access to a cheaper medication. Planned Parenthood specifically called out Gardner's proposal in a September press release, saying it was "an empty gesture especially insulting to women." From the release: 'If Cory Gardner and others were serious about expanding access to birth control, they wouldn't be trying to repeal the no-copay birth control benefit, reduce Title X funding for birth control, or cut women off from Planned Parenthood's preventive health services.  This is simply a cynical political attempt to whitewash his terrible record and agenda for women's health. The reality is that Cory Gardner's proposal would actually cost women more by forcing them to pay out of pocket for the birth control that they are getting now at no cost thanks to the ACA. We would welcome a sincere conversation about expanding birth control access for women - sadly Cory Gardner has not offered one,' said Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund. [The Denver Post, 6/19/14] [Planned Parenthood, 9/02/14]

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 5:15 am

NRO's Dennis Prager: Campus Rape Culture Is A "Gargantuan Lie to Get Votes"

From the October 28 Restore America Rally: It's a gargantuan lie to get votes. It's as big a lie as the culture of rape on your campuses. What nonsense. There is a culture of rape on campuses run by the feminist left?  What do you cite to sell me this nonsense? One in 5 women are sexually assaulted on campuses. Do you know what sexual assault means? Did you ever look at what counts? An unwanted kiss is considered sexual assault. I'm stunned it's only 1 in 5. Four out of five women have not gotten an unwanted kiss? My wife gets unwanted kisses every so often.They make light of rape because they redefine these terms. We don't make light of it. We think it is the worst thing possible short of murder. But they make light of it by trivializing it. Culture of Rape? No. I'll tell you why it exists on the campus, and that is: a rape of the culture. Related: Sarasota Speaker: There Is No Campus 'Culture of Rape' Previously: NRO's Dennis Prager: Heterosexual AIDS is an "entirely manufactured" myth Conservative Media Jump On Sexual Assault Truther Bandwagon, Cry Foul On White House Report

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 5:02 am

In Her New Book, Sharyl Attkisson Accuses Media Matters Of Slander

Sharyl Attkisson's crusade against Media Matters continues in her new book, Stonewalled, which contains at least 22 references to the organization. Attkisson's grievances include frustration that Media Matters has a reputation as a "serious" media watchdog and a baseless charge that the organization has attacked her with false information.

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 2:40 am

Fox Host: I Initially Thought Falling Gas Prices Were Connected To Midterm Elections Next Week

From the October 30 edition of Fox News Channel's The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson:Previously:  MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Blasts Fox's Hypocrisy On Gas Prices Fox Host Who Demagogued Gas Prices Now Asks If Cheap Gas Hurts The Economy  

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 2:13 am

Fox News Is Trying To Kill Houston's Equal Rights Ordinance

Fox News helped turn a bogus story about subpoenas sent to a handful of Houston pastors into a national rallying cry for religious liberty. Now the network is helping promote an event that will pit some of the country's most extreme anti-LGBT voices against the city's nondiscrimination ordinance. In May, the city of Houston made history by enacting the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), a measure that prohibits discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and several other categories. The ordinance was championed by the city's first openly gay mayor, Democrat Annise Parker. Opponents of HERO -- led by the Houston Area Pastor Council -- responded by launching an effort to put a repeal of the ordinance on the ballot in November. Their campaign peddled the myth that HERO would allow men and sexual predators to enter women's restrooms -- a myth that was widely circulated by local media. Though opponents submitted the required number of signatures to put the repeal on the ballot, City Attorney Dave Feldman determined that many of the signatures were collected improperly, and the city announced that not enough valid signatures had been collected. Opponents quickly filed a lawsuit to have the signatures reviewed, prompting the city to respond by issuing subpoenas to five local pastors for a broad range of documents -- including sermons and personal communications -- related to their opposition to HERO. On October 14, Fox News reporter and serial misinformer Todd Starnes broke the news of the subpoenas, misleadingly characterizing them as an "attempt to deconstruct religious liberty" and describing HERO as a "bathroom bill." Starnes' report relied heavily on spin from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the extreme right-wing legal group representing the pastors in their effort to quash the subpoenas. ADF attorney Christina Holcomb called the subpoenas "an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of [the city's] actions." Before long, Starnes' report made the jump to Fox News' airwaves. On October 15, Starnes appeared on The Kelly File to discuss the story, describing HERO as a measure that would let "men who identify as women" to use women's restrooms: Starnes' appearance was followed by a barrage of misleading segments about the story, all of which depicted the subpoenas as an attack on religious liberty. Multiple Fox personalities incorrectly described the subpoenas as part of the enforcement of HERO, suggesting that the ordinance might criminalize anti-gay speech. Others repeated Starnes' lie that HERO would allow men to use women's restrooms. By the end of the week, in just three days of coverage, Fox had spent nearly thirty minutes of airtime peddling its Houston horror story*. Fox's panicked coverage was grossly misleading and left out crucial details about the anti-HERO lawsuit. But it worked perfectly as a right-wing horror story about Christians being victimized by a city's attempt to protect LGBT people. Soon, Houston had become -- as one Fox anchor put it -- "ground zero for religious liberty." Conservative media outlets quickly regurgitated the victimization spin from Starnes and ADF. Conservative groups -- led by the notorious anti-gay hate group the Family Research Council (FRC) -- began organizing "I Stand Sunday," a November 2 rally in Houston to support the pastors who had been "unduly intimidated by the city's Mayor."

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 1:54 am

Limbaugh: Street Harassment Shows The "Massive Failure Of Modern Day Feminism"

From the October 30 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:Previously:  Limbaugh On NYC Street Harassment Video: "Most Of It Was Just Men Being Polite" Fox News Defends Street Harassment As "Nothing Disrespectful" Related: A Woman Walked Around New York City For 10 hours And Filmed Every Catcall She Received

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 12:40 am

Fox News Report On Anti-Keystone XL Spending Is Off By More Than $40 Billion

Fox News used a baseless, wildly inflated figure to blame the continued delay of the Keystone XL pipeline on spending by climate activist Tom Steyer, who has lobbied against the project. The network claimed that Steyer has spent $42.9 billion on the midterm elections -- a number that is nearly 600 times larger than the amount Steyer has actually spent. On October 30, the hosts of Fox News' Fox & Friends berated the Obama administration for delaying a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the 2014 midterm elections. If approved, the pipeline would transport crude oil from so-called "tar sands" deposits in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast for export overseas. Fox co-host Anna Kooiman alleged that part of "the equation" for that delay is the money and influence of Steyer -- a donor and activist supporting environmental causes -- in this year's elections. Kooiman claimed that Steyer had contributed "some $42.9 billion" to defeating the pipeline:  Tom Steyer's entire net worth is $1.6 billion, according to Forbes, and as of October 28, Steyer had spent about $73 million during this year's elections, according to USA Today, on issues ranging from the Keystone XL to the Renewable Fuel Standard to climate change denial. Fox inflated Steyer's contributions in opposition to the pipeline by nearly 600 times, and its estimate is off by roughly $42.8 billion.

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 12:37 am

Debunking The Conservative Media's 2014 Voter Fraud Horror Stories

Right-wing media outlets have used misleading voter fraud stories to stoke fears of rampant voter fraud in the months leading up to the 2014 midterm elections. But experts state that voter fraud in the U.S. is virtually non-existent and that voter ID laws would actually disenfranchise voters.Is voter impersonation a rampant problem? Are undocumented immigrants voting illegally? Do we have proof of voter fraud? Are Democrats registering fraudulent voters? Is voter fraud becoming more common? Are voter ID laws really discriminatory? Do voter ID laws really reduce turnout? MYTH: Voter Impersonation Fraud Is A Major Problem Fox Correspondent Eric Shawn Disputes Argument That Voter Impersonation Fraud Is A Problem That "Doesn't Exist." On the October 29 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News senior correspondent Eric Shawn responded to a statement from Attorney General Eric Holder condemning "unnecessary restrictions that discourage or discriminate or disenfranchise in the name of a problem that doesn't exist," by saying: "of course voter fraud exists in the United States," and that Holder is "not actually factually correct." But as O'Reilly pointed out, Holder was talking about strict voter ID and voter impersonation, while Shawn nevertheless shifted the conversation to cases of vote buying, which would not be prevented by voter ID laws. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 10/29/14] FACT: There Is No Evidence Of Massive Voter Impersonation Fraud Experts Agree That Voter Impersonation is "Virtually Non-Existent." The New Yorker reported that experts agree that actual incidents of in-person voter fraud -- the type of voter fraud that strict voter ID laws can prevent -- are "virtually non-existent," and fears of voter fraud have been largely invented as a way to "excite the base." [The New Yorker, 10/29/12] Brennan Center For Justice: Allegations Of Widespread Voter Fraud "Simply Do Not Pan Out." The New York University School of Law's Brennan Center has repeatedly explained that in-person voter fraud is not a justification for strict voter ID laws, because voter impersonation is "more rare than getting struck by lightning," and allegations of widespread fraud typically "amount to a great deal of smoke without much fire" and "simply do not pan out." [Brennan Center For Justice, 2007] Loyola University Professor: Only 31 Out Of 1 Billion Ballots Subject To In-Person Voter Fraud. Loyola University Law School professor Justin Levitt, who investigated "any specific, credible allegation" of voter impersonation fraud, found a total of "about 31 different incidents" since 2000 of in-person voter fraud out of over 1 billion ballots cast. [The Washington Post, Wonkblog, 8/6/14] MYTH: Study Shows Huge Percentages Of Undocumented Immigrants Illegally Cast Votes Fox Host Hyped Questionable Study To Stoke Fears That "Illegals Voted Between Two And Six Percent The Last Two Elections." Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed a recent study found that "illegals voted between two and six percent over the last two elections," and said it "reveals a significant number of noncitizens casting votes alongside real citizens right here in the United States come election day." Fox guest Rachel Campos-Duffy of the Libre Initiative, a Koch-funded non-profit that targets Latino voters, speculated that non-citizen voting could have "national implications." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/27/14] FACT: Experts Have Cast Doubt On The Study's Methodology And Conclusion Experts Raised Doubts About The Study's Methodology And Conclusion. Brown University political scientist Michael Tesler questioned the study's "methodological challenges," noting the possibility that non-citizens may have misreported their citizenship status. He pointed out that many self-reported non-citizens in 2012 reported being citizens in 2010, indicating a high rate of response error "which raises important doubts about their conclusions" Tesler also noted that a "number of academics and commentators have already expressed skepticism about that paper's assumptions and conclusions" which seem to be "tenuous at best." [The Washington Post, Monkey Cage, 10/27/14] The Study's Authors Outlined The Limitations Of Their Findings. In a October 24 blog post in The Washington Post, Jessie Richman and David Earnest, two authors of the study, admitted that their "extrapolation to specific state-level or district-level election outcomes is fraught with substantial uncertainty." The authors noted that the non-citizen sample they examined was "modest" and relied on self-reporting, which can create errors, and attempts to verify the accuracy of the self-reporting was imperfect and supplemented by estimates. [The Washington Post, Monkey Cage, 10/27/14] MYTH: Discovery Of Names Of Ineligible Voters On Voter Rolls Is Proof Of Potential Voter Fraud Laura Ingraham Asks If The Existence Of Immigrants' Names On NC Voter Rolls Reveals "Nefarious Attempts To Fraud The Vote." After a North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) review found the names of 145 immigrants who received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status on the state's voter rolls, Fox News and ABC contributor Laura Ingraham claimed the names were proof of "voter manipulation, ballot fraud," and wondered if they showed "nefarious attempts to fraud the vote." Ingraham speculated that the "illegal immigrants who are here under DACA," had been "fast track[ed] ... to voting." [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 10/24/14] FACT: The Discovery Of Potentially Ineligible Voters Is Proof That The Voter Verification System Works North Carolina Investigated Citizenship Of Flagged Voters And Is Implementing Formal "Challenge Process" To Prevent Ineligible Voters From Casting Ballots. The North Carolina Board of Elections conducted an investigation to verify the eligibility of 10,000 registered voters who had been flagged as having "questionable citizenship status" using Department of Homeland Security and N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles data. The investigation identified 109 DACA recipients who were "on the voter rolls, but have not voted in any prior election," and is implementing a formal challenge process that will allow election officials to insure illegal voting doesn't occur. [North Carolina State Board of Elections, 10/24/14] DHS: DACA Does Not Grant Citizenship, A Requirement For Voting. Undocumented immigrants who received DACA status were not granted citizenship nor any right to vote. As the Department of Homeland Security states: An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by DHS to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect. However, deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual, nor does it excuse any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence. [DHS, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 10/23/14] MYTH: GA Democrats Committed Voter Registration Fraud Fox Segment Hypes "Allegations Of Voter Fraud" Caused By Georgia Democrats. On Fox News' America's Newsroom, a segment on the "allegations of voter registration fraud by Georgia Democrats linked to Senate candidate Michelle Nunn" highlighted Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp's investigation into allegations that 25 voter registration applications and three canvassing sheets turned in by the nonpartisan New Georgia Project contained some type of inaccurate information, while another 26 were flagged as "suspicious." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 9/19/14] FACT: Questionable Voter Registration Forms Were Submitted As Required By Georgia Law New Georgia Project Turned In Forms Because They "Don't Get To Decide If Something Is Good Or Bad." The Fox News segment did not mention that Georgia law requires all applications -- even those the New Georgia Project thought were incomplete or inaccurate -- to be turned in to state officials. As Stacey Abrams, head of the New Georgia Project, told The Washington Post, her organization flagged the forms before submitting them to the secretary of state because "we don't get to decide if something is good or bad." The secretary of state's office also suspected that only 51 out of 85,000 submitted applications, or 0.06 percent, had problems. [Media Matters, 9/19/14] MYTH: 17 Possible Cases Of Double Voting May Mark Beginning Of Fraud Trend National Review Online Warns 17 Potential Instances Of Duplicate Voting "May Be" Just The "Tip Of The Iceberg." In an August 28 post, the National Review Online's Hans von Spakovsky claimed that at least 17 instances of "double voting" (where voters with matching information cast ballots in multiple states) had occurred in Maryland and Virginia. Spakovsky warned that there could be thousands more cases to come and that double voting could sway elections: [T]he current [Virginia electoral] board has discovered 17 individuals who voted in both Fairfax County and Montgomery County, Maryland, in the 2012 election and "in some instances, on multiple occasions going back for a considerable period of time," according to letters the board sent to the Justice Department, [Fairfax County Prosecutor Raymond] Morrogh, and Virginia attorney general Mark Herring on Aug. 22. This is not a case of voters with the same name being mistakenly confused as the same individual. All 17 voters were identified by their full name, date of birth, and Social Security number, according to the Virginia Voters Alliance (VVA), a citizens' organization that turned these names over to the electoral board. It was the VVA -- along with another citizens' group dedicated to election integrity, Election Integrity Maryland (EIM) -- that did the research on the voter files in Virginia and Maryland to find these illegal voters. And this may be only the tip of the iceberg: VVA and EIM turned the names of 43,893 individuals who appear to be registered in both states over to the State Boards of Elections in Virginia and Maryland. Fairfax County alone has more than 10,000 such duplicate registrations. These 17 voters are only a subset of at least 164 voters their research showed voted in both states in the 2012 election. [National Review Online, 8/28/14] FACT: Allegations Of Double Voting Rarely, If Ever, Turn Out To Be Fraud, And Voter ID Doesn't Stop Double Voting Election Expert: In The Past, Most Double Voting Matches "Did Not In Fact Represent Fraud." Doug Chapin, the director of the Program for Excellence in Election Administration, noted that while it is important to investigate potential instances of double voting, "in the past ... most if not all of the matches did not in fact represent fraud." He also explained that voter ID laws "wouldn't have prevented this." Because the risk of double voting compared to the risk of voter disenfranchisement is so disproportionate, the editorial board of the Baltimore Sun characterized efforts to prevent that sort of fraud through strict voter ID "the equivalent of using a sledgehammer on a fly." [Media Matters, 9/3/14] MYTH: Voter ID Laws Aren't Racially Discriminatory Rush Limbaugh: The Idea That Voter ID "Will Prevent Minorities From Voting" Is "Absurd." On the October 22 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that President Obama's recent comments encouraging voting among those who are not affected by strict voter ID laws undercut accusations that these laws are discriminatory. He claimed that the reasoning of those who say voter ID "will prevent minorities from voting" is "absurd," and that the "real reason" Democrats object to these laws "is so they can cheat." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/22/14] WSJ's Jason Riley: Obama Administration's Statements Against Voter ID Laws Are "Overt Racial Appeals To Get Out The Base." In a segment on the October 20 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, Wall Street Journal opinion editor Jason Riley said that "the voter ID stuff [the Obama administration is] talking about constantly, as if there's some sort of Republican conspiracy out there to deny blacks the franchise" is "just not true." He argued that the administration's opposition to voter ID laws is really "overt racial appeals to get out the base." [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 10/20/14] FACT: Experts And Supreme Court Justices Agree Voter ID Laws Have Discriminatory Effects Brennan Center's Andrew Cohen: "Mountains Of Evidence" Led To Federal Court Ruling That Texas Voter ID Law Was Discriminatory. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Brennan Center for Justice fellow Andrew Cohen noted that federal courts have twice found Texas' voter ID law to be racially discriminatory, both in intent and effect. Although the Supreme Court allowed the law to be implemented for the midterm elections, there are "mountains of evidence on what the law's discriminatory impact would be on minority communities," Cohen said. He argued that the law is "one of the most discriminatory voting laws in modern history," and "runs afoul of constitutional norms and reasonable standards of justice," and pointed to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissenting argument that "there was ample proof the Texas law discriminates, and no proof that it doesn't." [Los Angeles Times, 10/22/14] MYTH: Voter ID Laws Have No Effect On Minority Voter Turnout WSJ's Paul Gigot: Voter ID Laws Have Had "Zero Effect On Turnout." Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press on April 13, Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot claimed voter ID laws have had "zero effect" on minority turnout because "African-American turnout was so much greater in 2012" than it had been previously. [NBC, Meet The Press, 4/13/14] FACT: GAO Report Found Decreased Turnout Among People Of Color Was Attributable To Voter ID Laws Wash. Post: "Turnout Dropped At Least 1.9 Percentage Points In Kansas And 2.2 Percentage Points In Tennessee Thanks To" Voter ID Laws. As The Washington Post blog The Fix reported, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the potential effect of voter ID laws found that "Turnout dropped at least 1.9 percentage points in Kansas and 2.2 percentage points in Tennessee thanks to the laws," and that "Young people, black people, and newly registered voters were the groups that were more likely to see bigger drops in turnout." [The Washington Post, The Fix, 10/9/14] Brennan Center's Sundeep Iyer: Those Who Argue That Voter ID Laws Don't Impact Turnout Need "A Simple Statistics Lesson." As former Brennan Center for Justice quantitative analyst Sundeep Iyer explained, any claim that voter ID laws don't affect minority turnout ignores "Statistics 101": Any good student of Statistics 101 will tell you that correlation does not imply causation. Apparently, many voter ID supporters never got the memo. [...] Bad statistical practices -- like old habits -- die hard. Supporters of voter ID requirements are at it again, this time misinterpreting a new set of election results in Georgia. In response to E.J. Dionne's Washington Post column on vote suppression efforts across the United States, Georgia's Secretary of State wrote to the Post's editors about how an increase in black turnout between 2006 and 2010 showed that voter ID laws do not suppress turnout. Hans von Spakovsky repeated the assertion on NPR and in USA Today, and Ohio House Speaker William Batchto the Post's editors about how an increase in black turnout between 2006 and 2010 showed that voter ID laws do not suppress turnout. Hans von Spakovsky repeated the assertion on NPR and in USA Today, and Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder picked up the same message in defending Ohio's proposed voter ID requirement. Citing the Georgia statistics in a see-this-couldn't-be-that-bad sort of way has become a central talking point among proponents of voter ID laws. Once again, these proponents have mistaken simple correlation for causation. You don't need to be a statistician to know that without controlling for other factors that might influence turnout, the assertion that Georgia's voter ID requirement didn't depress turnout is meaningless -- at best unscientific, at worst just plain wrong. [Brennan Center For Justice, 7/6/11]

Posted by on 30 October 2014 | 12:20 am