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Friday, November 23, 2012
WND Ignores Explanation For 'Inexplicable' RNC Consent Decree
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In trying to push the sour-grapes idea of voter fraud contributing to President obama's re-election, Bob Unruh writes in a Nov. 20 WorldNetDaily article:

Voting machines suspiciously defaulting to Barack Obama? Buses loaded with strangers appearing at polling stations? Even ballots turning out 100 percent for one candidate in precinct reports?

In short, suspicions of vote fraud?

That’s too bad, because a race-based consent decree negotiated by Democrats against the Republican National Committee a generation ago still has tied the RNC’s hands, and GOP officials could be cited for contempt – or worse – if they try to make sure American elections are clean.

Impossible?

No. Fact.

The case is the Democratic National Committee vs. the Republican National Committee, originally from 1982.

Democrats alleged Republicans were trying intimidate minority voters in New Jersey and brought the legal action. The RNC, inexplicably, decided to agree to a consent decree before a Democrat-appointed judge rather than fight the claims.

Even though Unruh links to a summary the ruling in question, he apparently didn't bother to read it, for it contains an explanation. According to the JudicialReview.com summary Unruh links to:

During the 1981 New Jersey gubernatorial election, the DNC, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee (“DSC”), Virginia L. Peggins, and Lynette Monroe brought an action against the RNC, the New Jersey Republican State Committee (“RSC”), John A. Kelly, Ronald Kaufman, and Alex Hurtado, alleging that the RNC and RSC targeted minority voters in an effort to intimidate them in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (“VRA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1971, 1973, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The RNC allegedly created a voter challenge list by mailing sample ballots to individuals in precincts with a high percentage of racial or ethnic minority registered voters and, then, including individuals whose postcards were returned as undeliverable on a list of voters to challenge at the polls. The RNC also allegedly enlisted the help of off-duty sheriffs and police officers to intimidate voters by standing at polling places in minority precincts during voting with “National Ballot Security Task Force” armbands. Some of the officers allegedly wore firearms in a visible manner.

Unruh seems not to understand that voter intimidation does not equal what he calls "ballot security activities." By that same definition, the New Black Panthers were engaged in ballot security activities" in 2008, though Unruh would certainly never call it it that. It can also be argued that the RNC's conceding to a consent decree is a tacit admission of wrongdoing.

Further, the consent decree doesn't actually prevent the RNC from engaging in post-election "voter fraud" challenges -- it simply prevents them from engaging in voter intimidation and suppression. From the JudicialReview.com summary:

To settle the lawsuit, the RNC and RSC entered into the Consent Decree at issue here. The RNC and RSC agreed that they would:

[I]n the future, in all states and territories of the United States:

(a) comply with all applicable state and federal laws protecting the rights of duly qualified citizens to vote for the candidate(s) of their choice;

(b) in the event that they produce or place any signs which are part of ballot security activities, cause said signs to disclose that they are authorized or sponsored by the party committees and any other committees participating with the party committees;

(c) refrain from giving any directions to or permitting their agents or employees to remove or deface any lawfully printed and placed campaign materials or signs;

(d) refrain from giving any directions to or permitting their employees to campaign within restricted polling areas or to interrogate prospective voters as to their qualifications to vote prior to their entry to a polling place;

(e) refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting; and the conduct of such activities disproportionately in or directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of the existence of such a factor and purpose;

(f) refrain from having private personnel deputized as law enforcement personnel in connection with ballot security activities.

Also, fact that there were "ballots turning out 100 percent for one candidate in precinct reports" is not "voter fraud." As we've noted, many of those precincts in which everyone voted for Obama are nearly exclusively black and Democrat.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 PM EST

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