Texas Secretary of State begins elections audit of four counties … why now? – HotAir

Late Thursday, the office of the Texas Secretary of State announced that a full forensic audit of the 2020 general election results has begun in the largest four counties in the state. Two counties are Republican and two are Democrat. The question is why now and, frankly, why is it happening at all?

Ed wrote today about the results of the ballot review of the 2020 election in Arizona. The process is ending after a long six months and it shows that Biden won the state by a little larger amount of votes than originally recorded. As it turns out, a lot of time and taxpayer money was spent. Texas, however, was not a state that had election results that came into question on election night. Why the sudden interest in an audit now? No one is offering up justification other than a letter that Trump sent to Governor Abbott asking for an audit. That’s right – Trump won Texas but Trump is asking for an audit. He requested that Abbott include an election audit bill to the state legislature’s third special session’s call. The special session began Monday. Only the governor sets the agenda items for special sessions.

Trump called for the passage of House Bill 16, authored by Rep. Steve Toth, R- The Woodlands, and Rep. Terry Wilson, R-Marble Falls. The bill creates a process for the audit of suspected irregularities in future elections, allowing candidates, party chairs, presiding judges and certain political committees to request a review.

The bill as filed allows for an audit of 2020 general election results for state and county offices. According to the bill, if there are more than five races identified in a request for review, a county clerk would be tasked with randomly selecting five races. One of those races must be the race for president and vice president, a federal office, a statewide office, a state senate or a state representative.

A similar piece of legislation passed the Senate during a previous special session but wasn’t considered in the House. Toth wrote on Twitter on Thursday he is “thankful to have President Trump’s support for HB 16 calling for an audit of the 2020 election.”

While Trump wrote in the letter that the bill specifically addresses the 2020 presidential election, it does not. Rep. Toth said that he and State Senator Bettencourt are working on a substitute bill that would include the presidential race as well as other election results. The current bill, the one Trump referred to, is a placeholder. It is meant to look at where voter irregularities may occur, not on specific election results, either federal or state elections. The concern is over possible voter fraud where people who shouldn’t have been eligible to vote did vote, he explained.

So did Trump’s request to Abbott put the forensic audit in motion in Collin, Dallas, Harris, and Tarrant counties? We don’t know because no one is answering the question. Trump wrote, “Governor Abbott, we need a ‘Forensic Audit of the 2020 Election’ added to the call. Texans know voting fraud occurred in some of their counties. Let’s get to the bottom of the 2020 Presidential Election Scam!” Frankly, this is the first I am hearing about concerns over election fraud in “some counties”. There have been individual cases investigated and some prosecuted, as has happened in past elections, but nothing widespread and certainly nothing that would change the election results. The whole point of the election integrity reform bill passed and signed into law from the last special session was to end the rogue practices put into place by the Harris County Clerk during the 2020 election cycle that was out of sync with the rest of the counties in Texas. Uniform election law for all counties in the state was re-established. There is no “2020 Presidential Election Scam” in Texas.

An August poll by the Texas Politics Project at The University of Texas at Austin found 74% of voters polled think Texas election results are somewhat or very accurate, compared to 19% who believe they’re somewhat or very inaccurate. Of Republicans polled, 67% believed they were somewhat or very accurate.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued four battleground states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – which delivered the election to Biden. That lawsuit was not successful. Paxton was present at the Trump rally that preceded the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Since then, the House committee investigating the riot that day has specifically requested Paxton’s communications, his texts and emails, to media outlets. There is an interesting twist to the audit story, too – at the present time, Texas does not have a secretary of state in place.

It was unclear if Trump’s request spurred the announcement from the secretary of state’s office. Texas does not currently have a secretary of state. Former Secretary of State Ruth Ruggero Hughs, who oversaw the 2020 elections, resigned when the Texas Senate refused to confirm her appointment. Abbott has not yet picked a replacement. A spokesperson for the governor did not immediately respond to a question about the audits late Thursday.

Tarrant County is a Republican stronghold, but Biden narrowly beat Trump there in 2020. Trump won Texas 52.1% to Biden’s 46.5%. Biden won both Dallas and Harris (Houston) County, both of which have a majority of Democrat voters and elected officials. Trump’s victory in Texas in 2020 was by the smallest margin by a GOP presidential candidate in decades. Earlier this year, the elections administrator in the secretary of state’s office declared the 2020 elections in Texas were “safe and secure.”

Governor Abbott is running for re-election in 2022. Trump still carries sway with Republican voters in Texas so maybe Trump’s letter is the push Abbott needed to include funding an audit on the agenda of the current special session. I can’t help but think this is just an unnecessary waste of time and taxpayer money, and it makes no sense. Trump won Texas. Does he think an audit will show a greater victory? There is no reason to believe that. Hopefully, this doesn’t backfire on Abbott.

State Rep. Chris Turner, the leader of the Texas fleebaggers, responded to the announcement on Twitter late Thursday.

“Let me be the first to congratulate the disgraced former president, Donald Trump, on his apparently becoming the new governor of Texas,” Turner tweeted. “Pitiful yet predictable that @GregAbbott_TX has capitulated to Trump yet again.”

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Trump says draft of audit of Arizona’s 2020 elections shows ‘undeniable evidence of fraud’

Former President Trump on Friday criticized the news media for what he suggested is its effort to spin a draft report of the 2020 election audit in Arizona’s Maricopa County, reaffirmed President Biden’s victory.

In a statement issued through his leadership PAC, Save America, the former president said the audit “has uncovered significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD,” according to The Hill newspaper

The official results are set to be released Friday afternoon. 

“Huge findings in Arizona!” Trump continued. “However, the Fake News Media is already trying to ‘call it’ again for Biden before actually looking at the facts—just like they did in November!”

The former president said the draft report shows the election results in Maricopa was “a major criminal event and should be investigated by the Attorney General immediately. The Senate’s final report will be released today at 4:00PM ET. I have heard it is far different than that being reported by the Fake News Media.”

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who’s now running for a Senate seat in his state, suggested the audit results call for more investigations and also slammed the media. 

“Arizona must decertify! We MUST have forensic audits across the country!,” said Greitens, who’s seeking Trump’s endorsement in the race. “Over 50,000 illegal ballots in an election separated by just over 10,000! Don’t listen to the mainstream media, liberals, and RINO’s spin of the Arizona Audit. Arizona must decertify! We MUST have forensic audits across the country.”

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German Elections: Far-Left Government Possible

Social Democratic Party’s main candidate Olaf Scholz poses for a photo near a board reading “Scholz tackles it” after an election campaign event in Goettingen, Germany, September 4, 2021. (Jens Schlueter/Pool via Reuters)

Fiscal responsibility and commitment to the transatlantic alliance are on the line.

The clock is ticking down on political campaigns in Germany, as the general elections are scheduled for September 26. In a little over a week, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s reign comes to an end after 16 years.

Germans are presented with a very simple choice. One option is a so-called moderate government led by the conservatives (CDU/CSU) in alliance with the Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP). The other option is an administration headed by the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) in coalition with the Greens and the Left Party.

After a weeklong battle in April between Markus Söder, the leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), and Armin Laschet, the head of the Christian Democratic Union, Germany’s conservatives placed their bet on Laschet, a Merkel-like left-leaning centrist, as their candidate for chancellor, instead of on his more popular Bavarian rival. The coalition’s establishment, which strongly pushed for Laschet, ignored the dramatically grim polls and prevailed over the conservatives’ base, which overwhelmingly favored Söder.

Now they are paying the price for this decision on Election Day, likely resulting in the worst CDU result since the Second World War, as the CDU has fallen dramatically in the polls in recent weeks.

The most recent polls show only 19 percent of voters planning to back the CDU, with the SPD in first place at 25 percent, followed by the Greens at 17 percent, Free Democratic Liberals at 13 percent, Alternative for Germany at 11 percent, and the Left Party at 7 percent.

If indeed the SPD wins this election, it would have three options to form a government, but only two are viable. First, the SPD could form another “grand coalition” with Merkel’s successors in the CDU. However, the SPD leadership has effectively ruled out renewing this partnership after eight long years. Another option would be a coalition with the Greens and the Free Democrats: mathematically possible but not realistic. FDP leader Christian Lindner and his party made the pledge not to raise taxes but to lower them significantly, a key issue of their program, especially for middle-income voters. The last and most likely scenario for the SPD to form a new government would be an alliance with the Greens and the Left. It’s also the most dangerous option for Germany and the European Union.

The Left Party is the direct descendant of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), the Marxist-Leninist ruling party of the former East Germany. Even today, some of its most prominent political figures were active in the SED regime or particularly in the Stasi, the former Ministry for State Security, the most feared institution of the East German Communist country.

The Left Party calls for an end to all Bundeswehr (German army) missions abroad, a stop to all German weapons exports, a shutdown of the NATO alliance, and a replacement of NATO with a new system that includes Russia and China.

In addition, the Left Party aims to impose a wealth tax of 5 percent on assets over 1 million euros, as well as a “wealth fee” of 10 to 30 percent on assets over 2 million euros, to pay for more government spending and relief related to the coronavirus pandemic. The party promises a minimum income of 1,200 euros per month and a child-support payment of 630 euros.

Olaf Scholz, the SPD’s candidate for chancellor, is doing so well because he is a very likable person and perfected Merkel’s way of doing politics. He never mentions hard facts or touches on controversial topics and says a lot without really saying anything. “The guy everyone likes best is the most boring guy in the election — maybe in the country,” according to a recent report in the New York Times. Scholz “makes watching water boil seem exciting.”

But it’s crucial to shine a light on the SPD leadership in candidate Scholz’s shadow to understand the party’s left-wing tendencies: Kevin Kühnert, Saskia Esken, and Norbert Walter-Borjans. They were elected as party leaders in 2019 and are currently hiding so as not to endanger the good polls and upcoming elections. Kühnert publicly questioned the concept of property rights, saying that “without collectivization, an overcoming of capitalism is unthinkable,” and asking, “With what right does someone have to have more than twenty apartments?” He also advocated nationalizing BMW, one of Germany’s largest car manufacturers.

Esken and Walter-Borjans support Kühnert’s position and also want to introduce a wealth tax similar to that proposed by the Left Party. In her last speech to the German Parliament before the election, even Merkel warned of a leftist coalition — a very unusual move for her. She has not campaigned for the CDU until recently.

During the 16 years of a so-called conservative lead government, Merkel repositioned her CDU from being a center-right party under chancellor Helmut Kohl to a center-left force in German politics, scooping up ideas and strategic issues from other parties, including the Greens. During the euro crisis, she sacrificed Germany’s financial independence and stability to support the failing economies of Greece, Portugal, and other southern European countries.

After the catastrophe in Fukushima, Merkel decided to end nuclear-energy production in Germany and started the “Energiewende” (energy transition), relying exclusively on renewable sources for energy. This non-strategy has lead to the highest energy prices in Europe and is not workable for a highly industrialized nation such as Germany.

Lastly, since 2015 Merkel has allowed more than 1 million refugees to enter and permanently stay in Germany, a highly controversial decision that has not only changed the social structure and security situation in Germany but is extremely expensive, given the massive promises of the German welfare state. It has also led to the rise of the far-right party Alternative for Germany.

The global and European implications of a far-left government in Germany would be severe. A new government of SPD, Greens, and the Left Party would support a waiver of intellectual-property rights protections for COVID-19 vaccines, hurting the innovative pharmaceutical industries in Germany. A far-left government would not object to higher debt nationally or in the European Union. In a move similar to the French model, the government would likely introduce harmful trade barriers, including digital-services taxes on American companies.

Russia and China would gain more influence in Europe, and the special transatlantic friendship Germany currently has with the United States would be at risk.

The current situation is dire, and Germany desperately needs a conservative-led government in a coalition with the Free Democrats to meet challenges posed by past polices and to focus on current problems, including the coronavirus pandemic. It needs far-reaching reforms to enable the country to compete with China effectively. Germany needs to advocate for fiscal stability and sovereignty within the European Union, especially now that the United Kingdom has left.

Current polls show that to be an unlikely outcome. Given that an entire generation of Germans has come of age with no living memory of the Communist period, one might wonder: Do things really have to get much worse before they get better?

Andreas Hellmann is the international-advocacy manager at Americans for Tax Reform.

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Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates Claims Leaked Chucri Tapes are “ELECTIONS MISINFORMATION” that “Spreads Like Wildfire”

THEY’RE SCARED: Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates Claims Leaked Chucri Tapes are “ELECTIONS MISINFORMATION” that “Spreads Like Wildfire”

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Democrats Running Scared Ahead of 2022 Elections and With Really Good Reason – RedState

Barring the kind of stupidity that only the national Republican party and its state affiliates are capable of, 2022 is shaping up to be something of a bloodletting for House Democrats.

Structurally, they are in a bad place. They have a 222-213 majority, which means a loss of 5 seats flips control of the House. In addition, seven Democrat seats are held by members who won in districts where Trump was the vote leader. This is important because, in 2020, House candidates generally ran in from of Trump. In fact, before the election, the party breakdown was 232 D to 197 R (plus five vacancies and Justin Amash, or six vacancies, YMMV). So despite being outraised by Democrats, polling showing a voter preference for Democrats, and losing the White House, the GOP managed to make significant gains.

Redistricting has moved seven seats from (mostly) Blue states to Red states. The GOP controls the redistricting in all the states where it gained seats; the losing states mostly have their redistricting under control of a bipartisan commission. (Great references on the process here and here.) This tends to mean that more pain will be inflicted upon Democrats in Red states than upon Republicans in Blue states. It also means that toss-up seats have a chance to be made more secure by changing district boundaries.

Unlike the expansive list of seats the Democrats targeted, they are going after 21 GOP seats this year rather than 39. This is the list; the critical thing to note is that GOP firebrands like Marjorie Taylor Greene are not on the list. It does not scream confidence.

AZ-2 (open)
AZ-6 Schweikert
CA-21 Valadao
CA-25 Garcia
CA-39 Kim
CA-48 Steel
IA-1 Hinson
IA-2 Miller-Meeks
IN-5 Spartz
MO-2 Wagner
NE-2 Bacon
NY-2 Garbarino
NY-22 Tenney
NY-24 Katko
OH-1 Chabot
PA-1 Fitzpatrick
PA-10 Perry
TX-23 Gonzales
TX-24 Van Duyne
UT-4 Owens

House elections don’t occur in a vacuum. Only the most craven partisan or someone writing at The Bulwark or The Dispatch can deny that Joe Biden and gross incompetence will be on the ballot in 2022. There is Afghanistan, the border crisis, gas prices, inflation, and the force-feeding of Critical Race Theory to schools and the federal government. There will be the spin-off issues from the Wuhan “pandemic” of vaccine safety, vaccine mandates, lockdowns, and mask mandates. The kid-glove treatment meted out to the Antifa putzes will be contrasted to people incarcerated for nearly a year for walking into an open Capitol building. We will be talking about Biden’s obvious dementia (see Biden Is Not Going to Like What Americans Have to Say in New Poll on His Mental Stability) and inability to stay awake when meeting with world leaders and his playing footsie with the #BLM thugs and their “defund the police” fellow travelers.

As much as they don’t like it, Biden’s performance is going to be on every House ballot, and this is what that means to Democrat candidates.

Look at the numbers for the Democrat strongholds in Northern Virginia (NoVa), Richmond, Roanoke, and Norfolk. Not very good at all.

This is how fivethirtyeight.com sees it:

In years when the president’s party leads the generic-ballot polling average the September before the midterms, the party underperforms those polls by an average of 9.3 points. And that, in a nutshell, is why Democrats should be concerned about the 2022 elections despite their current lead on the generic ballot. This cycle so far looks a lot like former President Barack Obama’s two midterms (2010 and 2014) did for Democrats in that they lead generic-ballot polls by a few points in the September of the year before the election. But in both those years, Republicans eventually moved ahead in our generic-ballot polling average and won the election handily.

So, if Republicans outperform their early polling to a similar degree as they did in 2010 and 2014, they could win the House popular vote by 5 to 7 percentage points, which would very likely hand them control of the House (and probably the Senate too, since almost everyone votes a straight party-line ticket these days). Of course, though, that’s a big if; there has been a lot of variability in these historical trends, so a wide range of outcomes is still possible. But even if Republicans only improve their standing a little bit — something that is likely to happen, if history is any guide — it would probably still be enough to flip the House, considering that their control of the redistricting process in a plurality of states is likely to reinforce the GOP’s structural advantage in House races. Past trends don’t always hold true, but the smart money, at this point, remains on the president’s party losing control of Congress next year.

The generic ballot is Democrat-friendly, though. Right now, the GOP is down by 2.6 points. In 1994, the GOP was down by 2 points; they were down by 2.9 points in 2010 and 1.9 points in 2014.

Overall, 2022 seems promising for a working majority in the House and Senate for Republicans. Hopefully, enough ill-will has accumulated, and enough deadwood has been forced out in primaries that the new majorities will unleash a tsunami of subpoenas and investigations as a prelude to 2024. On the other hand, whatever majority we give them will be in the hands of Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy…now I feel like having a good cry.

“We have two parties here, and only two. One is the evil party, and the other is the stupid party. … I’m very proud to be a member of the stupid party. … Occasionally, the two parties get together to do something that’s both evil and stupid. That’s called bipartisanship.”
M. Stanton Evans

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Canadian Election’s Lesson for Americans

Canada’s Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, greets his supporters during the Liberal election night party in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 21, 2021. (Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

Americans should learn from them how to behave when the votes don’t go your way.

Canada had an election yesterday, and the results weren’t very interesting. The Liberals, led by Justin Trudeau, called the election in the hopes of turning their minority government into a majority government. In the last election, they won 157 seats in the House of Commons. They currently have won or lead in . . . 158 seats. Canadian writer Ben Woodfinden called it “the Seinfeld election,” since it wound up being about nothing.

What is noteworthy is the way the vote totals interact with the structure of Canadian government. The House of Commons has single-member districts (called “ridings”) where candidates are elected in a first-past-the-post system.

There have been 24 House of Commons elections in Canada since the end of World War II. In only two of those elections has a party won a majority of the popular vote (1958 and 1984). Every other election has seen a party winning a minority of the popular vote and still winning a majority of the seats, or a party forming a minority government. Canada has a strong tradition of third parties and regional parties that prevent the two major parties from getting a popular majority. The threshold that the CBC uses as a benchmark for a majority government is 38.5 percent of the national popular vote. That’s generally enough to win 170 seats for a majority in the 338-seat House of Commons.

The Conservative Party has won the most votes nationally in five of the past six general elections. It has gotten to form the government after only three of them. The past two have seen Conservatives win the popular vote and Liberals get to form the government. The structure benefits the Liberals despite the Conservatives winning more votes.

Essentially, Conservatives run up the score in western Canada and lose lots of closer elections in eastern Canada. In 2019 they shut the Liberals out of Alberta and Saskatchewan entirely, earning 69 and 64 percent of the popular vote in those provinces to the Liberals’ measly 14 and 12 percent. But in Ontario, Liberals won 79 of the available 121 seats on only 42 percent of the vote, with Conservatives earning 33 percent. Add that up nationally, and you see plenty of votes for Conservatives, but since they are heavily concentrated in specific areas, they don’t translate to winning general elections.

If this sounds vaguely familiar to you, that’s because it’s essentially the United States in reverse. Democrats have won the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections, yet they’ve won the White House in only three of those elections. Their voters are heavily concentrated in urban areas, which makes winning national elections more difficult.

Republicans respond to critics by saying, “That’s not how the system works. You have to win a majority in the Electoral College for the presidency. The ‘national popular vote’ in the Senate doesn’t mean anything.” And they’re correct. That’s how the Constitution works.

What’s funny is that in Canada, the left-wing parties are still the ones that say they support electoral reform. In essence, the two sides of the political spectrum hold the same positions on electoral structure in Canada as they do in the United States, even though the electoral situation is reversed.

The Liberals are in the tricky spot of benefiting from a system they know deep down they are supposed to hate. When running for office in 2015, “Justin Trudeau vowed that the upcoming general election will be the last one using the first-past-the-post voting system,” said the CBC. Well, there have been two elections since then under the same system — and Trudeau’s Liberals have just so happened to win both of them. The other left-wing parties, the New Democratic Party and the Green Party, both support proportional representation.

The Conservatives have never promised to change from the first-past-the-post system, even though they are the ones getting shafted by the current system. The small, right-wing People’s Party of Canada is silent on electoral reform.

In a sense, the status quo is in Conservatives’ best interest. If you add up the left-wing parties, they win more of the popular vote than the right-wing parties, so in a perfectly proportional system, the right would be the minority. But they aren’t doing any better with the first-past-the-post system. Canada has experienced its own version of geographic polarization. In America, it’s urban–rural. In Canada, it’s east–west. Despite the different nature of the polarization, the results seem to be the same: no massive swings from election to election and a bitter, divided government.

The Conservatives could look at that and complain about being locked out of government, pen countless think-pieces about why the system is undemocratic, and advocate abolishing the current system and installing a new one to benefit their party. They could also feed their supporters a steady diet of lies that these elections were stolen from them. But they don’t.

They muddle through. They pick new leaders. They campaign in places they need to win. They keep trying to win elections under the system as it has always existed. For the last few elections, things haven’t worked out for them. But they focus on the future and fight another day.

The Conservatives’ attitude is Canadian with a capital “C” (they’re just so darn polite), but it’s also conservative with a lowercase “c.” Canadian conservatives are a bunch of squishes on most policy matters, and Americans should not follow them down that trail. But Americans should learn from them how to behave when the votes don’t go your way.

One-party states have a pretty bad track record historically, and competitive democracies are the best places to live. That means your side is going to lose sometimes and maybe even have a losing streak. That’s not a reason to overthrow the system or invent cockamamie schemes to change the results. It’s a reason to preserve our form of government so that there will be a next election — another chance to win.

American partisans should improve their post-election behavior — if for no other reason than to deny the Canadians moral superiority.

Dominic Pino is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at National Review Institute.

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Mitch McConnell: Democrats’ ‘Frankenstein’ elections bill is not compromise

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the Democrats’ attempts for a compromise in overhauling the nation’s elections system would still be a power grab that would mean a federal takeover of voting.

“This latest version is only a compromise in the sense that the center-left compromised with the far left. Under the hood is the same Frankenstein’s monster that’s been there since 2019, years before the state-level actions which the Democrats now claim have made it all necessary,” Mr. McConnell said on the Senate floor.

“It still makes Washington bureaucrats the de facto board of elections for all 50 states, dictating the terms of things like automatic and same-day voter registration,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Senate Democrats are moving toward bringing the elections overhaul measure to the floor after announcing a compromise bill has support from Sen. Joe Manchin III.

The West Virginia Democrat had been a holdout. His support means all 50 Senate Democrats back the measure.

Republicans will oppose the measure through a filibuster.

Democrats are accusing 18 Republican-led states of enacting election rules aimed at making it more difficult for people of color to vote, and their compromise bill would have the federal government override state laws.

While it would allow states to require voters to show proof of identity, the Democratic proposal would allow documents such as utility bills instead of picture IDs.

Mr. Manchin is meeting with Republicans to try to win the support of 10 GOP senators to keep the bill from being blocked. But that’s unlikely to happen.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday that Democrats want to see what further changes are needed to win Republican support, but would not wait long before voting on the bill.

“If Republicans are unwilling to move forward, Democrats will have to move on our own. Inaction from Republicans on voting rights is not an excuse to do nothing. We are going to take action to make sure we protect our democracy and fight back against the disease of voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering and election subversion that is metastasizing at the state level,” Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, said on the Senate floor.

But Mr. McConnell said Democrats aren’t really willing to compromise and Republicans will still block the bill.

“Unfortunately, this latest ‘compromise’ is just a repackaging of what even reporters called a messaging bill that was headed nowhere,” he said. “The substance is not really changing. And so neither will the result.”

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Elections Canada reported disruptions at some polling stations as Canadians voted

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OTTAWA — Elections Canada reported a handful of disruptions at polling stations across the country on Monday, including an Indigenous-led protest and poll workers not showing up, as millions of Canadians cast their ballots in the first federal election since the pandemic began.

While the majority of polling stations opened on time and without incident, Elections Canada spokeswoman Diane Benson said issues were reported with several sites in Ontario and Western Canada, resulting in some stations opening late or having to be relocated.


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Those included a polling station in the riding of Brantford-Brant, southwest of Toronto, which had to be moved after a protest organized by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.

The council spoke out last week against putting a polling station on what it considers its traditional territory, calling it a treaty violation and encouraging members not to vote.

The newspaper Turtle Island News reported that protesters blocked all three entrances to the polling station before a standoff broke out with Six Nations police.

The newspaper said the polling station was moved off reserve after negotiations between the two sides.

“We are aware that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council protest disrupted the vote at a polling place in Brantford-Brant before the polling place could be relocated,” Benson said in an email.


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Benson also reported that poll workers did not show up for two polls in the Ontario riding of Kenora, near the border with Manitoba. Standby workers from other parts of the region were dispatched to open the polls by mid-afternoon.

Two polling locations in First Nations in the Alberta riding of Grande Prairie-Mackenzie were also late opening due to staff being unable to get into locked buildings. The polls have since opened.

Elections Canada was also aware that a polling location in the British Columbia community of Yekooche, in the riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley, had not opened.

Benson also reported special arrangements had been made, with the approval of local campaigns, for several polling places in the Toronto ridings of Eglinton-Lawrence and University-Rosedale to manage the flow of voters while respecting safety measures in place.


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“We are aware of a disruption in voting services in several polling places in Davenport,” she added. “Voting has resumed.”

Elections Canada said almost 6.8 million people voted early, most of them at advance polls over a week ago, and the rest through special ballots cast by mail or at Elections Canada offices.

Canada has more than 30 million eligible voters.

Elections Canada told The Canadian Press it had intermittent issues with a search tool on its website that lets voters know which polling station to go to based on their postal code. The agency urged electors to check their voting cards or call Elections Canada directly if they weren’t sure where to go.

Benson said Elections Canada was also investigating high call volumes in certain electoral districts, though she did not say which ridings were affected.


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Elections Canada had previously warned that the pandemic could lead to longer waits for voters compared to past elections.

Public health protocols involve keeping people at a distance and collecting extra information for contact tracing purposes, which could take extra time.

The polling stations themselves are also likely to be farther away, as many schools and landlords opted out of hosting crowds of voters during the fourth wave of the pandemic. That means fewer places to vote and potentially longer lines.

Elections Canada encouraged voters to wear masks but only required them in places where they were mandated by provincial rules. Proof-of-vaccination regulations do not apply at polling stations in any province where they currently exist.


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Police in Edmonton said they responded to one disruption at a polling station where a man and woman refused to wear a mask inside a local public school as they tried to vote. Police said the man allegedly had a medical exemption and co-operated when asked to leave.

An Elections Canada spokesperson said some polls had seen isolated delays in getting set up, which created some longer waits, but nothing unusual compared to years past.

George Walker cast his ballot in Toronto Monday afternoon. He described the experience as “smooth,” and called the safety precautions taken at the polling station “wise.”

“But it took longer than it has in the past, mainly because of COVID,” Walker said, adding he didn’t mind the extra 15-minute wait.


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Shannon Fernandez said voting on election day was “super easy,” “stress-free” and “very straightforward.”

“I felt like it was very well organized,” Fernandez added. “No complaints at all.”

Polling stations were to be open for 12 hours, but the opening times varied by region, starting as early as 7 a.m. Pacific in British Columbia and as late as 9:30 a.m. eastern in Ontario and most of Quebec.

Elections Canada had warned it could take up to four days to finish counting all special ballots, meaning some close races may not have official winners for several days.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2021.



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Is anyone — including Elections Canada — concerned about masked voting?

Is the COVID-19 pandemic a godsend for those who wish to commit voter fraud? It could very well be.

By way of explanation, I visited the advance polling station a few days ago in my riding of Oak Ridges-Aurora-Richmond Hill.

Let it be known that Elections Canada very much wants you to wear a face mask when entering a polling station, what with the pandemic and whatnot. Safety first, after all.

Yet, I couldn’t help but notice that a face mask very much hides the identity of the wearer. Don a pair of sunglasses and a baseball cap, and one’s face is almost as concealed as if one were wearing a burqa.

Speaking of burqas, you might recall how back in 2015, we did a test in which I went to an advance polling station draped head-to-toe in a burqa. Only my eyes were visible. Yes, I was asked to provide government-issued photo identification (in this case, my driver’s licence) but crucially, I was not asked to unveil to prove I was who I was claiming to be. Maybe the scrutineers were terrified of coming across as being culturally insensitive?

But here we are six years later, and the problem of confirming one’s identity has further ramped up, thanks to PPE masks.

Indeed, I was surprised to learn that I was not asked to unmask to confirm that my face matched the photograph on my driver’s licence.

In fact, I even volunteered to unmask, but was inexplicably told that wouldn’t be necessary (even though I was also eye-concealing glasses and a hair-concealing cap).

I reached out to Elections Canada to find out what the policy is. My question was as follows: I observed people voting with masks, eyeglasses, hats, etc. I’m wondering why such people are not asked to unmask to indicate that they are the same people depicted in the photo ID being presented.

The response:

Under the Canada Elections Act, voters must prove who they are and where they live. It does not require that they provide photo ID or that they reveal their faces to election workers. Electors can prove their identity and address in a variety of ways:

1) with a driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID showing their name and address;

2) with two separate documents, for example, a healthcare card with their name and hydro bill with their name and address;

3) by having someone vouch for their identity and/or address and making a solemn declaration. The voucher must know the voter personally and appear on the list of electors in the same polling station as the voter. The voucher must not have vouched for another voter or have had their own identity and residence vouched for.

If voters cannot prove their identity and address, they cannot vote.

Elections Canada’s Policy on Voter Identification when Registering and Voting in Person in federal Electoral Events was last updated on September 4, 2020 and is available on our website. With respect to face coverings, that policy provides that ‘An elector may vote with their face covered by establishing proof of their identity and residence under any of the three options listed above. An elector is not required to remove their face covering when establishing proof of their identity and residence.’

It’s important to note that there are a number of safeguards and post-election verification processes in place to ensure the integrity of the vote is upheld.

But still, the question arises: unless the person takes off the face covering — be it a burqa or a COVID-19 mask – how can one’s identity truly be verified? Baffling. And in this day and age of sensitivity regarding voter fraud, it’s downright disturbing…

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“You Don’t Get to Cheat and Steal Elections”- Arizona Senate Candidate Blake Masters Argues for Decertification If AZ Audit Shows Extensive Fraud (VIDEO)

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