Washington Post: Virginia voter fraud case expands to focus on GOP firm

-By Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger

November 2, 2012- The investigation into the arrest of a man on charges of dumping voter registration forms last month in Harrisonburg, Va., has widened, with state officials probing whether a company tied to top Republican leaders had engaged in voter registration fraud in the key battleground state, according to two persons close to the case.

A former employee of Strategic Allied Consulting, a contractor for the Republican Party of Virginia, had been scheduled to appear last Tuesday before a grand jury after he was charged with tossing completed registration forms into a recycling bin. But state prosecutors canceled Colin Small’s grand jury testimony to gather more information, with their focus expanding to the firm that had employed Small, which is led by longtime GOP operative Nathan Sproul.

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ABC News: Gov. Rick Scott won’t extend early voting through Sunday

-By Associated Press

November 2, 2012- TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday rejected calls to extend early-voting hours through Sunday despite reports of record turnouts and long lines of voters at poll sites statewide.

The League of Women Voters on Thursday joined a call by the chairman of Florida's Democratic Party for Scott to extend early voting through Sunday.

"The League of Women Voters of Florida," state president Deirdre Macnab said, "is extremely concerned that such long waits are discouraging to voters whose schedules and or physical conditions cannot accommodate these types of delays."

Asked Thursday night whether he would extend early voting through Sunday, the Republican governor said no.

"Early voting will end Saturday night," Scott told reporters at a GOP fundraiser in Newberry, Fla. "But I want everybody to get out to vote."

Earlier, Republican Party executive director Mike Grissom said it was wrong "for one side to demand that we break the law because they feel like they are losing."

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CNN: DOJ sends voting rights monitors, observers to 23 states

-By Terry Frieden 

November 2, 2012- Washington (CNN) – The Justice Department Friday announced that it is dispatching more than 780 federal observers and monitors to 23 states to watch for potential problems which would violate voting rights protected by federal law.

The Justice Department said it was sending observers to 51 jurisdictions in those states to help enforce federal voting rights laws which protect ballot access.

In addition to concern about discrimination based on languages and ethnicity, the federal officials will be ensuring voters with disabilities are accommodated, and ensuring that no procedures are used to subject voters to different procedures on the basis of race, color or national origin.

Many of the locations being targeted for the 2012 general election have appeared on similar lists for past elections. Justice officials say the federal monitors will maintain low profile positions, and will not be involved in the voting process unless problems arise.

The total of 780 officials is about the same size as the contingent sent to watch the 2008 presidential election.

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Charleston Daily Mail: Absentee ballot contractor for state prompts concerns

-by Ry Rivard

November 1, 2012- CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Some county clerks across the state are wary of an effort to change the handling of overseas and military ballots.

The clerks, who run county elections, question Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's decision to hire a private contractor to send out the ballots. The $60,000 contract with Baltimore-based Scytl USA was paid with federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Tennant, the state's chief elections officer, said the program is meant to make it easier for overseas West Virginians – particularly members of the military – to vote. The issue is near and dear to Tennant because her husband, state Sen. Erik Wells, D-Kanawha, was recently deployed in Afghanistan.

But in interviews this week, several election clerks questioned the arrangement.

In particular, they questioned the need to hire Scytl and the wisdom and legality of having a third party act as middleman between voters and election officials.

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Reader Supported News: A Hostile Takeover of Our Country

-By Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

October 29, 2012- American democracy is under assault.

In one super-PAC alone, Karl Rove and the Enron grifter Ed Gillespie, have assembled $200 million from big polluters and Wall Street moguls to buy the 2012 election.

Two of the Koch Brothers, Charles and David, pledged $130 million to elect candidates who favor unrestrained corporate profiteering.

The senators and congressmen they fund and elect are not representing the United States-they are representing Koch and its oil industry cronies, Big Pharma, and the Wall Street banksters currently mounting a hostile takeover of our government.

I have no problem characterizing these corporate-centric super-PACs as treasonous. We are now in a free fall toward old-fashioned oligarchy; noxious, thieving and tyrannical.

The most corporate-friendly Supreme Court since the Gilded Age had declared in its notorious Citizens United decision that corporations are people and that money is speech. Those who have the most money now have the loudest voices in our democracy while poor Americans are mute.

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