use the definition of Swing States by the Swing State Project.
select your state of interest to proceed. (If there is no link, that
means there is no content for that state yet).
The state of Iowa
incorrectly labeled dozens of voters as felons and struck them from
the rolls - many were reinstated but some are still not, although it
appears they might be able to cast provisional ballots
Protection, we have this report in the Des
Moines Register (bold text is my emphasis):
Postal worker Rick
Brown, 47, of Madrid, Ia., was surprised and upset when he got a
letter from his county auditor Friday, telling him that he is a
convicted felon and that he can't vote in today's election.
"I was frustrated and just didn't understand," said Brown,
who contended that he never served jail time, but in July 1997
received a deferred judgment on a domestic abuse assault charge,
according to court records. "I've been a registered voter for
years," he said.
Brown was one of
dozens of Iowans mistakenly purged from voter registration rolls
after a list from the state incorrectly identified them as convicted
While most people have since been reinstated on voter rolls, it
is unclear whether the problem has been fully corrected.
"We made every effort to make sure that was an up-to-date
list," said Anthony Carroll, a spokesman for the Iowa secretary
of state's office. "The bottom line is it's still not a
The problem appeared
to be largest in Linn County, where only 35 people on a list of 145
from the secretary of state's office were actual felons. The full
list of people was purged from voter rolls Oct. 23, and some got
letters that their absentee vote wouldn't count.
"We started getting irate phone calls," said Linn County
Auditor Linda Langenberg, who said names were double-checked and
have since been reinstated. "While this was a mistake on the
part of somebody at the state level, it could have been
In Dubuque County, at
least 13 from a list of 78 were mistakenly identified as felons. In
Black Hawk County, 38 from a list of 120 had their voting
eligibility restored. And in Boone County, three people shouldn't
have been included on a list of 27 convicted felons.
Meanwhile, counties like Polk, Cerro Gordo and Pottawattamie
avoided the problem by not relying on the state's list to purge
voters who are alleged to be felons.
"The records that we get are not accurate," said Polk
County Auditor Michael Mauro, who took the list and cross-checked it
with court records. "I don't think it's ever been accurate.
I've been dealing with it for years."
Election and court
officials agree that the system of purging felons from the state's
voter registration rolls is imperfect.
Criminal information is funneled monthly from county clerks to
auditors and the secretary of state's office, which then removes
from the list those whose voting rights have been restored.
Carroll said it's unclear what went wrong. He blamed the state court
administration for providing the list of felons to the secretary of
state's office, and said the list should be improved when Iowa moves
to a statewide voter registration database.
that there are some inaccuracies in this report," said Rebecca
Colton, spokeswoman for the courts.
Ben Stone, executive director of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union,
wasn't surprised by the problems. He cited an Oct. 19 report by
Demos, Right to Vote and the American Civil Liberties Union showing
Iowa doesn't have a law requiring county auditors to tell people
when their names are purged from voter rolls.
"If someone does not get notice, they have no ability to
challenge it before the election," said Stone, who plans to
lobby the Legislature for a law requiring notification.
eligibility is challenged will be allowed to vote today by
Iowa wrongly rejects numerous voter registrations for missing tick
mark against age (>18) and U.S. citizenship, even though signed and
sworn voter affidavit submitted with the registration contains this
certification. Registrants asked to re-submit applications.
here is a report in the Des
requirement also is causing problems for some voters who registered
interpretation of the Help America Vote Act, voters who do not check
boxes indicating they're 18 and a U.S. citizen will not be eligible
to vote in federal elections. This year, that means the presidential
race and congressional races.
The effects of the box-checking problem on Iowans is on a smaller
scale. Twenty-seven voters have been affected in Johnson County and
several hundred in Polk County. Those Iowans also have received
letters from their county auditors, telling them to re-register to
everybody letters, telling them, 'We need you to mark the two boxes
on the top,' " Mauro said.
Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver met with state Attorney General
Tom Miller on Tuesday to attempt to fix the problem.
Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin have voter
registration forms similar to Iowa's. However, those states have
said that failure to check the citizenship box should not prevent
the processing of a voter registration application, as long as
voters sign an affidavit that they're a U.S. citizen.
registration form has such an affidavit. With a signature, the voter
swears that he or she is the person named, is a U.S. citizen, lives
at the address listed, is 18 years old, has not been convicted of a
felony, is not incompetent to vote and does not claim the right to
Problems with voter registration are affecting only first-time
voters registering by mail. Those whose application has been
processed will receive a voter registration card within 10 days. The
deadline to register to vote is Oct. 23.
Iowa Republican Auditor
wrongly sends away student voters in line at closing time and refuses
to hold another day of early voting to compensate
we have this
story in the Des Moines Register:
Story County Auditor
Mary Mosiman was criticized Saturday for her decision not to open an
added satellite voting station Monday at Iowa State University.
Mosiman's announcement conflicts with earlier statements by Iowa
Secretary of State Chet Culver, who said Mosiman would arrange
another day of satellite voting after some students complained they
were turned away from a site at ISU's Parks Library on Oct. 21.
State officials said Mosiman violated voting regulations when she
directed poll workers to turn away people in line at closing time.
additional voting day was to be Monday, but Mosiman said that leaves
insufficient time to publish a notice, as required by law, seven
days in advance.
Mosiman, a Republican, "had the opportunity to make good on
what appeared to be an honest mistake, but she didn't take that
advantage of that opportunity," said Amber Hard, state director
of the Iowa New Voters Project.
Jim Hutter, a political science professor at ISU and Mosiman's
challenger in Tuesday's election, said Saturday he was "shocked
at how Mary Mosiman finds ways to keep people from voting instead of
helping them to vote."
Mosiman issued a
written statement that said the legal publication requirement
"is very clear" and that "intentional disregard of
this could seriously jeopardize the entire election."
She also took a swipe at Culver, a Democrat, who indicated that he
might issue a "technical infraction" against Mosiman.
State regulations say poll workers must allow voters to cast ballots
if they arrive before the established closing time. Mosiman
initially said she thought that the rule did not apply to satellite
stations and the site would have run out of ballots before those in
line could vote.
Iowa State officials
reject hundreds of voter registrations because of a problem with their
own systems that prevents them from accessing the Social Security
database - officials state they will work to fix this
we have this report in the Des
Published October 13,
Hundreds of Iowans who registered to vote by mail were notified this
week that their applications were rejected - a situation that
threatens to disenfranchise voters less than three weeks before
State officials say they are resolving the problem, which stems from
the portion of Iowa's voter registration form that requires an
identification number. The form allows voters to use the last four
digits of their Social Security number if they don't have a driver's
license or other state identification number.
But Iowa county
auditors' access to the Social Security database to verify those
numbers has been delayed - causing hundreds of voter registration
applications to pile up without being processed. The situation
affects the entire state, including about 400 applications in
Johnson County and 500 in Polk County.
"I'm trying to make an effort to get this worked out,"
said Polk County Auditor Michael Mauro. "These voters have done
nothing improper. They followed the procedure printed on the
application."With time running out, Johnson County Auditor Tom
Slockett sent letters to 400 voters, telling them their applications
were rejected because information they provided could not be
verified. He said one way to fix the problem is to register in
person, which does not require the same verification according to
federal election law.
"These people are very frustrated because they had done what
they were required by law to do," Slockett said. "Students
feel this is an intentional effort to make it difficult for them to
vote. The elderly, some who are handicapped, are angered because
they're unable to leave the house. We feel very bad about it."
Updegraff of Johnson County was angered. "This is total fraud
and injustice to the American voter," she said. "And then
people wonder why no one votes. This is an outrage, and everyone
should know about it."
The situation is having a big impact on out-of-state students living
in Iowa who do not have an Iowa driver's license or nondriver ID
card but who want to register to vote in Iowa.
State election officials assured Iowans that they're working to fix
the problem. They said the link to the Social Security database to
verify voters' numbers will be tested today and should be running
statewide by Thursday.Changes and new requirements come from the
federal Help America Vote Act, approved in the wake of the
controversial 2000 presidential election.
Amber Hard, state director of the New Voters Project, which has been
working to register new voters statewide, said she thinks it was a
mistake to put the law into effect in a presidential election year.
"You can't disenfranchise people because your electronic system
doesn't work," she said.
Iowa Republican Party
attempts to suppress votes of citizens who signed an affidavit
certifying their eligibility to vote but forgot to check a box saying
they are citizens; also attempts to suppress provisional ballots cast
in the right county but wrong precinct
at Dailykos, we have this
report in the Des Moines Register (bold text is my emphasis):
Controversy over Iowa's election laws
heated up this morning when Republicans threatened to file a lawsuit
and called for Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver's resignation,
just eight days before Election Day.
At issue is the requirement that voters registering by mail check a
box confirming U.S. citizenship. Republicans allege Culver, a
Democrat, is violating state and federal election laws by deciding
last week that he'll allow Iowa voters to bypass that requirement.
"Voting in Iowa has been going
on since September 23rd and now in the middle of the game, we're
seeking to change the rules," said Gentry Collins, deputy
chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. "My view is that this
is a partisan attempt by a partisan election official to rig the
Collins said Republicans will consider a lawsuit "to protect
the integrity of Iowa's election process." He did not specify
when such a legal challenge would be filed.
Senate President Jeff Lamberti, an
Ankeny Republican, called for Culver to step down "if he's
unwilling to uphold Iowa law." House Speaker Christopher Rants,
a Sioux City Republican, said he shared Lamberti's concerns.
"Apparently, they think they're going to lose Iowa and they
want to throw this thing to the courts," Rants said of
Democrats. "They can't win under the rules as they are today,
so they want to change the rules. I've lost a lot of confidence in
the Secretary of State."
Culver, the state's top election
official, dismissed Republicans' criticism as "pathetic
partisan blather." Members of his staff repeated their
commitment to making sure that every eligible vote counts.
"What we're trying to do is interpret the laws fairly and give
people the opportunity to vote - and where there's some discrepancy
or lack of clarification, get the legal clarification we need,"
said Iowa Deputy Secretary of State Charles Krogmeier.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller,
a Democrat, advised election officials last week to accept
registration forms of an estimated 364 Iowans who registered to vote
by mail and forgot to check the citizenship box, but signed an
affidavit certifying their eligibility to vote.
The opinion is consistent with the way Colorado, Michigan, Ohio,
Washington and Wisconsin have interpreted changes in the federal
Help America Vote Act, approved by Congress in the wake of the
controversial 2000 presidential election.
But the Iowa Voter Registration
Commission on Monday refused to go along with Miller's opinion and
voted 2-2 against changing the rules requiring the checking of the
citizenship box. Two Republicans on the panel -Collins and Guthrie
County Auditor Janet Dickson - voted against the measure, while
Krogmeier and Jean Hessburg, executive director of the Iowa
Democratic Party, voted in favor of it.
"The federal and state law is not clear," Hessburg said.
"The Iowa voter registration form could be construed as
redundant. The check box and the signature at the bottom both denote
the same thing. . . . It is not partisan electioneering to clarify
Krogmeier said despite Monday's vote,
election officials still plan to follow the attorney general's
opinion and include voters who forgot to check the citizenship box
on their registration forms. "The opinion still stands and
that's what we're taking as law," Krogmeier said. "So
these people will be able to vote."
That angered Republicans, who said election officials are violating
state law and administrative rules.
"The attorney general's opinion does not have the force of
law," Collins said. "It is the opinion of one staffer in
the attorney general's office. . . . The attorney general is not the
About 20 Republicans protested Monday
outside the Lucas State Office Building where the commission met.
They held signs protesting Culver's actions and chanted things like,
"Chet the cheater!"
"He's changing the rules to the game and he's trying to give
the liberals an advantage, which they clearly don't need," said
Danielle Sturgis, 19, a Drake University student from Illinois.
While Iowa's controversy evolved Monday around citizenship boxes,
Republicans are also challenging Miller's opinion on
"provisional ballots," used when voters' names do not
appear on the voter registration rolls.
In a legal opinion released
Friday, Miller said Iowans who vote in the correct county but wrong
precinct should have their votes for president and Congress count.
But over the weekend, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
effectively nullified rulings in Ohio and Michigan that would have
allowed such out-of-precinct ballots.
That leaves Iowa election officials taking a different route than
what other states have decided, Republicans said.
"I think Tom Miller and Chet Culver have conducted this
election in a stunningly partisan manner," Collins said.
"They are now standing alone nationwide in saying that you
ought to be able to show up at a precinct in which you do not live
and you are not registered to vote and cast a ballot."
But Brenda Wright, managing
attorney for the National Voting Rights Institute in Boston, said
there are actually 13 states that will count ballots for the federal
election that are filed in the correct county but wrong precinct.
She cited a survey taken on the issue by Demos, a national voting
rights organization based in New York.