Flaws found in voter ID survey used in lawsuit

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R., Texas) made a surprise appearance in the Texas voter ID case Thursday afternoon during cross-examination of the survey expert for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Hutchison was included in a survey of Texas voters who do not have state-issued ID, even though she has a valid driver’s license.

Harvard professor Stephen Ansolabehere, who conducted the survey, confirmed that Hutchison, former Sen. Phil Gramm (R., Texas), Republican state Rep. Aaron Pena and Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte – all of whom have state ID – were included in Ansolabehere’s list of 1.5 million potential Texas voters without state-issued ID.

The professor also said he could not say why these names were on the non-ID list.

Ansolabehere’s testimony will conclude today, and closing remarks in the case will begin at 9 a.m. Friday.

By Lindsey Ruta and Annelise Russell, News21

Poll watchers deployed for Arizona special election Tuesday

Poll watchers deployed for Arizona special election Tuesday

Grady Rhodes (background left), a first-time poll watcher with the Pima County Voter Integrity Project, observes the voter check-in table at the polling place inside the Chinese Cultural Center, Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz. Photo by Jeremy Knop/News21

Newly trained poll watchers were deployed to 34 Arizona precincts Tuesday to keep an eye out for potential voter fraud in the special election to fill the vacancy left by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D., Ariz. Giffords retired from Congress to focus on her recovery from a critical gunshot head wound that she suffered in a January 2011 assassination attempt.

Giffords’ former aide Ron Barber, who was shot in the leg and cheek in that same attack, won the special election and will serve the remaining months of her term.

Grady Rhodes was among more approximately 60 volunteers who were trained to monitor voting.

“A lot of people think there could be a lot of fraud going on and they’re not sure whether their vote counts or not.” said Rhodes, a first-time poll watcher. “I wanted to be a part of helping the people and making sure their vote does count and to ensure fraud isn’t going on.”

Rhodes identified himself as a Republican and a member of the tea party, having received his training through the Pima County Voter Integrity Project on Saturday. Jennifer Wright, a tea party member who recently ran for mayor of Phoenix, trained Rhodes, he said.

Of those who went through poll watcher training Saturday, 34 were available Tuesday for the special election, said Karen Schutte, Pima County Voter Integrity Project coordinator.

By Jeremy Knop, News21

Ruth Zubrensky: Wisconsin poll watcher finds no fraud

Ruth Zubrensky: Wisconsin poll watcher finds no fraud

Ruth Zubrensky was a poll watcher Tuesday at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Photo by Tasha Khan/News21

Ruth Zubrensky, 84, sat quietly Tuesday near the back of the polling place in Sandburg Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she watched voters cast their ballots.

Zubrensky has been an election observer a half-dozen times in Wisconsin, she said, and she has never seen any fraudulent activity at the polls.

“Fraud is such a minimum, such a minimum,” she said.

Zubrensky took voter protection training offered by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Unlike in many other states, Wisconsin observers are not required to register with a political party or a candidate. Observers must sign in with the senior election official and provide their name, address and organization, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board website.

By Tasha Khan, News21