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NE: Critics: Omaha’s election chief broke federal law

By   /   November 27, 2012  /   6 Comments

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Once again the man in charge of Omaha’s elections is being accused of suppressing the vote, this time on Election Day.

Nebraskans for Civic Reform today filed a federal complaint against Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps.

The complaint asks Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale to investigate.

“We believe hundreds, and potentially thousands of voters were unlawfully denied the right to vote,” says Adam Morfeld, NCR’s executive director.

According to Morfeld, election officials in at least nine of the county’s 200 polling places made it difficult for voters to cast provisional ballots—ballots that are used when a voter’s eligibility (i.e. right polling place) is in question—by requiring voters to provide a “voter identification number.”

Morfeld says that number is known only to the election commission which was all but unreachable on Election Day due to the volume of phone calls.

Phipps, who has repeatedly denied other charges of vote killing, was not immediately available for comment.

Contact Joe Jordan at [email protected]

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Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • Malone1610

    Mr. Morfeld, the election is over, get over it. Evidently your man lost and you are a sore loser, or maybe you just don’t like Mr. Phipps because his physical appearance, either case it makes you look pathetic.
    Why don’t you put the blame where it really belongs, with the ignorant voter. Why would anyone in their right mind not find out where and how they are to cast their ballot before the last minute? C’mon man, put the blame where it belongs. Anyone expecting to make a phone call to the election commissioners office on election day is not thinking very clearly.

  • This election officer did not suppress the vote for a few, he suppressed the vote for ALL! Fraud vitiates the entire transaction, not just part of it, regardless whether the outcome would have been different. New laws are rules must be enacted to deal with people losing boxes of ballots. A simple law requiring all ballot boxes to be serialized and accounted for before any ballots are counted and reported will go a long way to reducing voter fraud.

  • Goblin Shark

    I was an inspector at a polling place, and required complete information before I allowed anyone to cast a provisional ballot. I assisted everyone with their ballots, and in many of the cases, I called the Election Commission personally for the voter. There was never a time when I was unable to get through, I just kept trying. The worst case scenario, in my experience, was that i had to hit redial for 2 or 3 minutes, but I was always able to put the voter in contact with an election commission representative. These folks need to get over it. In many aspects, I’m quite to the left of most Nebraskans, politically, and I’ve been working elections for over a decade now, and I never once was given instructions by Mr. Lautenbaugh or Mr. Phipps that I considered objectionable or unreasonable. They have gone out of their way to accommodate all voters with provisional ballots and early voting. I’m tired of hearing these baseless accusations!

  • Malone, I agree, the responsibility belongs with the citizen. However, the left will not be happy until each voter is taken by the hand to a polling location because apparently early voting or voting by mail is too difficult as well.

  • resistwemuch

    First, folks like Mr. Morfeld assured us that there is no such thing as voter fraud and therefore it wasn’t/isn’t necessary to have id’s to vote. Now we are told by this same group of liberals that voter fraud is rampant because Mr. Phipps hates liberals and minorities. This group has failed to mention that the other half of the equation in the election commission office is a Democrat and I have not heard a single individual question this persons participation/lack of participation in the closing of any polling sites. The continuation of the slander against Mr. Phipps is inane. It appears to be a ploy right out of the Alinsky Rules For Radicals and an effort to deflect attention from far greater matters such as the death of an 4 Americans in Bengahzi. PEOPLE DIED AND OBAMA, CLINTON AND RICE LIED.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    The issue, which several on here continue to deflect from, is simple. Mr. Phipps violated Rule #1 in the Army: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There was NOTHING wrong with the polling places, voters knowing where to vote, etc, UNTIL Mr. Phipps, obviously on orders from higher up (since he lacks the intelligence and will to do something that was both obviously stupid and obviously straight from ALEC’s play book of voter disenfranchisement vis a vis Wisconsin’s Voter Disenfranchisement efforts) screwed the whole thing up by closing the majority of polling places in demographically poor and minority areas of Douglas County, sending false polling place information out intentionally to some of those affected, then further confusing the issue by reopening some, but not all, of the poling places he closed for the primary elections.

    It is NOT about who won or lost or by how much (other than Susan Smith must live in a fantasy world if she thought she had a snowball’s chance in hell of making a small dent, let alone winning, with her “campaign” against Brenda Council and Ernie Chambers for that seat. Speaks volumes to how “in tune” (NOT) she is with the constituency of that Legislative District when she finished a DISTANT third behind the recently convicted Ms. Council) but the impropriety, the intentional confusion and tainting of the election process caused by Mr. Phipps’ actions.