Last week in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled to uphold Arizona’s ban on ballot harvesting (a practice that allows third parties to collect and deliver ballots) and out-of-precinct voting. The Court determined that “neither Arizona’s HB 2023 banning ballot harvesting nor the policy outlawing out-of-precinct voting violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act which bans racial discrimination.”
After failing miserably to address the 2020 presidential election fraud on facts sworn; now at least the Court has shown some love for citizens and honest elections generally. Apparently bold in consideration of controversy impacting only a fraction of the population (Transsexual rights for example) when over fifty percent of citizens are betrayed by organized fraud (Trump won) the court cowered.
Nevertheless, “This is a massive victory for election integrity,” said Dr. Kelli Ward, Chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, in a media statement. “The Court saw right through the Democrats’ baseless accusations against our state’s ballot harvesting ban. Ensuring that the chain of custody with mail-in ballots remains intact is a vital part of ensuring election integrity, and this law helps to do just that,” she said.
Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito concluded, the plaintiffs were “unable to provide statistical evidence showing that HB 2023 had a disparate impact on minority voters.”
“Even if the plaintiffs had shown a disparate burden caused by HB 2023, the State’s justification would suffice to avoid Section 2 liability,” he wrote. “A State indisputably has a compelling interest in preserving the integrity of its election process.”
“The Court holds that Arizona’s out-of-precinct policy and its ban on ballot harvesting do not violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and the ban on ballot harvesting was not enacted with a racially discriminatory purpose,” Alito continued.
This ruling adds to the growing hope for Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Her confirmation last fall gave the Court a majority of justices who consider themselves originalists of one stripe or another. The others are Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh.
That bloc of five made the difference in the first major constitutional issue the Court decided. It granted Catholic churches and Jewish synagogues challenging New York’s COVID restrictions on worship under the Free Exercise Clause injunctive relief in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo by a 5-4 vote.
Another free exercise victory for citizens and slap down for the Biden Administration’s Communist Wing came in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, where a unanimous Court struck down Philadelphia’s refusal to contract with Catholic Social Services based upon its longstanding beliefs that prevented certification of same-sex couples as foster parents.
Oklahoma bans both practices questioned in Arizona, but anecdotal reports suggest Democrats have attempted ballot harvesting in Tulsa County. Further questions arise from the State reliance on County Election Boards to monitor compliance of sworn affidavits in registering to vote while not providing state staff or requiring county staff investigators to do so.
The Tulsa County Election Board currently consists of three Board members and a staff of eighteen. The Board members are George Wiland, Chairman; Bruce Niemi, Vice-Chairman and Gwen Freeman, Secretary. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman are appointed by their political party and the Secretary is appointed by Tulsa County senators. All appointments are certified by the State Election Board. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman are present when the Board is taking any action, such as certifying election results or conducting a contest of candidacy hearing. The Secretary of the Election Board directs the Board and oversees the administration of the office. The Assistant Secretary executes many functions in conjunction with the Secretary.
Within the staff, there are several employees who perform many job functions, including:
The Election and Absentee Services Coordinator is responsible for staffing Absentee Voting Boards for early in-person voting and nursing home voting. Tulsa County employs over 40 absentee voting board members. The Absentee Department is also responsible for processing absentee ballot requests, mailing absentee ballots and receiving and maintaining security of voted absentee ballots.
The Election and Absentee Services Coordinator is also responsible for a large portion of the preparation of all elections that are conducted, including preparing and issuing election day ballots and supplies to the precinct Inspectors.
The Accounting Department at the Election Board is responsible for the payrolls of all areas performing services and also the billing of each entity calling for an election.
The Election Support Specialist enters all the specific parameters for each election on the computer so that the ballots will be counted electronically.
The Registrar Technician maintains current maps and street segments within Tulsa County, in addition to overseeing the Registration and Information Department, where currently approximately 340,000 Tulsa County voter registration documents are kept and updated according to residency. This department is also responsible for applying vote credit for each voter after each election.
The Poll Worker Department recruits, trains, and maintains files for all precinct officials in Tulsa County, as well as staffing precincts for each election. Tulsa County employs approximately 1,100 precinct officials to staff 262 precincts. Each precinct is required to have an Inspector, Judge, and Clerk. For large elections, a Provisional Voting officer may also be present.
The Technical Services / Building and Grounds Coordinator is responsible for locating and maintaining all polling locations in Tulsa County and for voting equipment delivery, setup and return for each election. In addition, this department is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of our 320 voting devices. Each device is cleaned, serviced and tested before use in every election.
The voting devices currently in use are the Hart InterCivic e-Scan AT. This device was purchased by the State of Oklahoma in late 2011 for use in the 2012 elections and all elections thereafter. Oklahoma was the first state to have a statewide voting system, meaning that all 77 counties in Oklahoma are computerized and use the same voting equipment.
The various types of elections are: Statewide Regular Primary, Runoff and General, Presidential Primary, Annual School, Special School, Regular Municipal, Special Municipal and County Specials. The preparation time for an election takes weeks and sometimes even months.
Precinct boundaries must adhere to all congressional, State Senate, State House, Judicial and County Commission district lines. This becomes a major project every 10 years after the Federal decennial census is taken.
The Tulsa County Election Board office is located at 555 North Denver, in Tulsa. Our office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Registration application cutoffs are 24 days before each election. Absentee ballots by mail may be requested until 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election and must be returned to the Election Board via U.S. Mail or a private mail service that provides delivery documentation by 7 p.m. on election day. In-person absentee voting is available on the Thursday and Friday before all elections from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. In Federal and State elections, in-person absentee voting is additionally available on the Saturday before elections from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For additional information call the Tulsa County Election Board office at (918) 596-5780.